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: 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: Milllies Kitchen


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.57cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, Canvas Collection series, 2011, #44716-5
Artist: H. Hargrove

Puzzle: A rather detailed puzzle with many small regions of colour. White sink and plate, garlic and the orange objects behind it are probably the easiest place to start. The metal watering can, the light fixture, and the dark yellow/orange on the top shelf and the book in the lower left are several groups of colour that are easy to do. The tree and the red of the shed outside, followed by the window sill, leaves mostly dark regions to complete the puzzle. I found it quite an engaging one.

AsparagusAsparagus has been used as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour, diuretic properties, and more. It is pictured as an offering on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 BC. Still in ancient times, it was known in Syria and in Spain. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter; Romans would even freeze it high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus. Emperor Augustus reserved the “Asparagus Fleet” for hauling the vegetable, and coined the expression “faster than cooking asparagus” for quick action. A recipe for cooking asparagus in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third-century AD De re coquinaria, Book III. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: The 60s


Size
: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 48.1cm x 68cm
Producer: Kodak, RoseArt, Decades series, No.21020
Puzzle:
Enough different colours and textures to make the completion of this puzzle a breeze. Yellow cup and flowers, purple and white fabric, lava lamp, white fabric with red embroidery, the photograph, the straw hat are all sufficiently different to be easily assembled first, guiding the rest of the puzzle to completion.

The 60’s: The counterculture movement dominated the second half of the 1960s, its most famous moments being the Summer of Love in San Francisco in 1967, and the Woodstock Festival in upstate New York in 1969. Psychedelic drugs, especially LSD, were widely used medicinally, spiritually and recreationally throughout the late 1960s, and were popularized by Timothy Leary with his slogan “Turn on, tune in, drop out”. There was a growing interest in Eastern religions and philosophy, and many attempts were made to found communes, which varied from supporting free love to religious puritanism. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Early summer produce


Size
: 500 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 35.24cm x 50.48cm
Producer: MB Puzzle, Croxley series, 1997, #4611-22
Puzzle: Pleasant puzzle, preferably done with good lighting. Lots of green, grey, and brown, but easy enough to assemble. Several bright regions (strawberries, onions, window, and walls) as well as the horizontal and vertical surfaces lay a good foundation to guide the completion of the puzzle.

Produce: Produce is a generalized term for a group of farm-produced crops and goods, and is not limited to fruits and vegetables (i.e. meats, grains, oats, etc. are sometimes considered as produce.) More specifically, the term “produce” often implies that the products are fresh and generally in the same state as where they were harvested. Produce is the main product sold by greengrocers, farmers’ markets, and fruit markets. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Still life with fruit and flowers by Jan Van Os, Dutch

Size: 500+ pieces
Dimensions: 89.5cm x 71.5cm
Producer
: Battle Road Press
Artist:
Jan Van Os, Dutch (1744-1808)
Painting:
Oil on canvas, Gift of Mrs. John Harris Clay, 92.13, The J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, ISBN 0-934967-76-8
Notes: Jan Van Os was born in the small Dutch town of Middleharnis in 1744, but spent most of his life in The Hague, Holland, where he studied with the painter Aart Schoumann. Although Van Os occasionally painted marine subjects, he built his reputation on still-life paintings like the one in the Speed’s collection. He frequently exhibited at the Society of Artists in England and sold many of his paintings to members of the English and French aristocracy. Scholars today credit Van Os with perpetuating the Dutch flower-painting tradition and the style of the leading still-life artist, Jan van Huysum (1682-1749), into the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Still Life with Fruit and Flowers is characteristic of Van Os’s large, abundant still-lifes. In it, he depicted a variety of colorful and occasionally exotic plants and fruits in a sculpted terra-cotta vase placed on a marble ledge. Van Os employed two different techniques to render the textures of the various objects. He applied wet paint on a web underlayer and blended the colors to create the subtle variations in tone in the landscape. For the fruit, insects and water drops, however, Van Os painted over a dry underlayer to depict their crisp edges and details.

Like many Dutch artists, Van Os relied on traditional metaphors or symbols to convey meaning in his paintings. In Still Life with Flowers, Van Os contrasted images which suggested the sinful, material world with objects related to the spiritual realm of God. The cat, for example, was often associated with witches, and therefore was commonly thought of as evil or lustful. The mouse was considered an earthbound animal that relied on the material world for survival. Shown eating, as it is here, the mouse also symbolized gluttony. Other objects in the painting that allude to sin are the peaches, emblems of physical pleasure, and the melon, once thought of as a luxurious unhealthy fruit. In contrast to these negative images are objects which serve as reminders of God. The butterfly and dragonfly, for example, symbolize the resurrected soul. The three-part shape of the iris is like the three-part nature of the Trinity. The grapes and the small red currants refer to the wine of the Eucharist or Communion, and thereby symbolize the blood of Christ.

Van Os’s detailed studies of fruit and flowers in lush landscape settings made his paintings immensely popular among collectors during his lifetime, as well as among museums and collectors today.

The J.B. Art Speed Museum was founded by Hattie Bishop Speed as a memorial to her husband, James Breckinridge Speed. Since opening its doors in 1927, the J.B. Speed Art Museum has become Kentucky’s largest and most comprehensive public art collection with works by such masters as Rembrandt, Rubens, Tiepolo, Monet and Picsasso. The Museum’s permanent collection consists of over 8,000 works of art spanning 6,000 years of history from Antiquity to the present day. [Puzzle box]

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Puzzle: Lilac and Pear Still Life

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 40.64cm x 40.64cm
Producer: Hasbro, MB Puzzle, Big Ben series
Notes: 
Syringa (Lilac) is a genus of about 20–25 species of flowering woody plants in the olive family (Oleaceae), native to woodland and scrub from southeastern Europe to eastern Asia, and widely and commonly cultivated in temperate areas elsewhere.

The usual flower colour is a shade of purple (often a light purple or lilac), but white, pale yellow and pink, and even a dark burgundy color are also found. The flowers grow in large panicles, and in several species have a strong fragrance. Flowering varies between mid spring to early summer, depending on the species. The fruit is a dry, brown capsule, splitting in two at maturity to release the two winged seeds.

Lilacs are popular shrubs in parks and gardens throughout the temperate zone. In addition to the species listed above, several hybrids and numerous cultivars have been developed. The term French lilac is often used to refer to modern double-flowered cultivars, thanks to the work of prolific breeder Victor Lemoine. Lilacs will grow in a wide variety of soil types and prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Fruit – Pears, Apples, Grapes, Oranges, Kiwi

Size: 1000 pieces
Notes: I do not have a record of the dimensions or 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.

The pear is any of several tree species of genus Pyrus and also the name of the pomaceous fruit of these trees. Several species of pear are valued by humans for their edible fruit, but the fruit of other species is small, hard, and astringent.

The genus Pyrus is classified in subtribe Pyrinae within tribe Pyreae. The apple (Malus domestica), which it resembles in floral structure, is also a member of this subcategory.

Pears grow in the sublime orchard of Alcinous, in Odyssey vii: “Therein grow trees, tall and luxuriant, pears and pomegranates and apple-trees with their bright fruit, and sweet figs, and luxuriant olives. Of these the fruit perishes not nor fails in winter or in summer, but lasts throughout the year.”

The pear was also cultivated by the Romans, who did not eat them raw: Pliny’s Natural History recommended stewing them with honey and noted three dozen varieties. The Roman cookbook attributed to Apicius, De re coquinaria, has a recipe for a spiced, stewed-pear patina, or soufflé. [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: Orange Pekoe


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group
Notes: 
Orange pekoe (OP), also spelled “pecco”, is a term used in the Western tea trade to describe a particular genre of black teas (Orange pekoe grading). Despite a purported Chinese origin, these grading terms are typically used for teas from Sri Lanka, India and countries other than China; they are not generally known within Chinese-speaking countries. The grading system is based upon the size of processed and dried black tea leaves.

The tea industry uses the term Orange Pekoe to describe a basic, medium-grade black tea consisting of many whole tea leaves of a specific size; however, it is popular in some regions (such as North America) to use the term as a description of any generic black tea (though it is often described to the consumer as a specific variety of black tea).

When used outside the context of black-tea grading, the term “pekoe” (or, occasionally, Orange pekoe) describes the unopened terminal leaf bud (tips) in tea flushes. As such, the phrases “a bud and a leaf” or “a bud and two leaves” are used to describe the “leafiness” of a flush; they are also used interchangeably with pekoe and a leaf or pekoe and two leaves. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Antique Fishing Series Puzzle


Size
: 500 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 50.8cm x 33.02cm
Producer: Cedar Key
Notes:
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping.

Fishing is an ancient practice that dates back to, at least, the beginning of the Paleolithic period about 40,000 years ago. Isotopic analysis of the skeletal remains of Tianyuan man, a 40,000 year old modern human from eastern Asia, has shown that he regularly consumed freshwater fish. Archaeology features such as shell middens, discarded fish bones and cave paintings show that sea foods were important for survival and consumed in significant quantities. During this period, most people lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and were, of necessity, constantly on the move. However, where there are early examples of permanent settlements (though not necessarily permanently occupied) such as those at Lepenski Vir, they are almost always associated with fishing as a major source of food.

Almost any equipment or gear used for fishing can be called fishing tackle. Some examples are hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle boxes. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Gladiola


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 45.72cm x 35.56cm
Photographer:
Dietrich Leis
Producer:  E&L Corporation, “Still Life” series
Notes: A lovely photo by the same photographer and in the same tones as the Spring Concerto puzzle.

Gladiolus (from Latin, the diminutive of gladius, a sword) is a genus of perennial bulbous flowering plants in the iris family (Iridaceae). Sometimes called the sword lily, the most widely used English common name for these plants is simply gladiolus (plural gladioli, gladioluses or sometimes gladiolas).

Gladioli have been extensively hybridized and a wide range of ornamental flower colours are available from the many varieties. The main hybrid groups have been obtained by crossing between four or five species, followed by selection: Grandiflorus, Primulines and Nanus. They make very good cut flowers. However, due to their height, the cultivated forms frequently tend to fall over in the wind if left on the plant. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Home Sweet Home by Robin Anderson


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.6cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, #41693-2
Artist: Robin Anderson
Notes: “Home Sweet Home” is a song that has remained well-known for over 150 years. Adapted from American actor and dramatist John Howard Payne’s 1823 opera Clari, Maid of Milan, the song’s melody was composed by Englishman Sir Henry Bishop with lyrics by Payne. The opening lines

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home;

have become famous. [Wiki]

A home is a place of residence or refuge. When it refers to a building, it is usually a place in which an individual or a family can rest and store personal property. Sometimes, as an alternative to the definition of “home” as a physical locale (“Home is where you hang your hat”), home may be perceived to have no physical location—instead, home may relate instead to a mental or emotional state of refuge or comfort. Popular sayings along these lines are “Home is where the heart is” or “You can never go home again”. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Hotel Lobby by Joan Steiner’s


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 69cm x 51cm
ProducerCeaco, #3316-5
Notes:
Can you find the coffee creamer, 5 dollar bill, coin purse, and 117 other common objects that fool the eye? [Puzzle box]

Once you’ve completed this jigsaw, there’s a whole new puzzle to solve. Using everything from acorns to zippers, artist Joan Steiner has created an alternative universe where nothing is as it appears. At first glance, we see a perfectly normal scene. But look again, and that lamp turns out to be a salt shaker with an inverted coffee creamer on top. And could that cozy pot-bellied stove actually be a hand grenade? In fact, wherever we look, familiar everyday objects are masquerading as something else. The challenge is to find all the imposters. The more you look, the more you see!

“I got started doing these puzzles when I was working as a freelance magazine illustrator,” Steiner says. ” An editor challenged me to come up with some sort of puzzle of game. I had always flirted with the idea of one thing looking like another, and here was an opportunity to take it to the max and make a whole little world where everything actually was something else.

“People ask me where I get my ideas,” she adds, “and I really have to say that I don’t know. Sometimes I have a “eureka moment” when something hits me out of the blue. Driving down the road one day, I saw a cement mixer and suddenly it hit me — plastic mustard jar! Another time, w2hile cooking dinner, I noticed that the lasagna noodles looked a lot like frilly draperies; that eventually led me to construct a parior scene.

“Other times, I really have to work hard for my ideas. I spend hours and hours “shopping” going up and down the aisles of stores, and I may spend ten minutes inspecting a mousetrap or a cheese curl, turning it every which way, trying to see if it would work.” [Puzzle box]

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Puzzle: Fruitful Bounty


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 33.02cm x 48.26cm
Producer: 2005 Warren Industries, Kodacolor, #20500
Location: A bounty (from Latin bonitās, goodness) is a payment  or reward often offered by a group as an incentive for the accomplishment of a task by someone usually not associated with the group. Bounties are most commonly issued for the capture or retrieval of a person or object. They are typically in the form of money. By definition bounties can be retracted at any time by whomever issued them.

The term bounty is used in the mathematics, computer science, and free culture communities to refer to a reward offered to any person willing to take on an open problem in that domain; for instance, implementing a feature or finding a bug in an open source software program. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Eggplant Scene


Size
: 1000 pieces
Notes: 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.

The eggplant, aubergine, melongene, brinjal, or guinea squash (Solanum melongena) is a plant of the family Solanaceae (also known as the nightshades) and genus Solanum. It bears a fruit of the same name, commonly used in cooking. As a nightshade, it is closely related to the tomato and potato and is native to India.

The fruit is botanically classified as a berry, and contains numerous small, soft seeds, which are edible, but are bitter because they contain nicotinoid alkaloids, unsurprising as it is a close relative of tobacco.

The first known written record of the plant is found in Qi min yao shu, an ancient Chinese agricultural treatise completed in 544. The numerous Arabic  and North African names for it, along with the lack of the ancient Greek and Roman names, indicate it was introduced throughout the Mediterranean area by the Arabs in the early Middle Ages. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Tea Time by Barbara Mock


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 45.72cm x 60.96cm
Producer:  Karmin International
Painting:
photo
Artist: Barbara Mock
Notes: Afternoon tea traditionally known as low tea, is a light meal snack typically eaten between 2pm and 5pm. The custom of drinking tea originated in England when Catherine of Braganca married Charles II in 1661 and brought the practice of drinking tea in the afternoon with her from Portugal. Various places that belonged to the former British Empire also have such a meal.

Traditionally, loose tea is brewed in a teapot and served in teacups with milk and sugar. This is accompanied by sandwiches (customarily cucumber, egg and cress, fish paste, ham, and smoked salmon), scones (with clotted cream and jam) and usually cakes and pastries (such as Battenberg, fruit cake or Victoria sponge). In hotels and tea shops the food is often served on a tiered stand; there may be no sandwiches, but bread or scones with butter or margarine and optional jam or other spread, or toast, muffins or crumpets. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Cape Code Shed by Barbara Mock


Size
: 300 pieces
Dimensions: 45.72cm x 60.96cm
Producer:  Karmin International
Painting:
photo
Box: photo
Artist: Barbara Mock – American Impressionist Barbara Mock, is well known for her florals and still lives, peaceful scenics, charming cottages, ivy-framed birdhouses, whimsical gardening angels, delicate tea pots and tea cups and colorful dried flower wreaths. Her unique style of oil painting is structured with a strong sense of design and embellished with brush strokes varying from thin to bold. Barbara creates delicate lace patterns and strong substantive blends of subdued color in subtle contrast with an inner strength and romantic flavor so perfect for traditional decor. [Bentley Group Publishing site]

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Puzzle: Italian Feast


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 35.56 cm x 45.72 cm
Producer: PuzzleMakers International
Box:
photo
Notes:
An Italian feast opens with antipasti (literally, “before the meal”), or appetizers. The antipasti is followed by the primi, consisting of a light pasta or soup. The main dish, secondi, is a meat or a fish platter. Some recipes will call for braciole, which means cutlets with the bone. The secondi is served with the fourth course in an Italian feast, the contomi, a side dish of vegetables. The Italian meal ends with dolce, equivalent to dessert: pastries like zeppole, served on St. Joseph’s day; doily-like cookies called pizelle; biscottis (twice-baked cookies that give an interesting crunch). Coffee is usually served after the meal. [See Italia site]

There is a book by Antonio Carpuccio called “Italian Feast” that features “a collection of over 100 recipes by Antonio Carluccio, Italian food’s greatest champion, that take the best of the old and the most delicious of the modern to create food that is as full of passion as it is flavour.” [Italian Feast book site]

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