Who likes Jigsaw Puzzles?

I haven’t done a jigsaw puzzle in a while. I hadn’t even thought of doing one, just busy with “other things.” So, I smiled when I saw this puzzle on the Clearance rack.

My first thought, the children’s book, “The Princess and the Pea.” What a cute idea to have a cat on top of a bunch of beautiful pillows. I love bright colors, so was attracted to this immediately. Another attraction was the size being rectangular versus square. I found that to be a challenge.

One thing though, the measurements. At 39 inches long, it takes up quite a bit of space on a dining table in an awkward way. A little bit shorter would have been better, but I don’t think puzzle makers take that into consideration. They are creators, right. They do what is visually appealing, leave technical issues to the puzzle maker purchaser. Fall in love with a puzzle and we can make it work!

Size aside, I’m looking forward to doing this puzzle. I smile every time I look at it. It’s just so colorful!

So, the BIG QUESTION — Do I start in the middle, do the border or the CAT FIRST??

Ah… the puzzle maker’s challenge!

Toy Collection — Do you remember Raggedy Ann?

Dolls, how many people are familiar with “Raggedy Ann?” When my mother grew up as a child in Italy, she didn’t have a doll. She must have longed for one, because when we were young she was ALWAYS looking for Raggedy Ann dolls.

When we walked through antique shops, she always found one. There were different sizes and styles as the doll kept evolving over the years. You can see in the YouTube video, this woman has quite a collection. I noticed the original dolls had orangey hair, not bright red and the doll is known for her triangular nose.

As I researched, I found that Johnny Gruelle (illustrator from Illinois) was the creator of Raggedy Ann. His daughter Marcella brought him a old rag doll, he drew a face on the doll and named it Raggedy Ann. His daughter loved her doll, so he created a book/doll combo (got a patent in 1915) and started selling in 1918. First dolls were delivered to Chicago! Many books followed.

Finally, Chicago is known for more than Al Capone / gangsters. I had no idea!

This is interesting, 75,000 handmade dolls were made between 1918-1926 by a toy company in Michigan called, “Unbreakabale Toy Company.” In 2018, the town of Muskegon celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Raggedy Ann and Andy. Yes, Raggedy Ann eventually had a brother, Raggedy Andy.

In 2002 Raggedy Ann was voted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. In 2007, Raggedy Andy, her brother, joined her.

My Mom will be so surprised to hear that her beloved Raggedy Ann was the creation of a man from Chicago.

And as Paul Harvey would say, “And now you now… the rest of the story.”

Donate your LEGO bricks for re-use, IT’S EASY!

Lego DonationsListen up everyone, do I have your attention?

LEGO is going greener.

LEGO just launched a pilot program called, “LEGO Replay” to make it easier for people to donate unwanted LEGO bricks. Here is what is great. This program provides FREE shipping labels to customers for their donations. Just ship your unwanted LEGO bricks to LEGO. Then they will clean and sort the donated bricks and deliver them to after-school programs for needy children.

If you are interested in learning how LEGO got started, here is a short animated video from YouTube that explains the story… “The LEGO story – How it all started

This was a wonderful idea!  Pass the word along, this way everyone can enjoy building with LEGOS.