Puzzle: Gateway Solitude

Gateway Solitude, med
: 500 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 33.9 cm x 45.4 cm
Producer: Wrebbit, Perfalock foam puzzle series, 2003, 22406

I felt like assembling a foam puzzle which I haven’t done lately. The fit is unique and takes getting used to, but quite pleasant. A good starting point was the walkway, since it provided a vertical guide and split the bottom of the puzzle into three distinct regions. The gate and the brick pillars came afterwards, followed by the flower bunches, the trees, and the sky. Simple and enjoyable puzzle to do.

Notes: IntroducingPerfalock, the first puzzle that goes anywhere without going to pieces! Make it, move it, mount it, and it won’t fall apart. Precisely crafted out of flexible foam, Perfalock pieces fit together so perfectly you can barely see the seams! Its unique backing material means that Perfalock puzzles stay together without messy glue. Perfalock from Wrebbit. We make great puzzles happen. [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: Enchanted Eve II by Christian Riese Lassen

Christian Riese Lassen - Enchanted Eve II, med
: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 48.1 cm x 68 cm
Christian Riese Lassen
: Mega, The Puzzle Collection, 2007, #97111

Puzzle: Beautiful and serene puzzle to do. The sun with its surrounding clouds, the mountain ridges, and the dark palm trees contrasting with the sky are good places to start. The sun’s reflections on the water and the white foam can follow, providing horizontal guides to fill out the rest of the ocean. The gradual colour change in the sky from the sun to the sea can guide you through filling out the sky, leaving the rest of the areas trivial to complete.

Puzzle: Bellagio by Julian Askins

Julian Askins - Bellagio, med

Size:  750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox
Julian Askins

Notes: Beautiful zen-inducing puzzle with its bright colours and serene scenery. The easiest places to start are the solid colour areas of the sky, the patio with the colonnade, the mountain/sky border, and the blue of the water. The houses can also be assembled easily, guided by the colour contrast and vertical separators. The red flowers and the bright rounded tree with its base can follow, and the rest of the pieces fall into place after.

Puzzle: The Wizard’s World by Adrian Chesterman

Adrian Chesterman - The Wizard's World, med

Size:  550 pieces, 2 missing
Dimensions: 61 cm x 46 cm
Painting: the original
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark, Series 6, 2005, #2333-37

Puzzle: A pleasant fantasy puzzle to assemble. The best regions to start are the window, the wizard’s face, hair, and beard, the fingers, the flame and the candle, and the planets. The owl, the parchment, and the rest of the puzzle can follow. A beautiful painting.

Artist: Adrian Chesterman studied fine art at Norwich School of Art and illustration at the Royal College of Art in Kensington, London. Since leaving the R.C.A. Chesterman has worked in nearly every sphere of the art world… Chesterman started with an illustration technique of his own invention which employs airbrush and painted gouache and acrylic inks on artboard or canvas… Chesterman lives in Andalucia in Spain and has also been designing gardens and parks for the rich and the famous. “I love designing gardens… When I’m painting a picture or a mural I am usually copying nature, but when I’m designing a garden I’m working with nature as my paint box.”  [Adrian Chesterman site]

Puzzle: Sunlit Patio by Ming Feng

Ming Feng - Sunlit Patio, med
: 550 pieces
Dimensions: 60.96 cm x 45.72 cm
Producer: Hasbro, Milton Bradley, Picture Perfect series, 2002
Artist: Ming Feng

Puzzle: I like the feel of these pieces and the way they snap together. The easiest way to approach this puzzle is to start with solid areas of colour: the floor, the chair, bench, and table, and the door. From that point on, it’s a matter of separating areas with similar flower and leaf colouring and assembling those. A very pleasant and calming puzzle to do.

Notes: Beautiful puzzle cut with gaps being nearly invisible. Pieces fit together perfectly and there is no paper dust. A pleasure to assemble, glue, and display.

Puzzle: Dinotopia: Festival of Children and Hatchlings by James Gurney

James Gurney - Dinotopia - Festival of Children and Hatchlings, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 76.2 cm x 60.96 cm
Painting: Dinosaur Parade
Artist: Steve A. Roberts
Producer: Springbok, Hallmark, 1992, PZL6183

Puzzle: The puzzle is quite appealing visually, but not made well: the pieces are large, thick, and do not fit together without a significant effort. There are many distinct colour regions and guides to make this puzzle trivial to assemble: the steps,  the building, the border between the sky and the trees, the distinct hides of the different dinosaurs, the flags, the crowd, and the saddles. The rest of the pieces can be filled in based on those.

Notes: “Dinotopia – A Land Apart From Time

Professor Arthur Denison and his son, Will, set out in 1860 on an ocean voyage to explore uncharted territories. What they found was more incredible than anything they might have imagined. When a typhoon ripped them from their schooner and into a raging sea, dolphins swam to the rescue and carried the pair to the tropical shore of the lost island of Dinotopia.

The father and son soon found, much to their astonishment, that Dinotopia was a land where all manner of dinosaurs lived peacefully and quite happily with human beings.

Accompanied by their faithful guide, Bix, a Protoceratops and one of the few dinosaurs who could “speak” human languages, Professor Denison and Will began to explore the wonders of Dinotopia.

They visited Waterfall City, which seemed to float on a sea of mist while gigantic waterfalls cascaded all around its walls. In Treetown they lived in rustic tree houses and slide down the neck of a Brachiosaurus whenever they wanted to visit the lowlands. They explored the dreamland of air and stone called Canyon City. And in Sauropolis, capital of Dinotopia, they witnessed the wonderfully lavish Festival in Honor of Children and Hatchlings. Gradually the enchantment of this lost world captivated both Professor Denison and Will, and they knew in their hearts that Dinotopia had become their true home, the place where they could “breathe deep, seek peace” and live in harmony with all.

The artist and author of Dinotopia, James Gurney, has created fantasy art for the covers of more than 70 books and has painted scenes of ancient worlds for several National Geographic articles. A few years ago he began a series of oil paintings of a fantasyland where dinosaurs and humans lived in harmony, and these paintings eventually led to the creation of the uniquely beautiful book Dinotopia. Gurney lives with his wife, Jeanette, also an artist, and their two sons in the Hudson Valley of New York State.” [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: Alter Terrain by Steve A. Roberts

Steve A. Roberts - Alter Terrain, med

Size:  550 pieces
Dimensions: 61 cm x 46 cm
Artist: Steve A. Roberts
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark series, 2003, #2333-24

Puzzle: Simple puzzle to do, the pieces fit unambiguously. Some good regions to start are the wizard’s face and clothing, the horse, the border between the two terrains, the cacti, the fortress, and the spheres of light. The grass, the rocks, the mountain peak, and the orange sky can follow, leaving a few pieces to fill in.

Notes: Change Terrain is an Uncommon Instant Spell belonging to the  Nature Magic realm. It may only be cast on the overland map. For the base Casting Cost of  50, it will change a targeted tile from one terrain type to another. Most terrain tiles are shifted one “step” closer to Grassland, and Grassland may be changed back into Forest. Several types of terrain, including Oceans, may not be targeted. The effect is permanent and does not require an Upkeep Cost to maintain. [Master of Magic wiki]

Puzzle: Moon Magic by Myles Pinkney

Myles Pinkney - Moon Magic, med

Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 35.56 cm x 48.26 cm
Artist: Myles Pinkney
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, Glow series, 2007, #81200-5

Puzzle: Simple and pleasant puzzle to do. The Sure-Lox pieces fit together well, and there are enough distinct regions to split the puzzle into areas that are trivial to complete. A logical place to start is the woman’s face, hair, hands, dress, and the belt. The purple, grey, and dark areas can also be easily completed. The remaining regions of the dress and the blue of the waves can follow.

Puzzle: Wizard Stonehedge by Meiklejohn

Meiklejohn - Wizard Stonehedge, med

Size:  550 pieces
Dimensions: 61 cm x 46 cm
Artist: Meiklejohn
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark, Series 5, 2004, #2333-32

Puzzle: Simple puzzle to do: large distinct colour regions, large pieces and clear boundaries. Wizard’s face and robe, blue  light bordering it,  gold embellishments on the robe, hat with the star, the dragon ball, the lightening, and the skyline are all easily assembled. The red sky region, the hands, and the landscape can follow, leaving the rest of the pieces to fall into place.

Notes: Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, about 3.2 km west of Amesbury and 13 km north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Summer’s Light by John O’Brien

John OBrien - Summer's Light, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51 cm x 69 cm
Artist: John O’Brien
Producer: Empire, Puzzle Makers, Rooms with a View collection, #64020-001

Puzzle: Beautiful puzzle, gentle colours, the pieces fit together well. The repetition of the window parts makes for a bit of a challenge to assemble the  largely-similar window grids, but there is enough variation in the room furnishings bordering the backdrop to make the assembly enjoyable. I have started with the window tops and continued with windows themselves, although it might be easier to first focus on the armchairs and sofa, corner tables, plants, the rug and the floor. Either way the large sections separating the windows provide good vertical guides whereas the rug pattern and the rug/floor border make for horizontal guides that can direct the assembly.

Puzzle: Venetian Interior by John O’Brien

John OBrien - Venetian Interior, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51 cm x 69 cm
Artist: John O’Brien
Producer: Empire, Puzzle Makers, Rooms with a View collection, #64020-001

Puzzle: This puzzle is a pleasure for the eye. Lots of vibrant colours and small details. The pieces fit together well. The easiest regions to start are the vertical guides of the balcony doors and the white tall window, the street with the sky and buildings, the paintings and their frames, the dark red border decoration at the top of the walls, and the green of the walls themselves. The cupboard, the chairs and love seat, and the fireplace can come next, with the rug pattern to follow. The rest of the small details can then be filled in.

Puzzle: In the Concert Room by John O’Brien

John OBrien - In the Concert Room, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51 cm x 69 cm
Artist: John O’Brien
Producer: Empire, Puzzle Makers, Rooms with a View collection, #64020-001

Puzzle: Leisurely puzzle to make, with pieces fitting together reasonably well. Many possible places to start: vertical guidelines of the gold embellishments on the white walls, the opening into the street with buildings and draperies, the border of the floor and the rug, the red regions of the furniture and the darker regions of the paintings, the fireplace, and the side tables with flower vases. The harp and the piano, the furniture pieces, and the rug can then follow, and the rest is relatively simple. Lots of little details, visually a very rich puzzle for the eyes.

Notes: A concert hall is a place where concerts of classical music take place. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Evergreen Basket by Marjolein Bastin

Christmas bird evergreen basket, med

Size:  500 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions:  cm x  cm
Artist: Marjolein Bastin
Producer: Unknown (please let me know if you have this information).

Puzzle: A bright winter puzzle, with pieces not exactly fitting together well, but due to their varying shapes, fitting unambiguously. Red regions, birds, flower centres, and the baskets are the easiest places to start, followed by colour border regions. The rest of the puzzle fits together easily. Not the greatest make of a puzzle, but not exceptionally bad.

Notes: Nothing on the box except for the artist’s name.

Puzzle: Long Fellow House

Dominic Davison - Long Fellow House, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73 cm x 48.57 cm
Artist: Dominic Davison
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, Country Manor series, 2011, #44612-1

Puzzle: A wonderful puzzle to do: Sure-Lox pieces fit together very well, as usual, and there is enough challenge while guide regions are available to provide a logical succession of assembly. One can start with the path to the front door of the building, separating the bottom half into two regions. The house and the well provide good anchoring regions. The grass and the patch of sky can be assembled easily. The tree trunks provide additional vertical guides. The rest of the regions take a bit more time to assemble. Good lighting is a bonus for the tree leaves.

Puzzle: The Oceanwaves Quiltscape by Rebecca Barker

Rebecca Barker - The Oceanwaves Quiltscape, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 69 cm x 51 cm
Producer: Ceaco, 2003,3307-2

Puzzle: A bright vibrant puzzle, easily done due to multiple horizontal dividers with colour variations, and the geometrical patterns. The horizon line, the boats, the big turquoise wave, and the line separating the surf and sand create several distinct regions. From there on, filling out the rest is trivial.

Notes: “Rebecca has a deep appreciation of country living and antique quilts which clearly inspires the subjects she paints today. Her paintings feature quilts accompanied by foreground or background scenes which formally illustrate the traditional names of the quilt patterns.

Rebecca’s current series is titled “Quiltscapes”. Rebecca paints her Quiltscapes in acrylic on board (masonite). The patterns come from quilt history books and she regularly attends quilt shows. Her style is realistic with clean, clear colors and a sensitivity to composition and texture.

The Oceanwaves Quiltscape: This quilt pattern has the feel of the sea right in its folds. It is one of the first authentic all pieced quilt patterns which is comprised of many small triangles. It was created around the mid or late 1800’s. Origin unknown.

“My work is meant to honor the beauty of old time quilts and their patterns.” [Rebecca Barker]” [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: Still-life with flowers

Still-life with flowers, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 49 cm x 68 cm
Artist: possibly Abraham Hendriksz van Beyeren (unsure, since puzzle box does not list the artist)
Producer: Jumbo International, #00023

Puzzle: A very rich puzzle in terms of colours and arrangement. One of the ways to approach it is to start with the larger areas of similar colour: red flowers, yellow ones, large pink and striped ones. After that, the vase and the table, as well as larger green leaves, blue stand-alone flowers, the butterfly, and the pastel flowers can be tackled. The pillar in the left top quarter separates the top area into three distinct regions and can be used as a vertical guide. The rest of the arrangement fills out easily from there. Overall, a very enjoyable vibrant puzzle, made with good quality paper.

Notes: Floral design or floral arts is the art of creating flower arrangements in vases, bowls, baskets or other containers, or making bouquets and compositions from cut flowers, foliages, herbs, ornamental grasses and other plant materials. Often the terms “floral design” and “floristry” are considered synonymous. Florists are people who work with flowers and plants, generally at the retail level. Floristry differs from floristics, the study of distribution and relationships of plant species over geographic areas. Floristry also differs from horticulture, which more broadly relates to the cultivation of flowers and plants so they will remain fresh as long as possible, and would be desirable for purchase, which also involves knowledge of customers’ requirements and expectations. The ability to create a variety of floral designs such as wreaths, bouquets, corsages, boutonnières/’buttonholes’, permanent arrangements and other more complicated arrangements is also important. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Overlook Cafe II by Sung Kim

Sung Kim - Overlook Cafe II, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67.3 cm x 45.4 cm
Artist: Sung Kim – Born in 1940 in Seoul, South Korea, Sung began to exhibit his artistic talents early in childhood. Beginning in grade school, Sung entered and won various art contests by displaying his creativity and artistic imagination. He decided to pursue his passion for art and graduated with honors from Seorabol Art College in Seoul. Later he opened his own studio and worked as an illustrator for various magazines and children’s books. Sung’s artistic abilities were acknowledged when he was awarded the Grand Prize in an art competition by the Minister of Culture in South Korea and the Gold Medal prize in the art competition given by the Mayor of Seoul. He traveled throughout Europe before immigrating to the United States in 1980. For the last 20 years, Sung has worked with various fine art galleries and has produced over 400 original landscape paintings. [Tutt Art site]
Painting: original
Producer: Wrebbit, Perfalock foam puzzle series, 2005, 20068

Puzzle: A very enjoyable puzzle. I have not done foam puzzles for a while now, and this one was a reminder of a different squishy feel I liked about the foam pieces. They fit together quite well. The logical parts with which to start are the turquoise shutters and striped canopy, the white tablecloths and the chairs and railing next to them, the flower arrangements, the cafe sign and the light above it, the balcony, and the palm tree. The large tree with dark branches and houses in the distance with boats and water reflections, the patio, the pavement, and the black doorways can come next. Once all that remains are the mountains and the sky, tracing the border between them is easiest, and the rest of the pieces fall into place.

Puzzle: Victorian Home by Dominic Davison

Dominic Davison - Victorian Home, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73 cm x 48.57 cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Country Manors series, 2011, 44612-4

Puzzle: A serene puzzle, with all its trees and flowers in bloom, and invitingly lit manor windows. Good places to start are the manor itself, the roads, fence and bench, grass, and the tree trunk on the right. Flower patch, pieces of sky, and tree leaves and branches can come next – since the tree leaves on the four trees are of different colours, this part is not difficult.

Notes: Victorian architecture is architectural style during the middle and late 19th century. The name “Victorian” refers to the reign of Queen Victoria, 20 June 1837 – 22 January 1901, during which period the styles known as Victorian were used in construction. However, many elements of what is typically termed “Victorian” architecture did not become popular until later in Victoria’s reign. The styles often included interpretations and eclectic revivals of historic styles mixed with the introduction of middle east and Asian influences. The name represents the British and French custom of naming architectural styles for a reigning monarch. [Wiki]

Puzzle: The Grey Wizard by Myles Pinkney

Myles Pinkney - The Grey Wizard, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 48.56 cm x 73 cm
Artist: Myles Pinkney
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Glow in the Dark series, 2007, 81600-6

Puzzle: This puzzle requires good lighting – the shades of the Wizard’s robe are subtle. Blue window, hair, face, hand, beard, smoke, pipe, curtains, and blue patch on the floor are all good places to start. The remaining pieces can be split into reddish (for the cape), lighter brown for the robe on one side, black in shadows, and darker brown on the other side. With Sure-Lox pieces fitting together well, it’s a pleasure to do.

Notes: The original of this picture is actually called Gandalf at Back End, and has more detail around the wizard. I wish the puzzle makers incorporated the entire painting.

Puzzle: The Untold Story by Josephine Wall

Josephine Wall - The untold story, med

Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26 cm x 35.56 cm
Artist: Josephine Wall
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Keepsakes series, 2011, 42220-7

Puzzle: Trivial puzzle and a pleasure to do. Several sections are equally easy to use as anchoring points: skin, the large pink flower, the iguana, the hair net, flowing fabric, the ship, and the flamingos. The rest of the puzzle falls into place in greens, blues, and purples.

Notes: “As the planet evolves, humankind increasingly leaves the cities to seek peace and consolation in the country. There nature awaits with all her gentleness and beauty to welcome humanity into a more fulfilling way of life.” [Josephine Wall site]