Friday, July 29, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Inspired by Advertising Challenge

DigiDesignResort has great digital products, but I am REALLY hooked on their challenges. One of the 13 (yes, 13) challenges for July was to scrap a page mimicking a 1950s ad featuring Marilyn Monroe.

It's a classic 50s look, with multiple fonts and a fairly monochromatic color scheme. The first challenge was to decide which family event fit the inspiration. Choosing photos was a challenge because I had to rely on Facebook downloads, which are tiny files. (I get around that by using my OnOne software to enlarge the image. It doesn't do anything for sharpness, but it helps make the pictures workable.) The other thing that I had to figure out was the text. Most of my layouts are photo-heavy and text-light. This one required a fair amount of written language.

I decided to use Corinne's senior prom pictures. She looked particularly elegant, so I thought the "look" would be appropriate. For the journaling, I caught her in a chatty mood and asked her to write up her thoughts about her prom experience. A couple of DDR papers, PSE blending modes and crop shapes, three fonts, and about 30 layers later, I have this memory to share:

See why I like the challenges? I never would have done this without the inspiration of the challenge.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beautiful Like Me

"I am not beautiful like you; I am beautiful like me." (Joydrop)

When I first saw the challenge to create a self-portrait that included these lyrics, I cringed. I am one of the self-critical who will never feel beautiful because my features will never conform to current societal standards. I have worked for years to accept my body type (strong and muscular, when the ideal is tall and slender) and to be satisfied with my looks, from broad forehead to strong jaw. Still, to have to write something linking me to beauty is a challenge. It would be easier to use the quote and ignore the journaling requirement of the challenge, but I know the introspection is good for me, so I set up the camera and think about what makes me uniquely beautiful.
I know people think that I am creative and talented. Others see me as persistent and intense. A few envision me as compassionate and sweet. I've been told I am inspiring. (I haven't quite figured that one out.) I know I am a good teacher with a dry sense of humor, but does that make me beautiful? What defines beauty anyway? I know Psalm 139 by heart, and I've taught on God's standard of beauty, so I know the "right" answers, but that doesn't necessarily mean I feel beautiful on a regular basis.

As I created the easy part of the artwork, I thought about the journaling. Finally I decided to look at the picture carefully and write what I saw. I look pretty good for my age, but I think it is less my features (which are about the same as they've always been) than it is my spirit revealed in my eyes and smile. I am strong. I am positive. I am passionate and intense. Those are the things that make me look the way I do. And in that sense, that makes me beautiful-not like anyone else, but like me.