Roses & Rivers

I've been taking more photos lately, just in moments, nice distributions of light, or times when a mysterious bird appears. I've missed taking blurry pictures of happy little things. Last weekend I took these. A perfect sunset appeared.

I don't know, I like trying to take pretty pictures (and looking at lots of photographic inspiration), but I always love taking candid pictures, blurry pictures, overexposed pictures, and those pictures that capture a strange yet perfect moment. Some of the best ones I'll keep to myself, because the picture itself is ugly or maybe just a bit too personal to share (I love getting pictures of people falling over or making ugly faces or holding a big pizza slice).

Actually, I recently took a picture of my grandma to use a SNOW app filter on her (probably to give her some bunny ears or something) and she quickly told me to delete it. I actually already had, because I knew she would want me to, and it wasn't really an interesting picture anyway, but I think it would be great if we could all be less concerned with looking ugly and be happier laughing at and enjoying those kinds of photos of ourselves. I'll have to include a weird photo of myself in this post now that I've said that... (look at the last photo in this post and laugh at me as much as you want)

Blur is particularly great though because it shows the motion of life. We can never truly be still, because we're always breathing and moving hormones around and stuff like that. So it's fitting that some of the most beautiful pictures have that wispy residue of movement. It's good.

This cat is a mean cat who will fight you. He has kind of a scary meow. He might be a demon.

I saw this on a canal boat and had to take a picture.

We went on a river picnic and found a heron, which just stood there quite happily. I've probably never been so close to a heron before.

And who is this person? Seems like a ghost who works in an office briefly stole my camera.


This text is an old document from when I was trying "morning pages" - writing when I woke up, just whatever came into my head. Sometimes fiction, or just thoughts. This one is from March last year. I always like the typos, so I've left them as they are.

The light pooled at my feet, catlike, and almost purring. The kitchen was a mess, but not the kind of mess that was hideous. The perfect kind of mess, just messy enough to be really satisfying to clean, but not so messy as to make me feel overwhelmed and trapped. I love cleaning up spaces like this. So this Sunday morning, it was my time.

First, I shifted all the bowls and other dishes that needed washing. They got nice and clean and sparkly, dried, and put in their places. Nice. Looking neat already. Then rearranging all the items that have been used and never put back or cleaned up properly. Cleaning coffee stains and flour off the table, and then some dusting and hoovering to get rid of any crumbs and tiny silts of things just resting on the floor. Goodbye, folks. Soon enough the whole kitchen was bright, organised, decluttered, and generally happy-looking. But for one small plant pot I now noticed, upturned between two baskets.

You’re a turnip
In the dark
What I needed
But actulal

Got a lot of feelings all turning around in the fan and whizzing back out, sleeping, asliding,
Across the sloep and crying, little rabbits crawlin, not hopping, n

never saw your heart until it poked through your jumper all sharp
sticky sugar crystals in blood red
and the raw onion slices all tumbled to the kitchen floor
and the stinging tears came and shattered
a sticky, acid mess


Newspapers as collage material sources always feel especially messy. The print rubs off on your hands or your glue stick, the flimsy paper is easy to accidentally tear, and all the pictures have a weird grain to them that make it look a bit like you've taken a photo of an old CRT screen.

This makes it the perfect material for Tim Farron's face.

There's something especially nice about sticking down newspaper cuttings. I think it's just because the paper's so thin that it adheres nicely to the page. Anyway, I'd quite like to make some more kind of abstract political collages. Just put Jeremy Corbyn's head near an orange. No reason why. Just do it.

I found a nice picture of Depeche Mode, so I had to include that. I love how they're always trying to look a bit moody in some sunglasses. I put them next to some nice fruit as well.

I've been trying to use my new tape, but it's quite fiddly. Still, I like the scrapbook type of look it gives. Further tape tests are required. I'll wrap some of it round my arms to create a new fashion trend.

Diary: Operation Use More Art Supplies

Well, I've been busy lately. I went to Scotland for a week to visit my family and as many highland cows as possible, and apparently the sun came on holiday with me. Except the two times when the rain went into full terror mode and crashed down from the sky like a big wet sheet of anger directed at the ground (and, specifically, my trousers).

Anyway so here are some lonely diary entries from just before that.

I have a plan at the moment to do some pages or paintings or collages or whatever just about daily again. I've been doing things as and when I feel like it since stopping my daily blog posts, and that's been perfect for me since I naturally end up making things a lot with such a loose structure (or no structure), but right now I miss being purposefully experimental and making myself use all my stuff. So it's time for OPERATION USE MORE ART SUPPLIES! A completely unimaginative title for what will effectively be me lying in a pile of pens with a thousand sticky notes attached to my body. A whirlwind of Doing Some Things. Or at least I hope so.

Dog Restaurant: Blippo Surprise Stationery Bag ♡ Review & Giveaway

✶✵ This post contains items gifted to me for review purposes. ✵✶

The kind folks at Blippo have sent me an experimental new thing to try out - a mysterious selection of fun bits of stationery assembled into their Surprise Stationery Bag. I was pretty excited to hear about this, since I'm a big stationery enthusiast and some of my favourite pieces from their previous Kawaii Box packages have been nice stationery items.

The Surprise Stationery Bag seems to be modelled on fukubukuro lucky bags that many Japanese stores sell, and there are quite a few different ones to choose from on Blippo's website (click here to see all of them). I'm quite tempted by the Surprise Japanese Magazine Pack, actually (I love to flip through magazines forever).

The first thing to note about this bag is that it really is quite crammed full of stuff! I wasn't expected so much to be in here, so I was surprised. Here is a list of the contents of my bag:
  1. A pack of 6 cat magnetic bookmarks.
  2. Carrot erasers.
  3. Hello Kitty bow-shaped pencil sharpener.
  4. Deco tape set of 9 deco tape rolls and 3 dispensers.
  5. Nora Band set of 5 highlighters.
  6. Ghost Family pen.
  7. Lenticular panda card.
  8. Mohamm Cat Claws sticky notes.
  9. Bear pencil set.
  10. Jewel stickers.
  11. Bird sticky notes.
  12. 4 sheets of stickers: dog restaurant, ribbons, and 2 different food sets.

All of these things are really cool, but I think my favourites are the cat claw sticky notes and the stickers featuring two dogs running a restaurant (a beautiful concept that we can all respect and admire).

I was impressed by the amount of stickers (5 sheets in total, including the 4 pictured above as well as the jewel set) and I'm pretty much going to have to put stickers on everything now. Blippo have forced me into this position. Don't come to my house unless you want to be adorned with ribbons.

I filmed a little unboxing (or, uh, unbagging), which you can watch in the video below. Otherwise, please scroll down to the giveaway!

If you would like to win a Blippo Surprise Stationery Bag of your own, please enter via the widget below. Entry is open worldwide, prize contents may vary, and the competition closing date is 2nd July. Good luck!

Cool Idea: Animate Everything

It's time for some small animations. Here are some of me, just having a nice time making videos (I do recommend always making an appearance with a small lamb or other cute stuffed animal).

The truth is, making videos is just my elaborate way of making cute gifs. The gifs are the true outcome. Actually, that made me wonder - are there photo frames that display gifs? Is that a thing? I would like to display many cute cat gifs around my home, please. Perhaps a smiling dog gif above the kettle. I don't think there can be any home decor better!

I have been playing a bit of Animal Crossing (the original game) lately, so here are a couple of gifs I made from that. I named my town "Hell" because I am very original and thoughtful, you see.

There's something about this door closing animation that is somehow extremely #relatable.

Fruit Dream

My face is still here, so I have scanned it again. Sometimes I wonder if a stranger looking at my face can tell what I'm thinking. As if it's a big transparent window you can look through and see all the chicken videos currently twirling around my brain. It's nonsensical, but sometimes it feels as if everything must be visible how. Everyone can surely sense that I am thinking about buying a big punnet of grapes and lying down in my pyjamas to eat them.

But it's not true, my face doesn't betray any of those intense fruit-based fantasies. No one ever knows how ardently I am focusing my attention on grapes. It's kind of a shame, in a way.

Anyway, I love grapes.

Casual Collages

I have done some collages. Here they are, slapped down in a kind of hurried but sparse way. It's nice to have a few journal pages full of collage. Full of glossy, crinkly magazine clippings featuring pristine blue skies and women's eyes always looking a bit suspicious (they are all obviously looking at a big jewel just out of frame that they are going to steal and use to cast a spell).

Also, here's me after doing a collage:

Jeremy Corbyn Collages

Here are some Corbyn collages I made. I found this collection of his old election campaign leaflets through the years (really interesting to look at), and I couldn't resist chopping them up into something a bit silly.

First of all, I loved this signature from a 1983 leaflet, because it sort of looks like he's written "Jeemy". I might call him "Jeemy C" from now on. He's really a very nickname-able person, old Jeemy C.

Honestly, maybe politicians should talk about more about having nice pens in their campaign leaflets. Imagine opening a campaign leaflet to find a lengthy monologue about a Pilot G207 retractable gel rollerball (0.7 mm).

Cat Tongue & Phone Number Bracelets

Hello, and welcome to an exciting collection of images I have gathered, like chaotic thoughts from my own brain piled high on the floor and waiting to be picked up and sorted. Here's a cat I know. He's a big scaredy cat, but he likes to sit in the sit and close his eyes. A good hobby for anyone, cat or otherwise.

He likes to nlem. Look at him. All his power is harnessed in his little tongue.

Here's me being black and white and holding a teddy bear. I had a very unusual medical condition that removes all colour from your life. The cure is to eat a piece of toast, so I'm fully recovered now (and then some).

Here's a couple of music video gifs I made, from OH MY GIRL - Liar Liar (above), and VIXX - Shangri-La (below). I just really liked these shots and colours a lot. Two of my main interests are plaited hair and flowers, of course.

For some reason I've also been thinking a lot about these:

More specifically, the types of ones with letter or number beads that kids make. I found a cool blog post about making a bracelet with a phone number on it (here). This is meant to be an easy way for small children to carry a parent's phone number, but I thought it would be useful for forgetful types, or just a fun way to give someone your number, maybe?

I still can't remember my own phone number, so perhaps I need one of these.

This was all sparked from seeing this picture on Tumblr:

Sadly I can't find a source for this image, but I love both bracelets, and just look at those smiley faces. Extremely cute.

Frogs & Bad Drawings

This is a still from a Freddo-focused video, which you can watch here if you like. I talked about diaries, some of the toys I currently have, and dedicated an alarmingly large section of the video to Freddo, because I love that frog. He's an excellent frog.

Anyway, let's get to what I really came here to post: drawings. Here are a couple of drawings.

I'm kind of trying to rummage about and doodle a lot right now. You never know when you're going to be doodling and accidentally draw something you love. It's the best way to be surprised. And you can laugh at all your bad drawings, which is basically my favourite thing to do ever. Bad drawings are the best, and should be commemorated and loved.

Trying to draw something I rarely draw is always fun too, because I'm pretty much guaranteed to draw something weird. Every time I draw a frog, for example, it's a disaster. A disaster that I treasure. Like this:

So beautiful.

Some Inspirations: Angel's Egg & Game Boy

Recently I watched a very spooky and oddly silent (dialogue-wise) animated film called Angel's Egg. It was a strange and mesmerising experience, full of biblical symbolism and dark blue. The film has an enchanted feeling from head to toe, and is coated in shadows, fossils, and bodies of water.

It was pretty astounding to watch. Haunted by the intimate and visceral connections a person can have with everything around them, even in a graveyard at the end of the world. There's so much to say about Angel's Egg, but I'll leave it at that for now.

I've also been enjoying some old Game Boy games, not least good old Pokémon Yellow, with it's smiling, frowning, laughing Pikachu as your ceaseless sidekick. I just love him so much. Revisiting old Pokémon games always reminds me of their sheer depth and fascinating characterisation laid out in tiny pixel alterations. I love all the bug catchers and the lasses.

I've been playing a bit of the Game Boy version of Felix the Cat too, a game full of such weird and fun design, from Felix's magician outfit to the cross-eyed tree stumps. There is so much tongue-in-cheek inventiveness going on in this game - and it's a lot of fun.

I'm feeling kind of excited at the moment to relax and spend time enjoying things, looking at and finding new things and revisiting old favourites. I found Angel's Egg accidentally. I find lots of things accidentally, actually, or through strange journeys through hyperlinks. Sometimes I race through things to find new thing after new thing, and that's so easy to do online, but it's important to slow down and take things in. I think cutting blog posts back from daily posting is already allowing me to do that a lot more. There's more time to think - about what I'm consuming, what I'm making, and what I actually want to write about.

And of course, the answer will be Pikachu an unexpectedly large amount of the time.