Filtering by Tag: 101 Cookbooks

Day 24: Creative Challenge

My creative contribution today, while falling into the jewellery category, represents a radical departure from my usual style nevertheless. I love to work with metal and gemstones and all things earthy. I just love the feel of the raw materials in my hands. And I love the look of the shiny metals and natural stones too. But today I was looking for another couch creation and that required a bit of ingenuity.

I spent twenty minutes in my studio first, cutting, filing and drilling a large copper disk. Then I soldered a sterling silver jump ring to create a bail, and I stained the copper black. I then spent a happy hour tucked in and warm on the couch, softening and shaping some polymer clay to create a sunny spring flower. I baked the clay and glued a mother-of-pearl gemstone in the centre with epoxy, set the flower on the copper disk and...voila. This pendant is big, even by my standards, with a diameter of about 10cms. But on a day when I'm feeling particularly young at heart, I might just wear it.

Scarlet's spring pendant - sterling silver, copper, polymer, mother-of-pearl. Thanks to Stephen Bennett for the awesome photo.

Scarlet's spring pendant - sterling silver, copper, polymer, mother-of-pearl. Thanks to Stephen Bennett for the awesome photo.

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 been creating magic in her kitchen again. Today's gastronomic wonder is pink grapefruit curd, and there's an interesting story attached.

Trish thought she'd get ahead of the game by doing some of the work in advance. She bought the grapefruits yesterday and was planning to make the curd last night (to overcome the challenges posed by the 8 hour time difference), leaving just the photography for today. Like all great plans, it went awry. She went to a Swahili class last night - as you do - with her Left-Eye Productions partner, Andy Spitz, in preparation for a possible film job in Tanzania, and didn't get home until late. Strangely enough, she baulked at making her pink gratefruit curd in the wee hours, so she's had a mad morning scramble to create today's masterpiece. Trish has used the juice reduction method she reported yesterday (from 101 Cookbooks), and the result looks mouth-wateringly delicious. Can you imagine it in a little shortcrust pastry tart? Check out more of Trish's cooking adventures on her fabulous food blog.

Trish's gorgeous pink grapefruit curd

Trish's gorgeous pink grapefruit curd

Opera singer and strange bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has reported in from his death bed, I'm afraid. I gather he's succumbed to a rare, but painful, death-by-sequins affliction. He's embellishing a jacket to wear on the opening night of the Philip Glass opera he's currently rehearsing in Brisbane. Always the optimist, he thought this show-stopping jacket would be a one-day creation. Not so. He now estimates it will take him about three days to get the job done. His fingers are sore and his patience has been stretched to breaking point. But, my word, it's going to be worth it. Using a combination of black sequins and silver seed beads, he's turning this jacket into an opening night sensation. I think he might also have cottoned on to an innovative form of superannuation. When he retires, he'll be able to auction off his wardrobe and sail away into the sunset, cocktail in hand and wallet bulging.

Kanen's sequined opening night jacket: Part 1

Kanen's sequined opening night jacket: Part 1

Stephen Bennett laboured for hours on the song he contributed yesterday, but didn't actually get around to recording it. Having slept on his composition, there were things he wanted to adjust when he revisited it this morning. And that's fair enough when you start with a blank page and compose in a frenzy of inspiration. I can't imagine submitting a first draft of a story. Ugh! The thought alone makes me shudder. I'm told the recording is now scheduled for tomorrow. In the meantime, Steve framed a photo that's been sitting on his framing bench downstairs, awaiting his attention, so he'd have something creative to contribute today. Not bad at all for a quick creative rescue.

Steve's framed photo of Theo Bartolozzi and Duke 'Kissing' Casanova

Steve's framed photo of Theo Bartolozzi and Duke 'Kissing' Casanova

Day 23: Creative Challenge

The ayes have it. Opera singer and strange bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has been busy with his...yes...you guessed it...sequins...with spectacularly avian results. He's been picking the eyes out of his wardrobe and replacing them with glitzy, shimmering sequins. He's hoping that on a sunny summer's day, these birdy eyes will flash and catch the light in the way they've failed utterly to do in his hotel room. He struggled to get the full sparkling experience in his photos, too, but it's easy to imagine how dazzling this shirt will be in the right light. Today's contribution has a stunningly tropical feel about it. Now all we need is the holiday to match.

A bird's eye view of Kanen's sequined shirt

A bird's eye view of Kanen's sequined shirt

Continuing with the tropical theme, 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 made a stunning Naartjie and Passionfruit Curd today. Naartjie is the Afrikaans name for citrus. The word has been used in South Africa since 1790, but the first record of it in written English was by Lawrence Green in the Tavern of the Seas in 1947.

Trish created a hybrid today, basing her creation on her favourite passion fruit curd recipe, but reducing the naartjie juice according to the method described on 101 Cookbooks. She cooked it to 165 degrees (important information for people like me who turn everything into toffee), and the results speak for themselves. Check out more of Trish's amazing cooking exploits on her food blog.

Trish's exotic Naartjie and Passion fruit curd

Trish's exotic Naartjie and Passion fruit curd

You can't compare apples with oranges, but you can take a tropical theme too far. Oh well, life is short and I may as well live dangerously. Actually, that's about as exciting as my day's going to get. I woke up with a heavy cold and spent the day on the couch wondering what I could create in repose. My solution was to take a You Tube drawing tutorial. The one I took was called Pastel Drawing Painting Techniques and the first projects were these apples. I had to knock off after I'd completed my red apple because I was too sick to finish the tutorial, but I'm mightily pleased with the results. I'm also pleased to be able to boast that these pictures haven't been enhanced at all - just photographed and then set out in this diptych with black frames around each picture for clarity (thank you, Stephen Bennett, for the photo work). Not a horse in sight, Kanen!

Scarlet's pastel apples

Scarlet's pastel apples

Stephen Bennett has bucked the tropical trend - no holiday for him - and written a song for voices with limited vocal range today. It's not always easy to find repertoire suitable for students with undeveloped voices, and he's been thinking about writing some songs to fill that niche. He's blogged more details here, but the gist of the story is that he's long been a fan of cartoonist, writer, painter, philosopher and poet, Michael Leunig. Leunig wrote a wonderful poem about the mess bureaucrats are making of the world, and Steve has written a vocal piece to Leunig's text. This is part one of a two day project. Today we get a photograph of the score. Tomorrow Steve's going to record himself singing it, and he'll post the audio recording to our Day 24 blog. He just has one minor detail to attend to first: He needs to learn to do multi-track recordings on his computer. One man, five minutes? I don't think so.

Steve's composition, The Awfulisers, set to a poem by Michael Leunig

Steve's composition, The Awfulisers, set to a poem by Michael Leunig