Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A handkerchief, polyester, my mother, Tom Jones and Photoshop. Writing challenge: How to incorporate these random phrases into a blog posting.

This handkerchief was sent to me in Cuba, as a First Communion gift inside a greeting card from a cousin living in the U.S. (lower your voice an octave, slow down your tempo and say "Norte America" in very respectful tones, if you please). And, not only did it come from "Norte America" but it was made from . . . polyester (please inject the same tone here).

I'm sure there must have been other times, but I only remember my mother using such reverential tones in two other instances: When referring to her favorite perfume, Mitsouko, by Guerlain, and her favorite pop singer, Tom Jones.

Yes, polyester had just entered the Cuban lexicon in 1965, and it was all the rage to own something made out of this miracle fabric. In actuality, it's a pain to iron this handkerchief, a hot iron can melt the lace lickety split, you have to lay a t-shirt over it to protect the lace.

Here is a photo of me in all my First Communion finery. I was wearing a veil, a floor-length, long-sleeved dress, gloves, voluminous petticoats, and a host of essential accessories, a big heavy cross (a family tradition, all the kids in the family wore it), a rosary, a book of prayers and a handbag that held the infamous hankie. Did I mention that I made my communion on August 15th? In Cuba? Is it a wonder that I don't look particularly happy?

You can also see the handkerchief in the photo below. I practiced my Photoshop technique on this one. Here's before . . .

And here is after . . .
I made a few "improvements" to the original. If you notice, there was a black "square" above the angel's wing. I have no idea what it was supposed to be. I eliminated it using the "Patch" tool (or, as my son, David, used to say when he was little, I "distappeared it"). Also, I repaired the angel's wing, and refinished the base of the angel's statue. Here I was practicing with the "Stamp" tool. I had to weigh maintaining the integrity of the original photograph against my visceral need to make things nice and tidy. I imagine this will be a continuing struggle in the months to come.

1 comment:

Barb said...

You looked so pretty! Just like a doll. You brought back the memory of the gloves. Whatever happened with the gloves? I remember thinking they were so cool.