creative hands: homeschooling mama

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Meet Clare.

Clare worked as a teacher for many years and has a fun creative soul. She is also an amazing mom and one of my role models (and a henna model), with her patient, positive, and loving attitude. She has an encouraging and firm tone of voice and way of giving directions that kids respond to. Her son, Audie, is one of my little Brian's best buddies. When they were little tiny bundles and could barely move their necks, they laid on the bed next to each other and wiggled and squealed in excitement. It is always a treat to get together with them. The other morning, we went around for a craft morning play date. Clare set the boys up with some paint and stamps to make some creations and off they went. 

Being a mom is one of the most creative jobs I have ever had. It is important to stay inspired with activities to teach the kids, recipes to keep everyone fed (because they want to eat EVERY day ;), and most importantly, creative ways to react/disciplin. I find inspiration is KEY and it is connecting with other moms and sharing ideas that keeps that inspiration flowing. 

My favorite part of this craft day, and most others like it, was when the kids are full of painting and run off to play, and the moms carry on crafting, drinking tea, eating snacks, and catching up on life. 

As I said in my last post, i learned about photoshop actions in my photography class this past week, and have been playing around with a few of them. My favorite one so far, because I am a big fan of vivid colors, is one replicating a toy camera. I applied this action to these photos because the colors of the day were calling for it. Because the action makes the colors pop, it changes the true color of the henna stain as well. For photos that represent the color of the stain accurately, check out the photos in my gallery page. 

The style of the henna design is from the Persian gulf. My compliments go out to the unknown artist that created this design from which I copied. The website was in Arabic, and then didn't seem to be running when my friend offered to translate. I do love the whimsy of the bold flowers and negative space for tendrils to dance in. I look forward to doing more gulf-style henna in the future. These photos were taken 36 hours after application. 

creative hands: caribbean hook bracelets by maya

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Happy New Year. This is the first entry of my 2014 Henna'd Hands project. I am very excited to start this :) The idea was born a few months ago, when I was working on building a portfolio for my new henna website. I started with some models and took photos on the beach of their hands. A couple models were yogi's, and I had been recently inspired by the work of Robert Sturman, a yoga photographer, so I took some photos of the girls doing yoga with their henna on.  That inspiration next moved on to art when I henna'd the hands of a potter, Jill Hale, who I then took photos of down at Maho Bay Clayworks at Pickles, while she was making some pots . I loved watching her henna'd hands in their creative element and it inspired me to want to do more of this sort of thing.

For Christmas this year, I was gifted with an introductory DSLR camera, and a photography workshop online by my amazing parents. I have never taken photography before, but have always appreciated it and "became a photographer" when my children were born a few years ago. I still don't know what I am doing, so I just take a LOT of photos and hope for the best. My plan is to practice my henna skills and photography skills over the course of 2014 through this project. i make art to share, so please join with me as i ride the wave of learning and meet a lot of creative, inspiring people along the way :)

So, let's get started!

Meet Maya Craig.

After the sun goes down and her husband returns from work, she sneaks out of her mountainside house in the trees to the Cocolobo shopping area in Coral Bay, where she can be found making her Caribbean hook bracelets. Maya rents the studio of Sandi Stein, which is accessed from the parking lot on the side of the complex. I have never been into a jewelry studio before. It was filled with so many tools and gadgets that were cute and foreign to me. Maya makes impeccable work, as you will see in the following photos I took of her in her process. 

Maya makes a variety of hook bracelets, and they are all made out of recycled silver and gold. My personal favorite is the Maho Bay Camps logo, which is, I do believe, the coolest logo I have ever seen, and of course, representing one of the most special places on the planet. For those who haven't been to Maho, it was a Dr. Seuss tree house-like complex made of a screen houses, boardwalks, and stairs, which led to white sand beaches in a turquoise bay. There were white puffy clouds over head and stars at night that the tree frogs would sing to. Good old fashioned magic! I was the henna girl there for 6 seasons, which was my favorite job ever.  I used to think on my way there how lucky I was to be doing this work. Not only was it fun for me to henna people up and connect with inspiring guests, but it was gratifying when I saw how it brought a happy buzz to the vibe to the night. Henna IS a fun sort of healing and I am happy and grateful to be a carrier of this medicine.  I was sad to say goodbye this summer when it closed after 37 years, but the spirit of Maho is real and still lives on in everyone who had the luck to find out about it and experience its magic (and everyone who wears a Maho hook bracelet).

One note on the photos, for those checking out the henna: I have been playing around with a few "actions" in Photoshop that alter colors in these photos as part of my fun (I somehow just discovered them), which makes the henna stain look darker than it really is in some of the photos. The true color of the henna stain can be found in the photo at the bottom of the page in the photo with all of the finished bracelets. This stain was from 36 hours after application. 

Maya can be found on facebook by clicking HERE. Contact her directly to inquire about purchasing her work.