Crafty Man

Week 49: #52 Ancestors – Craft

By Eilene Lyon

My maternal grandfather, Laurence M. Smith, was a crafty man in more than one way. He loved to play practical jokes. He used his wit in a cunning, sneaky way. But he also like to make things, especially in his retirement years.

It isn’t surprising that woodworking was one hobby. I used to have a candlestick he turned on a lathe.

He and Grandma like to collect agates and other pretty pebbles on the Oregon beaches. Under a pile of pillows in the guestroom closet, the rock tumbler whirred and clattered away, polishing the uneven stones.

When done, Grandpa would use the prettiest agates to make jewelry. The bracelet and tie pin that I had went away with the burglar, so I can’t show you those, either.

Laurence Smith working on a still life in November 1970.

Grandpa painted as well, but I don’t know what happened to all those pictures. This is getting a bit depressing!

One thing I can share with you is his hooked rug project. After he finished the yarn work, Grandma sewed it up into a pillow for me. You can see the finished piece above.

Smith 026
Laurence Martin Smith, undated family photo.

36 thoughts on “Crafty Man

Add yours

  1. So sorry you had the treasures from your Grandpa stolen. It is nice to have the pillow to cherish. More men partake in the fibre arts than is believed. I had a boyfriend who knit. I still have the Cowichan sweater he made for me(doesn’t really fit anymore, but I can’t part with it!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you kept the sweater. Sadly, I no longer have the pillow. The plastic backing he made it with was disintegrating – you can even see it in the picture. It wasn’t salvageable, but I at least I finally had the sense to get a photo as a remembrance. Some other things (including the jewelry) went away before I realized I should be documenting them.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know my husband took pictures for insurance purposes, but I haven’t taken pictures to document family heirlooms in a way that I could then pass on to my son. Thanks for the idea.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I appreciate the sentiment behind the writing about iconic treasurers that mean so much to so few, if more than one.

    The part about the tumbler under the pillows made me smile – I wonder if that was grandmother’s idea? To keep peace in the house, in more ways than one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh how I yearn for a snippet of a talent like his. Losing a treasure from its old age is one thing, but losing precious one courtesy of a thief is another matter. May those positive memories that came through in this post give you comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a shame you don’t have more of his items, but the picture is pretty cool (and the pillow is pretty!).
    I have a small curio shelf that my great grandfather made – he was quite the woodworker and I have a vague memory of him.
    Hmm… maybe I should dig through my photos again – the here might be a post on Facebook here. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really bad about keeping stuff that I don’t know are. I have a greater appreciation for heirlooms now than I used to. Grandma gave me a beaver-felt lap robe that they used to use when sledding. Mom said it used to be in the back window of their car. I can’t describe how hideous it was – I really should have taken pictures before I got rid of it. And I broke a promise to Grandma on top of it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, the pillow was falling apart so badly I couldn’t salvage it, but I did think to take a picture! I don’t know what I did with the candlestick. I thought I still had it but couldn’t find it anywhere. That’s nice that you have their wedding portrait. I will be doing those on Saturday. Pictures I really do cherish.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I really like the pillow, and I did a couple of those projects years ago so I know the effort that went into it. You may not be able to find those other actual treasures, but I bet every time you look at that pillow ‘all’ the memories come flooding back to fill your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

Please share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

Rhyme Schemes and Daydreams

Things That Interest Me

Women Writing the West

Writing about experiences of women and girls in the North American West.

Author J.v.L. Bell

Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

Climbing, Outdoors, Life!


Travels Galore


Strolling around SE Michigan & sending joy in the journey.

Tofino Photography

Professional Wildlife, Landscape and Seascape Photography

Notes from a Western Life

The Windbreak House Blog by Linda M. Hasselstrom

The Letters

Louise Mabey

Smart Canyon Genealogy

Viewing family trees from 8500 feet

Absurdist Fiction


The Chiddicks Family Tree

Every Family has a story to tell..........Welcome to mine

Crossed Eyes and Dotted Tees

Writing, Blogging and Books

One Woman's Quest II

Navigating life through grandparenthood, chronic illness, dream work, and other inspirations

One Woman's Quest

Passion for writing ignites my soul's momentum

Opening Doors in Brick Walls

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell

Clio the History Muse

Thoughts about teaching and learning history

The Yoga Cowgirl

Live fully and have fun doing so...

%d bloggers like this: