Thursday, January 20, 2011


For Christmas, the Goat gave me the 881-piece "Sugar Magnolia" puzzle by Phil Lewis for Liberty Puzzles.

It is not possible to describe the sublime transcendence owning this puzzle imparts upon me. I am completing the puzzle very slowly in order to draw out the pleasure. Think of the line: And I started praying, oh Lord please make this last from the song "Moonglow."

Yeah. It's sort of like that.

Every laser-cut 1/4" thick wooden piece inflates me with joy. So far, the four-footed alien is my favorite whimsy piece. In this lifetime, I shall be as happy as that alien, if only for a moment.

Stop thinking there is something wrong with me.

That this puzzle nods to puzzle history (yes, I just said "puzzle history") with it's ornate pieces while employing the modern technique of laser cutting (versus the handcut jigsaw pieces of old) to enable even more detail (no way could an old-time jigsaw sawer guy have been able to cut those little toesies into an alien whimsy piece) rocks my face off.

Dig the Grateful Dead top-hat skeleton in this part of the puzzle:

People, I like the way this puzzle smells.

Here's a size reference photo. (Please pay no attention to what may appear to be but IS CERTAINLY NOT a long gray hair visible in the lower right hand quadrant of the photo.)

Now stop playing with yourself and go buy a Liberty Puzzle for chrissake. DO NOT bellyache about the price. This is a beautiful, high quality made-in-the-USA product put forth by a small business and you damn well ought to support it.

Can I get an amen?

* * *


G. said...

This post did nothing to quell my girl crush on Erin O'Brien.

I like wood, too.

We should get together and fondle our pieces.


Mrs. C said...

Amen, sister. And another something that bonds us: puzzles! Jigsaw puzzles! And that's a beaut. I'ma get me one in the next 72 hours.

Kev D. said...


Puzzles rule!

Mr. Corn said...

Nice! Thanks for this Erin. I'm looking at getting the Castle Neuschwanstein for my classroom.


Judy said...

Haven't worked on a puzzle for years, then worked on one last week...enjoyed it...hope to enjoy it again when I get some time and place to put one...

Buy American...YES!!!...if not us, who???

The Writer Currently Known as Rory said...

Stop thinking there is something wrong with me.

Baby, I would never judge. I'm living proof of your thought! ;)

Michael said...

The four-footed alien is really the Flying Spagheti Monster!:

standing on my head said...

yes, amen! love puzzles, old, new and in between. it's the space problem, dammit.

Anonymous said...

If the FSM is there then there must also be Pirates!

I'm chronically puzzled, have abandoned putting the pieces back together.

American Beauty. What a classic.

"Sugar Magnolia, blossoms blooming
Heads all empty and I don't care
Saw my baby down by the river
Knew she'd have to come up soon for air."


Erin O'Brien said...

She can dance a Cajun rhythm, jump like a Willys in four wheel drive.

LimesNow said...

Girlfriend, I took out a puzzle shortly after New Years, but it seems utterly pedestrian now that I've seen your Liberty. Like others, I immediately spotted the FSM and shouted out an Amen even before you asked for it. You made grin as I re-enter the 'sphere following a lengthy absence. I don't think there is ANYTHING wrong with you!

Vince said...

Is it not a bit easy. granted it's beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Off topic: Hey Philbilly! If you see this go to Vanity and view the photo essay in the Feb. 2011 edition on Calvin Klein's garage. He is a collector of vintage high performance vehicles. I suspect a guy like you would think he'd died and gone...well anyway...check it out.


Sean Craven said...

1. I love the illustration, am thrilled by the figurative puzzle pieces (something entirely new to me), and feel a general sense of elation at craft. I'm not a puzzle person but this makes me want to make puzzles.

2. When we do the fast Uncle John's Band, we use The Women Are Smarter for the bridge and Sugar Magnolia as an outro.

Erin O'Brien said...

Craft: that's the word that nails it, Sean. This product is crafted--even down to the quality of the image and how it's glued to the wood.

Limes is back--super yay!

I finished the puzzle, folks, couldn't keep my grubby paws off of it.

Now I'm working on a beautiful old Springbok circular puzzle "The Adoration of the Kings" from 1966 (the readership will note that I am one year older than said puzzle).

I guess I am a puzzleholic.

Also note, I sent this link over to Liberty and got a nice note back. We puzzlers take care of one another.


philbilly said...

RJ; +1.
I know nothing of Calvin Klein, or Ralph Lauren, whom you meant, other than they are big names that sell expensive jeans I can't wear in my shop, or on my lardass.

Guys like Lauren and Leno are really important because of the history they preserve, and the fact that they drive their collections. Ralph needs a Talbot-Lago.

In Erin's post on loving Cleveland, I strayed with Swine off topic into the new music underground. But I do love Cleveland, and bought commercial property here after having for several years been seriously considering leaving this region. I'm still pissed at the way this town has been carpetbagged. But I'll be damned if I'll let the elite political slime, the poverty pimps and the hoodrats finish gutting her. Fuckers. Jig's up, turn around and put your hands behind your back, like the man says.

When I considered moving it was to Pittsburgh, another gritty post-rust town that really has its shit together, baby. One of the many jewels is the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, a 10-day event in mid-September where an international crowd shows up to watch ancient Porsche 4-cam Carreras and Matra-Cosworths race on the parkway around Carnegie-Mellon University. It is a benefit for autism, I think they've raised over $2M so far in 20+ years.

Erin, awesome puzzle, I admire people with attention spans immensely.

Erin O'Brien said...

In this lifetime, I'm going to drive Dad's XKE to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.