Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Antique embroidery notebook - Dated 1906

I like everyday objects, items that tell a story ! And this is why I’m often just as thrilled to add to my collection odds-&-ends of no value, as I am to find a rare or more costly piece.

This time I want to show you a little notebook I found for just about nothing on an online auction, it’s simple and has no fancy patterns, but I love how it gives a little peak into the ideas and projects a girl (or lady) was working on sometime in 1906.

I still find it hard to call items from the early 20th century antiques as I feel it was just yesterday, but technically antiques are items that are over 100 years  old – so this notebook is officially an antique as it is 113 years old. 

It’s a German notebook with square grid pages, and held together with a sewed string – no staples. Inside someone tried out ideas, and drew counted patterns in pencil and colored crayons. The name Minna and Margret are done in pretty lettering, along with the family name Hövermann. 

I found a Minna Hövermann (1871-1922) who could fit the date, but she seemed to have lived in in Illinois (USA). I don’t know if that was the owner of the notebook, but could be if she had immigrated to the US ? I always love a little detective work, but it would be so much easier if people would have remembered to date, and sign all papers, works of art, sketches, notebooks, needlework piece and so on. 

I don't speak German, so if someone could translate for me what is writen on the front and back of the notebook I would be really interested to know what it says.

Antique German notebook

A little Assisi pattern or a swirl and dragon

That's it...

The back of the notebook

I can't read German, but I figure it means 'Printed in Stuttgart'.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Introducing Lily - our new puppy !


I would like to introduce you to Lily, the new member of our little family.

Lily is a little mixed breed, part Norwegian Buhund, with a little bit of border Collie and Husky on her mothers side; while the father seems to have been a Finnish Hound.

As in most families my kids have been bugging about getting a dog for the longest time, but since we had an aging cat (Princess) I knew it was best to wait and not introduce a new pet just yet.  But last month, sadly, princess crossed the rainbow bridge and to be honest we were all quite heart broken and the only way to mend a broken heart is with a new love.

One day I took Roland with me to visit a litter of puppies, I didn’t promise anything… but as it happens when you visit puppies - we fell in love, and settled on the one with the little white socks. A month long wait was in order until the pups were weaned from their mama, then came the big day. We hadn’t told the kids about when we would pick her up, so it was a surprise when on Friday night my husband went to ‘pick me up from work’ and we returned home with a most wiggly little black and white puppy.  

The first night she slept with us and woke up around 4.30 am, and that was only because my stupid cats had to go in-out, and bug for food in the middle of the night. We then moved the cats bowls to another part of the house, high up on a counter by the utility sink, this way they have privacy and the puppy won’t eat their food. I heard it’s important when introducing a dog into a cat household that the cats have a place to perch themselves away from the dog, a retreat where they can feel safe and observe from a safe vantage point.

Lily is not even 9 weeks old yet, and while it might have been a little early to pick her up at 8 weeks we figured it would be best to introduce her early to our two  cats, and take advantage of all the extra holidays in May to train her and get her adjusted to her forever-home.

With grown up kids and the youngest cat being 5 years old our house had become rather relaxed, we leave things within reach and on the floor. But now puppy is getting into everything ! Slippers are not safe, shoes are not safe, electrical wires are not safe, the laundry basket on the floor is not safe, my low window plants are not safe, the rugs by the door are getting chewed and peed on ! She also had found old bits of trash from under the bed, chewed up Daddy’s headphone, and went pee on the work clothes he had left on the floor.
It’s a phase, and she will eventually learn to control her bladder and give us notice when she needs to use the loo. As for us, we will be spending the next couple months keeping things out of her reach, and learning to read her body language. 

So far Emilie has been a wonderful helper with cleaning up accidents and everyone is helping out with her post nap, post play, post action toilet runs.

As for the cats, well Moumousse is not really interested, and just avoids her. 

But Mr Kitty is being mischievous and taunts her continually. He follows and stares at her, shows-off his freedom of movement in very slow motion while she is held back on the leash and makes sure to give her evil glances every so often, this gets her all tense and she tried to engage him in play or action but he just turns away and slowly walks away, which in turns drives the puppy completely wild. There has been no aggression so far, it’s a bit of a normal cat/dog show of dominance and showing each other what their place is and will be within the house and household, I’m confident that within a short while they will learn to co-habit and ignore each other in peace.

Staring contest with Mr Kitty

Very curious

Lily loves to be carried, I had better enjoy the puppy months before she gets too big.

Lily completely miserable during a practise car ride, she whined and cried as if she was getting murdered !

Moumousse made sure to take a quick nap right where the dog had slept on my bed. Just making sure he was still loved and had rights to the bed.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Tube socks - Drops studio

I just finished my latest knitting project – Tube socks with Drops Fabel colour 904

Someone at work had knitted some tube socks and I was decided to give it a try, but unlike my colleague who had used more chunky yarn I settled on Drops Fabel and used a Drops studio pattern.

Fabel is specially designed for knitting socks, and should be pretty hard wearing with 75% wool, and and 25% polyamide. The pattern is very simple and easy to follow, and to finish off the toes I used the kitchener stitch. 

Now, the question is would I recommend yarn and pattern ?

Fabel was very affordable and a pleasure to work with, but while the pattern was very easy I also found it to be not so challenging and I sort of postponed the project and took a long time to finish it. Another little point is that the socks are nice, but very large and without a heel I fear they will just be sliding off all the time. These are probably socks you would use over other socks, or as ‘cosy’ bed socks.

Yes, I will use Fabel again, but nope ! I won’t be knitting more tube socks anytime soon.

Tube socks

Drops Fabel


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Disclaimer: All recommendations or opinions are my own preference, and point of view; I am not sponsored or affiliated with Drops designs, Ravelry or