April to September from 6-9 pm, the streets of downtown Chico, California close to vehicles and open to the local community for the Thursday Night Market. Chico is known for it’s passion for localvore habits and the market is a great place to see what is coming into season, foodwise and artistically as many musicians and performing artists occupy stages, local artisans abound, as well as community groups. I have been providing henna there since 2009, and it has been a great blessing. I have met and connected with many people, and have seen many return year after year, week after week for henna.
Henna truly is amazing. What a natural gift.
Thank you Chico! See you at the market!
Happy Earth Day, friends!
An early afternoon in Bidwell Park, the jewel of my city. I saw only one piece of litter to be contained and crews of volunteers cutting back and digging the blackberry plants which are wildly proliferate in our area. We sat under the trees around the Nature Center to celebrate natural life in Bidwell Park. A happy day.
One fine day in June I packed my henna cones, sketches and wooden stool into my bicycle basket and set off into Bidwell Park to journey to another side of Chico, California for Sara’s wedding henna appointment. It was a good day, I felt honored to be able to share the artistry of mehendi with her, a fellow artist. I knew working in such detail would be a challenge, and I was a little nervous, but the ride through the park relieved my worries and cleared my mind.
Earlier in the year we met for her bridal consultation to decide what design direction to take, as there are many styles of henna to choose from. She liked the idea of fine details to her elbows and little to no floral designs, Indian lace style mehendi came to my mind immediately. We set her henna appointment to be 3 days before her wedding, a day she would share with loved ones and a hen party.
I spent a few weeks seeking henna designs on flickr in her style and making little sketches of details I liked from other henna artists. I liked her style choice, and felt mandalas and half mandalas would be a great element to include in her henna. I tried to design each 4 parts of her wedding henna with different, yet cohesive designs. Her palms would have a design which came together when her palms were cupped upward. We would hide her groom’s name in the details.
Wedding henna this detailed takes time to apply skillfully and Sara was most patient. Let’s just say it took me more than 3 hours. We started in the afternoon, I find it is a great time to start wedding henna, as the light is perfect and there is plenty of time for the henna to seep into the topmost layers of your skin. This leaves you the option of removing your henna paste in the late evening and letting it oxidize while you sleep.
So this is her wedding henna part I, I’ll have the rest of her story next week.
Thank you for stopping by!
- Model: Emily Teague,
- MUA: Lindsey Deshler
- Henna: Kristy McCurry
- Photography: Vinnie Johnson Are you inspired by the beauty of henna? I can help you fulfill your vision and connect you to the roots of natural beauty. Your skin is a perfect canvas. Contact me to make the ancient artistry of henna a realization for you.
Society6 and I are offering free shipping for a limited time in my newly created Our Folk Life online shop! I am loving the look of the dark wooden plank and turquoise toned mandala motif, decidedly rustic. Certainly bohemian…what device?
My art is all hand drawn, Society6 enables me to produce items I normally would not be able to offer at reasonable prices. Society6 is based out of San Francisco and so far I have been very pleased with their service and the environment they nurture. There are very many quality artists keeping shop, with new offerings daily. I upload my art image, they store it and print on demand. I’m so excited, so many opportunities, so many visions to come to life.
I would like to let my readers know I am blogging about my folk art on Our Folk Life. Henna Trails will continue to focus on henna body arts, culture and design. Join me if you like my folk art!
1. body art quality henna powder
2.aromatherapy grade essential oils; cajeput, cardamom, cedar and lavender oil
3.warm tamarind and hibiscus tea
4. jaggery or, raw sugar
Paste mixing day comes once a week, mixed smoothly and set aside to develop and release the dye contained within the leaf so we can all have stunning natural henna stains.
Natural henna stains are variable, you can see something of an ombre effect with the fingertips being the darkest point of the henna stain. It is natural to see the the stain lighter as it moves up the arm. Sometimes the stain stays consistent as it moves up the arm, a trait of henna paste, body chemistry and more. Purely natural henna is made from powdered henna leaves, tea, cajeput essential oil, and sugar. A simple recipe, natural and safe. Henna is known to have been used as skin adornment for ages, times when chemicals were unknown. Even now, the naturalistic essence of henna is one of it’s most appealing attributes. Henna stains typically last anywhere from 7-12 days, depending on body placement and skin chemistry.
To achieve your quality henna stain, you will need to be patient and slow down for a few hours at least. Your henna artist will apply the henna paste upon your skin, typically the paste will be dry 15 minutes after the paste is laid. Henna is known for having a cooling effect, you’ll want to adjust your environment. Now that you have your design, you will want to keep it intact for 4-8 hours, depending on your commitment to quality henna stains. The longer you leave your paste on, the more skin cells the henna paste can reach.
During this time you will want to do something that doesn’t require much activity which could effect your henna paste, wherever it is placed. Settle yourself comfortably and daydream, nap, wax poetic, talk with a friend, or watch some films. Have one cup of hot tea.
After your natural henna paste is rubbed off, your new henna stain is revealed. This is my favorite part of henna, as your skin reveals a deep layer of bright orange designs and the essence of the essential oils mixed into your paste are intoxicating. My henna paste has undertones of cardamom, lavender, and cedar essential oils, a clean woodsy scent with the cajeput oil. However, you’re not quite done with your aftercare. Avoid direct contact with water as long as you can. You may need to get creative and ask for assistance from your roommates or family. If you can’t avoid water, it’s fine, you’ll still get a really nice henna stain. If you avoid water you’ll get a better quality henna stain. Your henna stain will progressively become darker as it oxidizes. 24 hours after your stain is revealed will be your mature henna stain color.
Henna is and was, meant to be purely natural.. Your skin is your largest organ and a beautiful canvas. Nothing compares to the look of purely natural henna stained skin, connect with an ancient beauty. The henna on your skin may fade away, yet the artistry of henna will remain and grow.
Purely natural henna style in California. Henna is made from the leaves of the henna plant, a small shrub grown throughout Southeast Asia for skin decoration. Skillfully applied by hand for best results. Always check your henna artists’ portfolio for consistent skill and style in her designs. This henna is at day 4, after plenty of chores and hard work.