This past weekend, my friend and I had our first ever puzzle club meeting. That’s right, we started up our own puzzle club (yes, we are dorks and proud of it!), so I thought I’d share with you how it came to be, so that you can start your own, if that’s something that interests you…
1. Discover a Shared Love of Puzzles:
The first step is to find some members for your club. Back in February, I went on a girls’ weekend three of my friends from university. We try and make it an annual thing to get together, since we live in different cities and are all crazy busy with our different activities and lives. I may have mentioned these girls’ weekends before with my February budget review and at the beginning of my “five photos, five stories” challenge. Anyway, on this particular trip, we planned to go skiing but unfortunately the snow at the hills around us this year was really bad and so the mountain that we went to was pretty much shut down. So, what do you do for a weekend in a ski cabin? Do puzzles and drink wine, of course! Our first night in the cabin we discovered a collection of puzzles, and that was it…
On the way home, one of the girls that lives in the same city and I were discussing how much fun the puzzles were and decided we needed to do more puzzling and drinking wine, and so was born the idea of our puzzle club.
2. Acquire Puzzles:
In preparation for our first puzzle club meeting, we made a trip to Value Village (thrift store) to check out their selection of puzzles. We didn’t really think that a new puzzle was required, and the challenge of not knowing if all the pieces were there was part of the fun. The selection at Value Village was pretty huge, so we found a couple that we liked and used a 10% off coupon that I had received by donating the results of my latest decluttering tasks. Go frugal fun!
3. Prepare Fuel/Sustenance
It is very important that you keep your energy up and are well hydrated while puzzling. Food and sufficient wine are required. We decided on a charcuterie type meal to go with our wine at our first puzzle club meeting. My friend has an amazing food blog, so she helped me make our food look really pretty. We probably over did the food a little… we ended up barely touching the chocolate that we got for dessert…
4. Choose a Good Working Surface
We cleared off the dining room table for the puzzle. It is important to have a good surface for the puzzling. The lighting on the dining room table had a bit too much glare sometimes, but we managed.
5. Begin Puzzling!
Pop the cork on your wine, grab your plate of goodies and let the puzzling begin!
6. Schedule an End-Time or Breaks
This is something that we did not do… and we probably should have. Apparently we are what you would call “intense puzzlers”… We started the puzzle at about 8pm on Friday evening… and basically didn’t look away for 4 hours… we completed the puzzle around midnight. My fiance joked that it wasn’t very social of us… since we barely spoke… it was all about the puzzling… I’d sometimes forget that I had a plate of snacks next to me… or I’d forget to have some wine… So, yeah… next time we have to work on that…
In hindsight, and for future puzzle club meetings, I think that we will get a piece of plywood all finished up nice for the puzzle surface… This would allow us to stop at some point where the puzzle is not complete, pack the puzzle out of the way temporarily and be able to come back to it at the next meeting… The pressure of finishing the puzzle in one sitting might be less.
Do you like working on puzzles? Would you want to start a puzzle club?