If My People…

If My People
If My People by Jack E. Dawson – Sunsout – 500 pieces

This image is fabulous, but unfortunately the quality of the puzzle didn’t match. This puzzle had the thinnest pieces I’ve ever seen from Sunsout – it almost felt like a Cardinal puzzle from the dollar store. The fit wasn’t great either. In addition, a missing piece and two pieces that had been chewed by a pet or a child. Why would someone donate a puzzle like that? I don’t get it.

The image of hands repairing a battle-worn American flag is absolutely beautiful, and I truly wish it had been licensed to a company with better quality. That seems harsh, and it is; but this is my blog – about the puzzles I do and my opinions about them. That is my opinion.

Even for Sunsout this was terrible quality. Thin, bendable pieces and a bad fit made it less than pleasurable to work with. I finished it because my mom bought it, we both adored the image, and I wanted to see it through for her. If those things weren’t attached to it I’m not sure I would have kept going with such a terrible quality puzzle.

The artwork was painted after the 9-11 attacks and inspired by a Bible verse from 2 Chronicles. It contains hidden images; of the twin towers with rising smoke, of evil, of someone praying, and more. They were hard to find in the reproduced image, and even harder to photograph so that I could show you here. You can see, even without a closeup, the nail imprint on the left hand showing that it is Jesus mending the flag. If you’d like to see all of the hidden images you can check out the artist’s website which shows each hidden image and its meaning. (As a side note, the box this puzzle came in had absolutely no information about this artwork, the hidden images, or the artist).

This was a thrift store purchase, so as happens sometimes my puzzle had a couple of issues – the obvious missing piece in the flag, and the fact that someone or something used a couple of the pieces as a chew toy. Missing pieces happen, it isn’t a big deal to me. The chewed up pieces annoy me though. If you’re donating puzzles and you know a couple of pieces are chewed up – just don’t donate. Again, this is just my opinion.

If My People 1

These two pieces look relatively alright here, but they were mangled and I had to work to get them back in the right shape and fitted together. You can see the creases in the pieces to show how bent they were. Annoying.

Great image, terrible quality – it seems like I say that about Sunsout puzzles quite a bit, doesn’t it? They’ve been added to my boycott list along with Ceaco, it just isn’t worth the frustration for me. I need to be strong and resist the temptation when I see a fabulous image from a company that doesn’t have good quality. Sounds simple, but it’s not always easy for me to resist a beautiful image, I must admit. I’m a bit of a puzzle junkie.

Shocked? I know, right?! 😇

12 Days of Christmas Puzzles Day 4

12 Days - 4
Knitting Snowmen – Ceaco – 100 pieces

Yes, puzzle friends, your eyes are not deceiving you, another puzzle with a missing piece. I am very disappointed and have contacted Ceaco.

I’m not one of those people who thinks a puzzle with a missing piece is the end of the world, and contacts the company to demand a replacement for every puzzle with a missing piece. In fact, the few times I have contacted companies I have refused replacements, my purpose was only to let them know about a manufacturing issue that they needed to address.

For me, once I’ve assembled the puzzle I have no need of a replacement. Even when there are missing pieces I still got enjoyment putting the puzzle together; and I feel that asking for a free puzzle because of a missing piece is ridiculous. There is no way to guarantee that a missing piece is a manufacturing problem or if it’s the result of “user error”. People swear up and down that they have looked “everywhere” and it must be the company’s fault. Sometimes it is, to be sure; but I believe most of the time it is not.  (These are my just opinions, and in no way am I passing judgement on anyone else.)

My purpose in contacting Ceaco was to let them know that there does seem to be a manufacturing problem with these puzzles. I have had 2 puzzles with missing pieces out of only 4 that I have assembled, and Penny has had an extra piece in one of her puzzles from the same set. These puzzles were assembled in one sitting, the pieces were dumped out onto a tray, and I am certain the missing ones just weren’t in the bag. It’s been my experience that Ceaco usually does a good job with their special editions, like this one; unfortunately, this advent calendar seems to have issues.

I did not ask for a replacement, because frankly I don’t wish to do these holiday puzzles again after the holidays. They should be made aware of problems though, and I wanted to express my disappointment. I made a special trip to the store for these puzzles, and that’s a big deal for someone with my physical problems. The advent calendar of puzzles made this PADS sufferer very happy and I was so excited to get it and start assembling a puzzle each day. Having missing pieces in 50% of the puzzles I’ve put together so far is quite frustrating, and I felt Ceaco needed to hear about it.

Anyway, that’s about 400 words written about a kids puzzle with a missing piece. Yikes. Sorry for the rant guys, but thanks for listening.

The snowmen were cute.

Sewing Collage

Sewing Collage
Sewing Collage – Milton Bradley (Big Ben) – 500 pieces

This puzzle was an interesting test for me, I assembled it much differently than I usually do. I found it enjoyable and pretty entertaining! It’s a very nice quality puzzle, and the repetition of the image made it a bit of a challenge. I had a very good time with this one. 🙂

With all the different elements repeated several times, I picked certain things (like pincushions, the red buttons, or the spools of thread) and assembled them all. Then I used the box image to see where each one fit into the frame.

Sewing Collage 1

I found that I really enjoyed assembling the puzzle this way. And once I got a few parts assembled and set in the frame, it was easier to see where things belonged and work off of them. It’s not always going to be applicable to every puzzle image, but it was a nice change for me.

Maybe we should all shake things up every now and again and try things a different way – we might find that we like it very much!

I’m enjoying these Big Ben puzzles, the quality is quite good and they have plenty of interesting and challenging images to choose from. They’re nice when I need a quick puzzle fix, and I like having them around. When I finish a larger puzzle and want something that will be entertaining and won’t take forever to complete I’ve got a Big Ben puzzle that’ll do the trick very nicely.

Review: Dr. Seuss I Can Do That Card Game

This post is sponsored by Puzzle Warehouse.
Dr. Suess The Cat in the Hat I Can Do That! Card Game – Ravensburger

I was a little bummed out when I got I Can Do That to review, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to play it. I was injured several years ago and have had mobility issues since, but I’m still a child at heart. So even though I was looking forward to playing it, I turned it over to my 10 year old product tester instead. Thank goodness cookies keep him on the payroll! 😉

The game is simple, really. There are 24 cards and a foam fishbowl (see the picture above). You lay all the cards out face down, like when you play a memory game. The object is to turn over a red action card, a blue location card, and a yellow fish card. If one of each card is not drawn they are put back and it is the next player’s turn. Remember where the cards are so that you can turn over one of each color on your next turn. Once all 3 color cards are drawn that player has to act out the activity described by the 3 cards, e.g. crab walk to the window with the fish between your elbows. If the player completes that activity they get to keep the cards. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins.

I made sure that Levi had the game before Hurricane Irma dropped in to visit, there’s no better time to play games then when the power’s out! Here’s his review…..

He thought this game was fun and interactive (his word not mine). He thought some of the things you have to do are funny and some are hard, such as hopping to the front door and back with the fish on your head! He said you look goofy doing some of the things, but that also makes it fun. He wasn’t sure about the age range starting at 3 years old because some of the things are very difficult to accomplish – even when you modify the game for younger children as per the instructions.

Levi thinks it would be a good family game, maybe for a holiday gathering or family dinner. Also, he says he thinks there should be more cards, because with multiple people the games goes by really quickly. Overall he liked it very much; it kept him moving and there were plenty of laughs too. It gets a thumbs up from Levi. 👍

While I wasn’t able to play it, I agree that it would be a fun game at a family gathering or game night, especially with kids and grownups playing together. I knew that Ravensburger made games and toys in addition to puzzles, but I had no idea the range of games they have available. Click to see all the Ravensburger games available at Puzzle Warehouse. (Mom loves the mandala designers – she has about 4 in her house right now!)

This was a fun review for Levi, but I’m hoping the next game I get to review is something I can play too – I hate being left out of the fun stuff! 🙂


I received this product at no cost to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are truthful and 100% my own.

Review: Great Minds Set of 5 Brainteasers

This post is sponsored by Puzzle Warehouse.
Great Minds Set of 5 Puzzle Compendium (Brainteasers) – Professor Puzzle

Entertainingly frustrating is what I would call these puzzles, but apparently the name is Great Minds Set of 5. The stubborn side of me refuses to give up and keeps on trying, the other side wants me to just type in the web address to get the solutions and get it over with! Which side will win? I don’t have an answer yet, I’m still arguing with myself.  😉

I think I prefer my plain ‘ole jigsaw puzzles, but these were/are a fun distraction. I’m not the best at logic puzzles sometimes, and at other times my mind is clicking and they don’t offer much of a challenge. I’m click-less at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up.

I’ve never seen brainteasers like these before, named after “great minds”. There is a short bio of each of the men on the back of the box, along with the challenge that each puzzle presents. All of the puzzles require that you separate the pieces and then reassemble them. Sounds easy, but it’s definitely not. They also have an edition with puzzles named after 5 women with great minds.

I enjoyed learning about each of the people the puzzles were named after; some I knew and some I didn’t. I have 3 of the puzzles figured out, but if I’m being honest I’m afraid to take apart Stephenson’s Railway Sleepers (far right). I’m doubting my ability to put all that back together! Also, I know my husband would just pick it up and put them back together in about a minute, and that might not be so great for our marriage! 😉

I think these would be great for a teacher to have in their classroom, or for anyone who enjoys logic and brainteaser puzzles really. They make you stop, look, and think before you go charging ahead – we all need a little practice at that if you ask me! Like I said in the beginning, entertainingly frustrating – but it’s the entertaining part that’s most important. Give these a try and give your brain cells a workout; or click the link above to see all the different brainteasers available at Puzzle Warehouse. I’m all for brain exercising, so thumbs up for these puzzles! 👍


I received this product at no charge in return for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions expressed are truthful and 100% my own.