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]

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Puzzle: Booked Flight

Booked flight, med
Size550 pieces, 26 missing
Dimensions: 61 cm x 46 cm
Painting: original
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark, #2333-13
Artist: Don Maitz

Puzzle: Good puzzle to leisurely put together, even with so many pieces missing (I got it second-hand, and I think this is the most incomplete puzzle I’ve ever assembled). Good places to start are the wizard and dragon’s flame, the boundary of the wings against the background, and the dragon’s head and neck. Wing section borders serve as horizontal guides.

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Puzzle: The Dreaming Tree

 The Dreaming Tree, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67.95 cm x 48.1 cm
Producer
: Mega Puzzles, Fantastic Visions series, 2014, No. 50939ABN, A 12113 PP
Artist: Aimee Stewart
Original: artwork

Puzzle: With its wonderful fantasy imagery and subtle colour variation, this is one of my favourite puzzles, so much so that it decorates the wall above my work desk. Reminiscent of Elven trees from Middle Earth’s Lothlórien, Vallenwood trees from Dragonlance, and Ygdrassil tree ships from the Hyperion Cantos, its winding steps, dwellings, and terraces are a calming, inspiring sight.

The puzzle is not trivial, due to gradual colour changes and a variety of small elements. A good place to start is the yellow-orange region in the medium right, the dresses of figures ascending the staircase, the lit windows and the staircase, which can then serve as a near-vertical guide, splitting the picture into two regions. After that, darker green left side can be tackled, followed by red areas of tree bark, black bottom areas, and regions at the top of the tree. Good lighting is a bonus with this puzzle, but the beauty and detail in each region is worth extra effort.

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Wings, by Josephine Wall

Josephine Wall - Wings, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73 cm x 48.57 cm
Producer
: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, 2011, #50403-2, tin box
Artist: Josephine Wall

Puzzle: “High above the clouds, an angel rides her precious steed, accompanied by her entourage of butterflies. Carried by a winged unicorn whose powerful wings contain a heavenly kingdom, where a host of angels play their morning glory instruments, she holds tightly onto his flowing mane. As he flies the tips of his wings create new galaxies. ” [Josephine Wall site]

Yet another Josephine Wall puzzle, detailed and intricate as always. Lots of subtle shades and distinct textures. This is a puzzle to do over the course of several evenings, at a leisurely pace. Good places to start are the unicorn’s head outlined against the background, and the top borders of the wings. The bright green and yellow areas, the figures under the wing, the butterflies, the ripples of the dress, and the starry-textured top right corner are distinct as well. With the Sure-Lox pieces, the puzzle assembles well.

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Puzzle: Prisoner by Nadia Strelkina

Nadia Strelkina - Prisoner, med

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 51cm x 68cm
Producer: Lafayette Puzzle Factory, Goldenline Fairies series, APL33650LK0812, #0213
Artist:
Nadia Strelkina
Painting: photo
Box: photo
Puzzle: From the same series as Fairy Key, this is a beautiful puzzle – a pleasure for the eye. I suggest starting from the lighter coloured part of the dress and the light background around the fairy, the exposed skin, the torch fire, and the castle at the bottom right. The lighter background border with the dragon wings, the purple ends of the dress, the tree in the top left, and the flowers in the fairy’s hair can follow. The boys in the bottom left, the ships on the river, and the rest of the fairy and the dragon can then complete the assembly.

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Puzzle: Unicorn Waterfall

Unicorn Waterfall, med

Size: 300 pieces
Dimensions: 27.94cm x 38.1cm
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark series, 10-puzzle pack, 2013, No. 103013-21081-A
Puzzle: Lovely vibrant colours. We did this puzzle with my almost four-year old, and he quite enjoyed it. Good places to start are the orange ground, the purple sky and yellow mountain top, the green bushes at the bottom, the lilac haze along the right side, and the dark purple tree. Next can come the unicorn body, face, and mane, the blue of the water, and its border with the leaves and branches on the left. The rest of the pieces can follow.

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Puzzle: Fairy Raindrops

Fairy Raindrops, med

Size: 300 pieces
Dimensions: 27.94cm x 38.1cm
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark series, 10-puzzle pack, 2013, No. 103013-21081-A
Puzzle: Great for kids with its vibrant colours and clear colour borders. My son loved assembling it with me. The rainbow background is the easiest place to start, followed by the exposed skin, face, hair and flowers, mushrooms on the right, daisies, and shiny raindrops at the bottom. The dress, long-stemmed plants, and pale pink flowers in the top left can come next. The rest of the pieces can follow to complete the puzzle.

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Puzzle: Space Station 2 by Ciro Marchetti

Ciro Marchetti - Space Station 2, med

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 67.95 cm x 48.1 cm
Producer
: Mega Puzzles, Vibrant series, 2013, No. 50572ADN, A 23123 LP
Artist: Ciro Marchetti
Original:  Space Station

Puzzle: Lovely vibrant puzzle – a pleasure to do. Easy due to multiple cues – bright colours with distinct borders, multiple distinct colour regions, zodiac signs in a circle, different textures of wood and metal, bright red flags. The pieces are large. I would suggest starting from the flags since they are very distinct. The other good regions are the galaxy in the top left, the planet in the top right, the yellow of the sunlight in the bottom left, and the green and blue landscape in the bottom right. The metal parts of the capsules and the wood of the core of the station can come next, followed by the zodiac sign circle. The rest of the puzzle pieces should be trivial. Great puzzle for relaxation, goes wonderfully with a fantasy audiobook.

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Puzzle: Enchanted Encounter

Enchanted Encounter, med

Size: 300 pieces
Dimensions: 27.94cm x 38.1cm
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark series, 10-puzzle pack, 2013, No. 103013-21081-A
Puzzle: This puzzle was one of my son’s favourite, as it had a fairy, a wizard, a dragon, a horse, and a castle all in one. We assembled it together. Good places to start are the wizard’s robe, the blue of the sky, the castle, the sky border with the hills, and the sunset-lit sky. This can be followed by the fairy, the dragon, the path from the castle to the bottom of the picture, and the tree trunk. From that point on, there are lots of green pieces, but the ones for the tree leaves, the moss, and the grassy hill by the castle are sufficiently different to make the assembly easy.

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Puzzle: City of Coins by Ciro Marchetti

Ciro Marchetti - City of Coins, med
Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51cm x 68cm
ProducerLPF Ltd., Holographic puzzle, #3921
Artist:
Ciro Marchetti has had a successful graphic design career that has spanned working in Europe, South America and the US. He is a five-time recipient of the distinguished Photoshop GURU award, and three time winner of the Worldwide Photoshop Competition presented by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. The current content and style of recent illustrations directly reflect his sources of interest and inspiration, allowing him to create richly detailed images that conjure up retro- tech worlds of fantasy and imagination. [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: After looking everywhere for over 2 years, I have finally located this beautiful puzzle on the Bits and Pieces site. It is by Ciro Marchetti, from the same series as City of Wands, Above the Clouds, and Shangri-La Winter.

Reminiscent of Elvish tree-cities, this puzzle is stunning. Not trivial to put together due to the shimmering pieces, large tree foliage area, and similarity of the city pillars, but its assembly makes for a serene experience, resulting in a beautiful picture. It is now decorating the wall in my studio.

For an assembly order, I would suggest the red mushroom caps and the deer, followed by the owl and the purple and red flowers and berries at the bottom. The green roofs of the city can come next, followed by the mountain border with the sky. From here, it takes a while to assemble the city buildings, followed by the trees, and sky. I just put on a good audiobook and lost myself in pattern matching for a while. I absolutely love Ciro Marchetti’s city concepts.

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Puzzle: Dark Angel

Dark Angel, med

Size: 300 pieces
Dimensions: 27.94cm x 38.1cm
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark series, 10-puzzle pack, 2013, No. 103013-21081-A
Puzzle: Lovely puzzle, easy to do due to its small size and large differently-shaped pieces. Good places to start are the wings, the exposed skin, the red belt and skirt trim, and the purple dress. The stairs are easy to do and make for horizontal guides. The greenish light above and behind the figure can come next, finishing with the pillars on the left and right. My almost four-year old was helping me assemble it and found it fun.

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Puzzle: Fairy Key by Nadia Strelkina

Nadia Strelkina - Fairy Key, med

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 51cm x 68cm
Producer: Lafayette Puzzle Factory, Goldenline Fairies series, APL33650LK0812, #0213
Artist:
Nadia Strelkina
Painting: photo
Box: photo
Puzzle: From the same series as Prisoner, this is a lovely colourful puzzle – a pleasure to do. The best places to start are the skin (face, neck, and hands), the moon, orange and yellow regions (tiger, light, window and gates), brown carriage near the moon and white carriage with a pegasus in the middle right, red dress and cape, castle roof and sky boundary, and the carriage in the bottom left. The darker colours at the bottom, the blue hues of the castle, the swirling mist, and darker blue and black of the top corners can come next. The colourful pieces of dress, trees, and remaining regions can then complete the picture. This puzzle has larger pieces and golden highlights.

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Puzzle: Sacred Circle by Steve Read

Sacred Circle, medSize: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 35.56cm x 45.72cm
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark series, 10-puzzle pack, 2013, No. 103013-21081-A
Artist: Steve Read
Illustration: original
Puzzle: A quick easy puzzle for an afternoon. Some good areas to start are the border between yellow floor and dark puzzle bottom, bright white light, lights from the staff and the candles, yellow circle of the floor, striped green radial pattern behind the wizard, the wizard’s face and beard, fuschia cloak lining, dragon’s wings, and boy’s arms. The candle holders make for good vertical guides, and so does the engraved pillar on the left side. Wizard’s and boy’s clothing, the throne, and the wall can then complete the assembly.

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Puzzle: Dragon of the Lake

Dragon of the Lake, med

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 35.56cm x 45.72cm
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark series, 10-puzzle pack, 2013, No. 103013-21081-A
Artist: Jan Patrik Krasny – Jan Patrik Krasny was born on 8. may 1955. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (1976-1982). Since his childhood he has been attracted by comics, which he has published after 1989 in several magazines and newspapers. The core of his work are illustrations. He has created more than 400 cover-pages of mainly sci-fi & fantasy books for various Czech publishers. Recently he has been devoted to computer graphics. [Artist’s site]
Painting: original

Puzzle: Beautiful fantasy piece, making for a great puzzle. Best places to start are the lilac region of the sky at the top center, yellows and oranges of the mountains and sunlight, dark blue of the water in the bottom corners and the smaller dragon. For the larger dragon, a good sequence would be the head, the parts of the body bordering on yellow and orange, since they create an obvious contrast, followed by the rest of the body.

Notes: Illustration for Chris Meiklejohn’s Labyrinth Of Fire from the cycle Dragon Chronicles.

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Puzzle: Direwood

Direwood, medSize: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 46cm x 61cm
Producer: Ceaco, Nene Thomas, series 2, 2012, 2993-4, No. 083013-21081-A
Artist: Nene Thomas
Painting: original
Puzzle: Another Ceaco puzzle based on the artwork by Nene Thomas, from the same series as A Chance Encounter. This one is much easier to complete, as there are vibrant hues and clear borders between them. The easiest regions to start are the green and white of the dress, the red of the hair, and the yellow background with tree branches. I have followed that with the arch and pillars, as the colour is quite distinct. This leaves the hanging branches at the top and the growing plants at the bottom. The puzzle is not large and the colours are bright, making it a pleasure to assemble.

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Puzzle: A Chance Encounter

A Chance Encounter, medSize: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 61cm x 46cm
Producer: Ceaco, Nene Thomas, series 2, 2012, 2993-6, No. 083013-21081-A
Artist: Nene Thomas
Painting: original
Puzzle: Not a trivial puzzle to do, as almost all of it is grey scale or near enough. The best guides are clear borders between black and white, and the regions of black dress and harness, black dragon, white mane, snow, and white folds of the dress, so those are good regions to start. Most of the remaining picture is the web of tree branches. Good patterns to look for are the darker vs lighter greys. Thicker branches and trunks make good vertical guides. At this point, it might be helpful to sort the remaining pieces by shape, and work along the borders of empty regions. Good lighting is a plus.

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Puzzle: Dragon Isle

Dragon Isle, med
Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 35.56cm x 45.72cm
Producer: Ceaco?, Meiklejohn Graphics, Glows in the Dark! series
Artist: Meiklejohn Graphics

Puzzle: A fun and not too complicated puzzle to do. A good place to start would be the blue segments of the wings, the waves at the bottom, and the red and orange background behind the dragon’s back. The dragon’s armour and tail are relatively easy areas to complete as well. Darker background regions and light-coloured rocks at the bottom are distinct enough as well, leaving the remaining few areas simple to finish. The pieces are large and easy to place.

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Puzzle: Kirwan – Dream of Euripides

Kirwan - Dream of Euripedes, med

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm in diameter
Producer: American Publishing & Television, Candu Toy & Sport Co. Inc, 1995, Rose Art Industries, Made in USA, No. 6524 (thank you to PuzzleMan for the producer information)
Artist: Jim Kirwan
Painting: original

Puzzle: A beautiful painting bringing to forefront the issues of ecology, consumerism, and the police state. The artist explores the two sides of the coin: how we see the idyllic society and what it costs in the environmental damage and lack of freedoms.

A fun puzzle to do, not very trivial for a beginner, mostly due to nearly-uniform colouring of the puzzle border pieces, and a large uniformly-patterned area in the bottom half. Easiest places to start are the “no”, “don’t”, and “stop” signs, yellow and blue outburst in the bottom left quarter, the horizontal separating black band between the top and bottom halves, and the smaller circle with two halves. In the top half, the sky and the sea, the sailboat, the tree and mountains bordering on the sky, and the red window are good as starting regions. The yellow leaves and the buildings in the top half and the smoke and brighter red and yellow spots are easy to distinguish. Once all these are in place, the puzzle is small enough to make the rest manageable.

Notes: “The symbol for Ecology was created by Euripides; it was a simple circle with a single horizontal line through the middle. In this version of that idea the world is portrayed in two extremes: in the upper portion of the painting the world seems almost idyllic; proportional; and livable with breathing room, clean water, and real possibilities without apparent limits.

In the lower half, concealed from what we think of as our opportunities; we can see what we have made of that bright vision of that fantasy world above. Pollution, oil pumps, the roots of the world amid the chaos of our failures and the trash we so abundantly produce in mega-volumes. That is what we have allowed ‘the developed world’ to become: A world composed of “NO” and “DON’T” and “STOP.” It is a world without light or grace or freedom of any kind. It is the underbelly of unchecked capitalism as we practice it and as we worship the material- philosophy with an incessant and nearly religious ‘consumerism.'” [Jim Kirwan on Rense.com]

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Puzzle: Autumn Foxfire

Autumn Foxfire, med
Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67.95 cm x 48.1 cm
Producer
: Mega Puzzles, Fantastic Visions series, 2013, No. 50939AAN, A 23053 PP
Artist: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
Original: artwork

Puzzle: I have used this puzzle as an example for my “How to do a jigsaw puzzle” post, so you can see the steps I used to assemble it there. Overall a very pleasant puzzle, beautiful curves and deep colours. Not very trivial, but not extremely difficult either.

Notes: “…The fox leapt off the bed in a blur of motion. She whipped her tail around, and between one blink of the eye and the next, it was no longer a russet fox that crouched on the floor, but a woman-goddess fierce to gaze upon. She stood slowly, gracefully. Now, the Emperor had seen carvings and paintings of Liri, as I am sure you have. Sometimes she is depicted as an innocuous little fox. At other times she is a warrior of fiery hair and will. And then there is her third form – Liri of the Wood. In this form she is all that is wild. She is hidden desire whether it be passion for love or passion to kill. She is a Trickster, a Scholar, a Musician, and a Lover….”

I am fog and fickle mist
I am all that can’t be tamed
I am born of devil’s kiss
Sear potential unrestrained” [Stephanie Pui-Mun Law Shadowscapes site]

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Puzzle: Curious Introduction

Curious Introduction, Aimee Stewart, med
Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67.95 cm x 48.1 cm
Producer
: Mega Puzzles, Fantastic Visions series, 2013, No. 50939AAN, A 23053 PP
Artist: Aimee Stewart
Original: artwork

Puzzle: A beatiful, easy-flowing puzzle. There are so many distinct bright regions, that the pieces fall into place with little thinking. I have started with the lady and the horse, the purple flower in the bottom left corner, and the yellow-green leaves at the top. Once completed, those regions split the puzzle into left and right top parts and the larger bottom part. The bottom is easy to do as the fish and the plants are of bright colours with clear boundaries, reflection is a distinct green, and there are horizontal guides of the ripples on the water. The top right is a bright purple and the top left a distinct brown, both trivial to assemble. Overall a very pleasant puzzle to do – it helped me remember there are good things in life when I was feeling sick.

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