Puzzle: Steam Locomotive

Steam Locomotive, med

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.69 cm x 39.37 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, All Aboard series, 2012, #40562-3
Artist: Barrie Neil

Puzzle: The blue of the sky and the mountains are an easy starting point, followed by the black-and-red locomotive, the SW sign, and the repetitive-window carriages of the train, and the bottom branching of the rails with white regions. Green and beige slopes on the left are logical stand-alone regions, and the rest of the mountain, grassy right-bottom corner, and rails and wheels can be filled out afterwards. Overall a pleasant puzzle not requiring much effort.

Locomotive: A steam locomotive is a railway locomotive that produces its power through a steam engine. These locomotives are fueled by burning some combustible material, usually coal, wood or oil, to produce steam in a boiler, which drives the steam engine. Both fuel and water supplies are carried with the locomotive, either on the locomotive itself or in wagons pulled behind.

Steam locomotives were first developed in Britain and dominated railway transportation until the middle of the 20th century. From the early 1900s they were gradually superseded by electric and diesel locomotives. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Yosemite Falls in Sierra Nevada Park in California, USA

Yosemite Falls in Sierra Nevada Park, California, USA, med

Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 45.5 cm x 39.5 cm

Notes: I do not have a record of the producer of this 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.

Yosemite Falls: Yosemite Falls is the highest measured waterfall in North America. Located in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada of California, it is a major attraction in the park, especially in late spring when the water flow is at its peak.

At the base of falls was located the main village of the native people of Yosemite Valley – Ahwahneechee people.

The Ahwahneechee people called the waterfall “Cholock” (“the fall”) and believed that the plunge pool at its base was inhabited by the spirits of several witches, called the Poloti. An Ahwaneechee folktale describes a woman going to fetch a pail of water from the pool, and drawing it out full of snakes. Later that night, after the woman had trespassed into their territory, the spirits caused the woman’s house to be sucked into the pool by a powerful wind, taking the woman and her newborn baby with it. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Perseverance by Thomas Kinkade

: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 60.96cm x 60.96cm
Producer: Ceaco, No.2943-6
Thomas Kinkade
: This puzzle was a pleasure to do: the sunlit clouds and the boat are the logical starting points, as is the horizon. The foam on the waves separates the puzzle into several smaller regions, easy to complete. The waves just below the horizon are parallel to it, making that part of the puzzle trivial to complete.

Perseverance: Perseverance is the individual’s tendency to behave without being reinforced into the motivation purposes. In psychology, perseverance is related to a non-cognitive trait. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Fenced Flower Garden

: 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]

Puzzle: Columbia River Gorge

: 500 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 35.24cm x 50.48cm
Producer: MB Puzzle, Croxley series, 1996, #4611-14
Puzzle: The waterfall and the tree are the logical places to start, followed by highlighted grass and leaves, the flowers, and finally by branch and leaf regions. Pleasant and not trivial.

Gorge: A canyon, or gorge, is a deep ravine between cliffs often carved from the landscape by a river. Rivers have a natural tendency to reach a baseline elevation, which is the same elevation as the body of water it will eventually drain into. This forms a canyon.

Canyons are much more common in arid areas than in wet areas because physical weathering has a greater effect in arid zones. The wind and water from the river combine to erode and cut away less resistant materials such as shales. The freezing and expansion of water also serves to help form canyons. Water seeps into cracks between the rocks and freezes, pushing the rocks apart and eventually causing large chunks to break off the canyon walls, in a process known as frost wedging. Canyon walls are often formed of resistant sandstones or granite. Submarine canyons form underwater, generally at the mouths of rivers. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Wild flowers & summer wine

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.57cm
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, Canvas Collection series, 2011, #44716-1
Artist: Stephen Darbishire/Rosenstiel

Puzzle: There are multiple regions of the puzzle that can be done independently: fruit, cheeses, yellow/green grass, blue cloudy patch of sky, wooden table parts, bottom of the window, and the chair cushion. From that point on, the window frame, the bright tablecloth top and plates, the lilac of the mountains, and the dark blue/purple of the tablecloth can be completed. The tree branches,  the white of the sky, the remaining bouquet, and the dark curtain and bottom left corner remain. Very pleasant and calming puzzle to do, due to a variety of patterns, vivid colours, and serene imagery.

Wild flower: A wild flower is a flower that grows in the wild, meaning it was not intentionally seeded or planted. The term implies that the plant probably is neither a hybrid nor a selected cultivar that is in any way different from the way it appears in the wild as a native plant, even if it is growing where it would not naturally.

Puzzle: Autumn at seaside

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 54.5cm x 70cm
Producer: Golden, Guild Puzzle, #4710-57
Puzzle: One of the logical ways of approaching this puzzle, is to put together the long white birch tree trunks first, giving a continuous vertical anchoring. The sea and the lighthouse are trivial to put together, and provide a line of horizon, so that the sky and top of the rocks fall into place. Orange and red leaves are the next logical choice, leaving the more uniform pieces of rocks and brush to the end. No name is provided on a box – it would have been nice to know where this photo was taken.

Birch tree: The bark of all birches is characteristically marked with long, horizontal lenticels, and often separates into thin, papery plates, especially upon the paper birch. It is resistant to decay, due to the resinous oil it contains. Its decided color gives the common names gray, white, black, silver and yellow birch to different species.

Birch trees are typically rather short-lived pioneer species widespread in the Northern Hemisphere particularly in northern temperate and boreal climates. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Tulip Rows, Mossyrock, WA

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51cm x 68.5cm
Producer: Lafayette Puzzle Factory, Colorluxe series, 2009, #1500
Puzzle: The sky, trees, and the horizon with narrow flower rows of different colours are the easy part of this puzzle. The yellow and red tulips, together with green leafy regions present more of a challenge. Not very hard to complete, but having good lighting is a bonus.

Mossyrock: Mossyrock is a city in Lewis County, Washington, United States. The population was 759 at the 2010 census. The city began as a trading post named Mossy Rock in 1852, after a 61 meter high moss-covered rock at the east end of Klickitat Prairie. The Indian name for the area of Mossyrock was Coulph. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Top of the Rock – Lunchtime on a crossbeam

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.3cm x 35.5cm
Producer: Top of the Rock, design by SBH Marketing, Inc., 2006, #1310302
Puzzle: Despite being black-and-white, this puzzle is easy to do: grey hazy sky is of a shade sufficiently different from the buildings below, people on the crossbeam are darker than the background, and their shoes provide enough of a contrast with the skyscrapers to guide the completion of the bottom part.

Photo: An historic picture now in a great puzzle! The Top of the Rock Observation Deck opened to the public in the summer of 1933 with its unparalleled views of New York City. The amazing craftsmanship of the Observation Deck is owed to these brave construction workers who routinely ate their lunches 800 heart-stopping feet above the city below. [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: Chateau Chenonceaux, France

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 69.85cm x 54.61cm
Producer: Golden, Guild Puzzle, Tony Craddock / Tony Stone, ISBN: 0-307-04710-5
Notes: The Chateau de Chenonceau is a manor house near the small village of Chenonceaux, in the Indre-et-Loire departement of the Loire Valley in France. It was built on the site of an old mill on the River Cher, sometime before its first mention in writing in the 11th century. The current manor was designed by the French Renaissance architect Philibert Delorme.

An architectural mixture of late Gothic and early Renaissance, Chateau de Chenonceau and its gardens are open to the public. Other than the Royal Palace of Versailles, Chenonceau is the most visited chateau in France. [Wiki]

Puzzle: La Roche Courbon Castle, France

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
: 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]

Puzzle: European Montage by Jim Zuckerman

European Montage, med
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
: Sure-Lox
Artist: Jim Zuckerman
Notes: Photomontage is the process and result of making a composite photograph by cutting and joining a number of other photographs. The composite picture was sometimes photographed so that the final image is converted back into a seamless photographic print. A similar method, although one that does not use film, is realized today through image-editing software. [Wiki]



Puzzle: Hôtel de Ville, Paris, France

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 80.65cm x 56.2cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, It’s Framed series, 2004, #80630

Notes: The Hotel de Ville in Paris, France, is the building housing the City of Paris’s administration.

In July 1357, Etienne Marcel, provost of the merchants (i.e. mayor) of Paris, bought the so-called maison aux piliers (“House of Pillars”) in the name of the municipality on the gently sloping shingle beach which served as a river port for unloading wheat and wood and later merged into a square, the Place de Greve, a place where Parisians often gathered, particularly for public executions. Ever since 1357, the City of Paris’s administration has been located on the same location where the Hotel de Ville stands today. Before 1357, the city administration was located in the so-called parloir aux bourgeois near the Chatelet.

Since the French Revolution, the building has been the scene of a number of historical events, notably the proclamation of the French Third Republic in 1870 and the famous speech by Charles de Gaulle on 25 August 1944 during the Liberation of Paris when he greeted the crowd from a front window. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Nanette’s Cottage by Thomas Kinkade

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 69cm x 51cm
Producer:  Ceaco, 2009, #3310-90
Artist: Thomas Kinkade

Notes:  Thomas has placed a total of 25 N’s within this painting in special commemoration and tribute to his wife Nanette, for her partnership in his 25 years as a published artist. The inspiration for this painting came about  from a cottage just like this, in which Thomas and Nanette lived in, in England when they were first married. Their wedding date is May 2, 1982. [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: Holland Tulips

Size: 300 pieces
Dimensions: 45.72cm x 35.56cm
: M.Thonig / H.Armstrong Roberts
Golden Guild
: Tulip mania or tulipomania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed.

At the peak of tulip mania, in February 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. The event was popularized in 1841 by the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, written by British journalist Charles Mackay. According to Mackay, at one point 12 acres of land were offered for a Semper Augustus bulb. Mackay claims that many such investors were ruined by the fall in prices, and Dutch commerce suffered a severe shock. Although Mackay’s book is a classic that is widely reprinted today, his account is sometimes contested. Some modern scholars feel that the mania was not quite as extraordinary as Mackay described. [Wiki]

Song of Vidal by Kim Wiggins

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Kim WigginsGrowing up in Southern New Mexico, Kim Wiggins began his art career sculpting miniatures of the wildlife around him. In 1989, Wiggins deliberately leapt from an impressionist style to the dynamic, dramatic expressionist style for which he is known today, populating his canvases with ribbons of color, bulbous clouds, anthropomorphic mountains, sinewy trees and distorted houses. [Puzzle box]
: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox
: “Discovering the joys of life is the Song of the Valle Vidal. If you were the scarecrow, would you see yourself as little more than an empty shirt on a set of cross-members? Or would you see yourself as guardian of one of the most beautiful places on earth, New Mexico’s Valle Vidal? We have the choice to be stewards of those around us by breathing life into them.The birds on the scarecrow sing a symphony of the inner beauty found in each of us. The flowers are life springing up around us as we reach out to others. In knowing your purpose in life, you really do come to life.”  [Greenwich Workshop site]

Puzzle: Berner Oberland, Switzerland

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
: Big Ben, MB Puzzles, 2008, #04962-U24
Notes: The Bernese Oberland (Bernese Highlands) is the higher part of the canton of Bern, Switzerland, in the southern end of the canton: The area around Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and the valleys of the Bernese Alps. [Wiki]

Beautiful photos of the region: http://www.berneroberland.be/

Puzzle: Istria, Pula, Croatia

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
: Big Ben, MB Puzzles, 2008, #04962-Z11
Notes: Pula is the largest city in Istria County, Croatia, situated at the southern tip of the Istria peninsula. Like the rest of the region, it is known for its mild climate, smooth sea, and unspoiled nature. The city has a long tradition of winemaking, fishing, shipbuilding, and tourism. Pula has also been Istria’s administrative center since ancient Roman times.

The Pula Arena is the name of the amphitheatre located in Pula, Croatia. The Arena is the only remaining Roman amphitheatre to have four side towers and with all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved. It was constructed in 27 BC – 68 AD and is among the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the World. A rare example among the 200 Roman surviving amphitheatres, it is also the best preserved ancient monument in Croatia.

The amphitheatre remained in use until the 5th century, when emperor Honorius prohibited gladiatorial combats. It was not until 681 that combat between convicts, particularly those sentenced to death, and wild animals was forbidden. In the Middle Ages the interior of the Arena was used for grazing, occasional tournaments by the Knights of Malta and medieval fairs. General Auguste de Marmont, as French governor of the Illyrian Provinces, started the restoration of the arena. This was continued in 1816 by the Ticinese architect Pietro Nobile, commissioned by the emperor Francis I of Austria.

In 1932, it was adapted for theatre productions, military ceremonies and public meetings. In its present state it still seats some 5,000 spectators. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Goals

Size: 550 pieces
Dimensions: 45.72cm x 60.96cm
: NSI Innovations, Motivational Classics by Successories, Inc., #32133

A goal is a desired result an animal, person or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve—a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development. Many people endeavor to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines.

It is roughly similar to purpose or aim, the anticipated result which guides reaction, or an end, which is an object, either a physical object or an abstract object, that has intrinsic value.

Efficient goal work includes recognizing and resolving all guilt, inner conflict or limiting belief that might cause one to sabotage one’s efforts. By setting clearly defined goals, one can subsequently measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals. One can see progress in what might have seemed a long, perhaps impossible, grind. [Wiki]