Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Peace flags a'fluttering...

Barry and I have been doing a fair bit of tidying up and sorting out around the place - a bit like a Spring clean I suppose.  In doing so, we came across our range of peace flags from this year and last and thought to ourselves; why don't we just hang them altogether?

We chose out the back near the peace bell deck, where we already fly Jennifer's flags from last year.

In the end we strung the recycled baby-wipes flags, Barry's metal flags, my peace crane fabric flags and Barry's last year's rainbow umbrella flags.

I think they look great and make me smile whenever I see them!

Looking out from the house...

Looking back at the house...

Closer up from down below…

From the side with the peace bell…

Closer up from the side with the peace bell and the breeze!

We also have my handmade paper with origami peace crane flags still flying out the front of our house as a welcome. I am so happy they have made it thru since 21 September…a month a half outside is not bad for paper I think!

Just wanted to share some of the ongoing joy of the peace flags around…go well.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Christine's peace lantern

Christine has been participating in A Letter a Week and she turned her completed alphabet into a lantern to shine on International Day of Peace. I am a wee bit late adding it the show sorry!

Christine also participated in the Maleny Flags last year where she made flags with children at one of the local primary schools as well as her own.

I think it's a wonderful lantern-like flag!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Peace Begins From Within

*I'm sorry for the delay in posting but I've been having major issues with Firefox crashing.*

I'd like to thank Mary Jane Dodd for continuing to promote peace through her Flags For Peace Project (part of the International Day of Peace).  I participated last year and I was thrilled to be a part of it this year, too.  Maire's determined, quiet, personal path toward both inner and world peace should serve as a beacon to us all.

World peace is such a large concept that seems so hugely impossible that many people are daunted by where and how to start and often end up paralyzed by the enormity of it.  If I dwelled on the particulars too much, I would probably be one of those people so, I choose to start small and work from within.  I try to do things that are fair, kind, environmentally friendly, but basically small.  Those things are what I am capable of doing on a daily basis but I'm convinced that they make a difference.

Peace Leaf Pendant by Cicada Silver
Peace Leaf Pendant

I made a piece of jewelry again this year as a simple, personal reminder for the wearer.  The leaf and peace tag are made from PMC3 while the peace symbol was forged from sterling silver wire.  I wanted to include a reminder to care for nature and a more literal peace symbol so that the message is both understated but still obvious.

Sterling Silver Peace Symbol by Cicada Silver
Sterling Silver Peace Symbol

Behind the leaf hangs a tag stamped with the word "peace" which was created by stamping the PMC3 clay with the etched brass stamp that I created when making last year's pendant.

handmade etched brass stamp
Etched Brass Stamp

My necklace isn't finished because my silver clam shell bead tips didn't arrive in time to finish the knotted bead portion.  My clasp and the chain portion will be attached when the tips arrive.  I'll post an updated photo, too.
Unfinished Necklace by Cicada Silver
 Unfinished Peace Leaf Necklace


Finished Necklace by Cicada Silver
 Chain is Attached

Back View of Completed Necklace

Saturday, September 21, 2013


i. winterhart - 2013

When I first started my flags, the final result was blurry. I knew the general direction, but not the destination. It is what I love most about the creative process, you just never know until you arrive. But as I was sitting at my table, weaving the threads in and out, over and under the flags started talking to me.

For each flag I created a copper frame and on each frame I punched two rows of holes to hold the threads. The first rows weaved together perfectly. Over and under and over and under. But when I got to the second row I was having to go over, under, over two, under one, over one, under two, etc. just to keep it from looking "off". The anal part of me was screaming. The wabi sabi part of me wasn't too concerned. But it was then that I realized exactly what this meant. I could see the frame as the Universe and the strands were all of us. All of "us" being plants, trees, insects, animals, people. All. We are all woven together, held in place by the embrace of the Universe and even though we aren't woven together perfectly, we are all one. If one unravels, we all unravel. When I told my thoughts to my dear friend, Mary Jane, she sent me this quote.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe." - John Muir

For my flags last year, I placed many different "wishes" on many different flags. This year I've only picked three words. Three simple words with a lot of meaning. For me, this year has been all about "compassion". Although sometimes I'm quick to preach it, I don't always practice it. So I've tried to put a lot of emphasis on practicing it daily.

This morning I wandered upon this quote.
It made me smile.

"A spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken threads and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,
Like crumbs of thought and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years and years and years . . ." - Shel Silverstein

And it was then I was reminded of a clip I saw on the documentary "Happy". It was of the Dalai Lama explaining that the way to maintain happiness in your life is through compassion. I know that for my personal venture of practicing more compassion is to let go of anger and resentment. It is sometimes really difficult to find compassion for someone we feel undeserving, but when we do, we find peace. When we throw love at someone instead of dirt, the outcome is positive and both sides feel some sense of happiness.

So the three words I'm manifesting most through my flags are peace, love and compassion. When we give love and show compassion, peace just simply appears.

i. winterhart - 2013

a ripple in new jersey

woven peace flags with brass chimes - mjd 2013

the international day of peace has arrived. 

woven peace flags with brass chimes - mjd 2013

woven flags represent
connection to all
fragile strength
and the importance of remaining open. 

woven peace flags with brass chimes - mjd 2013

gently ringing chimes bring us back to the moment. 

woven peace flags with brass chimes - mjd 2013

and thich nhat hanh reminds us:

'the miracle is not to walk on water. the miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.'

peace is a choice,
live it.


Last year shwe-shwe flags flew in this same tree.
This year I decided to fly wooden flags.
The pink Epiphytic Orchids are in bloom,
the Purple Crested Loeries are calling and
the sun is trying to come out from behind the clouds.
A perfect day.

Happy Peace Day everyone!

A peace flag sent to me by Lyle in the States. Lyle is creating a series of women who walk in search of peace.

Metal flags shine for peace

It has been a pretty busy day in our household in terms of making a few small contributions towards peace or at least the consciousness of peace on this auspicious day - International Day of Peace. The Peace Flags were installed last night; and photographed early this morning. We added in a peace tree for children activity in the local library; and managed to complete the Peace Tree at the entrance to our block.

I just wanted to share a few photos of the metal peace flags in the soft light of this morning.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - Peace Dove in soft morning light
©2013 Barry Smith - Peace dove and metal flags in early morning light
©2013 Barry Smith - Peace dove and metal flags in early morning light
©2013 Barry Smith - Imagine Peace flag
And our friend Ken M was doing his bit for Flags for Peace and the Peace Tree by visiting the UN in NYC (photos courtesy of Ken)

Thanks Mary Jane for encouraging us yet again this year to add our voice to peace. Wishing all peace today and always.

Steph's peace flags

Steph lives nearby Barry and Fiona in Australia, and here are the flags she made this year. You can see her flag from last year here.

This is what she said about her flags this year...

Also have had fun and enjoyment with my little flag today.  My theme for this year for me is "Interdependence and balance give rise to Peace"
It is all biodegradable having painted on 600gsm paper and pegged on the web I made from string indicating the web of life -  and of course I have my little peace dove holding an olive twig (not quite a branch).


Today the flags fly...

We have had a wonderful International Day of Peace here in Maleny.

We started with hanging our different sets of flags outside our house and then spent a morning with children making peace leaves for a peace tree at the Library. It is school holidays here and the children will keep adding to the tree all week.

Here are some of the flags flying at our house today:

Fabric flags, screenprinted with a golden origami peace crane image.  The flags are flown in the traditional order, with Blue for the sky; White for the clouds; Red for fire; Green for water and Yellow for the earth.

My weathergrams have been added to and there are plenty flying high and getting blown by the breeze, and sometimes buffeted to the ground.  Then they get carried away by the wind; sharing their message of peace.

These are new favourites! A while ago we did a printmaking workshop where we used "baby wipes" to clean the paints off the plates.  They looked so gorgeous at the end of the day we saved them from the rubbish and brought them home to dry.  Then we screenprinted them as well and now they are hanging proudly and looking absolutely beautiful!

And finally for hand-made paper flags with origami peace cranes embedded within. These are slightly more vulnerable to the elements so we have hung them at the front of the house, under the verandah. They make a warm welcome to our home...

We gonged our peace bell this morning and again at midday - this evening as the sun sets, we will gong again for peace.  Every little bit we do, in whatever small ways we can, we can help to amplify and share the message of peace in the world.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fiona's weathergrams are beginning to fly

I am making weathergrams again this year and have started hanging them in the tree at the top of our driveway.  I have plenty more to go and will be getting up on the ladder later in the week to make sure thee is a good set there for Saturday 21 September.

Barry has helped out by writing messages for peace as well.

Here they are in the making and the early hanging...

And a Hipstamatic late afternoon shot...

I also have some fabric flags I am hoping to screenprint later today - fingers crossed I get them done!

And I also remembered another random set of flags we were hoping to pull together, so the front yard should be ablaze with flags and colours on Saturday I hope, reminding people of peace and to stop for a minute at midday and be silent...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

10 days!

mjd - 2013

this year i work in fibers,

exploring thoughts of 



strength in unexpected places.

tying it all

into wishes for peace.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Indoor flags outside...

As Barry mentioned in the previous post, we accidentally found ourselves together out on the bell deck hanging our flags - a totally unscripted performance!

I was testing out my indoor flags - made of hand-made paper embedded with origami peace cranes.  They seem to work and I think they will look good inside.

This is them lying around on our tiles.

And this is them hanging - photographing into the bright setting afternoon sun.

And here they are along with some of Jennifer's from last year (top), mine in the middle and Barry's metal flags along the bottom.

Jennifer's flags live out the back where we see theme very day; ours will migrate to the front of the block during September for folk to see. I hope to start hanging my weathergrams this week as well!