I love to learn about the work of many artists in the Etsy community. I recently met online a talented French woman that lives and works in Norway. She runs two wonderful stores on Etsy. One of them offers handmade jewelry and the other one brings you cross stitch patterns. Let me introduce you to Virginie, the owner of A Nordic Rose and Roland-Designs.
You run two shops on Etsy, please tell us a bit more about them.
When my oldest son was 3 years old he was diagnosed with autism, soon after his young brother and sister also received diagnosis. At that time I was a stay at home mother with 4 small children, and desperately needed a creative outlet. I had taken up cross stitch as hobby and started to interest myself in antique samplers, and Berlin woolwork. Before long I had started to collect antique needlework patterns, and taught myself to use a cross stitch software. I naively opened a little website in 2008 to share my replicas of antique patterns, and before the year was ended I had also opened an Etsy shop. Roland-Designs was named quite after my oldest son – Roland.
Soon afterward I started to add some handmade crochet items and jewelry to my shop, but within a year I decided to separate the embroidery charts and other items. So I moved everything that was not a pattern to a new Etsy shop called A Nordic Rose… I have a little soft spot for roses, and live in a Nordic country so that was the inspiration behind the name.
What are your most popular items in each shop?
The most popular item cross stitch is this funny one about wine and coffee available at etsy.com/listing/123254236
As for jewelry, this is my personal favorite crochet jewelry design. The lovely photo was the result of a trade with a talented Etsy photographer. Find this beautiful handmade necklace on Etsy at etsy.com/listing/99371777
What is your process for creating cross stitch patterns?
Most of my cross stitch patterns are replicas of antique charts or samplers, I feel it is a way to preserve our needlework heritage by digitalizing those beautiful patterns and offering them to a new generation of embroiderers.
Sometimes I have a little idea that pops into my head for an original design, I usually start by scribbling it on a graph paper, but some patterns are drawn directly on my computer.
I have also done some interesting custom work for customers, one such project was to create a cross stitch pattern from the tittle of a book that a lady’s daughter-in-law had written, which she then stitched on a baby bib for her grandchild.
What would you say to someone who wants to learn to cross stitch? How can they start? What patterns they should choose to begin?
Cross stitch is a fun, relaxing and creative hobby. I would recommend starting on something small, with not too many colors, and no half stitch and back stitch. For example, this mini sampler would only take a couple of evenings to stitch and even has a place to stitch your name. You can find it on Etsy at etsy.com/listing/193428693
How to do you juggle your duties as a mom, part-time Montessori school teacher and Etsy shop owner?
People often ask how I manage those different task on a daily basis and the answer is simple- I work on a priority basis. My children come first, my day job pays the bills so that has to come next, then on the days I have free from work and the children are in school I can then enjoy some peaceful time creating for my Etsy shops.
I keep a detailed to-do list divided in daily, weekly and long term list. Often I have to remind myself that it is not necessary to do it all, but to do the most important first and to do those task thoroughly. My motto is ‘Do few things, but do them well!’
Working part time at a Montessori school has given me the possibility to do craft activities with the children, and as you can imagine they are all doing cross stitch.
Tell me about your experience being the Team Captain of the Etsy Made in Norway team.
Etsy teams are a great way to connect with other sellers, and persons who share the same interest. A couple years ago I was looking for a local team, but not finding any that suited my need I started my own.
In March 2014 I was invited to participate in the first ever European Etsy team captain summit in Berlin. My team was very new at the time, so this was a wonderful opportunity to learn from experienced team leaders, meet Etsy administration and get the feel of the international community of crafters and artisans that Etsy is.
My team is a national team, spread over a whole country, so while meetings and get together are a bit difficult we did have a get together in the capital last Autumn…. and now we are talking about joining efforts at market later in the Spring. Our team members keeps in touch via a closed Facebook group, the Etsy forum and naturally we have Pinterest, Instagram, a facebook fan page, and a beautiful blog our dedicated team leader designs.
Our team blog: madeinnorway.org/index.php/en/
Facebook page: facebook.com/madeinnorwayetsyteam
If you are a cross stitch enthusiast or want to learn more about this beautiful art, please visit her blog at roland-designs.com and also her Etsy shop at etsy.com/shop/rolanddesigns to browse through her collection of cross stitch patterns.
And don’t forget to stop by her handmade jewelry shop, A Nordic Rose, to find a unique piece for you.
Here is Virginie sharing antique samplers from her cross stitch collection:
It is always so much fun to look around the Etsy online community to find one of a kind items. I could spend hours just browsing on Etsy dreaming about what I need or want to buy next. Recently I found the coolest shop called Spirale Rouge. The owner, Véro, is a talented woman from France currently living in Thailand. She sells eco-friendly, refashioned clothing and accessories. Véro has an eye for beauty and she is an artist herself so expect to find lovely items in her store.
Like this amazing bag… this cute purse truly makes a statement. I love the cool military emblems on it against the light blue and gray fabric. Very unique. You can find it on Etsy at etsy.com/listing/81758323
Véro also brings us a wild animal themed handbag. So unique and fun! Available at etsy.com/listing/81760859
Spirale Rouge Shop also has this police themed duffel bag. I love its brown color and all the cool police patches. Find it on Etsy at etsy.com/listing/86368194
Spirale Rouge brings handmade accessories, repurpose fashion and even hand painted denim pieces. You can find this shop on Etsy at etsy.com/shop/SPIRALEROUGE
Have fun shopping!
First day of Spring is on March 20 but here in Florida where we live, temperatures are already in the high 80’s. Needless to say, we fast forwarded any cold wind that could have come down our way and are already wearing our shorts and sleeveless tops. The best trend I see for this Spring 2015 is the sleeveless jumpsuits. They are so much fun to wear. We love vintage just because you and I deserve to be unique in our own style. That’s why I have for you two amazing vintage jumpsuits.
First, let me tell you about the cutest jumpsuit I have found in a while. This is the kind of piece that makes you feel comfortable just being you. It screams to me girly girl that also knows what she wants in life. Laura Ashley just has the best floral prints and that is why I selected this vintage piece to be in our Sweet Vintage Lady Shop.
The soft floral print has sage green, mauve and brown tones. Made in Great Britain in the 1980’s this cute jumpsuit is made of a soft cotton. It buttons down the front. High waist, sleeveless, oversized sleeve holes with a slouchy design on the torso area completes the look. Convenient hip pockets to carry your essentials.
Marked a size small. Excellent vintage condition. Available on Etsy at etsy.com/listing/221755319
I fell in love with this next jumpsuit the moment I saw it. It reminds me of fresh starts, not so hot afternoons at the park and a first date with the one. This vintage jumpsuit is feminine yet fun. Great for a day out and about shopping and drinking lattes with the girls.
Pink roses over a cream background, this piece is what spring is all about. It buttons down the front and has a matching tie off belt. The pants have a bit of that harem look and they tie off at the flare button area.
Made in the United States by Storybook Heirlooms in the 1980’s decade, this romantic jumpsuit is made of 100% cotton. It buttons down the front. High waist, sleeveless. Convenient concealed hip pockets to carry your lipstick. Unlined.
Size small. Excellent vintage condition. Find it at our Sweet Vintage Lady Shop on Etsy at etsy.com/listing/221791806
Life has been very hectic in our home for the last 9 months. Last November we welcomed our baby girl. It’s been a season of joy but I told my husband recently “I need the day of Gladys” just like George Costanza was going to have the “Summer of George” (Seinfeld – The Summer of George – Season 8 – Episode 22). Remember that episode? George had 3 paid months off from work !! I would be happy just to have a whole afternoon for me. Well, my hubby was listening this time and arranged a “day of Gladys”. He secretly planned it all, childcare, eating out and everything and took me to the opening of the Gone With The Wind Reel to Real Exhibition at the Orange County Regional History Center. Having lived in the Orlando, Florida area for 15 years, I had never visited this cool museum. It is located in Downtown Orlando within walking steps from Lake Eola and the public library.
I was so excited when he showed me the tickets. Gone with the Wind is one of my favorite movies. I fell in love with it the first time I watched it on TV after they had added color to it. I even owned the VHS version which I bought in the 90’s (although we got rid of our prehistoric VHS a while back so now it’s just a souvenir). I bought once a 1000 piece puzzle with the images of Rhett and Scarlett. I must confess I never finished putting it together. No one wanted to help me…
This amazing collection of GWTW memorabilia belongs to James L. Tumblin. He has invested a lot of money on it and graciously shares it with all of us fans of this classic. During the opening of the exhibit, I had the opportunity to listen to Mr. Tumblin as he walked us through every item in the collection. He gave us interesting details on how he got some of the pieces. In this exhibit you will see many cool things from some of the original wardrobe, hats, posters, newspaper articles, sketches from the wardrobe designer and much more.
I found this particular poster very interesting. Back then they had to add a note on it “Not suitable for children”. I do agree this movie is not for children but I wonder how would it be rated today… would it be PG or PG13? I am curious though, here they have a very sexy image of Rhett and Scarlett but the actual movie never showed Rhett Butler without a shirt on. So what is this all about? Some false advertisement back then? Funny.
At the opening there were some people dressed with a Scarlett vibe which I thought was great. I especially loved this girl’s outfit wearing a hat similar to the one Scarlett had at the picnic. Speaking of which, I learned at the presentation that the beautiful dress that Scarlett wore during the picnic scene at the beginning of the movie got totally destroyed. Apparently the green color used for the floral print was so strong that when the dress came out of storage it turned into pieces. They did save the belt and a piece fabric which was framed and included on the exhibit.
This fabulous collection will be in Orlando until November 30, 2014. There are some upcoming events connected to it like a trivia night on September 10 and a special brunch on November 2. Also, the Enzian Theater in Maitland will be presenting the film on November 9. Visit thehistorycenter.org/exhibits/GWTW for more information on these events.
The Orange County Regional History Center is located in Downtown Orlando at 65 E. Central Blvd. Orlando, FL. Metered parking is available for up to 2 hours. There are also several paid parking garages in the area. Give yourself time to enjoy this exhibit and also visit the rest of the History Center. It’s pretty interesting. There is a cute plaza right outside the doors of the museum. I found this little guy out there… what you think??? My sweet husband never saw Gone with the Wind until after we went to the exhibit. He sat down with me at home and we rented it from Amazon. Very convenient for us. If you happen to be in Orlando don’t miss this exhibit.
Sweet Vintage Lady
How is your Summer going? I thought I would share some scenes from our Summer season so far. It’s been fun but, surprise oh surprise, really hot here in Central Florida… just like every Summer.
Our baby girl is growing fast, giggles a lot, especially when she sees her big brother playing. She now crawls, turns and can say bah bah. Our boy enjoyed a week of Vacation Bible School at our church and recently has been practicing jumping in the pool with the help of her Uncle Eric. We have been visiting the library a lot (nothing out of the ordinary for us – it is one of our favorite activities) and have read tons of books including The Berenstain Bears series, Henry and Mudge, Mr. Putter & Tabby among others. After the birth of our baby girl and getting life back to a normal rhythm, I finally dusted off and oiled my ole’ Bernina sewing machine and have been sewing again. In fact, I’m currently working on making a flannel dino blanket for my boy… more to come on that.
Of course, there is always time to catch a good rummage sale, go thrifting and treasure hunting for vintage clothes. I love our Summer seasons but can’t wait to get into a cooler weather (AKA down here as 80 degree weather).
Enjoy the rest of your Summer!
Sweet Vintage Lady
Introducing our new logo! Sweet Vintage Lady has a trendy logo thanks to my talented brother in law Eric. Thank you Eric for all the work you put into creating this master piece! I am so excited to begin using this logo. I feel it portrays who the SVL girl is: fun and trendy, yet unique. SVL is committed to bring you a great collection of vintage clothing and redesigned fashion. Visit often our online store at sweetvintagelady.com as we are always adding new items.
Sweet Vintage Lady Online Shop: vintage & retro fashion for today’s girl.
Here is one of our favorite places to visit on Saturday mornings: Winter Park, Florida. This charming town is located on the northeast part Orlando, Florida. They have a great Farmer’s Market with produce, plants and lots of yummy food. Yes, our Summers are very hot but the great thing about this Farmer’s Market is that afterwards you can go relax at beautiful Central Park right located right across the railroad tracks. There’s plenty to do here. Shopping, restaurants and much more.
Just a short drive from Jacksonville, Florida (only 36 miles) you can find the small and so charming town of Fernandina Beach. Located on the northeast border of Florida and almost kissing the state of Georgia, this city has been called one of the South’s best small town getaways by Southern Living Magazine. We visited this cute place for a romantic weekend getaway. Using our always handy Hilton Honors points, we stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Amelia Island Historic Harbor Front. This hotel was in the middle of everything so we could walk to restaurants, the marina and the Saturday market. Very convenient for us.
We drove a short distance to visit Fort Clich State Park. This fortress was built in 1847 and was a military post during the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War II. There we rode our bikes through the trails and the water front. What a great experience!
Here is a very interesting video of Fort Clinch for those history lovers:
There is a lot to explore in Fernandina Beach so if you have a chance, make sure you visit this historic town. You will discover a little gem hidden in North Florida.