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

Sep 20


A Little of This
There’s been a lot going on this summer so I have plenty to share with you. Let’s see if I can get it all in (or remember it!)

First of all, we’re busy preparing for our shop baby. As I’ve mentioned, our Graphics whiz, Bri, and husband, Jason, are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their first child. He’s coming in early November and we’re all excited! Last month we managed to surprise Bri with a little baby shower. She doesn’t usually miss a trick around here so we’re quite smug we were able to pull it off without her catching on to the surprise. It’s been a while since we’ve had a Stave baby so we’re all looking forward to this big event. We’ll keep you posted on the news of the arrival.

We also recently celebrated Geoff ’s one year anniversary with Stave. He fits right in with our creative group and it feels like he’s just ‘one of the girls’. We enjoy working with Geoff and I think Steve likes having some male support in the building!

And a Little of That
It’s always fun when our puzzlers come for a visit and this summer we’ve been lucky enough to receive many friends at our door. It’s great to see friends, old and new, and we love to give our puzzlers a chance to get a first hand look at where all of the magic happens. We’re a little out of the way for most travelers but if you find yourself in our area, please stop by and say hello. You could meet the crafter of one of your puzzles!

Etc., Etc.
We’ve been having a great time working with our new website developers. They’re a great group of guys. They spent a full day with us, taking lots of photographs and getting a real feel for what Stave is all about. We’re so excited because they “got it” right away! Some people have trouble understanding how passionate people can be about puzzles but these guys figured it out right away. Once you actually get your hands on a Stave and can see the quality and workmanship, things kind of fall into place. But besides all that, this crew was a blast to work with and we’re excited we found them. We’re looking forward to our new website and know you are, too!

We’ve also been working with our Stave artists on some great new puzzle designs for you. Cheryl Johnson has begun preliminary sketches of the next puzzle in our Puzzle the United States series. We’ve completed Vermont, Maine, New York and Massachusetts and now we’re heading west. California is in the works!

Susan Greenleaf and Samara Cary are working on new Teasers that I think all you 4-sword puzzlers will love. I was serious when I said it was my goal to give you more challenging puzzles this year and we’re doing it. Susan is developing a floral design that will knock your socks off and Samara is working on something that will thrill horse lovers and possibly take you on the ride of your life! We’re still in the development stages on these designs but we hope to get the prototypes cut and out to our Testers very soon. Keep an eye out for these two new puzzles in the next couple of months.

Wow! I’m out of space already. Until the next time!

Sep 20

We’re Going to the Point

He’s Stepping In
Hey Everyone, just a quick note from me, Jennifer. Steve is helping me out by writing this month’s newsletter. This is his story and he needs to be the one to share it. Enjoy!

From Steve
Two months ago I received a nice note from Barbara Bush, a Stave customer and friend for many years, inviting Martha and me to lunch with her and family at Walker’s Point. What a nice surprise! Of course, we accepted! Remember that a year ago Mrs. Bush, with her assistant and 2 Secret Service agents, drove over to Staveland for a tour and lunch with Martha and me. And here we thought that was the pinnacle of our experience. Little did we know it would only get better!

On Monday, August 6th, we drove to Kennebunkport, 3 hours from our home in Norwich, Vermont, to stay with friends. Then on Tuesday, with perfect weather, we arrived at the Bushes Walker’s Point guardhouse at 1:00 sharp. After checking us over and inspecting our driver’s licenses, the guard gave us directions to the main house where Mrs. Bush was waiting for us with her two cute little Maltipoos, Bibi and MiniMe. Mrs. Bush took us into their living room where we chatted with her, President Bush, and several others. After visiting for a bit we enjoyed a delicious lobster salad lunch. Following lunch, Mrs. Bush took us on a tour of Walker’s Point in her golf cart, entertaining us with wonderful tales. We felt very special and honored to be welcomed so warmly.

Time flew and a little after we exchanged gifts with Mrs. Bush and departed. As you can imagine, the whole experiencewas mind-boggling and surreal. We pinched ourselves as we drove away, smiling all the way back to Norwich.

Aug 28

BECKY gets Creative

Becky, one of our Super-Duper crafters, waltzed into my office showing off her latest creations… a one-of-a-kind Stave Puzzles shirt. She cut out the plastic pieces, stuck them on the green shirt, and then lightly sprayed the shirt with bleach. How creative is that!


Aug 28

BRI gets a Shower

OK, I was trying to be funny … BUT here’s Bri having her baby shower in Staveland last week. She’s due in 3 months. She is one of our Whiz-Bang graphics experts.

Aug 24

Angels Gather Here

Check out Wanita’s awesome work! Last year she presented our Chief-Tormentor, Steve, with this cute little jester. Appropriate for him, don’t you think?!  He’s made of Polymer clay which she shaped into the various parts, put together and then baked in the oven.  I’m amazed at how she managed to get his hat just so. From the silly expression on the face down to the purple and red shoes and the Jack-in-the-box he’s holding- he’s the perfect little jester!


Wanita’s most recent project is this beautiful angel. She saw a photo of something similar and thought, “I bet I can do that.” And did she!

It took several weeks to get things just how she wanted them and she ended up making the dress 3 times. After struggling with getting the folds in the dress just right, it occurred to Wanita that she could use her daughter’s wedding dress to help her. Wanita’s youngest daughter, Gail, was recently married so the dress came in handy for reference.

The Polymer clay comes in many different colors so Wanita didn’t have to add any paint to it. However, she did have to paint the eyelashes and add a bit of color to the cheekbones. The brush she used must have been tiny!

Here’s what Wanita has to say about her angel:

I love the wings! The smallest breath of air will make them move. I also liked using the different textures. The warmth of the grain in the wood, the smoothness of the clay, and of                                                                                         course, the softness of the wings.

I did have a picture to reference as I worked and I try to get the figures to look sort of like it, but at some point it just becomes your own and you change things, like the dress. As much as I loved the image on the page I liked the freedom of being able to adapt it to my liking.

I have lots of other pieces I would like to make, but geez, there are soooo many other projects to get done, as well. Like creating another puzzle for you all!

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