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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

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Val Reaves

Oh Vanessa,..It's not warm enough for flowers here, yet, so I so enjoy your pictures. I have two dogs as well, and they are so-o-o-o happy when I return. They miss their masters so! Love their pictures.. Have fun tonight.
Val :-)


Have fun tonight! So sorry about your flowers losing their colour. Perhaps a bit of feed will help? Not sure.
Have a good weekend.


No idea on the flowers, but I am sure someone clever and super knowledgable will be along. I love the abstracts, are you going to pop any in your shop?

Magic Cochin

Have a lovely time at the comedy gig - hope you both laugh your stripy socks off!

Are your primulas indoors? They need cool temperatures and lots of light to give them the strong colours.

Hope your little dogs don't cry too much while you're out - I'm sure they'll get loads of cuddles when you get home.

Know what you mean about paper... hope you find the one that's just right :-)


Goodness, I can't believe that flowers would do that. How incredibly weird! (but interesting - I wonder if you will ever find out why?) Doggies certainly can howl when left to themselves - I visit an elderly couple of ladies with a little dog and even if one goes out he huffs and sighs until she comes back. Once I was left to dog sit and he was not at all happy bless him. He also howls at one of the telephones - for some reason he does not like it at all. But your two have got each other to cuddle up to! I hope you really enjoy your show tonight and have fun.
Siobhan xx


poor doggies! but they do know they are loved and trust you will return. they have each other for company too, much better than being a lone doggie when the folks are out.
primulas were originally pale flowers and they do tend to revert back. your rescued one is bloomin' lovely :o)
wishing you a happy and relaxed weekend xxx



Could the primulas have changed their colour due to a change in the pH of the soil - I know this affects Hydrangeas, but it's only a guess.
Hope you have a great night, and I'm sure the doggies will be fine!


Sun. Your flowers need sun.


Hope you had a lovely time, and I know first-hand that sad doxie face. =(


Hope you enjoyed the show. Lovely mosaics. Our newest greyhound has a tendency to whine. We haven't left him for very long though. Daren't in case he howls the place down, and he has the company of the other 3 dogs!


Very perplexing about the primulas! So vampire insects around that might be sucking the color out of them?

Enjoy your comedy show and weekend!


I do sympathize with your fading primulas. In my light-challenged apartment, even when I do buy the brilliant primroses from the farmers greenmarket, I know that their hues will "evolve" withing four days.

This makes me wish for a garden or at least for a window that gets good light. Not to be. Though dreamed of.

It's very interesting to read about the paper that you use for your watercolor painting. I do like the Arches HP Satine finish. I don't know about the paper you mentioned, and will have do some investigating.

Have a grand weekend. Hoping the show will be lots of fun. xo


I got some hyacinths that never bloomed properly and was told they weren't in a sunny enough room. I hope your colour comes back!

Aw, your dogs, those are the cutest faces ever! I love their mouths.


A special hello to you and the darling dogs, adorable photos, I wish I could just reach right through my screen now and give them each a little pat ...
Snowy has totally crashed under my computer table after too much fun at the park with three other Westies and a handsome sheepdog called Sam.
Did you know there is a super powdered plant food called Phostrogen which is just wonderful for flowers - and it comes in a pretty orange box ... actually I should probably be feeding my tomato plants some right now, Happy Weekend from Barbara :)


it's quite likely that your flowers were artificially dyed when you bought them. Feed them with a drop of food colouring and they'll perk up :)

Janice Perkin

hope you have a good laugh!


hey ladies!

i just wanted to tell you i am having a little giveaway now on my blog, so check it out if you like! ;-)

xoxo trine


Hi, just to say I adore your blog, I have just spent a lovely time looking through your blog and and so enjoyed hearing and seeing your loves ,life and passions, and can,t beleave how much we have in common! I will be popping back ,and look forward to your future posts! best wishes.


I hope the laughter at the show has made you forget about your poor primulas.... and left you on an up note for the weekend...



They're beautiful no matter which color they are!
And your puppies are adorable!


try the plant food....might do the trick. Love your blog by the way.


Hi Vanessa,
Hope you had a good weekend and the comedy proved comical. I have an image now of the doggies howling away pending your return! The primulas outside my front door are also doing some whacky things colourwise, I really should take a photo so we can compare!
Love Hen xxx

Barbara Pankhurst

Hi Vanessa, looking forward to your next post - Yes my polyanthus did exactly the same and went from striking bright colours to pale peaches and pinks, I put a couple back outside in the garden and they seem to have their colour back so I guess they need cold and strong light ?
Barbs P


how funny, poor little primulas, they look like they need a good dose of spring sunshine to cheer them up. Hope the comedy show was good and hope the doggies didn't mope without you too much, poor darlings!


It could be one of three things affecting your poor pale flowers.
1. The pH of the soil is too alkaline. Buying some soil with a lower pH should brighten them up.
2. They need more sun.
3. They were coloured when in the shop. (As said above, add a couple of red food colouring drops to them. (This also works if you cut white flowers, and add some colouring to their water! ;))

Poor doggies to be left alone! Mean mummy and daddy! Haha!

Much love xx


Hi I have been following your blog for quite some time now, loving the colours, photos & the knits. I found it by pure chance by googling in some random knitting words. I love knitting although I dont do it nearly enough (I love all forms of craft like weaving,crochet painting etc). Although I have joined I am yet to get my act into gear lol, & actually create more than just a plain knit blanket a dress would be superb! I dream when I look at some of your artistry I especially love the 40s design dress you are knitting what a dream (gasp) I have always wanted to knit myself a dress & the one you are knitting is wonderful. Anyhow I just wanted to share my pure delight at us sharing the same name ancestry in looking closely at the painting I your saw your full name. I always knew you were Vanessa but I didnt know you were a Cabban. Just like me well not me exactly but my grandmother Its funny what you find by chance I have heard of your books but didnt know it was you funnily enough. from one Cabban to another I want to say hello & very lovely to sort of meet you lol, & keep up to lovely ideas its a pleasure reading them ;p Ciao

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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