Friday, May 17, 2013

How to overanalyze a puzzle

Yesterday evening, if you were happening to eavesdrop on our conversation, you would've heard this:

Mickey: I need half a kid.

Trevor: If I see it floating around my sky I'll let you know.

Mickey: How about a dog's butt?

Trevor: White or brown?

Mickey: Never mind! Where's the woman selling popcorn?

Trevor: Again, she's not on my sky.

Mickey: I need balloons and a guy queing for cotton candy.

Trevor: What is the hot dog doing on the floor?

Before you call us weird and random you should know that we were working on a brand new puzzle. Well, brand new to us since we bought it from the library sale for 1$ (take that, Amazon, with your 34$ puzzles).

puzzle art persis clayton weirs summer fair - frame a puzzle

While I was volunteering for the library this week I managed to find two beautiful puzzles that were donated for their next book sale. Since I just happened to have money in my pocket (you know, not that I was planning to buy more puzzles or anything) I paid and took them home with me. You see, in Europe we would call them second hand but Americans are so good at marketing that everything that is resold is called pre-loved. Gotta love a good euphemism.

The first puzzle that we did was a summer fair scene from small town America, painted by New England wildlife artist Persis Clayton Weirs. You have your charming merry-go-round, the Ferris wheel, cotton candy and lemonade stands and even a band playing in the background. A tea room, a bookstore and the town hall complete the picture. 

puzzle art persis clayton weirs summer fair - frame a puzzle

As we were putting the pieces together we started making up stories about the tiny people populating the town.

puzzle art persis clayton weirs summer fair - frame a puzzle

Take, for example, the couple standing on the brick bridge, next to the lemonade stand. Blondie's name is Julia and she went to school for Architecture but now she's working as a productivity expert. Her husband plays the mandolin in a heavy metal band. His name is James but friends call him Yogi. He secretly envies Morgan Freeman (for reasons undisclosed). 

Obviously we had to limit ourselves to a few character descriptions, otherwise we wouldn't have finished the puzzle. When we were done we noticed that the previous owners pre-loved it so much that they kept/lost a piece of the sky. 

But look, hayrides and fireworks! That seems very very safe.

puzzle art persis clayton weirs summer fair - frame a puzzle

The 3$ puzzle is a Christmas vignette from a general store (from a print by Lee Stroncek). There is a woman inspecting fabric while a child is waiting patiently on a crate and another child is looking at an awesome sled hanging from the ceiling. You know it's an old store because a) it's spelled olde, b) the apples cost 5 cents a pound and c) nobody is questioning the liability of the store owner hanging ice skates and various heavy merchandise from the ceiling (in other words, no bump in insurance payments allows him to sell the 5c apples). 

frame puzzle art general store

 We haven't started on this one yet, but when we're done with both of them we're planning to frame them and hang them on the wall. We're suckers for puzzle art, we even have a tutorial for how to frame puzzles here.


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog, I've also always been wary of rhubarb but the cake definitely won me over! Framing the puzzles is such a great idea, it always seems a shame to break it up after all that work!

  2. Yeah, there's just something special about knowing that you "made" that art yourself.


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