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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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« Elspeth Thompson. | Main | A browse through some new paintings. »



Good luck with the paintings, though I'm sure your customers will love them. I know I love the painting I bought from you. I would love to be able to paint, so I love seeing your paintings. Maybe someday, when I have more time!


The weather is just horrible, we've had snow!!!
Good luck with the paintings, although you won't need it, your work is great.
Vivienne :)


A very colourful and cheery blog, just what I needed when I've come in from shifting snow. Yes its back big style, where is spring.


Hello Vanessa!
15 months ago I was fortunate to go on a day's course with Sarah Raven and the first thing she taught us was how to condition flowers, to maximise their life.
* Firstly, leave them wrapped up as they come, in some water and leave them overnight.
* Secondly, arrange them into a very clean vase/container.
* Thirdly, add to the water, either an aspirin, a tiny bit of bleach or a copper coin.
* Fourthly, change the water every couple of days, remembering to add the aspirin/bleach/coin each time you do this!!
* Fifthly, move them somewhere cool each night before bed!!
Try it out, it really works!!
Looking forward to seeing your finished paintings, they look very beautiful.

Madelyn Rutherford

Good luck with the pictures. I just had my first sold at an auction benefiting the art council and Habitat.
Just curious what you all call the white flower in the photograph above? Saw it everywhere in England last fall, but it is different than our Queen Anne's Lace.

Val Reaves

I so enjoy your wishes with your commissions!
Val in Kansas


Snowing here today in north Wales!!Hope the reception goes well and I am sure they will love your paintings.I hope you have still got auriculas on your " to do list"!! Only joking.

Magic Cochin

You're spot on, publishers' commissions are water off a ducks back - some your win some you don't and all that. But a personal commission for a more personal piece of art is stressful and soul baring.

I think they'll love them - may even decide to buy two! I would ;-)

The wind and rain blew all the customers away from the gallery I help to run - I was cold and lonely for most of the day :-( In need of a cuddle from my furry studio assistants and a great big mug of tea.

Happy knitting Vanessa


lots of luck with your painting but i'm sure they will love them!

Kate Bruning

Yay, we have a bit of internet that we hooked into at my brother's and I am so glad as your paintings have brought so much colour to my frst morning of holidays. How will they not love your paintings???? Can't wait to hear how it goes. Love Kate xxooxxooxx.


I am sure they will love your paintings! But i will look forward to hearing about it.

I live in the middle of the country and we have been plunged back into winter too! Sigh!

Until Friday x


They will love the paintings you did for them - otherwise they would never have commissioned it. The colors you're working with in your weekend paintings are lovely!

We're finally getting warm, sunny, dry days on this side of the Atlantic - perhaps nicer weather is on its way to you, too!


Lovely to see your works in progress Vanessa and the beautiful flowers. I want to find such gorgeous frilly tulips to paint and love the variegated blooms favoured by Dutch old masters.


I always love your photos! The colors just make me happy! I hope the sun comes back out for you soon!

Katie Willow

I think they are absolutely bay...eautiful!

Also I did not know that with Skype you can see the person. oh how do I get this!!! ?

It was snowing when I went out two days ago xx I have had to stay in as I been poorly x

I have been doodling and painting a bit xx

Aubrey Cotton-Stapleton

I' m with the others, how could they not like your paintings! However if they don't they obviously do not have good appreciation of art or they are looking with their eyes closed! I love the flower jewels too, especially with the blue jug. Love Aubrey


Good Luck with your paintings Vanessa, they look beautiful!
Your photos always make me smile, so cheery!
Hope this weather improves soon! We need some sunshine for Easter!
Rachel x


Good luck with your paintings, Vanessa! We are having lousy weather here in New England as well. It's been raining for days! Lots of flooding in the area. But they are predicting warm sunny weather for the weekend! Happy Easter! Chris


Good luck with your commissions - I can understand your nervousness until you know their response.
It is great to see your progress on the knitted dress and I think it was a good idea to leave the stripey top until the last as it will be the most interesting bit - which should sustain you to the finish - Julia

mlle paradis

Looking forward to seeing it all V.!

So sad about E. Thompson. I did not know her work but I think everyone feels terribly helpless and bewildered when someone so lovely acts on their despair and leaves loved ones behind.

mlle paradis

p.s. thanks to Katie for the tips on flower preservation!


Your photos are so colorful and so cheery. Good luck with the painting; I think it's looking lovely.


Hi Vanessa, your blog is so beautiful...the colours so happy, yesterday it was pouring here and overcast and fairly miserable cheers me up to see happy colours and painting...thank you
Love, Heidi :)


We've woken up to bright sunshine today, but so windy and cold. We are escaping the snow so far in East Anglia. Those flowers are so cheerful and I can't wait to see the finished painting. Hope all goes well with your commissions, I know there isn't always a rhyme or reason with these things, lots of love Penny x


Hi Vanessa,
Oooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh if they don`t want your pictures, they must be nuts! I`ll have then, they will be gorgeous. The ones with the anemomes are just lovely. I just love , love ,love the way you paint. Watercolours are my favorite. I`d rifle through you waste paper bin and have one of your regections and have it framed, lol! You are sooo clever.Yes the weather here in the north west is rubbish too. What part of the north of England are you in?
Take care and good luck with the commissions.Love Carole in Rossendale xxxx


Hope all goes well with the paintings. This weather is horrible. Even here in the Midlands we had sleet and hail yesterday and it's so cold.
Love Skype, husband uses it to tutor pupils he still has in Surrey and I speak to my widower Brother-in-Law in Australia, so useful when you can actually see the person.


I love your paintings - could you advise how much they are and which ones are available please?

j k eells

I am sure that you have nothing to worry about, but have faith in yourself, I know it is difficult, but if someone does not like your work, perhaps they were looking for something different! what you do is wonderful it is from your heart and a huge number of people love it they are what counts.


Your new paintings are so lovely, and I especially like the pictures with all the colourful flowers and paint palettes, beautiful to see!

Julia x x x


i love that shade of pink! the one on your wall. i would like that colour for my bedroom, which is very much in need of decor.
all the rainy day blues have gone away now i've seen your lovely flowers and painting :o)

if i don't see you before (not sure what my plans are on friday) have a super easter weekend xxx

lots of love and warm hugs


i'm just going to have a bedtime hot cross bun...can't wait till the morning ;o)

jeff zapanta

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Rosie D

I love Ranunculus. And that picture really sums up why I love your blog (I've been lurking for months). Colour, colour, colour. Makes my heart sing whenever I look at it. Good luck with the paintings, and I look forward to seeing them.


Hello Vanessa, the blast of delicious colour in your little still lives here has cheered a dreary Friday. How would your painted commissions not go down well? They will receive rave reviews I am sure.

I read the girls 'There's no place like home' a day or two ago. I told eldest that sometimes I write to the lady who drew the pictures. She said 'Can I write to her Mummy?'


Hi Vanessa. I'm just waiting for something, anything, made by you to appear on the Etsy Shop so that I can snap it up. You have fabulous style and your blog cheers me up every time. Looking forward to hearing how you got on with those commissions. - Kathleen.


Hello Vanessa, I think my comment was just snacked on by the comment box. Your little still lives about your house are a joy to look at. Those anemones!

It's great to read that at least one set of commissions had rave reviews. I'm sure when the other lady recovers she will be overjoyed too. Those abstract pebble-like designs are very soothing to look at. I've been realxing whilst peeping at them.

I read 'No place like home' to the girls the other day. They loved it.

In other news our village daffodils are out, along with primroses we planted. It's cheered our village green no end. The ring of snowdrops and crocus under the conker tree were wonderful.

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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