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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Guild of Henna Artists of Orlando

Guild of Henna Artists of Orlando
Bonding, Supporting, & Strengthening Our Orlando Henna Community

    Guild (gild) noun
    1. An association of people for mutual aid and the promotion of common interests
    2. A medieval association of merchants or craftsmen
    3. An association for sharing the arts and mysteries of a common craft

We have an amazing talented community of henna artists here in Orlando, and in central Florida in general.  It's time to band together!  Let's support each other and spread the energy and the art of mehndi to all!

Our next Guild meeting is...

Wednesday August 18 6:30 - 8:00
Beachcombers Bazaar
2525 Edgewater Dr Orlando FL 32804
Directions Here

We welcome aspiring henna artists of all levels!
This isn't an exclusive club, it's a community of henna-loving artists that want to share.  Join us! 

RSVP with Jody at jody@beachcombersbazaar.com

See you there!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Geting Dark Color Tattoos from Henna

Everyone seems to want super dark color from their henna tattoos.  I want to help you achieve this, but keep in mind henna isn't all about color.  It's about connecting (with others or just yourself) and contributing to a positive energy within and around us.  Henna can be as powerful as you let it!

Back to dark color henna!  There are so many factors that contribute to the color you ultimately get from your henna, we're going to address most of them.

The Henna Product Itself
Mixing your own henna from powder is capable of giving you the the darkest longest lasting color.  I suggest Jamila professional body art quality henna and the Beachcombers Favorite recipe.  Here is a rundown of the recipe I personally use...
  1. Mix Jamila henna powder and lemon juice in a glass bowl.  I use lemon juice from the bottle, not fresh lemons.  I find I get more consistent results that way and I don't have to worry about clogging.  I don't mix exact amounts of henna powder and lemon juice, instead I go for a specific consistency.  I add lemon juice until the paste resembles thick mashed potatoes.  If you need a general reference for how much lemon juice to add start with approximately equal amounts of each.  Reserve a tiny bit of powder in case you need it later to thicken your mix.

    The acid in the lemon juice helps release the dye in the henna (lawsone).

  2. I place plastic wrap over the henna paste and press it down so it is actually touch the paste.  I place the bowl in a warm (but not too warm) dry place overnight.

  3. The next morning, I can see that I've had some dye release.  If you are looking at the side of the glass bowl you will see a darker brown ring around the top of the henna.  If you take a spoon and scrape a layer of the top henna off you will see a nice brown top layer with fresh green henna paste below. 

    I add regular white table sugar to the henna  and mix it in.  I use about 1 part sugar to about 4 parts henna.  You will find the sugar melts in the henna as you mix it in smoothing out your henna and adding "liquid".

    The sugar makes the henna stay wet against the skin longer and stick to the skin better, thus helping you achieve a darker stain.

  4. I add equal amounts of lavender oil and tea tree oil.  Everyone uses a different amount of oil.  I use about 25-35 drops of each oil for one box (100 grams) of Jamila henna powder.

    Both lavender and tea tree oils have monoterpene alcohols which will help release more of the lawsone dye in your henna resulting in a darker stain.  You can get a great combo pack of Jamila henna powder, lavender oil, and tea tree oil here.

  5. I put the same plastic wrap over the henna and let it sit until either later that day or even the next day.  I mix it up again and my henna is ready to use!
Here's a couple of additional convenience tips for you...
  • This is a good point for your to strain your henna if you like.
  • Put your henna in individual sized cones and then freeze them.  Anytime you need fresh henna, you are an hour of thawing away from fresh individual sized cones away!

What Part of the Body you Henna
Henna takes best on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.  The further away from the feet and hands you get, the lighter the stain.  The thinner the skin, the few layers of skin cells there are for the henna to stain.  That's ok, you can still do henna on the back or even the face, just know that it will be lighter and not last as long.

The Skin Itself
Henna takes best to clean dry skin.  Lotions, sunblock or even water will be a barrier between the henna and the skin.  The more base (opposite of acidic) your skin is the darker your henna stain.

How Long You Leave the Moist Henna in Contact with the Skin

The longer you leave the wet henna paste in contact with the skin, the darker and longer lasting the color.  Ideally I like to see people shoot for 4-6 hours.  Overnight is even better!

Use a sealer such as a lemon sugar sealer.  This will help you develop a nice crust on top of the henna while keeping the underside (that's in contact with your skin) of the henna moist.

How Warm You are With the Paste on the Skin
The warmer your skin the darker your henna stain.  I have low blood pressure and I'm always cold.  It's much harder for me to get good henna color than it is for most people.  Don't crank your air conditioning, and try to keep your body temperature up.  Sit in the sun, have a glass of wine or hot tea, wrap up in a blanket if you are like me, lol!

The best thing you can do to keep the henna area warm is to seal and wrap your henna design.  Dab on a lemon sugar solution to the henna as soon as it's dry enough to touch.  Wrap the design in plenty of toilet paper to absorb sweat and then wrap Saran Wrap around the toilet paper.  This can yield crazy-good color!

How You Remove the Henna Paste
Don't use water to remove the henna from your skin.  Either gently scrape it off with your fingers or a spatula or use a little olive oil or mehndi oil to remove the henna paste.  I suggest avoiding water on the henna for the rest of the day if possible.

How Well You Care For the Henna Tattoo
Henna is a permanent stain.  It doesn't fade away, your skin cells exfoliate off.  Anything you do to avoid exfoliating the skin where your henna is will help your henna last longer.  Avoid water, cleaners, and anything else that may exfoliate the skin as much as possible (within good hygiene limits).

For a ton of other useful henna info and hundreds of pictures see our henna help site...

BTW, remember your henna will start off light, but will come up to full color over a couple of days.  Be patient!

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Joy Wire Wrap Bracelets

Ahhh...Joy, one of my favorite local Orlando artists!  Joy makes these FABULOUS wire wrap bracelets, wrap necklaces, and pendent necklaces.  She has a wonderful eye for color and texture and that is why her jewelry stands out.

Joy is a beautiful person as well.  She always has a bright smile and kind word when she drops in the shop for re-stocking.  She is, well, a joy! 

You can feel her personality shining through her work when you wear a piece of Joy Jewelry.  Makes them a GREAT gift!

Stop in and see what one-of-a-kind jewelry in stock today at Beachcombers Bazaar.


Henna Tattoo Design Ideas

So you have your henna, but now you don't know what designs to henna?  No problem!  Henna is all about building your henna vocabulary so that you can free-hand henna easily, straight from your heart (or head as the case may be).

It helps to start by imitating different designs you encounter.

You can find design ideas everywhere!
  • The Henna Design Gallery section of our henna help site has HUNDREDS of henna design pictures! Get inspired!
  • Our FaceBook Page has a ton of henna design pictures too. While on FaceBook make friends with other henna artists.
  • Purchase henna design eBooks! There is a great selection of henna eBooks at Beachcombers, but there are others out there. Look around and find them.
  • Check out Google Images for ideas. Looking for a butterfly? Google butterfly and take a look at the images. You'll get a ton of ideas this way!
  • Get inspired by everyday items around you. Jewelry, bedding, clothing, candle holders...you get the idea.
* Keep in mind if you are using another artist's work you need to give them credit.  If you want to post, print, or otherwise publish work from another henna artist, you need to get permission from that henna artist.

With some practice you will find that you start pairing henna elements on your own. Before long you will have developed your own unique henna style!

Remember to take pictures of your work when you can. You'll be able to see how much better you are getting and you'll remember different designs you've done in the past.

Building your henna vocabulary is a huge help if you like to do one-of-a-kind henna or if you like to connect with the energies people project. Once you are no longer worried about the actual art, you can really connect with people on a personal level.  You'll be shocked at how unique and personal some of the designs end up.

Get started!  Build that henna vocabulary!

Purchase henna design idea eBooks here.