Handcrafting the world's finest wooden jigsaw puzzles since 1974

The Chief Tormentor

The Deliciously Devilish Blog of Puzzling News From Staveland

Keep Me Out of Trouble

Just Around the Corner

Ok, maybe the holidays aren’t just around this corner but they’re around the next corner and I’m already excited. Why? Just look at all the great images Susan and the gang are offering in this mailing! There are so many great puzzle images…who wouldn’t get excited?! But what’s the best part of all this? I’ll get to cut some of them!

My Best Times

You’ve probably heard me say (ad nauseam) that cutting is my favorite thing to do at Stave. It’s hands down what I love the most. And this time of year is when I take the time to really make some sawdust.

Plain or Fancy?

Any puzzle cutting is good but when it’s an image I really like, it’s even better. I liken it to chocolate. A Hersheys kiss can be just the thing on a tough day but if you’re nibbling on a Godiva: Wowza! But maybe you like scotch. Cutting a 2-way Trick puzzle would be like a little nip of Dewars for me but if I found myself at the saw cutting Winter’s Gifts by Paul Landry, that would be a glass of Macallan. A really big glass! Want to know what I’d do with Winter’s Gifts? I’d craft some snowflakes swirling in the sky, a squirrel in the tree, someone putting the finishing touches on the snowman and maybe a lamp lighter at the lantern. The kids all bundled up in cold weather gear offer a great opportunity for some color-line cutting. Each youngster would be a little puzzle within your puzzle. And some skaters. A young lady in a layback spin and some young men playing hockey are in order for this puzzle. And what skating pond wouldn’t be complete without someone falling on their keester ? ! Bringing the puzzle to life is what I love. Oh, the things I could do!

Let me entertain you!

 

Who’s Behind These Pages?

Have I got you wondering where all those wonderful puzzle images come from? Let me introduce you to a few members of the Stave team. Susan, Bri and Geoff (yes, we have another gentleman in our midst!) are the creative force behind our puzzle mailings.

Susan is probably a familiar face to many of you. She’s been with us for a gazillion years and in that time she’s grown from Graphics Assistant to Queen of Licensing for Stave. She’s the one who finds all this incredible work from the talented artists. She has the perfect knack for finding just the right images for puzzling from the traditional Americana like Bringing the Cows Home by Linda Nelson Stocks to the wildly weird like Hell from Hieronymus Bosch. With so many images to choose from, Susan has a fun but tough decision deciding what images will be shown in each mailing. If we let her, she would show them all! Especially the ones with horses and dogs. Susan is a gentle soul. You can’t help but like her. And if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on your puzzle table, let Susan know. She’ll do her best to get it for you.

Briana, or Bri, as we call her, works her magic to get the puzzle image onto paper. In the old days we would purchase the actual prints. Nowadays, we use a digital file and print them ourselves. Bri is the clever one who decides where we’re going to hide that little Shadow clown that you search for and she also sizes the image to the correct number of pieces. What do we love about Bri? She’s bright and cheerful, and has a great attitude. She’s eager to learn and comfortable throwing out ideas and she’s not afraid to pick up the phone and help you with your order. If she happens to beat Tammy to the phone the next time you call, ask her about her buddy, Gus. He’s a cute little Yorkie/Silky mix.

Geoff is the newest addition to the Stave crew. He’s fresh out of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors in Game Art and Design. Steve’s excited to have his help in orchestrating some videos for our website. Being the young whipper-snappers, Geoff and Bri keep us up on all this new social media stuff and are helping us keep up with the times. Geoff is settling in nicely at Stave and doesn’t seem fazed to be working with a bunch of women. He goes with the flow and didn’t bat an eye when I arrived the other morning and called out a “Good morning ladies” when I breezed through on the way to my office.

I guess you could say he’s already become one of the girls! Susan, Bri and Geoff are just a few of the wonderful people I get to spend each weekday with. I consider myself very lucky to work with such a great crew. Watch for more of our terrific team in the coming months.

 

We’re Still A Beautiful State. Come Visit!

Whew! Hurricane Irene sure has made a mess of things! As you’ve probably heard our area was in deep water a couple of weeks ago when the storm swept through town. We’re used to the snow and ice in the winter, but when five feet of water comes rushing through there’s not much you can do about it.

Thankfully, our friends at Stave came through OK. I spoke with Tammy a couple of days after the storm and other than a few people who couldn’t make it to work for a couple days due to washed out roads, there were no problems. The areas directly around them, however, were hit hard. The excessive rainfall caused record flooding of rivers causing major destruction in many areas. The raging waters ripped trees from the riverbanks, dragging them downstream. Cars and trucks were taken away in the current and homes were literally lifted off of their foundations. The homes that were able to hold strong were filled with several feet of mud. It’s hard to imagine the devastation unless you’ve seen it.

An event like this can either make you or break you and I’m proud to say the Vermonters are rising to the challenge! Rescue workers were out in full force during the storm, helping people evacuate their homes, directing them to the Red Cross shelters set up around the area. Local fire departments and rescue squads were at their best rushing from one location to the next helping all who were in need. The town road crews have been working practically non-stop to repair and, in some cases, totally rebuild roadways that were washed away. And the townspeople have banded together, offering food and supplies to those hit harder than themselves. Friends and strangers helping each other shovel the mud from basements, haul the ruined remnants of their lives to the town dumps. Life goes on and it’s made just a little bit easier by the kindness of others.

Sadly, many historic covered bridges were damaged during the flooding. Vermont is known for and proud of these iconic landmarks and to have them ravaged by the floodwaters was devastating. One in particular, the bridge in Quechee, by the Simon Pearce restaurant and glass blowing facility, was damaged. The Stave gang has spent many a holiday party at Simon Pearce, enjoying the good food, camaraderie of their co-workers and relief that the holiday rush was over for another year, all the while enjoying the view of the covered bridge. Hopefully they’ll be able to view it again this December.

Thousands travel to New England in the Fall to view the changing leaves and appreciate the scenery. In fact, I have a bunch of friends coming for a visit in a couple of weeks. I’m going to take them North to the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury and after enjoying the foliage along the way we’ll sample a scoop or two. Then we’ll head over to Shelburne to the Shelburne Vineyard for a little wine tasting and after that maybe we’ll make it to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory just down the road. And after enjoying the reds, oranges and yellows in the trees, we’ll head back home to see who still needs help clearing out and re-building. We can all get by with a little help from our friends.

P.S. – Remember Stave is having a Puzzle Party at Twin Farms in Barnard, Vt at the end of October! There is still time to join in on the fun.

For more info visit: www.StavePuzzles.com

 

Snow Day in Staveland

Groundhog Day and it snowed so much we gave Staveland the day off… a Snow Day! So Martha and I decided to take advantage of all the snow and we went tubing in our front yard. The Stave weather vane is in our front yard flower garden, a gift from our employees. No groundhog shadow here!

snowDay1

snowDay2

snowDay3

Senator Leahy Visits Staveland…What a Blast!

Martha and and I are regular contributors to Senator Leahy’s campaigns and we have met him on a number of occasions. When his staff suggested to his loyal supporters that we send the Senator some birthday cards on his 70th birthday in March we at Stave Puzzles decided to send him a special birthday puzzle instead. Checkout how we Photoshop’d his image into this popular scene. And check out the customized pieces. Because he is a fan of The Grateful Dead and Batman we wove those into the scene also.

In June Senator Leahy called me from Washington to say how much he and Marcelle enjoyed doing the puzzle. They had had a blast and chuckled all the way through. I told the Senator that if he and Marcelle were ever in the area please stop by for a tour which they did on Tuesday. It was our turn to have a blast as we showed them around and gave them a cutting demonstration. What FUN people they are!

Leahy22

Leahy33

Welcome To Our Humble Abode

stave viewGood Things Come in Small Packages
Earlier in the week I was lucky enough to be able to visit with guests who stopped in for a tour of the shop. We don’t have many opportunities to see our puzzlers so it’s fun to see them when they stop in. Mr. & Mrs. I. from Bethesda, MD., have been Stave puzzlers for nine years and often wondered what our shop is like. Boy, were they surprised! This is it? This is where it all happens?! Folks are always surprised that all that magic happens right here in our little workshop!

stave sign

When you see this sign, you’ll know you’ve made it to the right place!

Come On In!
It occurred to me others may have the same misconception. What better time to give you a peek into our world? We’re going to give you your very own tour of Stave Puzzles. When you’re sitting down working your next puzzle you’ll know right where it came from and how it came to be. But remember, this in NO WAY excuses you from making a pilgrimage to Stave. Make your travel plans today! And when†you do come by, ask for Tammy. She gives the best tour in town!

Yíall come back now, ya hear! Jennifer

tour

Don Giovanni Comes to Staveland

OK, I’m finally getting with the program, the Opera Program, that is. It’s taken me only 35 years to realize that an opera puzzle might be popular with some of our customers. So below is my first stab at one, Don Giovanni, which was introduced last week. What helped inspire this is our local opera company, Opera North, which is now doing Don Giovanni. Martha and I are going tomorrow night! Check out our home page for more info on this puzzle.

Don Giovanni puzzle sr

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.


Taking it easy

It’s Summertime and the livin’ is easy, isn’t that what Billie Holiday sang? It may be easy for some but summer can cause a few problems for us. We’re a small shop, just 10 saws, and as much as we love our jobs we do have to take a little time off every now and then. When do most people want a vacation? Summer! So, if your puzzles take a little longer to get to you, that’s why! What have your favorite cutters been up to? Ginny had a couple of weeks with her hubby and grand kids, Barb traveled the wild west and Di took some nice long drives to nowhere in particular with her husband. A bunch more of us will be in and out for the next few weeks, me included, so please be patient with us. We’ll get your puzzles cut, I promise!

Keep Me Out of Trouble

Just Around the Corner

Ok, maybe the holidays aren’t just around this corner but they’re around the next corner and I’m already excited. Why? Just look at all the great images Susan and the gang are offering in this mailing! There are so many great puzzle images…who wouldn’t get excited?! But what’s the best part of all this? I’ll get to cut some of them!

My Best Times

You’ve probably heard me say (ad nauseam) that cutting is my favorite thing to do at Stave. It’s hands down what I love the most. And this time of year is when I take the time to really make some sawdust.

Plain or Fancy?

Any puzzle cutting is good but when it’s an image I really like, it’s even better. I liken it to chocolate. A Hersheys kiss can be just the thing on a tough day but if you’re nibbling on a Godiva: Wowza! But maybe you like scotch. Cutting a 2-way Trick puzzle would be like a little nip of Dewars for me but if I found myself at the saw cutting Winter’s Gifts by Paul Landry, that would be a glass of Macallan. A really big glass! Want to know what I’d do with Winter’s Gifts? I’d craft some snowflakes swirling in the sky, a squirrel in the tree, someone putting the finishing touches on the snowman and maybe a lamp lighter at the lantern. The kids all bundled up in cold weather gear offer a great opportunity for some color-line cutting. Each youngster would be a little puzzle within your puzzle. And some skaters. A young lady in a layback spin and some young men playing hockey are in order for this puzzle. And what skating pond wouldn’t be complete without someone falling on their keester ? ! Bringing the puzzle to life is what I love. Oh, the things I could do!

Let me entertain you!

 

Who’s Behind These Pages?

Have I got you wondering where all those wonderful puzzle images come from? Let me introduce you to a few members of the Stave team. Susan, Bri and Geoff (yes, we have another gentleman in our midst!) are the creative force behind our puzzle mailings.

Susan is probably a familiar face to many of you. She’s been with us for a gazillion years and in that time she’s grown from Graphics Assistant to Queen of Licensing for Stave. She’s the one who finds all this incredible work from the talented artists. She has the perfect knack for finding just the right images for puzzling from the traditional Americana like Bringing the Cows Home by Linda Nelson Stocks to the wildly weird like Hell from Hieronymus Bosch. With so many images to choose from, Susan has a fun but tough decision deciding what images will be shown in each mailing. If we let her, she would show them all! Especially the ones with horses and dogs. Susan is a gentle soul. You can’t help but like her. And if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on your puzzle table, let Susan know. She’ll do her best to get it for you.

Briana, or Bri, as we call her, works her magic to get the puzzle image onto paper. In the old days we would purchase the actual prints. Nowadays, we use a digital file and print them ourselves. Bri is the clever one who decides where we’re going to hide that little Shadow clown that you search for and she also sizes the image to the correct number of pieces. What do we love about Bri? She’s bright and cheerful, and has a great attitude. She’s eager to learn and comfortable throwing out ideas and she’s not afraid to pick up the phone and help you with your order. If she happens to beat Tammy to the phone the next time you call, ask her about her buddy, Gus. He’s a cute little Yorkie/Silky mix.

Geoff is the newest addition to the Stave crew. He’s fresh out of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors in Game Art and Design. Steve’s excited to have his help in orchestrating some videos for our website. Being the young whipper-snappers, Geoff and Bri keep us up on all this new social media stuff and are helping us keep up with the times. Geoff is settling in nicely at Stave and doesn’t seem fazed to be working with a bunch of women. He goes with the flow and didn’t bat an eye when I arrived the other morning and called out a “Good morning ladies” when I breezed through on the way to my office.

I guess you could say he’s already become one of the girls! Susan, Bri and Geoff are just a few of the wonderful people I get to spend each weekday with. I consider myself very lucky to work with such a great crew. Watch for more of our terrific team in the coming months.

 

We’re Still A Beautiful State. Come Visit!

Whew! Hurricane Irene sure has made a mess of things! As you’ve probably heard our area was in deep water a couple of weeks ago when the storm swept through town. We’re used to the snow and ice in the winter, but when five feet of water comes rushing through there’s not much you can do about it.

Thankfully, our friends at Stave came through OK. I spoke with Tammy a couple of days after the storm and other than a few people who couldn’t make it to work for a couple days due to washed out roads, there were no problems. The areas directly around them, however, were hit hard. The excessive rainfall caused record flooding of rivers causing major destruction in many areas. The raging waters ripped trees from the riverbanks, dragging them downstream. Cars and trucks were taken away in the current and homes were literally lifted off of their foundations. The homes that were able to hold strong were filled with several feet of mud. It’s hard to imagine the devastation unless you’ve seen it.

An event like this can either make you or break you and I’m proud to say the Vermonters are rising to the challenge! Rescue workers were out in full force during the storm, helping people evacuate their homes, directing them to the Red Cross shelters set up around the area. Local fire departments and rescue squads were at their best rushing from one location to the next helping all who were in need. The town road crews have been working practically non-stop to repair and, in some cases, totally rebuild roadways that were washed away. And the townspeople have banded together, offering food and supplies to those hit harder than themselves. Friends and strangers helping each other shovel the mud from basements, haul the ruined remnants of their lives to the town dumps. Life goes on and it’s made just a little bit easier by the kindness of others.

Sadly, many historic covered bridges were damaged during the flooding. Vermont is known for and proud of these iconic landmarks and to have them ravaged by the floodwaters was devastating. One in particular, the bridge in Quechee, by the Simon Pearce restaurant and glass blowing facility, was damaged. The Stave gang has spent many a holiday party at Simon Pearce, enjoying the good food, camaraderie of their co-workers and relief that the holiday rush was over for another year, all the while enjoying the view of the covered bridge. Hopefully they’ll be able to view it again this December.

Thousands travel to New England in the Fall to view the changing leaves and appreciate the scenery. In fact, I have a bunch of friends coming for a visit in a couple of weeks. I’m going to take them North to the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury and after enjoying the foliage along the way we’ll sample a scoop or two. Then we’ll head over to Shelburne to the Shelburne Vineyard for a little wine tasting and after that maybe we’ll make it to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory just down the road. And after enjoying the reds, oranges and yellows in the trees, we’ll head back home to see who still needs help clearing out and re-building. We can all get by with a little help from our friends.

P.S. – Remember Stave is having a Puzzle Party at Twin Farms in Barnard, Vt at the end of October! There is still time to join in on the fun.

For more info visit: www.StavePuzzles.com

 

Snow Day in Staveland

Groundhog Day and it snowed so much we gave Staveland the day off… a Snow Day! So Martha and I decided to take advantage of all the snow and we went tubing in our front yard. The Stave weather vane is in our front yard flower garden, a gift from our employees. No groundhog shadow here!

snowDay1

snowDay2

snowDay3

Senator Leahy Visits Staveland…What a Blast!

Martha and and I are regular contributors to Senator Leahy’s campaigns and we have met him on a number of occasions. When his staff suggested to his loyal supporters that we send the Senator some birthday cards on his 70th birthday in March we at Stave Puzzles decided to send him a special birthday puzzle instead. Checkout how we Photoshop’d his image into this popular scene. And check out the customized pieces. Because he is a fan of The Grateful Dead and Batman we wove those into the scene also.

In June Senator Leahy called me from Washington to say how much he and Marcelle enjoyed doing the puzzle. They had had a blast and chuckled all the way through. I told the Senator that if he and Marcelle were ever in the area please stop by for a tour which they did on Tuesday. It was our turn to have a blast as we showed them around and gave them a cutting demonstration. What FUN people they are!

Leahy22

Leahy33

Welcome To Our Humble Abode

stave viewGood Things Come in Small Packages
Earlier in the week I was lucky enough to be able to visit with guests who stopped in for a tour of the shop. We don’t have many opportunities to see our puzzlers so it’s fun to see them when they stop in. Mr. & Mrs. I. from Bethesda, MD., have been Stave puzzlers for nine years and often wondered what our shop is like. Boy, were they surprised! This is it? This is where it all happens?! Folks are always surprised that all that magic happens right here in our little workshop!

stave sign

When you see this sign, you’ll know you’ve made it to the right place!

Come On In!
It occurred to me others may have the same misconception. What better time to give you a peek into our world? We’re going to give you your very own tour of Stave Puzzles. When you’re sitting down working your next puzzle you’ll know right where it came from and how it came to be. But remember, this in NO WAY excuses you from making a pilgrimage to Stave. Make your travel plans today! And when†you do come by, ask for Tammy. She gives the best tour in town!

Yíall come back now, ya hear! Jennifer

tour

Don Giovanni Comes to Staveland

OK, I’m finally getting with the program, the Opera Program, that is. It’s taken me only 35 years to realize that an opera puzzle might be popular with some of our customers. So below is my first stab at one, Don Giovanni, which was introduced last week. What helped inspire this is our local opera company, Opera North, which is now doing Don Giovanni. Martha and I are going tomorrow night! Check out our home page for more info on this puzzle.

Don Giovanni puzzle sr

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.


Taking it easy

It’s Summertime and the livin’ is easy, isn’t that what Billie Holiday sang? It may be easy for some but summer can cause a few problems for us. We’re a small shop, just 10 saws, and as much as we love our jobs we do have to take a little time off every now and then. When do most people want a vacation? Summer! So, if your puzzles take a little longer to get to you, that’s why! What have your favorite cutters been up to? Ginny had a couple of weeks with her hubby and grand kids, Barb traveled the wild west and Di took some nice long drives to nowhere in particular with her husband. A bunch more of us will be in and out for the next few weeks, me included, so please be patient with us. We’ll get your puzzles cut, I promise!