May 26th is John Wayne’s Birthday!

Fans of the famous cowboy can celebrate John Wayne’s birthday—May 26—with our puzzles that wonderfully capture him as a person that was stubbornly independent, morally dignified, and a believer of fair play.

John Wayne Slim Puzzle by Aquarius. 1000 pieces. 12″ x 36″.

Wayne is one of the most famous film icons and starred in nearly 250 movies! We should’ve known he was going to make a sizable impact on the world—considering he came into the world a sizable baby, weighing 13 pounds!

John Wayne – Movie by Aquarius. 1000 pieces. 20″ x 27″.

One trait Wayne is remembered for is his unique body language, specifically his easy, fluid gait. Wayne’s feet were relatively small in comparison with his large body, but he moved gracefully and his movements became a famous part of his screen persona. Actress Katherine Hepburn said she was impressed by his “light dancer’s steps.”

If you’re looking for a movie that celebrates Wayne, watch (or rewatch!) The Shootist, Wayne’s last film before he died of cancer. Semi-autobiographical, the character he plays is also an aging cowboy fighting cancer. The director, Don Siegel, lets Wayne’s well-known and recognizable walk play out with no cutting or editing in the climax scene, where he traverses the length of a saloon. Montages in the opening credit sequences, too, show a highlight reel of clips from earlier Westerns that Wayne acted in.

John Wayne by White Mountain. 1000 pieces. 20″ x 27″.

Summer’s Just Around the Corner: Beach Puzzles

Yesterday I visited the beach for the first time this year. For Oregon, the weather was quite good—sunny and savagely windy. I came home with sand in my socks, sea salt sprayed all over my pants, and a belly full of clam chowder and raw oysters. We collected sea shells to make sea shell mason jars and I found my first-ever in-tact sand dollar! All in all, it was a lovely day and it inspired me to share some of our equally lovely seaside puzzles since summer’s just around the corner and beach days are going to be much more common for those of us flanking the coasts!

Seashells by Springbok. 1500 pieces. 29″ x 36″.

Shell Seekers by White Mountain. 550 pieces. 18″ x 24″.

Ocean of Devotion by Lang. 500 pieces. 18″ x 24″.

What a Beach! by White Mountain. 1000 pieces. 24″ x 30″.

Beach Puppies by Cobble Hill. 1000 pieces. 26.625″ x 19.25″.

Key West by Dowdle Folk Art. 500 pieces. 16″ x 20″.

Twilight Moon by SunsOut. 1000 pieces. 16″ x 34″.

Sunset by Educa. 1000 pieces. 68 x 48 cm.

Boats on a Tropical Beach by Lafayette Puzzle Factory. 1500 pieces. 23″ x 33″.

 

Take our Survey, win a Prize! [Free Puzzle Giveaway]

We’re trying to make our blog even better every day, but we need your help! Sometimes writing about puzzles can be puzzling in itself, so we want to know: what types of posts do you enjoy reading most? This little survey will take less than 2 minutes to answer, and in return you will be entered into a drawing to win a free 500 or 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle or your choice!
Take our Survey

The survey will be open for 1 week until May 21st at 11:59 pm PST, so if you’ve never gotten a chance to read the blog before, you’ll have some time to browse it. Don’t forget to leave your email address if you’d like to be entered to win any 500 or 1000 piece puzzle —any one you want! Look some of these over to get inspired.

Atlantic City by Eurographics. 1000 pieces.

White Tiger Face by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

Balloons Aglow by White Mountain. 1000 pieces.

Garden Border by Pomegranate. 500 pieces.

Buttons by Ravensburger. 500 pieces.

Duomo – Milan by Clementoni. 500 pieces.

 

 

National Museum of Play – Puzzlers Week

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of speaking at the National Museum of Play during their week-long puzzle exhibit. Puzzle Warehouse had been working closely with the museum for months, donating puzzles and planning activities for the event. During the first week of April, the event launched and I trekked all the way from Eugene, Oregon to Rochester, New York to meet and greet with thousands of puzzle and play enthusiasts. I was certainly in for an adventure!

As part of my role as a puzzle expert at the museum for the weekend, I taught sessions on how to glue a jigsaw puzzle after it’s finished. We made homemade puzzle glue and taught people how to apply it directly to the front of puzzles to help keep them preserved forever. It was truly awesome to meet and chat with so many fellow puzzle lovers and also many people who were just recently getting into the hobby and just happened to stumble upon the event. So many people gasped when they saw the 24,000 piece “Life, The Greatest Challenge” jigsaw puzzle on display in complete form and then also out in an activity room where visitors could help put it together.

Check out some photos from the event below:

[Update: More photos added courtesy of Corrie Kraai, National Museum of Play]

Life halfcut E '13

Life, The Greatest Challenge is a 24,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, the second largest in the world, now on display at the National Museum of Play.

Puzzle Fun This Way!

Puzzle Fun This Way!

Guests helped to assembled the 24,000 piece giant jigsaw puzzle!

Guests helped to assembled the 24,000 piece giant jigsaw puzzle!

 

Guests helped to assembled the 24,000 piece giant jigsaw puzzle!

Guests helped to assembled the 24,000 piece giant jigsaw puzzle!

Flyer from National Museum of Play Puzzle Week

Flyer from National Museum of Play Puzzle Week featuring Ashley from Puzzle Warehouse.

 

Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eastes our burdens. It renuews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities.

The National Museum of Play had many quotes displayed throughout the exhibits that fit in line with the philosophy of Puzzle Warehouse.

Ashleys young puzzle expert April '13

We were proud of this 6-year-old who boasted his hobby of completing 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles by himself. “I don’t need help – I’m a puzzle expert!” he said casually as he pieced together this small puzzle with ease. I feel blessed to have met this special kid and his mom along with many other puzzle people!

*Above photo published with parent’s permission.

See more detail shots of Life, The Greatest Challenge over on our Facebook page.

Our Hearts are with Boston

All of our hearts at Puzzle Warehouse are with those in Boston today.

Boston, Massachusetts panoramic skyline.

After yesterday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon, it is important that we come together, spread kindness, cheer, and get in touch with our empathy skills.

Mr. Rogers said it best in 1986 when he said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.”

As people mourn, worry, and wonder what happened in this tragedy all over America, there is a surprising amount of people focused on the good: there are articles about the helpers, the heroes.

The Daily Beast reports that NBC Sports Tweeted “that many marathon runners crossed 26 miles to the finish line and continued running to Massachusetts General Hospital, where they donated blood to victims.

Find out the ways that you can help from near or far during these stressful times.

Boston is a beautiful city with wonderful people that are coming together to help one each other out right now. We could all use Bostonians as an example now. Their kindness is inspiring.

Boston by artist Eric Dowdle.