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.
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.
It has been a rather inspiring 6 months of henna in the streets of downtown Chico, California for the Thursday Night Market! All my supporters have my utmost gratitude for embracing this exquisite, ancient and temporal artistry. I will miss the hustle and bustle of this beautiful evening market, meeting up with my community, and supporting other artists, farmers, and cooks! Incidentally, our humble little market was named one of the best of the World’s Best Late-Nite Foodie Havens! Pretty cool for a small, rural college town amongst organic farms and orchards. We love excellent food here, that is for sure!
This year will mark my 4 season slinging henna on the street for the market. I have learned so much thru the years. I look forward to coming back next April, refreshed and armed with new henna patterns, books and ideas just for you, dear Chico. Come see me tonight and revel in the awesome of our town! Purely natural.
I am often thrilled with idea of henna designs focusing on your fingers. Visualize your striking allure as your henna fingers fly with tasks of even the everyday sort. This past summer I have been drawn to the revival of ombre thanks to pinterest and my favorite sweater in 5th grade. Ombre refers to the French term ombre referring to shade, hence the single color shade gradation seen on fabric and more lately. Here is a lovely pinboard of ombre in various mediums. Eventually while researching ombre dye techniques and trying my hand with fabrics, I decided to explore ombre henna. Admittedly, it is not for everyone…it is a somewhat shocking look. My ombre fingers were met with mixed emotions. I enjoyed them, they took a fair amount of time and complete mindfulness as I timed each layer of henna carefully.
A pinterest inspired idea certainly called for a tinted mason, or kerr canning jar. Too much! But I love it anyway, kindly please keep pinning or curating all the amazing and awesome aspects of life here on our earth and beyond.
I have been reluctant to put this particular piece in my shop. Why? Who knows. The sun was shining yesterday, so I went out back with my 15 year old son to catch some photos in good light. I like his eye, he knows to move around the subject and try different angles. My sons have taken some of my best photos so far!
I have more scarves in the works, I soaked one habotai silk scarf in a henna bath and will henna some mehndi motif designs over it. It came out a beautiful soft peach tone. I am thrilled to have thought of this, as it adds dimension to the usual white/off white of the scarves I have in stock. The henna paste I mixed yesterday contains lemon juice, rather than tea, which I have been using lately for my henna crafting. I am interested to see if there is a slight color difference. In a few days, I should have my results, as I like to keep the henna paste on for at least 1 day or more.
Until next time,
henna dreams and crafty inspirations to us all
The henna plant leaf contains a reddish dye molecule which adheres very well to many things of an organic nature. Such as skin, silk, drum heads, and papers. I have hand painted this scarf with a henna cone containing my henna paste mixed especially for fiber arts. My paste contains a red herbal tea, chai tea, and jamila henna powder. The paste is left intact for numerous days then heat set. The paste is rubbed off to reveal a lovely saffron, golden hued design stain. The design is then heat set again.
I love the feel of this scarf, the wool and silk is marvelous. I have yet to see how they would react to some hot water felting baths.
Info from the artist:
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.
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.
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.