Admittedly, I expect a certain amount of challenge from any of the specialty puzzle makers. After all, if the wooden puzzles were the same style and cut of your ordinary jig saw puzzle there wouldn’t be any point now, would there? You know what I mean? Puzzle pieces that are all a consistent squarish size of which each side has either a knob or an indentation. Yes, there are five standard variations (four knobs-> four indents) but that is about the limit. Edge pieces have that lovely straight edge….
Wooden fancy puzzles? Not so much. All sizes, shapes and only the rare straight line. I have to admire the artistry of the actual graphic designer who draws the jig saw template. In the case of this puzzle, we are talking fish…. and the border is not a straight line.
See what I mean?
and, in case it isn’t clear –
a close up
in which you can see the border, the fish in the border and all the irregular pieces making up this particular whale. Probably should have spent time doing something else, but it was a case of ….. I will fit in just one more piece.
it is this wonderful color all of itself. And with fall comes Pumpkin Lattes. (side note – one of the Peet’s near here on Shattuck is too heavy on the spice and lite on the pumpkin syrup. My local Peet’s, who thank goodness have their expresso machine fixed makes them perfectly. They also know me by now…)
Is also made and distributed by Nautilus (see yesterday’s post for the link).
As it turned out, this puzzle was more of a challenge. There were several dozen tiny whimsy pieces, all relevant to farming and harvesting. There were buckets and shoves, rakes and hoes. It was more of a challenge than I was expecting!
Another new puzzle to add to the multitudes I already have on hand. It is laser cut wood and made by Nautilus Puzzles. They have some of the best packaging. No wooden boxes, but a lovely drawstring bag to hold the pieces. If you click on the picture, you will get a larger image and perhaps be able to see some of the fun whimsy cut pieces.
what it doesn’t say is that the border is not straight – oh no, not at all. Randall Spangler created the original painting. I have mentioned him before – he is the one who designed those two impossibly cute dragons dealing with computers.
any way –
there are both whimsy pieces and edge pieces
the whimsy is easily seen in the crown – what I wasn’t expecting was that all those curlicue pieces turned out to be the border…
not as easy as it first looked
and there were a lot of fairly small pieces to tuck in here and there. I started this puzzle then detoured for a while.
Part of the joy of starting a new puzzle, especially one from LibertyPuzzles, is opening the box and gazing at the heaped up pieces just waiting to be freed. I am not compulsive about jigsaw puzzles; I neither lay them all out, or start with the edge and work in. Rather I enjoy seeing what the whimsy pieces of this puzzle represent, which often coordinates extremely well with the puzzle picture or theme. If a few edge pieces happen to tumble into their own pile, that is also fine.
that first look
In the case of this puzzle, there is the easel (the painter showed up later), various people, sailing vessels and a pair of crossed swords.
some of the more interesting shapes
there is a kind of peace in fitting things together, not being in a hurry and knowing that – at the end – there is actually a reward – the view of Lugano.
or should that be owl followed by shirts? Nah, the shirts were completed long before dark when I started on the Owl
Feeding my puzzle addiction, I discovered a new purveyor of wooden puzzles. This particular manufacture has only a few available, and, as it turns out, they are made in China. Less expensive than the US made ones certainly. But the quality of the puzzles is certainly not the same standard. The owl wasn’t all that difficult to assemble, but the pieces didn’t fit as smoothly as I would have liked.
unique pieces, but no whimsy ones
The shirts – the theme today was books.
there is the elegance of reading
Books & Roses
which didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped
and then there is the reality of what is appealing to certain members of the family
the front still in the hoop
the back just prior to finishing
and before you scratch your head – the clothes pins are to keep excess fabric out of the way and avoiding it being caught either under the hoop or in the stitching area. I know this because…..Both shirts still need to be washed and a few threads trimmed. It is all progress as I am working my way down my bin of “garment blanks.”
We had a break in the middle of the day – I had a sewing machine in for service. George proved that his feet are up to par since he drove both down and back. Remember that we have a standard transmission, so if he was going to have foot pain, I am sure that it would have been triggered by the drive.
From Artifact Puzzles comes another delightful design from Justin Hillgrove. The box titles it “Overwhelming Odds” but I just adore the sense of humor. Perhaps you remember all of my go-rounds with rubber ducks? No? Never mind, just be aware there was a time when there were rubber ducks invading the hot tub, the shower and making cameo appearances in the kitchen.
this is the puzzle
and yes, it comes WITH its own little duck
ensconced in the puzzle
see where it goes?
Then there are Ecru puzzles – this one has pieces with a complicated structure, a definite trend toward cats
cat in the corner
and a third
and looked like this when completed (note, this is one of those “mystery” type puzzles…)
the finished puzzle
the challenge here was two fold – first not knowing what the puzzle would look like when completed. The second was that 90% of the pieces are identical in shape. Even more fun to have to pull out a piece when you realize that the color isn’t exactly right for that location …..not
It seems like I spend my days getting there. From here, to there and back again. Or to the ballpark, grocery store, diner, UCSF. Not necessarily in that order, please understand. But the idea of having a whole day at home is really appealing.
I am thinking I can schedule it for next Tuesday.
Unless something else comes up, just saying.
between now and then? UCSF tomorrow day, perhaps the As in the evening. Same for Friday. Saturday and Sunday are going to depend on whether or not I can spring George, which is starting to look more hopeful than earlier in the week. If he escapes, then it will be back to UCSF all day Monday as an outpatient. Which takes me to Tuesday – which is where I started this conversation.
I spent the morning at UCSF. George actually had a few platelets of his “own” this morning so that trend is hopeful. The attendance at this afternoon’s As games was less than optimal but considering it is a Wednesday afternoon, there were the usual serious fans, retirees and busloads of school/summer camp kids. The As pulled off a nice win and swept the series. Considering we were facing the poor Baltimore Orioles, it could have been embarrassing otherwise.
Noah returned today from San Diego –
who is suffering a cut necessitating the cone of shame.
After taking the crew out to Barney’s for burgers – I started a new puzzle (Ecru–from Artifact Puzzles) before wiping out completely.
The good thing about staying in the Outer Sunset is that I was right across the park from SFVA. It isn’t bad walk; under 2 miles (US measurements) and almost a straight line. As I might have mentioned the last time, the only challenging part is this last six blocks straight up hill. Add in a bag and a travel backpack loaded with my clothes from the last couple of weeks and it turned into a real slog.
Since the coffee stand was open in the lobby, I was able to reward myself with a nice latte and a croissant.
(skipping forward to 1535) I was able to take the shuttle over to UCSF and spend a few hours with George. He is doing better on the white cell front and may actually escape this place within a week or so. It is the lack of platelet recovery that is holding things up. My original plan was to then head to the ballpark, but by the time I hit the N-Judah stop, I was exhausted. Stomped back upstairs, pulled out the backpack and extra bag and just headed home. Dani was able to bail me out of BART which saved me the significant hassle of trying to work my way home after all the buses had quit running.
I survived this mornings removal of the old fridge and placement of the new. It was a real slog for the delivery guys since they had, once again, a big truck. They parked on the street. Wheeled the fridge up the steep driveway on a dolly, then hauled it up the 20 slate stairs to the house. Plus the two steps up into the house, and the steps back down to the kitchen level (via the living room so as to avoid narrow corners and doorways.
the finished puzzle
close up of the lower sky
It was after 1100 by the time the new one was hooked up and working. From there it was off to BART (usual route to UCSF) and spent the afternoon with George. Snuck out about 1800 and headed to Oakland.
Just barely made it to my seat before the first pitch. The Mariners have left town and the Orioles have arrived. And, since I hadn’t had enough sense this morning to pack for the game – I was completely without my cowbell…The As managed to squeak out a win. I headed back to SF and the Outer Sunset for the night
It seemed sensible to take you back to the count up (rather than down) so that all of us would have at minimum a clue without having to spin the wheel or ask Vanna White (Jeopardy – old TV show game for the non-US). George is getting really, really bored. Since he is occasionally coughing (which I don’t think is infectious but related to side effect from the chemo) he is stuck in his room. I thought about making him a t-shirt that says “help, I am a prisoner on 12-Long.” If I went with black and white stripes? Nah – the staff is wonderful and I am not sure that they would fully appreciate the attempt at humor.
We seem to be back to normal weather for this time of year. The fog is rolling in regularly and the temperatures have dropped down so that it is chilly at night again.
Quiet day, I am trying to find all the files that I have tucked here and there on the computer in order to make some progress on those papers which are still hanging over my head. It was Graduation Day for the five Norwegians who were here this past year for the LLM program. Thanks to WhatApps, they sent us pictures.
I elected not to go to the game tonight, just headed home on BART, stopped at the Safeway for food and made a bit more progress on my puzzle before heading to bed early.
By now you should have figured out that I adore wooden puzzles. Not the kind with large pieces intended to be bashed and smashed by the under 3 crew, but those colorful ones characterized by whimsy pieces and interesting designs.
The three manufactures that I have tested so far include Liberty Puzzles, Artifact Puzzles, and Wentworth Puzzles. Liberty is based in Boulder, Colorado ; Artifact in Menlo Park (California) and Wentworth in the UK (Wiltshire). Obviously, in this case it is cheaper to buy US due to the shipping costs. I also noticed it is also cheaper to buy directly from the company (rather than Amazon which increases the base price – which is higher than paying for shipping).
Artifact has launched their Ecru Puzzle line characterized by mat finish and absent any picture on the box (hello? Mystery puzzle. So obviously I had to try one.
Various Hindu Gods
There were a few oddly shaped pieces, but over all, the rest were simply the wooden equivalent of your standard four sized puzzle pieces. The mat finish was nice as it cut down the light reflection, always an issue with a lamp for additional lighting. Probably won’t be buying any more, at least not the mystery ones. There are a couple that I just might…..