Things are Changing …

I know that I haven’t posted in a while and I am very sorry about that.  I have been going through a transition period with all my social media simply because I’m adding to the kind of content that I post.  Specifically, I am now including my artwork as well.  If you’ve seen my Instagram feed and my YouTube channel you’ll definitely know this.

Here is an example of some of my work and what you can expect to see more from me in the future:

Hopefully I haven’t disappointed anyone by my decision; and for those of you who followed me to only see my henna work, I will still do henna as well.  I’m just going to be a bit more rounded in what I post to include artwork as well.

I’m looking forward to my new direction and I hope you are too. … Thanks for reading and I’ll see you guys next time !


Henna Tribal “Fish” Design

So I finally decided that it was time to add shading into my henna design and, on this occasion, I chose to use the shading method that I first saw Om Henna Om use on YouTube.  If you haven’t seen her henna videos then I would recommend you head over to her channel, because they are amazing !!

Anyhow – moving on ->

This design came about because I wanted to see what my last design (“mandala design with the Rocky hand”: would look like with triangles included in between the mandalas, and as I focussed to get this design done, I didn’t realise that the end result looks like a fish … until my sister pointed it out that is.

Regardless, I’m happy with this design and I hope you guys like it too.  Below you’ll find the pictures of the design, including the stain progression; and the YouTube tutorial for the design.


YouTube Tutorial:

Mandala Design with the Rocky Hand by Shahema

Hi there !

So I’ve finally gotten around to my Mandala henna design for beginners (done with my non-dominant left hand – i.e. the Rocky hand).  It’s taken a few weeks, but here we are.

So picture this … you start off the day bright and early thinking it’s going to be a great one; but then the balance shifts.  Suddenly, everything you do turns to dust.  One henna attempt after another, from 9 in the morning to 7 in the evening, and they All.  Go.  Wrong !  You throw your henna cone down.  Enough !  Can’t do this anymore.  Put your head in your hands and close your eyes.  You breathe long silent breaths.  And then you look up …  there’s no way I’m ending the day like this.  You pick up the cone one last time, and this happens:

Copyright © 2015 Shahema Tafader | Date Created: 28 January 2015

Copyright © 2015 Shahema Tafader | Date Created: 28 January 2015

Yep, it was a long day; but the worst days often do turn into the best ones.

So finally, I have a range of options for you: you have the stain progression pics below, but then you can watch the video on how to do this design either with the YouTube version (which has a voice-over with hints and tips), or the Vine version (which is super short), and you can watch the preview of the YT video from my Instagram video post should you want to, as well … take your pick(s) :-):






Instagram Preview:


And that’s it.  My next YT video is available from 6pm (UK time) this Wednesday and it is a tribal one with shading.  If you want to make sure you don’t miss that then please subscribe.  Finally, I’m happy to reveal that I have a new henna design waiting to be unveiled.  It’s a tattoo design with roses inspired by Beauty and the Beast.  The YT video for this design will be up on 11 March 2015 at 6pm (UK time).  I will reveal the design on Instagram before then 🙂 …

My new routine for making YouTube videos + new YouTube henna video …

Hi guys !

I am really really sorry that I haven’t posted in two weeks.  I got incredibly busy and before I knew it – a couple of weeks had passed.  Rest assured that I haven’t left henna though, in fact, the reason why I got busy is because I have been trying to make a YouTube video for every new design that I create now which naturally means that everything takes twice as long.

My routine for each new design is now:

1) I have to record the design first, which can take several hours as a result of me having to set up the equipment, and then take things slow to make sure I don’t make too many mistakes on camera (which would increase my editing time);

2) I have to take pics of the new design of not only how the design looks with the paste on, but the stain progression pics as well as people comment that they like seeing these in the videos.  The henna stain colour darkens over a 48-72 hour period, so naturally this part can take several days;

3) I then edit the video which can take up to a week further, because not only does this involve making sure that excessive footage is taken out, but it also includes: i) recording a voice-over.  I remember reading a comment under another henna artist’s video asking why there are no instructions in the video if it is a tutorial, and I thought, okay, I want my videos to be as helpful as possible, so I’ll put a voice-over in with hints and tips so there are some instructions; ii) I have to go through all of the pictures and pick the best ones, which can range from just around four, to over 30 pics.  I then put watermarks on these one by one and, as you can imagine, that takes some time;

4) I then post the video on YouTube and schedule it for a date where YT will make the video public for you guys to see.  This does mean that my next video is already up and, I can tell you, that you can see this video on 25 February at 9pm, which is a little over a week (hint, it’s a tribal design with shading !).  Once I upload the video I then go back and add subtitles in for those who cannot hear, or who just want the video on silent, and I also add annotations in with links so that you can click on the end of the video to take you to another video, if you want to see it :-).  So that takes us to the 12 day mark (almost two weeks for one design – yikes !  But I do it for you :-)).

I really hope that nobody is too upset with me for not posting in the last two weeks, and I hope that you can see why my timetable has been a little off.

I will try my hardest to organise my timetable so that I can post every week again, but in the meantime please know that, in the background, I am doing something henna related.

And as I haven’t had a chance to make a post on this design, you can see my new YouTube henna video right here complete with a voice-over with tips on doing the design (so you get to hear my voice for the first time :-/); and stain progressions pics at the end:

And that’s it.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to improve my video and if you want to catch my next design then please subscribe :-).

Simple flower design for beginners

I am very sorry for not posting last week.  I’ve had a very busy couple of weeks, but hopefully my post today will make up for it.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I have been experimenting with Rajasthani henna powder for the first time.  I can honestly say that it is the best henna powder that I have ever used and I have learned a lot in terms of the differences between good and bad henna powders – but that’s for another post.

Today I want to share with you a free-flowed henna design that I created in order to test the Raj powder.  I feel like I was inspired by another henna design when I free-flowed this, but I honestly couldn’t tell you if that is true.

So here it is, firstly the pictures and then below you can see my video versions of the design.  To see the description, you can hover your mouse over the pictures.


Here’s the Vine version of my video:


And here is the YouTube video.  If you haven’t already and you would like to know when my next video is up, please subscribe to my channel.  Also, please let me know what you would like to see me include on my channel, I would love to hear your feedback !


The “Biscuit” Henna Doodle

Copyright © 2014 Shahema Tafader | Date Created: 28 December 2014

Copyright © 2014 Shahema Tafader | Date Created: 28 December 2014


I have a henna doodle for you today which you can see above in picture form.  Eventually, I hope to create this with henna on my hand.  In case you’re wondering, my sister thinks the oval in the middle looks like a biscuit, hence the title.

You might remember from my previous blog that I think a great way to create unique designs is to be inspired by templates (  Well this design is me practising what I preached in that it was created solely by using inspirations from the templates on my pinterest account (  If you would like me to do a blog post showing exactly which templates I relied on then please leave a comment below.

I have three video versions of me doing this design: 1) a Vine version; 2) an Instagram version; and 3) a YouTube version.  In the YouTube video I also provide hints and tips on how I create tone with pencil, for the artists out there.




I hope you enjoyed the video(s) and if you liked them and don’t want to miss future uploads, then please subscribe to my YouTube Channel; and follow me on Vine and Instagram.


Vine – the Untapped Henna Market

So I have been a “viner” for about four weeks now and I can honestly say that I haven’t enjoyed myself more on social media.  Considering I have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and a blog, I feel like I’ve been around enough social media to know when I’ve come across something worth trying.  Vine is just such a thing.

The main reason why I am writing this post is because I want every henna artist to join Vine and help add to the art available for viewing on it.  Let me explain why.  When I first joined Vine, I went in search of great henna videos, and I found very few.  In fact, so few henna videos are uploaded that a week later, my first video was still around the fourth upload if you searched the tag #henna.  This led me to believe that Vine has an untapped market for mehndi lovers.

However, although I want henna artists to join Vine, there does seem to be a catch on the types of videos which get lots of views and which do not.  My videos which are an actual mini-tutorial of a full design, rather than just a six second video of me doing some henna, get more views (“loops”) quicker.  This makes me believe that a full tutorial is far more interesting for Vine users, than just a video showcasing finished henna works or doing small sections of a design.

The key on Vine is how many times a person sticks around to view your video, and that will only happen if the video is interesting enough to be viewed more than once.  Unless you’ve used a mesmerizing time-lapse effect, it’s unlikely that a person will be so hooked on a 6 second teaser of us doing henna that they’ll stick around for more than one view.  Therefore, from what I have seen, the full mini-tutorials do better on Vine.

Just imagine though, how wonderful would it be if video after video was another henna tutorial which you could watch again if you liked, but if you didn’t then you haven’t wasted much time before moving on … six seconds to be precise.  Well that doesn’t exist right now.  In fact, from what I have seen, the vast majority of videos are just clips of people doing a small section of henna.  I would love to see the number of quality henna tutorial videos going up (and I’m really hoping my videos are of quality).

I’m not going to go into detail as to why you should all try it out, but I will say that Vine is a unique app that has a completely different viewing experience which makes it worthwhile.  Plus, there are certain benefits to it for new henna artists in that, if you tag your video, people searching that tag will find it.  On YouTube, even if people search your exact title, the popular YouTubers get priority.  I for one, absolutely love that Vine offers a far better opportunity for new video creators to bloom.  We are on equal footing with those YouTubers who began making videos years ago.

I urge you to try it and if you do, please let me know what you think in the comments below.  Thank you for reading !

2014 in review

I like to keep track of achievements, so even though I had only started to blog a few months back and my stats are building very slowly, I’ve decided to share the annual report for this blog.  I’m hoping that I’ll see an improvement next year.  Thank you to everyone who has followed me this year, and I hope you’ll stick around for the new henna designs that I wish to bring to you in 2015 …

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 230 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Heart Henna Design: Beginners and Intermediate Versions

I’m so excited to finally write a post on this design.  It actually came to me a few weeks ago moments before I was about to fall asleep.  Naturally, I had to wake up and get this one down on paper – there was no way I wanted to forget it.  It’s also the first design on which I have actually put glitter.  So without further ado, here’s my heart henna design first in picture form:

The pictures really don’t do this design justice, but the videos do somewhat make up for it.  Here is the vine mini-tutorial version of the design:

Here is the instagram mini-tutorial version of the design:


Here is the beginners’ version of the design from YouTube:

And here is the full-hand, i.e. intermediate version of the design.  I put the glitter on in the last part of the video:

And that’s all for now.  I hope you guys like this design as much as I do and I’ll see you next time.

Why am I Suddenly Showcasing my Skills ?

Copyright © 2012 Shahema Tafader

Copyright © 2012 Shahema Tafader


For people who know me, they will remember me to be a shy individual who didn’t like talking about the different talents that I have, and their common question today is: why have I suddenly changed my tune to showcasing my artistic ability on social media ?  That’s a valid question, and the simple answer is – to show respect.

My ability to draw was first recognised when I was 6 by my year 3 teacher, Chris.  I had drawn a duck and he immediately noticed its accuracy.  It was only when people started to react adversely towards me that I realised my ability was more than the average persons’.  I would constantly meet people, my own age and older, who so openly boasted about all the things they could do; the whole while being so open and casual with me.  However, the moment I felt comfortable enough to show them what I could do, suddenly things would change.  They avoided my eye-contact; looked uncomfortable; if they complimented me it sounded tense and false; and soon enough – always the same – this would be the last time they ever made an effort to warmly communicate with me again.

These adverse reactions were a common thing with me, and they had a negative impact on me.  Being a person with immense empathy, I felt guilty that I could make a person feel that uncomfortable around me just by showing what I could do.  In fact, I was so concerned with their feelings that: 1) I never acknowledged that I am not doing anything wrong.  Their reactions come from their own insecurities; and 2) I stopped wanting to share my talents because I wanted to spare people from their feelings of insecurities and inferiority.

In school, however, it is my job to attempt to do well, so I couldn’t not show my skills, but in doing so I was branded a “show-off” even though, if anyone was fairly assessing the situation, they would see that I wasn’t paying attention to anyone except my work.  I wasn’t asking anyone, except my closest friends, to take a look at what I was doing, and yet despite this, I was branded a show-off.

As a result of both the adverse reactions from people seeing my skills, and the actual positive attempts at making me feel bad for simply doing what I was good at, I started to feel like I wasn’t allowed to show my skills.  I felt like my talents could exist but they were not permitted to be expressly acknowledged.  However, being a human, I had my limit, and eventually, when I turned 19, I realised that I was being too considerate towards people who are actually happy for me only when I am “beneath” them.

The truth is, the people whose feelings I was protecting did not ever hesitate to show me how much “better” they think they are to me because of all the wonderful skills they have; and frankly, they wouldn’t react adversely to me in the first place if they assumed I was their equal from the beginning.  In my opinion, the only reason a person would react negatively to something as beautiful as a human skill, is if they never wanted or expected another human to equal them.  The truth so often is that people don’t react adversely to another like this if they are not threatened by them.

Naturally, I lost patience with these people, but at the same time, I still wasn’t showcasing my skill, because I was suffering from a mental block ongoing since the age of 17.  Fast forward to 2014, and after a brief conversation with my long lost cousin, I suddenly had a breakthrough.  For the first time it really dawned on me that having a skill is temporary.  I could lose my artistic ability through human illness, like arthritis; or, more certainly, I could die.  Whichever one of these may happen first, the consequence is the same – I will lose my chance at using what I have; and as morbid a consideration as it may seem, what happens when I die and I meet my Creator ?  What am I to say ?

“I did nothing with your talents God.  There is nothing on earth which shows I was there, all because I cared more about sparing another person’s selfish, negative emotions than I did about respecting what you had given me.”

That is not the way I want it to end.  So again, why am I suddenly showcasing my skills ?  It’s simple: to show respect for what I have been given before it’s too late.