cyanotype fun.

I didn’t realize that my bottomless pit actually extended 2 miles away to my mothers basement.  She was clearing out her ridiculously clean basement and unearthed these jugs.

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Apparently they have been down there for at least 10 years. sorry mom.  Well anyway, I was about to delve in my hot mess that is my basement and drag out the scale and the powdered chemicals to whip up a new batch of “orange and green” ( these are not the technical names) Potassium ferricyanide just happens to be orange in its powder form and Ferric ammonium citrate is green, think edamame green. When the two are properly prepared and then mixed in equal parts they became light-sensitive, and are brushed on whatever porous surface you choose.  You can then put objects over the dried chemicals and expose to the sun and it creates a contact print of whatever your “negative” is.   I decided to do a test and the chemicals were still good!!! Saving myself a trip into the dungeon!!!!!  I used to use this process to make silk scarves and purses with elaborate stencils that I hand cut, or negatives I blew up in the darkroom or flowers.  I wish I could find the pictures of those things. annoying iphoto.  Anyway, the whole reason I started on this quest was to coat some paper and transport it up to the mountains so the small people could make prints with all the beautiful foliage.  As a side note this process was invented by John Herschel in 1842 and in 1843 Anna Atkins put it into practice by cataloging ferns, which is just what I intended to do.  However in typical scatterbrain fashion I did not test the light tightness of my container and several of the sheets were bad by the time we got there. On top of that I was sooooo lazy on this trip that we only made a few.

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Using this high-tech method of lounge chair,  clips and a piece of glass to hold it all together we were able to angle our set up towards the sun.  After 12 minutes we rinsed in water and set out to dry.  I wish we had done more, because I think they are so pretty. There is always next year!!

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snuggling maggots.

Despite what the teenager might think I do not exist to embarrass her.  I only take advantage of it when it produces such utterances as “they look like snuggling maggots.” My sweet non nature loving almost 14-year-old, thinks my obsession with seed pods is weird.  For her entire life I have been attempting to convince her of the beauty and awesomeness of seeds. Well it hasn’t worked yet.

Today as we were driving along a very busy road I pulled over and told her to jump out and grab three of the gigantic seed pods lying about on the ground.

Her:  MOOOOMMMMMM! do you have any idea how stupid I am gonna look!

Me:  Well then make it fast and make sure they aren’t rotted out.

Her: Mom you are sooo weird!

Innocent bystander:  Yea I was just thinking that those things are crazy weird.

Her: I was talking about my mom.

Me: (laughing hysterically)

When she gets back in the car she is laughing with me.

Her:  But I still think your weird.

Meanwhile, on the rest of the drive home I listen as she tells me of her day.  Pretty much standard day, with a few teacher anecdotes, she had me laughing so hard I almost forgot about my gigantic seed pods. She is still entertaining me as we sit in the driveway so I pull out my seed pod. I am enthralled.

Me: feel it.

Her: ewwwwwe

Me: oh my gosh smell it. It smells so good.

Her: ewwwe no. look at this funny picture.

Me: That’s a good one, send that one to Uncle Will.

Her: I’ll send it to him on one condition.

Me: K

Her: That you never make me smell your snuggling maggots.

Me: It does looks like snuggling maggots.

Her: Oh No mom are you totally gonna blog about this?

Me: Yes dear, yes I am.

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LOOK how big they are and lime green.

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