This year for Christmas, I wanted to get Rob a gift that he would really enjoy. Last year, I went the practical route and bought him a new suit (which he desperately needed) but I wanted this year to be different. Rob and I had each created a Pinterest board of our wish lists this year. I kept a careful eye on his wishlist and scrolled past the boring cords and computer accessories he had pinned. Instead, I had an eye on the Jigsort 1500 puzzle case.
Rob and I both enjoy jigsaw puzzles, but I haven’t worked on one in at least a decade because I don’t want to look at a table full of puzzle pieces for weeks at a time. We saw a similar puzzle case and mat at a friend’s house this summer and Rob was instantly in love. This was the answer to our jigsaw puzzle predicament! The case contains all of the pieces of the puzzle, includes sorting mats, and all of the pieces can be securely place inside the mat’s carrying case and stowed safely out of sight. The fit is very snug so you can even hold the case vertically and none of the pieces will slip if you secure them according to the directions. Crazy, right? We don’t have big plans to travel with our puzzle case, but we love how easy it is to store the puzzle under our sofa when it’s not in use.
This is the best gift I got Rob for Christmas this year. He and I have enjoyed many, many, many hours working on a jigsaw puzzle together. It has become our new favorite hobby and I love that it’s entertainment that doesn’t revolve around a television or computer screen. (This post contains affiliate links.)
So what’s the worst gift I bought for Rob this year?
I couldn’t give Rob just a puzzle case. It needed a puzzle to go with it. I looked on Amazon and there were lots of great puzzle options. There were puzzles featuring adult beverages, Disney stained glass pictures, candy wrappers, a gorgeous Italian coastline, a collection of pencils, even an old-fashioned book store. Those puzzles looked great and like a lot of fun to assemble. But it really wasn’t a gift for me. This was Rob’s gift so I looked around for the nerdiest puzzle I could find, even if it didn’t sound fun to me. A Star Wars-themed photomosaic jigsaw puzzle featuring an image of Darth Vader was the perfect gift for my nerdy husband (and definitely the most self-less jigsaw puzzle gift I could possibly give).
And so it began. Our new hobby. No television or electronic distractions. Just the two of us and our Star Wars jigsaw puzzle.
Predictably, we did all of the edges first, then gradually worked our way in. As we worked, a definite theme began to emerge. Avoid the black pieces at all costs. The entire puzzle is really difficult because it is a photomosaic. The tiny pictures skew the color scheme and no pieces are easy to match. But the blacks and browns that make up the figure of Darth Vader … those pieces are especially difficult.
So once the edges were complete, we did whatever any normal person would have done… we started working on Darth Vader’s belt because it had the brightest colors.
This puzzle has become our Everest. Last week, Rob politely turned to me and requested that he be the one to choose the next puzzle. Normally, I might be offended, but it’s a reasonable request. I did, after all, select the most difficult puzzle ever as his Christmas gift.
At least our puzzle case makes it easy for us to move the puzzle from one area to another in our condo. We have worked on our coffee table, at our dining table and on the floor. And I’ve loved the ability to hide the puzzle under the sofa when we’re not working on it.
This is how the puzzle looked on Monday.
In the past few days, we finally made some headway on the puzzle. Rob and I are ferociously determined to finish it so we can work on a new jigsaw puzzle that’s less challenging. We have about 100 pieces left and I suspect all of the pieces will be in place before we head to bed tonight.
Even though the Darth Vader jigsaw puzzle has proven to be the most difficult puzzle we have ever assembled, we are having so much fun working on it together and it’s great to have another shared interest outside of blogging and photography.
We already decided that our next puzzle will be much less challenging and a lot more colorful. You can join the jigsaw fun with us. We are hoping to begin early next week!