Henna under a blue moon.

Well technically it wasn’t completely full last night, but I could see it peeking out at me from my henna tent downtown. 

Private bookings in a park setting with Henna Trails

Take some time out for yourself with a private henna booking in beautiful Bidwell Park located in the center of Chico, California. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidwell_Park

Private bookings start at $30, with an hourly rate of $65.00. In one hour you will receive quite a good amount of skillfully applied and purely natural henna. I particularly enjoy mornings in the park, near the Sycamore Pool under the old oak trees. Live your adornment inspirations and email me to set a date. https://hennatrails.com/contact-us-2/

Henna California bridal style.

heart henna by Henna Trails
heart henna, a photo by Henna Trails on Flickr.

I did some bridal mehndi this week for someone I have known since she was a babe. How exciting to see her grow up into a conscious artistic woman…I totally called it when she was little. This afternoon we will be going to her wedding in a Chico-iconic location for some western themed fun. This bride and groom are gorgeous and creative free thinkers…I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves! I’m off to henna and then braid my hair and get out some stylish western wear.

This design is inspired by Asha Savla’s Vivaah, and a touch of Deepika Chauhan’s Shangar part II.

floral henna palm 2012

floral henna palm 2012 by Henna Trails
floral henna palm 2012, a photo by Henna Trails on Flickr.

I have become completely enamored by henna palms lately. I love the idea that the palms are rather personal. not everyone sees yourpalms, unless you like them to. Ah, excepting money, item transactions, the palms are usually out there at those times. So goes my theory…

Well, it is winter and the tops of my hands spend nearly all day covered in olive oil. Olive oil is good for henna stains, less so for henna paste.

This design was inspired by a video from Ash Kumar that I have been studying. I am drawn to his design work because it has so much movement. My clients tend to prefer the more Arabic styled mehndi, I have never had the opportunity to do traditional Indian bridal mehndi, so I go with what my current clientele likes…open flowing designs, also my personal favorite style. I wear henna for no other reason than as a natural beautification style.

My henna paste is made with 100% organic Rajasthani henna powder, tea, cajeput essential oil and sugars. I love the fact that henna is from a plant and has been used for thousands of years. Thousands. Love henna.

Asha Savla mehndi stain 2011

Asha Savla stain 2011

Originally uploaded by Henna Trails

This is classical Indo-Arabic styled henna designed by Asha Savla. She is a world renowned henna designer based in Mumbai, India. She is one of my personal favorites, I often work on myself from her books. I am nearly satisfied with my line quality work, it could be better. That will come with time and practice. I am clearly obsessed with mehndi, so that is no problem. I haven’t been bored in I don’t know how long.

I did my left hand one night, left my paste on overnight with a few lemon sugar sealants. It took awhile to rub it off the next morning, but I would never just wash it off with water. Too much detailed work in mehndi to not follow the aftercare rituals for dark stains.
The next morning I did my right hand, I always start with my palms first. Because I was using my non dominate hand, it took much longer than my left hand did. I think it is a good brain and muscle control exercise. Also, I really don’t like having heavy mehndi only on one hand. Really. Light sangeet style on one hand does not bother me. I am trying to practice more complex designs, so that I may aquire some bridal clients this year.
I am really enjoying this particular mehndi, I also did the tops, but the palms always come out with pomegranate and deep cherry tones.

  • Congrats! (bollywoodfashionpolice.wordpress.com)

Prenatal belly henna with handmade natural henna paste

We met in Bidwell Park Chico California for her 2nd prenatal belly henna session. A wandering photographer asked if we would mind being his subject matter.
We met in Bidwell Park Chico California for her 2nd prenatal belly henna session. A wandering photographer asked if we would mind being his subject matter.

A special time in a woman’s life, 9 months of care and nurturing, ending with the grand finale of a beautiful, bouncing baby bundle to cuddle, draw your eye and heart for hours on end.

Prenatal henna is a popular Western idea forming from the ancient art of mehendi. Mehendi is the art of painting intricate henna designs upon skin using the henna plant as an all natural skin dye. The henna is mixed into a cooling paste,  applied by hand using a small, handcrafted cone. The natural henna paste will be left upon the skin for at least 4 hours, or longer for a deeper design stain. Once the natural henna paste is rubbed off, a bright orange stain will appear, deepening to a brownish red tone over the next day or so. This henna stain will last 10-13 days, depending on your skin care and your particular skin type. Henna is much like a watercolor, able to leave beautiful stains on all skin types and tones. The natural dyes found in the henna plant leaf bind into the topmost layers of your skin. As you exfoliate naturally, your henna design will fade away entirely. Care for your skin as you usually would, moisturize freely.

Her prenatal belly mandala henna design, first thing in the morning on the festival grounds.
Her prenatal belly mandala henna design, first thing in the morning on the festival grounds.

A few pregnancy henna ideas…

Natural henna design for your maternity portraits, apply your henna 3 days before your photo shoot to capture peak henna stain color tones. Sometimes it is best to have your baby shower belly hennaed before your guests arrive, as they WILL want to hug you, and wet henna smudges. Even better, book a private henna session for your prenatal henna with a friend or partner to share in the experience. Just because.

Check out some prenatal henna artistry inspirations from flickr…

Silken Feather Henna Choker

Silken Feather Henna Choker

Originally uploaded by Henna Trails

Ah feathers, so very pretty on birds and people. Birds fascinate me, their abilities, nest building skills and naturally the pretty, pretty feathers. I have been adding feathers to my henna designs this past season and love the way you can get sweeping movement with your henna cone in your motifs.

I designed this raw silk choker with a feather motif for my Etsy shop. This choker is sooo comfortable, I forget I am wearing mine! I am working on some raw silk collars, which will be taller. I need to have something around my neck in the winter, sometimes I get tired of fighting off my scarf ends while working. Yes, a scarf end has been dragged through one of my henna projects before.

Thank you for stopping by, I am heading back to my art space to create new collars and chokers for my Etsy shop.
Have a look:

January Bridal Henna Stain

12/2010 Henna Stain3

Originally uploaded by Henna Trails

It sure is quiet in the mehndi body art corner of my small rural world. It is cold outside! So I practice on myself to stay limber of hand and mind. I spend a fair amount of time looking at fellow henna artisan’s work on photo/social media sites and am always impressed with a finely detailed Indian Bridal Mehndi design. I typically only have the opportunity to do this level of mehndi artistry on myself, as my clients usually prefer smaller, more flowing, open designs. This particular design is in the Indo Arabic Mehndi style, a fusion of the elegant sweeps of arabic motifs, often inspired by plants and flowers, with intricate detials inspired by traditional Indian Mehndi. Goodness, I love henna.

July 1st, 2010

July around here means golden grasses and a high heat index. This also means great henna stains. I actually love the dry heat, the smell of the dry grasses and the sound of a distant rain bird clicking away in a neighbor’s yard. It feels, smells and sounds like home.

Tonight I will set up my “golden tent” at the Thursday Night Market on Broadway Street for Henna Trails. This is a lovely  event, when the sun is on it’s way down, and people come out for cold drinks, fresh produce, and mingle. I see a wide variety of people stopping in, some stay to watch for a bit and move on. Some stop to watch and decide to try some henna body art. I am happy to be able to offer a small bit of beautification and joy to my community. Henna is an ancient beauty ritual embraced by many people all around our world. In all honesty, I wish more of my community embraced this sort of adornment. I see it as Mother Nature’s manicure, surely a bit more creative. I will continue to quietly henna in my community, slowly bringing an awareness around. I am patient.

Namaste, my friends.