Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ball in Chains

I've heard of a ball and chain, this is a ball in chains.

Today's Gratitude Item: Spotting a small problem with one of my images when showing it to my mom. Said problem was easily fixed but if it had not been spotted, it would have spoiled the piece and really, really annoyed me.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tu Bishvat 5770

Here is my Tu Bishvat image for this year. The picture was inspired by real life - as in I saw a van carrying a bunch of trees and thought that was a brilliant example of a carbon neutral vehicle.

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: Getting a quality scrap book for $1.99 from Paper Plus. They were a $1.00 cheaper than the The Warehouse which was a surprise as "The Warehouse" is supposed to be a bargain store.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Usually I dislike turbulence, but in this case I'll make an exception.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding out that for the first few sessions at least, I'll be observing "my" 6th grade Maths class rather than teaching them. This is a good thing as we are doing the numeracy program with the students and I have not been trained in this - yet. That training is a forthcoming attraction. I was really concerned as it is not clear exactly which topics we will be covering - hopefully by the time I start teaching this class, that will have been "sorted".

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Big Boom

The cannon is based on a reference photo taken when I was in Wellington for Dance camp.

Today's Gratitude Item: Figuring out how to make Google calendars display event descriptions with formatting. Its as "simple" as typing the description in using html - which if you're like me and hand code is really easy. The only problem is that most of my colleague would not be able to cope with this.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Off The Wall

I like this one, but it makes me feel strangely uncomfortable at the same time.

Today's Gratitude Item: It looks like I've got a really lovely tutor group this year. It was nice to be able to see who I will be teaching, at least for this class - we all have to wait until next week to find out which students are in the rest of our classes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dripping Water

This one is based on the parameters from "Off the Wall".

Today's Gratitude Item: Having two offices at school. Such is the joy of working in two faculties - I have one office in the Science building and another in the Maths area. The plan is to try and keep running around this year to a minimum - it will be interesting to see how this works out.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sun Bead

Dedicated to all those Elvis fans out there.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being spared the power cuts that ravaged large parts of Auckland today. I live on the North Shore and it was something of a miracle that we had power all day :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Sometimes three leaf clovers can be lucky.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally discovering the anti-alias feature in Tierazon. I've worked with the program on and off for years and had not realised how simple it was to turn it on. This is great because it means that "jaggies" in Tierazon images should become a thing of the past.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ice Tower

The control tower is the result of playing with the tutorial at the preceding link.

Today's Gratitude Item: Discovering an "International" dance group that have an impressive repertoire of Israeli dances. I danced with this group last Friday and they did mostly Israeli stuff - especially for me - which was incredibly kind. The thing that made this experience all the more remarkable was that most of the ladies in the group are from Taiwan! It would have been a surreal experience but they were incredibly welcoming and we had a great time. Only problem is that said group are very far from where I live and they meet on Friday afternoons which means going to that group would be a "holiday" occurrence.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Alien City

This one is based on similar parameters to "Ice Tower". Had to adjust the gamma levels to get rid of some horrible background "dust".

Today's Gratitude Item: Having the best of both worlds - saw a magnificent rainbow on this morning's walk and did not get wet. Problem is, rainbows are always slightly ominous as when there's a rainbow - the rain is not too far behind. Happily we made it home before the heavens opened.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Safe Skies

This one needed an insane amount of post-processing to get rid of the background noise. The challenge was to get rid of the noise without killing the fractal

Today's Gratitude Item: Google finally added an equation editor to their google docs app. Even better, said editor allows one to directly enter latex which means if the symbol you want does not show up in the "ready made" options, you can enter in the code. Sure you need to enter the code but that is easy enough to look up. Go google!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


An easy woven "marble" that turned out quite well.

Today's Gratitude Item: An amazing dance session. It was our first one of the year after a touch of a break. Not only was it wonderful to see everyone again, but we were privileged to have Peter Leipnik (from Melbourne) teach his dance Nirkod Lashalom to us. Not only is it a beautiful dance which fits the music perfectly, but learning it directly from the choreographer was a brilliant experience. Did I mention that Peter is a fabulous dancer and all round nice guy too?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Band Leader

Presenting another in my "cube" series.

Today's Gratitude Item: Placing a bid in an on-line auction. This is a first for me and its rather exciting. I'm looking to get a hiking pole for camp later this year and said stick is on auction for $10.00 (actually $16.00 if one includes postage). This is not too bad when you consider that a new stick from the sports store costs roughly $100.00 - which is insane.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Drummer Cubed

Had fun with this one. It's all due to a nifty little script by cmptrwhz.

Today's Gratitude Item: Figuring out how to put a "subscribe by email" box on this blog. Said box appeared some time last week but actually get it to co-operate was a bit of a challenge. The automatic widget thing that feedburner offered did not 'take' and I had to put the code in semi-manually.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shattered Star

There's a Star of David in this one - if you look at it carefully, you might see it. Can't find it? Click on the image below to see the large version.

Today's Gratitude Item: That the books I got from the library yesterday are better than the ones from last week. I especially enjoyed "Sucker Bet by James Swain. Said book was an easy, entertaining read and I think its helped to improve my Black Jack game - not that I gamble but if I did...
Its a pity we can't teach the kids to gamble as part of statistics / probability class - I don't think their parents would appreciate it - although at least I would not get the "why are we doing this" question.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cube Sphere

If you've ever wondered what a sphere full of cubes might look like, wonder no more.

Today's Gratitude Item: A day off from cooking. Not having to do anything in the kitchen was a lovely change.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I'm not a part of the "green" movement, but if I was, this one would certainly appeal.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding a great little barcode generator and a lovely open source Royal Crown vector which I edited and used in my soon to be released Purim graphic.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Over There

Is the boy pointing to a problem, or a solution?

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding plot summaries for the "Biggest Loser". We forgot to tape today's episode and missed one of the weigh-ins, so it was great to be able to read about who lost what and who got sent home. The only downside is that finding the plot summary took almost as long as it would have taken to watch the show (and was not nearly as much fun).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Smoke Web

This one has a strange, surreal feel to it.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding some really good interactive Physics resources for when classes start later in the month. I think my students will enjoy working through these - in this case, the annoying sound effects are a bonus.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Psychedelic Clover

Somehow I thought this one would look more spectacular than it does. Never mind (insert deep sigh here)

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally getting some illustrating done. Using photos from Camp last year brought back some great memories. Actually getting through all the reference photos will take quite some time.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just Dandy

This one turned out well. It reminds me of a dandy lion / prickly weed - but in a good way.

Today's Gratitude Item: That my mom is getting good at using google / the Internet to find stuff out - which means that she does not have to ask me to do it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Geometry Matters

If this does not encourage more females to opt for Mathematics as a career, then I don't know what will.

Today's Gratitude Item: That "flea bombs" also kill roaches. Who knew :) To be fair, there was only one dead roach as a result of bombing the house for fleas and I suspect it was one of the wood eating ones that wondered inside by accident. I don't mind roaches, but am not mad about them being indoors - it just seems oh so wrong.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Space Badge

I designed this for one of my colleagues. He's a physics specialist and will hopefully appreciate the quotation.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting some hiking boots and a backpack. I'll need these for camp later in the year and am starting to get organised now. Hiking boots were $45.00 from the Warehouse, which is a lot better than the huge prices asked by Timberlands / Kathmandu. Given that I only do a "hard out" hike on camp, and last year I did it in my regular sneakers and survived, there is no way that I can justify forking out over $250.00 of my hard earned cash for hiking boots. The cool thing about living in New Zealand is that we have really beautiful scenery and no snakes - which means wearing super tough shoes to avoid snake bite is not necessary.

Friday, January 08, 2010


I saw the rings and could not help myself - this one was made for a Lord of the Rings quotation. I "cheated" when it came to this series and only read "Return of the King". I like fantasy, but not enough to read all three volumes.

Today's Gratitude Item: Saying "No". Someone asked me to help them get their e-newsletter out as the person who currently does it is not longer able to. Said person was from a community organisation which means that they expect my services to be free. I have finally learned to say "No" and not feel guilty about it. If the organisation / task interested me, it would be a different story but I've grown tired of doing stuff for free when it is generally not appreciated. Why said person cannot learn how to publish an e-newsletter themselves is something I don't understand - after all, its not rocket science.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Melting Castle

This one looks as if it is made from a mixture of delicate glass and liquid silver.

Today's Gratitude Item: Jigsaw puzzles :) Lets just say that they are having a promotion where you buy three and get the fourth free. Add to that the fact that we got one of the puzzles for half price and 25% off the other two and it works out to about $12.00 per puzzle which is pretty cheap entertainment.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

All Gone!

Like it or not, Christmas has been and gone. Even though I don't "do" Christmas, I'm still pleased with how this image turned out.

Today's Gratitude Item: That Google calendars makes it easy for me to log my hours from anywhere. I need to log said hours so that its clear exactly how much time has been spent preparing resources as I get paid extra to do this (but not that much extra). I've realised that running several different calendars at the same time is very easy to do and that way, all my "stuff" is beautifully colour coded.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Easy Opening

n an emergency, any sharp edge will do!

*I don't consume alcohol, so that bottle is filled with soda water. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting an "enhanced" sale over at Shutterstock. I was particularly pleased that the image concerned was a hand-drawn sketch from way back. The fact that someone liked my sketch enough to buy it made me extremely happy - my drawing skills are limited and I can only draw stuff if its sitting in front of me or I have a reference photo.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Molten City

This one is dedicated to my 7th graders from last year. We were doing a topic on "Earth and Space" thus I could not resist the Douglas Adams quotation.

Today's Gratitude Item: Half priced T-Shirts. Mine were getting rather worn out and it was time for some new ones.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Spring Study

Sometimes, studying stuff can be beautiful.

Today's Gratitude Item: Homemade pizza bases :) Said bases ensured that the bottom of the "pizza"* was crisp rather than soggy.

*Technically not pizza but a homemade variant which is heavy on vegetables and very light on cheese.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Iron(ic) Spring

This one had to be beaten into co-operation. It took a surprisingly long time to get a background that looked acceptable. When I originally saw the quotation, it made me smile - what can I say, irony is funny!

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally managing to find some blouses that fit. The problem is that I'm significantly shorter than average which means that many of the shirts on offer are too long and the waist falls on my hips (not good). Happily, I managed to find a beautiful beaded top which looks really nice, fits like a dream and was half price. Needless to say the quest to update my wardrobe will continue even though clothes shopping is one of my least favourite things.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Friday Beers

Whilst I love Friday, beer is not my thing. This is for those who enjoy a good ale.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting half way through updating one of the websites I look after. This one was a "major" and some of the work was rather tedious.