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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Creative Intentions (Making prayer flags in the pines)

My mom treated me to an amazing prayer flag making workshop up at the Idyllwild Arts campus, taught by visiting artist Karen Michele. It was a beautiful July day of creating under the pines—a deer even stopped by for a visit (too bad I missed her)! There is something for working on a creative project in a conifer forest, at least for me anyway. I love the smell and there seems to always be a breeze, which I love the sound of the wind through the pines. I always feel like the trees and rocks, the streams, and the unseen creatures are encouraging me to open up and express myself in some way :) Very comforting.

The theme for this class was Tibetan inspired (perfect!) with the thought being that the wind will carry the intentions of the writings or imagery on the flags out into the world to benefit all living beings. In Tibetan culture, there are 5 flags, each with its own color and associated element. The word in parenthesis are my own wishes/intentions inspired by the element:

BLUE = SPACE (happiness)
WHITE = AIR (silliness)
RED = FIRE (transformation)
GREEN = WATER (compassion/peace)
YELLOW = EARTH (grounded/our roots)

I am a little attached to them right now (I know, I know…"bad" buddhist! LOL), but I have every intention of placing these outside when the weather cools off a little. I am in search of a special place, maybe our front door(!), to hang these so they can fulfill their true purpose! I think it would be fun to document their "lifespan" of prayer releasing :) I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

My whole strand is about 4 1/2 ft. long. Each panel is made from a recyled pair of jeans (flag panels) and acrylic. Each one is slightly smaller than 8” x 12”. They are embellished with: embroidery, can lids, glass beads, leaves, material, buttons, wire, scrap metal pieces, post cards, copper wire, metal tags, Sharpie...

Here are each of my flags, click its image if you’d like larger view:

RED = FIRE (transformation)

YELLOW = EARTH (grounded/our roots)

BLUE = SPACE (happiness) “There’s plenty of space for everyone’s happiness…”

WHITE = AIR (silliness); sometimes this element is referred to as wind or cloud.

GREEN = WATER (life) (compassion/peace) = compassion, peace. “Let compassion flow for all...” the script repeats, "compassion for all sentient beings"

While photographing, a breeze released a batch of my intentions for you! Maybe you felt it...


  1. Wow, these prayer flags are really beautiful!
    Good on you ...

  2. Thank you very much Yasmina, I appreciate your visit to my blog and your kind commnets!

    All the best,

  3. wonderful! I am inspired to get creating! Thank you!

  4. Hi,
    these flags are really wonderful and I can feel the intentions, the flags, the colors, the shapes - all this beautiful art - sings its song.

  5. Hello Cole, thank you! This was an inspiring day for me too, in fact revisting these I'm feeling another set of these would be a great day to spend, it was just such a fun escape to create these doing and things I hadn't really tried before!

  6. Hi Jana! What a wonderful comment, I love that expression about art, "sings its song" fantastic :) Thank you~

  7. These are wonderful! I can't wait to make some. I'm so happy to find your blog and am looking forward to checking out more of your posts. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  8. Thank you "anonymous", I appreciate you visiting my blog and taking time to comment. I hope you were able to follow my blog to its new home: www.michellehedgecock.com

  9. Thank you "anonymous", I appreciate you visiting my blog and taking time to comment. I hope you were able to follow my blog to its new home: www.michellehedgecock.com