CAT | Piece of Mind by Jennifer
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
© 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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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. email@example.com