Week 18: Creative Challenge 52

Kanens shoes

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has been getting creative with shoes again. Jacqui had some $5 shoes that they'd both declared revolting but, happily, the shoes were potentially garish enough to be put to costuming use in their cabaret capers - with some added sequins, of course. The shoes are still very much on trial, but Kanen says he wants to see them on-stage and under lights before they get sent to God.

There's a little bit of glue clean up to come, but that has to wait for a day or two until the glue is properly dry. Kanen says it's hard to tell from the photos, but the larger sequins have a kind of holographic sheen that is quite vile but well suited to the hideous shoes. It makes them flash under the light, apparently.

Don't despair at this tantalising arm's length view. These shoes just might be coming to a venue near you very soon...

Jacquis Shoes

Telena Routh

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, is preparing to show some of her felted bags and, with her injured finger still on the mend (but not quite up to textile work again yet), she's opted to showcase some of the bags this week.

Telenas bags 1

Telena has used a variety of techniques to make these bags. Some were knotted and then felted. Others were knitted to a very large size and then shrunk in the washing machine. Still others were made to a pattern with layers kept separate during the felting process, and one was free-machine embroidered.

Telenas Bags 2

Telena is hoping that her finger will be sufficiently recovered in the coming week to allow her to resume felting again. Either way, she's not going to be short of things to do because she still has a wedding to prepare for, oboe lessons to give, and a spare room to prepare for guests. It's good to know that she's keeping out of mischief. And her bag exhibition will really be something to see.

Telenas Bags 3

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 creative with her camera as well as in the kitchen this week. She's been taking portraits of her vegetables - a very fine way to honour them before putting them into the pot - and creating her usual array of culinary delicacies.

Trishs herb and cucumber harvest

She turned an early morning garden harvest (5 cucumbers, mint, tarragon and lovage) into a delicious raw lunch time soup. She served the soup with the remains of her parmesan ice cream (you can find the parmesan ice cream here on Trish's fabulous food blog), which has been in her freezer waiting for another outing.

Raw green soup with parmesan ice cream

The potatoes Trish picked were combined with onion and served as a potato bake for supper. Yum! It's all been happening at Trish's place.

Trishs garden potatoes

Georgia Bennett

Singer, guitarist and song writer, Georgia Bennett, has been impressively creative this past week, as always. She's made a new Tumblr blog, Rhythm Runway, to post about two of her favourite things - music and fashion. And she designed some images for the blog, which she then got Steve to photograph. How good does her theme look?

Rhythm Runway Images

Everyone in our family sings, and we often improvise harmonies and mess about with songs. Georgia, Hannah and I have a version of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy that we sing together sometimes when the mood takes us. We trotted it out yesterday to create something different for this blog. It's a live recording featuring Georgia singing the solo and the bottom ensemble line, Hannah is singing the top line, and I'm sandwiched in the middle. Stephen Bennett gets credit for his sound engineering skills. We'd be lost without his various talents.

I'm absolutely crazy about Georgia's solo. She never sings it the same way twice and she's a real one-take wonder. She nails it every time.

Stephen Bennett

As I mentioned, Stephen Bennett has been kept busy with other people's creative projects this week. Always quick to spot an opportunity, however, he snapped this wonderful portrait of Georgia when they were working on her Rhythm Runway shoot.

Georgia Bennett

He's also been making panel doors for our new kitchen cupboards and we may get a glimpse of his results next week. Bring it on, I say.

Scarlet Bennett

Giant Russian Sunflower

My writing output this week has been really good but that means I've been sitting a lot. To compensate, I've been taking breaks in our urban farm, which is absolutely flourishing. Our giant Russian sunflowers have started to morph from flowers to seed producers, which is exciting to watch, and the purely decorative Italian sunflowers alongside are a joy to behold. I defy you to feel grumpy when you look at these cheery blooms.

Italian Sunflowers
Zucchini Flower

The summer glut is upon us and I joked at breakfast that we may need to think about a book - Creative Ways with Zucchinis - since I'm inventing new ways to serve these prolific producers on a daily basis. Today's exciting kitchen adventure, after picking another mountain of ripe produce, was two different varieties of zucchini bread - golden zucchini and sweet corn, and zucchini and chive. They're very nice indeed.

Scarlets Zucchini Bread

The passion Kanen Breen feels for shoes, I reserve, I'm afraid, for eggplants (tragic, isn't it). I just adore these black velvet friends and I've got quite a few different varieties fruiting at the moment. I should have photographed my harvest this week, but I just couldn't wait to eat them. Never fear, however, there are plenty more on the way.

Scarlets Eggplants

I haven't had much time to spend in my jewellery studio this week, but I did make these cool sterling silver earrings. This design reminds of King Neptune's trident and evokes nostalgia for the stories of my youth. They look fabulous on.

Scarlets Trident Earrings