creative hands: musical hands of Lauren

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Meet Lauren. Lauren plays the guitar. She also has an ama(aaa)zing voice. She has been singing since she was a little girl in church, and took up the guitar when she started playing solo gigs around St. John in 2005. Her husband, Bo, is also a great musician. Together they make a beautiful team both in music and in life. They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet and they also have an adorable little girl who can be seen on the mic from time to time. Their music is infused with this love and when you are in its presence, it seeps into your being and warms your soul. 

I henna'd up Lauren's hands with a design representing the sound waves she creates with her fingers.  I modeled them after Japanese styled ocean waves and music staff lines with some clefs in there. We took some photos with my phone at Maho beach and a couple days later at my house with an audience of adorable little people. 

You can hear Lauren's beautiful music around St. John. Check out Lauren and Bo's website to hear samples of their music and find out where you can catch them playing next. They can also be booked for events. Their heartwarming vibes are a perfect mood setting for a wedding. Currently on Thursdays, you can find me henna'ing to the music of Lauren and Bo at Skinny Legs in Coral Bay from 5:30-7:30pm. I will be there through Easter, with the exception of two weeks when I will be heading to a henna conference in New England (yay!) The Thursdays I will be there this season are: March 6, 13, and 20. and April 10, 17, and 24th. Come on down for some henna infused with the sounds of Lauren and BO! They will be there every Thursday from 6-9 through the season. 

creative hands: massage therapy

The inspiration for this henna project is creativity, and this includes the wonderful world of healing arts. There is no shortage of creative ways that people can heal each other, and I look forward to exploring some of these ways throughout this year of henna'ing. 

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Meet Vicki. She is my first pair of healing hands I have Henna'd for this project. She is a massage therapist at Caneel Bay here in St. John, who specializes in structural integration, also known As Rolfing. This technique optimizes the body's relationship to gravity by working with the body's connective tissue to release bound muscles. 

I had a wonderful time getting to know Vicki and hearing her story while I doodled up her hands with a gulf style henna design. It was her first time getting henna, and she said that it was a tribute to her hands, that have been working hard all of these years. 

Vicki has been massaging people as long as she can remember. This path was a clear calling that became her life's work. She is happy and grateful that her work is an offering and also a service to others. It is always inspiring to meet people who are doing what they love! 

The art of henna is a healing art in its own playful subtle way, and I love it for that. The henna plant is considered to carry divine blessings of joy and luck in its essence (with or without a beautiful design), that soaks into your life through your skin. The artist, like a healer, also is a channel of energy. Before I start henna'ing someone, I like to take a moment to breathe and center and connect to a higher force to bring into their life a little bit of positive energy through their henna experience. 

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While writing this, I found myself going on many a thought adventure regarding the relationship and interchangeability of healing and art, and decided I could spend a lot of time writing about that, but what it all boils down to is LIFE IS ART! It is how we live our lives and what kind of energy we want to channel that underlies all forms of creativity and healing in the world. We can all be healers and we can all be artists if we so choose!!! 


"There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground" (rumi)

creative hands: fabric painting by monika

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Meet Monika.
Monika has an amazing energy. It is grounding and inspiring and a joy to be around. The story of her life is rich and full of adventures around the planet, and yet she lives whole-heartedly in the present moment. Originally from Poland, her family emigrated to Brazil when she was 7, where she was introduced to the vibrant colors of the tropics. They moved around a lot, but she felt most at home in the islands south of Rio, where they built a house surrounded by nature. After she retired from a career in journalism to be more present in the lives of her children, she started painting pillows, hammocks, and panels to decorate island homes. Her business was taking off in Brazil, but crime was also on the rise, which led to a tough decision to move to the United States, where her children could grow up in a safer environment. Painting went on the back burner as she worked in real estate while living there.

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 After her little birds left the nest, she and her husband Jorge, who was off surfing when I visited (and just have to add was once a race car driver), moved to St. John, where they now call home. Here, they reconnected with island life and Monika started painting on fabric again. When I came to photograph her creating with her Henna'd hands, she was working on a child's sarong and a fish pillow. She uses soft, feel-good fabric for her sarongs and carefully mixes her paints so they will soak in to the fabric, rather than sit on top, which keeps the fabric soft and flowing. Her work can be found at the Full Moon Cafe in Cocolobo shopping area in Coral bay

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The henna design I painted on Monika is from Amelia Dregeiwicz's dream book. I am picking every week a different design aesthetic to henna. This week I chose Amelia because she and Monika are both from Poland :) I love Amelia's style, so I was happy to try out one of her designs from her new design book, which you can purchase by messaging her on Facebook. My henna paste was made from the organic Rajasthani crop of 2013 I purchased from henna lounge. In mixing This batch, I used molasses instead of sugar for the first time, which i really enjoyed, but could have done with a bit less (1 tsp/100 g rather than 2 tsp).  These photos were taken 36 hours after application. 

Monika and Jorge also built an adorable rental home called "Sea Cottage" in a guava berry grove on top of Bordeaux mountain, that is fashioned with Monika's beautiful hand painted decor and carries the amazing vibration of Monika and Jorge. Check out their page on villa rental by owner and read some of the inspiring reviews from happy guests here

henna at maho bay clayworks

Today I headed down the mountain with my two little assistants to Maho Bay Clayworks at Pickles in Coral Bay where Jill Hale was working on some mugs with hands I recently henna'd. Jill is one of the fabulous people I befriended at this studio, which has served as an inspiring space for creating pottery and a community center on St. John for many years. It has since moved from its original location at Maho Bay camps, to its new home at Pickles. I love throwing pots with henna on my hands. They are both ancient natural art forms whose earth toned colors compliment each other so well. 


Check out Maho Bay Claywork's Facebook Page to find out about current open studio times and a list of classes. Come join the art party!