Rare Birds

Rare Birds by Allison Strine – Buffalo – 500 pieces

After completing Unusual Animals by the same artist, I had to check around and see if there were any other images of hers to be found – thank goodness there were! This was so beautiful, great fun, and went together very quickly because I couldn’t walk away. I adored it!

This Buffalo puzzle had EXCELLENT quality. I know that some Buffalo puzzles are being made in China, but this one was made in the US. The fit was especially nice, it felt great going together.

It was so hard to choose which birds to show closeups of, they were all so interesting. I must have changed my mind at least 10 times. At least. And then I changed it again. 😎

Such interesting facts about this stork! It’s brave enough to fight a crocodile, and then it eats it! Yikes. *Making a mental note to NEVER mess with a Shoebill Stork.* Of course after reading that to cool down it poops on itself, I highly doubt I’ll be getting anywhere near it.

Loved the look of this section, and how the Kakapo’s face looks something like the kiwi it’s perched on. Plus, I wonder why they smell good – that’s so interesting to me – is it their diet or how they preen themselves? Plus they live to be more than 90 years old, that’s amazing!

The Three Wattled Bellbird, that’s another new one for me. And it has a bird call that’s called a bonk – new information for me as well. And it’s call can be heard a mile away? Holy guacamole! (guacamole made from this bird’s favorite food – wild avocado)

Colorful Collage

Colorful Collage – Colorcraft Puzzles – 1000 pieces

Colorful and beautiful, and I just I knew I would love this one. It was exceptionally easy to sort, except for the two sections with straws; but I just sorted them together as one section. It was lots of fun and just what I needed.

This brand has good quality. There was a small section where the cutting wasn’t great, but it was only a few pieces and didn’t detract from the fun of assembly. Otherwise overall it was good quality. There’s something odd about the fit though – it doesn’t feel like a good fit, but once you’ve got it put together it stays very well. I’m not sure how it can BE a good fit but not FEEL like a good fit, but there it is. Like I said, it’s odd.

I was the most nervous about this section. It was difficult, but I was really proud of myself for getting it done!

On the opposite end of the spectrum, this was the easiest section for me. Kind of boring, really – but very pretty.

All the sections were so bold and colorful, I just adored this assembly! ❤🧡💛💚💙💜

Cat Selfies – Day 4

Cat Selfies by Howard Robinson – Cra-Z-Art – approx. 125/500 pieces

This group has my favorite image – can you guess which one? I’m certain that you can. 😉 I enjoyed these pretty kitties much more than I expected to, and I’m glad they were hanging around the house when a bunch of smaller puzzles was what I needed.

These were good quality puzzles, and as always I recommend you give them a try if it’s something you think you might like. I just ordered two new sets, stay tuned to see them at some point in the future. I don’t know that they’re the kind of images that would lend themselves to names and backstories, but they’ll be great fun to assemble anyway – and that’s the whole point.

And now for introductions to our final three…

Everyone, meet Esther – if you guessed this was my favorite image you win! Esther was taken by surprise when her photo was taken, and isn’t too happy about sharing the spotlight with Bertie Butterfly. She likes to be the center of attention at all times, and no matter what you’ve done she’s done something similar – but much more impressive (you know the type). Esther is a retired grandma who spends most of her time doing absolutely nothing. She doesn’t really have any hobbies, but according to her she’s tried them all and been AMAZING at every one. Her kids and grandkids don’t visit a lot, she’s a bit much to handle too often.

Say hello to Cyrus – he really knows how to pose for pictures doesn’t he? Cyrus likes to keep things light and silly outside of work because his job is very serious (and dangerous). He is a snake milker – he milks snakes for their venom! Snake venom is used in making medicines and it’s extremely dangerous work to milk the snakes. Cyrus has a way about him though, and he’s very good at his job. On the weekends he is a clown at birthday parties and business events, and he also enjoys hosting karaoke parties.

Mabel here considers herself a delicate flower of a cat, but the truth is she’s unbelievably clumsy and awkward and is constantly injuring herself. (That’s why I love her!) Fortunately Mabel’s work keeps her sitting down almost all day, so there are less opportunities for her to get hurt – she’s a graphic designer and spends most of her days on her computer. In her spare time she enjoys completing crossword puzzles, watercolor painting, and growing her own herbs. Mabel is awkward, but she’s got a whole group of friends and family who cherish her, and that’s what really matters. 💗

I always love putting these sets together, even if there are no stories to go with them. I find them to be great fun and love all the different sets they’ve designed so far. They’re good quality and quite entertaining for me – that’s all I really need.

Cat Selfies – Day 3

Cat Selfies by Howard Robinson – Cra-Z-Art – approx. 125/500 pieces

Oh dear, it’s day three and I’m already running out of things to say. I love these sets, they’re always entertaining for me to assemble; even if the subject matter isn’t my favorite. There’s something about being able to finish a “whole” image in just a few minutes, there’s a sense of completion that makes me quite happy – especially when I’m not feeling up to sitting at the board for very long.

I’m not sure why there are extra white pieces on the two cats without butterflies – especially the one on the right, it doesn’t make any sense why that why thing is hanging off the side of their head. But all I can do is to finish the puzzle with all of the pieces they’ve provided me.

This is Felix, he works at local gym, teaching other cats how to “pick things up and put them down” as he describes it. He longs to be a poet, although he’s too taken in by the macho society that cats live in to ever admit that to anyone. I say he should just be who he is and let everyone know that poetry and writing are his true passion. Be brave Felix, be yourself!

Bodika (Boddie to her one and only friend) is a personal shopper. She adores seeming as though she’s spending loads of money even though she keeps nothing and none of it is her money. Bodika is one of those NIGHTMARE personalities that thinks having lots of money makes you a better person than those around you. I find her truly boring and frankly quite nauseating to be around. She probably has hobbies, but I’m just not strong enough to spend enough time with her to find out what they are.

Seamus is a factory worker who loves taking his friends out for drinks after work and getting to know them better. He doesn’t drink to excess, and always makes sure that everyone gets home safely. Seamus has a beautiful wife and 6 little ones at home, so he only goes out to the pub when his wife says it’s ok. He loves the weekend because he can take his growing family out to the park or the beach and spend lots of time together. He’s a family cat through and through.

Seamus enjoys woodworking, and made each of his little ones their very own bed – now that they’ve been weaned and don’t have to sleep next to their parents every night. He is very much looking forward to a good nights sleep again!

Cat Selfies – Day 2

Cat Selfies by Howard Robinson – Cra-Z-Art – approx. 125/500 pieces

More kitties for your enjoyment ladies and gents. Now we have the added accoutrements of flowers and/or butterflies which gives them a little more razz-a-ma-tazz! For me they’re just cats, but for cat lovers out there, they’re adorable little things that make you go “awwwww”.

As a 500 piece puzzle I LOVE these sets. To be completely honest though, I’ve never actually done any of them as a 500 piece puzzle; they’ve always been sorted by their colored backing so that I can do each one separately as it’s own puzzle. Especially with the animals, so much fur can be overwhelmingly difficult and I choose to do these my way – to make only myself happy. That’s why I puzzle, to enjoy myself – not to be frustrated and annoyed by too much difficulty.

If you’re here just to see the puzzles and hear about the assembly, you can go now. The rest of this post is just my weird little obsession with giving each of these puzzles a name and a ridiculous backstory. It makes me smile, sometimes I laugh out loud at the silliness – and I find it wonderfully entertaining. (I hope at least some of you do too 😉)

Henrietta (or Yetta as her friends call her), is an investigative journalist with the Feline Daily Journal and is one of the most respected reporters they have. Her integrity is without question, and she diligently researches every piece she writes. Her latest piece on the “Meow Too Movement” has been nominated for a Purrlitzer Prize! In her spare time Yetta enjoys bicycling with her biking club, jigsaw puzzles, and searching garage and yard sales for hidden treasures. Hope you find something fantastic out there Yetta, and good luck with the nomination!

Geraldine here is quite the haughty cat, she basically looks down on everyone she meets. We, the peons, could never be worthy of her – at least as far as she’s concerned. Unfortunately Geraldine isn’t popular or well liked in her community, but she doesn’t care at all. She doesn’t work, of course she doesn’t! Mummy and Daddy left her a sizeable inheritance and she spends her days finding fault with others and spending her money on things that she thinks look pretty. How dull her life must be.

Lyston is one of those special personalities that chooses to be happy no matter what the circumstance. I’m a little bit in love with Lyston. He’s a wonderful friend and he can cheer you up with just a look or a kind word. He’s amazing!

Lyston is a “legal bank robber”, which is basically someone who tests how easy it is to penetrate bank security systems both in person and online. He LOVES his job, and can’t wait to get to work each day. It does sound like a fun job, doesn’t it? When he’s not working Lyston enjoys making homemade Kung-Fu movies, soap carving, and playing MMORPGs. (Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Games). He’s a complicated guy.