Spring, doll clothes and vicarious holiday sketching

We are not in Amsterdam but we are still having fun’, one of the best things being that it is warm enough to barbecue outside in the evening. Yay for spring!

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Daniel’s salmon burgers, so good!

It is school holiday time here, a time for us educators to get out and about and play. Accordingly we went to the Arboretum for lunch and then for a stroll afterwards. Everyone else in Canberra was at the Arboretum too, that is why there aren’t any people in this picture. They were all inside the cafe eating lunch or playing on the acorn playground.


The Acorn playground is tremendously popular and was full of happy children today.

Image result for Acorn playground arboretum

We were supposed to be in Amsterdam today, visiting the Rijksmuseum. I decided to be a virtual tourist and urban sketcher. These guys out the front, I feel their pain. My Rijksmuseum has a bit of a lean to it, but no matter.


My mitten knitting continues apace but I will finish them soon and have been hunting around for something new to knit. I found this adorable 1950s book of doll clothes and am sorely tempted but I would need a doll I suppose.

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‘It was this big Myrtle..’

That’s all for now.

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Yes, those are asparagus spears!

I went for a ride on my bike this morning. I am not a great bike rider but where I live there are wonderful bike paths everywhere and it is possible to go quite a way without going near a road. I rode to my daughter’s house to feed her cat. I made it and the cat was very happy to see me. It was a perfect spring morning and everything looked bright and shiny.

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Here is one of the bike paths, and a bit of the basket on my bike. The basket is essential.

When I got back home I found a small broken eggshell in the drive way. There is evidence everywhere of growth and renewal. It made a nice subject for a sketch.

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shell, watercolour on paper

Last year we made a small asparagus bed. Look closely, asparagus spears! They are fine but perfect and look very edible.

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There are flowers everywhere too. I haven’t seen many bees but I hope they are about because all three of our pear trees have flowers for the first time.

We should have been on the plane to Amsterdam tonight. But we did something Scandinavian this afternoon instead.

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Daniel wanted a Råskog so we set off for that most Sunday afternoon of pastimes. We now have matching Råskogs.  They are the same colour. Daniel asked how we would tell them apart, ‘mine will be full of my sh*t, and yours will be full of your sh*t’, I explained. And so they are.

I have nearly finished the first ‘knitting on a plane’ Bunty  mitten. It is looking very nice indeed.

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The yarn I’m using is divine. It is 55% fine merino wool, 20% alpaca and 25% nylon. It is incredibly soft and doesn’t have much stretch but is very well suited to this pattern. I am enjoying knitting with it a lot. It is Inca Spun Heritage sock yarn (hence the nylon) and is made in Peru! I bought this particular yarn for the colours. We have good yarn in Australia but the colour palette can be limited with some brands.

We are about to have apple pie and ice cream for supper. It might be time to cast on the other mitten.

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Images from books and other distractions

Weeks of overseas travel plans had to be suddenly cancelled yesterday so I am busy distracting myself from thinking about what we would have been doing in Amsterdam on Monday.

I started knitting a new mitten pattern, the ones I was going to knit on the plane from Sydney to Doha. The pattern is the Bunty Mitts and they remind me of the trees in a favourite painting by Mitjili Napparula.

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This is the painting by Mitjili Napurrula


Here is my first Bunty mitt 

The similarity between the mitts and the painting doesn’t seem so obvious here but in my mind one spurs memory of the other.

I am also re-reading Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier. I love this book a lot for the story and the way it is written but also for the philosophy of Amadeu de Prado, the fictional author of the book that drives the main character, Raimund Gregorius, to change his own life so dramatically.

Night Train is full of descriptions of place and plays a lot on the idea of the exotic, in the sense of anyone or anywhere unfamiliar being exotic.  Early in the novel Gregorius recalls how he had wanted to move from his home in Switzerland to Isfahan after he graduated from college. He even got a job as a tutor but was haunted by a dream of the desert sand blinding him and decided not to go.  An image of what Isfahan might look like came into my mind. I painted this sketch of a 1970s photo of Isfahan, maybe this is what the market in the city looked like when Gregorius wanted to go there?


This morning we decided to go to Cantys Bookshop in Fyshwyk because Gregorius quotes from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. I want a copy.  There wasn’t one there and Luke at Cantys told us that it is a very popular book and copies rarely stay on the shelves for long. However we bought quite a few other books so all was not lost.

We also went to the Fyshwyk markets and bought real donuts to have with tea when we got home.

It’s not Amsterdam, but we are doing okay.

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the 100 day project

I’m participating in the 2018 100 day project.  There is more than one 100 day project on line but the particular one I’m participating in started on 3rd April and is Instagram based.  You can check in with my progress via my Instagram account @juliedelves2. My main motivation is to work through a project that I have had in mind for some time  and to keep myself accountable and on task through sharing and sticking to the daily post schedule.

My dad has written a biography over the decade or so Continue reading

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Recent work February 2017


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Nest, graphite on paper, 2014


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Art Every Day December: the art so far!

AED doodle glassAED sally jasper2 fishAED glass bowlAED

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