Monday, March 25, 2013

100 or Less to Go!

I am about 100 or so pieces away from being done with Section 1!  I can hardly believe it.  I know I should be making a huge push to get those last 100 pieces finished, but boy have they been difficult.  I'm down to the pieces that are between the water line and the start of the clownfish and it all looks the same, and it's all there's not even much color variation to help me out on this part.  So, it's usually a matter of trying every single piece of the right shape until I find the one that works.  Thankfully there's not THAT many pieces left, but it's still making it difficult to get those last pieces finished.

I will post pictures of what's left soon.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Clownfish Have Reluctantly Surrendered

They thought they would get the best of me, but NO, I would not let that happen.  The dreaded, but gorgeous clownfish are now finished with a couple of minor pieces still to find somewhere (still worried about the solid orange one....I am 99% sure it's officially missing).

I made a ton of progress in the last two days.  Amazingly enough, yesterday I got to work on it a bit while Derek was awake.  He kept coming in and out of the room a lot, but he has been trained not to mess with the puzzle, and he did really well.  I was surprised.  Of course, it still made me nervous when he wanted to put some of his toys on top of the puzzle, but I just tried to hold my breath, keep reminding him to be very careful, and he did fine.  It helped me get a lot of the remaining pieces knocked out.  It was so easy to find what I was looking for since I didn't have 50 potential possibilities to look through and try.

Here are the latest pictures....I am estimating that I might have somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 pieces left (give or take a few).  Woo hoo!  My goal of finishing this section by August is most certainly within the realm of possibility.  In fact, I think I might even be able to finish this in the next couple of weeks if I can keep making such good progress.  I'm getting so close now that I just want to work on it ALL THE TIME.  I'm getting up every morning at about 6 a.m. to work on it for a little while before Derek gets up.  It is definitely helping with the progress.

And here are the close ups of the two clownfish areas where I am still missing a couple of pieces.  Again, the most concerning one at this moment is the orange piece on the tail fin of the second picture below.  I have looked everywhere.  :o(

Thanks for sticking with me, and happy reading.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Apparently Not All "Life" is Created Equal

Okay, now before you go thinking that I'm getting all philosophical and religious, let me explain...

As I posted in my previous entry, I believe I have run into my first official "missing" piece.  It's the solid orange piece going into the tail fin of one of the orange clownfish.  I have searched and searched through all my remaining pieces and cannot find it.  Then, a couple of days ago I discovered the blog of a fellow "Life" puzzle enthusiast, Charly, who lives in Chile.  He is also completing Section 1 currently, and we've been sharing experiences on the easy vs. OMG hard parts of doing this beast.  While looking at his blog, I discovered an entry that shows an up close detail picture of the orange clownfish where my piece is missing.  A light bulb went on at this point and I thought, "Oh great!  I can use his picture to look at my own and see if I might have one piece in the wrong spot that is making it look like I have a missing piece when I really don't."  Seems like a fantastic idea, right?  Well, it should have been, except....

His puzzle is cut slightly different than mine!  I couldn't believe it as I would have thought all the Life puzzles were cut in the exact same way, but apparently, they are not.  Even though our picture is exactly the same for that area, his pieces are cut in a different way so that his piece might be one with three knobs sticking out, and mine might only have two.  Isn't that bizarre?  Maybe to those of you out there who have been doing large puzzles far longer than I, you might say...of course, you silly goose, not all puzzles are cut the same way, even when it's the same picture, but I sure didn't know.

So, my initially brilliant idea to figure out if I had something mixed up in the puzzle turned out to be a bust, but I did learn something new that was far more interesting....not all "Life" is created equal!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

If Only...

If only I could have about 1 to 2 days of uninterrupted puzzling time (at least 6 to 8 hours in a day), I think I could have this baby finished!  It's getting a lot easier to find the pieces now that I don't have nearly as many of the same color to look through.  The clownfish are becoming much easier to complete; although, I am fairly certain I may have officially run across my first missing piece.  :o(

It's a piece that you might be able to see in the pictures below.  It's a solid orange piece on the tail fin of the orange clownfish that is below the greenish / teal clownfish and above a light purplish-pink fish.  You can see it fairly well in the second picture below.  I have looked and tried any piece that I thought could possibly fit there and nothing even comes close to working.  I've also looked around on the floor in my puzzle room, but haven't found it yet.  I guess it's still possible that it's there somewhere and I just can't find it, but I'm not convinced that's the case at all considering I have all the other pieces laid out for the most part on separate sheets of foam board and I've looked through all of them.

I suppose another possibility, though pretty remote, is that it could have somehow gotten into another puzzle bag.  I just kind of doubt it as manufacturer's usually only do one section per it's also possible that it got put into someone else's Section 1 bag.  Who knows....maybe it will still turn up, but again, not too optimistic about it at this point.  I think the main thing that is keeping me from being devastated right now is knowing that worst case scenario, I have the option to contact Educa and see if they can replace the piece with their lost piece replacement policy.

In any case, here are the latest pictures.  As you can see, it's slow, but steady progress.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Clownfish, You Aren't So Scary Anymore!

I'm happy to report that I am finally making some good headway with the clownfish.  It was really SLOW going there for a while, but I have made some really great progress in the last couple of days and I'm pleased with the results.  I don't know how many pieces I have left, but I am definitely confident that I have less than 1,000 pieces left now....just not sure how much less.

Friday, March 8, 2013

At Long Last, I'm Back...

After almost a month of not working on my puzzle due to being very sick with an extremely nasty flu / virus, I am happy to report that this morning I was able to start working on it again. It felt great to put in a few pieces, even though I didn't get to spend very long with it. Now that I'm feeling pretty good again (and in the start of the 2nd trimester), I am hoping to get the rest of this puzzle knocked out in the next month or so. I estimate that I have a little less than 1,000 pieces left.

Here are a couple of new pictures. It's hard to see a huge difference because the newly added pieces are scattered so far apart across the board.