Family Treasure

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Project by MarkTheFiddler posted 07-15-2013 01:21 AM 2121 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch


Our family treasures take many forms. Some aren’t worth a nickel. So can be bought for $100 if you can find it – Anywhere. Here are some of ours.

The horses are cut out of a piece of metal by an Artisan in Mexico. My Brother in Law’s Wife Bought it for my Wife Martha. Martha put the horses up on the wall and they looked like a carboard cutout. They were completely swallowed up by the wall. I made a basic marquetry background out of very small scraps. The Frame came from offcut to my Jatoba shelving project. The cuts already had a 45 degree rip so I took a little of that off and made it look like an intentional bevel.

The print is framed in the same. I was fortunate that my wife found a midsize picture because those were the offcuts I had. What really got me though was that she went looking for that particular print. I had forgotten about it. My breath caught.

You see – years ago I used to perform in Ren Faires. I played the fiddle. You might say that the print reminds of those days because of the fiddler doing his thing. But it’s not quite like that. The Fiddler is me. The other musicians are folks who used to just pickup a few tunes with throughout the day because we got tired of our stage acts and wanted to play and hear something a little different. The artist was just wandering around looking for inspiration when she took the shot. A year later found out she had painted us and I contacted her immediately wanting to buy the original. It was long gone. Still – A treasure. I can even hear the tune we were playing because the dulcimer player had a very short repertoire. I keep hearing an Irish tune called the Gobby-o.

Now to the hunk of Junk with Mommy carved into it. My mother had some dark thoughts said “Mark, I want to know which of my things you want after I die.” I didn’t want to do that then and I will never want to do that. My Brother’s and Sisters can have everything. I love my mother and the creativity she has passed on to me is what I will always cherish. The thing is, I wanted to lighten the mood a little. I said Mom “I’ve had my eye on that hunk of firewood for hours now. Would you mind signing it and leaving it for me in your will.” She looked at me then grabbed a nearby marker and wrote Mommy on it. She said “You can have it right now.” Her mood did lighten up and she has never pursued that conversation with me again.

I found that piece of firewood this past week in my scrap wood pile. I went a head and carved out the letters she had written then sanded the whole thing down. 3 coats of Tung followed by 3 more of Urethane top coat. The hunk of hardwood is now on display. Only I could ever treasure it and maybe my kids will as well. But I’ll always remember her Mirth when she presented it to me.

Here are a few more close-ups of the marquetry.

That marquetry will never pass a close inspection but for this project, it was perfect.

Thanks for looking and if you read this whole thing – you are someone quite special. I really appreciate you!


-- Thanks for all the lessons!

16 comments so far

View CarverShavings's profile


32 posts in 2888 days

#1 posted 07-15-2013 01:29 AM

Good idea for those horses! Interesting Read. I liked your music story.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3272 days

#2 posted 07-15-2013 01:43 AM

My daughter took a couple of better pictures with her nice camera.

She left out the frames. I haven’t got the heart to ask her to do it again. ;)

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26200 posts in 4189 days

#3 posted 07-15-2013 01:48 AM

Very Very nice, Mark!!!!!!!I wish I could hear you play the fiddle,too!!!!!!!!!!
Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3272 days

#4 posted 07-15-2013 01:56 AM

Hey Jim. Thanks for the compliment.

There’s an old link out there with a really grainy recording of our band. That was 50 pounds heavier than I am now. Woodworking and home improvements have been good for my waist size. ;)

Mark Playing Fiddle

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5136 days

#5 posted 07-15-2013 03:30 AM


True treasures!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4018 days

#6 posted 07-15-2013 04:25 AM

The simply thing that bring some great memory are the best.

That video clip was quite something. You are pretty good at the fiddle.

As for the painting, priceless; even it is not the original.

The best treasure: the hunk of firewood.

Well done!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View snoman1973's profile


111 posts in 2931 days

#7 posted 07-15-2013 04:38 AM

“One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Now don’t get me wrong I’m not calling ANY of this trash!! My take on all of it is this: If it holds a special place in your heart, then that is the sign of a true treasure. :)

-- The wood often tells me what it wants to be... great... now the voices in my head have company....;-P

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3356 days

#8 posted 07-15-2013 10:50 AM

Personally, I’m drawn to the kindred spirit of the autographed kindling keepsake, warms the heart.

Thanks for sharing a little more of Mark.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3272 days

#9 posted 07-15-2013 01:10 PM

Thanks for the comments my friends. I’m really gratified that you all understand why I’d value a hunk of firewood. It shows that treasures of the heart are worth more monetary value. I don’t think I could pay Someone to take it. But no one could pay me to buy it.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3950 days

#10 posted 07-15-2013 01:33 PM

These all look good. We all have treasures that we hold close to our hearts.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4661 days

#11 posted 07-15-2013 02:09 PM

Waaaay cool nice work.


View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3774 days

#12 posted 07-15-2013 02:28 PM

All nice projects with great stories to go with them. But the autographed firewood is the most special by far.

Let your daughter take all the project pics from now on. Yours sucked! :)

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3272 days

#13 posted 07-15-2013 06:16 PM

Thank you so much guys! I’ll hire my daughter? ;)

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3376 days

#14 posted 07-15-2013 06:24 PM

Great family treasures! Glad to hear you’ve hired your daughter.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3272 days

#15 posted 07-16-2013 12:14 AM

Just for Andy. ;)

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

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