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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

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Loved your post today.Paintings and photographs.great.I also live in a part of the country which is not overpopulated(N Wales).We are so lucky to have all this countryside around us.
I have just looked in your Etsy shop but it is empty.When can I buy?

Janice Perkin

loved todays post - always enjoy seeing Hugo and the dogs in that order!! - hope you are feeling better - take care



hello again. another lovely post cld almost imagine the beach as iread ur account!! u r an artist in every sense of the word!!

been working on those lil s quares feverishly s much so that the hall is littered with them as my lil princess plays about wit them. asa crochet novice i think i doin ok all thks to u!! thk u again. knitting has alwas beena passion but crochet a bugbear!
ur latest painting is shaping p great, i agree with u that the extra work put in it looks even better!!
do let us know on wed about ur progress, wont u?
see u soon

jane smallcombe

Hi Vanessa

Hope you're feeling better and your dizzy spells have subsided.

I was in Berwick last week - we had a break in Beadnell and travelled by train form Berwick to Edinburgh - a bit of a spur of the moment decision. We spent the morning in Berwick and arrived back early evening.

It was funny because when we returned, we walked into the town and passed a wool shop where it looked like an event was taking place. I wondered whether it was your knitting group but didn't have the confidence to knock at the door!! Maybe next time!

Jane x


I prefer your painting as it is now - with the depth that the water and the island adds to it.

You make me want to go to the beach! I'm jealous of your proximity to the beach. I am currently living in the dead centre of the country which unfortunately means that it is the most landlocked. Bah!


I've done half a term on 'learning drawing and painting', good fun. What do you do your paintings on? I have done some on paper, but in is all crinkly, what do you use so they go on the wall nicely?

I like your pictures very much. I can't wait to be able to do some of my own.


I enjoyed the walk Vanessa. I miss those deserted beaches you talk of. We lived quite close to one of them in the south part of Northumberland.
I love the photo of Ellie, I think you did well to get it.
Love the finished painting too.


Hello Vanessa

I love the photo of your little dog peeping through the tube there - sorry, I mean telescope!! Your painting is great, I like the depth that the background has created, and I also wanted to write how much I enjoyed your previous post too, the colours were really inspiring!

With love
Julia x x x


I love the telescope stems with Hugo and Ellie looking down them. What great shots!!! Love the painting too! x


Oh, I love it all...the beach, the painting, the dogs....


No, you haven't ruined the painting Vanessa - I agree that the final version looks finished and definitely has more substance. It's lovely!


Hi Vanessa,
Oooh, it looked chilly in those photos, I hope you snuggled up in front of the wood burner when you got home. V pretty though, all the same. Loving the shot of Ellie, the perfect model doggie, though I think Hugo's photo with that colourful scarf is probably best. Good to see you painting anemones, such lovely flowers and in a suitably lovely painting. I think I still like the one that had the cat looking at the birdbath best (of course, I am biased to cats!) but I think it was that stripey reel of string I loved most, must have taken you ages of painstaking brush strokes. Always looking forward to see what you do next...
Hen xxx

Mrs Bun

I got called away before I could leave a message on your last gorgeous post. A very essential hit of colour.

The lack of colour is simply wonderful too though. Amazing photos, obviously a lot there to inspire you.

Lisa x


Think you are right about the painting. The second one definitely looks more 'complete'. Lovely paintings, photos, dogs, etc. Really inspiring.


Hi there,
The plant may have been giant hogweed. I remember getting lectures at primary school about it and it was described as being like giant cow parsley and is found on river banks. The reason we got the lectures was to warn us against playing with it as it can be quite harmful, if you google it you'll see what I mean. Perhaps it's more dangerous in the summer than at this time of year.
Lovely photos of your walks though, and it's great to feel the warmth coming back into the sun a little and so nice that it stays light more and more each day.

Lorraine Tarr

I Spy with My Little Eye...two precious pooches and one handsome hubby (looking resplendent in his colourful stripy scarf)
Loving those wellies too :-)
How homely the woodburning stove sounds - perfect to cosy up and set the needles flying. Hope you didn't nod off - I probably would've.
The island in your painting is giving me ideas for my hols this year - think a nice Greek Island will do the job -oooh sunshine - bring it on!!! xx


So much fun to go on your walk with you!


Vanessa, it's grand to see that you are feeling better and very much up for a glorious walk.

(I do think that you have added to that painting, and that the results are fine.)

I'd also like to say that I very much like the looks of those stone walls. There is something about something from nature like those beautiful stones, being fitted together by some human, at some time ... whenever that time might have been. And then, nature again asserts herself. Quite beautiful, and very inspriring to artists for ages.

Well, what else might I write ... oh yes, know that before long you will be knitting again. xo

Kate Bruning

What a moment of beautiful peace in my day of frightfulness and horror (a little boy at the dentists and one of the first times he has ever just given up). Right now I am trapped upstairs desperate for a cup of tea (long story) so you post has given me the emotional shot I need. I love the colours bright and quiet.


Hello Vanessa. Yes, it is very cold again isn't it? Lovely pics today, but i really want to see how the knitting is progresing please! xx


I enjoyed that walk with you, hope it was less slippery underfoot than the one I did at the weekend. I know what you mean about wanting the colour, but then when you look a the 'white ' pictures there is the sea glass, and the lichen. Really beautiful. And the dogs! What little characters! love Penny x (Planet Penny)

kitschen pink

You brought the painting to life! Beautiful. Love the wall pictures. Pure, unadulterated craftsmanship! Down here we have lots of flint walling. I especially love the knapped flint walls - we have lots of pictures of those! t.x


What a lovely, cheerful post. Thank you!
No, you have not ruined your picture. It is so lovely. I like your style of painting very much.


What a lovely walk! Love the shot of Ellie peeping through the tube, so cute!
Rachel x

The Girl

That picture of Ellie is adorable!! Loving the look of Hugo's scarf as well.


What a cutie little Ellie is! I enjoyed going for a walk while keeping nice and warm at the same time. I bet it was just a little bit bracing - v good for you and beats the gym hands down I think. Snow and frost may not be colourful but it brings its own beauty doesn't it? (That's before it all turns to slush of course!) Lovely photo's - totally capturing the chilly crispness of winter; especially love the trees. I love trees so much; in the winter we get to see the bare shapes which are just so intriguing and of course we have the major beauty of Spring just around the corner. I can't wait for all that pretty blossom everywhere. You are right about the cars in London - thousands of them everywhere!
I think you were right to go on with your painting - I love its richness of colour and now it has even more depth to it; its beautiful! Nice to see Hugo wearing his colourful scarf too, it suits him.


What a lovely walk. How cute are your dogs!!!
Vivienne x


Oh I'd love to more of his scarf! What is the pattern, looks simple but classic, the colors wonerdful!


Love the bit of glass? and the boot shot...all the nature pictures...just LOVELY! :)


I like your painting but prefer the more relaxed edge on the first. I love your mosaics, (I wish I could do them, but can't get it to work!!!) the one of the stone walls is just fabulous. Can you make some cards pleaseeeeeeee!!!!!


Lovely post Vanessa. My goodness Ellie is a real supermodel..she's Gorgeous!

xxx Sumea


going back over your blogs Vanessa and I love the contrast between the colour and the walks. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing :-)

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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