A Love Letter to Puzzles
Love takes on many different forms. We hear it in the giggles following a private joke shared between friends. We see it in the crowds during an afternoon stroll through the park. We feel it in our hearts after spending time with someone special. And perhaps most notably, we watch love unfold when we come together and indulge in our favorite habit: puzzling.
At Ordinary Habit, we seek to create objects that encourage everyday play and an appreciation for the little things. At its core, puzzling embodies this mission—think about it. Isn't there something magical about sharing a meal (or a dream) around the table? Reaching for a puzzle box between dinner plates and champagne flutes? Watching color and shape take their full form, piece by piece? And in the process of assembling scenes and completing corners, finding yourself made whole, too?
While we're often taught that expressing love is about grand gestures, our co-founders make a compelling case for embracing small details. "I stumbled into doing puzzles as an adult because Echo passed along a puzzle she had enjoyed doing," Teresa explained. "It was easy to know that this was my thing. It just felt right. I stuck with it. I think having something recommended by someone you love or trust is helpful."
Even as we add more design-forward goods to our tool kit, puzzles will remain our first love. In honor of Valentine's Day, we're sharing why this particular habit is beloved by our global community.
Puzzling for the Present Moment
"I love that no matter what, I never regret doing a puzzle—whether it's for five minutes or a few hours. The feeling of accomplishment and the ability to focus on one thing without distraction is incredibly welcome in today's world." - Echo
"When I discovered how sitting down to do a puzzle coaxes my mind into the moment, it felt like I finally found something tactile that gave me the calm I had been looking for (especially as someone with a brain that loves to wander). I love scanning the pieces for color or pattern and making sense of a chaotic pile of various shapes. Puzzling is a perfect balance of my desire to be mindful with my need to be active." - Teresa
Puzzling with People We Love
"A dinner party filled with my closest friends and loved ones includes delicious food, flickering candlelight, records spinning, and lots of wine!" - Echo
"My ideal evening includes staying home with a nice takeout dinner, having my husband make his perfect martini, plating the food as if I made it, and chatting the night away about delightful moments in our life together. Oh, and topped off with some exotic chocolate nibbles to end the night!" - Teresa
Love Notes From Our Artist Community
"I love puzzling on a winter night. I like puzzling at the kitchen table—although it's not very practical—with a glass of wine, snacks, and some lovely music. Just a lovely cozy evening, not really thinking about anything and just finding the right pieces! Usually, my boyfriend is playing a video game in the background, but I kind of like us doing our own thing. Sometimes during breakfast, he's suddenly looking for some pieces too. We can lose some time in the morning because we're distracted by the puzzle at the table!" - Bodil Jane
Purchase “Indian Garden” by Bodil Jane
"My puzzling time is something I look forward to, especially after a hectic few days. It's so rewarding to unplug and wind down over this relaxing activity—and it's even better if I can include my husband. We’ve been puzzling together for three years now and have turned it into a date night. Creating something together in a relaxing environment, having a conversation, and enjoying this simple activity is a wonderful way to tune into the present moment." - Maggie Stephenson
Purchase “How I Will Spend the Summer” by Maggie Stephenson
"My favorite way to put myself in a different headspace is a beautifully designed puzzle, a favorite candle, and one of my playlists. When I take time to slowly build a puzzle, it massages my inner world and subconscious. It wrings out anything unnecessary. Sitting on my rug and putting pieces together with just myself and my pup makes life feel perfectly simple." - Marleigh Culver
Purchase “Migula” by Marleigh Culver
"While doing a puzzle, your life becomes a bit clearer. You have this specific, controlled, very nice problem. Suddenly all you care about is finding a piece—no more endless mind wandering, no more thinking about that stupid thing you said at a meeting five years ago, or if you should get an impulsive fringe out of the sheer panic of life.
My favorite person to do a puzzle with is my grandmother, Franca. We used to do 1,000-piece puzzles together when I was little—she especially liked one of St. Basil's Cathedral. I love how she would get so upset in this very Italian way when trying to figure out the dome corner pieces.
Completing a puzzle is incredibly satisfying—like ticking off tasks on a Monday to-do list or finding a lost sock in the dryer and making a pair. You just feel so accomplished and grounded. I also adore the physical sensation of it: the little dance of trying out a piece, feeling the edges with your fingertips, and the final aha moment when everything falls perfectly into place. Bliss." - Holly Jolley
Purchase “Secret Jungle Tea Party” by Holly Jolley
"I love to do jigsaw puzzles on my own. It's a relaxing way to switch off and focus on something creative. Having something beautiful in front of me that I have to build from scratch—without having to think about what I want the outcome to be—is a nice way to experience mindfulness in a busy world." - Rachel Victoria Hillis
Purchase “Ice Skating on the Canal” by Rachel Victoria Hillis