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Paris in Springtime

They say it’s beautiful in Paris in the springtime…but I’ll have to take their word for it! I’ve visited twice in the summer and my last visit was a chilly week in February when I got to put on a team building event around the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame for a client.  Ooh la, la!

Of course, this got me in the mood to build Paris-themed puzzles…a lot of them as you’ll soon see! First up on my board was Vintage Paris, a 750-piece from Re-marks. I’m a big fan of Re-marks – you’ve got to love how they state they are a “triple bottom line company – people, planet and profits!” Their pieces have a smooth die-cut fit, use recycled materials and have unique shapes as you can see from these edge pieces.  

And although they fit together nicely, it doesn’t take forever to pull their puzzles apart when done. “J’adore” their collage puzzles especially, as all the different-colored backgrounds make it easy for me to spot what goes where, making for a quick build. My only pet peeve is the banner at the bottom blocks the box image, but thankfully there is a poster inside.

I went from colorful images of gay Paris to more muted colors in this Streets of France puzzle, available from Hart on Puzzle Warehouse. The darker colors did slow down my typical rate of building a 1000 piece puzzle in 2 nights, but that just meant I got to enjoy the whimsical artwork of Jennifer Garant for 1 more night!  She is a new favorite of mine. Many of her works feature Paris, a city whose characters she truly captures the spirit of in this puzzle. It’s wonderful how she uses a special old-world texturizing technique on the heavyweight French paper and canvas she works on to make her images look as though they were painted a long time ago, like in this beauty I’m eyeing up called Road Trip In France.

After this, I was ready for another multi-hued build and despite the name not leading you to think it would be bright, this 1000-piece Midnight In Paris by Karmin International fit the bill! Although vivid – I started with that gorgeous Moulin Rouge red windmill - I was concerned that many of the other colors were too similar. But there was no need to worry, as the shade differences made them easy to distinguish. The recycled paperboard pieces were sturdy and Madalina Tantareanu’s artwork was so delightful, I must admit I can’t wait to get my hands on the other illustrated cities of hers KI has featured in their puzzles including Midnight in Prague and Midnight in San Francisco. I hopped on her website to view her artwork and there are SO many more I hope they turn into puzzles one day!

My love affair with brilliant colors carried on with my next pick, this 1000-piece Paris in a Day by eeBoo. Artist Jennifer Orkin Lewis’ illustrations are so eye-catching, capturing not only the iconic buildings - Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower were the first to be completed by me - but also the minute details she includes of a diverse bunch of people going about their day.

I decided to switch to an interior view of Paris, so JaCaRou’s 1000-piece One Day In Paris got to make an appearance. I’ve been going on about colors in this blog, and this puzzle is the most vibrant featured in this post. Like the view I enjoyed when last in Paris, you can see the Eiffel Tower peeking through the curtains! I almost passed on this puzzle, as I thought there were too many pinks and blues which would make it “plus difficile.” However there was almost always another color anchoring those and for the few that were plain blue or pink, there were no false fits, which helped me find where they went quickly. JaCaRou and eeBoo’s pieces feel very similar to me – thick, glossy and they go in with a satisfying snap, so both were a delight to work. And those mice were adorable!

Mon dieu…I did so many Parisian puzzles in the past month that I started seeing the Eiffel Tower in my sleep. So, I’m taking a short break, but I’m by no means finished puzzling the nation my ancestors came from (my maiden name is Lamarre)! Other puzzles on my “to do” list include Galison’s Michael Storrings Paris, Masterpieces’ Afternoon in Paris,  Paris by New York Puzzle Co and this quirky riddles and puzzle in one by Heye called Pixorama, Paris Quest

Au revoir for now!

 – Lisa @lisalovespuzzles

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