Thursday, March 31, 2011

No Mistakes

Had fun with this one - both in creating the image and finding the quotation.

Today's Gratitude Item: Discovering Worksheet Works. It generates a wide range of maths worksheets that go beyond the standard drills and are extremely useful. Best of all, its currently in Beta and that means its free!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wise Words

Liked the fractal, liked the quotation. Life is officially good.

Today's Gratitude Item: My usual morning meeting was cancelled! That means having about 20 minutes extra to catch up on work. Even better, my tutor group were all "out" on a field trip meaning I did not have to be there giving me an extra long morning tea bread. All in all, a very good day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Data Path

Sometimes it seems that we are more likely to be swayed by interesting anecdotes than dry data.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting home from work at a reasonable hour. Having a non-contact at the end of the day is really great and the traffic was kind to me :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Web Master

The little critter at the bottom right of the image is a true webmaster.

Today's Gratitude Item: That a colleague gave me a link to some ready-made resources which I can use with my students. Given we are preparing for a major assessment, having suitable study materials is extremely useful.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Post Purim Spice Buns

The only problem with these is that they look better than they taste. I'm biased as it turns out that, just like my mother, I don't like the taste of "all spice". My father has assured me that the buns above are actually rather good and he seemed more than willing to eat a fair number of them.

Post Purim Spice Buns

Need to see that bigger? Click the preceding link.

Today's Gratitude Item: That .pdf files can be placed directly into InDesign files. This can make laying out spreads a lot easier than it would otherwise be.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Infinite Illusion

Every so often, things just "click" and a really good image appears. This was one of those times.

Today's Gratitude Item: That most technical problems can be solved by googling. I was working on an Indesign file and when I tried to place a text box over an image, the text disappeared into overflow. Googling told me that all I had to do was tell the box to ignore the text wrap. I would never have figured it out without the world's favourite search engine.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Extreme String

The extreme pink "works" in this one. Using blue for a gradient just did not make the image "pop".

Today's Gratitude Item: Realising that I can use my "expired" version of Publisher to view publisher files which clients send through. I can't edit or create Publisher files but this is not an issue given that my software of choice (InDesign) is a million times better than Publisher.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Star Ornament

Spent ages hunting for an appropriate quotation for this one and failed in that quest. I'm not sure that is a bad thing.

Today's Gratitude Item: The HOF at the school where I now work liked one of my resources so much that he showed it to the rest of the senior learning team and gave me credit. Having an encouraging, easy going leader is wonderful, especially as in the past, I have worked with others who have taken credit for my work rather than acknowledging my efforts.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Many Diamonds

Its different, but I like it.

Today's Gratitude Item: Discovering that at school it is possible to photocopy an A3 page for the same price as an A4 page. This is basically a loophole which might help me get around the photocopy restrictions. I'd feel worse about this if the system made some type of sense but it doesn't. To print a single page, we get charged 8c. To print that same single page double sided costs 16c even though we are only using one sheet of paper. I'm really happy that to print A3 is only 8c as I can fit 4 A4 pages onto one A3 by reducing the pages by 71%. For most of my classes, I don't need to print too much as we use text books and work books and the students generally cope well but for my one 8th grade class I do need to print stuff out as they struggle and having straight forward worksheets is one of the best ways to help them learn.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Motion in Action

Liked the fractal, liked the quotation. Was remarkably simple to create.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting my marking done! Had two classes worth of tests to grade and they are all done. My students will be pleased as they are always keen to see how they went. Even when things do not go well, for some reason, students are always desperate to know their grades.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Israeli Flag

Here's yet another version of the Israeli flag. It turned out well.

Today's Gratitude Item: That at least one of my 11th grade students "got" how easy it is to solve quadratics using her Graphing Calculator. She was literally hugging the thing and declared that she would never factorise again! I'm just glad that she knows how to use the tool (and work backwards to "fake" the factorising step).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Going Everywhere

This one looks like the migration of fluorescent sea critters.

Today's Gratitude Item: Managing to creating a series of Siapo images / design blocks which I will use with my 8th graders in due course. It took forever to do and I'm hoping that it was worth the effort. Doing the job without Illustrator (by hand) would have been far quicker but much less professional. Said images will appear on this blog in due course. I used the preceding link for ideas / inspiration and basic blocks.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Purim Sameach

Had a tremendous amount of fun with this one. If you look at the large version by clicking on the image below you'll be able to read the text on each of the cards.

Zeev suggested the idea of playing cards to me a very long time ago (complete with a link for inspiration). My dad pretty much came up with idea of having a Royal Flush with the Ace being for Hashem and the the "10" being for the Jewish Community (I really love my dad).

A reminder that 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: The rosemary that grows on our walking route. Its free, abundant and excellent for making home made bread rolls :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Under Control

Took a while to find an appropriate quote but the effort was worth it.

Today's Gratitude Item: My internal relief involved looking after a senior graphics class and it was a perfect opportunity to get some extra planning done.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Night Flower

Not exactly my most inspired piece but not a complete waste of time either.

Today's Gratitude Item: Polyfest - mostly because all our 8th grade students are going to it tomorrow meaning I don't have to teach my most challenging class.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I spent forever trying to draw in some facial features and then realised this one was better left "blank".

Today's Gratitude Item: Managing to walk! Got home at 6:30pm this evening after parent teacher interviews and had just enough time to fit in a *short* 5km walk before the sun set. Weather was perfect - not too hot, not too cold.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Trust Vase

The vase was really quick to create - I took the original fractal flame, cut off the top and bottom and then played a bit to get the opening.

Today's Gratitude Item: That checking a test that a colleague prepared did not take as long as feared. Having an electronic copy to work on was helpful as it meant that making changes was easy. Being able to use Geogebra for the diagrams was an added bonus. I really love that piece of software! Its free, easy to use and very versatile.

Monday, March 14, 2011


This panda is endangered - especially if he falls into those fractal volcanoes :)

Today's Gratitude Item: Google :) Its super handy for looking up random things like the answers to time-wasting quizzes. In staff meeting today, we got to do one such random quiz and Math faculty won, mostly because we used google. The principal didn't say we couldn't and I'm wondering why I'm the only teacher in the auditorium who thought to do this... after all, that's the entire point of having laptops and wireless! The activity did make me miss my old school - at that place all the middle school students had laptops and if I asked my 7th grade Science students a question, they would all automatically google it unless I told them not to.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

If at first you don't succeed

Try again! Below are photos to prove the point. Yesterday's hamentashen attempt was tasty but a complete disaster (left image). Whilst they started off as triangles, they came undone when left to rise. Today's attempt was thankfully successful. The image on the right show what hamentashen should look like :)

Today's Gratitude Item: That the hamentashen taste as good as they look! Nothing is quite as good as freshly baked goods, fresh out of the oven. Choosing between the chocolate and dried apple / cinnamon & nut options is very difficult.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


The problem with spiral paths is that the footing can be a bit treacherous.

Today's Gratitude Item: That even though my first attempt at making Hamentashen "flopped", it still tasted good. I used a bread base but the triangles did not survive the rising process and I ended up with discs of bread topped with the filling that should have been on the inside. The plan is to have another go tomorrow but instead of leaving some filling exposed, I will "close up" the triangles and seal them with water.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Deep Sea Lurking

The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Today's Gratitude Item: That my dad was able to log into my home email and send through a file that I needed for school. It got very late last night and I'd managed to email myself the wrong file. Lets just say my dad saved the day. Dads can be pretty good at doing that :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Smooth Way

This one took a while to create - but then experimenting is usually time consuming.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting all my 10th graders "caught up" on their last practice assessment, and managing to go through the assessment with both my classes. Its a small thing but sometimes getting students to catch up missed assessments can get tricky.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Snow Gate

This one is special as the snowflakes are part of the original fractal. The quotation, background and signature were added after the fractal was created.

Today's Gratitude Item: A really great turn-out at dance tonight. In recent weeks the group has been small and "intimate". Tonight, there were more of us and this is one of those times when "more" is "better". The cooler weather made it more pleasant too.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Pattern Dancing

I've had the clip art for ages and finally found a fractal to "fit".

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding my Place Value presentation from last year! Said presentation was really useful and I thought that I'd managed to lose it. Turns out it was filed in a weird place on my computer.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Floral Direction

Got really "lucky" with the background. I applied it in error and then realised that the purple / blue colour worked really well with the orange of the star.

Today's Gratitude Item: That the humidity that has plagued us for the last month has disappeared. Who knew that a cold-snap could be a beautiful thing?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

String Song

The clip art took forever to create. The instrument is Oud and the string fractal is oddly appropriate.

Today's Gratitude Item: Realising that I can run both Apo 2.09 and Apo 7x from the same folder so that they share plugins. Apo 2.09 has one or two things that Apo 7x is missing, even though I prefer the look / feel of Apo 7x. Maybe someday the features of 2.09 will make it into an Apo "x" version.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Fire Storm

This one is a lot more masculine than most of my images. I'm not sure that I like it as its almost violent...

Today's Gratitude Item: This tutorial. Images based on it are currently rendering and will appear on this blog in due course. I also discovered that my deviant art account is still active, even though I have only uploaded two images there (its easier to do the flickr thing). Funny thing was, the first password I used worked.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Faint Hope

If you squint and use your imagination, you can *almost* see a candle flame at the end of the tunnel.

Today's Gratitude Item: That my 11th grade students thought the summary sheets I created and linked to my school blog were commercially done. They asked if it was possible to buy them at the local stationery store as they did not realise they were meant to download them and print them out. When I explained that I created the summary sheets, they suggested I charge my colleagues for the privilege of using them :) It was funny at the time.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Pulsating Beat

Dedicated to a certain drummer who, on occasion abandons said instrument and opts to dance.

Today's Gratitude Item: Figuring out how to book the IT suite so that my students can spend a lesson on the computers. There is a really neat website which walks students through a range of ratio problems and I'm interested to see how they go.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Cloud 9

For some reason the musician and the fractal "clouds" seem to work. Its good when that happens.

Today's Gratitude Item: Having a Teacher Aide with me when I had my "challenging" 8th grade class. For the first time this year, the class went well and everyone was working most of the time. The students were able to cope with the work they had to do and we had a really good session. We won't always have our teacher aide with us, but when he's there, its great.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

School Wallpaper

A new school means a new wallpaper - hence this image. Even though the logo was already available as a vector image, this one still took quite some time to create.

Today's Gratitude Item: That an email I inadvertently deleted off the server (before reading it) was from the person I thought it was from and they resent it. No harm, no foul.