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Databasing Excitement January 4, 2013

Posted by makingyourdashcount in Uncategorized.
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This is an exciting update. As predicted, I did find my key code for my Access software. I had it in a document file with my backed up Office Professional software. Yea, for me! So I reinstalled Office and voilà, Access.

I’ve been building the database and loading it with data. So far, I’ve put in about 60 pieces. It isn’t scientific and I know that I am missing out on a lot of information, particularly when two cats share one piece. Since I have one field for fur color, for example, if there are two cats I only note the dominant one. (I probably would be better off listing the other, if you think about it, but a choice is a choice.) The same goes for accessories, clothing, eyes, etc.

Aside from their thinking that I am certifiably crazy, someone from work asked me how I could be making progress on a puzzle, if I am not yet even trying to put pieces together? I actually think that I am making tremendous progress. Once I complete this stage of the project, I will time how long it takes me to actually complete it. If you wish to act as a control group and assemble it in the traditional way, let me know!

My next update will include screen shots of my database, queries and reports. Meow

Categorization December 31, 2012

Posted by makingyourdashcount in Puzzle Project.
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To enter the pieces to the database, I knew immediately that each piece needed an identifier and an easy way to retrieve it, if required. Short of barcoding them, which I might have been inclined to try if I had a printer and reader handy, I began to number them methodically. Bag one- piece one. Bag one- piece 2. 60 to a bag and 15 bags total. I photographed each piece with it’s corresponding number.

Inspired by my daughter, who spent the last year of her life coding advertisements for a research study, I decided to do the same with the 800 or so pieces not comprising the edges of the puzzle. Eyes, clothing, hats, fur,  accessories.. etc. each of different colors. That way, if I need a piece with a yellow scarf and earrings, I could look it up and retrieve piece 8-19.  Simple!

The difficult part? Each and every piece will need to be entered into a not yet written database.  Anna warned me that this will take hours. Looking at each piece, determining its parameters and then completing the database.


  1. Color or each of the following- Brown, Green, Orange, Gold, Blue, White, Red
  2. Pattern- Argyle, Stripes, Polka-dots, Mottle, Solid, Hash marks, stars
  3. Accessories- Tie, Necklace, Scarf, Bowtie, Glasses, hat
  4. Fur color and gender
  5. Tail position: right, left or straight up
  6. Eyes- none, looking right, looking straight, looking left, closed.
  7. Other- mouse, flower

Once done, I could move from right to left completing the puzzle.. picking 10 pieces at a time by scanning the database for pieces that match the desired parameters.  Well, that is the plan.

Bag 2- Pieces 46-60

Here is Bag 13- pieces 1-60:

bag 13