Filtering by Tag: North Shore Craft Group

Week 10: Creative Challenge 52

PreservedGinger

Week ten of our year long creative challenge is already upon us and 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 pulled a miracle rabbit out of her hat this week.

The lead up to Christmas is a busy period for many of us and Trish is no exception. She worked seventeen hour days on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to get some films finished. Two films have now been dispatched to the USA via courier and the remaining three are almost finished.

Trish also managed to finalise plans for Allaboutwriting's Venice Writing Retreat next September. There are some lucky writers out there with a fabulous experience coming their way.

Needless to say, with all this on the go, Trish hasn't had much time to create in her kitchen this past week. In fact, she says she's barely managed to put a piece of bread in the toaster. To stave off potential withdrawal symptoms, she's made a last minute dash for the finishing line with some preserved ginger in syrup. She's also used the ginger to make an invigorating ginger tea. Recipes for both these creations are posted at the bottom of this blog, and you can see more of Trish's exciting food adventures here.

TrishsPreservedGinger

Telena Routh

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has been busy all weekend with the North Shore Craft Group's Boutique Christmas Sale, packing, labelling, setting up and then sitting back to enjoy the result and hopefully be kept busy at the sales desk.

This week she felted some beautiful scarves that can also be worn as wraps. They're very light-weight and floaty. She made them with silk chiffon and many different colours of fleece, which she cut into squares and laid out on the chiffon, which was then wet down and rolled around a pool noodle and then onto itself. The fleece felted through the chiffon, with one side vibrant and colourful and the reverse side revealing more muted tones. Telena loves the versatility of these two different effects. This form of felting with fleece on fabric is known as Nuno felting.

Telena'sFeltedScarves
TelenasNunoScarves

Telena also made some more dreadlock necklaces - I've included a photo of these that I neglected to post last week - along with beading some more of her felted Christmas baubles.

DreadlockTree

Telena finished her arrangement of the Queen of Sheba for two oboes and two cor anglais, and the piece will be performed at a school concert this week. Having accomplished that, she's now thinking about her Christmas cakes...

Keryn Clark

South African born writer, florist and cake whizz, Keryn Clark, has been flat out this week with a variety of different things while also juggling ongoing issues with her health. She's put this week's contribution in the 'season of small things' category, which by no means reflects its quality. Good things really do come in little packages in this case.

These first flowers are a mystery waiting to be solved - does anyone know what they are? Keryn's business partner, Remy, collected them while pruning a hedge. Four days later, they're still going strong.

KerynsMysteryFlowers
BlueRoses

Keryn has never seen blue roses before, so when she spotted these at the markets, she snapped them up. They've obviously been dyed somewhere along the line, and while Keryn doesn't usually go in for flowers that have been artificially enhanced, these are striking and they go well with her blue mirror. I reckon that's something of an understatement. What do you think?

KerynsBlueRoses
KerynsStillLife

Kanen Breen

KanensRobe

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has been gilding the lily rather than having a full-blown creative seizure these past seven days. He's been working to a tight deadline to get his uniquely embellished robe and hot pants ready for a Strange Bedfellows photo shoot, squeezing his creative activities in between a full week of Falstaff rehearsals in Melbourne.

He reports that his fully amended robe and hot pants came up a treat in the shots, and he draws our attention, in particular, to: the fab chunky lace on the cuffs, to which he's added sequins; the red sequin trim on the inner front adorned with further lace to disguise his sloppy craftsmanship; plus the audacious pom-pommery and sparkles on the shorts.

Where creative bling is concerned, it just doesn't get much better than this.

KanensHotPants
RobeDetail

Georgia Bennett

Singer, guitarist and song writer, Georgia Bennett, has had another enormous week. She had two drama performances this week along with her usual stream of commitments. It would be very fair to say that she's looking forward to the Christmas break.

In the meantime, she recorded an Ed Sheeran cover yesterday - a song that she performed live at a gig a couple of weeks ago. It's a great song with a challenging guitar part, and her live performance went down very well indeed. It's always good to impress the punters and she had that thoroughly covered.

Stephen Bennett

StevesToolTote

Stephen Bennett has enjoyed some woodworking time this week. His creative output was to finish a tool tote he started making some months ago. He had already made progress with some of the pieces cut out and shaped, so it was just a matter of continuing the process through to completion. His tool tote is made out of Western Red Cedar and he used hand tools only for the whole job. The challenge for this project was to learn to cut compound joints by hand, and he's quite happy with how it turned out. He now has a handy way to carry tools from the garage to whichever part of the house has fallen apart and needs fixing. Sadly, we've had a string of such minor domestic disasters in recent times, and it's fair to assume that his tool tote will get plenty of use.

ToolTote
FinishedToolTote

Scarlet Bennett

I've made a few more pieces for my Bunnings Collection this past week. I started with a copper pendant made with aged copper, a zinc washer, a star washer and some galvanised steel wire. It's simple but it looks striking on.

ScarletsCopperPendant

I also made another cyberpunk pendant with a polymer red rose, galvanised steel wire, and a couple of washers. I set the piece on brass that I finished with red enamel and resin. I really like the flecks of brass that I've scraped back around the edges.

RosePendant

You really can't have enough flowers in your life, and I finished the week with a pastel painting to go with my rose pendant.

ScarletsPastelRose

Trish's Recipes

Preserved Ginger

  1. Weigh your peeled ginger - and set aside an equivalent amount of sugar for use later.
  2. Slice into even sized pieces, disc, little nuggets or strips,  put into a pot and cover with water.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer  for an hour or more until softened, topping up the water as needed.
  4. Once the ginger has softened, boil vigorously until the water is reduced and then lower the heat and stir in the sugar until dissolved.
  5. Simmer the mixture until the liquid is syrupy. Could be for as much as an hour. I am at about 50 mins so far and it doesn't look ready. Hoping the result won't be toffee...
  6. Pour into sterilised jars
  7. Enjoy with cheese, use in baking or add to stir fries.

Ginger Tea

I boiled all the peelings with water and now have some very powerful ginger tea in the fridge. To serve, mix a quarter of a cup of the intense ginger tea with boiling water or pour it over ice and add cold water and mint.

Enjoy!

Week 4: Creative Challenge 52

South African born writer, florist, painter and cake whizz, Keryn Clark, has baked a mouth-watering delicacy today - a passion fruit Victorian sponge, known in South Africa as a granadilla cake.

Keryns Granadilla Tea party.JPG

Keryn wasn't raised by her mother. Instead she was cared for by her grandmother, and it was her grandmother who taught her how to bake. Despite her mother's uselessness at anything to do with domesticity (you go, girl!), she was inspired by granadilla cake. One day she arrived back in South Africa without warning, just in time for Keryn's school fete. This inspired her to slap on an apron and march into the kitchen with the grand announcement that she was going to bake a granadilla cake.  But tradition bored Keryn's mother and she added her own personality to the cake, which included peppermint flavouring and blue icing.  The cake didn’t rise and it looked a sorry offering on the ladies cake counter at the fete. Imagine a flat blue cake with granadilla seeds lodged like dead flies in the icing. Keryn's never forgotten that cake because they took it home with them unsold. I have to confess that blue icing has that effect on me too.

This week, when Keryn's Country Home magazine arrived, there was a story in it about a retired man who bakes for his family, and he'd declared the Victorian Passion Fruit sponge the all-time family favourite. Keryn was inspired to make one in memory of her mother, and she thinks this recipe worked out well. She likes to think that, sans peppermint, she's inherited some of her mother's drama. Fortunately for us, she hasn't inherited her sense of aesthetics.

P.S. A little birdie told me that the granadilla cake is no longer, and that Keryn ate two slices. Well, you would, wouldn't you...

Keryn's granadilla cake

Keryn's granadilla cake

Kanen Breen

Kanen's in-progress screen transformation

Kanen's in-progress screen transformation

Opera singer and strange bedfellow, Kanen Breen, says we'll have to take his word for the fact that he's been consumed this week with writing a duet for the Strange Bedfellows performance, Under the Covers, at The Vanguard on December 16.

A number of factors have contributed to this being the case, apparently: 1) He's never written a song before, let alone a duet; 2) he can hardly play the piano; 3) the app he's using on his iPhone to score it legibly keeps crashing and erasing his efforts, which means that whatever section he's been working on has to be reconstructed from his bizarre and meandering, illegible scribbles. The end result of this is that he gets a completely different result every time. Very frustrating (in light of these developments, a blood pressure check may be in order, Mr Breen).

In spite of these limitations, the duet has gone from being a two and a half minute ditty to a full blown ten minute rock opera involving some pretty salacious behaviours in which Jacqui will be required to do her best Michael Hutchence impersonation (you'd best come home from Honkers toute suite, Jacqui, because all manner of mischief is underway in your absence).

Kanen's really been enjoying the challenge of trying to get a musical notion out of his brain and onto the page intact. The lyrics have been coming to him at all hours of the day and night, so he's been keeping a sparkly pink notebook beside him at all times to soak up the 'poetry' as it flows forth. One can only imagine. The lyrics have been coming to him at all hour

He can, of course, reveal none of this before the premiere, but he assures us that his composition will divide the punters and horrify his parents should they choose to attend. Isn't that precisely what children are for?

Lest we think his efforts too intangible this week, he's provided evidence of another (unexpected) screen transformation, which got underway yesterday. He went and saw a great act at The Vanguard in Newtown last week, and noticed an annoying door at the back of the stage that breaks the mood onstage every time someone steps through it. This, of course, prompted a creative inspiration, and Kanen immediately thought of four IKEA doors that he found on the nature strip near Jacqui's place that have languished in her garage ever since, waiting for a purpose. Their wait is now over and they're destined to become quite fabulous in due course. If you've been following Kanen's work, you'll find this very easy indeed to believe.

Trish Urquhart

TrishsCookbook

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 getting about twenty passion fruit a week off her vines. They've built up over the past couple of weeks, so she decided to make a passion fruit and apple jelly for this week's creative contribution.

The recipe was largely based on a recipe for passion fruit jelly from a beautiful book called 'Salt Sugar Smoke' by Diana Henry. Trish followed it fairly roughly, and referred to and borrowed bits from the Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall recipe for hedgerow jelly that has become her trusted recipe for all jellies. And because she can't resist playing around, she added a hint of chopped fresh chilli and a couple of bay leaves. Why oh why did she not make notes, she wonders. She's going to have to make it again, keeping proper notes, so she can post it to her fabulous food blog. But, of course, that's hardly a problem - the jelly is a gorgeous tart and tangy delight, and her passion fruit vine is obligingly producing an abundance of fruits all year round. This is the kind of problem it's rather nice to have.

Trish made some pre-dinner snacks featuring the jelly:

  1. Buckwheat blini with cream cheese, passion fruit jelly and fennel.
  2. Fried goats cheese haloumi served with lovage and passion fruit jelly.

For dinner, she made baked fish with lemon and olive oil. She served it with roasted broccoli and, of course, a passion fruit and apple jelly accompaniment. Way to dine in style, Trish.

TrishsPassionFruitandAppleJelly

Telena Routh

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has roped in her resources to create some funky jewellery this week. She's been making felt ropes - a.k.a. dreadlocks - to turn into necklaces. The necklaces are light and colourful, just the thing to wear with one of Telena's exotic creations.

Telena is busy creating a stock of these for the Christmas Show of the North Shore Craft Group in November. She tries to always have some new ideas for these exhibitions, and the dreadlocks are fun and quite quick to make.

Telena starts by rolling long lengths of fleece in a bamboo blind, joining each piece into a loop, and felting until they've shrunk and become thick, dense felt. When they're strong enough, she can hit them hard on her table, so they have therapeutic as well as aesthetic value - a great way to release those inner frustrations.

Bang! Pow! Wallop! Ah...I feel better now.

TelenasDreadlocks

Georgia Bennett

Singer, guitarist and song writer, Georgia Bennett, has been on holidays this past week and she was determined to put a positive, creative foot forward. She's written a few new songs that she wanted to record, and she also wanted to re-record some songs that she posted to her You Tube channel and website a few months ago, because our primitive technology let her down then and we've invested in some better equipment since.

Like most great plans, this one went awry. She spent days recording her songs, only to later discover that the technology was still delivering a sub-optimal result, in spite of the fact that it all looked good when she checked it on the video recorder at the time. So her planning, efforts and early preparation came to naught, and she's had a frantic dash to the finishing line today, with Steve helping to get the audio working better. This is a live recording made with pretty basic equipment, but it's the best we've managed yet and she still sounds awesome.

Georgia's recording set up

Georgia's recording set up

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett has been a legend this week, all but finishing our new garden infrastructure to allow us to grow more flowers. It was hot here today, so it took a heroic effort to finish these front beds. We need to get in a bit more soil, and we're still trying to decide whether or not to pave the pathways with some kind of mosaic design, but the beds are almost finished. It's been a huge job over the past few weeks and I know Steve's looking forward to getting back to his usual creative pursuits.

Steves Garden Infrastructure
StevesGardenPanoramic

Steve has also been busy with his camera, taking photos for our urban farming blog, photographing my jewellery, and getting out and about for the odd landscape shot whenever he can. He's particularly pleased with the abstract images he was able to create with the photos he took of a few stumps he found lying about. They're really very cool.

Steves Stumps
Steves Urban Farming Triptych

Scarlet Bennett

Yama's pendant

Yama's pendant

I've been juggling creative activities with some pretty heavy work commitments this past week, and I was grateful for the public holiday on Monday, which allowed me to make a couple of pieces that were high on my priority list.

Reiki practitioner, Yama Mehry, commissioned me to make him a lapis lazuli pendant. It wasn't a small piece by any means, not when you consider the size of the gemstones in your standard retail outlet, but it was definitely small by my standards, and I was pleasantly surprised by how quick and easy it was to make. I'd forgotten that the challenges I deal with when setting very large stones are unique to large stones. Far be it from me to ever chose the easy road.

Still on a lapis theme, I made a large pendant for my friend Linda, to accompany the blue polymer flower I made her last week. This is a big piece, roughly 40mm x 30mm, and the stone is an absolute beauty - a deep, dark blue flecked with gold and featuring a sparkling gold stripe. Linda's really going to look the business in this.

LindasLapisPendant

Yesterday I indulged myself by playing around with a design that I've been thinking about for a while.

I've had a lot of positive feedback about the red polymer flower I made in our 30 day creative challenge. Every time I wear it, I get compliments, and I like it so much myself that I've been thinking about adding more flowers to my repertoire. I'm absolutely brimming with ideas, but I decided to start with a flower ring. I made the rose out of polymer, using some rose leaves from the garden as moulds, and I strengthened the flower and gave it a glass-like finish with resin. I set the rose on a blackened copper base with a sterling silver ring shank that I etched with a floral design.

It was hard to do justice to this piece with a camera because the surface is so reflective, but 'in the flesh' it's really quite gorgeous. If I'd had any doubts about it's potential popularity, they were dispelled early in the construction process. I had two 'commissions' for the ring before it was even finished. Hannah and Georgia took one look and said 'please could you make me one of those, but with a pink rose?'. The answer is yes, but I can do better than that. Brace yourself for an onslaught flowers in the coming weeks.

Scarlet'sRoseRing


NEWSFLASH! Introducing Creative Challenge 52

The 30 day Creative Challenge was so much fun that we've decided to continue, albeit in a slightly different form. We've signed up for a year of creative madness, and we'll be reporting on our creative progress each week. It's my very great pleasure to introduce you to the Creative Challenge 52 team today, and to give you a sneak preview of the wealth of creativity you can expect to see in the coming year.

Trish Urquhart

TrishUrquhart

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 exciting creative plans for the coming year.

  • Her main focus will be to cook creatively, often simply, with the food she and Richard Beynon grow in their garden in Johannesburg and while on their narrow boat, Patience, in the UK. Trish and Richard are expecting to spend about half of next year on their boat, perhaps between March and September, so we can expect some interesting nautical contributions. This challenge just gets better and better.
  • Trish is planning to work on her photography to gain better control of the results she gets. And she may even attempt a few little video clips later in the year. Bring it on, I say.
  • She's also determined to post weekly additions to her food blog. That's very good news for those of us who follow her.
  • Trish and Richard have some big interior decorating projects planned - both for their home in Johannesburg and for Patience (the boat, not the virtue, although if my experience with renovations is anything to go by, I suspect they'll need the latter).
  • They're also planning some work in their garden. If we're lucky we'll get an insider's view.
  • Allaboutwriting is exploring the possibility of hosting a writer's retreat in Venice in September of next year. Trish is still researching options and may end up staying in a hotel, but she's hoping to find a suitable serviced apartment so she indulge her cooking passion, Venice style. Fancy a trip to Venice to get in touch with your inner muse?
  • Trish may be traveling to produce documentaries for Left-Eye Productions, and she's hoping to bring us some exotic creations from distant places.
  • Last, but definitely not least - contain your excitement - Trish is planning to turn her year of sublime cooking into a book of some kind. Sign me up for a pre-order of that! It's going to be an awesome year.

Telena Routh

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, also has big plans and it's going to be thrilling to see her creative output over the coming year.

  • Firstly, she wants to branch out into larger wearables. This has certainly gotten me intrigued and I feel a commission coming on.
  • Telena is planning to learn some new techniques and, to that end, she's enrolled in the Contextart Forum in the Blue Mountains next year, where she'll be taking a class with Majolein Dallinga who makes costumes for Cirque du Soleil - Cirque du Soleil, I tell you! Telena has also signed up for an online felted bag workshop, so there's going to be no shortage of interesting creations coming out of her studio this year.
  • As if all that weren't enough, Telena intends to continue creating for the regular exhibitions put on by the North Shore Craft Group. In her ample spare time, she'll be teaching, examining and maintaining her regular oboe practise. Anyone feeling tired by all this incredible productivity?
Telena Routh with one of her amazing creations

Telena Routh with one of her amazing creations

Kanen Breen

If you followed our 30 day Creative Challenge then you'll be expecting a lot of colour from Kanen Breen in the coming year. You won't be disappointed. Here are his glittering plans:

  • He's going to transform his Potts Point studio apartment from a cluttered mess into an organised art space. When you're finished, Kanen, could you please come over to my place?
  • He's going to investigate DIY ways to maximise the space itself and the storage capacity within.
  • He's going to focus on larger projects like furniture restoration, wall papering (do they make sequined wall paper?) and tiling.
  • And he plans to use sequins, glitter, fabric and feathers to transform his abode in line with his artistic vision. This is going to be a sight to behold. I can't wait to see this project as it progresses towards its inevitable sparkling conclusion.
The one and only Kanen Breen.

The one and only Kanen Breen.

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett likes a good challenge and his plans for the coming year are brimming with creative life.

Steve's selfie. No selfie is complete without a feature cockatiel

Steve's selfie. No selfie is complete without a feature cockatiel

  • His main creative focus is going to be on writing limited range songs for young singers. It's not always easy to find interesting repertoire to suit young or beginning voice students, and Steve plans to target that niche with his composition.
  • A keen and skilled guitarist, Steve's also planning to write some music for guitar with various other instruments, as takes his fancy.
  • He's got some wood working projects he wants to complete. This is great news for our household because he makes fabulous furniture.
  • He's thinking about learning how to wood carve. This I would really like to see.
  • Inspired by my improvements over the 30 day creative challenge, he's planning to pick up a pencil and learn how to draw.
  • In keeping with a lifetime of photographic output, he wants to continue his ongoing struggle to produce fine art photographs. My job list looks like getting limited attention this year. I guess there's a downside to everything.

Georgia Bennett

Georgia Bennett

Georgia Bennett

Georgia Bennett is embarking on this creative challenge to really focus on her singing and songwriting. I'm a huge fan of her work (completely unbiased, you understand) and I can't wait to listen to more of her songs.

  • Georgia intends to continue writing and recording her songs. If her previous output is anything to go by, she's going to be prolific in the coming year.
  • She wants to speed up the development process to get her finished product ready in less time.
  • She's going to work on her video and audio recording techniques. She's been recording herself completely raw to date, with very low sound levels and not even a hint of reverb. Time to take her recordings to the next level.
  • She's going to put together a repertoire of cover songs (in addition to her original material, which forms her core creative output) to perform at live gigs.
  • She's planning to learn to sew her own clothes.
  • She wants to experiment in the kitchen to come up with some new vegan baking recipes - she's a very creative cook.

Scarlet Bennett

Like my wonderful creative challenge colleagues, I've got big plans for the coming year. Always prone to taking on too much, I haven't used this occasion as an opportunity to break with tradition.

  • I have one novel finished and two others at roughly the half way point. I plan to finish both in-progress novels in the coming year and I'll report on my word count here.
  • Still on a writing theme, I'm trying to muster the courage to write and post some short fiction during Creative Challenge 52. I've never been a short fiction writer. Although I've tinkered with short stories, I'm much more comfortable with the longer form. So this is a real challenge for me. I've starting psyching myself up for it.
  • Encouraged by the progress I made during our 30 day challenge, I'm going to really work this year at improving my child-like drawing skills. You may as well know up front, however, that there's really only one subject I want to be able to draw: horses. I'm a huge fan of artist, Kim McElroy. Her pastel drawings of horses are quite magical (check out her incredible work here). She captures everything I feel in relationship with horses and she's created a DVD called The Secrets of Drawing Horses. I've ordered the DVD and I'll be recording my progress using Kim's methods over the coming year. The usual caveats apply, of course. Full credit to Kim, responsibility for sub-optimal results rests entirely with me...
  • I'm going to continue using sterling silver, semi-precious gemstones and, occasionally, copper to fabricate hand made jewellery.
  • I'm embarking on a year long urban farming adventure and I've committed myself to producing organic food and flowers on our Canberra suburban plot all year round. Given Canberra's weather conditions, this is not a task for the faint-hearted. See details of my urban farming project here.
Scarlet with Mister Mo, who passed away on 25 June 2014. Together in the dam he loved to splash around in.

Scarlet with Mister Mo, who passed away on 25 June 2014. Together in the dam he loved to splash around in.

Day 29: Creative Challenge

I'm ridiculously proud of today's contribution. Introducing...drum roll...my first complete pastel painting of a horse - with absolutely no photo editing whatsover. What you see is exactly what I drew. I started work on it yesterday, after I finished making the black onyx cuff, and I'd never have finished otherwise. It's been a real two-day labour of love. I really can't believe how much I've improved over the course of this 30 day creative challenge. When I posted my first horse drawing on day 2 - the first drawing I've done of anything since I was about 10 - I said 'I can't draw', and it was true. If today's pastel painting proves anything at all, it's the merit of trying something new. I've still got a long way to go, but 29 days, half a dozen drawings, a couple of You Tube tutorials and I go from completely inept to this? It's insane. The force - scratch that - the horse was definitely with me these past few days.

Scarlet's pastel painting of a horse

Scarlet's pastel painting of a horse

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, absolutely loves playing with colour, and she's held her passion at bay for long enough to create this remarkable cream wrap - sacrificing colour for understated elegance and simplicity - for the Spring Exhibition of the North Shore Craft Group, which is on at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden in St Ives this coming weekend.

She says there are real challenges involved when making lace felt, and the garment certainly screams 'complex'. You have to be careful not to overstretch the wet fleece, apparently, in case it becomes too thin or rips. Delicate as it is in transit, once felted, the fabric is very strong. Telena loves watching the merino wool roving, which looks like long fat ropes of cotton wool, as it transforms into her beautiful finished garments.

She swears she did her oboe practice before indulging herself today. The question is, do we actually believe her?

Telena's cream lace wrap

Telena's cream lace wrap

KanensBookBefore

Opera singer and strange bedfellow, Kanen Breen, claims to be approaching the finishing line of our 30 day creative challenge with more of a whimper than a bang. He's had a full working day in the theatre today, with no access to his sequins or glitter. Quelle disastre!

Even so, he wins the gong for the strangest contribution today (since he's officially known as a strange bedfellow, I can surely say that without causing offence). He found a book by Joan Collins in the drawer of his dressing room, and he turned it into an impromptu decoration to brighten the space he's sharing with Abraham Lincoln (Warhol and Lincoln together at last, he said). If this makes no sense, it may help you to know that Kanen is in Brisbane at the moment, playing the role of Warhol in a Philip Glass opera about the last days of Walt Disney.

Always the entertainer, Kanen says his contribution today fits his particular creative niche of annoying and repetitive, finally unfolding into fabulosity. Ah! If only he knew how much we love his funny ways.

It has to be said, Abraham Lincoln must have done a serious double take when he found this creative offering in his dressing room. What the...?

Kanen's interior design talking piece

Kanen's interior design talking piece

Cooking maestro, 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 recently found herself with a surplus of exotic curds on her hands (see her blog, A Collection of Curds, for the fascinating details of her curd obsession). On the lookout for new ways to serve her curds, she made these versatile oatcakes. They're delicious on their own with the curd, even more delicious with goats milk cheese and curd, and utterly irresistible with curd and creme fraiche. She served her creations with a choice of either tea or single malt whiskey. High tea never looked so good.

Trish's oatcakes

Trish's oatcakes

Stephen Bennett had two photos that he ran out of time to frame on day 13, when he had a veritable framing marathon. He didn't have quite the right frames for the prints, just a couple of blonde timber frames that he didn't much like. So he stained the frames today using Western Australian Jarrah stain, to please his Western Australian wife. Then he added a few coats of varnish and framed the prints. All in a day's work for this versatile creative.

Steve's renovated frames and framed prints

Steve's renovated frames and framed prints