#Puzzlepalooza – (Almost) Wordless Wednesday

January 29th is National Puzzle Day. You sit down intending to just add a few pieces and soon a whole hour has gone by. It’s the kind of mindless activity which is relaxing and meditative in a way.

I used to buy my mother a 1000 piece puzzle every year for Christmas, before she started painting. The puzzle would be spread out all over the end of the dining room table for the whole month of January. I might help out with a piece or two, but never had the time to do more. Now I’m seriously addicted!

Started the puzzle season by re-doing last years Christmas puzzle.
Flower Shop – I buy the 300-500 piece ones for my mother – the more colorful the better.
She remembers going to square dances when she was young.
Lake Cabin – buying from Michael’s was getting pricey so I went to the thrift store. People are always donating old puzzles.
This one took almost a week because all the sunflowers looked the same.
Skating at Twilight – January’s 1000 piece project, while pretty, proved way too challenging – too much of the same color and the pieces were so tiny.
Cats and Books – the perfect combination. I gifted this one to a book lover, but wish I had bought it for myself.

Do you enjoy doing puzzles?

51 thoughts on “#Puzzlepalooza – (Almost) Wordless Wednesday

  1. Anne says:

    You make my fingers twitch to build a puzzle! i really like the sunflower one as well as the last one you show of cats on the shelves of books. Space has always been a problem, however I have been eyeing a desk my son left behind when he moved to Norway… if I get rid of the things on top of it, I might just create a peaceful nook where a puzzle can develop undisturbed …

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      The trick is to buy one which is challenging enough to do but not so hard as to be frustrating. I bought one of those roll up cloth type puzzle mats at Michael’s Craft Store, but I haven’t used it, as when I took it out of the box it was so full of wrinkles I couldn’t see how it would lie flat – need to get the iron out I guess. It also didn’t seem very sturdy, but is supposed to be designed so that you can remove it if you need to use the table like to eat!

      Like

  2. brilliantviewpoint says:

    Joni – you have some WONDERFUL puzzles. Are the pieces good quality? I’ve found that makes a difference in making a puzzle. I bought a puzzle that I liked, but the pieces were so thin that it was not enjoyable working on it. I did finish it, but many times I almost through it away. I can’t remember the brand name. I LOVE the square dancing, flower shop and lake cabin puzzles. I wonder if I can find them. Thanks for letting us know it is National Puzzle Day on the 29th, I would not have known this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      The Flower Shop and Lake Cabin were of very good quality but then I bought them at Michael’s Craft Store. The pieces were also larger and thus good for mom with her vision not being as good as it used to be. The square dance one was small, and 3 of the pieces, so thin that the corners broken off – but then it’s one of the ones I bought at the thrift store for $2. The Sunflower one was good quality but also from the thrift store and at 550 pieces just the size I like. That 1000 piece one – well we didn’t get too far into it until we decided it was just going to be too frustrating and abandoned it – all that white. I’m always on the lookout for new ones, but I’m picky about it, as it has to have enough color variety for mom to do. And I find that they are really picked over as puzzles have become so popular, esp. at Christmas time, with everyone stuck at home more. I remember you posting that one with the beach cottage. I don’t order much online, but bookoutlet sometimes has them on sale, although usually the 1000 piece ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Deb says:

    My son got me a lovely puzzle for Christmas. I was intimidated (1000 pieces) but I worked it systematically by color and was done really quickly. Now I’m addicted and have been adding to my collection. Galison and White Mountain are good quality. If you ever want to gift (even to yourself) a truly lovely, well made puzzle brand I would suggest Cavallini Puzzles. Pretty pricey, but gorgeous.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      I do that too – sort by color – I find it helps to have a system. But that 1000 piece skating one, had basically no color variation – just white, so there was no grouping with that one! Once someone gifted my mother with a puzzle of one of her paintings, but it was a boat scene and it was all blue sky and water. It was only 300 pieces but frustrating. I can’t remember the name of the site where you can upload a photo and they send you a puzzle of it, but it would be a nice family gift, especially if you have grandchildren. I’ve heard White Mountain is good quality, and will check out the other ones. Thanks Deb!

      Like

  4. www.rosesintherainmemoir.wordpress.com says:

    Some of those scenes remind me of your mother’s paintings, especially the winter skating. I especially like the Lake Cabin — just my kind of place! — and, of course, the bookcase of kitties. At my house, my Hubby is the puzzle guy, usually commandeering the kitchen table for days on end where he’s in his own world. I just settle down with a good book, occasionally adding a piece that seems to jump into place.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      We seem to have a lot of puzzle fans here. It’s fun when they just jump into place, but I find if it’s hard and I walk away for awhile then when I go back to it it seems to go better.

      Like

  5. Ally Bean says:

    I think the system ate my comment, but I’ll try again…
    Your puzzles are pretty. I like seeing a completed puzzle but am not the most diligent about completing any puzzle. My husband however loves to do them so our dining room table is usually covered with pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Eilene Lyon says:

    I don’t do puzzles , because I tend to obsess. Meaning that I would not leave them until complete. But the images you showed are attractive. I will just enjoy the pictures, but not try to put them together. I look as much at shapes as color btw.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      That’s interesting….I sort by color first, but only occasionally look at the shapes, and only if there are a lot that look the same. I’ve had a few late nights up until 1am just doing another few pieces when I should have gone to bed!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. J P says:

    Both my mother and grandma were puzzle fans. As kids we would search out the most challenging ones for Grandma. Mom was able to get enjoyment from them well into her time with dementia and probably had 30 of them in her room.

    I enjoy them too but don’t have time for them. Maybe someday, because I think about them in wintertime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks good that she was still able to do them with the dementia. I try and seek out the 300 piece ones for my mother, as the 1000 piece ones are just too overwhelming, especially with her eyesight being not as good at almost 96.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dave says:

    If I recall you can’t get a YouTube video to work up there, but I’ll try anyway Joni. This one is a short time-lapse of the completion of a 48,000-piece puzzle. It’s remarkable – one guy kneeling over the puzzle as he works. You can tell from the changing light it took several days (and there’s a lot of blue sky towards the end). Seriously, how many people would have this kind of patience? https://youtu.be/dj0Yl_50q4E

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Dave – the video worked for me. (I think it’s just sometimes the link doesn’t and I’m not sure why – the browser?) I can’t even imagine – I wonder how long it took him to do it. He seemed to have a system with those piles of pieces towards the beginning, but the sorting by color alone would be a nightmare. It would be way too frustrating for me. Same with your Lego challenge. I find a 500 piece puzzle is the perfect size for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Linda Schaub says:

    Well this post brings back memories of my mom doing puzzles at the table on her Styrofoam boards. I saved them as one day, when retired, I’ll enjoy doing them as well as I’ve saved some of her favorites and others that she sadly never got to. Some of these remind me of the Charles Wysocki puzzles we used to get … they were made by Milton Bradley and were the “Americana” series, all made from his paintings. They were fun to do, usually 1,000 pieces though. My mom and I did a few 500-piece puzzles together. It is a great past time and challenging for the brain. My mom had some difficult ones where she’d only get a few pieces done in a day until she got more pieces in and it became a bit easier.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I find the 500 piece ones the best for me, fun but not too frustrating. I loved the picture in that winter skating scene, but the pieces were way too small and the colors were all either white snow or blue night sky…not fun. Will re-donate it back to the Goodwill. I haven’t walked in about five days – it’s just too darn cold, I can’t force myself to go out in that! Have you been walking?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I saw you had a 300-piece puzzle and my mom and I did one that size one time … it was fun, but very difficult., all Dalmation puppies and it took us a long time to do it – our eyes were crossing from all the spots. I only walked Friday as I had to shovel Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday it was a little slippery and it was snow flurries Thursday morning and I didn’t want to get caught in a squall. It was cold, but clear yesterday and this morning I didn’t walk. I did some things in the house intending to go mid-day, but it was still only +7 or +8 so I’ll go the next three days, then we have this ugly wintry mix and snow coming in and even colder than today. That nice December break we got seems like a long time ago doesn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        It’s too frustrating if all the colors are the same, no matter what the size. I’ve walked the past 2 days but not very far. ACG&S was so boring tonight. I know you liked the old version from the 70’s/80’s and I’ve had two other people tell me it was great, but I’m wondering what made it great – was the story line better, the actors? I’m glad there aren’t many episodes left….. We are getting the same wintry mix on Wed/Thurs, so I plan on making chili then. It should start to get warmer soon -as my dad used to say we always get 6 weeks of winter. I’m behind again, and no post for next week either.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes the colors all blend together. There are jigsaw puzzles online too – I’ve tried them a few times, but not if there are a lot of pieces as it’s too difficult to sort and put them together. I really don’t like Tristan – he always acts the fool in my opinion and how is he going to do complicated procedures if he never passed his exams? That’s a tad unbelievable. I didn’t care for the woman whom Tristan finagled to go to dinner, nor Siegfried’s friend. Only two episodes left – last year I think it was eight episodes. I think the original show/series was lighthearted but dealt more with the interaction with the animals. This series is more interaction between the people. It was a long time ago I watched the original and read the books and still have a book or two to read. Every time I hear the weather forecast, it sounds worse. For us, 12-18 inches over two days, maybe to 24 and beginning with freezing rain – oh joy. We’ll hang up our walking shoes at least a week Joni, I’m sure of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I caught that comment Siegfiled made about lots of vets not having qualifications and found that surprising, even for that time period. How could you put initials behind your name (and on your briefcase) if you don’t have them?????

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, it didn’t make sense and don’t think Siegfried’s girlfriend or the blonde with the stallion won’t be the Town Crier about it. Next, they’ll be forging a license or certificate to hang on the wall.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        P.S. – I caught up to two days behind, Saturday, then I’m three or four behind again. It is hopelesss and I need to get more sleep. Every day I hear a story about sleep deprivation messing up your immune system. I have to do better starting tomorrow – new month, new rule … I’ve broken all my NY’s resolutions.

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I’m going to bed shortly – I can’t keep my eyes open tonight. I had a four-mile walk this morning – it was beautiful out – sun was shining, 35 degrees and finally clear roads … now this wintry mix, then snow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Sorry Linda….I haven’t been on for a few days and haven’t read since Sunday so now 5 days behind…..have been stuck inside for the past 2 days with snowstorm but at least the driveway is clear now. Sick of the snow and don’t think it will be melting anytime soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I am perpetually behind Joni and every resolution I made to make just a half-hour to read, get to sleep earlier … all down the drain as I can’t keep up here. It is disheartening sometimes. The weather is major disheartening. We had almost 10 inches of snow and after yesterday’s 25 mph winds, there was blowing and drifting everywhere – in some spots, snow up to my knees. Not fun and the snow plow was here the first night – a snow emergency, so no parking from 5:00 a.m. Wednesday through 5:30 p.m. Friday. But … despite the threat of a $65.00 ticket, people left their cars out and the plow went around those two and dumped snow at the end of my driveway – I didn’t shovel it as it was full of ice to begin with, without the street snow on top of it. I knew we were getting more Thursday night – another 4 inches of snow. We did and the plow went down this afternoon. We have three days of snow late in the week – I’m leaving it now. I won’t be going anywhere in the snow, have a new battery and I can’t go far until I get the tire monitor system checked/fixed. February is going to be a long month.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I got caught up to your Wordless Wed, tonight but it’s past 1am so must quit. We got about 8 inches, but no freezing rain. Neighbour did the driveway with his snowblower, but there won’t be any walking for awhile….kind of sick of it. Hope your weekend is good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I have three days to go – got caught up to Thursday night and was proud of myself for getting that much done as I wrote two posts and did a Wordless Wednesday yesterday. You are lucky you have the neighbor – our official total was 9.3 but Friday morning I had a lot of drifts and the plow came by twice – I didn’t shovel what it dumped the first time as it was heavy and icy and knew we were getting more – I think the mess will soften up in the next few days so I’ll attempt it and I did not clear the snow to the cement as there was a layer of ice. I hate the freezing rain and it was so clear last Tuesday. I did walk today, 4 1/2 miles altogether and ran around in the house a little bit doing some things. I walked in the street which works on a weekend, but not so well on a weekday morning. The long-range weather forecast was not good at all and not just Michigan … hurricanes, tornadoes ramping up, much flooding, they didn’t mention the heat.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I got caught up finally tonight after not reading for 7 days but it’s now 12.30. I think the snow will start to melt a bit as the air today had that thaw feeling to it. I haven’t walked in over a week and miss it, but will try and get out tomorrow. ACG&S was a snorefest tonight…..my mother just shakes her head at it – can it possibly get any more boring?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I am behind two days now … I make progress then it will be bad this week with three posts, as Friday I did a blogiversary post. Yesterday was cold in the morning, but the sun felt good. When I got home, I walked over to Memorial Park, thinking the snow on the cannon and Fallen Soldier Memorial would make nice photos with the snow on it. But surprisingly, it had melted – maybe because it was metal? I did not walk this morning – all the ice that melted had refrozen. ACG&S was downright stupid! They always show the previews and when I saw last week the Tricky Woo and cricket game were the highlights, I didn’t think it would be much – we could have skipped it. The last one is next week.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Good! Will be glad to be done with it. I hope they haven’t renewed it for another season. I tried watching the first episode of Jullian Fellowes new drama The Gilded Age about 1800 century New York society, and it was awful too. Can’t believe it was written and produced by the same guy who did Downtown Abbey?? Boring and so many characters who all looked the same, even in their period costumes…I couldn’t keep them all straight, so that was a disaster too. I’m going to send you an email via gmail with some questions on it about Office Word as I need some help when you have time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I kept meaning to ask you if you had seen The Gilded Age as I saw the ad that it was by the same person who did Dowton Abbey. Not only did I think this week’s episode was boring and silly, but this time, more than any other, I couldn’t understand them. I sent you a preview of the last episode with James’ parents coming to visit I was able to help you with one part, not the other but sent some primers to help.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Well they said it was six weeks and then there is a special episode in October 2022 that is related to Christmas. And, there will be a season three as well that will air in the UK in late 2022, but for us in early 2023.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. ruthsoaper says:

    My dad started building wooden 3D puzzles before Christmas and I think he has become addicted. He has done 12 so far I think. Some are clocks, some are music boxes and at least one is a light. They are made buy a company called Rowood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I’ve never heard of wooden 3D puzzles – will check into it! Thanks Ruth. I’m enjoying your soap making seminars even though I have no intention of making soap! I made (liquid?) soap once in a lab course in school but it’s so long ago now. The lye scares me….

      Like

      • ruthsoaper says:

        When I wanted to learn to make soap I was very nervous about working with lye as well. I read several tutorials, bought and read a soapmaking book, then bought a soapmaking kit with ingredients and complete instructions. I do take all the necessary precautions when working with lye but have found that a little splash on the skin will cause a prickling feeling for a few minutes – that’s all. Certainly coming in contact with a large amount could be quite dangerous but that’s why I am very careful. I’m glad you are enjoying this series.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. annieasksyou says:

    Hi, Joni, I starred this post to return when you first posted it and plumb forgot.

    I don’t do puzzles anymore bc I would get nothing else done, but the post is wonderfully colorful—really a visual pleasure. I think you’ve discovered a new art form—akin to collages!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Annie! I understand the addiction – as a few nights I’ve stayed up until 1am just doing a few more pieces. I’m fussy with my choices, they must be varied and colorful, and not so hard as to be frustrating, nor so easy as to not be challenging….about 500 pieces is just right.

      Liked by 1 person

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