Francis thrives in arts and crafts

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The winners were smiles at Allity’s Tannoch Brae aged care home, with residents taking home 20 prizes at the Royal Geelong Show.

The talented group won the pool with 10 first places, seven second places and three third places in the Horticulture and Crafts award categories.

Residents won prizes for crocheting, knitting, mosaics, painting, coloring, diamond art and an “Into the Garden” themed group entry.

Resident Francis Shakir-Chakir, 88, won first place and best exhibit for a hand-stitched Victorian doll in an 1885 wedding dress in the Craft category.

“It was an exciting time,” Francis said.

“I won two first prizes, one for a felt doll and a poodle. Winning the best exhibit was a feat and unexpected.

“I won a second prize for the knitted Jack and Jill dolls. It was amazing to get the prizes and I felt really surprised by myself.

“I was happy for our other participants who did very well too, so it was congratulations to all of them.”

Francis said she loved arts and crafts from a young age.

“Arts and crafts allow your mind to travel from where you are and the situation you find yourself in and gives you the freedom and ability to do something great,” he said. she declared.

“It’s about making something out of nothing and being surprised at the results.

“I can create something so small and miniature that a child can hold and love it and keep it as a keepsake and pass it on to their own baby.”

Allity Tannoch Brae, Lifestyle Services Coordinator, Mary Simms, said Francis has a natural flair for being able to create amazing things from his imagination.

“Teddy bears have been dressed up, little dolls have been made, there will be a small amount of wool left over from something – and all of a sudden you’ll have a little knitted mouse or something – that’s just the kind of person Francois is,” she said.

“She was very proud and said she was sure her mum and dad would have been proud with her twin sister.

“She sent photos of her craftsmanship and certificates to her children and grandchildren.”

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