Guest Post: Angie Reviews Lots O’ Buttons from Colorluxe line

Today we have a guest post from Angie, who works at our Mid Rivers Puzzle Warehouse location and has the luxury of working around puzzles all day! A big thanks to Angie for giving us a review on her thoughts of the new Colorluxe line.

Lots O’ Buttons by Lafayette Puzzle Factory. 500 pieces. 18 x 24 inches.

Hi everyone! Angie here, from our Mid Rivers Puzzle Warehouse location. I was SO excited to get the new line in from ColorLuxe. They won the 2012 Puzzle of the Year Award from the Creative Toy Awards by Creative Child Magazine and I can already see why! They have beautiful pictures, as well as some very challenging ones that have bold crisp colors.

I decided to put one on the walls here and picked their 500 piece “Lots o’Buttons.”  While we do not have this specific puzzle in stock on our website, the Colorluxe series will all have “unique shaped pieces” that make them surprisingly simple to assemble (I took a piece out for a better example than the one on the box, and it was no where near the craziest one!)

Uniquely shaped pieces!

Uniquely shaped pieces!

And, although I haven’t opened up a Large Piece from them, I can only imagine how big they are! The normal sized pieces are very large, similar in size to White Mountain, while also VERY thick and sturdy.

There was no texture to the piece, and while it has a somewhat glossy finish there were no glare issues for me here under the bright store lights. I had a lot of fun finishing it! I glued it together with SunsOut glue – so the finished picture here has some brush strokes (sorry!).

buttonsbuttons2

If I were doing it again I would probably use Master Pieces glue to eliminate the up-close brush strokes, but from a distance you don’t see them. This new line has everything from 300 Large piece to 1500 EXTRA Large Pieces. Make sure to search for ColorLuxe the next time you are on our site and in the store! And, as always, we would love your feedback too.

 

NFL Football Puzzles

Today we have a guest post from Elizabeth Eckhart. Eckhart is a freelance entertainment and pop culture blogger, an avid puzzler, and has a completed 3,000 piece work hanging in her home in her living room.

NFL Football Puzzles

Football preseason is upon us, and as a truly dedicated fan you’ve likely done everything to prepare. You’ve tested the delivery times of the six closest pizza companies and you’ve ensured the garage fridge has been successfully transitioned into The Snack Fridge. Now you’re killing time until training camp is finished. There’s only so many times you can possibly check for team news—plus, knowing you, the updates are instantly streamlined to your smartphone.

So what’s a fan to do? Luckily for you, Puzzle Warehouse has NFL team themed puzzles to keep your brain active while you wait (also, while browsing, you’ll notice some great collegiate football team puzzles if that’s more your style). With the 150 NFL team piece puzzles, the framed version will make an excellent addition to your screening room, man cave, or basement-turned-entertainment center. The puzzles, though not extravagant in the sheer number of pieces, are attractive and have pieces large enough to easily include any youngsters—also NFL fans, of course— to help. The official NFL New Orleans Saints puzzle also has the logo and a Saints helmet. When finished, grab the Smart Puzzle Glue and hang the image near the TV.  All puzzles have a dual purpose: first you build it, then you get to frame it to display your impressive work.

Check out some of these 150 piece team puzzles.

Official NFL Dallas Cowboys by Wincraft Sports. 150 pieces. 17″ x 11″

cheesehead nation, packers, nfl packers fan gifts

Official NFL Green Bay Packers by Wincraft Sports. 150 pieces. 17″ x 11″

Official NFL San Francisco 49ers by Wincraft Sports. 150 pieces. 17″ x 11″

If you’re looking for a more challenging puzzle that might last throughout the season, give the NFL Team Map a try. Now you’re not only showing your support and passion for football, you’re also throwing in a healthy dose of patriotism. When you’re done, circle your home state and vandalize the state of your team’s biggest rival, or leave the puzzle intact—it’s up to you. No matter what you choose to do, the Team Map will provide a colorful and aesthetically pleasing addition to your wall (and I say the United States of Football image is much better than the animal or flower puzzle your neighbor’s doing, although that may just be me!)

officlal NFL gift

NFL Team Map by Promotional Partners Worldwide. 500 pieces.

Some, though few, may be able to stomach purchasing another team’s puzzle. If you can, purchase your own respective team’s puzzle and a friend’s. Sit down with your pal, start the clock, and see who finishes the puzzle first. That way, no matter whose team comes out on top, you might still have the bragging rights to another type of game. Put that competitive spirit to good use. When your puzzles are complete, grab a cold beverage and a NFL Sunday Ticket (available at www.direct.tv) and enjoy the best season of the year!

Check out some more NFL puzzles in this “highlight reel”:

Official NFL New York Jets by Wincraft Spots. 500 pieces. Finished size: 20.5″ round

Baltimore Ravens – 2012 Super Bowl Champions by White Mountain. 550 pieces. 18″ x 24″

Cowboys Stadium by White Mountain. 550 pieces. 18″ x 24″

 

 

Hobbies: Quilting

Looking to pick up a new hobby? Quilting might be the one for you! It’s fun, creative, and relatively easy for beginners, and there’s a huge bonus: it’s a wonderful item to pass down in your family! Also, you can make quilts out of anything. I have a friend who has a quilt made out of a bunch of his souvenir old T-shirts from whatever places he traveled from when he was a little kid. He loves it!

Quilting’s history began in a time when there was a shortage of fabric and when electricity wasn’t around to keep people warm. Worn out items were recycled into quilts and made by women when they were taking a break from their heavier chores. Nowadays people quilt more as a way to express themselves than financial reasons, but what can beat recycling and turning something into a keepsake? Or what can beat a trip to the fabric store and picking and choosing what to match!

Now the hobby translates to much more than just blankets: placemats, wall hangings, cushion covers, diaper totes, cases for your eyeglasses–even make up bags! They can all be quilted. There’s quilting patterns for nearly everything.

Just like a puzzle, you’ll find yourself piecing together items, fitting them snugly together, and creating something new from scratch!

quilting puzzles, quilts, sewing

The Quilting Table by SunsOut. 500 pieces.

 

hobby puzzles, hobbies

Spools by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

cat puzzles

Cat on a Quilt by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

beach puzzles, travel puzzles

Beach Retreat by SunsOut. 500 pieces.

farm jigsaw puzzle

Autumn Farm by Willow Creek Press. 1000 pieces.

Autumn Quiltscape by SunsOut. 500 pieces.

Quilting the Land by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

Patchwork Match by SunsOut. 500 pieces.

 

 

 

How to De-Stress and Be Happy

January’s nearly over, and for many of us, we may have quickly realized that while a new year feels fresh and new and time for some change, sometimes that just feels impossible. The burdens and stresses of 2012 didn’t just evaporate into thin air, but there is a chance that we can do something to change it in the new year.

Did you know that doing jigsaw puzzles helps encourage the happy hormone dopamine, which regulates mood and affects concentration? Not just puzzles, but simply focusing more on your hobbies and interests, can be rewarding and soothing in itself. The task of starting and completing a project, like jigsaw puzzles or other crafts and activities, can help keep your brain focused and motivated.

Here are 7 great tips to help you manage stress levels and have a happy new year:

  1. We all know that exercising regularly helps us combat stress. But sometimes it seems like finding the time or energy to exercise is a stress in itself. Start slow. Make baby steps. Ten minutes every other day—and then work up. Do exercises you like, instead of forcing yourself to do something you hate. Even just stretching is good for the brain.
  2. In the same vein, start making some conscious decisions to eat healthier. Water instead of soda. Pour less cereal than you can eat. Go for the fruit first when you want to snack.I find that the more healthy things I opt for, the more I start craving healthy things.
  3. Make time for your hobbies. Doing something that you want to do—and not attaching guilt to it—can be a nice way to relax. Sometimes I prolong bedtime by 20 minutes just to fit in some reading.
  4. Smile! We do naturally when we’re happy, but we can also start to trick our brains into tranquility the same way.
  5. Assess your issues. What’s making you feel stressed? What would you assign it on a scale from 1-10? Sometimes taking a step back and analyzing our issues makes us realize that we’re going to end up okay, that we’ve survived worse, and that we can accomplish what we need in order to relax.
  6. Write about it—releasing pent up feelings will help you let go of some of that tension, it’s private, and if you find there’s something you actually need to say to someone else that’s concerning your stress levels, you can do it in a more composed, thoughtful way now.
  7. Go for a walk, or stare outside at something beautiful and let your mind wander.

Check out this article from Reader’s Digest for even more tips to reduce stress.

Now, of course, here are some of our lovely puzzles that can put you in a tranquil state of mind.

Puzzle of a lighthouse on a rock cliff by the sea.

Dawn’s Early Light by Buffalo Games. 500 pieces.

An image of Hatley Park is on this puzzle and it features a red tree, a bridge, and a river.

Hatley Park by Springbok. 1000 pieces.

An image of a quaint lakeside town with mountains in the background.

Lakeside Afternoon by Buffalo Games. 500 pieces.

A giant field of poppy flowers.

Poppies – Sierra Club by Pomegranate. 1000 pieces.

This is a puzzle featuring an image of a bear being surrounded and embraced by hundreds of butterflies.

Robert Bissell – The Embrace by Pomegranate. 1000 pieces.

A lone fisherman rides in his boat against a blood orange sky.

The Fishermen by Clementoni. 1000 pieces.

A forest stream in fall is illuminated by the yellow and red leaves.

Forest Stream by Euro Graphics. 1000 pieces.

Hot air balloons illuminate the sky of a quaint town.

Balloon Glow by SunsOut. 6000 pieces.

Trees cover the path in this autumn fairytale.

Forever Autumn by Educa. 2000 pieces.

 

Holiday Puzzle Series #4: For the Coca-Cola Collector

Know a Coca-Cola collector? We have a great selection of puzzles for the Coca-Cola enthusiast, from playing cards to 3D can models. Here are a few of our wonderful Coca-Cola product puzzles, so crack open a bottle while you decide which one you like best, or what might make a great present for a friend this holiday season!

Know any Coca-Cola history? The popular soft drink was was created in Atlanta, GA in 1886 by Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist. It was first sold for five cents a glass as a soda fountain drink. During the first year, sales averaged 9 Coca-Cola drinks per day. In 1998, the average was 606 million bottles per day worldwide.

A Gift for Santa (Cola-Cola) by Buffalo Games. $14.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20” x 27”.

Polar Bears by Buffalo Games. $14.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20” x 27”.

Coca-Cola by Buffalo Games. $14.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 27″ x 20″.

Thirsty Bears by Buffalo Games. $14.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.75” x 19.75”.

Reach for Refreshment by Buffalo Games. $14.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.75” x 19.75″.

The Collection by Springbok. $19.99. 1500 pieces. Finished size: 29” x 36”.

The Corner Store by Springbok. $16.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 24” x 30”.