Thursday, October 17, 2019

Return of the Puzzle

Thanks to my dear husband and his relatively new hobby of buying music online and burning it to disc, a pleasant hobby of my own is returning.  I am a serious jigsaw puzzle addict and always have been.  This blog has seen a long post on the sister puzzle to Ruth Ray's Handsome Witch:  Copper Queen.   That post shows a pic of our puzzle collection, some 150 strong.  It also tells more about this gifted artist.

Copper Queen by Ruth Ray.   Photo'd in 2015
I quit doing puzzles several years ago, aware that I could not control stopping when I started working on them in the middle of the day.  It was a dreadful step.  I had to drop something, and puzzles and stamps, two beloved hobbies, were the least painful to drop.  For the year 2019 one of my dearest wishes was that puzzles could somehow come back again -- I had loved them so much.  The trick turned out to be George's new habit of doing exercises in the evening, to music he had himself burned to disc.  During that time I could work on a puzzle,...  if I had done my chores and errands and tack for the day.  It made for some together time.

The Reutrn of the Puzzle started a few weeks ago with a gristmill and deer scene -- appropriate for fall hunting season.
Here in central Pennsylvania there is an Amish grocery store, the next valley over, that carries puzzles.  I am well pleased to report that here at least some things don't change:  There are great new jigsaws being made out there.  Two brand names I can recommend are SunsOut and Cobble Hill.  The Gristmill puzzle, a SunsOut product, is of a painting.  It was a beautifully difficult puzzle because of the camouflage of everything.  Even the deer are of multiple shades of dark and light.  George does the edges and the easy parts, and I do the hard parts.

We know which member of the family added this one to the collection.
Chris Cummings did this particular painting.

I prefer paintings instead of photographs for puzzles.  They have so much textural detail.  My favorite jigsaws will always be the grand old Springboks of the 60s and 70s, followed by the great classic artistry of Ravensburger of Germany.
I'm still looking for an old ('vintage' is the search term) circular jigsaw of a farm scene with a huge cottonwood tree, a white horse in a pond and a pink blooming tree in the foreground.

House rules are that finished puzzles stay up for 3 days and are photographed.  After that, they return to their boxes, pieces well bagged to protect against humidity and mold.  If the box is particularly valued, the box is bagged too.

Someday I want to blog about how one Springbok puzzle inspired my TSII horse head logo.


  1. Those are beautiful paintings! Glad you could bring back another of what I lovingly call “shelf hobbies” to enjoy. Thanks for sharing and I’m curious about your logo...

  2. I used to do jigsaws a lot too -- for a while it was a tradition to start one every New Year's Eve while waiting for midnight. I had to give it up because of my cat -- he just can't resist walking all over the pieces, knocking them to the ground, and giving them a chew. Sigh. I miss my puzzle-building days but I love my cat, even though he's a great big brat.

  3. I often had a puzzle going in my classroom for kids to work on if they had finished their work or if they wanted to take a break. They loved working on them and would request another one when they finished the first.

  4. I loved puzzles as a kid. There was one my grandma had of horses in a field of dandelions, which I just loved as a kid. I finally made a scene with dandelions for my BreyerFest customs contest this year (2020). Funny how something as simple as a puzzle can stick with you.