Filtering by Tag: garden art

Week 20: Creative Challenge 52

Trishs Sage Tea

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 obsessed with sage this week.

She went on a quest to make an interesting sage tea and came up with a combination comprised of mixed sage leaves and flowers, mint, cinnamon and dried rose buds. Trish says the combination is delicious, and she's enjoyed it hot, at room temperature, and chilled. She thinks it must have all sorts of beneficial properties and one look at her photos has sold me on that idea.

Trish also made a sage 'oil' mix by blending sage leaves, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. She kept it in a jar in the freezer and she's used it in nearly every meal this week: on baked potatoes fresh from the garden, as a baste for baked fish, served with gem squash, and used to flavour some Karoo lamb. Doesn't that sound delicious?

Check out Trish's fabulous food blog for more news of Trish's endlessly creative cooking adventures.

Kanen Breen

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has been indulging his shoe fetish again. He started the week by gilding the lily on last week's creation, adding sequins to his paint job. I hear the sequins elicited no end of comment from the naysayers of last week - a very satisfying turnaround.

Kanens brown shoes

His shoes of this week were a very early sequin attempt that went sour on account of the wrong glue. The sequins all fell off on their first outing, leaving a sequin-imprinted gluey residue behind which, unlike the sequins, refused to be dislodged from the fabric. Kanen relegated the shoe's to Jacqui's garage of horrors until the other day when he unearthed them with a rescue plan in mind. A lick of peacock green metallic paint later and they've taken on a sort of reptilian scale effect which Kanen quite likes. He painted the grey lace section gold, so they're not only glamtastic, but patriotic too. This creative legend will be outfitting Australian Olympians in no time.

Kanens Peacock Shoes

Telena Routh

Rolled Felt

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has had a week full of meetings, long phone calls to parents, teaching, and house guests, so her felting time has been snatched in small moments, resulting in small creations.

Telena made some flowers this week, felting the larger flower in a single piece with a plastic resist between the layers. She then shaped it to make it stand away from the base. The smaller flowers were felted in long strips, rolled up and sewn to create the bud shape. Her plan in the coming week is to make leaves and stems for some of the flowers, and to turn others into brooches.

Felt Flowers

Georgia Bennett

Singer, guitarist and song writer, Georgia Bennett, has been thinking about fashion and working on a new dressmaking idea over the past few days. She made a pattern this week from one of her favourite skirts, and she's cut out her fabric and is ready to sew. Happily, she wants her new skirt to be longer than the original (and she's added a good inch to the pattern), and that's music to any parent's ears.

Make your own pattern

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett has had a huge week looking for repertoire for his new job as choirmaster at Canberra Grammar Junior School. He is responsible for six choirs, from Years 2-6, so he needs lots of different music for the different age groups and abilities involved.

He had the bright idea to make a two-part arrangement of a favourite song - Benjamin Britten's The Sally Gardens, so he wrote a second part under the melody, entered the lot into Finale, and then printed out four versions so he can use it for the choir and also for a couple of high school boys who sing duets. He loves any excuse to work with Finale as he finds it such a brilliant program.

Steves arrangment of The Sally Gardens

Steve also photographed Georgia before she went out for a birthday party on Friday night. Looking good, girl! Nice photo too.

Singer Georgia Bennett

Scarlet Bennett

My creative contribution has a garden theme this week. I dried a coreopsis flower and set it into this brass ring with resin. It's not a classic piece, by any means, but it's fun and funky and youthful. I swear it takes at least a decade off me.

Flower Ring

I've got a job list a mile long in the garden at the moment, because if I don't propagate my seeds now, I'll have no winter crops. My plants need to be well developed before the winter cold kicks in, and Canberra cold is never far away. My first tranche of seeds was started this week - around 250 seeds in total, and I need to do at least that many again over the next few weeks. Mercifully, we've had a cool spell, so I've been able to get the job done in relative comfort.

Propagating seeds

Not only is it planting time, but it's harvest time as well, and my summer crops have flourished. Here's a selection of produce picked yesterday morning to turn into a delicious Afghan eggplant curry - my friend Khatira's recipe. Yum!

Garden Harvest

Week 18: Creative Challenge 52

Kanens shoes

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has been getting creative with shoes again. Jacqui had some $5 shoes that they'd both declared revolting but, happily, the shoes were potentially garish enough to be put to costuming use in their cabaret capers - with some added sequins, of course. The shoes are still very much on trial, but Kanen says he wants to see them on-stage and under lights before they get sent to God.

There's a little bit of glue clean up to come, but that has to wait for a day or two until the glue is properly dry. Kanen says it's hard to tell from the photos, but the larger sequins have a kind of holographic sheen that is quite vile but well suited to the hideous shoes. It makes them flash under the light, apparently.

Don't despair at this tantalising arm's length view. These shoes just might be coming to a venue near you very soon...

Jacquis Shoes

Telena Routh

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, is preparing to show some of her felted bags and, with her injured finger still on the mend (but not quite up to textile work again yet), she's opted to showcase some of the bags this week.

Telenas bags 1

Telena has used a variety of techniques to make these bags. Some were knotted and then felted. Others were knitted to a very large size and then shrunk in the washing machine. Still others were made to a pattern with layers kept separate during the felting process, and one was free-machine embroidered.

Telenas Bags 2

Telena is hoping that her finger will be sufficiently recovered in the coming week to allow her to resume felting again. Either way, she's not going to be short of things to do because she still has a wedding to prepare for, oboe lessons to give, and a spare room to prepare for guests. It's good to know that she's keeping out of mischief. And her bag exhibition will really be something to see.

Telenas Bags 3

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 creative with her camera as well as in the kitchen this week. She's been taking portraits of her vegetables - a very fine way to honour them before putting them into the pot - and creating her usual array of culinary delicacies.

Trishs herb and cucumber harvest

She turned an early morning garden harvest (5 cucumbers, mint, tarragon and lovage) into a delicious raw lunch time soup. She served the soup with the remains of her parmesan ice cream (you can find the parmesan ice cream here on Trish's fabulous food blog), which has been in her freezer waiting for another outing.

Raw green soup with parmesan ice cream

The potatoes Trish picked were combined with onion and served as a potato bake for supper. Yum! It's all been happening at Trish's place.

Trishs garden potatoes

Georgia Bennett

Singer, guitarist and song writer, Georgia Bennett, has been impressively creative this past week, as always. She's made a new Tumblr blog, Rhythm Runway, to post about two of her favourite things - music and fashion. And she designed some images for the blog, which she then got Steve to photograph. How good does her theme look?

Rhythm Runway Images

Everyone in our family sings, and we often improvise harmonies and mess about with songs. Georgia, Hannah and I have a version of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy that we sing together sometimes when the mood takes us. We trotted it out yesterday to create something different for this blog. It's a live recording featuring Georgia singing the solo and the bottom ensemble line, Hannah is singing the top line, and I'm sandwiched in the middle. Stephen Bennett gets credit for his sound engineering skills. We'd be lost without his various talents.

I'm absolutely crazy about Georgia's solo. She never sings it the same way twice and she's a real one-take wonder. She nails it every time.

Stephen Bennett

As I mentioned, Stephen Bennett has been kept busy with other people's creative projects this week. Always quick to spot an opportunity, however, he snapped this wonderful portrait of Georgia when they were working on her Rhythm Runway shoot.

Georgia Bennett

He's also been making panel doors for our new kitchen cupboards and we may get a glimpse of his results next week. Bring it on, I say.

Scarlet Bennett

Giant Russian Sunflower

My writing output this week has been really good but that means I've been sitting a lot. To compensate, I've been taking breaks in our urban farm, which is absolutely flourishing. Our giant Russian sunflowers have started to morph from flowers to seed producers, which is exciting to watch, and the purely decorative Italian sunflowers alongside are a joy to behold. I defy you to feel grumpy when you look at these cheery blooms.

Italian Sunflowers
Zucchini Flower

The summer glut is upon us and I joked at breakfast that we may need to think about a book - Creative Ways with Zucchinis - since I'm inventing new ways to serve these prolific producers on a daily basis. Today's exciting kitchen adventure, after picking another mountain of ripe produce, was two different varieties of zucchini bread - golden zucchini and sweet corn, and zucchini and chive. They're very nice indeed.

Scarlets Zucchini Bread

The passion Kanen Breen feels for shoes, I reserve, I'm afraid, for eggplants (tragic, isn't it). I just adore these black velvet friends and I've got quite a few different varieties fruiting at the moment. I should have photographed my harvest this week, but I just couldn't wait to eat them. Never fear, however, there are plenty more on the way.

Scarlets Eggplants

I haven't had much time to spend in my jewellery studio this week, but I did make these cool sterling silver earrings. This design reminds of King Neptune's trident and evokes nostalgia for the stories of my youth. They look fabulous on.

Scarlets Trident Earrings