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

Blog powered by Typepad

« Sketchbook-ing. | Main | The Whippet. »



Dear Vanessa,

So you have returned home with mixed feelings? Glad to be back but missing the luxury of having days of 'freedom' in which to work with only yourself to think about. I can imagine how you are feeling and I totally get it. In your (busy) shoes I would make sure I tell myself that there will be another similar holiday on the horizon. Speaking of horizons Skye is the perfect place, isn't it? I was only eighteen when I set foot on its shores and my admiration for the place hit me hard. It leaves its mark that's for sure.

It's lovely to have you back and I imagine you made full use of your quiet time.

Happy inspiration and hard work to you, Vanessa! ;-)


Gorgeous. The photos are really stunning. I hope you were able to do lots of work and still feel you're returning home refreshed.


So beautiful, and very different from the Ontario vistas I see. It would be difficult for me to focus and not wander about.


What an idyllic place to work. Skye is one of my favourite places in the whole world, don't think I could every spend enough time there.
Carol xx



I wonder how much a wondeful paper maché coffea cup with seedling costs? And if you make them by ordering? =)

Love Malin xxx

Teresa Kasner

Ahhhh.. your photos were almost like having a calm time there myself. Such vistas! The changes in the scene by the change of cloud and sun and mists.. lovely. I bet your missed your guy and the doggies, though! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)


Hi Vanessa, looks like you had a wonderful, relaxing yet productive week! Sorry it flew by so fast, you're right, two weeks is always better than one! Photo's are amazing as always and that wool shop GOT ME ALL EXCITED then I remembered it's in Skye (and I am stuck in Dundee Boo!). Looking forward to hearing all about your new paintings and sculptures x ps well done driving all that way on your own, I am a confident driver, when I am in my comfort zone (as in driving round where I live) but as soon as I am somewhere new I totally get stressed out (and lost!) so much admiration that you drove all the way there and back on your own x

Vintage Squirrel

It IS a long way, even if you live in Scotland! We got married on Skye with 17 guests, on a Tuesday afternoon. My parents were late, not me as they had to queue for 2 ferries as it was so busy! We dined on langoustines caught in the bay that day. The next day we fished in the pee-ing rain and gotten bitten to death by midges! You chose the very best time to go and must have had great weather too. Next time you go, take Hugo to dinner at The Three Chimneys, it's very special. Your photos are fantastic and I particularly like the one of the little-known curious Skye breed of sheep, the legless white. Katie x
Ps...we found a home!


Lovely Vanessa
What a beautiful and inspiring post. How I would love to go to Skye, it's on my bucket list! Thank you for sharing the beauty you found in it and as for the yarn, well I am all candy shopped out seeing it ;-)

Good to know you got home safely to your little dogs and Hugo after such a long drive and I am so pleased each moment was worth it for you xox


Seriously lovely wools...sounds like you had an excellent week: peace,work and WOOL.I have to confess that I miss my pets when away, so two weeks would just be too much!Pathetic, but true.
Nice to have you back.x


Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos, Vanessa. It made me want to book a ticket to the UK & Skye right now! I live in Australia - in a very beautiful place, with its own stunning views and wild open spaces, but there's something about the green and the mountains and sea, and heathered hillsides of Scotland that just gets under your skin (perhaps for me it's the bloodline from my Scottish Granny). And the wool... The colours are divine. Thanks so much for giving your blog readers a virtual visit to the 'sweet shop'! Glad you had a lovely working holiday in this beautiful place.
fiona x

Trudy McLauchlan

Vanessa, you LUCKY DUCK!!!
Your week away sounds divine. Your photos are brilliant and has everyone yearning for some time away.
Thanks for sharing.
Trudy x


How idyllic! The little cottage is gorgeous, the landscape incredible, and there's wool! I understand you wishing for a little longer :)


Oh my Vanessa, how to make a girl feel green a hundred times over ... Skye, Shilasdair, more Skye. I hope your stay was everything you wished it to be.

My little parcel arrived safely, thank you so much x

Pretty Nelli

What a place and what a view. I wouldn't want to leave either!


I'm really glad to read your last news!! I think it has been wonderful to be there!!
And the yarn so yummy! lucky you!
xxx Alessandra


So beautiful, Vanessa!!! ... sheep and yarn and sky and water ... I'm so glad you
were able to travel and enjoy so much. Thanks for sharing with us! <3

Magic Cochin

How beautiful! I hope you got lots of work done, but most of all I hope you felt rejuvenated and soothed and inspired in that lovely cottage.

It is a very long way away... I thought it would be a shorter distance for you! For me it would be another 4 or 5 hours on top of your journey!

I've been to Skye twice but for short visits while in the area or on the way to the ferry to the Isles. BUT I have been to that wool shop :-) you lucky girl having a PV of the wools.

I remember going into a trance trying to decide which colour to buy. In the end I bought a misty grey/blue and a black - I must have been influenced by the weather as at the time there was a thick fog enveloping the island!!! I knitted a lovely sweater with pockets - it is and has been for some time, in the mending pile as the pocket has torn. I'm going to hoik it out right now and mend it.



Skye is fab, do you know the little but amazing resturant called Creelers there? They make a v v yummy gumbo. I must go back!

Helen Philipps

I loved this post, Vanessa! Your pictures of Skye are wonderfully evocative of that beautiful place. It has special memories for us, though it's such a long way from where we live we have done the journey with an overnight stop. You did well to drive so long on your own. I loved all the pictures, and the idea of you working there in that quiet landscape is very inspiring.
Thanks for sharing so many delightful photos.
Helen x


So glad your stay was everything you hoped for--and more.....and thanks for taking me with you via your photos! Lovely.


Wonderful trip to Skye, and much better to go out of season as it can get very busy in the summer. I went to Shilasdair too when I was there, what an incredible place! Next time you go up north, try staying on the mainland and go right up to Wester Ross. Better scenery than Skye, quieter, and fewer single-track roads :-)


Oh my goodness I'm going there in July and it looks perfectly stunning! The wool shop would indeed be like a sweetie shop for me, the colours are so beautiful!
Jess xx


It looks so restful and peaceful in your photographs. I guess it was a great time for reflection as well as creation. What a great opportunity, I wish I could do it too!


i'm speechless. i've been checking to see if you were back and then i left too this last week. we've returned now and i found this post.
vanessa! your photos are stunning, i've looked at this post 3 times before commenting. and i'm sure i'll look at it many times more. i can't believe you stayed in that cottage. and drove all that way. and i can only imagine what you created while you were there.
i'm trying not to be envious, but i can't help it. i hope hope hope someday i'll be able to visit there. i want to stay in the cottage you did. and see the knitting shop. and walk those hills.
a knitted dress? did you make one while there?
this post takes my breath away.
i'm glad your safely back.
xxx lori

lynne at Textile Treasury

What a lovely post, Vanessa, the photos are true eye candy.

I think you have lived -if only for a short spell- the dream of many ordinary women, happily established in warm loving relationships, with nothing to want to 'run away' from: to escape for a while to a special spot to just 'be', either to work, stitch, paint, read, compose - satisy that creative urge without the need to consider family obligations and committments. And what a beautiful place to just 'be'.

So pleased you had this time for yourself....struggling to stifle the green envies!


it really is otherwordly-
your photographs are magical!
thank you for taking us there x


These photos are all soooo lovely. Thank you for posting them.

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