Bluebirds vs. Blackbirds
I've sort of been amusing myself by making gameboards. There are several underway in various stages of completion, but the most recently finished one is shown here. The gameboard is slightly oversized in order to accommodate the birds as the checker playing pieces. It is designed so that when a bird is "kinged" a braided wire ring is placed around its neck.
Each bird was carved from tulip poplar wood, then sanded smooth, followed by many coats of paint and glazes. Finally, legs were added, beaks and eyes were painted, and they were attached to their bases. The gameboard itself went through a similar series of stages, ending with a hand-rubbed wax finish to give it an especially soft and smooth feel.