Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
However, I put some dandelions in the toaster oven when they had closed up. I'm not quite sure what my motivation was to do this... exhaustion, perhaps? I guess I was sort of thinking about what happens when you put Peeps in the microwave... that maybe something cool and unexpected may happen to dandelions? Well, whatever, I was right. They didn't turn pink, but they did fluff up. About half of them opened up and puffed out and turned into a seed heads.
So, I tried out candying one of the seed heads... not as easy as expected. It ended up all goopy and lumpy.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I began thinking about how this blog functions because we all know that I am not getting anywhere near 267 comments for each of my posts. And I know that I am not a celebrity and my base of supporters is probably significantly smaller than the the entire American public listening to the radio and watching television. I am updating those who are interested on a research project, not my way of life and style. But, in some sense, this project has become a way of life... checking on the baby dandelions everyday, hanging out on the studio researching dandelions instead of watching You Tube videos and making objects. I was also thinking that I have a very face-to-face relationship with many people that are followers of the project... that those who are interested in the project do more than just post a comment... that those who are interested are more real than, say, Candice in TX.
Ian recently emailed me and told me that the blog is too convenient on it's own... which I agree with.... and I decided that is the nature of any blog. You get back exactly what you want.
oh yeh, and i meant to say, in the picture i sent, see how the other wildflowers are all purple hues, the pink dandelion would fit right in, the yellow was so bright and stark when i would come across it on these rough headlands.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I've been thinking a lot lately about the people that come in and out of life... it seems as though, at least lately, relationships and friendships continue to fluctuate. One minute one person is somewhere, and then next minute they are somewhere else, and all the meanwhile I'm over here and trying to get over there.... and then sometimes we just happen to meet in the middle... sometimes we stay for a long while, or a little while.
And really though the same thing could be said about thinking/ figuring things out... sometimes everything clicks and we meet in the middle and then, everything works.
The dandelions at the Crane are growing much bigger. One of them is over 9 inches with broad wide leaves and it's growing a thick maroon base. Another update: the carnations in the studio are still alive... and not droopy at all... hooray Super Fresh on Columbus Blvd.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I was always under the impression that blowing the seeds off a dandelion were like blowing the candles out on a birthday cake. If you blow them all out, your wish comes true. Similarly, if you close your eyes and make a wish, and blow all the seeds off then your wish comes true.
I always wonder where all the seeds end up the same way I wonder where balloons go when they are let go. I know that the whole "wind dispersal" seed method is part of what makes dandelions capable of sowing their seeds so easily... the seeds just probably end up everywhere, and then end up turning into a dandelion.
And, more things that I stumbled into:
To the Dandelion
The Dandelion and the Bee
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Back to the city and to go check on the dandelions in a few hours.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I was right to think that coming back here would be a good thing for me. I went over to the Clarke's house tonight and got a good deal of encouragement and a few laughs. They suggested beets... which I will try. They also suggested strawberries and raspberries which were on my list of things to try as well. I'm also going to try to candy them with pink sugar instead of white... Mrs. Clarke was candying violets and they were just gorgeous. She has more patience than I do for those things. We talked a good deal about Martha Stewart.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I am back at the drawing board, but with a glimmer of hope in the form of red food dye. Tomorrow I am heading to my parents house for about 36 hours which, should, shed some light onto a few things. I'll be sure to see the Clarkes and a few other close family friends who have been following the project closely... some fresh opinions/ fresh sets of eyes... if anything, a little more greenery around me could definitely do me some good.
On Saturday my good friend, Holly, and I went and picked dandelions all morning. She and I used to go for runs near where I have been picking and we had a really good time wandering our old stomping ground... well, at least I did. We (after a little of my convincing) stopped for ice cream on our way back into the city. There are some things that never change, but always make me smile. When we eat ice cream, somehow, we almost always finish eating at the same time.
There's something satisfying about those little "ah-ha" moments where clarity is restored and things sort of make sense again, like eating ice cream with a close friend. Tomorrow= clear head... new thought process... I have eleven days and a lot of sorting, thinking, and rearranging to do.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
...nothing... I'm thinking that because the vinegar didn't do anything the first time around because egg dye is made with vinegar
Absolutely nothing... except turning the ammonia yellow? Strange?
Ah, now... but what about red? That's pretty close...
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I tried three things today... no luck as of yet. Although the red food coloring looks like it's having some impact on one of the dandelions that has already gone to seed. I'm leaving the studio for the the evening, and will be checking on it tomorrow morning... fingers crossed!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Temple Today Newsletter
Thursday, July 16, 2009
* Temple students take state budget concerns to Harrisburg: Temple Student Government (TSG) leaders delivered approximately 3,000 letters expressing "extreme concern" about Gov. Rendell's budget proposal, which would cut $31.5 million in state funding to the university.
* Another season of madness: Historian says popular Mad Men series realistically depicts power constructs of the 60s.
* Summer Blog Upddate: The Pink Dandelions Project:Tyler School of Art student Nicole Wilson chronicles her research work in attempting to create a new, pink breed of dandelion. Her online journal, which also includes recipes for candied dandelions and dandelion cookies, is one of three new student blogs added this week.
* Hope floats: Local middle school students participate in Raft Rally as part of CST's 14-day ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp.
* Just for fun: New NIH grant funds research on how free-time activities can help recovery from mental illness.
* College of Engineering expands into Middle East: New 2+2 agreement will bring students from United Arab Emirates to Temple.
For daily Temple University headlines, announcements and media mentions, as well as PDFs of recent issues of the Temple Times, visit the Online Newsroom at www.temple.edu/newsroom.
Below are highlights of Temple-sponsored events. For complete listings, visit the http://calendar.temple.edu, where you can sign up for event notices, create RSS feeds and filter to see specific categories.
* Sunday Evening Summer Concert Series: SUNDAY, June 12. 6:30 p.m., Ambler Campus Learning Center, front lawn. Catch the second concert in the summer series as Steve & Steve take the stage. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy a musical summer atmosphere. For details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Temple Today is published by the Office of University Communications at Temple University. For more information about Temple Today, including how to submit news and events, visit the Online Newsroom at www.temple.edu/newsroom and select Daily e-mail
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Thursday, July 16, 2009
I have a slew of reasons, mind you, why I am after such a ridiculous, yet arduous task. I wrote this out a while ago:
Today I, also, met with a good friend who I have not seen since May. It was good to hear a fresh voice and opinion about the project. He asked me if I had been writing about the dandelions. I told him that I was but that it was easier for me to write out an answer to a question than it was for me just sit down and write about how I feel about them... maybe, though, the blog on some level functions as that forum for me.
I see art making as a means of understanding like I see research as a means of understanding. I see them both as one in the same. Art making brings to light those things that we cannot comprehend, and maybe to some extent, I would argue, cannot fully grasp. And research is a means of figuring out the "why" in the world. Art making is a means of research and a way to figure things out and similarly research can be a means of art making and a way to figure things out.
In any case, this performance, art making, research, figuring out how to make a pink dandelion... it has about two more weeks. I am still of the mindset, as naive as it sounds, that if one believes that they can do something then they will be able to do it. And, perhaps, maybe it's not just the end result (the pink dandelion) or just the act of making (figuring out and researching how to make a pink dandelion). Perhaps there's more to the questions that come up when reading the blog, or the suggestions that I get when I talk to someone on the street, or the looks that I get when I'm picking the last flowering dandelions of the season, or the basic question that I hear ten times a day (but not to worry, it never gets old), "How are the dandelions coming?"
Don't worry... they are doing just great!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
"So you're doing some serious scientific artistic work eh? I can't imagine."
Yes... I am doing some serious work.
I am still on track. Although I do not have a pink dandelion yet, I do not have this (Ian sent me this and said, "i don't know how you mutate them, but weird things have been observed..."). In any case, since he sent it to me, I found this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this. I'm going to stick to trying to make fantasy reality... and something pretty.
I painted dandelions today... they look a little sad in the real, but not too bad in pictures:
Mr. Clarke suggested more light for the dandelions growing in the Crane. Last night I put another three clamp lights on the structure. We will see!
It may be the nice day or my fairly great mood from finding that penny, but this morning I decided that I was going to adopt some full grown dandelions to keep the baby dandelions in my studio company. Let it be known that this idea is easier said than done. I now fully understand why it is almost impossible to get rid of dandelions when people don't want them in their gardens.
I went to the park with my newly bought trowel... and they wouldn't come all the way out of the soil. I would get really deep down next to the roots and then the root would (unbeknownst to me) turn suddenly. Then I would end up cutting the root in half (on accident)... leaving the half with the flower (the half that I wanted) incapable of being transplanted. I gave up after about an hour of this... it happened every single time, every single dandelion that I came across. Needless to say, there will be no Big Brother/ Big Sister Program in the studio.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
And when I asked Ian:
as for casting/ molding dandelions.. jeezz.. you can make one time use plaster molds the facing half of a flower by laying the flower down and mixing plaster and putting it on quite thin when it goes creamy, not going past the center line of the half. when this sets carefully - tweezers - pull all the flower bits out and you can then dampen the plaster and put in hot wax, when it sets up cut away excess and you have wax of half the flower.. can then take this wax and use it for a lost wax casting technique..
My friend, Faith, is good with making molds and she said that she'd help me.
Pots (lots and lots)
Red food coloring
Carnations (both white and pink)
Pink flowers (assorted)
**things may still be added to this list**
Adam, on Saturday, said that his younger brother (who apparently is very into flowers) thinks that altering the pH of the soil isn't going to do anything. I, frankly, agree... but I figure that anything at this point is worth a shot.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
I believe that I would rank today as a success.
I woke up early this morning to go pick dandelions. I always find that as stressful as the drive is up Broad Street (past both hospitals) but it's always worth it. I get out of my car and can just set my mind to searching for something and I know what it looks like and they're usually easy to spot. This morning was a nice morning and I found a lot quickly, which made me smile.
My parents have a way of always showing up early for any event. I should start telling them that things start a half an hour later than they do so that they show up fifteen minutes late... and then we'd be running on the same schedule. Mr. and Mrs. Clarke helped me with a lot of the preliminary planning and it was nice that they were able to come and finally see everything together and in the space. And it was really nice that friends were able to stop by and everyone could talk about the project together.
Tomorrow will be a planning day. I will be making a list of materials and supplies, tying up loose ends in my research so that Monday I can get down to business and really turn this studio into a makeshift laboratory/ workshop.
Friday, July 10, 2009
I have two recipes for dandelion cookies, one that Mrs. Clarke found for me and one that I found online. I suggest adding more flour to the one that Mrs. Clarke gave me (which is the first recipe) and the 1 3/4 cup of flour to the second recipe.
DANDELION FLOWER COOKIES
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup dry oatmeal
1/2 cup dandelion flowers
Blend the oil and honey and beat in the 2 eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, oatmeal. Gently add the dandelion flowers. Using a teaspoon, drop the batter onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet.* Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
Yield: 2 dozen
From Pat Clarke via Press-Enterprise Newspaper
1/2 CUP shortening
1/4 CUP + 2 TBSP white sugar
1/4 CUP + 2 TBSP brown sugar
1/2 TSP vanilla
1/2 TSP soda
1/4 TSP salt
1/4 CUP yellow dandelion petals (more or less to taste) - washed and patted dry
1 1/4 to 1 3/4 CUPS all purpose flour (less for drop cookies, more for shaped cookies)
Cream together the shortening and sugars.
When light and fluffy, add the vanilla and egg. Beat well.
Mix in all the dry ingredients, including the dandelion petals.
Drop by spoonfuls or roll into balls about 1/2 inch round, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees F for about 7 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown.
Mrs. Clarke also told me how to make these and it was pretty simple... brush on egg whites and sprinkle on superfine sugar. She showed me violets that she had candied and they were a lot neater than these guys that I did today. I'm a little clumsier than she is I guess, but I resorted to dunking the egg white covered dandelion flowers in the sugar. They are strangely delicious. I always thought that sour and sweet went well together... these are more like bitter and sweet, but it's a very interesting taste combination.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
So, I emailed her:
My name is Nicole Wilson and I am a student at Tyler School of Art/ Temple University in Philadelphia. This summer I received a research grant to create a pink dandelion. My professor and mentor, Ian Burns, recently showed me your project to create a blue dandelion and suggested that I contact you. I update my research at http://pinkdandelionproject.
I was wondering if you have had any success in creating a blue dandelion or if your project is purely speculative?
I look forward to hearing back from you!
And, I heard back from her:
Monday, July 6, 2009
subject Re: Thank You!/ Pink Dandelion Project
date Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 2:03 PM
subject Re: Thank You!/ Pink Dandelion Project
Sunday, July 5, 2009
yeh, i would think july 4th would be a dud - unless you can make dandelion fireworks.-- oh HANG ON! that is the name of a kind of firework display.. a quick google search yields a bunch of stuff.. you might be able to get some interesting stuff for your blog at least
So, here are some images from a Google search:
And then this video is from the firework display at the Art Museum last night:
Friday, July 3, 2009
I have a stack of books though to go through this weekend so I'll still be able to get some work done despite the studio closure. It seems as though every outlet that begin to research hits a dead end. Ian sent me an email telling me to make more posts with the dandelions and about the dandelions... and he's right, I should, but all the dead ends are getting depressing. The idea of a pink dandelion fills me with the same sort of hope that seeing an elk does. Thinking about it makes me smile like when I get a cappuccino in the morning and the foam on top looks like a heart.
So, mark your calenders! On July 11 from 1 pm to 3 pm I'll be hosting an event at the Crane to get some input and help. I'd like anyone and everyone who is interested in the project to stop by and offer up advice, ideas, questions, comments and support. I'm planning to make dandelion wine and candied dandelions for everyone and to learn a lot!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Arnold and Connie Krochmal
New York Times Book co, Inc NY, NY 1973
• Biennial or perennial growing 2 to 12 inches tall
• Deeply serrated leaves form basal rosette
• Roots use to increase urine flow, as a laxative, as a tonic, to treat liver and spleen ailments, and to stimulate appetitive
• Tea of boiled flowers for heart trouble
• Juice in roots to treat liver diseases
• Cooked young greens to purify blood- Indians
• Root tea to cure heartburn- Indians
• Paste of ground leaves and bread dough for bruises
• Leaves for salad greens, flowers to make wine
Common Weeds of the United States p 438-9
Prepared by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture
Dover Publications Inc NY, NY 1971
• Taraxcum officinale weber
• Perennial herb from thick taproot often several feet deep
• Many-branched crowns
• Milky juice
• Reproducing seeds by new shoots from the root crowns
• “Stems very short and wholly underground producing a rosette of leaves a the ground surface”
• “Leaves from 5 to 40 cm long variable in shape from lobeless or entire to being divided into many shallow deep-cut lobes with long soft points and intermediate small teeth, a larger lobe at the tip, or the edges merely toothed narrowed at the base into a short hollow petiole, usually pubescent”
• “Flower heard 2-5 cm in diameter in flower, solitary at the end of a naked hollow stalk 5-75 cm long”
• “Receptacle flat or convex, naked”
• “Flowers all strap-shaped ray flowers, golden-yellow, 5-notched at the tip, 100-300 per head”
• “Bracts (phyllaries) green to brownish, surrounding the flower heads in 2 rows, the outer row hanging down and one-third to one-half as long as the inner, erect row”
• “Achene yellowish to greenish-brown, 3-4mm long, 5- to 8- ribbed on each side with minute curved spines on the rib margins of the upper half of the seed”
• “Beak threadlike, 2-4 times longer than the body of the seed, topped by a tuft of whitish hairs (pappis), 3-4 mm long, persistent”
• “Flowering and fruiting from march to frost of throughout the year in warmer areas”
• “Nearly ubiquitous weed in waste areas, lawns, overgrazed pastures and meadows, open fields and roadsides from sea level up to about 12000 ft elevations”
• Mainly a lawn pest, but also in hayfields and pastures, often an impurity in Kentucky bluegrass and forage grass seeds. Introduced and naturalized from Eurasia: perhaps also native of northern America. Throughout most to the United States”
Weeds friends of foe? P 116-7
Readers Digest Association Inc Pleasantville, NY 2002
• “At maturity, the spent flower closes up into a cylindrical mass of silky hairs and seeds. The flower stem lengthens even more to raise the seed head above surrounding plants so that the wind can freely disperse the seed”
• Sun, well-drained soil, year-round with peak bloom in spring
• Ground hugging but seed puff rises 12 to 18 inches tall
Desk Reference to Natures Medicine p 130 and 131
Steven Foster and Rebecca L. Johnson
National Geographic Washington D.C.
• Family asteraceae
• “Small perennial with a stout taproot, dandelion has long, toothed leaves that form a basal rosette. Yellow. Solitary flowers are followed by spherical, fluffy “seed” heads. All parts of the plant exude a somewhat butter, milky latex”
• “Native to Europe and Asia, dandelions grown almost everywhere throughout the world’s temperate regions. They thrive in nitrogen [rich soil in pastures, gardener, and lawns and are cultivated in Germany and France”
• “The first recoded reference to dandelion in Chinese medical texts was in A.D. 659. The herb was used to treat digestive disorders, appendicitis, breast inflammation, to stimulate milk flow and to reduce abscesses in the breast and intestines. By the tenth century, Arabian physicians were writing about dandelion in their medical journals. Once introduced to Europe, dandelion became a prized medicinal plant. European herbalists incorporated it into remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea. They also used it for liver complaints. Native Americans used dandelion for decoctions to treat kidney disease, swellings, skin problems, heartburn, and dyspepsia.”
• “In traditional Chinese medicine today, dandelion is prescribed for ling and breast tumors, jaundice and hepatitis, mastitis, abscesses, and urinary tract infections. In Western herbal medicine, the herb is considered a remedy for a wide range of conditions that can benefit from mild diuretic action, including poor digestion, liver disorders, urinary tract infections, and high blood pressure. Fresh or dried dandelion preparations are used to stimulate appetite and ease stomach distress. Dandelion root is used as a mild laxative and to improve digestion, as well as treat gallstones, jaundice, and other liver problems. Dandelion is also used for chronic joint complaints, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. IT is still respected as one of the best tonic herbs for building the blood and combating anemia. The juice of the dandelion root is used to treat diabetes”.
• “Dandelion contains a variety of acids, sugars, and other nutrients (iron, zinc, boron, calcium, silicon, and especially potassium), and vitamins A, B complex, C and D. Despite the fact hat dandelion as long been recommended as a diuretic, studies of its potent diuretic properties have yet to identify the substance or substances that are responsible for this action. Some researchers have proposed that dandelion’s diuretic activity may simply be the result of the high potassium content of its leaves and roots. While most conventional diuretics cause a loss of potassium from the body, dandelion contains so much potassium tat despite its diuretic effects, potassium levels do not generally decline. Some preliminary studies on diabetic mice suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels. Extracts of dandelion have been shown to have antimicrobial and antibacterial effects and some animal studies have shown it to have moderate anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In test tube studies, dandelion extracts have also shown antitumor activity against liver, colon, and melanoma cancer cell lines”
Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants, Second Edition p 64 and 65
Stackpole Books, 2008, Mechanicsburg, PA
• “Often the first wildflowers that foretell the spring and one of the last in the fall”
• “Composed of numerous, individual, tiny flower tubes, each broadening into as slim long strap. The golden tubes are arranged on a round disk with the straps extending in a circle, those at the edges unfurling first”
• “Each of the flowers nods by itself at the end of a long hollow stalk that, when broken, emits a bitter milky juice similar to what oozes from the cut or abraded roots. Directly beneath the golden head is a verdant cup composed of slender, pointed, green leaves, a few of which twist back toward the cylindrical stem. Nights and on rainy days, the leaves of the cup lift and cover the gilded pedals with their greenery”
• “Once the blossoms wither, the round disks that hear them become white with the unbranched, short, white hairs that radiate in tiny tufts from the tips of each of the multitudinous sees.”
• “The dandelion’s flowers and seed heads are a favorite spring and summer food of Canada geese, grouse, partridge, pheasant, prairie chickens, and quail. Blackbirds, siskins, and sparrows are among the songbirds that relish the seeds. Deer, noose, elks, black bears and grizzlies, the little prairie dogs, and the even sprier and smaller chipmunks eat the plants.”
• “Raw dandelion greens, 85 percent water, have an abundant 14,000 international units of vitamin A per 100 grams, plus 0.19 milligrams of thiamine, 0.26 of riboflavin, and 35 of the vital ascorbic acid”
• “198 milligrams of calcium, 76 of sodium, 397 of potassium”