Now I know what you’re thinking: “Anya’s so busy smelling people and climbing trees and stuff, she’s forgotten all about her artistic pursuits…” But it’s not so! Not entirely.

Since the kids and I completed the epic mural at the Nehemiah Center, I have been busy trying to re-make the chess table that I had scouted out nearly a year ago. And now, it is finally, almost entirely, complete. Since my work is never complete to my liking, I am presenting it to you today as “Finished”.

I must admit that the hardest thing about this project was actually stripping off the white paint. With the help of my friend RYOBI and many hours of intensive labor, I was finally successful in finding the wood beneath the white. It was a bright day for me.

Without further ado, below are some pics depicting the process from start to finish.

Blank slate with inspiration on top

This is in the mid-stages of progress. I had gotten rid of the paint, drawn on the chess grid, and started filling it in with bogenveillas, live oak, and another type of leaf: aspen? ash? I am ashamed to say, I do not know. I should also mention that I brought the bogenveilla blossoms from my parents’ back yard in San Diego, pressed and dried them, and mod-podged them onto a paper backing for extra support. I did the same with the leaves, except did not glue them on paper as they were sturdy enough on their own.

Ta da!

Aerial view

Don't you love those colors?!

Pay close attention to the corner block - this is my favorite because of the interesting lines and geometric figures emerging...


The one question that remains: will we actually be able to PLAY on this table, seeing that A. The vibrant colors and textures are quite distracting and B. The height is too low for sitting on a couch and too high for sitting on the floor…But that’s something we’ll have to address on a case-by-case basis. The main thing is that another great idea has come to fruition! This is cause for celebration!