For as long as I’m allowed to write blogs for Puzzle Warehouse, I’ll be featuring a mermaid puzzle every July. Mermaids are definitely one of my favorite subjects to puzzle, which has to stem from my love of The Little Mermaid. I was four when it came out, so I was at the PERFECT susceptible age for that amazing gem of a Disney movie. Of course, I spent the remainder of my childhood, and if we’re being honest, all of my adulthood, wishing fervently that mermaids were real, and I could somehow reverse the movie and be a human that became a mermaid! If I became a mermaid, would I then be known as an MD instead of a DVM? Hmmm. The musings of a mermaid wannabe!
This month, I decided to try a brand I haven’t tried yet, Willow Creek Press. I also chose to go with a style of puzzle that I haven’t seen many people do lately, photography! Meet Beach Waves - a 500 piece whose natural gradient immediately piqued my interest. Beach Waves was a lot of fun! I absolutely loved the piece shapes. No two pieces were alike.
This month my plan was to write about the ‘Carl Larsson’ 1000-piece puzzle by Cobble Hill. It’s a wonderful collage of the art of the Swedish painter (1853 – 1919). I started this intricate work and then our house welcomed our family returning to Canada from Australia! This included our 2-year-old grandson, who loves to help me puzzle! I had to quickly finish while naps and bedtime happened and then brought out more appropriate alternatives.
Recently I managed to find my “unicorn” puzzle. It’s an out of production puzzle made by Ceaco and depicts a chocolate Labrador swimming in water. The puzzle features the artwork of Mark Fredrickson. Fredrickson is well known in the art world for his various illustrations and fine art, but my favourite pieces of his art feature his amazing ability to capture the spirit of dogs.
Upon hearing that I live in Florida, people often say, “I don’t know how you live there in the summertime.” My response is always the same – “You hide indoors in the winter. We hide indoors in the summer!” And what better way to entertain yourself and make yourself feel a tad cooler than to do than a Christmas-themed puzzle in July.
In 1905 11-year-old Frank Epperson left a glass filled with flavored water and a stirring stick outside one winter night. It froze. The next morning he ran the glass under hot water and removed the ice pop using the stick as a handle. As an adult he made these for family and friends. In 1923 he filed for a patent for his invention, calling them Eppsicles, but his children called them “Pop’s sicles.” The name stuck and the rest is history.
Prior to 2019, I stuck to photography puzzles and never even considered illustrated puzzles. Pre-2019 Sarah had no idea what she was missing! Then a friend of a friend started posting photos on Instagram of these fun, bright illustrated eeBoo puzzles she was doing and her feed suddenly became my Pandora’s Box entry into the world of modern puzzles.
We all have our favourite puzzle styles. Personally, I tend to love whimsical art styles, pretty colours and fun cartoon style images. I’ve done a lot of browsing of the Puzzle Warehouse range over the last few months and there was one particular puzzle that kept catching my eye, even though it didn’t fall into the usual categories of what I look for in a puzzle.
Puzzles are good for you. We’ve all heard that, but WHY are puzzles good for you? What makes them more than just a run-of-the-mill hobby or a way to pass the time? The secret is our friends dopamine and serotonin! So what exactly are dopamine and serotonin? Both are neurotransmitters, communicating messages between your brain and nerve centers throughout your body, and they can both act as hormones.