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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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As a creator myself I can understand your feelings! I am so sorry you've had such a bad experiences. Your work is just precious, and it has an individual style no-one could pick up without your inspiration. I wish you happy and creative moments for this weekend!



Oh no Vanessa, I am so sorry that people have been behaving so very badly, it's just not acceptable and I completely understand what you have said here. Your work is so beautiful and so you, I think you have every right to copyright and make people aware of this. I really hope that you are not too badly affected by this and that it doesn't dampen your creative spirit. Take care and enjoy your weekend xox Penelope


It's so sad that someone would steal your photos or ideas and think that it's ok! That's not at all acceptable!
Your painting is beautiful!
Have a lovely weekend!
Vivienne x


You are absolutely right to do this Vanessa.
I also worry about putting work up on my blog for the same reason- it takes years of sketching and looking and trying things out to get all the elements of one's work to come together.Pinching stuff is just not on.
The cup and flower painting is just beautiful,even unfinished.


Well said!!! Am completely in love with you teacup pics x


That stinks, Vanessa. One of my good friends takes pictures of her pugs often and had one on her flickr site that was stolen and reproduced on a t-shirt. It was stolen by a reputable fashion house. She was incredibly angry and has been working to fight it. It really is unfortunate that people can't use their own inspiration to create, they have to steal. I hope this is resolved for you.


:( Sorry to hear about this :(
I have heard of stuff like this before and I don't know how people can knowingly copy someone else's work, it is very sad. There is an element that people must like your work but that doesn't compensate when this is your living.
On a lighter note, I love the idea of Gardener's Question Time. I might have to tune in or at least download a podcast on the like :)
I hope you can have a lovely weekend and take your mind off all this stuff. I hope you don't decide to leave blogland, I've only just found you! Selfish request in there at the end! ;) x


An excellent post Vanessa. Sometimes these things need to be said as I think that as artists/makers we do expose ourselves to outright copying by having a web presence. Your work is stunning. I love the latest teacups picture.


If a person takes something from a shop without paying it is theft and they can be prosecuted. You are absolutely in the right to identify people who are STEALING from the work shown on your blog. Shame on them!
I love your work and admire your creativity.


I was so sorry to hear about your bad experiences over theft of your designs and ideas. It is surprising how unscrupulous people can be sometimes.I've had similar things happen to me over a long career in design. Most people are fair and honest - it's only a few who are not. Try not to take it too hard. I think your tea cup flower painting shown here is exquisite. My print from you is still at the framers - I can't wait to get it back and hang it on my wall. Enjoy your weekend and your beautiful creativity - don't let anything spoil it!! Helen x


You are absolutely right to stand up for yourself and your art. It is a part of who you are.

I love your style and your work. Hopefully, these are isolated incidents, and your copyright notice will keep the cheaters at bay.


Vanessa, I am so sorry that your work has been used by other people, in effect, stolen. I cannot imagine doing that to anyone. Your art is so distinctive and unique to you. I am sad that this has happened to you, but hope you carry on with your blog, even if it's just for knitting and crochet.


Hi Vanessa,

I have been reading your blog for a little while now and just enjoy looking at all your beautiful work whether it is knitting, crochet, painting or paper mache. I'm sure that the vast majority of your readers are just like me and enjoy your blog as it was intended.

I feel very cross (and almost a bit protective) that someone should abuse your kindness for their own gain. I too hope that these are isolated incidents and that you have no further issue with these rotters.

I hope that you are feeling the love from your regular readers and enjoy your weekend!

Best wishes
Katie x


I agree totally with your post, unfortunatly your are not the only person that has faced with that problem, even magazines copy some blog'ideas, that's a pity!

I can telle you you are very clever and your style is not very easy to copy because we can see it is lot of work : specially your paper maché work : I love it!
Marie (in france)

j k eells

There is no way that a professional person in journalism could not know about copyright, it is appalling that someone like this could claim ignorance. I look at your work all of the time and it gives me so much inspiration, I have begun crocheting again after more than 30 years because of looking at your blog. The paper mache is so fantastic because I think I could make my basic embroidery work in this medium but I don't think I have the patience for the drying and varnishing etc. But I get so much inspiration from all of the things that you do, but If I were to think of making anything to sell!! I would not think of doing it unless I had run it by you first. surely it is just good manners/honesty/professonalism. I love your work and wish you the best for your business.


You raise some very interesting points. Firstly though I want to tell you that your painting is looking amazing, really it is; you can really see how long it would take and I absolutely love it. The Internet gives and it takes doesn't it? It does give a high profile to some who otherwise would not have come to notice, those who unlike yourself do not already have a successful artistic career. I love that as it affords opportunity for people with talent who you might not otherwise get to see in a competitive world - we decide that we like them, not the gallery owner or the publisher (although that can come too). Myself - I just love looking at pretty things and the Internet has meant I have seen a wealth of stuff I would never get to see otherwise and I have love the opportunities it has given me, to see much more art than I would have otherwise and to find out about the artist. I may enthuse and I have had my world opened up but really I am not an ideal person because I am not in a position to buy what I love so much and that must be frustrating in many ways, as you must sometimes feel you are giving a free show to all comers. As you say it is your work. On the other hand, people get to see your work who can and will buy and they might never have been lucky enough to have seen your work otherwise. What is never right though, is stealing which is just horrible and something you shouldn't ever have to deal with. Where is the artistic integrity in that? They will know even if we don't - don't they have a conscience! Apparently not. I'm sorry this has happened Vanessa and I hope it won't again as it must be very upsetting. It is very hard in the art world I know and somehow society has a problem giving proper recognition or financial reward. Yet I know that in my life it is the arts in all its varied forms that civilize me and entertain me and provoke me in a way science just does not. Your style is very much your own and I would recognise it anywhere. I have seen it done to other bloggers - some crochet that was instantly recognizable just plonked on someone else's website because they liked it. Please keep doing what you do and don't get disheartened XX


You have every right to protect your work and your ideas. In fact, you might consider putting a water mark on all your images/pictures so folks can't use them without your permission and/or crediting you.


I am so sorry that this has happened Vanessa - how very very upsetting for you. This area is so tricky. I used to work in intellectual property where patents were used to protect new technologies. It works on the whole and great sums of money can be at stake if companies try to commercialise the technologies described in one another's patents.

The artistic world is quite different and I know a good deal less about it. I think on the whole it is harder to protect designs in whole or in part if they are in the public domain. Your post has made me do a little research, though, as I felt I didn't know enough and this affects all of us who are making a living from our own original designs. I started here:

...and from this document this was a key part for me:

'What constitutes an infringement?

An unregistered design is only infringed by copying....You have the right to take civil court action against infringement of a design right.'

I expect you already know all of this but it has helped for me to read it too, so thankyou.

Enjoy your weekend and I hope you can put aside these unpleasant parts of your week xxx

mama elf

Dear Vanessa, really sorry to hear about people claiming ignorance, where obviously that is not the case. You have every right to protect your ideas. I continue enjoying your work and hope that you can keep showing at least some of it and progress you make here. It is so interesting to see other's work. I think that in art you can definitely see if somebody has nicked your idea. I am sure that there are several of us keeping an eye out for you and see that your rights are not infringed. Love, Johanna XX


Oh and by the way, your teacups have made me very happy this evening - I'm feeling a little groggy with the beginnings of a cold and they've reminded me that Spring and summer are on the way.

Finally I have a collection of Elizabeth Blackadder postcards. She is one of my favourite artists.


Blatent copying of someones work for profit is not just. By chance a friend and I were discussing the very matter regarding the work of Julie Arkell and how she does not have a big presence on the web but her work has still become highly recognised through her hard work. Both my friend and myself have also been on Julie's courses and my friend who is an artist said exactly the same as yourself when she was on the course she DID NOT copy the style of Julie she was inspired and made something entirely different. I do however know of someone else who went on her course who now sells items that are 'just the same' and obviously doesnt have any conscience about doing it.

Keep up with the great blog I love reading it and being inspired by it - I can't wait to have a go at paper mache but it will be for me and me alone. If you really want to have a go at a new craft you can research it in many places and have a go for yourself and not copy to profit. Its not on. Rant over.


Oh no Vanessa. Poor you.
I totally agree that copying someone's work and then selling it as if it was your own is not on.
I so really really hope you won't stop showing us some of your work on here, because I for one and I know there are hundreds of 'me' out there, just love seeing what you do. And yes, because you're inspiring. But not because I/we/most of us want to turn that inspiration into theft. For me personally seeing something that inspires me just gets my creative juices flowing. Not really sure what to do with them yet, but they're flowing! :))
I wonder if the two people in question are reading this post of yours and the comments we've made.........

Liz W in Missouri, USA

This dance that has to be done between the artistic self and the cold hard business world isn't always a happy one, is it?
You spend years working at and developing a special talent that you want to be able to share, only to find that you have to protect yourself at the same time.
I love your blog. I love your creations and your art. You literally make a bright spot in the day when I come on and see something new and beautiful - but I would never, ever try to copy it. It's yours. I would sorely miss it if you find you have to "cut back" on what you feel you can show - but I would also understand. I hope the copyright will help, and that the mousies and doggies may continue to dance freely and with abandon.


Sometimes, there are things that have to be said, no matter how uncomfortable they make us feel. Your work is beautiful, but as with anything hand crafted, your customers are buying a little piece of you bundled in it - your inspirations, your experiences, your feelings, your ideas. To copy the work without these intangibles is to make something that isn't complete, in my mind. Yes, I am sure that people can and do take inspiration from you, but to copy is just plain wrong.
And yes - there is something comforting about Gardeners' Question Time - I feel similarly about Test Match Special - a good and gentle radio programme is something really special.
Keep your chin up - we can all tell which items are real "Vanessa's".


In a way I can relate to what you have written, and do understand where you are coming from. Rather like you when you did your own papier mache design despite the tutor allowing you to copy hers, so I feel about writing. I never belonged to a writing group for fear I would be tempted by someone's idea, or they by mine. Like you, I sold my writing, and so the idea that someone take my ideas and write them under their own name, really bothered me. Which is why my writings in our village magazine are all copyrighted, the work I did for magazines the same.
These days I write purely for pleasure and not financial gain, so it doesn't apply, but even so, I would be upset if someone took a story of mine, so I understand your point of view.


I've only been blog reading for about 18 months but have read about this "stealing" before. It must be so disheartening for artists to have their ideas stolen.
I wouldn't blame bloggers for not showing their work but the lovely creations would be so missed.
I only make things I see on blogs if they are "free patterns" or "tutorials" and what I do make are only for my own use or gifts.
Please don't let the actions of a few bad people pray on your mind and affect your happy, creative soul.
Carol xx


p.s do agree with what you say about GQT, very civilised programme. I am enjoying Carol Klein's new series on BBC2 but, for me, none of the gardeners can hold a light to the late Geoff Hamilton.


good for you. it's just a shame that some fellow artists and makers are tempted and succumb to plagiarism. I've just started a fine art degree and one of the things I'm fascinated by is uniqueness, a point of view. surely that journey to find your own style/way of working is an integral part of practice. there's just something un-karmic about taking someone else's

Planet Penny

There's such a fine line between being inspired by someone, especially if you go on a course to learn a craft, and down right copying. I suppose it's ok if you are just going to make it for your own enjoyment, but to pass it off as your own idea and then go on to make money from it is unacceptable. It's hard to know what to do but the copyright notice is a good idea because without getting your work seen, you won't have a market. Your work is very 'you', your colours and style are very identifiable. I'm amazed that someone in the media could claim ignorance of copyright.
Anyway, I think you were right to write about it, we all have to have our serious moments and your teacups and roses are just gorgeous! Have a good weekend, Penny xxx


Vanessa, you express yourself so beautifully, both visually and verbally.

Let me quickly applaud your decision to post the copyright statement. There are some folks in the world whose ethics are troubling.

Now, let me tell you how beautifully that tea cup and flower painting is developing. It has such grace! And air. I am dazzled by you ability to leave it for a while and then to return to its atmosphere and continue. It's as if you are somewho naturally encouraging a flower to grow. Wow!

And, I so agree with you that that mornings and afternoons are brightening daily, doing that wonderful stretching exercise.


Lot's to think about there Vanessa. I was muttering my agreement like a Lord in the Houses of Parliament - "Here, here"!
I'm sorry about your experience this week - the internet is a mixed blessing but please don't stop blogging will you? Claire x

Judi A.

It's sad that people will stoop so low as to steal photos, ideas, etc. and then try to lie their way out of it. They are to be pitied! When I look at your creations that I find so pleasant to look at, I don't think to copy it, but to enjoy it, and I only wish I had the ability to do half as well!!:-) Do not let a few destroy your desire and pleasure of sharing and ruin it for many. The rest of us value and respect what you do and love seeing your works in prgress to the end result. :-)

Dawn Nelson

I see what you mean! That's just not on!
Dawn x


Hello Vanessa! Your teacup drawings are so beautiful! I'm sorry you have met that 'dark' side of blogging. I think most of us are a little bit worried what to show and what to say. And often we think all those lovely friends we have 'out there' and like to show and write to them so much, without thinking that there are other 'stranges' too who don't care...
I hope you still show us your wonderful work!
xxx Teje


dear Vanessa,

i feel for you, it must be very unnerving for you and such a shame. i had been kind of hoping for the possibility of a papier mache tutorial, but of course you must not do such things uless you feel comfortable with it and these experiences have obviously shaken you. it is very sad that this has affected your enjoyment of blogging so freely at this moment.
your teacups are so very beautiful and such a joy to behold, your artwork reveals what a lovely soul you are and i agree it is a spiritual experience to view lovely art such as yours. the joy one gets from viewing your papier mache is priceless and indeed unique to you.
i hope you don't think i'm too soppy, but i actually got tearful reading this post. it is really sad that you were going along in your blythe, beautiful trusting way and then some greedy thieves come along and mug your blog. i hate when something like this happens to someone that puts out so much good energy.
i have blogged about an artist/illustrator today annA Emilia she is Finish, do you know of her? her work is mostly inspired by nature and has a lovely ethereal quality. she has a sweet blog too.

sending warmest hugs to you

millie xxx


Oh Vanessa, i`m so sorry that your gorgeous papier mache has been copied. Some people are just so awful. Julie at little cotton rabbits had a problem last year, i think! Your paintings and papier mache are sooo lovely and unique and they are YOURS!As i`ve said to you before you are soo clever and creative.
I, too, listen to GQT and the Archers of course! I just love when Eric Robson says "onwards and upwards" !
Anywhoo take care and don`t get too down about these horrible copycats!
I hope you can keep showing us your lovely papier mache and your glorious paintings, cos they make me smile and i say " oh they are lovely"
Love from Carole in Rossendale xxxx

Magic Cochin

Well done for spelling out the copyright issue loud and clear. I was musing about this the other day - thinking I should have something on my own web site and blog.

I know that imitation is supposed to be flattery but it's very hurtful and as you rightly say it's your hard work they are ripping off.

I love the painting, I immediately thought of Elizabeth Blackadder when I saw it! It also reminds me of Kaffe Fassett's paintings and designs.

I look forward to GQT too!



Hi Vanessa, what a great point you have raised here, and one that I probably should pay more attention to.

Since the topic is in conversation, I feel I should ask this question. I am currently knitting a fair-isle style scarf that I was so inspired to make when I saw yours and your mother-in-law's wonderful fair isle scarves. Now, I'm no way near finished yet, but when it is finished, I was planning on showing photos of it on my own (very neglected) blog at some point.

I would therefore like to ask if this is ok with yourself, or whether it would infringe a copy right issue. The scarf is not an exact copy of either scarves on your blog, however, I do realise that it is a scarf, it is fair isle, and the patterns are mixture of patterns I've made up, ones I've found on the internet and some from your photos. (I'd be happy to send you photos of it if you would like to see)

I would absolutely hate to make you feel like anyone is violating your right, least of all me! So I would be absolutely happy if you do not wish me to put photos of my own scarf on my blog. I would of course give you full credit and link back to your blog if you are happy for me to publish mine :)

Thank you :)

(p.s. I am just a hobby knitter, and intended on not selling any of my work)
(p.p.s sorry to ask you this questions on the comment section, I couldn't find an email address to email you and I'm not on typepad!)

Liz T.

It is indeed a thorny issue and sadly there's not much you can do in real terms except trust in people's sense of honour. I hope this won't discourage you from putting up photos on your blog as I do love to see your works in progress and finished works. Maybe a water mark (as suggested above) is the way to go.


That is completely understandable - people shouldn't feel that they can copy your ideas just because they are on your blog. You are right to make your feelings known.

There is an award waiting for you over at my blog

Rachel L

I agree with your comments about copying and theft, and can understand your worry. Its easy to see something and steal it, but what is not acknowledged is the hours, weeks, months, years of development, training and honing of ideas that enabled the creator to reach that point and design and make the creation in question - however simple. Art, design and craft in general is notoriously and unfairly devalued. Carry on creating, and standing up for and protecting yourself and your work at the same time. Even though those that copy are at a disadvantage, in that they'll always have to look elsewhere to get ideas to steal, this is little comfort to those who have to deal with theft of what is not only 'work' but what can feel like theft of 'self' as well.



I know they say that it is supposed to be the highest form of flattery but blatant copying leaves such a bitter taste. My grandmother was also a professional artist and it used to drive her wild. That was, of course, before the internet.

However, I wonder if the internet at least brings things out into the open? Someone could see your creations in, for example, a gallery, copy and sell them privately and you would never know. Whilst exhibiting your art on the web increases your chances of being copied, it also increases the chance of the culprit being spotted by one of your ever-growing army of admirers.

Copywriting is absolutely and unapologetically the best thing to do but I do agree that perhaps watermarking your images would be something also worth considering?

Please don't let it discourage you.

Heather x (a very definite member of your ever-increasing army of admirers!) :-)


Dear Vanessa

I have been reading your blog for a long time and think you are quite right to bring this subject up, it is serious and needs to be spoken about and I am happy that you have done so. So many creative people have their ideas taken by other individuals and by big business, I find the whole thing incredibly distasteful and horrid.

I know that if I see anything like this going on I no longer read the perpetrators blog or buy from the company again and I am even more inclined to support the person who it has happened to in any way I can - this is the only thing I can do as an individual but if enough people do the same it can make a difference.

Please don't let this discourage you - your work and your blog inspire so many people in the right way.



Good for you, Vanessa! I say stick to your guns and protect your work.

As one who enjoys the hard work of others who create patterns, I am solidly behind such artists on the protection and copyright of their ideas. I love knitting or stitching patterns that I buy or those that the creators generously allow others to use for free, but I will not sell anything made from another's pattern or idea. And one of my big griefs with some knitters or stitchers is that they will photocopy a pattern and give it to someone else. That's theft.

Don't apologize. Don't back down. Protect your creativity. There will always be people who want something for nothing, but "the laborer is worthy of his hire" and thinking up patterns, paintings, and papier mache is certainly labor, and is not out there to be taken from you.

That said, I loved the dose of color in your paintings in this post!

Alice and Raymond!!!

What a total bummer Vanessa! I noticed your copyright notice as soon as I clicked into your blog and wondered what had happened.... good on you for being serious about it and raising concerning matters on your blog! I'm gutted for you that someone used your pics and the lady using your ideas to add to her own, you are right, it has taken you years to develop your distinctive style which we all love so much...
I get annoyed when people use my pictures on my blog to say "look what I'm going to make next" and I'm like... ummm... take your own pictures! Don't use mine to make your blog colourful! Not quite the same as the lady being inspired by you and pinching your technique, but kind of like the blog header...
I'm rambling now... you be staunch Vanessa!!!

Vintage Squirrel Katie

Sad to hear about this but it does happen. I remember my mum saying that someone at art school 50 years ago always copied other people (and still does). It's not a new phenomenon but I think that, as great as the internet is, it's probably far more common a problem now because of it. There is nothing flattering about being copied, it's frustrating and enraging.

Erica K

Hmm...I would also find it very uneasy having someone use my work/picture as their blog header. And I, like you, don't fully understand why anyone would want to. It makes me sad that things can't just be done in innocence. A friendly gal, wanting to chat and show you her hobbies on a blog finds herself confronted by uncaring people. :( I purposely don't include names or pictures of my children for a similar reason...the thought of someone doing something inappropriate with them. The world is a complicated place. There are a lot of thoughtful, considerate people out there, but a whole lot of them who aren't. I try not to let it bother me...but it's hard, isn't it?

On a side note, you're painting is absolutely wonderful! I'm amazed by your skill/talent.


Dear Vanessa, I cant see what satisfaction these thieves get, knowing what they've done. Someone copied my work - shoddily - and shockingly copied quite elaborate pieces and barely added anything different, she even copied my design weaknesses! I joined ACID, great for info even if you dont act. I use their logo on my website. I did act and she stopped when she got a lawyers letter. It costs a bit but I was happy I did it. You could put some copyright signage amongst your photos as you post. I always love your bright and cheery blog and the doggies.

tanja wilmot

Hi Vanessa,
Just found you while looking at Elizabeth Blackadder images on the good old interweb. Looking forward to visiting regularly, your blog seems lovely and full of good bits. Sidestepping the copyright bit for now, just wanted to say hi, love the roses in teacups and love that you also enjoy the simplicity of EB paintings.

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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