Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Friday, January 21, 2022

My Winter Puzzle

My current puzzle is a Christmas scene.  It is called Christmas Cheer by the Vermont Christmas Company.  I haven’t done enough puzzles to develop a favored company.

I didn’t have as much time before Christmas to work on this puzzle as I hoped and here I am after Christmas - actually mid-January - working on a Christmas theme.  I considered stopping the work and putting it away for next year, but knowing me, I might not want to do this same puzzle again.  

I love having a dedicated space that I don’t
need to change out for other use.

Of course, today a snow storm is predicted and this puzzle is full of snow ... so now it is my Winter Puzzle.  It probably is best I finish it this year and then re-home it.  I seldom re-read books and creating jigsaw puzzles are the same. I seldom repeat a puzzle.  I have glued a number of puzzles together that were of interest to my Grand daughter and she has them hanging in her play room.

This puzzle is quite large.  As I typically do, I began with the border pieces.  Then I usually pick items within the puzzle to put together - items that are easy to find in the mix of puzzle pieces - which in the beginning is a lot to paw through. 

This time I focused on the Christmas trees.  That was a mistake.  Finding the pieces was not hard, but getting them put together was harder than I thought.  I started focusing on the people in the picture.  That went faster. And then the buildings.  

And with time, some of the Christmas trees began to take shape.  

This last tree is still a struggle.

The cost of puzzles climbed during the pandemic, mostly because people were so interested in doing home activities and puzzle companies had trouble keeping up with the demand.   In 2020 when I rediscovered the joy of putting puzzles together I went on a binge of puzzle purchases.  I sort of went puzzle crazy.  Beyond this puzzle I have 24 puzzles waiting for me to assemble.  Some were cheap - a few were expensive.  A few were gifts. Now, that puzzles are widely available again, I realize that I wouldn't spend more than $20 for one.  The time and enjoyment I get from them is well worth the $20 or less spent.  But some puzzles go for upwards of $30 or $40 dollars.  Since I don’t repeat many, that cost would be too pricy for one completion only.  I am a little loathed to buy puzzles second hand.  I would hate to find a piece missing.  But if the picture was compelling enough, I might risk it.

I have heard the opinion that doing a jigsaw puzzle is not a productive use of time - especially if it is dismantled after it is completed.  I guess I can understand that opinion on one level, but I also believe that not all activities need to be productive.  Relaxation is also an important state for both mind and body.  The path to relaxation is different for everyone.  Based on recent events - completing jigsaw puzzles is a pretty popular method of relaxation.

Do you do jigsaw puzzles?

  Do you have a preferred vendor?

  What is the range of cost that you find reasonable?

  What is your experience with previously owned puzzles?

One last picture - update as of Wednesday night!  The trees are finally complete (and they weren’t fun to do) as well as much of the bottom.  Hoping the sky isn’t as hard as it looks.  😀




Michelle said...

I love to do jigsaw puzzles but don't have a dedicated space for and get pushback for how absorbed I get from my husband, therefore I rarely indulge now.

Wendy said...

Great progress on your lovely puzzle. I like doing puzzles and have some waiting to be done. Some are new but some have come from yard sales or charity shops. I often donate mine to charity shops or pass on to other family members but only if they are complete. No idea what the price comparison is from pounds to dollars.

Marie Smith said...

Not everything has to be productive certainly. However, pure enjoyment can be productive in the feelings it produces. That puzzle looks tough but I imagine you will have a great sense of satisfaction when it is completed.

A :-) said...

In answer to your questions:

Do you do jigsaw puzzles? Yes!! I am the Puzzle Queen!!!

Do you have a preferred vendor? My favorites are the old Victory Gold Box puzzles - I get them on eBay. They are wood. I much prefer wooden puzzles to cardboard ones.

What is the range of cost that you find reasonable? The Victory Gold Box puzzles are very spendy - anywhere from $60 on up, depending on size. I get some as treats every now and then, but because they are Gold Box (they don't have a guide picture) I find that I can do them more than once. Modern wooden puzzles can be more expensive. A lot more expensive. Liberty is one manufacturer and I have a couple of their puzzles - very spendy. Nautilus is another, and I love theirs too.

What is your experience with previously owned puzzles? I've only ever gotten one that was not in advertised shape, and I don't buy them unless they say that all the pieces are there. In my experience most of the vendors are honorable.

Leftycrafter said...

Yes, I do jigsaw puzzles. They were such a great way to be with my grandfather and my mother during their last years of life. Now, when I work them, it brings fond memories back.

As for price....$20 would be my limit and it would need to be something frame worthy. Ravensburger is probably my favorite company but they have gone up on price quite a bit in the past 2 years.

We have a used bookstore here that sells used puzzles. Most of the time all the pieces are there and the prices are excellent. Out of the 50+ puzzles I have purchased from them. Only 2 have had a piece missing.

happyone said...

I do like that puzzle. It looks like a challenge.
As you know I love doing puzzles.
My favorite vender is White Mountain.
I think we get them for around $15 - $20 and get them on line mostly. We do our puzzles over and over again.
Once we bought about a dozen puzzles at an auction for $2 and most all of them had all the pieces.

Cat said...

I occasionally do jigsaws, but normally I haven't had safe areas (cats), or much space to dedicate to it. I want to try a puzzle I got for my Dad, it's a 3D of the US capitol. But I just like the relaxation of puzzles, I didn't realize that everything you do must be productive. Remind me to not be around that person, we'd drive each other bats. Heck, some family members think my knitting socks is wasting time! Gah...

Becki said...

It has been years since I've worked on a jigsaw puzzle, but I'm sure I could carve out some dedicated space in our new place if I decided to. Not sure if we own a puzzle at this point, though. Well, that's not true. I do have some from Russia and they look impossibly hard, so I leave them together in their box. I haven't a clue how much puzzles cost anymore. Yours is so pretty. :) It looks like it would be a pleasure to work on.

Leigh said...

I think it's a very nice scene! Worth doing even though the holiday theme has passed.

I really enjoy jigsaw puzzles, but Dan definitely does not. So, with no place to do them, they've become a thing of my past.

Sandy said...

No, I don't do puzzles. For me they're frustrating so anything but relaxing; but I have a friend who's addicted to doing them. When we girls vacation together, she always bring several. She get's so engrossed with them, she's sometimes antisocial while working on one. I do help out here and there, but normally while she's puzzling, I'm knitting or crocheting. Love the one you're working on, quite pretty.

Bettina Groh said...

Occasionally I do puzzles on my computer or phone... I can pick the number of pieces from super simple to really complex.... That seems to be enough puzzles for me!