Day 30: Creative Challenge

Having threatened to go out on a whimper instead of a bang, opera singer and strange bedfellow, Kanen Breen has had a startling return to form today. He's been eyeing his unsuspecting and beloved boots with a glittery eye for some time, fantasising about gold sparkly boot caps. The problem was, he could never bring himself to be so radical and permanent with a boot that has served him so well and that suits so many occasions in its current, unadulterated form. Cue his Warhol costume, which has elasticated sparkly arm bands that go under a jacket and are never seen. He was so sad at this prospect, that he wore them on his orange boots instead of under his jacket - and a genius and temporary transformational idea was born. Off to Lincraft he went. Two lengths of black elastic, some glue and sequins later, and a cheap as chips make-over has come to pass. Knock 'em dead, cowboy.

Kanen's boot innovation

Kanen's boot innovation

Trish's carrot, coconut milk, passion fruit and lime smoothie

Trish's carrot, coconut milk, passion fruit and lime smoothie

The creative challenge team's cooking guru, 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, was awake in bed last night plotting a celebratory offering for the final day of our creative challenge. Given that her culinary creations are usually consumed at breakfast on account of the time difference between Canberra and Johannesburg, she ruled out sparkling wine with lavender or black pepper syrup. Even creatives have to draw the line somewhere.

After much deliberation and having decided she absolutely had to use ingredients she had on hand, she decided on a selection of celebratory juices. Celebration of not, I'd be ecstatic to get any one of these for my breakfast. Feast your eyes on her rose and cardamom scented lassi, coloured with the juice of a beetroot and spiked with lavender syrup. Join me in drooling over her carrot, coconut milk, passion fruit and lime smoothie. Or win the health award of the day with her green juice made with lettuce, Swiss chard, mint, ginger, lemon, clementine, and pink grapefruit. Now these are my kind of cocktails. Cheers!

For more exciting food adventures, check out Trish's blog.

Trish's breakfast cocktails

Trish's breakfast cocktails

Steve's microphone and music - all ready to go

Steve's microphone and music - all ready to go

Stephen Bennett has been channeling his inner beast today, planning a creative contribution that he knew would delight me. I've long been at him to record some of my favourites out of all the things he's sung over the years, and he thought he'd ease into it by recording a music theatre piece (from Beauty and The Beast) that one of his students has been working on. This is a radical repertoire departure for him because his background is entirely classical and, although opera companies quite often put on music theatre productions, Steve's never been involved in them. Mozart, Bach, Handel and Schubert have been his core composers.

Anyway, when I left for a meeting this afternoon, he'd arranged himself in our living room with his very basic recording equipment and he was about to launch into action. This is the result - an absolutely stunning effort given the inadequacy of our recording equipment and technology. This is going to be awesome. I have my recording 'to do' list at hand and I'm all set to keep him very busy indeed.

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has been busy responding to a commission. She displayed one of her exquisite scarves recently, at an exhibition of the North Shore Craft Group (their spring exhibition is on this coming weekend at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden) and picked up a commission from a visitor who just loved what she'd made.

There's a lesson for all of us in this. The lady who commissioned the scarf had walked past Telena's display early, spotted the scarf, and then wandered off to enjoy the rest of the exhibition. When she came back to buy the scarf, she found that someone else had beaten her to it. Don't you hate it when that happens? It all ended well, of course. Telena made a custom scarf, just for her, in her favourite colours and with added length because she was very tall. All's well that ends well.

Telena's gorgeous scarf: Before and after

Telena's gorgeous scarf: Before and after

Scarlet's Tiger's Eye Pendant

Scarlet's Tiger's Eye Pendant

Like the rest of the creative challenge team, I wanted to make something special to mark the end of our 30 day challenge. I have a friend who's going through a painful separation at the moment, so I decided to make a pendant for her featuring her favourite gemstone - tiger's eye. The stone itself is absolute exquisite. It has texture that looks like animal fur and radiant golden highlights that change depending on the angle and the light. My friend is going to love this piece.

I also thought I'd report on the progress of the seeds I propagated on day 20. They're shooting out of their trays and will soon need either planting out or transplanting. There's still the ever-present threat of frost to contend with, but it's looking good for my organic vegetable crop this year.

And finally, a word of thanks to my partners in crime. The 30 day challenge has been a wonderful adventure which owes much to my traveling companions. Thanks for all the inspiration, fun and laughter. It's been beyond awesome.

Scarlet's early season seedlings

Scarlet's early season seedlings