I began setting up and cleaning my classroom in earnest today. Which also afforded me opportunity to make my first prints on the schools 3D Printer. There remains a lot to do. But I have a space arraignment that I am happy with for now and I’ve found some treasures hidden in the cupboards, a couple of powered microscopes, lots of paint and dice. Happy days.

I won’t have students until Feb 6th as I’m in NSW’s western district. Work officially starts the Wednesday prior but that is professional development. I have planning and decorating to do.

#firstever #3dprint on the #3dprinter that lives in my new #classroom. #win ! #spirograph #pla

A photo posted by Kim Lang (@liatach) on

Spirographs FTW.

Also finished attaching the pvc scale armour pieces to L’s Sir Vader tabard. A few foam details; Including a cloak attachment, a sword and shield and we are all set for painting and calling this particular project done.



Yesterday was one of those days where everyone got up on the wrong side of the bed. Things went from bad to worse at the breakfast table where even the bananas were not of acceptable standards. Things improved by the time we finished the day with a family barbecue and sun headaches. It was a hard day compounded by relentless heat and irritability.

Today a heavenly break in the weather allowed a very productive day. Knocked out a few little jobs in the garden that have been waiting for soft ground and cool conditions to be completed. Also made a lot of progress on the Sir Vader costume, which is now almost ready for painting.


Finished Stephenson’s ‘Quicksilver‘ this morning which has taken a while to get though, having first attempted it in Scotland. Already almost finished book two of eight ‘The King of The Vagabonds’ (technically published in the one volume with the first). It isn’t often that I hear nine plus hours of an audio book in one day though.


Sewing Frustrations & Swimming Successes

L swam independently for the first time on our morning swim today. Admittedly he has trouble keeping his head above water, but he can move through water in the direction he wants to go and he and we are over the moon. This marks four days of extraordinary progress, on Saturday he would barely blow bubbles and submerge his face all while clinging for dear life. Today we did underwater high fives and he propelled himself 2 meters through the water without touching bottom. F is also becoming much more water confident, though he is still taking some convincing not to drink the pool.

Project wise I spent the day wrestling with N’s family sewing machine, which is doubtless older than me and still going strong. Though in this case the area it shows most strength in is tangled bobbins and de-threading needles.

In addition tothe parts of the tabard shown above I have affixed fabric glue points to each end of eight strips of elastic. I have dealt with so many knots that I am going to investigate having the machine serviced or replaced as I cannot continue to work with it as it is.

I’ve also made time for a small and long overdue spot of calligraphy practise.

Last nights video editing turned into an exercise in following After Effects tutorials for title animations. Unsatisfactory results, so now for a spot of painting before bed.


A day spent largely in hiding from the heat, mostly in the local library and pool. Aiming to make the best of the evening cool and create some art. Starting with a spot of video editing.

Recently watched ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower‘ with N.

I found it engaging and enjoyable, if a bit saccharine and emotionally manipulative. The portrayal of drug use for comedic effect was let down by the obvious lack of experience. It passes Bechdel, it has great music and it treats its gay characters with respect. The depression and mental health problems of the protagonist are treated as acceptable issues for anyone to deal with. I think it is likely a valuable film for it’s target demographic.




Days slipping by in Festivus. Lots of Lego, lots of painting, bubble making, a little carpentry and plenty of swimming in the river has occupied our days. I’ve been reading a preview copy of my father’s new novel and Steven Pinkers Style guide. We watched the sadly too long and quite disappointing Christmas special of Sense 8 and I’ve treated a cousin and myself to an on sale copy of ABZU. Which is a delightful aquatic adventure by the creators of one of my favourite games of all time:

Today we are off to the Folk Festival for the afternoon and evening, care of Christmas tickets and babysitting provided by my mother.

A small sampling of our output over the last few days:

This last playing with my new carbon ink Japanese brush pen. Lovely thing.



Thursday 22nd

I read a whole lot of nothing particularly interesting today. One of those days in the News where everyone is very excited to speculate about all the stuff they don’t know. This was facilitated by two hours spent in a windows O’Brien waiting for a windscreen replacement. Very impressed with their service overall. Windscreen insurance options are so worth it.

Also a quite quick and successful trip to the new nearby IKEA to secure N’s Christmas present. No spoiler she picked it, a new new Langfjall office chair. from here on out neither of us must cripple ourselves in 60+ year old dining chairs to work on our computers.


I have a couple more childhood walking paths to include in my post of a few days ago, but I would still like more.

Having a play in Illustrator and watching some media this evening. Leaving off with this lovely clip made using E-life and fractal simulations.

Max Cooper – Order from Chaos – Official Video by Maxime Causeret from Max Cooper on Vimeo.



Recolour Tool

I found a new tool in Illustrator today.

Now I don’t know if it has been there all along, or if it is a brand new feature. It could certainly have saved time in the past and it is always funny finding a new feature in a tool you use near daily. I am reminded again how little of the total available functionality I actually use regularly, but also by how cumbersome and broken some of the seemingly basic features are.

Anyway this tool is rocking my world right now; The Adobe Illustrator recolour tool:

Found in the top bar when a coloured object is selected.

When clicked this little beauty will bring up the following window in which a complete list of every colour used in the object is displayed and is directly editable within.

In addition to that I have finally got my head around live symmetry in Illustrator. Which I have wanted for ages it is irresistibly entertaining. A bunch of face doodles and some luridly coloured mandalas later, I am ready to focus on some real work.



There has also been a gate hung which makes… Fence complete!

Scones made and naps had, last day in Cobar for a few weeks tomorrow.

A good day.

Habit Forming

Today I finally got to mess around with the local public school’s 3D printer. I am really looking forward to putting it through its paces. I’ve received the keys for my classroom and begun scheming the decorations. I’m also getting my head around the finer points of the NSW Syllabus and my practical planning requirements.

I am have adopted a new app Loop. I have no particular attachment to this one app, just the function it performs and I will likely experiment with a few to find my ideal over coming weeks. The app I was recommended isn’t available in my ecosystem, but the principle is worth a shot. I do respond well to gamification as a general rule.

So for now my daily habit prompts are:

Drink 5+ glasses of water – my glasses are large ‘Loop’ doesn’t allow for repeated reminders throughout the day without making extra habits anyway.

Get 7+ hours of sleep – reminder at 11PM.

Eat Clean – We are aiming for less than 3 meat meals a week and I eat way too much sugar, hummingbird style.

Meditate – 6:10 AM daily.

Gratitude and visualise – Count my blessings and picture goals.

Make or Play – With all the things.

Blog – Everyday.

Move your body – Everyday some way.

Now I am not off to an altogether flying start, but it is working.

Today the boys woke early and the orphan lambs we are minding for a day or two were desperately hungry so no meditation for me. We ate free range chicken meat for tea and I’ve had plenty of sugar. I didn’t drink water from after breakfast until I got home, though I’ve since made up the difference. I haven’t run, danced or worked out. I have counted my blessings and visualised my future class room. Making is listed as separate to blogging because although some posts do tend towards works in and of themselves the purpose of this blog is accountability about art and creative endeavours and on that note I’ve art to make.


Finally can put a name to the debating technique that stopped me watching Q&A pretty religiously a few years ago. when an IPA rep spouts ten spurious statements in as many sentences entirely confident that their opponents cannot hope to rebut even a fraction of them it is a Gish Gallop. A debating technique taking full advantage of Brandolinis Law; The amount of energy required to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude greater than that required to produce it. 

Sometimes it is nice just to be able to put a name to things.



30 Days

I am unwell and I need to paint so I’m keeping this brief.

Extra sleep paid off. I was able to meditate, chat with a relative, make lunch and listen to the other half of yesterdays 30 days talk.

For the last two weeks N has had her headphones in and been nodding along to the ‘30 Days of Genius‘ course from Creative Live. It has started a number of interesting conversations. I finally bit the bullet and signed up two days ago.

Today’s talk is by Seth Godin and it is going to need revisited, lots of very interesting ideas. The talks are interesting enough that I encourage you to sign up solely on the basis of the two I’ve listened to so far alone.

To share

Data from the OECD study of technical skills show the distribution among skill levels across countries as well as the average for all OECD countries.

I read this earlier and well, it explains a lot.




Zen Pencils


A day with a 3/4 class and this afternoon the town Christmas parade. Which is by far, the most well attended Cobar community event we have so far been to. L won best dressed in his age group with a Santa outfit including including a cotton wool beard he crafted himself. It is nice to see everyone coming together and celebrating and the atmosphere was certainly friendly. Having now worked extensively at both local primary schools I can barely step out of the house for being accosted by children and this was certainly the case today.

Editing and attempting animation this evening.

Motivational Materials

I have been looking at purchasing a couple of ‘Zen Pencils’ posters for my classrooms. I have used Gavin Aung Than’s comics in a whole variety of different lessons and there are a couple I would particularly like to make space for in future classrooms. Unfortunately one of my favourite and most frequently used quotes doesn’t appear to be available in poster form. I’m planning on getting the ‘Science All Stars‘ and the ‘Declaration of Rights‘ ones anyway. Though they are not cheap as the store is in USD. ira-glass-zen

From ‘Ira Glass – Advice for Beginners’


I’ll leave off with an illustration of one the speeches that made me a teacher:

162. SIR KEN ROBINSON: Full body education

Ken Robinson – How Schools Kill Creativity (Excerpt)