Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Star of David Floor

This tourist is reading all about the gorgeous wooden floor she is standing on.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally figuring out that the hazard light which is showing on my dashboard means "low tyre pressure". A quick trip to the gas station has hopefully solved the problem. I'd never seen that warning light before.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Floral Fisherman

Sometimes busy people miss out on the beauty around them. They are so busy doing a specific task that they don't see the flowers in their midst. I'm all too guilty of doing this.

Today's Gratitude Item: One of my fractals found its way back to me! As in said fractal appears on a slide show that was emailed to me by my neighbour. The slide show can be seen at the preceding link. My fractal is on slide 7. They did not give me credit, but I saw the image and knew it was one of mine.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Heart Pendant

Its a pity that this one is not real. Never mind.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally figuring out how to use Illustrator to isolate photographs. Embarrassingly, "Clipping Paths" and "Masks" have always been a bit of a mystery to me - until today when I *finally* managed to use these entities to isolate some clowns from a photo I took on a field trip. The isolation has been uploaded to Shutterstock and it will be interesting to see if it gets accepted. I used Illustrator to draw the clipping path as I find the controls / tools easy to use (compare with PSP and GIMP).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fishing Lines

Hopefully his line does not get tangled up.

Today's Gratitude Item: Tasty cheese. Or at least, the "cheese guy" who was featured on national radio some time ago. The question he gets asks the most is "how does one get a tasty cheese?" - turns out most of the "ready to buy" cheeses are rather bland. If you want something that tastes quite strong, what you do is buy regular cheese and then let it sit in the fridge for a good long while (6 months to a year). Then you get to eat it! I have some Parmesan sitting in the fridge which is "ready" :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Phone Book Success

Those of you have been reading this blog for a while may remember that back in October, I went a bit crazy asking everyone to vote for one of my artworks. The aim was to win the YPG Art Awards and have my work featured on the front of the Auckland White Pages.

The process had its ups and downs but the good news is that "we won"! This is very much a "We" effort as without the support of my students, colleagues and buddies from around the world the piece would not have won. So, if you voted, and / or helped spread the word, please pat yourself on the back and enjoy the moment.

Here's a picture of the phone book:

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally getting our copy of the phone book! Some areas got theirs last weekend and we've had to wait until today for ours to arrive. Normally this would not be a problem but I've been really keen to see how it looks.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fishing at Dusk

He is about to go fishing by moonlight :)

Today's Gratitude Item: Remembering to transfer the files from my camera to my colleague's computer (she needs some of the pictures I took of the kids on our recent field trip).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Woven Inset

Here is what can happen when one gets lucky using the "rings2" variation as a final transform.

Today's Gratitude Item: Managing to *finally* finish creating an on-line multiple choice quiz for my 6th graders. Said quiz looks good and should help them revise for an upcoming test. Hopefully the effort will be appreciated. The plan is to share the quiz with my colleagues so that we can all use it and are not constantly reinventing the wheel.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ball in Bowl

Its amazing what appears once one starts digging.

Today's Gratitude Item: A brilliant field trip to Amsbury Farm. As part of their genetics unit, we take our 10th graders to this teaching farm where they get to see the results of selective breeding on both sheep and cattle. I don't teach 10th grade Science but they needed an extra body for the trip and I got some really good farm related reference shots.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho

Its off to work they go!

Today's Gratitude Item: That writing Term 1 progress reports is a relatively quick process. Sadly, the same cannot be said for reports that we get to write later in the year.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Grid Globe

This orb rose mysteriously from the depths of my computer. Insert vaguely unsettling music here to complete the effect.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finished marking my 8th grader's lab work in record time. Having only 18 in the group is a nice change from my other classes which have 25 and 26 students respectively. Downside is that this group find Science (and school life in general) a real challenge. They're nice kids though and many of them are trying really hard - which is all that we can ask of them.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mystical Wings

This one reminds me of insect wings for some reason. I think its the symmetry and translucent effect.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally figuring out how to use Deviant Art to get Apo scripts / inspiration. Some of the resources there are really great - takes a bit of "digging" to get to the good stuff.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Earthern Vases

This one is "interesting". Vases were extremely quick and easy to create in Illustrator - just drew a curved line and used the "revolve" effect.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting a free 'flu shot (beats having to pay for it) and a great trip to Rainbows End (an amusement park with various fun rides). The Rainbows End trip is part of our Science (Physics) program at school. In fact, its probably the part the students enjoy the most. I managed to get a number of good photos of the kids on the various rides.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What If ...

The Israeli flag looked like this? Its just a thought.

Today's Gratitude Item: Parent / Teacher interviews. They are a lot of work but are very worthwhile. Its nice to put faces to names and get to know one's students just that little bit better.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pink Mercedes

This one reminded me of the Mercedes logos. My dad used to drive one of those in South Africa. He still misses it - but not enough to get a new one.

Today's Gratitude Item: Salmon, avocado and cheese bagel for lunch. The idea here is that we sometimes get bribed with food to turn up to meetings - it works well for everyone. At school, the food they serve is always rather healthy (and tasty) - which is part of what makes where I work unique.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Woven Hexagons

Sometimes, when two work together, very interesting things can happen.

Today's Gratitude Item: That daylight saving is not yet over. It meant that I could tutor two students this afternoon and still have enough daylight left to go for a long walk. Might as well enjoy the opportunity whilst its here. Only downside is that its not dark when I wake up in the morning.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ring Sphere Magic

Not sure if I like this one, but here it is anyway.

Today's Gratitude Item: Google Docs and the fact that I have always handcoded my .html / .css. This means that creating good looking documents sans Word / Star Office is easy to do. Said documents can be exported in a range of formats. Its not something that I'd need to do often, but its really nice to know its possible. Should the need arise, its now simple to create worksheets at home and then access them from school without needing to email them to myself / worry about the format.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Best Mates

What do you want to bet these two are discussing sports?

Today's Gratitude Item: Sitmo's Equation Editor. Its free, online and available as a google gadget. Thus it has found a home on my igoogle page making it extremely easy for me to write / format Mathematical formulae with minimum fuss. I suspect my colleagues who don't have access to Word at school and find the equation editor in Open Office somewhat cumbersome will love this tool.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Grunge Ball

When it gets too hot, simply pour water from your water bottle directly over your head. It helps if you do this outside.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding $1.00 today. After a long "moneyless" week, it was good to finally find something!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ross the Ranger

This guy is prepared for any eventuality.

Today's Gratitude Item: Google Maps. Doing "mapwork" with students is so much easier now. Before, when we wanted them to investigate New Zealand's offshore islands, we'd give them an atlas and they had to find the place (which is quite boring). Now we get them to look up the place on google maps and then find information about that place - which is a lot more fun.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Good Looking Cooking

Or should that be "good looking cook". If you look closely, you'll notice this guy has an apron - I suspect that the BBQ is not too far away.

Today's Gratitude Item: Chocolates in my pigeon hole at work. They were an unnecessary "Thank You" from a colleague for our time on camp. Usually my pigeon hole has boring stuff in it - like paperwork / random notices but I keep checking it in case someone puts chocolate in it. Today someone did :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Orang O's

This one was a result of even more "monkeying around" on my part. Managing to get this particular photo was pure luck - although the original was not accepted on Shutterstock (artifacts at full size).

Today's Gratitude Item: Starting dance classes again. Its quite late have our first class of the year but the wait was worth it. Whilst it is possible to live without dancing, its just not as much fun.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Whatever this guy is looking for, here's hoping that he finds it.

Today's Gratitude Item: The electromagnetic spectrum song. Had to teach this topic to my 7th graders and playing this video through twice did the trick. The song is really cheesy and the kids loved it. Some of them were even singing along to it - which made me smile. Only problem is that the stupid thing is now stuck in my head!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Purim Sameach 5769

Purim is here! That means its time for a Purim themed graphic. The Sponsor names all come from the Book of Esther.

You can access the large version of this graphic by clicking on the image above. Images that are related to Jewish Holidays live at the preceding link where you can browse by holiday and download the image in high resolution (for printing etc).

Today's Gratitude Item: Muffins at our morning meeting. I was not expecting anything as our Dean this year is part of the sports department and he's not into early morning chocolate / "junk" food. Happily he has been well trained and he dutifully bought along said muffins. No chocolate ones but the blueberry were a good substitute.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


I love those people who use their hands when they talk! My mom and I are guilty of doing that all the time.

Today's Gratitude Item: The Fractal Science Kit. This is a nifty little fractal generator which has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me. It was absolutely worth the $30.00 odd registration fee (I trialled it first to check that it was what I wanted). Have already started to make some quite "different" images which will be featured here in due course.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Gold Digger

I think this guy is on to something! He's certainly digging with determination.

Today's Gratitude Item: Free Garlic. Or to be more precise, Garlic that someone else paid for and gave to us. We were at our usual veggie store this morning and they only had the garlic we like in packs of 5 which is way more than we'd ever use. To cut a long story short, the person in front of us had bought a pack and when she heard me tell my dad that the store did not have any of "our garlic" on sale loose, she gave us some of hers - being a recipient of a random act of kindness was really lovely.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Gold Bubble Spiral

This one is "too busy" to cope with clipart. Which is for the best as I did not have any images to spare.

Today's Gratitude Item: Crocodile Physics! Rediscovered this lovely little program which is installed on our computers at school (both staff and students can access it). I knew it was good for electricity and setting up circuits but did not realise it could do optics as well. This means that when my students review the light topic, they can use Crocodile Physics to remind themselves of what the various lenses and mirrors do. Said program is reasonably sophisticated and extremely useful.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Gold Cross Weave

Turns out that Orang's are rather social animals. These two were spotted at Auckland zoo and have been put in a rather interesting environment.

Today's Gratitude Item: Figuring out how to get the sound working in the lab at school - useful for when showing videos to students. Last year, getting the sound to work was "touch and go". Now its "all good". The stuff that we can easily access these days is simply amazing and I've become one of those teachers who can't deliver a lesson without using a computer / technology of some sort. Good thing school was not affected by the power failure that hit some parts of Auckland today (high winds / stormy weather = erratic power supply).

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sharon's Star

Dedicated to one of my Maths colleagues. Every time I see a shape like this one, I think of her (the blue fractal, not the Orang)!

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting my own copy of Zeev's "Yellow Badge Album". One of my images is on page 21 of said book and even though this was a limited run, its still rather exciting to see my work in print. The downside is that the book is entirely in Hebrew. The only words I recognised on "my" page were my name! I guess that's a start. Happily I do have some Israeli friends who will be able to translate for me.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Winter Flower

With a touch of spring in the center.

Today's Gratitude Item: That sometimes solutions to "complicated" problems can be extremely simple. Its good when that happens.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Forest Danger

This little guy is wondering what lies beyond the "danger" sign.

Today's Gratitude Item: That school provided us all with a healthy snack at this afternoon's staff meeting. The cheeses on offer were particularly good!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Orange Flower

Sometimes Orang's just like to hang out and admire the view.

Today's Gratitude Item: Managing to get a whole lot of "bits and pieces" done before going back to school tomorrow. Sometimes I feel like a rat on a treadmill, always running just to keep in the same place. At least the "running" is *mostly* fun.