Soft Cans, 2007-10-13

This was so much fun! I’d had a period of maybe six months in 2007 when I didn’t do any puzzles (I was sure it was a couple of years, but I can see from the pictures I’ve taken that it was only months). Then I bought one as a gift for a friend and decided to buy myself one as well. This is the puzzle I bought. I still have it, and I’m definitely doing it again 🙂

 

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Soft Cans, Educa, 2000 pieces. Completed on October 13th, 2007.

 

The Surrender of Granada, 2009-02-07

I got this 8000-piece Educa puzzle on a flea market. The pieces were in 4 bags, and only one of the bags had been opened. It was, at the time, the biggest puzzle I had ever completed. I started in August 2008 and finished in February 2009. Of course I did many smaller puzzles in between.

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The Surrender of Granada by Francisco Pradilla Ortiz, Educa, 8000 pieces. Completed on February 7th, 2009.

While doing the sky I used a completed section underneath so that I could see exactly what shape of piece I was looking for. It was the first (and so far the only) time I used this technique. Unfortunately, I have no photo of that.

The Zodiac, 2019-03-18

Nice and colourful zodiac, bought used but complete. I’ve lost count of how many Educa puzzles I’ve bought since I decided I wouldn’t buy any more Educa puzzles 😀

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The Zodiac by Joel Nakamura, Educa, 1000 pieces. Completed on March 13th, 2019.

This had such distinct areas in various colours that I thought pieces fitting where they shouldn’t wouldn’t be a problem. It wasn’t for the most part, but you had to pay close attention especially with the sky and clouds. Educa often has brilliant images, too bad about the fit. I’m not sorry I got it, though, it was still the kind of puzzle that makes me happy.

In fact, the most annoying thing was the box, it had taken some damage, not bad, but just enough so that the box wouldn’t remain upright while empty. Oh, well.

Educa’s Miniature Pieces

Educa has a series of 1000 piece puzzles with miniature pieces. The puzzles measure 30×45 cm, where a normal-sized 1000 piece puzzle would usually be about 50×70 cm.

I really like these miniature puzzles, you can take them with you while travelling, should fit on almost any hotel table 🙂

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Gaudí Collage, Educa 1000 pieces. Completed on January 15th, 2009.

The image shows various buildings by Antoni Gaudí.

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A piece on my fingertip to show the size.

Another miniature puzzle with beers:

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Beers, Educa, 1000. pieces. Completed on June 14th, 2008.

I’ve done two more Educa miniature puzzles, the first in the late 90s:

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I only had this picture but no info on the puzzle, but I found it on the jigsaw wiki! It was published in 1997 and it IS a miniature puzzle. I couldn’t be sure before.

The last Educa miniature puzzle that I did I still have. I completed it on May 4th, 2017, in a hotel room in Dortmund, on my last trip before I got my own apartment. It’s called Cans and shows a lot of soft drink cans. I actually have that image as a 2000 piece normal-sized puzzle as well. Anyway, unfortunately, no picture, because the phone it was on was so badly damaged that I couldn’t retrieve the photos on it (except some that had been stored as thumbnails. And yes, I did take it to a professional).

Mapamundi 1375, 2007-12-26

Now, this is a really old world map!

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Mapamundi 1375, Educa, 4000 pieces. Completed on December 26th, 2007.

If you think taking a closer look will help you see something familiar on the map, think again:

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I could not make out a single place on this map, it could just as well have been entirely imaginary instead of a real map of the world. Regardless, it was a really fun puzzle to do.

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The Largest One So Far

The largest puzzle I’ve ever completed was The Garden of Earthly Delights, a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, 10 000 pieces. It was produced by Educa in 1997, and it was, at the time, the world’s largest puzzle, at least according to the box. According to Rare Puzzles, there is a 9000-piece version available, but the 10 000-piece one is very rare. I still have mine, and I’m not selling 🙂

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The puzzle came in a wooden box.

I bought the puzzle in the late 90s, but it took me more than 10 years to work up the courage to actually assemble it. The pieces were in 5 bags of 2000 each. I didn’t mix the bags and essentially completed five 2000-piece puzzles. I started on November 29th, 2011, and finished on January 12th, 2012. Once I got started, I was amazed at how fast it went.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the different stages, just the completed puzzle:

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I have every intention of assembling this again one day – and then it will be much more difficult. I did not take it apart in sections, so next time it really will be one 10 000-piece puzzle instead of five 2000-piece ones…

Shopping

Today I went to several different flea markets (some are like garage sales, some more like thrift stores) and managed to pick up 9 puzzles. I used to buy almost all my puzzles like this because I couldn’t often afford new puzzles. I got quite bored with Alpine landscapes. Then, for a long time, I bought only new puzzles, with exactly the motives I wanted. (This, in turn, resulted in my eventually having enough of old maps, but more about that later.) Anyway, now and then I  like to pick up some puzzles that I would probably never work on otherwise. Today’s haul:

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Definitely the best of the bunch. 3000 pieces, Clementoni. Good quality. I’ve never had one from the Mosaico-series before, only newer Clementoni puzzles.  Oh, and I’m fine with Alpine landscapes again. I’d just had too much at one point. This is going to Dortmund.
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Play Time is a Dutch manufacturer, and all the pieces are the same basic shape. Not too hopeful about this one…

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The 500-piece beach is a Tactic-puzzle. Tactic is a Finnish manufacturer, and the quality is good, but I usually find the images boring. This is only my second Tactic puzzle.

Next to it is a German puzzle, the manufacturer is called Spiel Spass (“Game Fun”), and this is the first puzzle I’ve had from them ( I always thought they only make children’s puzzles). It’s a triptych, with 500+1000+500 pieces, and it’s still factory sealed! It’s called Poppy Meadow.

The Schmidt puzzle is also factory sealed. The quality will, of course, be great, but it will not be easy…

I’ve done a Ravensburger Colosseum, and here’s a Clementoni version. A few clouds in that sky would not go amiss…

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I almost left the Educa with Sagrada Familia, it’s going to be difficult.

Variant is another Dutch brand, and I know it’s not going to be good. I’ve tried it before, but I can’t remember a particular puzzle. What I do remember is that the quality was not good. Still, nice image.

Finally, more Alpine views from Ravensburger. The box looks like it’s been through the wars, I’ll be amazed if all the pieces are there. This was the cheapest, 0,50 €, with the most expensive (the 3000 piece Clementoni) costing 3,50 €. Not bad!