Handcrafting the world's finest wooden jigsaw puzzles since 1974

The Chief Tormentor

The Deliciously Devilish Blog of Puzzling News From Staveland

Fun and Games Stave Style!


Me And My Shadow
A couple of years ago, we started hiding a shadow of the Stave clown in your Traditional puzzle images. What’s a clown shadow, you ask? It’s a mini picture of our clown logo hidden in the scene of your Traditional puzzle image. As the term shadow suggests, it’s not a dark shade, but a lighter, harder to find color. How do you know if you have a hidden shadow clown in your puzzle? Look inside the lid of the box! If we’ve hidden a shadow clown in your puzzle there will be a label in there with a short description and example of what you’re looking for.

Have You Spotted Him?
We’ve gotten some great feedback about the shadow clown game and it seems most find it pretty challenging and lots of fun. There have been a few puzzlers who need some help (a lot of help!) and a few who find him right away, but for the most part, it’s a rewarding search mission.

What’d You Do That For?
Are you wondering why we go to the trouble of hiding that little guy in your puzzle? Because we love to puzzle you!

Every Traditional Stave puzzle is loaded with puzzlement, beyond the actual working of the puzzle pieces themselves. We want you to have something to look forward to even after you’ve fit all the pieces together. How do we do that? We craft things like Interacting and Enlarged silhouettes into the puzzle.

 

For those of you who may be into the Teaser and Trick puzzles, Interacting silhouettes are two or more silhouettes that touch each other. It could be a man pushing a wheelbarrow or a bunny nibbling on a carrot. An Enlarged Silhouette is like having a mini puzzle within your puzzle. It’s a silhouette that’s been enlarged and cut into three or more pieces. Oftentimes you won’t discover an Enlarged silhouette until your puzzle is completed. The pieces look just like regular puzzle pieces when they’re on the puzzle table but as you work your puzzle the Enlarged Silhouette will begin to appear.

Some Traditional puzzles will have a Rebus game, too. A rebus is tough to pull off in the smaller puzzles but a Traditional puzzle with 250 pieces or more will usually contain a rebus.

A rebus is a word game where a word or saying is made by using shapes. A rebus is always contained in a wavy lined box with the silhouette of the Clown’s feet touching the box. The silhouette shapes within that box are what are used to create your rebus. If you have the shapes above within your rebus box, what does it say?

Nice job! I’ve shown several rebuses below. The first one to email me with the correct answers will win a prize!

Keep The Puzzlement Coming!

Here are some of the fun Rebuses that were cut into some puzzles just this week. The first person to email me with the correct answers to these rebuses will win a prize! Email your guesses to me at jennifer@stave.com



© Stave Puzzles, Inc., Norwich, Vermont. Stave Puzzles, Inc. owns the copyrights in the puzzle designs, Silhouette designs, and Custom Edge designs of the puzzles appearing on this website. Trick, Monkey Fist, Crazy Claw, Teaser, Twister, Tumbler, TroubleMaker, the Clown and Stave are trademarks of Stave Puzzles, Inc.



 

Nowhere Else

Behind The Scenes
At Stave I am continuously amazed at the loyalty of our puzzlers. Not only do they show their love of puzzling and the handcrafted art by puzzling with Stave, they don’t hesitate to tell us, either.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my favorite companies but do I send them pictures and emails telling them how much I love them? No! Luckily for us, that’s just what our puzzlers do.

Fan Mail
Many of you have probably spoken to Tammy when you’ve called Stave to order a puzzle. If you have, you know she’s always upbeat and fun. She’s so good at her job and loves what she does so it’s no wonder she has quite a fan base.

Here’s a snippet of an email Tammy received from one of her favorite puzzlers, Karen. She and her sister have been Stave puzzlers since 2005 and often attend our puzzle parties at Blackberry Farm. They were also guests at our 35th Anniversary party last year. “Tammy, You are seriously on top of things! Didn’t expect to hear from you for several days/week. I’m very impressed.” Blah blah blah regarding prize points. “BTW, (By the way, for those of you who don’t know the lingo) You and Dennis (Tammy’s husband) SHOULD consider a trip beyond New England.” She then goes on to suggest several times frames for Tammy to come visit. She also said a visit from Tammy would be enough to get her sister to travel from Singapore for the occasion. Is that the coolest or what?! Have you ever invited your order taker from L.L. Bean to come visit? Only at Stave!

Another Loyal Follower

We just received this email from a puzzler this morning.
“I just want to tell you I think this company is awesome. I read an article in Games Magazine many years ago about Stave Puzzles. I don’t honestly remember if it was about Steve, but I do remember the article and I thought, “Wow! This is what I want to do with the rest of my life!” That article made me feel like life was full of possibilities. I still have it somewhere. Then a few years ago, I was getting ready for church and saw there was going to be a clip on a person that creates jigsaw puzzles on CBS Sunday Morning. I knew right away it was going to be about Stave Puzzles and decided I wasn’t going to make it to church that morning. I got that same happy, optimistic glow again while watching it. I never got anywhere with my dream of making puzzles, but I’m not dead yet. I’m really happy to know people are out there creating these things for us to enjoy and enjoying themselves in the process.
—J.S.
P.S. This is my first ever fan letter. I just wanted to share that those articles have always stuck with me.”

Let me just say, this made our day! — Jennifer

we LOVE to hear from you!

Give Tammy something to talk about!

 

 

Let me know what you want to read about. Do you have questions, ideas, suggestions? Email me jennifer@stave.com

Don’t forget to check out Steve’s whacky photo contest. You might win a $25 gift certificate. Go to www.stavepuzzlenuts.com to place your guess. You could be our next winner.

 


You Made Your Bed

The Search

Finding a puzzle cutter is never easy. Just think of it. How many people have you met who know how to cut a wooden jigsaw puzzle? It’s like searching for hen’s teeth! What do we look for when we’re searching for someone to join our crew? Someone who is crafty and clever, eager to learn with the highest standards for themselves and their work. They’ve got to have good hand/eye coordination and manual dexterity but most of all, they have to love working with their hands.

A Real Find

In addition to finding fabulous puzzle cutters we also work with local (or not so local!) artists to create Stave’s Teaser and Trick puzzle designs. And like finding a puzzle cutter, it’s tough to find an artist who can design a puzzle. It’s very different from painting a landscape. You’ve got to figure out how thick or thin you can make a piece. You need to learn how to get all those Teaser pieces to grip each other but not fit solidly like a Traditional puzzle would. After all, that would make it easy, now wouldn’t it?! Needless to say, it’s a long training process.

So when we find a great puzzle cutter who can design puzzles, too, it’s like hitting the jackpot! Dianna and Wanita are puzzle cutters who have created several Stave designs, and now we have Samara. Samara has been cutting puzzles for almost two years now and she surprised us last year with a great idea for a new Teaser puzzle. She’s been working on several Teaser designs I think you’re going to love but here’s a peek at her first completed design, a puzzle based on the story of The Princess and the Pea. We’re calling it Your High-ness and it’s a hoot! Trying to fit those brightly colored pillows and blankets into the bed frame are going to keep you from getting any shut eye, for sure.

We’ve Got Designs For You

In addition to Your High-ness, Samara has several more designs in the works. Since I’m feeling generous today I’m going to give you a little inside information so you’ll know what to be on the look- out for. The design I can’t wait to see is a Teaser puzzle based on the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. It’s a little different than our other Teasers, with a clever edge design I think you’ll love.

Samara has a couple other designs in the works that just went through the Testing phase of the design process. They received great reviews so we’ll be working to get those out to you soon. Keep your eye out for another fairy tale themed puzzle and another puzzle that will appeal to your own artistic side.

 

Stave’s Clever Creations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve been busy here at the Stave Puzzle workshop, crafting beautiful puzzles to delight and challenge you. Take a look at what your fellow puzzlers have been working on. Maybe you’ll see your puzzle shown here!

I’m still waiting to hear your stories about how you got started puzzling. And don’t forget to share where and how you puzzle. In your kitchen or the
dining room? Do you sort by color and edge pieces? Email me jennifer@stave.com

Don’t forget to check out Steve’s whacky photo contest. You might win a $25 gift certificate! Go to www.stavepuzzlenuts.com to place your guess. You could be our next winner.

 


Friends One and All

A Reunion

We just wrapped up another successful, funfilled, spirited weekend at Blackberry Farm. We look forward to this every year and it never disappoints. I’ll try my best to give you a feel for what it’s like but I know I can’t do it justice. Soon after we organized the tables and unpacked the puzzles, Michael arrived to stake his claim. He’s got a favorite puzzling spot and wasn’t taking any chances someone else might grab it. We also made sure to have Victor’s big, comfy chair ready. He doesn’t puzzle but likes to keep his wife company, in addition to providing much entertainment for the rest of us. What a character!

When everyone arrived and got settled in, it was like a family reunion. We have 3 couples who have attended all 6 Blackberry Farm events and many others who’ve come multiple times. In addition to the 3 couples, this year included 3 mother-daughter kinships, 1 father-daughter, 2 sisters, 2 friends, and an engaged couple. Our group spans 7 decades! It makes us so proud that Stave can bring about this kind of connection. It really demonstrates the intrinsic value of puzzling together.

6 Degrees of Separation

While we love our old friends, we always encourage new guests, so it was with open arms that we welcomed a young couple from NYC. When they arrived at the Guest House and asked, “Who’s in charge?” Several unruly puzzlers in our group quickly claimed the title. Thankfully, Carol stepped up and greeted them but not before they had gotten a quick view of what they were in for. True camaraderie.

We ’ve alway s felt puzzlers are a tight knit group and here’s the proof in the pudding. Over the course of the weekend it was discovered that Rob & Debra, from NY, have a daughter who attends Duke. Guess who her roommate is? First time attendee, puzzler Carol’s, daughter, from Boston! What are the odds of that?!

But wait. It gets better. Remember our new puzzlers from NYC? We discovered that Matt went to Dartmouth and graduated with Carol’s (Stave’s Carol) daughter, Inga. He’s even been to Carol’s VT house. And, he’s friends with a young man I used to babysit.

They were meant to be part of our group, for sure.

Jennifer, already missing my buddies.

 

What Was He Thinking?

Have you been catching Steve’s crazy mystery photo contest? If you have, then you’re getting a very clear picture of just what a kook he really is! Steve has been taking intriguing photos of various things and posting them on his blog and our PuzzleNuts website, stavepuzzlenuts.com. If you’re the first person to correctly guess what is shown, you win a $25 gift certificate. If no one guesses correctly, the prize gets rolled over to the next week. Here are a few shots from previous weeks.

This is a shot that Steve posted… What is going on here?

Take a close look and you’ll see wing tip impressions in the snow. Steve and Martha think a hawk swooped down and grabbed whatever was running through the snow. They have a Coopers Hawk that uses their backyard bird feeders as its fast food outlet.

Here’s another shot. What is it???

We had some great guesses for this: a soda-bottle rocket toy sitting on its “launch pad” (i.e. the top of a two liter bottle), One of those pull-down cork screws to open wine bottles on Valentine’s Day, The knob to an air tank to fill balloons.

But E.M guessed correctly: It’s a party noise-maker/clacker!

This is the latest photo.

Go to the Tormented Tuesday page for more information and details on how to place your guess.
You could be the next winner of a $25 gift certificate.

 

Where do you do it?

puzzlerom

Set The Scene

I’m always interested in hearing where and how people puzzle. My husband, Rick, has created a nice little spot in our home that we refer to as the Library/Puzzle room. Rick spent some time working at a used book store in his earlier years so he has quite a collection of books. He’s also a Puzzle Nut…Tavern puzzles, Manipulative puzzles, and jigsaw puzzles, old and new. If you’re looking for something to occupy your mind, this is the room to be in. Needless to say, we usually have a puzzle going on the table. More often than not, it’s a Stave, but sometimes Rick brings out one of his old Tuco Puzzles. (I don’t work those. The push-fit style of puzzling drives me crazy!) And as I’ve mentioned before, it’s a prerequisite that any family gathering at my house must include puzzling.

Who Got You Hooked?

My mom and dad often had a cardboard (gasp!) puzzle going on a table, so I feel it has always been a part of my life. What about you? Do you have a grandmother who brought out a puzzle when the family came to visit? Was it your spouse who introduced you to puzzling or is it something you have always been drawn to?

What’s In It For Me

One of the things I enjoy most about working a puzzle is the fact that you can see your progress as you go along. I’ve heard some people say they like making order out of chaos. Others like the fact that it can bring the family together, several generations working side by side. What is it you get out of puzzling?

Share Your Stories

So tell me about your puzzling life. Do you puzzle on a cookie sheet or do you use a special tray or table? Do you have a designated space in your home or do you puzzle wherever you happen to be? How about favorite puzzling times? Early mornings when no one is up or late at night with a glass of wine? Puzzlers are such a unique group of people and I know everyone would love to hear from folks who are just as puzzling as they are.

Set the scene and I’ll share your pictures and stories with everyone. Email me. jennifer@stave.com

butterflies

cycleoflife

Hit Me Again!

There’s never a dull moment here at Stave, I promise. Upon returning from lunch last Friday, I was immediately hit with several things that needed to be done ‘right now!’ So, I’m plugging away at the most pressing item when Bri comes to me and says there’s someone in the lobby who would like to see me. I stroll out and see a nice couple whom I do not know. “Are you Jennifer?” the gentleman asks. “I just bumped into your car in the parking lot.” To me it was just one of those things that happens in life. No one was hurt, the car was drivable, a bummer but not the end of the world. The gentleman joked that he should send me a bottle of champagne because I was being so nice. Champagne? I LOVE Champagne. I’m a firm believer that life is too short not to enjoy a glass or two on a Regular Basis. Well lo and behold, guess what arrived at Stave this morning? Not one bottle but SIX bottles of yummy, yummy bubbly!! We immediately decided we needed a celebration so Bri ran home for her chocolate fountain while someone else went for snacks. As you can see from these photos, this is a GREAT day. I hope this couple comes back for another visit because I’ll park in the same spot. Thanks, Mr. D. You’re the Greatest!

A little something sweet to go with the bubbly.

A little something sweet to go with the bubbly.

Did I say I LOVE Champagne???

Did I say I LOVE Champagne???

Bri, Jesse, Paula, Me and Susan holding the goods!

Bri, Jesse, Paula, Me and Susan holding the goods!

Let Us Entertain You!

stave party

Plenty of Opportunity

I know many of you were disappointed you couldn’t make it to our 35th Anniversary Celebration in July. Maybe you had a wedding to attend that weekend or the in-laws were coming for a visit. I’m here to make your day. There are three more opportunities coming up to join us for some puzzling fun!!! One of these dates is bound to work for you.

Twin Farms
November 12-14, 2010

If you’ve been itching to meet the Chief Tormentor, this is your chance. Twin Farms is a unique country estate get-away on over three hundred acres in Barnard, Vermont, just 35 minutes from Stave. We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with Twin Farms for many years and you’ll always find loads of Stave Puzzles to enjoy during your stay there. But on November 12th to the 14th, Steve and Paula will be puzzling guests. You may even see a few other faces from Stave during the weekend so don’t miss it. We promise you’ll have a great time. (Shh, word has it you may even get a tour of the Stave workshop!!)

The Point
January 29-31, 2011

Many of you probably remember Carol. She’s been with Stave for almost as long as Steve. Carol’s been retired for a few years now but every now and again we’re able to bring her back to the real world. One of those times will be in January when we puzzle guests at The Point. The Point Resort is a unique, private Adirondack estate amid Adi rondack Mountai n wilderness. Carol and her husband Hank have been hosting this gig for many years and look forward to it each and every year. Carol has almost as many stories as Steve and she loves to share them so call The Point today and tell them you want to puzzle with Stave in January.

Blackberry Farm
February 18-20, 2011

Located in Walland, TN., Blackberry Farm is situated on a pastoral 4,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains. This is my favorite puzzling event because Carol and I host it with our husbands. We have a great following that’s developed over the years, with many guests returning year after year. There’s nothing like spending time doing something you love with other who love to do it, too. Puzzlers are a great group of people.

What Do We Do At A Puzzle Party?

party balloonEach party is a little different but you can be sure there will always be lots of puzzling time. In addition to quiet* puzzling time, we play several games using specially cut puzzles. Here are a few you might play at a party you attend.

Ready-Set-Go!

This games uses a puzzle that’s around 7” x 7,” cut into 25 largish pieces. We have several sets of puzzles of the same image, each one cut into 25 pieces. You race against the other contestants to see who can complete their puzzle the fastest.

One Up, One Down

This game is played in teams of two. Each team has a 25 piece puzzle. It starts with one person seated in front of the puzzle while their partner is standing behind them. At the word Go!, the person seated searches to fit two pieces together. When they’ve fit two pieces together they stand up and switch places with their partner. You can only fit a piece if you are seated in the chair. First team to complete their puzzle wins! I love to listen to the person standing behind their partner. Talk about back seat drivers!!!

party star2Relay Race

This game is a hoot to watch. Picture this… several tables at the end of the room with unassembled puzzles, one for each team. The teams, usually 4 puzzler per team, line up behind a taped line that’s around 6 feet from the puzzle table. The first player of each team races up to their puzzle at the word Go! and searches to find a match. When they have fit two pieces together (and only two!) they race back and tag the next person in line. Reaching across the line is legal and boy, you’ll be amazed how far some people can stretch their arms!

Demolition Derby

This is another game that’s hysterical to watch. Here’s the scene: We set up the group in teams, usually 3 or 4 people per team. We use puzzles with identical images for this game and we take the same four pieces from each team’s puzzle and place them on a table in the center of the room, mixing them up. The remaining pieces from each puzzle are disassembled and placed in front of the players. At the word Go! the team races to put their puzzle together, all the while knowing they’re missing 4 pieces. Once their puzzle is complete they can race up to the table with the assorted pieces, select one piece and only one piece, race back to their puzzle and try for a match. It gets pretty crazy as each team completes their partial puzzle and starts racing up to the table. Invariably, someone else will have the piece you are searching for so it’s a real lesson in patience. We haven’t had any broken bones yet, only tons of laughs!

party star*Don’t expect quiet if Bryan, Jomary and Michael are puzzling. They’re our regular troublemakers at Blackberry;)

Pick your party and join us!

Jennifer

Welcome To Our Humble Abode

stave viewGood Things Come in Small Packages
Earlier in the week I was lucky enough to be able to visit with guests who stopped in for a tour of the shop. We don’t have many opportunities to see our puzzlers so it’s fun to see them when they stop in. Mr. & Mrs. I. from Bethesda, MD., have been Stave puzzlers for nine years and often wondered what our shop is like. Boy, were they surprised! This is it? This is where it all happens?! Folks are always surprised that all that magic happens right here in our little workshop!

stave sign

When you see this sign, you’ll know you’ve made it to the right place!

Come On In!
It occurred to me others may have the same misconception. What better time to give you a peek into our world? We’re going to give you your very own tour of Stave Puzzles. When you’re sitting down working your next puzzle you’ll know right where it came from and how it came to be. But remember, this in NO WAY excuses you from making a pilgrimage to Stave. Make your travel plans today! And when†you do come by, ask for Tammy. She gives the best tour in town!

Yíall come back now, ya hear! Jennifer

tour

We’ve Got Designs on You

Fresh as a Daisy
Thereís nothing like some time†off to rejuvenate the brain. I†thoroughly enjoyed my ëstaycationí†and spent a restful, sunny week†enjoying the beauty of Vermont†and New Hampshire. What an†incredible place to live!

Now Iím ready for anything! The days are getting shorter, the nights are cooler and weíll be gearing up for our holiday season
soon. Bring it on! Weíve got some†new stuff in the works and weíre†looking forward to puzzling you†and your families.

On the Horizon
So what do you have to look†forward to in the coming months?†You know you can count on†fabulous Traditional puzzle images†to choose from. Susanís been†checking out†hundreds of†potential images†and found some†great new stuff.†Peter Sampleís†Derby Day is fun†and perfect for†puzzling. It has†great colors and†thereís so much†going on youíre not going to know†what piece goes where! You can be†sure there are going to be plenty of†holiday images to choose from in†the coming months.

vt-designCheryl Johnson has begun†working on a new set of Teaser†puzzles featuring each of the states†in our beautiful country. Weíre†starting with the East coast, and†have Vermont almost ready to go.†Cheryl has begun working on the†prototype for Maine while sheís†waiting for me to get the Vermont†design cut and tested. Keep your†eye out for these fifty nifty puzzles.

Paula pitched a really neat†Trick puzzle idea to Steve just last†week. I could hear the excitement†in his voice and saw that glimmer†in his eye when we began talking†about it. Iím not going to give you†any hints just yet but I think youíre†going to love it and be in for a real†treat!

Home Decorating

When you spend a lot of time in one place it begins to feel like home. If†you were to peek in the window of our cutting room to get a glimpse of†the magic that happens in the shop, youíll see posters, photos, funky chair†covers and the pink flamingos on Diannaís saw. PINK FLAMINGOS??

You know there has to be a story here, right? Many years ago, Di arrived†home to find her lawn littered with a whole flock of the bright birds. You†might think sheís fond of the critter†but sheís not! Sheís not quite sure†who did the dirty deed but many†others have continued to torture†her over the years. As you can see,†she has been gifted with many by†her friends at Stave. Itís always fun†to see her reaction when a new bird†has joined the flock!

It didnít take Samara long to make herself at home. She enjoys her James†Christensen calendar, a few notes to herself and a big green pickle.
A PICKLE???? Who hangs a pickle on their wall? Samaraís sister gave her†the funny card for her birthday and it now graces her wall. Check out the†cute card with all the things that go together: butter and bread, salt and†pepper, etc. Her friend, our very own Meg, drew it for her.

Would you smile every time you looked up†from your work and looked into these big olí†eyes? This cute little duck sits atop Ginnyís†saw, keeping her company while sheís working†on those Trick puzzles you like so much. The†froggie watches over Lori.

Meg was the reason we grew†from 9 saws to 10. We tucked†her in the corner, at the end of†the line next to Ginny, and she†likes her spot. Meg has taken†the time to hang some things†on the walls to make her space†her own!

decor

Lend a Helping Hand

caps

Food†for†Thought

Great minds think alike. Isnít†that how the saying goes? Letís test†that theory, shall we?

Weíre always striving to come†up with something new here at†Stave. Earlier this summer I was†working with Steve and Molly on†the design for the 35th anniversary†commemorative puzzle. We were†figuring out the list of the 35†elements to include in the puzzle:†whammies, color-line cutting,†phony corner, TroubleMaker,†Trick…you get the idea. It was then†and there I decided to retire before†we hit our 60th anniversary. Thatís†a lot of stuff to get into a puzzle!!

Occasionally we have a contest†on the PuzzleNuts site where we†show you a new puzzle design and†ask for title suggestions. You always†have such great ideas. We even took†it one step further when Stave†artist, Molly Delaney, drew some†cute little donkeys that we couldnít†figure out what to do with. Instead†of racking my brain, we threw it†out to our puzzlers and your†suggestions were awesome! Due to†your ingenuity, Donkey Tonk will†be coming your way, soon!

This tired mind needs your†help, again. Now I want you to do†it all. Iím going to sit back and let†you do the work! (What took me so†long to think of this?!) You can†design your very own Stave puzzle!

Give me the theme

Give me the look

Give me the title

If you can come up with the†fixings for a new Stave Teaser†puzzle, weíll do it!†Now that youíre doing my job,†Iím going on vacation!

Jennifer- Many hands make light work! Lighten my load!!

P.S. See details on the below

puzzle sugg

REMEMBER! Email ME at Jennifer@stave.com with your puzzle suggestions.

Fun and Games Stave Style!


Me And My Shadow
A couple of years ago, we started hiding a shadow of the Stave clown in your Traditional puzzle images. What’s a clown shadow, you ask? It’s a mini picture of our clown logo hidden in the scene of your Traditional puzzle image. As the term shadow suggests, it’s not a dark shade, but a lighter, harder to find color. How do you know if you have a hidden shadow clown in your puzzle? Look inside the lid of the box! If we’ve hidden a shadow clown in your puzzle there will be a label in there with a short description and example of what you’re looking for.

Have You Spotted Him?
We’ve gotten some great feedback about the shadow clown game and it seems most find it pretty challenging and lots of fun. There have been a few puzzlers who need some help (a lot of help!) and a few who find him right away, but for the most part, it’s a rewarding search mission.

What’d You Do That For?
Are you wondering why we go to the trouble of hiding that little guy in your puzzle? Because we love to puzzle you!

Every Traditional Stave puzzle is loaded with puzzlement, beyond the actual working of the puzzle pieces themselves. We want you to have something to look forward to even after you’ve fit all the pieces together. How do we do that? We craft things like Interacting and Enlarged silhouettes into the puzzle.

 

For those of you who may be into the Teaser and Trick puzzles, Interacting silhouettes are two or more silhouettes that touch each other. It could be a man pushing a wheelbarrow or a bunny nibbling on a carrot. An Enlarged Silhouette is like having a mini puzzle within your puzzle. It’s a silhouette that’s been enlarged and cut into three or more pieces. Oftentimes you won’t discover an Enlarged silhouette until your puzzle is completed. The pieces look just like regular puzzle pieces when they’re on the puzzle table but as you work your puzzle the Enlarged Silhouette will begin to appear.

Some Traditional puzzles will have a Rebus game, too. A rebus is tough to pull off in the smaller puzzles but a Traditional puzzle with 250 pieces or more will usually contain a rebus.

A rebus is a word game where a word or saying is made by using shapes. A rebus is always contained in a wavy lined box with the silhouette of the Clown’s feet touching the box. The silhouette shapes within that box are what are used to create your rebus. If you have the shapes above within your rebus box, what does it say?

Nice job! I’ve shown several rebuses below. The first one to email me with the correct answers will win a prize!

Keep The Puzzlement Coming!

Here are some of the fun Rebuses that were cut into some puzzles just this week. The first person to email me with the correct answers to these rebuses will win a prize! Email your guesses to me at jennifer@stave.com



© Stave Puzzles, Inc., Norwich, Vermont. Stave Puzzles, Inc. owns the copyrights in the puzzle designs, Silhouette designs, and Custom Edge designs of the puzzles appearing on this website. Trick, Monkey Fist, Crazy Claw, Teaser, Twister, Tumbler, TroubleMaker, the Clown and Stave are trademarks of Stave Puzzles, Inc.



 

Nowhere Else

Behind The Scenes
At Stave I am continuously amazed at the loyalty of our puzzlers. Not only do they show their love of puzzling and the handcrafted art by puzzling with Stave, they don’t hesitate to tell us, either.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my favorite companies but do I send them pictures and emails telling them how much I love them? No! Luckily for us, that’s just what our puzzlers do.

Fan Mail
Many of you have probably spoken to Tammy when you’ve called Stave to order a puzzle. If you have, you know she’s always upbeat and fun. She’s so good at her job and loves what she does so it’s no wonder she has quite a fan base.

Here’s a snippet of an email Tammy received from one of her favorite puzzlers, Karen. She and her sister have been Stave puzzlers since 2005 and often attend our puzzle parties at Blackberry Farm. They were also guests at our 35th Anniversary party last year. “Tammy, You are seriously on top of things! Didn’t expect to hear from you for several days/week. I’m very impressed.” Blah blah blah regarding prize points. “BTW, (By the way, for those of you who don’t know the lingo) You and Dennis (Tammy’s husband) SHOULD consider a trip beyond New England.” She then goes on to suggest several times frames for Tammy to come visit. She also said a visit from Tammy would be enough to get her sister to travel from Singapore for the occasion. Is that the coolest or what?! Have you ever invited your order taker from L.L. Bean to come visit? Only at Stave!

Another Loyal Follower

We just received this email from a puzzler this morning.
“I just want to tell you I think this company is awesome. I read an article in Games Magazine many years ago about Stave Puzzles. I don’t honestly remember if it was about Steve, but I do remember the article and I thought, “Wow! This is what I want to do with the rest of my life!” That article made me feel like life was full of possibilities. I still have it somewhere. Then a few years ago, I was getting ready for church and saw there was going to be a clip on a person that creates jigsaw puzzles on CBS Sunday Morning. I knew right away it was going to be about Stave Puzzles and decided I wasn’t going to make it to church that morning. I got that same happy, optimistic glow again while watching it. I never got anywhere with my dream of making puzzles, but I’m not dead yet. I’m really happy to know people are out there creating these things for us to enjoy and enjoying themselves in the process.
—J.S.
P.S. This is my first ever fan letter. I just wanted to share that those articles have always stuck with me.”

Let me just say, this made our day! — Jennifer

we LOVE to hear from you!

Give Tammy something to talk about!

 

 

Let me know what you want to read about. Do you have questions, ideas, suggestions? Email me jennifer@stave.com

Don’t forget to check out Steve’s whacky photo contest. You might win a $25 gift certificate. Go to www.stavepuzzlenuts.com to place your guess. You could be our next winner.

 


You Made Your Bed

The Search

Finding a puzzle cutter is never easy. Just think of it. How many people have you met who know how to cut a wooden jigsaw puzzle? It’s like searching for hen’s teeth! What do we look for when we’re searching for someone to join our crew? Someone who is crafty and clever, eager to learn with the highest standards for themselves and their work. They’ve got to have good hand/eye coordination and manual dexterity but most of all, they have to love working with their hands.

A Real Find

In addition to finding fabulous puzzle cutters we also work with local (or not so local!) artists to create Stave’s Teaser and Trick puzzle designs. And like finding a puzzle cutter, it’s tough to find an artist who can design a puzzle. It’s very different from painting a landscape. You’ve got to figure out how thick or thin you can make a piece. You need to learn how to get all those Teaser pieces to grip each other but not fit solidly like a Traditional puzzle would. After all, that would make it easy, now wouldn’t it?! Needless to say, it’s a long training process.

So when we find a great puzzle cutter who can design puzzles, too, it’s like hitting the jackpot! Dianna and Wanita are puzzle cutters who have created several Stave designs, and now we have Samara. Samara has been cutting puzzles for almost two years now and she surprised us last year with a great idea for a new Teaser puzzle. She’s been working on several Teaser designs I think you’re going to love but here’s a peek at her first completed design, a puzzle based on the story of The Princess and the Pea. We’re calling it Your High-ness and it’s a hoot! Trying to fit those brightly colored pillows and blankets into the bed frame are going to keep you from getting any shut eye, for sure.

We’ve Got Designs For You

In addition to Your High-ness, Samara has several more designs in the works. Since I’m feeling generous today I’m going to give you a little inside information so you’ll know what to be on the look- out for. The design I can’t wait to see is a Teaser puzzle based on the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. It’s a little different than our other Teasers, with a clever edge design I think you’ll love.

Samara has a couple other designs in the works that just went through the Testing phase of the design process. They received great reviews so we’ll be working to get those out to you soon. Keep your eye out for another fairy tale themed puzzle and another puzzle that will appeal to your own artistic side.

 

Stave’s Clever Creations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve been busy here at the Stave Puzzle workshop, crafting beautiful puzzles to delight and challenge you. Take a look at what your fellow puzzlers have been working on. Maybe you’ll see your puzzle shown here!

I’m still waiting to hear your stories about how you got started puzzling. And don’t forget to share where and how you puzzle. In your kitchen or the
dining room? Do you sort by color and edge pieces? Email me jennifer@stave.com

Don’t forget to check out Steve’s whacky photo contest. You might win a $25 gift certificate! Go to www.stavepuzzlenuts.com to place your guess. You could be our next winner.

 


Friends One and All

A Reunion

We just wrapped up another successful, funfilled, spirited weekend at Blackberry Farm. We look forward to this every year and it never disappoints. I’ll try my best to give you a feel for what it’s like but I know I can’t do it justice. Soon after we organized the tables and unpacked the puzzles, Michael arrived to stake his claim. He’s got a favorite puzzling spot and wasn’t taking any chances someone else might grab it. We also made sure to have Victor’s big, comfy chair ready. He doesn’t puzzle but likes to keep his wife company, in addition to providing much entertainment for the rest of us. What a character!

When everyone arrived and got settled in, it was like a family reunion. We have 3 couples who have attended all 6 Blackberry Farm events and many others who’ve come multiple times. In addition to the 3 couples, this year included 3 mother-daughter kinships, 1 father-daughter, 2 sisters, 2 friends, and an engaged couple. Our group spans 7 decades! It makes us so proud that Stave can bring about this kind of connection. It really demonstrates the intrinsic value of puzzling together.

6 Degrees of Separation

While we love our old friends, we always encourage new guests, so it was with open arms that we welcomed a young couple from NYC. When they arrived at the Guest House and asked, “Who’s in charge?” Several unruly puzzlers in our group quickly claimed the title. Thankfully, Carol stepped up and greeted them but not before they had gotten a quick view of what they were in for. True camaraderie.

We ’ve alway s felt puzzlers are a tight knit group and here’s the proof in the pudding. Over the course of the weekend it was discovered that Rob & Debra, from NY, have a daughter who attends Duke. Guess who her roommate is? First time attendee, puzzler Carol’s, daughter, from Boston! What are the odds of that?!

But wait. It gets better. Remember our new puzzlers from NYC? We discovered that Matt went to Dartmouth and graduated with Carol’s (Stave’s Carol) daughter, Inga. He’s even been to Carol’s VT house. And, he’s friends with a young man I used to babysit.

They were meant to be part of our group, for sure.

Jennifer, already missing my buddies.

 

What Was He Thinking?

Have you been catching Steve’s crazy mystery photo contest? If you have, then you’re getting a very clear picture of just what a kook he really is! Steve has been taking intriguing photos of various things and posting them on his blog and our PuzzleNuts website, stavepuzzlenuts.com. If you’re the first person to correctly guess what is shown, you win a $25 gift certificate. If no one guesses correctly, the prize gets rolled over to the next week. Here are a few shots from previous weeks.

This is a shot that Steve posted… What is going on here?

Take a close look and you’ll see wing tip impressions in the snow. Steve and Martha think a hawk swooped down and grabbed whatever was running through the snow. They have a Coopers Hawk that uses their backyard bird feeders as its fast food outlet.

Here’s another shot. What is it???

We had some great guesses for this: a soda-bottle rocket toy sitting on its “launch pad” (i.e. the top of a two liter bottle), One of those pull-down cork screws to open wine bottles on Valentine’s Day, The knob to an air tank to fill balloons.

But E.M guessed correctly: It’s a party noise-maker/clacker!

This is the latest photo.

Go to the Tormented Tuesday page for more information and details on how to place your guess.
You could be the next winner of a $25 gift certificate.

 

Where do you do it?

puzzlerom

Set The Scene

I’m always interested in hearing where and how people puzzle. My husband, Rick, has created a nice little spot in our home that we refer to as the Library/Puzzle room. Rick spent some time working at a used book store in his earlier years so he has quite a collection of books. He’s also a Puzzle Nut…Tavern puzzles, Manipulative puzzles, and jigsaw puzzles, old and new. If you’re looking for something to occupy your mind, this is the room to be in. Needless to say, we usually have a puzzle going on the table. More often than not, it’s a Stave, but sometimes Rick brings out one of his old Tuco Puzzles. (I don’t work those. The push-fit style of puzzling drives me crazy!) And as I’ve mentioned before, it’s a prerequisite that any family gathering at my house must include puzzling.

Who Got You Hooked?

My mom and dad often had a cardboard (gasp!) puzzle going on a table, so I feel it has always been a part of my life. What about you? Do you have a grandmother who brought out a puzzle when the family came to visit? Was it your spouse who introduced you to puzzling or is it something you have always been drawn to?

What’s In It For Me

One of the things I enjoy most about working a puzzle is the fact that you can see your progress as you go along. I’ve heard some people say they like making order out of chaos. Others like the fact that it can bring the family together, several generations working side by side. What is it you get out of puzzling?

Share Your Stories

So tell me about your puzzling life. Do you puzzle on a cookie sheet or do you use a special tray or table? Do you have a designated space in your home or do you puzzle wherever you happen to be? How about favorite puzzling times? Early mornings when no one is up or late at night with a glass of wine? Puzzlers are such a unique group of people and I know everyone would love to hear from folks who are just as puzzling as they are.

Set the scene and I’ll share your pictures and stories with everyone. Email me. jennifer@stave.com

butterflies

cycleoflife

Hit Me Again!

There’s never a dull moment here at Stave, I promise. Upon returning from lunch last Friday, I was immediately hit with several things that needed to be done ‘right now!’ So, I’m plugging away at the most pressing item when Bri comes to me and says there’s someone in the lobby who would like to see me. I stroll out and see a nice couple whom I do not know. “Are you Jennifer?” the gentleman asks. “I just bumped into your car in the parking lot.” To me it was just one of those things that happens in life. No one was hurt, the car was drivable, a bummer but not the end of the world. The gentleman joked that he should send me a bottle of champagne because I was being so nice. Champagne? I LOVE Champagne. I’m a firm believer that life is too short not to enjoy a glass or two on a Regular Basis. Well lo and behold, guess what arrived at Stave this morning? Not one bottle but SIX bottles of yummy, yummy bubbly!! We immediately decided we needed a celebration so Bri ran home for her chocolate fountain while someone else went for snacks. As you can see from these photos, this is a GREAT day. I hope this couple comes back for another visit because I’ll park in the same spot. Thanks, Mr. D. You’re the Greatest!

A little something sweet to go with the bubbly.

A little something sweet to go with the bubbly.

Did I say I LOVE Champagne???

Did I say I LOVE Champagne???

Bri, Jesse, Paula, Me and Susan holding the goods!

Bri, Jesse, Paula, Me and Susan holding the goods!

Let Us Entertain You!

stave party

Plenty of Opportunity

I know many of you were disappointed you couldn’t make it to our 35th Anniversary Celebration in July. Maybe you had a wedding to attend that weekend or the in-laws were coming for a visit. I’m here to make your day. There are three more opportunities coming up to join us for some puzzling fun!!! One of these dates is bound to work for you.

Twin Farms
November 12-14, 2010

If you’ve been itching to meet the Chief Tormentor, this is your chance. Twin Farms is a unique country estate get-away on over three hundred acres in Barnard, Vermont, just 35 minutes from Stave. We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with Twin Farms for many years and you’ll always find loads of Stave Puzzles to enjoy during your stay there. But on November 12th to the 14th, Steve and Paula will be puzzling guests. You may even see a few other faces from Stave during the weekend so don’t miss it. We promise you’ll have a great time. (Shh, word has it you may even get a tour of the Stave workshop!!)

The Point
January 29-31, 2011

Many of you probably remember Carol. She’s been with Stave for almost as long as Steve. Carol’s been retired for a few years now but every now and again we’re able to bring her back to the real world. One of those times will be in January when we puzzle guests at The Point. The Point Resort is a unique, private Adirondack estate amid Adi rondack Mountai n wilderness. Carol and her husband Hank have been hosting this gig for many years and look forward to it each and every year. Carol has almost as many stories as Steve and she loves to share them so call The Point today and tell them you want to puzzle with Stave in January.

Blackberry Farm
February 18-20, 2011

Located in Walland, TN., Blackberry Farm is situated on a pastoral 4,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains. This is my favorite puzzling event because Carol and I host it with our husbands. We have a great following that’s developed over the years, with many guests returning year after year. There’s nothing like spending time doing something you love with other who love to do it, too. Puzzlers are a great group of people.

What Do We Do At A Puzzle Party?

party balloonEach party is a little different but you can be sure there will always be lots of puzzling time. In addition to quiet* puzzling time, we play several games using specially cut puzzles. Here are a few you might play at a party you attend.

Ready-Set-Go!

This games uses a puzzle that’s around 7” x 7,” cut into 25 largish pieces. We have several sets of puzzles of the same image, each one cut into 25 pieces. You race against the other contestants to see who can complete their puzzle the fastest.

One Up, One Down

This game is played in teams of two. Each team has a 25 piece puzzle. It starts with one person seated in front of the puzzle while their partner is standing behind them. At the word Go!, the person seated searches to fit two pieces together. When they’ve fit two pieces together they stand up and switch places with their partner. You can only fit a piece if you are seated in the chair. First team to complete their puzzle wins! I love to listen to the person standing behind their partner. Talk about back seat drivers!!!

party star2Relay Race

This game is a hoot to watch. Picture this… several tables at the end of the room with unassembled puzzles, one for each team. The teams, usually 4 puzzler per team, line up behind a taped line that’s around 6 feet from the puzzle table. The first player of each team races up to their puzzle at the word Go! and searches to find a match. When they have fit two pieces together (and only two!) they race back and tag the next person in line. Reaching across the line is legal and boy, you’ll be amazed how far some people can stretch their arms!

Demolition Derby

This is another game that’s hysterical to watch. Here’s the scene: We set up the group in teams, usually 3 or 4 people per team. We use puzzles with identical images for this game and we take the same four pieces from each team’s puzzle and place them on a table in the center of the room, mixing them up. The remaining pieces from each puzzle are disassembled and placed in front of the players. At the word Go! the team races to put their puzzle together, all the while knowing they’re missing 4 pieces. Once their puzzle is complete they can race up to the table with the assorted pieces, select one piece and only one piece, race back to their puzzle and try for a match. It gets pretty crazy as each team completes their partial puzzle and starts racing up to the table. Invariably, someone else will have the piece you are searching for so it’s a real lesson in patience. We haven’t had any broken bones yet, only tons of laughs!

party star*Don’t expect quiet if Bryan, Jomary and Michael are puzzling. They’re our regular troublemakers at Blackberry;)

Pick your party and join us!

Jennifer

Welcome To Our Humble Abode

stave viewGood Things Come in Small Packages
Earlier in the week I was lucky enough to be able to visit with guests who stopped in for a tour of the shop. We don’t have many opportunities to see our puzzlers so it’s fun to see them when they stop in. Mr. & Mrs. I. from Bethesda, MD., have been Stave puzzlers for nine years and often wondered what our shop is like. Boy, were they surprised! This is it? This is where it all happens?! Folks are always surprised that all that magic happens right here in our little workshop!

stave sign

When you see this sign, you’ll know you’ve made it to the right place!

Come On In!
It occurred to me others may have the same misconception. What better time to give you a peek into our world? We’re going to give you your very own tour of Stave Puzzles. When you’re sitting down working your next puzzle you’ll know right where it came from and how it came to be. But remember, this in NO WAY excuses you from making a pilgrimage to Stave. Make your travel plans today! And when†you do come by, ask for Tammy. She gives the best tour in town!

Yíall come back now, ya hear! Jennifer

tour

We’ve Got Designs on You

Fresh as a Daisy
Thereís nothing like some time†off to rejuvenate the brain. I†thoroughly enjoyed my ëstaycationí†and spent a restful, sunny week†enjoying the beauty of Vermont†and New Hampshire. What an†incredible place to live!

Now Iím ready for anything! The days are getting shorter, the nights are cooler and weíll be gearing up for our holiday season
soon. Bring it on! Weíve got some†new stuff in the works and weíre†looking forward to puzzling you†and your families.

On the Horizon
So what do you have to look†forward to in the coming months?†You know you can count on†fabulous Traditional puzzle images†to choose from. Susanís been†checking out†hundreds of†potential images†and found some†great new stuff.†Peter Sampleís†Derby Day is fun†and perfect for†puzzling. It has†great colors and†thereís so much†going on youíre not going to know†what piece goes where! You can be†sure there are going to be plenty of†holiday images to choose from in†the coming months.

vt-designCheryl Johnson has begun†working on a new set of Teaser†puzzles featuring each of the states†in our beautiful country. Weíre†starting with the East coast, and†have Vermont almost ready to go.†Cheryl has begun working on the†prototype for Maine while sheís†waiting for me to get the Vermont†design cut and tested. Keep your†eye out for these fifty nifty puzzles.

Paula pitched a really neat†Trick puzzle idea to Steve just last†week. I could hear the excitement†in his voice and saw that glimmer†in his eye when we began talking†about it. Iím not going to give you†any hints just yet but I think youíre†going to love it and be in for a real†treat!

Home Decorating

When you spend a lot of time in one place it begins to feel like home. If†you were to peek in the window of our cutting room to get a glimpse of†the magic that happens in the shop, youíll see posters, photos, funky chair†covers and the pink flamingos on Diannaís saw. PINK FLAMINGOS??

You know there has to be a story here, right? Many years ago, Di arrived†home to find her lawn littered with a whole flock of the bright birds. You†might think sheís fond of the critter†but sheís not! Sheís not quite sure†who did the dirty deed but many†others have continued to torture†her over the years. As you can see,†she has been gifted with many by†her friends at Stave. Itís always fun†to see her reaction when a new bird†has joined the flock!

It didnít take Samara long to make herself at home. She enjoys her James†Christensen calendar, a few notes to herself and a big green pickle.
A PICKLE???? Who hangs a pickle on their wall? Samaraís sister gave her†the funny card for her birthday and it now graces her wall. Check out the†cute card with all the things that go together: butter and bread, salt and†pepper, etc. Her friend, our very own Meg, drew it for her.

Would you smile every time you looked up†from your work and looked into these big olí†eyes? This cute little duck sits atop Ginnyís†saw, keeping her company while sheís working†on those Trick puzzles you like so much. The†froggie watches over Lori.

Meg was the reason we grew†from 9 saws to 10. We tucked†her in the corner, at the end of†the line next to Ginny, and she†likes her spot. Meg has taken†the time to hang some things†on the walls to make her space†her own!

decor

Lend a Helping Hand

caps

Food†for†Thought

Great minds think alike. Isnít†that how the saying goes? Letís test†that theory, shall we?

Weíre always striving to come†up with something new here at†Stave. Earlier this summer I was†working with Steve and Molly on†the design for the 35th anniversary†commemorative puzzle. We were†figuring out the list of the 35†elements to include in the puzzle:†whammies, color-line cutting,†phony corner, TroubleMaker,†Trick…you get the idea. It was then†and there I decided to retire before†we hit our 60th anniversary. Thatís†a lot of stuff to get into a puzzle!!

Occasionally we have a contest†on the PuzzleNuts site where we†show you a new puzzle design and†ask for title suggestions. You always†have such great ideas. We even took†it one step further when Stave†artist, Molly Delaney, drew some†cute little donkeys that we couldnít†figure out what to do with. Instead†of racking my brain, we threw it†out to our puzzlers and your†suggestions were awesome! Due to†your ingenuity, Donkey Tonk will†be coming your way, soon!

This tired mind needs your†help, again. Now I want you to do†it all. Iím going to sit back and let†you do the work! (What took me so†long to think of this?!) You can†design your very own Stave puzzle!

Give me the theme

Give me the look

Give me the title

If you can come up with the†fixings for a new Stave Teaser†puzzle, weíll do it!†Now that youíre doing my job,†Iím going on vacation!

Jennifer- Many hands make light work! Lighten my load!!

P.S. See details on the below

puzzle sugg

REMEMBER! Email ME at Jennifer@stave.com with your puzzle suggestions.