Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Addiction Detox Week

Next week, July 25th through July 31st, I will give up everything I can think of that I might be addicted to.

Luckily, I never got into drugs or cigarettes, but I find my life has been consumed by a few things (mostly the internet) and I'd like to spend my time in a way that I know will be more fulfilling to me if I just give it a chance.

For the detox week, no:

This will be hard. I consume caffeine multiple times each day to get me through my day. I know that if I just get more sleep I won't need it, although I'm not looking forward to the headaches from withdrawal.


Yeah, I eat chocolate almost every afternoon. I'll be better off to give it up (and maybe I'll lose a pound). I will plan my meals mindfully.

The Internet.

No email, no endless blog feeds, no webcomics, no facebook, no twitter, no flickr, no etsy. I am wasting my life on the internet. I usually idle away hours online while I procrastinate doing other more important things. I will not check my email/RSS on my phone constantly either. It's become such a habit to immediately pull out my phone if I'm waiting in a line or something of the sort. This week I am breaking my digital chain. I only watch television I download from the internet, so I will also not watch any TV.

I spend way too much money on things I do not need. I abhor the fact that shopping is something I do for recreation. This week I will only purchase things I need to live, or for specific projects I'm working on during the week.

I'm also addicted to my car but I don't feel like I'm in good enough shape to ride my bike everywhere yet (especially since it only has one gear and it is hard to get up hills). I will make an effort to ride my bicycle to destinations within two miles of my house, however, to step in the right direction. Gotta start somewhere!

Things I WILL do:

Ride my bike, read books about bikes, learn how to fix bikes, do my handlebar tape.
Read books and zines! I've got a big backlog of things to read. I tell myself I don't have enough time to read, but I do!
Spend time with my boyfriend.
Fix up and spray paint a medicine cabinet that will become my new spice rack.
Learn Reason and make some music.
Clean/organize my house! Yep, all of it!
Walk in the woods.
Cook healthy meals.
Get enough sleep.
Anything else I want to (that doesn't involve the above restrictions, of course)!

And sure, it's only a week. But it'll be a week to see how different my life can be. Maybe I CAN live without coffee. Maybe I DON'T need to read those 400 blog posts each day. Maybe my mind will be more focused without constant distraction. Maybe I can find entertainment in the world around me instead of in a fake world inside a box.

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Handmade Highlight - madhatterceramics

madhatterceramics on etsy loves creating pieces inspired by Alice in Wonderland's Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Their favorite pieces merge form and function - they are artfully designed objects that can be used in everyday life.

I just bought this mug. Isn't it great? You can never have too many mugs in life. There's always more coffee and tea.

Here are some things that are still available for purchase. :)

And stop by madhatterceramics.etsy.com for even more. :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

How to combine fireworks photos in Photoshop

So you went out to the Independence Day celebration in your town and took a bunch of fireworks pictures. Great! A lot of your pictures, you'll notice, are of just one or two "explosions" in each shot, yes? Here's how to combine those pictures in photoshop to produce one image with lots of explosions. It's easy!

Open up Photoshop (I'm using Photoshop CS4 Extended).

Click File > Scripts > Load files into Stack. Check the box to align the images (if you have any background besides just black sky), but not to create a smart object.

You'll get one image with each of your photos in its own layer. On each layer, set the blending mode to "Screen".

In each separate layer, use the move tool to position each firework explosion so you can see it well.

Voila! Instant grand finale!

Nashville fireworks

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th!

Did you know that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died July 4, 1826? I didn't know this until yesterday and found it intriguing.

Nashville has fireworks on the 2nd, 3rd, AND 4th! The 4th it's choreographed with the Nashville Symphony and it's crazy awesome! Yesterday my boyfriend and I rode our bikes downtown for a picnic on the pedestrian bridge to watch the fireworks, and as part of the LGRAB summer games!

Bike picnic

We got there right around sunset time. Note the General Jackson showboat! The night was actually the 25th birthday celebration for the General Jackson.

Nashville Skyline at Sunset

Isn't my boyfriend cute? :)
My baby

Waiting for the sun to go down.
Fixie in the City

After an hour of waiting through some horrendous country music (Does anyone who is actually from Nashville like country?), it was fireworks time!
Nashville fireworks

That is a composite image of four fireworks pictures from last night. In my next post I'll tell you how to layer up your fireworks pictures in photoshop for optimal awesomeness.