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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Whimsical Woodie

In my last post I mentioned that I was getting my first wooden jigsaw puzzle, entitled The Messenger by Kevin Sloan.  What I didn't say at the time, as I hadn't yet received the puzzle, was that I was contacted by Artifact Puzzles and given the opportunity to choose any puzzle I wanted (up to a generous pre-set price) and they would send it to me absolutely free of charge.  Of course I was very skeptical at first because it sounded too good to be true.  Who sends someone something that expensive for free and not have some kind of catch attached, right?  I emailed the person back and asked a bunch of questions and received an equally nice and reassuring response.  Apparently, this is something that companies are starting to do more and more these days.  They are willing to send me their product for free to try out with the hope that I will like it and then write about it on my blog.  Good advertising for them and keeps me happy too.  A win win to be sure.

So, about a week later I received my puzzle.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the way it was presented.  It came gift wrapped in a nice little wooden box. Here, take a look.


I opened the box and the pieces were beautiful.  In keeping with the theme of the overall puzzle, there were lots of whimsical pieces having to do with turtles and time - a clock, several different turtles, roman numerals representing the odd hours on a clock as corner pieces, and even an Indian brave.  



So, I set to work on the puzzle immediately.  This is the first time I've ever done a puzzle where I didn't start with the edge pieces.  There really wasn't an advantage on this puzzle to doing the border first as it wasn't a straight edge anyway.  I worked on the puzzle for maybe an hour or so the first day and then had to put it up until the next day.  Here's a few pictures after the end of day 1.  




On day 2, I worked on the puzzle for several hours broken up throughout the day and I made a lot of progress.


On day 3 I was able to complete the rest of the puzzle and discovered that I had one missing piece!  Booo!!!


I have no idea if the puzzle was missing the piece from the start, or if it somehow "walked" away either on my clothes or with my almost 4-year-old-toddler.  LOL  The puzzle was only on my kitchen table from day 1 to completion so I don't know where it could have disappeared to, but it's definitely gone.  

Amazingly enough, I contacted Artifact Puzzles, and let them know what happened.  I explained that I did not expect them to replace the whole puzzle since they sent it to me for free to begin with, but was hoping they might be able to send just the one piece if possible.  They immediately responded and said that yes, they would replace the piece.  So I guess it's on its way.  I am looking forward to seeing the puzzle completed as it's really cute and I would like to frame it and hang it up near my bookcases upstairs.

Overall, a really GREAT puzzling experience.  Having never worked on a wooden puzzle before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  The quality of the pieces are amazing.  The detail of the cut is superb.  The pieces do fit together fairly well, but they're loose.  So, I was never able to pick up an entire section and move it without it coming apart.  That would be my only criticism of the puzzle is that the pieces do not interlock so it's difficult to move it without it coming apart.  However, I'm not sure if this is something unique to Artifact puzzles or just the way wooden puzzles fit in general since it's my first of this type.

Thanks again to the nice folks at Artifact Puzzles for sending me this great puzzle.  I really enjoyed putting it together.

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