Week 14: Creative Challenge 52

South African born writer, florist and cake whizz, Keryn Clark, has returned victorious from her trip to the Gold Coast, having secured shop premises for her new floristry business and a new home to boot. What this girl can achieve in a week, you just can't write about.

Having checked off those achievements - tick - she's been busy in her kitchen, indulging her passion for vintage cakes. For her contribution this week, Keryn turned to her pile of trusty old Country Style magazines. She loves their recipes and styling. They always feature a favourite homespun recipe and the last two recipes Keryn has featured on her blog have been baked by retired men. She notes that this is remarkable given that these men came from very different gendered environments from the one we live in today, an era in which baking would have been seen as women's work.

Keryn has made a Christmas cake, and if you look closely at the photo composite Keryn has created, you might catch a glimpse of the man who provided the recipe, Keryn says she hasn't tasted the cake yet, but she notes that it looks juicy and delicious.


Telena Routh


Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, is working on a scarf that was inspired by her trip to the coast last week.

She started with a fine layer of a sand coloured fleece, and then overlaid the colours of the sea. She wet and rolled the fabric to form a prefelt and then scattered seed beads across it. She laid an off-white silk chiffon over the top and pulled it into ripples to represent the waves and froth of the sea. In retrospect, she thinks a lighter a silk might have allowed more colour to come through, but the piece is not yet dry and it's hard to tell what the final effect will look like. Telena plans to stitch and bead into the felt to create more texture and she's going to mull over further options in the coming weeks. In any case, she's off to an excellent start with this beach-themed garment. Way to get us all thinking about our holidays.


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 been renovating her house over the past couple of weeks.

She wanted to create a public bathroom to adjoin their writing room for ease of access during workshops, so she had her local handyman knock down a few walls to create this elegant facility. Today, Trish has created a small bathroom. Tomorrow, who knows? Watch this space if you dare.


Kanen Breen

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, along with co-star Jacqui Dark, achieved a triumphant opening night this past week. Their cabaret show, Under the Covers, received rave reviews - here, for example - and Kanen reports that a couple of the reviews even mentioned the jacket he showcased here last week, draped, as it was, around the shoulders of their fabulous pianist, Daryl. Kanen wouldn't share that jacket with just anyone, so Daryl must be an awesome dude indeed.

Under the Covers was completely sold out and I understand the Bedfellows have received a swathe of bookings on the back of their successful launch. Get in quick if you want tickets to their next performances.


Georgia Bennett

Georgia Bennett is currently at the coast, enjoyed a well earned break. She had very little time to get creative before she left but, determined not to miss a week, she whipped up a quick batch of wholemeal peanut butter and choc chunk cookies to take with her on holidays. She was kind enough to leave a few at home to fortify me as I write this blog, which is greatly appreciated. Served with a nice beaker of tea, they're truly delicious.


Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett has been teaching all week, giving his students their last lessons for 2014. He made the last cabinet to go under our kitchen bench, but hasn't had time to do more work on the kitchen beyond that. To fulfil his creative challenge, he finished a tapestry loom that he's been making for Hannah over the past couple of months. It's a real hit with the birds. When he put it outside to take a photo, this magpie thought it was an excellent perch. Magpies have wonderful taste.


Scarlet Bennett

I haven't made nearly as many pieces as I'd hoped this year to give as Christmas presents. Nevertheless, I found a spare hour to make this sterling silver pendant.


I also spent half an hour experimenting with resin bangles. These bangles aren't finished - they still need their edges rounded and smoothed - but the resin has set enough to be photographed, at least. The blue bangle is part of my Bunnings Collection. It's made with galvanised steel wire, aqua mica and resin. The brown bangle is made with strands of horse hair and resin. Once it's finished, it will be on my arm before you can say 'who's the horse hair bangle for?'

Merry Christmas from the Creative Challenge team. We hope you have a safe, enjoyable break with your loved ones.