Author Topic: Jigsaw Puzzles  (Read 1721 times)  

Offline crebel

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Jigsaw Puzzles
« on: June 16, 2019, 05:25:54 pm »
Several of us got a little off-topic in the Historical Romance thread in the Book Corner discussing jigsaw puzzles and Atunah and I decided a thread here in NQK might be of interest. 

I'm going to copy some of the posts from there to here beginning with Atunah's post that got us started!

I did finally get a table for my reading/office room.  I needed a vanity for putting on makeup and creams. Small bathroom. I also wanted a table to do coloring books on and crebel got me wanting to do some puzzles again. Its been many years. I couldn't figure out how to fit all that into the small room. Then I found this on Ikea. Had it shipped and we put it together today. Its a 3 in one. Gateleg table. Both left and right table top fold down. Can go from 10 inches wide, which is just the drawers, to 30 something and 59 I think it is with both up. I think its plenty big for the 2000 piece puzzles.  :P
So it will be my vanity, coloring book table and puzzle table all in one.  ;D
Reason for the fold-able there is because the attic access is right above where the table is now. So I have to fold it down to just the drawers when AC needs to be serviced. Its a small attic, nothing but the ducts for AC fit in there.



And behind it of course is my reading chair.  8) Which I was lounging in earlier for a while.


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    Offline crebel

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #1 on: June 16, 2019, 05:30:25 pm »
    Other responses:

    Oooh, jigsaw puzzles!  I was thinking the other day that I'd like to do one of those again.  But with a little four-legged snoop on the loose in my house, I'm not sure it would be safe when I'm not working on it.   8)

    You go to a grocery store, hardware store, and ask them for one of the large heavy-duty pieces of cardboard that is packed between product on pallets.  Lay it on top of the pieces whenever you leave them.  Works like a charm, even if the little darlings jump on top and prowl around.  I speak from experience! :D

    A large foam board would probably work too I guess. Don't have any kids on four legs at the moment, but one day. I think I would feel too weird to ask for cardboard at the stores, but that is me.  :-X

    Crebel, I got the table from Ikea. I had it shipped though, although we have a store now in the city. It still cost the same than before we had the store. Back then the nearest was closer to Austin. I also got a bathroom shelf, a clear mat for under my computer chair and the stool for the table. So the shipping was divided a bit in cost. The Ikea is all the way on the other side of town and its a really long drive.

    I also got some new curtains and a few other things. But those they shipped less expensive via fedex.

    Do you use any kind of mat underneath your puzzles crebel? I am thinking of one of those rollable things they sell. In case its taking me too long to do one and need a break.

    By the way, that table is solid birch wood. It is heavy and very sturdy. And its only $200. I couldn't find anything else for that price. And it has 6 drawers. For pencils, boxes of pencils, pencils in cups  ;D, makeup stufff, whatever else I can stuff in there.  8)


    Offline crebel

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #2 on: June 16, 2019, 05:32:57 pm »
    Next:

    I've just recently started doing jigsaw puzzles. So soothing. Prior to this, if I didn't feel like reading, I played Solitaire on my iPad.

    I LOVE that table. I've been thinking about getting a table for my reading room that I could use for puzzles, but then fold away when I'm not doing one so the room doesn't feel cluttered. That one would fit the bill nicely. AND it comes in white also! My room is painted saturated blue, while the furniture (my reading chair, carpet, bookcase and closet) are white, so it's perfect! Thanks for the tip Atunah. I love IKEA but I hadn't seen that table before. We have a rather small house so I'm always looking for ways to get more use out of our space. 

    I realize we gone ever-so-slightly off-topic with our puzzle posts, but I love that our particular group of regulars to the HR thread also have similar non-reading habits!  To be just a little more on-topic, one of my favorite types of puzzles are book related. Like these:

                

    As far as the large pallet cardboard pieces, I've never found a store that wasn't willing to give them away as they are just going to throw them away/recycle.  Kind of like when folks used to go to stores for empty boxes to pack whenever they were moving (was that just a midwest USA thing?).

    We actually use 2 of them at a time.  One as a base/table topper on my sister's coffee table that gives us a much larger working area.  It lets us flip the entire puzzle around to be closest to whatever section we are working on.  We can also top it with the 2nd piece of cardboard to easily move the whole thing off of the table and slide it under a bed or the couch when we need the actual tabletop for something else.

    We tried the roll-up the whole puzzle thingies and weren't impressed.  Done sections did not stay interlocked very well.

    That table is a great table for the price, Atunah.  I'm going to check it out for myself and for my mother in her dinky 540 sq foot apartment.  I presume since it is IKEA that you had to assemble? I'd probably have to add some of those easy slide caster things under the legs of the drawers/base part so it could be moved around when needed.



    Offline crebel

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #3 on: June 16, 2019, 05:34:24 pm »
    And the last jigsaw post before we decided to start this thread:

    I was going to ask you crebel which puzzle brands you prefer. I grew up with Ravensburger and Schmidt. I like ships and such things and found some nice ones to start. Putting them on list for now.

     I am going to get one of those roll up things, but not to roll up per se, but to put down so the pieces don't fly around on the smooth table. In future i might see if I can find a cardboard that size. Table is 31.5 inches wide and up to 59 inches wide all open. In order for me to still use part of it as vanity, I'd like a mat or board that is up to the width and about 38 long. We'll see. I found one i fell in love with the design until I saw it was 9000 pieces and like 79 inches wide  :o :o :o. I'd need 2 of those tables to work on that. Wee bit too big, but lovely ship scene.

    Yes, table has to be put together, but I found Ikea stuff to be quite easy compared to some other stuff we did. Its all precision cut and all holes match up perfect. That table by the way is made in Poland.
    It has smooth plastic feet on the bottom. I can slide it on my wood/laminate floors fairly easy, but yeah, some of those super smooth sliders work even better.

    I think the store thing is being in a large city, I can guarantee you they'd look at me like "get out of my face I am busy"  ;D. It would just feel weird to ask for me.

    Today we put together a bath shelf that uses the same wood. Vilto is the name of it. Perfect for my small middle bathroom that has a pedestal sink. No place on those to put anything. Its heavy and solid feeling. I don't have a need to use the brackets for the wall.

    Now to browse the links to puzzles you listed crebel.

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #4 on: June 16, 2019, 06:38:32 pm »
    Awesome job bringing all the posts in here.  8)

    Looking for puzzles is like never ending. What size do you normally do? I figured I get started with 1000. I think I can fit up to 1500 on that table without totally taking it over.

    I saw a design I really loved.

    It looked all innocent on the picture, until I saw the price and then OMG its 9000 pieces and like 80 inches by 50 something.  :o :o :o :o :o :o. Yeah, I'd have to built on to the house for another room for that one. And add 10 years to my normal life span.

    Oh well, back to looking. Ever done one of those monsters crebel?

    Do you just make the puzzle, gaze at it lovingly for a moment and then break it back up and back in the box? Or do you actually glue and mount all of them. I'll only be doing them and then take them back apart. Unless I find a nice ship or map maybe. Other than that its more about the making off, not the keeping.

    Offline crebel

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #5 on: June 16, 2019, 07:04:43 pm »
    I'll own up to that I rarely do puzzles by myself at home (my overhead lighting is lousy).  I visit my sister (about 90 miles away) and her spouse often and usually stay with her at least a week at a time. When I'm there we complete a puzzle a day, sometimes all 3 of working together when they aren't working, sometimes 2 of us because they work different shifts, sometimes just one of us who happens to be there when the others aren't. :D

    We usually work 1000-piece puzzles, never less, but sometimes 1,500 or 2,000.  I don't think we've done anything bigger than that, not enough space.  Yes, we finish them, take a picture, one of them posts to a FB account, and then we tear it up, put it back in the box and tape it up.  My SIL actually keeps a database of all the puzzles we've bought, which company, and whether they have been completed or are waiting to be done.  We probably do 75-100 puzzles a year together.  They pretty much always have a puzzle going even when I'm not there.

    I did order this puzzle today from a new company I'd never heard of - the pieces are made of wood!  It is going to be a challenging puzzle when we get to it and I think I will probably glue and frame this one. 



    They are also Pepsi memorabilia collectors and have several Pepsi puzzles they glued and hung in their collectibles room, but mostly we just take them apart and move on to the next one!

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #6 on: June 16, 2019, 07:29:04 pm »
    Makes sense that you take them apart at the end. That would otherwise be a lot of puzzle pictures to hang up each year on walls.  ;D

    That is a really neat design. Can't wait to hear what you think about it when you get it. Wood puzzle, interesting.

    I was just thinking back today on the puzzles I used to do as a kid. We didn't have a lot of money so I didn't have many and had to redo the same ones over and over and over. I had one of a map of Africa, which was one of my favorites. I was able to draw the map from memory and know where each country was down to the size, that is how many times I did it.  ;D.

    I see a few that will be options. I like ships, maps, lighthouses, castles, bavarian themes, european themes, etc. I like the book ones too you posted. I better also based what I get on what colors there are and if its going to be fun to make, not just fun to look at when its done.

    Offline crebel

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #7 on: June 17, 2019, 06:30:59 am »
    When I was very young and my folks were pastors of a church in a small village in Jamaica, W.I., we only had ONE puzzle that we did over and over.  I remember it was an ocean scene of three ships in battle.  I have no idea where or how we got that one puzzle, but it must have been at least 1000 pieces.

    We put it together edges first (the way I always start puzzles still), saved the edges for last, worked it line by line from the top down, then from the bottom up, then from the sides in.  I even remember putting it together upsidedown with only the cardboard back showing and by piece shape only.  We must have put that one puzzle together a couple of dozen times over 3 years!

    Do you have a pattern to how you approach putting a puzzle together?  We always sort pieces into multiple boxes, pulling the edge pieces first, and making sure all pieces are face up.  Then we put the edge pieces frame together first and start working from there.  If there are words in a puzzle, those pieces go in their own box and SIL starts putting them together on a separate board.  Faces and people parts get their own box, too. My sister and I pick through the various boxes for color patterns and start working on individual parts of a picture also on separate boards.  Eventually sections go onto the main board in their approximate positions and we start connecting from there.

    It's a woohoo moment when there is a complete connection top to bottom and side to side (some of us are so easily entertained :) ).

    Offline NogDog

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #8 on: June 17, 2019, 07:41:49 am »
    I wouldn't do one by myself, but they're fun to do with friends/family while chatting about this, that, and the other thing around the table. :)

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #9 on: June 17, 2019, 08:53:42 am »
    I do try to get some of the edges going, just so I can figure out how much space I need. After that I am all over the place. I don't do rows by row, just more like patches here and there and get exited when I can have a feeler going and connecting it to the edge or each other somewhere. I don't do a lot of sorting before hand. But as I go. I am probably not the most efficient puzzler.  :-X. I just start going through and finding some of same color here, kind of lay them where they probably are, or not and keep going.  ;D. I usually do a few things at the same time and keep it in my head. Like I remember seeing a piece at some point, need it later and mostly remember which pile or patch its in. Or something like that. We'll see how I do it now, it has been a while after all.  :P

    I have always done puzzles by myself, never with anyone else. I never had anyone to do puzzles with. I was the youngest kid and the older siblings didn't really wanna hang with the little sis. I did a lot of stuff by myself. Puzzles, lego, fischertechnik, audio fairy tales, reading. I even did a lot of playing cards by myself. War and piece.

    We did play as a family together like board games and such and with my mom later I played a lot more card games and yaztee and such. But puzzles, just me myself and I.  ;D

    Offline NapCat (retired)

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #10 on: June 17, 2019, 11:15:09 am »


    I realize most of you are jigsaw purists, but for those of us who do not have room or do not like the "corner of clutter" that a puzzle in progress creates, there is a wonderful app that can be used on a tablet that is quite realistic:  Huge selection of puzzles (free to very reasonable priced collections by theme), ability to change number of pieces (up to 900), ability to zoom while working, a variety of backgrounds, even a setting to rotate pieces. Finished puzzles can be saved and/or emailed. 

    A life saver when traveling


    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/jigsaw-puzzle/id495583717

    « Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 08:51:45 am by NapCat (retired) »
    'da NapCat

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    Offline cagnes

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #11 on: June 18, 2019, 10:30:35 am »


    I realize most of you are jigsaw purists, but for those of us who do not have room or do not like the "corner of clutter" that a puzzle is progress creates, there is a wonderful app that can be used on a tablet that is quite realistic:  Huge selection of puzzles (free to very reasonable priced collections by theme), ability to change number of pieces (up to 900), ability to zoom while working, a variety of backgrounds, even a setting to rotate pieces. Finished puzzles can be saved and/or emailed. 

    A life saver when traveling


    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/jigsaw-puzzle/id495583717

    Love that puzzle app!
     
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    Offline crebel

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #12 on: June 18, 2019, 01:36:28 pm »
    I agree that it is more fun to work puzzles with someone else, but I also find it a very soothing solitary activity.

    This is not the exact puzzle (at least I know I didn't pay anywhere close to that price for it), but close, to the first "big" puzzle I used to interest my pretty young grandchildren in puzzles.  We owned and had read almost every book in the puzzle from the time they were newborns, and they recognized them.  That made it easier for them to look for the pieces that belonged to each book cover and how they fit together.



    Even though they are only 9 and 5 now, they are happy to help Gma whenever I have a puzzle working and they are here.  The 5-year old does 100-piece puzzles by herself regularly!

    Offline Nina Huffney

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #13 on: June 18, 2019, 03:19:54 pm »
    If I recall correctly, my first jigsaw puzzle was Between Meals. That must have been in the early 1980s.

    That started a binge of Springbok puzzling. My selection was limited to my local Hallmark shop but I'd managed to accumulate a dozen or so, including my favorites Verticalville, Verticalville II, and Space Station.

    I was fine with assembling them myself, but I always welcomed others. Of course, that never stopped a sneaky sibling from pilfering a single piece, then coming in at the end to claim the glory for 'finishing' the puzzle.  >:(



    Offline Andra

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #14 on: June 19, 2019, 06:02:33 am »
    I enjoy puzzles, but I have a problem with them now.  My glasses correct my eyes for far vision (anything past about the length of my arm).  I take them off when I need to see close things.  So puzzles are frustrating because either I can look over all the pieces OR I can focus on a small section of the puzzle.  I am constantly trying to look the wrong way.  I've never tried sorting into boxes - that might be helpful because I can do that without glasses and then have smaller sections to work on at a time.
    I might clean off the table in the game room this weekend and try one again with that method.

    We did lots of puzzles when we were little.  I remember one of the United States where all the states were different colors.  It had the oceans on each side and the Gulf of Mexico on the bottom.  We also had some that were story puzzles that came in round cans.  Those had irregular borders so they were really fun.  I'm not sure where they ended up.

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #15 on: June 19, 2019, 09:45:22 am »
    Yeah, the vision thing is something I have to work around too. Although a bit differently. I am farsighted and need correction for that too. So I have glasses for what is it, 10-20 feet out? But the closer something is, the worse my eyes are. SO I can see the TV ok and everything further out. I have bifocals for the closer stuff, but everything in between is a wee bit difficult. So for reading I have my bifocals. So I'll have to hover over the table like a mole through the bifocals and then step away to see the whole picture. No pun intended.  ;D. The further out in the dark zone the better. But I just thought about something. I have computer glasses that can only be used there. NO bifocals and only set for that distance. I can use those to puzzle with. Yay. I just can't look anywhere else with those without getting blurry and dizzy. I did some coloring yesterday with my normal bifocals and it went just fine so I think puzzles will be too. Its been so long I had done puzzles that I didn't need the bifocals then, just regular glasses.

    I have to wait until next week before I can order a puzzle. They are putting seal coat thingie on our streets and I am kind of blocked in right now. And it will be difficult for delivery folks to get to and I don't want to lose my packages. So I wait until they done, Monday hopefully. Its pretty amazing how many cars some folks have and they have to play musical chairs each day when the do a different section of the small roads. We have a HOA so they are in charge of the roads. And we only have 52 houses in our small gated community so its a wee bit tight for most. Most driveways are barely long enough to hold a Texas size pickup. But of course we are on the end of the cul de sac with the largest lot and longest driveway.  ;D. We could park 6 cars just in the driveway if we needed. 4 texas size pickups  :P My garage sadly is still as it was when we moved in. Full of stuff and boxes. Like most folks here. I'll get to it when temps go down a bit. Can't tolerate being in there right now.

    And for a second I thought I could put a large fold out table in the garage to do puzzles in. Bwahhh. Its 100+ degrees here now and in the garage its probably 120.  NO puzzling in the garage for me, thank you very much.

    Offline crebel

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #16 on: June 19, 2019, 10:19:55 am »
    You can even combine coloring and puzzling now!  I haven't seen these any larger than 300/500 pieces, but they might be a fun something different to do.



    My biggest eyesight problem with puzzles is light.  I need lots of light to see most clearly, but have lousy lighting in my home.  Natural light is best for me and my big dining room table with plenty of room to spread out only has a couple of windows on one end and there isn't any direct outside light that comes in (good for energy savings, not so much for puzzling).

    Overhead light tends to create glare on the pieces even when the finish is matte, so I haven't found a really good solution yet.  In my sister's living room the overhead light can be moved up and down which seems to help lessen the glare when you find the right spot.  I also have a good-sized screw-clamp/swing arm light I used to use when I could still do needlework.  That would work if the edge of my big table wasn't too wide for the clamp.  First-world problems!

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #17 on: June 19, 2019, 11:40:26 am »
    Yeah, I need lots of light also. For now I have 2 windows in the room, but they don't help much where they are. I also have a ceiling fan with light which is not right over, but to the side. I also got a desk light from Ikea to get started that has a bendable neck so I can place it where I need it. Going to get a larger one, or maybe a stand light in the corner next to the table. We'll see.

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #18 on: June 20, 2019, 12:18:12 pm »
    I knew this would happen. I am the worse waffler. Especially if I have to make a decision like picking a puzzle. OMG I been browsing for hours it seems. I have a list already, some I like I'll have to get via amazon 3rd party, of course. Cause I can't just want what is right there. Good thing I never had kids or they still wouldn't have a name after 20 years.  :-\

    Anywho, I went and quickly put this in cart and bought. So I can't change my mind yet again.  :-X



    And yeah, there is a lot of green and blue. But I prefer the picture types over the cartoonish ones, if you know what I mean. Although those other ones seem to have more colors and bits.

    Its just reminded me of my childhood vacations in Austria. This puzzle being set in Austria. We would be quite a bit more to the west of this though, right below Munich in the Zillertal. This is more East. But it kind of looks all the same. Looks a lot like Bavaria we all sounded about the same too.  ;D

    Those were the days. Packed in the back of a Passat, mostly laying in the back part. While my father cursing for hours driving and missing the exits each darn year. Then we always stayed in those cheap family share thing. And then I got to drudge up to the top on foot with my dad while my mom often took the lift. Grumble. Nothing quite like being above the clouds and the only sound you year are the bells on the cows in the roads. And as a kid all I wanted was the ocean. Not the mountain.

    Anywho, I'll be getting that one tomorrow and I might check in here if I need to go on a rant on how difficult it is. Its been a while after all. This is 1000.

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #19 on: June 20, 2019, 01:11:33 pm »
    Down the rabbit hole I go. I ordered this one too, although it won't ship until 1-3 months, so I don't feel too guilty


    I have a feeling I might have to fill in with a easier puzzle with more colors. I pick by what picture I like, but that might not be the best way for having to solve them. Cause thats a lot of sky going on here.  :-X

    eta; Oh and apparently that first order got me a promo for 3 months free of FreeTime, whatever that is. Some kid thing I think? Not for me so I won't redeem it. But in case for those that like to try that thingie out. I guess its puzzles? Toys? I do not know.
    « Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 01:13:40 pm by Atunah »

    Offline crebel

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #20 on: June 20, 2019, 02:47:35 pm »
    Down the rabbit hole I go. I ordered this one too, although it won't ship until 1-3 months, so I don't feel too guilty


    I have a feeling I might have to fill in with a easier puzzle with more colors. I pick by what picture I like, but that might not be the best way for having to solve them. Cause thats a lot of sky going on here.  :-X

    eta; Oh and apparently that first order got me a promo for 3 months free of FreeTime, whatever that is. Some kid thing I think? Not for me so I won't redeem it. But in case for those that like to try that thingie out. I guess its puzzles? Toys? I do not know.

    I think the sky will be more difficult in your first puzzle than the second and all the trees will be a kicker.  The second has more contrast which should help a lot.  I find puzzles with little contrast to be the most frustrating.  My sister had one puzzle someone gave them, I think it was titled "Mountain Lupine" - nothing but an ongoing field of purple/blue flowers.  So much sameness is not fun to me.  We passed that one along without ever opening it.

    If you have a Barnes and Noble anywhere near you, they are a good brick & mortar store for puzzle selection.  So are our Hobby Lobby stores.

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #21 on: June 20, 2019, 03:30:05 pm »
    Hey, they are better than one of my other also-rans

     ;D

    Unfortunately the B&N is technically near, but impossible to get to as its literally the busiest huge intersection of our city. I am not getting anywhere near that big ol loop. I haven't set foot in a Hobby Lobby in 15 years for, um reasons. I used to work there. Not that store, but still. I just can't go in there anymore. Plus that one too is hard to get too on this side of town. Michael's is even further out, way down and far out of my way. Its ok, I am a glutton for torturing myself with this stuff. You should see some of the coloring pages I been grumbling over.  :o

    I like a challenge. I hope.   :-X

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #22 on: June 21, 2019, 10:05:37 am »
    Just got the mat and the first puzzle. I had the description wrong of the puzzle. Its not Austria, but Bavaria. The austrian I think is a different one on my list somewhere. Even better.  ;D. Bavarian Alps. I been to all 3 at some point in the past. Bavarian, austrian and italian.

    The colors are much better in person than the picture. Much more variations. Very high quality photo too. I just layed the mat down. Its really just a big piece of felt. Gets me started until I figure out something different. There are some other more firm mats that are not rollable, but i thought they might be too small.

    Now the puzzle lists 693mm x 493mm. Great. Only took me like 20 years to finally get the hang mostly of inches. Now I get to take my brain back the metric.  :-\

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #23 on: June 22, 2019, 01:02:00 pm »
    I started the puzzle. I have to force myself to stop. As you can see, even after many years of not puzzling, I still have the same "technique". Organized chaos.  ;D. A pile here, a pile there, digging in the box for the "ah-ha" piece, etc.



    The sorting in the shoebox lids is a new thing. Because even with my table now, space is still limited so I can't just sprawl them all over the place. So I guess puzzle trays it is. As you can see a bit in the pic the colors are better in reality than the online pic. Nice variations. I think the only thing mostly one blob is the sky.

    Pieces fit nicely together, but I was already familiar with Schmidt. I have some Ravensburger coming too and those I also did in the past. Obviously both german companies. I want to try some of the White Mountain too though since you do those crebel. Any other brand that is ok to get? When I search for themes, say boats or maps or such, I get listings from brands I never heard of. I don't want the aggravation of a "bad' puzzle.

    For now I have enough credit card points lined up that I can buy many puzzles to keep my going.  ;D
    « Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 01:03:32 pm by Atunah »

    Offline crebel

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    Re: Jigsaw Puzzles
    « Reply #24 on: June 23, 2019, 04:24:42 pm »
    White Mountain is probably the company we have the most puzzles from, but we have bought from lots of different companies both through Amazon and at brick & mortar stores.

    I know there is one company, Springbox maybe, that we grumble about weird piece shapes that are occasionally interchangeable, even on the edges. That can lead to searching areas you think are already together for a piece that is really out of place.  Finding those mistakes is my sister's specialty. 8)  My biggest peeve is when you put pieces together outside the frame and they don't interlock well enough to hold together if you pick them up, but then we slide them onto a heavier piece of paper, like cardstock, to slide them onto the board within the frame.

    Your set-up is looking much like ours.  We start with inside pieces in multiple box lids and can pass them back and forth when eyes start missing pieces because you've looked through the same ones so often.  Just changing lids or even looking at the same lid of pieces from the other side is a new perspective.  Then we make separate piles of pieces that appear to go together, picking them out of the lids as we find them (like you've done with your sky). 

    I imagine I would do things the same way (and like you are) if I did puzzles by myself.  Except I would have more lids so there aren't so many pieces piled on top of each other to look through at one time. :D

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