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12/31 Weekly creativity contest winner & new prompt

Another season of yuletide comes to a close, but not before we enjoy the entries for Noël, this week’s creativity contest prompt. Our winner is Karen Winters, who sent in an utterly captivating — and highly creative — image. She captured something truly glorious. Congratulations, Karen — your $10 gift certificate is on its way. Karen writes:

angeloflight2“This image was painted entirely in Photoshop using the liquify, smudge, and other gooey tools. There was no paint brushing in this, nor preset global filters. It was done entirely by pushing around pixels, a few at a time.

“Last year, in late November, a long-time dear friend of mine was remodeling her home and put in a beautiful new front door with a beveled glass insert. We happened to stop by to visit her at a time of day when the afternoon light was streaming through the door, casting scattered golden patterns on her wall. I was entranced with the look of it, and, because I never go anywhere without my digital camera, I took about a dozen shots of it from different perspectives — close up, wide, high, low and so on [see below, left].

doorlight“A few days later I opened one of the photos in Photoshop and just started manipulating it using my Wacom pad. I tried several different experiments but this was the one that turned out the best. My friend is a devout Catholic and attributes her recovery from the very early stages of colon cancer, and her husband’s cancer survival in part to the protection of her guardian angel. So I created a representation of that ‘being of light’ — literally — painted with the light that came in her own door every single day. She liked it a lot and I hope Creative Construction readers will, too.”


From Bec Thomas, a stunning photograph: “We had a very white holiday season this year, a rare event in my part of the world. Kids of course were thrilled, all of us that had to drive were a little less thrilled, lol.”


From Cathy Coley, an inquisitive poem:

At Christmas Eve service we sing
The First Nowell.
My husband asks, why did they spell it wrong?
Same question I asked as a kid singing in choir.
Because the person who wrote the lyrics
spelled it that way.

Further conversation:
Don’t the French spell it
Only when it’s a girl’s name —
remember Noel Coward?
Son asks, what does Noel mean anyway?
I answer, I think it’s French for Nativity.
Whether I’m wrong or right, the answer satisfies.
Curiosity slaked, the wrapping is shredded.


From Carmen Torbus, two lovely photos:




From me (Miranda): Our annual family tradition on Christmas Eve: decorating gingerbread houses. Well, sometimes it’s a single house that we all collaborate on; other times we each have our own dwelling to work with. This year, in honor of all of the trees that fell during the ice storm at Grandma’s house, we decorated a large stand of trees that tower in sugary glory above Grandma’s little cabin. We thought about sticking a few of the trees through Grandma’s roof, just to make the reenactment more realistic, but in the end, we kept it simple. By the time I took this photograph yesterday, some of the candy had already been pried off — but you get the idea.



This week’s prompt: “Stars”

Use the prompt however you like — literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, January 6, 2009. The winning entry receives a $10 gift certificate to Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly contest, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 24 hours, please post a comment here. Remember, the point here is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Congratulations! That image is amazing!

    December 31, 2008
  2. cathy #

    congrats, karen. lovely.

    lots of photography, all beautiful. bec, love that sky and the blue of evening snow. one more reminiscence, as my christmas was rather balmy here in southern va. after a lifetime in NE, aaahh…snow.

    now i’m glad that my cameras were lousy for taking a photo this week! had to opt for my silly poem by default.

    December 31, 2008
  3. cathy #

    re: stars:

    i’ll save you, miranda, and won’t submit my ms! however, stars have been a running life theme, so i should be able to come up with something less on the fly than this week’s.

    December 31, 2008
  4. Thank you Miranda and everyone. I enjoyed seeing everyone’s interpretations and glimpses of family traditions both visual and verbal.

    Bec, that that photo is just beautiful – I love the colors. It inspires me to try that combination in a winter painting sometime.

    Happy new year to all.

    December 31, 2008
  5. these are all gorgeous! congrats karen! i really need to learn how to do more in photoshop. i truly know just enough to be dangerous. 🙂

    it’s been a very hectic couple of weeks around here so i hope to get back in the swing of things next week. hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a great new year’s! i’ll be painting….

    December 31, 2008
  6. just sent in an entry for “stars”!

    January 6, 2009

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