Day 15: Creative Challenge

We've reached the half way mark in the creative challenge and there's no stopping us now. The creative challenge team is powering along.

Opera singer and strange bedfellow, Kanen Breen, like all high achievers, didn't get to where he is today by settling for a job half done. He couldn't sleep last night for thinking how his rushed effort yesterday (sometimes needs must) had short changed his kooky shoes. Determined to fully realise his artistic vision, he revisited the shoes today with dazzlingly impressive results. He's eradicated all hints of grey from the shoes with his hard working gold fabric paint, and his gold sequins have had an exciting outing. As you can see in the photo below, Kanen's shoes are now ready for Brisbane. The only question Brisbane ready for them?

Kanen's gorgeous shoes

Kanen's gorgeous shoes

Georgia Bennett and I are vegans and, like all sensible women - vegan or otherwise - we love our treats. My creative activity over the past few weeks has put a dent in my baking output and I decided to remedy that today.

George R.R. Martin famously divided writers into two camps - architects and gardeners. The architects create an entire blueprint in advance, plotting out their novels in detail before they ever put pen to paper. Gardeners tend to improvise. They dig their holes, plant their seeds and then wait to see what comes up, pulling out unwanted weeds and pruning excess growth as they go. In writing, as in life, I'm more of a gardener.

I've noticed that cooks can be divided into architect and gardener camps too. I know lots of cooks who collect recipes and - shock, horror - then actually follow the recipes when they're cooking. This is not how I cook and today I achieved a whole new low. It turns out I can't even follow a recipe when the recipe is my own.

I created a delicious vegan date loaf a few years ago and, for once, actually wrote the recipe down. It was a pointless exercise. My date loaf today bears only a passing resemblance to the original, but it's equally delicious.

I also decided to see if I could create a vegan version of the chocolate caramel slice my kids love - not an easy task when the key ingredient is condensed milk. The kids have declared it a success, and it's nice enough, but I think it could be better. The non-dairy caramel didn't set as well as dairy caramel, for starters. I may have another go at this one. In the meantime, you'll have to excuse me. I've been invited to a tea party, and since my baking is being served on the china I inherited from my grandmother, I really mustn't be late. That would be disrespectful.

Scarlet's tea party

Scarlet's tea party

Stephen Bennett gets the creative altruist gong today. He's teaching a young soprano who wants to sing Memory from Cats in an audition. The problem is, the song sits too low in her voice. So he sacrificed his composition time today to enter the music into his music notation program (Coda's Finale) so that he could provide her with a transposed score and, also, an accompaniment in her preferred key. Even with the right tools, this takes a significant amount of time. He wins my teacher of the day award for sure. What an achiever.