Background Switcher (Hidden)

Zickefoose Jigsaw Puzzle--Family Feud!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thank you! to everyone who has ordered "Fantasy Flock." I finally got all the orders catalogued and recorded last night. And 50 puzzles came in the rumbly UPS truck yesterday! Little Chet Baker greeted the UPS man, sniffchecked them and they're all OK.

I wasn't sure what to expect from a jigsaw puzzle, but I figured you'd respond enthusiastically. So, apparently, did Galison's customers. The first printing is already sold out, so after only a day and a half of lovely online sales, I'm backordered until the first week of December. 

Another one of those "good problems to have." I seem to have a lot of those!

I'm going to trust that I can get them delivered to you by Christmas, so order away. I hope to get the paid orders out today, and then I'll have to cool my jets and wait until December 7 or so to send out the rest.  Please hurry, puzzle printer. Thank you for your patience, and for your support of my work. 

At the outset, everybody wanted to help. Even little Chet Baker. 
Daddy came in and started helpfully putting together a few of the birds.

This offended a sense of order and even, I daresay, morality in our fiery daughter. She did not see this as helping. She perceived it as poaching. For his part, Chet Baker perceived the puzzle pieces as  small, tasteless bikkits, perhaps, and he persisted in begging for them long after he knew they were just pasteboard. Please. Let me sniff that tiny bikkit. I may want to chew it up.

Meanwhile, Phoebe got madder and madder. Then madder. Daddy didn't get why she should be mad.  I would dip in and listen to the conversation, then sneak out of the crossfire to go do something else. As a mom, I'm often pressed into service as an unwilling adjudicator, and I had no desire to issue a ruling in this case.

I empathized with both parties. Putting together the birds is fun. And it's helpful, to a point, until you try putting together the sky, which is not nearly as much fun. 

So here's Phoebe dutifully working on sorting all the blues in the sky wash, which turns out to be a teeth-grittingly large percentage of the puzzle's area. And here comes Daddy of a fine Saturday afternoon, whipping out the ruddy turnstone in a matter of minutes. Here you go, Phoebs! 

 I could see smoke coming out of Phoebe's ears. Like when they pick a new Pope. 

For Phoebe, it was like having him sit down at the table, eat her dessert, and say, "I helped you finish your dinner!"

After repeated deployment of her Death Glare, Phoebe and the more pliant and obedient Liam were soon left alone to their meditative work.

Phoebe has found a key piece, some bird's beak. I can't remember which one, and I can't see well enough to tell. 

Progress photos, some taken very late at night (incandescent light).

The birds are the least of it.

To say this puzzle is challenging is, um, an understatement. Self-proclaimed "puzzle freaks" will love it, because they'll know they can beat it. I'm more of a throw-up-the-white-flag puzzle person, in awe of real puzzlers, and happy to let them tackle it.

Morning light. They're still working on it. We're talking days. But hey. A good 1,000 piece jigsaw should take days. That's what a jigsaw puzzle is for. You set it up on a card table where everyone (except apparently Bill) can have a nice occasional whack at it.

It's really coming under control now. I think this was the last day.

They all run together. Ahh, I love this scene. Kids, with the time, the concentration, and the leisure to work on a puzzle. Phoebs wants one for the dorm she lovingly oversees as a student proctor. She will get one! Better hide those bird pieces until everyone's done the sky, girl. Or better yet, let them work it out themselves.

In the end, Phoebe settled on a systematic way of locating the correct blue pieces. She made separate piles of each shape, discerned which shape and color she needed next, went to the correct pile, and tried every one in the pile  until she got the right one. Holy Pope Smokes!

I can only marvel at the system she evolved. I suppose that's standard behavior for puzzlers. I designed and painted it, but I definitely don't have the patience to do that.

Basically, you go from easiest (birds and clouds) 

 to hardest (those durn blues of mine!) Watch out. The blues gonna getcha.

 But eventually you finish it! They let me put in the final piece!

When finished, the puzzle proved amazingly durable, unflappable!

That's a mighty proud pair o' kids there. I am incredibly proud of them for completing it! These photos were taken before they busted it up so they could do it again. Someday. Not really soon.

 It can be done! Don't drop it, Liam!

Sweet memories of last summer, when our girl came home. She walked right into a sky like the one her mama painted.

You can order "Fantasy Flock" 

Please allow -eep- 7 weeks for delivery of pure awesome.


Love this story and am excited to know I'll have this beautiful puzzle to work on next winter when the skies are not so lovely and most of the birds have sensibly left for warmer places. I agree with Phoebe--it is not fair to come in and do the fun parts and leave the hard ones behind for the dedicated puzzle master.

I am sure that Bingo Carr-Taylor will be able to tell if Chet has given his sniff of approval to our box!

Wonderful! That's something I could get into on a dreary week-end here in the Pacific Northwest!

[Back to Top]