Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Ultimate Christmas Puzzle

In the last week, whenever I went to bed, I had jigsaw puzzle pieces on my
 mind, and even in my sleep I have been working on a new puzzle from 
Ravensburger. Let me tell you, The Christmas Farm (limited edition) 
1000 piece jigsaw is totally fiendish.

I do enjoy jigsaw puzzles, but when this big colourful box arrived and I 
opened the bag inside, I was asking myself what have I gotten myself 
into. Will I ever be able to complete it?
Thankfully, I have an enthusiastic friend Jen who loves puzzles and she 
promised to help me.

Ravensburger says: "We all know that Santa works hard on Christmas Eve, 
but what does he do for the rest of the year? This colourful jigsaw puzzle 
imagines that he lives a low-key life, running a small farm, tending to his 
animals, growing Christmas trees and offering the occasional sleigh ride 
across the rolling hills when the weather allows".

Jen and I started sorting the pieces by finding those which have a straight
side so that we could build an overall picture frame for our jigsaw. Then,
bit by bit, I have been adding to the picture. Some pieces were very tricky, 
some are easier to spot, and I kept checking the box image for reference,
trying to figure out which bit goes where. An absolutely addictive hobby.

The wonderfully colourful and cheerful scene has been illustrated by Devon-based 
artist Roy Trower.
It is pretty amazing, how much detail you discover when piecing it together.

This superb jigsaw will make a great Christmas gift for any puzzle lover. And 
what a fab way to get into the Christmas spirit!

It was a slow progress, as it took me over 5 days (and that is with Jen's help) 
to complete the jigsaw. But I enjoyed it tremendously. I actually was surprised 
at how much I loved it.
Once the puzzle was finished, I couldn't wait to show it to Jen, and asked her
if she wanted to take it home and do it herself. She replied that she was still 
working on the Monet's jigsaw, but she knew an elderly lady who lives alone 
and who would very much enjoy the puzzle. Hope the old lady will enjoy it as 
much as I did.

I wonder now whether I should treat myself to another 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
Do you love jigsaws?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

And more puzzles - The Muppets and Ludicrous Library

Just in time for Christmas I am attempting Ravensburger puzzles once again. Only this time I have not one but two of them to complete.
The Muppets
You would be correct to assume that I have featured a muppets jigsaw puzzle before and one from Ravensburger too. However that particular one was aimed more at children with just 100 pieces. This one is 10 times the size (jigsaw terms) being a 1000 piece and therefore more for adults or teens.
The finished picture features many well known members of the loveable muppets crew including Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie and that’s sort of where my muppets cast knowledge ends I’m afraid. I have seen the movies and loved it when younger but cannot remember who is who.
The crew look like they are having a ball on the picture with fireworks in the background. A thousand pieces is difficult and especially so the background bit with the fireworks which all looks the same. With a puzzle this size I try to complete characters and faces individually and then attempt to join them together. The big bold MUPPETS title also breaks up the background making it slightly easier. Think this one may take me a while!
AMAZON have limited stock of this one and currently for just £12.01
The Ludicrous Library
This one is a real piece of art and just the type of bizarre and weird imagery that I love. Well that’s if I can put the thing together.
It’s 500 pieces so you would think much easier than the muppets one above but no, afraid not. The picture (when finished) shows fantasy, chaos, curious creatures, and impossible stairways, not only are the stairways impossible but the puzzle seems impossible at times too. The stairways look the same as do the many books scattered about the library so it’s really difficult to work out if this one fits here or over the other side. “but” the finished article looks amazing and the type of thing I just want to pour jigsaw glue all over and stick on my wall.
Fantastic design by hugely popular author and artist Colin Thompson (creator of the best-selling puzzle The Bizarre Bookshop).
It’s also on AMAZON for just £7.99.
Both of these puzzles contain premium quality cut puzzle pieces which feature the softclicktechnology resulting in a smooth puzzle.
Both can also be purchased in many good toy stores too.
I have certainly got my work cut out with these two puzzles this time.
Thank you Ravensburger your puzzles are amazing.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Ludicrous Library – Review

The Ludicrous Library is a great fun picture from illustrator Colin Thompson who has been illustrating children’s books since 1991. At first I thought this jigsaw was going to be quite dull, but it turned into one of those puzzles that grows on you. The picture at first glance may seem a little bizarre with its walking books and monsters, but once you start to put the puzzle together you notice so much hidden detail I defy you to not be hooked.

ludicrous library

This is the second 500 piece puzzle from Ravensburger that we have reviewed, and was much easier to complete then the 500 piece Minions puzzle. The boy and Dragon Dad agreed to help with this one, and the boy was very keen that he wanted to finish the last few pieces. The boy lost interest after the edges were complete, but in total it took about 2 hours for me to complete. I have loved jigsaws from a kid, and enjoy the challenge of the Ludicrous Library. This puzzle was the perfect mix of interesting picture but without being so big it took up the dinner table for days. I especially loved finding all the little hidden eyes, the white cat and even a Lego brick.

ludicrous library puzzle

The quality of The Ludicrous Library is great, with all the pieces fitting snuggly to form a smooth picture. I think this would make a great little tree gift for all puzzle fans, and something a little different from the photographic puzzles that I would normally choose for Bingo Granny. .

There are other larger puzzles from Colin Thompson called Bizarre Babble and Higgledy Piggledy House. For more details on these or other puzzles from Ravensburger why not visit their website. 

The Ludicrous Library is a fun 500 piece puzzle from Ravensburger, recommended for ages 10+ and RRP £7.99.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Ludicrous Library by Colin Thompson

I really like this latest Ravensburger jigsaw that has recently landed my way, as I think it is particularly cool for young teenagers. It is called The Ludicrous Library and has 500 pieces, enough to keep boys and girls intensely occupied over a couple of days, or something that could take the whole of the holiday to complete if they are allowed table space so they can dip in and out of the activity.

The picture conjures lots of thoughts: old whimsical stories, dreamlike imaginings, mad professors, flamboyance, scholarly interests, master crafted construction, Harry Potter characters, and, yes there is definitely a flavour of the Hogwarts about it.

It is a quirky library scene with lots of angled stairways and various hidey holes housing hundreds of antiquarian, heavily bound books that are a little skew whiff in their positioning, and it doesn’t matter one bit that there appears to be no right way up to the books, the layout or to the puzzle itself – a great image for jigsaw construction.

The artwork is by one of my favourite artists whose work I have come to know well, Colin Thompson. Thompson has included little strange, ‘off the wall’ illustrations which he is really good at i.e. books with legs, monks with beaks, little cloaked figures all of which would appeal to the interests of a lot to young people. 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Enjoy the Glitz with the Strictly Come Dancing Puzzle

I love dancing and I’m a huge fan of  Strictly Come Dancing and have followed the programme since it started so when I was sent the new 500 piece strictly puzzle from Ravensburger I was so excited.

As usual being a Ravensburger puzzle it’s of the highest quality and the image is bright, colourful and fab-u-lous! The image shows all the beautifully dressed celebrities taking part in the 2014 series of Strictly Come Dancing and certainly captures all the fun of Strictly.

It didn’t take me long to piece together the puzzle and enjoy the glitz and glamour associated with this exciting series.

Its been a great series so far, filled with fun, surprises and lots of fake tan. With just 9 celebs remaining - who do you think will win the 2014 series?

As a tie in product to a TV show, this is a must have for any fan to satisfy their hunger for strictly.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Strictly Come Dancing puzzle

Here’s another fine puzzle from Ravensburger which I am sure many ladies out there will just love.

And guess what? It’s a huge 1000 piece one too.
Have I completed it yet? NO! of course I haven’t. I have only had it less than a week and a puzzle of this scale is bound to take me a fair few weeks with running around after 3 busy children.
However I have made a small start.
As with all fine puzzles from famous puzzle makers Ravensburger this also features the premium soft click technology making jigsaw completion much easier as the pieces easily click together.
This Puzzle when completed will show several of the best scenes from Strictly Come Dancing. It’s not in cartoon format either but actual photographic scenes, which I think makes it slightly more difficult.

There are 9 different scenes in total with 8 of them being in a photograph of their own plus the big main scene.
The finished puzzle measures 69.9 x 49.7cm when complete and is made from strong premium grade cardboard.
It is aimed at both adults and children ages 12 and over but I do think many 12 year olds would find a 1000 piece jigsaw difficult. I find it difficult! and I’m much older than 12
The biggest challenge with this one for me is the outside/edging bit as it’s all pretty much the same. A purple background with lights and flashes so it’s a case of trial and error working out what part goes where.
Hopefully I will complete it one day soon.
As for cost, well I spotted this over on Amazon for £11.99. I imagine it will be a popular one considering how many Strictly Come Dancing fans are out there.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Ringo Flamingo from Ravensburger


We received the fun Ringo Flamingo from Ravensburger for review, we love a good game and like to encourage the children to play together and develop social and interactive skills. You can get this game right now on Amazon for only £15.93 with free delivery, take a look at my video below.

I loved that the box is part of the game and also the storage solution for the game. I liked how simple the game was to set up and you are ready to play in minutes. If you have impatient children like me then you may also like the fact that there is no turn taking, everybody plays at once and flips there hoops.


Once everybody has flipped their hoops its time to find out the winner, for every hoop on a flamingo the player gains 1 point and if your hoop is on a crocodile you loose a point. The player with the most point gets rewarded with a shell token, there are 12 tokens so you can keep playing and the player with the most shells at the end wins! Each game literally takes minutes of flipping fun so it doesn’t take long to disperse the shell tokens.

PicMonkey Collage

The boys really enjoyed playing this game and I have to agree with them its really fun to play. Dayton needed a few attempts to get the angle of his bend correct to enable him to flip it, but he got it in the end. The boys happily played 2 full games of this collecting all 12 shells, winning 1 full round each. Its a great game for hand eye co ordination, interactive play and just general fun. I would definitely recommend it, at just over £15 its definitely a good price for a game that we will be playing time and again.

Review from Life with asd & me