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« The Brown Mouse. | Main | Another few weeks on Skye would have been lovely! »



Hi Vanessa. Your little mouse looks so peaceful. I love stories about mice, particuarly Mrs Tiddlemouse but more recently Lucy Mouse (keeps a secret). I am a very cautious person and probably would not let strangers know where I will be staying in a remote place. Take care and have a lovely working holiday. Bx


Super work! Have a wonderful week- oh how I dream of doing just that- off,alone,working...enjoy.x


Vanessa, what you've written about time really resonates with me. I often have no idea what day of the week it might be, unless reminded by a person, or a glimpse at a calendar page or email dictating some deadline.

What I am trying to create in this still fairly new year, is giving myself more uncharted time. Time to think, time that really does not have to have a specific date assigned. Free time. Crative time. This attempt is in its early stages, but I am just beginning to feel some sort of change.

Hoping that your week away will be marvelous.

Your drawings and mouse painting are definitely marvelous. xo

Teresa Kasner

Your remote cottage getaway sounds idyllic. Please do share photos of it when you return. ((hugs)), Teresa :-) (I have some cute photos of Buddy in my post before last.)


my gosh, you just made that painting. i gasped when i saw the sketch, but the painting vanessa. it's incredible. all your sketches are exquisite. but the tribute to the wee mouse moves me so.
have a brilliant, creative, in the moment week dear. wish i could hop in your pocket, i would love to do something like that. the long drive alone will be a good place to begin living every minute.
xxx lori

The Muse of The Day

I can only comment on half the post, Vanessa. I have a REAL aversion to the sight of mice. I couldn't look at your last post either. I am sure they are "cute"... to everyone else. I didn't even look at them long enough to see if you had painted them well, which I am sure your did. I had to totally cover the screen while I scrolled back up to the beginning so I have no idea what you wrote once the mice made an appearance. So I will comment on the "reality" part. I often feel, when I have left the studio, like an astronaut that is coming back to earth. I actually call that transition period "re-entry". Somehow everything looks different to me as I walk about knowing what I just have experienced in the "other reality" ... there is kind of a muted, or let's say out of focus sensation to it all.
Wow. I sound kind of fruity. It is probably way past my bedtime. Carolina

Trudy McLauchlan

What a fabulous week away you'll have in your isolated cottage, Vanessa. I even love the idea of the long drive. Have a ball!!!


I think it's called being in the zone. I'd like to be there more often. Have a lovely time in your hideaway.

French Knots

A week of working away sounds wonderful, a creative retreat.
Your doggie sketches are so full of life and personality, very endearing.
Have a wonderful week!


Your break although still working will be a change and therefore a rest I'm is just as well in your kind of work to get lost in it all rather, otherwise you'd not be able to create the amazing things you do.

Have a lovely time with new discoveries and a different pace!


Wishing you the best of creative and happy holidays. xx


Wow, I wish I could draw and sketch like that! I hope you enjoy your holiday - it sounds like it will be heavenly!


Love the sketches of the doggies!


You do such justice to the animal kingdom, Vanessa! Poetry on paper. I admire you. Really.

Yes, yes, yes to being happiest when engaging with my own mind and in a world of my own. It's a constant juggle when living with four wonderful people. Barring my own family I could quite happily spend time creating and not speaking to anyone for days on end.

Oh yes; I love my little puppy so very much and he is CERTAINLY not perfect either ;-)

Archie the wonder dog

I love the sketches of the dogs!! Have a lovely 'get away from it all and be creative' holiday - don't forget to come back!

Susan hughes

I love your mouse paintings. S.

Helen Philipps

Beautiful sketch book drawings, Vanessa. So well observed and sensitive. I hope you have a lovely trip, and get lots done. It will be a good way to get really deep into concentrated creativity. I am so glad to see it's not just me that 'loses' days because of it! Take care. Looking forward to hearing about it when you come home.
Helen x


you are too clever for words so i will just say thank you. ihave read some of your books Have any of your books got a adoption theme or building a family or belonging .


Happy Happy holidays Vanessa, have a wonderful time, enjoy every minute and look forward to hearing about it all when you get back! Your sketches and paintings are lovely, as always x


Take good care of yourself in your country cottage Vanessa, it sounds a bit of an adventure. It's a nice time of year for such things, right on the cusp of Spring. You should have lovely peace and quiet and if we cross our fingers even some nicer weather.

I love your sketches, especially the doggies in their baskets. I used to love the idea of a sketch book but I could never bring myself to draw in public places because I know people would want to have a look (I always do!) I never got past my doodling and scribbling on bits of old envelopes or something tatty - fear of the blank bit of paper I suppose. Beautiful little mouse painting, what a sweet little thing she was.

I am a great procrastinator. I spend time 'away from home' as in my own world but while I am there I get nothing done. I am a shocking time waster. Partly how months and years become one I think.

I hope you enjoy your cottage venture and get what you need and want from it. I'm sure you will create some marvellous things there. 7 hours driving is a long time though isn't it?!

annies abode

omg vanessa you are so talented.

i just love all your illustrations, together with your sculptures, knitting, crocheting, dressmaking - is there no end to your talents?
your solitary holiday full of crafting sounds idyllic - although i wouldn't fancy the 7 hour drive!
have a good time

Magic Cochin

I love your description "when I'm doing my sculptures, paintings, or illustration work, I'm just existing in one dimension, my mind " I think that is the place where all creative people find themselves when they are purely creating their best work. It gives a buzz like no other feeling.

I was once recovering from surgery and discovered I could no longer get to that creative place... my brain had disconnected with my hands because there was so much mending to be done in other bits of my body. That was the scariest 8 weeks ever.

Do have a wonderful time in your parallel universe, Vanessa!



I can really identify with that "where did the time go?" feeling. I came to write a blog post last night and was amazed to discover it had been a whole five days since my last one, I was sure it was only a couple! I hope you have a great work-holiday and find it creative and inspiring.

Planet Penny

I love your doggy sketches, they really capture the essence of your two loveable little fur babies! I hope you have a wonderful and creative time in your hideaway but do try and eat more than cornflakes without Hugo there to look after you!
Penny (and Higgins of course) xxx


The mice paintings are awesome... Even though the mouse is dead...


Oooh that sounds brilliant Vanessa, a week away to create. Have a great time :-)


Ohhh HELLOOO! I've read your Bringing Down the Moon book in school. It was appreciated by my pupils!

harmony and rosie

Beautiful, stunning work Vanessa. Enjoy your time off, I hope you get some relaxation in their somewhere.
Kate x

harmony and rosie

oops, typo!

Liz in Missouri (with Lucy)

A Retreat! How Lovely! I'm sure you will get lots done and be at peace in "the zone" with no interruptions or distractions. Good on you for taking the time you need. I think it sounds just wonderful.
I can't say enough about your art - only that I wish I could commission just such a page of sketches of little Lucy, who sends a happy "arf, arf" to Ellie and Douglas!


Tell me again, just how much do you love those doggies? Gorgeous sketches, it's a great feeling being immersed in your creative life!


Beautiful sketches of the doggies! I love the paintings of the mouse too even though I wouldn't want to see a dead mouse in real life thankyou very much ;o) Your paintings of it are wonderful!
Jess xx


your sketches are lovely and i am sure the spirit of brown mouse appreciates your kind tribute.. i notice she has a sweet smile on her face.

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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