I’ve spent two of the last three weekends enjoying the company of some of my favorite people. In mid- February my husband Rick and I traveled to Walland, TN., with fellow Staver Carol and her husband Hank. Our destination? Blackberry Farm, a luxury hotel and resort situated on a pastoral 4200- acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains where we spent three days puzzling with friends, old and new. Last weekend, Rick and I were off to The Point, a unique, private estate where luxurious splendor is weaved amongst New York wilderness in Saranac Lake. Carol and Hank have hosted the puzzling event at The Point in past years but this year they had too much going on so Rick and I filled in. After only a couple of hours of experiencing The Point, I sent Carol a message letting her know she made a BIG mistake by not being there. Rick and I fell in love with all The Point has to offer. Once again, we were greeted by familiar faces as well as new but by the end of the weekend, we were all comrades in puzzling.
Our puzzling weekends at these amazing getaways offer something for everyone. Some puzzlers pack the most they can into the weekend, enjoying a spa treatment or a hike between puzzling sessions. Some who come vie for the much coveted title of Over Achiever. This award is bestowed upon the first place winner in the puzzling competitions and it’s accompanied by a very fashionable medal.
And then there are those who come to simply puzzle: all day and all night. They are there when I come down in my robe for my first cup of coffee in the morning and they are still there puzzling into the wee hours. When do they sleep?! I ended our whirlwind time of puzzling thinking how much Stave Puzzles has in common with these fabulous places. We all have one goal in mind: to give you the best experience you can have. Whether it’s plying you with amazing food and drink, organizing a hike through the woods, a boat ride on the lake, or creating a puzzle masterpiece for you to make order out of havoc, we’ll do whatever is in our power to make the time you puzzle with us everything you could want and more. There’s something very gratifying in it and that must be why we’re all doing what we do!
Come join us at our next puzzling event. You’ll love the locale, the people and the puzzling. I promise!
Steve does some great work when he’s on vacation. He and Martha head to warmer climates and while they’re enjoying the sun and sand, the wheels in that whacky mind of his are turning like mad. His vacation time is when some of our best puzzles have originated. Last month when Steve and Martha were relaxing, Steve spent a good amount of time on the internet looking at websites. No, he wasn’t shopping for a new jigsaw, he was looking at what really makes a website stand out because it’s high time we updated the Stave Puzzles website! We need to make it easier for you to find just what you’re looking for.
The internet has totally changed how we work. In the old days we put together a four page black and white mailing piece that may have shown 12 or 15 images. When the option of high-quality color copies became available to us, we graduated to producing mailing pieces in color that were great supplements to our professionally produced catalog. Mailing days were always fun. We’d get some chips and salsa and a bag of M&M’s and gather around the table to fold pages, stuff envelopes and stick mailing labels. Then we’d have to add postage and deliver them to the post office. Whew! As you know, we still put out a newsletter every few weeks but a large majority of our puzzlers head straight to our website to find their puzzles.
Shop at Home
With the widespread use of the internet, we’ve had to change with the times. You don’t need to sit and wait for the newsletter to hit your mailbox, anymore. You can have our entire catalog at your fingertips any time of day or night. You can find the perfect puzzle to take with you on vacation while you’re sitting at home having breakfast on a Saturday or check the selection of Gustafson prints while you’re waiting for the car to be serviced at the garage. You can even sneak a peek at the newest Teaser puzzle while you’re supposed to be working!
Keeping It Simple
Because the web has given you the freedom to peruse our site at your leisure, it’s important that we keep things fresh, exciting, and easy to use and that’s where we’re going to focus our energy in the coming months. We’re going to give you great categories like Destinations where you can search for puzzle images of specific locations like New York or Paris. If you are looking for something for someone who loves the arts, you’ll find a category for that, too, where we’ll have puzzles with a theater or musical theme. And if you want to find a puzzle for your spouse who has a love of gardening, you’ll head to the Hobbies category where you’ll find the perfect gardening themed puzzles to choose from. We’re even going to have a Sock it to Him/Her category where you’ll find just the right puzzle to drive your puzzler crazy! Keep watch in the coming months. You’ll see great things coming your way!
Until the next time,
Finally! Yes, Chantilly is ready to go BUT you must have done Champ to qualify to buy her BECAUSE if you can’t do Champ there’s no way you can do Chantilly which is 10 times more difficult BECAUSE Chantilly is two-sided in more ways than one. Same number of pieces!
A few of my friends and I were lazing around a couple weeks ago, lamenting how we never do anything fun and different. Laura feels like she’s on a never-ending treadmill where the scenery never changes. Jaime thinks change is hard for us and that’s why we’re so comfortable in our routines. Claire announced it’s time we grabbed life by the horns and made our own excitement! I’m kind of with all of them. I like my daily routine but feel like it’s time to shake things up. We started throwing out ideas of ways we could spice things up and came up with the same old things: a girls trip to Vegas, a cruise, a dude ranch, a weekend of hiking and camping… all the things that come to mind when a few girlfriends plan a trip. But none of us really have the vacation time built up due to the trip we took last summer so we decided to compromise. We decided to plan a day trip with the stipulation that it couldn’t be something we normally do. One of the girls mentioned she’d like to do something that would enrich her life, like take a cooking class or a jewelry making class. Everyone seemed to love that idea so we put our heads together to find just
the right adventure.
As you probably know, any time you’re trying to organize an event involving more than a couple people you’ll have scheduling conflicts. We found a great bread baking class we were all excited about but only two of us had the weekend free. We ran into the same problem with a quilting class, too. So we threw the whole ‘class’ idea out the window for now and decided to find a little culture on our own. That’s when it hit me. Let’s go to The Greenwich Workshop!! They showcase so many fabulous artists that I knew we would find something for everyone and have a great time.
So last weekend we all piled in the car and headed to Seymour, CT. “Lead foot” Laura drove so we got there in no time at all, and without a speeding ticket, too! The artwork at Greenwich is just amazing and it was so interesting to see what each of us fell in love with. It’s no wonder Jaime was drawn to the wildlife images by Simon Combes considering she’s got a leopard print chair in her apartment! Claire fell in love with Scott Gustafson’s work, especially The Frog Prince. I think it’s because the little girl in the painting looks just like Claire. Laura spent a summer traveling the wild west with her family when she was a teen so she immediately fell in love with the work of Bev Doolittle. I don’t think she ever did decide if Music in the Wind or Woodland Encounter was her favorite. I fell in love with the magic of James Christensen. It was simply jaw dropping to see the originals of Faery Tales and Maiden Voyage hanging in the gallery.
We were all so impressed with the beauty and quality of the work at GWS that we decided to chip in and purchase a framed print of The Bride, by James Christensen, for our friend, Lucy, who is getting married in June. And to make the gift even more special, we’re going to have our friends at Stave cut that very same image into a puzzle! Aren’t we brilliant?
1. Eyes of Warning, Simon Combes
2. Frog Prince, Scott Gustafson
3. Woodland Encounter, Bev Doolittle
4. Music In The Wind, Bev Doolittle
5. Maiden Voyage, James C. Christensen
6. Faery Tales, James C. Christensen
The Bride, James C. Christensen (framed artwork)
All Images: © 2012 The Greenwich Workshop®, Inc.