Tag Archives: puzzle

Hidden Images Glow in the Dark Jungle Pride : A Puzzle Review

I normally wouldn’t have chosen this puzzle for myself. It’s a 500 piece, which is within my current ability, and the subject matter is cat-based…But Spouse-Critter (SC) fell in love with both the tigers and the idea of hidden images. I tend to shy away from both hidden images (the Magic Eye™ images give me vertigo) and glow in the dark ones. That being said, how could I tell SC no? He rarely steers me wrong.

 

I love how well protected the puzzle pieces are! IMG_3653

There were only a few hanging chads, and it’s obvious that the die stamp had gotten dull rather than a design flaw. The chipboard is made of recycled materials, and the pieces are of medium thickness.

 

I had a bit of trouble keeping the cats off my tigers! We did find that one of the images on the side of the box is meant to be seen when upside down, so you can use the box to store puzzle pieces and still see the image!

 

Once I had my frame in place, the assembly only took me a few hours, spaced out over some rainy days. The mix of standard and irregular pieces made for a great mental exercise. Matching stripes took what felt like forever!

IMG_3678
It came out so pretty!
IMG_3692
Low light glow
IMG_3694
It reallly glows!!!

It took some experimenting to get the glow to pop, those rainy overcast days hadn’t given off enough light. I got limited results with a led lantern, so SC went out and bought a black light bulb. Look at the glowy awesome!! The box says there are 16 tigers in the puzzle. I could only find 14, but as I mentioned before, I suck at finding hidden images. The ones I did find look amazing.

 

 

PUZZLE SPECS

  • Company: MasterPieces® Inc.
  • Title: Hidden Images Glow in the Dark Jungle Pride
  • Artist: Steve Read
  • Year released: 2017
  • Pieces: 500
  • Cut-Style: Grid-cut puzzle
  • Finished size: 15 x 21 in
  • Bonus poster: No
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Made in China

QUALITY: 

  • Box: Sturdy but lightweight, 8 x 8 inches
  • Board: Medium thickness, recycled chipboard
  • Cut: Cut with a steelcut die, very few pieces were not fully separated
  • Image Quality: Excellent, great color saturation
  • Finish: Slightly glossy with sandy texture where the glow in the dark ink is
  • Puzzle Dust: Minimal
  • Piece shapes: A good mix of traditionally cut and irregular pieces
  • Piece Fit: Very good, small clusters of pieces could be moved without falling apart

Where to buy: Hidden Images Glow in the Dark Jungle Pride” has been re-issued as a 550 piece puzzle and is available on the MasterPieces website for $12.99 USD.

MasterPieces Puzzles: Website / FaceBook

Disclosure: I received a complimentary puzzle from the manufacturer in exchange for review. The opinions are my own.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

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Puzzle Preservation: Mod Podge

I love puzzles, I do. Puzzles are both brain-food and art. I love to assemble puzzles, but on their own, puzzles as art is ephemeral. Thus…Glue! There are now a ton of different ways to preserve a puzzle, and I’ll most likely do posts on them as I try them. But, when I grew up, the only option was glue.

I tried a few different brands until I found Mod Podge. I love this stuff! They have nearly a dozen variations now, but I tend to stick to either Matte or Satin. Satin is my go-to. It goes on smooth, and if I take my time, the brush strokes disappear.

Anyways, my process for gluing a puzzle is simple.IMG_3593

I assemble my puzzles on a piece of foam board. I cut out enough wax paper to cover the whole puzzle. Tape these together with a good bit of overlap on the edges.

Place the wax paper over the image side of the puzzle and top with a second foam board.IMG_3596

With the puzzle sandwiched in between the foam boards, flip it upside down.

Now it’s time for Mod Podge! Much like with painting, always keep a wet edge. Which means; once you start, you have to finish! I start by laying a thin line of Mod Podge the entire length of the top about 2 inches from the edge.

Using a paintbrush(I like these thick foam ones), spread the Mod Podge in an even layer with long strokes. Don’t worry, it starts white, but dries clear. Continue to add lines of Mod Podge and brush it across the puzzle until it is completely covered.

Then set it aside in a warm, dry place where it will not be disturbed. Because I have cats, this is usually my laundry room. It only takes about 20-30 minutes to dry, but I like to wait a day in between coats. I recommend at least 2 coats on the back and one on the front. To remove any stickiness, Mod Podge’s website recommends finishing with an acrylic urethane spray. I haven’t tried that yet, once I do, I’ll update this post with my opinion.

Disclosure: I bought the Mod Podge featured in this post. All opinions are my own.

Mod Podge™ is copyright http://www.Plaidonline.com

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

Sharks! A Puzzle Review

Early last February, I got to go to the New York Toy Fair. This was an awesome weekend where I got to see the new toys, games, and hobby kits that companies would be selling over the upcoming year. While there, I was gifted a veritable plethora of swag. Swag is great, it’s the free stuff that companies give out in the hopes you’ll spread the news and buy more stuff. At the time, I had no real plans for the swag, which included puzzles, micro-brick kits, and  bath bomb kits. Then winter hit me, and hit me hard. I spent the better part of two months staring at the ceiling, too ill to leave to bed. I watched a lot of Netflix. Honestly, I watched so much that I became bored with boredom. It’s summer now, but nothing, especially good health doesn’t last long. My spouse-critter (SC) recommended I start a blog, talk about the things I love. My body may have bad days/weeks, but my brain still craves stimulation, and I certainly can’t be the only one!

Back on topic, one of those Toy Fair Puzzles was this:

1000 piece Shark Chart Puzzle by EuroGraphics Puzzlesimage003

My family and friends will agree…I’m obsessed with sharks. Discovery Channel’s Shark Week is sacred holiday in my house. What better way to build this puzzle than to marathon watching Shark Week’s 30th Anniversary season?

So I set up my work station, AKA the couch and bought a season pass on Amazon. The cats decided this was to be a family project. IMG-3569Zane tests the box for sits as Teedle warms my spot.

IMG-3584This is a new brand to me, and I was really impressed. While there were a few pieces that weren’t fully separated during the cutting process, the overall quality of this puzzle is excellent. The irregularly cut pieces, mixed with traditional ones, made for a fiendishly clever puzzle.  IMG_3587Featuring nearly 30 sharks from over 25 different species; this puzzle is almost more educational than Shark Week! Better yet, my FAVORITE shark is on it. wobbegongSpotted Wobbegong FTW!IMG_3590All finished, and beautiful!IMG_3592Hurricane gave it the Cat Seal™ of approval as Zoomie supervises.

Okay, enough cat photos. Here’s the details!

PUZZLE SPECS

  • Company: Eurographics Puzzles
  • Title: Sharks
  • Artist: Unknown
  • Year released: Unknown
  • Pieces: 1000
  • Cut-Style: Grid-cut puzzle
  • Finished size: 26.5 x 19.25 in
  • Bonus poster: No
  • Made from recycled board and printed with vegetable based ink.
  • Made in USA


QUALITY: 

  • Box: sturdy, sized 14 x 10 in
  • Board: Very sturdy and rigid
  • Cut: Cut with a steelcut die, very few pieces were not fully separated
  • Image Quality: Excellent
  • Finish: Slightly glossy
  • Puzzle Dust: Minimal
  • Piece shapes: A good mix of traditionally cut and irregular pieces
  • Piece Fit: Very good, small clusters of pieces could be moved without falling apart

Where to buy: At the time of this post, “Sharks” is listed for sale on the Eurographics website for $17.99 usd.

Eurographics Puzzles: website / FaceBook

Disclosure: I received a complimentary puzzle from the manufacturer in exchange for review. The opinions are my own.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

A new venture

Welcome to my new venture.  I will be reviewing puzzles, coloring books, and building brick kits that could be of interest to individuals whose minds are sharp, but their mobility is limited.  There will be adventures — and cats, as mine get into everything.

I am currently working on my first puzzle to be reviewed while watching Shark Week 2018. I assure you, the puzzle is appropriately themed!

#puzzlepaws #sharkweek2018

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!