Labistide

Labistide
Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #43210-22
Artist: Ginger Cook – “Ginger Cook is recognized for her exceptional balance of color and light. She intertwines the bold strokes of thick impasto with softly layered translucent washes. The use of natural stucco and the combination of multiple layers of different media present the viewer with a three dimensional work. The G. Cook style of painting is both fresh and innovative.”
Original: painting
Puzzle: “View of Labastide – Our village surrounded by the vibrant fall…this was a late fall for Europe and it was great to see!” [Ginger Cook site]

Bright, cheerful puzzle with vibrant autumn colours. A breeze to put together, with three distinct areas of darker foliage in the top left, bright houses, and more subtle colours at bottom right. Sure-lox pieces snap in well and the resulting picture is lovely.

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Lake District

Lake District
Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #40275-3
Photographer: David Noble
Original: photograph
Puzzle: Great Britain Cumbria Lake District, National park. Lovely easy-to-assemble puzzle with a serene country-side landscape. Good places to start are the boundaries of grass with flowers and sky with mountain and trees. Distinct textures of the house and a brick-coloured roof, smooth green mountain, orange, yellow, and black tree leaves split the picture into clear regions. The flower bed can be assembled by focusing separately on purple, red, green, and black flowers.

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Central Park, New York

Central Park, New York
Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #43270-24
Photographer: Sandra Baker
Puzzle: Small bright puzzle easily put together in an evening. The horizontal bands of lilac flowers, green tulips stems, white and pink tulip flowers, darker hedge, lighter leaves above, the fence, and the grass and trees beyond split the puzzle up into easily-assembled regions. The fountain and the statues are distinct enough in texture and colour to be easily put together as well.

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Petrodvorets outside St. Petersburg

Petrodvorets outside St. Petersburg
Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73 cm x 49 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #40687-3
Photographer: Günter Gräfenhain
Puzzle: A wonderful depiction of the Grand Cascade fountains in the Petrodvorets (Peterhof) Palace in Russia. I’ve visited this beautiful place in the 1990s, and it was a pleasure to assemble this puzzle almost 20 years later.

Good places to start are the border of the pool and the grassy areas, the sky, the pool water, the palace, the evergreen trees, and the statue in the bottom right corner. After that, stairs, fountains, rock walls and arches between the stairs, striped embellishments, and statues can be assembled.

Notes: The Peterhof Palace (Russian: Петерго́ф, Dutch for Peter’s Court) is a series of palaces and gardens located in Petergof, Saint Petersburg, Russia, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the “Russian Versailles”.

The fountains of the Grand Cascade are located below the grotto and on either side of it. There are 64 fountains. Their waters flow into a semicircular pool, the terminus of the fountain-lined Sea Channel. In the 1730s, the large Samson Fountain was placed in this pool. It depicts the moment when Samson tears open the jaws of a lion, representing Russia’s victory over Sweden in the Great Northern War, and is doubly symbolic. The lion is an element of the Swedish coat of arms, and one of the great victories of the war was won on St Samson’s Day. From the lion’s mouth shoots a 20-metre-high vertical jet of water, the highest in all of Peterhof. This masterpiece by Mikhail Kozlovsky was looted by the invading Germans during the Second World War; see History below. A replica of the statue was installed in 1947.

Perhaps the greatest technological achievement of Peterhof is that all of the fountains operate without the use of pumps. Water is supplied from natural springs and collects in reservoirs in the Upper Gardens. The elevation difference creates the pressure that drives most of the fountains of the Lower Gardens, including the Grand Cascade. The Samson Fountain is supplied by a special aqueduct, over four km in length, drawing water and pressure from a high-elevation source.

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Winter at Neuschwanstein Castle

Winter at Neuschwanstein Castle
Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #58805-23
Author: Hans Peter Huber
Puzzle: Another beautiful rendition of Neuschwanstein Castle, this one has a magical feel to it, with the sky in sunset colours and grounds sleeping under the snow.

The easiest place to start is the sky with its many gradients and islands of colour. The castle can come next. The trees and the grounds are a bit more tricky, since there are only shades of blue and black, yet as the puzzle is not big, the challenge is not great.

This puzzle came as part of a package of five 500-piece puzzles.

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Egeskov Castle and Gardens

Egeskov Castle and Gardens
Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #58805-23
Author: Günter Gräfenhain
Puzzle: Lovely festive puzzle with clusters of bright white, red, yellow flowers, a pond reflecting a bright blue sky, a castle in the background and a wall of green on the right. Fun and bright, pleasure to assemble.

The easiest part to assemble is the top, with the sky, the castle, adn the wall. After that, perhaps the pond border and then – the bright kaleidoscope of flowers.

This puzzle came as part of a package of five 500-piece puzzles.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Houses

Thomas Jefferson's Houses
Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #58805-23
Author: Alamy
Puzzle: Vibrant, uplifting puzzle with blue skies, green trees, bright flowers, and a stately manor reflecting in a pond. Pleasure to assemble.

I liked starting with the red path around the pond, to separate the building and the grounds from their reflection. Building on that horizontal guide, the lawn and the gardens can be assembled. The sky and its boundary with the building, the building itself, as well as its reflection in the water can come next. The remaining area with trees and their reflection will follow.

This puzzle came as part of a package of five 500-piece puzzles.

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Springtime at Chambord

Springtime at Chambord
Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #58805-23
Author: Alamy
Puzzle: This puzzle is another view of the beautiful Chambord Château. I have previously assembled another 1000 piece puzzle of this magnificent castle.

I love puzzles where buildings reflect in the water, resulting in a mirror effect and the subtle difference in texture between the actual building and its reflection.

This puzzle is a breeze to assemble. Good places to start are the horizontal guides of the boundaries between the water and the wall, the wall and the grass, the grass and the castle, the castle and the sky, and the border created by the bottom left flowering bush. The castle itself has distinct parts — assembling the building, the grounds, and the river is simple. The sky and the bush are more intricate, but due to the puzzle’s small size not very challenging.

Beautiful, sunny, uplifting picture to get immersed in.

This puzzle came as part of a package of five 500-piece puzzles.

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Portugal Azores Islands

Portugal Azores Islands
Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #58805-23
Author: Günter Gräfenhain
Puzzle: Windmills always seem somewhat magical to me – an image from a quiet pastoral fantasy, drowning in luscious flowers, with bottomless blue skies. This puzzle is quite simple due to clear transitions and small number of pieces. I loved letting my mind wander in in its clouds and fields.

There are many good places to start: the bright red of the mills and the white nets of the blades, the boundaries between green and deep blue, the horizon, the mountains and the clouds against the sky. Hydrangeas are probably the most challenging part, but if you’ve filled in everything else, including the black shadows at the bottom, they soon fall into place.

This puzzle came as part of a package of five 500-piece puzzles.

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Puzzle: Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle 2, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
Producer
: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack, #40617-13
Notes: I have put together another puzzle of the Neuschwanstein Castle before, 500 pieces.

The inspiration for the construction of Neuschwanstein came from two journeys [of Ludwig II] in 1867: one in May to the reconstructed Wartburg near Eisenach, another in July to the Chateau de Pierrefonds, which Eugene Viollet-le-Duc was transforming from a ruined castle into a historistic palace.

The king saw both buildings as representatives of a romantic interpretation of the Middle Ages as well as the musical mythology of his friend Richard Wagner. Wagner’s operas Tannhauser and Lohengrin had made a lasting impression on him.

In February 1868, Ludwig’s grandfather Ludwig I died, freeing the considerable sums that were previously spent on the abdicated king’s appanage. This allowed him to start the architectural project of building a private refuge in the familiar landscape far from the capital Munich, so that he could live his idea of the Middle Ages. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: North Cascades

North Cascades, med
Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 46 cm x 28 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #40790-3, #40299W-98
Photographer: Alamy
Location: North Cascades National Park is a U.S. National Park located in the state of Washington. The park is the largest of the three National Park Service units that comprise the North Cascades National Park Service Complex. Several national wilderness areas and British Columbia parkland adjoin the National Park. The park features rugged mountain peaks.

In 1971, the park had 318 glaciers with an area of 117 km², the most of any US park outside Alaska. All the glaciers in the park have retreated significantly from 1980-2005 and the rate is increasing. The recent warmer climate has led to more summer melting and more winter melting events, reducing winter snowpack. Several glaciers in the range have melted away in the last decade. Boston Glacier, on the north slope of Boston Peak, is the largest glacier in the park with an area of 7 km². [Wiki]

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