Nominate Me! - Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2015


The nominations are open for Cosmopolitan's 2015 Blog Awards and I would be thrilled if you could spare a little bit of time to nominate me for an award here. I think 'best photography' is probably the most appropriate category, but choose whichever one you like (sadly there wasn't a 'best drawing of a person making friends with the moon' category). If I get nominated I promise to vlog myself drinking a lot of wine in honour of Blossom Hill being one of the sponsors. I will also wear Grayson Perry on my head to the event. Okay, maybe not that. Definitely the wine thing though.

Regardless of whether you nominate me or not, I want to thank you for reading, because whilst my blog is very much for me, it would be a bit weird without someone here having a look and saying hi, so thanks!

Here's a late night picture of me (and Totoro) being both grateful and graceful:


15 YouTube Channel (& Blog) Recommendations


It's been a while since my '5 Favourite Small(ish) YouTubers' post, so I thought I'd dedicate another post to a bunch of YouTubers I've been watching since then. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a few new blog recommendations too (here's my previous blog recommendations post).

 
1. Kelly Kitagawa - She's conscientious and seems to really care about what she does on YouTube and talking about what, why, etc.


2. TeaMakerJason - He makes tea. He tells you about a thing. It's great.


3. ilikealison -  Fun and nice. #descriptive


4. bill wurtz - I refuse to describe Bill Wurtz.


5. JoshHasTime - He has time (to tell you stuff online). Josh also has a really deep voice. I'm not sure why I felt the need to mention that.


6. Ant (mrheavyhand) - A nice, uplifting man with ears who plays songs sometimes.


7. SuperSamStuff - Good and great. I don't think I can do him justice with a description. Stylistically, he reminds me of TheThirdPew.


8. frigginboom - He is a glorious gem who makes me laugh a lot.


9. TamarSaysHi - Cute and chill with a great sense of humour.


10. bethylein - She talks a lot about the mechanics of being on YouTube and creating. I feel really densely involved when I watch her videos.

As always, you can also keep an eye on the recommendations sidebar on my channel as I try to update it periodically. And now, onto my blog picks:

1. Mushroom Rain Blog by Laura, a really inspiring and cool arty girl from Columbia. We both share a love of mushrooms. We are card carrying mushroom fan club members.

2. Gods and Foolish Grandeur is a blog which features lots of fascinating classical art and old photographs.

3. A little change. - a diary of new experiences, feelings, and life triumphs.

4. Marion Honey writes a super smart and beautiful blog about various little adventures and ideas.

5. Pepper and Twine is a pretty art blog by someone with as much love for journalling as me.

Bratislava • Vienna • Brno

Bratislava bus station's looming old dude faces.

In April 2013 Elliot and I went on a three country European holiday based in Bratislava, Slovakia. I wasn't really blogging much then, so I thought it would be cool to go back in time and remember our first proper holiday together. All the pictures in this post are from Elliot's camera and have been sitting around on his laptop since then (copyright Elliot Summerhayes, master photographer of plane windows and all the ugliest facial expressions I can make) so I've been looking through them and thinking "I should make a post with these" for ages, and I'm finally actually doing it.

The view from our two hour Ryanair flight. I'm surprised they didn't try to charge us add-on fees for looking out the window.

We actually decided to go to Bratislava by throwing darts at a map. We threw about ten darts, listed the nearest city to the dart's landing zone each time, and then rolled dice to decide which city from our compiled list to visit. If you're not too fussed where you go, it's a really fun way to choose a holiday. We also decided, since Bratislava is close to the borders of Austria and the Czech Republic, to visit the nearby cities of Vienna and Brno to make it a three country/three city trip.

Bratislava castle gates.

We stayed in Bratislava, in a hotel called Penzión Berg, which had some scenic Wu Tang Clan graffiti nearby (I enjoyed that a lot). It was very nice, although I did have an awkward moment where a person came in to clean the room while I was on the toilet. I was being very quiet on the toilet. Stealth toilet.


We had to go through a dark walkway to get to the hotel from the bus stop and there was always a man playing very spooky violin music there. Also apparently floor buffers are quite heavily used in Bratislava. I saw some impressively shiny floors.

Hofburg Palace, Vienna.

The train links are great, so it was easy for us to stay in the hotel in Bratislava and venture out to Vienna and Brno on the train. The trains were nice. It's strange how different trains can be, when you're used to a certain kind of train so all alternative trains become really exciting. Maybe I just really like trains. These trains had big cabins with two rows of seats facing each other, some mirror panelling, big windows, and a sliding door so you could comfortably shut yourself off from other humans and shun anyone who wants to sit in your cabin. It makes for a weirdly insular feel when you're used to being on trains with the entire carriage as one open unit.

Emperor Franz I monument, Hofburg Palace.

Vienna was very full of statues and cathedrals and loudness and tourists. We went to a sweet shop and wandered around lots and quite honestly I think there was so much that I've just forgotten everything. I think this was mostly a day of walking around in awe and being tired and taking photos of statues. We also ate ice cream, which was a highlight. I love ice cream.

Prince Eugene of Savoy monument, Hofburg Palace.

Vienna is a very pretty place though, full of ornate, classical buildings and statues. There are some incredible looking museums, but we didn't end up with much time to visit them. Sometimes it's nice to just walk around and take things in a bit more casually though. We'd tried to cram in lots of things on previous days, so we were calming down a bit by this point.

Elliot doing... something.

We visited two Slovak castles, Bratislava castle and Devín castle. Bratislava castle looks like an upturned table and is bright white. The grand staircase inside is one of the most incredible things I've ever seen. Here are a couple of pictures. Please give me a massive golden-framed mirror for Christmas. Thanks.

This is my "I'm excited to be on holiday" face.

Devín castle was quite far out and I seem to remember a lot of hill climbing. It was in a much more rural and quiet setting, which was very different to Bratislava castle but very nice as well. We also met a couple of cats there. That was the best. I wish cats were involved everywhere I went.

Brno.

The day we were due to fly back to London we went on our last train out to visit Brno. We really liked it there. It's got lots of old history and cathedrals and statues with these strange golden sunbursts on top. We also managed to visit another castle here, which meant more hill-climbing for me (my legs were like "can you stop doing this please").

Holy Trinity Column, Brno.

There was a real magical feeling to Brno. It was quiet-ish, but with lots of lovely, old architecture in beautiful, muted colours, and a little bit of street performance.

Why is the goose walking a tightrope? What a skilled goose!

We found a pub called "Merry Goose" to sit down in for a while. It had pictures all over the walls of lots of 1960s musicians and we soon discovered it was also the back end of a theatre (hence the sign that says "Theatrical Pub"). Elliot had fully grasped the word "pivo" by now (beer in both Slovak and Czech).

Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul.

Our last stop before going home (via the Beer Palace in Bratislava of course, where we ate many different kinds of cheese) was the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul - a very pointy, black thing that you can go to the top of and look out of across Brno at all the orange rooves.

To conclude this post I will tell you that I came very close to falling on a white rabbit on a bus in Bratislava. Fortunately the rabbit was in some kind of rabbit-carrier, so it wouldn't have been harmed, but it was an unexpected turn of events. Also it was a really cute rabbit. My sincerest apologies to rabbit kind.

Diary: Fall Out Boy & Birds


For some reason this week I drew a lot of little birds in my diary, or rather in the notepad I use as my diary away from my diary. It probably has something to do with being around a lot of birds. I like drawing plump and fluffy birds. They are squishy blobs with beaks. Very nice.


Elliot and I also decided we wanted to watch horror films. We do that in phases (because there are a lot of bad horror films, and because we don't like to be scared too often). We watched Insidious, which wasn't terrible but also wasn't great. I feel like it tries to be too many things at once, but at least it's one of those horror films that makes me laugh a lot throughout. It also reminded me of The Judderman.


In other news: my mum bought me a really long, green dress from Tesco for £6, and I've been listening to Fall Out Boy like it's 2006 again. It's so weird to think about how they were such a big part of my adolescence and how much of an impact they had on pretty much anyone my age and definitely everyone my age who was around me at the time. I didn't really listen to them after From Under the Cork Tree until their 2015 release American Beauty/American Psycho, partially because I probably wanted to distance myself from everything about my teenage experience, but like, I really love them now.


Skies & Cyclopes


Here are some more drawings from my phone. I've been getting into drawing simple little cats lately. I've also been getting into using this thick brush type. I think it just works really well with the mix of colours and the lo-fi image output. It reminds me of a piece of art software I used to use: ArtRage 2.


I think I like drawing moons and suns and skies a lot because I find the thought of those things generally calming and also very fun to personify. Clouds are really wobbly and cool, too. Moons are probably my favourite though because the moon is amazing and all glowy.


The main thing I've been drawing, though, is my little cyclops buddies. I pretty much default to a vaguely humanoid shape. I feel like they're getting cuter every time I draw them. I hope so, at least. My goal is ultimate cuteness.


A lot of them kinda look like they're judging you, which I enjoy.


Check out my previous phone drawings here.


App used: Kids Doodle

UR A FLOWER


Here is the second instalment of Inside Korilakkuma's Head. I'm still enjoying this notepad a lot and I want a hundred more of them. I filled a lot of these pages in whilst watching a film, and you know, drawing stuff and watching a film at the same time can be so good. Sometimes the level of concentration is just right. I'm concentrating just enough to draw something I like, but concentrating on watching the film just enough to give me the perfect level of carelessness.


I always feel really pleased and smug when I can comfortably multitask. I just have to find two things that don't require my full attention and then I'm set. Sometimes I can do this with drawing, but sometimes it doesn't work. It depends.


I feel like a lot of my focus is on finding the right balance between pristine and messy. I mean, the notepad itself is so cute and perfect, but I'm doing some pretty scribbly things in it, and all the cuteness of the notepad in its natural state starts to blend perfectly with messy, doodly stuff. I guess that's my primary aesthetic. I like things wobbly at the edges. That's a pretty general philosophical attitude to life that bleeds into most things for me.


I can't get over this notepad though, it's so cute.


I like sticking little bits in too, it helps to break up the endless pink and add a bit more variety. And it saves me when my pens have bled too much onto the next page (naughty pens). I actually can't wait to finish this notepad, but at the same time I know I'll be a bit sad when I do.


Googly


I obtained two packets of eyes at a party recently, so naturally they are the prop for this set of scanner adventures. I wonder what it would be like to have a lot of eyes. I mean, I know I can find out about that based on available research, but that's very different to actually being able to experience the multi-eye lifestyle. I also want to do that exorcist thing that owls do with their heads. Sadly, I am limited to human experiences only. Not that I'm knocking binocular vision. It's worked well for me so far (despite being short-sighted).


I miss wearing big glasses with circular lenses sometimes. The circle is my favourite shape for a glasses lens, always. I stopped wearing glasses last year because my eyes felt a bit weird (it's sort of hard to explain, so please excuse me for not bothering), and it didn't take long to become completely accustomed to life without glasses. I can now see more or less perfectly clearly through an old pair of glasses I have with an old prescription, whereas the glasses I was wearing every day when I decided to stop are far too strong and hurt my eyes if I wear them for more than ten seconds. I realise, though, that having slightly fuzzy distance vision doesn't really have an impact on my life at all. I only occasionally wear glasses now if I need to see train departures or if I want to watch a film with a certain level of clarity. In a pinch I can always use the good old finger lens trick.


The old glasses I use nowadays have lenses in that irregular oval/rectangle hybrid shape that I've always disliked. I'd love to get some circular lenses again, but I can't justify getting new glasses when I already have some that work. I guess it's an eventuality I can look forward to.


Back to googly eyes though - aren't they just the best? I think they're a great thing to have in the bottom of your bag, because you just never know when you'll need some. They make any newspaper a lot more fun! Being given googly eyes at a party has warmed my heart. Thank you, googly eye gods.