Week 7: Creative Challenge 52
Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has had a topsy-turvy week. Someone backed into her car in a school car park so she's been reliant on others for transport and this has involved a bit of waiting around. Always one to make the best of a bad situation, she's used the time to knit a lot of squares for use in Wrap with Love blankets. She's finished preparing her last students for exams, has spent some time examining, and has also managed to sneak some saxophone practice into the mix. The result of this is that she now has 'saxophone shoulder', but her war wounds are healing and I hear she's hard at it today. She managed to buy and organise the contents of her annual Christmas boxes for Samaritan's Purse this morning, so she's certainly earned some down time today.
Telena hasn't had much time for felting this week, but she did manage to make another felt lace dress, this time combining two different coloured fleeces. She turned a weakness into a feature (see what I mean about making the best of a bad situation) where she thought the fabric wasn't strong enough by cutting a slit to form an attractive shape and then refelting to seal the edges. She's started thinking about some Christmas projects and she's not giving us any hints, but I believe all will be revealed in the coming weeks. Watch this space.
South African born writer, florist and cake whizz, Keryn Clark, has had a creative exercise in the study of dying and rejected things this week. It began with the discovery of a small green mirror that she bought twenty years ago when her marriage broke up and she found herself homeless, carless, friendless, and moneyless. To console herself, she bought a mirror at a small antique shop for the princely sum of $35 which she could ill afford, but she really needed something to lift her spirits. Clutching the mirror, she then went to a nearby pie shop for comfort food and to ponder her future. In the pie shop, she made a promise to her mirror that she would buy it a house eventually. Five years later, she did.
Since then, the mirror has been everywhere with Keryn, and now that she's packing up to move, she's selling everything that's not precious to her. The mirror is not among the for-sale items, although it did need a facelift. While Keryn was refurbishing the mirror with silver leaf, she started thinking about what she could use to showcase it and the theme of rejection or dying things began.
The cupboard was rescued from a friend's house. Forlorn and neglected, it was standing behind the garage in the rain. The rose heads in the smaller tubed vase came from a florist job Keryn did earlier in the week. She couldn't use the flowers because the petals were yellowing. The pink colour comes from three packets of florist crystals that Keryn found squashed at the bottom of her tool kit. And the Pierre de Ronsard roses were picked from her garden. The vases were rejected after the wind-up of Keryn's previous florist shop, but they're now back in service with her new venture.
Keryn loves this look (me too), and she says her mirror is happy with its makeover. 'Take that, my French country home!' Keryn says. Take that, indeed.
Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has finished the screen he's been working on over the past few weeks. You may recall that he fished an old, dilapidated screen out of a dumpster and set to work creating a fabulous prop for his upcoming Strange Bedfellows performance in December. Well...drum roll...the screens are now finished and ready to go. They'll be propping up his garage for the next six weeks, however, because Kanen is currently in Ballarat, en route to a six week stint in Melbourne. He'll be restricted to smaller projects during this sojourn, so I think we can safely expect his sequin fetish to rear its head again. He's gotten the ball rolling from a sequins point of view with the fabric on these screens. The sequined fabric is reversible so he's ended up with four screens in one - red, silver, black and gold. He added a couple of middle panels to get more width, and the vertical asymmetry annoys him, but time was against him and he's now going to make do with what he's got. I think his screens are just gorgeous - must have boudoir items, actually.
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 been dazzling people with her exotic creations again.
She hosted a farewell drinks gathering on Friday night for author Jo-Anne Richards, who's moving from her home in Johannesburg to take up residence in coastal Cape Town. Inspired by Kanen's recent furniture projects, Trish wanted to revamp her outdoor furniture so that the party could be held outdoors, weather permitting. Circumstances conspired to help her meet her cushion reno deadline when she was woken at 2am by a technology glitch that sets the doorbell off whenever there's a power failure. Trish didn't know the power had failed, so she leaped out of bed to answer the door although, of course, no one was there. Then she thought she heard voices, so she crept around the house looking out all the windows to make sure they weren't being burgled (don't you hate night time adventures like that?). Everything seemed fine, but she got the security company to drive past just in case. By this stage, however, sleep was entirely out of the question, so Trish set to work sewing her cushion covers. She finished them at 5am and crawled back into bed just as her alarm was going off to get her up to sew her cushions. She's always ahead of the game, our Trish.
Trish bounced out of bed again at 8am ready to clean the house and get organised for the farewell party. Needless to say, she was catering for the event, and since she wanted the evening to be special, she agonised over what she should make. In the end she decided upon - amongst other things - buckwheat blini with beetroot cured salmon, and two highly creative soups: pea, courgette and mint soup drizzled with mint oil and served with a dollop of parmesan ice cream; and potato and lovage soup served with baked bean ice cream. These creations really have to be seen to be believed. Check out Trish's fabulous food blog for details and recipes if you dare.
We're having a food blitz in our household during November, and singer, guitarist and song writer, Georgia Bennett, has been trying out some new recipes - well, new to us at least. Some time ago, my mum emailed us her lemon coconut slice recipe. She used to make this slice a lot when Georgia was a pre-schooler, and Georgia decided to have a go at making it herself. The slice, I have to tell you, did not disappoint. It's addictively delicious and I defy anyone to stop at one piece.
Georgia has also written four new songs this week, but she's going to work on them some more before she records them. She's added a new cover to her You Tube channel - Dumb by Jamie Mcdell. She was fortunate enough to be able to use the new lighting rig that Steve made her (see Steve's contribution below) when she was recording her song. It's all happening in her neck of the woods.
Stephen Bennett took a medium format film camera to the National Arboretum during the week. He's looked longingly at the Arboretum from the freeway many times and decided it was high time he explored it. It's located in a part of Canberra that was largely destroyed by bushfires in 2003 and has been reclaimed as an arboretum. There are almost 100 plots for different species of trees, but only a couple are mature - the Cork Oaks and the Himalayan Cedars. The rest are still small or, in the case of this mystery location, covered in material to protect the young trees while they get established. He suspects, judging by the map of the layout, that there are Dragon Trees lurking beneath the covering, whatever they may be. He was attracted to the surreal quality of this area as he's always on the lookout for something mysterious and ambiguous to photograph.
Steve's other creative project this week was to make Georgia a coloured lights rig for her video recording. He made the rig with 12 Volt pond lights with coloured halogen bulbs. He attached the lights to an aluminium tube and fixed the tube to a light stand. It works brilliantly...lights, cameras, action!
Last week I mentioned that I'd begun creating an industrial line of jewellery, affectionately known as my Bunnings Collection because I'm using basic hardware items as key components of my creations.
I've also added resin and cold copper enameling to my repertoire of skills over the past few weeks. I'll always make the bold signature pieces I love, using traditional silversmithing techniques, but it's fun to try new things and I'm enjoying playing around with new materials.
I started the week in black and white using hardware store components and resin.
I enjoyed copper enameling so much that I decided to do some more of it. Here's my first piece...
I made a similar pendant with a different colour scheme.
Finally, I made one more enameled piece...
I haven't posted an urban farming blog this week, but that doesn't mean I've been idle. It's just that our garden news is really 'more of the same'. We've been busy adding reticulation pipes (credit here to Steve), planting out seedlings (with help from Hannah), and pulling out our first flush of spring weeds. We've picked our first strawberries and mulberries of the season, along with our first crop of lettuce, so our urban farm is slowly starting to generate produce. And it's hotting up around here, I can tell you. Summer is on its way.