{So Canadian, eh? : What's Up Whimsy}

Welcome back to another....

This week's talented Canadian has created not only a beautiful and unique design blog but seems to be involved in many projects that help promote Canadian blogs, designers, artists and businesses. She was attendee of the Canadian Design Blogger meet-up that we on the west coast were envious of, was privileged to attend the Toronto IDS 2011 as "media" and had a one-on-one chat with Theo Richardson, the brother of famous Sarah Richardson, is a contributor to Laura U Inc., an online magazine and seems to have her finger on the pulse of all the design happenings {lucky girl}.

One of my favourite features that she has on her blog is "A House is not a Home.... without Craigslist" where she takes an inspirational photo and re-creates it with a photo collage of items she has sourced from Craigslist.


Please give a grand
Bienvenue to....

Shannon from What's Up Whimsy

First of all, a big thanks to Barbara for inviting me to participate in this great series.  I love promoting Canadian talent and what better way to do that than through blogs, right?? So here it goes:

1.  What is your education background, is it in art or design?

Unfortunately, I do not have an art or design background.  I took art all throughout high school and loved it.  When it came to applying for universities, however, I decided to go more with the "status quo".  My parents told me to apply to OCAD (the Ontario College of Art and Design), in Toronto, but no, I decided to go to the University of Guelph for Sociology and then a post-grad program at George Brown College in Sport and Event Marketing.  What was I thinking?? Ha ha.  I even have a series on my blog called "Why Didn't I Go To Art School?" where I showcase art projects by my sister, who is currently going to OCAD.  It's never too late though! Maybe I'll go back to art school one day....

2. Why did you start a blog?

When I was on maternity leave, I had some extra time on my hands and started to get into the design blog world.  Instantly, I was hooked! It wasn't until a year later that I decided to start my own.  I just thought that it would be a great place for my friends and family to check up on some projects that I was working on and didn't really know where it would take me.

3. What is the goal of your blog? What are your hopes and dreams for your blog and where it may lead to?

The goal of my blog is just to be unique and come up with interesting posts for my readers.  I don't know about you other bloggers out there, but I would also love to blog full time one day.  I think that's a tough thing to do, but you never know!

4. What have you enjoyed about blogging, what has surprised you along the way?

The thing I love most about blogging is being part of a blogging community.  I have been lucky to meet many of my blogging friends in person and they are among the most supportive and sweet people I know!!  I have also loved being invited to design events around the city because of the blog.  I still think it's weird that I get invited to product launches and event sneak peeks as "media".  Blogging is starting to take over the world! Ha ha.

 Both photos were from the Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup last November.  That's me and Renee from Eat.Live.Shop
5. If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?

Oh goodness, this is a hard one! Sarah Richardson was on my list of people to meet and I luckily got to meet her a few weeks ago at IDS11.

Sarah and Theo Richardson talking about their Sibling Revelry design partnership for IDS11

I would actually really love to meet Grace Bonney from DesignSponge.  Her blog got me hooked and it is still my absolute favourite blog to read.  I was lucky enough to get some blog consulting from her last year and it was incredibly helpful.  During that time, we exchanged emails, but I think it would be great to meet her in person and just hang out and pick her brain about blogs and starting your own business.

6. Is there anything, an accomplishment, project or event that you are most proud of?

I know that this is the typical answer, but I am most proud of my son.  He makes me so happy everyday.

7. Do you feel that Canadians have a unique sense of style, a unique way we approach the decorating of our homes?

I think that Canadians just decorate their homes in whatever style suits them best.  We don't have one strict way of decorating, but a myriad of different styles that just works.

8. I noticed you feature art/artists on your blog, what is your take on using art in our homes? I think sometimes people think buying art for their homes can be expensive, what is your opinion in how people can incorporate art into their homes without breaking the bank?

I love featuring artists on my blog, especially Canadian ones.  And I usually only feature affordable art because that is the type of art I am interested in.  There is no sense featuring pieces that would cost an arm and a leg because most people can't afford that.  I'm a big believer of buying art on Etsy and 20x200 and I love going to art shows, speaking to the artists and buying their art.  I think you can also find interesting and affordable art at antique markets. You can find art anywhere!

 My largest piece of art from local artist Lucky Jackson

 My embroidered landscape from an antique market

 The top of a Hudson's Bay Company cookie tin from Christmas is displayed in my kitchen

 Two of my pieces from Toronto artist, Blair Chivers - I love him!

 My plate wall in my dining room composed of mostly Crate and Barrel and Anthropologie plates

My framed tea towels from Anthropologie

9. Being a mom, how do you balance blogging, your family and your work? Any tips for us women out there?

I definitely find it hard to balance everything, but blogging has brought me so many opportunities and it's hard to turn down these opportunities because I never know where they are going to take me.  But I have really had to reorganize my priorities and blogging does come last in all cases.  Family obviously comes first.  Then work because it pays the bills.  And then blogging.  Believe me, it's tough not to pick up my computer when I get home from work and write a post, but I try not to touch the computer when my son is awake.  I only blog when he is sleeping.  I also don't post on the weekend.  After blogging all week, I need two days off!  As for tips for other women out there, just do whatever works best for you and do makes you happy :)

Thanks so much again, Barbara, for letting me share a little piece of me.  Great series!

Thanks Shannon for giving us a peek into your world. Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve next!

xo Barbara


  1. Another fabulous interview. I adore Shannon and loved learning more about her. And her little guy, so adorable!!!

  2. Thank you so much for such a great feature Barbara!!! xoxo

  3. Such a wonderful interview, I read through it all!! I love Shannon's blog, and I can really identify with her about not following her heart to go to art school and doing something 'practical' instead. The story of my life!!
    Nancy xo

  4. Great series! Can I tell you a secret? I LOVE Canadian Designers! Why? Because you guys ROCK when it comes to design and trying new things! You're not afraid to push it to the limits!

    Headed over to check out Shannon's blog!

  5. Another great interview! We canadians really have it going on ;)

  6. so nice to get to know Shannon a little better:) great series Barbara...

  7. Two great bloggers in one spot! I love Shannon's take on art, and the peices she has chosen for her own space add so much personality! great post, ladies -x

  8. Great interview, ladies! Shannon has a lovely blog and a lovely home. I just love her framed tea towels!

  9. It's great that you interviewed Shannon. Her blog is lovely and she has some great ideas!

    Thanks for sharing one of us (Canadians)!

  10. So fun! I love Shannon (: She's great. Her house is adorable. I'm so jealous she got to meet Sarah! Lucky girl. Fun series, Barbara!

  11. Another great addition to your "So Canadian, eh?" series Barbara!! I love Shannon and always enjoy visiting her blog - especially her Craig's List posts!! She's told me (and you too I think) that we can find good things our our C's List, but I don't believe her!! ;-)


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