Tag Archives: animals

Photography

Something I’ve always been drawn to is our photography puzzles. Don’t get me wrong, I love folk art and fun cartoons and also art based in realism. But there’s something about a crisp image that just draws me in.

I think there’s an aspect of photography-based puzzles that’s a bit more challenging, too. Art based in painting or drawing is very deliberate, so, for instance, one piece of the puzzle might have a very distinguishing feature (such as a color) that makes it easy to place. Framing and composition in photography can also be deliberate, but colors are less so, especially in nature settings. Check out all these puzzles and think about the challenges of putting together the pieces of the out-of-focus backgrounds, or the monochrome color scheme!

babies puzzle, anne geddes puzzle, cute

Baby Love – Mia by Educa. 1000 pieces.

Autumn Gray Wolf by Lafayette Puzzle Factory. 500 pieces.

paris puzzles, travel jigsaw puzzles, vacation theme

Eiffel Tower by Clementoni. 1000 pieces.

Stingray by Heye. 1000 pieces.

ocean puzzles, boats, sailing

Sailboats by Springbok. 500 pieces.

Cool Waters by Master Pieces. 500 pieces.

Goetta Canal, Sweden by Ravensburger. 1000 pieces.

Barrels by Lion Rampart Imports. 1000 pieces.

Kalahari Desert by Heye. 1000 pieces.

Parc Guell by Educa. 500 pieces.

Rising Storm by Heye. 1000 pieces.

Lijang – China by Clementoni. 2000 pieces.

On another note, I’m currently doing a puzzle from New York Puzzle Co. with a review to come! Here’s a sneak preview of what we got done last night:

Dreams and Puzzles: What Your Subconscious May Be Telling You

Now that school is out and I’m not so stressed, I’ve started dreaming again. I’ve always loved dream and have a vivid recollection of most of my weirdest ones. I like to go online and look up dream dictionaries and figure out what my dreams are telling me.

The other day, for instance, I had a dream that I was walking along a street and I found several quarters. I was very excited and started to pick them up, when I started noticing dollar bills, five dollar bills, and then even hundred dollar bills. The dream-logic was that someone had won the lottery and had spilled some of it on their way home. Euphoric in the dream, I snatched up all the money and paid off some student loans (I know, very exciting, right?)

But of course I looked up the symbolism.

One Million Dollars by White Mountain. 1000 pieces.

From dreammoods.com, I found that “To see or win money in your dream indicates that success and prosperity is within your reach. Money represents confidence, self-worth, success, or values. You have much belief in yourself. Alternatively, dreaming about money refers to your attitudes about love and matters of the heart. It is a common symbol for sexuality and power. In particular, finding money indicates your quest for love or power.”

Color of Money by Springbok. 2000 pieces.

So I’ve at least figured out my surprise millionaire dream (I’m questing for love or power—how thrilling) but there are so many common dream tropes. We also have a lot of puzzles which may reflect those tropes. Maybe our choice of puzzles is telling us something subconscious?

Dance of the Moon Fairy by Educa. 1000 pieces.

Flying dreams—or our allure to puzzles where whimsical creatures fly—might suggest something about how you feel about the situation you are in. If you fly with ease and comfort, you’re “on top of” the situation at hand or maybe you’ve found a new perspective. But if you are having difficulties with your flight, you’re experiencing a lack of power with your circumstances. If you fear flying, you might be afraid of challenges and success, and you’re hesitant for the next step.

Saturday Night by Cobble Hill. 500 pieces.

This cute kid in the art by Jim Daly is enjoying a Saturday evening bath, but dreams about being naked in other situations apart from bath time suggest vulnerability or unpreparedness. Maybe you feel like you’re not being true to yourself and that others can “see right through you” or that you’re exposed and have no defenses.

Great White Delight by Ceaco (Glow in the Dark Puzzle). 100 pieces.

Dreams about teeth are all too common. Maybe your teeth are rotting or falling out (I know I’ve had several dreams where I lose a tooth as an adult, all which seem so real I wake up and have to feel around in my mouth!)

The Dream Dictionary has this to say: “Teeth are used to bite, tear, chew and gnaw. In this regard, teeth symbolize power. And the loss of teeth in your dream may be from a sense of powerlessness. Are you lacking power in some current situation? Perhaps you are having difficulties expressing yourself or getting your point across. You feel frustrated when your voice is not being heard. You may be experiencing feelings of inferiority and a lack of self-confidence in some situation or relationship in your life. This dream may be an indication that you need to be more assertive and believe in the importance of what you have to say.”

Belvedere by Buffalo Games. 1000 pieces.

As we know, though, sometimes dreams just don’t make sense at all. They’re surreal, the logic is flawed, and it doesn’t seem like you could pull a valid interpretation out of it even if you tried your hardest. Then it feels a little like an M.C. Escher artwork: fun perspective, but ultimately nonsensical.

Blue by Eurographics. 1000 pieces.

Pick out the details with your dreams, even the little things! Like this Kandinsky painting, where the image means little but the colors symbolize mood: “For Kandinsky, blue is the color of spirituality: the darker the blue, the more it awakens human desire for the eternal.”

Try choosing your next puzzle on the feelings it evokes or on your last dream for something fun and different!

Kittens Galore!

We recently added a new addition to our house: a small, bright, fluffy white kitten named Casper. A long time ago, the new addition of my dog, Marlowe, was the inspiration for a puppy post. Well, you know what’s coming, then. I must now update you with new pictures of my (now fully grown) puppy and her new friend.

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 11.46.42 PM

The getting-to-know-you game was full of reservation on the dogs’ parts. They were so uncertain about this little creature!

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 11.47.05 PMBut after a little playtime, they quickly grew into fast friends.

Celebrate your love of cats with this many different puzzles that are cute, artistic, or whimsical!

Secrets by Educa. 500 pieces.

Egyptian by Jane Crowther by Heye. 1000 pieces.

Special Delivery by Buffalo Games. 1000 pieces.

rosina wachtmeister, cat art

Mouse by Rosina Wachtmeister from Heye. 1000 pieces.

Cats Under Blanket by Eurographics. 750 pieces.

Cats Galore by White Mountain. 1000 pieces.

Perfect Pose by Master Pieces. 500 pieces.

Pavan Van Klimt by SunsOut. 500 pieces.

labrador, grey cat, kittens

Friendly Opposites by Ravensburger. 500 pieces.

Seventeen Cats by Edward Gorey from Pomegranate. 300 pieces.

 

 

 

Ocean or Mountains? Puzzles for Outdoorsy People

A classic getting-to-know you question is “Do you prefer the ocean or the mountains?” If you answered “the mountains,” then I have some puzzles for you!

Yesterday I did a post on ocean puzzles because I’m so excited about summer beach trips, but today I’ve got something for those of you that like the shade that tall trees provide while you go hunting, fishing, or camping in the forest, along a lake or near a river.

Forest Path by Eurographics. 1000 pieces.

Crystal Mill, White River National Forest by Lafayette Puzzle Factory. 1000 pieces.

Bear Lake, Estes Park by Springbok. 500 pieces.

Autumn Bridge by SunsOut. 1500 pieces.

Autumn Innocence by Buffalo Games. 300 pieces.

Bear Creek Crossing by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

 

Mountains Needle by Educa. 500 pieces. 5000 pieces.

A Time to Dream by Clementoni. 1500 pieces.

Lake Louise by Eurographics. 750 pieces.

 

Learn while you puzzle with Eurographics!

Eurographics is a great brand that offers you a learn experience while you puzzle. As one of the leading art distributors in North America, Eurographics has a great selection of puzzles and games relating to art history, but also world history, geography, and more! Their puzzles feature many images for those people that love to organize and catalogue almost any and every topic!

saturn, pluto, jupiter, solar system puzzles, space puzzles

Solar System. 750 pieces.

Pluto was recently downgraded to a dwarf planet and joined 3 other known dwarf planets in our solar system: Ceres, Eris, and Makemake. With improved telescopes, scientists expect to discover more.

Circulatory System. 1000 pieces.

If you were just to count the cells, you might be horrified to find that you have more bacterium cells living inside your body than human cells. Most of these bacteria cells are friendly, some are even beneficial.

science puzzles, educational jigsaw puzzles, periodic table

Periodic Table of Elements. 1000 pieces.

Currently there are 118 elements on the periodic table, 90 which occur in nature and the rest being manmade. Most of the elements are metals. Scientists are now working on creating Element 120, which would change the way the periodic table now looks.

History of Trains. 1000 pieces.

One of the first movies ever made by the Lumiére brothers was a simple fifty second film of a train arriving in a station. It mesmerized people that a moving image could capture something that happened in the past and be replayed. There’s a myth that the people ran from the theater because they thought the train would jump out of the screen to run them all over.

fish puzzles, reef puzzles, ocean

Coral Reef by Eurographics. 1000 pieces.

The Great Barrier Reef is about 500,000 years old, with the current structure at about age 8,000 years old… pretty young, considering the first coral reefs started about 500 million years ago and the first close relatives of modern coral reefs popped up approximately 230 million years ago.

Da Vinci. 1000 pieces.

It was pretty rare for his time period, but Da Vinci was actually a vegetarian for humanitarian reasons.

Great Composers. 1000 pieces.

The Baroque Period of Art and Music came after the Protestant Reformation, and it changed the focus of art. The interest in a capella music waned and there was a surge of interest in art which could evoke visceral and emotional responses. In the Baroque era, the first opera house came into existence in Venice in 1637.

The Atom. 1000 pieces.

There are 2 sextillion atoms of oxygen in one drop of water. Imagine how many are in a puzzle piece—or in 1000 puzzle pieces!

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.

 

 

 

Challenge Yourself: Scheming with Color

Finding yourself itching for a challenge, but not quite ready to jump up to the impossible puzzles or the other uniquely challenging puzzles with a twist?

Or maybe you just prefer the traditional puzzle look and feel. You might like the routine of starting with your edge pieces or working with familiar piece shapes. Whatever the case, don’t think you still can’t challenge your brain. The bright side is, you don’t have to up your piece count either. Work with the size and style you already love. Just switch up your color scheme!

Finding puzzles that are largely of one or two color schemes can make you have to work a little harder, be a little more creative, and definitely test your patience as you wonder how you should start organizing the pieces!

If you have a favorite puzzle that you’ve completed before that was challenging because of the color scheme, share it with us in the comments. We’d love to hear about it!

zebra puzzles, safari puzzles, black and white puzzles

Explosion by SunsOut. 550 pieces. Finished size: 15” x 24.”

waterfall puzzles, boats puzzles

Crash Course by Thomas Barbey Puzzles. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 23” x 29”.

greece puzzles, white jigsaw puzzle

Greece by Clementoni. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.5” x 18.25”.

 

rose puzzles, flower puzzles

Red Rose by Ravensburger. 500 pieces. Finished size: 19.75” x 19.75”.

kitten puzzles, cats

Kittens in Pots. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 19.25” x 26.5”.

feathers puzzles, red puzzles

Feathers by Piatnik. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.5” x 17.25”.

 

ocean puzzles, surfing puzzles

Big Wave by Heye. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 22” x 22”.

 

Beautiful Swan by Ravensburger. 500 pieces. Finished size: 19.5″ x 14.25″.

Autumn Reflection by Springbok. 1500 pieces. Finished size: 28.75″ x 36″.