Garden Shed

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Garden Shed by Geraldine Aikman – Milton Bradley – 300 pieces

This is a beautiful puzzle that was a little bit challenging, but altogether lovely to assemble. The artwork is charming, the quality was excellent, and the entire experience was entertaining.

I don’t always care for images with so much pastel or muted colors; but this one was quite fun to assemble. The number of different flowers made me really pay attention to patterns and shades, and added to the difficulty level. I enjoyed the artwork and the color palette very much, and would love to find more puzzles by this artist. I have done one other puzzle by Geraldine Aikman, but the color palette was brighter with more primary colors.

These premium Milton Bradley puzzles have very good quality. The pieces have a good feel, are made with thick chipboard and fit together very well. There are a good variety of piece shapes, and the image reproduction is true to the image on the box. Regular readers know I don’t usually comment on puzzle boxes, but these boxes have a “premium” feel and aren’t made of the relatively thin cardboard that you find on most puzzle boxes.

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I love the detail on the inside of the shed – including the cat!

For a puzzle with only 300 pieces, this one offered enough of a challenge to keep my mind engaged and keep me occupied for a few hours. Exactly what a puzzler like me enjoys! I know 1000 piece puzzles are the “norm” and the most popular piece count, but at the moment I’m mostly doing 300 and 500 piece puzzles. I’m glad there are plenty of excellent choices in those pieces counts to keep me happily puzzling for quite some time.

4th of July Market

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4th of July Market by Geraldine Aikman – Karmin – 500 pieces

There’s something about this image that just draws me in; so much so that even knowing it was a Karmin puzzle and wouldn’t be stellar quality, I still wanted to assemble it.

Karmin puzzles have pretty thin pieces, but on the positive side there are a good variety of shapes, the image reproduction is good, and they fit together quite well. It’s all about the image when it comes to brands I don’t normally assemble; if I really like the image I’ll put up with what I consider quality shortcomings. This was one of those images that I very much wanted to assemble, and it was fun and entertaining just like I thought it would be!

I can be pretty snobby about puzzles and what brands are best – we all have our own opinions and all of us are absolutely right. Some people prefer a premium puzzle with very thick pieces and some have no problem working puzzles from the dollar store with very thin pieces. For some a good brand has to have a variety of piece shapes, and others don’t mind working with just one shape. Find what makes you happy and go for it, regardless of anyone else’s opinion.

Puzzling is good for you no matter the brand, if you’re having fun and relaxing you’re doing it right.