Cat Selfies – Day 1

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

Here we are again with another set of 12 shaped mini puzzles. As my regular readers will know, cats aren’t my thing – I’m a dog person all the way. But I couldn’t pass this set up either, just because of the sets I’ve done before and how much I enjoyed them. They were all fun to put together, of course, and I’m getting my brain back into gear with more silly names and backstories for all these little cuties.

The quality was good with this set; not many of the pieces were still connected, the fit was very good, and the reproduction was excellent. If these sets look like you might enjoy them I absolutely recommend that you give them a try. They’re always a nice break from the larger piece count puzzles – at least they are for me.

The first three cats are ones with nothing extra, no flowers or butterflies to zazz up their selfies. All the rest of them after this have something pictured with them to ramp up the cuteness factor.

So here we go, another trip into the weird and twisted mind of Stacey. Sometimes she speaks about herself in the third person, and writes up little biographies of the puzzles she assembles. It’s bizarre, I know – but it can also be hilarious and lots of fun. 😎

Meet Magnus everyone. He works on the road crews holding up signs to keep traffic safe and flowing properly. Working outside is part of why he loves his job, he’s definitely an outdoor cat. Magnus enjoys grilling and having backyard BBQ’s for his friends and family, fishing in the local creek, and traveling to visit out of town friends and family. He loves deeply and always keeps in touch with those close to him. He’s a big softie and is loved by everyone he’s ever met.

Beatrice here is not really “down” with all of this making faces at the camera, but she’s playing along. If she had her druthers she’d be sitting in front of her typewriter working on her latest novel. Beatrice is quite the celebrity in the kitty cat world, and her naughty romance novels have the ladies swooning. She’s a bit of a recluse, but I guess that’s to be expected from those artistic types. Beatrice enjoys cross-stitch, crochet, and trying out new recipes she sees on the many cooking shows she watches. If she invites you over for dinner be careful not to mess up all the doilies on her furniture – that makes her very cross; but enjoy the meal, it’ll be fabulous!

Frank is a bit of a cranky old cat. He’s retired from the military, and spends most of his time on the front porch yelling at the kittens in the neighborhood to get off his lawn. When he’s not on the porch Frank likes to tinker around the house and keep things in good repair. He’s courting a widowed tabby and enjoys going over to her house for dinner and perhaps watching tv together. Is love in the air? Perhaps!

Go for it Frank!

Monkey Around

Monkey Around – RoseArt – 100 pieces

This was a quick, engrossing puzzle, but not easy at all. I really liked this one even though the image isn’t something I would normally choose; it was much more entertaining than I thought it would be.

The pieces were on the thinner side, but the fit was good and the image reproduction was excellent. There was no variety in piece shape, but with only 100 pieces it wasn’t bad to work with at all.

I almost always enjoy working with kids puzzles, any size puzzle is fun for me! 🧩💚

The Artist’s Desk

The Artist’s Desk – Ravensburger – 1000 pieces

I knew it would be difficult going in, but as is usual for me I enjoyed the challenge of it very much. It always surprises me when I’m sorting a puzzle what I first THOUGHT I would pull out, and how much it changes as I’m doing the actual sorting. Many times I think one color or pattern will really stick out, and it turns out other things jump out at me even more than predicted. The same happened here, to no one’s surprise I’m sure.

Very good quality, although there was much more puzzle dust than usual. The bright blue of Ravensburger puzzle dust makes me happy for some reason – I’m just a weirdo puzzle junkie trying not to snort that glorious dust in my quest to find my puzzle nirvana.

Totally kidding, do NOT snort puzzle dust!

This pen drawing of Buzz Lightyear and Woody on an RC car was my favorite section to assemble. It wasn’t easy, but I absolutely loved it.

This was the most colorful part of the entire image, and it was much harder than it looks. Still, there’s something about going through the pieces over and over and then finding the exact ones you need – I can’t get enough of it.

I’ve put together hundreds and hundreds of puzzles and it still doesn’t get old or boring for me. Thank goodness there is a seemingly endless supply of images and puzzles available. They help me bring order to the chaos, a sense of calm to my spirit, and joy to my heart.

Animal Designs

Animal Designs by Awa Tsireh – Artifact Puzzles – 105 pieces

Isn’t this an interesting puzzle? It’s certainly not the usual image that I go for, but there was something compelling about it, and I kept going back to it on the website. You know me, I hate for a puzzle to be without a home. 😉 It was by no means an easy puzzle, but I loved falling into that wonderful headspace where all you can think about is the image and the shapes – it’s meditative and lovely.

Wonderful quality Ecru puzzle from Artifact; their Ecru line of puzzles has a closer cut (less obvious piece shapes in the finished image) and a matte finish to reduce glare. Artifact Puzzles have a special place in my heart, my very first wooden puzzle was one of theirs and I still take it out and assemble it every now and again – it was and still is perfectly lovely!

There were only three whimsy pieces in this puzzle, they’re reminiscent of the animal designs in the image. It’s the perfect place to start working, as the pieces that surround them are the easiest to find. There weren’t many colors in this image, and the ones they used were repeated all throughout; but at only 105 pieces it wasn’t too terrible or time-consuming.

I did enjoy the challenge though, and the mini-hexagon pieces made it even more interesting to put together. An excellent puzzle all around, and I’m looking forward to assembling it again. 💗

The Baker

The Baker (GiGi the Cat) by Christiana – Ceaco – 300 pieces

This cute little puzzle was fun – but it’s a Ceaco so I went into it with an attitude. A bad attitude. I know I shouldn’t, but it’s difficult to be objective when you’ve had such bad dealings with the company about their poor quality puzzles. I do my best, but I’m human.

The quality was just ok. There were a good variety of shapes and the image reproduction was nice as well. As usual the poorest part of this Ceaco puzzle was the chipboard used (the fit was loose as well with some dull cutting evident, but it wasn’t awful). The chipboard was on the thinner side, and some pieces were delaminating and splitting. In my humble opinion an upgrade to the quality of the board would make a world of difference in the overall quality of this brand.

An upgrade to their customer service wouldn’t hurt either. Just sayin’.

This is GiGi and her companion, FiFi the mouse. If I’m honest it took me a few minutes to find FiFi in the image once I read their story on the box. I hunted all over for that mouse before I found her peeking over GiGi’s shoulder. It was easy to overlook her in the patterns and colors of the image.

This is GiGi’s pet, a Scottish Terrier named CoCo. All the repetitive names made me smile, silly as it is; and it had me brainstorming as to how many more names like these that I could think of. LuLu, KiKi, BeBe, etc. There are quite a few combinations you can come up with!

The box says that GiGi loves cooking, painting, shopping, gardening and camping. I don’t think GiGi and I would have much in common; I do love cooking, but rarely feel well enough to do it much. As for the rest of it, I’m tired just reading about it! GiGi must be much younger than I am. 💤👵💤

Overall the best part of this puzzle for me was the interesting, colorful and silly image. Parts of it were just challenging enough to keep it from being a boring 300 piece puzzle that went too quickly. I enjoyed myself despite my admittedly terrible attitude about this company.

If there are more puzzles out there from this artist (perhaps from another brand) I’d be more than happy to give them a try; her aesthetic is just my pile of pieces. 🧩