Lamplight Village

Lamplight Village
Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 76 cm x 61 cm
Manufacturer: Springbok, Hallmark, PZL6196
Artist: Thomas Kinkade
Original: photograph
Puzzle: Peaceful imagery, challenge added by irregularly-shaped pieces. Good lighting is a bonus, especially for the sky. Good places to start are water, grass, boundaries between them, bright flowers, tree canopies, the bridge and house roofs.

“My art is nothing more than a reflection of who I am as a person — what I value, believe, and experience.” With those words, Thomas Kinkade paints a picture of his life for all to see. His delightful paintings transport us to a gentler time and a lovelier place and give us a glimpse into the thoughts and feelings behind Thomas Kinkade.

Working under the guidance of two mentors — Charles Bell, considered one of America’s best sign painters, and Glenn Wessels, an associate of Hemingway, Picasso, and Ansel Adams — Kinkade began to develop his unique style which would delight his fans for years to come. The radiant light that permeates his work captures the perfection that exists only in places that touch our imaginations and our hearts.

In LAMPLIGHT VILLAGE, the fourth painting in the Lamplight Lane series, the Brooke Windermer gently wanders through this idyllic locale. With his trademark style, Kinkade produces wonderful effects with the interplay of sun and lamplight. The blaze of sunset makes silhouettes of the trees and dapples the village row houses; the twinkle of distant lamps enhances the dance of light and shade. Villagers stroll along the warmly lit paths, while a fisherman and his dog wait for a bite at the river’s edge. The tower and spire of the Gothic church in the distance hints at a fascinating history; this is a town that invites exploration. [Puzzle box, Selected text © 1995 Abbeville Press, from Thomas Kinkade’s Paintings of Radiant Light]

Bridge, Royale

Bridge, Royale 1000, med

Size: 1000 pieces, 4 missing
Dimensions: 70 cm x 55 cm
: Royale, Golden, 4777-05
Photographer: Johnnyraff

Puzzle: This puzzle does not have a title or specify where this place is. If you know, please do share.

Beautiful puzzle with lovely play of light, a pleasure to assemble. Composition of the image makes it simple to pick out several horizontal and vertical guides: the bridge railing and arches, the green luminescent stripe in the water, the tree trunks and the building borders. The boundary between the sky and the buildings is quite easy to assemble, as are the reflecting lights and lit-up arches of the bridge. The buildings can come next, followed by the trees and the darker areas of the bridge and water. I have found this puzzle second-hand, with a block of 4 pieces missing.

Puzzle: Tower Bridge in London, 3D

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, centre closeup 2, med

Size:  120 pieces
Dimensions: 76 cm x 12 cm x 23 cm
Producer: CubicFun, 3D Puzzle series MC, #MC066h, complexity 5/6
Original packaging:

Puzzle: Following the St. Basil’s Cathedral, Taj Mahal, Parliament Buildings of Canada, and Neuschwanstein Castle 3D puzzles, I have my people periodically checking our nearby Mrs. Tiggy Winkles toy store for higher-complexity puzzles made by CubicFun. And this time, we have found the Tower Bridge of London.

Here is the box, the booklet (see below for the historical information contained therein) and sheets with puzzle pieces.

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, package contents, med

I have done this in three stages:

1. Separating all the pieces from the sheets in which they were embedded.

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, pieces, med

2. Punching out the holes in the pieces (I used a tip of a mechanical pencil). My 3.5-year old was very excited about helping, and so he did most of the hole-punching while I fitted the pieces together.

3. And putting together the puzzle itself. Below are the progress photos (this time I had enough willpower to stop briefly to snap a few photos):

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, first bridge end front, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, first bridge end, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, two bridge ends, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, first tower, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, first tower beginning, med

I recommend to be very attentive to the assembly of the two large towers and follow the letters on the base and the roof, to ensure that the corner towers are connected to the correct letters. Below is the photo of what NOT to do: notice the two holes around the balcony – those holes need to be facing the other way, toward the middle of the bridge, yet the towers attached to those corners need to face away from the middle of the bridge.

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, towers correct assembly, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, ends and towers, correct assembly, med

I had to re-do the two middle towers pictured above to face the holes the correct way in order to connect the two halves of the bridge.

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, parts before connection, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, connection, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, full bridge 2, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, full bridge, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, left closeup, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, right closeup, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, centre closeup, med

Lots of fun putting the puzzle together, even though the final product is a bit flimsy. It is, I suppose unavoidable, considering the flexible nature of the bridge.

Notes from the puzzle booklet:  “The world’s famous architecture we build it.

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London. Tower Bridge is one of several London bridges owned and maintained by the City Bridge Trust, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation.

Tower Bridge is sometimes mistakenly referred to as London Bridge, which is actually the next bridge up-stream. A popular urban legend is that, in 1968 Robert McCulloch, the purchaser of the old London Bridge which was later shipped to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, believed mistakenly that he was buying Tower Bridge, but this was denied by McCulloch himself and has been debunked by Ivan Luckin, the seller of the bridge. Its present colour dates from 1977 when it was painted red, white and blue for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. Previous to this, it was painted a chocolate brown colour.

1910 The high-level walkways, which were designed so that the public could still cross the bridge when it was raised, were closed down due to lack of use. Most people preferred to wait at the bottom and watch the bascules rise up!

1912 During an emergency, Frank McClean had to fly between the bascules and the high-level walkways in his Short biplane, to avoid an accident.

1952 A London bus had to leap from one bascule to the other when the bridge began to rise with the bus still on it.

1977 Tower Bridge was painted red, white and blue to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

The walkways boast stunning views of the River Thames and many famous London sites, serving as viewing galleries for over 380,000 tourists who visit each year.

The bascules are raised around 1000 times a year. The bascules, weighing over 1,000 tones each, were counterbalanced to minimize the force required and allow raising in five minutes.

Tower Bridge is still a busy and vital crossing of the Thames: it is crossed by over 40,000 people (motorists and pedestrians) every day.

The tour value of Tower Bridge— There are the museum, exhibition hall, stores and saloons inside the Tower Bridge. HMS Belfast sails under Tower Bridge to take up her permanent mooring in the Pool of London.

In the New Year’s Eve, there is the catharine all over the the sky of the River Thames. Old-timey Architecture, the fragrance of the beer from the saloon, the jow fom the church, and the vintage taxi surround the Tower Bridge, makes people go backward to the London in The Nineteenth Century.” [sic, booklet included with the puzzle]

Puzzle: Buca Francesco by Viktor Shvaiko

Buca Francesco, med

Size: 504 pieces
Dimensions: 45.7 cm x 27.3 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox pieces. Company unknown – I do not have the box anymore. If you have this information, please do share. There were 4 puzzles in the box: Autumn in Paris, Buca Francesco, Rue Lafayette Paris, and Sunset Blaze – all by the same artist.
Artist: Viktor Shvaiko

Puzzle: Lovely puzzle with beautiful imagery and well-fitting Sure-Lox pieces. The easiest places to start are the sky, the water, the boats, and the vertical guides of building borders and corners where the colour contrast is the greatest. The bridge, the yellow building walls, the lilac flower in the top right quarter, the balconies, the table and chair backs, the lanterns and their reflections, and the banister with the flower planters can be put together next, leaving the arches, the windows, and the interior of the Buca Francesco building to fill in.

Puzzle: Covered bridge

Covered bridge, med

Size: 500 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 48.5 cm x 35.5 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: Simple enough to complete due to many differently-coloured regions, this puzzle is a quick one to do. The Sure-Lox pieces fit  together snugly. One can start from the red of the bridge building, the beige and yellow regions of the roof and the roads, the black and brown of the bridge building, the white railings, the river water and the border between the mountains in the background and the sky. From that point on, the small buildings, the trees, and the remaining regions fit together easily.

Puzzle: Rural Countryside by John Zaccheo

John Zaccheo - Rural Countryside, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 45.4 cm x 67.31 cm
Producer: Wrebbit, Perfalock series, # 20076, 2005

Note: I do not have the box anymore, and thus not sure who the artist is. If you have that information, please let me know.

Puzzle: A pleasant and easy puzzle to complete. The good regions to start are the sky (lots of horizontal guides there), the mountains, the tall red and yellow trees, the bridge, the river, the buildings, the birch trees, the cart with the hay, and the fence along the road. From that point on, the remaining pieces should fall into place easily.

Puzzle: Tower Bridge, London, England

Tower Bridge, London, England, med
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.5 cm x 35.5 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: One of the first puzzles I have assembled, it has some glue damage from storage. The good regions to start are the water, the bright lights, and the railing on the bridge, followed by the borders between the bridge and the sky. The bridge top and towers, as well as the sky framed by the bridge can follow, leaving the remaining black of the sky to be filled in. Good lighting is a plus for the last part.

Notes: Tower Bridge (built 1886–1894) is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London which crosses the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name, and has become an iconic symbol of London.

The bridge consists of two towers tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical component of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Winter Worship

Winter worship, med
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.5 cm x 35.5 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: A simple puzzle to do due to its small size. The orange of the buildings, and the flowing green of the river are good places to start, and the bridge railing serves as a horizontal guide separating the picture into two regions. The borders of snow-laden trees, the building, and the sky makes the top easy to assemble, and the rest of the puzzle shapes itself around the bridge and the river. Festive and pleasant to the eye.

Notes: Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English weorþscipe, meaning worship, honour shown to an object, which has been etymologised as “worthiness or worth-ship”—to give, at its simplest, worth to something. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Old Mill

Old mill, med
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73 cm x 48.57 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: A serene puzzle, not very challenging. The bridge, the waterfall, the flowers in the bottom left corner, the mill building, and the rocks are good places to start. The tree trunks provide vertical guides, the dark area with the wheel at the bottom of the building is distinct, and the rest of the grass, forest, and sky pieces can be filled in without much trouble.

Notes: A watermill is a structure that uses a water wheel or turbine to drive a mechanical process such as flour, lumber or textile production, or metal shaping (rolling, grinding or wire drawing).

Typically, water is diverted from a river or impoundment or mill pond to a turbine or water wheel, along a channel or pipe (variously known as a flume, head race, mill race, leat, leet, lade (Scots) or penstock). The force of the water’s movement drives the blades of a wheel or turbine, which in turn rotates an axle that drives the mill’s other machinery. Water leaving the wheel or turbine is drained through a tail race, but this channel may also be the head race of yet another wheel, turbine or mill. The passage of water is controlled by sluice gates that allow maintenance and some measure of flood control; large mill complexes may have dozens of sluices controlling complicated interconnected races that feed multiple buildings and industrial processes. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Bridge to Unity by Dave Barnhouse

Dave Barnhouse - Bridge to Unity, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 50.8 cm x 68.58 cm
Artist: Dave Barnhouse
Painting: original
Producer: Karmin International, The Art of the Dave Barnhouse series, 2006

Puzzle: Colourful puzzle, not very trivial due to large leafy and grassy parts. It’s easy to start with the buildings, street lights, the bridge and the path leading to it. Lighter grass areas, purple flowers, the cars, people’s figures, the sky, and wet light reflections on the pavement can follow. The rest of the regions are distinct enough to be filled after that. Good lighting is a bonus for doing this puzzle. Overall quite enjoyable.

Puzzle: Sacré-Coeur Basilica, Paris, France

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
: Big Ben, MB Puzzles
Notes: Once again the puzzle producer failed to be informative regarding the building depicted on the puzzle, titling it only as “Paris, France”. Thanks to my Parisian friend, the building was identified as the Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Monmartre.

Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France. A popular landmark, the basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. Sacré-Cœur is a double monument, political and cultural, both a national penance for the supposed excesses of the Second Empire and socialist Paris Commune of 1871 crowning its most rebellious neighborhood, and an embodiment of conservative moral order, publicly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was an increasingly popular vision of a loving and sympathetic Christ. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Moonlight Grace by Klaus Strubel

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26 cm x 35.56 cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Keepsakes series, Reusable gift box with magnetic closure, #442220-2
Klaus Strubel
Notes: grace, –noun
1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action.
2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment.
3. favor or good will. []

Puzzle: Japanese Garden

: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox
Notes: A catalogue of features “typical” of the Japanese garden may be drawn up without inquiring deeply into the aesthetic underlying Japanese practice. Typical Japanese gardens have at their center a home from which the garden is viewed. In addition to residential architecture, depending on the archetype, Japanese gardens often contain several of these elements:

* Water, real or symbolic.
* A bridge over the water, or stepping stones.
* Rocks or stone arrangements (or settings).
* A lantern, typically of stone.
* A teahouse or pavilion.
* An enclosure device such as a hedge, fence, or wall of traditional character. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Bay Bridge, San Francisco, U.S.A.

: 1000 pieces
Notes: The San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge (known locally as the Bay Bridge) is a pair of bridges spanning San Francisco Bay of California, in the United States. Forming part of Interstate 80 and of the direct road route between San Francisco and Oakland, it carries approximately 270,000 vehicles per day on its two decks. It has one of the longest spans in the world.

The toll bridge was conceived as early as the gold rush days, but construction did not begin until 1933. Designed by Charles H. Purcell, and built by American Bridge Company, it opened for traffic on November 12, 1936, six months before the Golden Gate Bridge. It originally carried automobile traffic on its upper deck, and trucks and trains on the lower, but after the closure of the Key System, the lower deck was converted to road traffic as well. [Wiki]

I do not have a record of the producer of the puzzle as I do not have the box anymore. A clarification is welcome – if you have any clue as to the details regarding this puzzle, I would much appreciate that information.

Puzzle: Vatican, Italy

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.4 cm x 35.5 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox
Notes: Vatican City or Vatican City State is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of approximately 110 acres, and a population of just over 800.

Vatican City was established in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri, on behalf of the Holy See and by Prime Minister Benito Mussolini on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy. Vatican City State is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity and is the main episcopal see of 1.2 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe. Ordinances of Vatican City are published in Italian; official documents of the Holy See are issued mainly in Latin. The two entities even have distinct passports: the Holy See, not being a country, issues only diplomatic and service passports; Vatican City State issues normal passports. Very few passports are issued by either authority.

The Lateran Treaty in 1929, which brought the city-state into existence, spoke of it as a new creation (Preamble and Article III), not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756-1870) that had previously encompassed much of central Italy. Most of this territory was absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1860, and the final portion, namely the city of Rome with Lazio, ten years later, in 1870. [Wiki]

Puzzle: House in Wales

: 500 pieces
Notes: Not depicted on the puzzle, Simon Dale has built a house fit for hobbits in Wales. “Some of the characteristics of the wooden house are that it’s dug inside a hillside for shelter, lime plaster and mud are used to keep the walls sticking together, straw balls are used in floor, roof and walls, solar panels are installed for lightning, music and computers, and skylight on the roof gives natural light.” There are a few photos on the site, and it does look like a fairy tale dwelling. [Planet Oddity site]

I do not have a record of the producer of the puzzle as I do not have the box anymore. A clarification is welcome – if you have any clue as to the details regarding this puzzle, I would much appreciate that information.