Thursday, March 31, 2011

Eagle River Puzzle Giveaway (closed)

  Isn't this puzzle the coolest!!! This one is my favorite! It's made in Eagle River by a cool dad who lives in a yurt with his family! Ben Schneider, owner of Eagle River Puzzles, hand makes these amazing puzzles. If you don't win one here, be sure to check them out in some local stores. These puzzles make a great Alaskan gift! They are not just for kids but for adults as well! 

Before you enter the giveaway, learn more about Ben!

Please tell us about yourself and how you got into making puzzles.
   My family and I moved to Alaska almost 3 years ago and we love it.  What better place is there to be able to get your family outside all year round in a wide variety of activities.  Probably the most unique thing about my family is that we live in a yurt.  A yurt is a large round tent who's design is based on the shelters lived in by Mongolian nomads.  You can see what I mean at our families blog:
   When we moved up here my wife's career really took off and we made the decision that it would be best for me to stay home and take care of the kids.  I like being a stay at home dad, but it has its ups and downs like any other job.  Being able to watch my kids grow, make my own schedule (when the kids let me), and get outside every day (when the kids let me) are some of the big ups.  Ones of the big downs was that when the kids were napping and I finished cleaning the house (the tent: it's only 800 sq ft), I found myself just twiddling my thumbs or napping too.  I had a clean home and was well rested, but I was lacking something.  I needed something to ward off baby brain; I needed a hobby. 
    I needed something to challenge the mind, offer an artistic outlet, and that I didn't require me to leave the house.  I tried getting into photography for awhile, making note cards, and selling photos. But, I needed to get out by myself a lot to take pictures to really make it work and I found myself spending way too much time on the computer.  My wife got tired of me complaining and moping, so she got me a woodworking book from the library about toys.  Making puzzles was one of the projects in the book.  Luckily we have a garage (900 sq ft, bigger than our house, awesome) beneath our yurt so I had space to work and not disturb the sleeping kids.  I made a few for my son and he loved them.  Then a few other parents saw them and said "Hey, you should sell these."  Now I have a less than clean home, don't get much sleep, but am never bored.

Where can one get these puzzles? 
  There are several stores and art galleries in Anchorage and Eagle River where you can buy them:
Dos Manos Art Gallery, Katie Sevigny Art Gallery, and  Sweet Adeline's Children Store.
Eagle River:
Belly Baby and Beyond and Eagle River Nature Center
You can also shop at my online etsy store  and see what is currently available.
But my favorite is to interact with customers at craft fairs or by having people pick what they want, make it, and hand it directly to them.  You can see all of our designs at and on facebook.

What do you love about Alaska?
  Winter.  I'm bubbling with anticipation when the sun starts disappearing in September.  I'm sad in May when all the snow starts disappearing and I finally have to hang up the skis for the summer.  I'm one of those annoying people who is always praying for cold stormy weather while every one else is looking for sun.  Alaska is the perfect place for me.

Here are the rules to enter:
1. Must live in Alaska
2. Be a follower of the blog
3. Visit Ben's facebook page and tell us your favorite puzzle. Please be sure to leave an email address, anonymous will not be counted.

The winner will get this cool salmon puzzle!! The winner will be chosen randomly this Sunday evening.


  1. Hey! I live in Chugiak, AK. I am a loyal follower of this blog. I am already a fan of Ben's FB page. And my absolute favorite puzzle is the Orca! :) oh, and my email is (I really, really want to win this contest!!)

  2. Wow! I really LOVE these puzzles! My favorite one is the one with the yurt and the smoke coming out of it! The salmon one looks pretty cool, too:) I follow the blog and live in AK!

  3. Brook - brook.pester@gmail.comMarch 31, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    These are really nice puzzles! I like the sunset, orca AND salmon designs!

  4. Awesome puzzles! My favorites are the salmon, orca and sunset ones! I can tell alot of love went into making these puzzles! I live in AK and follow the

  5. Melinda moviesforjust@hotmail.comApril 1, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    These puzzles are so original! For my daughter, I love unique toys, as well as sturdy ones like these wooden puzzles! My favorite is probably the salmon since it's a little easier for her, but the most beautiful one is the Orca. I do live in Alaska, and of course I follow the blog. :)

  6. Such awesome work and an awesome papa! I LOVE the sunset puzzles.. Second place goes to the sun/moon/tree....
    Living way up north in

  7. Seriously, I love them all, maybe the orca a little better than the rest. I was headed down to Sweet Adelines to buy one of these puzzles for my two year old when I saw this givaway. I have my fingers crossed!!

  8. I just changed my mind, I like the sunset best! Oh, the indecision, these are just so cool!

  9. The puzzles are amazing! I think my favorite is the diesel engine.

  10. Too many to choose from, but I think my favorite is the Eagle River Valley.

  11. Deborah LouangrathApril 2, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    I love them all, but I think I'd have to pick Eagle River Valley.

  12. I'm a follower!! I live in Ak!! There were a few that I really liked. One favorite was the orca.