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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

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Thanks for the gorgeous pics and stories! Always such a treat. Your mother looks so young! Thanks for the post.


Thank you for such beautiful photos. What a lovely part of France.

Archie the wonder dog

Gorgeous photos! I love the Dachshunds and the ear protectors on the horses, welcome back!!


Thanks for sharing...your parents are wonderful to offer you such a trip! What a beautiful part of the world!

Alison Gorf

Wow beautiful pics would love to visit Carcasson - looks fab.


Wow your parents look like they might be in their 50's! Glad you had such a nice holiday. :)


Beautiful, your photos are wonderful and so unmistakably French!
Your parents look great!
Vivienne x


I loved this post, Vanessa! Your photos and stories are so interesting and colourful. I love all the different subjects you found to photograph and how together they give a wonderful feeling of the places you visited. Your parents do look amazing! Hope you can settle down to normal life again this week after such a lovely holiday!
Helen x


So lovely to have you back Vanessa, what a wonderful holiday within a holiday you had. We LOVE France so much, your pictures have truly done it justice x Looking forward to your scarf reveals and pattern xox
ps. love the teckels too xox


Welcome back. That was a big post - thanks for the lovely photos.
I'm curious - what do you do to 'clean them up' and keep the size small?
Your parents look very youthful - which should augur well for you too!

Teresa Kasner

Hi Vanessa, welcome back from a very spectacular holiday! I agree, your parents are very youthful and athletic looking, how nice for you all! Loved the photos... I may never get to Europe so it means a lot to me to see images of the wonderful antiquities there. I hope you have time to visit my blog.. I went to a fiber festival and to a big Dahlia garden and shared my shots.
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Crochet with Raymond

Welcome back Vanessa! What a fantastic trip and time spent with your parents too! they look amazing, you are right, especially after a big climb like that! I wonder if many 30 year olds would look as refreshed!
glad to hear you had such a wonderful time and thank you for sharing your photos with us!


What stunning photos. It looks like a beautiful part of the world. Thanks for that visual treat!


Oh my goodness - the things you´ve seen and done! Love the pics! :-)


Thank you for this wonderful post full of wandering spirit! :-) France is beautiful.
Your parents look great.

Magic Cochin

Welcome home :-)
It must have taken you ages to sort out those photos - but how marvellous that you did because they are wonderful! Full of all sorts of inspiring colours and shapes and patterns.

I too love Carcassonne - stayed inside the citadel for our anniversary one year. Have you read 'Labyrinth' by Kate Mosse?

Looks like you brought some of that weather home with you!



Wonderful photographs - what got to me was the colour colour colour - nothing drab - beauiful


Your pictures are lovely. It looks like you, Hugo and your parents had a fabulous time! Cx


Welcome back Vanessa!
We have missed you!!
Fabulous photos, as usual - I intend to go back through them all again in case I've missed anything. A lovely picture of your mum and dad - one to treasure (You look like your mum don't you!!)
By the way the 'teckels' amused me, we have an animal rescue centre nearby called Teckels! I never knew where the word came from

harmony and rosie

Hello Vanessa, welcome back and so glad to hear you've had a wonderful time. Your photos have me swooning over Carcassonne and all its beauty, and now you have me wanting to jet out there right away. I'm wondering whether you should put your crochet project on hold and whip up some ear protectors for the furry things instead, they'd be just the thing for the impending Winter! Congrats on winning the giveaway, I'm sure that will definitely be helping to cure the holiday blues and one more thing .. did you get a good look at the dress the lady behind the bell is wearing? VERY nice !!

Kate x

PS - beautiful photos, would you mind if I pinned a couple? x

Rachel Lamb

Looks like you had a great holiday. The unfamiliar feeling when you get back is a sure sign it was a good break in my book:)

Emma (silverpebble)

What a feast for the eyes Vanessa. I particularly loved those brightly painted planters.

How wonderful to have been to Carcassonne. It barely looks real!

Welcome home x


My favourite is the red skirt on the clothesline in the distance shot, I am a sucker for clothes on the line. Such an incredible holiday, and so exotic to have parents who live in Spain, at least to this Canadian. It's exotic here to know someone in British Columbia...


Wonderful photos. Looks like you had a great trip. We know this area well but haven't been for a few years and I feel a bit like I've had a mini holiday after reading your post! You look very like your mum, which must be reassuring as she looks great. Thanks for sharing with us.

Planet Penny

Thanks so much for that post, Vanessa. We did a similar tour on holiday a while ago, I love Carcasonne too. As for the Cathar Castles, it's a family joke that I failed miserably to walk round Peyrepertuse Castle due to a complete fit of the nervies over the height. Tim went off to look, sans camera of course, while I inspected the fascinating flora sprouting out of the rocks so I didn't have to cope with the conviction that if I looked at the drop, I'd probably fling myself off! So now I can see what I missed! Glad you had a lovely holiday but nice to have tou back!
love Penny and Higgins xxxx

Dawn Nelson

Oh happy memories! We visited Carcasonne two years ago and it's fabulous. I'm lucky to have a friend who has a holiday home in a village near Carcasonne, so we stayed with her and explored the fab town and countryside. Glad you had a great holiday. Your pics are fab!!

Dawn xx


Welcome back to you, Vanessa!

You are so kind to post all these photos...I really like all those images that you chose to capture. They are just the sorts of views and details that would catch my eye.

Truly, you've really treated me to a beautiful vicarious holiday.

Thank you! xo

Crafted by Carly

Hi Vanessa,
Wow! It looks like you had an AMAZING time! Thank you for sharing all your beautiful photos. I spent a good half an hour looking through them and reading about your adventures - I really felt as thought I was there with you on your trip! I would certainly have like to have been - especially for the "eating good food, drinking good wine" bit! ;-)


amazingly fabulous holiday- thanks for sharing ;O)such wonderful the pretty sights and amazing views.

i think you deserved that beer ;0)x

(used to be a mermaids purse x )

Jenni at Baa-me Kniits

Vanessa I always love your photos, you have such an eye for the littel details. I felt like I was almost showed me just the things I would have been looking at myself :-) Also you have shown us your colourful side but we have not noticed Hugo's....loved his green shoes and socks!! Brilliant :-) How lovely to have a holiday with your mum and dad, you all looked very relaxed and at ease with life. PS Sarah London is having a giveaway on her blog of her new book and is doing a book blog tour....check it out it looks gorgeous hugs Jen xx


while I loved seeing the places you've been, I have to comment on how well your parents look. You're lucky to have such fabulous genes!


Hurrah you're back! Welcome home. How nice that you came home to find you had won a give a way too. I hope I can post this, I've been having problems with comments disappearing and have had to investigate. Something about cookies but my settings haven't changed so its all a bit mysterious.

Lovely to hear you had such a good time, your photos are gorgeous. You went to a lovely lovely place, steeped in history. Carcassonne is a very special place. Isn't it weird though how you can exist in different places and then come back and feel you have never been away? Time and place is all a bit strange I think.

You are right, your parents look fabulous. Luckily, you have those very same genes!

You know how other people's holiday photos can be deathly dull? And you have to sit nodding away (or nodding off) while they show you the next one and the next one. Well, sharing your pictures and holiday tales is NEVER like that! It's really interesting and full of lovely things to see and hear about. It's been lovely to have been taken on a tour with you as our guide. I'll come on the next one too if that's OK?

Hope you are enjoying our sunshine, isn't it gorgeous? Lucky us!


Just landed on your blog via Lucy (attic 24).
Loved the photos, we live nearby in Béziers, so know Carcassonne well, and we 'did' Peyrepertuse last year....I'll never forget those slippery steps!

Coincidentally we were in Toulouse a few weeks ago too, small world. Your parents look great.


I feel like I've just been on holiday with you!!!! Wonderful pictures!

The Curious Cat

blimey! It really was jam packed! Amazing photo feast! Looks wonderful. Glad you had a lovely time! xxx


Ok, so what do I start with...? That I loved every single photo? That I wish I was going to France right now!? That your parents look really well for their age? That your scarf, as all your creations, is brilliant?

I think I'll just say: thank you for the virtual journey and all of the explanations (you are a good tour guide!) and hope that you've managed to have a break and are ready for the new projects.


What a fun, fun trip! Thank you for sharing it with us! I'm green with envy and thankful I can live vicariously through others!

mlle paradis

looks like a lovely holiday vanessa. i'm already a huge fan of france but you may yet convince me that i should also be as enthusiastic about those wire-hair dachshunds. so very sweet......

Insurance Check

Always such a treat. Your mother looks so young! Thanks for the post. Loved the photos, I'm green with envy and thankful I can live vicariously through others!

gris fleur

C'etait donc un tres beau voyage en France !

 Joyce Stewart

What a wonderful journey that was! Great arty photos...your parents look amazing to have been so active just before the photo...wish I looked as good as your Mum. They look extremely healthy.
Thanks for sharing all that loveliness - I've come over from Heather's first visit to you but I'll be back!


I have been ooohing and aaahing over all your pictures... especially the stained glass windows in the cathedral. WOW!

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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