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The Chief Tormentor

The Deliciously Devilish Blog of Puzzling News From Staveland

Stave Cutters Force Chief Tormentor to Sign Contract

OK, OK, I admit it. Sometimes I, Chief Tormentor, accidentally torment my wonderful Stave crafters. This time I went too far and they rebelled. They ‘forced’ me to sign a contract that I would never, ever design a certain type of TroubleMaker puzzle again…. see below. That’s Paula giving the signed contract the official Stave seal. Hmmmm.. … live and learn.

contract1

contract2

contract3

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

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

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

We’ve Got Designs on You

Fresh as a Daisy
Thereís nothing like some time†off to rejuvenate the brain. I†thoroughly enjoyed my ëstaycationí†and spent a restful, sunny week†enjoying the beauty of Vermont†and New Hampshire. What an†incredible place to live!

Now Iím ready for anything! The days are getting shorter, the nights are cooler and weíll be gearing up for our holiday season
soon. Bring it on! Weíve got some†new stuff in the works and weíre†looking forward to puzzling you†and your families.

On the Horizon
So what do you have to look†forward to in the coming months?†You know you can count on†fabulous Traditional puzzle images†to choose from. Susanís been†checking out†hundreds of†potential images†and found some†great new stuff.†Peter Sampleís†Derby Day is fun†and perfect for†puzzling. It has†great colors and†thereís so much†going on youíre not going to know†what piece goes where! You can be†sure there are going to be plenty of†holiday images to choose from in†the coming months.

vt-designCheryl Johnson has begun†working on a new set of Teaser†puzzles featuring each of the states†in our beautiful country. Weíre†starting with the East coast, and†have Vermont almost ready to go.†Cheryl has begun working on the†prototype for Maine while sheís†waiting for me to get the Vermont†design cut and tested. Keep your†eye out for these fifty nifty puzzles.

Paula pitched a really neat†Trick puzzle idea to Steve just last†week. I could hear the excitement†in his voice and saw that glimmer†in his eye when we began talking†about it. Iím not going to give you†any hints just yet but I think youíre†going to love it and be in for a real†treat!

Home Decorating

When you spend a lot of time in one place it begins to feel like home. If†you were to peek in the window of our cutting room to get a glimpse of†the magic that happens in the shop, youíll see posters, photos, funky chair†covers and the pink flamingos on Diannaís saw. PINK FLAMINGOS??

You know there has to be a story here, right? Many years ago, Di arrived†home to find her lawn littered with a whole flock of the bright birds. You†might think sheís fond of the critter†but sheís not! Sheís not quite sure†who did the dirty deed but many†others have continued to torture†her over the years. As you can see,†she has been gifted with many by†her friends at Stave. Itís always fun†to see her reaction when a new bird†has joined the flock!

It didnít take Samara long to make herself at home. She enjoys her James†Christensen calendar, a few notes to herself and a big green pickle.
A PICKLE???? Who hangs a pickle on their wall? Samaraís sister gave her†the funny card for her birthday and it now graces her wall. Check out the†cute card with all the things that go together: butter and bread, salt and†pepper, etc. Her friend, our very own Meg, drew it for her.

Would you smile every time you looked up†from your work and looked into these big olí†eyes? This cute little duck sits atop Ginnyís†saw, keeping her company while sheís working†on those Trick puzzles you like so much. The†froggie watches over Lori.

Meg was the reason we grew†from 9 saws to 10. We tucked†her in the corner, at the end of†the line next to Ginny, and she†likes her spot. Meg has taken†the time to hang some things†on the walls to make her space†her own!

decor

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

Stave Cutters Force Chief Tormentor to Sign Contract

OK, OK, I admit it. Sometimes I, Chief Tormentor, accidentally torment my wonderful Stave crafters. This time I went too far and they rebelled. They ‘forced’ me to sign a contract that I would never, ever design a certain type of TroubleMaker puzzle again…. see below. That’s Paula giving the signed contract the official Stave seal. Hmmmm.. … live and learn.

contract1

contract2

contract3

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

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

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

We’ve Got Designs on You

Fresh as a Daisy
Thereís nothing like some time†off to rejuvenate the brain. I†thoroughly enjoyed my ëstaycationí†and spent a restful, sunny week†enjoying the beauty of Vermont†and New Hampshire. What an†incredible place to live!

Now Iím ready for anything! The days are getting shorter, the nights are cooler and weíll be gearing up for our holiday season
soon. Bring it on! Weíve got some†new stuff in the works and weíre†looking forward to puzzling you†and your families.

On the Horizon
So what do you have to look†forward to in the coming months?†You know you can count on†fabulous Traditional puzzle images†to choose from. Susanís been†checking out†hundreds of†potential images†and found some†great new stuff.†Peter Sampleís†Derby Day is fun†and perfect for†puzzling. It has†great colors and†thereís so much†going on youíre not going to know†what piece goes where! You can be†sure there are going to be plenty of†holiday images to choose from in†the coming months.

vt-designCheryl Johnson has begun†working on a new set of Teaser†puzzles featuring each of the states†in our beautiful country. Weíre†starting with the East coast, and†have Vermont almost ready to go.†Cheryl has begun working on the†prototype for Maine while sheís†waiting for me to get the Vermont†design cut and tested. Keep your†eye out for these fifty nifty puzzles.

Paula pitched a really neat†Trick puzzle idea to Steve just last†week. I could hear the excitement†in his voice and saw that glimmer†in his eye when we began talking†about it. Iím not going to give you†any hints just yet but I think youíre†going to love it and be in for a real†treat!

Home Decorating

When you spend a lot of time in one place it begins to feel like home. If†you were to peek in the window of our cutting room to get a glimpse of†the magic that happens in the shop, youíll see posters, photos, funky chair†covers and the pink flamingos on Diannaís saw. PINK FLAMINGOS??

You know there has to be a story here, right? Many years ago, Di arrived†home to find her lawn littered with a whole flock of the bright birds. You†might think sheís fond of the critter†but sheís not! Sheís not quite sure†who did the dirty deed but many†others have continued to torture†her over the years. As you can see,†she has been gifted with many by†her friends at Stave. Itís always fun†to see her reaction when a new bird†has joined the flock!

It didnít take Samara long to make herself at home. She enjoys her James†Christensen calendar, a few notes to herself and a big green pickle.
A PICKLE???? Who hangs a pickle on their wall? Samaraís sister gave her†the funny card for her birthday and it now graces her wall. Check out the†cute card with all the things that go together: butter and bread, salt and†pepper, etc. Her friend, our very own Meg, drew it for her.

Would you smile every time you looked up†from your work and looked into these big olí†eyes? This cute little duck sits atop Ginnyís†saw, keeping her company while sheís working†on those Trick puzzles you like so much. The†froggie watches over Lori.

Meg was the reason we grew†from 9 saws to 10. We tucked†her in the corner, at the end of†the line next to Ginny, and she†likes her spot. Meg has taken†the time to hang some things†on the walls to make her space†her own!

decor

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