Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 4, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday (on Wednesday).


Over the last few months I have been observing Self Portrait Tuesday entries with interest. Love the idea. Love encouraging people to photograph themselves. To see themselves through the lens of their camera in so many different and creative ways.

The theme this month is Personal History. I think the idea of this theme finally pushed me over the edge into creating something. I have done quite a few scrapbook pages of myself as a child and a few which compare and contrast my life now and then. I am lucky that I have a lot of photos to look through, reflect on, and create with. Thank you Mom and Dad.

And obviously, I did not take either of these photos of myself. So I guess it sorta qualifies as self portrait. That's ok. I am enjoying the process.

As for my process, I brought the two photos together in Photoshop. I adjusted the opacity (so that you can see the younger photo of me beneath the recent one) and blended them together (so that there is not a hard edge between the two) with the selection tool by deleting one side of the "now" photo of me. I used a quote and a butterfly brushe that Rhonna created for Two Peas and a new font along the bottom called Two Peas Funky Doodles by Elsie. I manipulated the crown by rasterizing the type layer, removing the word queen, and adding in me. If you aren't familiar with Photoshop it probably sounds like a foreign language but it really is not too tough.

Looking forward to seeing more of these as they get linked up to the self portrait site.

And guys, really, thanks for all the comments on the post yesterday. Totally appreciate you guys connecting with me in regards to kids, eating out, expectations, etc.


  • 1.
    Klala said…

    Love that crown. Totally.

  • 2.
    melanie said…

    Very cool, Ali — great job merging these images. So glad you decided to have a go at SPT. I was pleasantly surprised to discover self portraits to be such an intriguing way to to indulge in self-exploration and artistic expression. And seeing the various interpretations and response to each theme is always a joy.

  • 3.
    Jane said…

    Ali – your self portrait is incredible!!! You inspire me everyday! Sounds like such a big job – but you seem to do it without effort – what a gift!

  • 4.
    Lu said…

    Oh, my goodness. Seeing the small pic of you as a child really let me see you in your son. My goodness, he is a mini male version of you. Doesn’t that just rock your world when you see yourself in your babies? I love your take on SPT. This is really attractive.

  • 5.
    Angela Green said…

    Holy cow, that is one incredibly cool piece of work! I am so photoshop stupid.

  • 6.
    cindy said…

    Stinkin’ cute. “nuff said. :-)

  • 7.
    Araxi said…

    I never have to ask myself why I keep coming to visit your blog. You just amazing me everytime you post!

  • 8.
    Suzanne B. said…

    New to your blog, lovin’ it!
    I read what you said about your child (who I am guessing is autistic) and you were wondering if you cut him too much slack….I am the proud mom of THREE special needs kids, the oldest has Fragile X AND autism. I think the same thing sometimes, that I am letting him “get away” with something. I don’t think even if I wanted him to, that he would conform to what it that I want/need from him in a given situation. Jon’s diagnosis came over 15 years ago and the best thing I have learned to ADAPT. Sometimes I demand things of him, and sometimes I let him coast. I try my best not to be all “willy-nilly” (is that a REAL word?) but I try and let him do what’s best for himself. As much as I try to GUESS what he’s feeling/thinking/needing, only he knows what in that head. And sometimes, when I let him, he finds a way to give himself just what he needs. Be it a place to howl, jump, veg or shine, he finds his place…..It might not be what I pick for him, but he knows best sometimes.
    I wish you well. I wish you peace in your day.

  • 9.
    Melanie said…

    I’ve been away from the computer for a while over the holiday so it was fun to find all these treats of inspiration! That multi-layer approach you take on so many projects just does it for me. I’m always amazed.
    BTW, I’m loving the book you created just for “you” in the latest CK… such a neat idea.

  • 10.
    katie said…

    you’re amazing! love your montage–and your new series in CK is amazing–just like you!!

  • 11.
    Annie said…

    Oh thank you, thank you for that link to Self Portrait Tuesday. How cool is that blog? Love Lorie Novak’s portraits, and Dec theme was so great. Shooting your own reflection in the toaster — brilliant! :D And your layered self-portrait rocks. You never cease to inspire me.

  • 12.
    Sharyn (Torm) said…

    photoshop is definitely a foreign language..but whatever you did with it, it looks totally cool. just don’t convert totally to digi, k? We pasters would be devestated.

  • 13.
    Laura said…

    Hi, Cool and beautiful layout!! I am new to your blog but not your work. I discovered Two Peas in 2004 and you were the first garden girl I clicked on to see what the whole site was all about and needless to say I LOVE your work and that site. It really got me scrapbooking more. I am an artist/graphic designer but never really “scrapbooked” until my first child was was born in April 2004. I live in Indiana and SO WISH I could have made it to CKU in Chicago but getting ready to have my second child (on Friday!) and well let’s say too much of everything going on right now, and that darn event just sells out to quick!
    Also loved your christmas layout of the square punches of all your cards! Great idea that I must steal because like you I just don’t NEED to keep all my Christmas cards!
    Take care
    God Bless
    Laura Clemons

  • 14.
    jen said…

    ok…so you are totally inspiring me to finally dig into my photoshop program…although i think i will need a photoshop translation book for everything you just explained! LOL! :-)

  • 15.
    Flo said…

    So cool! Ain’t I lucky one of my friends just finished a photoshop course — may have to ask her for lessons :-)

  • 16.
    Amanda Mankin said…

    Love love love this! It totally makes me want to do more about growth and how we change over the years, how Joy transcends time and we smile and grin at every stage of our lives. :) Thanks for sharing this!!

  • 17.
    Jenn N said…

    Ali, this is an absolutely beautiful piece – thanks so much for sharing it with us. Everytime I see people’s work that use Photoshop, I keep thinking I have to get in to this. Now I am going to for sure!

  • 18.
    liz elayne said…

    Fantastic! This is beautiful…love the way you layered the photos.

  • 19.
    Rachel said…

    lovin’ those combined (both fabulous) pics Ali!

  • 20.
    Veronica said…

    Very cool ali! I definately have to find me a photoshop course over here ( western australia ).
    I just wanted to quickly add i have a high functioning autistic 11 year old boy. As most people have said the reward thing works. We also choose how important it is to be anywhere like that for longer than he can tolerate. He has had extensive training in understanding his early warning signs which helps him communicate to me his agitation and why, and sometimes we just go somewhere quiet, quick chat, slow breathing and have another go. If it all seems too much with the over stimulation side of things we go. We take the good points of the excursion and remind him and use it as a learning tool.
    They are square pegs these kids and the rest of the community has to stop trying to put all kids in a round hole, so as you have to, change what you need to suit YOUR child. I am much happier having happy memories than memories of battles. 123 Magic is brilliant for these kids as well.
    Sorry I went on a bit but am very passionate about this topic and love my son to the end of the earth, and thank god for his qualities and that he is high functioning, nearly every day! Power to you!
    Hugs V

  • 21.
    sheri said…

    Love this Ali.
    Always cool stuff on your site.
    Have to agree with a previous poster….don’t go too digi on us. We need
    paper girlies too.
    You have oodles of talent.

  • 22.
    Allison K said…

    so beautiful!
    so beautiful!

  • 23.
    shawn b said…

    Love the selfpotrait piece. I wish I was able to work in PS…have it just can’t master it. Can’t even do simple brushes for techniques. Ugh. It’s glue and paper for me only I suppose. Great job, keep inspiring us.

  • 24.
    Andrea W. said…

    love your layout so much!

  • 25.
    Missy_G said…

    Very cool!

  • 26.
    Amy B said…

    Love this picture!
    I have a question about the letter A stamp on your album in the lastest CK, I NEED it and I couldn’t find it at any of the sources listed. If you have a second could you let me know. NEED it! You always have the coolest stuff:)

  • 27.
    Tawnya said…

    Darling! Perfectly done!

  • 28.
    kah-mei said…

    Ali, you are beautiful. Your art is beautiful. All so cool.

  • 29.
    Shanna said…

    Hey Ali! I come out of lurk mode every now and again! Just wanted to say that I emailed you a personal history doc with photos you may find interesting!!! You may already have it or something similar but I figured I would share. After all…..look at all you share with us! ;o)

  • 30.
    elsie said…

    how cute!

  • 31.
    Jennifer said…

    Ali, when are you coming over to the digital dark side?? That photo collage is awesome and I know a lot of digital scrappers who would be soooo inspired by your work….I know I am!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  • 32.
    corinne said…

    that is just amazing Ali. the little crown, is just perfect, love it all!

  • 33.
    joy madison said…

    I’m the owner of the SPT group on Flickr, and one of the contributors on SPT’s blogspot…..I see you’ve come over to the dark side:) I just wanted to tell you there aren’t any rules to SPT really….just that its on tuesday and that it says something about you! So technically this is a SPT whether you took it or not!!! Again, Welcome!

  • 34.
    Dee said…

    Oh My WORD!! Actually I typoed………Oh my WORK!! so take your pic! This RAWKS big time!! What a fab Idea! You are such an inspiration! Thanks so much!!
    ALi RAWKS!

  • 35.
    Jennifer Alfonso said…

    This is so cool! And Simon IS just the spitting image of YOU! On another note, I got this in one of the many autism newsletters I recieve. I read it again yesterday and thought of you. Sometimes when I am the one having a meltdown raising an autistic child, I read this little note and everything in the world is right again. Having Vince and his autism has made me a better mother, wife, daughter, nurse and friend. You may have already read this but here it is:
    Welcome To Holland
    by Emily Kingsley
    I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…….
    When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland”.
    “Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy! All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy!”
    But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
    So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would have never met. It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced (or faster-paced) than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And the rest of your life, you will say, “Yes ,that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.” And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.
    (The author, Emily Kingsley, has a son with Down syndrome and used to work for Children’s Television Workshop. She was instrumental in the showcasing of children with disabilities on Sesame Street.)
    Have a beautiful day!

  • 36.
    Deanna B. said…

    I’m with Sharyn (Torm)- lovin’ your PS work… Incredible! Yet if you ever convert over to digi completely I’d cry. LOL : )
    You really make me want to dig into PSE though Ali! Thanks!

  • 37.
    Raven said…

    That is so awesome. You need to have that up on the wall in a frame.

  • 38.
    Cindy said…

    I love this. Beautiful. I am having trouble reading the quote though. Could you clarify it for me? Thanks.

  • 39.
    Michelle OKeefe said…

    It is gorgeous ! I love it and going to try this myself. Thanks for the inspirations, a l w a y s …………

  • 40.

    Hi Ali! I read your blog often, but I have never left a comment although your work always blows me away. Today I cannot keep quiet!! Your self portrait is just AMAZING. I love what you do :)

  • 41.
    Rachel said…

    ah, yet another reason to look at my ps a lot closer now! love this!!! especially the crown!

  • 42.
    Bonnie said…

    Hi Ali!
    I met you at CKU-A Stamford in October. (I gave you the autism awareness ribbon car magnet)
    I am a teacher of children with autism and can offer a little “advice” on taking Simon out to restaurants. I get asked about this by parents of my students often.
    To begin with, it’s really important to practice, practice, practice. It’s hard to expect anything from Simon out of the house that he hasn’t shown he can do at home and/or at school. Like eating out at resturants. Try to get him to sit at the table for longer and longer periods at home and reinforce him with something special.(The actual eating is really a separate issue) Then I’d try going to (casual)restaurants frequently just to practice. Maybe go just for dessert, or a treat, then for a quick dinner, etc. Try to set up all the situations with a reinforcing situation at the end so he sees it as a pleasant activity.
    As far as giving him too much leeway in these situations, it’s hard to say because I don’t know Simon. A lot of children with autism do not understand that a behavior may be OK in one situation, but not in another.
    I always tell the parents of my students that they are entitled to have a day off, a night off, etc, and sometimes you just have to overlook things and have a good time. As long as Simon isn’t disrupting other people’s dinners and you’re not at fancy place, relax and enjoy yourself! You’ll be back “at work” the next day!

  • 43.
    Tina J. said…

    I’m just now looking into Photoshop and wanted to ask you a couple questions. Mind?
    The link you provided sends me to a page, showing a 150.00 dollar version of photoshop. Is that all you used to create this picture? My husband (a computer geek for a living) was telling me that I’d want the 650.00 dollar version…
    Also, I’m pretty computer literate, do you think I would need to take a class or is it pretty user friendly?
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for sharing with us.
    Tina J.

  • 44.
    Joy U said…

    Ali, this is pure genius!!!

  • 45.
    Joy U said…

    Ali, this is pure genius!!!

  • 46.
    Laura Fitzmaurice said…

    I’m new to your blog, so I’m not so familiar with your situation. I love your work, you really inspire me.
    I have two kids one is 5 years and the other is about to turn two years old. Going out to restuarants with any children is hard! My kids are not autistic, but my son does have a very sensitive gag reflex, so throwing up was a regular occurance for him. It would happen without notice, I can laugh about it now, when he has pretty much outgrown it, but I do have lots of embarrassing moments with him at resturants. I am by no means comparing him to autistic children, but dining ANY kids is always an intresting experience. I recommend patience and as long as he is not being disruptive to other people let him stand up out of his chair. Take it from me I’ve had to walk outside with my kids , so the people we went to dinner with could finish their meals. Practice always helps you can’t expect never to take your kids out to dinner with you. I think other people with kids understand the situation.

  • 47.
    Lisa Cohen said…

    I have been observing these as well and just added a link to it on my blog…to help encourage me to go there and eventually post! I would love to get into this more… and also Illustration Friday… now that I have my wacom pad I’m ready to go!

  • 48.

    Wow. I have to tell you that this photo has my heart beating a million miles an hour. Maybe I am overly senasitive today, but your photo made me think of my own life, and how it comes so quick. I really feel like yesterday I was a child relying on my parents. Now I am the mother of three, and I think ahead to their future. I think how fast their time as children will pass. Thank you for creating such a beautiful piece of art. You really touched my soul.

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