Monday, January 2, 2017

A Sister's gift

The following is a family story ...
Many years ago son, Tom, while serving in the Coast Guard, was stationed in Washington state at the same time that his sister, Janice, was living in Seattle.  Tom, along with his fellow Guardsmen, were given the job of cleaning, painting and restoring all the lighthouses along the coast of Washington.

Tom Larson at age 20
 Tom was 19 when he went in the service and he served 20 years.While in Seattle he celebrated his 30th birthday....

...and his sister, Janice, decided to do something extra special for him.


She is an expert 'needlepointer' and she wanted to give him something to commemorate the work he had done on the lighthouses.  The above needlepoint piece is her creation.

The first photo shows the detail and this next picture better shows the colors. (neither picture shows it well but it is the best I have and I hope you get the idea.)

Through the years Tom has been unable to find a wall to hang this amazing creation on because:
* He's been in the Coast Guard
*After the Coast Guard he and his wife lived on a sailboat and traveled the world
*He now lives in a small apartment in the Virgin Islands and is keeping his 'stuff' to a bare minimum.

Out of necessity sister Janice has been the custodian of this piece and the two of them  decided to offer it to the Coast Guard Nautical Museum in Seattle.
The museum quickly accepted it.

Coast Guard Museum Northwest
c/o USCG Base
1519 Alaskan Way South
Seattle, Wa  98134

The following description is in Janice's words: 
*The completed artwork is 2 1/2 ft high by 1 1/2 ft wide.
*It is 18 X 18 stitches per square inch.
*It is classified as "counted cross-stitch" because I did not have a pre-printed design on the fabric.  *Every stitch had to be counted to its precise location.
*In the legend box is the needle I used to pull every stitch. 
*Also in the legend box are the words:  Presented to Thomas L Larson, lovingly designed and hand stitched by your sister Janice 1996"
*The Semaphore flags around the border spell out the exact same sentence.

 *It took two years to complete, (from 1994 to 1996) and when it becomes 30 years old it will be considered an antique.
*The various shades of green and blue indicate actual elevation and depth. Oregon owns all the Islands in the Columbia River so they are colored as such.
*The frame cost me more than all the textile materials.
*This was made for my brother Tom as a reminder of his first job in the Coast Guard cleaning seagull poop from Lighthouses in Washington State.

"I have entered it into two Washington and Oregon county fairs and two Washington and Oregon state fairs.  The artwork has won several Second Place ribbons, several First Place in Needlepoint ribbons, and it won one Best in Show ribbon over all other types of needle arts. (quilting, crocheting, knitting, tatting, etc.) It also won the Stitchery Division Award of Merit meaning--an original design, not from a kit, not pre-printed, not from a pre-existing graph on paper; only from my brain and hands, and from whom-ever made the earth and the lighthouses."

From a proud Mom: Next time you are in Washington State, check out those lighthouses; and when you are in Seattle stop by the Coast Guard Museum and take a look.  It is quite a remarkable piece of needlework.  (That's true, even if I am her Mom.)


  1. Might do that, as we will be in Seattle next week.

  2. That is not a Work of Art but a Work of Love.

    It's about time.

  3. Hey, Mom...thank you for creating this entry. It is quite impressive, if I do say so, myself! It is funny to see someone classify me as an "expert" because I've never considered myself in that category. Thank you again for allowing me 15 minutes of fame! I love you! JW

  4. It's beautiful! Your daughter is very talented!

  5. You have every right to be so proud of them and you are to be commended as their loving mom. Hope all is well with you. Remember you are always welcomed to park Spirit in our driveway when you pass through. Happy New Year!!!

  6. Hattie, if you do go to the museum, could you comment here about how it looks hanging on their wall? I would love to know, especially from an outside observer such as yourself. When I look at the art piece, all I see is the mistakes, because I know they are there. Thanks! Toni's daughter, JW.

  7. My mom did needle point, so I do appreciate work like that. And the piece of your sister is AMAZING.

  8. That is amazing! I do counted cross stitch but I can't even imagine making that from scratch. Janice deserves every award she's ever gotten plus some.How exciting that it is hanging in a museum where lots of people can appreciate her hard work.
    Happy New Year to you and your family, Toni! Love , Denise