Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies.
The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.
I’ve just spent an entire Kiddy Naptime, trying to put the words together for this introduction.
I’ve typed. Deleted. Typed. Deleted.
I don’t have the words to do justice to the brilliance of Bonnie and her wonderfully creative Make-It-Your-Own family. Since receiving Bonnie’s email of responses, her beautiful words, advice and philosophies on living and parenting have been rolling around in my head. So many gems.
So enough from me. I’m going to hand straight over to the lovely, talented Bonnie.
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I am… We are a Canadian family of 5. Galen’s background is in New Media and mine is in Education. Our website is a marriage of both our skills and the creativity of our children.
Our oldest child, who is seven, is brimming with energy- most of which he diverts into creating all sorts of projects based on his current interests. He is imaginative and curious. Our daughter who is five, is a combination of kindness, independence and perseverance. She dreams of becoming an artist or children’s book illustrator. Our baby is two and a half. He is playful, loves books and painting. In parenting three uniquely different children it has been interesting to see how we too, have changed with each child. Like, everyone, we are constantly navigating and adjusting, hoping for an outcome that will be positive over the span of time.
My husband and I met working at a family centre in the summers in British Columbia. We decided to go to Toronto together for University which is where we stayed for a decade prior to moving back to Western Canada. That summer when he created a giant fish bowl the kids could paint in, a tree that distributed maple syrup through a tube system and delighted the kids with a neighbour’s carrier pigeon, I knew he was for me. We have been making stuff ever since!
I find inspiration… Many of our projects are born from nature, ways to use technology that we feel are meaningful, re-imagining materials and expressing gratitude. Our children’s ideas direct what we do and we often extend them in hopes of exposing them to various processes, materials and idea makers.
In terms of who inspires us- we have been privileged to have had wonderful friendships, mentors, neighbours and online connections in our lives, all creating different types of community- perfect for sharing and learning from each other.
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I am excited about … In our world we are upon a moment of transition. Our last child will be going to part-time school next September so that will be an unfolding of a new chapter. I am trying to savour each moment with the kids and not get caught up with all the daily tasks that are present in family life. I imagine that is what most of what us do, trying to create a childhood that is memorable and bonds that are close. Now that our children are growing, I will re-visit what I want to do in terms of work and I am always excited by the hope and possibility of something new.
Galen has been working on an interactive film, the use of virtual reality head sets and together we have been creating an app with the kids.
When I’m in a creative slump… For us, a zip up to the mountains places us in a new and refreshed space. However, going for a walk in our nearby ravine clears away the clutter as well. I love walking and swimming. For me, it is a time to roll around ideas in your head. There are some that have been percolating there for years!
My other favourite thing to do is to read. One of my great loves is literature- whether that be children’s books or fiction. It is always fascinating to escape into a world that someone else has generated within their mind and has been courageous enough to share.
My final go-to way to feel revived is to spend time with my sisters or close friends. Laughing until your sides hurt is good for one’s soul!
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I’m really proud of… both my children and other people’s children. I hope that our children will be close to each other and kind in the world. Each time we see that reflected in them we are happy for who they are becoming. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be an educator and I am so proud of the journeys that my students have taken. It is exciting to read what they have been up to when they write and be honestly, very, very impressed. It is amazing to see some of them becoming exactly what I thought they would be when they were eight or ten years old.
Someone once told me… I think the best advice is one that I have witnessed, rather than been told. Both my parents became ill in their 50s and it changed the ideas that they had for their lives in that stage. It truly makes the sentiment of enjoying the one’s time quite salient for me.
My advice to you is … Life can be hard- try to find the bright spots. The joy, the positivity. If you have the opportunity to do something good- do it. Not for something to come back to you, but to simply put something good out there in the world.
You can find me at … A huge thank you to your readers Shannon, for taking the time to peek into our lives. Hope we can connect further here:
Loved having a little peek into Bonnies life, love her outlook on life and I enjoy seeing her crafts too!