Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Jigsaw puzzles

I know I have mentioned the fact that I do jigsaw puzzles here, and I know I've put the odd picture up with a book post. However, I don't think I've ever done a post dedicated entirely to jigsaw puzzles, if I have, I can't find it. So, inspired by several other jigsaw puzzle posts which I'll put at the end, I thought I would pop up a few pics of the four jigsaws I've done since Christmas.

First up was Cobblestone Evening a painting by American artist, Thomas Kincade. Paintings are by far my favourite kind of puzzle and this one was so nice to do with nice thick pieces which stayed where they were put. I've done several by this artist and will do more when I can find them. This one belongs to my eldest daughter.

Next is Britain from the Air, a collection of famous British scenes which also belongs to my daughter. I thought this would be easy and then it wasn't. LOL.

Next is a photographic scene of Vernazza in Italy. My Italian geography is not good so I don't even know which part of Italy this is, but what a lovely town. I bought this one in a charity shop, which is where I get most of my puzzles as they are rather expensive to buy new, and I do so many that the cost would be prohibitive. It was quite easy and straightforward to do, until I got to all that sea...

Last and most recent is a puzzle entitled, One of the Family. This is a painting by Victorian artist Frederick G. Cotman. This one is slightly bigger than the others at 1,500 pieces (the rest are all 1,000) and was a bit tricky really. A lot of pieces looking the same, and all that brown was really hard and took me several days to do. But I really enjoyed doing it, the only downside being, as the eagle-eyed will have noticed, there's a piece missing. This is the penalty you pay for buying puzzles in charity shops. More often than not it's fine and they're complete, but just occasionally they're not and this is one of those instances. Oh well.

So that's what I've been spending the cold and wet months of January and February doing, as well as devouring books of course.

Some other jigsaw puzzle posts:

Yvonne at Fiction Books

Margaret at Books Please

Peggy Ann at Peggy Ann's Post who has put up a virtual version of One of the Family for anyone to do.


DesLily said...

no way would i be able to do even ONE puzzle! lol my girlfriend in florida does them all the time. I find many for her in thrift stores for 1.00 (really expensive puzzles too) and then she donates them back when she's done.. btw I love the bridge one and the last one best. :o)

Elaine said...

I love doing jigsaw puzzles and love pics of country cottages etc. Did one recently of the canal in Venice and it took ages and ages as there were so many coloured gondolas around. At the moment my sister and I are doing a Downton Abby one which is lethal!

fiction-books said...

Hi Cath,

Thanks so much for the link, I have decided to publish the occasional post about jigsaw puzzles, so I will reciprocate next time and then we can jointly share our 'masterpieces'.

It is a shame about the missing piece in 'One Of The Family', but as you say, that is the downside of buying from charity shops, however paying £10+ for new just isn't an option.

You would be amazed at the number of customers who query why the jigsaws have not all been checked and marked as complete, before going on sale!! It's a nice idea, but they just don't realise how large an army of people that would take!! Especially as, when the manufacturers state 1,000 pieces, they may actually have meant a few more, or few less than that.

I could always ship them all down to you in say batches of 20, you could make them up and send them back if they are complete???? LOL .. not liking the sound of that then?


Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

You've done well - I've only managed one so far this year! I have another on the go, though it's slow going. I'll post a photo when I'm done - but it won't be for a while.

I get really bothered when piece is missing, partly because I can have spent hours(!) looking for it.

I've done several of Thomas Kincade's puzzles. I think reproductions of paintings are my favourite ones too. I also like scenes. One of the most difficult ones I did though was a mosaic of the Beetles- each piece was a mosaic of the fab four in a variety of photos. I think I took a photo when I'd finished it, mainly because it was so large and took me so long to finish. I'll look for it.

Cath said...

Pat: Oh boy, would I love a day to go around your thrift shops and load up with American jigsaws!!! Of course I'd then have to get them home to the UK... Hmmm.

Elaine: The Venice one sounds gorgeous. I never cease to be amazed at the number and variety available.

Yvonne: I'll do the same and post about puzzles occasionally too. All adds to the spice of life.

It is a shame about the missing piece, and I was disappointed but I just couldn't justify paying full price say for the 4 puzzles I've done this year. The 1000 piece ones are anything from £10 to £15. I looked up really huge one somewhere (about 6 or 7 thousand pieces - I've never done one that big) and it was £65 I think. My jaw hit the floor!

When I first started work I used to save up my pennies and treat myself to 3 to 4 thousand piece puzzles in a local newsagent. I must have been rather an old fashioned girl for the late 60s.

Oddly enough, my daughter used to do a bit of checking jigsaw puzzles for a charity shop local to her. If I lived in your town I might be tempted to take a few. LOL

Margaret: Those mosaic puzzles are very hard. I would have loved them as a teenager but they didn't come out until much later. These days my eyes are not up to it. I tried one a few years ago and for the first time ever had to give up on a jigsaw.

I've just started one that has nine old-fashioned shop-fronts on it, 1,500 pieces, and so far it's lovely to do.

Penny O'Neill said...

What fun, Cath, and a nice reminder of one that has been sitting around, half finished, gathering dust. I'll be thinking of getting a few puzzles next time I see them in a thrift shop. Loved this post.

Jeane said...

I really like doing jigsaws, too, although it's been ages since I sat down to a puzzle. Toddler too apt to loose or eat pieces, so that passtime has to wait for a while. I really like that last one, too bad it's missing a piece. That really bugs me- and I used to pick up a lot of puzzles at secondhand shops, too!

Kailana said...

I used to do jigsaw puzzles all the time with my grandfather. I go through periods where I do them, but it has been a while. :)

Cath said...

Penny: Glad you enjoyed seeing my jigsaw puzzles. More soon.

Jeane: No... jigsaw puzzles and small children do not mix. I had to give them up when my daughters were tiny. But once they got older it was nice because we then did them together, and now I do them with my grand-daughter.

Kelly: I used to do them with my grandmother, I have very fond memories of her searching for pieces for me.

Bubble Shooter Game | James said...

I like jigsaw puzzles. It gives me some good vibes once I finish one especially the 1000 or more pcs.

Peggy said...

They all look hard to me, Cath! We just did our first Thomas kinkade puzzle and it wasn't as hard as I thought. We have another one in the closet to do. I wish the post wasn't so expensive I would mail you some puzzles! I just tried to send one book to Scotland and it was $18 postage! I just spent $13 a piece on 3 new puzzles and my neighbor said it was 'scandalous'! Thanks for the mention in your post.

Cath said...

Peggy: I find the Thomas Kincade puzzles to be not too hard and also lovely to do with the beautiful colours he used. I just wish they were a bit cheaper to buy new. I've often wished I was closer to all my reading and puzzling friends here. We could have such a time swapping books and jigsaws... and save heaps of money.

Penny said...

Hi Cath! I just came across your blog through a Google search on puzzle blogs. You and I have a ton in common and I just had to say hello. Perhaps we will become great blog pals some day! LOL

My name is Penny and I'm 39 years old. i live in the Atlanta, GA area in the US. I am a mother of two beautiful boys, 3.5 years and 3 months so I don't get much time to puzzle these days and I sure do miss it. I have been a puzzler off and on most of my life. My dad used to bring home used puzzles every once in a while and we would do them as a family on Sunday mornings after breakfast. I remember it being fun. I did a few as a teenager and then not really any more until adult hood where I attempted to do them again and had a huge problem. I had no place to put the puzzle if I couldn't finish it in one puzzling session. I would inevitably need my dining room table back before I could finish it, so back in the box it would go and usually never to be seen again. Then I discovered the puzzle roll and my life changed! Now I could just roll the puzzle up and put it away whenever I needed the table back, but yet I wouldn't lose my work. Life was wonderful again. I immediately went out and bought a bunch of puzzles in the 1,000 - 2,000 piece range. I finished a 1,500 piece one and had gotten about halfway through the 2,000 piece Las Vegas, Baby! puzzle by Buffalo Games when I had to move. Unfortunately, the puzzle roll inadvertantly got put on the moving truck. So, I put that one away as I was just afraid to open it as I'm pretty positive pieces are now missing. That was 4 years ago... Just recently I decided that I'm going to bite the bullet and re-open it and complete and see just how bad the damage is....keeping fingers crossed for only a piece or two missing.

Anyway, in 2009, I discovered what was at the time the "World's Largest Puzzle"...a 24,000 piece monstrosity, appropraitely called "Life: The Great Challenge". After drooling over the puzzle and the puzzle website's hall of fame for others who had completed it for close to a year, I finally got it! Of course by the time I got the puzzle, I had a 5 month old baby to take care so I didn't get too far. I'm still working on the puzzle. I have the first section (6,000 pieces) finished and about half of the second section done, and now I have another baby to take care of as well so I will probably be working on the puzzle for years to come yet. LOL

Anyway, I wanted to say hi because we have the jigsaw puzzles in common as well as many other hobbies. I am an avid reader (when I find time with two little ones). I most enjoy popular American fiction by authors such as Harlan Coben, John Saul, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, John Grisham, Jackie Collins, Judith Gould, Jeffery Deaver. I love suspense and mystery types of books the most.

I have a blog all about my progress on the jigsaw puzzle. I hope you check it out. It's very detailed with lots of posts and pictures of my progress from the day I ordered the puzzle until now.


Cath said...

Hi Penny, thanks for your lovely long comment. Sorry I haven't replied before, been a bit busy.

I loved hearing all about your puzzling as a child. I don't come from a family who did them so have no idea where my keeness for them has come from. But I have passed it on to my own daughters in the way it happpened with you. In school holidays I used to do them with my daughters around the kitchen table, my mother-in-law joined us when she was visiting. As you say, it was fun and my daughters still remember doing that with fondness.

I've not used a puzzle roll but keep thinking I should. I have a small table I do mine on, ones up to 1000 pieces. Above that I have a piece of perspex but have to shift it if we have visitors. I tend to keep to 2,000 and under but as a teen I loved the 3,000 and 4,000 piece ones very much.

I was aware of the 24,000 piece one but am a bit older now and I don't think my sight would stand up to it. I'll visit your blog in a moment to see if you have pics of it as I would love to see it.

Thanks for leaving a comment, I'll also check out your board on Pinterest.