LIFE IS A PUZZLE

By Margaret

Dear readers – I have a confession to make.  I love puzzles!

Every morning my husband and I eagerly retrieve our 2 newspapers from the front porch (yes we still get actual paper news!).  We devour all of our favourite sections, then I hunker down with my coffee to attack the puzzle pages.  I especially enjoy the crossword puzzles although, I must admit, I sometimes need a little tech help.  

So it should come as no surprise that jigsaw puzzles are near the top of my puzzle list. I recently came upon some interesting information from the new magazine “Reveal” by Johnathan and Drew Scott, the Property Brothers.

“The latest childhood hobby that adults are co-opting for some much-needed mental relaxation? Jigsaw puzzles. The puzzle market is booming with sales projected to hit $730 million by 2024, according to the financial-news site MarketWatch. That upsurge might be tied to news about the therapeutic benefits of puzzles: Along with the ability to soothe anxiety and stress, research shows that a good ol’ jigsaw can also fine-tune cognitive skills: A 2019 study out of the University of Exeter in the U.K. found positive links between puzzle use and improved reasoning, memory, and focus.”

While in Florida in 2019 I bought a box containing 4 one thousand piece puzzles depicting the 4 seasons. I chose a summer seaside scene and worked diligently on it with the help of my sister-in-law on the rainy days or early in the morning before the gang was up. We were so proud to complete it before we had to dismantle it to return home.

Last fall I spent time on the fall scene,

and then began the winter scene once we were under “stay at home” directives.  It was very challenging and there were often times I wanted to just scoop it up and admit defeat.  But then the next day I would approach it with renewed optimism and “pieceful” success!!!!!

My love of puzzles and the challenges that come with them translates to my work as a furniture stager and stylist at The Millionaire’s Daughter in Oakville.  We receive so many varied items from consignors with such different styles and it is my job to figure out how to fit these pieces together to complete the design puzzle in different vignettes.  I have realized that many of the principles of jigsaw puzzle design apply to vignette design:

  • Pieces are different shapes, sizes and colours
  • The number of pieces is often proportional to the difficulty of the task
  • Some pieces are very relevant/prominent while others help to fill the space but are no less important to the overall end product
  • The job can be done alone but help is valued and often needed
  • Time, patience and vision are required
  • Mistakes happen and can be learned from

In this uncertain time, and in life in general, these principles apply.  There are so many unknowns right now but our governments and business leaders have put a framework (outside pieces) together.  We are all filling in the puzzle with our efforts(front line workers), patience (stay at home) and vision (there will be a tomorrow!)  Mistakes have and will be made but the work will go on and an end will be achieved eventually with time.

While at home I have been working on a number of furniture projects with some ready to take to the store to sell as soon as we are open again.  One project that I am very excited about is coming together as a puzzle might.  I have taken various pieces from my collection of “treasures” and am working on piecing them together. Here are some photos of the pieces in the “BEFORE” stage.  

One hint is that all of these pieces will go together as one project.  Can you guess what it will be?  Stay tuned for the “REVEAL” and keep moving forward to successfully fit your “life” puzzle pieces together.

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  • Thanks for that uplifting and interesting writing. As a puzzle person it was much appreciated especially in these “puzzling” times. Look forward to seeing your results of the bits and pieces.
    Good luck, keep well and thanks from Aurora!

  • So comforting to hear of someone else being addicted to puzzles!
    I am working on #6 my most challenging yet.
    It really does all the things mentioned which are many and varied.
    Can’t wait to see your project…I predict it will be a bench or shelve unit!
    Stay healthy and safe.

  • A pantry/decorator shelf is my guess. As far as puzzles, I have done several since isolation and before. I am now redoing some since the stores are not accessible to buy more. Take care.
    Wendy

  • Love this post! And funnily enough, a girlfriend and I were talking about puzzles and how healthy (in so many ways) they can be. She’s recently taken up the hobby again, and this time with her 24 year old son, with whom she’s self-isolated. And he’s loving it too!

    And can’t wait to see the reveal re the secret project!

  • I really enjoyed this piece Marg. Phil and I are busy on our second puzzle as well. Proving to be very difficult but we are enjoying it nonetheless.

    Keep up the interesting blogs and I look forward to your new project.

    Thanks,
    Anne Van Impe

  • Thanks for the wonderful bright story, filled with puzzle pieces!!!
    We’re all in this together
    Perhaps a ‘day-bed” is in the making????
    Stay well

  • I also, enjoy doing puzzles of all types….and… you are not alone in getting the daily newspaper! We enjoy a coffee and a read in our certain sections. Of course a good Sudoku is in order!
    My guess would be that your treasures will create a beautiful garden bench….I would be tempted to make a planter box and grow a creeping plant up the back! Thanks for the read….