The assignment also said to put the camera on a tripod or other sturdy object, but I forgot that part, so I guess in this case my hands were the "other sturdy object". I knelt in exactly the same spot for both photos.
So here are two photos of the same object, taken at 55 mm, f/8, shutter 1/125, ISO 200, Manual Mode, Auto focus. I think this one makes a pretty good abstract.
And here is one taken at 18 mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO 200.
In case anyone is wondering what on earth my picture is of, it is a VERY OLD milk/cream separator.