Monthly Archives: July 2013

One Step Up from 3D: Astonishingly Interactive 4D Puzzles

3D puzzles take the traditional flat-lying jigsaw puzzle and amp it up by adding the dimension of space—you can construct Fenway Park, the Leaning Power of Pisa, or the Brooklyn Bridge. So what do 4D Cityscape Puzzles do, you ask? They add the dimension of time. These puzzles are interactive on an entirely new level, teaching you about other cities through the reconstruction of specific periods of that city’s history.

First, for example you will build the city from the ground up in 1812, then you’ll jump forward to 1910, then leap to 1970, finally settling in with the modern look of today. Each puzzle actually has a completely unique timeline that fits that city’s history.

The 4D Cityscape Puzzles come with multiple layers. The first part is what you’re familiar with: you’ll create a landscape puzzle. The second layer will help form that geographical map of the city. It’s the final layer, the skyscrapers and the buildings, that will take you back to a different time. Each puzzle also includes a Time Poster to aid you.

These educational puzzles have many benefits. They will help you

  • Learn how a city develops and evolves
  • Explore historic buildings and architectural styles
  • Get to know the geography of an area
  • Discover the defining moments in history

As an added bonus, they’re great for group play and make great souvenirs from your visits to some of the best skyline places on earth!

Berlin. 1000+ pieces. Assembled size: 24″L x 16″W x 3″H.

With the 4D Cityscape of Berlin, you will span over 700 years of architecture history. In 1961 you’ll build the Berlin Wall using 60 replica pieces. In 1989, you remove the wall as you re-join East and West Berlin together.

Famous landmarks include the Marienkirche, Friedrichstrasse, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Kollhoff Tower.

Hong Kong. 950+ pieces. Assembled Dimensions: 20″L x 16″W x 4″H.

You’ll see 98 years of architectural history up to 2010 with the 4D Hong Kong puzzle and learn about Hong Kong’s neighborhoods, streets, and ports.

Famous landmarks include the Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower, the Hong Kong Convention Center, the Bank of China Tower, and the International Finance Centre.

New York. 700+ pieces. Assembled Dimensions: 28″ L x 12″ W x 4″ H.

Go back 200 years in Manhattan’s history from 1812 all the way to the Freedom Tower completed this year in 2013.

Famous landmarks include the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the United Nations, and the World Trade Center.

Las Vegas. 930+ pieces. Assembled Dimensions: 27″ L x 17″ W x 3″ H.

Viva Las Vegas! Go back 70 years in the city’s history with this 4D Cityscape which won the Gift of the Year prize back in 2010

Famous landmarks include casinos such as The Tropicana, Stratosphere, MGM Grand, Caesar’s Palace and The Wynn.


4D Cityscape Puzzles is a great brand that won Toy of the Year awards in 2012 from both Japan and Holland.

Still need some help understanding the concept or just want to see it with your own eyes? Check out Youtube for a nice and brief play-by-play video of construction.

Puzzle Expert Allegra Vernon on the Secrets to a Quality Puzzle

Cobble Hill released a video in April with Puzzle Maker Allegra Vernon. In the video, Vernon discusses lots of fun things for the puzzle lovers, including how she chooses new artists to represent on Cobble Hill puzzles, how they edit images to make sure you get the highest and best quality image on your puzzle, their own process for taking photos to make into puzzles, and the difference between random cut and ribbon cut jigsaws.

Cobble Hill is a relatively new company. Founded in 2005, these puzzle makers are committed to high quality with durable and thick pieces on premium grade blue board and even a box with a linen finish.

If you’re browsed our site often enough, you’ll recognize several of these nostalgic and lively puzzles. Afterwards, you’ll know the secret to just how they were created!

To view the video, just click on the photo below.

Screen shot 2013-07-29 at 11.19.18 AM

Check out these puzzles, all created and imagined directly by Cobble Hill!

Cupcake Garden. 275 pieces. Finished size: 24″ x 18″

Doughnuts by Cobble Hill. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.625″ x 19.25″

Ice Cream by Cobble Hill. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.625″ x 19.25″

Plenty of Yarn by Cobble Hill. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.625″ x 19.25″

Bead Tray by Cobble Hill. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.625″ x 19.25″


Helpful Jigsaw Puzzle Accessories

Separating, sorting, piecing together, and storing. It takes a lot of work to build jigsaw puzzles. There are also a lot of accessories out there that help make puzzles as a hobby fun, hassle free, and even just a little more special.

In our jigsaw puzzle tips, the best advice we give puzzlers is that storing and storing your pieces by color not only helps keep your work area tidy, but also helps complete the jigsaw faster. From experience, I know this works well – but I know sometimes I also need to sort through a lot of pieces and am limited to having only one bag spread out on my craft table at a time.

Behold the best puzzling companion, the Sort and Go! Click on the images below to see more details about our staff favorite jigsaw puzzle accessories.

These six sorting trays fit nice and close together so you can easily see and work with more than one color at a time. You can also stack the trays to hide them away in a corner or closet, or put the trays back in the box to transport the puzzle.


This versatile LED magnifying glass gives you a close-up view of puzzle pieces, and is also great for stamps, coins or other small crafts or hobbies. This compact, lightweight 3x magnifying glass has a 2-1/8″ diameter glass lens and a zinc alloy finish.

Portapuzzle 1000 Piece Deluxe by Jumbo

PortaPuzzle Deluxe takes the jigsaw puzzle to a whole new level. This luxury edition is spendy – but worth every penny. The specially designed interior is a soft felt-like material that helps keep puzzles pieces from sliding around. It comes with two removable work spaces to extend your table area, and secure zipper fastening to keep everything in place. When this case is closed – your puzzle pieces do not move. Keep all of your hard worked saved – on the go or stored away, thi carrying case is made for the enthusiast.

Similar to Puzzle Presto by Buffalo Games, this is a new mess-free way to glue your finished jigsaw puzzle. They simply peel and stick to the back of your puzzle, making it easy to frame. Each kit also includes 8 sheets, which would cover 2-3 puzzles under 1000 pieces.

Unique Wedding Guestbook Idea: Custom Jigsaw Puzzle

For a unique wedding guestbook idea, try a custom made jigsaw puzzle! Added bonus? You and your spouse can then recreate your wedding day over and over again!

Jon and Kaley loved each other, and they loved to do jigsaw puzzles.They incorporated bits of their relationship into their wedding, and what they got was something unique, priceless, and very much theirs.

custom wedding book, wedding ideas, unique weddings, cute wedding inspiration

Have each of your guests sign a puzzle piece from a custom made puzzle!

Kaley and Jon’s wedding even incorporated more puzzles—each table also had a little jigsaw puzzle for the guests to work on. Kaley said, “I really enjoyed thinking outside of the box and incorporating things that Jon and I like to do together … It was a blast to see everyone enjoying an activity that Jon and I did together when we first started dating. Sure, it may have been dorky, but it was us!”

There are several options for making your own jigsaw puzzle, including cardboard and wooden photo print puzzles, blank jigsaws, and fun shapes like circles.

99 Piece Custom Blank Jigsaw Puzzle – 16 x 20

This all-white puzzle is perfect for wedding guest books (or decorations, or craft projects, or whatever!) Each piece is 1 to 2 inches in size, perfect for a small message, and has an easy write surface that dries quickly.

Custom 10 x 12, Piece Count Varies

Or you could have an image on one side of your puzzle, and have guests sign the back. Recreate your puzzle on your anniversary, reading the lovely messages your guests left you as you sort through the pieces!

Custom Puzzle Tin with Custom Image on Box

Don’t forget to top it off a custom puzzle tin for storage. Even if you go with the blank puzzle, you can have the perfect image on your tin that encompasses the essence of your big day!

Springbok Puzzles Celebrates 50 Years

The Springbok 50th Anniversary Commemorative Puzzle. 500 pieces. 20″ diameter.

Bright, colorful, and lively, this puzzle lives up to Springbok’s essence as it is made from selections of Springbok’s most popular images in recent years. When the company first began, the founders were specific about these qualities: Robert and Katie Lewin wanted their puzzles to feature photographic images with “brilliant color and clarity.”

Springbok touts that this “limited edition puzzle is [their] homage to the best of Springbok innovation and creativity.”

Springbok is not only a popular puzzle brand, it’s a brand we stand behind proudly. The company began in 1963, making it the oldest made American-made jigsaw puzzle factory (from start to finish, all Springbok puzzles are made right here in the US). On top of that, Springbok puzzles are made with eco-friendly materials, and they have a great line of puzzles with large pieces for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Other unique qualities of Springbok puzzles are that their pieces are thicker than most. That’s because the Lewins wanted their jigsaws to be sturdier. They were committed to making a special product, so they also had each puzzle made of uniquely shaped pieces (often referred to as a random cut jigsaw), and they were the first to create circular and octagon shaped puzzles.

Here are 5 more puzzles that are among the most popular from our store:

Goldfinch, 350 pieces

Colorful Kettles, 350 pieces

Fruit Market, 500 pieces

Aquatic Collection, 500 pieces

Autumn Reflection, 1500 pieces


Challenging Puzzles: Disorganized Messes

Just the other day we did a post on Things Organized Neatly. But some of us aren’t so neat. We may separate our edge pieces from our jagged pieces, but otherwise, we’re not so organized and prepared. We’ve got some puzzles for you too! Things that are a little messier, maybe even a little harder because these colors and patterns repeat.

What do you think—neat or messy? What’s your favorite? Let us know!

Colorful Rubber Boots by Lafayette Puzzle Factory. 300 pieces.

Beading Bliss by White Mountain. 1000 pieces.

Yard Sale by White Mountain. 1000 pieces.

Crazy Toys by White Mountain. 1000 pieces.

Polish Cuisine by Ceaco. 550 pieces.

Grandma’s Attic by Ravensburger. 1000 pieces.

Blow Pops by Master Pieces. 1000 pieces.

Kitchen Cupboard by Ravensburger. 1000 pieces.


Folk Art Comparisons

Recently we did a post on Eric Dowdle Folk Art puzzles. While we love Eric Dowdle (and we know you do, too, based on his popularity) we thought it might also be nice to get some comparisons across the folk art genre.

The genre of folk art reflects the traditional values of society. Popular images include cozy neighborhoods, horse and buggies, farms, quilts, balloons, and parades. There’s a sense of serenity, warmth, and community in them. Folk art is characterized by a style that is not concerned with either correct perspective or proportion.

The folk artists with the most puzzles on our site include Charles Wysocki, Eric Dowdle, and Jane Wooster Scott, but we have even more! Some only have one or two puzzles, but their presence is still appreciated. But browse along these images and tell us who you like best!

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BOB PETTES is from Minneapolis, Minnesota and his talent for art was discovered in grade school. After the war, he took advantage of the GI Bill to study art at the college level. He focuses on Americana and European landscapes.

bob pettes puzzles, americana jigsaw

After the Chores by SunsOut. 300 pieces. Finished size: 18″ x 24″.

snow puzzles, winter, small town, trains

Meeting the Train by SunsOut. 500 pieces. Finished size: 18″ x 24.”

CHARLES WYSOCKI was born in Detroit, Michigan to Polish parents. He credits his influences to Edward Hopper and Norman Rockwell. He considers himself a painter of early American life with a “love for the old-fashioned values.”

charles wysocki puzzles, virginia jigsaw, cute puzzles

Virginia’s Nest by Buffalo Games. 300 pieces. Finished size: 21.25″ x 15″.

autumn puzzles, folk art puzzles, pumpkins

Pumpkin Hollow by Buffalo Games. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.75″ x 19.75″.

Benjamin’s Music Store by Buffalo Games. 300 pieces. Finished size: 21.25″ x 15″.

ELLEN STOUFFER is an artist that draws inspiration from everyday things, and she often includes things in her paintings inspired by her faith in God and her 1848 homestead. Sometimes her artwork features meaningful scripture.

carnival puzzles

Sheep Barn by Ceaco. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 27″ x 20″.

ERIC DOWDLE appreciates the values of hard work and faith in God and devotion to one’s country. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah but many of his artworks feature beautiful renditions of other famous towns and cities. Here are 2 more generic puzzles of his that may appeal more to someone from anywhere that’s less of a travel buff.

Classic Car Show by Dowdle Folk Art. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 18″ x 24″.

Dog Walkers by Dowdle Folk Art. 500 pieces. Finished size: 16″ x 20″.

SHEILA LEE was born in Baltimore and says her upbringing and her Irish Catholic heritage combined left her with a “terminal sense of humor” that she tries to inject in her art of people in simpler times who have that same humor. She is influenced by Charles Wysocki and Linda Nelson Stocks but adds her own flair with trademarks of a Celtic cross, a shooting star, calico prints, quilt patterns,  a white dog with black spots, an antagonistic cat, or a mischievous child playing a prank.

Fourth of July by White Mountain. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 24″ x 30″.

Hometown Parade by White Mountain. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 24″ x 30″.

LINDA NELSON STOCKS makes art that celebrates America’s remarkable heritage injected with values of community and family. She enjoys painting farms and villages in rich detail.

Gifts from the Garden by Ceaco. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20″ x 27″.

Sasha Salutes the Flag by Ceaco. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20″ x 27″.

MATTIE LOU O’KELLEY started beginning to paint at age 60 as a hobby. She died 19 years later, but in that time, she painted beautiful nostalgic works that depicted the Georgia countryside from the 20th century. She had always wanted to paint, but she had to leave school in 9th grade to help out on the family farm. She worked as a seamstress, cook, and waitress in town after her father died, and when she retired at age 60 she said she “finally had the time” to learn to paint, and quickly went on to be a celebrated folk artist.

Yard Sale by Pomegranate. 500 pieces. Finished size: 27″ x 18″.

WILFREDO LIMVALENCIA considers his style “folk-realism” because he has a penchant for minute details. There is a unique blending of naieve art and realistic elements that makes Limvalencia’s art really special. He brainstorms with his family and says he really feels blessed to live an artist’s life.

Pies, Pastries, and Pumpkins by SunsOut. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20″ x 27″.

Great American Quilt Factory by SunsOut. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20″ x 27″.

Dockside Bears by SunsOut. 500 pieces. Finished size: 19″ x 19″.

ART POULIN has a deep appreciation of America’s simplicity and a knowledge of 20th century architecture that he infuses in his art in a seamless blend. His work is warm and gentle countryside scenes which embrace an alliance between accuracy in perspective and architecture not typically found in folk art. Before working in art, Poulin was in the military and had the honor to meet six presidents.

To the Barns by Buffalo Games. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20″ x 27″.

Roses at Snapdragon by Buffalo Games. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20″ x 27″.

TOM ANTONISHAK grew up in Pennsylvania as an Eagle Scout and there developed a deep appreciation of nature. His interest in art was a combination of his interest in history, specifically the American West. Before attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for graphic design, he served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He says he tries to infuse an acute sense of detail and intensity in his art.

The Family Wagon by SunsOut. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 19″ x 30″.

Chasing Summer Butterflies by SunsOut. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 19″ x 30″.

Tom Antonishak puzzles

Somerset Hills by SunsOut. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 19″ x 30″.

JANE WOOSTER SCOTT is in the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the most reproduced artists in America. At first she began by copying the style of artist Grandma Moses but eventually she developed her own style. Most of her shows today sell out on opening night. She describes herself as a very happy person, and hopes that her art brings out that same emotion in her viewers because, “We have enough stressful things in the world. We don’t need it hanging on our walls.”

The Pet Vet by Ceaco. 300 pieces. Finished size: 18″ x 24″.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Ceaco. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 27″ x 20″.

Halloween Adventures by Ceaco. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 27″ x 20″.