Women put together pieces of puzzle swap group

Norine Plett, left, and Linda Stucky enjoy themselves while putting together a puzzle. They belong to the Newton Puzzle Swap, which has a Facebook page. Wendy Nugent/Harvey County Now

By Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now

NEWTON—Norine Plett was puzzled about how to form a group in Newton that exchanges sets of interlocking pieces of paperboard that can be put together to form an image.

Plett said there aren’t a lot of places in Newton to purchase puzzles—just the Et Cetera Shop and Wal-Mart, and both of those places have a very limited selection.

She and others in the Newton Puzzle Swap, which formed a couple of months ago, like certain images on puzzles.

“We’re more into […],” Plett said.

“Things we can identify with,” member Sue Jones added in referencing the retail store.

The Newton Puzzle Swap was Plett’s brainchild. She said that she, Jones and another member, Linda Stucky, came from puzzle-putting-together families.

Plett decided to do Facebook research on puzzle swap groups and found there are those groups on Facebook but not locally. So, she asked the What’s Happening in Newton admins if she could advertise a puzzle swap group on that page.

Jones said she responded to the callout because her sister lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

“We were there one weekend they had a puzzle exchange,” Jones said.

Now, the group has its own Facebook page, and they do exchanges at the CBD shop at 1027 Washington Road, Suite E, the business Jones owns. The Facebook page had 49 members as of Monday, and anywhere from two to seven show up at the puzzle swaps. The one this past Saturday, and there won’t be swaps in November and December, at least this year.

Jones said they needed to decide when to do the swaps and that in Dallas/Forth Worth, they do it in a park on weekends.

“I know I was here [at my store] on Saturdays, and that’s how it got to be Saturdays,” Jones said.

For those who can’t make it on Saturdays, they’re welcome to go to the shop and take puzzles they’d like to do, and they don’t even have to leave puzzles. The shop has around 50 puzzles from which people can pick, and there are around 100 on swap days.

There’s always a puzzle going at the shop on a table.

Plett said they wanted to structure the group so no money was exchanged.

“There’s a lot of puzzle lovers in town,” she said, adding if they want their puzzles back, they need to let them know.

One of those people who loves puzzles was a woman who went to Plett’s garage sale at her home, where Plett sold a variety of things, including puzzles. The woman wanted a puzzle.

“She picked up one she was going to give me a few bucks for, and I told her about the group,” Plett said. “She joined right then and there.”

Jones brings puzzles to Midtown Towers in Newton, where they have a puzzle group.

“One of the ladies buys CBD,” Jones said, adding she found out that woman does puzzles. “She gave me some to bring back. The nursing homes like 300- and 500-[piece] ones—bigger pieces, you know.”

Some puzzle connoisseurs like certain puzzle brands, like White Mountain or Kodacolor.

“I like grid ones,” Plett said.

“I like the grid,” Jones added.

Stucky said that when they went to the Dallas/Forth Worth puzzle swap with Jones’s sister, that between Jones’s sister and Jones, they had at least 50 puzzles. They found a table with room on it and unloaded there. People began yelling, “Hey, there’s White Mountain over here.”

“It was just fun,” Stucky said.

There’s a few reasons they like doing puzzles.

“Just relaxing and clears your mind,” Stucky said.

“It organizes your thoughts,” Jones added.

“I do it to get away,” Plett said.

Plett said her 95-year-old father lives with her, and he got her interested in it. He only likes to do a puzzle once, while Plett can do one puzzle a few times.

“I have a stack of puzzles,” she said. “What do you do with them? Bring ‘em here.”

She also plans to bring a puzzle on her travels that has pieces so small, the set includes tweezers. The pieces are about 1/8 to ¼ inch in size.

“I take a picture of all the puzzles I do, and I keep them in a file on my computer,” Plett said, adding her cousin has done 3,000.

The women can put puzzles together pretty fast.

“The first time we were here, we did one in 20 minutes,” Plett said, adding that one had 300 or 500 pieces.


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