creative play: it's good for you!

I hosted a prayer flag swap recently, see the results here. It turned out to be a really fun swap, more than I anticipated when organizing it. Many of the participants found they so enjoyed working on these easy to make small flags, creating them with prayers, wishes and good thoughts in mind. There was a huge variety of flags which you can see if you follow the link above. A lot of us said, "I think I am addicted to making  these!"  When Jan Smith added a link to her photos on her blog, she wrote: I'm still addicted to making them...so if anyone out there fancies swapping a shabby style prayer flag (1 to 1 swap) I would love to hear from you.....

So guess who wrote back to her? That's right, me! I figured I would need a break from that tedious job of packing, so I went ahead and agreed to a trade. I knew Jan loved "shabby chic", so I took some fabric I had found and plunged in. These flags are small, around 5" x 8" - so it didn't take long and was a treat for me after a morning of squishing things into boxes and going through oodles of packing tape. While packing up some of my fabric I found a really old piece of cotton print that I made something out of 20 or 25 years ago!!! I also purposely chose one of my grandmother's old linen pieces with cherries on it, very small in size -not sure what it was used for, some type of napkin? I also chose a lace doily & trim for a shabby look. If you click on this first photo, you can view them all in the lightbox . . . . I made 2 layers for this flag, one muslin and one the old cotton print and only sewed them together at the top so they could move freely.


I sewed the doily on only via 1 straight line in the middle so it would flop over.
There is my Nonie's 'cherry' linen piece layered under.


I added a quote printed on fabric (found while packing) for my thoughts 
or wishes . . . and some cotton lace across the bottom



I also cut the floral print so it would be fringed


On the back I sewed a business card


Here it is -Voila! 


I sent this to Jan today . . . it is traveling to the UK so it will take a week or two if we are lucky and she is sending one to me today as well, what fun! My received prayer flags are shown via the link - wow, so many of them! Everyone was so generous and I received many flags as gifts. They stayed up outside for about 2 weeks and are now packed in a box to be brought to our new home.

New home? Yes, our closing is tomorrow morning!!!!!!!! We will move in about 3 weeks to a home on a canal right off the Braden River, and we have decided to rent our current home. I have Nia White Belt Training starting on Saturday that runs long days for a full week. We (mostly Steven!) have some things to do in the new home like painting the kitchen (cabinets too) and all the windows being replaced with Hurricane ones . . . Steven and I have an anniversary (together 8 years) coming up October 25th we'll be celebrating in Casey Key with our boat Chelsea in tow. I still have lots of packing to do here. I really have only just begun! So, that is my story, what about you? I cannot promise to answer but I would so love to hear from you. 

Hope all is well with you & yours. 
xo lenna  

prayer flags - more on mine

Back in June when I was preparing for the artist's prayer flag swap I was about to host, I showed you my first prayer flag I ever made. You can read about that first flag and see my process here.
In this post I will show you the rest of the prayer flags I made. If you'd like to see ALL of the wonderful and beautiful, creative and thoughtful prayer flags made by the 36 participants - visit the creative swaps blog. When you get to the bottom of the blog page, you will need to click on Older Posts to view more! I am in the process of swapping them out and sending them home. When the flags are all sent I will give the artists the opportunity to share photos of their own flags and the swap flags they received, hanging up in the breeze! So watch creative swaps main page for more beauty.

I made these two prayer flags while visiting wolfe island, Ontario
My work area overlooking the St Lawrence River. So very peaceful.

The first flag I made on the left. I'm getting started on a new one.

I took one of my grandmother's (Nonie) linen cocktail napkins with embroidered fish already on it and added my own crude embroidery. At first I did not like it, but by now it has grown on me . . . the word/wish I embroidered is "energy". I will keep this one to fly at home and send me energy!

This is before I accentuated it with inks and also beads.




I did really enjoy hand stitching and adding beads in front of the river . . .

Here are some others I made. This one is made out of a hand towel! 
I think I will keep this one. 

I also added lovely handmade beads by Carolyn Saxby, sewn on to the corner...

This one is so simple, but I love it. All glue and no stitching! 
(my machine was at home!) This one will be swapped.

I made this when I returned home . . . I love this flag but I will swap it.

This one was made on the island and will be part of the swap (I participated too)

My first prayer flag I will keep. Remembering balance in my life is something I really need to bestow upon myself! I beefed up the lettering by outlining it with a black sharpie marker.

Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep. 
The only way to retain love is to give it away.
 ~ Elbert Hubbard




my first prayer flag

Prayer Flags. Have you ever made one? 
Traditional Tibetan prayer flags are usually squares or rectangles of brightly colored fabric, often woodblock printed. Buddhist prayers, mantras and symbols are displayed on them. These flags are hung in multiples on a line, and often in a distinct color sequence. It is believed that by meditating on the prayer, wish, or hope that is used while making the flag - and then by hanging it, the wind will carry the prayer far and wide and bless all the wind touches.

Recently, I became interested in the newer mixed-media/fiber/fabric version of the traditional prayer flag and did a search online . . . I discovered that the magazine Cloth Paper Scissors had done a cover story about Prayer Flags in their March/April 2012 issue-maybe you have this issue? I don't, but was still able to learn more about prayer flags via an online how-to article by Cate Prato on the CPS site. Read it too, by clicking on her name! 

After reading this I decided prayer flags would make a wonderful swap, so watch my creative swaps site for an announcement soon. For this swap, I am organizing a 3 for 3 swap (make 3, receive 3) so it won't be too many to make. Swaps will not be due until the middle of September - plenty of time for you to make your prayer flags. There will be a registration fee to join the swap that will include return postage and handling, documentation of your flags on creative swaps, plus a short lesson on how to make them, by me! My idea is that you'll make some flags to swap and also a few more for yourself, so you'll have a nice bunch to hang when the swap is complete and be inspired by other talented artists. What do you think?
Above, the back of my "balance" prayer flag

I am looking forward to this! 


Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people do that but the really great people make you feel that you too, can become great.
  ~ Mark Twain


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