To welcome in the Christmas festive season, I have produced the latest in the series of the Half-Eaten Mind’s wallpapers to mark major festivals. This time round we have created a picture uniquely for the blog at Christmas, thanks to my newly-learned skills at graphical design. The new wallpaper draws on a traditional British/US/northern European interpretation of Xmas celebration, with an emphasis on the darling of kids (and some adults) everywhere, Santa Claus, and of course, lots of snowflakes and a really cool Christmas tree. Here in London, the festive season has already kicked off, with co-workers in my office wandering in a daze of mince pies and mulled wine, wearing reindeer antlers, Santa hats and those ghastly Christmas jumpers that your grandma would balk at. There are beautiful and dazzling decorations set up by councils all over the city, and not surprisingly, we just had to get into the spirit.
Created online with photo-editing website piZap, the official Half-Eaten Mind wallpaper/commemorative image for Christmas 2013 was the result of just over an hour’s worth of preparation and editing. I started with one of the festive backgrounds piZap has released especially for the festival of goodwill and peace to all men (and women). They had an incredible choice but I wanted a background that was simple, wintry and suitable, because I did not want it to dominate the other visual elements which were going to be added in afterwards. I chose this blue snowy template, because it suits well how we see Christmas here in Great Britain. Cold, blustery, cloudy, windy and with snowflakes coming so fast at you, you may well wonder if they could slice off the pompom from your Santa hat your girlfriend pleaded with you to wear to her parent’s place.
I then used piZap’s tricky, but very useful, cut-and-paste image tool, to bring in images sourced from the nets via a Creative Commons search, just so I don’t fall foul of any copyright holders. A DMCA notice is never a splendid Xmas prezzie. I found the cool groovy Santa from a website named “hd Wallpapers Arena”, a warehouse of funky festive images that would make excellent greetings cards. I liked that he was traditional in looks and attire, but he had that contemporary ‘thang’ going on. The reindeer have been left in the North Pole tundra, while Santa must have gone down to the West Coast and got his sleigh ‘pimped up’ by X-hibit and his merry men of car tune-ups. As he jets through the night sky with a haul of presents for all the good boys and girls, Santa has ramped up the cool factor.
Also using the image tool I turned to one of the images I previously featured in an article on my Mum’s Christmas decorations. There was one picture that really caught my attention and that was the white tree my mother had set up in the living room, with all the lights on and the room darkened. The vivid colour scheme of a blue and white tree with a mind-numbing array of baubles, tinsel and lights of all kinds felt perfect. Just like the tree, HEM features a wide variety of stories and features. If we had a proper office, I would have carted off Mum’s tree in a wheelbarrow and stuck it right there in the middle of said office.
Going crazy from tiredness and armed with a paint and erase thingamibob, I soon began mercilessly chopping up yet another picture. The iPhone held by the snowman at the bottom of the picture comes from the DeviantArt site, which specialises in ‘deviant art’ produced by artists in all kinds of media. The image was sawn out of a pixellated wallpaper depicting the older iPhone model, and was created by a DeviantArt wallpaper designer and site member named ‘Martz90’. The wallpaper by this artist can be found in the image credits section below this article and there’s a version for both iPads and desktops. I chose an iPhone, not because I like iPhones. Well I do like them but I am a confident Android fanboy. This type of image was chosen because I wanted to reflect the importance of technology in relation to news, but in a subtle manner. As you may well be aware, news organisations (and small-time news bloggers such as myself) get a lot of input into our reader figures from people using smartphones and the like. This is my way of paying the compliment back.
I also intended to include a stack of newspapers, again on the news theme that makes this blog, but sadly I could not find a decent enough image from the CC search, so I dropped that idea. Tis’ a shame really, but at least the snowman won’t be saddled with a sore back and icicles from carrying a paper round delivery.
The snowman with the fashionable gadget and the open present box were images supplied by the piZap clip art gallery, under the topic ‘Holidays and Festive Occasions’. Of course, finally no HEM wallpaper would be complete without our now-more-official mascot Woodsy the owl, raining down from Santa’s turbo-charged sleigh to bring you hard-hitting news, great features and all manners of festive fun and goodwill.
I will be using this creation as the official wallpaper for both the blog’s background and for our Twitter feed at @halfeatenmind. The image is being hosted from and is visible on the HEM Flickr photostream, which you can find a link to at the header on the top of this page.
It is my sincerest hope that you like this wallpaper and you are more than welcome to comment, criticise or show me your own examples. Many thanks for reading, and the Half-Eaten Mind wishes you all a very Merry Christmas.
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