Life Rules

Life Rules by Louise Carey – Andrews + Blaine – 1000 pieces

This was not an easy puzzle. Luckily, I was looking for a difficult/tedious puzzle to put on the board while I was working on all the micro puzzles for the holiday season – this one fit the bill perfectly. Putting together large letters isn’t as simple as some may think. This one tried to melt my brain!

I always love having words to assemble in a puzzle, but when the words are basically the whole image – or even when they’re just very large – it can become quite difficult. All the pieces are basically just the background color, and the color of the letter. And there were only four colors in this image, each color was used multiple times for their own set of words. It was quite the challenge.

The easiest part of this assembly was the sorting. I just had one tray for each color, and one container for any pieces that were only the background. I worked on one color at a time. Sometimes the font used for one quote was simple to find, but much of the time it wasn’t as easy to pick out the right pieces for a certain quote.

Because it was so tall and thin (13 x 37 in.), it was easy to push to the back of the board when I wanted a break from it – and that is exactly what I did. When I felt myself getting too frustrated I stopped and worked on something else. 😎

My fellow P.A.D.S. sufferer Penny sent me this several years ago, but I was never in the right frame of mind to work on it. I never have my puzzles in any order to be assembled, my brain has to be in the right “head space” to work on an image; so the puzzle I’m doing next has to speak to me in some way. This puzzle has previously never had much to say – except, “Put me back, you don’t want any of this today.”

Miss Penny has since been informed that she wasn’t getting this puzzle back – after all the work that went into this one I’ve glued the bleeping thing and will be hanging it in the puzzle room. I love the look of it, and couldn’t bear to disassemble it after all that effort!

Review: Big World

Big World
Big World by Ciro Marchetti – Milton Bradley – 750 pieces

If I’m being honest I’d tell you I was a little bit scared to start this puzzle. Look at the image, it’s gorgeous – but I didn’t know where I would begin. Once I started sorting the pieces though, I found a few sections to pull out and start with; when they were assembled it didn’t seem so daunting to keep going and filling in from there. Sometimes I have to just jump in and get myself going, most of the time it’s never as difficult as I think. 🙂

Milton Bradley puzzles seem to have improved their quality quite a bit, I was thoroughly impressed with this puzzle and it’s quality. The pieces are on the smaller side, but not too much so. They had a good hand feel, fit together quite well, and had a very good variety of shapes. The image reproduction is excellent and did the artwork justice in my opinion, the colors are beautiful with no blurriness or fuzzy areas. Overall a very good quality puzzle.

Big World 1

There’s just something about peacocks, they make for wonderful puzzle images. This one is beautiful, and I wish the picture did it justice. It was one of the first things I assembled after the edges and even though there weren’t many pieces to it, it gave me a great sense of accomplishment.

Big World 2

This flying fish balloon and the ship below it –  great fun to put together! The use of colors by Ciro Marchetti brings to mind images by Aimee Stewart – both artists produce absolutely gorgeous artwork. This one especially has a dreamy quality, a fantasy image that makes no sense but definitely looks like a world you’d want to visit (or at least I would).

I’ve been a little obsessed with assembling panoramic puzzles lately. It’s much easier on your back to not have to reach so far to put pieces in at the top; having the entirety of the puzzle very close to you is somehow comforting and I am completely enjoying working with them. I only have one more panoramic here in my stash, I guess that means I might have to arrange a shopping trip – these puzzles are good for my mental health.

Big World was more fun than I expected and had much better quality than I anticipated. If you’ve got a long enough workspace to assemble a panoramic puzzle this one is absolutely recommended – two peacock tails way up! 🦚🦚


  • Title:                  Big World
  • Artist:                Ciro Marchetti
  • Brand:               Milton Bradley
  • Piece count:     750 pieces
  • Size:                  Approx. 11 x 34 in. (27 x 86 cm)
  • Purchased:      New


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

Overall Rating:      Very good, recommended

Toy Story

Toy Story
Toy Story – Ceaco – 700 pieces

This one went quickly, but for some reason it wasn’t as enjoyable as I’d hoped – or it could be that it was my state of mind and had nothing at all to do with the puzzle itself. Sometimes I just can’t tell.

Toy Story 1

Buzz was the most fun to assemble for me, but he was a bit of a challenge. I assembled him first.

Toy Story 2

I love Woody’s face, he always seems so surprised and happy. Those legs are so skinny though, how do they hold him up?

Apple Annie’s Carnival Time

Apple Annie's
Apple Annie’s Carnival Time by Art Poulin – MasterPieces – 1000 pieces

Panoramic puzzles make me very happy these days, and I’ve got two more in the to do pile that I’m looking forward to. It’s great being able to reach the top of the puzzle so easily, and they fit my puzzle board very well. This was a lovely image with very good quality, and I had a great time with the assembly.

I noticed that Art Poulin is exacting with words and buildings but draws people and animals a little fuzzy and indistinct…

Apple Annie's 1

You can see the derrick, wagon, and sign are sharp and clear and the sheep next to it is quite blotchy, for lack of a better word. All the animals and people were indistinct and fuzzy and all the buildings and signs were not. I never noticed it in his artwork before. I wonder why, I’ve done quite a few of his puzzles. Perhaps I just wasn’t paying close enough attention.

Apple Annie's 2

Buffalo puzzles for sale. Hmmm. This is a MasterPieces puzzle. Very odd. It made me laugh though, I wonder if the artwork was originally done for Buffalo and then later sold to MasterPieces.

Apple Annie's 3

Also, what in the world is this? This is a panoramic puzzle that is 3 feet long, those are the measurements for a “standard” size puzzle, somebody wasn’t doing their job. I guess they think we don’t pay much attention to things – but they are wrong.

All the weirdness aside, this was a good quality puzzle that I very much enjoyed. The Americana theme is very prevalent in jigsaw puzzles and sometimes I get bored with it, but this one wasn’t boring to me at all, perhaps because of the panoramic aspect. I was completely entertained and that’s what it’s all about. 🙂

Pop Art Princess

Pop Art Princess
Pop Art Princess – Ceaco – 700 pieces

This image was a blast to assemble, and I completed it in one day. It was many little sessions put together; but I couldn’t keep myself away from it. It was too much fun!

Pop Art Princess 1

This was the first section that I put together, both Ariel and the words “Your Voice”. Almost every part of this puzzle was not too hard and not too easy either – it was just right.

Pop Art Princess 2

Besides Snow White’s face, this whole section of the puzzle was the most difficult. The old hag’s face was pretty challenging, as was the word “Snow”. It was the last bit to be assembled, but I still had a great time and reveled in the assembly. So entertaining!