Handcrafting the world's finest wooden jigsaw puzzles since 1974

The Chief Tormentor

The Deliciously Devilish Blog of Puzzling News From Staveland

Puzzling News from Penelope

WOW! I don’t think it’s been this hot in a VERY long time. I woke up this morning around nine(!) and it was already 86 degrees out. I didn’t expect that to happen this summer based on how much rain we’ve had. I guess we’re kinda lucky to have some rays! I was stuck inside all day yesterday working, so when I finally got home I went swimming. I love having such a great swimming hole close to my house. It makes it pretty easy for me to take a quick dip in the river when it gets hot out!! We even have a rope hanging from a tree. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m just a big kid – the more fun I can have the better!

Enough about the weather… let’s talk about ME!! Wait – we’re already talking about me! Anyway, this past weekend was my annual get together with my best girl-friends from college. Since we all live so far away from each other, we rotate which one of us will be the host of the event so the traveling time is always fair. It was my turn to be the host this year. I love, love, love getting together with my friends, and I love entertaining! It can be so much work, but I know how to throw a good party – everyone always has fun! The weekend couldn’t have been any more perfect. I’m so glad none of us have changed, and we are still just as crazy as we were 10 years ago.

Speaking of not changing…one of my good friends, Becky, hasn’t changed a bit…she’s still just as nosey as ever! Everyone was settling in, unpacking for our long weekend of fun, and Becky was getting to know her surroundings…which, as I mentioned before, was my house. While snooping around Becky found my puzzle stash, and before too long the puzzling had begun. As you’re already well aware – once you get started, there’s no stopping! And let me just say, if you wanna catch up with some friends, the best way to do it is by popping open a bottle of wine and sitting around a puzzle table. We talked about things I never thought would be brought up again. Let’s just say it’s a good thing there weren’t any other ears in that room!

Hey! Where are your photos for my photo contest?! I need to see some funny pictures of you guys puzzling!!! We’re just dying to give away some Stave moola. I know if I were you, I would be getting my camera ready right now and taking some wild and wacky pictures so I could win! I sure do hope to hear from you guys soon so we can get the ball rolling on this contest, but until then enjoy this nice summer weather!!

Penelope

Penelope’s WACKY Photo Contest

Get out your camera!! All you’ve gotta do is send us the craziest, wackiest, WILDEST photo you can take of you(and your friends if you like to share your puzzles) putting together one of your favorite Stave puzzles! Don’t be afraid to go all out with this one, we’re hoping to see some pretty wild entries!! Here are a few of my favorites from our last contest.

Here’s how it works: It’s as simple as 1,2,3!

1. Send us your wild and wacky photos. Don’t be shy! Show the world whatcha got.

2. In July, August and September we’ll pick our favorite three photos each month. Those three puzzlers will each win $100 in Stave Moola! Woo-hoo!

3. Then, we’ll let the Stave Puzzlenut community decide which photo goes to the final round in October. You could win an additional $500 in Stave Money!!!

Don’t wait! Enter today, you could be a $600 winner!

Send pictures to: penelope@stave.com or you can mail it to us at
Stave Puzzles, PO Box 329, Norwich, VT 05055.

You can also read more about the contest and upload your photos to StavePuzzleNuts.com

 

 

Vermont: the Green Mountain State

Let Me Fill You In
Our last newsletter was filled with so much news, I had to save some tidbits for later. Now is later, so let me catch you up. Cheryl Johnson, our artist in Maine, has been working on a series of small Teaser puzzles featuring each of the United States. Our goal is to design them at a size and difficulty level that will appeal to everyone. Of course, we started with Vermont. We’re incorporating the state bird, flower, and flag into each puzzle as well as Teaser pieces representing what the state is known for. Did you see the Stave clown? Get ready to travel our beautiful countryside, discovering new things along the way. Once you own your home state you know you’re going to want them all!

Mouse Pad is Susan Greenleaf ’s new Teaser puzzle. As you can see, it’s a play on words so I think it will appeal to all those who are keen on computers. And all you critter lovers will laugh when you see the techno-savvy mice. These little housemates will have you keyed right in to joining them in their mouse pad.

We’ve been brainstorming with Stave artist, Susan Berry, and we’re coming up with great ideas to incorporate into our new Limited Edition puzzle based on the lost city of Atlantis. This project is right up Susan’s alley and she’s already working on preliminary sketches. Steve has sent the first prototype to our ace Tester in Delaware so we should be hearing groans of frustration very soon! The puzzle is shaping up beautifully with lots of neat twists and turns to keep you befuddled and puzzled. Steve’s trickery and Susan’s artwork make this a puzzle not to be missed!

We’ve also got Steve’s new 4- sword Teaser prototype out to test. I cut the first prototype and I had to put it back together with a cheat sheet. I can’t wait to hear the feedback on this new challenge. We gave Molly Delaney the AOK to begin painting our new 2- way Trick kitty design but then promptly pulled her off that project to ask her to work on something else. Don’t worry. We’ll let her get back to it very soon! Do you have any suggestions for its title?

Is That Small Enough?
Waaaaay back when, like in the mid-80s, we offered a cute little puzzle called Blue Mum by artist Piet Mondrian. It was done totally in soft blue with only a few different shades. What made this puzzle so special? It was cut in 100 mini pieces. Instead of our usual two pieces per square inch it had three! Our puzzlers loved it and our cutters did, too. It’s your lucky day because we’re bringing our Minicut style back! Keep your eye out for news of our Mini-cut revival as well as other cutting styles you may have never seen.

Jennifer

Latest and Greatest

On the Horizon
Spring is a time for fresh, new things like lambs, daffodils, and mud, if you’re living in Vermont. It’s also a time for new puzzle designs. In addition to a few new designs from your favorite Stave artists like Molly Delaney, Susan Greenleaf and Cheryl Johnson, we’ve got some great new things cooking up with STEVE! As you probably know, Steve and Martha head South every April to get away from the neverending snow here in Vermont. There must be something about all that sun providing a boost of Vitamin D because we can always count on Steve to come back with loads of new puzzle ideas. Who knew Vitamin D was beneficial for puzzle designing?! We’ve received several emails with a first look into what he’s cooking up and I’m loving it!

First and foremost, Steve’s been working on our new Limited Edition puzzle, Atlantis. We’ve been brain-storming on this off and on for a while now and he’s finally got a handle on where this puzzle is going. Get ready for a hand – painted, multilayer puzzle that will knock your socks off !

We’ve been lamenting the need for more 4-sword Teasers and guess what. Steve’s cooked up a new concept to give you just that! We’ll begin cutting a prototype in the next week or so and get it out to test so we can make sure it holds up to all you Ace Teaser puzzlers.

Steve’s also working on a new 2-way Trick puzzle design. It sounds like it will be a 3 or 4 bolt difficulty level, not as tough as Fred & Ginger or Olivia but tougher than what most of you are probably used to. The theme of the puzzle will probably be tied in to the Mayan theory that the world will end in 2012. Let’s hope we can get it to final art before then!

We’re getting close to the finish line on the new cat themed 2-way Trick puzzle that’s kind of a cousin to the doggie themed, Bark in the Park. I’ve got one more test cut to do and if it passes muster Stave artist, Molly Delaney, will go to paint! It’s darn cute and sure to please all you cat loving Trick puzzlers. Molly is also working on a new beach themed Teaser which will be ready just in time for vacation puzzling this summer.

We have another new Teaser design by Molly debuting this week. Do you remember about a year ago when we showed a couple of cute donkey sketches on PuzzleNuts and asked for help in choosing the theme and title based on the cute little guys? Here it is! PuzzleNuts Kristen and Jennifer had a combined effort in suggesting a barn dancing theme with a title of Donkey Tonk.

A short while ago we showed you a new Teaser puzzle called Your High-ness by Stave crafter and artist, Samara Cary. She’s done it again! You’re getting the first look at A Giant Dilemma. It got great reviews by our Testers and I think you’re going to love it, too.

Cheryl Johnson, Stave artist living in Maine, is finishing up the first puzzle in the new United States series. Can you guess what state we did first? You’ll get a peek at it in my next newsletter.

More Good Things Coming Your Way
Just arrived in my mailbox… I just received Mouse Pad from Stave artist, Susan Greenleaf. I guess we’ll just have to give you a peek at that one in my next newsletter, too. You guys have a lot to look forward to!!!

Guess this Rebus!
Thanks to all those who sent answers to the rebus game in the last newsletter. You guys are good!! Puzzler C.M. of N.Y. was the first to get the correct answers: Market Share, Harvest Time and Come Sail Away.

Here’s another one for you.

The first person to email me with the correct answer to this rebus will win a prize! Email your guesses to me at jennifer@stave.com

 

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.



 

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.

 


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

What’s Going On?

too much fun

Best Laid Plans

I have the best intentions to begin working on this newsletter well in advance of when it needs to be ready. But does that happen? No! Why doesnít it happen?†Because thereís so darn much going on around here!

 

I start the day by doing a quick overview of whatís on my desk. Freshly cut puzzles that need to be listed as In-stock on the web site,†new orders that have come in and need to be checked over. While Iím doing these things Iíll have several interruptions. ìJenn, can you check this puzzle for me?î ìWhat do you†think about this edge idea?î ìI think I messed up. Help!î These are all things I love doing, especially checking a puzzle before a cutter begins crafting. It gives me a great†opportunity to see whatís going on in their minds. I work with creative geniuses!

I often spend part of my day working on new designs. Molly Delaney might pop in to drop off the finished art for the latest Teaser, Susan Greenleaf may call to go over a new design. Steve is usually†cooking up something new, too, that needs to be discussed.

 

If Iím really lucky, Iíll talk or email with one of you. I love to hear how you liked your latest puzzle or help you pick your next†one. Oftentimes I feel like Iím talking with an old friend. Last week I spoke with several people who puzzled with us at our anniversary Shindig and I also gave a tour of Stave to a group of four†lovely ladies. What fun women! We chatted and laughed it up while I showed them around. I donít know who had the better time, me or them. I was tempted to take the afternoon off and join them in the†rest of their ventures for the day but the saw was calling me. Puzzlers. You are awesome people!

Life doesn’t get much better than this!

 


Ring Riders

 

 

We love to incorporate the theme of the image with our cutting, both on the edge and in the interior pieces. You never know what you’ll find in a Stave! Areas of solid color lend themselves to beautiful sculpts and fanciful irregular edges.


 

natural appeal

© 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 in this mailing. Trick, Monkey Fist, Crazy Claw, Teaser, Twister, Tumbler, TroubleMaker, the Clown and Stave are trademarks of Stave Puzzles, Inc.


Puzzling News from Penelope

WOW! I don’t think it’s been this hot in a VERY long time. I woke up this morning around nine(!) and it was already 86 degrees out. I didn’t expect that to happen this summer based on how much rain we’ve had. I guess we’re kinda lucky to have some rays! I was stuck inside all day yesterday working, so when I finally got home I went swimming. I love having such a great swimming hole close to my house. It makes it pretty easy for me to take a quick dip in the river when it gets hot out!! We even have a rope hanging from a tree. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m just a big kid – the more fun I can have the better!

Enough about the weather… let’s talk about ME!! Wait – we’re already talking about me! Anyway, this past weekend was my annual get together with my best girl-friends from college. Since we all live so far away from each other, we rotate which one of us will be the host of the event so the traveling time is always fair. It was my turn to be the host this year. I love, love, love getting together with my friends, and I love entertaining! It can be so much work, but I know how to throw a good party – everyone always has fun! The weekend couldn’t have been any more perfect. I’m so glad none of us have changed, and we are still just as crazy as we were 10 years ago.

Speaking of not changing…one of my good friends, Becky, hasn’t changed a bit…she’s still just as nosey as ever! Everyone was settling in, unpacking for our long weekend of fun, and Becky was getting to know her surroundings…which, as I mentioned before, was my house. While snooping around Becky found my puzzle stash, and before too long the puzzling had begun. As you’re already well aware – once you get started, there’s no stopping! And let me just say, if you wanna catch up with some friends, the best way to do it is by popping open a bottle of wine and sitting around a puzzle table. We talked about things I never thought would be brought up again. Let’s just say it’s a good thing there weren’t any other ears in that room!

Hey! Where are your photos for my photo contest?! I need to see some funny pictures of you guys puzzling!!! We’re just dying to give away some Stave moola. I know if I were you, I would be getting my camera ready right now and taking some wild and wacky pictures so I could win! I sure do hope to hear from you guys soon so we can get the ball rolling on this contest, but until then enjoy this nice summer weather!!

Penelope

Penelope’s WACKY Photo Contest

Get out your camera!! All you’ve gotta do is send us the craziest, wackiest, WILDEST photo you can take of you(and your friends if you like to share your puzzles) putting together one of your favorite Stave puzzles! Don’t be afraid to go all out with this one, we’re hoping to see some pretty wild entries!! Here are a few of my favorites from our last contest.

Here’s how it works: It’s as simple as 1,2,3!

1. Send us your wild and wacky photos. Don’t be shy! Show the world whatcha got.

2. In July, August and September we’ll pick our favorite three photos each month. Those three puzzlers will each win $100 in Stave Moola! Woo-hoo!

3. Then, we’ll let the Stave Puzzlenut community decide which photo goes to the final round in October. You could win an additional $500 in Stave Money!!!

Don’t wait! Enter today, you could be a $600 winner!

Send pictures to: penelope@stave.com or you can mail it to us at
Stave Puzzles, PO Box 329, Norwich, VT 05055.

You can also read more about the contest and upload your photos to StavePuzzleNuts.com

 

 

Vermont: the Green Mountain State

Let Me Fill You In
Our last newsletter was filled with so much news, I had to save some tidbits for later. Now is later, so let me catch you up. Cheryl Johnson, our artist in Maine, has been working on a series of small Teaser puzzles featuring each of the United States. Our goal is to design them at a size and difficulty level that will appeal to everyone. Of course, we started with Vermont. We’re incorporating the state bird, flower, and flag into each puzzle as well as Teaser pieces representing what the state is known for. Did you see the Stave clown? Get ready to travel our beautiful countryside, discovering new things along the way. Once you own your home state you know you’re going to want them all!

Mouse Pad is Susan Greenleaf ’s new Teaser puzzle. As you can see, it’s a play on words so I think it will appeal to all those who are keen on computers. And all you critter lovers will laugh when you see the techno-savvy mice. These little housemates will have you keyed right in to joining them in their mouse pad.

We’ve been brainstorming with Stave artist, Susan Berry, and we’re coming up with great ideas to incorporate into our new Limited Edition puzzle based on the lost city of Atlantis. This project is right up Susan’s alley and she’s already working on preliminary sketches. Steve has sent the first prototype to our ace Tester in Delaware so we should be hearing groans of frustration very soon! The puzzle is shaping up beautifully with lots of neat twists and turns to keep you befuddled and puzzled. Steve’s trickery and Susan’s artwork make this a puzzle not to be missed!

We’ve also got Steve’s new 4- sword Teaser prototype out to test. I cut the first prototype and I had to put it back together with a cheat sheet. I can’t wait to hear the feedback on this new challenge. We gave Molly Delaney the AOK to begin painting our new 2- way Trick kitty design but then promptly pulled her off that project to ask her to work on something else. Don’t worry. We’ll let her get back to it very soon! Do you have any suggestions for its title?

Is That Small Enough?
Waaaaay back when, like in the mid-80s, we offered a cute little puzzle called Blue Mum by artist Piet Mondrian. It was done totally in soft blue with only a few different shades. What made this puzzle so special? It was cut in 100 mini pieces. Instead of our usual two pieces per square inch it had three! Our puzzlers loved it and our cutters did, too. It’s your lucky day because we’re bringing our Minicut style back! Keep your eye out for news of our Mini-cut revival as well as other cutting styles you may have never seen.

Jennifer

Latest and Greatest

On the Horizon
Spring is a time for fresh, new things like lambs, daffodils, and mud, if you’re living in Vermont. It’s also a time for new puzzle designs. In addition to a few new designs from your favorite Stave artists like Molly Delaney, Susan Greenleaf and Cheryl Johnson, we’ve got some great new things cooking up with STEVE! As you probably know, Steve and Martha head South every April to get away from the neverending snow here in Vermont. There must be something about all that sun providing a boost of Vitamin D because we can always count on Steve to come back with loads of new puzzle ideas. Who knew Vitamin D was beneficial for puzzle designing?! We’ve received several emails with a first look into what he’s cooking up and I’m loving it!

First and foremost, Steve’s been working on our new Limited Edition puzzle, Atlantis. We’ve been brain-storming on this off and on for a while now and he’s finally got a handle on where this puzzle is going. Get ready for a hand – painted, multilayer puzzle that will knock your socks off !

We’ve been lamenting the need for more 4-sword Teasers and guess what. Steve’s cooked up a new concept to give you just that! We’ll begin cutting a prototype in the next week or so and get it out to test so we can make sure it holds up to all you Ace Teaser puzzlers.

Steve’s also working on a new 2-way Trick puzzle design. It sounds like it will be a 3 or 4 bolt difficulty level, not as tough as Fred & Ginger or Olivia but tougher than what most of you are probably used to. The theme of the puzzle will probably be tied in to the Mayan theory that the world will end in 2012. Let’s hope we can get it to final art before then!

We’re getting close to the finish line on the new cat themed 2-way Trick puzzle that’s kind of a cousin to the doggie themed, Bark in the Park. I’ve got one more test cut to do and if it passes muster Stave artist, Molly Delaney, will go to paint! It’s darn cute and sure to please all you cat loving Trick puzzlers. Molly is also working on a new beach themed Teaser which will be ready just in time for vacation puzzling this summer.

We have another new Teaser design by Molly debuting this week. Do you remember about a year ago when we showed a couple of cute donkey sketches on PuzzleNuts and asked for help in choosing the theme and title based on the cute little guys? Here it is! PuzzleNuts Kristen and Jennifer had a combined effort in suggesting a barn dancing theme with a title of Donkey Tonk.

A short while ago we showed you a new Teaser puzzle called Your High-ness by Stave crafter and artist, Samara Cary. She’s done it again! You’re getting the first look at A Giant Dilemma. It got great reviews by our Testers and I think you’re going to love it, too.

Cheryl Johnson, Stave artist living in Maine, is finishing up the first puzzle in the new United States series. Can you guess what state we did first? You’ll get a peek at it in my next newsletter.

More Good Things Coming Your Way
Just arrived in my mailbox… I just received Mouse Pad from Stave artist, Susan Greenleaf. I guess we’ll just have to give you a peek at that one in my next newsletter, too. You guys have a lot to look forward to!!!

Guess this Rebus!
Thanks to all those who sent answers to the rebus game in the last newsletter. You guys are good!! Puzzler C.M. of N.Y. was the first to get the correct answers: Market Share, Harvest Time and Come Sail Away.

Here’s another one for you.

The first person to email me with the correct answer to this rebus will win a prize! Email your guesses to me at jennifer@stave.com

 

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.



 

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.

 


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

What’s Going On?

too much fun

Best Laid Plans

I have the best intentions to begin working on this newsletter well in advance of when it needs to be ready. But does that happen? No! Why doesnít it happen?†Because thereís so darn much going on around here!

 

I start the day by doing a quick overview of whatís on my desk. Freshly cut puzzles that need to be listed as In-stock on the web site,†new orders that have come in and need to be checked over. While Iím doing these things Iíll have several interruptions. ìJenn, can you check this puzzle for me?î ìWhat do you†think about this edge idea?î ìI think I messed up. Help!î These are all things I love doing, especially checking a puzzle before a cutter begins crafting. It gives me a great†opportunity to see whatís going on in their minds. I work with creative geniuses!

I often spend part of my day working on new designs. Molly Delaney might pop in to drop off the finished art for the latest Teaser, Susan Greenleaf may call to go over a new design. Steve is usually†cooking up something new, too, that needs to be discussed.

 

If Iím really lucky, Iíll talk or email with one of you. I love to hear how you liked your latest puzzle or help you pick your next†one. Oftentimes I feel like Iím talking with an old friend. Last week I spoke with several people who puzzled with us at our anniversary Shindig and I also gave a tour of Stave to a group of four†lovely ladies. What fun women! We chatted and laughed it up while I showed them around. I donít know who had the better time, me or them. I was tempted to take the afternoon off and join them in the†rest of their ventures for the day but the saw was calling me. Puzzlers. You are awesome people!

Life doesn’t get much better than this!

 


Ring Riders

 

 

We love to incorporate the theme of the image with our cutting, both on the edge and in the interior pieces. You never know what you’ll find in a Stave! Areas of solid color lend themselves to beautiful sculpts and fanciful irregular edges.


 

natural appeal

© 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 in this mailing. Trick, Monkey Fist, Crazy Claw, Teaser, Twister, Tumbler, TroubleMaker, the Clown and Stave are trademarks of Stave Puzzles, Inc.