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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Alice and Raymond!!!

Hugo is a major legend! And so are you! I love Louise! I love her balloon, and how you have captured gravity in your piece, I was stunned at the first picture, just amazed!

Thank you for your lovely message this morning, I'm so amazed that people think of me when they hear of NZ disasters and come to visit to leave messages, its such a feeling of connection and kinship across the world instead of being divided by space and not knowing each other! I'm so sad about christchurch and the people living there, and to tell you the truth, I wonder if it is worthwhile rebuilding the city, or relocating as I saw a freind had posted on facebook that they've had around 5000 earthquakes of varying magnitudes in the last 12 months (those facts could be slightly off but something like that!)
OK then Vanessa, I'm off back to my knitting, I'm nearly finished with my first ever jumper for me! Amazing!


Too CUTE - love, love, love her! :-)


Love,love,love louise the little pig.


Fabulous, Vanessa, really adorable and such a lot of skill has gone into Louise! I sat the Munchkin down in front of your blog this morning and let him look at your posts as you see, tomorrow we are having a half-term papier mache day (eek)! We went to an exhibition in Frome yesterday and saw some of Julie Arkell's work so we're all fired up. Trouble is, I haven't a clue what I'm doing... We're sensibly aiming for papier mache "blimps" though through today, the Munchkin's ideas have got steadily more ambitious. Aaarrgghhh!!!
Hen xxx

Rebecca Barrow

Louise is totally adorable! I just love the look on her face :-) She has cheered me up sooooo much on a gloomy day - thank you so much for your marvellous creativity, Vanessa.
With love from chilly east anglia

Bobo Bun

Lots to say Vanessa as been meaning to email you, Loved your post on knitting a few back now. So colourful and delightful. Wondered how the exhibition is going with your pieces in, bet the visitors are wowed. Louise is yet another stunning creation to come from your hands. Her balloon made me smile. On a very long walk today we remembered favourite days. One was a picnic in a long grassy field near our cottage. Little Bun was about five and had a whole bunch of helium balloons from a party we'd just been to. We met her sister, friends and their mums in the field and Little Bun ran off. All I could see was a bunch of balloons bobbing along in search of the big girls. It was an early summer evening when the light dapples and you feel truly content. I have no picture, but the image in my head is perfect. Pretty much how I guess Louise feels getting the balloon of her dreams. Sorry I've waffled, but I don't think you mind as it's what your work inspires.



Louise is lovely!!!

Claire Smith

Hey Vanessa another lovely little creation, Louise is so sweet, love her pink, piggy ears.
Great balloon and great job Hugo on making the stand.

Blue skies and sunshine here today, shall try and send some your way.



Dear Vanessa, Louise is The Sweetest! You are so talented and make these tine 'personalities' so lovely! I'm happy to hear that Huge is working with you - that kind of support is really important!
I wish I could have Louise and Evangeline on my sight every day!
xxx Teje

June Purkiss

I think Louise would make a lovely friend for Wilbur from Charlotte's Web - they are both terrific and humble!


Louise made me smile this morning. She is extra cute!


Louise is so cute!! The stand, the balloon -all so original and pretty, pretty, pretty. x


I am loving your paper mache creations! They are adorable! Would you consider setting up some kind of FB link on your site so I can spread the Louise and Evangeline love? :-)
Victoria x


Louise is precious! Thanks for the smile! :)


How do you it? You have done it again. I love Louise and the balloon. Will you be selling any? xoRobin


Louise is adorable!!! Vanessa you are so talented. I just love your creations, they have lovely shapes and have such a lovely feeling about them. Keep up the wonderful work,

Anne Reed

I am totally i awe of your designs and the way you inject so much life and humpour into your little characters.I have recently revisited paper mache with my class of six yera olds andhad forgotten how absorbing it is and how hard it can be and we were only making pots. I wouldn't know where to start to make figures.We also has a paper making and pulp picy=ture day which was really great.I love your blog and gain much encouragement from all your ideas.
Anne x


How lovely to discover Louise on your blog today! Such a sweet little pig, so truly pig-like and adorable, (and the balloon is very impressive too, flying upright like that)! How great that Hugo makes the bases so you can decorate them - perfect combination. I love seeing your new creations. Have a lovely paper mache inspired week, Vanessa! Helen x


Beautiful,just beautiful! X


So cute! I love the balloon!


Aaaawww piggies are my all time favourite Vanessa, and Louise certainly doesn't dissapoint! I first started to love pigs when I was about 6 when i saw about 12 (or maybe it just felt like a huge number!) being born on a friend's farm in South Africa. Her balloon is certainly a precious possession to have....ah the simplicity of childhood. Thanks for re-igniting such innocent memories xox

Jenni at Baa-me Kniits

I LOVE Louise! Always did have a soft spot for a pig and especially after Babe :-) How on earth is her balloon hanging in the air like that???? Brilliant!!


I love the balloon, Louise looks very pleased with it too! :)

Liz W in Missouri, USA

So many thanks to Hugo - our hero of the hour for providing such lovely stages for all the little paper people. Miss Louise is quite the happiest little piggy I've seen. I wonder if she were to suck the helium out of her balloon, instead of going "Oink, oink, oink" she would go "Wee, wee, wee" all the way home to have tea and a dance with Evangeline! You have captured the entire idea of childhood treasures. I'm so happy that little Louise has hers.


I'm loving ALL your gorgeous work Vanessa. I love how Evangeline is the same character and you can tell (not each a different mouse). I love her holding her tea and biscuits, it's exactly what people do - kind of forgetting it and waving it around while having a good natter and then dipping it in your tea with relish.
Louise pig is very charming and I like her name. Her piggy eyes (I mean that in the nicest way!) are full of personality - not easy I would imagine. Love her. She looks a very contented pig, which is probably why you called her 'Happy Louise' Your little animal characters are full of movement and life and are magical!
I never wanted a balloon, although I remember having lots of fun with them at parties usually. No, I always wanted the big packs of felt tip pens - I think they had perhaps 30 colours, or even 50 (I don't remember now). They seemed to come along only at some birthdays or Christmasses. I was shocked when I grew up how cheap they were but they may not have been then. My mum wasn't keen as I would get them all over the bedsheets and anything else given half a chance. Thankfully they do washable ones now. Back then they stained terribly. It must be lovely to have Hugo around to be clever in just the ways you need him to be. xx


Wonderful pig.
Can you send some of your sunshine please?

Planet Penny

Louise is a treasure! I have been working on pigs too, mine have wings! The sun has just come out here too, and it's a teeny bit warm, do you think Spring is about to arrive? I do hope so. Lots of love, Penny and Higgins xxx


What a fabulous creation - you really are a very talented lady... I am in awe.. lucky you to have a Hugo. xx


What a lovely post by Siobhan (above). :-) I remember wanting felt tips too.


Hi! Just wanted to say Ive spent the last day or so,reading back through your wonderful blog. So long ago is it that I found you, I can't remember where I was before, that I found your link. (sorry)
I LOVE this blog, full of beautiful things. I particularly love your own sense of style, shown in the photos you post... snazzy tights and wonderful shoes...

That's all, please keep blogging xxx


I must admit that I think your knitting is amazing, but I ADORE your little figures! They make me smile and if I'm having a bad day, they cheer me up. Thanks for sharing!!


Vanessa, it's grand to see the sun come out to celebrate Louise and her very feminine balloon!

Bravo to you for creating this addition to your collection of absolutely charming characters. Louise's ears are particularly appealing to my eyes.

Please do pass along compliments to Hugo. The stands are all really perfect stages for your fetching performers.

Happiness is infectious! xo

I think you're one step away from writing AND illustrating a book - you have such lovely stories to tell. BTW how d'ya keep the balloon up?!

sue Krook

Dear Vanessa, I love Louise. Is it possible to purchase her for my daughter?
Will you be putting her into your Etsy shop or should I contact you?

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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