Filtering by Tag: jewellery giveaways

Week 41: Creative Challenge 52

Georgia Bennett did a great gig this weekend. She played at the Super Hero Family Fun Day in Gold Creek. It was a PCYC community event to get kids interacting with the police.

Singer Georgia Bennett as the Black Widow from Captain America

After Stephen Bennett did his roadie thing for Georgia, he wandered around for a bit with his camera, taking candid shots.

Super Hero Family Fun Day photos

With her Supanova costume at the ready, Georgia went as the Black Widow from Captain America. I'm crazy about that hair! And I bet the dude who went as Batman was loving himself sick in that macho outfit. 'Stick with me, son.  I'll see you straight.'

Georgia Bennett at Superhero Family Fun Day

Kanen breen

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, is introducing us, tonight, to the latest fashion craze to sweep his hotel room. He calls it the wonky tie and he's in love.

There's a Daiso store within spitting distance of Kanen's Curren abode, and he trotted down there yesterday for inspiration after a fairly arduous week of Sweeney Todd rehearsals. What's not to love about a store which stocks the most bizarre assortment of merchandise where everything is priced at $2.80?

Kanen returned to his hotel room with this white tie that is pre-tied, has a zipper tightening arrangement, and some orange acrylic paint. He admits that he had more grandiose plans than time allowed this weekend (and he still intends to attempt these), but knowing full-well that he had the dregs of a bottle of red Glitterlites in his bag, he set out to create a prototype for the pre-tied, pre-shaped, pre-everything wonky tie!

Daiso white tie

With a $2.80 roll of wire at hand, but no wire cutters to work with, he couldn't quite achieve the shape he'd envisaged, but it's early days for the WT (as he calls it - funny), and he'll see if he can make reality match his vision in coming weeks.

The Wonky Tie in progress

That said, Kanen says he's fully enjoyed this first result, the crumple allowing the sparkle to catch more light. He loves his bling, our Kanen, and the Wonky Tie looks set to become the season's latest and greatest craze. Order now - while stocks last.

The one and only Wonky Tie

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 in Spain holidaying with family this past week. It was a perfect opportunity to indulge her passion for travel photography. Enjoy!

Trish Urquhart in Spain
Trish Urquhart on holiday in Spain

Trish didn't do much cooking while she was away - just one meal, and what a meal it was: beetroot cured salmon and prawns marinated in chili, garlic and fino. Yum. Check out Trish's food blog for more news of her fabulous cooking adventures.

Trish Urquhart on holiday in Spain

It was delightfully warm in Spain, except for a sweltering 45 degree (Celcius) day on their last day there, and Trish and Richard enjoyed some walks and swims, a few touristy excursions, and some delicious and interesting food. On one of their outings, Trish played around with the these tiles and some lichen that she found nearby. Gorgeous.

Trish Urquhart on holiday in Spain

Telena Routh

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has been able to spend more time felting and dyeing this week as a result of the NSW school holidays, although she's still had quite a few students to teach.

She's been eco-dyeing again, and this week she experimented with cochineal in the dye bath.

Telena's cochineal eco-dyeing

Telena made a nuno felted waistcoat in black and white by laying silk fabrics onto black fleece and felting them together. She also made a collar in paler shades, which can be worn reversed to reveal the silk underneath. She made a waistcoat from merino wool and eco-dyed it with eucalypts. Both waistcoats can be worn upside down to create a bigger collar/smaller coat.

Telena's nuno felted waistcoat
Telena's merino wrap eco-dyed with eucalypts

Telena has some other projects underway in preparation for the winter sale and exhibition of the North Shore Craft Group later this week. What a week! Nice work, Telena.

North Shore Craft Group Exhibition

Scarlet Bennett

I've had some A-grade pearls sitting in my jewellery box begging for attention for a while now, and I've had a hankering for classic designs this week. What could be more classic than pearls?

I indulged myself by making a Heart of a Rose pearl set with a classic pearl necklace and some matching earrings. Note the hearts on the catch of the necklace - I love that touch. These pieces don't jump off the screen and grab attention like some, but they'll last for decades and never go out of style. And I can't describe how gorgeous the pearls feel.

Heart of a Rose pearl set

Week 40: Creative Challenge 52

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has been eco-dyeing again this week, chancing her luck with her outdoor cauldron between bouts of rain. She's become an expert, she says, in quickly assembling, using and disassembling her camping stove.

Telena's eco-dyeing

She's experimented this week on some silk scarves using mordents in the dye baths to create different colours. She also made some cream coloured felted scarves and dyed them with native leaves collected in her neighbourhood, along with a bunch from her florist to add foliage that grows in cooler climates.

Telena's eco-dyeing

Telena is enjoying her eco-dyeing project so much that she's decided to grow her own supply. She ordered 5 tube stock and, when the box arrived, she discovered that the nursery had sent her 20 little seedlings, 15 at no cost. She's pleased to have the extra because she's not sure how well the plants will do in the warmer Sydney weather, but she's going to try to find a chilly, exposed spot for them in her garden once they've grown a bit bigger.

Eco-dyeing plant stock

It's school holidays in NSW now, so Telena is hoping to have some extra time in her studio, playing with textiles and serenading the neighbours with her saxophone.

Kanen Breen

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has been taking the nation by storm this week with his glorious partner in crime, Jacqui Dark.

You can't miss this celebrated pair - they're everywhere. The Strange Bedfellows cabaret (of their own distinctive creation) has been an enormous success and they're in all the papers. Here's a sample of the reviews that have been published in Melbourne and Brisbane in the last eight days.

They've been on the radio too, with notable sessions on ABC 774 Conversation Hour and Joy FM. The punters can't get enough of them.

Regular followers of this blog will have seen many of the costumes revealed for the first time right here as Kanen has stitched and glued and laboured over his uber-glitzy caberet creations.

The big question is this...what's he going to do next? Watch this space.

Strange Bedfellows taking the world by storm

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 traversing the Thames with Richard this week in their narrowboat, Patience. Trish has taken some gorgeous travel photos as they've journeyed, a few of which she's shared with us here.

UK Travel Photography
The river Thames
Roasted plum and onion relish

In her galley kitchen, Trish whipped up a delicious roasted plum and onion relish this week, and she flavoured it with chilli and star anise. She and Richard enjoyed it with cheese.

Trish plans to perfect this recipe further as she says she'd have preferred a little more sweetness. She's going to make it again and then she plans to share the recipe - a culinary delight for the rest of us to look forward to.

And she can keep the stunning photos coming too!

The river Thames

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett has been happily engaged in his landscape photography this week. He took these images at Wee Jasper at the foot of the Brindabellas, 80 kilometres north-west of Canberra. The water panoramic at the bottom is going straight to the pool room. I love it!

Wee Jasper
Wee Jasper
Wee Jasper

Steve also helped me today with an image that I wanted for my website. Who's the most adorable dog in the world, then?

Scarlet Bennett

book themed mirror compacts

This week I finished off the giveaways I started work on last weekend, for use by book bloggers when my novel is released on 14 July.

I wanted to make something a bit different so my giveaways are not all jewellery. And I wondered about some book-themed mirror compacts, but I wasn't sure if I'd be able to make the idea work.

I'm delighted with how my experiment has turned out. See for yourself.

Book-themed mirror compacts
Book-themed mirror compact
Music-themed mirror compacts

Week 39: Creative Challenge 52

Elder flower 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 very mobile this past week. She and Richard have covered serious ground in their narrowboat - heading from Waltham Abbey on the Lee Navigation to Limehouse Basin, back to Paddington Basin for a couple of days, and they are now on the river Thames at Clieveden.

This, of course, has left little time for creativity, but Trish made a gorgeous brew of elder flower tea this morning, with flowers that she picked along the river bank. I love the composition of this photo with the water in the background. It's just lovely. And Trish has been indulging her passion for travel photography too, with impressive results indeed. The photos are of Paddington and Limehouse Basins.

Trish's travel photography
Trish's travel photography

Telena Routh

Telena's eco-dyeing

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, achieved some wonderful results at her eco-dyeing workshop last weekend, and this has sent her scouring the neighbourhood for suitable trees. She walks with her eyes focusing skyward on the colours and shapes of the gum leaves and tries very hard not to trip over in the process!

Having already felted some small and large wraps, Telena laid down a variety of leaves, rolled, bundled and tied them up, then put them in the simmering dye baths, eagerly awaiting the results. She also dyed some silk scarves. One of the lovely side effects of a eucalyptus dye bath is the aroma.

Telena dyed the orange coloured pieces in a cinerea dye bath and the grey pieces in an iron dye bath. She's delighted with the results. And who wouldn't be? She says she thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and can see herself happily brewing on the camping stove in her backyard. Telena intends to continue using regular dyes, because she loves brightly coloured fleece, but plans to make eco-dyeing a regular part of her repertoire too. What a fabulous addition to her toolkit.

Telena's eco-dyeing
Telena's eco-dyeing

Kanen Breen

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has been in Brisbane today for a matinee performance of the Strange Bedfellows cabaret spectacular, and he's en route to Melbourne tonight for more of the same. He'll be rehearsing and performing in Sweeney Todd for Victorian Opera too, while he's there. The man is unstoppable.

No description could do Kanen's contribution this week justice. He's outdone himself. He created this sequined suit to wear to Strange Bedfellows shows in Adelaide. It was a labour intensive project and the effect under lights, he says, was quite spectacular.

Kanens cabaret jacket

Here he is wearing his masterpiece. If you look closely, you'll recognise his shoes from a previous creative challenge. And if you're a particularly ardent Breen fan (aren't we all?), you might even sense his deft hand at work in Daryl's crimson shoes.

Strange Bedfellows in Adelaide

This week Kanen also put a lick of Glitterlites over the top of a previous effort. They're now so over the top, he says, that he can scarcely cope - too much fabulousness for the human foot to bear.

Kanens Glitterlites boots

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett has been a very kind soul this week, devoting his creative challenge time to a project of mine.

I have a suite of online courses that I'll be releasing on my website in July, and I'm busy preparing materials for them. The courses will all be supported by audio and video files, and today I wanted to make a guided relaxation recording for one of my programs.

Steve set up a little mini studio for me this morning in his dark room (the only room in the house with any potential whatsoever for quiet) and I recorded the voice over. He then worked on the soundtrack to get the levels and balance right, then put it together with some royalty-free music in one of his software programs. Thank you!

Scarlet Bennett

Pearl and sterling silver earrings

Jewellery giveaways for my forthcoming book blog tours are still at the top of my list of creative priorities. This week I made some more earrings and also a couple of pendants. I love these pendants and Steve's photos are just wonderful. And I've started work on some book-themed pieces for next week that just might tickle your fancy - if I can bear to part with them, that is.

Yellow jasper pendant
Inca rose pendant
Pearl and sterling silver earrings
Black onyx and sterling silver

Week 38: Creative Challenge 52

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has been performing at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival with his partner in crime, Jacqui Dark.

'Sequins, glitter, booze, nodules, red carpets, more booze, midnight guest spots, hangovers, more booze. I'm too old for this,' he says.

His shoes, I'm sure, have been some consolation.

Kanen's shoes

Trish Urquhart

Trish's comfrey fritters

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 outdone herself in Patience's little narrowboat kitchen this week. With Richard working to a tight script deadline, Trish made a scriptwriter's dream supper to sustain him.

She started with a salad of carrot and coriander with spicy mango chutney sunflowers seeds (I'm definitely going to try this) and she followed with Georgian Lobio and fried haloumi. A feast fit for a king. And if that weren't enough, Trish also posted a recipe blog for the rest of us to follow. Check it out here. It looks absolutely delicious.

Trish has also been foraging along the river banks picking elderflowers and comfrey leaves, which she turned into fritters. She drizzled the fritters with a syrup made of elderflower cordial seasoned with togarashi.

Trish's elderflower fritters

And she even managed to fit in some travel photography. A big creative week!

Trish's travel photography

Telena Routh

Having developed an interest in eco-dyeing, Telena recently enrolled in a weekend workshop to extend her limited experience. She loves the idea of being able to add the beauty of nature to her felting. With the workshop running this weekend, she made four felted wraps in advance. Two were felted from merino fleece and she made two nuno felt wraps, which are a combination of fleece and silk chiffon. They're cream and very simple in style.

Telena has been collecting different types of leaves for printing, including a range of Eucalypts and some lovely autumn foliage.

Yesterday in the workshop she experimented on small samples of fabric. She made up bubbling dye baths and immersed the folded, pegged and blocked bundles, letting them cook while eagerly anticipating the resulting alchemy. Today she's been working on her felt wraps and, if we're lucky, we'll get to see the results next week.

Telena's eco-dyeing
Telena's felt wraps
Hall markets

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett had a lot of errands to run today, but in between jobs he's been popping back and forth to the Hall markets to watch Georgia's regular monthly gig. He wandered around with his camera while he was there, capturing something of the ambience on what has been an awfully cold day in Canberra. I'm not too proud to admit that I had to rummage through my wardrobe looking for long johns in order to survive the -3 degree 8am set-up.

At the end of the day, once the punters had gone home and the stall holders were all packing up, Steve set up the video camera in the only safe, discreet place possible - so sorry about the industrial aesthetic - to film Georgia's final song of the day. She performed for five hours, and this was her closing number. Not half bad for someone who was exhausted.

singer songwriter georgia bennett
Hall markets

Scarlet Bennett

Turquoise and sterling silver

Turquoise and sterling silver

I've been working on jewellery giveaways for book bloggers to give their readers when they post about my book after it's released on 14 July. Being me, I've taken a small-scale project and made it bigger than Ben-Hur.

I made a couple of pendants this week, and a heap of earrings too - too many for this blog, but I've chosen a few to share here. My next task is to make some book-themed items and that's going to be my priority next weekend. There's definitely no rest for the wicked around here.

Freshwater pearls with sterling silver hearts

Freshwater pearls with sterling silver hearts

Amethyst and sterling silver

Amethyst and sterling silver

Turquoise and yellow marble pendants

Turquoise and yellow marble pendants

Red agate earrings

Week 37: Creative Challenge 52

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has been knitting up a storm this week, and she has a new striped jumper to prove it. She started knitting this pullover a few years ago before putting it aside and she's happy to find that it still fits.

telenas knitted pullover

Telena says she loves knitting and creating but finds the stitching up boring, so after all her hard work some creations take a while to reach their finished form. In this case, the colours were singing to her and she could hardly wait to get this piece off her knitting needles and completed. You won't miss her wearing this, she says. No boring beige for Telena.

Telena has also raided her rather large stash of wool and she's picked out some colours in a different palette for her next project. The weather's certainly cold enough for lots of woollies now.

telenas wool stash

Kanen Breen

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, is back in Sydney for all of six days before heading west to Adelaide - ample time to gussy up this rather plain IKEA found object, he says.

kanens cupboard makeover

Kanen had borrowed Jacqui's car a year ago to drop something off in Potts Point and he came across this piece in his apartment building's communal dumping ground. He squeezed it into the boot and dumped it in the garage of horrors from whence it was plucked a couple of months ago to replace a rather gorgeous vintage sideboard in Jacqui's kitchen that had finally succumbed to age.

IKEA furniture is cheap, hardy and practical, but not really to either Kanen or Jacqui's taste aesthetically, so it's been a prime target for some creative challenge magic ever since.

Kanen never needs much of an excuse to go and visit the Wallcandy wallpaper shop - and, in particular, its El Cheapo off-cuts section - so he says it was lovely to spend an hour or so there during the week with the gorgeous girls, discussing all things paper and thumbing their amazing sample books. They all agreed, apparently, that they're better than porn!

The actual 'doing' on a job like this is minimal. A bit of measuring, a bit of blade and ruler work, and a bit of wallpaper glue and you're done. Kanen likes the fact that, due to the reflective nature of the paper, the rather gaudy pattern becomes lessened under light (natural or electric) so that from certain angles you don't see it at all, yet from other perspectives it proudly declares its full 1970s appallingness.

You may notice evidence of Jacqui's birthday celebrations in some of the photos. Kanen says he did the measuring and cutting while drunk, so it's miraculous it came out as intact as it did. That man can pull a creative rabbit out of his hat rain, hail or shine.

kanens cupboard 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 had a hugely busy week. Exploring the British canals in a narrowboat is not all beer and skittles, you know.

trishs cooking

Trish and Richard left Paddington Basin yesterday, and after a six or seven hour journey, are now docked in Limehouse Basin. It was a grueling day after a stressful working week, and Trish was grateful to look out over the inky black water at the reflected lights at the end of it.

Nevertheless, ever the creative, Trish still managed to exercise her artistic spirit. Firstly, she made a fabulous raw courgette pasta. It's based on last week's togarashi recipe and she's calling it her three step, low carb, raw pasta. If you'd like to make this yourself, here's the recipe:

Step 1: Microplane the courgette and marinate it in a dressing of lemon juice, lemon rind, olive oil and garlic.

Step 2: Make a cooked creamy sauce. Trish used shallots, bacon, aubergine and cream.

Step 3: Add goat's cheese coated with togarashi.

Trish's other culinary creation was rhubarb with sugar and togarashi and served with creme fraiche. Yum! Never one to blow her own trumpet, Trish observed that both dishes were sublime. Coming from her, that's high praise indeed.

Trish has also indulged her passion for travel photography this week and she's shared some pictures of Limehouse, which she took on her phone.

Oh, and she'll be cross with me for mentioning this, but it's her birthday today, so please send her your birthday regards!

trishs travel photography

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett has been busy with some woodworking this week. He's been working on a job that he's been meaning to get to for a while.

steves new music stand

His singing teaching set-up needs constant tweaking, and the music holding facilities above his keyboard have been somewhat inadequate. This week he devised a music stand with greater display capacity along with an improved retention strip along the bottom to accommodate thicker scores, and with hinges attached to the CD shelf so he can lift the stand back when he wants to gain access to the keyboard control display.

He says his new set-up is a big improvement and he's very happy with the result.

steves custom made music stand

Steve also went out with Georgia today and did the videography on her latest You Tube clip. She sang while he recorded and their biggest challenge was traffic, which kept passing and interrupting them at inopportune moments. It took a few takes, but they got there. I'm so pleased she recorded this song. I love what she does with it.

Scarlet Bennett

Continuing on with the project I started last week, I've been working on some jewellery giveaways for my forthcoming book blog tour. I made a few new pairs of earrings this week and Steve has kindly photographed them for me. The Heart of a Rose earrings below are one of my all-time-favourite designs. I sometimes make them with pearls. This time I made them with sterling silver and rose quartz.

Heart of a Rose earrings

I also made some earrings with amethyst, rose quartz and sterling silver. They're long and dangling and not what I usually make, but I quite like them.

amethyst and rose quartz earrings

I embarked on a project yesterday to make something special for a friend. She's never worn pearls before and I wanted to introduce her to the sheer joy of wearing them. I started by making her a necklace with freshwater pearls and sterling silver, and I added an adaptable centrepiece for maximum versatility. The silver centrepiece will allow her to switch pendants around depending upon her mood. I gave her a gorgeous silver heart to wear when she only wants pearls, and I've called this design Pearls with Love.

Pearls with Love necklace

I also made her a black onyx pendant for days when she wants more of a vintage look, and in this iteration I'm thinking of it as Pearls with Everything.

Pearls with Everything

I'm working on a smaller pendant to complete the set and I'll have that ready in time for next week's creative challenge.

In the meantime, I'm absolutely loving this pearl design and I'm thinking I'll have to make some more. Pearls are like flowers. You just can't have too many in your life.