Puzzle: Sonata by Firelight, by Judy Gibson

Sonata by firelight, v2, medSize550 pieces, In 2013, I’ve put together another copy that was missing 3 pieces
Dimensions: 46 cm x 61 cm
Producer: Master Pieces, #60105
Artist: Judy Gibson
: Animals find their natural habitat in the artwork of Judy Gibson, whether depicted in soulful portraits, snuggled in cozy home settings, perched on snow-laden branches or engaged in spirited competition. Born in Paris, Texas, Gibson draws much of her inspiration from her deep love and respect for animals. In her teens, she painted portraits of prize bulls and horses for area ranchers, and still loves painting symbols of the Southwest. She works in oils, and also enjoys the spontaneity of watercolors. Gibson’s heartwarming art has adorned tapestries, jigsaw puzzles, wallpaper, computer screen-savers and numerous other products. [Art.com]
Painting: http://imgc.artprintimages.com/images/art-print/judy-gibson-sonata-by-firelight_i-G-10-1010-UUYW000Z.jpg

Puzzle: Good regions to start are the white cat, the music sheets, the flower bouquet with the ivy, and the shawl, and the candle holder. The orange separator of the piano lid isolates the top left corner. Flames for the candles and the fireplace are easy to locate, as well as the bust and the wine glass. The keys of the piano, the rug near the fireplace, and the curtain can follow, and the rest of the pieces are trivial to place. Easy and pleasant puzzle to do.

Puzzle: Passion Flower

Passion Flower, med

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 30.02 cm x 48.26 cm
: Mega Puzzles, Vibrant series, 2014, No. 51410ABN, A 04034 LP
Photographer: Johnnyraff

Puzzle: Lovely puzzle to make — not extremely difficult, but not completely trivial either. The bright colours and clear boundaries split the image into several logical areas, and repetitive elements add challenge. An easy place to start is the three-pronged purple stigma(?) on the left, along with the green background, as well as the flower centre with two yellow circles split by a dark purple dotted border. Next the purple, the white, and the blue circles made by the petal colours can be tackled.

Puzzle: Tropical Flowers

Tropical flowers, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 48.10 cm x 67.95 cm
Producer: Mega Puzzles, Exotics series, 2014, No.50935ABN, A13113 PP
Vibrant, beautiful puzzle, made simpler by being divided into five smaller rectangular images separated by black borders that serve as vertical and horizontal guides. My four-year old loved helping me with this puzzle, and on his insistence it now adorns the wall above his bed, next to the Shell Game one.

Great places to start are the borders followed by clear yellow and oranges in each picture. The blue in the top left picture is unique, as are the striped petals in the left middle flower and the fanning out petals of the bottom left flower. The white borders of the large image flower and white and green patches of the bottom right flower are also distinct, allowing for quite a bit of the picture to be completed easily. The remaining red, fuchsia, and green colours can fill the remaining gaps.

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.

Puzzle: Spring Bouquet

Spring Bouquet, med
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 30.02 cm x 48.26 cm
: Mega Puzzles, Vibrant series, 2013, No. 51410AAN, A 17063 LP
Photographer: Val Thoermer
Original: photo

Puzzle: Lovely bouquet – beautiful zen puzzle. With well-fitting Sure-Lox pieces, small size and vibrant colours, it is not difficult. Good places to start are the white and the pink roses, dark purple hyacinth and bright green buds. The violet flowers at the bottom and top left quarter can come next, followed by the white flowers out of focus and the darker green leaves.

Puzzle: Sunset Blaze by Viktor Shvaiko

Sunset Blaze, 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: I have assembled a 1000-piece version of this puzzle a few years ago. It is a lovely and easy puzzle to do. The best regions to start are the yellow and blue sky, the mountain range, the sign over the sky, and the vertical guides of the building/sky border, the arches, and the door frame. The bright red chair, the orange ledge in the bottom center, the letters above the entrance, the terrace floor and the table are easily put together. The border of the city and the mountains, as well as the red-roofed houses can come next, followed by the flower arrangements around the arch. This leaves the green of trees and grass, the building interior, and the flowers growing around the ledge. Beautiful scenery.

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: Rue Lafayette Paris by Viktor Shvaiko

Rue Lafayette Paris, 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: Crisp and bright colours, clear borders, and well-fitting Sure-Lox pieces make this puzzle a breeze to do. Easiest regions to start are the store banners with writing, the yellow-flowered green vine, the blue booth, the various flower arrangements, the window in the top left corner, and the table and chairs on the right. The pavement, the painting above the blue booth, and the arch with the lantern can come next, leaving the buildings further away and the smaller detail of the storefronts to complete the puzzle.

Puzzle: The Terrace at Sainte-Adresse by Claude Monet

Claude Monet - The Terrace at Sainte-Adresse, med
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 33cm x 48.3 cm
: Warren Industries, RoseArt, Magic Effects Collection, No. 97155
Artist: Claude Monet

Puzzle: A beautiful painting, this puzzle would be very pleasant if the makers had left out the “magic effects” of the shiny pieces that change hue based on the viewing angle, and had focused instead on the cut of the pieces. Not only does the shine make it hard to assemble this puzzle in anything but perfect bright daylight, it is not completely clear when the two pieces fit together, introducing a chance of error, especially in the uniformly-coloured regions such as the sky and the sea.

Thus, I do recommend bright daylight. The puzzle is small which does help make it more manageable. One can start from the flags and the flag poles, setting up two vertical guides and separating the top of the picture into thirds. The horizontal guides of sea and sky, and sea and railing, once assembled, are also helpful. Bright spots such as umbrellas, the red fence, the stone underfoot, and the vibrant flowers can be completed next. The black of the larger ship, people’s figures, the red fence, and dark green grass along the stone border are relatively easy as well. I would suggest leaving the sky until the end.

Notes: “The “Magic Effects” line is alluring and sure to captivate you. It interfuses charm, art, emotion and illusion into one beautiful component. What begins as an etching rich in detail evolves to a colorful metallic surface that shimmers and shines. The image casts itself differently in every light.
Warren Industries is proud to present a wide array of new artwork in this collection.
Artists include Impressionist Claude Monet: “Terrace at Sainte-Adresse,” Americana and Wildelife artist Terry Redlin: “Night on the Town,” the magical work of Josephine Wall: “Undine,” and a nostalgic title by COCA-COLA artist Hayden: The Lady in White.” [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: The Emperor’s Dream

The Emperor's Dream, med Size: 300+  pieces
Dimensions: 52 cm x 52 cm
: 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]

Puzzle: Beach Garden by Marc Adamus

Marc Adamus - Beach Garden, med
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 34 cm x 50 cm
Producer: Hasbro, MB Puzzle, Deluxe Puzzle series, 2010, #355260000-35528
Photographer: Marc Adamus
Photo: original

Puzzle: A lovely puzzle, not very trivial for a beginner. The flowers at the bottom present the most challenge due to the similarities of the purple-on-green pattern through most of them. Thus it’s simpler to start with the top part of the puzzle. The distinct regions of the sky, the clouds, the sun, the hills, the water, and the sand, followed by the sand border with the green grass can be filled in easily. The flowers can be assembled by starting on the darker regions at the bottom first, and narrowing the remaining area by assembling the top grassy patch with orange and small white flowers. Then the rest of the flowers can be put together.

Notes: “Lupine flowers glow in the last light of sunset overlooking the sea stacks and sandy beaches of the Northern California coast.” [Marc Adamus site]

Puzzle: Vineyard Terrace by Sung Kim

Sung Kim - Vineyard Terrace, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67.9 cm x 48.1 cm
Producer: Mega Puzzles, The Art of Sung Kim series
Sung Kim – Born in 1940 in Seoul, South Korea, Sung Kim exhibited his artistic talents early in childhood. He entered and won various art contests and decided to pursue his passion for art by attending Seorabol Art College where he graduated with honors. Sung opened his own studio and worked as an illustrator for various magazines and children’s books. He traveled throughout Europe before immigrating to the United States in 1980. For the past 20 years, Sung has worked with various fine art galleries, producing over 400 original landscape paintings, and has sold his paintings to people from all over the world. [Puzzle box]
Painting: original

Puzzle: There is a wonderful book by Gerald Durrell called “My Family and Other Animals”, in which he describes life in Corfu – a Greek island to which his mother and three siblings have moved when he was 10. As a child, he explores the island gathering various animals (he has been an enthusiastic budding zoologist at that age), against the backdrop of the slow-paced life of the adults on the island. The olive trees, the sea, the tranquility of sunny afternoons, and the overall calm of the Mediterranean is what I remember vividly from the book. And this puzzle by Sung Kim carries that same quiet feeling of a light breeze on a vine-shaded terrace, on a lazy sunny afternoon somewhere in the Mediterranean.

This puzzle is not a trivial one to assemble, as uniform patterns such as leaves at the top, trees in the background, and bricks of the terrace take up large regions. It is a very calming scene, however, so I have found it quite relaxing, so I did not mind slightly longer time to find the pieces I needed. There are a few good regions to start: the boundary of the sky and the mountain, as well as the borders of the mountain and the trees, and far away trees and the fields. The table with white tablecloth, and the wine glasses and bottles is also easy to assemble. The window with surrounding bricks, and the chairs are also a different enough shade and pattern to not be difficult. The terrace frame is a little harder to complete, but when done it can serve as horizontal and vertical guides for the res of the puzzle. The lighter bricks of the wall are sufficiently different from the tiles of the floor. The leaves at the top can be fitted in between the horizontal guides of the terrace frame, and the rest of the puzzle comes together afterwards.

The assembly went very well with a glass of wine and the early spring sun coming in through the window, promising warm afternoons, if not in the Mediterranean.

Puzzle: Curious Introduction

Curious Introduction, Aimee Stewart, med
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67.95 cm x 48.1 cm
: 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.

Puzzle: Sam Park – Barcelona Flower Market

Sam Park - no name, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
Producer: Big Ben, Artist Series, 11404294BX
Artist: Sam Park
Original: painting

Puzzle: A bright and colourful puzzle, a pleasure for the eye. Easiest places to start would be the striped pavement, the sky and tree leaves bordering it, the buildings, and the uniform colour of the market stall roofs. The yellow lights and the dark flower buckets/vases can be done next. The rest of the puzzle is the jumble of small coloured regions that can slowly be filled in.

Puzzle: Déjà view

Deja view, med

Size: 500+ pieces
Dimensions: 61.5 cm x 46.5 cm
Producer: Unknown – I do not have the box anymore, if you know the producer and the series, could you please share?

Puzzle: Not a trivial puzzle to do due to many similar regions and the lack of large uniform colour patches. One could start with the bright accessories – the ribbon, the bouquet, small flowers, the butterflies, the feather, the hair piece, and the round peacock feather. The brighter white and yellow postcards and letters can be filled in afterwards, as well as the black photos and the photo in the black oval frame. For the rest of the puzzle, it takes a bit of time to complete, but as the pieces are large and it’s not a big puzzle, I would not say it is hard.

Puzzle: Josephine Wall – Fantasy Wedding

Josephine Wall - Fantasy Wedding, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67 cm x 48 cm
RoseArt, Masterworks series
Artist: Josephine Wall

Puzzle: A simple puzzle to do, due to its many distinct elements. One can start really anywhere – good places are the rainbow-coloured flowers in the bottom right, the white of the bride and her horse, the balloons and the sky, palm trees, waterfall, and river. The building and various animals can follow, and the rest is trivial.

Notes: “At a fantasy wedding there is no need of a limousine when the bride can arrive on a pure white unicorn, and the groom on a powerful striped mount.With attendants from the jungles and plains, the happy young couple set out on their journey through life together, surrounded by all the things that have meant so much to them. What a magical day, one never to be forgotten!” [Josephine Wall site]