Week 45: Creative Challenge 52

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has been eco-dyeing again this week, as she's had some enquiries about her dyed silk scarves. So...out came the camping stove and fortunately the rain held off. Telena made up the iron water, wrapped the leaves in silk and immersed them in the hot water, then left them to do their magic for an hour. She also briefly dipped some previously dyed scarves into the iron water to bring out some different hues.

Telena's silk scarves
Telena's eco-dyeing

Telena took advantage of yesterday's beautiful winter sun, spending some time outdoors knitting gumnut beanies, this time in girly colours for another new arrival. She's also had a busy week encouraging her students to be diligent in the lead up to their exams.

Telena's knitted hats

Kanen Breen

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has just landed in Sydney (along with his gargantuan hangover) to beautiful blue skies. That wouldn't have been his experience if he'd flown into Canberra today!

Kanen has had a big week of shows, 8 in 6 days - unheard of for opera singers. He says it was very challenging but also rewarding. He loves Sweeney Todd and the audiences were really involved so Kanen found it a brief but wonderful pleasure.

He's submitted some pictures of the transformation he made every day this past week, from mild-mannered glitterphile to the dastardly Beadle Bamford, a fun little role with lots of nasty dialogue and some ridiculous, dandy-ish music. Clearly, broad brush strokes were encouraged and, up close, Kanen says he looks like he's in Cats, but he's reliably informed that from about Row F, his efforts were quite effective. God bless the wig, Kanen says - it was the cherry on the cake. Nice chest!

Kanen's Sweeney Todd makeover
Kanen Breen as The Beadle

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 a busy bee this past week (this is a terrible pun that you'll only truly appreciate when you read on).

Trish faced a difficult dilemma: Wade through six months worth of tax documents or go and watch some friends harvesting honey. Guess which option proved more attractive?  Do read Trish's blog about this. It's funny. And Trish shares a delicious oat pancake recipe, which she sourced to provide an accompaniment for the fresh honey and some fresh herbs she picked while she was visiting.

Trish's oat pancakes

During the week, Trish and Richard stopped their narrowboat at Wilton Marina to pick up a couple of things at the chandlery. There were four huge cherry trees outside laden with perfectly ripe cherries, and when Trish was paying she asked if it was okay to pick some. The result was an apple and cherry jelly flavoured with fennel and black pepper. This looks so delicious.

Trish's berries
Trish's apple and cherry jelly

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett had an hour to kill while his car was being fixed earlier this week, so he took his camera and went for a walk around Mitchell, which is an industrial area in Canberra, looking for some urban abstracts. He's rather pleased with the two buildings he photographed and he loves the triptych of tree shadows on walls. Not usually an urban photography afficionado, he enjoyed the experience so much that he's decided to try his hand at some more.

Steve's urban industrial photography
Steve's urban industrial photography
Steve's urban tree shadows

Scarlet Bennett

April, May and June are always frantically busy months in my occupational psychology business, and this year has been no exception. With the 14 July release of my novel in the mix, it's been even busier than usual and, I have to confess, I've been stretched a bit thin, to the point where I've been fantasising about taking a holiday.

That can only be a fantasy, because there will be no rest for me until the summer rolls around, so I've opted for the next best thing - a change.

I was facilitating a leadership workshop this week, and one of my participants mentioned that she makes terrariums in her spare time. You can imagine how quickly that captured my interest. Aha! I thought. This week's Creative Challenge sorted! Terrariums are very different from my previous creations, making them an ideal substitute for a holiday (I know, there's no substitute for a holiday, but this is a helpful delusion so please indulge me).

Here are my first efforts, not exactly masterpieces, but lovely to have in our home nevertheless. The downside was that it's been bitterly cold in Canberra today, so I put them together on the kitchen table. Let's not talk about the mess...

Scarlet's terrarium
Scarlet's terrarium
Scarlet's terrarium