Filtering by Tag: Philip Glass

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

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