News & Blog

4th October 2017Pieces falling into place for National Jigsaw Day 2017

Pieces falling into place for National Jigsaw Day 2017

With the weather turning colder, the leaves starting to fall and Halloween creeping closer, it can only mean one thing… National Jigsaw Day is on it’s way! Now in its third year, we are celebrating the wonderful pastime of puzzling on the 3rd of November with a number of fantastic festivities.

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19th September 2017Keeping a healthy mind: puzzle gifts for grandparents

At Wentworth we are big advocates of the power of puzzles to improve your mental wellbeing. As part of our campaign promoting jigsaws brain benefits we’ve recently donated five wooden Wentworth jigsaws to Piece Together, a puzzle club run by our Minister for Jigsaws, Sue Riches. Following on from this, we’ve also been working with some fantastic bloggers who’ve in turn been putting puzzles together with elderly relatives.

We asked each of our bloggers to pick a puzzle to try with an older family member, then write about their experience and we got some brilliant stories.

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24th August 2017Top five photo taking tips for your personalised puzzles

Read on to learn how you could win a holiday themed personalised puzzle

Personalised jigsaw puzzle photos

Taking a great photo is often a difficult task. Capturing that perfect shot can feel like pot luck sometimes, and if you’re planning on immortalising your memory with a customised jigsaw puzzle featuring the pic then the pressure is on.

Fortunately, we’ve got a few tips to help you take your best shot.

1 Volume is key to a good group photo
The most important thing to remember when taking a group photo is, take a lot of photos! Someone is almost certainly going to be blinking, looking down or off to the side, so the more photos you take, the more likely you are to get one everyone is happy with.

And if you get a great group photo, they make the perfect present as a personalised puzzle or just a nice creative way to remember an event.

2 The rule of thirds
The ‘rule of thirds’ is a common term in photography. Imagine four lines, two lying horizontally across the image and two vertical creating nine even squares. Some images will look best with the focal point in the center square, but placing the subject off center will often create a more aesthetically composed photograph. When a photograph is composed without using the rule of thirds the eyes will wander the frame. A picture composed by the rule of thirds is more interesting and pleasing to the eye.

3 Get close
Getting closer to your subject is also an effective tactic. The simple fact is the audiences are always more impressed when the subject is huge and impossible to miss. Therefore, you want your subject to fill the frame in an aesthetic way (that means not so close we can’t see what you’re photo is of!).

4 Try not to use flash indoors

Flash can look harsh and unnatural, especially for indoor portraits. But there are various ways you can take an image indoors without resorting to flash.

Try to position your subjects standing near a window or door instead of relying on the flash. Get between your subject and the window — in other words, don't include the window in your composition, as this will throw off your camera’s exposure making your subject too dark and the window too light.

If you are shooting indoors at night, try to flood the room where you are photographing with as much light as you can - turn on whatever lamps you have at hand. This will help reduce those harsh, flashed-out subjects, as well as other problems like red-eye.

5 Use flash outside (even on a sunny day)

Although it may seem odd to use flash when the sun's out, that's precisely the time when you should use it!

The sun can cause all sorts of problems for portrait photographers: harsh shadows across faces, unbalanced exposures and burnt-out highlights.

Use a bit of 'fill flash' and you'll instantly improve your portraits; your camera will capture a much more balanced exposure, because your flash will light up your subject while the camera exposes for the background.

6 Add a little direction

Instead of just shooting people where they stand, try giving some advice — only you can see what’s in the shot. It’s not just the person or object in your frame, it’s everything else in the background that can make or break a great photograph. So don’t be afraid to ask the person to move (or move yourself) to avoid something ugly in the background. Also let people know if they should lean in, move back or huddle closer so everyone looks their best.

Now you know how to take the perfect snap, why not turn an incredible memory into a wonderful wooden jigsaw by entering our competition to win a personalised puzzle?

Some of our best memories come from holidays, and as we’re nearing the end of holiday season we wanted to do something to celebrate all the memories created. All you have to do is share your favourite holiday photo. It could be recent or from a past holiday, just share it on our Facebook or Twitter pages and follow us for a chance to win. 

Personalised puzzles vary from 360 x 250mm to 730 x 510mm and each come with a selection of themed whimsies. 

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28th July 2017Feeling puzzled? How jigsaws can help you keep a healthy mind

In childhood jigsaws are a toy used to teach shapes, words geography and colours and provide focused, quiet time for children and parents alike. They’re used in waiting rooms to pacify, in schools to educate and develop fine motor skills, helping to prepare children for reading.

Jigsaw puzzles are a powerful tool for stimulating the mind, and that doesn’t stop post-childhood.

Research shows that carrying on the hobby into adulthood has quantifiable benefits. Studies, like the MacArthur study, have shown that keeping the mind active with jigsaw puzzles and other activities that engage the mind can result in a longer life expectancy, a better quality of life and reduce chances of developing certain types of mental illness, including memory loss, dementia and even Alzheimer’s Disease.

Adult jigsaws help the mind as they require concentration and represent a difficult challenge to be overcome. Identifying the right puzzle piece, finding it and slotting it within a continuously growing image requires focus and creativity, logical and spatial thinking. And develops all of these skills.

Visual perception and coordination are improved through puzzle building, adults and children who are encouraged to configure these pieces often experience enhanced creativity, problem solving and motor skills.

Puzzle building can also be therapeutic. As the puzzle comes to completion and more pieces are matched, the brain releases the feel-good chemical known as dopamine. Dopamine also plays a key role in both memory improvement and learning ability. And unless you are building a puzzle against the clock, the relaxing pastime often lowers blood pressure and reduces anxiety.

Our recently appointed ‘Minister for Jigsaws’, Sue Riches is putting the benefits of jigsaws into practice with her own jigsaw club, Piece Together. The club was founded to encourage people to socialise whilst keeping their brain active by completing puzzles. Piece Together has accrued a growing library of jigsaws and is extending the club’s jigsaw based services out to local care homes, retirement flats, hospices and drop-in centres allowing more people to enjoy the benefits of adult jigsaws.

The key is picking the right adult jigsaw, and our catalogue includes a huge variety of difficult puzzles for those who want to really push themselves and some which are much simpler to complete. Picking not just a visually impressive but also the right difficulty is key. If you need inspiration, we’ve picked some of our most difficult and most relaxing adult jigsaws to give you an idea:

Pencil Collage Jigsaw Puzzle - By Maureen Rupprecht

This is one of our trickier adult jigsaw puzzles, ideal if you are looking for an extra difficult jigsaw challenge. This traditional high quality wooden jigsaw puzzle would make a great gift for any puzzle enthusiast.

The Cove Jigsaw Puzzle - By Christopher Rogers

Kynance Cove depicted here is in Cornwall and considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with dramatic cliff walks, wild flowers and geological features. This adult jigsaw is not the most difficult but is tricky enough to be enjoyable.

Kaleidoscope Jigsaw Puzzle - By Chris Ceaser

A beautiful nature scene by Chris Ceaser. This wooden jigsaw puzzle is made extra tricky by the use of repetitive colours and the mirrored reflection effect on the water. To make the puzzle even more difficult to complete the puzzle has irregular edges, so if you are looking for a challenge, this one could be for you.

The 17.30 to Swanage Jigsaw Puzzle - By Gerald Savine

An old steam train puffing through the countryside, the 17:30 to Swanage is a beautiful setting of luscious fields and captivating castle ruins. This British adult jigsaw puzzle makes a fantastic gift for any trainspotting lovers.

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30th June 2017Ten artistic jigsaws that make perfect puzzle gifts for adults

A picture is worth a thousand words. And a beautiful one can say even more! A good jigsaw needs a great picture so at Wentworth we both commission fantastic artists to create unique images for our wooden puzzles and also use classics from world renowned artists like Claude Monet, Wassily Kandinsky and Vincent van Gogh.

To create the perfect puzzle for those who enjoy the hobby of completing a jigsaw, we work with artists like Aimee Stewart, Rachel Arbuckle and Victoria Hall who specialise in creating images that look visually impressive and are also challenging jigsaws. We’ve put together a collection of some of our favourite puzzles, some from artists specially commissioned by Wentworth and others by some of the most famous artists ever to have lived. 

A Boat Passing a Lock - John Constable

This classic scene by Constable is bound to impress fans of fine art. The mill houses depicted still exist as grade I listed buildings, so perhaps this puzzle may inspire a cultural outing. It's a lovely scene by a fantastic British painter and it makes a great gift for fine art enthusiasts. This high quality, traditional, wooden jigsaw puzzle can be done time and again and its specially themed whimsy pieces make it a treat to complete.

 Constable Fine Art Jigsaw Puzzle 

Abundance Garden - Aimee Stewart

Commissioned by Wentworth to create this amazing jigsaw, Aimee Stewart is an American self-taught artist who specializes in digital painting and photo manipulation. Abundance Garden is the first puzzle we commissioned from Aimee and we loved it so much we’ve worked with her numerous times since! This shaped fan, full of intricate detail and vibrant colours, promises to be the perfect puzzling addition and makes a delightful treat or treasured gift.

 Shaped Jigsaw Puzzle

 

The Artist - Claude Monet

Monet's garden was painted with new techniques that used light and colour to depict nature show the seasons. This adult jigsaw shows one version of Monet's purpose grown garden and presents a great challenge for anyone who enjoys the hobby.

 Monet Jigsaw Puzzle

 

Three Sisters - Victoria Hall

Victoria Hall is a new artist to Wentworth Wooden Puzzles. Her specially commissioned design makes a fantastic shaped jigsaw featuring specially themed whimsy pieces. The irregular edges create a real challenge!

 Three Sisters Shaped Jigsaw Puzzle

 

The Craft Cupboard - Colin Thompson

Colin Thompson makes for a puzzling challenge with all the detail you'd expect from this renowned jigsaw artist. This colourful puzzle brings to life the organised chaos of all the wonders you might find in your own home. With themed whimsy pieces it's sure to brings hours of fun to anyone who enjoys the hobby of jigsawing.

 the craft cupboard jigsaw puzzle

 

Spectacular Peacock - Aimee Stewart

Brightly illustrated through photo manipulation and eclectic digital painting, this unusual and decadently coloured Spectacular Peacock is a great addition to our very popular shaped jigsaw puzzle range.

 peacock shaped jigsaw puzzle

 

Sunflowers - Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh was perhaps most famous for his paintings of Sunflowers, which we have turned into a delightful wooden jigsaw puzzle for you to admire while you complete it. A beautiful gift for any fine art or puzzle enthusiast. This stunning adult jigsaw puzzle comes with unique themed whimsy pieces in the shapes of paint pots and paintbrushes.

 van gogh sunflowers jigsaw puzzle

 

Roses Around the Door - Stephen Darbishire

Let this painting by popular artist Stephen Darbishire transport you to a countryside cottage. One of our most popular jigsaws in 2017, this is a perfect puzzle to immerse yourself in, this quintessential English jigsaw makes and an excellent gift for nature and wildlife lovers.

 country cottage jigsaw puzzle

 

Squares with Concentric Circles - Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist and is well known for his work in the abstract art and expressionism movements. Squares with Concentric Circles is perhaps Kandinsky's most recognisable work, this painting is a study on how different colour combinations are perceived. It also makes an outstanding adult jigsaw puzzle perfect for art connoisseurs.

 kandinsky jigsaw puzzle

 

Harvest Farm - Alan Giana

This beautiful and vibrant illustration by US born Alan Giana makes a deliciously puzzling challenge. With our usual tricks and twists plus delightfully themed whimsies, you'll enjoy losing yourself in this puzzle until the last piece is in place!

 

Whether you prefer to create a classic painting or enjoy the hobby of finishing a specially created adult jigsaw, here at Wentworth we have you covered.

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31st May 201710 Great Jigsaw Gifts for Grandparents

10 Great Jigsaw Gifts for Grandparents

A good wooden jigsaw makes for the ideal gift for the grandparent who appreciates a quality made product. The perfect activity to complete either as a family or as an individual, these puzzles make for a challenging, inspiring activity.

Puzzling is a past-time that gently stimulates the mind and allows the aged loved one in your life to while away the hours in a relaxed way.

We’ve collated some of our favourite puzzles to give as gifts to our grandparents.

Roses areound the door jigsaw puzzle

Roses Around the Door

Is there anything more quintessentially English than this traditional country cottage painting by popular artist Stephen Darbishire? The perfect way spend an afternoon, this puzzle makes an excellent gift for grandparents who love nature and wildlife.

Great Churches of the World Jigsaw Puzzle

Great Churches of the World

Visit some of the most beautiful churches of the world — from Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona — with this gorgeous jigsaw puzzle. The ideal gift for anyone with an interest in architecture, travel or religion, Great Churches of the World is guaranteed to surprise and delight with every piece.

Cats in Hibiscus jigsaw puzzle

Mother & Kittens in Hibiscus

If your grandparent is a cat lover, Lesley Ann Ivory's Mother and Kittens in Hibiscus could be the gift for them — it’s an exquisite painting which translates into challenging but beautiful jigsaw puzzle.

Glennys Garden Shop Jigsaw Puzzle

Glenny’s Garden Shop

This scene showing a vibrant, colourful garden shop on a sunny spring day is sure to evoke nostalgia for any grandparent. Featuring children, happy pets and beautiful flowers in a garden shop, it creates a serene image that’s a pleasure to complete.

Yosemite Spring Jigsaw Puzle

Yosemite in Spring

Perhaps your grandma or pa is a nature enthusiast? If so this beautiful rendition of Yosemite National Park is sure to offer any recipient a relaxing, inspiring challenge.

tea for two jigsaw puzzle

Tea for Two

This celebration of traditional British high tea is an indispensable gift for anyone nostalgic for a time when a cuppa and slice of cake was part of afternoon routine. This high quality, traditional, wooden jigsaw puzzle can be done time and again and the special whimsy pieces make it a treat to complete. Team it with a real cup of tea and plate of scones for the perfect Sunday afternoon.

Buckingham Palace Parade Jigsaw Puzzle

Buckingham Palace Parade

Take a trip to the iconic Buckingham Palace with this beautiful image of the Queen’s parade created especially to celebrate the 90th Birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The quintessential gift for any lover of the royal family, this puzzle offers a slice of history and is sure to be enjoyed for years to come.

Boat Passing a Lock igsaw Puzzle

A Boat Passing A Lock

An artwork from one of the most respected landscape painters ever, John Constable’s A Boat Passing a Lock makes a superb jigsaw puzzle and is an ideal gift for fine art enthusiasts.

Spitfire over Henley Jigsaw Puzzle

Spitfire Over Henley Wood

The Spitfire is an iconic plane that holds a special place in many people’s hearts. Created by popular artist Bill Mundy, this image is a timeless puzzle that will last for years to come. A great gift for fans of classic aeroplanes or those interested in WWII history, this high quality, traditional, wooden jigsaw puzzle can be done time and again and it's especially themed whimsy pieces make it a treat to complete.

Personalised Photo Puzzle - Family Whimsies

For the ultimate gift for your grandparents, why not give them a personalised photo puzzle featuring your own photo or image? They are bound to enjoy spending time completing a picture of their loved ones. With specially shaped 'whimsy' jigsaw pieces themed around family life, this superior quality puzzle is guaranteed to be a firm favourite for years to come.

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2nd May 2017How to create a personalised jigsaw puzzle

It’s an extra special present for the person who has everything. Our custom jigsaws make great gifts and are easy to create, meaning you can get your unique jigsaw puzzle ordered in a matter of minutes. To make the process even easier, here is our step by step guide to making sure you get the best possible puzzle for a perfect surprise.

Step 1. Select your jigsaw

Personalised Jigsaw Puzzle Selection

First, take a look at the personalised jigsaw section on our website. We have lots of different puzzles available with exciting whimsy shapes, and you can even choose jigsaws that include hidden messages as letter shaped whimsies. Our new collection now includes different themed whimsy options to match your photo, and even an option to ‘let Wentworth choose’ where we will choose the best whimsies and cut to suit to your photo. Select your choice, and click on the jigsaw to start uploading your image.

Step 2. Select your image

 Image Upload for Personalised jigsaw puzzle

To make sure your jigsaw looks its absolute best, you need to upload a high quality image. Low quality images will leave your jigsaw blurry and will not upload to our site. Make sure you follow the top tips below to guarantee a great looking jigsaw. 

Top tips for a top image

  • Ensure your image is a jpeg file. That means that the file name has .jpg at the end on your computer (most images from cameras and smartphones will be jpegs).
  • Your image should be between 1MB and 5MB. Hover your cursor over the image to check its size, or on a Mac you can right click (or hold ctrl and click) then select ‘Get Info’ to bring up a box of details including the image size (both of these methods will also tell you whether it’s a jpeg)
  • Image quality
  • If you are scanning your image, make sure the resolution is no less than 300dpi — this should be an option within your scanner settings.
  • Don't scan your image from a photograph that is smaller than 5" x 7".
  • Don’t use a screenshot as your image as it won’t be high quality.

It is harder to check some of these elements if you are using a phone or a tablet, but most will take photos at a good resolution in jpeg format, and the next step will tell you if there are any issues.

Step 3. Check your image quality

 Image quality guidance

When you have uploaded your image, we will let you know whether it is good enough quality to be made into a custom jigsaw. If you can see that the image is ‘low quality’ or ‘not suitable’, you need to find another photo which fits the requirements outlined in our top tips above. 

Step 4. Choose your special features

 Special fetaures of personalised puzzles

 

Once your image is uploaded, you can choose how many pieces you would like in your jigsaw. Make sure to check the box if you have chosen a portrait image. You can also tick the ‘Clueless’ option at this stage. Clueless means that the puzzle image will not appear on the front of the box — keeping your puzzle a surprise until it’s completed!

 

There is also the option to add notes at this stage about cropping. Your image may need cropping during production, so please specify here which side you would prefer to be cropped. For our personalised wedding jigsaw puzzles and personal jigsaws for pet owners you can use this box to add initials and year or the pet’s name.

 notes for personalised puzzles

 

Step 5. Buy!

 How to buy a personalised jigsaw puzzle

 

If you are happy with your image and you have selected all the features you would like from your puzzle, you can go ahead and add it to your basket. To do this, select a quantity from the dropdown and then click "Add to My Basket".

Your puzzle is now ready to purchase — simple!

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23rd February 2017Step into Spring with our new jigsaw collection

Bursting with colour and life, our new Spring collection is full of exciting new jigsaw puzzles that will bring the new season into your home. If you are looking for that perfect puzzle gift for book lovers, bird lovers or animal lovers take a look at our pick of the new collection that will suit every hobby and pastime.

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22nd February 2017Celebrating Mother’s Day around the World

A special day to celebrate wonderful mums, Mother’s Day is the perfect chance to show your appreciation with a thoughtful gift. Traditionally, Mother’s Day has been a time to gather the family and give presents with the history of celebrating motherhood tracing all the way back to the Ancient Greeks.

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20th January 2017Discover great discounts on jigsaws in our Winter sale

It’s that time of year when the January sales are in full swing and it’s time to grab yourself a post Christmas bargain. Some of our bestselling jigsaws from the last year are now in the Winter sale collection, and it will be your last chance to get hold of the designs before they are discontinued. Take a look below at our pick of the sale to discover a great jigsaw puzzle that will suit you.

Catch the travel bug

 europe jigsaw puzzle

From Paris to Rome, travel around Europe in moments with our Best of Europe jigsaw puzzle. See if you can spot and name all the famous cultural landmarks around the puzzle whilst you complete this intricate jigsaw.

Discover a masterpiece

 The Scream Jigsaw Puzzle

The famous painting ‘ The Scream’ by Edvard Munch has a rich backstory that will fascinate all art lovers. The piece has been targeted by several successful robberies, with the most recent in 2004. After the painting was finally recovered, it went on to become the most expensive painting ever to sell at auction in 2012. The angst-ridden painting is now renowned worldwide and is an excellent addition to any jigsaw collection.

Test your brain cells

Difficult Daffodils Jigsaw Puzzle

If you’re looking for a serious challenge, this repetitive Difficult Daffodils design is the perfect brain teaser. To really test your puzzle skills, you can even get this jigsaw in a difficult cut that has irregular and uneven pieces, for the expert puzzler.

Try a traditional chocolate box jigsaw

Country Cottage Jigsaw Puzzle

Peasant Village Life by Steve Crisp conveys a beautiful and tranquil scene of everyday village life. This puzzle is great for those who enjoy a traditional chocolate box design, with thatched roofs and a village church making up the peaceful scene.

Escape to paradise

Dolphin Jigsaw Puzzle

Already dreaming of your Summer holiday? Transport yourself to this Dolphin Utopia packed full of vibrant colour and animals. Themed animal whimsy pieces make this puzzle extra special for anyone who loves the animal kingdom.

 

 

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