Rainy Day Entertainment

When I was in college, I had a friend who was Indian (as in, from India, not Native American), and every now and then she would pull out her henna dyes and we would all mehndi ourselves. (For those of you who are all "meh-huh?", Mehndi is the art of applying a paste made from the henna plant to the skin, traditionally on the hands and feet, to create an orangey-red temporary tattoo-like design. You see it most often in countries such as India, Morocco, and Pakistan, and usually on wedding parties to celebrate the occasion...or in my case, bored college students who have lots of free time and a wide array of body parts).

Anyway, a few days ago, I happened to come across a home henna kit and thought, what the hey! I'll get it for old times sake.
And so I did.

True Mehndi designs are usually quite intricate, and like I said, on the hands and feet, but 1) I am not that good at intricate designs, and 2) I really shouldn't have orange tattoos on my hands in the off chance I get called in for an interview sometime soon. Plus I have ticklish feet.

So I did the next best thing, which is totally strip any kind of meaning and significance from the art by creating my own mehndi designs around my arm, leg, and belly button.

The dark, melted chocolaty-looking stuff is actually the henna paste. Once it dries and flakes off, it leaves a design-shaped stain...not unlike if you had drawn on yourself with an orange marker. (Ideally, the color shows up darker on paler skin, but my olive complexion keeps it looking pretty orange). **


I find that with my skin tone, the design sticks around for 5-7 days before fading away. I've heard that some of them can last for weeks though. It's really simple to mix up, and applies easily to the skin. Just be warned: It's really addicting. You'll start with one design, and then before you know it, you'll have little patterns drawn in all over yourself. (Tony came downstairs while I was busy piping henna paste onto my stomach with a cake decorating cone. He doesn't even ask anymore. He just rolls his eyes and goes on). I highly recommend it for parties (if for no other reason because your buddy can decorate that hard to reach spot on the back of your arm), entertaining kids, and rainy days.

Or if, you know, you just find yourself with some free time and unadorned skin.

*Keep in mind there's no possible way to take a close-up picture of your own belly button and have it look halfway decent. Ya'll just pretend that you don't realize how bizarre this is.

**It is my belief that oomplaloompas are really extreme mehndi addicts.

*** Ya'll don't hate me for my killer six-pack abs of steel. (What do you mean, "what abs"? They're there! I've just hidden them so you wouldn't be jealous).


Pam at Antique or Not said...

Sweetie, I'm thinking you have WAY too much time on your hands! LOL

Thanks so much for the giggle!

Anonymous said...

We need to get you back to work FAST! I've been 'work-free' for over a year and you don't see me painting myself. Goodness, child, come paint the underside of my deck if you want to paint so badly.

Hope they don't call you to be a model anytime soon!

Erin said...

I tried to get a henna tattoo in summer and with my dark skin it didn't hardly show up. I was quite annoyed that I spent the money and hardly had anything to show for it. And btw, your six pack looks WAY better than mine. :)

Melanie said...

I just got your comment about my title header. I am clueless about designing stuff like that so I had someone else do it for me. You can find her at She did the last one I had but it somehow disappeared so she made me a new one.

ByLightOfMoon said...

Well, I love the idea that you made yourself a henna tatoo. I had one done on me while at a parade in Port Townsend, Washington. I loved it. He did it on my hand. I will have to dig out a photo and put in on my blog. By the way, I live in Alabama now and miss Washington state sooo bad!

Smiles, cyndi