Once upon a time, in the world of Jan van Haasteren, Jumbo the elephant decided to leave the zoo and go shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables (Jumbo Goes Shopping). For some reason, this surprised a lot of people. They fell down in shock. They drove their cars and bicycles into things. In short, chaos ensued. But that’s a fairly common event in van Haasteren’s world. CONTINUE READING
I just finished Afternoon in Paris, a 1000 piece panorama puzzle from MasterPieces, made from recycled material. I don’t usually choose puzzles with a soft water color look, but this one had such interesting detail and scope I couldn’t resist. It came in a sturdy panorama-shaped box. When I shook the pieces in my colander there was almost no puzzle dust.
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.
The opening number for the musical “Oliver!” is “Food, Glorious Food.” Workhouse children sing of the food they want to eat, but all they ever get is watery oatmeal. I am haunted by the image of Oliver slowly walking between the tables as he carries his bowl to Mr. Bumble, supervisor of the workhouse, and says, “Please sir, I want some more.” Mr. Bumble is so enraged by this impertinence that he sells Oliver to an undertaker.
I’m not sure why I love store front puzzles, but I do. They tend to have banners across the top, straight window edges, a front door, and something on the sidewalk in front. In short, they have a lot of different details. Usually the area behind the windows is the most challenging, but I usually leave that for last when there are fewer pieces to hunt through. And these stores sell such a variety of items – flowers, puzzles, books, electronics, clothing, vintage items, toys, and more.
What is it about a puzzle that causes someone to say, “That was a GOOD puzzle,” rather than I’m so glad I finished that. Put it in the box and donate it to the thrift store!” I think it varies from one person to the next. That’s why there are so many different types of puzzles – something for everyone. Not much of an answer, I know. But it’s why it’s so difficult to buy a puzzle for someone else. Hint to family and friends: Gift cards please!
As I’ve said before, I really like collage puzzles. Maybe I’m just lazy, but to focus on 50 plus pieces of a cupcake, tea cup, or stamp rather than all 1000 pieces of the puzzle makes it so much easier. Then when I have enough of those items assembled and can put them together, along with the border, I feel like I’ve really accomplished something. I’m on my way! CONTINUE READING