One of the most important things a city should provide to its residents is, in my humble opinion, plenty of open and green spaces. London is no stranger to parks as it seems every where I turn, I'm in some sort of garden or park. I find it quite soothing to sit amongst the trees, read a book, or enjoy some time with friends. My next couple of posts will be about the beautiful green spaces of London.
1. Hampstead Heath: It is in Zone 3 so a bit farther out of the city center but nonetheless, it is my favorite park so far. It's rolling hills, ponds, trees, and views of London offer something for everyone. John Keats, the 19th century poet, lived in a home nearby and walked through this heath and may have composed several poems here.
If there is one place in London that has enough space for people, it is Hampstead Heath. Once away from the entrance and the path, one can truly be alone in this park. I stopped by a bench and sat under a giant tree, listening to the birds and the movement of the grass with the open expanse of sky before me. It was glorious. Big benefit: One can walk up to Parliament Hill and get a view of the London skyline, spotting all the buildings and all the cranes building up the newer buildings.
Around the world there are numerous types of henna designs and styles ranging from geometric to floral to intricate grids and even animal and human faces. Henna is used for joyous occasions, weddings, parties, bridal and baby showers, and religious holidays. I'll take you through some types of designs (though certainly not all of them).
Moroccan/North African Designs (below): Moroccan patterns are geometric and look very calculated like algorithms converted into design. Much of old islamic art from North Africa is geometric and vegetal in nature (on mosques, doors, even palaces and fancy cutlery, some examples include the mosque at Timbuktu and intricate designs on the Fatimid mosques in Egypt). There are lines, diamond shapes, squares and triangles in Moroccan designs, criss-crossing and intertwined lines creating depth in a palm.
South Asian Designs (below): Indian patterns are very thin and intricate; they often containing numerous types floral patterns with leaves and paisleys. During weddings, husbands and wives names are inscribed in the henna design and it becomes a game to try and find them. Faces and animals are incorporated in henna designs, sometimes depicting a scene of a wedding itself. Animals like the peacock and elephant are drawn on to hands for beauty as well as luck.
Middle Eastern/Arab Designs (below): Arab designs are very big, usually floral in nature with dots and lines. The designs are use alternating thick and thin lines with floral patterns filled in with thin lines. There are grids and chevrons and thicker borders with thinner interior lines. Sometimes the designs can look similar to Indian styles.
Not mentioned here are Sudanese styles of henna designs. I have not learned them yet but when I do, I will mention them on this blog. Let me know what your favorite styles are!
I love the lace look on the fingers with a connection of circles. The color results came out great and I wore two of my favorite rings to dress up my hand. Let me know what you think!
These past couple of days have been busy in henna. So I will just let my pictures do all the talking. I tried many different styles and patterns that had been in the back of my mind. All of the designs came out beautifully.
I'll be adding pictures and commentary of the things I love. I am an ordinary person in an extraordinary place. There is no special purpose to this blog other than to project what I am thinking of at any given moment.
All the photos are mine (unless stated otherwise). Please do not use without permission. To learn more about me, check out my linked in profile below.