This is my first furniture project, created for my daughter. I started this project late last year after obtaining beautiful curly cherry and maple from Scott Porosky (poroskywood). I initially started with the armadillo inlay. All inlay pieces, both open armadillo on the top of lid and closed on the bottom of lid were made using 1/4 inch thick pieces of wood. I purchased about 20x the amount of exotics, searching for particular grain patterns. Corners, braces, and penguin inlays on the bottom were gabon ebony. 20 species in all used. All inlays cut on my scroll saw. I drew them first on paper then tried the template thing (3 different times)...but found free hand was more accurate. BLO applied (1:4 ratio with mineral spirits) and immediately wiped off. CA glue over inlay then finished with french polish using clear shellac flakes in a 2# cut over a 2 month period. Still have to rub out in a couple weeks. Inspiration was semi-dark with the penguins heads down towards a sun nearing its end. The armodillo being a symbol of humility. Chose curly cherry to represent movement in water.