This past spring I had the pleasure of collaborating on a very unique custom prayer flag set purchased for a gift, to give to a close friend that was about to embark on a 3 week journey to climb Mt. Denali in Alaska, the highest mountain peak in the United States and in North America.
The buyer wanted to give her friend something light weight to travel with him on his trek, and to have photos of his children and himself printed on it. Because often flags are used in mountain climbing, she thought of prayer flags, and arrived at our etsy shop, Cazmira.
I had explained that serigraphy, using a stencil to print, along with a silk screen would translate a photograph in a stylized manner, and sketched up examples. She loved the outcome unexpectedly more than her original idea of a realistic photo transfer. In addition she requested text! Another tricky matter, but we collaborated well, and chose some really poignant lines of a very long quote to use.
There was also another lil' hitch, she needed the flags within a week! They were express shipped, in time for her to meet her friend in LA before he took off for his journey this June. I told her to tell him, if he ever wanted T-shirts made, or if he wanted additional flag sets created I forever have stencils now of his children and himself. She told me she would send me photos of him at the top.
Measured base-to-peak, it is the tallest mountain on land, and the third most prominent peak in the world after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Mount McKinley, or also called Denali means "The High One".
July arrived, and I wondered what ever happened to the guy up on the mountain? I got in touch with the buyer and she was more than happy to send me the below photos along with a note:
"I have attached a picture of him with the flags up at the summit (21,000 feet!) and one of him with the flags in his tent. He put the flags up all day (and night) in his tent and took them up with him to the summit. I can't even begin to tell you how much he absolutely loved them. He said they kept his spirits up during some of the most grueling days of the journey! The flags now hang in the entry way of his house for every one to see."
The flags on either side of the photos read " I go to them as humans go to worship. Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion...On each journey I am reborn"
This might possibly be one of the most gratifying custom made projects I've done yet. If they motivated, inspired, or reassured, if they helped to keep faith in climbing 21,000 feet up an icey, snow covered mountain, than our prayer flag intentions are being realized!
Happy Earth Day! (Part 1)
Eco-friendly, environmentally conscious, and using sustainable materials.
- My first screen printing experiences were in a basement studio in San Francisco, using a light box my husband made, a hose and a bucket to catch the water, a cardboard box to protect the emulsion filled screen, and so many new ideas. The beauty of the process captured me, the amazing amount of detail that could so finely, transfer into baked emulsion and then be printed crisp, and cleanly.
Fast forward, having a baby on board, I was interested in alternative, more eco-friendly ways of screen printing without using photo emulsion. That is when Serigraph printing, or screen printing using a stencil was first brought to my attention. It is a similar but different process that challenges me to find new ways of achieving the fragile, delicate details. I have since cut over 100 stencils, and continue to thrive on the unique skill of bridging bits of transparency to one another to hold an image. Despite the one or two times we thought we'd have to resort to emulsion to get the detail, we figured our way around it, and have since committed to never using emulsion or any other toxic chemicals. -The beauty of masking tape in our job is that it is never used just once, smeared with ink, it will dry, and still be sticky for the next job or two, we reuse it over and over again. Same with magazines. Pages are used and reused for test prints, to do reverse prints that help to clean the stencils after use, and to protect surfaces including the screens.
-We try to upcycle the fabric when we can, and buy organic for our baby and toddler onsies and tees.
-And lastly we use water soluble non-toxic inks to print.
Every little bit counts! The intentions behind our work, and the way in which we create is to be awake and conscious to all things around us, and how we interact, and effect our shared space. Realizing that all of our actions contribute to either the greater good, or harm of the planet. Thank you Mother Earth for all that you provide! xo
Above is our first set of Yoga Meditational Prayer Flags, and to the two photos below are our latest Yoga Meditational new edition set upgrades. (The middle "namaste" and the fourth "sitting pose ~ grounded" flags were changed.) The original flags have a raw, wood block feeling, whereas the new designs feel a little more fluid, and stencil/ silk screen created. But then, both are great, and they may just look pretty similar to someone other than the creator! It's like finding the hidden pictures in a Highlights Magazine! Remember those? Cricket is still around too! Totally side tracked. Anyway, as always we'd love to know what you think.
(close up of new flags ~ fusia, and sage colored ones!)
I am (oops, I mean was) one of those kids that would say good bye to all my stuffed animals in my room before leaving for a weekend or family trip. It was because I felt bad for them, being left in the dark, in the stillness. It's part of the attachment I have to things, specifically things I've lived around for a while. An old thinned tee shirt that has a story, or use to be my favorite, or was my Mom's when she was much younger, and I liked the picture of her in it, these are the things that take up real estate in the corners of my dresser drawers. Then I get to thinking about furniture, old blankets, the chipped coffee mug...on a daily basis these things surround us. They work. And the interesting thing is if we weren't on such a tight budget, we might be getting new things all the time, replacements, upgrades!! However, interestingly enough, the budget saves us money, and saves the landfills too! We were so close to getting a new highchair that didn't look like a Mummers Viva Las Vegas rig as our free ~ hand me down one currently does. The new one was $20 from IKEA none the less. But after thinking about it, the highchair wasn't something we really *needed*. I can't help it, I just think in this way, when I consider buying something, I think about the packaging, about the quality, and the functionality, and whether it's going to end up in the garbage sooner than later.
It is quite refreshing to get away on vacation, stay in a simple, empty hotel room, with no attachments, no clutter. Often I've wondered about ridding ourselves of everything that isn't essential. When we move back west eventually, I've daydreamed about selling everything, and starting fresh. But that brings me back, full circle to my attachments, and then to my feelings of guilt for creating more waste.
Side note ~ There is evidence that all things have a vibration! "Science and Metaphysics agree. The essence of all things is vibration. Science reveals that everything in the manifest universe is ultimately composed of packets of energy; quantized units vibrating at specific frequencies. Esoteric wisdom reveals that in the beginning, all things were created through sound (i.e. vibration); whether it be the "OM" of Eastern mysticism or the "Word"/Logos of Western spirituality."
Our thoughts, feelings and actions also have their own particular rates of vibration. These vibrations will set up resonance with whatever possesses identical frequency. In other words, your thoughts are inseparably connected to the rest of the universe. This is why it is so essential to be a close observer of yourself. As you think, feel and act, so you create the primary vibration of your being. This fundamental vibration then creates resonance with identical vibration frequencies in the universe. The result is an attraction of circumstances, people, challenges and opportunities in exact vibrational resonance with your own dominant vibration frequency."
By keeping my old stuff, saving money, being conscientious of my contribution to landfills, what am I attracting to myself? I'm not sure yet, but I will let you know. In the meantime, maybe cleaning house in the new year means mentally, emotionally and spiritually......
ps- Remember Baby Beans! (pictured above) Wish I still had mine. ;) I loved her.