Filtering by Tag: felt scarf

Week 49: Creative Challenge 52

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has recently been in Orange and, while she was there, she visited Sassy Wines, a small boutique winery. The owner, Felicia, expressed interest in having some of Telena's textiles in the gallery at her cellar door, and she gave Telena a bag of mixed merino/polworth fleece to use in her creations.

Telena's felt scarves

Telena experimented with the fleece this week, finding that it created a softer felt than pure merino, and she's excited by the possibilities.

Telena's felting process
Telena's crocheted squares

She made two long skinny scarves, one with fleece alone and the other a mix of fleece and silk chiffon. Telena hasn't decided how she'll dye them yet, whether she'll eco-dye with leaves or aim for brighter hues.

Telena has also been making crocheted granny squares as she's going overseas and is hoping that a bamboo crochet hook will be deemed a safe travelling accessory by the authorities who determine what we can and can't take on flights.

Kanen Breen

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, reports that the tedious events of last week (when Kanen received a homophobic taunt from a heckler in the crowd after he sang the national anthem at a nationally televised basketball match in Melbourne) have deterred his itchy glitter-finger not a jot! So he presents this week's dazzling offerings with a gay and defiant heart. Bravo.

Kanen's glitter tie

Kanen hasn't shared his creative process since he assumes that, by now, we're all too familiar with his methods. He did, however, experiment with a new technique that's turned out quite splendidly. He dropped into Riot Arts and Craft for a bottle of acrylic medium because he's been struggling with the consistency of the gorgeous Glitterlites paints he so adores. It's very thick in the jar and doesn't spread very well on fabric, requiring several coats to achieve uniform coverage. Kanen thought he'd see if it might apply more evenly if it was dispersed in an appropriate medium.

Kanen's painted boots

His hypothesis was resoundingly confirmed and he says this is an important development because the thinner coats allow greater flexibility in the finished shoe, which means no cracks or sparkle loss where the shoe bends with the foot.

Are we glad to know this, he asks. Absolutely! I'm loving those new wheels sick.

Kanen's shoe makeover

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 contributed a wonderful recipe for her contribution this week.

Trish and Richard have started the return journey in their narrowboat, Patience, to their mooring in Braunston and, as they travelled through various locks, Trish discovered a bounty of hedgerow fruit - apples, plums, elderberries, haws, blackberries and sloes.

Trish's hedgerow crumble

Trish has mountains of fruit still to process, but for now she's created a brilliant hedgerow crumble, and she's shared the recipe on her blog. Do check it out. It looks delicious. As does her greengage clafoutis below. Yum!

Trish's hedgerow crumble

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett has nearly finished renovating the camera he started work on last week and all that remains is to secure the bellows to the frames. He's very pleased with how it's turned out and, with the hardest part of the job behind him, he's looking forward to finishing the task.

Steve's camera renovation

We're just back from a trip to Sydney, returning to Canberra via Kiama and Berry, to shoot a couple of marketing videos. Steve took every possible opportunity to grap some landscape shots while we were there. He took these photos in Manly.

Manly Beach

The next photo was taken in Kiama, and rest at Berry.

Masonic Temple Kiama
Berry

Scarlet Bennett

I've got two new online courses that will launch in the next couple of weeks and I wanted to make videos for each of them to include on my website.

These are substantial programs - roughly six months in duration - and, although they're both peak performance courses, the content is very different because the professional demands of each profession differ so greatly.

So...we went to Sydney to film a video for the Peak Performance for Performers course because we wanted footage with the gorgeous Sydney cityscape in the background. We filmed at dusk and into the night to capture the amazing view of the city lights. Steve took a photo to capture my creative effort.

Filming for Peak Performance Psychology for Performers

This morning we drove to Kiama for some ocean footage, and the weather just couldn't have been better. The rain held off, but the sky was blanketed in grey clouds, giving us fabulous, soft light to work with. It was a bit of a flying tour, but we got the job done and now it's over to Steve to put the videos together.

Video for Peak Performance Psychology for Writers

There wasn't much time for recreation on this trip, but we did manage a walk around Manly Beach this morning and a book indiscretion at some point on our journey was inevitable. The impressive thing is...I only bought one!

Manly video trip

Week 48: Creative Challenge 52

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 made a plum tart tatin this week and she's shared her recipe too. Read on!

Trish's plum tart tatin

Trish's Plum Tart Tatin Recipe

Melt some butter, sugar, star anise and cassia bark in a pan until it bubbles and is caremelised. Arrange the cut plum halves in circles in the pan and continue cooking until heated through. Remove from the heat.

Place a circle of puff pastry over the plums, tucking in around the sides. Bake in a hot oven until the pastry is puffed and golden. Remove from the oven. Allow to stand for ten to 15 minutes and then loosen around the edges and invert onto a serving dish. Serve with yoghurt or creme fraiche.

Do check out Trish's blog to see more of her fabulous food adventures.

Trish's plum tart tatin

Trish has also done some landscape photography this week, working with a sunset theme, and her shots are gorgeous.

Trish's sunset photography
Trish's sunset photography

Telena Routh

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, managed to carve out some felting time this week, in spite of a busy teaching and examining schedule.  She felted a purple felt lace scarf for a friend, while she was waiting for a student to arrive. She then managed to finish the piece after his lesson, while a curry was simmering on the stove. Telena wins the multi-tasking prize this week!

A few days later, she enjoyed some felting in the sun, making small shapes into brooches, while enjoying a nice cup of tea. 

Telena's felt scarf and brooch

Telena also finished the eco-printed top from last week, leaving it to soak for a few days in the iron water, then washing it out and drying it to reveal the final colours.

Telena's eco-dyed t-shirt

Kanen Breen

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, is back in the tie game again this week, inspired by our illustrious PM and his draconian stance against marriage equality.

Victorian Opera asked Kanen to sing the national anthem at some basketball matches last night and he quickly decided that a glitter rainbow tie would be a fitting and fabulous protest whilst singing about the glories of our 'fair' and 'free' land.

He says the tie was straightforward if slightly time consuming to create (endless waiting for one color to dry before embarking on the next, and multiple coats required for even coverage), and the results most pleasing to his eye.

Kanen's rainbow tie

Kanen sang the anthems twice - first for the women's match and then two hours later for the men's. Both times were televised. The first time, the cameramen very artfully filmed him from the back and side, almost as though deliberately avoiding his fashion flair- most annoying, he says. The second time, however, they captured his full-frontal flamboyance, which prompted a redneck in the crowd to hurl homophobic epithets at him. Kanen says he expected this and couldn't have been less fazed. In fact, he found it strangely gratifying, because it meant that his tie must have been sparkling extra bright.

How gorgeous does he look is his finished creation? (The fans on Facebook were swooning).

Kanen's rainbow tie

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett’s offering this week is threefold.

Firstly, he found another unusual vegetable to photograph, and thinks he might try a series of root vegetables. They're bound to be gob-smackingly popular with the punters.

Steve's root vegetable photography

Secondly, he hauled his bones out to the front porch and weeded the little garden next to the front door that has been in serious disrepair for months. There's still work to be done as he plans to fertilise and touch up the paint work, but it looks heaps better now than it did.

Steve's garden diptych
Steve's camera renovation

Thirdly, he’s making slow progress with his 8x10 camera, but progress nonetheless. This week he managed to get the old bellows off the front and rear bellows frames, and clean them up ready to receive the new ones. He’s a bit nervous about this as he doesn't feel that fabric related activities are quite his bag, and he doesn’t want to ruin the new bellows. He also prepared a couple of new lens boards for his two 8x10 lenses. He had to cut bigger holes in the aluminium, clean them up, spray with matt black, and then mount the lenses and tighten them up with the lens wrench. They are both ready to go now and just awaiting the new bellows, at which point the whole apparatus can be reassembled.

Steve's camera renovation
Steve's camera renovation

Scarlet Bennett

I've been a busy little author again this week, churning out nigh on 15,000 words, while carrying a full-time workload. I've drafted two chapters for my crime fiction novel - and it's just reaching the point in the story where some seriously bad stuff is going to happen, so that's kept me interested all week - a complete module for one of my online courses, and a few articles for my Psychology for Writers program too. One of my articles is about how you can tell when people are lying, and I really enjoyed researching and writing about that topic. Don't try to get anything past me now! My beta readers have given it a big thumbs up, too, so there are a few new lie spotters in the world these days.

The demand for my online courses has been really pleasing and I want to take a moment here to thank all you kind people who helped spread the word. I'm delighted to be working with the fine people who've signed up for my programs, so thanks for letting people know about them.

I whipped up some earrings today, mostly so I'd have something visual to share for my creative contribution. I've never made hoops before, and I'm very pleased with how these have turned out. And I made the turquoise flower earrings because they struck me as just the ticket for an out-and-about Saturday. Flowers, after all, go with everything

Scarlet's handcrafted earrings

Week 42: Creative Challenge 52

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has been pressed for time this week (ah, the trials and tribulations of a veritable cabaret legend), but he came up with a solution for a black satin shirt that he bought online, which arrived with sleeves way shorter than indicated. He took the shirt with him to Melbourne because it's perfect for the suit he wants to wear to his opening night performance of Sweeney Todd, knowing full well it would fall under the banner of Creative Challenge fodder.

Kanen's embellished glove

A quick trip to Lincraft, a quick and easy sewing job later, and we have the illusion of greater length if not the reality. Kanen notes that it's not a solution that would appeal to most chaps, but he's happy with a fringe or two to add a touch of interest.

Kanen's sleeve solution

He also found a glove with attractive lace-up detail in the gutter during the week (just the one, sadly), and he thought he'd glam it up a bit for some bedfellows action down the track. He says it's not his finest work, really, but it will look alright under lights and it kept him out of the pub, which is probably a good thing given his schedule during the week.

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 touring the UK on a narrowboat for the past couple of months, and they've really been seeing the sights. She and Richard left Oxford yesterday, and travelled as far as Thrupp village on their way to Cambridgeshire, via Braunston, on the Oxford canal.

Veg van berries

On Friday, Trish walked a couple of blocks from the boat to shop at a gorgeous veg van than moves to different locations in Oxford on different days. She bought some lovely berries - strawberries, tayberries and blackcurrants amongst other things. Trish and Richard had friends coming over for supper, so Trish made a blackcurrant marscapone sauce to go with the strawberries and tayberries. Here's her recipe:

Trish's Berries

Ingredients

250g blackcurrants, 100ml water, 50g sugar, 2 star anise, 4 bay leaves, and about 10 crushed black peppercorns, 250g marscapone.

Method

Place all ingredients except the marscapone in a pot and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until the fruit is pulpy and the liquid has reduced and is syrupy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Push the mixture through a sieve. Discard the solids and beat the blackcurrant syrup into the marscapone. Serve with strawberries and tayberries.

Trish also made a roasted cauliflower. She rubbed the cauliflower with olive oil and paprika, and roasted it in a hot oven until it was a deep golden colour. Yum! To see more of Trish's fabulous food adventures, check out here food blog.

Trish's Roasted Cauliflower

Telena Routh

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has been flat out this weekend at the North Shore Craft Group exhibition and sale. 

This week, she made some skinny scarves with beautiful sari silks embedded into fleece.

Telena's felted scarves

She made another waistcoat, this time using a lovely rich colour palette against the black fleece to create a stained glass window effect. Telena also made a collar using layers of felt and fabric in purple tones. And she found time to finish a felt lace dress that she'd started previously too.

Telena's felted waistcoat and collar

On Thursday, Telena spent the day putting together equipment and arranging all the beautiful creations of jewellery, pottery, leatherwork, studio glass, and an array of textiles, which included bags and woven and felted garments. Her plan was to find somewhere, after all that, to sit in the sun and enjoy a good book. Sounds like a plan to me.

Telena's exhibition photo

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett has created a photo essay for this week's contribution, from photos he took along the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. A few years back, he was working regularly in Adelaide and he took every opportunity to go exploring with his camera.

Fleurieu Penisula

These photos were taken at Second Valley, the sort of place where you wish you owned a little shack you could stay in through the winter each year. His photos have all been shot on film, scanned, and tweaked in Photoshop for your viewing pleasure. Nice.

Fleurieu Peninsula
Fleurieu Peninsula

Scarlet Bennett

I've had a complete Creative Challenge wipe-out this week. It's not that I've been slack. In fact, I've done plenty of creative things. It's just that my creations have either a) been an utter disaster or b) fallen into the 'to be revealed soon' category.

In terms of future revelations, with Stephen Bennett as my trusty videographer and tantrum resolver, I've made two videos in the past week to promote some online courses that I'll be adding to my website next week. Steve's editing the curse words out of the videos as I write.

Mirror compacts

As to the disaster, well, that's still a painful subject. Having had such a successful pilot run making book-themed mirror compacts, I tried to make a sizeable batch yesterday for giveaways when my novel is released (only 9 days to go now!). The problem is, it's been bitterly cold in Canberra - a string of -7 degree nights followed by days with a top of 10 degrees - and, even with the heater powering away next to me, it's turned out to be just too cold for the resin to move and set smoothly. And the heat gun doesn't make up for the cold ambient temperature, either. So I now have a large pile of unusable mirror compacts that will have to be thrown out - I'll be lucky if there's a single good one amongst them. The consequences of this are:

  • wasted money and resources (which irks me no end)
  • time pressure to make more giveaways
  • and a complete Creative Challenge blowout

I was relying on those compacts!

Wandering around the house lamenting the fact that I'd become a Creative Challenge desperado at this late stage, with the finishing line emerging on the horizon (it's just ten weeks until our year-long challenge comes to an end), I was wracking my brains for a solution. What to do?

That's when my black sense of humour kicked in. Having scarcely sung a note in anger over the past decade, here's my contribution (one woman,  5 minutes - quite literally, I'm afraid), and you'll have to give me points for working the theme because that, I think, is its best feature. On the one hand, my current form is disappointing. On the other hand, I've always rather envied the clapped out rock chick sound. At last, it seems, I've arrived.

Back in the day, for the record, I made some half-decent recordings, and here's a link to prove it (the recordings are on my website to show that I've walked the talk when I launch my Goodbye Stage Fright online course next week).

'The years teach much which the days never knew.'

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Day 30: Creative Challenge

Having threatened to go out on a whimper instead of a bang, opera singer and strange bedfellow, Kanen Breen has had a startling return to form today. He's been eyeing his unsuspecting and beloved boots with a glittery eye for some time, fantasising about gold sparkly boot caps. The problem was, he could never bring himself to be so radical and permanent with a boot that has served him so well and that suits so many occasions in its current, unadulterated form. Cue his Warhol costume, which has elasticated sparkly arm bands that go under a jacket and are never seen. He was so sad at this prospect, that he wore them on his orange boots instead of under his jacket - and a genius and temporary transformational idea was born. Off to Lincraft he went. Two lengths of black elastic, some glue and sequins later, and a cheap as chips make-over has come to pass. Knock 'em dead, cowboy.

Kanen's boot innovation

Kanen's boot innovation

Trish's carrot, coconut milk, passion fruit and lime smoothie

Trish's carrot, coconut milk, passion fruit and lime smoothie

The creative challenge team's cooking guru, 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, was awake in bed last night plotting a celebratory offering for the final day of our creative challenge. Given that her culinary creations are usually consumed at breakfast on account of the time difference between Canberra and Johannesburg, she ruled out sparkling wine with lavender or black pepper syrup. Even creatives have to draw the line somewhere.

After much deliberation and having decided she absolutely had to use ingredients she had on hand, she decided on a selection of celebratory juices. Celebration of not, I'd be ecstatic to get any one of these for my breakfast. Feast your eyes on her rose and cardamom scented lassi, coloured with the juice of a beetroot and spiked with lavender syrup. Join me in drooling over her carrot, coconut milk, passion fruit and lime smoothie. Or win the health award of the day with her green juice made with lettuce, Swiss chard, mint, ginger, lemon, clementine, and pink grapefruit. Now these are my kind of cocktails. Cheers!

For more exciting food adventures, check out Trish's blog.

Trish's breakfast cocktails

Trish's breakfast cocktails

Steve's microphone and music - all ready to go

Steve's microphone and music - all ready to go

Stephen Bennett has been channeling his inner beast today, planning a creative contribution that he knew would delight me. I've long been at him to record some of my favourites out of all the things he's sung over the years, and he thought he'd ease into it by recording a music theatre piece (from Beauty and The Beast) that one of his students has been working on. This is a radical repertoire departure for him because his background is entirely classical and, although opera companies quite often put on music theatre productions, Steve's never been involved in them. Mozart, Bach, Handel and Schubert have been his core composers.

Anyway, when I left for a meeting this afternoon, he'd arranged himself in our living room with his very basic recording equipment and he was about to launch into action. This is the result - an absolutely stunning effort given the inadequacy of our recording equipment and technology. This is going to be awesome. I have my recording 'to do' list at hand and I'm all set to keep him very busy indeed.

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has been busy responding to a commission. She displayed one of her exquisite scarves recently, at an exhibition of the North Shore Craft Group (their spring exhibition is on this coming weekend at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden) and picked up a commission from a visitor who just loved what she'd made.

There's a lesson for all of us in this. The lady who commissioned the scarf had walked past Telena's display early, spotted the scarf, and then wandered off to enjoy the rest of the exhibition. When she came back to buy the scarf, she found that someone else had beaten her to it. Don't you hate it when that happens? It all ended well, of course. Telena made a custom scarf, just for her, in her favourite colours and with added length because she was very tall. All's well that ends well.

Telena's gorgeous scarf: Before and after

Telena's gorgeous scarf: Before and after

Scarlet's Tiger's Eye Pendant

Scarlet's Tiger's Eye Pendant

Like the rest of the creative challenge team, I wanted to make something special to mark the end of our 30 day challenge. I have a friend who's going through a painful separation at the moment, so I decided to make a pendant for her featuring her favourite gemstone - tiger's eye. The stone itself is absolute exquisite. It has texture that looks like animal fur and radiant golden highlights that change depending on the angle and the light. My friend is going to love this piece.

I also thought I'd report on the progress of the seeds I propagated on day 20. They're shooting out of their trays and will soon need either planting out or transplanting. There's still the ever-present threat of frost to contend with, but it's looking good for my organic vegetable crop this year.

And finally, a word of thanks to my partners in crime. The 30 day challenge has been a wonderful adventure which owes much to my traveling companions. Thanks for all the inspiration, fun and laughter. It's been beyond awesome.

Scarlet's early season seedlings

Scarlet's early season seedlings