A Magnificent Collection

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I listened to the news report about the auction of Peggy and David Rockefeller’s coveted art collection. The sale at Christie’s auction house in New York City brought in a record-setting $646 million. Wowza!! Sure makes me wish I had spent more time in the art room when I was in school!

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Make It a Great Day!

I’ve just returned from our 13th annual puzzling weekend at Blackberry Farm and boy, did we have a blast!! If you haven’t heard about Blackberry Farm, it’s a beautiful luxury hotel situated on a 4200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s the perfect place to escape the modern day frenzy we sometimes find ourselves in. Blackberry Farm wants their guests to get in the “Blackberry state of mind”– to relax, slowdown, unplug and unwind. And believe me, you will! I think my blood pressure starts going down as soon as I see the first white fence on Blackberry’s property. We had our largest group ever this year, with 36 guests. Many in the group are dedicated fans, some having come to every puzzling event at Blackberry Farm. We were joined by some new puzzlers, too. Once again, at the end of the weekend it felt like we’d known each other for years. One of the regulars likes to describe the event as “It’s the family reunion with people you like.” And that’s the truth. We all look forward to seeing each other every February.

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Carving Out Good Times

We’ve had some cool nights and mornings recently and I’ve noticed my shopping cart veering towards the candy displays in the stores. That must mean Halloween is on its way. Some days I manage to steer my cart in the other direction, but sometimes the cart wins and Iendupwithabagofmini Snickers or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in my basket. Hey, win some, lose some, right?!

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Be My Guest

Hey Everybody, Happy August! Wait a minute-August??? What happened to June and July?! Why is it that the things you want to go on forever seem to fly by and the things you want to go by quickly drag on and on? Life sure is weird like that. Needless to say, I’d like the promise of more great weather and more time to get outside. I’m not sure what my problem is, but my summer hasn’t really felt like much of one. I’ve only had my kayak out on the water once and I hardly have any tan at all. I’m hoping to remedy the situation in a couple of weeks when my husband and I head to Lake George, NY, to spend some time with my mother-in-law. I’m planning on spending lots of time on the dock, soaking up as much sun and fresh air as I can. Yeah, yeah, I’ll use sunscreen.

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Life’s a Puzzle

It’s officially summer and it’s been a wet one here in Vermont. We had a rainstorm on the July 4th weekend that did some serious damage to area roads. We had so much rain so fast it caused roads and culverts to totally wash out. In fact, our area was one of the hardest hit. FEMA has been doing damage assessment and the road crews have been diligently working on the repairs.

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Popularity Contest!

Yesterday Stave puzzle cutter, Evie, came into my office and said, “Jennifer, I have a great puzzle idea!” Well, if you celebrate the Day of the Dead you’ll know just what Evie was talking about. It’s a Sugar Skull! She showed me the sketch you see here and excitedly began talking about what she would do as a potential puzzle design.

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Inside the Mind of a Stave Artisan

Pick an Image, Any Image

If you don’t find something to love in this newsletter then I’d be surprised. When our graphic artist, Bri, shared these images with us, we were all salivating over them. “I want to cut that one!” “Look at all that color-line cutting you could do in that one!” That’s just how an artisan’s mind works. We look at an image and think of all the fun things we could do if we were crafting it into a puzzle.

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