Lilly's Painting Book


Here's a book. I am painting in it. It's my painting book. Glad we've cleared that up.

I'm dedicating this journal exclusively to painting and that probably means it's going to be full of very silly things and very fun colour combinations and cool brushstrokes and that sort of thing.



I'm very excited about it, and seemingly also very excited about writing my own name. Well, we've all got to have a hobby, haven't we?

Composites


Sometimes I feel like collages represent things better than photographs do. If I gather together a collection of pictures from one day, or chop 'em up and stitch 'em together, it gives them this cohesive feel. Even if I just take little pieces of things, tiny parts of a big picture, and put them together, it gives it a sense of narrative. And even if the narrative seems kinda empty, I can feel it.


Diary: Chickens & Capitalism


I met some chickens this week, which was nice (they like grapes and worms - solid interests there). I've been getting back into watching TV a bit more as well, with the newly airing second season of Scream Queens, and some other fun things. I finally started watching Steven Universe, and it's fun! It's nice to watch a cartoon for a change.


I started reading a book about capitalism, which is really interesting and pleasantly informative. I'm always surprised by non-fiction and it's great. If you're reading this, please leave your favourite non-fiction book in the comments (if you have one).


Paint Palette → Story


I've been doing some painting lately, and it feels good. I decided to dedicate one big journal to paintings only. I usually squash everything together and do all sorts of different things in each sketchbook, but I thought it would be fun to keep a focused one for a while.


This spread started out as a paint palette while I was painting the front of a journal, but then I turned it into something a little bit more illustrative.


I like to keep a record of my paint palettes and usually I leave them as they were when I stopped painting, but turning a paint palette into a painting is a great way to represent it and keep it too.


The Best Things

This is a list of all the best things that exist.


1. Water that I can drink a lot of from a tap whenever I want and demand at restaurants or pubs all the time.


Hydration is a gift. Also I can wash stuff with it. Useful.

2. Collecting fruit in video games.


I love picking an apple up from the ground.

3. This podcast episode with Bo Burnham.


Lots of good thoughts all swishing around my head like ribbons. Maybe I should listen to some more podcasts.

4. Really good food that you want to eat.


Everyone should feel good when they eat stuff. Every meal should be satisfying, if possible. Almost nothing is more pleasing than having a delicious meal. It makes your whole body feel warm and right and perfect.

5. Doing whatever.


We were born to do whatever. I love having a structure to work around, and I love having a (vague) routine, but it feels so good to just not think about it and do whatever as well. Gotta get that balance.

6. Going for walks as much as possible.


The air outside tastes good and gets into every part of my body and I need it, I think.


7. Scrolling through 5000 pictures of dogs and cats online.


Feed my soul with these images. A tree will grow inside me and its fruit will be cats and dogs and tiny cats and dogs will run out of my ears.

☆☆☆

All of these things and so many more! Good things! Excellent things! Everywhere!

Wake Up!


I thought of doing a project in which I took a photo of myself every morning right after waking up. I haven't done it because really, the last thing I want to do when I wake up is immediately take a photo of myself, and setting up photos makes me heat up (super uncomfortable), but I still think it's a good idea and I keep thinking about it.

I'm so interested in time lapse projects and in transparency about our appearances (and being proud of your body in its most undone state). People still often tell me I look young for my age, and it's only relatively recently that I've wondered to what degree social expectations and averages about use of make up contributes to the perception of me as oddly young in appearance. I see a lot of teenagers who put on their make up and look like they could be ten years older. If I wore their make up styles maybe people wouldn't think I looked especially young ever again. Who knows?

I don't think it's the whole picture though, really. I'm a relatively small person in stature and proportions compared with a lot of people my age and I have a little, squishy face with faint freckles in summer. Hairstyle makes a difference too.

Maybe I'll do this project after all.

3 Lads


Here are three lads. Between them they have many passions, anxieties, and intricacies. They know themselves to be complex. They question themselves. They share their feelings and muse on their differences. Which attributes does each lad possess? Which one is the best? Which one only listens to Marilyn Manson?




I Love Stardew Valley


Stardew Valley is a cute farming/life simulator in which you inherit an old farm and leave your life as a dissatisfied office worker to tend to it. I was surprised at the knowing tone of the introduction and the subtle, gently winking humour the game possesses, and as a person who has been historically easily confused in Harvest Moon or Terraria style games, I was also pleasantly surprised with the game mechanics (which have so far not been confusing).


Here I am attempting to get my crops started. I named my farm 'Cloud Lane Farm' for some reason. Why is it that clearing up weeds is more satisfying than almost anything else in a video game? I can tell you right now that it is not satisfying in real life.


There is also so much lovely scenery and detailing to be found in the game. Look at this abandoned town hall, for example. It's beautiful.


Speaking of beautiful, I was surprised and thrilled to be brought a cat one morning. And this might be the most specific game compliment I've ever given, but the noises the cat makes when licking itself are so weirdly accurate and I love them. I love the cat lick noises.

I called my cat 'Fluff'.


Still speaking of beautiful, look at this video game hunk. I'm going to marry him and have 62 children (I'm assuming you can definitely have 62 children in this game and if you can't I'm going to be grumpy about it).


I love this game.

Tiny Houses

Recently I accidentally stumbled across a documentary about Tiny Houses on YouTube, and quickly I fell in love with all the possibilities of a small space and the passion of all the different people involved with tiny houses - from young families trying to craft the best space to raise their children with less strain on their income, to a group of students enrolled in a program specifically focused on the design and construction of tiny houses. There are so many stories about these homes and what they mean to people, and all of them are fascinating.


I dream of having a cabin in the woods, but it's the kind of dream that's hazy and dark and floating around in the night-time head of a little kid. It's too magical to be real, isn't it?

I'm continually astounded by what people are able to achieve the more they question the minutiae of their lives, and ask themselves what's really necessary for them. So much of what we think we know isn't true, and so much of what we think is necessary might not be. Sometimes it's hard to cling on to your inventive, inquisitive, creative, determined side. I'm going to try as hard as I can to cling on to mine.

☆☆☆

I made a playlist of videos about tiny houses that I've loved so far, including documentaries and some personal tiny house tours. I plan to add to it periodically as I find new things. Check it out here:

 

Diary: Trousers & Popcorn


I've not felt that great this week - kinda tired and a bit queasy - but I have been playing a lot of games. They can be a really good distraction when you're not very well (as long as they're not too stressful or strenuous). I finished a play-through of Bastion, and I've been serving lots of happy customers in Cook, Serve, Delicious!


I also got myself some new trousers. I've been lacking some proper trousers for a while now, but haven't really found anything with the right size, fit, or style. I finally realised that trousers in boys' sections can be exactly what I want. I got some brown slack-style trousers from Tesco and they are amazing. Good pockets, really soft, and not too casual. I love them.


I've bought a few different kinds of food this week as well, maybe stuff that I wouldn't get that often, and it has made me so happy. I've had a bit of a weird appetite and I've discovered that popcorn is the perfect catalyst. It might be my favourite food of all time.


The Soothing & Soft Qualities Of Light

Softness and stars: my favourite things.


Light is always calming somehow. It makes things so bright and calm and pretty just by touching them. There's so many different kinds of light too. Focused lamplight, directed at your favourite book lying open. Streams of orange sunlight coming through the blinds or lace curtains in determined beams, making patterns on the kitchen tiles. The endless watchful glow of moonlight, and the tentative dots of distant stars. All the universe has light making patterns within it.

Light has a magical effect on us. Light can lift me from the grumpiest of moods almost instantly. If I stumble on a beautiful bit of light, I feel this particular, unique sense of wonder. It's treasure. There's a reason for all the grandiose light-based imagery in epic tales and awakenings and in religious descriptions. God has many of the effects and attributes of light from various religious perspectives. The senses of guiding, lifting from corporeality, transcending oneself. All qualities light can offer in brief moments. This make-up of the universe is a tool of great malleability and calm for us. Hold light between your fingers and whisper a spell.

5 Things I Couldn't Do Without Tea

I don't know about you, but I basically owe everything to tea. Tea is my life force, my friend, my confidant. In short: I need tea. Here are some of the many things I would be hopelessly unable to do without it.


1. Have any thoughts


Tea has now fused to all of my brain cells, so I rely on it to trigger any thought processes I might have. Granted, most of them are about tea, but that's fine.

2. Lift a dozen men at once


Yes, that's right, tea has given me super strength and a thirst for blood - I mean, tea.

3. Drive a tractor


Fun fact: if the name of a vehicle begins with the letter 'T' then you actually can't drive it without drinking tea first.

4. ???????????


Sorry I forgot number four because it had been more than two seconds since I had taken a sip of tea.


5. Tea


Tea tea, tea tea tea tea tea. Tea: tea tea! Tea.

Happy Home Designer: Tammy's Halloween House


This time on Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, I've been asked to design a beautifully spooky home for sweet yellow bear, Tammy. As many know, I love spook, so I am very excited about this one.


I've kept the garden nice and understated with some white lilies, dandelion puffs, and clovers. There are also some slightly eerie bears to build a bit of atmosphere before you enter the house itself. Across the bridge there is a dead tree and a mysterious gravestone (not pictured). Tammy's happy so far.


Inside, Tammy has provided me with a few pieces of furniture she wants me to work around in her main room. Let's give this place some character!


The lighting is all too important in a Halloween home, so I've enhanced the candelabra's effect with a fancy chandelier. We also have some nice, classic-looking furniture and a lattice wall to give the place a detailed historical feel.


Here's an overview of the room. I put a big pumpkin in the corner to watch over anyone who enters.


On to the next room, we have a small space to work with, but I think I can create a nice and homely vibe with it. I want to make the place look quite cosy and old-fashioned and fill it with trinkets so that it's less overtly Halloween-y and more gently, subtly creepy. A place filled with the secret remnants of ancient ghosts.


This is the finished second room. We have some nice character pieces - some antiques and personal items with unknown backstories. A trophy and a pile of old journals.


Tammy's very happy. She said she saw a shadow behind me just now...

My To-Do List

I always love keeping and writing to-do lists and I find them such a great and fulfilling way to organise ideas and tasks, so I'm just going to write one in the form of a blog post (please don't judge the inner workings of my mind too harshly).


1. Watch some new anime


I pretty much perpetually have it in the back of my mind to go check out a new anime series, but I tend to have phases of hefty anime viewing followed by long periods of anime abstinence. This happens a lot with any kind of TV show or with movies, so I have to keep reminding myself to get back into things and to keep finding new things that I love.

2. Write in my diary


This is on my to-do list every day, yet I almost always leave it until the last minute and do it just before I go to bed. Still, I guess that makes sense if I'm going to be writing about my day.

3. Eat some good stuff


I'm one of those people who easily forgets to eat, or postpones eating because I'm engrossed in something (it's cat videos, obviously), so this is always a good thing to remind myself of. I actually find it helpful to write shopping lists for this, because that way I visualise specific foods and it makes me want all of them immediately.


4. Finish my book


I'm always trying to finish a book. Why am I not reading right now?


5. Write/edit/draw something


Also a thing I am always doing, or trying to do, or hoping that I will soon be trying to do (seriously though, those cat videos, oh my).

☆☆☆

Gotta do all those things!

49 Pens

I am sleepy. I just counted my pens. There are 49 of them. Is this an excessive amount of pens? Is it an average amount of pens. Many of them are different colours, which I think changes things a bit. It would be a bit much to have 49 pens if they were all the same colour. If my number of pens is 49 then what's my number of objects overall? 49 feels like a big number, but it's not. 49 pens don't take up much space. 49 ladders? Now that would be quite excessive.


Anyway, it's a bit of a strange thing to do, to count things you own. I just thought it was interesting. I love seeing numbers and statistics on really boring things like that. It makes me wonder about stuff. How many times have I ever heard a song? How many times have I rolled my eyes? How many memories have I ever forgotten? Numbers are fun.

Curved Memories


Memories are fickle. Submerge them and watch them flake apart. Time puts crumbling splinters in our skulls. Time buries itself under oceans and shadows. Sharks and coral drift among remembrance. We are real and we are not.


We are sequences plotting out patterns in sand, kicking pebbles across streets. We are strings and threads tearing, coming loose, wrapping around rocks.


We are chattering skies and swaying branches. We are floating dust and falling light. We are here and we are forgotten. Fireflies in secret, hovering in the blue.


We are lace and fire, rust and vapour. We are memory, and we are gone.


Diary: Chickens


So the main thing that happened this week was that Elliot got chickens. Four little bantams. I haven't seen them yet since they were picked up right after I left, but I have listened to them making their lovely chicken noises on the phone. If you've never had a phone call with some chickens, I highly recommend it.


We also made some super tasty miso ramen with shiitake mushrooms. I seriously love miso soup, so I was very happy with this (and very happy with the accompanying hazelnut liqueur, too). Another thing I'm happy about is that I got to wear a cardigan for the first time in months. A very small cardigan, but nevertheless a cardigan.


I started playing Stardew Valley this week (digital chickens prompted by the real chickens) and I love this game even more than I expected to. Give me the digital chickens.

Pen Chaos


I'm slowly but steadily working through all of my miscellaneous pens. I currently don't have one full set of colours from the same pen brand, but more of an erratic collection of misfit pens. What's quite good about this scenario is that I'm using more of an odd range of colours and being restricted to some of the lesser used colours means I'm a bit more inventive and a bit more chaotic - which is always useful.


The mismatched pen collection also means I'm using pens of all different sizes, thicknesses, opacities, and scents (yep, I still have a couple of scented felt tips), so I end up being a bit more unpredictable and strange from all sorts of different angles, and ultimately I think that's the best. It's quite subtle at times, but I feel a difference in how I approach drawing. It's somehow more satisfying to me to have a jar of miscellaneous pens than a neat matching set.