Saturday, 13 April 2013

J is for ... Jigsaw

J is for ... Jigsaw.

You either love them or hate them.
Recently I have been trying to fit the pieces together of a 2000 piece Ravensburger puzzle. The picture is of an Italian coastline, looking in at the little Mediterranean style houses painted beautiful red, yellow, and salmon colors. Then nearly half of the picture is of the ocean, creating a mound of little ocean blue coloured jigsaw pieces, waiting to be fit together. This part is tough. So tough.
I'm no superstar when it comes to jigsaw puzzles. I often get frustrated, tired, and overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of pieces which lie scattered on the table. Especially when it is a 2000 piece puzzle.
But then, as I have done different puzzles with different people, I have learned the secrets to jigsaw puzzle success. And that is: a strategy. You can't just start looking for pieces and expect to connect the pieces; this would be just luck.
The first step is to find the edge pieces. Get these together, and you can make the boarder.
Then, separate the colors. Put all the ocean blue pieces together and deal with that last.
Identify an easy part of the picture to start with, something which has colors which are vibrant, detailed, or which there are only a few of. You can find these pieces easily and put them together.
You can do several little sections like this, and eventually they will connect.
Then comes the big blue ocean. I admit I don't have a strategy for that. Suggestions?
Strategy is pretty important in jigsaw puzzles, otherwise we just become impatient, frustrated, and demotivated. Then we categorically determine "I don't like jigsaw puzzles".
To me jigsaw puzzles are an example of real life. We need strategies for probably everything we do in our little lives. We need to follow a plan of action for everything; learning a new hobby, writing an essay, working through a problem, completing a degree, getting fit, planning an event, cooking a meal. If we have a plan, and we follow it, we should get the results we want.
If you get frustrated at jigsaws, step back and think about how you are approaching it. Are you just searching randomly for pieces, or do you have a method, and a plan?
The same goes for so many aspects of our lives. I still need to work out how I'm going to approach all that blue. I don't want to just pick up random blue pieces and hope they fit. The chances are it's not going to work.


  1. Good Post Stephanie! :)
    Alli and I worked on a Jigsaw puzzle in our hotel room 2 years ago while we were waiting to come back to Texas.
    You are so right about strategy in jigsaw puzzles, AND life! :)

  2. I absolutely love puzzles ... all sorts of puzzles, but especially the jigsaw kind. Perfect choice for J! :)

  3. I do like jigsaw puzzles, but, again, I don't have any time to spend on them. But, really, it's the lack of space. If I had a place to just leave one "in the works," I would.