A Walk on the Pier

A Walk on the Pier
A Walk on the Pier by Art Poulin – MasterPieces – 300 pieces

A Walk on the Pier was a great puzzle, with fantastic artwork by Art Poulin that made for quite an entertaining assembly. The quality was wonderful as well, with large, thick EZ grip pieces that fit together very well. I had a great time with this one!

Sometimes, all the Americana type of images on jigsaw puzzles all seem to blend in and have the same type of scene – over and over and over again. Every so often I find myself passing up the ones in my to do “pile” because even though it hasn’t been assembled yet, it just looks too familiar. I still love Charles Wysocki, Jane Wooster Scott, Heronim, and the many other Americana artists whose images make for great puzzles, but now and again they all start to look alike and I find myself needing to take a break from those images.

This one though was just what I was looking for at the right time, and the assembly was great fun!

A Walk on the Pier 1

The detail in the tackle shop window is amazing. Hubby would be able to spend hours in there, that’s for sure.

A Walk on the Pier 2

I love lighthouses, and have also in my mind romanticized living in one. My injury has caused me to “socially distance” myself from most of the world anyway, and after almost six years I’ve had a lot of practice at it. Being alone in a lighthouse with just my family around me sounds absolutely wonderful to me; imagine how quiet it would be as well! Plus, doesn’t it look like it would have the most beautiful view?

Coastal Getaway

Coastal Getaway
Coastal Getaway by Alan Giana – MasterPieces – 300 pieces

Coastal Getaway is such a pretty scene, and it made for an entertaining assembly. There are only 300 EZ grip pieces that are thick and sturdy, with a nice fit and stellar image reproduction. I always enjoy puzzles with large pieces, for some reason they make me extremely happy. ūüôā

Coastal Getaway 1

I love lighthouses; the color of the light is so beautiful on this one, and the trees all around it are gorgeous.

Coastal Getaway 2

The stairs leading down to the beach were really fun to assemble, and I love the shells tucked up at the top; it’s something I would have done when I was younger so I wouldn’t forget to take them with me when I went home.

Coastal Getaway 3

There’s something about this sailboat, and the lone person sailing it – I love the look of it; Alan Giana’s artwork is colorful and beautiful. This whole puzzle was a great image with lovely quality and I had a great time!

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas

Fabulous Las Vegas
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas by Charles Fazzino – TCG – 300 pieces

This Vegas puzzle was purchased on one of the last puzzle shopping trips before everything shut down; there were a few 300 piece puzzles with images by Charles Fazzino, and this one jumped right out at me. It’s quite busy and full of detail, and I’m happy to report the quality was excellent.

It was very good quality for a TCG puzzle; nice thick pieces, with excellent fit and image reproduction. There was only one piece shape, which is a bit disappointing, but the image is so detailed that it didn’t make putting it together any less engrossing. The assembly was entertaining, and as someone who’s been to Las Vegas I found it great fun to see the representations of some of the Vegas landmarks and hot spots.

Fabulous Las Vegas 1

Motel with waterbeds, porno movies, 24 hour drive up weddings, slot machines – where else could you be but Vegas? ūüėČ

Fabulous Las Vegas 2And if you want to get out of town you can go see the Hoover Dam, or visit the Chicken Ranch – two VERY different sights to see. If you haven’t heard about The Chicken Ranch, um…. it’s a place where some “ladies of the evening” work.

Fabulous Las Vegas 3

I have a special place in my heart for Circus Circus. Mom and Dad went to Vegas when I was younger, and she talked about it a lot and told us how much fun it was. She thought it was the best place in Vegas (at least for her), and my memories of her stories still make me smile. ūüôā When I went there about 10 years ago, we stayed across the street at the Riviera, and I couldn’t wait to go to Circus Circus and see what she was talking about. It was a pretty fun place, and they had great buffets too!

Fabulous Las Vegas 4

My only problem with this puzzle was this bit at the top, where the image was ripped. It’s just an anomaly, one of those things that happens. I’m not mad or wanting my money back; it didn’t make the assembly any less fun, I still had a great time!

Review: Farmers’ Market

Farmers' Market
Farmers’ Market – MasterPieces (Trendz) – 300 pieces (EZ grip)

While I enjoyed the bright colors and interesting image, the very shiny finish and extremely slippery backing made this puzzle a bit difficult to assemble and VERY difficult to photograph. It was entertaining to put together, but I ended up with a negative impression of it partly because photographing the puzzle is the last thing I do, and this one was a bugger to take a picture of!

I work under artificial lights, but with my fabric covered board it’s usually easy to get a good photograph – the chipboard backing on the puzzles sticks to the fabric and doesn’t move when I lean the board up against the wall. Taking pictures this way takes care of glare from the lights, and makes it easier to get a picture of the puzzle straight on. This puzzle though, with it’s slippery paper on the backing just kept sliding right off! Since I couldn’t lean the board even a little bit I had to take a picture with the board flat and ended up with quite a bit of glare. It took many pictures and much more time than usual to get a good picture. It was extremely frustrating. ūü§¨

The puzzle itself had large, thick pieces that fit together well, but unfortunately that’s where my positives end. The backing didn’t have a good feel in my hands, the finish was extremely shiny and caused glare under the lights, and the image reproduction made it very easy to tell that this was a digital collage. I’ve worked many, many, many collage puzzles – I would say that most of them have been digitally altered or assembled – but this was the first puzzle that made it glaringly obvious.

I’ve been going back and forth about whether or not to recommend this puzzle to my readers. On the one hand I enjoyed the actual assembly, but on the other hand I had several issues with the quality (that didn’t involve picture taking). It all depends on what characteristics are most important to you when assembling a puzzle. I found the image to be bright and colorful – and also too shiny with a very obvious digitally altered image. The chipboard was thick with a good fit – although the backing felt odd and almost sharp in my hands.

Overall the puzzle itself had good quality, and I mostly enjoyed the assembly, so it is recommended (even though if I came across another of these Trendz puzzles by MasterPieces I would pass it on by). It’s not my pile of pieces, but it may be yours. ūüôā

Details:

  • Title:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Farmers’ Market
  • Artist:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Unknown
  • Brand:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†MasterPieces
  • Piece count:¬† ¬† ¬†300 pieces
  • Size:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Approx. 18 x 24 in. (46 x 61 cm)
  • Purchased:¬† ¬† ¬† Used, thrift store

Quality:

  • Board:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Good
  • Cutting:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Good
  • Image:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Good
  • Box:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Average
  • Fit:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Puzzle Dust:¬† ¬† ¬†Small amount
  • Piece cut:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Grid cut
  • Piece shapes:¬† ¬†Good variety
  • Finish:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Good, recommended

Review: Mary’s General Store

Mary's General Store
Mary’s General Store by Joseph Burgess – Ravensburger – 300 pieces

Ravensburger’s 300 piece puzzles make me very happy; their wonderful, thick pieces were a joy to hold in my hand, and the beautiful image made for an entertaining assembly with just the right amount of difficulty.

The all around quality of Ravensburger puzzles has (almost) never disappointed me. There’s the odd manufacturing snafu that happens, but I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. On the whole, they’re one of the best puzzle brands around in my opinion. The pieces are thick, have a good variety of shapes, and fit together well. The image reproduction is crisp and clean with beautiful colors and a finish that isn’t too shiny and feels good in your hands.

I’ve assembled a few puzzles by this artist, and it seems he’s always able to convey a certain warmth and feeling into the artwork even when the images are vastly different. This image has a small town homey feeling to it, it seems very welcoming to me; plus it was lovely to put together.

It looks as though this puzzle is no longer in production, but if you come across one at a thrift store or yard sale, it’s highly recommended – loved it!

Details:

  • Title:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Mary’s General Store
  • Artist:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Joseph Burgess
  • Brand:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Ravensburger
  • Piece count:¬† ¬† ¬†300 pieces
  • Size:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Approx. 27 x 20 in. (69 x 51 cm)
  • Purchased:¬† ¬† ¬† Used

Quality:

  • Board:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Excellent
  • Cutting:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Excellent
  • Image:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Excellent
  • Box:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good, quite large for a 300 piece puzzle
  • Fit:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Puzzle Dust:¬† ¬† ¬†Small amount
  • Piece cut:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Grid cut
  • Piece shapes:¬† ¬†Very good variety
  • Finish:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Excellent, highly recommended