Friday, 4 February 2011

On a more personal note...

Thought I'd throw out another of these posts where I stop talking about books and tell you a little about something else of my life. This time, a confession: I love jigsaw puzzles.

As a kid I loved jigsaws and then when I got sick at 11 and I was spending all my time at home barely able to do anything, they became a nice distraction. I didn't do them very often because they were too much effort a lot of the time, but I liked working on them when I could. I liked the challenge of hard ones, and I liked the 'break' if gave me from everything else. My brain would stop thinking about everything else and it was just about fitting the right pieces together and it was really kinda soothing in a way, and left me with a sense of satisfaction when I completed one.

I stopped regularly working on jigsaws a few years back. Then my mom bought me this one (apologies for poor pics):


All grey tones, no sharp detail...nightmare puzzle!! But I was so up for the challenge. I didn't get very far though because I had to shift it out of the living room to my bedroom and it ended up under my bed, mostly untouched for a year, looking like this:


That's how far I got with it over about 18 months/2 years. I'm sad about that, cause I always wanted to finish it. I worked on it some yesterday and managed to add about 20 odd pieces and join some sections up before I got too worn out so now it looks like this:


At least looks a little neater now!! For Christmas my mom gave me a new 1000 piece puzzle, this one:


Beautiful, but again, nightmare puzzle, the kind I love. So now I have a new plan, to complete both these puzzles by the end of 2011. I just started on the horse one this week and this is where I stand with it now:


I have it on a roll up mat, so I can shift it around really easily and work on it in the living room, where there is space, and then quickly shift it if needed!! The NYC one is still on a board, but now can be moved out from under my bed very easily so I can work on it at will as well!

Have to say, I've loved working on these frustrating puzzles this week!! I'd forgotten how much I love doing them. And now when I get fed up with the difficulties of one, I can switch to the other, making it more likely for me to get them both done.

Only thing is, working on these tough ones, makes me want to pull out my old favourites. The 300 piece one with lots of animals that I could finish within about 35 mins at one point, and my photographic one of the New York City skyline (pre 9/11) at sunset. Maybe I should work on them at some point too... And now I've stated my personal puzzle challenge on here, I'll have to make sure it's completed won't I? ;)

What about you guys, anything besides books you like to do to relax? Or for a challenge? Anyone else a puzzle fan? I am curious!

8 comments:

Marie said...

I'm a huge lover of jigsaw puzzles! :D Well, at least I used to be. Just like you, one day I just stopped and I haven't picked it up in earnest since then. I'm wondering whether my not doing jigsaw puzzles anymore happens to coincide with our getting internet...

Just like you, what I really loved about it, was that you could focus wholly on the jigsaw puzzle. It's one of the few things that can really make me shut off the world around me completely, and it's incredibly relaxing. When you look up from it, it's like coming out of a haze.

I love the colors too, and I've become really good at spotting the correct pieces. My biggest accomplishment, I think, is the 3000 piece one that I did a long time ago. There were about 1000 blue pieces on that one! Thankfully the backs of the pieces also had different geometric patterns in different quadrants, which made it a bit easier.

I actually have a couple of unfinished jigsaw puzzles, again just like you. ;-) One is of the Mona Lisa, which became kind of boring when I'd finished her (Mona Lisa). I still need to do the background on that one. The other one is a kind of fun cartoon map of Europe with famous places and buildings painted in. I should really try to finish them! (If I can find the time...) One of the reasons I don't do them anymore, is that I have so many different interests, but not enough time for all of them. :-/

There's always a problem with having jigsaw puzzles out when you have cats in the house. If they don't jump on the cardboard where I have it, and send it flying, they end up eating the pieces... I'm pretty sure that one of the jigsaw puzzles will never be complete, and that the missing piece has been passed through some cat's stomach...

The Slowest Bookworm said...

I used to love jigsaw puzzles too but I haven't done one for a very long time. Me and my mum used to do them together in the holidays, but not for a good few years now. Breaking them up to put them away always made me sad lol.

I love that horse one :)

Jessica said...

I used to love doing jigsaw puzzles too! Can't really do them now. Not much time and plus my niece runs the house sometimes! And at 2, a puzzle would be impossible.

Never did anything as challenging as your greyscale one, but we do have some that were quite hard, like the "assortments of junk/or whatever" piles. Those were always kind of hard especially with repeated colors and patterns!

evilqueen21 said...

While I like puzzles, I don't have very much patience/determintation to complete a hard one. I'd would most likely get very frustrated and it would end up on thrown at the wall ;)

Reading is my #1 and only for relaxation. But if there is ever that odd time where I don't feel like reading I usually go catch up the crap-loads of tv shows that I save on my DVR but hardly ever watch. I'm seasons behind in some series. I suspect I will be running out of save space if I don't get cracking on them...

Kelly said...

I like doing puzzles, too, but I haven't done one in years. I'd love to start up again, but right now, I don't have the space for it. Maybe I'll get back into soon, though!

Pisinat said...

I love, love, love doing puzzles, but unfortunately, I don't have room to do them anymore... When I'll get my own home (I hope this will be this year!) I'll surely have a table or something that will be used for puzzles ha!

Tiffany said...

I love doing puzzles! My cousins and I used to spend hours doing puzzles with our grandmother when we were young. Now that I have my own kids, I've found that puzzles are out of the question. They always end up eating a few pieces. :( I can't wait until they're old enough to start back up the family tradition.

Clover said...

Oh I love doing jigsaw puzzles! When I first moved to this country, the only thing I was really able to do to occupy the day while N was at work was to work on jigsaw puzzle after jigsaw puzzle. It was very relaxing and enjoyable to do. I haven't done one since my Littlest was born though, as I put the one I was working on away thinking the little pieces might be dangerous and I forgot to take it back out again :(