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Dutch Pride and Bruegel's Netherlandish Proverbs

Pieter Bruegel the Elder painted his Netherlandish Proverbs in the 16th century, while the Netherlands was under Spanish rule. That’s right - Europe’s history is so long and convoluted that there was an even a time that the Spaniards ruled Holland.  Art history professor Robert Baldwin argues that Bruegel's celebration of Dutch proverbs had lots to do with an emerging linguistic pride and Dutch cultural identity at a time of rising hostility toward Spanish rule. Ambitious readers can find Baldwin's full essay Language and Power in Bruegel’s Netherlandish Proverbs (1990) online; for the less-ambitious, I’ve sampled his essay to summarize it...

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Bags-to-Boxes Sale!

In response to customer feedback, we are going to start packaging our small puzzles in boxes, rather than in mesh bags. To implement this change a little faster, we need to sell our current bagged-puzzle inventory, so we'll be putting different small puzzles on sale over the next three months until the inventory runs out. Click HERE to see what's currently on sale. Boxes do cost more than bags. We will do our best not to pass that price increase on to you guys, but we may have to raise some prices a little. So this is partly what I call...

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How to Mount A Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle

We think puzzles are for re-doing, but some of you big-game-hunters out there like to mount your puzzles, and have asked what's the best way to mount a wooden jigsaw puzzle. We believe a standard wood glue (available at your local hardware store should do it).   Customer Christine Z in PCB has another suggestion: just press your finished puzzle down on Post-it Self-stick Bulletin Board. This is very fast and simple. You can cut this bulletin board to size, and it costs around $15 on (and possibly at your local office supplies store).  Let us know if you...

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Bruegel's Netherlandish Proverbs – Even More Complex Than Meets the Eye

We include a legend in our Bruegel Netherlandish Proverbs puzzle pointing out around 50 of the proverbs Bruegel hid in the picture. Wikipedia also has a great visual legend here. Experts say there's over 100 proverbs in overlapping configurations. For example, Bruegel expert Robert Baldwin notes, “In many instances, Bruegel overlaid up to four proverbs in a single figure.  Thus the man in the tavern window 1) pisses on the moon [wastes his efforts], 2) shows a toothache behind his ear (deception), 3) pisses outside the pot (goes against conventions) and 4) in his window appearance, seems to be "window...

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Puzzle Tradition - Help Remember the Good Times

Not sure all of you know, but it's a tradition with wooden jigsaw puzzles to write down who did the puzzle when on the back of the lid, or on a piece of paper kept in the box.  This turns the puzzle into a memory-node, and helps build a sense of personal history.  My mom has done this for years with an old boardgame called "Stockticker" and you can go back to the 1960's and see which friends were visiting them (and who won!), and it always makes her smile to look through it.  -Maya

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