Grandad’s Patch – behind the scenes

Hey treasures!! Hope this post finds you all well, I thought I would pop by and explain a bit more about this month’s art piece Grandad’s patch and the story behind it.


Growing up I spent lots of time outside in my grandparents gardens,  I was incredibly lucky as a child to have nine living grandparents!! I remember once at school talking about grandparents and my teacher no believing me that I had that many and my mum having to go in and explain I wasn’t lying.  Due to having so many they all had names so we knew who was who.

My dad’s parents Big Grandad and Pretty Nanny lived and worked on a farm, and my nanny always told me if she could find Dad he was usually down the cow shed with his Grandad (great little Grandad).  Great little Grandad was married to great little grandma who is the one I remember least about, great little Grandad used to give us tiny glasses of lemonade which we thought were such a treat, now being older they were shot glasses and not special mini glasses at all.  Big Grandad also had a fab vegetable garden and a chicken coop and we always used to go with him and collect eggs for pretty nanny to hard boil for tea.  Pretty nanny’s parents were called great big Grandad and great little nanny, they had a beautiful garden with several different ways in and out of it, so much fun for playing man hunt.  We always went there for Christmas eve and father Christmas would come through the village on a horse and cart and give out the Cadburys animal bars.  My mums parents are called little Grandad and grandma and have a log garden backing onto some farm fields, they used to have gooseberry bushes besides the swing, a strawberry patch large rhubarb plant and the old fashioned long line washing lines with a prop stick that we used to play badminton and volleyball over.  Finally my Grandad Ron, who’s wife Grandma BoBo dies two weeks before I was born which is where my middle name Vera comes from after her, had another incredible garden with four large greenhouses growing tomatoes and cucumbers, chrysanthemums for show and a chicken coop.  one of the most exciting parts of Grandad Ron’s garden was the old air raid shelter he had, and we would spend time in the summer helping weigh out the tomatoes when someone came to buy some and picking the baby cucumbers and eating a whole one with our lunch.

Anyway as you can see I had lots of inspiration behind the final piece Grandad’s patch, the art piece had grumbled away as usual for quite some time in my head wanting to complete a piece as a tribute to my grandparents (four of which I am lucky to still have in my life) and their part in my childhood but I couldn’t quite put my finger on how to start.  This is frequently the case that my art pieces start with a random thought that grumbles for a while until a lightbulb goes on.  It developed a little bit when looking on Pinterest and found a tutorial for how to sew ribbon roses, and thought to myself in green ribbon they would make perfect cabbages.

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I also found some other vegetable shaped buttons, beads that would work for tomatoes and beads that could be green beans although couldn’t decide how to do the canes and the main sticking point was the chicken wire for the chicken coop.  The only thing I had thought was trying to find some large holed lace.  I made some notes on the thoughts so far and put it to one side waiting for the lightbulb moment.

Whilst chatting with Mr Lottie’s about Christmas presents and what to make, we remembered the previous Christmas I had made knitted wire beaded cuff bracelets for the sisters and I then mentioned it would be an interesting technique to use in one of my art pieces.  Then that was it the lightbulb went on, I could knit the chicken wire for the chicken coop, and the rest fell into place very quickly after that.  It’s funny an idea can grumble away for months but once I have that light bulb it seems to snow ball and then I have to get it made even if it’s just to stop it from going round and round my head.

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I particularly like adding lots of little details so every time people look at the picture there is something new to see, in this one I love all the different animals and creatures.  I added sunflowers as we like having a sunflower growing competition in our little veg patch,  the beehives came from a beehive brooch design we already had made and a gap in the picture that look bare and the green bean canes are cocktail sticks another random flash of inspiration and an odd look from Mr Lottie’s when he was off to the corner shop and wanted to know if I needed anything, think he’s given up actually questioning it anymore.



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