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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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Teresa Kasner

You're a very good aunt! I love all of your paintings! I wonder why your sister doesn't read your blog? Both of mine do, but I don't think my brother does. Congrats again on the big show.. I'm proud to "know" you. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)


What a brilliant idea Vanessa, I like the secret bit! Your moles are so adorable and I am so sure that some of the parents at Millie's school will recognise these friendly characters from your illustrations. Well done and well deserved on selling your determined Cat. I am sure some fortunate person will scoop up the other two. Are you planning to make cards with these lovelies too ?
Keep warm and cosy xox


Vanessa, there is SO much excitement here! I have read your current and previous posts with great glee. How marvellous to see someone as worthy, hard-working, AND talented leap from the rooftops of artistic success with such grace. Bravo wonderful you!

I must confess when reading your description of "Secret Art" I got all excited thinking about the concept behind this fundraising event. It matches a child's perception of Willy Wonka's chocolate bar with the gold ticket concealed in the wrapper only much more exciting because it is art-oriented.

Sigh. Such wonderful things going on in this world of ours. Fortunately.

Crafted by Carly

What an awesome aunty you are, Vanessa! And what a brilliant concept - I had never heard of the 'Secret Art' thing before. My husband organises a charity art auction every year (at the school where we work - each class makes a piece of art, then the parents bid). I wonder whether we could incorporate something like this.....
I'm so pleased that the big show went well for you - I'm sure there will be plenty more in the future!


Lovely idea x


Oh goodness, those postcards are just wonderful!

The Secret Art sales are such a great way to make money and I love that people buy on the basis of liking the image rather than the name attached.

Ice everywhere here too, and then water as the ice thawed. It's been a chilly, drippy day!

greedy for colour

That is such a wonderuffle (it started off as a spelling mistake and then I liked the word...) idea. So much more fun than a secret santa. Lots of love, Kate xxooxx.


This is a really nice thing to do, Vanessa, and I'm sure the buyer will be thrilled.
The cat...oh sob... he was so lovely. Even Mr HH was impressed! Congratulations though, you deserve it. Please please print cards showing the cat and dog (I think I already have the cloud/rabbit one?) I showed my cards to Mr HH the other day but they resolutely remain unsent, they're mine! Maybe I need another set to send? I've kept all your gift tags, when you're famous, I'll have a Vanessa original or two!
Hen xxx


I have been reading The Best Gift Of All with my boys today- I wish we could sneak along and buy your beautiful paintings! Rx


Great news about the exhibition - I was passing through Waverley on Saturday, but didn't read the blog til I got home - boo!
Love the Secret Art idea too - I love to have what pleases me in my home, and this seems a great way of getting something you like for a bargainous price.

Archie the wonder dog

What a great idea! And congratulations on selling a piece at the private view!


Oh, I really do love the Determined Cat. You must be delighted when you sell a sculpture, but do you also feel a little bit sad?! Bx xxx


Well done on selling the cat- I'm sure the others will sell too, they are so lovely.


What a brilliant idea! Your little cards are so lovely. :)
Vivienne x


What a great idea, love your paintings, I'm sure they will be very popular.
I guess you have mixed feelings about selling the determined cat. You must make such a connection with your pieces when you spend so much time with creating them. He was so lovely.
Carol xx


you are a sweet auntie!!
love, xxx


Brilliant idea. Glad the exhibition went well. I bet your sister secretly reads your blog - why wouldn't she????? Good luck with the Secret Art event.

Danielle Murdoch

Wow - your stuff is amazing!
I meet your parents in the simian mountains and joined their tour for a couple of hours - we of course discussed you and I just had to look you up and im sure glad I did. They were right, your work is fantastic.
NZL on a motorcycle.

Please say hello to your parents when they return from their adventure.

D A Nelson

Your paintings are lovely and what a nice thing to do. Hope they raise lots of cash at the sale.

Dawn x


What a great idea. Your niece sounds very proud of you. Well done and congratulations re your previous post. How fab is that!

Liz in Missouri (with Lucy)

I think the "Secret Art' is a wonderful idea! I hope that lots and lots of money is raised for the school. I'm sure your niece is very proud of her talented Auntie. Of course I agree with the two above who suggested these would be lovely notecards. I'm wondering if there are copyrite issues because of the books, or do the characters remain yours? You know I would buy them! I love your cards but I have to say that they have only been sent to very special, art-worthy people. One of these days, when a few other things get paid, I hope to be the proud owner of a Cabban original. Till then I'm so happy that you share with us here.


I stumbled on your blog and had to look twice - I know that mol! How wonderful to "meet" the artist behind it :)


Was just reading the Diamond in the Snow to the kids tonight - we love these creatures! Lots of love, Joanne xxx

Wool Free and Lovin' Knit

oh, what a lucky niece you have. And what a wonderful fundraiser. Oh and congrats on your sale at the private viewing, although how you ever let those animals go is beyond me!

Nikki Relffe-Arnold

What a brilliant fundraising idea! I LOVE your artwork - so whimsical :-)


Thank you for your lovely comment regarding Rufus.


Hello, Vanessa. What a very clever girl you are! I love that I arrived at your blog via a link from another blog, only to find that you are the talent behind illustrations I have always admired - they are full of joy! Can't understand the ice comment, though. Today where I live it is 38C!! No ice on our beaches!!
Thank you for showing us your inspirations.


i think your the world's best auntie! oh how lucky that school is, and how thrilled some unsuspecting buyer is going to be. you are so cool.
and i LOVE those little paintings!! yes, cards please??


I wasn't able to post this earlier but I just dropped in to tell you that I've got an award for you over at my blog! :)


Oh my goodness I LOVE them Vanessa!!!!! Will you be making them into prints??? raise further funds perhaps? I will be fist in line to purchase!



Fiona Austin

Ah! I do read every now and then! These are fabulous cards Vanessa. Thanks so much for doing them for Millie's school in Buckinghamshire. I almost wish we could do an auction for them! LOL Fiona xxx (little sis!)

The comments to this entry are closed.

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