Puzzle: Fenced Flower Garden


Size
: 550 pieces
Dimensions: 33cm x 48.3cm
Producer: RoseArt, 1997, No. 99999RA
Puzzle: Not a trivial puzzle due to the shape and fit of the pieces, but not significantly difficult as it is only 550 pieces. The most logical part to tackle first is the fence, providing vertical and horizontal guidelines to the variety of small flower patches behind it. Once the fence is done, yellow flowers and orange lillies are the easiest to complete. The bottom right purple batch of flowers and the fuchsia one above are equally good to take on next, and the few remaining green pieces can then easily be placed.

Fence: A fence is a freestanding structure designed to restrict or prevent movement across a boundary. Fences are generally distinguished from walls by the lightness of their construction and their purpose. Walls are usually barriers made from solid brick or concrete, blocking vision as well as passage, while fences are used more frequently to provide visual sectioning of spaces. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Pie baking day by Janet Kruskamp


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 45.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, Country Kitchen series, 2011, #42225-3
Artist: Janet Kruskamp

Puzzle: The orange curtains and the checkered parts are an easy place to start. Flowers on the window sill, apples, edge of the green table, sky, and tree can follow. The pipe, door frame, garden, and beige cupboard can be finished next, leaving the cans, dishes, and a few other small areas to complete. Very pleasant and staightforward puzzle. It also includes a shortbread cookies recipe and a red puzzle piece cookie cutter.

Baking: In ancient history, the first evidence of baking occurred when humans took wild grass grains, soaked them in water, and mixed everything together, mashing it into a kind of broth-like paste. The paste was cooked by pouring it onto a flat, hot rock, resulting in a bread-like substance. Later, this paste was roasted on hot embers, which made bread-making easier, as it could now be made anytime fire was created.

In ancient history, the first evidence of baking occurred when humans took wild grass grains, soaked them in water, and mixed everything together, mashing it into a kind of broth-like paste. The paste was cooked by pouring it onto a flat, hot rock, resulting in a bread-like substance. Later, this paste was roasted on hot embers, which made bread-making easier, as it could now be made anytime fire was created. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Blue Stove by Janet Kruskamp


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 45.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, Country Kitchen series, 2011, #42225-1
Artist: Janet Kruskamp

Puzzle: I have started this one with the blue regions: the door, the stove, the rug, and the chair. Window frame, white flowers in the vase, red apples, bowl on the table, the vase, the plaque on the stove, and the garden path are smaller self-contained regions. The flower garden and the light part of the floor easily fall into place, and the brown under the vase and all around and on the stove are the more subtle parts left over. Not a hard puzzle to do, it helps to have natural light at the end. The puzzle includes a shortbread cookies recipe and a red puzzle piece cookie cutter.

Stove: The Old English word stofa meant any individual enclosed space, such as a room, and ‘stove’ is still occasionally used in that sense, as in ‘stoved in’. Until well into the 19th century ‘stove’ was used to mean a single heated room, so that Joseph Bank’s assertion that he ‘placed his most precious plants in the stove’ or Rene Descarte’s observation that he got ‘his greatest philosophical inspiration while sitting inside a stove’ are not as odd as they first seem.

In its earliest attestation, cooking was done by roasting meat and tubers in an open fire. Pottery and other cooking vessels may be placed directly on an open fire, but setting the vessel on a support, as simple as a base of three stones, resulted in a stove. The three-stone stove is still widely used around the world. In some areas it developed into a U-shaped dried mud or brick enclosure with the opening in the front for fuel and air, sometimes with a second smaller hole at the rear. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Canning Day by Janet Kruskamp


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 45.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, Country Kitchen series, 2011, #42225-2
Artist: Janet Kruskamp

Puzzle: A logical starting point are the checkered curtains, followed by the yellow batches of colour and the stove. Floor boards, white table, garden path and flowers, the patches of sky, and the vegetables make stand-alone regions that are easy to put together. Door frame and window frame logically fall into place. The rug, corn, and places under the stove follow, to leave only the cupboards and a few dark areas. Easy and fast puzzle to do. It also includes a shortbread cookies recipe and a red puzzle piece cookie cutter.

Canning: Canning is a method of preserving food in which the food contents are processed and sealed in an airtight container. Canning provides a typical shelf life ranging from one to five years, although under specific circumstances a freeze-dried canned product, such as canned, dried lentils, can last as long as 30 years in an edible state. In 1795 the French military offered a cash prize of 12,000 francs for a new method to preserve food. Nicolas Appert suggested canning and the process was first proven in 1806 in test with the French navy and the prize awarded in 1809 or 1810. The packaging prevents microorganisms from entering and proliferating inside.

To prevent the food from being spoiled before and during containment, a number of methods are used: pasteurisation, boiling (and other applications of high temperature over a period of time), refrigeration, freezing, drying, vacuum treatment, antimicrobial agents that are natural to the recipe of the foods being preserved, a sufficient dose of ionizing radiation, submersion in a strong saline solution, acid, base, osmotically extreme (for example very sugary) or other microbially-challenging environments. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: La Roche Courbon Castle, France


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
Producer
: Big Ben, MB Puzzles, Hasbro, 2007

Notes: Chateau de la Roche Courbon is a large chateau, developed from an earlier castle, in the Charente-Maritime departement of France. It is in the commune of Saint-Porchaire between Saintes and Rochefort.

A castle was built around 1475 by Jehan de Latour, on site which had been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the 17th century, the Courbon family, which had occupied the castle for two centuries, transformed it into a more comfortable residence. More alterations were made in the 18th century, but it was eventually sold in 1817 and then abandoned. It was purchased in 1920 by Paul Chenereau, who restored the chateau and its gardens. The chateau is still owned and inhabited by his descendants.

The gardens include orchard, flower garden, geometrical flower beds and lawns surrounding a small lake (‘mirror pool’). The River Bruant flows through the gardens, feeding the water features. Beyond that, an ornamental staircase leads to higher ground, on the far side of the river. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Thatched Cottage

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack, #42510-57
Notes: The puzzle producer has not once again indicated the location of the cottage.

Although thatch is popular in Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Ireland, there are more thatched roofs in the United Kingdom than in any other European country. Good quality straw thatch can last for more than 45–50 years when applied by a skilled thatcher.

Over 250 roofs in Southern England have base coats of thatch that were applied over 500 years ago, providing direct evidence of the types of materials that were used for thatching in the medieval period.  Almost all of these roofs are thatched with wheat, rye, or a ‘maslin’ mixture of both. Medieval wheat grew to almost 1.8m tall in very poor soils and produced durable straw for the roof and grain for baking bread. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Mansion and garden

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
Producer
: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Images series, #43670-14
Notes: A mansion is a very large dwelling house. U.S. real estate brokers define a mansion as a dwelling of over 740 square meters. A traditional European mansion was defined as a house which contained a ballroom and many bedrooms. Today, however, there is no formal definition beyond being a large and well-appointed house.

In the Roman Empire, a mansio was an official stopping place on a Roman road, or via, where cities sprang up, and where the villas of provincial officials came to be placed. The Scots word “manse” originally defined a property large enough for the Minister of the parish to maintain himself, but a mansion is no longer self-sustaining in this way (compare a Roman or medieval villa). ‘Manor’ comes from the same root — territorial holdings granted to a lord who would remain there — hence it can be seen how the word ‘Mansion’ came to have its meaning. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: At the Fountain by Barbara Mock


Size
: 1500 pieces Dimensions: 60cm x 90cm Producer: Jumbo International, Amsterdam, #00681 Artist: Barbara Mock Notes: A fountain (from the Latin “fons” or “fontis”, a source or spring) is a piece of architecture which pours water into a basin or jets it into the air either to supply drinking water or for decorative or dramatic effect. Fountains were originally purely functional, connected to springs or aqueducts and used to provide drinking water and water for bathing and washing to the residents of cities, towns and villages. Until the late 19th century most fountains operated by gravity, and needed a source of water higher than the fountain, such as a reservoir or aqueduct, to make the water flow or jet into the air. In addition to providing drinking water, fountains were used for decoration and to celebrate their builders. Roman fountains were decorated with bronze or stone masks of animals or heroes. In the Middle Ages, Moorish and Muslim garden designers used fountains to create miniature versions of the gardens of paradise. King Louis XIV of France used fountains in the Gardens of Versailles to illustrate his power over nature. The baroque decorative fountains of Rome in the 17th and 18th centuries marked the arrival point of restored Roman aqueducts and glorified the Popes who built them. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Cholmondeley Castle


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group
Notes: Cholmondeley Castle is a country house in the civil parish of Cholmondeley, Cheshire, England. It is surrounded by a 7,500 acres estate.

In the 18th century Hugh Cholmondeley, 1st Earl of Cholmondeley had created gardens around the house, both kitchen gardens and orchards to provide food for the household, and also pleasure gardens. The pleasure gardens would have been formal in style as they were laid out by George London. The ironworker Jean Tijou produced an iron entrance gate to the gardens, but this was moved to Houghton Hall in Norfolk by the 4th Earl. John van Nost designed a fountain for the garden. The garden also contained a bowling green and an aviary. The 4th Earl brought in William Emes to redesign the garden who, according to the fashion of the day, buried London’s work under a landscape park. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Endless Dreams by Alan Giana


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.6cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group
Artist:
Alan Giana
Painting:
http://www.muralsyourway.com/imag.aspx?sr=MMIAAG1040.jpg
Notes: 
Alan’s love of nature and the sea have always been a big part of his life. His appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us, even in our own backyards, plays an important part in creating the inspiring artwork he is known for today. Alan’s paintings of colorful paths, charming country hideaways, tranquil coastal waterways, and captivating Christmas scenes, bring us to peaceful places. Places where we can escape for a moment and appreciate all of the beauty around us. [Alan Giana’s site]

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Puzzle: Metis International Garden Festival, Quebec, Canada


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 40.64cm x 40.64cm
Producer:  Hasbro, MB Puzzle, Big Ben series
Notes: The International Garden Festival is recognized as one of the most important events of its kind in North America and one of the leading annual garden festivals in the world. Since 2000, more than 900,000 visitors have explored 110 gardens created by over 220 designers from 15 countries.

The Festival is a unique forum for innovation and experimentation and an exceptional showcase and launching pad for participating designers from a host of disciplines. It provides an annual rendez-vous for admirers of contemporary gardens and design as well as offering a unique space for those involved in the renewal of this art form.

The site is bordered to the north by the St. Lawrence River, to the west by a woodland of deciduous trees, to the east by a large field and conifer forest. On occasion, gardens are installed on other parts of the Festival site and in the historic gardens. [Festival site]

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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: Paradise


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.6cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox
Notes: The Paradise garden is a form of garden, originally just paradise, a word derived from the Median language, or Old Persian. Its original meaning was “a walled-in compound or garden”.

The paradise garden takes some of its character from its original arid or semi-arid homeland. The most basic feature is the enclosure of the cultivated area. This excludes the wildness of nature, and includes the tended, watered greenery of the garden. The commonest and easiest layout for the perimeter walls is that of a rectangle, and this forms one of the prime features of this kind of garden. Another common theme is the elaborate use of water, often in canals, ponds or rills, sometimes in fountains, less often in waterfalls of various kinds.

The rectangular or rectilinear theme of the garden is often extended to the water features, which may be used to quarter the garden. This layout is echoed in the four rivers of the Garden of Eden, and much of the use and symbolism of the paradise garden is derived from this connection. The contrast between a formal garden layout with the informality of free-growing plants provides a recurring theme to many paradise gardens. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA, U.S.A.


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.6cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox
Notes: Hearst Castle is a National Historic Landmark mansion located on the Central Coast of California, United States. It was designed by architect Julia Morgan between 1919 and 1947 for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who died in 1951. In 1957, the Hearst Corporation donated the property to the state of California. [Wiki]

Depicted on the puzzle is the Neptune Pool.

Construction for the Neptune Pool spanned 1924-1936. Three swimming pools were built on this site, each successively larger.

Unique aspects of the Neptune Pool include the oil burning heating system, the light-veined Vermont marble decorating the pools and colonnades, and four 17-century Italian bas-reliefs on the sides of the colonnades. [Hearst Castle site]

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