My Jigsaw Journal’s 2nd Birthday!

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Happy 2nd Birthday to My Jigsaw Journal! 🎂 It’s a couple of days late, but my aging old lady brain just isn’t what it used to be. I am still assembling jigsaw puzzles to try to keep it sharp though; here’s hoping they work their magic and keep it from deteriorating any more!

I’m shocked that it’s been 2 years already, but it’s been a great 2 years. Puzzling and blogging has been fun and rewarding, even more so than I thought it would be. It’s amazing when I go back over the stats – to me the numbers seem incredible!

  • 766 posts (including this one)
  • 569 puzzles assembled – holy guacamole!
  • 324,544 pieces assembled (I did notice that while I assembled around 50 more puzzles than the previous year, there were about 70,000 less pieces. I’m not sure how much of that has to do with the 40,320 piece puzzle I assembled the first year; even so, if you take that one out of the mix it’s still 50 more puzzles and 30,000 less pieces. I guess that happens when you’ve got anxiety problems and 1000 piece puzzles are too much for you some days 😐 )
  • 41,842 views (that’s a BIG jump from only around 8,000 in the first year)
  • 8,674 visitors to the blog from 99 countries! (more than 7,000 new visitors in this past year – oh my!)

Those are all pretty awesome numbers for this tiny little blog I started just to keep friends and family up to date on my progress of the world’s largest (at the time) jigsaw puzzle. Once Memorable Disney Moments was finished I thought that would be it for the blog; but I discovered that talking about puzzles was, for me, almost as fun as puzzling itself! Some days I don’t have a lot to say, and some days the words just come pouring out – but almost every day there’s a new puzzle to post and plenty to say about it. 🙂

Going back over all the posts and puzzles has me reminiscing and I went back and found some interesting facts about the puzzles I’ve done. In the first year of the blog I hadn’t assembled any wooden jigsaw puzzles, but in the second year I’ve put together 52 wooden puzzles from 5 different companies! 29 of those were micro puzzles, but still, 52 is a LOT!

I’ve also assembled 5 (almost 6) 3D puzzles – I’m in the process of assembling a very large 3D puzzle for a review for a new company. It’s complicated and I’m doing my best, but it’s taking me much longer than I’d anticipated; I’m enjoying the challenge of using my brain differently and trying something completely different. 🙂

There have been reviews and posts for puzzles from 100 different puzzle companies on the blog – did you know there were that many out there? I’m shocked by the number, but I went back through all my posts and made an actual list. There are many more companies out there in this big, wide world that I haven’t tried; but the fact that I’ve done puzzles made by so many different brands/companies astounds me!

I also want to send out a special thank you to the companies that have given me the opportunity to assemble and review puzzles for them, I’m extremely grateful and I’ve loved reviewing puzzles even though I may not have always loved the puzzles themselves. 😉 Many thanks to the following companies (click the links to check out their very cool puzzles!)

I’ve had a wonderful time these past 2 years puzzling and blogging, and I’m looking forward to another year of jigsaw puzzles (along with my fantastic puzzle posse of my mom, son, daughter, and hubby – I love you guys! 💖) Thank you so much to everyone who takes the time to read this blog and especially for those puzzlers/readers out there who send encouragement, well wishes, comments, and suggestions – I appreciate every single one of you!

Here’s to another year of happy puzzling! 😎

Review: Chevy Gold

This post is sponsored by Gearheads Puzzles.
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Chevy Gold by Laura Hatcher- Gearheads Puzzles – 1000 pieces

Chevy Gold was a challenging image, but once I got myself under some good lighting it didn’t seem as difficult as I first thought. It’s definitely a puzzle I recommend, but please be sure you have adequate lighting, and be forewarned that it’s trickier than it looks!

Gearheads Puzzles is a new puzzle company that is woman/veteran owned – yay for us ladies and an even bigger YAY for a veteran owned business! (also, please accept a heartfelt thank you for your service 💖) They currently only have this one image, but a new 500 piece puzzle is in the works and should be available in about a month – it will be grid cut for those of you who aren’t random cut fans. They also offer custom photo puzzles and have recently added custom photo t-shirts as well. Click the link above to check them out.

I was impressed with the quality of the pieces; they were a good thickness with an excellent variety of shapes and have a good feel in your hands. The image reproduction is excellent with wonderful detail; though the finish is slightly shiny, which can cause glare under artificial lights. The fit did seem a little loose, but not too much so and you can see above that the finished image is almost seamless.

There were several pieces that weren’t completely separated, but I attribute both that and the loose fit to the puzzle being near the end of a run when the die is starting to dull. I’ve found this with every puzzle manufacturer and I don’t consider it a flaw in quality unless I’ve worked several different puzzles and they all have this problem. With this being the only Gearheads puzzle I’ve assembled I like to err on the side of positivity and say it was most likely the end of the run.

The first two sections (after the edge) that I assembled are shown above. This puzzle certainly gave me a run for my money, it was more difficult than I bargained for! There’s a lot of gray, brown, and black in the image and you have to sit with the pieces for a bit to familiarize yourself with the colors and shades before you start seeing where they belong. It’s not a puzzle for beginners, but it’s completely worth the effort. It would look AMAZING glued and framed for a lover of classic cars!

The random cut had me convinced several times that I had definitely, absolutely, without question lost a piece – I hadn’t. With a random cut you may think you know what piece shape you’re looking for, but many times it’s something completely different! It keeps my gray cells limber (hopefully) and makes me focus more on colors, shades, and textures to find the piece I’m looking for. Completely engrossing!

Chevy Gold is a challenging puzzle, and not for the faint-at-heart. Both the random cut and the color scheme add to the difficulty; so be sure you’ve got lots of good lighting and make sure your brain cells are ready for the random cut. Bottom line – if this image revs your engine it’s definitely recommended. 👍

Details:

  • Title:                  Chevy Gold
  • Artist:                Laura Hatcher
  • Brand:               Gearheads Puzzles
  • Piece count:     1000 pieces
  • Size:                  Approx. 19 x 27 in. (48 x 69 cm)
  • Purchased:      N/A, sent for review

Quality:

  • Board:               Very good
  • Cutting:             Good
  • Image:               Excellent
  • Box:                   Average, quite compact for 1000 pieces
  • Fit:                     Very good, though somewhat loose
  • Puzzle Dust:     Small amount
  • Piece cut:          Random cut
  • Piece shapes:   Very good variety
  • Finish:               Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Very good, recommended

 

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