At long last the final two build videos are up. First the painting:
Then the part by part display and photo shoot:
Next project is simmering.
A visual treat:
So it has been a while. Reporting season is always a hectic time and doubly so when dealing with unfamiliar systems. Anyway the bulk of that is past and we’ve had a productive and relaxing long weekend. Among the jobs completed which included much pruning of grape vines and ongoing tidying of papers, we have finally got out and done a photo shoot of the completed Sir Vader costume. Which although officially finished for at least two months hasn’t felt done in the absence of good photos and so progress on the build videos had lapsed as well. That has changed as two videos have gone up today, a third will upload overnight and the final will be completed during the week.
First the cape:
Then the sword, belt codpiece and scabbard”
The painting video is uploading but has hours yet to go and the last video showing detail, donning and shooting of the images is not yet complete.
We were lucky enough to catch golden hour ( more acurately 5 minutes) at Cobar water tower.
Second shirt entry is up on Woot. But I’ve made tactical errors.
I’ve had to use half tone black dots for shadows to stay under the colour limits.
I didn’t think to export images at appropriate resolution with the shadows appearing as they will in print and when the image is shrunk down to the size used on the site as above, a weird moire pattern appears and besmirches the image. I also misunderstood one of the idiosyncrasies of the lodgement process and have ended up with a tiny and uneditable thumbnail.
The holidays as ever have flown past. We spent five lovely days in Canberra with my mother and step father and a night on the road in each direction, once with family and once at a motel. I’ve logged a bunch of our experiences over at Trip Advisor. We had some particularly special meals out, saw more than a few museums and galleries and visited all the best playgrounds in town.
After months of talking and circling around ideas, trying to decide where and how we want to live. Including keeping voting tally sheets with pros and cons for each destination on the kitchen cabinets. We have decided that we will stay in Australia. The where in Australia bit remains nebulous, but we are effectively ruling out living in Scotland, Europe or Asia for now. I am still coming to terms with the next bit but it is likely that we will need to stay in Cobar for the duration of 2018 to build capital. Our key criteria in looking for a place to buy and build are quality school for the boys, proximity to family, proximity to a capital, affordability, proximity to wilderness, mountains, sea as well as climate stability, vulnerability and habitability. Nowhere meets all needs.
I’ve started a list of every good or interesting state or alternative school in Australia. As expected apart from a few really exceptional state schools I hadn’t encountered before, it is a pretty short list at the moment. I’m hopeful of being able to add more before we begin narrowing it down.
I’ve resolved to devote more effort to developing my creative abilities to combat the latent ennui of life out here. Finishing things is critical to progress for me and today I finally put finishing touches on two projects that have been lingering on my drive for years and months respectively. Both are being used for T-shirt design competitions the first is here on Threadless.
The second will go up on Woot! for a relevant competition opening there early tomorrow morning. Link to follow. Edit: It seems the relevant WOOT comp wont open until Thursday.
Votes are greatly appreciated on both. As with many such sites the winning entries get about $1k US, some store credit and a portion of all sales for the life of the design on the site.
Tomorrow is the first day of term 2 for me, though my student wont be back until Wednesday. As Tuesday is ANZAC day Monday is student free and hopefully productive.
The deep exhaustion of an eleven week term conquered all for the past week or so. The two weeks I have to recover before the next onslaught are a very welcome prospect. We will be spending almost a week of the break in Canberra with my mother and step father doing who knows what yet.
For the first time since entering the profession of teaching I have found myself wondering if all the attendant crap of education, the meetings, the record keeping, marking and behaviour management are worthwhile. I remain committed to my class and to the profession for some years to come but if, in a few years time I announce that I am starting a business, or pursuing a project instead that year, don’t be surprised. Another factor in all of this is that a masters is likely to become necessary at some point not too far down the line and the very idea fills me with dread. I love learning but my every experience of higher education so far has been disappointing if not down right infuriating and the idea of writing a thesis or completing coursework while keeping up with the day to day requirements of the classroom is deeply unappealing.
Anyway apart from a small pile of marking and a big pile of planning. My goals for the break are to finally get a photo shoot done of L in his costume, and to try and knock out F’s costume to match. The helm of F’s is already done and the other pieces should all come together with relative ease. I would also like to begin playing with modelling software in earnest and gets some drawing done.
From ‘A Year in a (shit) country town
Yesterday I finally finished ‘The Baroque Cycle‘ by Stephenson. A seven book long odyssey that has taken me almost a year of listening. I shared the first book with N in Scotland but she was not as hooked as I so I have listened to the rest myself and it’s a good thing too, else N and I would still have months to go. I myself had plenty of interruptions and have listened to and read many other things along the way. But it has been an amazing journey through the Europe of the 17th and 18th centuries that I have enjoyed being able to jump in and out of for months.
These books managed to treat the origins of currency and the markets as lively and dramatic sequences of events. Although plenty of artistic licence has been taken it is clear that meticulous research was required and drawn upon regularly by Stephenson. The origins of science in natural philosophy and the political battles between the fiercest minds of the age are the central and recurring elements and are fascinating in and of themselves. All is weaved together into a compelling narrative with destitute princesses, vagabond scoundrels, pirates, alchemists and geniuses battling over the fundamental nature of reality and creating the world anew. It has been a wild ride.
N and I are a few episodes into ‘Legion‘, which is so far pretty compelling and disturbing viewing. There is a lot of quite Kubrikian elements of style and an aesthetic that pays homage to British sci-fi from the 60s and 70s. I am impressed by the accuracy and discomfort with which the filmmakers are able to capture the uncertainty of mental illness, the slippery transience of dream and memory and the disturbing nightmarish intensity of childhood fear.
More as we progress.
This is a bad book, spoilers ahead. I grabbed it as it was in a bunch of peoples favourite SF of recent years book lists. N and I listened to it together and both were felt kind of embarrassed by how easily we guessed the nature of the problem from very early on. Both hoping that it could not really be that simple, like seriously he cannot really be expecting his entire audience to not have seen ‘The Prestige’, can he? Anyway by then it was too late we were committed and had to see it through and my oh my it just got worse, and worse, and worse.
It really was embarrassingly bad. From the grievous stupidity of the protagonist with the ever more preposterously good memory functions to the hilariously awful enemies from the ‘other side’ by the end we were groaning and offering exasperated counter commentary on every action.
F had another day care cold to start the week, cleared now. But we were all in sleep debt for a few days.
I’ve been fidgeting with the printer at school and pottering about trying to get the class aquaponics system up and running.
I’ve been holding off on delivering a lesson on cyclones as part of our natural disasters topic, Tuesday provided the perfect opportunity. I hope things ae calming down for everyone up north now. ABC had a shot of a street close to our previous residence in Brisbane deep under water so while we are grateful to not personally be going through that again.
Holidays are still a week away for us here in NSW and there is as always much to be done. We will be taking a trip to Canberra to rendezvous with my mother and step father for the long weekend. Hot tips for attractions are appreciated.
It is hard to muster energy for a good rant on school nights, but my goodness our pollies deserve more than a tongue lashing at the moment. I’ll leave off with Chomsky instead.
and a piece on the the noble Bin Chicken to lift you spirits
Part seven and eight are being edited as one and should be done in coming days.
I’ve started F’s matching Storm Trooper suit, pics to follow as it develops.
Hung the bird house in a tree.
Lots of rich discussion about the years ahead but no answers yet. Indulged myself with a game purchase. Like it’s predecessor Just Cause 2, part 3 is 100% pure mayhem. Better writing than a Michael Bay film though every bit as silly and explody and much more fun.
A lot of long days have left me with not much to say of an evening save a string of Z’s. Nevertheless lots of projects have come together over the weekend and the beginning of this week.
A set of three nested photography sitting boxes. To be used for portraiture in the studio N has just signed a three month lease on.
Assembled from scraps and painted with a stinky old enamel helpfully labeled ‘Stromboli’ found in the shed.
Puppets are taking over in my classroom. Yesterday I had a mixed group from various grades thanks to a sports day so we made free choice pin and paper puppets like this example which I whipped up in lunch. Today my class began making their own interpretations of the characters in the book we have been reading with the intention that they will then animate scenes from the story.
As noted on insta, we have denuded the entire town’s supply of split pins and I am now desperately hunting more.
I finished another segment of the costume build video. We didn’t make it out for a costume shoot over the weekend as I had hoped to do. Looking forward to this weekend though.
I desperately need to do away with the huge and unwieldy collection of clips that are clogging up my hard drives. Editing a gogo.
Fell in love with the art and concept of this game:
I am absolutely devastated that I missed the kickstarter (and associated loot) last year. Can’t hardly wait for release.
I received my first ever snake bite yesterday. Completely harmless and entirely my own fault.
Molasses the python got a a little too eager when I opened his enclosure with my hand in front of his head. I freely admit that it got my heart going though.
A week of very long days has left little energy for making in the evenings.
In an exciting development I now have fish in the classroom. A small school of Jade Perch to be precise.
The aquaponics system is still some way off functional but we have transferred the fish into a pair of the system’s tanks and plugged in some air-stones to keep them happy.
A number of interesting things have caught my eye this week but i’ll limit myself to only a couple.
The animator behind this fantastic little gorgon battle has recently finished a four year odyssey to single-handedly animate a feature length hand drawn film. Very impressive and pretty cool looking to boot.
Deep in the disturbing underweb evil masterminds find perfect matches between pop rap hits and nightmarish children’s television.
If you like me derive pleasure from watching people fail at video gaming in spectacular and amusing fashion. This guy has plenty to offer.
A visitor from the other side of the globe enlivened our weekend.
My good friend Nils, who is over from Berlin to see his partner, drove with her up from Melbourne. They stayed Friday and Saturday nights with us, availing themselves of our camping equipment to pitch tent in the garden for privacy and defense from early morning pounces by little boys. We took it pretty easy, lots of good conversation, rich food and late nights.
Printed him a pinhole camera:
I have requested sample images when such have been developed.
I have finally called build complete on the Sir Vader Costume.
I am hopeful of finding time to do a full dress photo shoot on or before the weekend. Getting ready to get started on the matching costume for F using what I have learned making this one.
I’ve also nearly completed the set of three photography sitting boxes for N’s soon to be studio, sanding and painting remain. At work I’ve been decluttering my storerooms and preparing to get an aquaponics system online.
N and I watched ‘La La Land‘ last night.
Occasionally I love a good musical, not to often mind, and only if they aren’t too heavy on the soppy songs.
To me this film was beat perfect, a genuine unadulterated pleasure. The vibrant colours, the on point comic timing, the emotional maturity and the ever present set and prop homages to golden era greats. Musicals aren’t for everyone and a glace at the IMDB reviews reveals that even among the musical aficionados this is clearly a contentious film. I contend that it is worth your while, impressive, emotional and fun.