Not too long ago I went to my usual puzzle store to find something new to do and was directed to the three Ravensburger puzzles on top of the shelf. Each puzzle is over 18,000 pieces with a finished size of around 9'x6'. I was told that if I buy the puzzle and actually finish it, the store would buy the puzzle back from me and then auction off the final product for charity. I also would have to glue the puzzle together and somehow transport it back to the store. Intrigued, I bought some other puzzles and went home to figure out where, exactly, I could assemble this monster.
After some measuring I found out that the only room that could contain a table large enough for the puzzle (with space to walk around) is the room J has taken over. I could evict him I suppose. He could move into a smaller room in the house. But his room is in the basement and the lighting down there is awful. And the biggest problem is that I'd have to go down the stairs to get to the puzzle. This last problem is the same problem I have about my exercise equipment being down there. Well, the Bowflex has been moved upstairs, but the treadmill and elliptical are still down there collecting dust. Anyway, I shelved the idea of the puzzle.
And yet the idea of taking on the challenge of assembling 18,240 pieces would just not leave my head. S was getting a bit tired of my flip flopping and said that if we need to we'll just rearrange the living room to make the puzzle fit. I tripped over a stumbling block in my head over this idea - I was raised to believe that I should not ever disrupt the household for my own personal gain. My sisters and I weren't even allowed to clean the house with my dad home as he didn't like the disruption around him. His hobbies were relegated to the basement where they couldn't take over the common areas. This attitude was carried into my previous marriage as well. Ex had his stuff in his own room and would get upset if my stuff was strewn about too much. Contained areas were fine, but having stuff everywhere was not.
Knowing that S was ok with the idea of the living room being upset, and knowing that my boys could just deal with it for a while, I bought one of the puzzles today. I also bought 12 foam core boards (20"x30" each) to make a tabletop big enough to assemble the entire puzzle all at once. Then I had the brilliant idea of putting the foam cores together to make the tabletop...before arranging the furniture. Probably not the smartest thing I've done in a while. This photo below shows my living room and the space available.
Our plan was to move the TV (you can see the black edge of the TV on the far right of the photo, behind the black chair with the red band) so that it was right up against the couch. Then take my computer desk and put it somewhere else (hadn't worked that out yet). That way I could have the area behind the TV for the puzzle table. Not a bad idea. So today after bringing all the stuff home I cleared a spot in the living room and taped all the foam cores together. The photo below is the finished tabletop. Problem? Yeah. It's assembled and resting on the floor slightly tucked under the couch...with nowhere to move it to while I rearrange my living room. Like I said, not my smartest move.
So, rather than deal with that I opened the puzzle. Instead of one big bag of pieces there are four bags. I'd known it would come divided like this but I thought they all had to be opened at the same time. The manufacturer bagged the pieces according to quadrants and labeled the bags. So bag 'A' is the top left of quadrant, bag 'B' is the top right, bags 'C' and 'D' are the bottom. Well, that just makes it easier. If I don't have to open all the bags I can just open one, assemble it, store the final bit, open the next, etc. Then when I'm done I can reassemble the tabletop on the floor, fit the four quadrants together, then glue the whole thing. Transport will be the next challenge as I don't think it'll fit in my trunk, even with the back seats laid down. And now I think I'll cut the tabletop into quadrants and open the first bag. Must assemble puzzle.....