Good Morning Friends,
Well this was the fastest little memory book I've ever made anyway - over a couple of hours last night!
We had the most wonderful time at Highgrove yesterday..we have passed those gates many a time on our way in to Tetbury and wondered what was really behind them and now we know! Security is understandably tight, but very friendly..everyone one who worked there that we came across, from the policemen at the gate, to the security guy in the car park, waitresses in the restaurant and our oh-so-knowledgeable guide, Rennie (a lovely Scottish lady), was so friendly and happy.
There are about 12 interlocking gardens, all of them designed by Prince Charles (who we were assured does actually do some of the work when he's there!). You can tell from the designs that he visualises them as canvases, bringing in not only beautiful colours and layouts in the planting, but in the quite bright colours of the garden furniture. Every building is contstructed using materials found on the Estate or from local Cotswold stone, Welsh slate and stone from Scotland and mostly made by local craftsmen and/or young people who have formed their careers through the Princes Trust. Everything is organic; the vegetables and fruit grown are first of all used by the household and in the restaurant, then sold in the shop and other outlets. The honey from the hives is sent to a Hospice in the Cotswolds for their use. All profits go to the Prince's charities and working in the voluntary sector and having at some points in my work had close links between young people who have come to us that we have referred to The Prince's Trust, I know what great work they do.
I'm not sure that I ever had much of an opinion about Prince Charles: we visited the garden because it is close by and we had never been. Tom loves gardens and to garden and it was part of his birthday present for this year, but I have to say that from what I saw and heard yesterday my impression of him, his knowledge and passion was a good one. We were told by Rennie that he walks the gardens with all the Guides at the start of the opening season to go over any changes that have been made and also at the end of the season to see how visitors have reacted, in fact she said he is very interested in all staff and how Highgrove is received by the public.
We saw the tree house where William and Harry played as children - it is massive and quite scary looking. Rennie said that as a grandmother she would be terrified to see her grand kids up there! Whilst we were being told about a fountain in one of the ponds, two of the Estate workers turned up with three huge plastic bags, each containing the biggest fish I have ever seen close up: a sturgeon and two koi. I thought I had seen some big koi, but none like these!
So to my very fast memory booklet!
I've decided that (with the exception of our upcoming holiday) until I have all the time in the world to craft (as if that's ever going to happen), I am going to create mini books to put in a basket in the lounge to 'dip into' at will. I love scrapbooking, but I still have photos going back to our last trip over to the USA in 2009 on my computer untouched (and that was for my cousin's wedding so I'm ashamed!!)...plus our last two trips over to Tom's family in Italy! I have a large scrapbook of special photos from childhood in progress, but that's it except for the occasional layout - so from now on it's mainly mini!
I started out with the above card blank- an especially long, shaped easel card and decided to go from there. We weren't allowed to take photos, so I bought a few postcards and I knew that if I didn't do this last night, they would just be added to the pile of 'to dos'.
First of all I stamped the cover with these leaves and flowers from Indigo Blu and coloured them lightly with distress markers. I think inked the edges with brushed corduroy distress ink. I stamped a few layers of the flowers and cut them out and covered the top layer with modge podge for a glossy finish.
The whole thing opens out like one of the postcard books you can get and I used papers from Graphic 45's Secret Garden and French Country to decorate the panels. I also added tags from the French Country set for the journalling and cut offs from the papers to make the pockets for our tickets. The first picture shows the Azalea Walk and the second is one of Prince Charles in paintings of Highgrove in 1999.
The above is the back of the book: I added more pockets for the restaurant menu and information leaflet, another ticket stub and a final postcard. You can't see it very well, but it is a beautiful little house tucked away in the arboretum. It was built in 1998 for the Prince and is called The Sancutary..apparently only he is allowed to use it.
So that was our day at Highgrove....I have to run now as we are popping into Bath..I'll catch up with you all later!
Love and Hugs,