Filtering by Tag: vintage jewellery

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 33: Creative Challenge 52

travel photography in the UK

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 working wonders in her small galley (narrowboat) kitchen this week.

In addition to profiting from her obsession with tagaroshi seasoning, Trish has created a wonderful new recipe - spiced clementines preserved in honey and cognac. These look really fabulous, and if you're as tempted to make them as I am, check out her Clementines in a Cauldron blog where she's posted the recipe.

Always the productive creative, Trish has also added some new travel photos. They make me want to pack up stumps and head straight to the UK. You're a bad influence, Trish!

Spiced clementines

Kanen Breen

kanens shoe makeover

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, is absolutely flat chat at the moment. The Bedfellows are strutting their stuff at the Vanguard, and Kanen is flying to Melbourne early tomorrow morning - no rest for the wicked, clearly. But he's found time to indulge his shoe fetish this week with a truly spectacular makeover.

Just when he thought he'd produced the gayest pair of shoes in Christendom, along came a little product called 'Glitterlites - flexible glittercoat', and he was born anew, trembling like a six year old girl playing with her first My Little Pony doll. He knew that this stuff existed, but it's an American product - pretty expensive to import - and Kanen wasn't sure it would be worth the expense. Imagine his delight to find it, quite by accident, at a shoddy old cobblers in Bondi Junction.

'God bless America,' he says. 'It's brilliant! And you can anticipate a whole new range of camp footware when I return from Melbourne.' Too exciting.

It's advisable, apparently, to match the glitter to a similar background colour, so Kanen painted a pale pink undercoat with leather paint and he says he could honestly have stopped at that point because the shoes looked so smooth and shiny. He then added the Glitterlites, which painted on as smooth as silk.

He's loving these shoes sick now, and desperately hoping to finish another longer-term project to combine them with in time for the opening gala concert at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Can't wait to see that. These sparkly new wheels are really something, aren't they?

pimp my shoes

Keryn Clark

South African born writer, florist and cake whizz, Keryn Clark, is having this week off to celebrate a milestone birthday. Happy birthday, Keryn, from the entire creative challenge team! Another year young with your happiest, most creative years ahead of you. See you next week.

Telena Routh

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has decided - after going through her wool stash - that she really ought to join woolaholics anonymous. But she's decided, instead, to de-stash and put some of her bountiful collection to good use.

Going through her stash, Telena's eyes fell on some lovely gold bobbly wool and, as she pondered its fate, she thought of a young lady at the gym whose favourite colour is yellow. Telena knew she'd love it, so she's spent much of her spare time this week knitting a scarf and hat for her gym friend's birthday next month - even knitting on the ferry en route to work.

knitting on the ferry

Her next step is to try and muster the courage to donate some of her wool collection to a deserving cause or person. Good luck with that, Telena.

Telena has also fitted in some felting time this week. She's made several prefelts with the idea of creating a sculptural collar. She layered different colours of fleece to achieve this, and as she sews, felts, and cuts away streaks, the different shades will be revealed.

knitted scarf and hat

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett has been a photographic creative again this week

The photos in the triptych were taken using the Kershaw Eight 20 Penguin camera pictured. He found it in a junk store and paid peanuts to add it to his ever-growing collection of old cameras. It takes roll film and produces 6x9cm negatives It's a very basic camera, and quite clumsy to use, but it works just fine and is a worthy addition to his collection. As you can see, he captured some lovely shots with it.

Kershaw Eight 20 Penguin camera images

Steve created a diptych with a couple of pinhole photos that he took in Boorowa last Sunday for Worldwide Pinhole Day. He used the big old box camera that takes 8x10 film and has no lens on the camera, just a tiny, half millimeter pinhole to form the image on the film plane. Miraculous.

pinhole photos for worldwide pinhole day

Steve also took a lovely portrait of Lucy and Hannah yesterday, taking advantage of Lucy's trip home from Sydney. Gorgeous girls.

portrait photography - lucy and hannah

Scarlet Bennett

I've been in my jewellery studio again this week, completing a set of pieces that I've been incrementally adding to.

I'd previously made a cuff and ring (pictured) with sterling silver and green aventurine, and I wanted a pendant to complete the set.

green aventurine cuff

So I made a vintage style pendant and I'm just loving it. All I'm missing now, it seems, are some Breen-esque shoes to complete my ensemble. Too much? Never!

Green aventurine pendant

Week 28: Creative Challenge 52

Telenas black felt dress

Classical oboist and textile designer, Telena Routh, has had an impressively creative week, particularly when you consider that her daughter's wedding is now just a week away.

Telena met with her felting group early in the week, and enjoyed a relaxing day felting around foam to create different bead shapes. Some of these remind Telena of sugared almonds. She's been playing around with various combinations and will make some creations with them soon.

Telena has also made another felt dress, this time in black. It looks stunning and sophisticated, creating a stained-glass effect when worn over colours.

Telena is hoping to find some more felting time in the coming week, but with rehearsals, teaching, Easter and a wedding, her schedule is looking rather busy.

telenas felt beads

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, is currently in Oxford attending Oxford Literary Festival events while managing her usual workload remotely. Trish has already attended a number of food related talks, and some with a connection to Venice/Italy (relevant to Allaboutwriting's forthcoming Venice writing retreat), and today she's hoping - weather permitting - to go on a literary walk.

Trish in Oxford

Trish has been busy with her camera, and her creative contribution this week is a collection of photos that she took in Oxford.

Trish and Richard will be spending a protracted period of time in Oxford while their narrowboat, Patience, undergoes much needed repairs - rust removal and a fresh coat of paint. Trish plans to photograph this process so we may get some before, during and after photos over the coming weeks.

Heralds in Oxford
Trish in Oxford

Kanen Breen

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has submitted an offering from his Flash Gordon/Iron Man collection this week.

These were (are) his all-time favourite boots, made from a really gorgeous soft leather. Unfortunately, Kanen helped a friend move house in them and squashed both of the toe caps under a couch he was carrying. The leather itself had an already distressed patina when he bought them so they ended up looking scruffy and sad very quickly.

Well, it's all too obvious how he chose to revive them, but his original plan to paint only the toe was as short-lived as it was optimistic.

Out of respect for the boots Kanen so loves, he actually did the right thing and pre-treated the leather, as well as stripping the wax and colour from it before using proper leather paint. Funnily enough, he says, when you do the recommended prep, the results are better, long-lasting, and easier to achieve - who knew???

As promised, Kanen wore his gold-lapel jacket to Jacqui's Aida debut last night, and it was a satisfying hit (he made a few additions that he'll share next week), but Jacqui was the real star of the night - fabulous. Bravi tutti!

Kanens boots

Keryn Clark

Keryns backyard

South African born writer, florist and cake whizz, Keryn Clark, had a beautiful backyard in sunny Perth - check out this You Tube clip from last summer to see for yourself. The same, however, cannot be said for the backyard in Keryn's new Gold Coast home, and she's revealed all this week in a Creative Challenge photo exclusive.

The terracotta pots and the frangipani tree were given to Keryn a couple of days ago by a friend, out of pity, and because he didn't want them in his new white-marbled Hampton's style patio by the river. So...there's a tired frangipani, some chipped terracotta pots, a collection of hanging baskets, a gas cyclinder, some water tanks, and Keryn.

Keryns backyard
Keryns backyard

In a fit of gloom, Keryn has turned to her favourite gardening sites, which are Garden Bleu in Johannesburg, and Gardenista, a really good gardening blog. Between them, they are going to help Keryn transform her backyard. Keryn has created a mood board on the wall of her office in the shop using pictures from Garden Bleu and Gardenista and, so far, she's thinking of erecting a black fence around the perimeter, a wall garden to cover the tanks, a gazebo over the deck, and a pergola down the side of the fence with wisteria and lots of boxed greenery. She'll move the washing line into the garage.

Keryn has challenged herself to add something each week to her horror backyard with the intention of having a big reveal in the next few months. Either that, she says, or she's moving!

Keryns mood board

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett passed a happy half hour photographing the Comet Inn at Hartley Vale - a mid 19th Century pub - with his pinhole panoramic camera and his Hasselblad. Something weird happened to the bottom right photo, as the image isn't quite what he expected. He thinks he managed to both over-expose and double-expose the image, resulting in an unusual low-fi picture that he quite likes - a happy accident, perhaps.

Comet Inn Hartley Vale - Stephen Bennett photography

Scarlet Bennett

I found this lovely vintage ring in an antique shop yesterday - at an absolute bargain price - and it inspired me to try my hand at a design I've been contemplating for my niece, Samantha.

Samantha is a voracious reader with a particular passion for the classics, and she'll be celebrating her birthday in late April. Pride and Prejudice is one of Samantha's all-time favourite books, and when we were discussing classic P&P quotes recently, she told me that this is her favourite: [Charlotte Lucas] 'Mr Collins tends the gardens himself and spends a good part of every day in them...I encourage him to be in his garden as often as possible.'

I've been working on a design to feature that quote in a vintage piece with a classic, aged feel. Here's what I've made. I'm very happy with how it's turned out and I'm hoping Samantha will love it.

Pride and Prejudice pendant