The House of Puzzles Friday Street Jigsaw Review

The Houses of Puzzles are one of my personal favourite jigsaw puzzle manufacturers because their puzzles are just so much fun. Imagine my delight to pick up one of their older, 2010 designs called Friday Street.

Friday Street is a fun and colourful jigsaw puzzle design by the talented artist Ray Cresswell. It features a wonderfully charming scene with a china and glass shop, a florist and Kitty's tea shop for cream teas, scones and cakes. 

Ray Cresswell is a brilliant jigsaw puzzle artist. His designs are packed full of colour and lots of interest which makes you want to just fit one more piece until, before you know it, the jigsaw is done.

HOP The House of Puzzles Friday Street Jigsaw Puzzle Review

HOP The House of Puzzles Friday Street Jigsaw Puzzle Review Ray Cresswell Shops Florist Tea Jigsaws Puzzles

Title: Friday Street (The Ruxley Collection)

Publisher: The House of Puzzles HOP

Release date: 2010

Artist: Ray Cresswell

Cutting style: Random cut

Number of puzzle pieces: 500

Finished size approx: 34.3 x 48.3 cm / 13.5 x 19 inches

Ray Cresswell is a fantastic jigsaw puzzle designer and never disappoints with his artwork which is always packed with lots of interest and colour. I was thrilled to get hold of an older design called Friday Street from The House of Puzzles Ruxley Collection.

I have a bit of a thing about jigsaw puzzles of houses, buildings and especially shops. It's no wonder that Friday Street with the charming scene including a florist, china and glass shop and a tea room appealed to me right away.

Outside of doing jigsaws, I really love cream teas and especially scones. As soon as I saw the charming Kitty's tea shop with the lace curtains and the Parisian style chairs outside, it was yes I have to have it!

Puzzle Quality Notes

Random cut jigsaw puzzle HOP House of Puzzles Ray Cresswell

Note the unusual shaped jigsaw pieces and even curves in this random cut jigsaw puzzle.

The House of Puzzles have a smooth and shiny finish on the fronts and a rough, blue paper finish on the back, rather similar to Gibsons in that respect although that's where the similarity ends.

The puzzle pieces are sturdy enough and usually cut well. The fit tends to be a little on the loose side when you piece their designs together. Since a big selling point of The House of Puzzles (or HOP for short) is that each jigsaw comes with unusual shaped pieces, it does make sense that the fit is a little loose to avoid pieces getting jammed and broken if they're placed wrongly.

A big selling point for HOP is that their puzzles are nothing like the straightforward kind. You do get some of the standard 2 tab and 2 slot pieces, but most of the puzzle pieces are unique shapes.

Expect to get a large variety of shapes in each puzzle including curved pieces as well as some straight edges inside the design. It's fun when you're looking for the edge pieces and you end up with several that look like edges but actually aren't.

Some puzzlers really loathe these styles of random shaped jigsaws, it seems to be a bit of a love or hate relationship. I happen to love them and think they are great fun and offer something different to the norm.

The quality of Friday Street despite being an older, second-hand version that I picked up was excellent. No damaged pieces and really, once assembled, looked as good as new.

Jigsaw Puzzle Construction Order and Tips

This was a straightforward, I'll do the edge first then fill in the rest type of jigsaw. There were some internal pieces that had straight edges on which had me fooled at a first sort of the edge pieces. But, other than that, the edge was easy to complete.

After doing the edge I worked mostly from the bottom up with this design. It just seemed logical to me to pick out the paths and then work up to each shop, thanks Ray for making the window frames and doors different colours which helped with placement.

The only area that posed a bit of a challenge with this 500 piece design was the roof with similar little windows, roof tiles and chimney pots. After that it was rather easy.

What to Look for on Completing This Jigsaw Puzzle

HOP The House of Puzzles Friday Street Jigsaw Puzzle by Ray Cresswell Shops Florist Tea teashop

Aside from the rather quaint little shops in Friday Street, I happen to love the fact that behind this scene are some rolling green hills, a farm and a church. You can imagine that this is a lovely little small town which has a few old fashioned shops and it is set in the countryside.

It is a bit of a nostalgic design and certainly makes me long for the time when individual and unique shops were the norm in each community. Now our high streets are all starting to look the same with all the chain shops while the independent stores are closing fast.

So this is a wonderful peek back at how lovely shopping used to be when we had charming shops like this in every town.

Overall Experience With Friday Street

I had a great time putting Friday Street together. I always enjoy a Ray Cresswell design.

If I have any complaint at all, it's that it was on the easy side and I completed it quickly. However, I do tend to complete Ray's designs quite fast because I enjoy them so much. It's always a case of, just one more piece, and just another one ...

I think too that the HOP unusual pieces also make their designs typically easier for me because it's easy to spot where very unique shaped pieces fit. Whereas jigsaws with just standard pieces can be much harder to see where those pieces go since they could fit in multiple places.

For this reason, I'd normally stick with a larger 1000 HOP design. However, I saw this and had to get it. If you've never tried a House of Puzzles jigsaw, I'd really recommend them. Enjoyable and very fun.

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