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. 💖

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies by Allied Products – Majestic Puzzles (Springbok) – 500 pieces

Another puzzle sent by a puzzling friend, you can never have too many of those! I always appreciate it when someone thinks I’ll enjoy a puzzle and sends it along, it’s just so thoughtful and I love that. 💙 Christmas puzzles aren’t my favorite, as you all know, because they all seem so alike and the images are just not my pile of pieces. When there’s a different one though, it usually finds it’s way to me – just like this one has.

This puzzle had great quality, the pieces feel like a Springbok but without the super tight fit. That would probably be because they’re part of the Springbok line (which I did not know until writing up this post). Looking at the pieces it seemed as though it might be a difficult assembly, but it turned out it was more fun than I thought it would be. It was a great puzzle that went together quickly.

I started with the yellow, blue, and the sugary red mitten; then filled in all the green. I don’t usually have in process pictures, but for some reason I felt like documenting part of the assembly for this one.

This puzzle was so much fun to put together, and is a beautiful finished image – I love cookie puzzles!

Knitters Stash

Knitters Stash
Knitters Stash – Springbok – 1000 pieces

This was a fun and wonderfully challenging puzzle, and I think the finished image is very pretty; it reminds me of my mom who always had yarn or crochet thread with her when she went anywhere. In addition, mom got this puzzle for us at the thrift store – it has her written all over it.

It was one of those Springbok puzzles with a very tight fit, which we know I am not a fan of; but even though the fit was a bit annoying I had a great time putting this together. It took my aging brain a little longer than normal to adapt itself to working with a random cut, but the challenge of it had me completely engrossed.

Thrift stores have so many treasures like this to find, I miss my black belt thrift store shopper – not only was she the best mom ever, she also always found amazing puzzles for us to try. Love you mom. 💖💖

Knitters Stash In Progress

Knitters IP
Knitters Stash – Springbok – 1000 pieces

It’s taking me a little bit to get my brain back into “random cut mode”, but I think it’s finally there. Thank goodness, because this puzzle has been more challenging than I bargained for already. I’ve been assembling grid cut puzzles almost exclusively this month, and I’ve had to wait for my brain to remember how to think around the random cut pieces and how they go together.

I’ve only gotten these two balls of yarn completed, but oh my has it  been challenging! It’s mostly been getting used to the random cut, but assembling skeins of yarn isn’t as easy as I’d hoped either. I’m sure I’ve put together yarn puzzles before, but I don’t remember any specifically; maybe the memory of them is why it’s taken me so long to finally start assembling this one. 😉

The image reminds me of mom, but not only because she got the puzzle at the thrift store for us, it’s the yarn. My mother did crafts all her adult life and there was always yarn, crochet thread, beads, knitting needles, etc. all over our house. Stored in closets, hung in garment bags, next to her chair, in the office – pretty much anywhere there was a flat surface or a place to stack things up you could be sure to find some craft supplies.

She always had to have some sort of project going (most of the time there were several projects in the works), and always took her knitting or crochet bag with her when she went anywhere. Waiting in the doctor’s office or sitting in the car waiting on one of her kids after band practice she’d be crocheting a coaster or knitting an afghan, or whatever beautiful project was being worked on at the moment. There was always a “go bag” of yarn or thread near her purse so that she’d be ready if she had to go anywhere.

Mom taught me to knit, crochet, embroidery, cross-stitch, and even a little sewing; I really only knit anymore, and it’s not very often. I’m set for life in the yarn department though, I’ve got quite a bit of it stashed away from mom’s house, and there are still so many more boxes to go through!

Keepsake Memories

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. 💖