Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

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

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Easy corn bread

Corn bread

Quick corn bread

I’ll be honest I have no recollection as to where I found this recipe, all I know is that I wrote it down in my ‘go-to’ recipe book sometime around when I got married.

Corn bread is a wonderful accompaniment to beans and taste best when hot, so if this recipe makes a bread that is too big do half of it|        .


Oven 200 degrees

-          2 cups corn meal

-          2 cups flour

-          2 teaspoons salt

-          4 teaspoons baking powder

-          2 cups milk

-          4 tablespoons oil

-          4 tablespoons sugar

-          2 eggs

Basically, you mix all the ingredients together and pour in a greased and floured (20 x 30 cm) pan, or use baking paper.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Penrhyn castle - Antique Berlin woolwork

Antique Berlin woolwork embroidery - Penrhyn castle

Penrhyn castle is located in Northern Wales and while it is erected on the site of an older stone castle, the structure we see today dates only from the early 1800’s and was commissioned by a wealthy family at the time of the Norman revival. The ‘castle’, or more precisely ‘the country house’ was built in the Neo-Norman style by the architect Thomas Hopper.

The 1800’s were a time of discovery and nostalgy.  On one hand progress, inventions, daring adventures and a great interest in geography and natural history, on the other hand a longing for the past, a growing fascination with archaeology and antiquity, and an overall romanticised view of times past.

This little Berlin woolwork embroidery came into my possessions some years ago and for the longest time I had no idea which castle it depicted, that is until I saw a similar embroidery for sale on Ebay which unlike my own example had the name of the castle stitched below the picture.

The castle and garden now belongs to the National trust and is open for the public.

For more info see:

Cute little deer with seed beads for eyes

Penrhyn castle - cross stitch pattern

Would you like to stitch your own version of Penrhyn castle ?

A reproduction of the pattern is available on the website and ETSY.

Sunday, 14 June 2020


Home made focaccia

I've been making Focaccia for years now and while there are many recipes to choose from,  here is the one that always works for me.

Focaccia is best when fresh and a little warm, this recipe makes a big bread so if you are not going to use it all right away just half the recipe.


For a large oven pan 42 x 35 cm

- 6 dl finger warm water
- 1 kg flour
- 50 g fresh yeast / or 1 pk dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 dl olive oil

For the topping:
- Olive oil
- Salt ( Maldon is my favourite)  
-  Dry or fresh herbs - Thyme, Rosemary, etc...
- Olives, sun dried tomatoes

- Mix flour + salt
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add sugar
- Add all ingredients together, knead for a minute or two then place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise until double in size ( about 30 minutes)
- Grease an oven tray, or use baking paper. 
- With oiled fingers spread the dough on the tray and poke it all over. Leave to rise a second time for 30-40 minutes.
- Set oven to 225 degrees, and generously drizzle your focaccia with good olive oil. You can add the topping of your choice, herbs, sea salt, olives or sun dried tomatoes.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden.
- Cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing into squares. 

Fresh from the oven
A good accompaniment for soups, stews, or tapas

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Rainbow + 'Thank you' - Free cross stitch pattern

The rainbow and its cheery colours has become the symbol of positivity during this time of pandemic. All around the world children have drawn or painted colourful rainbows and displayed them from their windows to remind the world that ‘It’s going to be OK! We’ll get through this!’

While many of us have been on lockdown, home schooling our children, working from home or simply waiting, a large group of key workers have kept society going. First and foremost, the doctors, nurses and health care worker who have been on the frontline, fighting this virus while putting themselves at risk in the process. And there are others, many of whom have a thankless and often unnoticed job who also deserve our thanks. Grocery shop keepers, truck drivers and deliver staff, teachers, pastors, garbage disposal and mail delivery personnel, the police, firemen, cleaners  and many more. 

For those of us who love to stitch, why not join together and stitch a ‘Thank you!’ for someone who deserves a bit of appreciation for doing their bit the past months. Here is a simple little chart you can easily stitch up in an hour or two and make into a card, or small framed picture. 

I’ve included a couple different languages, if you would like another one just send me message at:

Stay safe, stay positive !


Stitching a little rainbow card on a 'Tokens & trifles' punch paper card.