September 29, 2010
This bland looking little camera showed up in our collection, inherited from grandparents but I can’t remember which (could be my dad’s parents, Peter’s mom’s parents, or my dad’s wife’s parents. Could be I need to keep better records). There seems to be no information out on the web about this camera other than one record of an ebay listing and a photo of a man with a rabbit head wearing one around his neck. *edit: Peter had suggested to me that perhaps the camera was some sort of magazine (not Maxim, obviously, that would just be silly) giveaway. A local photographer has since told me that the cameras were a giveaway with Time magazine. So, props to Peter, who got it on the first guess. Now if only I could figure out which grandparents subscribed to Time.*
Mostly this summer I’ve been using the Maxim as a makeshift way to rewind film out of the Holga (which I hacked with foam and rubber bands to accomodate 35mm film) inside a changing bag. But it did get a test run with a roll of Kodak GC 400-8. Unfortunately, the shutter release is almost a centimetre long and kept getting bumped inside my bag, so I didn’t get very many photos in amongst all of the accidental shots of the inside of the lens cap. What did come out of it made me pretty happy, though: the pictures have a dreamy, foggy quality, with just a bit of extra light leaking in and some gentle vignetting.
I just reloaded it with some Lomography Redscale XR 50-200. There’s no way to tell this camera the film speed, so it’s impossible to push non-reds back into the redscale on this thing. Should be exciting! Exciting and red.
Here are a few shots from the first roll, taken in our camp at Pennsic. Our friend Gwen’s pavilion, nestled between a creek and a lake:
Our brand new pavilion:
Posted by jodi on September 29, 2010 at 11.46am
September 25, 2010
Today I drove a car for the first time in twenty-two years.
In Mario Cart I always spin out on the grass when I try to corner too tightly. Of course I was probably going about ten kilometres an hour here. For the record I did not spin out, or hit the curb, or pump up and down on the gas and brake like an old person and give everybody in the car whiplash. I even sort of remember how to drive, it’s just that the last time I drove it was in huge muscle cars with no power steering and you had to really reef on the brake and take wide corners.
Check it out. I am totally in control of this car. This very slow moving around an empty parking lot car.
I even went on the road (only a tiny bit). And here’s my first parking job! In what, appearances to the contrary, was NOT an empty parking lot and there were other cars moving around in there and everything. And after I took this picture I walked right out in front of a car, whoops.
I feel like such a grown up.
Posted by jodi on September 25, 2010 at 8.36pm
September 15, 2010
An old artillery range, left over from WWII when our town was a Royal Canadian Air Force training station. We used to climb up to walk along the top of the narrow concrete wall (of course) and dig through the gravel on the roofs of the two attached sheds to find old bullet casings.
The old water tower. A new, more modern tower was erected earlier this year, so this beloved old structure may not be long for this world.
Claire standing on a (now completely overgrown) concrete bridge where as a preteen I whiled away many summer hours sitting with hockey school boys, listening to them talk about all of the exotic and far away places from which they came (Toronto, Detroit, Niagara Falls). Ah, hockey school boys, my first and best crushes.
Not much has changed down at the school, the gym, offices and senior wing of which were destroyed by fire in December of 2003. A few more holes in the floor, a stronger smell of mould emanating from the boarded-up wall.
This hole is new, at the edge of what was once the girls’ shower room. Last time we were here Peter dug out one of the shower drains for me, from that spot at the lower right that is now caving into the basement; we’ll put it in our own shower some day when we renovate our bathroom.
Barely legible: McCurdy Public School.
Bike racks at the edge of our former playground. Nice that there’s still somewhere to lock up your bike while you explore the dead heart of our town.
Posted by jodi on September 15, 2010 at 7.48pm
September 13, 2010
How to make walnut ink:
First, find yourself a black walnut tree and gather some of the nuts off the ground. The part you want is the strong-smelling green fruit that encases the nut. They don’t have to be whole, or even fresh; broken bits left behind by squirrels, mushy blackening ones with bits of mould already growing, they’ll all work just fine. Don’t get the liquid on your hands because it takes about 2.5 weeks for the dyed skin to slough off. The more nuts the better if you want lots of ink; I could only gather as many as I could fit into one sandwich bag so as not to risk having them leave brown stains on the knitting and sketchbook in my purse, so I used around six or seven nuts, and I wound up with about three quarters of a pint of ink.
My test strip: I was so eager to see the colour emerge that I was testing the ink all the first day while the walnuts simmered. Where it gets darker and then lighter again is where I accidentally let all of the water boil away and had to add more (whoops). You can see that happened a couple of times, because I get distracted and wander away from things. Lucky for me, a little scorching doesn’t eff this process up too much! The big blob in the upper right hand corner is the final colour, tested one last time after the ink was strained into the jar.
Put your walnuts in a stainless steel pot and cover them with water. Soaking them overnight first might yield a darker dye, but I didn’t bother and mine came out lovely, so I advocate impatience. Put the pot on the stove to boil and then let it simmer all day, for as many hours as you can, adding water as necessary so that it doesn’t all boil off and burn to the pot. Then turn off the heat, put the lid on and let it all sit overnight.
The next day, strain the solids out through a sieve and then again through cheesecloth and thrown them away. Put the liquid back in the pot and bring it back to a boil, then simmer again, for several hours if necessary. Keep a scrap of good quality rag paper and a paintbrush by the stove and test the ink periodically until you’re happy with the colour.
Turn off the heat, let it cool and then strain one last time through a sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar. Some people will tell you to add preservatives and you can do that if you like, but you shouldn’t need to, and I didn’t bother. If mould forms on top of the ink later you can just scoop it out and throw it away and the ink will still be fine. Then get your paintbrushes out and draw something!
Posted by jodi on September 13, 2010 at 8.42pm
September 10, 2010
Posted by jodi on September 10, 2010 at 7.12am
September 7, 2010
High winds, dear friends, the lake of my childhood swims and the sand that gets in everything.
Posted by jodi on September 7, 2010 at 7.29pm