Dandelions Aren’t So Tough

My lawn is real purty this morning. It’s bedecked with random dandelion blossoms. So is the neighbor’s yard… but I know it can’t last. Suburbanites can’t stand dandelions and think they’re weeds. In a few hours their lawnmower man is coming, and away will go the beauty for something… kind of ugly, actually. I’m not sure why people would trade something so lovely for ugly barrenness.

I’ve been trying to remember a lot of things I knew while growing up while learning new skills. I always have dabbled in herbalism, but you can’t just dabble and let the flowers get mowed down. Nooooo. So even though I’m under the weather yet again, I rushed my butt outside and busily set to harvesting dandelions.

The neighbor’s son came up to see what I was doing (as is routine), and when I replied that dandelions were good eating he made such a face. It was the kind of face small children make when you ask them to eat their liver. I was laughing on the inside, but with a straight face I explained that the leaves were good for salads, the roots were good as a coffee substitute as well as medicine, and the blossoms I intended to try to learn how to make jelly with. I also mentioned they were stock full of four essential vitamins like A and K, and two of those vitamins are ones that are missing from your average American diet. Oh hell yes I was in  my yard harvesting dandelions before they got mowed down!

The main reason I think that people would die in an apocalypse is because they’d be sitting in a field of dandelions and never know they could eat.

The dandelion parts are in water and being washed thoroughly right now. I mean, dogs walk around the yard after all. (No sense in grossing out over that. Deer, rabbits, and a host of other critters walk all over the farm as well. In the garden.) I also have one blossoms that had started to turn to seed early in a glass of water, hoping it will open. I’ll take those seeds and cultivate them in a cleaner, more secure place if I can.

Incidentally I completely suck at harvesting dandelions. I only got a few roots, and my goal was to get a bunch. I have enough to start learning with, though. I’ve never dried dandelion roots up for medicine before. We’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime, here’s a video I did talking about more craft stuff.


Total epic craft fail this morning. Man, oh man.

In Jr. High, back when there were still Jr. Highs, my art teacher was Mrs. Bristol. I really liked her. She’s art director or principle or some such now. Good for her. But anyway, there was one thing she complained about early in my first year with her that I never forgot. “Cream puff art.”

Cream puff art, as she explained, was art that wasn’t really art. You took preconceived shapes and made things. You used other people’s ingenuity. In other words, cream puff art is something along the lines of arts and crafts. I think. I mean, it’s been a while.

But anyway. Because of that little lecture, which I can’t even remember the point to nowadays, I became a traditional artist. I learned to paint, to create, to avoid the “Measles” in my compositions, and do basically… stuff. Although I’ve been known to do some “cream puff art” I never really paid attention to the REAL cream puff art. Until now.

Jesus fucking CHRIST but cream puff art is hard. Mrs. Bristol, you’re nuts! It’s not cream puff art. It’s fuck you art, is what it is.

Decoupage is the current bane of my existence. I’ve tried this easy looking bit of cream puff art numerous times so far, and numerous times I’ve managed to ruin the project repeatedly.  For example, yesterday I spent all day along assembling a door sign collage. Sure it was normally the day I spent hanging around the house with the husband, but he was in bed sick and snoring. I was bored. ART!

The project in question is based on the concept of upcycling, which I do like to try to do on occasion. There are people out there who make it their mission to upcycle everything, but in my case I’m lucky to be able to think of how I’m going to upcycle anything. When I do figure something out I get all excited. So excited that I could have been working on The Heavenly Bride. But. But. Upcycling.

I took a tile display board a friend had sent me, cleaned it up, and set to work. I went through my cream puff art folder files. I picked just the right images. I wracked my cream puff mental files for just the right saying. I printed. I managed to get the cameo to cut. I assembled. I glued. And then, the most important step… I coated to protect it from the last step. And let dry overnight.’

This morning I still had a fairly decent looking project, so I took the final plunge. I brought out… the polyurethane.

Do you hear that? The sound off in the distance? Yes, that’s right. It was my project’s death knell.

You can see my good intentions. You can see the offending can of coating. The evil brush that participated in the craft vandalism.
You can see my good intentions. You can see the offending can of coating. The evil brush that participated in the craft vandalism.

Now, I didn’t like the design I had created anyway so it’s not a complete loss. So much as it’s a loss. Let me give you a closeup of part of the damage.


In case you haven’t a clue, like my husband who wanted to know why I was lamenting quietly, if you look around the cut pieces you can see dark splotches. That would be the coating, soaking through all my layers. Ugh.

Well, obviously I’m going to try again. This cream puff art has proven to be a challenge! But it will be a while. I have rules on my work flow. Currently, you see, I’m fulfilling a craft order. This means crafts are “turned on”. When the order is fulfilled, I go back to being a scholar and comic artist again.

Eh. It’s a living. Or it would be, if I got successful at it.