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His Twinkling Perch 2012

His Twinkling Perch, 2012
  naturally dyed cotton and cotton gauze, hand and machine embroidery, reverse applique quilt. About 13 feet x 10 feet

 

Growing up I had always been encouraged to do something creative with my siblings and was introduced to sewing, knitting and crocheting at a young age.I grew towards creative writing, mixed media collage and photography during highschool which kept my creativity gears oiled up and turning. Later on, I rediscovered the crochet needle and ran away with it to the moon and back. In the winter of 2008, I decided to put my crochet addiction out into the world through an online Etsy shop named Sister Valentine. After accidently going through the wrong program, I felt that I was onto something good and better for my heart with crafting. After what felt like already a lifetime without really knowing where I was supposed to go or what I was supposed to be in this life, I had finally found my calling when I enrolled into the Textiles program at Sheridan College.  There is no greater feeling than to make something that comes from a little idea in the folds of your brains into something tangible and completely made with your own hands. The effort and time put into any piece just makes my heart pump a little faster, in a good way.

 His Twinkling Perch moon detail

His Twinkling Perch, 2012,  detail shot of moon

My life shifted completely for the better and something in my old soul woke up loud and ready.  I was wide-eyed excited and fascinated with all the different techniques that were being introduced into my handmade life. I felt awkward when I wasn't doing something with my hands and had to always be making or drawing something. In the three years of the program I gravitated to certain techniques that seemed to suit my own personal creativity best. I fell in love with the textural detail made with the many stitches of hand embroidery. I fell in love with the tactile and almost magical element of wet felting. I dreamed up ways to use new sewing techniques to create a dimensional surface quality to pieces and in the last year, I grew to love the wonderful science of natural dying.

Our own Pack

Our Own Pack, 2011, reclaimed materials, machine and hand embroidery, wire armature. Each 12 inches, nose to tail.
 
With the aid of some fantastic teachers and studio technicians, I was beginning to hear the voice speaking through my hands. This voice shaped me as an artist with what it had to say about unseen worlds and what is being forgotten in today's society. I make pieces that remind the viewer of humility and sentiment. I bring the element of  narrative into each piece, leaving the viewer to build their own take on a story with the motifs and shapes I present to them. I can't help but to put a large piece of my own heart into each piece, whether it's an art piece or a functional accessory through my Sister Valentine line.
 Mare Nubium Necklace
Mare Nubium  Accessories - necklace pendant, 2011, hand felted, hand beaded, reclaimed lace and chain. 3 ½ inches in diameter

Finally having the skills and the time to make what my heart's mind tells me to, I'll be concentrating on my Sister Valentine line with craft shows, my etsy shop and am looking to sell some small batch production pieces in consignment shops in the GTA. I'll also be creating some fine crafted art pieces to show in galleries and art community events.

 mare Nubin Cuff Bracelet

Mare Nubium Accessories – cuff bracelet, 2011,  hand felted, hand beaded, reverse applique, reclaimed lace and buttons. 8 inches long x 3 inches wide.

The big dream isn't craft or art fame but to one day open a studio/consignment boutique to sell my own creations and to help other artists and makers put their own pieces out into the world. I want to live a simple handmade life. I want to leave a trail of fine crafted arts and accessories with the happiness of knowing that someone out there will bring home something i've made with my own two hands and a giant old heart.

 

You can follow Francie's simple craftlife at www.sistervalentine.com and via twittter @sistervalentine

the south seas

  In The South Seas: a white picket fence, 2010, hand embroidered, reclaimed frames. Two 3 x 4 inch and one 5 x 7inch frames.

 
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