Goodbye Poupée Girl

For some reason, a few days ago I suddenly remembered the existence of the dress up site Poupée Girl. I've had an account here for years, and I always enjoyed dressing up and posting items and throwing accumulated shells into the shell spring, so I was having fun returning to the site (and going on a little shopping spree with the ribbons I found waiting for me when I logged in) when I found out that Poupée Girl is closing today (the 31st of March 2015).

What a coincidence that I would remember the site and go to visit it in the last days before it closes down! I'm really glad I didn't go back to find it was gone. That would've been really sad. I know it's just a doll dress up site, but it's so unique in design and community, and is just such a neat little bit of fun, so yeah, I'm sad to see it go. I thought I'd say goodbye by collecting a few outfits and details in this post, so I still have a little bit of the site and my Poupée Girl to look back on.

Goodbye poopy girl, you will be sorely missed (even though I did just have a great time chucking 114 shells into the shell spring).

me holding a wine bottle, as usual

5 Top Handy Websites

I've just been sorting out my bookmarks bar and thought I'd put of some of my favourite websites here to share them around and, uh, spread my love for glitter graphics a little bit.

1. Triple Canopy

This is an online art journal with all sorts of academic, artistic nonsense. It's pretty dense stuff, so I tend to just dip in a bit, but browsing Triple Canopy does feel a bit like sifting through a dead lord's belongings (in a good way). There's some interesting things to be found.

This site allows you to create a self-destructing email address, so you can minimise spam when signing up for things, etc. I found this website through this list of handy websites.

There are probably heaps of glitter text generators out there on the internet, but this one is my favourite, and yeah, I do find myself needing to make glitter text more than I would have ever anticipated.

A really cool and simple photo editor. This place has some pretty nice filters and options for easy online editing.

If you're like me and have to check up where you're going in Google Maps and then zoom into Streetview because otherwise you KNOW you will somehow get lost, this website comes in so handy as it combines Maps, Streetview, and a bird's eye view all at once.

I hope some of these are useful and I very much encourage you to fill your online spaces with beautiful glitter text like this:

Outfit: Moomins & Stripes

I went for a very relaxing and cute spring look with this light pink Moomin jumper (from Primark) and striped skirt (from H&M). Totoro approves (I think). You can also see a few clear gems on my legs (they're stuck to nude tights) and my tiny gold bee necklace (from Miss Selfridge).

A super high ponytail seemed like the most comfy and appropriate option. I'm thinking of challenging myself to wear my hair up every day. It might be interesting, and allow me to learn and practice some new styles.

I'm wearing some stretchy and cool velvet chelsea boots (again from Primark, I think) and  shiny gem studs that came with my Miss Selfridge bee studs. They're such a nice little detail, and they go very well with my gem tights.

Little Me

I have a little blue version of myself joining me on the scanner bed this time. It's always nice to have company. I love having extra stuff in my face scans because it adds another layer to everything, and that's probably especially true with an actual drawing of myself. It kinda contrasts with the rich tonality and pigmentation of the actual human body - the simplicity of a cartoon cutout against the textures of three dimensional me. But you know me, I love doodling.

How To Draw: 5 Tips For Creative Success

The pencil bug bit me again recently and I am really enthused about making pencil drawings at the moment. They are so soft and gentle and scribbly and I love the texture of pencil lines. They feel delicate and rough at the same time, and I guess I like all those sorts of combinations. Since it felt so nice and refreshing drawing with a pencil again, I wanted to put together a little mini guide for drawing. Let's go!

1. Chill Out

The super important first thing is to take a step back from your drawing ambitions and start to enjoy the shapes and textures and the whole process of mark-making. If you are able to enjoy the process itself, it will be harder to give up or get frustrated.

2. Copy Things

If you see stuff you like, copy it, copy it, and copy it again. Just make sure you don't post copied stuff online, and try to keep track of who and what you're copying. This is the best way of understanding how the shapes you like are made. Do it enough, and it will start to evolve into something all your own. Whether it's the way Tove Jansson draws buns, or the shape of Harry Styles' hair, copy it (as much as you can).

3. Study Anatomy

You'll also need to copy real bodies. No matter what you're drawing, it will almost certainly be helped by anatomy practice. This is not something something you will ever be perfect at, and it's something that can take a long time to get better at, but it is always going to help you a lot to keep going at it.

4. Try New Things

The main thing I took from formal art education (other than a great love of the phrase 'action stations' - liberally used by my A Level art teacher to cajole us into working) was that experimentation really helps you to grow creatively. The more things you try, the more things you might find you love. Drawing with bamboo sticks and credit cards was quite fun for me.

Here is a mini list of things you can try:
potato printing, food colouring, photography with an old phone, painting with your nose, collaging with hair, cutting up photos and sticking them back together, water and ink, limited colour palettes, challenges, using tiny or huge canvases

5. Be You

A lot of us have this idea in our heads about what art should be, or what worthwhile creativity looks like. If you're a blogger, you've probably come across these ideas in relation to blogging with industries and individuals confused about where to place us in the wider media field, and sometimes treating us like faddish hobbyists - even those of us who blog full time and attract impressive sponsorships.

If your art doesn't have a meaning to you, or it doesn't look impressively realistic, or it drips and bleeds unexpectedly, don't worry too much. Ultimately, art is about you and your expression. You might need to change your ideas about art and creativity to be happy with yourself as a creative.

Outfit: Cosy Moth

This is a pretty lazy outfit, but lazy outfits are some of the best. They carry within them the essence of my cosiness. Does that make sense at all? I've just reminded myself of the essence of wetness bit from Zoolander. Nice.

The amazing moth brooch was a Christmas present a couple of years ago, and I love how big and bright and ostentatious it is. And of course, I love that it's a moth. I wouldn't be mothcub if I didn't love moths!

I'm wearing a huge, thick lumberjack style shirt given to me by my mum, and a similarly huge t-shirt which I originally gave to Elliot as a present (it's from H&M's men's section). He did wear it for a while, but it was decided it was just too snug a fit, so I adopted it for my own use. It's a really good pyjama top and the material is really very soft and pleasant. I also love the gentle shade of blue and the fact that it's marled. It's one of the most pleasant tops to wear when I want to feel very relaxed. I tend to tuck big t-shirts into something like this simple tube skirt to avoid being drowned in fabric.

This sock length is probably my favourite sock length of all time. I love simple, patterned socks like this. These floral socks are from H&M and the plimsolls are from New Look.

I don't wear rings often because I find they interfere too much with everything, catching on clothes and so on, but sometimes they're fun. The tiny gold ring I made myself with brass wire, and I got the heart ring at a Rookie meet up.

My shirt is quite versatile due to its thickness and can be layered in colder months or act as a sort of lightweight jacket when it's warmer. It's another great oversized item and it makes me feel so cosy.

Lastly, these burgundy velvet plimsolls are a really simple, cute, and comfortable shoe. The velvet detail is really nice and makes them feel special.

Diary: Basically, I Am Garfield

It's "that time of the month" so today I feel like the most lethargic little jelly bean of all time and need at least twenty chocolate oranges hourly, such is the nature of the beast (the beast is my slightly dipped serotonin levels or whatever it is that makes me want to cry when I drop a spoon). I think you should definitely be given a free log cabin with a delightful fire and a jug of Pimms and the softest blankets known to humankind when you are menstruating. It's only fair.

The sun has been reminding us of its existence recently, which is nice. Hello again, sun. I have been trying to be super duper organised and work on art experimentation and writing and so on, but I have been somewhat distracted by lasagne (thanks to my boyfriend who I will henceforth refer to as Mr Lasagne). I have also been enjoying the delights of Ed Sheeran and Smirnoff Ice, as you will discover if you watch the video at the bottom of this post. I hope your week has been a pleasant one, and that you too were momentarily mesmerised by lasagne (or some other delight).

Who I Am

I haven't done a webcam post in a while! It always seems to be a long stretch between them. I like that though, it feels like a catch up for me.

Things happen and change a lot and I'm into self-reflecting on a tremendous level, so it's no surprise or great deviation that this year and I guess the events of the past year have had their own magical and unique effect on things. I am deciding again to grow my hair, I think (I don't like to be too definitive about it because I never know when I might change my mind), I should be leaving university, I'm blogging at a pretty consistent and prolific rate that feels comfortable, I'm experimenting and progressing with YouTube. I am doing okay and I am proud of myself and who I am right now. 

As far as looks and textural feelings/responses, I am pretty much a squishy little flower all ready to bathe in tiny drops of sunlight. I feel very light and fresh. I have had some delicious apple and mango juice and am thinking about my thin, baby blue cardigan. I wore it once as a skirt when my leggings started to feel restrictive. Versatile clothing is the best, and especially so when it is very light and portable.

I am taking a lot of comfort in the progress I've made in the past 6 months to a year, and whilst I'm scared about leaving uni, I have plans (both short term and long) and am really trying to concentrate on encouraging myself, because I deserve to feel confident and happy, always!

Spring & New Life

Here are some thoughts. A bit of a stream of consciousness amongst some recent photos. I'm feeling quite tranquil at the moment. Happy to just sit and be here.

The sun's creeping back into our lives like a sheepish old friend. The light is dancing on the walls, saying hello like a party. I am trying out old-new things. Wearing lighter clothes, remembering this time last year when I wore plaits in my hair and trying again, but this time a little better at it. A year ago I cut my hair short. Now it's almost back where it was - tougher and bigger than I ever remember.

Stippled walls are nice. I'm imagining if I had my own walls in this context. Texture is rich everywhere.

This dog is one of the friendliest creatures around me right now. People can learn a lot from dogs.

No matter what I wear or what I do with my hair, my face is the same, and my skin feels the same. Soft and flexible and covered in peach fuzz. Peach fuzz is a life philosophy. Push your earlobe around when you feel confused about your body.

The pigeons look beautiful in grey skies and dusty sheds. I like that I get to watch them living their lives, going about their pigeon days. I guess we all wonder what it's like to fly. I'm a little scared of heights, so I'm not too curious. They're always there, around me like everyone else is. Being around animals feels very different to being around humans, though. Sometimes I feel like I can understand animals and their priorities a bit more. In any case it's nice to be around them. They make me reflect on things in different ways.

I spent some time sitting in the kitchen, wearing a big, fluffy dressing gown and looking at the plants and everything through the window. Stuff just keeps being there. I guess that's like me. Whatever happens this year and every year, I'll just keep being there.