DIY Prayer Flags

I freaking love to-do lists! They help me to recall what I actually accomplished that day, and there’s nothing quite like the sense of satisfaction that I get from checking off a task once it’s been completed.

In addition to my more mundane task lists, I have this nebulous, spiritually-oriented artsy fartsy list of projects that “I’d really like to do some day.” I am supremely stoked to say that, in the past week, I’ve finally gotten around to working on one of those art-goddess projects I just mentioned. Nothing tooo major, but something that I first thought of about FIVE years ago, so it really feels good to finally get this off my mental list.

OK here we go..

IMG_20140307_202458~2I made my very own prayer flags!!!

We’ve all seen those traditional Tibetan prayer flags hanging from people’s homes and gardens, but I never really understood their meaning. To me, colorful prayer flags represent two things: HIPPIES and MOUNTAINS

But really, moreso the former. I’m currently living in a gorgeous zone where this mountain

IMG_20140307_143013_928inspires me every day. *swoon* This is the view of Mt. Shasta from a hike I took last week, on the first clear day in a long time!

My zodiac sign is a Cancer, and as my life rolls on, I’m coming to realize that I’m about as Canceriffic as they come. Mostly so because I like to carry around little trinkets, photos, and assorted personal items to decorate whatever place I am calling home at that very moment. Having a set of personal prayer flags that express some of my favorite quotations is totally clutch. I highly recommend taking some time to make your own. They’re lightweight, will travel well and are super easy to hang wherever I may roam.

I used scraps of fabric that I bought from thrift stores and craft shops, a length of beautiful scrap ribbon, safety pins (because they look oh-so punk rock) and a sharpie marker to bring this idea to life. Since I know you can’t read the quotes from that photo, here they are, from left to right:

~ “If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn!” -Ray Bradbury. From Fahrenheit 451, one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. I just love this quote. It’s a much more hilarious way of reminding us to always ask questions. Stay curious.

~ “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” -Tyler Durden in Fight Club Anyone who knows me knows that this is one of my favorite movies of all time. I love the quote more and more as my life goes on and I continue to live with less money, fewer possessions, no expectations and always more freedom.

~ “My feet is my only carriage, so I got to push on thru.” -Bob Marley This line makes me think of running, and how whenever I’m in a situation I feel overwhelmed by, running or otherwise, I know all I have to do is keep putting one foot down in front of the other.

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” –this is really from the poem “Ode” which is heart-breakingly beautiful and I will post it below, but I ain’t gonna lie to y’all, I learned it from Willy Wonka

We are the music makers,

And we are the dreamers of dreams,

Wandering by lone sea-breakers,

And sitting by desolate streams;—

World-losers and world-forsakers,

On whom the pale moon gleams:

Yet we are the movers and shakers

Of the world for ever, it seems.

This reminds me of something slightly less poetic that my friend Ryan said to me once while he was giving me a saxophone lesson, “music isn’t something that other people make.”  I can’t further express this sentiment in words, but I think you get it.

“Fear stops many people, but death stops every one, so what do you want to do before you die?” -Alex Grey the great visionary artist who provided a lot of the album art for one of my favorite music groups, TOOL. Alex said this on a guided gallery tour that I attended back when he still had a space in Chelsea, NYC in 2008. Meeting him and listening to him speak was an amazing experience, and the inspiration for this very project. Alex had unique prayer flags of his own hanging in the entrance of his gallery, and that’s where I got this idea!

“Embrace this moment, remember we are eternal, all this pain is an illusion.” -TOOL this is a line from the song “Parabola.” I really like the line, and also remember it being on one of Alex Grey’s personal prayer flags, so thought it fitting to keep them side-by-side.

“Surrender to love” -Alex Grey (again). This is a quote Alex had painted on the archway entrance to his gallery, and is also on this bumper sticker he sells :)surrenderlovebump

On his tour, Alex mentioned that he first wanted it to say “Surrender to God” but thought that might deter some anti-religulous folks. When I think about these words, I feel LOVE and what I consider GOD to be as the same thing. There’s an intense freedom in surrendering to something incredibly powerful that you’ll probably never understand. Fighting it is just a waste of energy.

“Not all those who wander are lost.” -J.R.R. Tolkein Words that I will always hold dear to my heart. Maybe my favorite of the bunch, due to the sheer simplicity of it.

“Life is too short not to create something with every breath we draw.” – Maynard James Keenan, lead singer of TOOL and Puscifer. Also a winemaker. Before I moved to the northwest, I had the pleasure of catching MJK on tour with two of his musical projects, both TOOL and Puscifer (and both were amaaaaaaaaaaazing omg I want to marry him). At the beginning of Puscifer’s set, Maynard decorated the stage with a mini Airstream trailer, a campfire, and some lawn chairs. All the while he was delivering a lovely monologue about art and what this musical project was all about. The last line of this awe-inspiring speech was the above quote, which I will remember forever as well as the freaking KILLER set he and Puscifer delivered in the old Asbury Park theater I saw them in. ahhhhhhh, memories.

So there you have it. My prayers. As you might be able to see, I left space on the ribbon to add more. I’m slightly ashamed that none of my flags represent quotes by females, so I would ask any of my lovely lady friends who are reading this to feel free to send me a quote (or even better, make me a flag!!!!) so that I could have some feminine energy on my banner.

I’d like to end with a song that will always remind me of that time my girl and I blasted the s**t out of it in my Subaru on the drive down from Washington to California.


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