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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hi vanessa
glad you're finding time to knit with all the work, work, work going on (and choccy eating of course!!)
enjoy knitting group tonight
gill xxx


Well, the spoils from your praline noshing have made your photos even more vibrant and beautiful than usual. Little P is sitting on my knee. When I clicked on your blog she said 'Oh! Pretty colours.' I asked her which picture she liked best 'all of them' she said. I tend to agree Vanessa.


Belated Happy Easter!

I know exactly what you mean about saving the foil - the colours are as yummy as the chocolate - and especially so next to your paints and the (gorgeous) tulips. I'm envious!

I know it must be different when it's your job but, gosh, in my eyes you're so lucky to get the time for painting. It's something I love but only get time for very, very rarely - so reading your blog is like a peep into a dream world. Don't work work work too hard!


The dress will look beautiful on you. Glad you enjoyed your Easter chocolate - I enjoyed mine, too!


I feel like I haven't commented for aaages! I kept meaning to and then got distracted with things like unpacking and going to work.
So, hello! Your egg wrappers are so pretty, are they from M&S? They have such gorgeous egg wrappers.
Have fun at your knitting group tonight. I went to one for the first time last night (I hooked) and it was good :)


oh so pretty wrappers xxx yummy

Janice Perkin

what a busy pair you are - take care


Hi Vanessa,
Your blog has really cheered me up after what i can only describe as a bum week really. I went to see my Mum in hospital in Leeds on Monday (1 & 1/2 hours journey) when i got to Leeds i had a puncture!! over an hour late for visiting! It was a 4inch BOLT in the tyre!! Then i go over today & find ward closed for the weekly big clean!! The notice on the door is v obscure, i wasn`t the only one to think that either. So a bit fed up, so your blog was just the tonic i needed.
Love Carole from Rossendale xxxxxxxx


All those colours just say SPRING! I love it! Your Hugo is such a gem too...
Don't get too tired, love Penny xxx

Kate Bruning

You will look like an angel - I am sure of it. I have been thinking of you down here in the south island with all of the patterned pebbles. You would love it. We are off to Wanaka today and I am feeling very sorry for Jonno saying goodbye to his big brother. They only see eachother every year or so (if they are lucky) and they really are best friends. It is so beautiful down here my knitting is progressing very slowly as there is so much mountain gazing to do. Lots of love, Kate (your greedy friend) xxooxxooxx.


I'm sure your knitted dress will look gorgeous on you! All your other knits do!
From another foil saver
Rachel x

Aubrey Cotton-Stapleton

I am sure you will look wonderful in your new dress too, I find it hard to believe that any-one could knit a whole dress in 4 ply and I would think the smaller the knitter,the better! Not so much knitting!! The wrappers look divine!! I always used to do that and am sure still have some squirrelled away to be useful for SOMETHING!!!! However the thought of so many wrappers means so much chocolate....I am very envious as I would be the size of 2 houses if I ate so much! Maybe Hugo ate some? I think husbands are wonderful how they can make frames, and anything else to support their wives in whatever they are doing. Love Aubrey...and Happy Painting, Eating and Knitting!


oh Vanessa, you have the sweetest posts. sounds like your dear hubby is a very sweet person too. my goodness, you have been working very hard indeed. i think you need all the chocolate fuel you can get.
i too collect pretty coloured wrappers, they seem to lovely to throw away. i keep wondering what to do with them, hoping for some brilliant inspiration.
i have been watching your knitting over recent posts and it's coming on a dream. i do hope you will be pleased with the end result.
thank you so much for having such a gorgeous, wonderful to visit blog xxx




Hello Vanessa! I am tired after a long day at the shop, and just left a cheery message in praise of all you posted ... and hit some unknown key and it all disappeared.

Gosh, what was it that I wrote? I know I mentioned loving the colors and crinkly angles of those choc egg wrappers you are saving.

I know that I wrote about how much I do like the dress that you are nearly completing, and that I wish that I could find more time right now to either knit or crochet. The shop is doing so well in our NYC warm spring, but is stealing away too much of the free time I do cherish.

Looking forward to seeing your next post. Those kniting evenings must be such fun.



LOL your choccie eating mess looked like mine!! Restraint is not a word in my chocolate vocabulary ;-)

Magic Cochin

I think I need a new knitting/stitching project as an antidote to the work work work. It's that freelance mentality isn't it - a job on the desk is the only one that's real. And it's hard to turn down a job...

Those flowers are so cheery. And you know what? My Grandma used to collect coloured foil from all her friends. Then in the autumn she'd go gleaning oats - picking the rogue oats out of the farmers' wheat fields. She dried the stalks of oats then wrapped each oat seed in coloured foil making pretty spangley coloured decorations to sell at the chapel Christmas bazaar.



I agree, how awful to spend so much time, effort and money on knitting something only to find when it's done it's simply 'not you'. I gave up knitting for myself more years ago than I care to remember, as knitted items tend to make me look like I have a badly upholstered sofa up my jumper. Handknits are often very unforgiving, clinging where perhaps some of us don't want to be clung to any more. You need to be slim but with curves in the right places I think. Looking forward to seeing yours though, the dress that is, not the curves! Oh, and here's a thought.... that gorgeous foil paper you are saving? Well, I understand that little horde only too well as I did the same. Then I made a large papier mache bowl, painted it deepest blue, and then pasted the foil squares of paper all over, randomly, and finished off with a coat of clear varnish. That was ten years ago, and the bowl is still beautiful... I might be biased of course!


I particularly enjoyed these pictures because they have my favourite flowers - tulips! I also keep shiny chocolate wrappers, they're so pretty. I suppose I imagine I'll use them in an amzing collage one day. Until that day they get stuck with a gluestick into my sketchbook where they can be enjoyed all over again!xx


Happy Easter! Glad you got to enjoy some lovely chocolate and some lovely flowers too - sounds like you've had to do a lot of work recently, but glad to hear that Hugo is taking good care of you. Looking forward to the big reveal!


I found your blog today. Love the dress, love your crochet, love your painting!

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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