Monday, December 31, 2012

Bee Flower

Is this one bright enough to attract digital bees?

Today's Gratitude Item: That the blender skills I acquired back in 2007 have not been totally forgotten. Having said that, the software is still tough to use - especially when bits of it refuse to co-operate and google is silent on the solution.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


For some reason, this one creeps me out - have no idea why.

Today's Gratitude Item: That the power-outage we had was short lived and it did not fry my Computer / Internet connection. Also the fact that when said outage occurred, there was still enough light to read by.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Troubling Triangle

Was really fun to make - might be a bit busy for a desktop wallpaper though.

Today's Gratitude Item: Seeing the sun! After about a week of overcast / rainy days it was really nice to finally get some sunshine. The frustrating thing is that it has been really hot / humid despite the lack of sunshine. I'm guessing that right about now there are a lot of unhappy campers out there. I'm being literal as camping is the quintessential kiwi vacation experience and with more wet weather on the way, a lot of holiday makers are going to be disappointed with the weather.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Beach Ball

With funky waves as a background.

Today's Gratitude Item: That it is super easy to add 'bleed' to things created in Illustrator (thanks Google for helping me to find out how to do this).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Forever Diamonds

Had fun with this one - especially enjoyed creating the background. It's hard to believe that Apophysis + PaintshopPro can create these sort of images.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting a big (and time consuming) job out of the way. It was one of those things that was relatively urgent and it took a fair bit of time to get it sorted. Now that it's done, I am a lot more relaxed - the thing is literally a load off my mind.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Star Quilt

This one was surprisingly easy to create.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally completing this year's Yom Ha'Shoah micrograph. It took a while to materialise and will feature on this blog in due course.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wrapped Up

Spheres on funky wallpaper make me happy.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting loads done! Even managed a longish walk despite the fact that it rained - a lot. It turns out that timing really is everything.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Rock Stars

As in the brown colour and textured reminded me of a rock pool.

Today's Gratitude Item: Laughing so hard that tears resulted. Today has been a nice, peaceful 'good' day. Here's hoping that tomorrow brings more of the same. having time to work on stuff for 'me' is an added bonus.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Big Blue

I wonder what it would be like to play chess on a board that looked like this.

Today's Gratitude Item: Home-made Slush! As in a semi-frozen beverage, consumed in order to remain cool. If you don't get 'brain freeze' when consuming said slush, you probably are not doing it right!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ribbon Bridge

It's amazing what one can do with some woven pink "virtual" ribbons.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting an extra three months free on my Flickr Account. This was a very nice, unexpected gesture. Thanks Flickr!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Magenta Babushka

I thought that the fractal would match the colours of the doll a bit better. It's not a total loss, at least this doll stands.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding two perfect Creative Commons images to use in a project that came up recently.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Purple Babushka

The background of this one may be a bit loud. There is always the risk of things going slightly awry when one experiments.

Today's Gratitude Item: That my workspace is in the coldest part of the house - this means being able to keep cool, even when the humidity is uncomfortably high.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blue Star Babuska

Dedicated to all those of Russian / Jewish descent. This may be my favourite of this series.

Today's Gratitude Item: Free parking and loads of chocolate! Today was our last dance session for the year and my dancers gave me loads of very high quality chocolate as a 'thank you' for teaching the class. The group is awesome and they all know about my love affair with chocolate. Happily, they decided to really spoil me this year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Green Babushka

Could not resist the inclusion of some clovers on this one.

Today's Gratitude Item: That our Internet is working again. It went down late on Sunday afternoon and only got fixed last night. Orcon's customer service* was "disappointing" and it was only after I literally screamed at them that they sent out a technician who was simply put, awesome. Happily said technician worked his magic and all is once again well in my world.

*For some reason, Orcon's 'tech support' (and I use the word 'support' in it's loosest possible sense) is based in Manilla. It took three calls to these people to get some action on the problem and they did not seem to care. It was difficult to understand them, the line was terrible and they were not clear on how long the problem would take to get fixed. I seriously wish Orcon would bring their call-centre back to New Zealand (or at least route calls to a centre where the background noise is not so loud).

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Yellow Babushka

Took a while to create the miniature suns on the apron of this one, but it was worth the extra effort.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally completing a hexagonal gift box that I was making for a friend. Note to self: next time stick with a traditional square / rectangular box as hexagonal boxes are 'tricky' to cover and painful to make.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Orange Babushka

For some reason, the orange doll was easier to create than the red doll - only her eyes are a bit creepy.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being able trade my old (dead) cellphone for warm fuzzies. It turns out that Starship Hospital has found a way to turn dead / old phones into cash - and they have made it super easy / convenient to 'donate'.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Red Babuskha

This is part of a rainbow series of dolls. The red one got hearts on her apron. I've recycled the dolls from a previous image.

Today's Gratitude Item: A cheese cloth bag. Said bag was simply brilliant for getting the excess moisture our of a rather large amount of re-heated chopped spinach. The spinach was needed for a special bread (the drier the better). I used to struggle to drain the spinach with a sieve, spoon and a lot of time / pressure. Being able to put it in a bag and literally wring out the excess water was both quick and painless.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Floral Orange

Playing with the background really helped improve this one.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding this...

It's a combination keyring / coin-holder in the shape of a sock. Basically it's the ideal non-Christmas small gift that has just the right amount of whimsy and usefulness.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bright Sparks

Struggled to get this one to look acceptable. I think the colours are just "too much".

Today's Gratitude Item: *Hopefully* getting a really early night. Got up at 6:20am this morning to do the 'walk outside before it gets too hot' thing which worked out well (found $1.00). Only problem is that I'm pretty tired now and the sun hasn't even set (gotta love daylight saving).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quad Moth

The "spots" on this one reminded me of similar spots that can sometimes be spotted on the wings of certain moths.

Today's Gratitude Item: Holidays + Books :) I really enjoyed Guilty Wives by James Patterson (I enjoy most of his 'stuff'). I suspect some of the reviewers over at Amazon would not have been so harsh if they had borrowed the book from their local library. Happily, mine had a brand new copy on display on the weekend and I nabbed it.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Chanukah 5773

This one involved a bit of recycling, a bit of luck (as in finding the salt cellar over at the open clip art library) and a lot of time. It was fun to make though.

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 my Intuos tablet to co-operate again. For some reason it changed itself from 'mouse' mode to 'pen' mode which was rather disconcerting. Happily it is now behaving again.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Spilled Sunlight

This one is recycled from some old parameters. The colours remind me of what could happen when surf, sun and land meet.

Today's Gratitude Item: Home made blueberry slush. Said slush was very tasty, very cold, very red and pretty much guilt free. Frozen blueberry's are a wonderful thing.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Square Scales

This one is a lot brighter than originally intended. It turns out that rendering fractals is not a perfect science.

Today's Gratitude Item: That summer holidays are finally here! Having a long summer 'holiday' is one of the nice things about being a teacher. I use the word holiday in its loosest possible sense as I'll be spending a good part of that time developing teaching resources / investigating bits of software for next year.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Stained Amythest

If only it were possible to get stained glass that really looked like this...

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting hold of a headset / headphones for use at school. This means being able to make high quality screen-casts at work without lugging bulky equipment back and forth.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Square Splash

Presenting yet more waves which are far too structured to be natural.

Today's Gratitude Item: That one of my students (who has now finished school) gave me a lovely box of chocolates and cheerful mug with the slogan "Keep calm and carry on" - which is oddly appropriate given my line of work. It was a kind gesture and being thanked is always nice.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Hessian Bloom

Reminded me of sack cloth, with a little bit "extra" thrown in for good measure.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting moderation done, critiquing a future assessment and buying sushi all between 11:00am and 2:00pm. Believe me when I say that today was rather productive in some ways.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Gold Vein

This one turned out much better than expected.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting my tool-bar back in Word. It kept disappearing because I had unwittingly set it to ‘minimise'. Needless to say this was both mysterious and annoying. A quick google search solved the problem (of course).

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Wonder Waffle

Almost good enough to eat :)

Today's Gratitude Item: Cheap Christmas Tree ornaments and some ideas on how to spice them up. Whilst I am absolutely NOT into Christmas, one of my dancers is. She is also celebrating a significant birthday in the near future and some personalised Christmas Tree ornaments will make her very happy.

Fuzzy Blanket

Took ages to get this one to look half-way decent. At least I finally figured out exactly how the "pattern" tool in PSP works. Let's just say the co-ordinate system the program uses is counter-intuitive

Today's Gratitude Item: Having a good idea. For a while, I've been wondering what I can do for my dancers on our last session for the year. It has become traditional to give each group member a small meaningful 'something' at that point. Figuring out how to present said 'something' is a big step forward in the process and I'm now quite excited to get things under-way.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dream Sphere

This is one of those images which looked much nicer on a white background. It's rare, but it does happen.

Today's Gratitude Item: A late surge of sales over at shutterstock which turned a sightly disappointing month into a bit of a celebration.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Weave Learner

I thought this would look better than it does. It's not bad enough to 'bin' but not really good enough to keep.

Today's Gratitude Item: Good timing, great food and interesting professional development. Suffice it to say hot chocolate, sushi and computers were involved.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pointed Cog

Had fun with this one. The 3D effect was a nice surprise.

Today's Gratitude Item: Knowing the punchline to a friends joke. Somehow, this made it funnier. Here's a link to the joke in question.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


This one was pretty easy to make. It's a variation on a theme.

Today's Gratitude Item: The Add Blocker Plus add-on for firefox. I have installed it on both my home and school computer and am now able to surf in relative peace. Blocking adverts is a slightly strange move given the adverts at the bottom of my blog but the improved ad-free experience made the decision a 'no brainer'.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pixelated Ocean 2.0

Waves which are far too "structured" appear at regular intervals on my screen. These, at least were "render worthy".

Today's Gratitude Item: Winning (half)* a large bar of Toblerone for my department this morning. It had to do with identifying the people in "Divine Comdey Dante". We were given a *cropped* printout of the image and challenged to name the people in it. I scanned in the image, did a google image search and found the answers. I then emailed these on to the principal and included the people not in the 'original' (cropped) image we were given. He liked my ingenuity. Some of my less charitable colleagues (from other departments) thought it was cheating. Said exercise was fun and took less than 20 minutes to complete from scanning to emailing. Gotta love the power of the internet (and chocolate prizes).

*The other half of the chocolate went to another department who managed to 'manually' identify everyone in the cropped image. I think my way was quicker.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ley Lines

Took a while to the colours to co-operate. Creating this sort of thing breeds patience which is probably for the best.

Today's Gratitude Item: That laying out the quarterly magazine for my local community did not take nearly as long as anticipated.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Four Quarters

Finally realised that a tiled background with a sphere on top can look quite cool.

Today's Gratitude Item: Books that make one laugh out loud.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Squared Stars

It's interesting how a relatively plain background can be 'spiced up'. Did not take as long to create as one might think.

Today's Gratitude Item: Making serious inroads into my planning for next year. This task is very time consuming and it was good to get a relatively large proportion of it done.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Radical Radar

I love it when a fractal appears that requires no post processing. It makes life that much easier.

Today's Gratitude Item: That my car-pool buddy texted me this afternoon when she was at the car. I was headed over there in a slight panic because I could not find my cellphone. When my bag rang, said phone was easily located (and I did not even need to ask for help).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Glass Tiles

Simple but fun. I tried "improving" this one in Paint Shop Pro and then realised that some things are better left "untouched".

Today's Gratitude Item: That I don't have to drive to school tomorrow. Hopefully this will allow me to get some planning done in relative peace.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sphere Cubes

Might be a bit drab for some desktops but I like it.

Today's Gratitude Item (With a bit of a rant included for no extra charge!):

Free parking and getting home much earlier than usual. It's a pity that today's Professional Development was only moderately helpful. The first session was an eclectic mix of a freezing cold lecture theatre, largely irrelevant information and sheer boredom. To be fair, the remaining sessions were better although the lack of internet access / electronic resources made things harder than they needed to be. One of the most annoying things about this kind of PD is that they give out paper feedback forms at the end but don't give enough time to write meaningful comments and they still have not made it possible to feedback electronically - annoying when one types faster than one writes (insert frustrated scream here).

Monday, November 19, 2012

Twighlight Touchdown

This one reminds me of an aeroplane touching down. Did I mention that I have a vivid imagination?

Today's Gratitude Item: Not having to supervise juniors this afternoon whilst most of my colleagues were at their Paid Union Meeting. I'm not a member of the Union - partly because I don't agree with the Union's politics, partly because I don't see the point and partly because they tend to have meetings where they complain. A lot. Was able to carry on cleaning out my classroom instead which was great.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fibonacci Star

As in this one is the result of an intriguing plug-in called "Fibonacci"

Today's Gratitude Item: Being inspired! It's great when one has an exciting idea and has the time to 'run with it'. Gotta run :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fragmented Rose

Was easier to create that one would think. It's good when that happens.

Today's Gratitude Item: That the email I sent out on Friday urging some of my students to return and finish work may well be effective. Said email was sent to both students and their parents. So far, I've received an encouraging number of positive responses (along the lines of "thank you" from parents and "we'll be there on Monday" from the kids).

Friday, November 16, 2012


As in it's a star on an admittedly muddy field.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding out that it is possible to embed video into .pdf files. This opens up a number of exciting possibilities for helping students get the hang of various pieces of software.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Net Worth

The net "works" in this one. Can't quite remember how I got it though.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding a really easy to use, free Car Pooling Site which lets one find people to car pool with to events. This is especially useful when traffic / parking are likely to be an issue. Hopefully it will do the trick and make it easy for me to get to my Technology workshop which is scheduled for next Tuesday. Said site is for New Zealand but there are almost certainly similar sites in other countries.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Structured Steam

Background reminded me of steam (sort of). Star in foreground was a time consuming afterthought.

Today's Gratitude Item: Good quality Belgian quality (from my birthday).

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hex 3D

If you turn your head sideways and stare at this one, you'll see a Star of David in the middle.

Today's Gratitude Item: Discovering how to get the most out of gradients in Apophysis. Before I would rotate / randomise a gradient to try and get it to co-operate. It turns out that "rotate" is just one of a handful of available options and it is possible to change the colour, saturation, lightness and frequency (ie # of colour bands) with ease. I've been using Apo for years and only discovered this feature last week (by accident).

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kitch Trip

This is either very good or very, very bad. Am trying to figure out which. I like the 3D effect but the overall image is "in your face ugly".

Today's Gratitude Item: An easy day. Had several students turn up to complete work which is good. Teaching only those who want to learn is really wonderful / easy!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Curtain Call II

It's odd how sometimes fractals look a bit like fabric.

Today's Gratitude Item: Not having to do school work over the weekend. This was a nice change and I'm looking forward to a week of exam supervision, completing paperwork and planning for 2013.