I should have mentioned that the paper was Bergger COT-320 (don't know why I had to start with the most expensive paper! But there you go). I've tried scanning one of the attempts but the colour on the monitor is so completely different than the actual print, it's not worth showing (all attempts at fixing it with photoshop does nothing to get it remotely close to the original colour). In terms of contact frames, I'm using a custom built one by a guy (I can't remember his name at the moment) who comes highly recommended here on APUG.
Akki - I'm using your card you sent in the postcard exchange as an example of what I want to emulate. I'm not trying to copy it exactly, but I'm just trying to get the 'feeling' of it correct -- in the appropriate colour and coating. I have no watercolour experience whatsoever but I haven't been dipping the brush in the sensitizer -- just putting drops on paper and then brushing it on.
Vaughn - I'd love to try adding ammonium or potassium dichromate, but it's just not something I have in the cupboard at the moment.
Smieglitz - I'm using a variety of negatives to try it out -- my first exposure was over an hour long and the image still left a lot to be desired. Interestingly, double coating goes a lot faster (about a half hour) and I can see the colour shift almost immediately in the sun. I don't know if it's because of the winter sun, or the altitude, or latitute, but the times I have seem consistent with what I've read in other places (including Christopher James' book).
Larry - I'm still shaking my head! I'm not sure how you came up with that process but it's a little complicated for me at the moment.
Vaughn - I'll try adding photo-flo and see how that works in my next printing session (always a toss up due to limited days off a week -- Saturday -- and whether or not the sun wants to cooperate. No part of the image is washing off. I do let my papers dry after coating (naturally) for a few hours before I think to remember to recoat them again -- everything is kept in the dark except for when I'm coating.
John - it's funny, I stocked up on paper when I was in Vancouver and only recently discovered how much watercolour paper is available here in Kamloops! I guess it's just a matter of experimenting with papers until I find the right combination.