The Common Creative

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

5 Podcasts Worth Listening To

I've discovered a new fondness for podcasts. I'm an artist and what I love about my work is that often I can throw on a movie or show while I do my planning for paintings, but when it comes down to actually producing a piece, I need to focus into what I'm doing visually. And this is where I find the perfect opportunity to listen to something interesting while I'm working. I'll usually either throw on some music or delve into a new episode of my running list of podcasts. There's something about radio, too, that just feels old and nostalgic. The lack of visuals allows my imagination to run just a bit further which, in turn, adds to the creative process. These are my absolute go-to's for interesting or amusing listening:

1. Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids- I discovered this and listened to all the episodes of this entertaining show within a week. It's an actual laugh-out-loud program that brings back all the hilarious (and embarrassing) moments of childhood. Each show focuses on a different city in Canada where a live program was held for readers to read anything and everything they wrote as children. Diaries, stories, letters, notes, and speeches are all included during each 30 minute episode. I found myself relating to most journal entries and thinking, "Wow. Everyone really is the same at 13..."!

2. Artisan Church Podcast- I have to throw this one on the list because this is our home church! It's very rare that we miss a sunday because we really do love going. But on days when we do have to miss, it's nice to catch up during the week and listen to a sermon while doing chores. We're part of the Mount Pleasant parish, so Lance is our pastor, but really any speaker embodies the core of what Artisan believes which often includes a lot of storytelling.   

3. Vinyl Cafe Stories- You'll probably find a lot of CBC podcasts on my list (as I'm a bit of a CBC nut when it comes to radio). Vinyl Cafe Stories is one for the list. The host, Stuart McLean, tells amusing, but heartwarming stories of Dave and his wife, Morley whose interactions with friends and neighbours make relatable tales for all ages. This one is good for any activity, but you can most often find it playing in our car on road trips. 

4. After the Jump- This is a great podcast for all you design/blogger/maker nerds out there hosted by the lovely Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge. Every episode has something to learn whether it be about business, social media or meeting new people, programs and product. I've found it to be incredibly inspiring as a creative individual working from home. And it's all about finding inspiration when you're not physically working alongside others!

5. Honest Home Podcast- As my most recently discovered podcast, I haven't had too much of a chance to listen to it. But I can already tell from the episodes that I have listened to that it is quality! One of those was an interview with a blogger, Erin Boyle, whose posts on small-space living have always intrigued me. And all of Honest Home podcast focuses around content on living simply and sustainably- something that I am also quite drawn to. I believe that it's important to think about how we're living and you'll find so much inspiration for that here. 

I hope this inspires you to expand your listening horizons and try something new as you go about your daily activity!  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Autumn Pear + Ginger Jam with Cinnamon

I've finally embraced all things autumn just in time for everything to change to holiday mode...but our house has been filled with spicy scents and warm food. And I may be a bit late on the preserve season, but I've been making big batches of anything and everything lately. I don't generally can things (yet), but when I do have a bigger-than-a-postage-stamp kitchen, I plan to. Until then, I'm ok to stick to freezer preserves and this is a great jam to can or throw into the freezer for later.
Now, I don't know if this was all that much cheaper than buying a jar of jam in the store, but I'm sure it could be if you put effort into finding a good price on pears. I happen to live down the road from a Safeway and don't often have a car to drive elsewhere, so sometimes buying expensive is my only choice! I'm ok with that, though, because this was tastier than any pre-canned item I could have bought. In fact, I may have eaten a little by the spoonful. So warm, so spicy, so sweet, so delicious. 
Autumn Pear + Ginger Jam
with Cinnamon
adapted slightly from A Baker's House

3 lbs pears, peeled and cut into small cubes (about 8-10)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup brown or golden sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large pot or crockpot combine the pears, ginger, sugar lemon juice and cinnamon. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the jam for 15-20 minutes until thickened (If using a slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours). Mash with potato masher or puree with immersion blender for a smoother texture. If the mixture looks thin, keep in mind that it will thicken upon cooling. 

Using a ladle, spoon into 3 small jars leaving 1/4"head room, cover and place in the freezer. (Or eat a jar by the spoonful!)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Imaginary House: Strolling Through Connecticut

Do you ever imagine living somewhere else? I've been known to imagine a lot and my most vivid imaginations begin with looking at a house. Houses have so much character. I feel that each one has a story to tell, especially if it's had years worth of history. So when I go on walks, I like to walk through neighbourhoods. I like to see the places where people have lived or are living and imagine what life inside them must be like. The mysterious going-on's inside a place intrigue me and entice me to dream. 

This house is not one I've seen on any of my walks, but I was intrigued nonetheless, especially with the surrounding fall colours. I imagine this to be on the east coast where the beauty of autumn must overwhelm. If I lived here, I would stroll through these grounds, maybe jump in a pile of leaves when no one is watching. And this is how I would live in my home: 
1. I'd invite the ladies over and we'd drink tea and chat on my plush lavender couch. 2. For larger social gatherings, we'd make sure to set the table with our finest gold silverware. 3. Our home would be adorned with the loveliest of paintings to look at. This one would go well with my purple settee. And of course, I'd have a whole collection of art, because that's what I would do- collect art. 4. My wardrobe would be filled with fine and dainty pieces of clothing including this perfectly pressed bow shirt.
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