Week 20: Creative Challenge 52

Trishs Sage Tea

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 obsessed with sage this week.

She went on a quest to make an interesting sage tea and came up with a combination comprised of mixed sage leaves and flowers, mint, cinnamon and dried rose buds. Trish says the combination is delicious, and she's enjoyed it hot, at room temperature, and chilled. She thinks it must have all sorts of beneficial properties and one look at her photos has sold me on that idea.

Trish also made a sage 'oil' mix by blending sage leaves, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. She kept it in a jar in the freezer and she's used it in nearly every meal this week: on baked potatoes fresh from the garden, as a baste for baked fish, served with gem squash, and used to flavour some Karoo lamb. Doesn't that sound delicious?

Check out Trish's fabulous food blog for more news of Trish's endlessly creative cooking adventures.

Kanen Breen

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has been indulging his shoe fetish again. He started the week by gilding the lily on last week's creation, adding sequins to his paint job. I hear the sequins elicited no end of comment from the naysayers of last week - a very satisfying turnaround.

Kanens brown shoes

His shoes of this week were a very early sequin attempt that went sour on account of the wrong glue. The sequins all fell off on their first outing, leaving a sequin-imprinted gluey residue behind which, unlike the sequins, refused to be dislodged from the fabric. Kanen relegated the shoe's to Jacqui's garage of horrors until the other day when he unearthed them with a rescue plan in mind. A lick of peacock green metallic paint later and they've taken on a sort of reptilian scale effect which Kanen quite likes. He painted the grey lace section gold, so they're not only glamtastic, but patriotic too. This creative legend will be outfitting Australian Olympians in no time.

Kanens Peacock Shoes

Telena Routh

Rolled Felt

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has had a week full of meetings, long phone calls to parents, teaching, and house guests, so her felting time has been snatched in small moments, resulting in small creations.

Telena made some flowers this week, felting the larger flower in a single piece with a plastic resist between the layers. She then shaped it to make it stand away from the base. The smaller flowers were felted in long strips, rolled up and sewn to create the bud shape. Her plan in the coming week is to make leaves and stems for some of the flowers, and to turn others into brooches.

Felt Flowers

Georgia Bennett

Singer, guitarist and song writer, Georgia Bennett, has been thinking about fashion and working on a new dressmaking idea over the past few days. She made a pattern this week from one of her favourite skirts, and she's cut out her fabric and is ready to sew. Happily, she wants her new skirt to be longer than the original (and she's added a good inch to the pattern), and that's music to any parent's ears.

Make your own pattern

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett has had a huge week looking for repertoire for his new job as choirmaster at Canberra Grammar Junior School. He is responsible for six choirs, from Years 2-6, so he needs lots of different music for the different age groups and abilities involved.

He had the bright idea to make a two-part arrangement of a favourite song - Benjamin Britten's The Sally Gardens, so he wrote a second part under the melody, entered the lot into Finale, and then printed out four versions so he can use it for the choir and also for a couple of high school boys who sing duets. He loves any excuse to work with Finale as he finds it such a brilliant program.

Steves arrangment of The Sally Gardens

Steve also photographed Georgia before she went out for a birthday party on Friday night. Looking good, girl! Nice photo too.

Singer Georgia Bennett

Scarlet Bennett

My creative contribution has a garden theme this week. I dried a coreopsis flower and set it into this brass ring with resin. It's not a classic piece, by any means, but it's fun and funky and youthful. I swear it takes at least a decade off me.

Flower Ring

I've got a job list a mile long in the garden at the moment, because if I don't propagate my seeds now, I'll have no winter crops. My plants need to be well developed before the winter cold kicks in, and Canberra cold is never far away. My first tranche of seeds was started this week - around 250 seeds in total, and I need to do at least that many again over the next few weeks. Mercifully, we've had a cool spell, so I've been able to get the job done in relative comfort.

Propagating seeds

Not only is it planting time, but it's harvest time as well, and my summer crops have flourished. Here's a selection of produce picked yesterday morning to turn into a delicious Afghan eggplant curry - my friend Khatira's recipe. Yum!

Garden Harvest