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2020 Winter Puzzles – The Last Piece

My next puzzle was one that my wife gave me for Christmas.  Knowing that prior to Christmas, I only had one puzzle in my puzzle war chest, I was quite pleased when I opened this present on Christmas Day.  With a multitude of different colors and diversity of items, it seemed this one would prove much easier than my Montreat gate puzzle.

Once I had all the pieces laid out and had built the frame, I decided to take a different approach from my typical and start at the top of the puzzle.  Here were easily recognizable brick and window pieces and flowerpots.  With just a few missing pieces still hiding somewhere on my work surface, this proved to be a wise starting point.

I next decided to continue building from the top down towards the bottom working on the major feature in the center of the puzzle, the shop door.  This also proved fairly straight forward and confirmed for me that this was going to be a much easier puzzle.

Having reached this juncture, I next considered focusing on assembling the window frames of the shop since pieces with the green frame were easily identifiable.  But as I scanned across the work surface, I realized that there were more than I thought which might prove frustrating.  Therefore, I decided to continue working from the top down with some occasional bottom assembly as well, once again, a wise decision.

At this point, the fun really kicked in with a plethora of small items to focus on, each unique in its own way.  It no doubt helped that over half the pieces had been fitted in making the search process quicker.  And it seemed that occasionally I would snap in one piece after another almost as fast as I could pick them up.

The next day, my wife and granddaughter also joined in the fun and helped out, although while the pieces placed by my granddaughter fit, they didn’t necessarily match.  But she still took pleasure in snapping them in.  My wife continued to help me and when we were down to less than 100 pieces, the finalization went fairly quickly with my wife completing the windows on the left side of the puzzle as I worked on the right side.

My wife was very kind when she picked up the last remaining piece and handed it to me so I could be the one to finish it.  We stood back and admired our handiwork as I told my wife she had made a very good choice for her gift.  It was a fun project for both of us.

My last puzzle was also a Christmas gift, one from my daughter who loves to give me aviation themed gifts as a reminder of all the fun times we have at the airplane museum in their hometown of Seattle.

And as soon as I opened the package, I could tell I was going to enjoy this puzzle!

Assembling the frame was fairly simple as it was mostly one color with slight variations in tone.

I decided to start with the biggest plane, the 787 Dreamliner and then proceeded to concentrate on the other two large plane images.

As I looked at the details of the photo on the box to see where I would focus my attention next, I realized that the puzzle was made up of retro advertisement photos overlaid on each other, one of which was even a salute to our hometown, Memphis.  It was akin to the National Parks puzzle I put together last year that depicted 30 vintage National Parks posters.  I had a blast assembling that puzzle so I knew I would have fun doing this one as well.

Each poster was like a miniature puzzle within the puzzle.  I would select one to work on, gather all the similarly colored pieces, and then snap them together.  I focused on some of the more colorful posters first and in no time had made some nice progress.

The next day, I continued this approach and just a few hours later, had made very significant progress.

Sadly, as I looked at the partially assembled puzzle the following day, I realized I only had four more posters to complete.  These went fairly quickly and before lunch time, had finished the puzzle.

As I ran my hands over the smooth surface of the puzzle, I was very pleased with what I saw.

After I stood up and gazed over the entire puzzle, a very pleasing thought came to me.  Once my two grandsons who I often visited the airplane museum with got a bit older, this would be a really fun activity for the three of us to do together when they come to visit.  While this Christmas gift had brought me numerous hours of fun pleasure, I could see even more fun in its not too distant future!

But thinking of that future fun made me wish for more immediate fun now as I was sad my winter puzzling had come to an end.  So, I did the only thing I could do, buy another puzzle.

Shopping my favorite online store, I found a nice puzzle of not only one of my favorite cities in the world, but one of my favorite scenes from that city that I had also captured.

This one proved to be quite a challenge as I had difficulty just getting the puzzle framed.

I will spare you the details but suffice it to say that it was another fun puzzle to work and it made me look forward to my next visit to Amsterdam.

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