Cozy Bags

Sheri Debortoli

Artist’s Hometown: Invermere, BC

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Born and raised in Vienna Austria, Sonja was introduced to sewing early in life, by a mom that was a trained seamstress with lots of imagination and eye for style. Having lived in Canada over 40 years and now being retired, she is able to take up her passion for creating.
She enjoys repurposing all sorts of media, from making little tables out of discarded items to mixing wall paints to one appealing colour. Now creating one of a kind jean purses has become almost an addiction and she finds the most fun in the design and the challenge to use almost all parts of the jeans and often uses gently used shirts as lining and pockets.
No two purses are every created the same, as each pair of jeans comes with unique designs and gives the opportunity to create something of one of a kind.
She also does custom orders for favourite jeans that no longer fit or as a way to treasure the clothing of a loved one.
Enjoy the style, practicality and durability of these creations.

Artist’s Hometown: Calgary, AB, Invermere, BC

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Mavis & Me

Diane Jamison is the “Me” of “Mavis & Me”.  Her mom, Mavis, was always her greatest supporter so even though she is no longer with us, it made sense to include her on this creative journey.  She has been sewing since she was very young and has always enjoyed making things for friends and family.  Since her three children are fully grown, she decided to start entering craft sales to sell her fun and colorful upcycled denim bucket hats.   

 Repurposing or upcycling fabrics not only helps the environment, it is cost effective, and it challenges your imagination and creativity. When Diane goes thrift shopping she sees potential in the fabrics and materials and always comes away with new ideas for projects.

Diane resides in Calgary but has spent many weekends and summers over the last 18 years in Invermere at her cabin in the beautiful Columbia Valley. 

Artist’s Hometown: Calgary, AB

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Sherpi’s Mittens

Shereen Groeneveld makes her home in Calgary Alberta, but spends a good deal of time in Invermere.  She started making mittens from repurposed wool sweaters and lining them with fleece blankets about four years ago.  
She has since participated in many craft sales and Farmer’s Markets with great success.  
She considers her sewing room her happy place and loves to browse thrift stores for new and unique finds. 
When she isn’t sewing, she spends time with her two children and husband, as well as her crazy dog Eddie.  
Artist’s Hometown: Calgary, AB
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Silk Concepts

With her love for the outdoors, Darcy’s designs often depict themes from nature and exude a distinctly Canadian flavour. Creating irresistible and treasurable pieces, Darcy is currently concentrating in hand-painted silk. Her enthusiastic use of colour is highlighted by the lustrous sheen of the fabric.

Quality and function are emphasized in all her work, from framed art pieces to quilted jackets to scented sachets. Darcy firmly believes that art should not be an isolated experience, it should be part of our everyday lives.

Interested in textiles and fashion from an early age, Darcy graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in home economics. She took additional textile design courses, including an in-depth study at Penland School of Arts and Crafts in North Carolina. Darcy also teaches a variety of textile design techniques.

Artist’s Hometown: Red Deer, Alberta

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Bags Full of Pockets

Carol Brown is a resident of Invermere and retired to the Valley twelve years ago. She has been involved with the artists of Village Arts for the past 6 years. She has always had a passion for sewing and has now found herself sharing her creativity through a line of bags called “Bags Full of Pockets”.

‘My intention was to create a sturdy attractive and practical bag. My bags are very versatile with many uses. There are six separate outer pockets to keep things organized while still offering an ample inner area. The bags are made from two different types of heavy outdoor fabric in a variety of bright colours and designs. I love creating these amazing bags!’

‘Thank you so much. It’s the best bag I’ve ever owned. I am a practical spender and shopper and the versatility and price not to mention the look are amazing!’
Jackie (a repeat customer)

Artist’s Hometown: Invermere

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Exotic Fibertwists

Canadian-born and raised in Slovenia – in the heart of Eastern Europe – designer Helena Cernigoj has blended her two cultures into a love of knitting and European-styled eye for design.

Helena returned to Canada as a young adult and graduated from Confederation College in Ontario with an Honours degree in Interior Design. The pull of the West was strong, gradually moving her to the mountains and rich landscape of the West Kootenays, British Columbia, where she has settled with her husband to raise their young family.

With her passion for the right mix of style and fibre, Helena discovered the affordable luxury of alpaca. Soft to the touch, light as air, hypoallergenic, the right warmth in any weather and with a beautiful drape, alpaca is the perfect medium for Helena ’s subtle and flattering designs, complimenting every woman’s figure and style.

With much exploration, Helena began blending her custom-spun and hand-dyed fibres, often enriching them with silk, llama, tencel and viscose, and knitting them with the finest European yarns. Because alpaca fibre is extremely durable and easy-care (it’s naturally dirt-repellent), Helena began to create heirloom-quality pieces, paired with timeless design.

In 2003, Helena introduced her first collection from her studio Fibertwists. Received with widespread admiration – and demand – Fibertwists Studio has Helena producing her hand-crated garments most of the year, carefully ensuring her personal mandate for quality is carried through each piece.

To create a truly Canadian hand-made product, Helena begins with the finest alpaca fibres from Canadian alpaca ranches — which is custom spun at a local mill — for her designs. The yarn fibres are selectively hand-dyed by Helena herself, to enhance their beauty and functionality and some selected for their original colour to make limited collection shawls.

Each piece is hand-knit with an artisan loom-style knitting machine, and individually hand-finished, making each unique garment a piece of functional art.

Bringing her fashion-forward and classic designs to women across Canada and North America, Helena is pleased to have fused her artistic flair and love of quality garments. Since the beginning of the Fibertwists, women have been wrapping themselves in the luxury of beautifully designed, feather-soft alpaca shawls, wraps, hats and scarves, with new, delicious designs to choose from each year.

Artist’s Web Site
Artist’s Hometown: Robson, BC

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