Some like the challenge. For others, it’s a way to relax after a busy day. Whatever the reason, the puzzle has many fans. Puzzle lovers are found all over the country and around the world, and the Atlanta subway has its share.
Daiga Dunis of Decatur said the puzzles allow her to break away and focus on relaxing. “It’s a visual thing, and I’m a visual person. I like the shapes and colors in the picture. It’s like meditation. “
And it’s interesting when things start to fit. “We get a small surge of endorphins when the parts come together,” she added.
Good for the brain
Medical experts confirm these positive results.
“Assembling the puzzle has many health benefits and can help reduce stress and improve memory,” wrote Jill Riley, senior clinical operations officer in Michael E. DeBakey’s Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, in a 2020 blog post.
“Puzzles are also good for the brain. Studies have shown that performing puzzles can improve cognition and visual-spatial reasoning. The act of putting together puzzle pieces together requires concentration and improves short-term memory and problem solving. Using puzzles as a mind exercise can expand your imagination and increase your creativity and productivity. ”
Dunis, 72, said she especially enjoyed working on puzzles during the pandemic, and she was not alone.
Lots of flavors
Dunis says each puzzle company has a different atmosphere to its products. “The New York Puzzle Company is a little squirrel,” she said. “Generally, if you work with an advantage, it’s a pretty standard and good safe bet. Not one of them – something can change with that. “
Dunis prefers puzzles with clear patterns and colors. “I made one drawing of a peacock with an open tail. So many colors were the same, it was very difficult, ”she said. “I almost didn’t finish, but I fought and did it.”
Puzzle makers ’websites showcase the unique twist of each brand. Most sites allow you to shop by number of pieces, complexity, and specific themes such as “flowers” or “sports,” allowing executives to choose a design they’re willing to look at for hours by collecting images on a card. tables or dining rooms or any other available surfaces.
Dunis builds his puzzles on a special table made of Masonite. The board has a smooth, flat solid surface with thin pallets that protrude like boxes on the side. This allows her to move the puzzle while she is still working on it.
“First I sort the extreme parts and then I use trays to sort the rest of the pieces by shape or color,” she said. If she wants to use the dining table for something else, she “pushes the drawers, picks them up and carries them somewhere else.”
After she finishes the puzzle, “I look at her for a while, take a picture on my cell phone, and then break it,” Dunis said. “I take the puzzles I did every time I’m going to see people who might like it. I pass them on like books. ”
Make it your own
Puzzles can also be personal treasures and unique gifts. Eliza Ragsdale of Decatur has photographed for many years and has found a great way to share this with others.
“We’ve been traveling for about 40 years to South Florida, to Sanibel Island,” Ragsdale said. There Ragsdale and her daughter Emily Grass collect sea shells. “In fact, we will become Shell’s ambassador there.” Shell Ambassadors are specially trained volunteers who answer questions from beach visitors about the shells they found.
Ragsdale said that in about a week they would collect shells and lay them out on the sand for photography. She then selects a photo, edits it in Photoshop and sends to make a puzzle, which she gives as a holiday gift to some friends.
“You might think it would be easy enough to do,” Ragsdale said. “I mean, not all of them look like blue skies. The shells look different. ” But she admitted that she had not finished her work.
She said one of her friends got a puzzle of 1,000 pieces, and “he assembled it so quickly that I sent him another.”
Puzzles are everywhere. Go to the gift shop of your favorite Atlanta landmark, such as the Atlanta History Center, and you’re sure to find a selection of puzzles along with books and magnets for sale. The Atlanta Botanical Garden gift shop has everything from puzzles for children with 20 pieces to puzzles with 1,000 pieces for adults.
Book Nook, a used bookstore in Decatur, usually offers used puzzles for sale. The store deals with puzzles in the trade for credit in the store, which can be used to buy movies, music, comics or, of course, other puzzles.
Replacing the puzzle is another option. Organizers are planning meetings, and participants are going to exchange assembled and assembled puzzles.
Internet group, JigsawPuzzleSwapExchange.com, has members in North America, Australia and Europe. He claims to be “the largest international group of puzzle enthusiasts who are actively trading puzzles with each other around the world.” Exchange meetings are for members only, and membership costs $ 60 per year. According to the site, the Sandy Springs Library is one of the places to share.
In fact, some local libraries allow visitors to check out puzzles. The Milton Library of Atlanta-Fulton County is one of many that provide puzzles as well as books.
The Pitcher City Library The Pitcher City Library has a long row of shelves filled with puzzles of various shapes, sizes and levels of difficulty. Assistant Librarian Diane Starkey said there is a good mix, from puzzles with 10 pieces for children to 1,000 and more pieces for adults.
“We publish a lot of puzzles every day,” she said. “Some people come in and check the whole stack!”