I have been really into mandalas and extensive circular patterns. They look great on the center of the hands (both sides); the symmetry is perfect. One can keep continuing the design, making the mandala bigger and bigger (unless of course he/she is working on a smaller hand).
Recently I've been obsessed with filling up the fingers with moroccan patterns. They are a bit more difficult to do but the results are worth it. Wouldn't you agree?
Reach out to me for all of your henna needs! I am looking forward to hearing from you.
I worked on this design over the weekend. Let me know what you think of it!
These are uncertain times. The world is afraid and in absolute disarray. Innocent people are dying everywhere and it is especially hard in these times to have any sort of hope.
In these times, we cling to what is necessary, what is near; specifically, our faith and our friends.
Nothing calms my head more so than doing henna designs (on either myself of my friends). Two of my friends came over and I drew on their hands, we had an impromptu henna party. It was great to spend time with them and also to further perfect my craft. Sometimes doing henna on my own hands gets tiresome and it is so much more fun to photograph others hands after I finish my work. These designs were great and my subjects were, too!
Let us hope that devastation and despair is replaced by hope, everywhere. No more fear, intolerance, hatred, bigotry, and let us fight to end oppression and injustice!
Henna cones from Pakistan are fresh; they smell different and leave a much longer lasting stain compared with any that I have found here.
I was lucky enough to visit Pakistan again and in the markets of Karachi I ordered some awesome mendhi cones. I used a cone and now await the color.
I keep practicing different patterns but these paisley style swans are my favorites. They look elegant and are simple enough to do.
Who says rainy days cannot be fun?
There has been this persistent grey color to the sky, the ground, and the very air we breathe in New York City. The lack of sun and this endless winter has turned this city into a page out of a Dostoevsky novel, cold, snowy, miserable, and grey.
I was lucky enough to escape for a few days in January; we went to San Juan, Puerto Rico. When I felt that warm sun on my skin I completely understood why people used to worship this majestic, celestial body. It is rejuvenating and magnificent in its splendor; it is life.
Old San Juan was particularly inviting, a 500+ year old city surrounded by forts built by the Spanish in the 1500's. The two forts, El Morro and San Cristobal, were high and mighty and must have been quite a sight in the days of colonial trade routes in the Caribbean Sea.
San Juan was fantastic however the best things to do were outside of the city. El Yunque rainforest, a national rainforest about an hour away from the city, had fantastic trails and interesting plants to discover and kayaking at night in the bioluminescent bay was one of the best experiences of my life. I was frightened a bit by the dark and the water however once we reached the lagoon we saw nothing but the green lights of the phytoplankton in the water below us and the bright stars above. I lived the entire trip in that one moment.
My mind is far ahead of where my body is at any given time. It is exhausting. Constantly I remind myself to slow down and rejoice in the present for it is transient; meanwhile the future remains unknown and unpredictable.
Weddings in the family create a nice but hectic break from the daily routine. I cannot remember the last time I had been so tired. Nevertheless I did get to work on a lot of henna- for the bride, for myself, and on a candle.
We opted for a less filled in look and I was impressed with the way the bridal henna turned out.
My next endeavor will be creating patterns with fine point pens.
Very rarely do I get enough time to sit in one place and complete a task without interruption. Doing henna, for me, is not a chore, rather, it is therapeutic.
I love getting before and after shots and comparing them. This henna (whichI bought in Pakistan) is very good, it does not stain the hand too fast and it lasts a couple of days without peeling off and making ones hand feel like sandpaper. I kept my hand (with the paste on) in a plastic bag for an hour to help retain some heat. It work and the color stained very well. Perfect day for practice for upcoming brides!
I have been visiting Pakistan once a year for three consecutive years now. My family is forever hospitable and hosts me as if I had never left the place. It is a blessing to be a part of an exclusive group of people that one can call one's own.
In the past three years, the currency of Pakistan (the rupee) has fallen considerably against the dollar. In 2011, $1 was equivalent to 80 rupees, in 2012 it was 92 rupees, and in 2013 it is not 105 rupees. Likewise that which cost 100 rupees in 2011 costs 150 rupees or more in 2013. Inflation is rampant and salaries have not increased. We see the same thing here in the United States, my salary has been frozen for the past two years yet the cost of rent, electricity, gas, water, heat, etc has gone up. Nevertheless, folks work very hard to make ends meet and to try to provide a better life for the next generation.
We took a trip to Thatta and Kheenjar Lake (about 3 hours from Karachi). Families were out and about, enjoying the break in the weather and the day off in the cool waters of the lake. On the way back from the lake we stopped over at the Jame Masjid built by Shah Jahan in Thatta and then headed over to see the historical cemetery at Makli.
The mosque was as beautiful as i remembered it to be two years ago. This year it was crowded; it made me happy to see Pakistani people enjoying their own history on the day of their Independence (we went out on August 14- Pakistan independence day). The front portion of the mosque, the mihrab (where the imam leads the prayer) was redone. My favorite parts were the different ceilings (above and below). The precision, the colors and the patterns all fit perfectly with the grandeur of the mosque.
Makli Cemetery lies in the outskirts of the city of Thatta. This cemetery is five centuries and is a testament to several styles of islamic art and architecture. There are over half a million graves here. The rise and fall of several islamic civilizations are shown through the architectural designs of the mausoleums that the rich built for themselves and their families. The sands of Makli are rich in the turbulent history of the region. If folks could be buried in such ostentatious displays of fortune, what must their normal lives have been like?
The city of Thatta was once a flourishing place as one can see from the remnants of grandeur left behind. Now, it has fallen into decay and with the huge city of Karachi near by it seems as if there is no interest left to preserve it. There is a rise and a fall for everything and every place.
At an awesome family reunion this weekend in Pennsylvania, I took several pictures of the cabin, surrounding trees and flowers in the grass. I realized, in between my attempts at photography, that building and maintaining relationships is similar to how we maintain and care for plants. They require the same kind of effort.
When handling plants and flowers one must be gentle and nurturing. They must be tended to and cared for regularly otherwise the plants will wither and die. Likewise, relationships must be cared for and tended to, whether it be through meetings or virtual contact. That effort to care must remain otherwise that relationship will not progress, and humans who limit their contact with others find themselves at ease with a loss of social interaction.
I learned a valuable lesson this weekend in the importance of tending to relationships. Meet with your relatives, develop relationships with people, it's an important part of life. it is definitely an important part of mine :)
Once I start drawing, it's hard to stop. The designs keep getting bigger and more elaborate as I try to get everything perfect, down to the very last detail and even the color scheme.
Hues that exist in the natural world are the most stunning. Rows and rows of colored flowers in fields really make me realize and appreciate a world that we have very little control of. In the spring, after months of a long, cold, and grey winter, colors begin to pop out of trees and from the ground.
Take these flowers above, they are an inspiration in both shape and color!
Vase with arabic writing
Repetitive motifs in ceramics were most popular, and still are, in the Islamic art scene. Religious art was decorated with geometric patterns and arabic phrases. These three examples are located in the British Museum in London. Notice the use of the color cobalt blue; it was an expensive pigment to decorate with therefore those who owned/patronized these items were particularly wealthy.
I look to geometric motifs when thinking of different henna designs. It amazes me to know that some of these patterns are designed with such precision.
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.