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My Beloved Is To Me A Cluster Of Henna Blossoms

Posted by infinitygoods on March 11, 2008

http://the160acrewoods.wordpress.comFor more participants Spreading God’s Word with Word Filled Wednesday, visit Amy Deanne at The 160 Acre Woods.”My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of Engedi.” Song of Songs 1:14

This is the henna blossom which produces the temporary ink for the Middle Eastern and Indian body art tradition.

Henna Blossom temporary body art in henna by Jamie McAlpin with artist's permission

Henna blossom temporary body art by Jaimie McAlpin with artist's permission

You may freely reprint the following article or place it on your website by adding the statement: Courtesy of www.kingtutshop.com. This fascinating plant is world wide known for the beautiful coloring dye that is used by the Orientals in coloring their hands and body. The Egyptians are said to have prepared both an oil and an ointment from the flowers for making the limbs supple. Egyptian Royalty were said to dye their hair with Henna leaves. Henna’s botanical name is Lawsonia Inermis,its common name is Jamaica Mignonette, Mendee, Egyptian privet, smooth Lawsonia. Its Arabic name is henna and the most popular Indian name is Mendhi.

The earliest civilizations that can be proved to have used henna include the Babylonians, Assyrians, Sumerians, Semites, Ugaritics and Canaanites. The leaves of the henna plant are the source of a red-brown dye widely used for body art, known as mendhi in South Asia. First used in the Near East and South Asia, henna art is now popular around the world.

There are numerous artifacts from Iraq, Palestine, Greece, Egypt, Crete and Rome from 1400 BCE to 1AD that show women with henna patterns on their hands. The early center of the use of henna as a woman’s adornment seems to have been in the eastern Mediterranean, where it grows wild. It was used by the Canaanite women in pre-biblical times The Canaanites spread their traditions, including the use of henna, across North Africa between 1700 and 600 BCE, specifically establishing the Berber traditions of henna in Morocco.

Henna was used in Palestine from the earliest historical period, and there are Roman records of henna being used by Jewish people living in Jerusalem during the historical period of the birth of Christ.

When Islam began in the 6-7th centuries AD, henna was incorporated into the customs of Muslims from the western Middle Eastern women’s henna traditions that were widespread and long established. As Islam expanded quickly into other countries, the use of henna went with it. All of the countries that were part of the Islamic world have used henna at some time, most frequently as part of wedding celebrations. Most of them continued to celebrate the “Night of the Henna” and regard henna as a beautiful and suitable ornament for women until present day.

Since 1890 it has been widely used in Europe for tinting the hair, usually in the form of a shampoo, many shades being obtainable by mixing with the leaves of other plants, such as indigo. As a dye for the skin or nails the powder may be mixed with lemon juice, made into a paste with hot water, and spread on the part to be dyed, being allowed to remain for one night.

The parts used are the leaves that are dried and then crushed to form a dark green powder. The flowers and also the fruit are also used. Flowers are numerous, small, white or rose coloured and fragrant. The plant lives scarcely in dry decidious forests, widely cultivated as a hedge plant. It is mostly found in Egypt, India, Kurdistan, Iran, Syria.

It is widely cultivated in tropical countries but probably native to North Africa and Asia. It is widely naturalized in the West Indies and Mexico where it is known as “mignonette.” Its leaves produce the henna or alhenna of the Arabs (cyprus of the ancients), a yellow die which is used in Egypt and elsewhere by women to color their nails, and by men to die their beards, and for other similar uses including horses manes and tails. It is known in the West Indies as “Egyptian privet”, and sometimes as “reseda”.

The small, white and yellow, heavy, sweet-smelling flowers are borne on dwarf shrubs 8 to 10 feet high and reaching a height of up to 6 meters, the plant has fragrant white or rose-red flowers.

Henna is planted today primarily as an ornamental hedge, but is probably best known for the dried, ground leaves traditionally used to produce colorfast orange, red, and brown dyes.

The constituents of Henna is found in it in a brown substance of a resinoid fracture, having the chemical properties which characterize the tannins, and therefore named hennotannic acid. Dried, powdered leaves of henna contain about 0.5 to 1.5 percent lawsone, the chief constituent responsible for the dyeing properties of the plant. Henna also contains mannite, tannic acid, 2-hydroxy-1:4-naphthoquinone resin mucilage, gallic acid, glucose, mannitol,fat, resin and mucilage are also present.The colouring matter is the quinone .and napthaquinone.

USES

Medicinal Action and Uses

As a medicinal plant, henna has been used as an astringent, antihemorrhagic, intestinal antineoplastic, cardio-inhibitory, hypotensive, and a sedative. It has been employed both internally and locally in jaundice, leprosy, smallpox, and affections of the skin. The fruit is thought to have emmenagogue properties.

It has also been used as a folk remedy against amoebiasis, headache, jaundice, ranging from beriberi to burns and bruises ans leprosy.Henna extracts show antibacterial, antifungal, and ultraviolet light screening activity. Henna has exhibited antifertility activity in animals and may induce menstruation.

Henna has been used as medical treatment for wide range of ailments to cure almost anything from headache to leprosy and other skin disorders. It is used to create an instant ‘Scab’ on large areas & is believed to have antiseptic properties. As a cooling agent it is used for burning of skin. It also has great dandruff fighting ability.

Henna is also used for rheumatic and arthritic pains. Alcoholic extract of the leaves showed mild anti- bacterial activity against Staph aureus and E. coli’. Antibacterial and antifungal activities have been confirmed .The antihaemorrhagic properties are attributed to lawsone. The naphthoquinone has emmenogogue and oxytocic actions.

The dried leaf and petiole of henna are generally recognized as safe when used as a color additive for hair. A distilled water prepared from them is used as a cosmetic, and the powdered leaves have been in use from the most ancient times in Eastern countries for dyeing the hair and the nails a reddish-yellow. Traditionally henna is used to decorate hands and feet during weddings and other ceremonies.

Henna features in the Siddha system of medicine. Siddha physicians consider parts of henna to be astringent, detergent, deodorant, cooling and a sedative. Fresh leaves mixed with vinegar or lime juice are bandaged onto the soles of the feet to treat ‘burning feet’, a symptom of beriberi. Ground leaves are applied to sore joints to ease rheumatism. The juice of the plant can be applied to the skin for headaches, and the oil is applied to hair to prevent it from going grey.

Its flower oil relieves muscular pains, while its seeds are used as a deodorant and to regulate menstruation. Henna flowers induce sleep, cure headaches and bruises. Leprosy has been treated by henna bark, as well as by an extract of leaves, flowers and shoots. The bark has also been used to treat symptoms of jaundice and enlargement of the liver and spleen. It can be applied to the skin to treat eczema, scabies, fungal infections and burns.

The Ayurvedic system uses the henna leaves to treat vitiligo (pale patches on the skin where pigment is lost), and the seeds are used to cure fever. Fruit oil is a folk remedy used in disorders causing hardening of the liver and diaphragm, and an ointment made from young fruit is used to prevent itching.

You may freely reprint the following article or place it on your website by adding the statement: Courtesy of www.kingtutshop.com.

Posted in art, Arts and Crafts, bible, Blogroll, carnival, Christian, Christianity, Church, culture, education, Faith, Family, God, God's Word, Health, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Islam, Jewish, Judaism, life, reading, religion, Spiritual, spirituality, Spreading God's Word, women, Word Filled Wednesday | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

I’m Still Dreaming; I’d Rather Be Singing

Posted by infinitygoods on January 20, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) I have a dream speach; Print designed by Tio and posted on Flickr’s public files

Would you rather be singing too?

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WFMW — Put Used Christmas Cards To Good Use

Posted by infinitygoods on December 18, 2007

wfmwbluebanner.jpgBe sure to see my other Advent and Christmas ideas below too. I save some of my Christmas greeting cards because I’m the sentimental type, but here are some great uses for those who usually just discard them in the trash. These are some of the uses I find for the ones which do not hold special value to me. I love comments 😉 Also, if you have more ideas be sure to let all of us know what they are.

  1. Give them to a teacher (always ask first when giving). Many preschool, kindergarten and early grade teachers need these cards (Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. too!) for their students to do paper crafts in class. Sometimes they use them to make collages to send cards to soldiers, senior citizens or the homeless. Some teachers will have their students use them to create a priceless gift to their parents. Some teachers will use them for their own bulletin boards to make the classroom more festive.
  2. Give them to a student artist or a professional artist. One of the professional artists at our church asks the office to save all the cards we receive for use as inspiration, models, etc. Some artists will separate the various colors and turn them into pulp for use as papier mache and handmade paper. Others use them as found objects for their art or even for installations.
  3. Give them to a church or senior group. When I was involved with our monthly Senior Luncheon group, the organizer would always be on the lookout for seasonal greeting cards to use as nametags, placecards, To/From tags and decorations. At Christmas and Valentine’s Day each senior would receive a card made from these used greeting cards. The card would be cut in half so that the side written on would be discarded. The picture side would either be folded in half or glued to a piece of paper and a personal message would be added for the senior. You have no idea how much joy it brought to some of these seniors. For some of them, this would be the only card anyone would give them. The church and the volunteers did not have a special card budget, so these recycled ones would be it or there would be nothing.
  4. Use them for scrapbooking. As we become more and more conscious of our environment, printers and card companies are using acid free paper and inks so they can be used to make some fancy frames, backgrounds, clip art, etc. for our photo albums and scrapbooks. Many cards today are even made by hand and have that three-dimensional effect that so many scrapbookers are looking for.
  5. Give them to your child for cutting. Younger children love to cut paper, and cardstock gives them a different texture to manipulate. Manipulatives are very important for a young child’s development and for fine motor skills. The ones with layers, ribbons, pop-ups, etc. can all be taken apart and possibly reconstructed by the child. Children can use the pictures to illustrate their own stories. Old magazines also work well for this.
  6. Save them until next year, and children can decorate their own small packages.
  7. Help your children make next year’s Advent calendar. You’ll need one card for the main scene in the front, from which you will cut out the 25 windows (cut three sides only, door-style). With a pencil, outline the windows on a piece of paper. You’ll need one or more cards for the back where you’ll glue the 25 mini-pictures to the outlines on the piece of paper. Then glue that paper to the back of the main scene with the 25 mini-pictures showing through the windows. Next year, you’ll bend back one window each day of Advent. If you do the craft this year, it will help your children transition from too much excitement during the pre-Christmas rush and too little excitement in the post-Christmas letdown and boredom before returning to school. This craft is not about making the prettiest, most professional-looking calendar (you can buy that at the store), it’s about letting your children practice gluing, cutting, aligning and using their creativity, while letting them do something more than just watch TV and boosting their self-esteem. If you put away the calendar(s) with the Christmas decorations, you will not lose them during the long year ahead. You can also elect to tuck in all your used cards with the decorations and they will be waiting for your children’s creative talents next Advent season.
  8. Another good child craft is to use cookie cutters (or a glass for a simple circle) to outline 25 scenes, cut them out with scissors, punch a small hole on either left/right or top/bottom and string them garland style. Your children can add bows in between each scene, or add beads, etc. Their creativity is the limit. You also have the option to add the numbers 1-25 on them. It will make a nice swag for across the mantle, a vertical garland to hang in their room or for the homeschool classroom for next year’s Advent.
  9. Frame them. Many cards are art reproductions of the Masters, and some may be from unknown artists at Hallmark or American Greetings but just as pretty, and will make cute holiday pictures to decorate your home. Get a few small frames from the dollar store (sometimes even two or three for $1) or insert them in frame ornaments for your tree, which have become so popular in recent years. There’s no law that says you must put in a family snapshot. You could put in a reproduction of the Holy Family or a cutesy teddy bear with a holly wreath if that’s more along your decorating theme (shop those after-Christmas sales for bargains).
  10. Our son, the future scientist, tells me the computer chip components from musical Christmas cards can be reused for scientific and robotic purposes.
  11. If you receive cards from Europe, they have a paper insert which is not glued to the card as they are here in the U.S., so you can just save/toss the insert and reuse the card as a brand new greeting card next year. All you’ll have to do is buy some envelopes.
  12. One senior citizen I used to know would cut away the written portion and send the picture portion as a Christmas postcard. On her tiny, fixed income, she would also save on postage, yet she was able to continue her social tradition of sending cards to everyone she knew. She said the ones which were not embossed worked best as it was more difficult to see that they were reused greeting cards.
  13. Save the written part of the card. Yes, you read that correctly. Professionals write these cards and say it better than most of us can, so save your favorite samples and incorporate them in your own greetings. Soon, even blank cards will be of no concern to you even if you are normally completely tongue tied. This works for birthday and especially sympathy cards.

For the rest of the Works For Me Wednesday participants, head to Rocks in My Dryer.

If you missed any of my Advent and Christmas ideas, just click below.

If you missed any of my household tips, just click below. I also have these as a separate page you can access any time at the header on top.

Posted in Advent, art, Arts and Crafts, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Cards, Caring, carnival, Children, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, crafts, culture, Family, Holidays, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, Mail, Memories, Noel, Photography, Recycle, Reuse, Rocks In My Dryer, scrapbook, scrapbooking, Tips, Tradition, Uncategorized, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

‘Hey! That Looks Like a Jackson Pollock’

Posted by infinitygoods on October 1, 2007

Digital photography should be part of your children’s lives. We have allowed our son to take digital photos since preschool and are always amazed at what he will come up with. You see he doesn’t always take “traditional” shots the way most adults would. He prefers to experiment. Of course there are the regular snapshots to record memories in the family album, but for the most part he experiments.

For example, while most adults would bring a tripod for a nighttime photo shoot, our son gently shook his camera every which way to see which would render the best special effects of light. And the experimenting does not stop there, it continues after capture in Photoshop and other professional artist programs we own.

A few nights ago during a full moon over the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, CA, he came up with these modern art versions. They are unretouched. (Click on the image to see full size.)

Moon I

Moon II

Moon III

“Hey! That looks like a Jackson Pollock!” he exclaimed, quite pleased with the results and himself when he downloaded this one on the computer:

Pollock

I’ve also put these photos in Jigsaw puzzle form for enjoyment of adults and children alike. Perhaps this will also encourage your children or you to experiment with the art and science of photography.

Pollock Jigsaw Puzzle

Moon I Jigsaw Puzzle

Moon II Jigsaw Puzzle

Moon III Jigsaw Puzzle

I’ve also added some children’s art and photography books to our featured pages at infinitygoods.com as well as a documentary about the discovery of a new Pollock painting. The DVD gets 3 thumbs way up from our family, with one word of counsel that, as the title suggests, there are 4-letter words which have been bleeped in that movie. Your children won’t hear the actual words, only the bleeps, but just to forewarn you. “Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?” also gives you a very interesting look at how the art world thinks and keeps itself in a closed circle, and how art is authenticated.

Additionally I’d like to propose that you put a neckstrap on your digital camera and make it a rule for your child that the camera must always be around his neck to photograph (just like a professional), because you know how a 3 year old just suddenly drops his toys? They will do the same thing with your expensive digital camera.

I would also suggest that you take your own photos right along with them. You will not only rediscover the world through brand new eyes, but very importantly it will boost your child’s self-esteem as he feels so proud to do something with mommy or daddy.

Posted in art, education, Family, homeschooling, life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »