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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Happy Birthday! Glad you had a lovely week with many goodies! Cx


Sounds like you had a great birthday - forty is definitely not middle aged these days (trust me, I'm one year away from 60 and I'm not middle aged yet!).


Many Happy Returns Vanessa (and I'm sorry to have to point out that you are actually entering your fifth decade.....*ducks*). It sounds like you had a wonderful time.


Forty is lovely! I'm 48 and glad to be here. Happy Birth Day!

Mary Ann

Happy Birthday from a middle-aged follower:)


Happy Birthday Vanessa! Forty is nothing these days! I'm so glad you had such lovely celebrations and a lots of presents. I am specially looking forward to seeing your holiday photos too...Have a wonderful weekend.
Helen x


Your week sounds wonderful, Happy birthday Vanessa, 40 is FAB!


Wow, you're never forty! You don't look it from your pics. Your sister is absolutely right by the way.

Happy birthday :o)

amanda makes

Happy Birthday Chick!!! Your cards look gorgeous! xxx


Wish glitter sounds like a very nice thing to have on your birthday! Have a lovely day Vanessa!xx

Liz A.

Many happy returns Vanessa!


Happy Birthday! Sounds like you had a lovely time. I like the wish glitter too! Looking forward to hearing about your holiday next week. Have a great weekend!


Welcome back to you, Vanessa, and a huge Happy Birthday, too! It's grand to hear that you've had some terrific relaxing and pampering time.

At forty, you are definitely still in the first bloom of life...a wiser child, perhaps.

(I'm in disbelief that I'll be 66 this could it be true?)


Liz W in Missouri, USA

Happy, Happy, Happy belated Birthday to you! What a wonderful time the 40's are - old enough to have wisdom and young enough to play. (And just as an aside - I happen to personally know that this factor moves with you right into the 50's.)
While you were away I heard that the little paper people had quite the celebration in your honor. There was dancing, and tea cakes, and cabbage rolls, and the birds whistled Happy Birthday tunes. Everyone was dressed in their best knits. It was quite the "do".
Continue the party through the weekend, and we'll look for you next week!


Happy Birthday Vanessa! It sounds like you had a lovely day, hope you manage to eek your celebrations out a bit longer over the weekend but look forward to hearing from you next week.

Katie x


Happy Happy Birthday Vanessa! And welcome back!

Bobo Bun

Good to hear your voice again, been thinking of you and the adventures you've been on. Age numbers are a funny thing aren't they. Somehow they don't go along with how you feel - good the rule book got burnt a long time ago.



Happy Birthday Vanessa, sounds like you had a wonderful time - just the way it should be! Wishing you a lovely weekend too xxx


Well,if I were the sort of person who worried what number I was (ie age) then I think I would be upset with your sister as by her reckoning, I'm now middle-aged. Well, I got the spread....
I remember being forty, it was THE BEST time of my life, that particular decade. So many exciting things happened.... I went back to work after being out of the workplace for two decades... I trained as a counsellor.... I became a published writer at the very end of the decade, so more than any others, I think it was an eventful, successful, reaffirming decade and I wish the same for you.


happy birthday! 40 is fun!

Cath W

The very happiest of birthday wishes, Vanessa. My husband tried to drown me on my 40th!


Happy Birthday x


Hello! lovely to see you back again. A very Happy birthday to you Vanessa! - I honestly thought you were in your early 30's and your pictures just confirmed that for me. Anyway 40 is fine - it was 30 that was horrible for me, it seemed so ancient at the time (silly me!) I'm a few years older and so far 40's has been better than 30's. And I've met 50 somethings who say no, they are having the best time ever. Hugo's boss etc got you presents because you are nice, that's the reason but yes lovely of them.It sounds like you had a lovely and much deserved break. Look forward to seeing your pictures on Monday.


Happy Birthday Vanessa!! May I say, you are looking very fab at 40!!
Have a lovely weekend!
Rachel x


40 ...smorty...
it's nothing!!
Since my 40th I've had the most exciting time..
I married after being on my own (and bringing my 2 up alone) for over 20 years
I learned to sail
My husband and I set sail from Cornwall and had a huge adventure..
We now live a completely different life in Crete,
and that's all before I'm 60 (way before I'm 60!)
40 onwards is for adventure,
so, Vanessa, spread your wings and fly!!
Take care

Vintage Squirrel

Aw, happy, happy birthday. Millie's card is just lovely and it's always wonderful to receive handmade ones and gives a warm feeling of thoughtfulness, effort and love. Glad you had a lovely day full of delicious food and pressies!


Oh so nice to have you back again Vanessa! Sounds like you had a thoroughly spoilt time and oh so well deserved too. My 40th last year was divine, I had a vintage tea party with bubbly and lots of cream teas xox can't quite believe that I will be 41 soon, very odd indeed. I was 15 when my mum was 40 and that just feels like the other day :0) look forward to seeing your lovely photos next week. Have a fab weekend.

Teresa Kasner

*H*A*P*P*Y* * *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y*!*!*!* - yep, I'm 62 in 10 days, so you're just a baby compared to me. I could only wish to be 40 again.

Hugs from Oregon, USA -- Teresa :-)


Happy belated birthday!!! Glad you spend your birthday so well :-)

Janice Perkin

all I can say is you don't look 40!


glad you`re back with us

Love Carole xxxx


Happy Birthday young lady/ Glad you had a lovely week.
Carol xx


Happy birthday! My circle of friends is turning forty this year, I follow in nine months! Yay!


Happy Birthday Vanessa- still a mere slip of a a wishes from one of the 'middle aged'.x


Happy Birthday Vanessa, here's to (at least) another 40 years!


Happy Birthday Vanessa!!
I do like the idea of 60 now being middle-age that has cheered me up no end!!
Have a great weekend. :)
Vivienne x

Dawn Nelson

Happy birthday Vanessa! I too turned 40 recently - well November last year - and it was a weird feeling. Are we now officially 'grown up'?? I still feel 25, so am sticking to that for my 'official' age! Glad you had a lovely birthday.

Dawn x


Happy Birthday Vanessa! It sounds as though you had a wonderful time. Here's to a great year ahead.


Happy Birthday, you sound like you had a wonderful time, have a great weekend. Look forward to seeing some of your holiday pics.


Happy Happy Birthday Vanessa, you beautiful girl ...
May I just say forty is SO young and also that anyway I never would have guessed from your photos ...!
Much love, Barbara xx


Happy Birthday Vanessa. A wonderfully productive, creative, happy age to be and I think it goes on getting better personally. I speak from a far away planet age-wise! Look forward to seeing your holiday pics. I'm trawling though mine too!


Happy birthday to you. From what I remember of being 40, and it's been a while, it was fab. Hope the celebrations are going well.


Happy Birthday to youuuu, Happy Birthday toooo youuuu, Happy Biiiirthday deeear Vanessaaaaaaaa, Happy Birthday toooo youuuuu!!!

That's the best singing I can do from my end of the computer! :)

It sounds like you had a fantastic birthday with lovely people around you. Here's a virtual kiss on the cheek and hug from me to add to your birthday wishes.

Many Happy Returns and welcome to the club!

Alice and Raymond!!!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear vanessa!!!!
Happy birthday to youuuuuuuuuuuu!!!

COngratulations on entering your 40s! Wishing you a decade of much wonderfullness!

Lots of love and special love and hugs from Raymond too!


Joyeux anniversaire Vanessa!
What cake did Hugo bake for you then?
Looking forward to your holiday pictures!
Isabelle xx


happy birthday, I was 44 this year and I'm loving my 40's - it feels to me like a decade where I am feeling very daring - old enough to realise that it's ok to try new things and that if they don't go to plan it's not the end of the world and young enough to try in the first place. have fun middle age is decades away xx


very nice, i think you will like this moncler jacket


Gosh, Vanessa! I'd lost count. That does make me feel old. Lots of love and birthday kisses from us both.
Graham and RuthXXXXXX

Susan young

Happy Birthday dear Sweet Vanessa....Life gets better as we 50th gave me The Bestest present ever...My dear wee Westie dog Meadow and shes Ten Zillions x better than any Diamond ring or Gold Bracelet that a Girl could ask for....You are lucky that life has kept you young and far from looking your age.Hugs.xx

Delusional Knitter

Happy birthday! Sounds like you had a lovely one and a great holiday!

Magic Cochin

Happy Birthday! I went through all sort of angst when I had my big birthday last year (50) but from this side I feel just the same!

Just carry on as you are and keep discovering new things...



Ooh, you're a 1971 baby like me! Very many happy returns, 40 of them in fact! :-)

Heather x


Happy Birthday! I started to blog just before I turned forty and am still at it - writing a bit professionally and finally doing my degree - life definitely begins at the big 4-0! Enjoy.


Happy Birthday. Everyone should have wish glitter in every card from now on, I love it! x

Jenni at Baa-me Kniits

Happy Birthday Vanessa :-) No way you are 40!!! You look like you are in your 20's, see its the lovely English weather, good for the complexion. Hope you made a good wish Hugs Jen 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