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  • Would you like to award someone special a knitted rosette? See the pattern to knit one here!

  • Little Squares Scarf, (quick pattern).

  • Little Squares Scarf, (step-by-step pattern, with lots of step-by-step photos).

  • How to sew up crochet or knitting with an invisible stitch, step-by-step tutorial

  • Sisterhood Crochet Blanket pattern for square.

  • step-by-step pattern for Sisterhood Crochet Blanket square. Makes crocheting this pattern a doddle for beginners!

  • step-by-step tutorial for some basic crochet stitches

  • Tara's failsafe cup cake sponge recipe

  • knitted slipper pattern

blogs I read

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I like having people to tea too, much more civilized than endless shopping and cooking for dinner and being worn out before you sit down to eat. Love your china and the beautiful cloth and those cakes look amazing. Karenx

Betty Anne

Such a fun post -- gave me a happy smile : )


Macaroons, yum! Pleasenlet us know what recipe he used - they look superb! x

kitschen pink

I was about to attempt a supermarket shop (a nocturnal activity during the long summer holiday) but seeing that you have sat down for a glass of cold wine made me have second thoughts- think I'll do the same! Just got that yummtious book from the library - I'm fancying a Brooklyn Blackout Cake!! t.xx


I'm quite envious of your life. It all seems so serene. You have a job you love, and you don't even have to leave the house, a husband who does all the cooking, two lovely well behaved dogs. Yes, I'm jealous!


Oh Vanessa I thought the tattoo was yours and real..yes I'm easily fooled. I think you should have a tattoo of a little crochet have a beautiful garden, it looks so tranquil. I too love the tablecloth, how I wish I'd kept all my Grandmother's embroidery but she died when I was in my teens and I was too young to appreciate it then sadly.


Yes, Vanessa, I missed you yesterday as I am so used to your cheery voice every day of the week. Glad it was for love of your work. Being able to concentrate so deeply is just wonderful. The tea party is just a great way to entertain leisurely and your table was so very pretty.


Well the genteel life for me it definitely is not for two thirds of the year. Life in a busy Year 3 classroom cannot possibly be genteel :D However, come the holidays I like nothing better ...... peaceful, unhurried, gentle and relaxed. You are very lucky to be able to work in that environment too! Your cakes look amazing! I'd like to come to tea :D Ros


what a lovely post - makes me want to make scones and have a cream tea!! have just spent entire afternoon making jam - plum, and also damson! Hugo's cake looks amazing!
i think a cupcake tattoo would be lovely!



Sounds lovely Vanessa - I love afternoon tea too and often have it with my 2-year-old. We even use a proper bone china tea set! I did miss your update yesterday but today's tempting pictures have made up for it a little :o)


I like Hugo's tattoo, spray-on or not! Some wine sounds lovely right about now--mind if I join you?


What a lovely post. The picture of the macaroons reminded me of something I could get in NZ - they look very scrummy!

Can I come to tea please? :-)


what a great idea, I would much rather have a tea party than a dinner party, I find them so stressful...I think my tatoo would be a ball of wool....but where would it be?????


Hooray, you're back, I missed you not posting yesterday! Lovely photos in this Vaness, they had me drooling all over the place. I've only made the cookies so far in the Hummingbird Bakery book and they are amazing. Seriously, I have lots and lots of cookery books and these cookies are the works and everyone who has munched them has agreed! Ok, got a bit carried away there. Loving the cloth, the china, the cakes (all good things start with "C" - champagne, chocolate, crisps, chips, cookies) well, just loving everything. However, it does remind me that I forgot about some cake stands I was watching on eBay yesterday, damn! The garden looks amazing, too.
However!!! My jaw fell open when the tattoo came on as I have a complete sense of humour failure around tattoos, I just do not get them at all. Thank goodness Hugo was only joking because otherwise, I was going to have to take him down off the pedestal I have him on!
Hen xxx


I love your genteelness being accompanied by a skull tatoo! It almost matches my little girls one from yesterday x


Seeing those cakes and macaroons has made me crave some....send some over!


Loved the gentle humour in this post. As delicious as the cakes.......x


Scrumptious! Loved the carrot cake story, made me laugh.

Suzy's Vintage Attic

Hello Vanessa
Love your posts, so enjoyable to read. The cake & macarons look so professional! I too have a sweet tooth so would no doubt have enjoyed what you ate...The scarf is coming along beautifully!
I love the presentation, really adds to making an afternoon tea more special and enjoyable. I am a BIG fan of afternoon teas!
Isabelle x


What a coincidence about the Hummingbird Bakery cake! One of my colleagues made the peanut butter this week and they were SOOOO nice!! She brought the book in for me so I could have a look, and my eyes fell on the cheesecakes, definitely have to try either the chocolate or banana one very soon indeed!!!

Anna-Karin, Sweden

Lovely cakes! Here in Sweden, we don't have afternoon tea, we have more like three o'clock coffee. It really looks wonderful!!
My kids (2 boys, 5 and 9 years of age) often have these spray-on and sticker-tattoos :-)
Anna-Karin xxx


It all looks totally YUMMY :) I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Mrs Bun

How do you correctly address a genteel lady I wonder? Certainly not by name as far too informal. So dear lady blog writer I'm very happy to see your gorgeous cups out again. Icecream colours make me happy. Cake stand - well I'm jealous of your two tier job. That cake looks so huge it must have been quite intimidating sitting there between the two of you. Anything from that book tastes great though.

Eldest Bun has Matthews Rice's tattoo book. They are pretty realistic sailir ones. We were covered in them a while back. The Bun's put a few on me. Tne small red heart on my wrist caused a very raised eyebrow from an aquaintance as she thought it was real. Didn't tell her about my desire for a real one.

That peaceful scene of cakes, garden and crochet looks good by the way. Another week and a bit and it will be mine for the first time in seven weeks. Hurrahh.

Have a great bank holiday weekend Vanessa.

Lisa x

The Curious Cat

ooo is there a recipe for the macaroons?! xxx

Nina - Tabiboo

Mmmmmm cake - I am literally drooling over this post!

I think afternoon tea and elevensee's go hand in hand and I'm all for resurrecting both - rather!! Though I know my hips would refuse profusely!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Nina x

Isabelle (France)

How special to have a husband who bakes delicious cakes just for you!!
I love afternoon tea, that is one of the very special things about your country. I'm missing it already!
Isabelle x


glad you are back today,love your tea set and cake stand. Would Hugo like to give my husband some lessons in cake baking? Your garden looks beautiful.


Yummy!!! The macaroons look amazing but the carrot cake too! I've been thinking about buying the hummingbird book and I think after reading this post I am decided! lol...


Ohhh that carrot cake is just asking to be dived into. I think I would be on the side of the ladies in the office - carrot cake is my all time favoute! Ummm, num, num.

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Hello and welcome!

  • 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.

Books I have illustrated!

  • The Best Gift of All

  • Book and dvd,(narrated by Kevin Whateley), of Bringing Down the Moon

  • There's a House Inside My Mummy

  • The Magic Donkey Ride

  • Down in the Woods at Sleepytime

  • Dear Tooth Fairy

  • Dear Mermaid

  • No Place Like Home

  • Diamond in the Snow

  • Bringing Down the Moon