Handcrafting the world's finest wooden jigsaw puzzles since 1974

The Chief Tormentor

The Deliciously Devilish Blog of Puzzling News From Staveland

Home Sweeeeeet Home!

That’s Cheryl Johnson, one of our new ‘shining star’ artist. She lives in Maine and drove 3 hours to deliver a new design and a ton of delicious treats. In her former life Cheryl was a cake decorator and she couldn’t resist doing some special treats for us…. yum-yum. And lots of our customers think her Gingerbread House design is yummy, also,based on how many have ordered it recently. THANK YOU Cheryl!!

2071214
2071212_22071213_2

Custom Crossword “Puzzle”

Check this out. Per customer request we digitally created a crossword puzzle filled with family names, trivia and photos. This was a Photoshop labor of love, as you can imagine … layers upon layers of complexity. The customer and family loved it!2071104

Stave PuzzleNuts Community

Introducing the Stave PuzzleNuts Community at www.stavepuzzlenuts.com

Puzzlenutspage

We have a good customer who is fluent in how to set up community web sites and she suggested that Stave Puzzles have one… a community web site…. and she offered to help us launch it, which we did this past Monday. As I type this we already have 72 members… in just 3 days… WOW! so it’s off to the races.

We are designing this Stave community on the fly so please be patient, particularly since we are starting this during our busiest time of year, the holiday season…. AND we still are in overdrive because of the tremendous response we’ve had from being featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood April 1st.

We plan to add all sorts of bells and whistles as we go along. In fact, if you have any ideas please let us know because this is what it’s all about… sharing ideas within this wild and crazy puzzle community.
Sign Up and come along for the ride!

Puzzles within a Puzzle

Many of our Traditional puzzles of 250 pieces or more will contain a rebus game. A wavy edged “box” with the Stave clown’s feet in the edge will contain puzzle pieces shaped like letters or objects forming a familiar word or expression.
Can YOU guess the correct solution to this rebus?Rebus1_2

Amazing Photo Montage

Can you keep a secret? This is a photo montage Stave created from customer photos of George and Lynn at their wedding 25 years ago. They were married August 14, 1982….. so in 2 weeks they will be given this puzzle as a surprise 25th wedding anniversary present. They are going to love it, don’t you think? (Yes, we have permission to show it now.)
25anniversarypuzzle_2

Meet Barb-A crafter who is over-the-top!

In 2001 we introduced Barb as an apprentice crafter and WOWóshe caught on fast! We soon realized her special talent for conjuring up mystical silhouette pieces and elaborate irregular edge treatments. You will see more and more window treatments in our Traditional puzzles. Remember the cat puzzle Bag Ladies shown earlier in this blog? Yep! Barb had her hand in this too! She also created the artwork for two Stave Treasure puzzles-Treasuretrove and Palace Pranks.

Barb
“I have always loved drawing and being creative. Living in the country and being close to nature is a constant source of inspiration and creative renewal for me.

Designing edges and window treatments for puzzles has been a challenging and enjoyable outlet for the artist in me. Edge design has become a way for me to create a “story” with silhouettes that will reflect the theme and imagery in a puzzle. It’s fun to see how silhouette pieces can develop a new life and perspective in an edge design.

The actual process of design sometimes seems like putting a puzzle together, piece by piece. I’m not sure what the end result will be…I will see how the shapes evolve and work at fitting them together. Some pieces fit, some don’t, but eventually it all comes together to form a design that I hope will challenge and surprise the puzzler as much as it had challenged and surprised me!”

Artists she really likes: James Christensen and Scott Gustafson

Here are a few examples of Barb’s work:

Michael_battlesedge_2

Puzzle_window_2

Stave Does Window Treatments and More…

What’s a ‘window treatment’, you ask? Look below at the upper part of this cat-themed puzzle. The boxes of negative spaces are the windows…. no puzzle pieces fit into these empty spaces, which totally confuse most puzzlers. They are looking for pieces which fit around the cat tails and can’t find them.

Take a look at the sculpt in the light brown paper bag. This also in negative space, the whisker pieces having been thrown away.  By the way, the title of this puzzle is "Bag Ladies". Also, ace digital artist Melody added the cat heads to the border…. nice touch, Mel!Bag_ladies_2

Stave Family photos

Below Lisa and daughter Shyann work on assembling a Time Share puzzle which was returned totally taken apart.  YouuuuWhooooo to all Time Share customers…..  before returning a Time Share puzzle please disassemble it in large chunks. DO NOT take it totally apart.  When we receive the puzzle we reassemble it to make sure all the pieces are there before sending it to the next Time Share customer. In this case the puzzle was totally disassembled, so Lisa and Shyann teamed up to put it back together, getting a taste of our own medicine in the process.

The second photo shows Jennifer Lennox about to open her 20th Anniversary present at the party we gave for her last week. Jennifer is our production boss and oversees our nine cutters  helping them get the puzzles crafted in a timely manner. As you might be able to gather from the photo Jenn is one of our  "Live Wires"…. never a dull moment around her… always lots of fun!LisashyannJenn20_2

Over the Edge

Here’s a sample of a Steve Stinger, a puzzle crafted with unexpected twists and turns.  The customer has to specify they want a Steve Stinger so we know they are willing to put up with some of our diabolical experiments.  The below scene shows an amusement park and we added all that blue water to create the water slides on the right side of the puzzle.  The left edge is filled with double-whammy pieces, much more than we usually do…. after all, the customer asked us to sock-it-to-them….  and we were delighted to do just that…heh, heh!!!Over_the_edge_2Edge3

Springtime (puzzle) in Vermont

Look closely at the yellow butterfly-shape below because it is actually cut into smaller pieces. We call this type of shape an enlarged silhouette.  What you see  is the upper right-hand corner of this puzzle with an elaborate irregular edge.  The shaped pieces have been pulled from the interior of this colorful puzzle.2705succgarden

Home Sweeeeeet Home!

That’s Cheryl Johnson, one of our new ‘shining star’ artist. She lives in Maine and drove 3 hours to deliver a new design and a ton of delicious treats. In her former life Cheryl was a cake decorator and she couldn’t resist doing some special treats for us…. yum-yum. And lots of our customers think her Gingerbread House design is yummy, also,based on how many have ordered it recently. THANK YOU Cheryl!!

2071214
2071212_22071213_2

Custom Crossword “Puzzle”

Check this out. Per customer request we digitally created a crossword puzzle filled with family names, trivia and photos. This was a Photoshop labor of love, as you can imagine … layers upon layers of complexity. The customer and family loved it!2071104

Stave PuzzleNuts Community

Introducing the Stave PuzzleNuts Community at www.stavepuzzlenuts.com

Puzzlenutspage

We have a good customer who is fluent in how to set up community web sites and she suggested that Stave Puzzles have one… a community web site…. and she offered to help us launch it, which we did this past Monday. As I type this we already have 72 members… in just 3 days… WOW! so it’s off to the races.

We are designing this Stave community on the fly so please be patient, particularly since we are starting this during our busiest time of year, the holiday season…. AND we still are in overdrive because of the tremendous response we’ve had from being featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood April 1st.

We plan to add all sorts of bells and whistles as we go along. In fact, if you have any ideas please let us know because this is what it’s all about… sharing ideas within this wild and crazy puzzle community.
Sign Up and come along for the ride!

Puzzles within a Puzzle

Many of our Traditional puzzles of 250 pieces or more will contain a rebus game. A wavy edged “box” with the Stave clown’s feet in the edge will contain puzzle pieces shaped like letters or objects forming a familiar word or expression.
Can YOU guess the correct solution to this rebus?Rebus1_2

Amazing Photo Montage

Can you keep a secret? This is a photo montage Stave created from customer photos of George and Lynn at their wedding 25 years ago. They were married August 14, 1982….. so in 2 weeks they will be given this puzzle as a surprise 25th wedding anniversary present. They are going to love it, don’t you think? (Yes, we have permission to show it now.)
25anniversarypuzzle_2

Meet Barb-A crafter who is over-the-top!

In 2001 we introduced Barb as an apprentice crafter and WOWóshe caught on fast! We soon realized her special talent for conjuring up mystical silhouette pieces and elaborate irregular edge treatments. You will see more and more window treatments in our Traditional puzzles. Remember the cat puzzle Bag Ladies shown earlier in this blog? Yep! Barb had her hand in this too! She also created the artwork for two Stave Treasure puzzles-Treasuretrove and Palace Pranks.

Barb
“I have always loved drawing and being creative. Living in the country and being close to nature is a constant source of inspiration and creative renewal for me.

Designing edges and window treatments for puzzles has been a challenging and enjoyable outlet for the artist in me. Edge design has become a way for me to create a “story” with silhouettes that will reflect the theme and imagery in a puzzle. It’s fun to see how silhouette pieces can develop a new life and perspective in an edge design.

The actual process of design sometimes seems like putting a puzzle together, piece by piece. I’m not sure what the end result will be…I will see how the shapes evolve and work at fitting them together. Some pieces fit, some don’t, but eventually it all comes together to form a design that I hope will challenge and surprise the puzzler as much as it had challenged and surprised me!”

Artists she really likes: James Christensen and Scott Gustafson

Here are a few examples of Barb’s work:

Michael_battlesedge_2

Puzzle_window_2

Stave Does Window Treatments and More…

What’s a ‘window treatment’, you ask? Look below at the upper part of this cat-themed puzzle. The boxes of negative spaces are the windows…. no puzzle pieces fit into these empty spaces, which totally confuse most puzzlers. They are looking for pieces which fit around the cat tails and can’t find them.

Take a look at the sculpt in the light brown paper bag. This also in negative space, the whisker pieces having been thrown away.  By the way, the title of this puzzle is "Bag Ladies". Also, ace digital artist Melody added the cat heads to the border…. nice touch, Mel!Bag_ladies_2

Stave Family photos

Below Lisa and daughter Shyann work on assembling a Time Share puzzle which was returned totally taken apart.  YouuuuWhooooo to all Time Share customers…..  before returning a Time Share puzzle please disassemble it in large chunks. DO NOT take it totally apart.  When we receive the puzzle we reassemble it to make sure all the pieces are there before sending it to the next Time Share customer. In this case the puzzle was totally disassembled, so Lisa and Shyann teamed up to put it back together, getting a taste of our own medicine in the process.

The second photo shows Jennifer Lennox about to open her 20th Anniversary present at the party we gave for her last week. Jennifer is our production boss and oversees our nine cutters  helping them get the puzzles crafted in a timely manner. As you might be able to gather from the photo Jenn is one of our  "Live Wires"…. never a dull moment around her… always lots of fun!LisashyannJenn20_2

Over the Edge

Here’s a sample of a Steve Stinger, a puzzle crafted with unexpected twists and turns.  The customer has to specify they want a Steve Stinger so we know they are willing to put up with some of our diabolical experiments.  The below scene shows an amusement park and we added all that blue water to create the water slides on the right side of the puzzle.  The left edge is filled with double-whammy pieces, much more than we usually do…. after all, the customer asked us to sock-it-to-them….  and we were delighted to do just that…heh, heh!!!Over_the_edge_2Edge3

Springtime (puzzle) in Vermont

Look closely at the yellow butterfly-shape below because it is actually cut into smaller pieces. We call this type of shape an enlarged silhouette.  What you see  is the upper right-hand corner of this puzzle with an elaborate irregular edge.  The shaped pieces have been pulled from the interior of this colorful puzzle.2705succgarden