Lamplight Village

Lamplight Village
Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 76 cm x 61 cm
Manufacturer: Springbok, Hallmark, PZL6196
Artist: Thomas Kinkade
Original: photograph
Puzzle: Peaceful imagery, challenge added by irregularly-shaped pieces. Good lighting is a bonus, especially for the sky. Good places to start are water, grass, boundaries between them, bright flowers, tree canopies, the bridge and house roofs.

“My art is nothing more than a reflection of who I am as a person — what I value, believe, and experience.” With those words, Thomas Kinkade paints a picture of his life for all to see. His delightful paintings transport us to a gentler time and a lovelier place and give us a glimpse into the thoughts and feelings behind Thomas Kinkade.

Working under the guidance of two mentors — Charles Bell, considered one of America’s best sign painters, and Glenn Wessels, an associate of Hemingway, Picasso, and Ansel Adams — Kinkade began to develop his unique style which would delight his fans for years to come. The radiant light that permeates his work captures the perfection that exists only in places that touch our imaginations and our hearts.

In LAMPLIGHT VILLAGE, the fourth painting in the Lamplight Lane series, the Brooke Windermer gently wanders through this idyllic locale. With his trademark style, Kinkade produces wonderful effects with the interplay of sun and lamplight. The blaze of sunset makes silhouettes of the trees and dapples the village row houses; the twinkle of distant lamps enhances the dance of light and shade. Villagers stroll along the warmly lit paths, while a fisherman and his dog wait for a bite at the river’s edge. The tower and spire of the Gothic church in the distance hints at a fascinating history; this is a town that invites exploration. [Puzzle box, Selected text © 1995 Abbeville Press, from Thomas Kinkade’s Paintings of Radiant Light]

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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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Bridge, Royale

Bridge, Royale 1000, med

Size: 1000 pieces, 4 missing
Dimensions: 70 cm x 55 cm
Producer
: Royale, Golden, 4777-05
Photographer: Johnnyraff

Puzzle: This puzzle does not have a title or specify where this place is. If you know, please do share.

Beautiful puzzle with lovely play of light, a pleasure to assemble. Composition of the image makes it simple to pick out several horizontal and vertical guides: the bridge railing and arches, the green luminescent stripe in the water, the tree trunks and the building borders. The boundary between the sky and the buildings is quite easy to assemble, as are the reflecting lights and lit-up arches of the bridge. The buildings can come next, followed by the trees and the darker areas of the bridge and water. I have found this puzzle second-hand, with a block of 4 pieces missing.

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Puzzle: Untitled, Buildings along a waterfront

Untitled with paint pigment, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 46 cm x 63 cm
Producer
: Ceaco, package of 2 puzzles, 2013, #3210-1
Photographer: Lester A. Garcia
Original: photo

Puzzle: Together in the package with Paint pigment in the sun in Kathmandu, Nepal

Unfortunately untitled by the puzzle manufacturer, it took me a while to find the original photo on which this puzzle was based. Beautiful image and a very easy-flowing assembly, this puzzle is a pleasure. My 4-year old loved helping me with this puzzle, whereas normally 1000-piece ones are a bit too big for him to tackle. The clear vibrant colours of the buildings separated by distinct vertical and horizontal guides provided by the building boundaries and embellishments, split up by large windows, are very simple to assemble. The bottom part with its clear waterfront horizontal guide and reflections in calm water, ripples creating additional horizontal guides, logically follows.

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Puzzle: Into the Wind by Sally Caldwell Fisher

Sally Caldwell Fisher - Into the Wind, med

Size: 234 pieces
Dimensions: 15.24 cm x 10.16 cm
Producer
: TDC Puzzles, Item #7180
Artist: Sally Caldwell Fisher
Package: photo

Puzzle: “The World’s Smallest Jigsaw Puzzle. This puzzle has 234 of the smallest pieces ever to be die-cut. Tweezers are included to help you with this ultimate puzzle challenge. Good Luck!” [Puzzle box]

Similar to the Times Square puzzle, this puzzle had pieces that were too small to fit well and make the assembly enjoyable, but I liked it more due to the beauty of the image itself. I have assembled the colourful sails first followed by their reflections. The rest of the water was easy to complete due to ripples indicating direction, and the white of the clouds helped with the completion of the sky.

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Puzzle: Colmar, Alsace, France

Colmar, Alsace, France, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 66.52cm  x 51.12cm
Producer: Big Ben

Puzzle: Beautiful puzzle, not completely trivial, due to many small colourful regions. Some of the best places to tackle first are the blue of the sky and the water, sky and rooftop boundary, bright yellow regions, and the orange and grey building in the right quarter of the picture. The white umbrellas, green neon lights, umbrella reflections, and tall building in the centre and its reflection can be assembled next, leaving many smaller regions to complete the puzzle.

Notes: Colmar is the third-largest commune of the Alsace region in north-eastern France. Colmar was founded in the 9th century. Colmar’s secular and religious architectural landmarks reflect eight centuries of Germanic and French architecture and the adaptation of their respective stylistic language to the local customs and building materials (pink and yellow Vosges sandstone, timber framing).

The Municipal Library of Colmar owns one of the richest collections of incunabula in France, with more than 2,300 volumes. This is quite an exceptional number for a city that is neither the main seat of a university, nor of a college, and has its explanation in the disowning of local monasteries, abbeys and convents during the French Revolution and the subsequent gift of their collections to the town. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Golden Light

Golden Light, medSize: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67.95 cm x 48.1 cm
Producer
: Mega Puzzles, Vibrant series, 2013, No. 51420AAN, A 29073 LP
Artist: Adrian Klein
Original:  Golden Light

Puzzle: Not a trivial puzzle, but a calming one to do, listening to some zen music or a good narrative. I would say a good region to get started is the horizon line separating the snow from the water. This line splits the puzzle into two areas, providing a horizontal guide. The darker blue regions in the corners of the puzzle and a dark rounded stone area in the top left, as well as the bright blue patches of snow on the mountain slope and their reflections in the water could be tackled next. For the trees, I found it easiest to start with the reflections in the water, as the ripples assist in determining the orientation of the pieces. The few rocks in the water and darker patches of land on the shore are distinctive as well. For the trees above water, tree trunks can serve as vertical guides. The gradients in the water, from yellow to blue, allow for gradual completion of that region, from light to dark. I have enjoyed this puzzle quite a bit.

Notes: “Larches turned gold in fall along the lakes The Enchantments in Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington while backpacking with my friend Zack Schnepf.” [Adrian Klein site]

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Puzzle: Grand Canyon, Arizona, U.S.A.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, med

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.69 cm x 39.37 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: A beautiful puzzle, a pleasure to do. Might be a little challenging for a beginner, due to the large areas of orange rock. The sky is only 4 pieces deep, with a clearly defined bottom boundary with the rock, the sea area is well-defined with two arc shapes of foam dividing it into easily-managed gradient-coloured regions. The trees at the bottom right and the top of the orange rock are darker than almost anything else in the puzzle. All these regions are good places to start. The bright green trees help split the bottom left region into separate areas. The white gnarled tree in the bottom right quarter is also quite distinct. That leaves the orange rock and the white ground with trees in the lower left quarter, and a few areas of colour fading between already-completed regions.

Notes: I have completed quite a few puzzles depicting the Grand Canyon so far.

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Puzzle: Kirwan – Dream of Euripides

Kirwan - Dream of Euripedes, med

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm in diameter
Producer: American Publishing & Television, Candu Toy & Sport Co. Inc, 1995, Rose Art Industries, Made in USA, No. 6524 (thank you to PuzzleMan for the producer information)
Artist: Jim Kirwan
Painting: original

Puzzle: A beautiful painting bringing to forefront the issues of ecology, consumerism, and the police state. The artist explores the two sides of the coin: how we see the idyllic society and what it costs in the environmental damage and lack of freedoms.

A fun puzzle to do, not very trivial for a beginner, mostly due to nearly-uniform colouring of the puzzle border pieces, and a large uniformly-patterned area in the bottom half. Easiest places to start are the “no”, “don’t”, and “stop” signs, yellow and blue outburst in the bottom left quarter, the horizontal separating black band between the top and bottom halves, and the smaller circle with two halves. In the top half, the sky and the sea, the sailboat, the tree and mountains bordering on the sky, and the red window are good as starting regions. The yellow leaves and the buildings in the top half and the smoke and brighter red and yellow spots are easy to distinguish. Once all these are in place, the puzzle is small enough to make the rest manageable.

Notes: “The symbol for Ecology was created by Euripides; it was a simple circle with a single horizontal line through the middle. In this version of that idea the world is portrayed in two extremes: in the upper portion of the painting the world seems almost idyllic; proportional; and livable with breathing room, clean water, and real possibilities without apparent limits.

In the lower half, concealed from what we think of as our opportunities; we can see what we have made of that bright vision of that fantasy world above. Pollution, oil pumps, the roots of the world amid the chaos of our failures and the trash we so abundantly produce in mega-volumes. That is what we have allowed ‘the developed world’ to become: A world composed of “NO” and “DON’T” and “STOP.” It is a world without light or grace or freedom of any kind. It is the underbelly of unchecked capitalism as we practice it and as we worship the material- philosophy with an incessant and nearly religious ‘consumerism.'” [Jim Kirwan on Rense.com]

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Puzzle: Covered bridge

Covered bridge, med

Size: 500 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 48.5 cm x 35.5 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: Simple enough to complete due to many differently-coloured regions, this puzzle is a quick one to do. The Sure-Lox pieces fit  together snugly. One can start from the red of the bridge building, the beige and yellow regions of the roof and the roads, the black and brown of the bridge building, the white railings, the river water and the border between the mountains in the background and the sky. From that point on, the small buildings, the trees, and the remaining regions fit together easily.

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Puzzle: Glimmer

Glimmer, med
Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67.95 cm x 48.1 cm
Producer
: Mega Puzzles, Vibrant series, 2013, No. 51420AAN, A 29073LP
Artist: Adrian Klein
Original: photo

Puzzle: This puzzle takes a little time, but reflections are easy to do, and the vibrant colours and well-fitting pieces make this puzzle a pleasure to assemble. The easiest regions to start are the top of the mountain and its border with the sky, and the mountain’s reflection and its border with the river water. The blue of the sky and the river water, as well as the white of the river near the horizon can be put together next. The green grass in the middle and the horizontal white line serve as horizontal guides along which the mountain bottom and the evergreens can then be completed. The grass islands on the river and the remaining mountain pieces fall into place easily after that.

Notes: The sunrise light glimmers briefly on the summit of South Sister in Three Sisters Wilderness. [Adrian Klein site]

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Puzzle: Dürnstein, Austria

Durnstein, Austria, med

Size: 1000 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 73 cm x 48.57 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: Not a completely trivial puzzle to complete, due to the snow and trees on the mountains forming a somewhat-uniform pattern. It is simple to start from the more prominent regions, such as the bright buildings, the river/snow border, the snow on the roofs, and the steps going up into the mountains. Once that is done, the top mountain range is separated into mostly blue and mostly black regions, and the central blue tower serves as a vertical guide to assist the completion. The Sure-Lox pieces fit together well and simplify the process that would have been harder with more loosely-fitting pieces.

Notes: Dürnstein is a small town on the Danube river in the Krems-Land district, in the Austrian state of Lower Austria. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Wachau region and also a well-known wine growing area.

The town gained its name from the medieval castle, Burgruine Dürnstein, which overlooked it. The castle was called “Duerrstein” or “Dürrstein”, from the German duerr/dürr meaning “dry” and Stein, “stone”. The castle was dry because it was situated on a rocky hill, high above the damp conditions of the Danube at the base of the hill, and it was built of stone. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Josephine Wall – Fantasy Wedding

Josephine Wall - Fantasy Wedding, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67 cm x 48 cm
Producer:
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]

 

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Puzzle: St. Augustine, Florida, U.S.A.

St. Augustine, Florida, U.S.A., med

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

Puzzle: A not-completely trivial puzzle to complete due to the large areas of sky, water, and similar dark regions of the reflections in the water. Good places to start are the red parts of the roof, the arches of the windows and doorways, the building walls, and the brighter water of the fountains. The stone vases and the palm trees can follow. From that point on, the sky, the water, and the reflections are relatively similar in terms of complexity to assemble.

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Puzzle: Como Park Conservatory, St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.

Como Park Conservatory, St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A., med

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

Note: I no longer have the box, so if you have any additional information on this puzzle (such as the producer), please let me know.

Puzzle: The puzzle is relatively easy to complete, and the pieces fit together well. The regions that can be approached first are the paths on each side of the water and between the flower beds, the water, the glass wall in the background and the glass walls. The larger flowers can follow, leaving the rest of the flower beds to fall into place. Good lighting is a bonus for this puzzle.

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Puzzle: Tower Bridge, London, England

Tower Bridge, London, England, med
Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.5 cm x 35.5 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: One of the first puzzles I have assembled, it has some glue damage from storage. The good regions to start are the water, the bright lights, and the railing on the bridge, followed by the borders between the bridge and the sky. The bridge top and towers, as well as the sky framed by the bridge can follow, leaving the remaining black of the sky to be filled in. Good lighting is a plus for the last part.

Notes: Tower Bridge (built 1886–1894) is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London which crosses the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name, and has become an iconic symbol of London.

The bridge consists of two towers tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical component of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Carl’s Church, Vienna, Austria

Carl's Church, Vienna, Austria, med
Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.5 cm x 35.5 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: One of the earlier puzzles I have assembled, and it unfortunately has a bit of glue damage. A very simple puzzle to assemble: the water, the bright windows, the green dome, the dark arches, the brighter main tower and two pillars are all easy regions to start with. The sky with fireworks is a bit more tricky, but due to the small size of the puzzle and the Sure-Lox pieces fitting together well it does not present too much of a challenge.

Notes: Karlskirche (St. Charles’s Church) is a baroque church located on the south side of Karlsplatz in Vienna, Austria. Widely considered the most outstanding baroque church in Vienna, as well as one of the city’s greatest buildings, Karlskirche is dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo, one of the great reformers of the sixteenth century. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Santa Maria Della Salute, Venice, Italy

Santa Maria Della Salute, Venice, Italy, med
Size
: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.69 cm x 39.37 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle:  This puzzle is a bit challenging due to large areas of almost uniformed-coloured sky, and the tightly-fitting side-view of the buildings with many small details, but Sure-Lox pieces come to the rescue by fitting into place unambiguously. The domes of the church, its walls, and the border between the sky and the buildings are good places to start. The blue and white poles in the water, the lower building in the bottom left corner, the water, and the buildings in the bottom right are some of the easier regions to complete next. From that point on, the rest of the puzzle can be assembled.

Notes: Santa Maria della Salute, commonly known simply as the Salute, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica located in the Dorsoduro sestiere of the Italian city of Venice. It stands on a narrow finger of land between the Grand Canal and the Bacino di San Marco making the church visible when entering the Piazza San Marco from the water. The Salute is part of the parish of the Gesuati and is the most recent of the so-called plague-churches.

In 1630, Venice experienced an unusually devastating outbreak of the plague. As a votive offering for the city’s deliverance from the pestilence, the Republic of Venice vowed to build and dedicate a church to Our Lady of Health (or of Deliverance, Italian: Salute). The church was designed in the then fashionable baroque style by Baldassare Longhena, who studied under the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi. Construction began in 1631. Most of the objects of art housed in the church bear references to the Black Death. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia, med
Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.5 cm x 35.5 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: A simple puzzle to do, and due to Sure-Lox well-fitting pieces a fast one. The uniform colour of the sky and the highlights on the water are good places to start, as well as the larger white/lilac building. The orange flags and the building behind them, as well as the darker skyscrapers pave way for the rest of the pieces to fall into place.

Notes: Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia. It is on Australia’s south-east coast, on the Tasman Sea. Inhabitants of Sydney are called Sydneysiders, comprising a cosmopolitan and international population.

The site of the first British colony in Australia, Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip, commodore of the First Fleet, as a penal colony. The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson, which is commonly known as Sydney Harbour, where the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are prominent structures. [Wiki]

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