I didn't knit this little chap, I bought him a few years ago from a lady who just loves to knit. She had a table at a Christmas Fair, and it was the first stall I visited. I love those tables laden with hand knitted items for sale. I don't see them much, so there's great excitement when these things make an appearance.
I bring him out each year along with the rest of the decorations, and prop him up somewhere.
I love the fact that he is knitted............ a knitted Father Christmas!
This I bought in a charity shop, for some ridiculously low sum of money. Charity shops are great for these sort of hand knits. Knitted with the cheapest acrylic yarn, and by someone who is a compulsive knitter............. I always imagine she has to give her output away because she produces enough to fill the needs of a small nation.
I rather like my knitted Father Christmas sitting snuggly in the knitted Christmas stocking.
So............. Christmas day is drawing ever nearer ...............infact, it's hours away!
So happy Christmas to you all, I hope you have a lovely day, and I look forward to 'seeing' you when the excitement is all over!
How about having Christmas in Space..........?
I find the idea fascinating .......... the possibilities for alternative Christmas food and celebrations are infinite!
I did this piece when I was ten years old. I was taking part in a competition, the subject was 'Christmas in Space'. Unfortunately the art techer forgot to send it off to be judged............
This is a self-portrait, it looks like I was enjoying myself with those aliens.
Of course, there is the possibility that some people might feel their Christmas is always a version of 'Christmas in Space"..........
Some might feel aliens are sharing their Christmas meal with them.
Maybe if the dress code was 'alien attire', the festivities would seem less surreal.
There will be ten adults and four children sharing the Christmas meal round our kitchen table, the evening of Christmas day. A whirlwind of activity and chaos, large quantities of food, flowing wine.......... interesting combinations of personalities .....................
Need I say more..........
For a couple of weekends now, we've been going to local Christmas Fairs ......... it marks the beginning of the Christmas season for us.
Apparently there's been a shortage of berries this year. I don't know why that is the case. So with that in mind, it was a joy to see a huge pile of Holly laden with berries for sale.
For us, the Christmas season would not be complete without rich and warming foods.
These long, dark, and cold nights make the sight of glowing windows and twinkly lights very comforting. And the more old-fashioned it all looks, the more comforted I feel.
This time of year 'the French market' comes to a village near us, called Coldstream. The vendors set up their stalls in the church hall, and we go and marvel at the extortionate prices and abundance of foods we can't buy around here.
The prunes are the main attraction for us. To be honest, it's the reason we go to the French Market!
Something as simple as garlic, beautifully tied with wire, takes on an exotic air, (so much more interesting and pretty, than a plastic crate full of net bags of garlic, from the supermarket). They were laid out on a table, each bunch a precious item.
Our town's Christmas fair turned out to be a huge success. It had the stalls with things for sale, but for me, the high-light of the whole event was ...........
.........the two gentlemen with a stall selling soup and bread, to raise money for a good cause.
This to me, is the Christmas spirit summed up. They were so jolly and kind hearted, and they were serving something simple and delicious, to warm us all. People were flocking round them.
There is nothing like a freezing cold day, to make you feel that a cup of hot soup is the best thing you have ever tasted.
So...........Christmas day is fast approaching, guests are beginning to arrive....... it's a flurry of food, drink and merriment, but I must remember one thing in all the excitement............ I must take a moment to give my husband a kiss under the Mistletoe!
Alan calls out for his big man, and he comes trotting.
Ellie and Douglas met Cuddy for the first time. The first non-human strangers Cuddy has met since leaving his Mum.
Cuddy wasn't too sure about Ellie and Douglas, he kept on hiding behind Alan's legs, peeking out timidly, and then boldly jumping out. Cuddy has perfected levitation, it's the most wonderful thing to see a tiny puppy jumping straight up in the air. He's working on his bark..............
Cuddy has no problem with being passed around from person to person.
He is just very sweet natured.
A real little charmer.
Cute as a button.
Quite frankly, adorable!
Ellie and Douglas were friendly enough.......... lots of tail wagging, and staring. Our dogs are tiny, but they towered over Cuddy.
Once they'd sniffed enough, they became more interested in seeing if there were any tasty morsels to be found on Susan and Alan's kitchen floor.
The big man has had enough for one day.
It all started with a yarn bouquet................. A bouquet of yarn, rather than a bouquet of flowers.
It was my Birthday, and the day before, I had picked all these flowers from the garden. Hugo always buys me flowers on my Birthday, but this time I already had vases full of blooms.
So I came up with an idea for an alternative bouquet...............
I had seen this Twilleys Freedom Spirit yarn in my local wool shop, and it occured to me that the colours were similar to those of the flowers from the garden.
All I had to do was persuade Hugo of the merits of my idea..........
..............luckily, I was successful!
The pattern is no.9053, from Twilleys. The yarn is 'freedom spirit', by Twilleys of Stamford, in shade 508.
The knitting of this cardigan seemed to take forever because I kept on interrupting it with other projects.
But now it's finally finished.
I love the colours in this piece, and it's so warm. It looks complicated to knit, but the pattern repeat isn't too difficult to remember once it's sunk in. I made the collar shorter than the pattern specified. And rather than placing a button as instructed, I used the flower corsage, fastening it higher up.
I quite like the way the corsage relates to the story of the yarn bouquet.........
This story also led to me playing around with creating my little 'yarn vases'............. another use for yarn, if a little short-lived.
Instructions: Get a ball of yarn and stick some flowers in it. (Note: life-span of flowers may be short if they are deprived of water............... unlike many knitters, flowers cannot survive on yarn alone.......).
We had all known for a few days that my parent's-in-Law, Alan and Susan, had decided to get a Jack Russell puppy, and the suspense till the day arrived for picking him up, was almost unbearable.
Yesterday was 'the day'.
After being treated to a pub lunch by Alan and Susan, (there were ten of us!), nine of us made our way to the farm to pick the puppy up. Or should I say, nine of us descended on the farmer..............
It's not often I get to go on a working farm. We were greeted by the farmer, who took us into a stone shed. And there we were greeted by puppies.............. some of the most well fed and happy looking puppies I have ever seen, they were literally jumping around with joy. The farmer said he spends hours just staring at the puppies, (the mum had ten puppies!), and he must have played with them and picked them up a lot, because they were jumping all over us.
And then the time came for leaving with the puppy, (previously named Roly, now named Cuthbert, or Cuddy for short).............
.............and welcoming him to his new life.
Cuddy may well have understood Cassie's message better than the rest of us..............
I suspect that when Cassie did this drawing, she was making it perfectly clear that, rather than Cuddy being owned by her Grandparents, Cuddy was going to be her property................
No cowering in a corner for Cuddy........
No hiding, or wimpering...........
Just pure exuberance and confidence from the word go. Cuddy tottered round the room, examining, sniffing, playing with his new teddy....... and he's only eight weeks old!
Cuddy had to be gently calmed down, after all, he's only little, and we were worried that he was over-doing it a bit. So he was settled on Susan's lap, where he looked like he'd been doing this all his life.
When Hugo and I left, Cuddy was fast asleep, occasionally stretching out his two front paws, looking very contented.
Quite a big personality for a little eight week old doggie............
There is something so pretty and simple about this image that I love. At various times in my life I've gone through phases of painting still-lives. The last one was about ten or eleven years ago.
When Susan, my Mother-in-Law, gave me a bunch of these red leaves she had carefully pressed, I found myself wanting to do more than photograph them, I wanted to preserve their image forever in the way I knew best..............
............ I wanted to paint them!
There was a time I did a lot of portraits of friends and family, and rather than mapping out the image with a pencil first, I would just go straight in with a brush, and watercolours. It is a very intense way of painting, but at the same time strangely relaxing, because once you make a mistake with watercolour, it's difficult to cover it up without it looking overworked. So mistakes have to be accepted, and worked in to the painting, which is freeing in a way, but at the same time there is an edge of worry that there will be one mistake which ruins the piece!
So feeling a little rusty on the still-life front, I decided that I'd just go straight in with the brush. The first attempt was a little over worked, (the image on the right), the second was looser, and has the slightly naive quality I like, that comes about when drawing with the brush.
Then I fancied painting some more............
What I've found is that there is instant gratification in doing these little pictures. Once I've finished one, that's it, there's the finished piece. Whereas with the children's books I do, the finished product takes a couple of years to achieve............ you see, once I have finished a book, which takes about six to eight months, sometimes more, the book has to be sold to buyers, and publishers will allow a year, year-and-a-half for that plus the printing, ending with a set publication date. It's a long process! Whereas my little paintings take a few hours!
I'll be doing more of these every now and then I think..............
Ellie is checking the paper for news of the Weenie Dog Race ,(the tip-off came from knitters-knitters).
"I may have short legs, but I can fly like the wind............"
"My nick-name is 'cheetah-ha-ha', on a bad day it's 'greyhoooowwwwwnnnd'. I've got that fighting spirit, I can bark with the best of them, I'm tougher than tough, I'm a winner!"
"...........how many dog biscuits do I need to save, to catch a flight to the next race......? Where would I hide them so Douglas couldn't get his mucky little paws on them......... how will I survive if I'm stashing away all my biscuits? Will I be able to survive? It's a big sacrifice, a really BIG sacrifice. Is it too big a sacrifice? I mean, I know I'd win the race anyway, so why put myself through all the hardship, when I'd win the race paws down, it's a no-brainer. I must be crazy............... to think I'd deprive myself of biscuits so I could go to a race I'd win anyway! I mean, I'm a ............."
".......... racing snake. I may be a little fluffy around the edges, but I sting like a bee. Maybe Douglas wouldn't miss his biscuits....? Ahem, maybe he would actually. Naaah, I'll just get them to send me that medal, who needs to actually take part in a race when you've got a reputation like mine. That's settled then............. now what's this article in the paper?........ 'Doggie beauty pageant'............... aaahh well, now there's something I'd win with the wag of my tail.......... I wonder how many biscuits......?
This is Cassie's little story. Cassie is six years old, and everything is drawn by her.
Before you go any further, remember this is a six year old's love story..................
inwhich, girl meets............
Love at first sight?
Definately love at first sight.
I interrupt events to bring these rather fetching knee-high boots to your attention.
Cassie is a modern girl, so things progress rapidly.
The expression in the drawing of the legs says it all...............joy!
And as with all satisfying love stories, this one ends happily ever after.
A round of applause for Cassie!
Barbara Cartland? Cassie Cartland more like.
Hello, my name is Vanessa Cabban, and I'm so pleased you've dropped by! I'm an artist and illustrator, working from home. I have two Miniature wire-haired Dachshunds, Ellie and Douglas. I love being part of the blogosphere, reading your comments, and feeling like I'm part of a community. I hope you enjoy reading about my small world.
AN IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT MY BLOG AND WORK: Please note that the photos and text, my creations and my art shown on my blog are copyrighted and may not be copied, in whole or in part, without my express permission. Patterns and techniques shown in my tutorials may be followed but for personal use only and not for commercial reward. Thank you.
Books I have illustrated!
The Best Gift of All
Book and dvd,(narrated by Kevin Whateley), of Bringing Down the Moon