Owl Collage

Owl Collage by Kathrin Stockebrand – Schmidt – 500 pieces

SO MUCH FUN! That truly sums up how I feel about this image and the puzzle itself, it was honestly so entertaining to assemble that I cannot find the words to express it properly. SO. MUCH. FUN.

Such amazing quality, I wish I had more Schmidt puzzles here to assemble, unfortunately their catalog doesn’t have as many puzzles that float my boat as I’d hope. The fit is sublime, the finish feels amazing, the pieces are thick and there are a great variety of shapes, the reproduction is excellent – they’re such premium, wonderful puzzles and my wish would be that more of their images were more to my taste.

The sameness of the background made it so that the puzzle wasn’t too easy; the many eyes did the same, but also helped because they were all so different. The assorted colors and patterns made it interesting, challenging, and easy all at the same time – absolutely fabulous puzzle. If this were available in 1000 pieces I’m certain I would adore assembling it again. It might even be more fun than the first time!

It was just a lovely puzzle image, and I truly adored assembling it. There are very few puzzles (for me) with both superb quality AND imagery.

This was one of those few.

Review: Ruby Red

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Ruby Red – Schmidt – 1000 pieces

I absolutely adore the image of this puzzle, but oh my was it a challenge! Good thing I can be completely stubborn at times, because although I may have wanted to give up on this I never did. I wanted to light it on fire a couple of times, but I wanted to see the finished puzzle even more and I stuck with it. Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s not your typical puzzle image, and that’s part of the draw for me – I gotta be me and I try never to follow the crowd unless they’re headed towards someone selling chocolate!

This is a Schmidt puzzle, and usually their quality is excellent. This is the first puzzle of theirs that I’ve been disappointed with. The cut of the pieces was less than good, some of the tabs were completely broken off because the part connecting them was so thin. A couple of the pieces weren’t broken on the initial sort, but they broke when I picked them up or tried to place them. I don’t know the manufacturing process well enough to know what causes this, but it was completely frustrating! Here are a few of the broken and almost broken pieces.

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A few broken pieces aside, the rest of the quality was quite good. Thick pieces with a linen finish, excellent fit, and lovely image reproduction. This puzzle came in a large commemorative tin, so perhaps because it was a special edition it was cut differently than the other Schmidt puzzles I’ve worked? I can’t say for sure.

I knew going in that it would be quite difficult with all that black, but I love the image so much that I really wanted to get it finished. Normally if I’m assembling a puzzle and it feels like work then it isn’t fun; I’m supposed to be enjoying myself! But once in a while I refuse to give up because I really want to conquer it – this was one of those times.

The lovely lady in the middle of the image was easy enough to work with all the skin, fishnet stockings and sparkles; it was the curtains behind her that tested me. At the edge of the curtains the black is a little lighter and you can see a pattern, but the rest of them are basically solid black. Yikes! I sorted the black pieces by shape and counted them (I just wanted to know how much of this puzzle was all black), and almost 400 of the 1000 pieces were completely black. I can’t believe I didn’t give up!

In the end I’m pleased with myself for finishing, it is such a striking image. It’s mostly good quality, but the broken pieces prevent me from recommending this puzzle. It may have been an isolated problem, but this is a quality issue we puzzlers really dislike. If the pieces are broken, the puzzle is broken.

Details:

  • Title:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Ruby Red
  • Artist:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Phantom Orchid
  • Brand:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Schmidt
  • Piece count:¬† ¬† ¬†1000 pieces
  • Size:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Approx. 27 x 19 in. (69 x 48 cm)
  • Purchased:¬† ¬† ¬† New

Quality:

  • Board:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Cutting:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Poor
  • Image:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Box:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Excellent, commemorative tin
  • Fit:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Puzzle Dust:¬† ¬† ¬†Minimal amount
  • Piece cut:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Grid cut
  • Piece shapes:¬† ¬†Good variety
  • Finish:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Good quality, but not recommended

Review: Paradise Banderoles

This post is sponsored by Puzzle Warehouse.

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Paradise Banderoles by Eva Marie Nitsche – Schmidt – 500 pieces

Paradise Banderoles was the first puzzle I can remember that when I was finished I wanted to take it apart and immediately do it again. It was just a thoroughly enjoyable assembly from start to finish – fabulous!

I believe this is only the 3rd Schmidt Puzzle I’ve completed, and I’m wondering why in the world I haven’t ordered more. The quality of these puzzles is stellar, and it makes the assembly experience even more wonderful. The finish on the pieces feels lovely, and the pieces themselves are extremely thick and sturdy. They fit together satisfyingly, they almost settle into place – I can’t recommend this brand enough!

After I assembled the edge, I had to stop myself from working on the puzzle for a while. The pieces felt so good and fit together so well that I knew if I let myself I wouldn’t get up from the puzzle table until it was finished. I wanted to enjoy the assembly, so I made it last a little while. I started assembling the scalloped lines separating each section, and the entire puzzle just came together. It wasn’t overly challenging, but enjoyable regardless. I was slightly disappointed that there were only 500 pieces – I would have loved to have spent more time with it! Two thumbs way up!! ūüĎćūüĎć

Details:

  • Title:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Paradise Banderoles
  • Artist:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Eva Marie Nitsche
  • Brand:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Schmidt
  • Piece count:¬† ¬† ¬†500 pieces
  • Size:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Approx. 19 x 13 in. (48 x 34 cm)
  • Purchased:¬† ¬† ¬† n/a

Quality:

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

Overall Rating:      Excellent, highly recommended

 

I received this product at no cost in order to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are truthful and 100% my own.

 

Vintage Love Letters

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Vintage Love Letters by Aimee Stewart – Schmidt – 1000 pieces

I saw a review of this puzzle on Jigsaw Junkies and fell in love with the image.  It was the first puzzle I purchased with the intent of gluing and framing it; isn’t it a beautiful, romantic image for the bedroom? Aimee Stewart is one of my favorite jigsaw puzzle artists; her work is beautiful and her use of colors is gorgeous!

This was also my first puzzle from Schmidt, and I must say I was even more impressed with the quality than I expected to be. ¬†Thank goodness I found the Jigsaw Junkies blog, without her brand comparison I would never have felt confident enough to try new puzzle brands. ¬†I don’t want to guess whether or not the quality of certain brands is good or not, why spend money if you’re unsure whether or not it’ll be worth it? The brand comparison pages are detailed and helped me to discover some really awesome brands I had never even heard of. Schmidt is one of them.

Although I have discovered in my years of assembling puzzles that everything is subjective. Everyone has their own opinions of what a good quality puzzle is, and the only way to know for sure is to try it yourself. There are many brands that Jigsaw Junkies say are great quality that I don’t care for at all; you have to try them and see what you think of them. There are probably brands I say are excellent that you wouldn’t like at all, because we have different tastes and opinions. Anyway, back to the puzzle!

The finish on the pieces feels almost luxurious, the pieces fit together satisfyingly well without being so tight you had to push them into place. The image quality is amazingly bright and detailed without being too over the top.  I would definitely buy many more Schmidt puzzles without hesitation.  The quality of this company impressed me, and once my self-imposed puzzle buying ban is over I’m looking for more!

BTW, the puzzle is framed and looks amazing. ūüôā

Insights

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Insights by Colin Thompson – Schmidt Puzzles – 1000 pieces

I think this was the most enjoyable Colin Thompson puzzle image I have done. It went very quickly as each little box led to another little box to assemble. I love his cupboard series from Ravensburger, but this image was much less busy than those puzzles. The Schmidt quality is very good and the pieces feel sturdy and smooth in your hand. I’m actually kind of sad this puzzle is already finished! It was so fun to put together ūüôā