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"The Chief Tormentor"
The Deliciously Devilish Blog of Puzzling News From Staveland

Jun 17

New (and not so new) Faces



Sarah, Meg S, and EvieThe year 2013 has brought some changes to our group of talented puzzle crafters. Our friend, Olga, left Stave in January to spend more time with her young son and to pursue her love of language. Our talented Samara decided this was the perfect time in her life to explore the world and try some new things. She’s been painting a mural for the local library, refurbishing vintage signs and now she’s in the midst of creating a floor painting. Thankfully, she’s still designing puzzles. You’ll be seeing her latest challenge, You’re in Luck, very soon, and she’s currently working on a puzzle based on a favorite fairy tale. Most recently, Wanita has taken on the fun job of managing our local pottery studio. She’s teaching classes and loving it!

Though Olga, Samara and Wanita were difficult to replace, we were lucky enough to find Sarah and Evie to join us in the shop. Sarah grew up in the area but headed west to pursue her education at the University of Colorado. After graduating and spending a few years there, she decided to move back east. Sarah is an avid crafter who particularly enjoys bookbinding. She lives in Hanover, NH., with her kitties Santo and Marco Polo, who is blind. Sarah tries to hear as much live music as possible, loves animals, travel, and sipping cocktails by the lakeside. As you may have guessed by the name of her cat, she has a great sense of humor.

Evie grew up in a neighboring town and after graduating from Keene State in nearby New Hampshire, decided to come back our way to begin her new life. When we first met Evie she shared several beautiful woodworking pieces as well as some amazing drawings and paintings. It was obvious to us early on that she was very talented and just what we were searching for. Evie enjoys the outdoors, spending time at her camp in Northern VT., swimming, gardening, and staying active.

I’m sure many of you remember Meg S. You may even have puzzles with her initials on the back of the clown. Meg started with Stave back in 2004 and over the years became known in the shop for her love of cutting custom photo collages. All those faces can present quite a challenge to the crafter! After the birth of her second son, Meg decided to spend more time at home with her boys. Fortunately she’s been able to help us out during our busy times but we’ve always hoped there would come a day when she would be ready to come back to Stave full-time. That time has come! Meg is now working 3 days a week with plans to join us full-time when school starts in the fall. In her spare time, Meg enjoys gardening, fishing, knitting, and family time. We are thrilled with our new additions and know you will be, too!

Special Delivery Jesse

Special Delivery

We have another Stave baby on the way! Jesse and her husband, Will, are looking forward to the birth of their first child in August. We can’t wait to have another little boy to snuggle and spoil. Will is an avid hockey fan so we know the baby will probably be holding a hockey stick before he can even walk!

Until the next time,


Dec 12

We are in M&M Heaven

Following is my email today to John P., an actor, who sends us goodies each year in exchange for a Stave tree ornament. “HEY! I pick up the Stave mail each day and today I felt like Santa Claus lugging my big heavy sack of your goodies to the shop. Egads, that huge box of M&M’s weighs a lot. Mind you, my gang is not complaining. If fact, when they heard that the big box was from you they pushed me aside and dove into it, Princess Paula getting the top bag.”

Nov 2

Thankful Hearts

Giving Thanks

As sad as I am to see summer fading away, I am also feeling the excitement of the coming seasons, especially Thanksgiving. This holiday brings a warmth to my heart that is sometimes forgotten in the day to day minutiae. It’s the time of year when families get together and we’re reminded of what’s good and right in our worlds.

We have much to be thankful for here at Stave Puzzles. We’ve been driving our puzzlers crazy for over 35 years and we’re still loving every minute of it! Our loyal and crazy followers have called upon us to puzzle them and their families in times of trouble and in times of celebration. We’ve been asked to send puzzles to folks who are feeling under the weather, those who are celebrating great things, and many puzzlers who truly enjoy making order out of chaos and want to be mentally challenged. We appreciate you all so much that we vow to continue to challenge you to your hearts’ content and we promise to keep coming up with loads of new ways to do it!

Normal. Really?!

We’re also thankful for the great people we’re surrounded by each and every workday. It’s an amazing thing to enjoy the work you do but to really like the people you do it with is an even bigger bonus! What is really amazing is how normal we all seem. I mean really, how can we all seem so normal on the outside when on the inside we’re dreaming up new ways to puzzle you?!


Nov 2

The Next Generation



I received a nice note the other day from one of our puzzling friends in Atlanta, GA. Katrina and her husband, Larry, have been puzzling with us since 1991 and over the years we’ve really gotten to know them. They discovered us when they spent some time enjoying our puzzles at Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, Vermont. Since then we’ve had the pleasure of their company at several of our puzzle gatherings here in VT, in NY, and in TN.

A few years after their first order, Katrina and Larry ordered a puzzle for their daughter, Whitney. As time passed, the trend continued and it became clear that this is a true puzzling family. Stave enjoyed being a part of many holidays and special occasions in their family, like Whitney’s birthdays and eventually her graduation. Inevitably, Whitney caught the eye of a special gentleman and the next thing we knew, Whitney’s friend, Luke, was joining us at a puzzle party. Would he pass the test? Is he a puzzler? Yes! He passed with flying colors. Luke wasn’t intimidated at all by our zany group and handled us, and the puzzles, like a pro.

True to the story book trend, there was a wedding and soon another new face in the crowd. Whitney and Luke now have a son, Ethan, and as you can see from the photo below, he’s got the puzzling gene! This family and their story is a prime example of what everyone here at Stave is thankful for. The relationships we build through our puzzles are just as important and satisfying as the puzzles themselves. Each piece brings us closer together and makes for a stronger whole.

Thank you for sharing of yourselves and your lives with us. We enjoy every minute of getting to know you and value our friendships with you more than you can imagine.

Life is good. So very good.

~ Jennifer

Oct 31

Bigger Can Be Better




Some of you already know this but while we’re working on the snazzy mailing piece to share with everyone, I’ll let the rest of you in on a little secret. YES, we cut puzzles with larger pieces! If you have  young kids who are itching to get their hands on your Stave or someone in your life who’s eyesight isn’t quite what it used to be, we can cut almost anything with large pieces.  Just ask and we’ll do it! Give us a call and we’ll help you figure out just how large you need the pieces and the rest of the details. We’ll get the official word out eventually, but for those of you who have been wondering- now you know!

I probably should have put one of our regular puzzle pieces next to one of the larger pieces but I didn’t think of it at the time. But hopefully, this is good enough to give you an idea of what we can do!



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