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.

World’s Largest Jigsaw Puzzle on Display at Puzzle Warehouse

Ever wondered what the biggest puzzle ever would look like framed on a wall? Well, we’ve come close – we now have the second largest jigsaw in the world on display at Puzzle Warehouse.

At Puzzle Warehouse, you can now see one of the biggest puzzles in the world.

At 24,000 pieces and over 14 feet long, LIFE: The Great Challenge by Educa is one of the most detailed puzzles you will ever see.

See the FINISHED puzzle at our main store in St. Louis, MO – open 7 days per week. The puzzle was completed by several customers and is now on display down our longest isle – at over 14 feet long!

The 24,000 piece monster was designed by Royce B. McClure. Called “LIFE: The Great Challenge,” this puzzle is full of variety, color, activity, beauty, drama and above all – Life! A lot of the intricate detail won’t be seen until the pieces are put together, rewarding the puzzlers with surprises as they work to complete the challenge. How does one go about designing this type of masterpiece?

When I was asked to design the artwork that would be used for the world’s largest commercially made jigsaw puzzle, I sat down and had a good long think about it. Not whether or not I would do it (of course I would accept the challenge) but how to come up with a design that would do the concept justice…Challenging, but not impossible, lots of detail but still making a satisfying overall picture when completed.” – Royce B. McClure

[EXCITING NEWS] We have also donated this fabulous puzzle to the National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. They will be using the puzzle is a hands-on exhibit starting March 29, 2013 where museum visitors can help put together the puzzle and also play a find-it game with life size posters of the puzzle. See more about the event here.

St. Patrick’s Day Puzzles

There are puzzles for just about everything, isn’t there? Even St. Patrick’s Day! I was surprised how many puzzles we had for this holiday.

I love this job of blogging for you puzzle-people because it gets me thinking. After looking at all the wonderful green and Irish puzzles, I realize I didn’t actually know all that much about St. Patrick’s Day, besides “wear green or you’ll get pinched.”

So who was St. Patrick and why do we celebrate him?

st. patrick's day puzzles, religious puzzles

St. Patrick by Purrfect Puzzles. 1000 pieces.

St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to the Irish people in the fifth century. Born in Roman Britain, he was captured as a slave at age 16 and escaped to Ireland. It’s believed that he died on March 17, 461—the day we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day now.

clover, shamrock

Irish Charm by SunsOut. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 32.5″ x 26.5″ shape.

One famous legend about him is that he taught people about the Holy Trinity using the three leaves of a clover. Patrick would hold up a shamrock and challenge nonbelievers, ”Is it one leaf or three?” Their answer that it  was “both one leaf and three,” evoked his response: “And so it is with God.”

ireland puzzles

TWA Travel Posters – Explore Ireland by New York Puzzle Co. 1000 pieces.

You didn’t need to travel to Ireland for the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade, though. While since the 9th or 10th century, the Irish have been celebrating the feast of St. Patrick, the first parade actually happened in the US on March 17, 1762. Irishmen in the English military marched through New York City and played traditional Irish music to reconnect with their Irish roots and each other.

pubs, beverage puzzles, alcohol

Irish Pubs by White Mountain. 550 pieces. Finished size: 18″ x 24″.

 

Traditionally, St. Patrick’s Day was a religious occasion where families in Ireland would go to church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon; it was a day in which the Lent prohibition against eating meat was waived and people would dance to music, drink, and have a feast. Up until the 1970s, pubs were mandated to be closed on March 17 because of the sacredness of the holiday. In 1995, the government began using interest in the holiday to drive tourism and showcase Irish culture to the rest of the world.

Green Man by Purrfect Puzzles. 1000 pieces.

It’s said that originally the color associated with St. Patrick’s Day was blue. It switched to green sometime in the 17th century. Green has a lot of associations with Ireland—it’s one of the three colors on the Ireland flag, it’s the color of the shamrock, a symbol of spring, and Ireland has been dubbed “The Emerald Isle.”

Irish Chain by SunsOut. 500 pieces. Finished size: 18″ x 24″.

We wear green on St. Patrick’s Day because some people thought that wearing green made you invisible to leprechauns. Leprechauns are fairy people that pinch anyone they can see, so people began pinching people to remind them what was at stake by being sans-green on March 17!

Review of Wooden Puzzle from A Bloggy Mom!

 I was sent a wooden chess board puzzle from Puzzle Warehouse - and we have had a lot of fun trying to figure it out and memorize the various ways that it has worked. As this puzzle is a chess board, it is my newest cherished item. Not only does it remind me of all the evenings I have sat and challenged my husband to a game of chess – but it takes me back to when my father first introduced the game to me.

The kids have always wanted to be a part of mine and Dan’s game of chess. This puzzle has intrigued them and has helped bring them a little closer to the game. The pieces are solid wood – which helps to keep them from being destroyed by little hands that are eager to solve the puzzle.”

- Review from aBloggyMom.com