Good Ol' Apple Green Chevy and Best Friends

 by guest blogger, Elmer Prather

This is the 58th Cobble Hill puzzle I have had the pleasure of putting together. It is a 500-piece puzzle titled, "Let's Go Fishing" by Greg & Company. I really like his puzzles; I have put nine other puzzles of his together. Those other puzzles are Blue Truck Farm, Deerfield, Summer Afternoon on the Farm, Cozy Fireplace, Welcome to the Lake House, Hooked on Fishing, Sheep Field, Summer Truck and Happy Hen House.

I must have a connection with a puzzle before I spend the time putting it together. My connection to this puzzle is the beautiful Apple Green Chevrolet pickup truck sitting at the edge of a lake with its owner’s golden, chocolate, and black Labrador dogs in the bed of the truck. The truck is, I believe, a 1938 model.

"Let's Go Fishing" 500pc assembled by Elmer Prather

I fell in love with this puzzle because of the truck. The Apple Green paint on the truck reached out and grabbed me. I fell in love with old trucks when I was a teenager. When I was 16 years old, I saw a 1936 Chevrolet truck parked beside an old barn near my home. I stopped and asked if the truck was for sale and when it was, I purchased it for $50.00. That was a lot of money for a teenager but it was one of the best vehicle purchases I have made. I have owned five other trucks since then but I still have many fond memories of that old truck. It was special; it was like a member of our family. I expect that the truck in this puzzle picture is held in the same esteem by its owner because of its pristine condition; it still looks new.

Along with putting puzzles together I have a passion for photography. When I take a picture, I try to capture the story I see through the camera’s lens. A good picture tells the story of what the camera sees and what the photographer imagined when he clicked his camera’s shutter. When I look closely at the picture displayed in this puzzle it tells a story of an angler who loves his old truck and his dogs. He has his trusting dogs posing for a picture he is taking of them. You can imagine that this is what is happening because of the expressions on their faces. He has finished fishing because his tackle box and his rods and reels are sitting beside the truck. He was fishing for largemouth bass because I see what looks like a yellow sally fishing lure laying on the top shelf of his tackle box. He has changed from his muddy fishing boots to other shoes because he does not want to drive his truck home wearing those muddy boots that are sitting on the bed of his truck. He took this picture at just the right moment because he was able to capture the image of the man sailing his boat on the lake in front of his truck, the blue heron, the Canadian geese and the two American Goldfinch birds flying over and beside the truck. He took this picture at just the right time of day to be able to catch the clear blue sky with the cumulus clouds floating along. In the photography world, this is what is known as a Kodak moment.

"Let's Go Fishing" 500 piece by artist Greg Giordano

Commentary: How many of us really stop to investigate our puzzle and put as much thought and consideration into the scene as Mr. Prather? We applaud him for this write up and for taking the time to truly appreciate what Greg Giordano has captured with this picturesque image. Thank you!

Perseverance Pays Off! 100 Famous Views of Edo.

by guest blogger, Elmer Prather

If you follow our blog, then you know that Mr. Prather enjoys rich history and he has to have some connection to the puzzles that he chooses to assemble. He's very generous with sharing his life experiences with us when a puzzle image stirs up a memory. His latest puzzle did not get assembled with ease. As you can imagine, 2000 pieces is a challenge when one mainly does 1000 pieces - that's double the pieces and they're even smaller, which means one gets less of the image per piece. Mr. Prather had communicated with us a few times about the challenges with this puzzle and we understood completely. He even put the puzzle away for some time to work on other things. It seems that little break did wonders because he told us he was starting it up again and next thing we know, it's complete!! We were so proud of his efforts and how much he persevered to get this one done. He knew it was a beautiful puzzle and we think he was motivated to see it fully assembled. We're very excited that he is able to share his finished puzzle with us and in his usual fashion, he did some research so that he could share some history behind this beautiful puzzle. Please enjoy his story ... 

This is the 57th Cobble Hill puzzle I have had the pleasure of putting together. It is a 2000-piece puzzle titled 100 Famous Views of Edo. I must have a connection with a puzzle before I spend the time putting it together and my connection to this puzzle is my love for beautiful Japanese artwork. When I first saw a picture of the puzzle, I was drawn to the beautiful woodblock prints displayed in the puzzle.

Mr. Prather's assembled 100 Famous Views of Edo 2000pc puzzle!

Woodblock prints such as the ones depicted in the puzzle were produced in large numbers in 18th and 19th century Japan by artists, block cutters and printers working independently via the instructions of specialist publishers. Woodblock prints are made by artisans using chisels and carving knives to gouge the fine details into the woodblock. After the design was engraved in the wood and the inks or dyes are added, the image would be transferred onto a paper or textile surface. Woodblock prints such as these were called ukiyo-e, which means 'pictures of the floating world'. This world was one of transient delights and changing fashions centered on the licensed pleasure districts and popular theatres found in major cities of Japan.

This series of woodblock prints, as created by Utagawa Hiroshige, born Ando Tokutaro, (1797-1858), does not consist of only these one hundred designs in the puzzle. It rather consists of 118 designs plus a title page. The designs represent the four seasons - spring, summer, autumn and winter. Some books and websites categorize the designs by these four seasons.

Edo was a city in Japan that existed from 1603 until 1868. The city of Edo was formed by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty of Japan. The city formerly known as Edo is now Tokyo. Edo in English translates to bay entrance.

From the 1860s Japanese woodblock prints became a source of inspiration for many Western artists. One of the artisans influenced by this artwork was Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh possessed twelve prints from Hiroshige’s series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. Van Gogh admired the techniques of Japanese artists, and these prints were influential to his artistic development. One or more of the following features can be found in several of Van Gogh’s paintings from his Antwerp period onward. Some of these features were their distinctive cropping of their compositions, bold assertive outlines, uniform color, and lighting along with their emphasis on decorative patterns.  

Cobble Hill's Van Gogh collage with a timeline - do you see the Japanese influence?

The 100 woodblock prints displayed in this puzzle are beautiful. They help tell the story of life in 1800s Edo.

Is That A Bear There?

by guest blogger, Elmer Prather

This is the 56th Cobble Hill puzzle I have had the pleasure of putting together. It is a 500-piece puzzle titled, Den Dreams. For me to spend the time and energy putting puzzles together, I must have a connection with the puzzle. My connection with this puzzle is both the bear and the apples.

Den Dreams 500 piece puzzle by Greg Alexander

I live in Canton, Georgia USA the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Bears are known to come down out of the mountains searching for food. I live in a subdivision in the city limits of Canton. One spring day, several years ago, I was working in my back yard and suddenly, I noticed a movement over my right shoulder. When I turned around, I was face to face with a black bear. He stared at me for a second or two then sprinted out of my yard and back into the woods. I am into photography, so I ran back into my basement and grabbed my camera and headed after the bear. I was not able to locate him, but I will never forget my encounter with him. We probably frightened each other because I was not expecting him, and I do not think he was expecting me.

Den Dreams finished puzzle assembled by Elmer Prather

As far as the apples shown in the puzzle, the next county north of me is Gilmer County which is famous for all its apple orchards. Each year for almost 50 years the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce has sponsored the North Georgia Apple Festival.  The Apple Festivals are held during two weekends in October. These festivals have over 300 vendors selling handmade items such as jewelry, pottery, toys, soap, candles, baskets and many other items. The festivals have over 35 food concession vendors serving food to the attendees and workers. Fifty thousand people attended this festival last year.

The title of this puzzle, Den Dreams, makes me think that the puzzle artist imagined that the bear featured in the apple orchard was having dreams about gorging itself on apples. Bears add additional fat to their bodies in the fall to see them through their winter hibernation. Apples ripen from August until December and this bear is probably planning on having a few in his preparation for winter.

Elmer Prather
Canton, GA USA

Preserving Your Puzzle: How to Frame It

We get quite a few inquiries from puzzlers asking if we sell frames. Unfortunately, we do not. Luckily, there are companies out there who specialize in framing! One of our customers, a family run business, ACMS (Advanced Craft Making Solutions), has sent us some amazing photos of their puzzle framing and we just had to share! 

Here is the final result of what one can expect from framing their puzzle with ACMS or purchasing a ready made framed puzzle. We think the "Backyard Butterflies" 500 piece puzzle turned out beautiful in this rich wooden frame. Let's look at some photos of the easy step by step process as recounted from their owner, Christian Magro.

"Backyard Butterflies" 500pc framed by ACM Solutions

Frames come with a 1/4” thick Mounting Board….if you purchase the frame package then you can actually use the mounting board to do your puzzle. Your puzzle simply sits on top of the board….no gluing required of course.

Now you have an 1/8” thick puzzle ring….the ring is hidden in the rabbet of the frame. This ring is made 1/16” bigger (1/32” on all sides)….this accounts for a little wiggle room.

Then you place the acrylic cover over everything….now everything is perfectly aligned and held nicely in place.

Now you just take the frame and place it over everything….again…perfect alignment and quick. Then you grab the entire frame…flip it over and rotate the turn buttons to secure it all.

Framing your puzzle takes about 1-2 minutes!

Here is the final product! Looks great!

We are not affiliates with ACMS, they're simply a neat customer of ours who has taken the love of puzzles and shared with us how they preserve these works of art. If you have any questions about the framing, please get in touch with their office. You can visit their website, here:

Christian did give us some notes in case you're interested in learning more:

  • Some frames have mats and some don’t
  • Frame finish is fully customizable to suit your d├ęcor (you might want a black frame instead of wood tone)
  • Cobble Hill is the only puzzle available in our puzzle bundles
  • We make puzzle frames of all shapes and sizes beyond our puzzle frames
  • A lot of their clients are older and message how simple it was to frame their puzzle

They also have a very well done video of how they do the framing seen above. You can go to their website by clicking the image below or this link to watch the short video. And if you want to follow them on social media, you can find them on Facebook and/or Instagram.

See and Smell Nostalgia with "Flower Truck"

This is the 56th Cobble Hill puzzle I have had the pleasure of putting together. It is titled Flower Truck by Greg & Company.

I really enjoy his puzzles; I have put 10 other puzzles of his together. Those other puzzles are Blue Truck Farm, Deerfield, Summer Afternoon on the Farm, Cozy Fireplace, Welcome to the Lake House, Hooked on Fishing, Sheep Field, The Happy Hen House, Summer Truck and Lakeshore.

I must have a connection with a puzzle before I spend the time putting it together. My connection to this puzzle is the beautiful old truck sitting out in a field next to the pasture filled with flowers the owner plans to sell.

Flower Truck 1000 piece assembled by Elmer Prather

The truck appears to be a 1949 Chevrolet 3100 pickup truck. This was one of Chevrolet’s heavy-duty pick-up trucks. The color on the truck is a Chevrolet matte blue green. The patina on the truck is an indication that it has aged well.

I love pick-up trucks; over the years I have owned 5 of them. My first was a 1936 Chevrolet that I saw parked beside an old barn on a farm near my home. I was 17 years old at the time. I stopped and knocked on the farmhouse door and an elderly gentleman came to the door. I asked if he was the owner of the truck and was advised that he was. I then asked if he would be interested in selling it. He replied that he would sell it and told me the price. We shook hands on our deal as I explained to him that I would be back that evening with the money and pick it up, which I did. I had to replace the engine and tires on it but I drove it proudly for years. 

The tranquil scene in the puzzle is pleasing to the viewer’s eyes. The truck owner appears to be using the old truck to call attention to his flower selling business by using the truck to display his products. As I looked closer at the finished puzzle, I thought about the greenhouse that these flowers were grown in, where is it located? Does the owner come to this same location daily or just on the weekends? Does the seller have a stand he uses to manage the sales transactions?

The owner is evidently proud of his company’s name because the name is posted on the door of the truck as well as on the little red wagon the Golden Retriever puppy is standing in while watching its mother laying on the ground beside some of the potted flowers. The puzzle displays a working farm with cattle grazing in the fenced pasture behind the truck and two huge red barns in the background. The scene depicted in this puzzle is a pleasing one. The different colors of the objects shown along with the different flowers draws the viewers eyes as the viewer tries to determine the names of the flowers displayed.

Flower Truck 1000 piece by Greg Giordano

Available at local retailers or on our website in the US, here and in Canada, here.

New Puzzles & Contest Featuring Puzzle Hobby Magazine

Spring is just around the corner, and we have new growth here at Cobble Hill. We've just released 17 new puzzles and some are pretty perfect for spring! While these puzzles will only be available at select retailers for now, you can expect to see them available across the country starting May 1st. 

But, if you would like a chance to win your choice of any SIX Cobble Hill puzzles, including the ones below, not seen on our website, continue reading...

  • Here, and at the end of the blog, we'll share a link to get your FREE copy of Puzzle Hobby magazine's Spring Issue, generously given to us to share by the women "puzzlepreneurs" who run the magazine.
  • You'll also get a link to the CONTEST FORM. You'll need to flip through the free Puzzle Hobby magazine to answer three simple questions. 
The day after spring begins, Monday, March 21, we will pick one random winner from all the entries to choose a half dozen Cobble Hill puzzles. The new puzzles on this blog are not on our website, but you can still choose them if you win!! Let's take a look at our new release puzzles!

A few wonderful spring time images...

Hidden Nest 1000 piece by Marjolein Bastin

Bastin Bouquet 1000 piece by Marjolein Bastin

After the Rain 1000 piece by Beth Hoselton

How about a little travel and leisure...

Seashore 1000 piece by Joelle McIntyre

Beechcraft Staggerwing 500 piece by Ken Zylla

Country Truck in Autumn 500 piece by Cobble Hill Creations 

Where to Next? 1000 piece by Cobble Hill Creations 

Literary Women 1000 piece by Mia Feitel

And last, but not least, some colourful creations...

Rainbow Cat Quilt 1000 piece by Cobble Hill Creations

Frozen Treats 1000 piece by Cobble Hill Creations 

Sew Happy 500 piece by Cobble Hill Creations

Papel Picado 500 piece by Luis Fitch

Thanks for checking out our new images! 

Click the contest button below and it will take you to our contest form. Or you can click this magazine link and this contest form link.  Have fun and good luck!!

Can You Imagine Yourself by the Lakeshore?

by guest blogger, Elmer Prather

This is the 55th Cobble Hill puzzle I have had the pleasure of putting together. It is titled Lakeshore by Greg & Company. I really like his puzzles; I have put 9 other puzzles of his together. Those other puzzles are Blue Truck Farm, Deerfield, Summer Afternoon on the Farm, Cozy Fireplace, Welcome to the Lake House, Hooked on Fishing, Sheep Field, The Happy Hen House and Summer Truck.

I must have a connection with a puzzle before I spend the time putting it together. My connection to this puzzle is the peaceful, beautiful, colorful display of the lakeshore depicted in the puzzle. I have a friend who owns a home on Lake Oconee, a 19.9-acre lake 109 miles South of Atlanta, Georgia. Lake Oconee has a shoreline that looks very similar to the shoreline depicted in the puzzle.

Greg Giordano's "Lakeshore" 1000pc assembled by Elmer Prather

When I first saw this puzzle, I fell in love with it. As I was putting it together, I allowed my imagination to take over and I imagined myself draped in one of the warm blankets shown in the puzzle, sitting in one of the two large white Adirondack chairs that are facing the lake. It appears that there are two people planning on doing that soon. The couple who are soon to be drinking the hot steaming coffee have stepped away and are not visible in the picture.  One of the people planning on enjoying this coffee is left-handed and the other is right-handed based on the placement of the two coffee mugs sitting on the arms of the Adirondack chairs. They also have a wicker picnic basket containing silverware and food needed for their picnic. I envisioned a bottle of Merlot and a variety of cheeses stored in the basket ready for their picnic. The couple soon to be sitting in the Adirondack chairs probably own the dock and the motorized boat tethered to it as well as the red canoe sitting in the water near the boat. My friend and his wife who live on Lake Oconee have these same type chairs sitting near their boat dock.

The puzzle shows a man and a woman rowing their red canoe toward a large two-story waterfront cabin across the lake. I imagined it as their cabin. The large Eagle soaring across the lake is hunting for a fish to take back to his nest to feed its eaglets and its mate.

When I finished the puzzle, I sat back, looked at it and imagined myself sitting in one of those Adirondack chairs enjoying the beauty of Lake Oconee while sipping hot coffee with one of my good friends who has prepared a festive picnic lunch for us to enjoy later in the day.

"Lakeshore" 1000 piece by Greg Giordano