Boxes, Birdhouses and Editing

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.


A bird house.

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.




As ready as I’m going to get anyway. Cleaning and laminating at school consumed much of the day. All the important stuff is done and the room is now clean and tidy, awaiting a tornado of students. Tomorrow I become one of the new most import people in 28 children’s lives for the next 11 months.

Tonight I have been playing with this auto colouring tool. Which produces spectacularly weird results. Note that in the image below I only gave it eye colour to work with for the Vodyanoi on the right.

Lots of typography work over the last couple of days making word wall headers, name labels and drawer labels to suit my needs. As well as some general teaching aides for the smooth functioning of my room:



Last thing to share today is this Bonobo clip that I have revisited twice now. It really is just supurb.


Build Complete

A hectic couple of days with late nights and early mornings. N’s new computer arrived as two large boxes and required assembly, which along with software installation took the better part of two evenings.  It has now been running smoothly with steady uptime now exceeding exceeding twenty-four hours. With thanks to the gods of technology

Colour me relieved.

It’s an i7700k with 16gig ram and a Radeon rx470 for those into that kind of thing. I went to r/buildapc for support choosing parts.

There were two hiccups during setup. The first when we went to turn it on for the very first time and nothing happened. It was apparently only a cable that needed taken out and put back in again but my oh my it gave me a fright. Then a genuine and still unexplained peculiarity, during driver installations the screen took on a bright magenta hue and could not be convinced to change back, despite many settings tweaks and restarts, the loading screens were coloured normally, only windows was pink. Anyway changing graphics cable types solved the issue and since then it has all gone swimmingly.

In addition I’ve had two extremely busy days of PD and preparation and I’ve spent every spare moment from those tasks creating more classroom resources now that I finally have my class lists.


A free worksheet for any who are interested is included below. Heraldry and fantasy elements are all tying in as I’ll be using Classcraft as my central reward system this year, I’m even going so far as to pay for it and split the fee with another teacher.


Speaking of fantasy elements, I haven’t made time to work on L’s costume in a week but I also haven’t shown the most recent addition. Cut from a 3 ply block of 12mm foam the blade edge is actually 12mm wide. There are two very fiberglass rods providing core strength. Lots of sanding and detailing to go. Painting of the whole costume is within reach now.


First Day

Back at work. The classroom is coming together. Mandatory online trainings are complete and planning is progressing.

Still cleaning my classroom which had a fair bit of teacher and student detritus and disorganised cupboards. Also whipping up a few more classroom elements; today word wall headings and bookwork layout guide posters. One of which I may need to remake at some point. For now finished is better than perfect.

Had a bit of a play with this pretty thing:

and this cool tool:

Both created by Jonas Wagner.

We watched Doctor Strange last night, which is fun even for one who has never read a single issue of his storyline. As with all recent Marvel’s it is more than a little bit silly, ultimately predictable and incredibly visually impressive. It would honestly have been extraordinary in 3D.

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.




Sports Day


Crashed early yesterday after a day with a different year one class and mayhap I will tonight as well. Today was a massive inter-school sports day hosted by one of the local mines as community outreach. I had the pleasure of shepherding a kindergarten class through the experience.

Despite best efforts I have a touch of sun and will retire early again. Very keen to get into the garden tomorrow and hopefully get some art made as well.

My new phone arrived yesterday, what a joy functioning, fast tech can be. A chunk of my tax providing a sorely needed upgrade over the iPhone4 that has been limping along in my pocket since Christmas. N is also getting an upgrade over her GS3 to a GS7.

I’ll just keep sharing little things as they occur to me. One at a time is probably for the best though.


L chasing bubbles in the back streets of Barcelona.


N’s uncle’s retirement shed auction today. A really amazing collection of tools and oddments auctioned off over about 6 hours.
I missed out on a couple of the key items I was hoping for, but I did grab a couple of bargains. My $35 haul below includes a portable saw horse vice, two circular saws one Black & Decker of pre logo update vintage and one Skilsaw (bundled for $5) a saw guide/mitre attachment an old wood plane in need of a sharpening and a set of traffic alert triangles for the car boot.



I had my eye on a drill press, electric plane, board thicknesser, Angle grinder and a whole lot of Lego that went in a big lot with highly sought after tin toys all of which went for good prices beyond what I was allowing myself.


A lot of cut and pasting later the Spiderman pinata is ready to be beaten to a pulp tomorrow. I should have documented the build as I was pretty happy with the wheatpaste mix I made and the resulting mache has good structure.



I kind of doubt we will get this kind of response. But if we do I’m prepared to resort to brain surgery out of sight of the children to retrieve the sweets.

Working on the logo or the castle card tonight.


Edit: Should probably make mention that it is Earth Day. Not much of an event locally but still one of the more important such ‘events’ in the year.


Everything looks like a screw

#blue #paint reflection selfie

A photo posted by @liatach on


After many errands and $900 down the family car is finally registered in NSW. Going to have a hectic couple of days ahead of us. Our nephews are in town until Monday so we have decided to have an early birthday party for L while his cousins can participate. He wants a ‘Super Hero Party’ in keeping with his ongoing obsession of course. Pinata, costume and honey joy production will consume much free time prior to the event on Sunday morning. We also have social obligation to fulfill in attending the local town show tomorrow as well as a relatives shed clearance sale at which I must restrain the desire to buy all the things on Saturday.

Massive gear upgrade arrived for me today. Early present from my father who has looked with disdain on my drill for too long. My recent projects have been build entirely with a single 18v Milwaukee drill. No longer will I ever have to swap bits every time I want to drill a pilot prior to sinking a screw.




Put the second coat of enamel paint on the bird bath dish today. It has come up lovely but needs another to be called done. Progress on the logo design

Basic font with kerning adjusted

vale monstrum logo progress

Cleaned up and solidified

vale monstrum logo progress4

A little bit more tweaking still to do before the next phases. I’ll be making two semi final drafts based on combinations of yesterdays ideas and the cleaned up vector work I’ve done today.


My google alert for Magic Leap finally yielded something more interesting than investment news.


Thwarted again…

My giant Fresnel lens has a linear focal point.

It is better than the focal point on the previous lens I salvaged but not, as I had hoped a spot focal point. The frame and stand are finished and at some point I will attempt to remove the linear diffraction grooves and turn it into a spot lens using this method. As it is the lens would be great for solar cooking but that is not sufficient for what I have in mind. I should have taken some photos of the testing but it’s not like it was dramatic.


The sun guide bracket is visible in this image. Basically a bracket perpendicular to the lens’s surface with a whole the shadow and bright spot from which allows alignment to the sun.


Salvaged timber throughout as usual.


Last day with visiting family members, nice barbecue and long talks. Four year immunisations for L, car registration transfer hurdles completed.

Ready to paint.