A couple of years ago I came across a blog called The Prayer Flag Project and was immediately inspired. Being a quilter, crafter and seeker of all things spiritual, this project was right up my ally.
Vivika Hansen DeNegre started this project in 2011 and it continues to this day,
“Prayer Flags are part of the ancient Buddhist tradition. My family has several strings hanging in our home… not because we are Buddhist or even know what the writing or symbols upon the colored fabrics mean, but because they are beautiful and a reverent reminder that our prayers are heard and answered. In a nutshell, it is believed that the prayers on the flags are lifted to God and spread throughout the universe as they flutter in the wind. Everyone who is touched by that wind, is touched by the prayers. The wind spreads the prayers through the world, extending happiness, good will, and peace.” – Vivika Hansen DeNegre
Vivika imposed a few restrictions on making her flags. She could only spend an hour on each flag, she could only use supplies and materials she had on hand and the flags had to be hung outside for a time.
I was psyched! My stash is enormous, I have bins full of buttons and lace and I have prayers I wanted answered. At the same time I came across a line of pre-made pennant flags from Moda Home. Although the pennant shape is not the traditional shape for prayer flags, I really liked the linen backdrop for me to create on. I was going to make a flag a week, post it on the blog and hang them on my deck.
That was about a year ago….as a matter of fact, you can’t even buy those pre-made pennant flags anymore.
Why the stall? I let my perfectionism get in the way of my creativity. I was afraid of being spontaneous and then sharing it with the world. Yeah, I know, it’s messed up.
Then Katie happened. Or I should say cancer happened to Katie. Katie is my oldest daughter’s best friend. At 21 she was diagnosed with leukemia and it rocked our world. Katie’s story is one of courage, friendship and strength and you can read about her journey in her own words here at her blog Cancer is Stupid.
When I feel like my life is out of control I get this manic need to create. And with a new-found appreciation of living in the present, I was ready to start this project and not allow my fears to get in the way.
So armed with Vivika’s guidelines I dug into my creative space. I admit I spent more than an hour because I wanted to embroider my text, but beyond that I just let my stash guide me. I used orange because it is the official color for leukemia.
This “tag” is what Katie uses to close her posts and it has become the motto for all her family and friends. Yes, I used an ampersand (&) so as not to offend.
I dug out some scraps of this orange batik fabric and tore it into strips. Ripping fabric is extremely therapeutic!
If you knew Katie you would understand why I added the lace. She’s all girl, but still an athlete…kind of the leather and lace type. And hey, it’s my flag and I liked the lace!
So my plan is to still make one a week following the guidelines. Once they are completed I will connect them and hang them from my deck so my prayers can be “lifted to God” and “flutter in the wind.”
I love you Katie girl..