Day 29: Creative Challenge

I'm ridiculously proud of today's contribution. Introducing...drum roll...my first complete pastel painting of a horse - with absolutely no photo editing whatsover. What you see is exactly what I drew. I started work on it yesterday, after I finished making the black onyx cuff, and I'd never have finished otherwise. It's been a real two-day labour of love. I really can't believe how much I've improved over the course of this 30 day creative challenge. When I posted my first horse drawing on day 2 - the first drawing I've done of anything since I was about 10 - I said 'I can't draw', and it was true. If today's pastel painting proves anything at all, it's the merit of trying something new. I've still got a long way to go, but 29 days, half a dozen drawings, a couple of You Tube tutorials and I go from completely inept to this? It's insane. The force - scratch that - the horse was definitely with me these past few days.

Scarlet's pastel painting of a horse

Scarlet's pastel painting of a horse

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, absolutely loves playing with colour, and she's held her passion at bay for long enough to create this remarkable cream wrap - sacrificing colour for understated elegance and simplicity - for the Spring Exhibition of the North Shore Craft Group, which is on at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden in St Ives this coming weekend.

She says there are real challenges involved when making lace felt, and the garment certainly screams 'complex'. You have to be careful not to overstretch the wet fleece, apparently, in case it becomes too thin or rips. Delicate as it is in transit, once felted, the fabric is very strong. Telena loves watching the merino wool roving, which looks like long fat ropes of cotton wool, as it transforms into her beautiful finished garments.

She swears she did her oboe practice before indulging herself today. The question is, do we actually believe her?

Telena's cream lace wrap

Telena's cream lace wrap

KanensBookBefore

Opera singer and strange bedfellow, Kanen Breen, claims to be approaching the finishing line of our 30 day creative challenge with more of a whimper than a bang. He's had a full working day in the theatre today, with no access to his sequins or glitter. Quelle disastre!

Even so, he wins the gong for the strangest contribution today (since he's officially known as a strange bedfellow, I can surely say that without causing offence). He found a book by Joan Collins in the drawer of his dressing room, and he turned it into an impromptu decoration to brighten the space he's sharing with Abraham Lincoln (Warhol and Lincoln together at last, he said). If this makes no sense, it may help you to know that Kanen is in Brisbane at the moment, playing the role of Warhol in a Philip Glass opera about the last days of Walt Disney.

Always the entertainer, Kanen says his contribution today fits his particular creative niche of annoying and repetitive, finally unfolding into fabulosity. Ah! If only he knew how much we love his funny ways.

It has to be said, Abraham Lincoln must have done a serious double take when he found this creative offering in his dressing room. What the...?

Kanen's interior design talking piece

Kanen's interior design talking piece

Cooking maestro, 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 recently found herself with a surplus of exotic curds on her hands (see her blog, A Collection of Curds, for the fascinating details of her curd obsession). On the lookout for new ways to serve her curds, she made these versatile oatcakes. They're delicious on their own with the curd, even more delicious with goats milk cheese and curd, and utterly irresistible with curd and creme fraiche. She served her creations with a choice of either tea or single malt whiskey. High tea never looked so good.

Trish's oatcakes

Trish's oatcakes

Stephen Bennett had two photos that he ran out of time to frame on day 13, when he had a veritable framing marathon. He didn't have quite the right frames for the prints, just a couple of blonde timber frames that he didn't much like. So he stained the frames today using Western Australian Jarrah stain, to please his Western Australian wife. Then he added a few coats of varnish and framed the prints. All in a day's work for this versatile creative.

Steve's renovated frames and framed prints

Steve's renovated frames and framed prints