Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Addictions

My sleep schedule is so whacked out right now, and it can be blamed on a few things.  Some might call them addictions, other call them time sinks.

 This is a super useful tool, but easily turns into a time sink.  I'm fairly new to the Pinterest craze, but I easily succumbed.  How many times have you come across something interesting on the internet?  Recipes, craft ideas, tutorials, places you want to visit, interesting pictures, decorating ideas, you get the idea.  How do you keep track of it all?  I used to through bookmarks, printing stuff off, starring blog posts, etc.  Now its all organized on my Pinboards, and sorted by category, along with a pretty picture to go along with it.  

Its super easy too.  There's this magic button on my web browser I click if I'm on a page I want to Pin.  Click it, up comes a screen with all the pictures on that page, pick which you want to Pin, type in a description, and voila, you added something to your Pinboard.

Right now this just sounds like the ultimate thing in online organization, where is the time sink you're asking yourself.  Well, you get to look at everyone else's Pinboards, and you can re-Pin.  You can even follow others, just like a blog follower.  There's been more than a couple of nights when I've come upstairs to do just one last check on the computer, and then next thing I know, its 3 am.  Time sink.

Blog Backgrounds 
I got brave one day, and tried to change my blog background to one of those nifty ones from a free site.  OMG, it actually worked and I didn't mess up my blog!  So many choices!  Now if I'm not pinning at 2 am, I'm looking at which blog background I want to use next, and restraining myself from picking a new one every few days.  Because, of course, your header photo or banner must coordinate with your blog background.  And you might even have to change a font (like for the current one I have).

Here's a list of the few sites I've been looking at so far.  If I can figure it out, then anyone can.  I think it was actually easier than trying to set up one of the backgrounds Blogger suggests.
Hot Bliggity Blog
Shabby Blogs
The Cutest Blog on the Block
Background Fairy
Aqua Poppy

Photo Editing
I'm not a great photographer.  I try to do my stitched pieces justice and take good and interesting pictures, to showcase them.  I know I could do better and I'm trying to learn.  So far I've been using Picasa and Picnik in combination to edit my photos.  Neither one does everything I want, or I haven't figured it out yet.  There's also a cute little thing call Pixlr-o-Matic (available from the Chrome app store for free, or go to Pixlr.com).  Its like a mini cheaters version of Photoshop to apply textures and layers.  I used it on my current header photo.

The problem is it takes time to manipulate photos to look nice.  It takes even more time when you need to use multiple programs.

Ideally I'd like to learn how to use Photoshop.  I downloaded a trial version of Photoshop Elements 10, but I'm so lost.  Its definitely not the Dummies version of photo editing software.  But I really really want to learn how to use textures and actions.  If you're not sure what those are, go check out the Florabella site.  Its not free, but its just a really good place to see what can be done.  There are a plethora (I love that word!) of other sites with free textures, you just have to hunt for them.  The key is knowing what to do with them.  Luckily for me, there's also a lot of free Photoshop tutorials out there.  I probably won't get to them before my trial version expires.

Here's my dilemma.  Do I bite the bullet and shell out the bucks for Photoshop Elements and hope I learn how to use it, do I upgrade to the Premium version of Picnik, or do I just stick with the free stuff available to me now?  Will I be happy with the free versions (and the extra time needed for extra steps) now I've dusted off my digital SLR camera and started using it again?

Wow, for a post with a focus on pictures and various aspects on them, I haven't included a single one.  Sorry for the really blah looking post.

6 comments:

Annie said...

You definitely have described how the internet can suck up time. Would that time would pass so quickly when I'm working!

www.blogblings.com - another site for backgrounds.

Jackie said...

I need to make some changes on my blog but it takes a hunk of time to do it. Photo editing, writing, the actual photography, etc all take time. Pinterest is EASY and I'm finding it very valuable and inspiring. So far, I've been spending about 30 minutes a day on it.

Cindy said...

thanks for the heads up on the 'pin' thing....am going to look into it and yuuuupppp.....another thing to add to my list of time sinks.....sigh, not sure when anything is going to get done of importance, lol....have great week!

Christine said...

I'll have to check the pinterest thing out.
I say go for photoshop, it's really quite intuitive to use once youget the hang of it

Lois said...

Thanks for all the links to check out! I am such a stick-in-the mud, I get something that works and then it takes me forever to think about trying something different. I guess because I'm feeling comfortable and it's the easy option!

cucki said...

thank you for sharing the link with us all..i will check this pinterest soon...me really not good with computer..
love for you xxx