Showing posts with label Making Prayer Flags. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Making Prayer Flags. Show all posts

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Prayers, and Prayer and Peace Flags Still Flying High

During times of intense national, global, or personal challenges, where I have often asked for shared prayers, and well wishes for even members of my immediate family, the designing of prayer flags has always been a natural progression of my fiber art.  

When I learned during the prayers flags from the many world religion books I was fascinated the amazing discovery of just how much seemingly disparate religions share in beliefs, stories and symbols, I realized that my need to be and to do continuing good in my world stemmed from innate beliefs and energies archetypically handed down by the many generations of my ancestral lineage.

All of my many interests and passion, my cultural and spiritually combined belief system and the deep inner knowing of who I truly was in my innermost being had led me to all of the places and all of the people who would come into my always interesting but still basically home centered life. 

 Creating peace and prayer flags from the simplest of fabric strips that I hang from trees or my prayer arch arbor outside and the prayer flag garland I created from vintage fabrics or Crocheted pieces I inherited as well as my inkjet printed words and quotes added such heartfelt love and joy in their use!

Then there is my Buddhist prayer flags specially delivered via two Quilting friends. Starting from an Oregon Quilter who moved to the city of Mungpoo in the Dar-jeeling District of the Himalayan mountains as she fulfilled her wish to truly study Buddhism in a Buddhist abbey with monks who sent me an authentic prayerful flag garland, which is always above my sewing projects on my little loft sewing table. We didn't manage to meet up at the Sister's Quikt Show as we'd hoped but left them with another quilt collector and his promise to mail them to me after their mutual visit in Oregon. 

They were a true delight to receive. Even is she teased me by asking me to forgive their musty smell as it was the wet and often humid monsoon season in Mingpoo. She also added that they were carried down the mountain on the back of a yak." Not sure about that but it made me laugh!

Rainbows are such a beautiful symbol of miracles and of hope as they always follow the rain. The rainbow and the dove are both biblical and ancient symbols of hope and peace as things we always, always need.

So today, I salute and pray for Ukraine and Ukrainian peoples everywhere. Bless you all and may God/ the Highest Powers of All and all that is Divine hold and strengthen and protect you with a multitude of Angelic High!

Praying for peace now as spiritual warriors is what all of us can join in and continously do. Be peace, live peace, send peace from and in your deepest being.

These original style prayers above (on one of my many surfaces displaying my special gifts or found objects) used to be free gifts mailed to those of us in the 1980s for encouraging further donations to "Free Tibet" groups in India comprises of displaces monks driven out by communist China long ago.  Sadly I have not received additional ones in a decade or two but gladly with prayer I hung or used as gifts to others .

But I love my lone surviving packet and these cloth ones above my hand-me-down 1940 or 1950s little folding table that once was our only dining table and now is my rotary cutting table for fabric for sewing, quilting or crafts. 

From the Himalayas to these special art flags that I created for Oceanside Museum of Art a number of years ago for a special gallery exhibition. Oh the joy of knowing my three prayer flags were flying high and being looked at by everyone from art lovers to gallery members to those with open and loving hearts spreading this simple but deeply meaningful art form.

I had followed the Prayer Flag Project blog for a very long time, and have loved all of the beautiful flags that everyone had created and shared their and shared many of my own there as well. The site is still there but no longer moderated or added to.

However, I kept my own bigger site going with its Prayer Flag Page as it has aways had the first and biggest compilation of the history of Prayers flags that someone used to rewrite even the Wikipedia entry. I can only hope my very ancient library angels and their books predating the internet are smiling!

It was a a delight to extend my thoughts, my prayers, and the making of my own flags to a greater, and deeper meaning as I created my prayer flags for submission to the Oceanside Museum of Arts Prayer Flag Project and their project submission, eventually to be included as part of this group! It is so incredibly sad that the group slowly dwindled down through the years where artists were giving up blogging and out of need focusing on their own time for making their own art. For me these flags are still being made and given as gifts to others during hard times.

My Oceanside Art Musrum flags were made on my own painted fabric with raw edge applique, beads and inkjet printing. They include quotations from well known sources on their fronts, and my own prayer flag blessings (in poetic form) on each of the backs of the flags to tie them into my themes.  

Knowing that my three prayer flags were flying high with so many beautiful creations,in California, I know that so much goodness and intent is being manifested during all of our personally challenging times and the challenges of Hurricanes and Super Storms on the East Coast. As we have since learned our weather pattern and the number of super freezes, storms, hurricanes and tornadoes have increased year by year.

We are all combining our energies of manifestation, and healing from East to West, and West to East and the thoughts and prayers of so many only intensify with the height, the depth, and the breadth that all of these external energies of rain, wind, and storm!

And throughout these heartbreaking times with the Covid-19 virus in its many mutations, prayers have only increased in need and sharing.

Blessings to all of you during our ever continuing times! And many happy blessings for a celebration of Easter Sunday, Passover, or even the original Oestre that those with Druidic,  Shamanic or the original pagan practices of ancient peoples still practice following their own beliefs, spiritual practices and innate roots to re-ligion which originally meant "to link back"!

However you celebrate this time of rebirth and renewal as Winter transforms into Spring-- celebrate with family, friends or loved ones and enjoy the beauty and sense of peace we all carry within. We will be with our family of 12 including our four beloved grandchildren and 4 dogs. The cats stay home as do the chickens!

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical,and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, "from my heart and with my hands."

Monday, June 13, 2016

Love is Love is Love

"We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer;
 And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside."

~ Lin-Manuel Miranda
Remembering those who died in Orlando, Florida
Tony Awards
June 12, 2016

 To see this in its entirity for those who asked:

In the news
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Lin-Manuel Miranda delivers a sonnet to pay tribute to Orlando shooting victims at the 70th ...
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As a member of a multi-layered rainbow family, both in beautiful ethnicity and in all ways as to how we each see ourselves in this world and on our spiritual, physical, and choices of who we love,  the hatred in this world is horrifying. Our sadness, if not feelings of  depression, has to be lifted up by love, acceptance, education, and understanding.

My heart feels such pain for so many, many families. We have to maintain and manifest love and not hatred in return. And it's a challenge in this intensely polarized social and political time so filled with fear, anger, and hatred.

I pray for hearts to open into a world filled with all of the colors of the divinity and promise of the dove of peace and the beauty of the rainbow that is our true God given promise of hope for a better tomorrow.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Birds have always been seen as special messengers of hope from above. While bird feathers, besides being engineering masterpieces, are often seen as symbols of reconnecting us with hope, and a belief in the unseen and as yet unknown.

I love finding feathers along my own path whether I am simply walking in my own yard in Oregon where feathers are more likely to have been left from one of my own flock of domestic chickens or along the beautiful beaches along the channels of ocean waters in my home state of Alaska where I reconnect with childhood, family, and the feeling of being home and truly returning to my own nesting rebirth year after year.

In a time of transition, and the beginning of a New Year, I seek the same reconnection. After many months of continuing my own daily life with all of the traditions of family, celebrations and feathering my own nest with the bringing in of the holi-day lights, the creation and giving of gifts, and the joys and sorrows of life and living, reconnecting with my own past took on new meanings this month.

After months of being in an internally aware state of grief for the loss of my youngest sister-in-law to cancer, and the tragic death of a dear family friend of 45 years, I was reconnected with the loss of his wife and daughter just 17 years ago, my best friend of many decades, and my youngest daughter's loss of her best friend since birth. A family that we shared the building of our two homes together on the same acreage, the births and raising of each of our three children to adulthood.

Reconnection to grief and mourning needed to rise up and be filled with constant reminders of life, of light, and of the grace and the beauty of our natural world.And I needed to bring those reminders of the natural and outside world into my my inner and internal world..both in my heart and in my home.

And then a new loss. One of my four little grand-cats was killed in a tragic accident. As someone who has loved animals her entire life, this new loss was just one more on top of those that had come at the end of the year. Again, I reconnected with the deep emapthic grief of anothers loss that mirrored my own and yet, was still my own.

Reconnection is truly connecting to source and to the divine that lives within each of us, just as spirituality connects us to spirit and religion links us back to the beginning and source of all understanding. Our awareness of any separation is simply an illusion or perhaps better yet, an allusion. For each of us is part of one another and a part of all that truly is.

And because I am always finding feathers in my own spiritual journey, birds and feathers as two of the many joys in the gardens of my own life.  And it was all of these feelings, all of this joy, and all of this pain that was transformed into a prayer flag to grace a wall in my home. A wall that rises up the journey of the stairwell...step by step, just as enlightenment in all of its forms and all of its stages, has come into the journey of my life since I was a young child playing in the fern filled forests of Alaska.

I brought in the symbology of the bird feathering her nest, long recognized as signifying hope and of course the feathers as symbols of creating and manifesting the improbable, if not the downright seemingly impossible. With bits and pieces of fabric and thread, yarn, jute, feathers, twigs and twine it speaks without having a voice and is heard without having a pulpit.

Reconnection fills my heart and lights up my soul, my prayer flag graces the steps, the pathway, and the journey as I walk upstairs to my art and quilting areas. With each step, and each new awareness, I seek to rise each and everyday to greater and greater joy, inspiration, and creativity.

And I fill my heart not only with gratitude for each new day, each new step, and each new understanding, and allow the reconnection to soften and gentle within me as grief merges with understanding and joy once again.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King
Be of and everyday
Reconnect..with empathy, caring, and love with one another.

For as Dr. King has said: "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."
And he is also credited with having said: "Be the peace you wish to see in the world."


Reconnect with YOUR past, your present, and how we manifest our own future! I do on an almost daily basis!! Today, I realized for the first time, why I am so drawn to Melanie Testa's Meadolark fabric and why I am constantly drawn to supporting Breast Cancer Awareness. Each of us in our own ways, kicks our challenges to the curb and keep on after day! Here is my latest Melanie Testa Breast Pocket contribution. This one donated at the end of last year to the Quilting Art's Challenge.

For not only did my own mother battle Stage 3b Inflammatory Breast Cancer and come down from Alaska for treatment but she ended up leaving with me and my family for the next 9 months as we battled..first her fear and refusal to go through treatment, but onto intense chemo, a mastectomy, and then intense radiation. She went from less than a 3% chance of surviving to not only surviving, hitting her 5 year benchmark and on to living for many, many more years. That she ended up with severe Alzheimer's and my traveling to Alaska for additional caregiving is another reconnection in so many ways.

This 'Breast Cancer Pocket' was created as soon as I learned that my beautiful 27 year old niece was not only diagnosed with breast cancer in October of 2014, but had almost immediate surgery, and is now having chemo, then radiation. Time for not only this breast pocket, but for another prayer flag!!!

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey from Alaska to Oregon with thousands of free Quilting, Sewing, and Crafting Patterns and Tutorials. Help change the world, one little quilt, art quilt, and prayer flag at a time!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

 Maya Angelou 1928-2014

Passes away at age 86.

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel."

Indescribable and unforgettable. And now...very, very sad at such a huge loss for this world.

 shown above:
my prayer flag tree with the first hand painted silk prayer flags I made decades ago. All gone from this world and into the next.

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, with small format art quilts, prayer flags, and comfort quilts for a variety of charitable programs. And best of all, sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join her and make and donate quilts to charitable causes.   Help us change the world, one little quilt, art quilt, and prayer flag at a time!