Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

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

Sunday 24 September 2023

Christmas ornament 2023

About a year ago I made a note to myself to use a specific Christmas themed design from my Alpursa vignette album for my next ornament. The pattern is rather small and simple, so I knew it needed a little something more, and I tinkered with the idea of stitching it in tent stitch on canvas, but after a couple tries decided against it.


Hardanger is just so lovely for small, decorative items, and a blanket stitch edge is a nice finishing option. I gave it a couple of tries, then settled for this design.


I stitched my ornament on a small piece of  28ct linen, and with threads I had in my stash - Small ornaments are a great way to use up leftovers. It is also possible to stitch the Christmas tree motif alone, or to work it in Assisi. 


Have fun being creative!


The pattern in PDF format is available as an instant download here:


For photos of the Alpursa album see this blog post:


Video of the album on You Tube:


Roland-designs Christmas ornament 2023

If you stitch one of my patterns, and share a photo on social media, you can tag your work with #rolanddesigns

Sunday 13 August 2023

Quick and easy pita bread

While there are lots of recipes out there, the criteria I use for making it on my blog is that the recipe must be very simple, and only use ingredients which are easily available.

After trying several different pita bread recipes, I settled on this one for the simple reason that it was so quick and easy to make. 

Super easy pita breads


Pita bread


(Makes x6)


25 g yeast

2 dl lukewarm water

1 ss oil

1 ss sugar

½ ts salt

5 dl flour


-       Melt the yeast in the lukewarm water + sugar.

-       Add the oil, then mix in the flour and salt.

-       Knead the dough, then cover, and let rise until double in size.

-       Preheat oven to 250°

-       Divide the dough in six and form into balls, cover and let rest 5-10 minutes.

-       Flatten the balls with your hands until they are about 1/2 cm thick.

-       Bake immediately in the hot oven. They bake fast, about 5-8 minutes, and are ready when they have puffed up evenly and are slightly brown on the top.

-       Let the pitas cool on a rack and serve. They are best served fresh.


Sunday 23 July 2023

Signing your work

When I was a young girl, I had a teacher who told me to always date and sign all my school papers. At the time I didn’t understand fully what he meant, but now that I have lived a good four decades, I have come to realize that I do not always remember when I wrote, (or created) something and this is when the wisdom of my old teacher comes back to memory. You date your papers so that you remember when you wrote them, and you sign them to confirm that it was you who wrote it.


Now this should also apply to items you create, draw, paint or sew. Naturally it is easier to sign a piece of paper than an item, but signing and dating it can make all the difference later, and if nothing else, it will help you keep track of the evolution of your skill.


Earlier on this summer I took a little trip to Scotland to visit my sister, my plane arrived at Aberdeen and there we passed by a little charity book shop where I found a few small treasures including a vintage embroidery book by Mary Thomas.


Inside the book there is a section for ‘Technical and miscellaneous hints’, and to my pleasant surprise I saw a paragraph that expressed beautifully what I have said regarding the importance of signing and dating your embroidery projects.


    “The old custom of signing and dating any elaborate piece of embroidery, with the idea that it should last, has now happily been revived. A signature may seem of no particular consequence to the worker, but it adds greatly to the personal charm and interest of the work, which later may be handed down with pride from generation to generation.”

Mary Thomas 1936

Here I am showing the rose sampler


Details of how I signed my roses project

Close up of the signature on Mine Sampler

Mini sampler on ETSY: Mini Sampler

Free rose pattern on the blog with link to the different parts of the serie:  Small rose

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Easy egg noodle salad

During the summer months when the weather is warm, I try to avoid spending too much time in the kitchen, and for this reason I have several quick-&-easy, use-up-what-is-in-your-fridge recipes that I revisit year after year.

Here is one that I have used often, I think I found it originally in one of those free advertisement recipes from the grocery story, but I have adapted it a bit and generally use it very loosely, more like a suggestion, since I like to use up leftover vegetables from the fridge when I make salads.


Simple,  and summery egg noodle salad


Easy egg noodle salad


400g minced chicken (or pork)

3 garlic cloves – minced

1 red chili – minced

250 g egg noodles

½ cucumber (or 1 sweet red pepper)

2 spring onions

1 celery stick

Fresh coriander



2 tbs sesame seed oil

1 tbs sriracha sauce (or another spicy/chili sauce)

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbs soya sauce


-       Fry meat until done. Add the garlic and chili, fry a minute more, then season with salt and pepper.

-       Cook noodles, then rinse in cold water.

-       Slice all the vegetables very thin.

-       Mix the dressing together.

-       Mix all together and serve

Sunday 14 May 2023

Anchor - Free cross stitch pattern

Like most needlework interested persons, I have far too many UFO’s (UnFinished Objects). Such as the sweater I started knitting a year ago, the large sampler that has sat on my desk for a couple years, and ‘shame, shame, shame’, a glorious cross stitch picture from Lavender & lace which I started over a decade ago and never got around to finishing. 


With a full time job, and studying (almost finished though), I have found that 24 hours days are just too short for doing all that one needs, and wants to do. That is why a little while back I started on a spot sampler. When the need-to-stitch starts to itch my fingers, I can stitch a small motif and not feel guilty for not completing a large project. I would definitely recommend it to others who like to embroider, but don’t have much time. 


The newest addition is a little anchor pattern, re-charted from an antique bookmark in my private collection. The anchor was stitched in cross stitch on punched paper, then sewed on a decorative ribbon.

I stitched the flowers in petit point, and the rest in cross stitch. 


The pattern is available on the website, and for those who are curious, here are the colours I used: 


DMC 3346 – Medium green

DMC 3348 – Light green

DMC 3328 – Medium pink

DMC 776 – Light pink

DMC 3371 – Dark brown

DMC 801 – Medium brown

Antique punch paper and ribbon bookmark

In the Victorian era, an anchor was a symbol of hope and was often paired with a

heart, and cross to symbolizes Faith, Hope, Love.


“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love!”

1 Corinthian 13:13 NIV


Close up of the original embroidery

Link to pattern:


Sunday 6 November 2022

Christmas ornament 2022

Super easy filet crochet ornament

These small filet crochet ornaments look pretty and are really simple to make. I tried different types of think crochet threads, Perle cottons and crochet hook size, and you can absolutely do the same, but I did find that I got the best result with DMC Cebelia size 20, and a 1.00 crochet hook. 


Filet crochet in itself is pretty straight forward, yet when it comes to increasing and decreasing, most find that the decreasing is easier, while increasing, especially a solid block can be a little fiddly. This is where a little ‘trick’ I learned years ago, was used with these small ornaments to keep the edges crisp, something that is not always easy to accomplish when working with very thin yarn.


The ‘trick’, or ‘hack’ as people now call it, is quite simply that you start on the widest side, work you way down, then pick it up again from the top and finish the ornament. This way, you only have to worry about decreases, which are really easy to do. 


To decrease, you make 1 ch in the air, then slip stitch (sl st) into the 2nd, 3rd and 4th stitch. Next make 3 ch and continue with the pattern, when you come to the end, just turn you work and start the next row. 


"....pick it up again from the top and finish the ornament."

Ornament before and after blocking and stretching

The little ornaments will need to be stretched and possibly starched.  For mine I made a simple solution of corn-starch and water, soaked them a few minutes inside, then stretched them on a cork pot holder covered with a plastic film. Once dried they hold their shape pretty well and can be used as single ornaments or hung together to make a garland.

Stretched and drying after a light starching


The pattern (with several variations) is available as a PDF:


Tips for filet crochet: