Some days are pyjama days, and lie down and eat cake days, and these days should be celebrated. So here are some silly pictures from one such day, ft. my gingerbread people pyjamas (because I guess it's appropriate to wear those now). Please wish upon me some kind of delicious salted caramel roulade or similarly perfect treat.

And don't worry, I'll clean that dust off my mirror. All surfaces shall be clear and all cakes shall be eaten. That's my official motto.

Happy Journal Thoughts

I've been feeling really close to (and happy about) my little journal lately. I have been doing some strange little paintings and making mini collages with them. Sometimes I feel most comfortable putting things directly into my journal, but sometimes it feels more freeing to make things for it on separate pieces of paper to put in later. Knowing when to use each approach is useful in making it feel like more of a genuine reflection to me.

I definitely feel less attached to the pre-configured daily diary set-up that I've been doing all this year. Writing my thoughts in this journal feels a lot more limitless right now. Having set pages for each day is restrictive, and that can be a good or bad thing depending on how much of a guideline you want, but at the moment I really just want to write whenever it feels most right. In a day-by-day diary I feel like I should be writing about my day and summarising it, or at least picking out things that were specifically about that day or things from that day, but in this journal I feel free to dedicate pages and spreads to whatever I want, and that's more exciting!

I can stick in more paintings, or receipts, or weird things. I can dedicate as many pages as I like to the beauty of hedgehogs, or cool socks, or Napoleon. I can write a small essay on apples. I can really put all of my strangest and most sudden thoughts in here. It just feels so much more natural, and varied, and I like that a lot.

Fuzzy Edges

I know I make far too many comparisons and analogies with these things, but I guess it never stops being fun for me to think about, and this time I'm thinking about the fuzzy edges of all these scans. The way everything fades out into the background and all depth becomes a shadow. It's like life and so many things we understand (or think we do). To a certain extent, I think it's good to go about your life letting those edges stay fuzzy. I mean, it's so easy to overanalyse things or to get yourself stuck somewhere on fringe details that make you miss something more important, or that make you unable to enjoy or focus on something.

I also think it's important to treat our personalities this way, because ultimately don't we all have fuzzy edges? We're so changeable and little things are becoming different on the periphery all the time. Sometimes the most solid and real things about us are also the most clandestine. I don't think I will ever feel that I know myself 100%. Sometimes I don't understand my feelings or thoughts, but that's no problem. The fuzz is okay.

In these scans there are always little differences, but that comforting fuzziness is always here. I am as much the shadows as the clearly lit shapes.

Diary: Apple Turnover (Beautiful Things)

This week I have been watching loads of journal flip through videos on YouTube, as well as some cute anime, and it's been really fun. Watching people show you their journals and explain all the things in them is so fascinating and inspiring and makes me want to immediately do one thousand paintings and cut out pictures of eyes from magazines to make terrifying eye collages and so on.

I also apparently documented an apple turnover. Only the most important and beautiful things make it into my diary.

Right now there are a lot of leaves all over the ground, and I always like when that's how it is. Why is it so satisfying to step on all the leaves? It's a great and enjoyable time.

I started watching some pleasant anime - Yuri!!! on Ice and Hibike! Euphonium. I like the animation style in both a lot and they're somehow very soothing shows. The beauty of their style just makes me feel happy. It's like looking at all the leaves and the swaying branches and the sky. I guess that's one thing that's great about anime - so often it captures the unique wonder of natural scenery so well.

Gotta journal a lot of things in response to these nice inputs and inspirations! I love seeing other people's creativity and expression so much. And of course, the biggest inspiration of all, an apple turnover.

A Tribute To The Dogs In Yuri!!! On Ice

So I started watching hot anime of the moment Yuri!!! on Ice, and I was quickly sucked in, not by the glamour of ice skating, the unabashed confidence and charm of celebrated skater Victor, or the lovable and unsure protagonist, but by the dogs.

Look at these precious, sweet, angelic poodles.

I am now fully invested in all dog-related narratives in this anime. Ice skating? What's that? Sorry, I was busy thinking about this dog. Are there other things happening? Okay, but really, the dog.

Never did I think that one day I would be entranced by an animated dog tissue box (dog merchandise is apparently also an important feature in Yuri!!! on Ice), but here we are in 2016, and the endless creative joys are upon us. Please pass me the dog so I may weep into it profusely. Thanks.

How To Quash Misery (With A Sword)

Misery is a beast that needs slaying. Lurking in the depths of the cavern at the edge of the forest (the cavern is you), misery sits in waiting, its teeth dripping. What you need is a big misery-killing sword. Mine are usually made of comfortable clothing, which may not sound like the most effective material for a weapon, but trust me - it works.

So, you get your sword. You can make it out of whatever you like. Boyband member? Cup of tea? 6ft troll doll? Sure. It's up to you, and you know best about your own sword. Once you've got your sword the best thing to do is to adorn it with a lot of jewels. This could be an item on any list of tips, but really, add some jewels. Each jewel should be formed from something encouraging or good. That one time when you had a sandwich, for example, and it tasted very nice. Put that on your sword in jewel form. Put every cute cat you have ever seen onto your sword as a jewel. I'm not sure what kind of a machine can actually perform that task, but just do it.

With enough jewels, your sword will be ready, and then you'll have to venture out into the dark. I know, it seems scary, but when you've got such a cool sword you'll have no problem at all (mostly because the jewels will be glistening so intensely that visibility will be much improved).

Remember, a bad day doesn't mean a bad life. Go get your sword.

5 Cutest & Best Korean Illustrated Characters

If you already know me, you might know that I love Sanrio, and in particular the beret-wearing dog, Pompompurin, and the sweet pastel bunny, Cinnamoroll. I am pretty familiar by now with many of these Japanese characters and mascots (Sanrio or not), but their Korean counterparts are a little bit newer to me. So let me take you on a fascinating journey to meet some of the greatest illustrated Korean friends from apps, stationery, and other things.

1. Heeda 

Image source here.

I'm not sure if 'Heeda' is meant to be the girl's name or not, but I love this character (seemingly usually found on stickers) so much. Her rosy cheeks and pigtails are so cute, and I love all the outfits and activities going on. These stickers are made by sticker company Pony Brown.

2. Kakaotalk's Apeach

Image source here.

Kakaotalk is South Korea's most popular instant messaging app and it comes with a bunch of unique emoticon characters, including this wonderful peach butt pal.

Truly beautiful.

3. Molang

Image source here.

I had to mention Molang. A simple and adorable chubby bunny who mostly adorns notebooks and planners. I have a soft spot for bunnies, and Molang is the cuddliest bunny of all!

4. Pucca

The Pucca & Garu motorbike sculpture at Pucca Design Store in Lotte World Mall, Seoul.

Pucca was around quite a lot in the UK some years ago and she captured my heart with her cute buns and mischievous and grumpy personality. To me, Pucca has such a unique sense of character to her and she feels like a very real person somehow. Maybe I just relate to her too much, but I don't know, she's great.

5. Momoi

Image source here.

Momoi is a cute girl doing cute things in a series of diary stickers made for everyday use, so they show her doing lots of mundane things. I really like characters with pigtails, I guess!


So these are some of my favourite sweet little characters so far, but I know there are plenty more out there and I look forward to getting to know as many of them as possible in the future!

Stardew Valley: Cooped Up

It is winter in Stardew Valley and I have just upgraded my house so it now has a nice, big kitchen that I can make a thousand omelettes in.

I have also been doing some very important reading.

I am very happy to be able to stuff my new fridge full of cheese, as well as to have lots more space for decorating my home with strange knick-knacks.

On top of that, I am upgrading my barn so that I can bring a duck or two into the family. I am ready to be the big bird person in the valley.

We had some kind of ice festival, and I have to say I think this cool pear wearing sunglasses is the greatest piece of art I have ever seen. Did Damien Hirst do this?

I'll leave you with the news that it seems like I'm not the first bird lover in this place. Clearly I have found my true home here.

Journal: Boyfriend Quiz

Here are some more scrapbook-style pages from my journal. They're full of old pictures (including some holiday snaps from 2013). Lots of silly memories.

The Bratislava bus station picture is my favourite. I remember that bus station fondly (even though using buses in Slovakia was confusing because we didn't understand how to correctly holepunch our bus tickets with the mechanical holepunch on the buses and ended up ripping our tickets when the machine wouldn't release them - a dramatic bus experience).

I also apparently ended up with a beautiful selection of pictures featuring some truly wonderful facial expressions, so of course I needed to make a special place for some of those.

These pages are dedicated to a quiz, and really, I think we should all make each other do a lot more quizzes. Quizzes are great. Make everyone you know do a quiz.

Anime: Hibike! Euphonium

After seeing lots of pretty gifs and screenshots of Hibike! Euphonium I finally decided to check it out since I was really drawn in by the art style. Both plot-wise and stylistically, it reminds me of K-On! (another anime series with an exclamation mark in the title, no less) as it similarly features a music-focused school club.

Hibike! Euphonium, however, feels a bit faster paced and more dramatic to start with. It still retains much of the wistful, peppy feeling that K-On! has, but feels like it could be going in a slightly more mature direction. This is all just speculation based on the first episode, though.

I really appreciate the skies and scenery in this. The prettiness of everything is a hugely appealing factor for me, and everything feels so neat and precise in terms of detail, colour, movement, etc.

Most of all, this anime has such a sense of character. It feels so careful and gentle, well-timed in its moments of melancholy, and subtly expressive in many aspects.

I'm excited to see how its story unfolds.

Journal: Scrapbook Of Good

More than a whole year ago now, I started a new journal in a little red moleskine with the aim of making a 'scrapbook of good'. A journal which could be a memento and a reminder of everything nice that I appreciate. Some journals I finish quickly, while others hang around unfinished for a long time, and for this one it's the latter. If there's any specific theme or focus it tends to take me a lot longer, but that's okay, since it's a process of collecting things that will truly make me as happy as possible to look back on. It's not just a normal journal, even though it doesn't look too different from others.

It's not a neat journal either, as curated as it is in comparison with other, more experimental journals. Still, there has to be some experimentation here too. It's still a journal, so I still have to play around. If I took it too seriously it would never get finished.

One particular spread I liked was this one featuring two different mountains. Mountains have become a symbol of peace and of having your own space to me. I'm not sure why, but I find them very soothing. The text says "my mountain" and "your mountain", and the second mountain is saying it's sleepy.

After the first bunch of pages it turns into a photo album for a while. One thing I really love about photo albums or scrapbooks is the ability to embellish things. I love decorating pictures like this and making them all snazzy and cute. Somehow photos become more personalised this way, like I'm floating around inside them in pink paint blob form. It's the best.

Small Things

It's the little things that make a difference, right? An awful day can sometimes be magically transformed when you find a tiny, cuddly dragon in your pocket, or have a good meal, or overhear a child saying something hilarious in the supermarket. It might be my favourite thing, how fickle a mood can be, and how numerous those magical, perfect little things are. And I know, they don't fix everything, but they're there, and they're something to notice, and I think we should talk about them as much as possible.

So for me, it's a small cuddly pineapple toy, which makes me so happy and soothed for reasons unknown to me (I don't even like pineapples all that much, so who knows), it's changing my laptop wallpaper to a cute illustration of Molang surrounded by strawberries (pictured, found here and made by DeviantArt user leyfzalley), and it's pouring myself a drink, watching a double decker bus go by and wondering where its passengers are going, finding a blackberry on a local bush, or wrapping a scarf around my neck to find it's exactly the warmth I need.

The small things, they are good and meaningful.

Game Appreciation: Limbo

Released back in 2010, Limbo is a spooky platformer where you play as a boy traversing a foggy and murderous landscape. Why am I talking about a six year old game? Well, because it's nice, and I just want to appreciate its beauty for a bit.

It's the atmosphere that makes this game magical. The distant, shadowy trees, the pieces of crumbling natural debris, the endless fog and darkness. It's the kind of game that should be infuriating, with numerous deaths via pointy objects waiting for you at every turn, but somehow Limbo takes the omnipresent death and makes it calm, almost tranquil.

You can be impaled, crushed, and drowned, then stand by a patch of wheat and watch it blow in the breeze. It's strangely serene.