Dionne Quintuplets 1939 Painting Five Little Sweethearts

From the day my father brought home Pierre Berton's 1978 The Dionne Years: A Thirties Melodrama I have been fascinated by the tragic life of the quintuplets.

Years later I rediscovered their story in the 1994 made-for-television mini-series, Million Dollar Babies with Beau Bridges.

Today I am still intrigued but disappointed to hear that life is anything but easy for the surviving quints.

Pin-up artist Gil Elvgren's 1939 painting "Five Little Sweethearts" of the Dionne quintuplets is going up for auction today in benefit of the two remaining quintuplets, Cécile who is reported to be penniless, and Annette.  Eighteen years ago, the surviving quintuplets were given $750,000 each from the Ontario government but, according to reports, Cécile's portion disappeared with her son.

All proceeds for the painting, which has been donated anonymously by the owner and is being auctioned by Toronto auction house A.H. Wilkins, will go to the sisters.  I hope that there will be enough made from the proceeds of the auction to support Cecile and Annette, who are 82, in some comfort for the rest of their lives.


Quick Links:

Read more on the National Post's story.

Springbok Nutcracker Jigsaw Puzzles

Springbok Round Nutcracker Jigsaw Puzzle

Springbok Nutcracker Collection Puzzle

Springbok Nutcracker Workshop PuzzleOver the years, Springbok has produced a number of different jigsaw puzzles with nutcrackers on them. I love them all.

I have gathered a few of them together here on the page but I am unsure if my collection is complete.

Springbok Nutcracker Brigade PuzzleShown at the top is the round puzzle, one that is simply titled Nutcracker. It has 500 pieces. The image credit for the picture of this puzzle goes to eBay store owner, bixbybasil. Unfortunately, this puzzle is out of production.

The second puzzle is a fairly recent one and is currently in production. It is called Nutcracker Collection and has 1,000 pieces. You can find this puzzle on Amazon by clicking here.

The third puzzle is the Nutcracker Workshop puzzle. It has 400 pieces and is a family puzzle meaning that it has big pieces for children and little pieces for the young at heart. This puzzle is and all of those that follow are also out of production.

Springbok Nostalgic Nutcracker Jigsaw Puzzle

The fourth puzzle is the Nutcracker Brigade puzzle, which is a 500 piece puzzle that includes a wooden ornament.

The 400 piece puzzle shown to the right is known as Nostalgic Nutcrackers.

Sometimes you can find one of these older puzzles new and/or used on eBay:

Anyone who loves working a puzzle and who loves Christmas will enjoy working one of these Nutcracker-themed puzzles. They would make a great gift idea for someone who collects nutcrackers, too!

Happy Puzzling!

Quick Links:

Find all of Amazon's Springbok Nutcracker puzzles here.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Collector's Edition Jigsaw Puzzle

A Charlie Brown Christmas Collector's Jigsaw PuzzleA Charlie Brown Christmas is a classic television program that is watched by you and by me year after year after year.

The eternally popular story is presented here as a 550 piece jigsaw puzzle in an attractive collector's tin.

The puzzle features a familiar scene from the Charlie Brown television special, in which Linus wraps his beloved blue blanket around Charlie brown's pathetic Christmas tree.

Unfortunately, this jigsaw puzzle is out of print, which means if you want to own it it is probably going to cost you more than the original selling price.

If you are an Amazon shopper, you can check here to see if Amazon has this puzzle available right now and if so, at what price. Then you can check the listings shown below on eBay to do a price comparison before adding this Peanuts themed jigsaw puzzle to your collection.

Not all of the puzzles shown below are new so if that is important to you, be sure to shop carefully. If you are buying a used puzzle, make sure the seller guarantees the puzzle to be complete. A simple counting of the pieces is not enough because puzzle manufacturers do not always use the exact number of pieces that a puzzle is sold as. For instance a 550 piece puzzle may actually have 552 or 458 pieces.

Shop carefully and happy puzzling!

Quick Links:

Check Amazon for A Charlie Brown Christmas Collector's Puzzle.

Jigsaw Puzzles Are Back In Style

As you may or may not have suspected, jigsaw puzzles were out of style for a while. However, it seems their popularity is growing. We regularly work one, leaving one out on the coffee table all year long. Noticeably, not as many pieces are put in place in the summer but during the long, cold winter nights many are.

We now have more and better methods of producing puzzles and this has led to more creative puzzles. Not to say that there are not old puzzles that were well constructed. When you pick up a vintage Springbok puzzle that is fully assembled and walk around the house with it holding it only by the corners, you know that it was a well made puzzle. However, there is certainly a much wider variety of puzzle styles, choices and images available now for all age groups and at numerous price points.

I am sure that popularity is in large part because puzzles are a wonderful break from the constant presence of technology in our lives.  More importantly, however is that puzzles are just plain fun to do and when you finish one, you have a nice sense of accomplishment. Note that I did not say anything about them being good for us...and I do believe they are good for our brains, young and old.

Is there a JIGSAW PUZZLE in your life?

Happy puzzling!
Treasures By Brenda

Quick Link:

Find this World's Most Difficult Mickey Mouse puzzle on eBay.

New, Used & Vintage Puzzles from eBay:

Christmas Jigsaw Puzzle Family Tradition

Include Christmas Jigsaw Puzzles in Your Family's Holiday Traditions 

Each year my family works on Christmas jigsaw puzzles during the month of December. We put a Christmas themed puzzle out on the coffee table and occasionally someone stops and puts a few pieces in place. If you are a puzzler, you already know that once the puzzle starts to come together, our visits become longer and more frequent. It is a wonderful family tradition that everyone can enjoy.

Have you considered working a jigsaw puzzle during the holidays? Puzzles are affordable, technology-free family fun. I have included on this page five lovely Christmas-themed jigsaw puzzles by Springbok. Each one of them retails for less than $15 on Amazon and I have showed a range of puzzle sizes from 350 to 1000 pieces. Whether you are shopping for a new puzzle or just curious about what is available, I hope you enjoy my choices.

Springbok Nutcracker Collection Puzzle

Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy button to find all of Springbok's Christmas themed puzzles on Amazon so I have added a link below the picture of each of these puzzles to help you find them if you are interested in adding one of them to your collection.

Start your own Christmas family tradition by working a jigsaw puzzle together.

Treasures By Brenda

Mary Lake Thompson Christmas Coffee Mugs Tea Towel

I know, it is not Christmastime yet but it will be before long so today I am featuring this hot chocolate themed tea towel, which features two adorable Christmas coffee mugs on a kitchen flour sack. The tea towel comes with a recipe card for peppermint cocoa, too. I only wish I knew where to buy those coffee mugs because they are too cute.  Nevertheless, I love the tea towel and I think that it would make a great addition to a hot chocolate themed Christmas gift idea! Pick up a Christmas-themed coffee mug, some hot chocolate and this tea towel. Bundled together they'd make a great thank you or hostess gift for someone who loves Christmas and hot chocolate.

You never know
what I might have in store
for you!

Quick Links:

Buy this Mary Lake Thompson coffee mug tea towel on Amazon.
Check out all of Thompson's items here.
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