Week 9: Creative Challenge 52


And they're BAAACCK! Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, couldn't keep his hands to himself and he's been dipping them in the sequin jar again. He's got darling Jeff Busby extraordinaire (don't blame me for that, Jeff - I'm just quoting Kanen) doing a photo shoot for the Bedfellows on Thursday and Jeff apparently said he wants Kanen and Jacqui in as little as possible. Kanen says Jeff may re-think that suggestion when he sees what he's got to work with.

In any case, mission 'reveal all' has inspired Kanen to create these luscious little faux-leather ladies size twelvers embellished with some wondrous oil-slick coloured sequins and beads. They're darker and less obvious than the photos suggest but fabulously sparkly under lights where they twinkle rather than pop. Subtle? Hardly, but Kanen doesn't want to draw too much attention away from his corset and glory gown (see his glory gown here). The mind boggles.


Trish Urquhart


Trish Urquhart, who runs Allaboutwriting, works as a documentary producer for Left-Eye Productions and tries her best to live up to the title chef extraordinaire, has had a varied and interesting week, but she didn't get much time for kitchen activities.

She tried taking some photos of the fish in their pond one day in the rain, but the photos are not the works of beauty she'd hoped for. She spent some time choosing photos to make DVD labels for the documentary Left-Eye Productions completed last week, but wasn't able to complete the actual labels. She spent a considerable amount of time working on the design of a brochure for Allaboutwriting's Venice retreat next year, but made a detour and ended up steeped in literary Venice instead. She picked a heap of tarragon from her garden to make something exciting, but hasn't yet found an opportunity to do so. And she'd hoped to make a cake for Richard's son Gwydion's birthday today, but has not yet had the time. She's going to have a stellar contribution next week if she gets a chance to bring these many and varied projects to completion.

Trish hasn't completely abandoned her kitchen, however. Her final culinary offering for the writing workshop she and Richard hosted last weekend was Nigella Lawson's Lemon Polenta Cake. And what an offering it was. Sign me up is all I can say!

See more of Trish's cooking adventures on her fabulous food blog.


Telena Routh

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has been preparing for the North Shore Craft Group's Christmas exhibition and sale next weekend. She's been busily beading Christmas decorations and felting around polystyrene balls. She says it was difficult to get the fleece to stick to the balls as she felted around them, but she's pleased with the final effect. Proof positive that persistence is a virtue, perhaps. After impatiently waiting for the felted balls to dry, she wound some pretty ribbon around them and then added contrasting beads to decorate even further. Telena is very happy with the result and she says that if none are sold, then she'll happily adorn her own tree with them.


She's also had fun this week making some more dreadlock necklaces, playing with colour and wondering what she'd look like if she wore them all together.

After the recent batch of music exams, she thought the year would start to wind down but, no, she finds she's even busier. She's been flat out arranging class concerts and preparing her students for their Christmas concerts, juggling lesson times to fit in with their end of year activities. She's endeavouring to arrange The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba for two oboes and two cor anglais and she's becoming rather concerned that she may have mad her cor part a little too difficult. More editing required, perhaps. In the meantime, her take on a felted Christmas tree is a sight to behold.


Keryn Clark


South African born writer, florist and cake whizz, Keryn Clark, has been creative with her camera this week. She loves photography and, as she's been on leave, she decided to spend a day in her garden appreciating whatever caught her attention. She's thinking ahead to a manuscript that would include these and other photographs. The idea behind these photos is simply stillness and mindfulness.

Keryn has a tiny backyard which manages to produce quite a lot. The mulberries are from her mulberry tree, which dominates much of the space. Think mulberries squished throughout the house. The fish epitomise stillness in that they were literally hanging in the water, the one under the lily apparently convinced that Keryn couldn't see him. She's had fish for about eight years and has seen four generations of finned friends emerge. She built this pond especially for them as theirs was broken when she moved into her house. Lucky little aquatic people, aren't they?


Georgia Bennett

Singer, guitarist and song writer, Georgia Bennett, has had exams all week and she's had little time for creative activity. She's written a couple of new songs and has practiced others, but hasn't had time to make any new videos this week. She did, however, make a delicious mulberry and apply pie to make use of the bountiful fruits dropping off our reliably prolific mulberry tree. The pie was delicious and we've frozen kilos of mulberries for use when the fruiting season is over. There's no sign of that in the immediate future, however. Mulberries are going to be on the menu for a while.


Stephen Bennett


Stephen Bennett has been a workshop hobbit this week, ferreting away in the bowels of our house to make a shelf for his singing teaching area out of recycled wood.

He has his keyboard sitting on a desk with a sloping piece of wood for a music stand, and the back of this was unsightly. Thinking of his students' visual comfort, he thought a shelf to hide the grunge would be just the ticket. Stained to match the wood of the desk, it's now a great place for the overflow of CDs that keep piling up, and also a good way to elevate his monitor speakers.

This is really very cool. How long it will stay tidy is another matter entirely.


Scarlet Bennett

I want to make various pieces of jewellery to give away at Christmas, and I started work on that project this week. My first Christmas piece is a cheery yellow polymer flower that I'm going to give to someone who admired one of my previous flowers. I've coated the flower with resin for extra strength and added some gold bling since the person I'm giving it to wears a lot of gold. I embedded a brass picture hook to create a bail - in keeping with my industrial jewellery making of recent times - and I think it works well.


I've also had a big win - in my opinion, anyway - with my Bunnings Collection designs. I've made an industrial ring this week using components from Bunnings (except for the ring shank, which is made from brass and coated with silver enamel), and I'm dead proud of this piece. I just love it. I made a pendant to match and I'm very fond of this too. Who would thought a hardware store would have such great bits and pieces for use in jewellery making. The ball bearing has rather inspired me. I'm thinking of trawling through the automotive store next. If I start grovelling around in dumpsters it's going to be all Kanen Breen's fault.

The ring setting is made with a washer, some copper tubing and a ball bearing. I made the pendant with copper, a large washer, some pewter enamel, galvanised steel wire and resin.

The ring setting is made with a washer, some copper tubing and a ball bearing. I made the pendant with copper, a large washer, some pewter enamel, galvanised steel wire and resin.