As the days reach towards the shortest, darkest nadir of winter, we are busier than ever.

Mincemeat (spiced dried fruits) before cooking

Work continues apace, while at home preparations for Christmas have taken over the dark evenings and all-too-short weekends.

We squeeze in what we can of the outstanding bits and pieces of work on the house, which are ongoing through the year, trying to make it more ‘complete’ than ever for descending visitors – and for ourselves – and there is general maintenance, cleaning, organising, baking, card-writing and so much more to keep on top of in these short weeks.

the letter a: handwriting in chain stitch

Somehow amongst all this, I have found the odd hour here and there to make a few gifts for friends and family, with only one small present left to complete before next week. Looking around our home, and through my photos, I create a rather surprising (to me) number and variety of items and gifts in my free time, and rather than continue to shoehorn some of them into this blog, my gardening journal, I have set up another simple site as a portfolio of my finished projects.

hillwards handmade logo

You can find this testament to my recent somewhat sporadic online presence at hillwards handmade. Meanwhile, more relevant posts should be appearing here shortly, just as soon as I find a few minutes …

10 thoughts on “Handmade

  1. There is always so much to do at Christmas, since I’ve lived in Italy it has been harder for me to be organised about getting things done early because the light remains brighter and lasts longer into the afternoon so I am tricked into thinking it is October when in fact it is December! Christina

  2. Thanks for sharing your activities – I have dipped into Hillwards Handmade and had a look around. It’s a good idea to have a separate blog to include these in, although I have noted in my post today how many of us garden bloggers like to get involved in other crafts as well, but no doubt you will still be adding links to your new blog from the gardening one. I was intrigued by your rug, never having been enthusiastic about crochet but very much wanting to make some bedside rugs. I think they will end up being rag rugs, but you made the crocheting sound so appealing!

    • Thanks, Cathy. I thought it was time I separated the details of my crafts to avoid diluting this garden journal too much from its original purpose. It’s true, many of us gardeners love to create too.
      I’m really pleased with the rug, I love the simply geometry and rhythm of the crochet stitches, and it’s a pleasure to sit on and warm up by the fire for a minute too – for us or the cats 😉 It was relatively quick and satisfying to make…

  3. I have to admire your endless energy! You have certainly made good use of your time. They always say “If you want a job done quickly, then ask a busy person to do it”, and it’s so true!

    • Thanks Mark, sometimes I’m not at all sure where I find the energy, but at this time of year there’s so much to do that stopping is not an option. And somehow I always come up with a few more projects that aren’t entirely necessary, just to add to the load… 🙂

  4. It may seem hard work at times but I’m sure that the recipients of your gifts will really appreciate them even more for being handmade . I think that the dark nights lend themselves to such activities. Imagine living in the southern hemisphere at this time of year – you would just want to be out there gardening 🙂

    • Thanks. Funnily, I find it much easier and more enjoyable sewing when sunshine is streaming in through the windows, even if it means the garden is calling me too…

  5. Goodness, I am exhausted just reading about all your activities! Am off to check out new blog. My handmade efforts this year were limited to lying swags of bay and holly on the (ugly and needs replacing) mantleshelf and mirror, and then draping lights over the top! You put me to shame.

    • I think I can be a little over-ambitious! I do love making things though. You’ve had such a busy year, with more ahead in your new home, your continued onslaught on the garden is very impressive.

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