Thursday, December 31, 2009

Drum Bowl

Weirdly, this image has the same "base" as "Friday Beers". Its amazing how small changes to fractal parameters have such a big effect. There's probably a metaphor for life somewhere in this, but I'm too tired to figure out what it is.

Today's Gratitude Item: The plethora of quotations pages available on the Internet - especially those dedicated to the subject of Mathematics :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day Dreams

This one took forever to render and the post-processing was almost more than my system could bear. I'm wondering if it was worth it.

Today's Gratitude Item: Cooler weather (with no rain). Lets just say that the long summer days are nice - the humidity that comes with it, less so.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

City Sunrise

Even though the bridge is recycled from an earlier work, I'm extremely pleased with how this one turned out.

Today's Gratitude Item: Spending at several hours doing what I love and getting to do more of the same tomorrow.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Feather Fall

When attempting the high jump, its somewhat reassuring to know that a soft landing is pretty much guaranteed.

Today's Gratitude Item: Simply being on holiday :) Its nice not to have to go to work for a while, and even nicer knowing that at the end of next month, I have a job to return to. The long summer days are pretty great too!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Flame Path

It took forever to find a suitable quote for this one.

Today's Gratitude Item: That Font Forge was not that difficult to download and use on my windows machine. This free font creating piece of software did what I needed it to do although I spent the entire day creating my first font. The punctuation still does not look great and weirdly, it looks good in Illustrator but pretty awful in Word. Of course using open source, free software is much better than paying the $200.00 that font creator wanted for a similar product (except their offering did not work as well as the open source stuff).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Furled Up Fire

That little guy might be in trouble if he can't get his car started!

Today's Gratitude Item: An old "Lettraset" catalogue that my mom had which is a really brilliant resource for looking at typefaces from the era before computers. Said catalogue is useful for finding the names of fonts and served as inspiration too.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ted's Room

This image took well over 100 hours to create. "Ted" was Middle School principal where I currently work for over 15 years and he retired at the end of last term. This image was a tribute to him. The actual image is twice as big as the "original" version on flickr and all the detail is clearly visible. There is a huge amount of detail in this work and happily Ted liked the image so much that at some point he will get it printed onto canvas.

This image is the result of a large amount of research and a number of people contributed ideas and information to make it happen.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting three seven letter words when playing Scrabble with my mom. We "cheat" and use the dictionary for inspiration - we also help each other to make words but draw the line at swapping letters.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hauraki Flagships

This was my entry for the Yellow Pages Art Awards 2009 (ie: 2010 phone book). Sadly, it did not make it as a finalist. There are two possible reasons for this.

  1. The judges made a terrible mistake
  2. They did not want the same person winning two years in a row (I won it last year)

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Its not all bad news though - I'm in the process of looking for a loving home for this image. Given that our local library is currently being rebuilt, I've offered them this image for the new building. If that does not work, perhaps the race relations office will find a place for it??

Today's Gratitude Item: This amazingly handing password protect script. I was asked to put up page on one of the sites I manage and password protect it - this script made it possible in less than 5 minutes. Did I mention that the script was free?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


This one is so hot, that even three water bottles is insufficient!

Today's Gratitude Item: The pre-Christmas rush over at Shutterstock which saw 23 of my images downloaded today. That's the most downloads I've had on one day for a very long time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nest Egg

Finally got Incendia to cooperate! The original image rendered for about 21 and a half hours. I rendered at the maximum size with double AA turned on and then shrunk it in PSP. Shrunk down it looks really good. Only problem with this strategy is that not using my computer for such a long time (while the thing was rendering) is the exception rather than the norm.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being asked to teach an Information Technology class next year - despite the fact that I have never taught this subject before. Getting to teach that class means having more hours (which I desperately wanted) and getting to learn new "geek" stuff - which is always good.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Golden Peel

I've been lucky with quotations recently. This one is a good fit for the image. Come to think of it, I got rather lucky with the image too.

Today's Gratitude Item: Approval / review times on Shutterstock have gotten a lot faster - and my newish stuff is getting some sales which is good. Not that review speed was ever a problem, its just with most people on vacation, my stuff seems to get looked at very quickly.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Whilst the image was not exactly what I had hoped for, the quote is perfect!

Today's Gratitude Item: A day that was pretty much perfect. Managed to get some illustrating done and created a series of fractals that worked well. Also had time to almost finish reading Fearless Fourteen - a nice "rubbish" read worth a few laughs. Recommendation would be to get it from the library as very light reading or buy it second hand - this is not a book that would appeal to blokes.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Garden Fountain

An Apophysis creation that took quite a while to render. It "works" with the fountain.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting some really high quality chocolate at a reasonable price. To be more precise, getting rather a lot of high quality chocolate at reasonable price less 30%.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jewel Jump

Not too sure about this one. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Today's Gratitude Item: We finally got our new library! Said library is several years overdue and has been eagerly anticipated. It opened today and the wait was worth it. We now have a sunny, spacious clean new building that is easy to access either by foot or by car.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sheep, Yarn and One Very Big Button

This image has all the raw ingredients for a very interesting jumper.

Today's Gratitude Item: Tea tags. Or to be more precise, the tags on my Herbal tea bags have a range of cute sayings on them that make me smile. One of them reads "Brew unto others as you would have them brew unto you". Corny but oddly appealing. Now making tea is almost an adventure.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Snow Fuzz

This one turned out far better than expected.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being left to my own devices :) Its really nice to be able to "geek out" and play.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

String Balance

When walking on a tight rope, its probably a good idea to make sure that you don't run out of rope.

Today's Gratitude Item: Good weather - at least according to the forecast on my igoogle page.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Magic Garden

In this garden, the centipedes wear really tiny red shoes. That's just the way it is.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting back into illustrating - its been too long since I had the time to do this. I'm already worrying that my six week holiday from school will be over all too soon!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Echo Man

Sometimes the allure of a loudspeaker is the echo that it produces!

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding a really cool cube making script for apophysis. Said cube fractals will appear on this blog in due course.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Small things, small ripples. Big things, big ripples. Thus is life.

Today's Gratitude Item: That one of our dancers carries CD's of our music in her car. We were not in our usual hall tonight and were missing the connector that we needed to use the ipod - so being able to use CD's was a huge relief.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Channukah 5770

This one was inspired by my aversion to "the Silly Season" and the fact that so many advocate the use of fish oil capsules to cure a variety of ills. More information on Channukah can be found at the preceding link.

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: I am officially on holiday! The traditional blessing that is said on Chunnukah (and other once a year celebrations) has never been more apt.

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion.

For some reason, the prayer sounds better in Hebrew. Both English and Hebrew versions are available at the preceding link.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Afternoon Activity

Watering plants in the late afternoon is a good idea - especially if its been a really hot day. Dedicated to all those gardeners out there.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting a whole lot of loose ends all tied up. Tomorrow we basically go in to school for morning tea to farewell staff who are leaving and then we get to eat lunch together. This is a "teacher only" day that I'm looking forward to.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Autumn Tour

Autumn is such a beautiful season, that its worth getting out to take a look at it.

Today's Gratitude Item: The extraordinary generosity of one of our Israeli dancers. Said dancer has only been with us for 6 weeks and returns to Israel on Sunday. He clearly enjoyed his time with us and has given our group far more than a very welcome financial contribution.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Wing Drop

If you put a drop of water on a butterfly's wing, it might look a bit like this - assuming you managed to find a blue, orange and white butterfly.

Today's Gratitude Item: That the end of the year is in sight! Tomorrow I see my middle school classes for the last time. On Thursday we do the tutor group / prize giving thing and then the holidays will be here.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Crazy Net

I'm not crazy enough to want to try bungy jumping. I don't think that having a safety net would make this "sport" any more appealing either.

Today's Gratitude Item: An unexpected assembly Period 1 this morning which meant not having to teach my 8th graders. We have finally made it to the last week of term and the end is in sight.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Peach Ponder

Dedicated to all those deep thinkers out there!

Today's Gratitude Item: Our Kayaking trip / lunch went extremely well. I was not looking forward to the experience but it was rather fun - mainly because I got to share a kayak with our resident kayaking expert and he did most of the work!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Calm Estuary

The fractal reminded me of a series of rivers merging with the ocean. The meditating stick figure is recycled from a project that I was working on before. More stick figures will appear in future works.

Today's Gratitude Item: Realising that biscotti dough (batter) need not be kneaded before it is placed on a baking tray! All the recipes I've used to date have resulted in very soft dough meaning that kneading the stuff is extremely messy. Adding more flour does not do anything for the taste so being able to skip that step and place the dough directly onto a baking sheet is a good thing.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Spider Spring

Interestingly, Incendia has forced me to learn a lot of useful stuff about PSP! The "select similar" option is extremely useful although PSP still does not get rid of all the jaggies.

I've decided to do one more experiment to find out if I can get Incendia to behave. If said experiment fails, I may ditch the program.

Today's Gratitude Item: Learning to podcast and discovering that it is really simple.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Celtic Silver

This one rendered for over 16 hours and was still not done! I had to smooth it out using the "noise" tools in PSP. I think it was worth the effort though.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting a new laptop at school :) Said machine is nice and shiny and it has the latest version of Notebook which has a number of really useful features. Lets just hope that I get a new contract to go with the new computer!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Soft Soap

This one comes complete with bubbles.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding a decent Mystery Sounds quiz to use with my students. We are currently working on our "Sound" topic but with the end of the year looming, most of my class appear to have lost the plot. The only way to keep them quiet and focused was to have a go at the quiz where they had to be quiet enough to hear the sounds. They seemed to enjoy the activity and we will hopefully finish it up in our next session.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Named for the flower that it resembles.

Today's Gratitude Item: That our "Celebration of the Year" was not as bad as I feared it would be. The students were well behaved and seemed to enjoy the event - so its all good.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ocean Drop

At sunset (of course).

Today's Gratitude Item: DVD's on "Space" that magically appeared from a colleague's drawer. Long story short, my "Space" unit is laptop based. My students have to give in their laptops on Friday but we only finish classes the following Wednesday. That's where the DVD's come in! Needless to say I am unimpressed by the need for student laptops to be handed in so early - especially as we were not warned well in advance that this would happen and are expected to continue with "meaningful learning" until our very last session.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sun Drop

Featuring the last of my Yacht illustrations.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being appreciated :) The library where I volunteer once a month gave me a beautiful thank you card and $60.00 gift voucher for my efforts to date! This was unexpected but deeply appreciated. Getting gifts is always lovely, and being thanked / acknowledged is priceless.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Heart Strings

The heart that appeared on the ball was a rather pleasant surprise :)

Today's Gratitude Item: Free 500mm pencils :) No, that is not a misprint, said pencils are extremely long and are basically useless for writing. They were giving them away for free at one of the stores I visited today as a Christmas thing for kids. The reason I'm so excited about said pencils is that they are perfect for orienting the electronic whiteboards at school. The problem is that I'm short and our lab design is slightly tragic meaning that I can't reach the top of the electronic whiteboards to orient them in two of the rooms where my classes meet. Not orienting said boards is not an option as if you don't orient them when you plug in your laptop, then they don't work properly. The solution is to use the eraser on the end of my *new* super long pencil to reach the top of the board. No jumping required. The pencils came in packs of 3 and I snagged two lots, meaning that my short colleagues will benefit as well.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Rose Windmill

The clipart was inspired by the fractal. Both turned out well.

Today's Gratitude Item: Good weather for our field trip. The kids all worked hard and we had a brilliant day.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Strung Out Flower

When flowers get stressed, they appear to be "Strung Out".

Today's Gratitude Item: Guaranteed muffins tomorrow for morning tea. Said muffins are guaranteed because I bought them on the way home today! Tomorrow everyone in the middle school is "out" on Community and Service day which means muffins for morning tea for the staff and a great day out for our students.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Coffee Storm

This is an experiment that went somewhat awry. This one is so bad that I thought twice about blogging it, but its late and I'm tired so here it is.

Today's Gratitude Item: Completing my last "Unit Plan" for the year. Said plans are really teaching materials that I create electronically and share with my colleagues. Whilst they are useful and convenient, they take a *very* long time to create as the process involves finding resources (videos / animations / simulations), decided on practical experiments and writing / sourcing worksheets.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Philipines Flagship

Dedicated to all those who live in the Philippines.

Today's Gratitude Item: Discovering how easy it is to use master pages and their associated guides in InDesign :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fa'a Samoa

In memory of all those who perished in the Tsunami Tragedy.*

*Both ship and ocean were created before the Tsunami struck. The colours of the sea were selected so that they would match the ship and no other meaning should be read into them.

Today's Gratitude Item: That our scheduled staff meeting was canceled meaning that I could go home an hour earlier than originally anticipated!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lots of Yarn

Seen as this picture appears to be made up of yarn, it seemed appropriate to put a sheep on it!

Today's Gratitude Item: Taking care of a myriad of small odd jobs that needed to be done. Being "ready" for the week to come is a good feeling.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cog Storm

This one came out of the blue! Its the result of some random experimenting on my part.

Today's Gratitude Item: Managing to fold over 60 small boxes using squares of silver and red paper. Fifty of these boxes contain magnets so they stick to the fridge and with a small bow on the top, they look great. The plan is to give these to my students who did a good job on their "Magnets" assignment. Those who only did a "half job" will get the pretty box, sans magnet. My boss did not have a problem with my plan and hopefully it will be a creative way of telling students that "half jobs" are not really satisfactory. The magnets cost about 20c each and our $2.00 store used to sell the small bows in packs of 40 for $2.00 - so the entire project should cost less than $15.00.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pure Wool

The symbol in the middle of the disc reminds me of the symbol for pure wool. In retrospect I don't like the image at all, its horrible - much like my week has been. I'm feeling increasingly frustrated with the uncertainty surrounding my work situation :(

Today's Gratitude Item: The Microbe Magic website. It has everything I need for the upcoming unit on Microbes and it means that I don't need to do too much to prepare. This site has activities, practical experiments and loads of information. All I'll do is write down some instructions for my students and decide which activities we will do as a group. Having it all there for one is so much easier than re-inventing the wheel.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Woven Waves

The name of the ship, Tangata Whenua is slightly ironic as it is Maori for "People of the Land".

Today's Gratitude Item: Managing to find some great, cheap smiley faced magnets. I'm planning on giving them to my students who completed a task on the topic. Those who did not submit anything don't get the cool magnet :) It will be interesting to see the reactions.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This is what happens when things at sea get slightly out of kilter. The name of the boat alludes to the current lack of democracy in Fiji. If you look closely, you'll see a bunch of bananas on their flag. Don't believe me? Look at the bottom right corner of the crest on this Fijian Flag.

Today's Gratitude Item: Realising that I don't see my "dodgy" class tomorrow because of assembly! Normally I don't mind teaching them but having an unscheduled break from a difficult task is always nice.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shining Dawn

The tiling in this one was done "manually". I think it turned out rather well.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting the first draft of my student's reports done. I still have far too much work to do but at least that major task is out of the way.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ocean Rain

The background reminded me of what happens when giant raindrops hit swirling water.

Today's Gratitude Item: Science aptitude tests :) As in my Head of Faculty asked us to get our students to do said test which takes about a period. I was not expecting to see my class tomorrow due to "Beach Day", but they only leave for the beach after morning tea meaning that I get to see them after all. At least now I have something to keep them busy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Roughing It

Historically, the British have been able sailors, so I figured that putting their ship on rough sea would not be too much of a problem.

Today's Gratitude Item: A client liked the logo I designed. That's the good news. Bad news is that they are one of those non-paying clients. As in I stupidly agreed to do the work "pro bono" - must really learn not to do that. At least I can use the logo as part of my portfolio so not all is lost.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wave Geometry

Dedicated to all those South Africans out there. The ship is named after one of my favourite Johnny Clegg songs.

Today's Gratitude Item: Leaving my mark-book at school. I was meant to bring it home so that I could get some reports written but left it at school by accident. This means being unable to do school work tomorrow - which is as it should be.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Swiring Sea

Dedicated to my Dutch colleagues and friends. I recycled one of my old flags to make the sail.

Today's Gratitude Item: Not having to do the reader / writer thing! I was asked to do it a while back and agreed but the student concerned opted to "go it alone" giving me two precious hours to do vital work. Stuff at school continues to be relentless. In addition to preparing units for the next three topics for three different year groups, I'm also meant to have my end of year reports done in the near future. The reporting thing is slightly insane as we still have four long weeks of term to go and the kids only get their reports at the end of the year - at which point our comments may not be that current.