Vanessa Cabban – a Tribute

Yesterday I was shocked and so saddened to hear of the tragic death on December 17th of Vanessa Cabban, a talented artist and illustrator who’s blog ‘Do you Mind if I Knit‘ was one of my inspirations when I first began to write here on Planet Penny.

I’m sure many of you who visit here will have come across Vanessa’s blog, where she wrote so entertainingly about her adventures with yarn, her two wire haired dachshunds, Ellie and Douglas and also about her life and the beautiful area in which she lived.

We bonded over our mutual love of dachshunds and Vanessa was a big fan of Higgins.  Her colourful and funny children’s books were a big hit with my grandsons when they were small, and Vanessa’s papier mache sculptures are a joy to behold, so vibrant and full of joie de vivre.

Sadly, Vanessa’s marriage ended a couple of years ago and her work took a different direction.  Still beautiful, but quiet and reflective.  When we last corresponded she wrote of her determination to move on to a new era in her life, and I am so, so sad to realise that that life has now come to end.

Vanessa Cabban was hugely talented and although we never met in person she seemed a warm and lovely human being.  I cannot begin to think how her family and friends are feeling, or how they will come to terms with their tragic loss, but I know they will be in the hearts of many of us in the blogging world over Christmas and beyond.

Rest in Peace, dear Vanessa x


In memory of Vanessa, her family have set up a Just Giving page where you can make a donation to the Mental Health Foundation.

 Ed to add – 30/12/2014: So many people have been remembering Vanessa today, the day of her funeral.  Find out about the ‘Do You Mind If I Knit?’ tributes here … 

Ed – 10/05/2015: A beautiful crochet blanket made by bloggers inspired by Vanessa’s creativity has been made to raise funds for the Mental Health Foundation.  Follow this link to donate and be entered in the draw.

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28 thoughts on “Vanessa Cabban – a Tribute

  1. buntyw

    I’ve just read about Vanessa’s death on another blog – how awful.
    I read and loved her blog for a long time.
    Rest in peace dear Vanessa

  2. Magic Cochin

    Like you I got news of Vanessa’s death, early yesterday and it rocked me to my heart. I had exchanged messages with her via Pinterest only a few weeks ago. I hope she knew what an inspiration she was to so many people of all ages, whether they read her charming books, shared her love of knitting and dogs or swapped thoughts about the ups and downs of being freelance.
    Celia xx

  3. Penny

    I can’t quite believe what I am reading here Penny, she was such a beautiful inspiration , I have some of her lovely gift tags and cards she made and loved all of her work, especially her knitting. Such a loss, rest in peace beautiful Vanessa xox

  4. Mirjam

    Oh no, what a horrific news…
    Thanks for paying attention to it though, otherwise I might not have known about it…
    She was indeed a huge inspiration and I loved all the sweet characters she made…
    Love from Mirjam.

  5. Rowena

    I was so shocked to read about Vanessa. She made me a most beautiful brooch of my Jack Russell Eddie, and she captured his likeness and character so well. She understood my love for my dogs and I have kept her emails when we were corresponding about the brooch. Eddie even made an entry on her blog. I was amazed at her talent and was sad for her when she split from her husband. Thinking of her family at this very sad time. Rest in peace dear Vanessa. I will cherish my brooch even more.


  6. Toffeeapple

    Penny, you have shocked me to my core with this news. How very sad. I used to follow her blog and remember that she made a sheep sculpture for Nina at Tabiboo’s daughter Miss Rosie. Her family must be devastated.

  7. Jacqueline

    I’m so shocked and sad to hear this news. She was such a talented artist, and I am so lucky to own one of her beautiful paintings. I always hoped she would start blogging again, and share more of her wonderful talent.

  8. Rowena

    I am do saddened and shocked to hear the news about Vanessa. She made me such a beautiful brooch of my dog Eddie. She captured his likeness and character and came across as a very lovely lady in our exchange of emails. I will always cherish my lovely brooch. Rest in peace dear Vanessa and thinking of your family at such a very sad time.

  9. ginaferrari

    What sad news. I too used to follow her blog and found her beautiful work an inspiration. I remember the beautiful papier mâché figures. A very sad loss.

  10. Val Reaves

    Thank you for passing on this sad news…I don’t know if I would have heard it without you. This is soooo sad… I am so sorry for her family and close friends… She was such an inspiration to me and I so enjoyed her blog… This is just so sad… I am so sorry… Peace and comfort to those close and around her… Again, thank you. 🙁

  11. Susan

    Thank you so much Penny for this beautiful tribute.
    I was deeply concerned there wasn’t mention of her in the UK (I read Melissa at Watermelon Tea 22/12 and was utterly shocked) and am so glad you have written. I hope her blog stays on the web as a testament to her talent and reminder of her beautiful personality.
    Susan x

  12. Sara

    Vanessa was such a lovely kind and sensitive person. Such a creative talented woman, but such a kind and nice person too. I have emails from her, in response to comments I left on her blog. I missed her blogging such a lot. Her emails to me were so touching. What dreadfully sad and terrible news to hear of her death. I have just read about it on Bobo bun. She was a kind and talented and special person. What a loss. How very missed she is. My condolences to her family. Thank you for remembering her.

  13. Stephanie

    I feel the loss of this remarkable woman so keenly and I know that many others share these emotions. She was a great inspiration to me; I recall the delight I felt on reading a beautiful comment she left on my very first blog post three and a half years ago. I will mourn the loss of her artistic talent – so colourful until the last year or so – but also her generosity and kindness. The world is certainly a little less beautiful without her in it.

  14. Nina Kellock

    Like everyone here, I was deeply shocked and saddened by the news of Vanessa’s tragic death, and like most of you, I too, ‘knew’ her through her blogs. We often shared comments on each others blogs, I always threatening to kidnap Douglas! Her creative talent was huge, and she inspired me, and many others, apart from the sheer joy of reading her posts, looking at her photographs and so on. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

  15. Tam

    Hello Penny. My brother Hugo was married to Vanessa. The news has been utterly devastating. I feel for her family so much. Her talent was simply immense. We are remembering all the good times we had with her. Tam x

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  17. Marleen Robberechts

    So sad. I was Vanessa’ French teacher at St. John’s International School in Waterloo, Belgium. I remember her so well. Please send my condoleances to her family and friends.
    Marleen Robberechts

  18. aknitterslife

    So heart broken by this news. She was such a wonderful person. I go back to her blog for inspiration and joy so often. Perhaps someday they will make a book of her blog posts. She was just such a beautiful soul!

  19. Sue

    So very sorry. I have one of her works made for my granddaughter which we shall treasure all the more. so shocked today.

  20. Kaunis Nelli

    I’m so sad to hear about Vanessa. I know what it is to suddenly lose someone you love. I followed her blog and commented her blog posts and she kindly did the same. I have missed her posts and have often wondered how she is. I’m not a religious person but I lit a candle and said a little prayer for her.

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