I was unable to post last week. But it wasn’t because our town was under twenty-five feet of water, or because firenados forced us to evacuate. There wasn’t a presidential convention disrupting the flow of life in our community. No. In fact, it was just an ordinary hot, humid week in August. Our once neatly trimmed and mulched landscape had grown into a jungle of weeds. Our SUV sat in the driveway in desperate need of a wash. And we were holed up in our stuffy, third-floor office diligently preparing for our upcoming Kickstarter campaign.
Everything was proceeding smoothly until I received an order through our Etsy shop from a customer in the UK. The order was for a miniature dragon kite that weighs about an ounce in its packaging. When I checked the order, Etsy’s automatic shipping calculator had priced the shipping at around thirty-two dollars. You can imagine my shock! Panicking, I entered the address in our Stamps.com account and sure enough, the postage totaled $3.23. Phew. I quickly revised the order to reflect the proper shipping rate. But it had me thinking, “If a package weighing just over one ounce could throw off the shipping calculator that much, then perhaps I should double check the shipping rates on ALL of our products.”
Low and behold, when I checked the shipping rate for our puzzles, by adding bubble wrap or kraft packaging paper, a receipt, and a certificate, the shipping price increased ten to twelve dollars above what we were charging. I was mortified! How could I have overlooked such a minute, yet important, detail? I never accounted for the extra materials in the shipping box.
I spent two straight days trying to reduce the actual shipping rate on our puzzles to reflect what we were charging. To make matters worse, the package I had mailed to the UK on Wednesday was sitting in our mailbox on Thursday evening. Apparently, a postal worker confused the “From” address on the customs form with the “To” address, and tossed it in the wrong bin to be delivered to me.
A whole slew of other inconveniences occurred during the week, but my head was focused on resolving the shipping issue.
As I was freaking out about the shipping issue, my husband was busy with his own tasks: One of which was choosing the next puzzle and props to use for his social media posts. He loves taking pictures of puzzles as they’re being assembled. He especially enjoys using different props to make it more fun and interesting = )
Watching my husband at work makes me realize how many of us stifle our own creativity by overworking ourselves and getting caught up in everyday cares and worries. Creativity, like spirituality, is essential to a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. I’m also a firm believer in fueling your inner child. Neither of us cares whether people think we’re being childish or wasting time. In a world where people walk into street signs, drive into parked cars, and walk off cliffs while searching for digital monsters, I don’t think it’s important to care what others think.
We often say that one thing we love about puzzles is that you get to take part in the artist’s creation piece by piece. A puzzle allows you to enjoy the finer details of the art that you might not otherwise notice if it were just a print hanging on your wall. Although it is the artist’s or photographer’s creativity that we are appreciating, it offers inspiration for our own imaginations.
Since we have a collection of toys, figurines, and stuffed animals, my husband can always come up with a funny or cute scene to capture on camera and share with our friends and followers on social media. If nothing else, it gives us a good laugh and offers them some lighthearted entertainment; something we all need more of.
If you follow us on Facebook, you’ll get to see some really nice puzzles and Eric’s imagination at work www.facebook.com/playing.4ever.grounded/
For us, puzzles are a fun, relaxing activity, but it doesn’t end there. While we may get lost in the artist’s world that we are assembling, we are also inspired by the incredible imaginations that create such worlds. It sparks our own imaginations, and becomes a sort of stepping stone to unlock the inner artist, or in my husband’s case, the inner child that dwells in all of us.
We all have the potential for creativity, even those of us right-brained, analytical thinkers. We just have to awaken it. The jigsaw-puzzle world offers a huge variety of “Big worlds in little pieces.” Why not immerse yourself in those worlds and fuel your own imagination? Your life will be that much richer for it.
Written by Lara Andersen
How do you express your creativity? Are there any jigsaw puzzles you found that have truly inspired your artistic side? Please share your thoughts and experiences. We would love to hear from you.