World Alzheimer’s Month – Spread Awareness with Puzzles

Check out the Alzheimer’s Association’s Facebook page to learn more about how to support the global fight to find a cure.

The theme for the first World’s Alzheimer’s Awareness month is Dementia: Living Together. The goal? To reduce the stigma associated with dementia and form a community that is more friendly to those living with the disease. There are lots of things you can do to help raise awareness and help the cause to end Alzheimer’s.

1. Alzheimer’s Action Day is Sept. 21. Take a picture of yourself wearing purple and post in on Facebook and Twitter. Go Purple to spread the word! Tag #ENDALZ

2. Learn how to overcome the stigmas. Teach others. 35 million people and their families are affected by dementia.

3. Start Talking. Do you know someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia? Have you ever had a heart to heart with a memory caregiver? How do you think you would be treated if you had memory problems? Find more great questions to get you started at Alzheimer’s Speaks Blog.

4. Spend time with family members and friends affected by dementia.

Having a conversation with someone living with Alzheimer’s or dementia isn’t always easy – especially if you  were close before and the relationship has changed as memories are affected. Believe it or not, jigsaw puzzles are a great way to start the conversation. Puzzles for Alzheimer’s are made specifically for people with dementia and their loved ones. They come with only a few pieces – usually 6 or 12, and feature hand-picked images that are meant to strike up a conversation or bring back a memory.

Airport Travel Tips + Cool Plane Puzzles

‘Airplane Innovation’ reproduced from the cover of Popular Mechanics magazine. Mar. 1931 issue. 300pc Large Piece Puzzle from New York Puzzle Co.

109 years ago, the first airplane, invented by the Wright brothers, rose into the air and landed safely. Just eleven years later, the first airliner—or passenger airplane—took flight, changing the world in significant ways. The airplane and airport have featured prominently in many of our lives, and its status and operations have changed significantly. Airplanes used to be the height of luxury; people would don their Sunday best and look forward to flying. In fact, airplanes were so popular for a while that in 1948 Edward Brown, Jr. invented a fly-in theater, where those who owned small planes could travel to Asbury Park, New Jersey, taxi up their airplane, and watch a movie.

Nowadays this is not the case. The airport is a hectic place; trips are stressful. You always seem to get a crying baby on your flight, they change your gate four times, and the food is overpriced. So you need to be prepared, because when you are prepared, flying can be a nice experience again. Here are some tips to make that happen.

  1. Choosing your flight: Choosing your flight will all depends on your own preferences and needs as a traveler. Red-eyes are good for sleeping. Having layovers is cheaper but space your layovers well. Don’t leave less than an hour between a landing time and a new departure time and try to stay on the same airline. If you miss a flight because your first flight has arrived late, you may be shuffled between airlines as they try to get you to your final destination.
  2. Choosing your seat:  If you are lucky enough to choose an airline which lets you choose your seat prior to your trip, plan accordingly. Seats at the front have you boarding last but exiting the plane first. Aisle seats have the disadvantage of knocked elbows and people climbing over you to use the restroom, but they have a bit more room. Avoid middle seats. Window seats are coveted for the view, but they’re also great if you want to rest your head against the wall, but you do have to climb over people to get to the restroom.

    Fun kids puzzle in a frame – 41 pieces by Ravensburger.

  3. Dress comfortably and prepared: There is nothing more irritating than the person in front of you at the security gate who wore a belt and a watch, shoes that need untying, a jacket that needs taking off, and pants with pockets filled with loose change, cell phones, and other odds and ends. Instead, you want speed and efficiency. Bring a light jacket for the plane but keep it in your carry-on until you pass through the gates, or tie it around your waist. Slip off shoes are recommended. Typically I wear something light but that fully covers my arms and legs: well-fitting jeans and a comfy t-shirt.
  4. Suitcases with wheels over duffle bags: If you not checking luggage, this is a must. If you are checking luggage, I’d still recommend the wheels. Wheels are just plain convenient.

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15 Best Autumn Themed Puzzle

Autumn is back and it’s the best time of the year for puzzles! The days are shorter, colder, and prettier, and it’s the perfect setting for curling up by the window and putting together your fall-themed puzzles with your families. Things feel timeless in the fall, and here are some puzzles that will help evoke the nostalgic feelings that come with this time of year, featuring those bright leaves you love, pumpkins and even Halloween scenes.

Autumn Market – Cobble Hill

1000 pieces. Finished size: 19.25” x 26.625”. $15.99.

 Blue Jay and Friends – Cobble Hill

1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.625" x 19.25". $15.99.

 Pumpkin Patch – Buffalo Games by Artists Persis Clayton Weirs & Lesley Harrison

1000 pieces . Finished size: 20" x 27". $14.99.

 Little Farmers Market – Sunsout by artist David Rottinghaus

1000 pieces . Finished size: 27" x 20". $14.99.

 A Bridge to Unity – Sunsout by artist Dave Barnhouse

1000 pieces . Finished size: 16" x 34". $14.99.

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New Species Discovered: The Lesula Monkey

There is officially a new species of monkey that has been named, though the Lesula Monkey has been long familiar animal to the locals of its central African habitat in the lowland forests of the Congo.


A team of scientists has been investigating the species since June 2007 and have now given it the binomial Cercopithecus lomamiensis. It was discovered when researchers found a lesula monkey that was the pet of a school director’s daughter.

The lesula resembles an owl-faced monkey, but is easily distinguishable by its variations in color, its significantly larger incisors and second molars. They have since proven that the owl-monkey and the lesula are close relatives but genetically distinct, most likely separated geographically by a river that led to the differences between the two species.

This is only the second discovery of a new monkey species in 28 years, but it reminds us that there are still areas of earth to be explored and things to be found.

If this has triggered your fondness of monkeys, here are a few of our puzzles which feature monkeys and apes. We also have a huge selection of jungle animal puzzles for you to enjoy!

500 piece jigsaw puzzle by Buffalo Games.

 

100 piece kids puzzle by Ravensburger.

 

1000 piece jungle puzzle by artist James Hamilton Grovely. Made by Sunsout.

Artist Profile: Annie Lee

My Cup Runneth Over – a 550 piece puzzle from artist Annie Lee.

Annie Lee is an artist that describes herself as painting scenes of every day life, saying, “I try to paint things that people can identify with.” Art commentators have called her distinct style “Black Americana.” She paints two-dimensional figures and incorporates elements of humor, satire, and realism in her work. Notably, she does not paint faces on her figures because, she says, “You don’t need to see a face to understand emotion. I try to make the movement of the body express the emotion,” she says.

Lee was born in Alabama where she and her brother grew up being taught to cook, wash, clean, and sew together. She began painting at the age of ten and her talent was immediately apparent: she began winning contests and even secured several free semesters of lessons at an art institute. In high school she continued honing her artistic talent and cheered for her high school football team on the cheerleading squad. She turned down a scholarship to Northwestern so she could marry and have a family, saying, “At the time, it wasn’t a hard decision to make.”

Lee ended up in Chicago and did not return to painting until she was 40 years old, after she had lost two husbands to cancer and had raised two children. While working at a railroad company by day, Lee began to take art classes at night. After eight years, she earned a master’s degree from Loyola University and recalls the experience saying, “The best thing I ever did for myself. It reopened my mind.”

Lee’s passion for painting stayed intense. Because she was painting so much, she developed tendinitis and spinal problems while the acrylic paints she used cause other illness from the fumes. But she never stopped. Instead, in 1986—a year after her successful first gallery show in which her paintings sold out in the first four hours—Lee made the transition from painting’s being hobby to a full-time job. She left the railroad permanently while on leave after her son died in December in an automobile accident. “Now that my son was gone, I didn’t need such financial resources,” she said.

The risk paid off. Lee has since opened her own shop; had her art featured in numerous shows and movies, including Bill Cosby’s “A Different World,” Eddie Murphy’s “Coming to America,” and ER; and she has considerably recognition in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Japan.

She currently lives in Las Vegas where she continues to paint in the open air where it helps her health.

Lee is just one of many wonderful artists featured in our African American Art Collection.

Hattie’s Delight is a really popular puzzle by Annie Lee. 500 pieces, made by Sunsout.