Puzzle 888 - Sombrero Galaxy

By Custom Puzzle Craft

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Puzzle #888 - Sombrero Galaxy
The large expanses of black background provide an excellent theatre for the presenation of my Creative cutting style

As it happened (from my Journal archives)

August 25, 2012

Saturday 3:41 PM - A short while ago I mounted the print for #888, Sombrero. The board will remain in the press until this evening. Later today I'll design the border for the puzzle and decide on a small figural set. I'm planning to start cutting on Monday.

My right eye is still giving me problems since my retina surgery on the 16th. I think I'm in good shape for puzzle cutting, it's some peripheral vision things that bother me, I'll find out on Monday at the shop. I had a post-op exam a few days ago and the doctor said things looked good.

As for the Puzzle Exchange questionnaire, after some consultation, I've decided to put aside the idea of a massive questionnaire - I was planning to process it to come up with a "best practices" list based on comparing the feedback with the Exchange puzzles on hand and share my findings with the group. Perhaps as the next Parley approaches the issue can be re-addressed. Meanwhile I will be asking participants questions about their specific puzzles and some background information if not available on their websites. I sent one off to the first person on my review list and am working on the questionnaire for the second person (yesterday I spent several hours solving Melinda's puzzle in the "layered" configuration!). I still have not heard anything from 2 of the 20 cutters, but I'll sent small questionnaires to them anyway as their turns come around. I'm currently undecided as to where to post the reviews - here in this Journal or create a new webpage for them. I'm currently leaning toward a new webpage so they won't "scroll off" as they would if posted here. An alternative I'm thinking of doing is to post here and then archive on a new webpage.

August 27, 2012

Monday 5:04 PM - I'm now back to cutting for the first time since July 17th! I did the initial subdivision of puzzle #888, Sombrero, and then did the border, took about 2 1/2 hours. One piece was cut during the initial subdivision. The puzzle is a neat picture of the Sombrero Galaxy taken in infrared light by NASA's orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope, one of several great space based observatories, and then superimposed in "false colors" on another image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in optical light. See Astronomy Picture of the Day for details and credits. This picture was my choice for a "space puzzle" from several chosen by the customer - I chose this one as I felt my Creative cutting style would show up the best.

I expect to do some cutting each day and have the puzzle completed by the end of the week. Although I'm still having some vision problems associated with my recent retinal surgery, I had no problems cutting today!

Puzzle 888 with border template (the outer edge is the border, ignore the interior sides)

Puzzle 888 - Sombrero - status as of August 27, 2012

I'm behind on my email regarding review of the recent Puzzle Exchange puzzles, I'll get caught up by tomorrow. I've now heard from 19 of the 20 cutters.

August 28, 2012

Tuesday 5:59 PM - Today I was at my shop for about 3 1/2 hours and I cut about 60 pieces of #888, Sombrero Galaxy (I've decided to rename the puzzle from Sombrero to Sombrero Galaxy, as this title is more descriptive. The customer, of course, is welcome to intervene with another name before I complete the puzzle).

Cutting is going well, with some scattered areas of excellent cutting. There are couple pieces I wish I could do over again - I'm always hypercritical of my work in the early going when I have doubts as to whether I can pull off such an effort to my satisfaction!

Puzzle 888 - Sombrero Galaxy - status as of August 28, 2012
Signature piece at lower left

August 29, 2012

Wednesday 6:01 PM - I put in a pretty long day of cutting, about 6 hours at the shop and cut close to 90 more pieces of #888, Sombrero Galaxy at my usual slow 15-18 or so Creative style pieces per hour pace. Cutting is going very well, and puzzle is now looking quite good. I'm about half done. I will continue cutting over the next three days, not at the duration of today and I expect to complete the puzzle Saturday with shipment planned for Tuesday (Monday being Labor Day holiday).

Puzzle 888 - Sombrero Galaxy - status as of August 29, 2012
The image has more blue in it than that shown here, due to the sun interacting with the orangy fiberglass walls of the shop

August 30, 2012

Thursday 6:16 PM - I ended up putting in another fairly long day at the shop, at least 6 hours and cut around 77 more pieces of #888, Sombrero Galaxy. Some of the slow pace was due to my studying the work from time to time figuring out what was "needed" in various areas to keep the work flowing and balanced. Cutting continues to go well, I cut some more cool areas. No voids so far, fingers crossed! Today's picture was blurred; I did my best in Photoshop to make it look a bit better. I figure the current piece count is about 225 with about 75 pieces to go. The puzzle will end up having very close to 300 pieces. I'll come close to completing the puzzle tomorrow, but will be leaving the shop early for Pilates. I expect to complete the puzzle on Saturday including sanding the back, inspecting the pieces, counting, etc. I'll have better photos after the puzzle is completed.

Puzzle 888 - Sombrero Galaxy - status as of August 30, 2012
Original picture was blurred, edited in Photoshop

August 31, 2012

Friday 2:47 PM - Almost got the puzzle done. Have to leave immediately for my Pilates class. About 17 pieces to go! Will get it done tomorrow.

Puzzle 888 - Sombrero Galaxy - status as of August 31, 2012

September 1, 2012

Saturday 5:42 PM - This afternoon I completed puzzle #888, Sombrero Galaxy. The overall look of the puzzle is excellent! Preliminary piece count: 313. I'll have a picture of some select pieces after I complete the inspection and packing process. The puzzle will ship on Tuesday.

Puzzle 888 - figurals

September 2, 2012

Sunday 11:57 PM - Spent several hours today cleaning / inspecting the pieces for #888, Sombrero Galaxy. All done now, the puzzle is packed and ready to go. Final piece count: 312. Will have a picture of the box of pieces here tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'll focus on the very long delayed review of the parley puzzles. I will start publishing here later in the week. I still need to get most of the questionnaires out before I start posting reviews. Work on the next puzzles in the Puzzle Queue will be delayed until all of the puzzles are reviewed and the article for the AGPC Quarterly is written.

September 3, 2012

Monday 10:54 AM - Picture of box of pieces as mentioned yesterday:

Puzzle 888, Sombrero Galaxy, box of pieces

Monday 6:47 PM - I've made good progress getting mini-questionnaire emails out to the Puzzle Exchange participants. I'm about half way done. Will do a few more later this evening and work at it tomorrow and get them all out. I expect to start posting puzzle reviews here on Wednesday, maybe at the rate of two a day as I need to get hustling on the article for the AGPC quarterly. I very much appreciate those who have already gotten back to me, will make my effort a lot easier! Tango class now.

Sombrero Galaxy
NASA photograph
Date Completed
September 1, 2012
19.43" x 10.88"
Cutting Style
# Pieces
Color Line Cutting
Telescope, Space Shuttle, UFO

© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster

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