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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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so why did I look at these gnomes and you popped into my head? Do you know Sally Mavors work. I love it.


Looked at your Open Garden photos and saw the delightful photo of Douglas in his master's bag! We too have a dacshund but a standard wire-coated. A bit like Douglas but bigger! I do like the wire-coated variety, they are full of character with lovely personalities.


Love your auricula and Ellie, both beauties xox


Lovely post again Vanessa! I love your paintings! I'm walking also often behind my dogs - every one has their own special and sometimes funny style! Hanna can walk like a camel and Nero is almost dancing!
So beautiful photos from the beach and Elli!
Wishes Teje

Planet Penny

Love the pictures and your painting could be Higgins, except he would be chasing the bird shouting 'I want to be your friend!'
I find however grumpy I am feeling, when I get behind Higgins on a walk and see his jaunty little trot with his tail held high, I can only smile. Especialy when he gives those little glances back at me as if to say, 'Aren't we having fun!'
I am in awe of your productivity by the way, paintings AND Papier Mache AND knitting AND blogging about it! Wow! lots of love, Penny and Higgins xxx


You are on one of my favourite beaches, I don't know how many times I have photographed my dog and boys playing there. And I Love Love your coining 'whizzends' from hence forth I shall also call them whizzends, you are right they just whizzzzzzzz by!


Your painting is beautiful - don't Dachshunds have their own unique little shape and character? Love how your eyes are drawn around the painting to look at everything. Really like the colours of the flowers - they are like juicy berries. Shadows can be hilarious, even a little worrying if we think we really look like our shadow. Fortunately we don't. That's a relief then! I love seeing dogs off the lead having fun - they get so excited whizzing about everywhere. And that's just in my local park. It must be amazing to have a beach nearby to experience in all weathers - I love the seaside on a blowy rainy day, it's so exhilarating. We are all going to need cheering up this winter I think, so your lovely sunny sunshine pictures will do just that! Mind you a white Christmas if we do have one will be rather special won't it?


The shadows are really great - never thought to look at these. Your little doggies turn into BIG flat bears on the sand.

I also love your painting - you are so productive; I remember you posting lots of photos of your paintings and I couldn't believe the number! Bright colours and nice forms, you have a gift.


This is a lovely painting - I really love auriculas but am not very good at growing them - they always seem to disappear from my garden! You have painted them beautifully here. I loved the dog shadows on the sand, they make such amusing shapes!
I hope you have a lovely week and enjoy your papier mache. Helen x

Liz W in Missouri, USA

Lucy sends a fond "arf, arf" to Ellie. I remember a movie called "Cast a Giant Shadow" - Ellie's shadow friend brought it to mind. Hope she doesn't lose it - like Peter Pan! Just think of the shadow wandering the beach, dancing on the sand or in the snow - looking for little birdies to play with!


Lovely post as always.

Look what I found! I'm absolutely in love with it!! Not so much the price though...!!!
Do you think it's extra difficult to make something like this?

I'm getting more and more inspired to learn how to knit. What with this coat and the book I told you about the other day!!!



ps: lovely painting

Lynne Kovan

Lovely doggies. The shadows are great! I must pay more attention to dog-shadows. Also I will look out for cat-shadows!


Hi Vanessa,
The painting is just lovely, i love the colours.
The pictures are fab too! I like the photo of the sea & the lighthouse, that would make a lovely painting. Now, as they say in Lancashire, "crack on!". lol!
Love Carole in Rossendale xxx

Johanna Rackham

Love the pose the Dachshund has taken in your picture. It looks as if it is in that "undecided moment" dogs seem to have when they first meet something previously unexperienced, but unthreatening; Should I bounce, play or run away...
I have never thought of the shadows of the dogs before, but now I am all set to go to the beach to spy on them as I sadly don't have a dog of my own. I totally agree that they look like hairy monsters next to your Ellie!


Vanessa, your dog meets bird is a very fine painting. And those dogs of yours are also very fine...please note that I am not choosing favorites between the two!

I just love those photos of the beach. Thanks for letting me see the sea, and also for your visit over to my posts. xo


love your little furry friends, what delightful little chap and chappess they are. Walkies along the beach looks like the most fun.
We were thrilled to find one of your books at the library this week (the Magic Donkey Ride), children are loving it and the illustrations are wonderful as ever. Just thought I would let you know what joy you bring daily to children with your work. (Am waiting til January to pull out our treasured copy of Diamond in the Snow, we are deep in all the christmas books at the moment) but am so looking forward to sharing the magic of that book with them again, it is, I think, my favourite of all, although it's a tough choice! With love Jules x


Beautiful beach!..and I LOVE Ellie and her shadow!!!


Hi Vanessa, on a cold snowy afternoon, squished up in a corner of the sofa trying to type at a ridiculous angle because Bella is on my knee where the lap top should be sitting ..... I want to tell you that I have just loved your postings about your two little smashers. I know what you mean about the shadows, I love to see Bella's - her little ears bob up and down and make me smile. But then her walking or running is often a talking point, I am often stopped in the street to tell me that she is walking on three legs and is she hurt??? No! she just loves to hop, skip and jump along in a hipperty hopperty way!
I have only just discovered your blog, but I shall be back .... very often.
Please give a hug to Ellie and a pat to Douglas from Bella and me!
Val xx

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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