Button, Button

Button, Button – Springbok (Hallmark) – 500+ pieces

This puzzle scared me a bit, it seemed as though it would be super difficult; it wasn’t easy, that’s true, but it was really fun too! This is an old Springbok, from back when they were a division of Hallmark Cards. From what I can find this is from about the mid 1970s.

The very random cut of the pieces adds to the challenge, but the fit was excellent. I can lift the whole thing up with one hand and nothing comes apart. Unfortunately because it’s octagonal it isn’t conducive to getting the traditional Stacey-loves-standing-them-up picture. Bummer.

There is a bunch of information on the back of the box about buttons. Which, I know, doesn’t sound all that interesting – but it really was! I took my normal amount of pictures of the puzzle, then I read all the information and had to take different pictures to show you the cool buttons I learned about. All off the buttons in this image are from the collection of Marie Bertholet Smith, who was an interior designer, art director, antique store owner, and who also worked at Hallmark for a number of years.

Wanna see some really awesome buttons?

This is an example of a “stud button”, which were sometimes large, hand-painted, and porcelain. They were called studs because of their post-like fasteners and were made to fasten cuffs, to button men’s vests and ladies shirtwaists, and to insert into the lapel. Look at the detail!

When I was putting this particular button together it made me think of how much time and care must have gone into making this one single button. Back in the day everything was constructed with such care; these days we melt blobs of plastic and pour them into molds for cheap, crappy things that constantly break.

See those spherical buttons in the center of the picture? Those are called “paperweight buttons” because of their resemblance to glass desk paperweights. They were most often made by glassblowers forming a mold of glass over a small ceramic object. Imagine the time it must have taken!

This is called a “garter button”, and they were used on fancy garters in the 1920s. They were faces painted on stretched silk or cotton. I love these! There were several examples of them in the image, but I chose this one because it had the ribbon headband.

It’s such a bummer there were two missing pieces, but for a 45 year old puzzle, that’s to be expected I suppose. It was still so much fun to put together, and learning about so many different kinds of buttons was almost as entertaining as the puzzle!


This old Springbok really makes me think of my Grama. In the days before the internet our only source of good quality puzzles was the Hallmark store. It was about 18 miles away from where we lived, and they only had one or two small shelves at the back of the store that had puzzles. I can remember exactly where in the store they were, all these years later. We had such fun walking to the back and wondering what kinds of puzzles would be there; and then finding just the right one or two to take home with us. Springbok puzzles will always remind me of her. 💖

Keepsake Memories

Keepsake
Keepsake Memories – Springbok – 1000 pieces

What? Another Christmas puzzle? I know, but I had three of them already assembled and waiting in my queue before I purchased the Terrible, Rotten, No Good, Very Bad Advent Calendar. So you’ll just have to put up with this and two more holiday puzzles before they are all done for the year.

Although the image is fun and interesting, the fit of this puzzle was not at all to my liking. It has the super tight fit that some Springbok puzzles have, where you have to use some upper body strength to press the pieces into place. It also makes for a puzzle that doesn’t always lay completely flat, because it’s so tight that it curls up in places. I know that some people prefer this very tight fit, but it’s just not for me.

Gnarly fit aside, the assembly was still engrossing and relaxing. Each of the fabrics/textures in the background were easy to pick out and assemble, and at the end it was just a matter of filling in each ornament. Calming, absorbing, entertaining, and all together lovely.

Keepsake 1

This was my favorite of the sections; Santa after work with his honeydew list of chores. I was able to read some of them, and he certainly has his work cut out for him! Fix the landing beacon, tune the glockenspiel, insulate the attic, and several other things that I wasn’t able to read. That ought to keep him busy and out of Mrs. Claus’ hair for a little while. 🔨🎅

How adorable are these two? Mom has chocolate dipped strawberries for feet, and dad has a licorice scarf and a peanut butter cup hat! Too cute!

Even though the fit was too tight for me, this puzzle still made me happy and provided me with several hours of alone time early in the mornings – peaceful quiet and puzzling. Lovely.

This puzzle is part of a batch of puzzles I’ve brought over from mom’s house. She loved this type of puzzle, especially with the Hallmark ornaments, and grama loved them too.  Collages are my favorite type of puzzle, and these Springbok collages with the fabric backgrounds are so fun to assemble – that makes three generations of women who loved to puzzle, and loved this type of puzzle as well – and I assembled it this year in loving memory of the two women whom I deeply loved and learned my love of puzzling from. 💖

Review: Merry Christmas to All!

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Merry Christmas to All! – Hallmark – 550 pieces

The top half of this puzzle was actually pretty entertaining to assemble, but the bottom half – yikes! I had to call in the puzzle posse to help me get it done, good thing she was available.

The quality, other than the fit, was quite good. The pieces were thick with a very smooth matte finish. They feel good in your hands, but almost a bit dry – I don’t know how to explain it – perhaps the feel is more dusty than dry, I can’t seem to find the right words. Whatever the finish on them is, it doesn’t feel unpleasant to me, just different than the finish on most other puzzles.

The fit was loose, which was the most noticeable when trying to assemble the edges, it was a challenge to keep them together at times. Bumping them accidentally with my arms could upset many pieces, which was pretty annoying. Once I started to fill in the rest of the puzzle the fit didn’t seem quite as loose as before.

This was a thrift store find, mom brought it over a few weeks ago, and I decided it would be perfect for Christmas in July. I’m not much a fan of Santa images to be honest, but it was only 550 pieces so I figured it wouldn’t be that difficult. Boy was I wrong! The top half wasn’t bad, my daughter even helped me a little bit when she was visiting. But once I got to the bottom I have to admit I was intimidated.

I called mom over for an impromptu puzzle party and we made pretty short work of all those Christmas trees at the bottom. We both were working together at almost the same spot and we kept getting in each other’s way and laughing. Perhaps it’s a good thing those trees intimidated me, otherwise I might not have called mom for help – I would have missed out on all the fun of puzzling with her. 😉

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It’s a beautifully detailed image, too bad no credit was given to the artist anywhere on the box. It seems to happen a lot, at least that I’ve noticed anyway. It’s an entertaining but challenging puzzle – if you’re up for it and can find it I would definitely recommend it.

Details:

  • Title:                  Merry Christmas to All!
  • Artist:                Not credited
  • Brand:               Hallmark
  • Piece count:     550 pieces
  • Size:                  Approx. 18 x 24 in. (46 x 61 cm)
  • Purchased:      Used, thrift store

Quality:

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

Overall Rating:      Very good, recommended