Tuesday, April 29, 2014

100 pc. - The Muppets Most Wanted

A few months ago Randy won some sort of "movie goers" gift box from one of the movie studios (don't recall which one). We just recently got the box and inside was a cute little 100-piece jigsaw puzzle that was the movie poster for the new Muppets movie.

Today Derek asked if we could put it together. Of course I never turn down an opportunity to do a puzzle with my little boy so we got it out and started working on it. This is the biggest puzzle that Derek has worked on so far, and he seemed to enjoy it.
He preferred it when I got the connecting piece close to where it needed to go and then he got to "hammer it in" with his fist. LOL

We had a good time putting it together - though he was a bit confused as to why there were two "kermies" in the puzzle. And, quite frankly, I was too....hmmm...

Monday, April 28, 2014

3rd Time's a Charm

So I officially opened the bag for Section #3 and started sorting on April 17th. This is now my 3rd go round with the sorting, and I am finding that as I do each section, the sorting gets easier and faster, and I'm much more detailed with my buckets.
I went from about 5 or 6 buckets in Section 1, 12 buckets for Section 2 to 18 or so for Section 3.
This time I sorted into the following buckets:

Edge pieces
Pink sky
Starry sky
Remainder of blue sky
Yellow / orange parts of sky
Dolphin jumping into water
Rippled water on the surface
Sail boats
Teal anemone
Pink anemone
Rest of anemone
Blue underwater areas
Under the water dolphins
It only took me five minutes to find the first two pieces that connected together. Hee hee After two days of sorting for a couple of hours each day, I assembled the top and bottom border and put them in place. It went together very quickly, and then I moved right on to my first bucket of interior pieces - the teal colored anemone. Pictures of all the progress up to this point will be shown in the next post.

I am having a lot of fun with this section already.

Thanks for sticking with me.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Baffledazzle Project

This week I was contacted by Baffledazzle about an exciting new puzzling project on Kickstarter.  

Baffledazzle puzzles take solvers on an adventure, leading them to discover something new and interesting about the world around us. Their goal is to deliver the feeling of exploration and discovery in a box, and to make visual and tactile information part of the learning experience.

Hundreds of wood, acrylic, or felt puzzle pieces start you off. You start to gather clues from the piece shapes and textures, from the images they form, from the words etched into their face. A cryptic printed riddle helps you along; it gives your efforts direction and nudges you back onto the trail when you get lost. Mysteries and gaps in information challenge you to look closely, think deeper, and search for sources that bring you closer to the solution. No two paths to the answer are exactly the same.
Baffledazzle puzzles are available on Kickstarter through May 4th

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Section 2 - Disassembly and Reassembly

Just a couple of new photos of the process of flipping Section 2 over on the puzzle board.  At least this time it should go faster because I've done this process once and figured out the best way to flip each section over and get it back together.  I anticipate I should be ready for contact papering by end of the day today.  Here's a couple of pictures...

Preparing the mini section for removal from rest of puzzle.

The extracted row and column moved to flipping board where it will be reattached to the mini section once it is removed from the puzzle table.

Removed mini section on top of flipping board - ready to be turned over and laid back down on main puzzle board facedown, waiting for contact paper.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Accidental Lesson Learned

As I mentioned in the last post, I finished Section 2 on Sunday evening, and last night I was so anxious to work on something puzzle related that I pulled out my 2,000 piece Vegas, Baby puzzle that I had started back in 2009 before we moved from our first house in Lake Mary, FL.  It was one of the first puzzles I bought and started working on after getting my first puzzle roll.  I had completed about 50% of the puzzle when we sold our house and moved into a rental house while waiting for our next home to be built.  Unfortunately, the puzzle roll got put on the moving truck accidently.  After that, I was afraid to unroll it and see how bad it was as I was pretty sure pieces probably fell out on the truck.  So, I put it away and had no real desire to work on it again.

A few months ago, after spending a lot of time chatting with other puzzle enthusiasts, I decided that I probably should dig it out and try to finish that's what I did last night.  Because it was still on the puzzle roll, and I am not fond of putting puzzles together on the felt any longer now that I've got a table, I decided to try and move the puzzle from the puzzle roll directly on top of my completed Section 2 of Life.  Since I had not yet flipped it over to put contact paper on the backside, I figured it would be easy to finish the Vegas puzzle on top.   Boy oh boy was I wrong, and I learned a couple of very valuable lessons.

A.  Buffalo Games makes a good quality product.  Having only dealt with Educa's Life pieces for the last 3.8 years, I had forgotten that other puzzling companies make pieces that are much easier to keep together.  Well, that can be a good thing and a bad thing....good that it sticks together - bad that it was on a puzzle roll as it was very difficult to move without messing it all up.

B.  Back when I first started the Life puzzle, I thought I would follow Scott Slater's method and do each section, one on top of the other.  As I stated in a previous post, when I finished section 1 and started section 2, I had intended on trying out his method even though I thought it would be difficult on my eyes.  And, it wasn't so bad when I started section 2 as I just put the top and bottom border on top of section 1, but I ended up taking it off and flipping section 1 over so that I could put the contact paper on the back, and build the next section on top of the backside of the previous section.  I initially did this not so much because it was bothering my eyes to see section 1 underneath, but rather because I didn't want to have issues later on when I needed to flip each section in order to put on the contact paper.

Now I am so glad that I did NOT end up trying to build section 2 on top of section 1!!!  When I finally was able to pull the Vegas puzzle off the puzzle roll and get it back together on top of section 2 of Life, I was amazed at how difficult it was see the areas where I still needed to fit pieces on the Vegas puzzle.  It was highly distracting seeing the Life puzzle showing through from beneath.  I did not like it at all.  I cannot even imagine how difficult it would have been to try and put together 6,000 pieces like that.  UGH!  So that was the biggest lesson learned.  I will not, under any circumstances, be doing any puzzles like that in the future.

So at this point I'm sure you're thinking - okay, you've got this half completed puzzle sitting there, what are you going to do now?  Well, I took all the remaining pieces and put them face up on one of my working boards, went to bed for the night, got up this morning and when Cole went down for his nap - I demolished it and put it back in the box!  LOL

I couldn't stand trying to work on the puzzle with the other one showing through, but there was no way I was going to put it back on the puzzle roll since that was such a pain to get off there in the first place.  So, I ended up just taking it apart and putting it back.  I WILL at some point put it together again, from scratch this time when I have my puzzle board free and clear of the Life puzzle and can easily lay out all the pieces face up on the table while assembling.  I don't think I have very many, if any actually, pieces missing.  I tried doing a rough count while I was putting it back in the box, and I know if I am missing any, it's maybe 1 or 2 which is amazing to me given what has happened with it over the years.

There was a secondary reason that I decided to give up on the puzzle and put it all back in the box - I really am anxious to get back to the Life puzzle and start section 3!  LOL  I know it's crazy after having worked on it now for almost 4 years, but I truly could go down to the puzzle room right now and dig right into Section 3.  I think I am still going to attempt to do one small, 1,000 piece puzzle before I get back into Life, but that will be it.  And if this puzzle doesn't come together quickly, I may put it aside and get back to Life....I really do miss it already!

So, even though I put the puzzle back in the box for now, it helped me see that doing a large puzzle section on top of section is definitely not for me, and that in itself made it all worth it.  LOL

Sunday, April 13, 2014

One Year and 11 Days Later....


Woo Hoo!  Today, April 13, 2014, marks the completion of Section 2 and 50% of the entire puzzle.  Wow, it doesn't seem possible that I am finally halfway done, but at the same time it also seems like I've been working on this project FOREVER!  LOL

Here are my overall statistics...

Section 1:  2 years, 8 months and 10 days assembly time
Section 2:  1 year and 11 days assembly time
Section 3:  Goal is to complete in half the time as Section 2, so approximately 6 months and 5 days
Section 4:  Goal is to complete in half the time as Section 3 (with any luck)

Total elapsed time since starting puzzle:  3 years, 8 months, and 21 days

My hope is now that I have a dedicated puzzle room and table, one child who's in school three days a week soon to be 5 days a week, and another child who is still young enough to take good naps, I will be able to work on Section 3 a little more consistently.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

All That Remains...Part Two

It's amazing what a little alone time three days a week can do for a puzzling momma!  I have been getting in at least an hour or so on these days and it has been wonderful.  It's also getting a lot easier since I have a lot less pieces to weed through to find the right one as I get closer and closer to the end.
Here are a couple of picture updates. As you can see, all that remains is the bluish water/fish area just below the water line.
I would love to try and make a push for getting this finished in the next week or two.  I want to take a small break before tackling Section 3 and finish my Las Vegas, Baby puzzle I had started back in 2009 before we moved from our first house in Lake Mary and it got accidently put on the moving truck.  I know it's missing pieces due to this, but I've got to see it through to the end and find out how bad it truly is...  Then, I think I might do one more small 1,000 piece puzzle and a thorough spring cleaning on my house before sinking my teeth into Section 3. I never thought I would get to that section, but I will soon be 50% done with a 24,000 piece puzzle.  Wow!