These 2 characters, Amy and Lucien, go way back with us…. 1992…. saw us in USAir inflight mag. They have over 70 Stave puzzles. In 2010 their house got hit by lightning and burned to ground. Everyone was safe but all their puzzles, stored in a table/chest, got waterlogged. So we’ve been helping them replace the damaged puzzles. Amy made a special little cake for us. Note her Stave Puzzles box. Footnote: during our 1995 puzzle party they “borrowed” one of my “Steve’s” staplers which traveled far and wide while sending back photo reports with us not knowing who swiped the stapler. During this visit Jenn and I kept a close eye on them. They do look like Troublemakers, don’t they.
YEA! A Stave customer just invited me to play golf at Pine Valley, a “to-kill-for” invitation. Pine Valley, in the pine barrens of southern New Jersey, is an ultra exclusive club often ranked right next to Augusta National as either #1 or #2 best course in USA. But ARGH! I can’t make it because Martha and I are heading to Cape Cod that week to celebrate our anniversary…. the price of love!
Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve been a member of various clubs. I think the first club I became a member of was the Girls Only club that my sister and I started to keep our two brothers out of our room! We were the only two members but we were a force to be reckoned with!
My next experience was when I joined the Girls Scouts as a Brownie. That’s where I met my best friend, Claire, and we’ve been lifelong friends ever since. As we grew older, we flew up to the rank of Girl Scout. Claire never liked the uniforms but hey, redheads look great in green, right? We really did learn a lot in those years and the benefits of being members of the scouts is still with us. Claire was our top cookie seller for five years running and now she’s top in sales at her company.
In my college years I joined a sorority. I met amazing women and together we did some pretty neat things. We organized several fundraising benefits for local families as well as national organizations. There is something very powerful about a group of women. We were passionate about what we did and we worked well together as a team to get the job done.
So where is all this going? Have you ever noticed how puzzlers seem to have a private group of their own? Puzzling isn’t one of those hobbies, like golf, where it’s out for the world to see. Puzzling is usually done in the comfort of your own home so it tends to be private. And here’s some great news – Stave is starting a Travel Club! They’re not actually “taking” us anywhere, but more helping us to travel the world in puzzle form. I hear there are six legs of the journey, but I haven’t actually gotten all of the details yet. I’ve been told to keep an eye on my mailbox because all the nitty-gritty facts will be arriving soon. My buddy at Stave – Bri – said something about that the only passport I’ll need is the one that Stave will give me.
I think this is a great way to see the world without having to deal with delayed flights and lost luggage. As a matter of fact, Claire and I decided we’re going to travel together and share the journey. This is going to be so cool!!
Gotta run. It’s time to start packing!!!
I’ve spent two of the last three weekends enjoying the company of some of my favorite people. In mid- February my husband Rick and I traveled to Walland, TN., with fellow Staver Carol and her husband Hank. Our destination? Blackberry Farm, a luxury hotel and resort situated on a pastoral 4200- acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains where we spent three days puzzling with friends, old and new. Last weekend, Rick and I were off to The Point, a unique, private estate where luxurious splendor is weaved amongst New York wilderness in Saranac Lake. Carol and Hank have hosted the puzzling event at The Point in past years but this year they had too much going on so Rick and I filled in. After only a couple of hours of experiencing The Point, I sent Carol a message letting her know she made a BIG mistake by not being there. Rick and I fell in love with all The Point has to offer. Once again, we were greeted by familiar faces as well as new but by the end of the weekend, we were all comrades in puzzling.
Our puzzling weekends at these amazing getaways offer something for everyone. Some puzzlers pack the most they can into the weekend, enjoying a spa treatment or a hike between puzzling sessions. Some who come vie for the much coveted title of Over Achiever. This award is bestowed upon the first place winner in the puzzling competitions and it’s accompanied by a very fashionable medal.
And then there are those who come to simply puzzle: all day and all night. They are there when I come down in my robe for my first cup of coffee in the morning and they are still there puzzling into the wee hours. When do they sleep?! I ended our whirlwind time of puzzling thinking how much Stave Puzzles has in common with these fabulous places. We all have one goal in mind: to give you the best experience you can have. Whether it’s plying you with amazing food and drink, organizing a hike through the woods, a boat ride on the lake, or creating a puzzle masterpiece for you to make order out of havoc, we’ll do whatever is in our power to make the time you puzzle with us everything you could want and more. There’s something very gratifying in it and that must be why we’re all doing what we do!
Come join us at our next puzzling event. You’ll love the locale, the people and the puzzling. I promise!
Steve does some great work when he’s on vacation. He and Martha head to warmer climates and while they’re enjoying the sun and sand, the wheels in that whacky mind of his are turning like mad. His vacation time is when some of our best puzzles have originated. Last month when Steve and Martha were relaxing, Steve spent a good amount of time on the internet looking at websites. No, he wasn’t shopping for a new jigsaw, he was looking at what really makes a website stand out because it’s high time we updated the Stave Puzzles website! We need to make it easier for you to find just what you’re looking for.
The internet has totally changed how we work. In the old days we put together a four page black and white mailing piece that may have shown 12 or 15 images. When the option of high-quality color copies became available to us, we graduated to producing mailing pieces in color that were great supplements to our professionally produced catalog. Mailing days were always fun. We’d get some chips and salsa and a bag of M&M’s and gather around the table to fold pages, stuff envelopes and stick mailing labels. Then we’d have to add postage and deliver them to the post office. Whew! As you know, we still put out a newsletter every few weeks but a large majority of our puzzlers head straight to our website to find their puzzles.
Shop at Home
With the widespread use of the internet, we’ve had to change with the times. You don’t need to sit and wait for the newsletter to hit your mailbox, anymore. You can have our entire catalog at your fingertips any time of day or night. You can find the perfect puzzle to take with you on vacation while you’re sitting at home having breakfast on a Saturday or check the selection of Gustafson prints while you’re waiting for the car to be serviced at the garage. You can even sneak a peek at the newest Teaser puzzle while you’re supposed to be working!
Keeping It Simple
Because the web has given you the freedom to peruse our site at your leisure, it’s important that we keep things fresh, exciting, and easy to use and that’s where we’re going to focus our energy in the coming months. We’re going to give you great categories like Destinations where you can search for puzzle images of specific locations like New York or Paris. If you are looking for something for someone who loves the arts, you’ll find a category for that, too, where we’ll have puzzles with a theater or musical theme. And if you want to find a puzzle for your spouse who has a love of gardening, you’ll head to the Hobbies category where you’ll find the perfect gardening themed puzzles to choose from. We’re even going to have a Sock it to Him/Her category where you’ll find just the right puzzle to drive your puzzler crazy! Keep watch in the coming months. You’ll see great things coming your way!
Until the next time,
A few of my friends and I were lazing around a couple weeks ago, lamenting how we never do anything fun and different. Laura feels like she’s on a never-ending treadmill where the scenery never changes. Jaime thinks change is hard for us and that’s why we’re so comfortable in our routines. Claire announced it’s time we grabbed life by the horns and made our own excitement! I’m kind of with all of them. I like my daily routine but feel like it’s time to shake things up. We started throwing out ideas of ways we could spice things up and came up with the same old things: a girls trip to Vegas, a cruise, a dude ranch, a weekend of hiking and camping… all the things that come to mind when a few girlfriends plan a trip. But none of us really have the vacation time built up due to the trip we took last summer so we decided to compromise. We decided to plan a day trip with the stipulation that it couldn’t be something we normally do. One of the girls mentioned she’d like to do something that would enrich her life, like take a cooking class or a jewelry making class. Everyone seemed to love that idea so we put our heads together to find just
the right adventure.
As you probably know, any time you’re trying to organize an event involving more than a couple people you’ll have scheduling conflicts. We found a great bread baking class we were all excited about but only two of us had the weekend free. We ran into the same problem with a quilting class, too. So we threw the whole ‘class’ idea out the window for now and decided to find a little culture on our own. That’s when it hit me. Let’s go to The Greenwich Workshop!! They showcase so many fabulous artists that I knew we would find something for everyone and have a great time.
So last weekend we all piled in the car and headed to Seymour, CT. “Lead foot” Laura drove so we got there in no time at all, and without a speeding ticket, too! The artwork at Greenwich is just amazing and it was so interesting to see what each of us fell in love with. It’s no wonder Jaime was drawn to the wildlife images by Simon Combes considering she’s got a leopard print chair in her apartment! Claire fell in love with Scott Gustafson’s work, especially The Frog Prince. I think it’s because the little girl in the painting looks just like Claire. Laura spent a summer traveling the wild west with her family when she was a teen so she immediately fell in love with the work of Bev Doolittle. I don’t think she ever did decide if Music in the Wind or Woodland Encounter was her favorite. I fell in love with the magic of James Christensen. It was simply jaw dropping to see the originals of Faery Tales and Maiden Voyage hanging in the gallery.
We were all so impressed with the beauty and quality of the work at GWS that we decided to chip in and purchase a framed print of The Bride, by James Christensen, for our friend, Lucy, who is getting married in June. And to make the gift even more special, we’re going to have our friends at Stave cut that very same image into a puzzle! Aren’t we brilliant?
1. Eyes of Warning, Simon Combes
2. Frog Prince, Scott Gustafson
3. Woodland Encounter, Bev Doolittle
4. Music In The Wind, Bev Doolittle
5. Maiden Voyage, James C. Christensen
6. Faery Tales, James C. Christensen
The Bride, James C. Christensen (framed artwork)
All Images: © 2012 The Greenwich Workshop®, Inc.
It’s hard to believe that we are saying goodbye to 2011 and welcoming 2012!! Wow…. where did the time go??? It feels like just yesterday I showed up on the puzzling scene to ramp up your fun and tell you all about the great happenings here in Staveland! So…. where shall we start? The Holidays were just
so magical, were’nt they? All that glitz, all that spirit and amazing family times! I hope all of my favorite puzzlers had a wonderful holiday! I don’t know about you but I’m sure in need of a vacation! It was a hopping December in Staveland thanks to all of you! The phones were just a ringin’ and our saws were just a buzzin’! I have to say that there is no better way to get in the holiday spirit than to see all of your gifty puzzles floating through Staveland! The glittery gift wrap and our fabby annual Staveornament to snazz up your puzzle gifts! I could tell we were going to have some super excited Holiday puzzlers come Christmas morning!! Wowza! On top of that, my gift wrapping skills improved tremendously! Which is always a bonus because I still needed to wrap my own gifts! We hope your puzzle table was filled to the brim with over the top quality family time! And… hopefully you were on Santa’s list to receive an extra special Stave puzzle yourself! There’s nothin’ like a place where family, friends and all those four legged critters gather ‘round. Especially at the Holidays! Oh my…. the memories!
My friends here at Stave are wicked excited to start 2012 off with a big bang! Another amazing puzzling year is coming up. You can be sure of that! Fabulous fun mixed with pure addicting torture is what my Stave pals are conjuring up behind the scenes. The question is, are you ready? Although the Holidays are behind us now there is another favorite Stave Holiday right around the corner. Valentine’s Day! Woohoo!! Don’t you just love, love, love pink?! It rates right up there with chocolate in my mind. Pink, chocolate and puzzles. Is there a better combination? Now way!!! So…. inside this amazing mailing that my good friends here at Stave have designed specifically for you, you will be stunned to find the sweetest collection of super duper Valentine ideas for your sweetie. Heck, I plan to get one for myself! There is plenty to choose from, that’s for sure. And, if you need even more romantic ideas (or pink for that matter) just let us know! We’ve been known to sweep sweethearts off their feet with our drop dead goregous proposal puzzles—how romantic is that?!! If you want to really push the romance envelope Stave is hosting a puzzle weekend extravaganza at The Point this coming March. A sumptuous mountain retreat in the heart of the Adirondacks. Talk about bringin’ on the WOW factor! WOWZA!
For more details please go here.
Puzzles are fun anytime of the year but they are an extra fun winter time adventure. When the temps drop and the fire is blazing there’s nothing better than hunkering down on a snowy day with a nice hot cup of cocoa and hearing the pieces of my favorite puzzle click into place. Or, if the cold isn’t your scene, tropical vacations work for me and my favorite wooden puzzles. Just ask me! The perfect escape with “the ultimate escape!” Just don’t forget to send me my ticket!! Working a puzzle while sitting in the sun and sipping a tropical, breezy, colorful drink sounds dreamy to me !
p.s. OMG! I almost forgot!! Don’t forget to check out these two new adorable TIDBITS below!!