Fantaminals Small Dragon Wooden Puzzle, Judy Peterson

FanTaminals Small Dragon Wooden Puzzle
Made by Judy Peterson
Rochester, NY

Review by Lis Carey: This little creature, who has revealed her name to be Orlaith, is officially a “small dragon,” but close examination, which she permitted, and discussion with her, has revealed her to be a fire lizard. She’s very small, and quite maneuverable, and as with all of Judy’s work, the workmanship is excellent. As this little one flew to me from An Unnamed Source, I don’t have all the paperwork and can’t tell you her wood with real certainty, but it looks quite like the black cherry that Brandy, the cocker spaniel, is constructed from. It is likely the same wood.

Certainly her pieces are as well-made, and as pleasing to handle. Also like Brandy, she stands up on her four feet, in a way you just can’t expect of most puzzles.

As you can see here, in this picture of Orlaith hanging out with Brandy, she is significantly smaller than the cocker spaniel, and quite happy to be friends with her. This is natural, since they are from the same artist and the same workshop.

They are not hanging out with the Folkmanis beaked dragon, Gwenna. They have determined that they have Different Duties, the wooden puzzles to defend the windows, and the hand puppet to protect the bed. Cider is not sure she altogether approves of Brandy, a dog, not protecting the bed, but concedes the potential awkwardness of doing that, given that Brandy is made of hard, wooden pieces.

Altogether, they enliven my home, and make it more pleasant and attractive.

As noted above, I received Orlaith the fire lizard as a gift.

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Business Card: Judy Peterson, 256 Dearcop Dr., Rochester NY 14624-1731. (608)609-2013. [email protected] 

Lis Carey Reviews: FanTaminals Cocker Spaniel Scroll Wood Puzzle

FanTaminals Cocker Spaniel Scroll Wood Puzzle
Made by Judy Peterson
Rochester, NY

Review by Lis Carey At Boskone for several years, I’ve been seeing Judy Peterson and her wonderful scroll wood puzzles, which feature fantasy creatures, animals well known in our own world, and a really stunning Noah’s Ark puzzle. Mostly, the ones I’ve wanted have been well out of my price range.

And then I saw the cocker spaniel.

When I was in my early twenties, my first dog, a border collie, died. For reasons I’ll skip over, my mother said we could, after a decent mourning period, get another dog, but the new dog had to be small enough for her to pick up on her own. After much thought, we got a cocker spaniel puppy, whom we named Brandy. (Registered name: Lady Emer de Brandanin.)

At Boskone 60, she had this cocker spaniel puzzle, almost exactly the color of my Brandy. I sat and chatted with Judy, took a break to see if the urge would go away, and then came back to buy it. (Of course.) The puzzles are made from very good quality wood, and the craftsmanship is marvelous. They’re fun to put together, and they stand easily on any flat surface.

The cocker spaniel is made from Black Cherry. Its heartwood when first cut is a light pinkish-brown color, that darkens to orange red with exposure to sunlight. The sapwood is cream-colored, and does not darken. It’s the sapwood that you see in the puzzle facing to the right, and that’s the color my Brandy was. The other side, seen in the picture where she’s facing left, is a little darker, and will darken more as she’s exposed to sunlight.

All the pieces feel smooth and very pleasing to hold.

She has taken up residence on one of the wide windowsills in my new apartment.

Since dogs were the second-most popular theme in her puzzles, we talked about dogs, and of course Cider was with me. I mentioned that she didn’t have a Chinese Crested puzzle. I had mentioned this at previous Boskone meetings with her, and she had met Dora.

But it was Cider who inspired her to take pictures, as models for a potential future Chinese Crested puzzle. Cider was very pleased to model for Judy, and only charged pets, not treats, for her service.

I love this puzzle. I love putting together, and I love handling the pieces, and I love looking at it. I hope that next year, Brandy can be joined by a Chinese Crested.

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Business Card: Judy Peterson, 256 Dearcop Dr., Rochester NY 14624-1731. (608)609-2013. [email protected]