Week 13: Creative Challenge 52

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has really outdone himself this week. He's been working for months on this creation and he finally finished it this week, just in time for his opening night next Tuesday. He ran out of time to stitch sequins on the back - hardly surprising when you contemplate the amount of work involved in stitching them on the front - so he says he'll be performing front-on like a cardboard cut-out when he cranks out this little lovely. I shudder to think.

Kanens Jacket

The original colour is inside the lapel and Kanen's provided a photo so we can fully appreciate the extent of the transformation. He hastens to point out that it's his mum's arm we can see in the photo, reassuring us that he really hasn't had his nails done. Truly. And we all believe him, don't we?

Jacket Lapel

In the flesh (pardon the pun, the Bedfellows' performance is called Under the Covers and the joke was irresistible), the metallic red fabric paint is an amazing deep red and it's given the wool an almost paper-like feel which looks both derelict and fabulous at the same time.

This is an extraordinary achievement and it augurs well for the Bedfellows' performances next week. With this little beauty, Kanen has taken the concept of dressing for success to a whole new level. What an achiever. I'm applauding already.

Telena Routh

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has been away on holidays this past week, leaving her felting studio unattended and idle at home. Undeterred, she's picked up needles and knitted countless squares. A veteran knitter, she knits in the car, she knits in the cold, she knits in the heat, she knits anywhere, any time.

This week she's made squares to sew into blankets, and she also started work on a vest that she'll put together using mitred squares - the perfect weight for autumn.

Telenas Knitting

With the sea gurgling away in the background, she played her saxophone to her heart's content while her husband entertained himself with his guitar. Holidays really don't get much better than this.


It's just as well Telena managed to squeeze in a break, because she has Christmas and three birthdays to get through before the New Year fireworks explode, and an Easter wedding to prepare for as well. Holiday? What holiday?

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 made a dish this week that's going to make you salivate your socks off. She celebrated Sinterklaas with her nephew and his Dutch girlfriend and sweet things were her contribution to the party. She made a plum tarte tatin using the preserved plums she shared with us last week, but she didn't get a chance to take a photo before the dish was devoured in its entirety. Hardly surprising. She's promised us another tarte tatin - complete with photos - in due course.

Trish also made Sarah Bernhardt Cakes from a recipe on Mimi Thorisson's blog. You really should check this recipe out. The cakes are quite incredible. And do check out Trish's blog to see more of her exciting food adventures.


In other news, Trish has been busy with some renovation projects and she's given us a sneak preview of some work she's been doing to make their office space more attractive and livable. Looking good, Trish. Bring on the next instalment.


Georgia Bennett

Singer, guitarist and song writer, Georgia Bennett, had another live gig this week. She played a mixed set of covers and originals at West Wodenfield Beats on Friday evening. As usual, her performance was awesome and she looked the business too.


She christened our new oven today with a delicious batch of chocolate chunk cookies. These really have to be tasted to be believed. They're just perfect.

Georgias Cookies

Georgia has also recorded another clip for her You Tube channel - this time, a cover of The Veronicas' Let Me Out. She had no end of trouble with her video camera, and it's still not working properly, but she persevered and got something usable in the end. I'm so glad she did. I love the way she sings this song and I'm very happy indeed to add it to the collection.

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett has created an extraordinary kitchen transformation this week. He's not finished yet, but we have a working kitchen again and that's something to be incredibly grateful for (preparing food on the washing machine was a perspective-altering experience, I can tell you). You may recall that last week our kitchen was gutted in response to a water leak behind the tiles. Depressingly, it looked like this:


This week has seen an incredible transformation - the result of lots of blood, sweat and, yes, the occasional tears. Our plumber and electrician have both done their thing, and the dishwasher and cooker are now installed. Steve has almost finished building the internal cabinetry and the jarrah bench tops are now in place. What a sight they are to behold. They've come up beautifully. Steve still has to make the cupboard doors and the panels that will conceal the internal melamine structure. Plus, as you can see, there's some tiling to do. But the kitchen is operational again and that's an enormous relief, especially at this time of year. We'd never have achieved a turn around this quick if Steve hadn't done all the work himself. Three cheers for clever, creative people. Hip hip...


Scarlet Bennett

We've been in survival mode this past week as a result of our kitchen re-build, and that hasn't left much time for creativity. I've been determined to make some progress with my Christmas preparations, however, and when the weekend arrived, I scurried into my studio to make a gift for a friend. You may remember a recent flower design that I made using galvanised steel in the first instance (to add to my Bunnings Collection) and then in copper and brass (see my Flower Collection). Well, I wanted to have a crack at making the design in sterling silver to surprise my friend at Christmas. I'm very happy indeed with how it turned out, and today I'm going to have the pleasure of wrapping it up.


With Hannah's help, I also got creative with the dogs. It's getting hot in Canberra and their haircuts were overdue. I don't even know how a professional dog stylist would do their hair, but we don't care how they look. They've been clipped, bathed and coiffed. They're cool and comfortable and I reckon they're cute as buttons. What more could you want? Obedience? Perish the thought. Give me intelligence and imagination and bold ideas any day. These adorable rascals have those qualities in spades.

Scarlets Dogs