Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Ahead I - The Puzzle Queen

When I came up with the title for this post it didn't occur to me just how much I've really done over the past 10 years and how ridiculous it would be to try to recap all of it in just one blog post...So I think I will break it into a few posts spread out over the next week or so. :) I'll start with inspiration for a major undertaking...Mosaic Table Tops...

When I was young, elementary school aged, I was constantly put to shame by my sister who excelled at puzzles. She'd blast through a 1000 piece puzzle in two days flat and strut around the house like the puzzle queen. She even went so far as to buy the puzzle preserver one time to savor the victory of finishing one of her fabulous puzzles. She was relentless in her pursuit of the perfect puzzle. She quickly advanced from 1000 piecers to 2500 and 5000! Her puzzles would take up the entire play table and I couldn't do a darn thing about it. So one day I devised a plan to curtail her love of the predominant puzzling that was taking over my craft area...

We went to the store and I watched Karen pick out her next victim...a 10,000 piece puzzle. I was bound and determined to take the puzzle queen crown so I waited patiently until she got home and opened the box, carefully pulling out all the edge pieces, which, everybody knows, is the ONLY way to start a puzzle...and while "helping her" pick out the edge pieces I silently and stealthily pocketed one little piece from the center section of course. Then it was all patience...who knew how long it would take her to finish this beastly puzzle, 10,000 pieces could take days...but I waited and lurked and waited some more until finally she was almost done. There she was holding what she thought was the last piece in her hands. She placed it in the puzzle and slowly started to realize the puzzle wasn't done...there was a gaping hole in it! But it was a new puzzle! How on earth could there be a piece missing already?!?! 

When she started to huff and puff, my parents and grandmother rushed in to help look for the missing piece. My moment of glory had arrived. To a full house,  I excitedly made my entrance, and with the boldest, most grandiose gesture possible, I reached into my pocket, pulled out the piece and snapped it into place! At last!!! Victory was mine. I was through the roof as I announced loudly enough for the neighbors to hear "I FINISHED THE 10,000 PIECE PUZZLE!!! I'M THE PUZZLE QUEEN! I FINISHED IT ALL BY MYSELF!" (which, really wasn't a lie, because I did finish it all by myself, I just didn't do the rest of it). I was promptly sent to my room until dinner.

It was a hollow victory that stayed with me all these years until one day a wind storm blew into town and knocked over our deck table, shattering the glass table tops. Here was my golden opportunity, the opportunity that I'd been waiting for.  A chance to redeem myself and rightfully claim the puzzle queen crown as my own. I immediately went online and found a mosaic supply store. Such beautiful glass tiles in a glorious array of colors! No puzzle could ever compare to what I would create. AND...no piece would ever NOT fit...I bought nippers and the proper glue and grout and sealant (my version of the puzzle preserver) and then I slaved over the table top for months through out the summer and one day,  I stood back and smiled...it was done. It was beautiful, and it was indeed, worthy of the crown. 

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