Sunday, June 30, 2013

New Puzzle Day: The Temptation of St. Anthony, 12,144pc


Yesterday, Hieronymus Bosch’s The Temptation of St. Anthony - 12,144pc from Ravensburger showed up (at the same time as Sistine Chapel). This is the original really big puzzle. It was released in 1983 and was the undisputed worlds largest puzzle for nearly 20 years until it was unseated by Clementoni’s 13,200 pressing of Tiziano Vecelli’s Sacred and Profane Love in 2002. It is our first 12,000 piece puzzle.

The puzzle itself is still sealed in 4 bags. The pieces are on light green board and the knobs are less eared than their Wedding Feast at Cana or 4 Historical World Maps (It reminds me much more of a Clementoni cut). When assembled, this big boy will be the actual size of the original painting at 7.9ft x 5.5ft

Here is what Ravi has to say about this puzzle:
Hieronymous Bosch (Jheronimus van Aken) was born in ‘s-Hertogenbosch approx 1450 and buried there on 9/8/1516. 
Of the painters who lived around 1500, Hieronymous Bosch was certainly the most enigmatic. Little of nothing is really known about his life. Unlike his contemporaries, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), he left no notes or comments on his works. In the parish register of this birthplace, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, he is first mentioned in 1480 as Jheronimus van Aken, son of Anthonis van Aken. Although the family can be traced back to living in ‘s-Hertogenbosch since 1399, it isn’t thought that they originally came from Aachen. Both his father Anthonis and his grandfather Jan were painters. Hieronymous van Aken travelled widely and was commissioned by many foreign patrons. Perhaps a wish to honor his brithplace made him call himself Hieronymous Bosch. 
His paintings show Hieronymous Bosch to be a very astute and critical observer of this time. It is mostly the faults and the dark side that he pinpoints in very unusual and wildly fantastic allegories. An abundance of detail, strange apparitions, demons, innumerable fantastic and bizarre creatures, have led to very many and often contradictory interpretations of his works. 
The Temptation of St. Anthony, one of his later works, is also one of the most inaccessible because of its overabundance of allegorical detail.
There are 2 passion scenes on the outside panels of this triptych: on the left, the capture of Christ, and on the right, Christ carrying the cross.
On the left-hand panel the saint is carried off into the air by demons. He resists them and they release him, to fall to the ground. There he is found and saved by the monks of his order. 
On the right-hand panel temptation comes in the shape of a beautiful nude woman. St. Anthony, however, armed with his bible, is looking away. 
The composition of the middle panel is striking: the saint’s head is exactly at the intersection of the diagonals. He is looking at the onlooker, with a gesture of giving benediction. At his feet three priests with animal faces are celebrating a black mass. A witches’ Sabbath is going on behind hi. From the left, the storm troop of the Inquisition is approaching with two dogs in amour (The Dominican Friars, the main agents of the Inquisition, used to call themselves God’s blood hounds). But the whole is built upon the unsafe foundation: mud water and rubble give us an idea of the coming end. 
This painting is in the Museo Naciaonal de Arte Antiga is Lisbon

Interactive Map Double click to zoom in and click and drag to move the image around (You can also use the controls in the upper right)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

New Puzzle Day: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel 8000pc

New Puzzle day is one of my favorite kind of days! Today was a really good new puzzle day. Two puzzles showed up from ebay. One of which is Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel – 8000pc from Educa! This puzzle never looks like much when you see it online because the image is too big to be done justice. I went ahead and created in interactive map of it so you can explore this fascinating work. Everyone has seen a few of these panels (Creation of Man) but have you really seen the whole thing?

The puzzle version when assembled is roughly 9 feet long by 3 feet tall! It comes in 4 bags of 2000 pieces and should be relatively easy to assemble based on the section size and colors! I can’t wait to assemble this big boy!

Below is the interactive map: Double click to zoom in and click and drag to move the image around (You can also use the controls in the upper right)

Friday, June 28, 2013


So, we made some changes today to the blog. We are now using the facebook comments. The only thing that sucks is that now we don't have all the comments from before, I am going to work on getting these out and putting them in somehow. Anyhow, enjoy the new commenting feature
M and I did zero puzzling yesterday, we went sailing, and swimming instead. We anchored just off the beach and made a rope swing from the halyard. All in all, a really good time was had! To wrap things up, we connected with friends we hadn't seen in a while and then headed to our favorite restaurant on island with 9 other folk and had a big bday dinner! (Birthdays in the household are a week long adventure).

Tomorrow is the bday party, I will be 37! (M keeps reminding me I am almost 40 now). So today I need to finish up some preparations. I am replacing all the lights in the pool area with blue bulbs, and fixing some broken wiring to a few of the lamps. High on the list is a disco ball and there is talk of going lobster scuba diving with a friend to add to the feast!

Breaking news ------>
M just got out of bed and the creature that crawled in her ass and died just burped and I almost threw up... I guess the romance is dead

Anyhow, two more puzzles are mulling about St. Thomas today. Lets hope they made it in a bit better shape!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Done Fishing

Tonight I finished up the the clownfish. I made it really hard on myself by not doing a better sort. As you can see by the image, almost every fish is missing pieces which made it 10 times harder to do.

In general, spend extra time sorting! It is probably the number one thing you can do to make a puzzles more enjoyable!


Found on Amazon - Wedding Feast at Cana 9000pc

Today, as I was updating some links on the website, I stumbled across someone selling the Wedding Feast at Cana on brand new for $155 dollars. If anyone else loves this puzzle as much as I do, here is a great opportunity. It's almost worth it to me to but it cause its new and given the trouble I have had with this one, but I will be in big trouble with the M...

Clowning around with Life continues

I am working at a decidedly slow pace on this... but never the less, the clownfish are starting to take form. I just need to finish the blue fish (tonight) and I will be "done" working on the fish and moving on to filling in the water.

These fish just dont seem to want to put themselves together. It's starting to look really great!

In other news, our puzzle closet just isn't working anymore, so I decided to stack up the puzzles against the wall. If I run out of wall, then I know its time to stop buying puzzles!

Magna Carta - 6000pc from Clementoni

Clementoni's Magna Carta. Magnificat color in this puzzle.
This is the first in our collection of 6000 piece maps and
our first big boy Clementoni.
Claes Janszoon Visscher's Magna Carta - 6000pc from Clementoni is brilliantly colored and printed on fine linen paper. The pieces feel fantastic in hand and have rounded knobs (versus for lack of a better word, ear shaped knobs). They are printed on blue board and look fantastic. I look forward to assembling this one.

It proved to be very difficult to find information about this piece of art on the web. Eventually I found a French blog where the author expressed the same problem I was having. Google returned nothing but results to buy a poster of it and almost no one gave an artists name. Well, it turns out, there is a lot of confusion.

Claes Janszoon Visscher (a.k.a. Nicolaus Ioannis Vischerius or Nicolas Joannes Piscator) was born in 1587 in Amsterdam. His father Nicolas Visscher was a cartographer and taught him the family business. This map shows two hemispheres, separated at the Atlantic Ocean. The two smaller circles depict the signs of the zodiac. Flanking the upper zodiac are depictions of Terra and Aqua (Land and Water). The lower zodiac is flanked by Ignis and Aer (Fire and Air). The inner frame encapsulating the two globes represent the four seasons clockwise from the left: Ver, Aestas, Autumnus, Hiems (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter).

The outer frame shows the 12 months of the year in the vertical columns and in the corners features prominent figures from history, clockwise from the upper left; Ninus, Cyrus the Great, Julius Ceaser, and Alexander the Great.

The top pane depicts each continent and the lower set of drawings illustrates the Charity (Mathew 25 versus 35 and 36); 
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
One last piece of interesting trivia, Visscher means fisherman and the family signed their work by placing a fisherman somewhere. Can you find it? It took me a while! 

The following are close ups of the map showing each section discussed above.


Hey, we are finally on Facebook! I am not sure why we never did this before! Like us already and let everyone know about our crazy puzzle site.

You can view it here or just click the new little box in the right hand section.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Puzzle Day Part II: How to NOT ship a puzzle

Wedding Feast shipped in
paper and totally fucked up...
With a gapping split, how confident
would you be the pieces were not
all over from here to Germany?
Another fantastic example of how NOT
to ship a puzzle.
Pieces rattling around the bottom of a
busted up open box... not  good sign.
Box wide open in the packing box...
At the very least, seal the box
with tape, better yet, put the pieces in
ziplock bags and seal the box!

So, today is a bittersweet. Three new puzzles showed up including the long awaited Wedding Feast at Cana, yet two out of the three showed up totally fucked up! Wedding feast was shipped in just the puzzle box wrapped in shipping paper all the way from Germany! When I picked it up at the post office, it was split at the seam and most likely had leaked pieces from here to Germany! This is seriously frustrating to wait over a month for a puzzle to find it in this condition.

The other new puzzle, the 6000pc Clementoni Magna Carta (Art. 36504) arrived in a crushed overpacked box (a box twice as large as it should have been) with the puzzle and loose pieces rattling around inside it. Overpacking a box is a good thing, but it needs to be secure inside the box. Not taping the puzzle box shut or placing the pieces in a sealed bag is another faux pas. It should be plainly obvious that you can't just ship these things like that but apparently not.

I really hope the remaining big boys on their way were packed with considerably more care. For now, I am debating on counting 15,000 pieces or just accepting that they are most likely missing pieces. I'm damned if I do and damned if I dont. It will take 16 hours to count all of them, but then again, if you are missing more than a few pieces, who would want to spend the dozens of hours required to build it?

I suppose people have a common misconception that the USPS cares about your package. They do not. I don't know what they do  to these boxes, but it is far from handling them with care! I know I will be explicit in all future puzzle purchases about how to package it correctly! 99% percent of the problems could be solved by sealing the pieces in some sort of bag. There is a reason they come from the manufacturer that way!

Enough bitching... All in all, this really sucks. It's a lesson to me that I need to communicate to people how to properly ship a puzzle here and if there are missing pieces (it is assumed there are) I will just perfect my technique of making my own pieces.

Wedding Feast at Cana

Paolo Veronese's Wedding Feast at Cana - 9000pc from Ravensburger is the puzzle that started it all for me. I have written about it a bunch here. I finished the majority of this puzzle maybe 10 years ago and it was destroyed in a move. So I am very much looking forward to getting it done finally.

The puzzle itself is of the same era as Tower of Babel and is printed on Ravi's green board (versus the blue board of today) and has shape features of that era as well (Limited knob diversity and location) but is well printed on fine linen paper with great color. A fine reproduction of the original art!

Magna Carta

There was so much to say about this puzzle, I moved it to its own  its own page here.

Here are some pics from todays haul. Enjoy!

At last, I have her back. She may be damaged, but I will get
her fixed up one way or another. The largest format
of Paolo Veronese's Wedding Feast at Cana.

Clementoni's Magna Carta has magnificant
coloring and the pieces appear to have
great dichotomy of knob curvature. I love
the blue cardboard. These pieces feel great!
Here are the pieces of Wedding Feast at Cana. As you can see, high quality on Ravi's old
style board. In the background is the claim form I suspect I will need to use!

New Puzzle Day! Les Quatre moments de la journée (The four times of day)

Beautiful pieces of the Jeux Nathan puzzle
Les Quatre moments de la journée 

(The four times of day)  - A. Mucha
It's new puzzle day! The first of our big boy shopping spree puzzles has shown up and unlike the Tower of Babel, it was extremely well packaged! M said since it's going to take 18 years to complete the big boy list, she said the puzzles feel are like our children; somedays she loves them, others, she wants to send them to boarding school!

Anyhow, todays arrival is Mucha's Les Quatre moments de la Journée (The four times of day) - 6000pc from Paris based Nathan puzzles. It is our first 6000 piece puzzle and our first puzzle from Nathan. The pieces feel fantastic and have a  non interlocking edges with scalloped and divotted edges. They seem to fit tightly together and be well glued and flat but nothing like an older springbox puzzle (those are insanely tight). The knobs of the puzzle are more round than Ravensburger and should offer a nice change of pace.

Alphonse Mucha was an influential Czech artists in the late 1800's early 1900's with his distinct style 'le style Mucha' becoming synonymous with the style 'Art Nouveau'.

Mucha is considered the father of the current day art poster. He felt everyone's life could be imporved by art and he created a series of mass produced art panels including: The Seasons (1896), The Flowers (1898), The Arts (1898), The Times of the Day (1899), The Precious Stones (1900) and The Moon and the Stars (1902). Mucha said of his series, "I was happy to be involved in an art for the people and not for private drawing rooms. It was inexpensive, accessible to the general public, and it found a home in poor families as well as in more affluent circles."

Mucha went on later to complete his "life's work" the Slav Epic, A series of 20 enormous paintings depicting the life and struggle of the Slavic people. Some of these paintings were up to 26ft long by 20 feet tall and they all are an extraordinary work.

Les Quatre moments de la journée (The four times of day)  - A. Mucha by Jeux Nathan Puzzles (Paris France)

The box is not in perfect shape but I dont buy a puzzle for the box.

Fantastic fitting piece and nice departure from the standard of today where each side of rectangular piece has a knob or receptacle. (Shown top center piece with two receptacles and two scalloped edges. Top left shows a divotted piece and several scalloped pieces are shown throughout). In the lower left, you can see how nicely the pieces fit together.


The Mucha Foundation:
Slave Epic:
Wiki Paintings:

Clowning around

Wtf is taking me so long to get the clownfish done... Still not done

I think it comes down to the sort, I know pieces are in the very large animal section and I am not digging into it yet.

Monday, June 24, 2013

100th POST: 6 months of puzzling and a bit of life

This is our 100th post! We have been officially puzzling together for 6 months! Last night we spent a few hours on Life and made a dent in the fish and the ballons. The puzzle is really easy in some areas, but the fish make things interesting. There is a steady progression of color from green, yellow-green, yellow, orange and then red that makes sorting the fish a bit difficult. Also, we surely missed a few pieces while sorting so its a bit frustrating to complete this section. I was hoping to be done by now but we got side tracked with our photo puzzle and being a bit under the weather.

Anyway, in 6 months, we have managed to assemble 21 puzzles and two sections of really big boys for a total of 27,000 pieces. Thats 151 pieces a day or so. At this rate, with over a million pieces in the big boy list, it will take us 18 years to assemble them all... (gulp) Good thing we have the rest of our life together!

We need to get BUSY!

The first fish coming together

M said f the clownfish and started working on the ballons

The pieces are beautiful

Fighting the orange/yellow. I need to take my own advice and start working on the other colors! Just keep puzzling!