Filtering by Tag: Terrarium

Week 47: Creative Challenge 52

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, is showcasing a jacket transformation this week. He bought this jacket from Topshop, largely because it was on sale for $35 (down from $200). It fits Kanen like a glove, but is a shade too plain for his taste, so he knew it would need 'the treatment' when he bought it.

Kanen bought the sequined butterflies at a garage sale that "Sarah Jane", a local fashion boutique was having, and this week the garment and the sparkles have officially met!

He's sewn them on, but not rigidly in case further inspiration strikes. But for now, the jacket flies with him to Melbourne for another four week stint.

Kanen's jacket

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 indulging her passion for landscape photography again, with very successful results. She took these shots on the River Great Ouse just outside Ely a few nights ago.

Trish's landscape photography

Trish has also been busy cooking this past week. She's made red currant jelly and samphire, and she still has ingredients left to play with today. She's planning a busy day in the kitchen.

Trish's red currant jelly
Trish's red currant jelly

Trish created an extraordinary tart tatin using beetroot, along with some beetroot cured salmon, and beetroot greens and lentil soup. She's posted her recipes on her fabulous food blog. Do check it out.

Trish's samphire

Telena Routh

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, managed to snatch some time between teaching this week to continue dyeing some scarves with leaves she collected on a recent trip to Orange.

She found a variety of different eucalypts, and bundled them up in an iron water dye bath. She soaked a long-sleeved cotton t-shirt in soy milk overnight because cotton reacts differently to wool and silk, and needs a protein mordent to help the dyeing process.

Telena's eco-dyeing

Telena laid out the leaves and rolled the fabric around a dowel. Then she boiled it for two hours in the iron water. She couldn't wait to unwrap it and is very excited by the result.

The shirt is still wet in her photo, and the oxidisation process will continue as it dries.

Telena's eco-dyed t-shirt

Telena also made a dye bath from some of the remaining eucalypt leaves (being careful not to use the ones that she knows give red/orange tones) to create dye her scarves this lovely colour.

Telena's eco-dyeing

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett is very excited and can hardly sit still this week because he's close to getting his 90 year old Century Universal 8x10 camera functioning, and he can’t wait to use it.

He had a functioning  Sinar 8x10 camera, but sold it a couple of years ago as it was too heavy and bulky to cart around. His friend Pete gave him this camera (a much lighter, more compact field camera), but it needed extensive restoration, in particular, a new bellows and carrying handle. The poor old thing is battered and scratched, as you can see, and is missing a couple of small mechanical items.

Steve's old camera

Good news, however. A new bellows has just arrived from China, and a leather craftsman in Canberra has made a replacement leather handle. So all that remains is to figure out how to fit the bellows properly, find a few alternatives to the missing bits, and put it all together again.

Steve's camera refurbishment project

The two photos below are 8x10s that Steve made with his previous Sinar camera at Bombo near Kiama. The rock formation is known as The Cathedral.

The Cathedral

Scarlet Bennett

I've written thousands of words this week, giving my forensic psychology manuscript a real boost. That creativity isn't ready to share, however, so I've put together a quick terrarium today. I planted it out in my trifle dish, which is sacrilege in one sense, I know, but it's been years since I've made trifle and the dish has sat in the cupboard for years, neglect and unused. I decided it would be better off serving some function, albeit an unconventional one.

Scarlet's terrarium

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