For the last year I have been the Wentworth Puzzles Minister for jigsaw’s, and now they are on the lookout for a new minister and it could be you.
After restarting my puzzling about 2 years ago, I have been reminded how much fun it can be to spend time completing puzzles. So after spotting the call from Wentworth to become a Minister of Jigsaw’s I decided to apply. I wrote my 100 words and thought nothing more, so was pleasantly surprised to have a call to say I was shortlisted. I waited and heard nothing so again pushed it to the back of my mind, so imagine my surprise to receive a puzzle with my name in it, and letter saying I had been chosen!
So what have I been up too as the Minister for Jigsaws. Well unsurprisingly I have been completing puzzles. Some have been puzzles already available, others have been pre production puzzles. I feed back my feelings on how easy/hard a puzzle was if there were cutting issues. And even chatted design to the head of the puzzle cutting department. It has been great finding out more about Wentworth Puzzles and their unique whimsy pieces which my son loves.
My favourite puzzle has to be this one called Crazy Candy, the whole family has enjoyed this bright crazy puzzle which only has a few shapes and was satisfying to complete. While reminding us of our fun family holidays to Florida and the USA. Wentworth puzzles are all wooden and have a lovely feel and finish to them. The rope tided storage bag and beautiful boxes make them a treasure to keep or give as gifts.
My year has been fun, and even being asked to talk live on BBC radio today was not as scary as it first seemed. Today sees the launch as Wentworth look for their new Minister of Jigsaws, and also a Junior Minister, and you should give it a try. Puzzling is a great way to relax and reconnect as a family, while keeping your brain active and for me bringing back memories of puzzles I loved as a child.
A Day with Grandma and Grandad is a beautiful double illustrative puzzle from Ravensburger. These two 500 piece puzzles are available for RRP £11.99, and are suited to ages 10+.
Sometimes its nice to complete a 500 piece puzzle rather than a bigger 1,000 piece and the Day with Grandma and Grandad is a fun puzzle to complete. I enjoyed the illustrations of these two charming puzzles as they reminded me of fun times with my nan. Baking was one of my treasured memories of times with my Nan, and I’m sure most people will have similar memories.
Each of the two 500 piece puzzles has an illustrative charm. They are lovely to complete, and have a pleasing finish. I like that the characters feature in each puzzle, and provoke simple summer days spent with Grandparents. These puzzles are a good size while still providing a challenge for a keen puzzler. The details on each of Trevor Mitchells illustrations are great, I love all the tools in Granddad’s garage which remind me of the boys Granddad.
A day with Grandma and Grandad would make a lovely gift, and is available now online or shops. Here is my affiliate link for the latest Amazon price. Visit the Ravensburger website for more classic puzzles.
Happy Days Edinburgh is a great illustrative puzzle from Ravensburger which is part of a series of puzzle with a retro feel. This 1,000 piece puzzle is available from retailers and online from Amazon, RRP £11.99 suited to ages 10+.
This is the second puzzle I have completed in the Happy Days series from Ravensburger. Happy Days Tenby is one of my favourites so I was looking forward to the bright inviting illustration of this puzzle. This puzzle depicts Edinburgh town and is the 12th puzzle in the series. Happy Days Edinburgh is illustrated by Kevin Walsh, a well-known artist of historic and retro prints The illustration for this puzzle has a lovely nostalgic feel, and with bright colours which made it great to complete.
I found this puzzle easy to complete as there are plenty of starting points. Starting with the edges. I then picked out the red of the cars and the yellow and blue of the little girls dress. The figures were easy to pick out too. The bus signs and flags next ant then the background and road were soon filled. The boy helped with this puzzle and enjoyed the little details on the bus and van.
I have not had the chance to visit Edinburgh, and this puzzle certainly gave me a feel for the city. With the hustle and bustle and classic kilts which you would expect. I love the Illustrative details on Happy Days Edinburgh and am looking forward to doing some of the other puzzles in this series soon. I had no problem completing this puzzle in around 4/5 hours, and as the boy joined in a little less. If the family join me for a puzzle I know its a good one, giving Happy Days Edinburgh the thumbs up!
You can click on my Amazon link below for the best price on the Happy Days Edinburgh Puzzle. Visit the Ravensburger website for details of this and other puzzles in the Happy Days series.
Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle in exchange for an honest review.
You may have noticed that the Queen has just celebrated her 90th Birthday, and I joined in the celebrations by completing a very beautiful puzzle from Wentworth Puzzles. The Queen Elizabeth II puzzle is RRP £32 for the 200 piece puzzle, or £62 for the 400 piece.
Wentworth puzzles are all made from wood, and they come in a little cloth bag. The Queen Elizabeth II puzzle has 200 pieces, but don’t be fooled into thinking that will make it easy. The unique way this puzzle is cut means that each piece has a unique shape, and with a shaped outline, even the edges are hard to spot. This is about the 5th puzzle that I have completed from Wentworth puzzles as their #MinisterforJigsaws and the first thing you notice is the quality.
Some of their puzzles have “whimsy” pieces and these make the completion of each puzzle more tricky. This Queen Elizabeth II puzzle has some lovely “Whimsy” figures of the queen, crowns and her famous handbag. Each “Whimsy” pieces is cut carefully into the main puzzle, and these still fit beautifully with the more traditionally shaped pieces. The boy likes me to leave these pieces till last so that he can place them into the puzzle. I am not a huge royal fan, but loved completing the queens Birthday souvenir puzzle and studying the pictures of the queen over the last 90 years.
The way the Queen Elizabeth puzzle is cut allows some great details including the 90 cut from the bottom corner, and the queens profile shape of the finished puzzle. The Queen Elizabeth II puzzle would be a great keepsake gift for a royal fan, or puzzle fan, and one I will enjoy completing again. Visit the Wentworth Puzzles site for a fun selection of unique premium puzzles where you can even have your favourite pictures turned into a unique gift.
Disclaimer, I was sent this puzzle to review as part of the #MinisterforJigsaws programme. The words remain my own and have not been altered.
Hampton Court Palace is a Ravensburger Puzzle in the series of Historic Royal Palaces. This 1,000 piece puzzle would be suited to ages 12+ with a RRP £11.99.
At first glance I thought the Hampton Court Palace puzzle would be tricky as I don’t do many photographic puzzles. But on closer inspection I realised there were a few bold blocks of colour. I sorted the edges, and also the blue of the sky and bright colours of the figures at the bottom of the photograph. The other part of the puzzle that stood out was the Astronomical Clock in the top left. These were all pretty straight forward to complete, and have some great details.
I was worried that I might lose interest in the Hampton court puzzle with its vast expanse of brick and greenery. I didn’t find this was the case as, as you sort through the pieces you realise they are very different. Details of the building pop out as you complete the puzzle. I thoroughly enjoyed completing this puzzle and enjoyed reading about each of the historical details on the picture sheet.
Hampton Court Palace looks like a beautiful palace to visit, and is on our to do list, this puzzle has been lovely to complete and enjoy the detail of this historic palace.
Have a look at my Amazon affiliate link below for the current price, and visit the Ravensburger website for other puzzles in this series.
Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle to review the opinions remain my own and have not been altered.
Cooking up a feast is number 7 in the perplexing puzzle series from Ravensburger, this 1,000 piece puzzle is suitable for ages 10+RRP £11.99.
This is the first time I have tried one of the Perplexing puzzles, and cooking up a feast was a fun puzzle that brought back memories of my Nan’s kitchen. I particularly liked the rabbit jelly mould as this was part of my childhood, along with the bone handled butter knives. Cooking up a feast is a photographic puzzle, and at first glance didn’t look as if it was going to be particularly difficult as there is plenty of colour in the picture.
I started with edges and the bright pink, orange of the rabbit jelly mould, next the red of the strawberries, jam and tea-pot. After this the puzzle was a little more difficult but certainly not impossible. There were enough little details in the cooking up a feast puzzle to keep my interest and it took about 4 hours to complete the puzzle. I loved all the vintage packaging and can imagine my Nan’s cupboards having things like these in them, I certainly remember the hand turned mincer!
I didn’t find cooking up a feast was more of a challenge than some of the Colin Thompson puzzles that I have previously completed, but it was certainly still fun. The quality of a Ravensburger puzzle is faultless, and the pieces always sit well together. Have a look at the Ravensburger website for more of the Perplexing puzzle series or have a look at my affiliate link below.
Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle in return for an honest review.
London by night is the first panorama puzzle that I have tried, and others in the range include Star wars, and seascapes as well as city skylines like this one of London. I knew this puzzle was going to be tricky as it had lots of similar colours and I wasn’t disappointed as it certainly took me a little longer to complete.
I started with edges as always, then found it tricky to decide where to go next. I found the various shades of purples and blues difficult to sort in artificial light, so waited till morning for a clearer view. The picture of London by night has great detail, and once I had found all the bright pinks and reds, found that Big ben was the next part of the puzzle to be completed. I felt I had a bit of a head start having completed the London Silhouette puzzle last month, I knew every detail of Big Ben’s tower. The Millennium wheel was also easy to sort, and then I found it was a case of every piece in every hole especially for the sky.
London but Night is a beautiful puzzle, and one I have enjoyed more than I though as I love the elongated shape. Somehow this made the puzzle feel like it had fewer pieces, but as it took me 7/8 hours to complete I know this was not the case. I think that London by night has to be one of the more tricky puzzles that I have completed, certainly up there with the minions puzzle. The finished picture is stunning, and something I was very proud to have completed.
Have a look below for my affiliate link to London by Night, or for more details of the this and other puzzles in the panorama series visit the Ravensburger website.
Disclaimer, we were sent this puzzle to review the opinions remain my own and have not been altered.
Glorious Vintage is a new Ravensburger 1,000 piece puzzle illustrated by American artist Aimee Stewart. I would suggest this puzzle would be suited to ages 12+ and costs RRP £11.99.
The picture for this puzzle is themed around wine making, and has a wonderful vintage feel to it. I thought like other Ravensburger puzzles that Glorious Vintage would be a nice relaxing easy to finish puzzle, however I found this one suitably challenging. There are a lot of similar colours in this puzzle, and unlike the cottage series of puzzles, has taken more concentration. I love the addition of all the little details in this illustration and Glorious Vintage has provided me with a different style of puzzle completion.
As always I start with sorting and the edges, as I am pretty traditional in how I look at completing puzzles. Next there were one or two brighter colours that stood out. The purple of the lavender fields and the two main monochrome posters. But once these were complete it was simply a case of taking each individual piece and finding its home on the picture. At one point I thought I was ready to give up, but I stuck with the mass of reds and greens and soon found a pattern to the pieces. This puzzle is one that I think is suited to filling in a little at a time, rather than completing big blocks in one sitting.
I think that Glorious Vintage is the puzzle that has taken me the longest to complete at around 8-10 hours, but the satisfaction when done has been much more than others that I have found easier. This is the first puzzle by Aimee Stewart that I have tried and I would certainly consider other puzzles by this artist. The fine detail in the illustration are beautiful and I love the magical and vintage feel to this picture. Glorious Vintage almost has a fairy feel to it, and is even more stunning when the puzzle is complete as the details and colours stand out even more.
Below is my affiliate link if you want to buy this Glorious Vintage puzzle, or have a look on the Ravensburger website for more of Aimee Stewart’s work.
Disclaimer, I was sent this puzzle for the purpose of review, the opinions remain my own and have not been altered.
Peony Cottage is available from Ravensburger this 1,000 piece puzzle is RRP £11.99 and is number 8 in the series of country cottages. There is no age guide on the puzzle but I would say that 12+ is a good guide.
Peony cottage is as the name suggests a puzzle based on the quaint and colourful English cottages, and with the addition of birds and butterflies this puzzle was interesting to complete and look at. I found peony cottage an easy puzzle to work on as there was a good contrast of colours and some interesting little touches with hidden birds, bees, and ladybirds. I expect to finish a 1,000 piece puzzle in around four to five hours, and found the Peony cottage was around three hours, but this could be because I am getting quicker!
I enjoyed completing peony cottage more than the Delphinium cottage puzzle I completed recently, as I liked the bright coloured flowers and found the puzzle built quickly as there wasn’t as much blue sky. I am so used to the Ravensburger soft click technology of these puzzles now that I take it for granted that all puzzles will fit as well as a Ravensburger. I also find myself looking for the signature blue backed pieces which I find much easier to sort into the right sides. I also love the addition of the separate picture sheet. I find this is much easier to use than the box lid when completing the puzzle and means that the box doesn’t get lent on or damaged.
While I don’t think this is the first puzzle I would choose if faced with a whole shelf of puzzles. The Peony cottage has captured my interest with its very British feel and I can see will be very popular with regular puzzlers. Click on my affiliate link below to purchase Peony Cottage, of look at the Ravensburger website for other great puzzles.