The Springs Embrace Puzzle looks quite lovely with the pastels and pinks. The completed image looks much clearer but when assembling the pieces, it is not so defined. Some puzzlers refer to the pieces seen as muted. There are also large sections of paint-brush-strokes which can be tricky for some puzzlers. You may like this Spring imagery Amazon link
Overall Experience: Good
Cut Quality: Great
Board Quality: Firm
Shape Cut: Grid-like pattern
Image Quality: Good
Hardest Area: The dark forest area
Puzzle Dust? minimal
Finish Quality: Smooth matte
Box Quality: Good and solid
Sealed Pieces Inside Box: yes
Was this purchased new? no, picked for review
Recommend Level: Puzzlers who like challenges
Time: 7 hours
I did not do my usual sorting routine as this is 500 pieces. The pinks, greens and beiges should be easy to pick out.
However, since there were minimal shapes to this puzzle, I decided that it could be helpful if I sorted according to the shapes of the pieces.
These puzzles come with a very nice quality poster as you can see in the image to the right and shown with the border image completed below. There is no glare on it.
When it came to the border, I lined up the pieces as best I could with the colours. The border was not difficult as the pinks, blues and green sections are quite defined on the image and the shapes of the pieces really helped too.
After I assembled the work-in-progress pieces in the above image from there, I wrestled with the rest of the pieces. The process slowed down substantially as I tried to build the pathway and forest areas.
I usually start with the most prominent colours or large sections on an image so the best place to start was with the pink trees. But there is a lot of pink tree. That said somehow I was able to pick out the pinks on the left side of the image before the right side. The easiest part of the puzzle was the church of course.
The following images show close ups of the style of the cut. The cut was not loose and fit quite nicely. I do like this cut as it was quite helpful in this case due to many areas with paint brush strokes. That said, when you step back and look at the completed image, it's gorgeous and actually shows up clearly.
The Springs Embrace puzzle did not take as long as the Winters Beauty puzzle however it was still tricky with the painting style. There does not appear to be as many paint brush strokes in this image with the most visible on the two pink trees.
There is a non-glare matte finish is on the Cobble Hill puzzles. They feel so nice when my hands do the 'once-over' upon completion of the puzzles. Even though the cut is different from previous 500 piece puzzles, nothing else has changed in the quality. It was a delightful puzzle session.
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)
Strawberry Tea, A 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle by Cobble Hill