Meet Puzzler Andrea

Meet Puzzler Andrea


What is your name?

I’m Andrea, but on Instagram I’m known as @irismoonandthelastpiece.

Where do you live?

Toronto, Canada…the indigenous name of this city is Tkaronto, and it is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples.

How did you start your puzzle journey? 

I’ve been doing puzzles off and on for most of my life, but prior to 2020 I only did a handful (1-5) every year. When we found ourselves locked down in the early days of the pandemic, I started puzzling more often to pass the time. Now scarcely a day goes by without at least a few minutes of puzzling!

Do you have a favourite piece count? 

My preferred piece count is 1000, though I do occasionally do the odd 500 or 750, and more rarely, 1500 or 2000. 

What is your preferred piece cut? Random or ribbon & why? 

I find random cuts extra fun and challenging, but I am happy doing ribbon cut also, as long as there is plenty of variation in the pieces and no false fits!

What are your favourite puzzle brands? 

I gravitate towards smaller brands with modern images and excellent quality. My current favourites are Fits Puzzles, Four Point, Cloudberries, and Genuine Fred. Tania Wicks rounds out my current top 5!


What is your favourite TW puzzle?

I’ve only completed one so far, Citrus Burst, and I loved it! But I’ve got Macarons coming my way shortly, and I have my eye on the new collection (especially Candlesticks!), when they arrive at Puzzles Canada. I hope to have the full range of both collections one day!


If you could meet anyone in the puzzle community who would that be and why?

I’ve been fortunate to meet a number of local puzzlers who I now call friends, as my city has a very active puzzling community. And the great thing about the online puzzling community is that you can “meet” and connect with people literally all over the world! I couldn’t possibly pick just one to meet in person!


What else do you enjoy other than puzzling?

I’m obsessed with music and dance! I’ve always got a playlist going or I’m spinning some vinyl. And over the last decade I’ve participated in several community dance projects, which has allowed me to perform in dance and arts festivals; both indoors and outdoors, and on one particularly iconic Toronto theatre stage. 


What is your puzzling strategy… for example do you do border first, are you a sorter?

I always attempt to do the border first. It feels good to me to start with a framework for a puzzle, but if the border is particularly tricky, I won’t hesitate to switch it up. 

I’m not a sorter at all! I find it tedious and too time consuming. After pulling out the edge pieces and assembling the border, I spread my pieces out in two large trays and turn them all face up. From there, I sift through as I work on recognizable sections. At the end, I may sort by shape in order to finish any tough sections. 


Do you have any tips for challenging puzzles? 

Good lighting is key. Daylight is great, but I can’t puzzle super close to a window in my house so I also use an Ottlite led desk light to help. Take it slow. Take breaks. Sort by shape if you need to, and be methodical. 


Do you have a favourite puzzle theme? 

Not really. First and foremost, I’m drawn to puzzles with vibrant colours and fun patterns, lines, and interesting or geometric shapes. 


What’s your favourite type of puzzle, eg wooden, rectangular, circular? 

I like to mix it up! Wooden, cardboard, rectangular, shaped…bring it on!


How many puzzles in your collection? 

I only have a handful in my permanent collection; some will be framed and hung on the wall (most of these are movie/music/pop culture themed), some have gorgeous boxes for display (Tania Wicks and Soonness’ Gradient Therapy series), and some are special wooden ones (PuzzleLab and Stumpcraft). The rest of my collection will be done once and then traded or passed along. 


How many puzzles in your to do pile?

I have about 150 puzzles on my shelves that I have yet to do! But I usually prioritize 5-10 at a time that I want to do in the short term, for upcoming trades, themed puzzle-alongs, or seasonal puzzles. 

We are so excited to have Andrea on board as our exclusive Canadian Brand Ambassador for Tania Wicks Puzzles!



View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Andrea K (@irismoonandthelastpiece)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Andrea K (@irismoonandthelastpiece)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Andrea K (@irismoonandthelastpiece)

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