Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lucky Design

This one had more to do with "design" than "luck".

Today's Gratitude Item: Figuring out how to unfreeze my ipod thanks to a google search. I felt slightly silly admitting to google that I could not turn the thing off but it turns out that this is a remarkably common problem.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Light Thief

The name was inspired by the quotation. This image was made using Fractal Science Kit, the background and quotation were added with PSP.

Today's Gratitude Item: Fitting in a trip to the library on our morning walk and getting home before it rained (said rain was unexpected and mercifully brief).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pebble Paper

This was created by taking "Light Thief" and creating a pattern from it using PSP. I then distorted and transformed multiple layers of the pattern to create the wallpaper and floor of an empty room. It was a lot of work but the effort was worth it.

Today's Gratitude Item: That for possibly the first time ever, all of my 7th graders were in class for all three of our practical assessment periods meaning that I can mark their work this weekend and don't need to organise catch ups.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rainless Celebration

Created with Fractal Science Kit. This one took a bit of "tweaking" but the effort was worth it.

Today's Gratitude Item: I had a small mountain of little things that all needed to get done. Said mountain has now disappeared and it feels really good. It helps that tomorrow is Friday (yay!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thanks for the Jumper - A Poem

My 7th graders presented me with a pre-loved pinkish gray jumper in Science today. Apparently they got it at a market over the weekend and thought I'd appreciate it. Below is the poem this gesture inspired.

Thanks for the jumper, it was quite fun.
But buying clothes for teachers is simply not done.
Sadly said jumper was not a hit,
It was too small and did not quite fit.

I wonder if you bought it in jest?
Was it revenge for that super-hard test?
Perhaps you chose it with thought and great care,
Or was it simply done on a dare?

Gifts can be a tough thing to choose,
If you stick with chocolate you really can't lose.
Thank you for trying, the gesture was sweet,
Its something that would be quite hard to beat.

At the end of the day it did make me smile,
So in a way it was all worth while.


Today's Gratitude Item: Our dean once again pulled out all the stops when she supplied us with breakfast at our morning meeting. No other dean in my career has ever done this and it makes a big difference. I certainly felt both satisfied and appreciated.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Inside the Machine

This one was only possible thanks to generous assistance from Ross Hilbert, the creator of Fractal Science Kit. Once he told me the variations he used to create some of the images in his photostream, the rest was easy. This image is not the end. I still have a lot of exploring to do, but at least I know which path to follow.

Today's Gratitude Item: Having a "short sleeves" and "jumper free" day - summer has finally arrived and I'm loving it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Holy Web

Originally created on a Friday morning, the quotation seemed oddly appropriate.

Today's Gratitude Item: A great *long* weekend at dance camp. It goes something like this: dance, chat with friends, dance, more chatting, dance, sleep, repeat. Oh... there was of course some eating too (the food was great).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Green Escape

That guy looks like he is escaping from an ecological nightmare.

Today's Gratitude Item: One more sleep until dance camp! This blog is about to go "silent" for a few days - but its for a great cause and I'll be back early next week.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rough Immortality

In memory of Benoit Mandelbrot (20/11/1924 - 14/10/2010). His work made mine possible.

Today's Gratitude Item: We *finally* have a worm farm for getting rid of kitchen scraps and so far the worms are doing really well. The "worm tea" gained from this enterprise is apparently priceless when applied to the garden (as in it makes things grow!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Star Ripple

This one involved some hanging around and a carefully chosen gradient.

Today's Gratitude Item: That most of my 9th graders did the homework that I asked them to do. In addition, almost all of my 8th graders did a good job on their electronic homework. It seems as if we are on something of a role here!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Night Web

Named because it rendered over night taking a massive twelve and a half hours. For the amount of time it took, I was hoping for something more impressive.

Today's Gratitude Item: An easy day at school - and I'm all ready for tomorrow too which is a bonus.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Woven Rose

The Takahe is wondering if this particular rose is good to eat. Usually Takahe eat tussock grass, but this image is anything but "usual".

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally having time to do some illustrating. It felt good to get back into it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Art of Magic

This one has more to do with luck than skill.

Today's Gratitude Item: A free haircut. I've been getting my hair cut at the same place for a while and the eighth cut is free - which is just as well as their prices have been creeping steadily skyward. Next time I'll probably switch hair dressers as they are now charging $27.00 for a simple cut and other places are a lot more reasonable.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fortunate Reversal

The title refers to the act of reversing the gradient in this image and getting a pleasing result.

Today's Gratitude Item: That starting next month all of the libraries around Auckland will be united into one "Super Library". This means being able to drop off books at any library and being able to borrow from anywhere in Auckland, rather than being limited to the North Shore. Simply put, having more libraries means having more access to books which is extremely exciting.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Moontide Spiral

The ripples reminded me of waves and the sort of circular blue / white disc reminded me of the moon. Hence the title.

Today's Gratitude Item: That Shuttestock finally seem to have started accepting at least some fractal / abstract illustrations. About three months ago, they pretty much rejected everything I submitted saying, in effect "we have too many of these". Whilst I am still far away from those easy 100% acceptance days, they did accept two thirds of my most recent batch which is a fantastic improvement on recent attempts. I guess that a combination of patience and persistence has started to pay off. That and the material I have been submitting is of a higher quality than before. Lets just hope it sells.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I really liked the quotation. Its short and accurate and something that I wish my students would understand.

Today's Gratitude Item: That my 8th grade math class are going on a field trip tomorrow which means that I don't have to plan / teach that class. Its the second time in a week but we will have enough time to do all the work we need to do before the assessment so having a break is worth celebrating.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Prime Purpose

Not sure if I've already created a wallpaper with this quotation. If I have, its not the end of the word as it is worth repeating.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting extra time to plan. My 8th graders had a special Humanities event that happened during our scheduled class meaning I had time "off" to do some *more* planning.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Gold Flowers

Both forms of the proverb are good - possibly in different circumstances.

Today's Gratitude Item: A successful gamble. I gave a student a detention on Friday for lunch time today and then I forgot to turn up! Happily the student concerned did not turn up either so I gambled a tiny bit. I'm not exactly proud of this, but if he had turned up, I guessed that he would have hassled me for not being there as soon as he saw me, given that he didn't I knew he had not been where he was supposed to be. So I told him off for his indiscretion, told him to get his act together and then let him off with a warning. Poor kid had no idea that I was not there either - but teachers are only human. We're just that bit smarter than our students (at least some of the time).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Green Ripple

Its either a green ripple or some sort of alien invasion.

Today's Gratitude Item: Realising that one does not need a password to edit Wikipedia. Whilst there are advantages to setting up an account, it is nice to be able to add stuff without having to do this. They do record IP addresses though - mainly so they can ban anyone who makes a nuisance of themselves.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

A Ceremony

I'm not sure what the ceremony is for, but it must be important.

Today's Gratitude Item: Reasonably cheap lime juice. With the recent increase in GST, some items have become a lot more expensive (as feared, some retailers used the opportunity to increase their prices by a lot more than the 2.5% rise). Happily my favourite lime juice cordial was a "good price" today.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Any Road

Simple can be good :)

Today's Gratitude Item: That one of my students who was really struggling with Science has discovered a new enthusiasm for the subject and is working harder than he was before. Unsurprisingly this means that he is doing better and even appears to be enjoying my class. I wish I could claim credit for this amazing transformation but rumour has it that his parents are bribing him. if that is the case, then bribery is a great thing.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

True Thinking

It took a while to choose these colours. Hopefully the effort was not wasted.

Today's Gratitude Item: Fractal inspiration from an old friend! He showed me some cool final transforms which will allow me to create fractals which are quite different from my normal "stuff". In this case, different is very good.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Orange Luxury

Sometimes Tierazon is gives some really pretty images. This was one of those times.

Today's Gratitude Item: A quiet day tomorrow (teaching wise). This should give me some time to tackle the mountain of work that has appeared since the start of the week. Busy does not even begin to describe things right now. After only three days back, I'm ready for another holiday!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Star Satisfaction

This one took forever to render but the results were worth it. I wish I could say that I knew what I was doing when it comes to Fractal Science Kit but the images I create owe much of their existence to blind luck.

Today's Gratitude Item: Managing to create my first ever screen cast using Cam Studio and Windows Movie Maker (crude but it did the job). Said screen cast might be useful in showing my colleagues how to use Smart Notebook (the software we use to present lessons on our electronic white boards) effectively. Here's hoping...

Monday, October 04, 2010

Falling Star

This one is based on the same parameters as "Graceful Words". Its more "alive" and appealing than the preceding work.

Today's Gratitude Item: Having Dean's Assembly first thing this morning. I forgot to tell my students about a room change (Period 1 today), so it was something of a relief to be able to let them know where we were meant to be.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Graceful Words

I was going for something a bit more dark / depressing for a project that I'm working on. As is all too often the case, the ability to recycle "rejects" is deeply satisfying.

Today's Gratitude Item: Peace and quiet :) Its nice just having a weekend to relax completely without having to do anything at all.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Delicate Dreaming

This one is the result of experimenting with fractal Science Kit. I'm not exactly happy with this design as the fractal is too delicate and I was really wanting to get something stronger and more substantial.

Today's Gratitude Item: Cheese roll success. I've finally gotten the hang of making my miniature cheese rolls. This last batch, only one leaked significantly :) Its all about placing a smallish bit of cheese inside the dough and sealing it up very carefully so that it does not come undone. This is one of those times when practice makes perfect.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Marine Sanctuary

The original fractal for this wallpaper was really ugly - so I used PSP's "reflection / pattern" feature to create the background. Seen as the resulting image reminded me a bit of the ocean, I went to Te Ara Encyclopedia and used their Marine Conservation Article to create a wordle.

Here's the official citation for the article
Gerard Hutching and Carl Walrond. 'Marine conservation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 26-Nov-09 URL:

Today's Gratitude Item: My new driver's license arrived in the mail and the photo on it is not horrible (its not great, but it could have been a lot worse). Given that the license is valid for 10 years, having a decent photo is quite important.