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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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Archie the wonder dog

They look like lovely books - I think my niece would love them, thanks for the introduction!

mlle paradis

love the looseness and humor in these illustrations.

i collect the kids books too - originally the idea was to entertain my younger guests - but guess what?

i posted about my collection once:


Here here Vanessa about children's books not just being for children. I buy Alice an illustrated children's book each year for her birthday and will do until the day I pop off!! These are two special books Vanessa, thank you for sharing Helen's delight's with us.

Often there is a very simple but lifelong moral message in children's books which I simply love xox Happy week-ending x


Vanessa, I collect children's picture books too!!! It started when my children were small and I was making myself a few pennies as a stay at home mum running children's book parties for The Red House, and it just never stopped. These books are delightful and lucky, lucky you to have them personalised for you by your friend :D

Liz in Missouri (with Lucy)

How Wonderful! The books look lovely,and then to have your friend sign them for you is the cherry on top. Little Fleabag is the spitting image of Lucy's good friend, Scamp who lives with MY good friend, Kris. (Some kind of odd Terrier mix)
When I was in college studying Elementary Education, for a brief while I wanted to change my major to Children's Literature. Unfortunately, the option was not available at that time or place. Eventually my collection of wonderful children's books passed to my own children. I'm always so glad, though, to read your blog and know your work and discover new (to me) artists and writers (and knitters) through you, not to mention the wonderful world of Evangeline and all her friends. You are a treasure. I'm so grateful.


Dear Vanessa,

Thank you very much for sharing these adorable books with us. I will be ordering them both immediately. I honestly believe that adults derive as much joy from children's books as children themselves. It is precious for us, so often made rigid by everyday obligations, to remember the magic of a child's ability to be transported... on an iceberg, why not? ;-)

I love those dog drawings. One cannot help but become attached to Fleabag.

Have a beautiful weekend.

Bobo Bun

Mike brought Ruby and the Noisy Hippo and Ruby and the Muddy Dog home from a work trip away when Rosey (nearly 12) was 1. It's still read today as one of our comforting fun reads. We have a few others too as we love her work. Another favourite is Charlotte Voake, love her inkwork. Mr Davies and the Baby is an absolute favourite. He's a cheeky dog that we see here and there and still call out there's Mr Davies. Whilst these books are part of childhood, the beauty of them continues on. Our favourite that you illustrated Vanessa is The Magic Donkey Ride.


wonderful...thanks for posting her links; i often find myself reading through childrens' books and thinking how much i'd love to write/illustrate them ;)


and this reminds me how much i love your illustrations also vanessa! to be a children's book writer and illustrator, what a dream. i love the signatures, how lucky to have that. i would treasure it too. thank you for sharing with us. i can't tell you how happy it makes me to have found out (through the magic of blogging) that there are many of us who love LOVE children's books and literature well into our adulthood.
i'm off to see if i can order these here in california!
xxx lori

Pretty Nelli

Fleabag looks like a charming little dog. And the drawings are delightful.

Crafted by Carly

Thank you for introducing me to such gorgeous books!!! A primary school teacher can NEVER have too many children's books (well, that's my excuse anyway)!!! ;-)


so charming! I especially like the drawing for "they both sulked for a bit"!
ps Fleabag, you can visit us any day!
Barbara x

Cath Hughes

Hi Vanessa
After reading your blog entry the other week about your friend Helen's work, I checked out her site and admired her work. On our next visit to our local library here in Vancouver, Canada, serendipity struck and there was 'Fleabag' awaiting us on the shelves. My 4 year old loved the story of the affable, protective pup,annd I admired the quality of the brushwork. We will seek out Helen's work further. Thanks for the introduction. I really enjoy reading your blog!


thank you for sharing article!I honestly believe that adults derive as much joy from children's books as children themselves. It is precious for us, so often made rigid by everyday obligations, I will continue noticing your blog!


How lovely to have such a clever and inspiring friend! I agree, her illustrations appeal to adults every much as children, they're charming and very expressive. Thank for the links, I'm off to have a visit to her work now! :)
Jess xx


I've got a couple of cats that could sometimes answer to the name Flea bags!

I love how no-ones style is the same. These stories look lovely. The little drawings that Helen has done specially for you are so sweet. I love children' books. I have all my daughters old one's still. I really have a soft spot for the hard backed Enid Blyton's that I read as a child. It's the illustrations inside and the often kitsch covers (it was the 70's!). A thing both my daughter and I share is a love for fairy stories. I have a small collection of those. Children's books are very special. We used to love all the Mog books especially because of the cat's expressions which really reminded us of our own cat and made us laugh. Another favourite was 'Five minutes peace' about a mummy elephant trying to find some 'me' time. It was a Walker book I think, as so many of our lovely books were.

For a brief while I was taught by an illustrator at school (one of the tasks she set was drawing our shoes). I remember I made a right hash of illustrating the saying 'no use crying over spilt milk'. I tried to look her up online but she has the same name as a well-known children's writer and she always pops up instead.

Oh and don't you think your little doggies would make a gorgeous book for little people? I do!


Vanessa, these look like wonderful books and I will check them out.
Today I bought a book for my 13 mo old grand daughter who loves to see bees and when I got home I noticed that the book was Illustrated by you it's called Love is a Handful of Honey. It is such a cute book and your pictures are wonderful!! I can hardly wait for her to see it.
Renee Michigan U.S.A.

vivien cooper

Thanks for sharing Vanessa - love your blog. Must get those books for my granddaughters, they look wonderful. Viv


Your whimsical art really appeals to me and your knitting projects are hugely inspiring.

I have nominated your blog for a Versatile Blogger award. No pressure, just appreciation.


abercrombie uk

the illustrator of children's books is so cute, that is fit for them. thank you for sharing article! I will continue noticing your blog!


WOW!What a lovely mouse


oooh we have the Fleabag book it's adorable! one of our favourites. i must look into getting the penguin one too.

shox pas cher

Heute kaufte ich mir ein Buch für meine 13 mo alte Enkelin, die Bienen zu sehen liebt, und wenn ich nach Hause kam, bemerkte ich, dass das Buch von Ihnen illustriert wurde es heißt Liebe ist eine Hand voll Honig. Es ist so ein süßes Buch und Ihre Bilder sind wunderbar! Ich kann es kaum erwarten es für sie zu sehen.

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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