Jigsaw Puzzle Talk
Puzzle Piece Rocks | What To Do If You Find One
March 10, 2020
One day you are wandering down the sidewalk when you happen to look down and you see something out of the ordinary. It's a painted rock and it makes you smile.
As you pick up the rock you have many questions flying around inside of your head as to who painted the rock? Why would someone paint the rock? How long has this rock been there? Finally, you like the rock so much that you pick it up and it becomes yours. Should you keep it?
Painted rocks have been a cute fad for a few years and it's a fad that I hope continues. The purpose of painting and hiding rocks is completely selfless and envokes joy in the finder.
To me, finding a painted rock is a special moment and one that should bring joy. After all, we all need a little joy and finding random joy is always a good thing, right?
I found a resource on painted rocks called I Love Painted Rocks where you can find supply lists, great ideas on how to get started painting rocks, and just about all of the information on how, when, why and tips to get you started fast.
International Drop A Rock Day is on July 3. People are encouraged to drop a rock in a public place for others to find and to spread some joy to those around you.
While painting rocks and hiding them is fun, it is not always accepted in all areas. For instance, in an article in The Inquisitor, Disney has banned anyone from bringing painted rocks into the parks and will confiscate them immediately. Their concern is that they can be considered as weapons, which is on the list of prohibited items. The lesson here is to leave your rocks home when entering any Disney park or to check with your local park to see if they are allowed.
We've hidden some gems of our own out in a few areas during our travels through the USA. If you've found one of our rocks, turn it over for information on where to notify us and we'll send you a little something puzzle related.
Happy hunting puzzlers!
How To Make A Leap Year Time Capsule With Puzzles | Start A New Tradition
February 29, 2020
As I find myself getting upward in age I look at Leap Day as an opportunity to make a time capsule with jigsaw puzzles that you can open every 4 years. The concept of Leap Day now becomes answering the question involving "How to Spend The Extra Leap Day Time?"
Many will simply use the free time as "just another day" and will pass the extra 2 dozen hours doing nothing special. I, on the other hand, will use Leap Day's Gift of one additional day to make a time-capsule out of jigsaw puzzles and pictures.
Reflecting On The Past Four Years To Plan For The Next Leap Year
To me, Leap Day is like a marker in my life because it only happens every 4 years and I reflect on the time looking back four years to see if I've grown physically, emotionally, financially, and how much my life has changed.
Have you ever noticed how much things change in just 4 short years? Leap Year Day is a time to look at what occurred in the hope of planning for the future. It's a time to see if we are where we are in life and where we would like to be on Leap Year 2024. It's almost like New Year with reflecting on the past to improve the future.
Most importantly, Leap Year Day is a time to see if my life has grown or whether I've remained stagnant during the time.
How To Make A Leap Year Time Capsule With Jigsaw Puzzles
Leap Year Day is a great time to start your project. Once you have decided on the tradition, there are just a few steps that need to be completed prior to finalizing your project.
Choose Your Photos To Make Into Puzzles
Choosing the photo to make into puzzles is the most challenging step and one that is the most important. There are so many photos that we take that are candidates for great puzzles. I reflected on the photos since the last Leap Year (2016) preparing for the next four-year process that begins today. You can choose either a photo from the last four years or you can take one today! It's completely your choice.
Photo Recommendations: The images that I take today will be made into custom photo puzzles that will be in my time capsule and opened in 2024. Personally, I choose four photos, but you can choose one or as many as you would like, as long as you have a photo that is representative of your past four years. A family reunion photo is always a great addition to your time capsule.
Turning your photo into a custom puzzle
There are many options for this step so preparing today can save you tons of time and aggravation for Leap Year 2024.
There are many reputable companies on the market today that make custom photo puzzles. Deciding on which one to use is the challenging part. Do you want a puzzle that is made of wood, or a traditional puzzle that is made of cardboard? Are you looking for a keepsake puzzle or is the price your determining factor? Do you want a company that is Made In America? These decisions are critical to the quality of your puzzle, so choose wisely. Of course, we always recommend The Missing Piece Puzzle Company for the highest quality custom puzzles.
Choosing A Piece Count For Your Custom Puzzle
Choosing your piece count for your future puzzle also provides a minimal challenge. If your children are currently toddlers it's important to remember that they will be 4 years older when you go to assemble the puzzle so you might want to choose a higher piece count for the puzzle.
If you are aging and entering the golden age, you might want to consider that larger pieces might be more appropriate if your eyesight is starting to fail. Whatever your situation it is important to remember that this puzzle will be assembled in four years so take into consideration age and health.
Storing Your Time Capsule
I have a special place near my fireplace where I store all memorabilia. It is a catchall for memories and important photos that I cherish. I store my time capsule there because I know that it is my go-to place for important photos and items that envoke memories.
Choosing where you will store your time capsule puzzle should be in a place where it is not damp, climate-controlled, and is a place that is memorable. Don't hide the time capsule so that you forget about it. Choosing a pretty box to store your time capsule in is also a helpful tip.
Not that you have the easy directions on how to make a jigsaw puzzle time capsule, getting started should be easy. Keep in mind that four years may seem like a long time from now, time will fly and you'll find yourself opening the time capsule well before you realize that four years have passed.
It's a great family activity and a way to enjoy the 24 hours of reflection through fun. Start a new family tradition with puzzles from your most cherished memories and assemble the past four years one piece at a time,
Flu Season Tips | Gather Your Puzzles
February 27, 2020
It's scary to think that a virus that spreads so fast can be so deadly and yet the Corona Virus is doing just that and is believed to be the next Pandemic. While I'm scared, I'm cautiously optimistic that using preventive measures will help to keep me healthy.
While I was watching the President's speech and listening to the CDC representatives talk regarding the Corona Virus, I realized that while the Corona Virus is currently a major outbreak and is wreaking medical havoc on a large percentage of the people who contract it, the Flu also kills almost 70,000 people a year. Scary, for sure.
My Immediate observations
I noticed that the grocery stores were a bit packed today after the President's speech on the Corona Virus. Coincidence? While I'm not sure, I don't believe so.
Flu season for me has always been a time to limit my time in the "outside world" and to do most of my shopping online. The thought of touching a cart during flu season isn't in my playbook. I've found myself getting sick just days after an outing during flu season and now consider carts a biohazard area for me.
Sure, I'm a bit of a germophobe and carry hand sanitizer with me everywhere and in hindsight believe that I should have invested in their stock.
So what can we do?
It's clear that being around people in work, school, social, and travel situation is getting a bit tenser and that carrying around hand sanitizer is a good idea. While staying home to ride out the flu season isn't realistic I've found myself doing some things that I normally wouldn't do to try to avoid the flu. Here are a few:
- I find myself washing my hands more thoroughly now (almost like a surgeon) and using tissues and towels to open door handles.
- I sneeze into my elbows and try to stay away from anyone who is sick.
- I open the left-hand side of the door instead of the right-hand side at my local convenience store. Most people open the right-hand side.
- I get a flu shot
- Clorox Clean-ups are now my best friend
- I drink more water to flush my system
- I purchase flu medicine in advance
As a retired teacher, I treat flu season with kid gloves. If you don't have to work, here's some sound advice. Gather a good book, jigsaw puzzle, or some board games and play with the family INSIDE your house until this passes, and it will pass by summer.
First and foremost... Stay Safe. Please visit the CDC Website and look at their recommendations and tips on how to stay healthy during flu season. Use common sense if you have to go out and if you don't, get your puzzle on...
Unique Promposal Using A Jigsaw Puzzle | Fast, Fun, Memorable Promposal
February 20, 2020
Jigsaw Puzzling For Adults | Trending Up
February 19, 2020
Jigsaw Puzzles Are Back In Style
Electronics have taken over many of our "Old School" types of entertainment but people are finally taking a break from their screens to complete puzzles to relax and unwind. Unplugging has now become Unboxing and puzzles are being unboxed daily.
Puzzling took a back seat to technology as many focused more on electronics and apps than on hands-on activities, so much so that electronic burnout is now helping people to turn to hands-on puzzling once again.
It's well known that puzzles provide many benefits for memory but people are turning to puzzles for camaraderie and to spend a couple of soothing hours away from the daily stress of everyday life.
It's easy to find a puzzle group at a local library or senior center and the popularity of puzzling has grown exponentially.
Gathering To Assemble Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzle nights are now a thing at local coffee shops and jigsaw puzzle competitions are growing in popularity. There are groups that "Sip and Snap" who enjoy drinking wine while snapping jigsaw puzzle pieces into place, art classes that feature designing your own jigsaw puzzle on white puzzle pieces, escape rooms that use jigsaw puzzles and other media to help people solve clues to escape, and puzzles are being used in classrooms to teach the importance of community.
Precious evening hours are being filled with relaxing jigsaw puzzles and girls nights are turning to sipping wine and assembling puzzles together.
A simple gathering of friends over a table with a jigsaw puzzle encourages laughter, makes memories, and helps strengthens bonds. It's becoming more common to walk into a corner store, library, or coffee shop and see strangers become friends over a good jigsaw puzzle.
The need for more adult type puzzles is definitely trending up.
Many are turning to custom puzzles of vacation photos, favorite places, family events, or photos of loved ones.
Gone are the days of doing simple landscapes, cartoons, or photos of teddy bears, puzzlers are looking for more meaningful and colorful puzzles that connect them to life's memories.
Adoption Fundraising | Raise Money With A Custom Puzzle
February 12, 2020
How To Glue A Puzzle | Directions and Suggestions from a Pro
February 08, 2020 1 Comment
Are you looking to glue a puzzle and are puzzled on how to do it? Read on for some easy tips on how to glue your jigsaw puzzle.
The Perfect Gift For Grandparents on Grandparents Day.
August 15, 2019
PTSD and Jigsaw Puzzles. Connecting the Pieces.
August 05, 2019
Who Is The Puzzle Queen?
June 14, 2019
Featured Member: The Owner of The Missing Piece Puzzle Company
When her son struggled to learn, Donna Marth-Brown created a puzzle—and a business that ships all the way to the North Pole.
All hail the Puzzle Queen.
That’s Donna Marth-Brown’s title (her employees are Puzzle Princes and Princesses). Her company, The Missing Piece Puzzle Companyphoto puzzles while customers wait, as well as an online store.
Marth-Brown, a former teacher, started the company in honor of her son, who is autistic. At the time he struggled with focusing on his schoolwork, so she ordered a puzzle with his photo on it. While it helped him, the quality, she says, was subpar.
“I had paid a small fortune to receive something manufactured abroad that had a very short lifespan,” she says. She decided she could do better. A puzzle company was born
"As a small- business owner and mom to an awesome child with autism, learning how to juggle the role of being the “Mom” of customer service rep, marketing, production, accounting, shipping and every other aspect of the business has proven to be puzzling. —Donna Marth-Brown, owner, The Missing Piece Puzzle Company"
Her son still remains at the core of her business.
“My son is still my ‘inspector 13’,” she says. “If he can rip through it, we don't use it.”
1. What hurdles have you overcome in running your business?
In the beginning, I thought that selling just 10 puzzles a month would be amazing. Little did I know that some health issues would force me into early retirement and that my hobby was going to become our sole source of support.
As a small business owner and mom to an awesome child with autism, learning how to juggle the role of being the “mom” of customer service rep, marketing, production, accounting, shipping and every other aspect of the business has proven to be puzzling. While the rapid growth of the business is fantastic, the sacrifices that come with it can become overwhelming. There never seem to be enough hours in the day to fully complete all of the tasks.
2. When did you first realize your company was successful?
Four years ago at Christmas, there was an influx of orders, as can be expected during the holiday, but we received one in particular that opened my eyes. It was a photo of a glacier that was breathtaking, and it was from North Pole, Alaska. When Santa finds you, you know you are successful.
3. What has been your most memorable moment as a business owner?
We made a proposal puzzle for a young gentleman who was asking his lovely lady to marry him via a puzzle. There were many discussions with him and I learned so much about the couple that I almost felt like family. When the day came I couldn’t wait to hear if she said, yes, so I called him. He sent me the most amazing photos of the proposal, as he had a photographer hiding in the bushes. I still smile when I think about them.
And yes, we did their wedding guest book puzzle for their big day.
4. What are three things you couldn’t live without?
The three things that I could never live without including my laptop, my online support group, and Post-it Notes. Currently, my laptop is covered in different colored Post-it Notes that remind me of daily, weekly, and hourly tasks. Without these, I would be in a heap of trouble. My online support people are my rock and I cannot say enough about how wonderful it is to have the group I call my “backup singers.”
5. What are some keys to creating a good puzzle?
Using a thick puzzle board that is intended for puzzles is key. There are so many manufacturers who cut corners and use thin materials that are not intended for puzzles and will curl and bend. The next is to use the proper printers and media for the product, which is costly, but necessary.
Finished size: I believe that if you are looking for a good quality puzzle that you first have to look at the size of the finished puzzle. Many companies advertise that the puzzle will be 500 pieces but it may only measure 4x6 inches. Piece counts can be very misleading and confusing to consumers, but a good manufacturer will not hide the finished size of the puzzle.
Quality of the board: A thick puzzle board is key to success, but also has to be intended specifically for the jigsaw puzzle business. The board should not curl or warp and has to have other aspects in it to be perfect for a jigsaw puzzle. We use a 100 percent recycled board that fits all of the criteria and also helps the environment.
Author and Editor Anne Miller 081216
What To Do On Rainy Days With The Kids? Top 5 Family Time Activities On Rainy Days.
June 06, 2019
Sometimes the weather just doesn't cooperate and we have to find fun activities for our children to do, other than binge-watching TV. Here are 5 awesome suggestions for peaceful, memorable, and fun activities for the family to do on a rainy day.
1. Indoor Treasure Hunt. Gather together clues that will lead to a hidden treasure in the house. Place each clue in an envelope and number each envelope with the step in the hunt. For example, step 1 of 10. When step 1 is solved, the Step 2 envelope will lead them to their next clue. Place a small gift or token at the end of the hunt as a reward for completing the task. Movie tickets are always valued by every age.
2. Board Games. Who doesn't love a great board game? Monopoly, Jigsaw Puzzles, Clue, Operation, and Pictionary are some really fun and entertaining games to play on a rainy day.
3. Make a Family Time Capsule. Encourage every member of the family to collect mementos of the time that you are currently in. Items like ticket stubs, photos, letters, and cards are just some of the fun ideas. Find a water-tight container and plan a date on opening the time capsule in the future. Save it and plan on burying it in the yard when it stops raining.
4. Make a family movie. Gather together and have a jam session with the family. Sing Karaoke as loud as you can, put on a play, or act out your favorite TV parts and record on a video. It's a great way to get silly and create family memories. Download to YouTube and host a viewing party with popcorn, snacks, and drink. Everyone will love it!
5. Get Baking! Make lunch as a family with homemade pizza and snacks. Chocolate Chip cookies are easy to mix and make and kids love them. Invite the Teddy Bears to a picnic and make a tent out of blankets to eat under.
Briday Shower Puzzle Game. How to have fun at a Bridal Shower.
April 28, 2019