Day 24: Creative Challenge

My creative contribution today, while falling into the jewellery category, represents a radical departure from my usual style nevertheless. I love to work with metal and gemstones and all things earthy. I just love the feel of the raw materials in my hands. And I love the look of the shiny metals and natural stones too. But today I was looking for another couch creation and that required a bit of ingenuity.

I spent twenty minutes in my studio first, cutting, filing and drilling a large copper disk. Then I soldered a sterling silver jump ring to create a bail, and I stained the copper black. I then spent a happy hour tucked in and warm on the couch, softening and shaping some polymer clay to create a sunny spring flower. I baked the clay and glued a mother-of-pearl gemstone in the centre with epoxy, set the flower on the copper disk and...voila. This pendant is big, even by my standards, with a diameter of about 10cms. But on a day when I'm feeling particularly young at heart, I might just wear it.

Scarlet's spring pendant - sterling silver, copper, polymer, mother-of-pearl. Thanks to Stephen Bennett for the awesome photo.

Scarlet's spring pendant - sterling silver, copper, polymer, mother-of-pearl. Thanks to Stephen Bennett for the awesome photo.

Trish Urquhart, who runs Allaboutwriting, works as a documentary producer for Left-Eye Productions, and tries very hard to live up to the title chef extraordinaire, has been creating magic in her kitchen again. Today's gastronomic wonder is pink grapefruit curd, and there's an interesting story attached.

Trish thought she'd get ahead of the game by doing some of the work in advance. She bought the grapefruits yesterday and was planning to make the curd last night (to overcome the challenges posed by the 8 hour time difference), leaving just the photography for today. Like all great plans, it went awry. She went to a Swahili class last night - as you do - with her Left-Eye Productions partner, Andy Spitz, in preparation for a possible film job in Tanzania, and didn't get home until late. Strangely enough, she baulked at making her pink gratefruit curd in the wee hours, so she's had a mad morning scramble to create today's masterpiece. Trish has used the juice reduction method she reported yesterday (from 101 Cookbooks), and the result looks mouth-wateringly delicious. Can you imagine it in a little shortcrust pastry tart? Check out more of Trish's cooking adventures on her fabulous food blog.

Trish's gorgeous pink grapefruit curd

Trish's gorgeous pink grapefruit curd

Opera singer and strange bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has reported in from his death bed, I'm afraid. I gather he's succumbed to a rare, but painful, death-by-sequins affliction. He's embellishing a jacket to wear on the opening night of the Philip Glass opera he's currently rehearsing in Brisbane. Always the optimist, he thought this show-stopping jacket would be a one-day creation. Not so. He now estimates it will take him about three days to get the job done. His fingers are sore and his patience has been stretched to breaking point. But, my word, it's going to be worth it. Using a combination of black sequins and silver seed beads, he's turning this jacket into an opening night sensation. I think he might also have cottoned on to an innovative form of superannuation. When he retires, he'll be able to auction off his wardrobe and sail away into the sunset, cocktail in hand and wallet bulging.

Kanen's sequined opening night jacket: Part 1

Kanen's sequined opening night jacket: Part 1

Stephen Bennett laboured for hours on the song he contributed yesterday, but didn't actually get around to recording it. Having slept on his composition, there were things he wanted to adjust when he revisited it this morning. And that's fair enough when you start with a blank page and compose in a frenzy of inspiration. I can't imagine submitting a first draft of a story. Ugh! The thought alone makes me shudder. I'm told the recording is now scheduled for tomorrow. In the meantime, Steve framed a photo that's been sitting on his framing bench downstairs, awaiting his attention, so he'd have something creative to contribute today. Not bad at all for a quick creative rescue.

Steve's framed photo of Theo Bartolozzi and Duke 'Kissing' Casanova

Steve's framed photo of Theo Bartolozzi and Duke 'Kissing' Casanova