Filtering by Tag: knitted pullover

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.

Week 35: Creative Challenge 52

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has created a sexy shoe makeover this week. 'Pinch me!' he says. He searched high and low across Melbourne's cobblers and shoe repairers this week for the lovely Glitterlites that he showcased in a recent shoe transformation but, alas, nobody had even heard of it. Nobody, that is, until his last port of call - a shoddy little shopfront run by the Rekaris family who were delightful and quite caught up in the passion of his search (he wins hearts everywhere he goes, our Kanen. The folks at Specsavers adore him.).

Kanens red shoe makeover
Kanens red shoe makeover

The Rekaris family hadn't heard of Glitterlites, but they advised Kanen to ring a leather wholesaling group in Flemington called Leffler, who supply most of Melbourne's shoe repairers and makers with their products. He rang them. He described. He held his breath. They said yes, they stocked all the colours of the rainbow with such casual indifference that Kanen almost thought he'd dreamt it. An hour later, he was standing in their warehouse trying to decide which colour in the spectrum he most desired. He says he was like a frat boy in a whorehouse for the first time. Oh dear.

Kanen ultimately decided that red was his top priority because he needs it to make a pair of shoes for Daryl, the Bedfellows' pianist. Daryl now wears, in their shows, the red sequined jacket Kanen made previously, so it only seemed right to queer him up even further, to match the Bedfellows' own peculiar brand of gildedness.

Next stop was the ZU shoe warehouse in Richmond to spend further $$$. He managed to pick up six pairs of shoes - $900 worth - for $120. 'Very me to go for one pair and come out with six,' Kanen says, 'but I'll live on two minute noodles for a month if I must!'

Daryl's brogues are a darker charcoal than the before photo suggests and, of course, the true magic of the glitter can't really be captured in its full sparkly magnificence, but Kanen says they look a treat in real life. He could have stopped at the 'undercoat' stage - not as shiny as his previous pink pair because he's painting on suede rather than leather - but the sparkles beckoned and won the day. One pair down, five to go.

Kanen's still in Melbourne and he says that shoe transformations are a great creative challenge option for hotel living, so watch this space. He says he planning something outlandish and sparkly next. Just for something different.

Keryn Clark

I write with sad news for flower fans. South African born writer, florist and cake whizz, Keryn Clark, is working so hard at the moment that she's decided to opt out of the rest of our year-long creative challenge. She's indicated, however, that she may return briefly to show us how her backyard transformation ends up. Something for us to look forward to. If we're lucky, she might even throw in a flower arrangement or two.

Telena Routh

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has been obliged to keep off her ankle again this week, and she's taken the opportunity to finished an unfinished knitting project.

This pullover started its life as a sleeveless vest for Telena's father, but remained unfinished when he passed away. She's attempted to finish it several times, but the timing somehow wasn't right.

The pattern had a pullover option and Telena found that she had enough wool to extend the project, so she busily knitted the sleeves and sewed the garment together. She says it's rather large on her, but she feels warm and cosy in it.

Telena's pullover

Last night, Telena and her husband went to a 1920s party, so Telena adjusted one of her long, black concert dresses to transform it, temporarily, into a flapper dress. She folded the extra length up on the inside and sewed it loosely to the lining. She then sewed some long black fringing to the now shorter hemline. She says it looked quite the business with a red feather boa, long red gloves, and a headband with feathers and a rose.

Telenas flapper dress

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 togarashi seasoning. She bought a huge bag of cashew nuts from an Indian supermarket in a town they passed through this week on the way back to London on their narrowboat, Patience. She roasted the cashew nuts on a very low heat with olive oil, togarashi seasoning and salt, and then ate them as a snack while writing this blog post.

Roasted togarashi cashews

Trish has also included a travel photo she took from Patience last night. How's the serenity?

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett promises that this is the last instalment of photos from his Easter photographic trip to the Snowy Mountains. He's finished processing and scanning all the films and here are the final fruits of his labours - a highly productive and satisfying trip. When's the calendar coming out, I wonder.

Steves high country triptych

Scarlet Bennett

I started this week's blog with shoes and I'm finishing with shoes - sort of, in a sublime to the ridiculous kind of way. Where Kanen wins the style award, I'm hoping to win the comfort award. Well, daggy actually. I'm not too proud to admit it.

But the truth is, in winter, I get very cold feet, and I'm a relentless 'fixer' of problems, no matter how trivial.

I've been tinkering away with these slippers for a couple of weeks now. The crocheting took me no time at all. And the rest of the tinkering would be more accurately described as procrastination, because stitching up and cord plaiting are the jobs I least enjoy. At last, however, my masterpiece is complete. Do try to contain your envy.