Here’s a project for you and yours

Columnist, Nick Wolochatiuk
Here’s a project for you and yours
Nick Wolochatiuk

Our children used to do jigsaw puzzles. That was before cell phones, Internet access and cable TV. To stretch our entertainment budget, I would flip their completed puzzle over, draw something of interest to them on the blank side, then colour it. The drawing would be photographed. “Voila! A two-for one personalized puzzle.”

It’s now more than a third of a century from that scenario. In one way or another, the children are no longer with me. However, another two-sided jigsaw is in the making. My wife Juliet has a 1995 Volkswagen Eurovan pop-top camper. For Christmas, I gave my ‘new girl’, a 27″ by 38″, 2,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

Depicted on it are 105 colourful images of Volkswagen vans of all vintages, colours and models, ranging from hippy micro-bus, commercial vans and pop-tops. There’s even one that has been stretched to double-length! (I saw one of those at the Serpent River rest stop, on Ontario Highway 17.)

To assemble a completed puzzle of that size requires a table of at least the same dimensions. More than three times that area is needed to lay out and scrutinize the 2,000 pieces which will gradually be selected for assembly.

After she has completed assembling it, I intend to create another flip-over puzzle on the back, but I still haven’t figured out how to flip it over intact.

‘ll get out my drawing pencil and colouring markers and create some new Rembrandt, Picasso or Warhol kind of masterpiece. I’ll use my Pentax SLR to shoot the masterpiece, then have an 8″ by 10″ print made as a guide.

Final steps: disassemble the now two-sided jigsaw puzzle and put it into the box, along with the 8″ by 10″. Gift wrap it. That’s what Juliet’s getting for her February 16 ’39th’ birthday present. (Sh! Don’t tell her!)

If you have a ‘Juliet’ or a ‘Romeo’, or some children or grandchildren in your life, please feel free to do the same for them.

Share this article