Overall Experience: Great
Cut Quality: Great
Board Quality: Firm
Shape Cut: Random
Image Quality: Superb
Hardest Area: Greenery
Puzzle Dust? minimal
Finish Quality: Smooth matte
Box Quality: Great-solid
Sealed Pieces Inside Box: Yes
Was this purchased new? no
Price: Picked for review
Recommend Level: High
Time: 12 hours
I did my usual sorting routine.
I've added another step to my sorting...when I am doing the very first sort I am laying out all the edge pieces rather than leaving them in a pile as shown in this image on the top right side.
The border was a tad tricky and I thought this is likely an indication of testy this puzzle could be however the placement of the green colors according to the box was most helpful. I think the box and poster look quite nice in the image to the right here.....
I started with the 2 owls as the baby Owl's eyes were outstanding pieces. I built on that. The brown on the Mama Owl were pretty clear, then I dug out the soft feathery white on the baby bird was pretty distinctive. Of course the yellow fern was a give-away section.
Once I completed the work in progress as shown above I felt the rest of the image was going to be daunting. I just dug in with shades of green...once I got as far as I could go with green, I changed to dark brown, then light beige, then whites, then back to dark green, then beige rocks. I moved along at a steady pace and with the use of the shapes I felt the challenge was not as bad as first anticipated. That said, I have just come off of doing 2 - 2000 piece puzzles so maybe the 1000 piece seemed easier???? LOL!!!
You would think there is not much to share in the closeup photos on the Great Horned Owl Puzzle but as you will see below these close ups are excellent and need to be seen to be appreciated. The quality of this image is an image of nature at her best.
It was also brought to my attention by my connection at Cobble Hill Puzzles the following little rescue story about the Great Horned Owl puzzle which I am always grateful to hear a 'happy' ending :)
The matte finish is awesome on these puzzles as there is very little glare. The random cut and quality of Cobble Hill jigsaw puzzles is top rate! Simon Bolyn is a photographer in Quebec, Canada. Take a look at his Gallery for some stunning images - that does not even come close to describing his photos.
Once a year I like to take on a puzzle that really brings on a challenge and its been a while since I have done a nature scene. The next closest to this one would be the Mountain Thunder jigsaw puzzle which was quite challenging too. I am really proud of this one even though it took 12 hours. It sure is a 'gem' to be desired - there are a lot puzzlers who will love the Great Horned Owl puzzle!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - With her self-published book and over 300 jigsaw puzzle reviews, Linda has established herself as a prominent social media marketing influencer and jigsaw puzzle-preneur. If you want to send Linda a quick message, visit her contact page here.
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About: Mastering the Art of Choosing the Right Jigsaw Puzzle
Tips to Avoid Buying Overwhelmingly Difficult Images
Jigsaw puzzles offer a delightful challenge, but there are times when the level of difficulty can be overwhelming. Whether you're a seasoned puzzler or a novice looking for an enjoyable experience, it's important to choose the right puzzle image that matches your skill level and personal preferences. In this article, we'll explore the world of difficult jigsaw puzzles and provide you with a list of tips to help you avoid buying images that might leave you feeling frustrated.
1. Know Your Skill Level
Understanding your own puzzle-solving skills is key when selecting a jigsaw puzzle. Be honest with yourself about your experience and comfort level. If you're a beginner, it's best to start with puzzles that have a lower piece count and simpler imagery. As you gain confidence and experience, you can gradually challenge yourself with more complex puzzles.
2. Consider the Piece Count
The number of puzzle pieces directly affects the difficulty level. Larger piece counts, such as 1,000 pieces or more, can be more time-consuming and mentally demanding. If you prefer a less challenging experience, opt for puzzles with smaller piece counts, such as 500 pieces or even fewer.
3. Analyze the Imagery
Before purchasing a puzzle, carefully examine the image. Complex and intricate designs, such as landscapes with numerous details or abstract patterns, tend to be more challenging. If you're looking for a less daunting puzzle, choose images with clearly defined sections, distinct colors, or simpler motifs.
4. Read Product Descriptions and Reviews
Take the time to read product descriptions and reviews. Puzzle manufacturers often provide information about the level of difficulty, which can help you make an informed decision. Additionally, reading reviews from other puzzlers can give you insights into the puzzle's complexity and whether it aligns with your preferences.
5. Look for Beginner-Friendly Collections
Many puzzle companies offer collections specifically designed for beginners. These collections often feature puzzles with larger pieces, simpler imagery, or even hints and guidance to assist you along the way. Exploring these beginner-friendly options can be a great way to ease into the world of jigsaw puzzles.
6. Seek Variety in Piece Shapes
Some puzzles feature unique piece shapes that can add an extra layer of difficulty. If you're looking for a more accessible experience, consider puzzles with standard grid-shaped pieces. However, if you enjoy a challenge, look for puzzles with irregular or whimsical piece shapes, as they can make the assembly process more complex and engaging.
7. Check for Puzzle-Specific Features
Certain puzzle manufacturers offer features to indicate the level of difficulty. For example, some puzzles may have a "difficulty rating" on the packaging or specify whether they are suitable for beginners, intermediate puzzlers, or advanced enthusiasts. These indicators can be valuable in making an informed decision.
8. Consider Collaborations with Artists
Many jigsaw puzzle companies collaborate with renowned artists, resulting in a wide range of puzzle images with varying levels of difficulty. Some artists may have a distinctive style that makes their puzzles more challenging, while others may focus on creating accessible and enjoyable designs. Research the artist's work and style to ensure it aligns with your preferences and skill level.
9. Seek Recommendations from Fellow Puzzlers
Engaging with the puzzle community, whether through online forums, social media groups, or local puzzle clubs, can provide valuable insights and recommendations. Experienced puzzlers can share their thoughts on specific puzzle images and brands, helping you make informed choices.
10. Trust Your Instincts
Ultimately, trust your instincts and choose puzzles that genuinely spark joy and interest for you. While it's important to consider the difficulty level, it's equally crucial to select images that you find visually appealing and personally satisfying. Enjoying the process of assembling a puzzle is just as important as the challenge itself.
By following these tips, you'll be better equipped to choose jigsaw puzzles that match your skill level and provide an enjoyable experience. Remember, puzzles should be a source of relaxation and fun, so don't be afraid to explore different options and challenge yourself while staying within your comfort zone. Happy puzzling!
(ChatGPT, personal communication, June 20, 2023)