Wednesday, November 11, 2009

When somebody said "Practice makes a man perfect", surely they must have had the art of Mehndi in mind! I still remember those days when my mom and myself would try to squiggle out some random designs out of the store-bought cones. As I had said in my previous post, we had a lovely Mehndi tree in our home and were never short of leaves. So cones were not our cup of tea and we were quite satisfied with the usual little Polka-dot patterns!! Occasionally mom would sneak in a few grains of rice or chana dal under the regular polka to achieve a pattern! She is so creative and excellent in Kolams and Rangoli's and it is probably that gene of her, that I have inherited to sketch out decent mehndi designs.. Now if you let me, I'll go on and on..

I had put Mehndi last weekend, and this time I took step-by-step pics of how it turned out. Before going out to the mehndi desgins, I just wanted to give you an idea of the main parts of a complete mehndi design.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional Mehndi designer nor a teacher. Whatever I have presented here are born out of my own imagination and I don't claim that these are the rules of Mehndi designing. Your imagination is the best guide and let it lead you to play around! :)

1. Motifs or the Main shapes: These are the basic shapes that adorn all over your hand. Usually you draw them big and extend them to join another Motif to make a pattern.

Some of the often-used and famous motifs are peacock, mango shaped, a mandap-shape, floral designs, etc.
2. Fillers: After you draw these motifs or the main shapes, you start filling them with recurrent patterns, curves, or lines. You can alternate with as many filler designs as you want to achieve the most complicated design.

Some of the commonly used fillers are curves, checker-board designs etc.
3. Enhancing designs / Accentuators: These designs are not enough by themselves to create a design. When they are used along with the exisiting pattern, they beautifully enhance the whole design. While these are not a part of a regular design, adding them makes your design stand out. (like biting into a cashew when you are enjoying a sooji halwa or kesari!)
Now that these are the essential components, it only takes our imagination and play around with different combinations.

So here are the steps:

Sorry about the poor quality, I had to take it at quick succession and I used to my mobile to make it easy! :(
And the final design:
As and when the mehndi dries up, use a dash of lemon juice mixed with sugar to wet them again. You can leave this on for about 2 to 4 hours, depending on your patience. When you are removing it, use the back of a spoon to scrap the dried mehndi off. Do not wash with water; instead apply a little coconut oil and leave it on for an hour for better results.

This is how the color turned out to be!
Hope you all enjoyed these!! See you soon with another interesting post!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

As I said previously, I don't prefer doing my own designs for 2 reasons; first being my mind wanders off in a matter of time and I end up doing extravagant designs that take 3 to 4 hours to finish. Second reason being, there are so many wonderful designs available in Internet and Designs books and it is fun to recreate them and compare with your effort! So here comes my version of one of the most popular designs, probably what you get amongst the top 10 when you google.

Kind of Arabic Design that fills only a part of the hand

The After-effect!!

Sorry about the poor quality of photo! This was taken way back in 2006 with my mobile camera.

See you all soon with another interesting post!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here comes one simple design! As I had mentioned earlier, I do not attempt to make-up any designs of my own; not that I am creative, but I tend to become a little extravagant and end up spending more time than I actually need.

Simple peacock motifs filled with normal curves and lines

Hope you enjoyed this one! See you all soon with a special Wedding design!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mehndi is one thing I would never get tired of! Throughout the various phases of my life, I have always had a growing passion for this plant and beautiful tint it leaves on the hand. I don't know much details about Mehndi, but I am sure it is good for health, in terms of reducing the body heat, and too good for hair.

We had a nice "Marudani maram" (tamil name for Mehndi tree) in our backyard. The leaves of this tree leaves such a dark tint in the skin, that it was extremely popular tree in our neighbourhood and amongst our relatives. So every time a relative comes, he/she makes sure to take back a packet full of these leaves. And I silently fume, because they would have grazed the entire tree and I would have been left with nothing! ;)

But luckily this tree we had was a type of ever-green breed, so the more you pluck the leaves, faster it grew! So I was never short of marudani whenever I wanted.

Over years, this tree was cut to extend the house; so I moved to the store-bought cones to quench my thirst for Mehndi. Slowly I started practising designs from the books I see, then upgraded to Internet. Now I can make fairly decent designs. Oh, I even did some wedding designs to some of my friend's sisters!!

So here is one of my design, inspired from a design in the Internet. Sadly I don't remember which site it was!

Normal floral pattern with checker-board design on finger-tips

A close-up of the palm

Another click

Hope you enjoyed these designs as much as I did!

Here I come!!

What would happen when a typical Saggitarian lass who has a lot of time, patience and interest in blogging, decides to have a rendezvous with the World of Blogging? Viola, comes in a blog!

Well, blogging is not something new to me; I have already been blogging my experiments in kitchen @ "Curries & Spices". Cooking is not my only passion; I have serious interests in Mehndi designing, Photography, doing little crafts and recently Origami! So instead of cluttering all my interests in one stop, I decided to diversify! So this blog "Demystifying Beauty" is the brain-child of the artist in me. As the name suggests, this blog is completely dedicated to anything and everything related to beauty!

I would like to showcase here some of the Mehndi designs I did, stills that I click every now and then, and by-products of the paper I fold!! Please do drop in your suggestions, comments, rants; I would be more than happy to respond to each and every one of you!