10 March 2013

urban garden

My love of rummaging through charity shops takes me all over the place. One favourite spot is the Newtownards Road. Driving up the road I pass the spectacular vertical garden, the only one of its kind in Northern Ireland. It is part of the Skainos project and was commissioned by the East Belfast Mission.
I like it, its a bit of an oasis in this part of the town.

I wish my own garden was as maintenance free. It's a bit tatty and neglected at the moment and there is a scene of carnage where the trees had to be cut down.

To look on the bright side we will have a years supply of logs! The only prettiness at the moment is the brave little tete a tetes.

Although I have not been tidying the garden, I have been working on some samples for my City and Guild felt book.
This one was tied, dipped in acid dyes, then steamed for thirty minutes to fix the colour. I then embellished it with hand embroidery.

This sample was white felt, painted with food colouring (a form of acid dye), then embellished with machine embroidery and beads.


For this one I made a piece of felt with different colours of fibre for each of the three layers. When it was still wet, I distressed it my ripping and poking it. Once dry the felt was singed with a candle and a soldering iron and then free machined.

Till next time, Ali.


  1. Do you know I was past that building just last night!
    Your stitching looks great. :)
    V xxx

  2. Wow love the verdant vertical garden and your colourful felty flora!
    Your colours are really vibrant and your final piece really creative...keep up the great work!
    Ali x

  3. Anonymous11/3/13 21:17

    Note Ivy can also be more of a pain in the butt too, it grows anywhere and can be a pest if it gets into guttering or roof tiles. Gives off a pollen that is disasterous of asthmatics as well. Not all is as it appears. But it does look great..I had it growing in and through trellis work on my patio for decades, then the troubles started and they had to go. I also lost my privacy, but had to put my health and home maintenance priority.

    Sorry you lost your fight for your trees, I'd make an effort to do gardening, hang the washing out etc in the yard naked from now on.

    Great felt dying efforts...well done...

  4. Hello :-D

    I would like to know if it would be okay to put a Norwegian translation of your Bunny creme egg cozy on my blogg? I will add pictures of the ones that I've made. And I will also write in Norwegian that your the one who has design them, pluss add a link to your page. I know several people who would like to make some of these cute little bunnies, but who have a hard time understanding the English pattern. I must admit that I'm not very good at understanding English patterns myself, but I'm lucky enough to have a daughter who translates them into Norwegian for me.

    Best regards Rigmor

    1. Hi Rigmor, That would be fine to put a translation on your site, Thanks for asking. I would be grateful if you would mention my name and put a link back to my page. I tried to email you but it was the wrong address,
      Best wishes,

  5. The felted pieces look great :)
    Is the City and Guilds course good?

    1. Hi, Im enjoying the felting part of the course. However The diploma involves employability or business units which I have difficulty with, Ali

    2. That sounds like hard work! I just started self employment and had to remember stuff from a business course I did over 20 years ago for the business plan!

    3. It is difficult...Im just after writing a pretend business plan.....very complicated so I dont envy you writing a real one. Good luck with the self employment, ali

  6. Now I've added the Norwegian translation of your Bunny creme egg cozy on my Blog. If you want to check it out here's the link:http://seascapeshobbyblogg.blogspot.no/2013/03/harefrken-bunny-creme-egg-cosy.html
    Thank you sooooo much Ali!
    Hugs from Rigmor :-)


Id love to hear what you think about my blog, knits etc.