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The Henna Page Journal
Renaissance Faire: A Diary
Alissa Hall
Page 2 of 6

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It was just before 8 a.m. when I left the house, having spent the past hour getting into my renaissance costume – which had changed a half dozen times in the past week while I fretted over the weather being either too hot or too cold. I had taken my time getting fully done up “gypsy” makeup (think big gold hoop earrings and heavy eyeliner) since my costume was pretty lame and I was hoping the makeup would “sell” the exotic henna artist look. Once in the car, I said another prayer to Ganesha about the winds, Remover of Obstacles that He is, and to both He and Lakshmi for Their blessings and assistance for the day. I then called Rebecca, my “booth-bitch” and henna assistant extraordinaire, to let her know I was on my way and to ask her if she wanted green chili on her breakfast burrito.

I tried to seem inconspicuous at the restaurant where I ordered our burritos, and made conversation to the lady at the counter about “going to a Renaissance Faire today.” She asks me who drew all over my hands, and I launch into a mini-henna lecture, and hand her one of my business cards. While we’re talking, one of the short order cooks hands me a to-go box and says, “Here’s your order,” to which I say, “Wow! That was fast!” and happily traipse on my way. It isn’t until I’m halfway to Rebecca’s house that the box pops open while sitting next to me on the passenger seat and I see not the two burritos I had ordered, but six!!! WOW!!! I consider for a second going back and then decide instead to say a prayer of thanks for Lakshmi’s bounty – at the very least we’re gonna eat well today, I figure.

Rebecca looks great, her costume seems far more ‘renaissancey’ than my lace-up cotton bodice over a broomstick skirt, and I tell her of our burrito luck as we gas up the car and hit the road. Rebecca gets my burritos ready for me to munch as we go, and we spend the hour’s drive to Santa Fe talking about henna, the importance of terping for events, how I’m not using any aftercare but planning on the treat ‘em and street ‘em approach today, sugaring your paste, and how we both hoped the cold and the winds wouldn’t keep people away (according to the news, the high in Santa Fe would be 68 degrees that day).

I knew my paste was in primo shape, I had made 4 ounces of it earlier in the week and had used some of it for the designs on my hands. On the right hand, I had chosen a Catherine Cartwright-Jones (hereafter referred to as CCJ) traditional looking design, and on the right a wrapping celestial ménage of stars and moons that traveled from the little finger down the hand and around the wrist, and a huge sun design on the palm. I wanted to have plenty of examples to point to when explaining to folks all day how henna would be a slightly different color on different areas of skin.

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