Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Journey of 2000 Pieces

... Begins today!

Yep, I'm starting on the next puzzle. The first puzzle is resting comfortably at Michael's craft store here in Henderson--I dropped it off there yesterday. What an adventure that was.

First of all, remember all those prices they were quoting me that were upwards of $200? And then remember in the comments section of that last post how I got excited for the 55% off coupon Sonya clued me in on? Well, as it turns out, those prices I was quoted already included the so-called discount. Basically, they jack their prices up a few days a month, and then their framing services are constantly on 'sale'. No coupon needed. Whatever.

The problem I faced is that the puzzle, with mat and frame, is so big that it's off their standard size charts. The 'regular' price of matting and framing for something that big runs around $600. Ouch. But by then, I'd resigned myself to the fact that I would pay a hefty fee to get that thing mounted and suitable for hanging, so I just bit the bullet, said f*ck it, and assumed the position.

I figured that if they were gonna charge me an arm and a leg to frame it, than I was gonna make sure I got my money's worth in the shopping process. I'm sure that their custom framing manager was good and ready to see me hit the exit, because while I was in there choosing mats and a frame, I was every bit as picky and undecided as a past-her-prime trophy wife shopping for shoes at Neiman Marcus. After looking at dozens of textures and color combinations, I ended up going with a double mat, gray and forest green, and a dark bamboo-style frame. It'll be ready in two weeks.

The total damage, with tax, came to just over three bills, and believe me, I immediately had buyer's remorse after I walked out of the store with nothing but an empty wallet and a receipt for my troubles. Of course, that nagging feeling of getting jacked faded a bit after a good stiff martini. While drinking it, I convinced myself that I was getting a very cool and unique piece of art, regardless of the price.

Anyhow. I've moved on. Just tonight I opened up the second puzzle and started the long and arduous process of sorting the pieces and turning them all face-up. This is what I've got after my first hour or so:

There's one thing that I immediately noticed--this is not the same puzzle I had ten years ago. Oh, it's the same picture, but it's definitely a different puzzle. This one has a black border all the way around it, and then it has a white-lined inner border surrounding the actual picture. The inner border will be a snap, but the outer edge pieces will be a pain in the ass of epic proportions. Remember all that indistinct brown I was bitching about on that last one? Well multiply it by a hundred here. I guess the puzzle maker realized that most people do the easier outer straight-edge pieces first, so he threw me a curve ball and said Here you go, biatch--I'm gonna make the edges be the hard part. Pretty tricky, that puzzle maker guy.

So I spent some time sifting through all the pieces, and in the left box I have the straight-edge pieces, and in the right-side box I have the inner border pieces that have the white pinstripe on them. I haven't found all the 'easy' pieces yet, I'm sure, but I'm off to a good start. And I've already found the corner pieces and got five or six pieces of the title put together, too.

This one is gonna take a few months. As always, I'll keep you posted.


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