Upcoming Henna Workshop, February 6, 2014 in Brookline

Greetings for new year’s eve! Here is the information about my upcoming henna workshop in February at Brookline Adult and Community Education.

sweetfern studio henna body art, mendhi, alhina, 7ena

 

February 6th, 2014, 6:30-8:30pm

Brookline High School, 115 Greenough St., near the Brookline Hills T stop on the D branch of the Green Line

This course will introduce participants to the traditional art of henna body adornment. Through participation and demonstration, we will cover how to mix your own paste, application, and aftercare. The lecture portion of the class will be an overview of the rich regional variation in styles, customs and beliefs regarding henna use, across the Middle East, North Africa, and the Indian subcontinent.

Click here for registration information

henna palm design, oman, omani, arabic

Omani style palm henna design

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Seasonal Photo, July 22, 2013

Seasonal Photo, July , 2013

Red, purple, green, West Roxbury, MA

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Seasonal Photo, July 11, 2013

Seasonal Photo, July 11, 2013

Butterfly garden, Museum of Science, Boston, MA

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Seasonal Photo, July 2013

Seasonal Photo, July 2013

Star flowers, MFA Japanese garden, Boston, MA

Botanical Bath Bomb Recipe, Simple and Flexible!

bath bombs, recipe, how to, cosmetics

Mixed bath bombs: rose, coffee spice, and wildflower mix

Bath bombs are fun. They fizz. They smell nice. They are also very easy to make. The internet seems full of complicated recipes for making them. Here is an easy one, with optional additions to make it more exciting. Only requires one unusual ingredient and no special equipment!

bath bombs, recipe, how to, wildflowers, instructions

Ingredients:

  • citric acid, 1 cup
  • baking soda, 2 cups
  • epsom salt, 1/2 cup
  • oatmeal, 1/2 cup (optional)
  • flowers/herbs/spices, up to 1/2 cup (optional)
  • water

bath bombs, recipe, how to, wildflowers, instructions

Bath Bomb Ingredient Theory: The baking soda and citric acid are the essential ingredients that make up the bath bomb, the acid and base that constitute the chemical reaction. Epsom salt is good for baths in general, and supposedly helps the bath bombs dry faster. The oatmeal is just added because it’s soothing for the skin. Flowers and herbs are completely optional. They can change the scent and appearance of the bath bombs. Suggested flowers are: chamomile, lavender, rose, clover, hibiscus, etc.  For herbs and spices, you can add things like: cloves, cinnamon, orange peel, mint, etc. Try your own mixes. Some people also add oils for scent. Again, optional.

bath bombs, recipe, how to, wildflowers, instructions

Where to Buy Citric Acid: You don’t need to jump through hoops here. Citric acid is available at most Indian and Arabic grocery stores. Natural food stores sell it too. Sometimes it’s labeled “sour salt.” You can buy it cheaper online, or course, but if you just want a small amount, you should be able to find it locally.

Thrifty tip: Do you have any herbal teas at home already that you particularly like the scent of? Open some teabags and use them in your bath bombs. This is good for testing small amounts of different ingredients to see what works well.

*There are two sets of bath bombs pictured in this tutorial. The small round ones at the top of the page contain the following things:

Rose: rose petals, rose oil

Coffee Spice: finely ground coffee, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves

Wildflower Mix: calendula, lavender, rose, clover, jasmine oil

The bath bombs pictured below in the tutorial (shaped like dixie cups,) have the following ingredients: citric acid, baking soda, epsom salt, oatmeal, chamomile tea, roses (sold as loose tea at many Asian markets), Greek mountain tea, orange blossom water

bath bombs, recipe, how to, herbs, instructions

Chamomile and Orange Blossom bath bombs molded in a Dixie cup

Okay, onto the directions:

1) Mix the dry ingredients together.

bath bombs, recipe, how to, wildflowers, instructions

2) Add water, in tiny increments. The easiest way to do this is with a spray bottle. You can also just add it in drips, but it’s harder to control the amount. You want to mix constantly with your hands until you have a wet-beach-sand consistency. If the mixture starts to fizz a lot, you are adding too much water, too quickly. The mix should look like this and stick together if you scoop it up in your hand. (see below)

bath bombs, recipe, how to, wildflowers, instructions

3) Choose your mold. Anything sturdy and moderately flexible can be used. Craft stores sell molds for this kind of thing, but they’re not necessary unless you want to open up a bath bomb factory in your home. Go through your recycling for good plastic shapes. I used half of a plastic egg from a pair of nylons with success. Small paper cups also work. It’s not the fanciest shape, but it works.

bath bombs, recipe, how to, wildflowers, instructions

4) Pack the mix into the mold firmly. You want to really compact it.

5) Then tip your mold upside down and put it on a flat surface like a tray or plate. Gently tap the mold or flex it a tiny bit, to loosen the bath bomb. If it falls apart, you need to add more water. If it breaks after adding more liquid, fill the mold again and be more delicate when you loosen it.

6)Leave your bath bombs out to dry overnight. They should be hard in 12-24 hours depending on the humidity.

bath bombs, recipe, how to, wildflowers, instructions

Have fun! Practice makes perfect…

P.S. One more interesting point. If you add too much liquid to your first batch (like I did,) and the bath bombs begin to expand, this is what will happen: They fizz all over the place, and dry as a massive pancake shaped lump, studded with flowers and smelling like roses…This is still use-able! You can break it up and use it in a bath. It just lacks the fancy shape of its more elegant cousins.

bath bombs, recipe, how to, wildflowers, instructions