Happy Valentine's Day!
Love is in the air and it’s time to celebrate Valentine’s Day - originally a pagan Roman fertility festival before Pope Gelasius appropriated it back in 500 AD; or a holiday that honors all forms of love (friends, family and self) such as Quirkyalone Day, also on February 14th; or Singles Awareness Day on February 15th.
Love Is Everywhere, a 1000-piece puzzle from Kodak, indeed shows us that hearts can be found in many places, with my favorites being those that occur in nature. How appropriate, as this is also American Heart Month! This was a fun build, as the different backgrounds make this feel essentially like 25 mini puzzles. By the way, doing something you find fun, especially something that makes you laugh (like when you FINALLY find that missing piece) isn’t only nice, it’s healthy for you too, as studies show laughter sends 20% more blood through your body and relaxed blood vessels mean your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.
My heart beat a little faster as I searched for the many hearts found on this 300-piece Tree of Lovers from Pomegranate. This is one of the few times I completed the puzzle without referring to the box. There were just too many similar colors for my brain to make the comparison between the pieces and the image. However, the patterns really popped on the large pieces making it easy to see what could be matched up. The mandalas are true to Paul Heussenstamm’s passion for exploring and creating sacred art from traditions related to Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity.
I hauled out two 1000-piece JaCaRou puzzles that set my heart fluttering for this holiday. The first was Time For Love, which was a little intimidating for me at first, but I soon discovered that if I focused on the varied backgrounds, as you can see in this picture, it helped me determine what went in which area.
The lovebird on the puzzle may be a nod to a medieval belief that February 14th marks the first day of mating season for birds, which is why birds are often featured on Valentines. And, as flamingos typically mate for life, they make the perfect subject matter for my second JaCaRou, Romeo et Juliette. The colors on this one are stunning, yet very challenging as they blend together, so you have to work by shades. Speaking of Juliet, did you know that “letters to Juliet” sent to Verona are answered by volunteers who call themselves the Juliet Club and each year they award the “Cara Giulietta” prize to the author of the most romantic letter?
Speaking of letters, here’s another one called Just My Type by Galison. At only 100 pieces it would be a cute present to place in an envelope and send a loved one. The shaped puzzle with the rollers poking out is adorable!
What would be better to place on this letter than one of these love stamps from this 1000-piece Love Letters by Re-Marks? Once again, each stamp served as their own mini-puzzle, which made the build fly by. It was sweet to see how the different countries melded the love theme into their design, with my favorite being sLOVEnia, a country I’m hoping to hike this year!
Unless you have anthophobia, the fear of flowers, you may end up getting a bouquet for Valentine’s Day. This tradition dates back to the late 17th century when King Charles II of Sweden learned the language of flowers while on a trip to Persia. Red roses symbolize love; yellow roses, friendship; and pink roses indicate a sweetheart. Red carnations show admiration, white carnations and forget-me-knots stand for true love, primrose is for young love and larkspur represents an open heart. This 1000-piece Flower’s Life by Heye familiarizes you with many species, while delighting you with the antics of the little critters that live on and care for them. This was blooming fantastic and my favorite puzzle of the month!
Ever since Richard Cadbury was the first to develop a heart-shaped box over 150 years ago, chocolates have been another go-to gift. Especially for women in Japan, as it’s the traditional gift to show your love or reveal your interest to a crush. And did you know that doctors once prescribed chocolate for a broken heart? Now THAT is my kind of medicine! There would be plenty to choose from for what ails you in this 500-piece Search & Find Chocolate Shop puzzle by Mudpuppy. It’s a charming scene, and it was fun looking for the 45 items on the included poster (surprisingly more difficult than I initially thought)!
I fell in love with many Valentine’s Day-themed puzzles as I made my selections for the month. Like a box of chocolates, there’s an assortment, in a variety of piece counts, that I’d love to bite into including the 150-piece Love by Micro Puzzles, 300-piece, Valentine Card Collage by SunsOut, 500-piece Be Mine by Cobble Hill, 1000-piece Sweet Valentine by Eurographics, 1500-piece Love Through the Ages by Ravensburger and 2000-Piece Tin of Treats by Springbok.
Let us know how you’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year in the comments below! Anti-Valentine’s Day? Puzzle the day away and/or take the opportunity several zoos offer on the holiday to name a cockroach after an ex and watch it be fed to an animal, such as a meerkat!
– Lisa @lisalovespuzzles
Once again Lisa has knocked it out of the ballpark! Valentine's Day is one of my favorites and now I know the themed puzzles I need to try! Thanks Lisa
Love your puzzle choices! I see a few I would like to buy!
What a wonderful. Log. I enjoyed all the historical references and will be adding a few of these new to me puzzles to my wishlist😀