Puzzle of the Day – Geisha

Fans of Japanese iconography or the work of artist Ed Hardy will be excited to hear about this week’s jigsaw puzzle of the day: Geisha, by Ed Hardy.

Ed Hardy, born Don Ed Hardy, is known for his unique Japanese-inspired tattoo style artwork. A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Hardy, through his association with infamous tattooer Sailor Jerry, studied Japanese classical tattooing in Japan. Although he eventually retired from the trade, the style clearly influenced his artwork and lives on in the products bearing his name to this day.

Geisha, arguably one of Hardy’s most beautiful designs, graces this 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle by famous puzzle maker Ravensburger. Ferocious dragons flank a beautiful young woman with jet black hair held in place by an ornamental peacock clip. Goldfish, peonies and lotus flowers surround her against a background of blue and gold ornamental brocade.

With a finished size of 27” x 20” and 1,000 pieces, Geisha is as challenging as it is lovely. Aimed at adults, this jigsaw puzzle will hold your attention both with its difficulty and eye-catching subject matter.

Ravensburger, the New Hampshire maker of the Geisha jigsaw puzzle is known for high quality puzzles. Winners of several industry awards, both American and International, Ravensburger’s blue triangle trademark has become a recognized symbol of jigsaw puzzle making excellence for 25 years.

If you’re seeking your next puzzle challenge, and are a fan of Ed Hardy’s work or even a fan of Japanese art or culture, make Geisha your next jigsaw puzzle of choice.

Lose Yourself in a Fantasy Jigsaw Puzzle

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world of fairies, unicorns, princesses, castles, dragons, sprites, gnomes and elves? Consider working a fantasy jigsaw puzzle and immersing yourself in that world.

Puzzles that are considered “fantasy puzzles” incorporate mythical beings in worlds that appear just beyond our reach. Who wouldn’t enjoy piecing these worlds together right in his/her own home? We don’t often get the opportunity to imagine ourselves finding a community of happy fairies singing in the forest, or unicorns peacefully grazing and drinking from a pond, but with a little peace and quiet, and a fantasy jigsaw puzzle, you can do just that.

Don’t assume that because the subject matter is otherworldly that these puzzles will be easy…some of the most complex puzzles are in the fantasy realm. Many of these puzzles have scenes taking place in the enchanted forest (where, of course, all of the fairies, elves and sprites live!) so you’re likely to find lots of little green pieces to put together. The artwork in other fantasy puzzles often includes a lot of flowers, sky or water which can be quite a challenge for even experienced puzzlers. Couple intricate artwork with puzzles ranging from 24 pieces (for children) to 2,000 pieces (for adults) and more, and you can enjoy a puzzle experience fit for a king…or queen, prince or princess, for that matter.

Give yourself a break from the daily grind – sit down alone or with your family and work a fantasy jigsaw puzzle. Relax in another realm…one that replaces the office job with elf hut building and the commute with a unicorn ride. See what worlds and creatures you encounter!

Jigsaw Puzzle of U.S. Map Also a Useful Teaching Tool

Jigsaw puzzles are great for many reasons: They provide great fun for families, hours of quiet concentration for the serious puzzler and are even a unique way of teaching manual dexterity to little ones. But did you know that jigsaw puzzles are also great teaching tools? If you’re teaching (or learning) the states that make up the United States of America, consider a jigsaw puzzle of U.S. map.

Most people need to reference a map when trying to place a state…California is on the West Coast, right? But simply looking at a two-dimensional paper may not help that information stick in your mind. However, physically placing California on the left of your map in addition to looking at it will help you recall the state’s location.

There are many styles of U.S. map jigsaw puzzles. Little ones would love floor sized map puzzles or puzzles that come in their own carrying case. School-aged children (and adults, too!) might enjoy a puzzle that teaches not only the states, but the capitals as well. Fans of political history might even enjoy a puzzle map with red and blue pieces representing past election results. Are you bored at work? Or maybe need something productive to do to offer your kids for a few minutes? Try working an online “jigsaw puzzle” of the U.S.

There are many ways to enjoy jigsaw puzzles of U.S. map. These puzzles are great teaching and learning tools for all ages, and a fun way to teach shapes, colors, geography, history and much more.

Puzzle of the Day – Harper, The Rocky Mountains

Artist Charley Harper created the artwork displayed on today’s puzzle of the day. Harper, who was known for his style of “minimal realism” style, was inspired mainly by nature, which is featured prominently in Harper, The Rocky Mountains jigsaw puzzle.

Check out the intricate ecosystem portrayed: A beaver, who has happily obtained a piece of Ash wood, headed home, perhaps, to build a dam? Leaves that have changed colors and fallen, butterflies flitting about and birds soaring to and fro seeking dinner. There’s even a fish swimming about and various flowers to enjoy.

Jigsaw puzzle maker Pomegranate features this beautiful work in a 1000-piece 27”x 20” format. Puzzlers of all skill levels have an opportunity to challenge their skills…with intricate details and a unique style, finding the right pieces won’t be too easy!

This puzzle is a keeper even when finished. Don’t forget to glue it together and put it on display! Harper, The Rocky Mountains is a challenging puzzle, yet also a beautiful and unique piece of art that is sure to inspire many compliments in your home.

How to Make Puzzle Glue

jigsaw puzzle glue

Completing a jigsaw puzzle feels fantastic! The sense of accomplishment when that last puzzle piece snaps into place is not only great for your mood – it’s even great for keeping your brain sharp as can be. So, why not preserve all that hard work by gluing  and framing your jigsaw puzzle to turn it into a hanging work of art!

There are lots of ways to preserve a jigsaw puzzle so that you can display them on a wall. You can buy frames made for standard puzzle sizes, and there are several puzzle glues in production that work great – even no mess adhesive sheets that will keep the puzzle pieces together.

But you might be a little more D.I.Y., you say? Have no fear, making your own jigsaw puzzle glue is easy, fun, and makes a great crafting project for the whole family. Though we cannot guarantee the exact same results with homemade glue compared to the ones we sell, most of these combinations are a good, affordable alternative.

Puzzle glue that you buy is essentially Mod Podge. A thinner more spreadable version of the typical Elmer’s White School Glue. To create a high quality puzzle adhesive that is safe to use on the front of the puzzle, mix equal parts white Elmer’s glue and water in a glass container and shake until the consistency is even.

There are other ways to create your own glue, including a flour paste. Just half a cup of flour and enough water to mix into a thick paste is all it takes. Drying time is high compared to commercial products with this mixture, and make sure there are no lumps; adding a bit of sugar and salt makes it more sticky. It is not suggested to use this mixture on the front of the puzzle as it may not dry clear – instead flip the puzzle over and glue the back.

The next best homemade glue uses Gum Arabic. Add just enough water to the gum arabic to dissolve it, and you have a strong glue which dries quickly when applied. These types of glue don’t always dry clear, so use it on the back of your puzzle first.

Gelatin based glue is great, as it is clear and waterproof, but it takes a bit more effort and more resources to make. It is well worth it, though, if you plan to stick your puzzle onto glass. This glue does not stand up well though, so it is for one time use and cannot be stored. e-How has great tutorials for making this type of glue.

Use this guide to teach your kids how to make glue and you will have them stuck to jigsaw puzzles and making lots of good memories, too: http://www.puzzlewarehouse.com/how-to-glue-a-puzzle/

Find pre-made puzzle glues for as little as $4 here.

*Note: Be careful when gluing puzzles – it not recommended to glue puzzles that have special or high-quality finishing like glitter or matte-finished puzzles. The glue could ruin the quality of the puzzle. In these cases, it’s best to go with something like Puzzle Presto – sticky sheets that you can use on the back of the puzzle that don’t cause damage to the pieces.