contact me at

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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

blogs I read

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jane smallcombe

Gorgeous - I adore your 'vibrant colour posts'!


Jane x


Hi Vanessa,
Gorgeous post, the colours are truely uplifting you are so right.

Love Carole from Rossendale xxxx

Liz W

Happy flowers, Happy colors, Happy sugar mice for a gray day in the US Midwest. It's cooling down here - I love that part - but with it comes the gray more often than not. Thank you for the dose of pick-me-up.
Names? Well - I suppose there are lots of things with the name "Elizabeth" tagged to them (I know there's a rose somewhere) - but here's one - my daughter gave me my e-mail name, the first part of which is "ETQOE" which stands for "Elizabeth The Queen Of Everything". Now isn't that just fun?


beautiful pictures as always....just the job on this very dark monday evening!

Veronika / Lalomino

Love it! Bring on the colours Vanessa! And goooooo the potatoes!


beautiful colors


Thank you for that dose of colour. I feel a new woman!

Sue x

Alice and Raymond!!!

What a lovely post Vanessa!!! I had planned a post with some spring flowers I've been enjoying lately but they are nothing on your beautiful colourful artistically perfect photos!!! I just loved that and it's uplifted me even though the sky here is BLUE and the sun is shining like it's the middle of summer!
Thank you for the knitting love!!! I'm quite excited by this progress and have been "skill-building" like never before ha ha ha
The Count has recovered from Halloween.... the cape was my only tribute to the festivities too! Apparently he won "best costume" downstairs and whooped all those kids butts in the costume competition YEAH!!!!!
Lovely to have a dose of Vanessa-goodness as usual!


I am sure the 'like Desiree' must add to your name... desiree must have something ti do with 'desirable' and I am sure Hugo would think so! I think it is very desirable to read your beautiful posts. And very desirable to see your gorgeous colours, they feed our souls I am sure, definitely medicine to be absorbed, even by osmosis. I don't think there are too many names with mine in it. I know there was a song millions of years ago 'and Aubrey was her name' ...and there is a street in these count? Love Aubrey


gorgeous colours - they would be perfect for silverpebbles flickr group splash of colour in winter. I have a tess of the dubervilles rose in my garden, she's flowering away, despite it being November now!


Those flowers look so bright & cheerful! Just beautiful!


COLOR and SUNSHINE are my sovereign remedies for that dull no-energy state. :P I feel exactly what you feel as the days get shorter. I have to sit in front of my bank of full-spectrum lights on these short fall days.


:) Linda


Thank you SO MUCH for the color!!!! Just what the doctor ordered.

I have a particularly nasty hurricane named for me (Katrina). I was kind of excited about it at first, but then it took out half of New Orleans...


The colors are beautiful. It's a gray, rainy day here. I feel the same way about these dark days, but I recently read about a woman who LOVES days like this. She calls them cozy and perfect for knitting and a cup of tea--so I'm trying to change my attitude. My name is Betsy-not too much that goes with that unless you count the people who name their cows, cars or guns Betsy! :-) Happy November

Puppet Lady

What an uplifting dose of brightness! Thank you for sharing. It's tough to stay energised when the nights draw in but you've certainly helped!


I certainly have needed some of your medicine today so thank you so much for the beautiful pictures. Winter looming has never had such a blues effect on me, colour brings such respite from the grey.
Penelope is an interesting greek name meaning faithfull and I often get called penelope pitstop, lady penelope and money penny! xox


On the note of names ...... I was called Victoria because I was born on 21st October, the anniversary of the Battle of Tragalgar, ..... Nelson or Victor weren't appropriate! Loving the colours although looking at them I am thinking Spring is on its way ..... x

Jenni at Baame Kniits

Lovely happy photos and I don't know if there would be that many sugar mice in my house....not for long anyway :-)

My name Jennifer is said to come from Guinevere, and that makes me think of King Arthur and his lady love....I'm a bit of a romantic at heart :-)

Veronika / Lalomino

Hi again Vanessa,
I wondered if I could ask for your advice...
I had an idea that I want to knit a scarf each for my friend and my sister for Xmas. (don't laugh, it's the only thing I CAN knit! :) )
Do you know where I could get nice quality but not terribly expensive really chunky yarn? Is there a good online shop? What brand would you recommend?
Thaaaaaaank you! :)


Thanks Vanessa, now we have no excuses - so much colour and flower power! Beautiful vivid colours. I haven't got a jar of buttons but I do have a whole bag of beads - lots of beauties that I was meant to string together and make beautiful jewellery with, they cheer me up from time to time too. Every home should have a button collection - my Grandmother had one in a vintage small quality street tin and hours of pleasure were had. I love all your fabric too - are you a secret stitcher or are they waiting for their moment? I remember you said before that you just liked to have them. I can understand that - so pretty! How fantastic to have your own potato, they are not all equal you know - I'm sure the Vanessa is one of the best! Nothing named after me I'm afraid. The dark nights used to bother me more but now I realise that by Christmas it starts bit by bit to get lighter again, so not so long. I would rather dark nights than (even) darker mornings; I would never get up!


Hello Vanessa,
my sky , here in the south of Italy is dark, thank you for all this color!!!


Oh Vanessa - this was just what I needed after 24 hours in hospital with DS3 (ko'd playing rugby!!)
You should be available on the NHS!
Gill xx

Erica K

I took my vitamin D too! :D But today, there is sun. Sun!

I love the photos...very happy indeed! I love the potato. I am a shrub. Heather, we call them here. But they are Erica. :) I also saw a definition once that said the undergrowth of a shrub. That's not as nice...


Most splendid, I am indeed cheered.


Simply love your blog, a crochet fan from Argentina. Sofia.


Such a beautiful post! Your medicine bottle is just what I needed today, as I am a bit under the weather. My eyes are happy now!


Vanessa, you've made me laugh with your references to a certain potato! I completely sympathize with you about finding time to do all that interests, encourages, amuses and maybe even enlarges us.

Grab minutes or if lucky, hours, when you can. I'm always considering myself lucky to have so many interests that propel me through the calendar, even if I cannot control the speed.



that worked for me! and no kidding! your very own potato! too jealous.....great post vanessa!


Hi Vanessa, So sorry, way behind with my blog reading, I've missed all the gorgeous color therapy! and such a cuddlesome strawberry baby! and those knitting patterns are superb, will keep them in mind for our next winter, oh and I do love your new labels, am trying to design one for myself and it's quite difficult ... Love Barbara


What a good idea - I love your medicine bottle!
My added name ingredient would be the Cathy Sweet Pea (although Cathy of Wuthering Heights fame rather than little old me!) It is a highly fragrant, large, pale yellow bloom and I am delighted to be associated with it! xx


Vanessa, we are on the same wavelength. I have another little spoonful of medicine for you - I've set up a colour project and a flickr pool for just this purpose - fending off winter greyness. If you visit over there your eyes might be cheered even more:

I do hope it helps

All best wishes


Judi A.

Love the idea of the medicine bottle and all the color was just the pick-up I needed on this, another gray day, here in my neck of the woods. Particularly love your jars of colorful buttons. :-) Once at a huge flea market I came across a small, toddler size, wooden shoe mold from ancient days. At the top of it was burned into it "JUDI." The friend I was with said, "You have to buy that!" and I instantly agreed. I go by "Judi"(Judith without the th) and it sits in a place in my sewing room where I see it every day and smile. :-)


Thanks for the injection of colour...I love those button jars. It's a bit grey here today, but yesterday we had sun all day and it got to 20 Celsius! Amazing!!


Thank you so much for this colour therapy. It is just what I needed in this period where it is getting dark outside (and inside too!).
Love the potatoe with your name. Don't know if there is anything with my name on it, don't really think there will be.
Happy knitting, Dorien

Planet Penny

Ping! That's better, just what I needed Vanessa. As for something with my name, I have a 'Penelope' rose in my garden which is very pretty but unfortunately in a rather subdued pastel peachy pink which really isn't me as I'm sure you will agree!
love Penny and Higgins xxx


Hi Vanessa, I've been a follower for ages and I just love your blog - so inspirational! I thought you may be interested in a yarn giveaway I am doing:

Feel free to enter if you're interested 8)


Love the photos, so cheery. I felt the need for some colour a while back. So enjoyed looking out some colourful pics. Hope you're enjoying your time away, but I'm thinking it might be work connected?


Gorgeous colour, what are sugar mice...sound so sweet and delicious, but look too sweet to eat. I love your blog, this is the first time i have said hello but have been peaking for a little while now. I love the tutorial for the blanket but need to hone my crochet skills first. I would love to pop back..sweet day x


Thank you for the color... it's just what I needed! : )


I have to say that evangeline is pretty special. you must be quite tickled to have been her creator.

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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