Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I have made a little progress on some of the anemone areas surrounding the clownfish over the last week.  It's not a significant amount of progress, but as they say, any progress is progress, right?

This evening I am planning on working on Tom and Mercedes' mystery puzzles.  I have had to put off working on it further until after I got some things done in preparation for Cole's early arrival.  I should be able to post new pictures of those puzzles soon hopefully.  The borders are done - I just need to put them on my puzzle roll since my puzzling table is still occupied, and get started on some of the other areas of the puzzles.

Here's a picture of the anenome areas that I've been working on this week.

Can't wait to work on it again soon...hopefully tomorrow morning.  Gotta get in as much as I can before baby arrives.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Mystery Puzzles - Edges, Edges, and Even More Edges

I promised Tom and Mercedes that I would not wait until I had finished the Life puzzle (Gee, I wonder why they asked me that?!  LOL) to start working on the mystery puzzles gift they sent.  So last night I put aside time to start laying out the many edge pieces of what has turned out to be three Thomas Kinkade puzzles all mixed together.  It appears that they may be of different piece counts as well.  The largest one being possibly 500 or 750 pieces - I'm not quite done with the border yet so I can't be sure.  The two others I believe will be a lot smaller.

So here you are, Tom and Mercedes, new pictures of my progress.

Borders coming together for 3 puzzles.

Border for what appears to be a mini Kinkade puzzle.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mystery Puzzle - Tom and Mercedes Think They Are Soooo Funny!!! :o)

So this morning I decided to begin sorting the mystery puzzle that Tom and Mercedes sent me.  As I said in the last post, I thought based on looking at the pieces visible through the ziplock bag that it might be a Thomas Kinkade puzzle, and soon after I opened the bag and started sorting pieces, I was completely positive it was.

I was not sure how many pieces the puzzle was as there's no box or anything to give me a clue as to anything about the puzzle, but as I'm sorting through the pieces and putting them in smaller piles based on color and picture element, I start noticing two things:  1)  There's a whole lot of white pieces, presumbably part of the sky; and 2) There seems to be a lot of edge pieces...perhaps the puzzle is bigger than I originally thought?  Hmmm...

Then a really funny thing happened - I started seeing edge pieces that had Thomas Kinkade's name on it.  Great!  Let me put those together real quick as that will be easy to figure out, right?  WRONG!!!!!  Here's why:

Do you notice something odd with this picture?

Notice anything amiss here?  Well, every puzzle I've ever seen, other than a round one, has 4 corners on many corner pieces do you see here?  Certainly a LOT more than 4 that's for sure....LOL  Plus, another big clue that something's not quite right is the fact that there are three separate sections with Thomas Kinkade's name.  Okay, I get that Thomas Kinkade probably had a large ego and liked to see his name on every puzzle, but I seriously doubt that he would have put his name on one puzzle THREE TIMES!

So, I'm not completely finished with the initial sorting of the edge and like colored pieces, but here's what I do know so far...

1.  There are at least 3 puzzles mixed up in this ziplock bag of mystery.
2.  I think there's one puzzle that's some sort of cottage or house scene; another one that might be store / business fronts, and yet another that looks like a lighthouse / water scene possibly.
3.  I did see one piece that had a partial word on it "cisco" so I'm thinking that one of the puzzles might be a San Francisco scene of some sort.
4.  Tom and Mercedes have a wicked sense of humor....thanks A LOT guys!  LOL
5.  There appears to be some strange shaped pieces that have a small straight looking edge, but I don't believe they are true edge pieces.  I think they're in there just to trip me up, but I will not let them way!
6.  I will never again send Tom and Mercedes an "easy, breeezy" puzzle...oh no, next time it will be anything but....MMMUUUUWWWWHHAHAAHAHA.

After having only worked with the Life puzzle pieces for the last 3 years, these pieces feel enormous.  And then of course there's the fact that none of the shapes are of a regular cut like Life.  So this ought to be interesting for sure....sorting pieces into three different puzzles when I have no clue what any of the pictures are supposed to look like.  :o\

Here are a couple more pictures of what I've sorted so far:

Initial sorting into like colored pieces and edges....big pile on the bottom left is what I still have to sort through.

One of three Thomas Kinkade signatures - hmmm!

Edges, edges, and even more edges!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

From New York City to Vegas, Baby!

Besides the Nicky Boehme and Thomas Kinkade puzzles I purchased right after getting the puzzle roll, I also got these other two puzzles as well.  The Vegas, Baby! puzzle was actually the second puzzle I started on after I finished the You'd Better Be Good puzzle by Nick Boehme.

I was about three quarters of the way done with it when we moved from our house in Lake Mary, FL to a rental house while we were waiting for our new home in Mt. Dora to be built.  I didn't realize it at the time, but the puzzle roll with this puzzle on it got put on the moving truck with no box or anything to protect the pieces from falling out if they happened to get loose.  Ever since then, I have been afraid to re-open the roll and finish the puzzle because I'm almost positive there will be missing pieces.  However, after pulling the puzzle box out this morning to take a picture of it for this blog, I know, you should just finish it and see what the actual damage is because you're so close to being done.  So, I am going to try finishing it soon and see how many pieces are actually missing.  Worst case scenario, I can try getting the jigsaw doctor to recreate a couple of missing pieces, or perhaps my friend Tom in the USVI could help me out if there's not too many missing.  It's a nice picture of the Strip and I would really like to have it complete so I can hang it up on the wall in my puzzle room.

2,000 pc. - Las Vegas, Baby! - Buffalo Games
While we were in the rental house in FL, I got the New York City puzzle below as a way to pass time while the house was being built.  Because I still had the Vegas, Baby! puzzle on the puzzle roll, I couldn't put this on it, and therefore, never finished it.  Had to pull it apart when we moved from the rental into the new house.  One day, I will get back to it.

The puzzle comes in a really cute little travel suitcase.

Skyline scene of New York City.

Inside the New York City suitcase.

NIcky Boehme and Thomas Kinkade Puzzles

When I got my first puzzle roll back in 2009, I immediately went on a puzzle buying frenzy as it had been so long since I'd been able to do any puzzles due to space limitations and usage of dining room table as mentioned in earlier posts.  For some reason, I went on a Nick Boehme Christmas puzzle spree and bought five of them!  I just love his artwork as much as I love Thomas Kinkade's.  I ended up buying two of his smaller, round puzzles as well.

Of the five Nick Boehme puzzles, I have only completed You'd Better Be Good, a 1,000 piece window scene.  Here are the remaining Nick Boehme and Thomas Kinkade puzzles in my inventory as yet to be done.

1,000 pc. - Bringing Happiness and Joy - White Mountain Puzzles

1,500 pc - A Touch of Heaven - SunsOut

1,000 pc - In A One Horse Open Sleigh - White Mountain Puzzles

1,000 pc - Merry Christmas - SunsOut

750 pc - Hollyhock House - Ceaco

750 pc - Lamplight Lane - Ceaco

Nicky Boehme also has a large format puzzle that I really want to get called "Good Ole Days" - it's 6,000 peices and also another wintery, Christmas scene.  All the bluish snow and snow covered trees looks like it will be complicated, but I can't wait to get it and try it anyway.  LOL

6,000 pc - Good Ole Days - SunsOut

Life Goes On

This morning I was able to get in about 45 minutes with the puzzle before Derek woke up.  It was nice to get a little longer length of time to puzzle at one sitting.  My secondary goal of having Section 2 finished before baby Cole makes his appearance is looking less and less likely.  I think I am getting close to the 50% finished mark, but we found out yesterday that Cole will be arriving a week earlier than the originally scheduled C-section.  We will now be delivering on August 5th unless something else changes and it has to be done even earlier for medical reasons, but keep your fingers crossed that that doesn't happen...he needs more time to keep growing and getting bigger.

Here are the latest pictures of Life, Section 2:

9,000 Astrology - Ravensburger

This puzzle is one that I fell in love with the first time I saw it.  The colors are so vibrant and given that its a Ravensburger, I know this one will be a pleasure to put together.

I couldn't pass up the good deal I got on this puzzle from Craigslist.  It was only $40 plus flat rate USPS shipping so not too bad.  The puzzle is used, but appears to be complete and includes the poster.  The seller, also a puzzler (but with little puzzling space in his current apartment), put at least part of it together, after mixing both bags, and then ran out of space to put it.  And he also doesn't have a place to display it once it is finished.  All of that equals good news for me.

In order to keep the shipping costs to a minimum, I had the seller remove the outer box and simply put the ziplock bagged pieces into a flat rate box.  It fit....barely!  So, I don't have the original box, even though it shows up in this picture.  All I have is the actual ziplock bags and poster.

I must stop buying puzzles now.  I have bought three huge puzzles in the last month and I need to stop spending money on puzzles until I have completed at least some of these new addition to the few I had already purchased (small ones) prior to purchasing Life.  I will be posting pictures of these other puzzles later today on the main blog so stay tuned.

4 Historic World Maps - Opening the box

Here are some of the first pictures of this beautiful puzzle.  I will not be starting the build on this one for some time yet as I want to finish the Life puzzle first, but I love looking at the pieces and feeling them as they're just so much nicer than the Educa pieces of the Life puzzle.

The big box!

4 Historic World Maps Poster

18,000 pieces in all its glory!

The puzzle pieces are so nice and luxurious feeling after working with the Educa pieces for so long now.

Up close shot of one piece of the Historic Maps puzzle.

18,000 - 4 Historic World Maps - Ravensburger

4 Historic World Maps - 18,000 pieces - Ravensburger

I saw this puzzle quite some time ago, even before I bought the Life puzzle, and I loved the looks of it.  My house is decorated with an Old World style and I knew the artwork from this puzzle would fit right in with my decor.  The main reason I never purchased it was because of the solid gold border around each map.  It looked impossible with so many pieces being one solid color.  Still being so new to large format puzzles, I got really put off by this border and thought there was no way I would ever do that one.  Then I "met" Tom the Mad Puzzler and his wife, Mercedes, who just recently completed one section of this 18,000 piece map monster.

I started seeing their pictures and descriptions of their progress on their blog and I started re-thinking it a bit.  Maybe I could do it....just maybe!  I have to say they are quite the motivators when it comes to getting people passionate about jigsaw puzzles.  I officially owe two puzzle purchases to them now...thanks a lot, guys!  LOL

So, even though they both thought putting the first section of this puzzle together was a big pain, they really liked the end result.  The puzzle really is beautiful.

Also due to Mr. and Mrs. Mad Puzzler, I quickly found a great deal on a slightly used version of this puzzle on Craigslist from someone in Columbus, OH. I think this puzzle, if it weren't out of print already, would probably be close to $200 new.  I got mine for $30 plus shipping - woo hoo!

Kind of a funny story (I think, anyway) with the purchase of this puzzle.  Like I said earlier, I found the puzzle on Craigslist through the nationwide search Mad Puzzler showed me to do.  I couldn't believe the cheap price and the ad said that the puzzle was practically new as only one of the four bagged sections was open.  So I contacted the seller and they wrote back immediately.  As I learned, it was the wife selling the puzzle that she had bought for her husband at one point.  He's a big historic maps kind of guy and thought the puzzle would be really fun and something he would like to keep afterwards.   Well, apparently, the husband had never actually put together a jigsaw puzzle before!  Now why on earth a person would go from 0 to 18,000 pieces in one shot is beyond me!  I cannot even fathom the idea of never having done a puzzle before and to start with one that is 18,000 pieces with a nasty solid gold border to boot....was he nuts?!?!  :o)

Luckily for me, he determined after only working with 100 or so pieces that it wasn't for him.  LOL  So, Bag A is open, but all the pieces are in three separate and sealed ziplock bags.  The wife assures me all the pieces are there, and I believe her.  Everything that originally came with the puzzle was also intact....all the paperwork and the poster look new.  I am really looking forward to starting on this one.


  1. Yeah! We are the first to comment. M and I are laying in bed reading this! Good luck. Now what you should do is open every bag of all three puzzles and mix them together!
  2. Oh ha ha ha!!! You think that would be a good idea, huh? LOL

    I do sometimes wish I had mixed the Life puzzle together now, but given the parameters of my puzzle table, it just wouldn't have worked well. I'd have to end up spending a small fortune in smaller plywood boards in order to move it all around...a big pain to say the least!

Nothing Is As Pretty As A Rizzi City With Hidden Gems

For the last month I have been adding a couple of puzzles to my collection to work on after Life is finished.  My first purchase was for a 5,000 piece puzzle that my puzzling friends, Tom and Mercedes in the USVI, recommended.  I found it on Craigslist for $20 plus shipping.  When I was first looking at the puzzle online, I didn't really care for the picture, but then as I saw their blog entries and pictures while putting it together, it grew on me.  I think it will look really cute in Derek and Cole's play area as it looks a bit cartoonish.  Looking forward to starting this one as it doesn't look like it's going to be too difficult.

When I opened the box and started looking at the pieces and the feel / texture of the Ravensburger pieces (which I'm totally in love with now), I discovered some hidden gems.  The person I purchased the puzzle from had completed the puzzle himself, and appears he didn't completely separate the pieces before returning it to the box.  So there are several of these just in the top layer of pieces - I'm assuming I will find even more as I sort through the puzzle pieces when I am ready to tackle this one.  As I posted in a previous entry, I was tempted for a few minutes to just leave them that way and consider them a gift in easier assembly, but I know that my conscious will get the better of me and make me take them all apart before starting.  Well, maybe I will leave just one small one together as a starting point....hee hee

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mystery Puzzle

I received a very nice surprise yesterday from my puzzling friends, Tom and Mercedes.  A puzzle of course!  I immediately opened the box to find an even bigger surprise inside....what do you see?

Or, should I say what don't you see?  No puzzle box or picture!  So what is it a jigsaw picture of?!  Hmmmmm....

The only thing I can tell from looking at the pieces is that it appears that it could be a Thomas Kinkade puzzle.  They know I really like his artwork so it wouldn't surprise me if that's what they sent.  I guess they didn't want to make it easy on me at all so they removed any possibility of knowing what the picture contains.  Guess I will just have to build it to find out, huh?

Thanks again, Tom and M...I love it!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Feeling a Little Frustrated

I'm not getting enough time at any given puzzling session to really make much progress which is frustrating.  I think tonight I'm going to try and bring a section of the puzzle upstairs so I can work on it even if Randy wants to watch a movie or something.  This way I can be with him, but still move forward on the puzzle.  I got in about 30 minutes this morning before Derek woke up.  I guess it's better than nothing, but still frustrating when I would have loved to work on it for a couple of hours (or 6 or 7...who am I kidding? LOL).

Here are some pictures of what I worked on this morning - a little more of the yellow clownfish looking guys, finished the tiger fish, and some of the anemone (?).  I don't even know if that's what all those colorful, pipe cleaner looking things are called, but until I figure out what they're actually called, it's going to be that.

More clownfish, I think?

Finally found the last four pieces of the tiger fish:

Start of anemone on bottom left:

Friday, July 12, 2013

30+ Pieces in 15 Minutes

This is an example of my luck....for the first time all week I got up early to work on the puzzle before Derek woke up.  I literally had been in the room for less than 5 minutes and he decided to wake up early (6:30 a.m.).  I decided to just let him talk and babble in his bed for another 10 minutes or so while I knocked out a few pieces.  I counted them at the end and looks like I placed about 32 pieces in 15 minutes or so.  Not too bad for such a short amount of time spent with the puzzle, but considering those are the only 15 minutes I've gotten in this week, not so great.

Really want to work on the puzzle tonight for a while if possible.  I am missing it.

Here's a photo of my 15 minute mad dash....LOL

Sorted piles of coral and other "spagetti strand" looking things.  LOL

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Right?

Hmmm....I wonder if I can qualify for some sort of "longest amount of time to finish Life puzzle" award?  LOL  I am making very slow, but progressive progress on Section 2.  Sorry I haven't updated in a while, but haven't been working on it much due to being sick a lot.  Hoping (fingers, toes, and eyes crossed) that this is it for a while.  I'm tired of being sick!

The last couple of mornings, I worked on the puzzle a little bit before baby boo woke up.  I got a good chunk of the upper right corner between Neptune and the top border done.  Most of the two big parrot looking birds are done as well, and I put the clownfish in what I believe is their proper postions...give or take a few pieces left or right.  Here are some new pictures.  Enjoy!


Overall picture of Section 2:

Close up of top half:

Start of solar system area and parrots: