Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

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

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Winter wonderland, and a new knitting project - Vanilla scarf

View from above Holmestrand / Norway

This winter has been long, and cold for those of us living in Northern Europe. But oh, so beautiful !

With snow since November, and temperatures below zero for weeks on ends. We eagerly await spring, but also enjoy some stunning winter wonderland scenery.

Here are a couple pictures from a small walk I took near where we live, I was originally following deer tracks but the snow was a little deep and I got distracted by the beautiful view.


New Knitting project


A dear friend from the Uk recently sent me some beautiful sock wool, along with a suggesting for a pretty pair of socks. One skein is reserved for knitting lacy socks, but with the other I wanted to try something different. So I looked online for patterns that required only one skein of wool and found this lovely, and simple design by Annie Baker.

It uses simple stitches, and knits up quickly. The wool I’m using is a German wool/polyamid blend called Opal by Schafpate – colour: Kate

The recommended needle size is 2.5, so for the scarf I’m using a size 3 round knitting needles. I’m very curious to see how far one skein of wool will go, is it really enough for the scarf ?

I’ll keep you updated….

Pattern is available for free here: Vanilla Scarf 

PS: All recommendations are my own preference; I am not sponsored by the designer, websites, manufacturers.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Artist portrait - Didier Martin of Paper crafts and toys

In the office of Paper crafts and toys

I wanted to share with my readers a few photos from my Papa's office. He's a talented artist and after many years working as a freelance illustrator he is now focussing on his line of unique paper models.
My dear Papa is one of the most creative person I know. His legacy is the love of crafting, and creative experimenting he has instilled in not just myself and my siblings, but hundreds of children and adults alike around the world.

I love you Papa ! You’re the best !

Here is his story in his own words: 

My name is Didier, I’m French, born in Paris.

I am a children’s book and comic illustrator, as well as a creator of activity pages and board games. I’ve taught children arts and crafts on several occasion and for a hobby have been assembling paper models, many from models available online to download and from books (Dover and Usborne books have a good selection).

After awhile, I started to create my own paper models, creating a few simple ones, and then with practice and experience I created some more complex ones such as the ones available on Etsy. I have several in the works in different stage of production and many more ideas in the waiting stage.

My vision is to create these projects, to offer you fun, easy to assemble paper models that require
only basic materials, paper, scissor or cutting knife, and glue to create 3D models. Some of these models are not only nice models that you can display on a shelf, but an actual toy that children can play with, as for example with the MiniWorld paper toys series.
Another feature of the MiniWorld series is that all parts are compatible and can be included with the other sets to create new scenery and new adventures. Also, by downloading the PDF, you are able to print extra pages to expand your paper toys.

Visit also my web site for a variety of other projects available, many for free or as a complement to the MiniWorld sets. Also, there you will find photos and previews of up-coming projects in the work:

Work process

To create a paper model, I usually start the process with sketches to get the basic idea of the way I’d like to do the model. I also check books at the library and pictures on the internet for further ideas. To get a sense of the 3D view, I often draw the buildings and scenery and people in simple perspective.

Then I start to create the actual model, the challenge being to create a 3D model out of a 2D flat piece of paper. There are some programs available, but instead of using those, I prefer to think out the model and figure out the different folds and tabs. Due to experience working with children, I try to create my paper models as simple as possible to assemble, often creating simple pieces that are to be glued together to form a more complex part. This is in place of making a complex part with less pieces but many complicated folds.
Some pieces are very basic and simple such as a cube, others are more complex and take some trying out to get the right result.

After sketching the basic form, I draw the different pieces on computer. Once that step is done, I print everything in black and white to try out and see if all the parts fit correctly. You can see a sample here of the old knight and his horse. Usually at that stage there are things to fix. This also helps to see if a certain part looks right or needs to be changed and done a different way. At this stage I often simplify the pieces further if necessary.

Afterward, when I have finished all the different fixing and tested certain parts again, I add the color and texture on the computer. I also then create the different details and accessories, and the many Mini People.

Then I will print it again, in color this time, test it again, and make sure everything is fine. And once assembled, I take photos. After that comes the tedious work of writing the instructions, which is a very important step to make sure everything is clear. Then the final layout to prepare the PDF. And then it is ready to post and available to download.

It is a long process, but always fun and challenging to create an actual 3D model of an idea first drawn on paper.

Thank you for visiting my shop and don’t forget to check my web site from time to time for new projects.

ETSY shop:

Free dioramas available here: Website

The sword in the stone

Baby Moses

A little frog

Guardians of the gate

Merlin and Arthur

A work in progress - Details

A work in progress - Test model

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Cross and roses - Cross stitch border design from an antique pattern

I would like to present my newest cross stitch pattern.

This time it's a lovely replica of an antique hand painted border design featuring a cross, and pink roses.

The pattern has also been modified without the cross, and would make a beautiful curtain pelmet, or table cloth decoration.

The small roses are so pretty and could easily be used to decorate cards, or in a spot sampler.

Antique, hand painted embroidery pattern
Available on: ETSY, Makerist, website

Monday, 22 January 2018

Knitting news

This was fun ! I finally finished knitting my first fully functional pair of socks. Now I need to find a new project, but maybe I should finish up a UFO ( Un Finished Object ) cross stitch sampler first – More on that later.

My daughter Emilie (12) has been perfecting her doll knitting skills, and now makes mermaids and dolls with long hair and little shopping purses. I think they are just lovely, and she is becoming more and more confident in her knitting and designing.

Emilie's mermaid and knitted doll

The past week has been a bit special as we were treated to an extraordinary amount of snow ! There must be around 60-80 cm of snow in the garden and as I’m writing this I can see through the window that it is peacefully snowing again. I love snow, it gives the long dark winter months a spark of magic.

Rosaline and her sled standing on the path to our front door.

My old apple tree, well buried in snow.... beneath the snow spring bulbs are sleeping, only a couple months left and my crocuses will grace the lawn again.