I have been doing puzzles for a while now. What is most fun is doing them with my 5 year old grandson. He is very good at it, and lets be honest, the puzzles he does are relatively easy. Not baby puzzles, he can a 300 piece in a few hours. He is also helpful when doing a thousand piece puzzle.
Here he is with his Hanukkah present, a 300 piece puzzle.
His parents gifted me with a 2000 piece puzzle. Once back from our trip, I pulled it out, along with the mat and the boxes for pieces. 2000 is a lot of pieces, but there are very defined areas here, unlike the Van Gogh almond blossoms that was all alike all over.
Organizing the pieces. All the border pieces stay outside. The sky goes in one box, what appears to be the house in another and so on. As I went along I refined the boxes, but that was later.
I got most of the frame together. It took until I was almost halfway done with the puzzle to complete the frame. Two or three frame pieces escaped my first sorting. So, time to start in on the interior.
Thank God the puzzle came with a poster that is larger than the image on the box. 2000 pieces is a lot! I could see details on the poster that I couldn’t on the box. I was getting very good at identifying pieces, knowing exactly where they would go. But I tried to restrain myself and not clutter up the mat too much. Going for the roofline, the red doors, the green balconies was ‘easy’. Well, finding the pieces was easy there is a lot of trial and error. At this stage I’m happy to get some of the sky in. One thing that happens frequently is one piece is missing, both above the red door and off to the side. Sometimes the piece is easily found, in other cases, I only filled holes at the very end.
Is this like watching paint dry? to me it isn’t, a lot of progress has happened here. Also, many many hours of work. This is the point where I realized that I had expanded the puzzle width wise way to much. So I’m gingerly moving the left side closer in. Big holes were suddenly filled, because even at 2000 pieces, it’s not as big as I had originally thought. Also, now comes the hard part. I’ve built all the very defined areas, I now have the path, sky, plants, grass and the bottom, which is a stone wall with ivy. Things are looking the same.
At this point, the puzzle size is complete, all the border pieces have been found and put in place. Although, another problem occurs, often I think I have the pieces in their correct place – they fit, they even fit two adjoining pieces, but it turns out I’ve made a mistake, nothing else is fitting, I have to go back and look at the back of two puzzle pieces to make sure it is a complete fit. This happened more than once!
Working on the path. By now I have pulled all pieces that even have a smidgeon of path. I am no longer matching color. I have now learned that this puzzle has about 5 different shapes and I’m getting the rhythm of how they fit together. So with the patch, I’m simply testing the shapes one by one. I will do the same with the sky. Often you have to twist a shape 4 ways to see if it fits. Notice on the left side, I am missing a pale blue sky piece as well as a water piece near the boat. Soldier on! Often the least expected piece is right under my nose.
I’m in a rush to finish this. On Sunday we will have a house full of people and the last thing I want is to try and move this. Yes it is on the movable mat, but it is creeping off the edges. I want this finished, not moved! Remember how moving it last time means I lost a piece that I only found months later! Yes, on the Van Gogh, I found the one missing piece among my threads months later.
The sky is complete, that missing blue water piece has been found. The one light blue sky piece is nowhere to be seen, and I’ve been looking.
And I’m done! The end was painful, what I did with the path, I did with the bottom the puzzle, I divided the pieces by shape and ignored the colors, I just kept trying until the pieces fit. So I have put together a 1999 piece puzzle, because one piece isn’t here. Oh and a good friend tells me this is an Amish puzzle. In most handcrafts people (like the Amish) make a mistake on purpose because they are not God. Well this is an Amish puzzle that proves my point, no one makes a mistake on purpose. They happen and people give them fancy names. Same thing here.
I was careful, I checked the floor, I checked everywhere, I wasn’t moving pieces. Sure pieces would fall on the floor and immediately get picked up. Joel and I lifted the black mat, maybe it crept under there? Nope, my curse continues, I am always missing a piece.
Then I moved the puzzle with the inflatable tube off the dining room table. It said it’s good for up to 1500 piece puzzles. Had I been more careful, I probably could have gotten it moved ok. But as you can see, it scrunched up. I’ve sent my son a picture, he will see it on Sunday, I have zero interest in fixing this now. I’m done. Then, unfortunately, its into the garbage, I do not give away puzzles with missing pieces.
Also, even though I bought myself a 1000 piece puzzle of quilt blocks. I am taking a long break.