The Wedding – What if? – Review

The Wedding is Number 16 in the series of What If puzzles. This 1,000 piece puzzle is available from Ravensburger for RRP £11.99.

The weeding is a fun illustrative puzzle where the picture on the box is not the finished puzzle picture. Some of the elements remain the same but others change and until the puzzle is finished you wont see the full picture. This is the second What if? puzzle that I have completed and I do find them more of a challenge than a standard picture puzzle. The boy likes these puzzles too as he likes the sense of humour and spends time spotting all the jokes.

wedding

The wedding as you might have guessed shows a wedding party, but not as the bride had hoped. The puzzle picture is what might happen if the groom was in charge of sorting out the wedding reception. I found this puzzle tricky to complete and took me a little longer than I normally would spend on a 1,000 piece Ravensburger puzzle. The picture is bright and engaging and despite not having a full picture to work from was not hard to complete.

the wedding what if

I started with the edges, followed by the block colours. The speech bubbles are also easy to pick out, and from then on you have an idea of where the picture is going. The finished picture has some funny touches, but I wont spoil it for you by showing you the completed puzzle as you will have to try it for yourself. I think this puzzle would make a fun gift for a friend who is getting married, or simply if you like a puzzle that is a little more challenging.

Ravensburger puzzles are available from toy and game retailers as well as online from Amazon and other online sites.

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle in exchange for an honest review.

Santa’s Final Preparations – Ravensburger Christmas Puzzle

Christmas is the perfect time to sit down as a family and complete a puzzle, so Santa’s Final Preparations is a great puzzle for celebrating the season. This limited edition Ravensburger puzzle is available now for RRP £12.99 suited to ages 10+

Santa’s Final Preparations is the 19th Limited Edition Christmas Puzzle developed by our British marketing and design team, and illustrated by Devon-based artist Roy Trower.
This heart-warming design is only available for Christmas 2015, so catch it while you can! – Ravensburger team

santa's final preparations

I have never done a Christmas puzzle before so was excited to see if Santa’s Final Preparations would hold my attention. With the cute illustrations and traditional feel, I was captivated from the first piece, despite the box looking quite red in colour there wasn’t as much red in the puzzle itself. Having had a debate on twitter earlier in the week on the right place to start a puzzle, I had to start with the edges.

santas final preparations ravensburger

There is plenty of small detail in Santa’s final preparations, from the toys all neatly tagged to the sweet hidden cats and cheeky elves. I found that blue was the standout colour to start me off, followed by sorting the red. I found faces and writing next then it was down to a piece by piece analysis. I find this system works for me, interestingly from the twitter chat different people have different techniques. I found that the red piece were the final pieces that I placed in this puzzle. I love how Ravensburger take such care to make every piece unique and details you don’t at first notice now pop out of the picture.

santas final preparations puzzle

I have thoroughly enjoyed completing Santa’s final preparations with some help from the boy who loved the little woodland characters peeping in at the door. I think this puzzle has something for everyone, while still maintaining a traditional feel. Ravensburger puzzles make great gifts all year round, and Santa’s Final Preparation will be a great puzzle to while away the winter hours.

santas puzzle

For more fun Ravensburger puzzles have a look at their website, or click below on my affiliate link to get your Santa’s final preparation puzzle. This puzzle will only be around this year so be quick.

 

Disclaimer we were sent this puzzle to review the opinions remain my own and have not been altered.

Happy Days Tenby Ravensburger puzzle – review

Happy Days Tenby Ravensburger puzzle is the latest town to be made into a 1,000 piece puzzle form in the happy days series. Happy Days Tenby is available now RRP £11.99 and I would recommend this puzzle for ages 10+

Happy Days Tenby was a puzzle that caught the boy’s eye, when the postman delivered the latest batch. I think it was the bright colours and fun seaside picture, that made the boy want to help me with this puzzle. Happy Days Tenby has been a complete joy, and its been great to complete this puzzle with the boys help. We started sorting the pieces and the all important edges, the boy very quickly had the outside completed, and we moved onto filling in.

happy days tenby

The boy wanted to start on the boats, but soon realised it was easier to start with the brightly coloured houses. I picked out and sorted the colours for him and he was soon completing portions of the puzzle easily on his own. Each Sunday bingo granny comes to visit, and it wasn’t long before we had her joining in with our Happy Days Tenby puzzle. It was lovely to see three generations engaged in a puzzle and all enjoying the satisfaction on completing their part.

happy days tenby puzzle

I have found the Happy Days Tenby puzzle to be engrossing, colourful and a joy to complete. There werent any particularly tedious parts to the puzzle as there was plenty of interest. I think this puzzle would take about 4-5 hours to complete in one sitting. Happy Days Tenby is and illustration by Kevin Walsh, a Yorkshire born artist, and a magical picture that has brought Tenby to life for us. I think we have inspired bingo granny to start puzzling again as I think she had forgotten what an enjoyable pastime jigsaws can be. The boy has enjoyed putting the Happy Days Tenby puzzle together, and even Dad was pleased when he found a few pieces that fitted!

tenby happy days

I have loved Happy Days Tenby as much as everyone else, and think this has been my favourite puzzle of all the ones I have completed this month. I would certainly look at other puzzles in the Happy Days series, which are all done by different artists. Each one has a different feel and I think this helps to show the difference in the city’s and towns of Great Britain.

Happy Days Tenby is available to buy with my affiliate link, or visit the Ravensburger website for more puzzle in the Happy Days series. Mary Over at Over 40 and a Mum to one also reviewed this puzzle pop over to see what she thought.

Disclaimer we were sent this puzzle to review the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.

Bizarre Town a Ravensburger puzzle – Review

Bizarre Town is a new 5,000 piece Colin Thompson illustration puzzle from Ravensburger, and certainly proved a challenge. One that I bizarrely enjoyed! I love jigsaws, but have only recently found the time and space to take it up again. I loved the Ludicrous Library by Colin Thompson puzzle that I completed recently, so the chance to do my first ever 5,000 piece puzzle was too good to miss.

Ok so next, you will need a big space to complete the Bizarre Town puzzle as it measures 153cm x 101cm, you will also need time, as it is supposed to take an average of a month to complete. I measured my table and thought I would have lots of room, but to start with it was a big problem storing the loose pieces, as I somehow I didn’t realise just how big this puzzle was going to be.

bizarre town by colin thompson

Starting by sorting the edges, and this itself took some time, I think about 2/3 hours in total. While I went through the bag I decided I might as well pull out some of the bolder colours and sort as I went. Trays were the only thing I could think of to store all the pieces, with a combination of 5 needed including the box and lid.

ravensburger colin thompson puzzle

I have to say that the illustration from Colin Thompson is amazing and the detail in the picture was enough to keep me hooked for hours. Its hard to believe that this artist is colour-blind, as the detail and colours are fantastic. I was determined to reclaim my dinner table before the boy went back to school, so powered on through the night. The boy and Dad did a little bit, but seeing the size and amount of pieces I think put them off a little. The Bizarre Town puzzle is as it name suggests “Bizarre” but the tiny details which you can’t see clearly on the box lid are enough to make this puzzle fun to complete. I think it took about 20 hours to complete the puzzle, and somehow I squeezed this into just over a week. The illustrations have some cute hidden characters, and household items inc Lego! With different areas of the puzzle picture almost making up smaller puzzles. Having these smaller chunks to tackle kept the puzzle interesting, and the colours helped separate the areas.

colin thompson bizarre town puzzle

Bizarre Town by Colin Thompson will be available shortly from Amazon and other Ravensburger retailers for RRP £49.99, and if big puzzles are your thing then this should be added as a must! It was great fun, and not too hard to complete or lose interest in. The boy says I should have a 5,000 piece puzzle medal, which would be fun, and for now I think I might stick to puzzles that don’t take up the whole dinner table!

If you would like the challenge of a smaller 1,000 Ravensburger puzzle then why not look at the Jigsaw Puzzle Factory, completed by Mary at Over40 and a Mum to One.

Disclaimer, I was sent this puzzle for the purpose of review the opinions remain my own and have not been altered.

The Fencing Cake!

The Fencing cake idea came about from a dinner table discussion where the boy announced that he thought as I was at home all day I would have lots of time to make him a cake. After a bit of deliberation I secretly agreed with him and a seed of an idea was formed.

First though you need a little bit of history, as I don’t like cooking, or should I say didn’t like cooking before I left work. I am not a food lover never have been. I do however like a spot of cake, but feeling like I could never make a cake as good as my Nan, my cakes came from packets. I have made some great cakes, but all of them courtesy of my good friend Betty Crocker.

Ok I did have one other attempt at a cake, and with lots of advice from two good friends, one who is a chef, and the other who has done cake courses and made some beautiful cakes. The resulting microwave cake was tasty and looked as planned, a purple octopus cake. The Fencing cake however was going to be a bit more of a challenge, as it was going to have figures.

I set about my research, and after a long discussion with Miss L and a look through some of her modelling and recipe books. A simple sponge recipe with: 220g soft butter, 220g caster sugar, 220g self raising flour, 4 eggs and 100g cocoa powder mixed with hot water, would make the base for my chocolate cake. I cheated and bought some vanilla fudge icing as I have had too many disasters that I wasn’t willing to risk it, this would be my only concession. The ingredients were bought, and with some borrowed tools, cocktail sticks I started what turned out to be a weeks work. I did think about other themes for the boy’s Birthday cake, but there is one thing in his life bigger than all the others so a Fencing cake was the only option.

fencing cake 1

Day 1, and fencer number one. I had my instructions on how to roll and mix the flour paste with the fondant icing, adding colours for the mask, glove and socks. Luckily fencers are mostly white. This proved to make for an easier time, although I still needed some highlight colours. With the help of the book, and sizes for each part, making the first fencer only took 2 hours. I was rather pleased with the results, and adding detail with a food dye pen was a great touch. Confident that number 2 would be ok, I hid him in an airy place to dry out.

fencing cake 2

Day 2, and Fencer number 2. This fencer was going to represent the boy and both Fencers would stand proudly on the cake. I had all my mixed icing, tools and weapons at the ready. But as the first fencer was in a right-handed pose I realised that Fencer 2 would have to be left-handed to add them flat to the cake. There would be no going back now as the boy is a right-handed Fencer! The worst bit was making stripe socks, as my red icing kept melting and going sticky!

fencing cake 3

Day 3 and time to bake! The cake mixed up ok, as I have my lovely new mixer that I treated myself to earlier in the year. It didn’t curdle like other cakes have and was rising beautifully. I wanted the finished cake to be long and skinny like a Fencing pieste, so baked a square cake with plans to chop it in half. A few added touches made, score board, stars and a birthday star, and all was going well.

fencing 4

Day 4 time to put some of the parts together, the cake had baked a bit lop sided but some careful cutting and turning and I managed to get it level. the fudge icing was great and a lovely contrast to the dark cake. Only problem was the crumbs that came off the cake. I was covering this with fondant so know one would ever know! I rolled out my grey icing, and prepared to lift onto the cake. This cake wasn’t small so lifting was a problem. As I got it over the cake it cracked, there was no going back as it was on fudge icing, not like a marzipaned cake that you can remove and try again. I was annoyed with myself, but finished off, trimmed the icing and did the best I could.

fencing cake 5

Day 5, and a restless night worrying about what to do now. My worst fears realised, yes the thunderstorm and high humidity in the night had caused both of the fencers to start to melt. Yes this can happen! A crack across the top and a bodge on the sides and things were not looking good. This is where some creative thinking was needed. A trip to Hobby Craft, and some co-ordinating ribbons which I tacked up on the sewing machine. that was the sides sorted. I rolled more icing for the top to make a pieste to cover the cracks. There was no way the fencers would stand up so taking fencer 2 as it was most like the boy, I set out the top of the cake.

fencing cake

The Fencing cake was finished. I can say it was a labour of love, and something I certainly would do again. I have complete respect for people who make wedding cakes as it must be super nerve-wracking. The best part was the look on my boys face when he saw the cake. I presented it to him at his fencing club, he had no idea at all. They sang Happy Birthday, then all had a piece to share his day.

the cake is finished

So , yes I am at home all day, and yes I can make a cake. If it makes my boy smile than that is all the reward I need. We still have the fencer as the boy doesn’t want to eat him, and now a whole club who want me to make fencers out of icing for them!

This post  is my entry into The Great Denby Cake Off,you can find out more about the competition here

 

 

B is for…

B is for…

I spotted a fun linky last week over at PODcast and missed out on the letter A, yes this is an #alphabetphoto linky, and it looked like everyone was having so much fun finding pictures, not all of which were obvious that I thought I would have a go.

So here are my pictures for the letter B

B is for

B is for Box, I am rather pleased with how my little box chicken has turned out this year. After a little hair cut with my Fiskars multi tool he is looking a little bit like a chicken, and there are plenty of other B’s in the garden, with bud’s and Bugs.

Thanks to PODcast for a fun linky, hopefully see you next week.