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New Year’s Resolutions. January 1, 2013

Posted by makingyourdashcount in Puzzle Project.
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The new year forces things, which is silly because for all intensive purposes all January 1st really means is the gamble to buy the cat calendar now at full price or in two weeks when it may be 50% off. We can make resolutions at any time, if we even make them at all. There really is very little difference between January 1st or July 1st. But convention says now, so here goes.

If you’ve read any other posts from this blog you will know that my posts are impassioned.  I tend to write when I’m angry or intensely sad. So this thread is a new year’s challenge for me- to chronicle a project for which there really should be little emotion aside from frustration.  Albeit this project will not change the world, I’m searching for joy in doing something extremely frivolous because I’m not good at frivolity.

Also I am not the most organized person in the world, so the basis of this project- sorting, categorizing and then searching methodically for individual pieces is a new undertaking, as well.

So my resolution?

  1. Finish this puzzle methodically.
  2. Blog about the process, even if no one cares to read it.
  3. Hopefully find joy in something and to be a bit less serious.

Maybe this process will also help me be a “bit” more organized.  We’ll see.

Case in point for my lack of organization.  Readers may have noticed that I haven’t yet categorized any pieces.  I just keep talking about doing it.  Well, although I have my copy of Microsoft Access (as part of Office Professional,) I can’t find my authorization key, so I can’t yet load it on this computer.  I know I have it.  I know I will find it.  I will.  🙂  In the meantime, here is the gridded puzzle.  I intend on starting from the outside and work in to minimize damage by the real cat, who will want to sit on the puzzle whenever I’m working on it.


For reference, here is the cat sitting on a different puzzle.  Neither delicate or stealth, she can dismantle a puzzle with strategic swishes of her immense tail. My plan is to not let that happen.


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