Puzzle: The Emperor’s Dream

The Emperor's Dream, med Size: 300+  pieces
Dimensions: 52 cm x 52 cm
Producer
: Springbok, Hallmark Cards
Artist: Unknown

Puzzle: A relaxing puzzle to do, even though the pieces are very thick and snap in with a bit of effort. The imagery makes up for it though. The best places to start are the flower border, the birds, the large flowers, the water lilies, the small clusters of flowers and leaves, and the butterflies. Tall grass leaves in yellow and green, as wellas the bamboo stalks contrast well with the black of water. The water lily leaves and the gold of the river is also distinct enough, leaving the green leaves of the bamboo and the green and yellow water grass to complete the picture.

Notes: “The Emperor’s Dream

“I had a vision,” the Emperor said –
“Last night, it was as though my soul
Had shed me while I lay abed
And slipped beyond the mortal shoal
Down to the deeps of imagination
Where night-thoughts swirl in painted streams;
Down past the level of contemplation
Through the shadowy realm of dreams;
Into a place I’d never known –
A place where only peace could reign…
My soul would claim it for its own
And there, contented, would remain.
My soul eased down and rested there
And watched the butterflies at play,
Dancing in the scented air
By the lotus’ lush display.
There was more, but suddenly
My soul was coming back again –
My soul was rushing back to me
Returning to the world of men!
I awoke still deep in thrall
My vision would not be denied –
It’s true: what we love most of all
We carry with us deep inside.
We keep it hidden all the time
Securing it with self-made locks,
Yet still it’s there – the dream sublime –
A gem within a jewelry box.”

– Pat Cadigan”
[Puzzle box]

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Puzzle: Peacock feather

Peacock feather, med
Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 30.02 cm x 48.26 cm
Producer
: Mega Puzzles, Vibrant series, 2013, No. 51410AAN, A 17063 LP
Photographer: Michael Shake
Original: photo

Puzzle: A beautiful simple puzzle with the colourful bands of the peacock feather. I have started with the purple, red, and black eye of the feather, and continued with the green outline, filling in the yellows and oranges after. The direction of the feather strands makes for a good guide in placing the pieces. From that point on, the surrounding pieces easily fall into place. A pleasure to do, this puzzle would be an easy one for beginners.

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Puzzle: The Path in the Forest

The Path in the Forest, med
Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73 cm x 48.57 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: A bit more complex puzzle to do, but quite enjoyable. Good regions to complete first would be the birds and the feeder, as well as the tree trunks that provide vertical guides for the picture. The purple and yellow flowers, as well as the sunlit greenery in the middle can provide more spotlights. The rest of the regions are relatively equal in terms of complexity.

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Puzzle: Birds of the Season, 3 of 4, by Greg Giordano

Birds 2, med

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 40.64cm x 50.8cm
Producer
: Karmin International, Birds of the Season series
Artist: Greg Giordano

Puzzle: One of the 4 puzzles in the box (first, second, third, fourth). As the others, it’s pleasant to make with the bright flowers and green leaves. The uniform areas of the fence and the watering can, the smaller leaves and sky, the white narcissus flowers and the bird’s bright red and black plumage are good places to start. Tulips and blue and lavender flowers stand out as well. Those could be followed by the darker regions, the green leaves, and the yellow narcissus flowers, leaving the rest easy to complete.

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Puzzle: Birds of the Season, 2 of 4, by Greg Giordano

Birds 1, med

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 40.64cm x 50.8cm
Producer
: Karmin International, Birds of the Season series
Artist: Greg Giordano

Puzzle: One of the 4 puzzles in the box (first, second, third, fourth). Easy to start assembly from the wheel, the birds, and the top background. The flowers are a little more tricky, but the bottom dark part can be filled in first, followed by the yellow centres of the daisies, the washed out green at the bottom centre, yellow patch of colour at the bottom of the wheel, and the rest should fall into place after that.

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Puzzle: Birds of the Season, 1 of 4, by Greg Giordano

Birds 3, med
Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 40.64cm x 50.8cm
Producer
: Karmin International, Birds of the Season series
Artist: Greg Giordano

Puzzle: One of the 4 puzzles in the box (first, second, third, fourth). The bright red bird is the logical start of the this puzzle. The rest of it looks relatively uniform, so assembling darker areas, the large white leaves and the flower centres is one way to approach this puzzle, filling in the leaves and the branches afterwards.

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Puzzle: Evergreen Basket by Marjolein Bastin

Christmas bird evergreen basket, med

Size:  500 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions:  cm x  cm
Artist: Marjolein Bastin
Producer: Unknown (please let me know if you have this information).

Puzzle: A bright winter puzzle, with pieces not exactly fitting together well, but due to their varying shapes, fitting unambiguously. Red regions, birds, flower centres, and the baskets are the easiest places to start, followed by colour border regions. The rest of the puzzle fits together easily. Not the greatest make of a puzzle, but not exceptionally bad.

Notes: Nothing on the box except for the artist’s name.

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Puzzle: Portofino Coast by James Coleman

James Coleman - Portofino Coast, med

Size:  750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox
Artist:
James Coleman
Painting: http://www.progressiveart.com/coleman/coleman_portofino_coast.shtml

Notes: Portofino is an Italian fishing village, and upmarket resort famous for its picturesque harbour and historical association with celebrity visitors. It is a comune located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. The town is crowded round its small harbour, is closely associated with Paraggi Beach, which is a few minutes up the coast. According to Pliny the Elder, Portofino was founded by the Romans and named Portus Delphini, or Port of the Dolphin, because of the large number of dolphins that inhabited the Tigullian Gulf. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Country Living by Thomas Kinkade

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 69cm x 51cm
Producer: Ceaco
Artist:
Thomas Kinkade
Notes:
“In the country, wildflowers grow in profusion. To me, these bluebonnets, scotch broom and wild poppies symbolize the abundant blessings of Country Living; these are the tangible pleasures that surround you day in and day out where the air is pure and the sun is bright. This scene might be found any place where the hills and valleys are alive with nature’s harmony – the Texas hill country, the Smoky Mountains, the rolling Cascades, or even my native Sierra foothills.” [Thomas Kinkade, on the puzzle box]

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Puzzle: Audubon – American Robin


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 45.72cm x 45.72cm
Producer: Buffalo Games
Box: photo
Photographer: Adam Jones
Notes: The American Robin or North American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a migratory songbird of the thrush family. It is named after the European Robin[3] because of its reddish-orange breast, though the two species are not closely related, with the European robin belonging to the flycatcher family. The American Robin is widely distributed throughout North America, wintering south of Canada from Florida to central Mexico and along the Pacific Coast.

The American Robin is active mostly during the day and assembles in large flocks at night. Its diet consists of invertebrates (such as beetle grubs and caterpillars), fruits and berries. It is one of the earliest bird species to lay eggs, beginning to breed shortly after returning to its summer range from its winter range. Its nest consists of long coarse grass, twigs, paper, and feathers, and is smeared with mud and often cushioned with grass or other soft materials. It is among the first birds to sing at dawn, and its song consists of several discrete units that are repeated. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Audubon – Northern Cardinal


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 45.72cm x 45.72cm
Producer: Buffalo Games
Box: photo
Photographer: Gene Stone / Leeson Photography
Notes: The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a North American bird in the genus Cardinalis; it is also known colloquially as the redbird or common cardinal. It can be found in southern Canada, through the eastern United States from Maine to Texas and south through Mexico. It is found in woodlands, gardens, shrublands, and swamps.

The Northern Cardinal is a mid-sized songbird with a body length of 21 centimeters (8.3 inches). It has a distinctive crest on the head and a mask on the face which is black in the male and gray in the female. The male is a vibrant red, while the female is a dull red-brown shade. The Northern Cardinal is mainly granivorous, but also feeds on insects and fruit. The male behaves territorially, marking out his territory with song. During courtship, the male feeds seed to the female beak-to-beak. A clutch of three to four eggs is laid, and two to four clutches are produced each year. It was once prized as a pet, but its sale as cage birds is now banned in the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Birds of the Season, 4 of 4, by Greg Giordano


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 40.64cm x 50.8cm
Producer
: Karmin International, Birds of the Season series
Artist: Greg Giordano

Puzzle: One of the 4 puzzles in the box (first, second, third, fourth).

Notes: Birds (class Aves) are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic (warm-blooded), egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from the 5 cm Bee Hummingbird to the 2.75 m Ostrich.

Modern birds are characterised by feathers, a beak with no teeth, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a lightweight but strong skeleton. All living species of birds have wings—the now extinct flightless Moa of New Zealand was the only exception. Wings are evolved forelimbs, and most bird species can fly, with some exceptions, including ratites, penguins, and a number of diverse endemic island species. Birds also have unique digestive and respiratory systems that are highly adapted for flight. Some birds, especially corvids and parrots, are among the most intelligent animal species; a number of bird species have been observed manufacturing and using tools, and many social species exhibit cultural transmission of knowledge across generations. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Audubon – Eastern Bluebird II


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 45.72cm x 45.72cm
Producer: Buffalo Games
Box: photo
Photographer: Richard Day / Daybreak Imagery
Notes: The Eastern Bluebird, Sialia sialis, is a small thrush found in open woodlands, farmlands and orchards, and most recently can be spotted in suburban areas. It is the state bird of Missouri and New York.

Adults have a white belly. Adult males are bright blue and red on top and have a reddish brown throat and breast. Adult females have lighter blue wings and tail, a brownish throat and breast and a grey crown and back. Eastern Bluebirds are found east of the Rockies, southern Canada to the Gulf States and southeastern Arizona to Nicaragua.

The bright blue breeding plumage of the male, easily observed on a wire or open perch, fluttering down to the mowed grass to capture a grasshopper, cricket or beetle makes this species a favorite of birders. [Wiki]

http://fingeringzen.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Audubon-Eastern-Bluebird-II-box.jpg
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Puzzle: Marigold


Size
: 500 pieces
Producer: Mega
Notes: Calendula officinalis (pot marigold) is a plant in the genus Calendula, in the family Asteraceae. It is probably native to southern Europe  though its long history of cultivation makes its precise origin unknown, and may possibly be of garden origin. It is also widely naturalised further north in Europe (north to southern England) and elsewhere in warm temperate regions of the world.

Plant pharmacological studies have suggested that Calendula extracts have anti-viral, anti-genotoxic and anti-inflammatory properties. Calendula in suspension or in tincture is used topically to treat acne, reducing inflammation, controlling bleeding and soothing irritated tissue. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Garden Bluebird


Size
: 300 pieces (oversized)
Dimensions: 38cm x 54cm
Producer
: Buffalo Games
Artist:
Joe Hautman
Notes:
The bluebirds are a group of medium-sized, mostly insectivorous or omnivorous birds in the genus Sialia of the thrush family (Turdidae). Bluebirds are one of the few thrush genera in the Americas. They have blue, or blue and red, plumage. Female birds are less brightly colored than males, although color patterns are similar and there is no noticeable difference in size between sexes.

Bluebirds are territorial, prefer open grassland with scattered trees and are cavity nesters (similar to many species of woodpecker). Bluebirds can typically produce between two and four broods during the spring and summer (March through August in the Northeastern United States). Males identify potential nest sites and try to attract prospective female mates to those nesting sites with special behaviors that include singing and flapping wings, and then placing some material in a nesting box or cavity. If the female accepts the male and the nesting site, she alone builds the nest and incubates the eggs. [Wiki]

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