contact me at

my etsy shop


  • 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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You've suckered me in! I'm off to buy primulas tomorrow! I've resisted but you've pushed me over the edge!


Spring is my favourite season. so pretty, not too hot yet not too cold and I adore primulas etc.

I am looking forward to seeing the end result of your knitted dress. I just love the colour!

I hope you have a great weekend and that you enjoy the meal Hugo is going to cook for you all. Lucky you!


I love the Cath Kidston "Provence" print too, it's so pretty. Your primulas are beautiful, but aren't they always! :)
Vivienne x


Hello Vanessa,
Thanks for calling, I always appreciate it when you do as I know how busy you are, spreading colour as you do.
I think spring flowers, as a collection must be my favourites too. They bring colour just when it's needed.
I used to buy magazines all the time, but don't anymore as they just got too expensive.
I think you're marvellous for knitting a dress. I've been knitting a scarf for a year or two and it's only in garter stitch! I did some today as it's nearly finished and think I should really complete it, but I'm disappointed to say the tension isn't even. I suppose that's to be expected if I don't knit regularly. Still I'm hoping noone will notice when it's draped around my neck!
Have a great weekend, I bet the food was glorious.


I love primulas but auriculas are my favourites.If you did a painting of one I would buy it.Please do.
You have a great weekend too.


hi vanessa,

another glorious post with loads of colour and insights as well. love the primulas, so cheerful and beautiful.
i can absolutely relate to admiring beautiful things and folding pages in catalogues....part of
the pleasures of life... nothing wrong in liking something and wanting it....for me very often its not need but just the nice warm feeling that a beautiful thing gives me and if i do get it at some point of time , to keep sneaking looks at it and hugging myself in delight that i own it and can look at it anytime. dunno if any of that makes sense!!
lov ethe way ur dress is shaping up. the colour combi drove me mad enuff to go an d hunt for it at my lys!!thk u.
anyway off to more mundane duties i go..hope u hada wonderful eve . havea terrific weekend and we will meet monday.


Wendy Rhys Jones

Hello Vanessa, What a lovely blog (as usual!)Thank you for making me smile and injecting a cold,sleety evening with a blast of colour. I am also off to buy some Primulas tomorrow!!!!!, pehaps you will have the same effect as Delia when she mentions some ingredient and everyone rushes out to buy it and the shops run out!!! Your dress looks amazing, the colour is fabulous, can't wait to see the finished product... modelled by you maybe??? Have a lovely evening and weekend, love Wendy {:0) xx

Kate Bruning

I love when the beginnings of our season are full of such different expectations. After a long, long, long hot and humid summer, we are finally having cooler nights and crisp mornings. Heaven, so nice to not be red and sweaty for a portion of the day. I am soooo excited that soon our colour will be from the leaves - we will be down having a massive road trip around the South Island for the most autumny party of Autumn!!! Hope you are well, my god those stripy scarves have sent me loopy. Boden is r rated. Love Kate xxooxxooxx.


Such lovely photos, Vanessa, thank you, you've inspired me to take my Cath K catalogue to bed for a spot of virtual shopping in a minute. I've already done my "virtual Boden shop" where I place a disgraceful amount of items in my online basket then see the total and end up buying nothing because I can't narrow down want I need/want! Well, it's so lovely to hear your money goes on things for me. Then again, I feel a bit guilty - so I hope you know how much I appreciate it, from the gifts themselves, to the wrappings, the tags (oh the tags!) to the thought behind it all. Well, I am waffling, it's a bit late after all and I have an early start tomorrow! The only thing I've done in our awfully messy garden is plant up some primulas, rather like yours, in the two pots outside the front door. They are just the essential blast of colour I need. Look forward to seeing them in your paintings. My faves are the ones with the different coloured inner rings, I think.
Have a lovely weekend, my friend; Hugo and the doggies too.
Hen xxx


I think you are right to buy flowers and window shop all the other desirable things in catalogues. Just looking can be inspirational, like checking out other blogs, costs nothing, gives you ideas even if its just the ideas of tidying up and admiring what you have. Have a lovely colourful weekend.


I know what you mean about not being able to just buy what one wants! Recently retired I am acutely aware that my income has to stretch a lot further than it could before - even though before I lived on the same amount and saved the balance in preparation for the retirement!

My son gave me the Sarah Raven book for my last birthday and it is just great. I searched all over for the specific seeds and bulbs she grows - and then discover her own catalogue and website which sell ALL the seeds, plants and bulbs - and often more cheaply than those I bought - oh well!

I love the summer scarves but they make me too hot. But those lime green trainers, now those I could really go for!


I've been leafing my way lustfully through the Sarah Raven catalogue too. I've decided to go all out for zinnias and dahlias this year completely over the top. I adore the scent of sweet peas, but I'm never very successful growing them. I love this time of year for all my favourite spring flowers, and yes, how we need colour! Have a lovely weekend, Penny x (Planet Penny)


Ooooh what beautiful images Vanessa, can't wait to see your primulas painting. I know it will be just delicious.

Now this maybe a bad thing to bring to your attention, so be warned. I too was lusting after a stripey Boden scarfe, in the full knowledge that I simply cannot afford one, when I strolled into Peacocks the other day. Joy of joys they have an identical red version for the princely sum of £6! I couldn't resist, I bet you're made of stronger stuff but if not I thought I'd let you know where you might find a not too expensive treat for yourself! Have a lovely weekend.


yipee!! the old vanessa is back!!! lots of lovely colours and bags of enthusiasm for life in general - just what i needed when it's pouring with rain here
you should be available on the NHS
love gill xx


Just found your blog, it is wonderful. So happy with such color and wonderful "things". Will be back for sure!


Hello from another primula fan. I also think that they are wonderful subject matter for painting/drawing, besides just being truly beautiful on their own. They haven't yet started appearing for sale here ... maybe after our current deep snow melts a bit!

The knitting for that dress is so well done. I can see that having consistent tension will be mandatory for that project!

Lucky you to have Hugo and his great chef abilities. Lucky Hugo to be near you!

What you write about shopping is somewhat similar to my own thoughts on the matter. Since entering into the retail field eight years ago, and advancing to be a shop manager, I find that my own shopping has greatly diminished. "Shopping" has turned into a totally different experience. I'm much more interested now in how other shops do their visual merchandising, what the seasonal colors and shapes might be ... all sort of theoretical. I rarely buy anything.

Best wishes. xo

Julia Davies

Ooooh - I loved all the colour on your latest blog - just what is needed at the end of winter.
And I could see why you were hankering after the scarf, shoes and cardigan...the colours worked so well together. One day....


Just love the colour hits in this post - what a rich, floral riot! Glad the knitting's coming on!


Hello Vanessa

My goodness I do exactly the same thing as you! Isn't it nice to dream though, to feast upon this delicious eye candy!! And I agree, shoes, scarves and cardigans are more or less a staple in life, like bread or potatoes - only prettier of course!! :)

Julia x x x


The dress is looking lovely isn't it ?
I have a Boden and a CK catalogue with similar folded down pages where I am trying not to buy something, although I am telling myself if I don't buy the dress I saw in town it would be ok to buy the Boden one...really I know I shouldn't buy either...
As for magazines, I know that I could buy a book for the same price, and a book wouldn't make me want to spend lots of money on redesigning my bedroom, however their shiny, glossy pages just pull me in !
I enjoyed your blog today
love Louise x


Vanessa, it is hard to resist sometimes. I have just about weaned myself off buying glossy magazines. I subscribe to two, and look forward to receiving them every month. I'm sure if you put your beautiful paintings in your Etsy shop, they would all sell. That may give you some extra cash for the odd treat. I look forward to Monday's post, to see what lovely things you have been up to.

Stephie @ narrativeself

Vanessa, you do make me laugh!!! (In the nicest possible way of course!) Don't you realise that what you're looking at in those magazines is exactly what you have already - and that if your own home was in a magazine it would be everyone else that would be turning down the corners to go back to for inspiration :) Hope your weekend was a colourful one. Stephie x

Karen Williams

I found you thru Attic24 and how lovely of you to share. Thank you. I absolutely must find out where to find the quilt or fabric on the top left of the cluster of 4 photos of possibly magazine pages you show. It is a quilt, top left that is red pink and I see a daisy too. I tried to search under Cath Kidston to no avail. Are you able to help me out and let me know where I might find that item. thanks karen




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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