Sunday, August 26, 2012

Safe and Warm

Stitching on a vintage piece of wool.
I found several muddy colored wool blankets at the thrift store a few years ago.
Until a few months ago, I used them to ward-off the cold draft in my spare bedroom/workroom by rolling them up and shoving them up against the base of the wall.

And they did their assigned job.

I had intended to stitch into the wool from first love. The needle dives into the wool with pleasure and is much easier to work compared to tightly-woven cotton. No thimble needed.
The plaid pieces are from a wool scarf my family inherited from my fathers Boy Scout Master when he passsed away in the early 1970's. I was a teen then and fell hard for this woven treasure. 
Work in Progress as of 8/26/2012, Christine Mauersberger
What it looked like when auditioning a circle of black and green  that I removed from a  piece of found fabric. circa June/July 2012.

This did not speak to me.

When I added rows of red stitching...again, it did not sing,
Snip went the scissors. Last night, before adding the plaid wool.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tree Rings and Time Travel

Can't I just cut a tree open and pick a time to travel to visit with my mom?

Tree ring in my neighborhood, August 23, 2012. Andrew Douglass,  used rings to study the stars. He is the forefather of Dendrochronology . I took a picture of this on Wednesday evening during my 2 mile walk around my neighborhood because it spoke to me. 
Then I heard a radio show today called Science Friday where they spoke about the study of Tree Rings. So here we go, we're all connected.
Deadgrass in my neighborhood, Aug. 23, 2012
Someone killed their grass in order to plant new grass.
I was perplexed and intrigued and moved to photograph this  strange sight. I have not altered the color of the grass, evidenced by the yellow stripe in the upper left hand corner, which is the road stripe.
I am moving forward, making stitch marks on the apron shared between me and my mom. 

The layout for the artwork is here.

One of my good friends said that no one can tell you how to grieve. 

I am my mothers daughter, it is a strange and new place these days. I appreciate you. 
I will move on and be a stronger woman for all of us.

Gosh, I better be, we've got such a fight in the USA these days. 

Let's go women!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Momma Momma Momma

My mom passed away yesterday in the wee hours of the morning. We held vigil bedside from last Saturday night at 1 am until early Thurs morning. Each hospice nurse or aid treated my mother with dignity throughout her stay and in her final 5 days with the most respectful care one could imagine.

From the night nurses entering the room as if walking on air for they made almost no sound, with small flashlight in hand to check her, or if they needed to turn a light on, to cover her closed eyes with a tissue.

To the day and evening nurses ministering to her body with soft touches and repositioning her body regarding her as a fragile vintage china plate and gently whispering in her ear perchance she could hear them.

To the nun who came each day to pray over her and with me and my siblings. Offering us a chance to connect to a spiritual power to ease mom's pain. 

At times, I've shared a bit about my momma here here  here and here. I hope you don't mind if I share a few pictures of her busy hands and help me grieve for her.

My parents on the day I was born when she was 42.
I asked my mom to write a bit about this photo. She had 12 births and not all of them survived more then 10 months due to illnesses.

"Picture 47 10-17-60. Chris was born. It seemed (believe me) every child we had...It was a new lease on Life"

Mom removing my stitching at my request.

Making rugala cookies at my house

Ironing at my house

Deconstructing a silk blouse for me to use in my artwork 

Bertha Sulak 1918- 2012
One of her crochet-circles hanging in my window

The love she gave to every one of us is embedded in her legacy of over 71 progeny, of children, grand children, great grand children and even great great grandchildren.

In the river I know I will find the key
And your voice will rise like the spray
In the moment of knowing
The tide will wash away my doubt
'Cause you're already home
Making it nice for when I come home
Like the way I find my bed turned down
Coming in from a late night out.
Please keep reminding me
Of what in my soul I know is true

Come in my boat, there's a seat beside me
And two or three stars we can gaze into...

I'll wait no more for you like a daughter,
That part of our life together is over
But I will wait for you forever
Like a river... 

Carly Simon

Friday, August 10, 2012

Preserving Favorite Work Items

Apron, repaired and patched by me and previously by my momma.
 I hand-stitched onto some of my old dishclothes.

Aprons are a marvelous piece of apparel. I used to daydream that I would become a nun, mostly to be able to wear a long black frock. OK, that has nothing to do with aprons...
This good old gal has been mine for 20 years or so. My mom repaired it a few times and reinforced the neck loop.  
I'm thinking about doing some hand-stitching all over this white helper.
Stay tuned. 
The machine stitched lines are from when my mom repaired my apron.
Apron, detail
Update on this piece, I've removed the crosses and have started to stitch more circles onto the surface.  To be continued...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Blue now part 2 and Gravity and Grace

I keep working this piece. Haven't quite settled on the layout. It will come.

On Wednesday, I went to The Akron Art Museum to see the work of El Anatsui
El Anatsui, Mask of Human Kind, 2010 Aluminum and copper wire

El Anatsui, Red Block, 2010 Aluminum and copper wire
El Anatsui, DETAIL,  Red Block, 2010 Aluminum and copper wire

El Anatsui, DETAIL,  Red Block, 2010 Aluminum and copper wire

In the meantime, I am taking a Reiki I and II course as I write this post. I appreciate the intuitive nature of the Reiki healing process.

I hope each of you are experiencing joy and pleasure this weekend.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Blue Now

Work in process. Some of the vintage fabrics have been over-dyed in an simple indigo vat while I was in  Michigan.

The light pale green swatch in the left column is a piece of my own baby blanket. My momma's 'go-to' choice for comfort. I know that some of my older sibs enjoyed this blanket before I was born, and most definitely my younger sister, Annette, cuddled with it. 

I cut into the little blanket last night and then I brought a swatch to my mom at the hospice. She held it, her finger tips that have turned blue as is what happens when the body begins to stop having a capillary response, and I was glad to tell her that I was using part of the blanket in a new work. 

I visualized her as a baby herself, then  she turned towards me and  asked whether I could make a little shawl for her shoulders with what I might have left.

Tears aside, here are some details as it is in process and will be stitched and handled with care.

Detail, spirograph image. I drew this spirograph with blue ink on paper, then scanned and printed it on an inkjet printer on cotton. The orange spirograph is printed on  a gauzy-type material- not sure I'll keep the orange. 

I printed these pieces in 2008, so I think they're fairly light fast...not that I really worry about that.

Some of the versions before I decided on a layout

More versions before I decided on a layout

My work is about the mapping of time. 

How do we map time?

When does it change? How do we know? why should I make these marks? Does it matter?

Each stitch is a mark of my time. Waiting, thinking, dreaming and wanting something to happen or not to happen. 

How do you spend time?