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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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Your outfit is fantastic, but I would have felt the same about taking on the persona too, good for you for the massive effort though.

I (rather stupidly) thought those were plums on the trees, gosh I didn't realise that's what they looked like, and they look huge! What a shame you don't get out there more often, but what a treat when you do!

I certainly am not running at full steam ahead yet and feel like I'm dashing about but getting nothing done. Hope your pace returns, I'm hoping mine will soon too.

Happy new year!





Hello Vanessa! It's so wonderful to see you back.

Your pictures of Spain have transported me back to my time spent living in Greece many moons ago. I remember my first winter in Athens and the orange trees bedecking every avenue. Of course those oranges were purely decorative but so pretty with a layer of snow, I recall. And the olive groves? Oh, such happy memories of sun-drenched afternoons wandering through those silvery leaved trees.

Thank you for that! Yes, you are right the olives do look like very pretty beads.

Dear Vanessa, I know it's a little late but I am sending you much joy, peace, and creativity with a good pinch of EXCITEMENT for this new year. I cannot wait to see what you will make of 2012.

A bientôt,


harmony and rosie

Happy New Year Vanessa.

Oh you have me laughing away at your explanation of the party, what a hoot, tee hee. You look amazing, on the edge of glory, in fact I am speechless. What a lot of effort you went to, I hope the paparazzi were there, and I would loved to have heard what those boys had to say to you on your way home. They probably looked at your brown eyes and wondered if you were gonna marry the night. But honestly, Hugo, what a Judas for staying on longer .. I'd say you got bad romance, girl?!

See what I did there?????


The orange and olive trees are glorious.
Fishnets,binbag of meat and no specs,drunks...VERY impressed you lasted to 1am and walked home alone.I think I would have chickened out before it even got to the buying a wig stage!
You looked stupendous.
Happy & productive New Year.


What a laugh! As someone who wears contact lenses, I know what you mean by not feeling completely there and not hearing well without them/ my glasses! I think you were very brave and your description of your outfit had me in stitches. Spain looks lovely, nice to see some sunshine. Happy New Year


Happy New Year Vanessa!! How lovely to have you back.

And your costume! Amazing!! I would never have been inventive enough to make such a thing or brave enough to wear it, let alone walk home unescorted in it.

Such beautiful photographs of Spain ... I need to find an orange to nibble now!


Wow, your outfit was mega, thanks for letting us see, Vanessa. I really enjoyed those photos of the area around your parents' home, oh to see sunshine and oranges grow. Hmm, think I need a holiday! Happy New year to you all.
Hen x


Brilliant costume, very brave! Happy New Year :)


Welcome back Vanessa and a Happy New Year to you too.
Lovely photos, very bright and cheerful.
You look amazing in your costume and very brave to walk home alone in it, it's a wonder you didn't get asked for your autograph.
I wear glasses or contact lenses and know how weird it can feel without them.
Carol xx


Happy New Year Vanessa! Enjoyed your costume, a very clever idea but I can see where you would need to stand a lot and not be too comfortable. But You looked amazing. I know exactly what you mean about not feeling all there when you can't see properly. Happens to me also....not a great feeling.
Your Spain photos were fabulous. And the olive tree was so pretty. I didn't know what it was and it did look like beads. I love olives-yummy. Thanks for sharing. Hope your week is cheery, xoRobin❤


Felice 2012!!!!
I had a lot of fun in reading your description about the party!!!
Spain is so beautiful and it reminds me the beauty of my home country!!!
Love, xxxx

Teresa Kasner

Dear Vanessa.. a wonderful trip you had! Your description of the party was hilarious.. you had me worried walking home alone in that outfit! You are very brave. You looked gorgeous!
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Pretty Nelli

I love the picture where the sea appears to be turquoise and the young olive tree - simply pretty.


Happy New Year Vanessa and thank you for the shot of sunshine with the photos of your stay with your parents. Much needed in this grey world! x

Magic Cochin

Gosh! You look like a platter of Spanish ham!

I think that was very brave of you to walk home by yourself dressed in your Lady Gaga costume... something I may well have done when I was an art student but I've lost my nerve (foolhardyness?) somewhere along the way.

Happy New Year to both you and Hugo - here's to a creative and successful 2012.


cath w

HA!!! Did you spend the evening fending off people singing "Butch-er arms around me, Honey..."?
Happy New Year!

The Muse of The Day

I can barely write this comment, I am literally LOL. When I first began reading I was feeling sorry for myself wishing for Spain like weather and vistas, but you brought me right back to reality laughing. happy New Year. Carolina


Happy New Year Vanessa, may it be a great one for you.
What a contrasting post. I enjoyed reading about and looking at your photos of your Spain trip. Very reaxing, but then the next bit about the party wasn't at all relaxing. Some interesting points you made. You are so inventive, the costume was great. I loved the olives too, very pretty.


We go to my parents place in Mallorca every year and have been there since I was 6 - like you say it is lovely to go somewhere that feels so much like home - love those olive colours, stunning. And your outfit looks delicioso :-)

Crafted by Carly

Happy new year, Vanessa!!!
It looks as though you had a lovely time is Spain. My favourite photos are the olives - I can't believe their amazing colours! Beautiful!!!
That really is an interesting costume. Very inventive! :-)


Happy 2012, and welcome back to you Vanessa!

Those pictures of beautiful Spain really do show me a very different place to celebrate Christmas. Those multi-color olives ripening on the tree are quite beautiful. Yes, very bead-esque.

And now, let me compliment you on the Gaga outfit. I think that Lady G is quite a talent, on more than one level, and that she and her career and influences have got lots of staying power.

You were clever to use photocopying to get that carne covering. Bravo! And bravo also on getting yourself home on your own.

I'm still saying Happy New Year to lots of folks who come by the shop, though might have to ease off that greeting now that January days have hit double digits and we are past the first full moon.

My mind is full of plans for this year, and some of those plans are actually creative.



woweee your outfits fantastic!!!! such a great idea! and you look miles more normal than the gaga!...your trip to spain looked blissful xx
have a great new year sweetie,

x kazzy x

Planet Penny

You look great in the costume, but SO brave! Especially going home alone. The area where you parents live looks beautiful, and it must have been great to have some sunshine in the dark days of the year. What beautiful colours those olives are, especially against the dull grey of the leaves.
A very happy New Year to you, Hugo and your fur babies from Planet Penny, and an especially doggy lick from Higgins!
love Penny xxx

Archie the wonder dog

You look great in your costume but I can imagine that people also expected you to act a certain way... The photos of the olive tree are beautiful! Happy New Year!


Funny - I can never hear properly when I don't wear my much-needed glasses either.


I love the pictures from your holiday and your Lady Ga Ga story made me smile. You rock that look! Bx xxxx


you are too funny, and adorable as miss gaga. i am afraid i wouldn't be as brave, not a big costume person. i've missed your posts vanessa, but i'm so glad you were off having fun. spain! and with family, so wonderful!! happy new year dear!


How nice to see you! A very Happy New Year to you, Hugo and the little doggies. Your photo's from sunny Spain are just lovely. I had no idea olives are all different colours like that. And I love seeing oranges grow. So colourful and happy to look at. I'm glad you had a happy time with your family over Christmas. It IS hard to get back into the swing of things again isn't it? I'm not doing so badly this year but last year I was terrible. I am very fond of Christmas so I like to keep it going for as long as I can.

You look fabulous in your outfit; it's brilliant! A novel idea very well executed. I bet everyone at the party appreciated your efforts. I am shortsighted too - wearing both glasses and contact lenses at different times. Gone are the days when I left them off for vanity reasons, it's far too discombobulating to do it now. It feels really weird doesn't it, as if you are not quite in on everything.

Very brave of you walking home by yourself, your comment about being treated like a piece of meat did make me laugh! I have definitely missed you and am glad you are back. You may not think you are entertaining but readers of this blog may well beg to differ. There is being loud and there is being interesting!

Trudy McLauchlan

Great story about the party and your costume. Had me giggling!!
Cheers, Trudy

The Curious Cat

Happy New Year! You look EXCELLENT as Lady Gaga!!! xxx


oh I just adore the olives, the sea, the oranges, the sun - what a beautiful place to grow up in!

lovely to see you back Vanessa, your costume is so daring and stunning!

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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