Thursday, May 30, 2013

Something a little different ...

in case anybody might think that I do nothing but put puzzles together all day ... here is another project that is occupying some time this summer of '13.

African Violets, genus Saintpaulia, are native to Africa of course. The genus is comprised of between 6 and 20 species, with many more commercially produced hybrids.

These two plants are offshoots of a plant that a student gave me some 8 years ago. Her grandmother had raised violets for years and was giving away her extras. I've set these plants in a shaded southern window and more or less ignored them ... and they've bloomed beautifully.

I don't know what species or variety these are ... however, the cuttings (leaves) in the bottom picture were purchased from a dealer and I hope to have some small plants by the end of the summer.
any ideas for names?

African violet starts

Memorial Day puzzle ... more information

Inspired by the completion of the actual puzzle, I thought I would share a little information about the planes and nose art ... pictures and information comes from unless otherwise cited.

The Memphis Belle: A B-17 bomber, flew 25 missions over France & Germany in 1942-43.

Nose art in the background ...
The Enola Gay: A B-29 Superfortress bomber immortalized by being the plane to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki Japan.

not sure this qualifies as "Nose Art" but it's in the puzzle ...
'Lady Lil': information was a little harder to find on this bomber, but she was a B-25 Mitchell bomber of the 498th Bomber Squadron, 345th Bomber group (also known as the "Air Apaches"). She served in the South Pacific from 1943-45 and flew out of Port Moresby (citation).

"Raid on the China Coast” depicts Lady Lil of the Air Apaches 345th Bomb Group, 498th Bomb Squadron. A B-25 is attacking Japanese shipping off the coast of China, April 1945. Pilot: Lt. Albert J. Beiga. The Raid was between Amoy and Swatow, west of Formosa.
The Goon: pictures of this plane made it into The National Geographic in 1944. She was a B-24 bomber attached to the 308th Bomber group serving in  the CBI (China-Burma-Indochina) theater. (citation).

Lady in the Dark: could not find any information about this bomber ... the only picture I found was of a poster (found on eBay of all places).

A Bit O' Lace: B-17 bomber that saw action in the European theater ...  she flew some 83 missions over France & Germany. The photo and the information comes from the Bit O' Lace website. Interestingly enough, one of the pilots of this bomber, a man named Charlie Brown (seriously), made the news as the pilot of another plane ...

all right, that's enough for now ... if you read this blog and you have any additional information about some of these bombers, please feel free to share. Thanks.

Memorial Day puzzle ...

Nose Art Legends of WWII by Roy Grinnell; published by Sunsout Puzzles.

here's the link to the puzzlewarehouse where I purchased this puzzle
here's the box

Nose Art Legends of WWII
the mostly completed puzzle ...

and here's the finished product (minus one piece of course). Pretty easy puzzle overall. Was fun and I learned a lot about the planes and the artists (research on Wikipedia).

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Eurographics puzzle ...

found this puzzle at Walmart of all places, wasn't expensive ($7.99) and looked interesting.

Monaco by Eurographics Puzzles
When I opened and began sorting pieces, I found that Eurographics uses the sort of random, weird shape puzzle piece cutter (see pic below). This was the first that I had encountered this puzzle philosophy and it took me some time to get used to. After that it went pretty fast, and I enjoyed putting it together very much.

The final product looks good! This is definitely one for my students ...


One missing piece of course ...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Another Wysocki ...

Plum Valley by Charles Wysocki; this is a gorgeous puzzle that was a lot of fun to put together.

Plum Valley by Charles Wysocki; published by Buffalo Games

Surprisingly difficult ... the plum orchard of course.

The Plum Orchard

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Students like puzzles!! Who knew?

After 4 days of unremitting labor and about 20 different sets of hands and eyes ... they finally finished it today

one piece left out of course ...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Best Sellers by White Mountain Puzzles

If you read down through my blog you'll quickly see that books and reading are a large part of what I blog about ... so it seems natural to work this jigsaw ...

Best Sellers by White Mountain Puzzles

Wasn't a very hard puzzle at all. I worked it by myself in an afternoon and evening, leaving of course, the last piece til morning. If I recall correctly the last piece came from Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.

Clammers at Hodge's by Charles Wysocki

Charles Wysocki (and here) was a terrifically prolific artist. Many of his works have been used as subjects for jigsaw puzzles. Using puzzlehistory's site, it appears that there are at least a thousand different puzzles (I did not count, and apparently no one else has either) published by several game companies starting in 1973. Ebay always has several hundred of his puzzles listed for fairly reasonable prices.

My first 'Wysocki' was this one ... titled Clammers at Hodge's

Clammers at Hodge's by Charles Wysocki; published by Buffalo Games

It was terrific fun! Here is a poor photo of the completed (all but one piece .. I always leave one until the morning) puzzle.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

In The Car by R. Lichtenstein

Talk about difficult! The last 100 pieces or so of this 1000 piece puzzle were all the same pattern and shape ... had to squint at the pegs and shoulders to find any slight differences. I almost gave up a couple of times, but I persevered and finished it.

In The Car by Roy Lichtenstein; published by Educa Puzzles

A couple of puzzle vending sites ...

I like this one a lot
they even have a blog that isn't bad
I haven't used this vendor but they have a nice selection

and finally a site for the history and collecting of jigsaw puzzles  this site has a terrific collection of puzzles by Charles Wysocki, his art is one of the most popular puzzle topics out there. I'll post some images of his puzzles later.

Jigsaw Mania!!

Some of my best memories are sitting with my grandparents working jigsaw puzzles in the evenings ... so I got to thinking and wondering about the current state of the jigsaw puzzle market. And I'm happy to report that it appears to be alive and flourishing. There are several vendors who offer a variety of interesting puzzles. My first purchase and foray back into the world of solving jigsaw puzzles produced this:

Nautical Treasures; 1000 pieces produced by White Mountain Puzzles
Was a lot of fun, and medium hard. I had a friend help me finish it one Saturday evening.