Posts Tagged With: Jigsaw puzzles

Lines upon lines (Or: Escher’s “Day and night” in jigsaw form)

I finally completed it! The 1,000 piece puzzle Marco gave me for Christmas. It’s an 1,000 piece puzzle of M. C. Escher’s “Day and night”.

On the one hand, it was quite challenging. On the other hand, most of the pieces were subtly different. I was only left with about 15-20 black pieces in the upper right at the end. I was reduced to sticking in random pieces in each slot until something worked.

As you can see, it’s one of his famous works inspired by geometry – a city in daylight on the left, and the same city at night on the right. It’s quite beautiful, really. When I looked up a relevant Wikipedia article I found a picture of the Escher museum in The Hague with a poster of “Day and night” outside.

Of course I finished the bottom part rather quickly, and then it sat there for 6 months while I ignored it… But once I got motivated again it went rather quickly.

And now for something completely different: last week there was a secret fireworks event at Scheveningen (omroepwest.nl in Dutch), complete with drones! Note: the second video in the article with the grey box doesn’t work. Apparently the video was pulled from YouTube. But the article does have a few pictures and links to a few shorter videos.

The fireworks show was in celebration of 75 years of freedom since WW2 and was organized by the International Fireworks festival of Scheveningen (official site in Dutch). This was especially important because the show was cancelled in 2019 due to overcrowding concerns. And when I mean overcrowding, I mean overcrowding. Check out this photo from denhaagcentral.net in 2018. Roger, Marco and I went in 2015. It was a nightmare getting home…

Oh, and to show us why we can’t have nice things check out this article in Dutch over at omroepwest.nl: the city is in trouble because they paid 134,000 euros for a fireworks show that wouldn’t be seen by many people due to the corona issues. Opps.

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Sanquin Bloedbank (Or: Puzzle time!)

Some months ago I was able to choose a gift for donating blood for the 15th time. I could not pass up the jigsaw puzzle that I saw – a 500 piece puzzle from Jan van Haasteren!

Image downloaded from https://www.jvh-puzzels.com/all-puzzles/by-image/sanquin-bloedbank.html

It’s specially designed for the Dutch blood bank, Sanquin and not available in stores.

Highlights include: the Sinterklaas in the upper right in the elevator, next to a prisoner stealing the pelican (Sanquin’s mascot), the guy in the business suit in the middle donating blue blood, and the gnome sitting patiently in the donation area on the right middle. Oh, and the gentlemen on the left side with the green shirt who is taking advantage of the policy of free snacks for blood donors.

Here’s my finished puzzle:

And on to the next one, considerably more difficult: an Escher jigsaw puzzle.

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Amsterdam, where Prinsenhof and Brouwersgracht meet (Or: Puzzle time)

I recently finished a 1000-piece puzzle of Amsterdam — a present last year from Roger. And indeed, the puzzle sat in the ‘puzzle holder‘ for a good 5 months before I was able to finish it. The puzzle itself shows the corner of Amsterdam’s Prinsenhof where it meets Brouwersgracht, on King’s Day – hence all of the orange-clad characters.

Here is a close up look of the detail:

In the meantime, I’ve already started the next one. That would be a puzzle of The Hague’s Hofvijver which Marco bought for me as a Christmas present.

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New York City – Dutchified (Or: Ravensburger puzzle, 1000 pieces)

For Christmas I was gifted a Ravensburger puzzle from Roger. It was made from a good quality – even using “soft lock technology” apparently. I found it interesting that the puzzle used a dark blue backing instead of the light gray backing that most puzzles use.

Ravensburger puzzle - New York Cities of the World 1000 piecesThere were two minor weird things with this puzzle:

  1. There is a part of the actual puzzle that doesn’t match the box it came in. Look in the lower left with the lady in green – in the actual puzzle she leans over to the right, worried because the man behind her is choking on a herring. On the box, she panics a bit and falls backward because the seller is shoving a herring in her face.
  2. There was an extra puzzle piece that did not fit anywhere. The puzzle itself is done, and has no gaps. You can see it in the photo below, to the left of the actual puzzle.

Ravensburger Cities of the World New York close up

If you’re looking closely, you’ll notice that the puzzle itself is within a flat case. The exact model I have is Jumbo luxe puzzelkoffer – 1000 stukjes. It makes for really easy storage. There are two additional panels which are shown in the link which you can also use to store pieces on top of. When you are ready to store everything, you put the panels on top of the puzzle to create a tight fit so that none of the pieces move. You could even store the work-in-progress horizontally. I have successfully tested this but normally store it vertically.

I am of course already working on my next puzzle

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New York puzzles (Or: MTA subway map)

It’s been a while since I’ve done a puzzle (although ironically I received a new one as a gift last week!) but this one is near and dear to my heart. As some of you know, I like trams and metros and subways and…

NYC subway puzzle - 500 pieces - full view

So it should come as no surprise that the puzzle above – a map of the New York City subway – is so awesome!

NYC subway puzzle - close up of title

I bought it when Marco and I were in New York City earlier this summer – purchased at the New York Transit Museum store at Grand Central station. It is made by New York Puzzle Company.

NYC subway puzzle - close up of lower ManhattanUnfortunately it is only 500 pieces (I am more a fan of 1,000 pieces), however admittedly it does fit on the coffee table better… but due to its smaller size it took only 2-3 nights to complete.

NYC subway puzzle - close up of Brooklyn

I can’t say that I won’t be lost anymore in the subway, but at least it is fun to see how everything connects together!

NYC subway puzzle - close up of Central Park

Who knew that part of the subway runs under Central Park?

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Birthday presents (Or: A year wiser?)

Last week I celebrated another birthday. Here’s a look at some (but unfortunately not all) of the highlights…

First, a bouquet of paper flowers made by my father-in-law and his wife. Still wrapped:

Paper flower bouquet (still wrapped)

Unwrapped:

Paper flower bouquet

A close up of the butterfly. Do you see what the roses are made of? Wrapped chocolate and the best paper you could make flowers out of — 5 euro notes!

Continue reading

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Leisurely nights (Or: A quiet Tuesday in July)

It’s a relaxing night here over in The Hague. Marco is currently playing Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag (a free game offered recently on Xbox One) and I am writing this blog post. While preparing for this blog post I came across another post I had done only the second day after moving to the Netherlands: Second day (Or: Settling in and unpacking). It was interesting to re-read all of the little things we did that day to get me settled in. One of the benefits of keeping a blog I guess!

Here is a random photo I took in the So Low in the centrum of The Hague. Sometimes you see the randomst things from American culture make it over to Europe (due to being used in films or TV shows mainly).

American style red cups for drinking

These cups are world famous for alcohol consumption at frat (fraternity) parties. Just to make sure the customer knows the connection, they are called “American cups”. My favorite, though? When you see something marketed as American or with an American flag which is most decidedly not American. I do not have any examples at the moment unfortunately.

And that puzzle that I blogged about a few days ago? Done!

Folded up puzzle

The lady at the bottom (in the pink bikini) is looking a bit concerned at the destruction of her world…

The next one I have to put together has a car garage theme. Body paint to be exact.

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Camping chaos (Or: Another Jan van Haasteren puzzle)

This week I have a new puzzle, again from the cartoonist Jan van Haasteren (read a previous puzzle post about him here). This week’s puzzle is called “Camping chaos”:

Camping chaos puzzle Jan van Haasteren

In the lower right you have a panicked mass of people trying to escape the man on the diving board. Well, actually, trying to escape the shark underneath the man on the diving board… There’s also a lot of people with cameras in this puzzle, occasionally filming scantily dressed women. That’s the Dutch humor for you.

And of course the usual random floating hand coming out of unexpected places, a trademark of his. No Sinterklaas in this puzzle, though.

Puzzle progressLet’s see how long it takes to finish all of the paths and green areas…

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New York marathon (Or: A puzzle marathon)

The puzzle is now complete! As a reminder it is a puzzle with the name  “NY marathon”. 1,000 pieces! This was two nights ago:

image

And around dinner time tonight:

image

You can find the puzzle here.

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Jan van Haasteren puzzles (Or: NY marathon)


Last week Roger dropped off one of his mother’s puzzles for me to work on. Little did I know, it was 1000 pieces! (I thought it would be 500.)

Jan van Haasteren NY marathon puzzle

It is a Jan van Haasteren puzzle with the title NY Marathon – he is a well-known Dutch cartoonist. Part of the reason I like his puzzles is the fact that they are animated – it reminds me of a puzzle I had when I was younger (probably 500 pieces) with a mini golf theme.

First things first – separate out the edges:

pile of puzzle pieces, edges separated

I had a small scare at one point when I couldn’t find one of the edge pieces (remember, it’s not my puzzle!) but after a while it turned up. The biggest issue is the lack of table space – hence why I don’t have any puzzles of my own and it is better to borrow one from someone else.

Progress is being made…

working on a puzzle NY marathon But still a long, long way to go.

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