Didn't exactly have a big enough space to do it, so I cut up some cardboard pieces and tried on my guest bed. I started out trying to put the edge together. Took a good couple hours to systematically sort through 2000 pieces. And let me tell you there are some funky shapes in this thing.
After 6 hours:
And a few more hours after that:
The bed ended up being too low and proved too painful on the back for long periods of time. I was also frustrated by how slow it was going. So it sat in that bedroom from January until August, untouched. I finally decided to get it done and went to Home Depot and found the cheapest wooden panel I could find that would fit the whole thing. Brought it to my kitchen table and there I worked on it. But I was nervous...an edge piece was missing. I decided to push forward and hope it either turned up in the box or in the room. And I tore that room apart, believe you me. For three solid days, I worked. And I literally mean dawn to dusk. (The edge piece ended up being in the box.) These were the days my trees were getting cut down, so it gave me something to do since I wanted to be home while they worked. I would sort through the box and pick out the pieces for 2-3 different sections of the puzzle at a time. Put them together, sort again, and so on.
End of Day 1. What I called the "most obvious" sections were done.
End of Day 2. The red sections that were different enough for me to pick out were done.
End of Day 3. The final red sections and their logos came together. The remaining holes were the solid red pieces.
The red color didn't end up being the biggest challenge. Each sign was different enough, however subtle, to pick out. What ended up being the headache was actually the words in the logos: the Coca-Cola. Each piece had such a small portion of each letter, it was impossible to tell where it belonged at times. I would stare at the pile and have to get up for a bit, frustrated. Several times it came down to a matter of just seeing what fit, rather than trying to put it together by mentally seeing the image being pieced together.
Of course, Naomi was a big help during the whole process. I had to keep the puzzle covered with the cardboard I originally was using underneath. She also had a fondness for frolicking in the box of pieces. At one point, she jumped in it and it scooted off the table, dumping the hundreds of pieces all over the floor. I just knew I'd lose one, but I lucked out.
Got that puppy done and glued together. Waited for a great framing deal--which was still hard to swallow--but it is done and I'm pretty proud of it. Looks great on the wall and I was able to spread the rest of my trinkets out along the wall.
So if you are one of those who occasionally or regularly comes to my house, be sure to step into the kitchen and see it in person!
Framed and hanging nicely on my wall.