Daydream Lily is a distinctively dreamy blog that in three short years has become one of the most popular creative spaces in the blogosphere. Charlotte Rivers caught up with its founder Liss Winnel to find out what drives and inspires her. 

JUNE 2014

Daydream Lily has fast become one of the go to places on the web for creative inspiration. Founded by Australian Liss Winnel in 2007 it now has nearly 50,000 weekly readers and has been named a ‘Blog of Note’ by Google (part of an elite group of just 4,000 personal blogs) and was featured in The Times’ Top 50 Design Blogs list. Winnel set the blog up shortly after starting her first job out of university as a scientific researcher as a way to give herself a creative outlet. “I’m a trained engineer and statistician and went straight from university to a professional job,” she explains. “I felt I wasn’t being creative anymore. Art and photography had been a huge part of my life as I was growing up and I really wanted to keep that part of my life going.”

Around the same time Winnel discovered Australia’s art, craft, fashion and music magazine Frankie, which led her to stitching nights at Meet Me at Mikes. “I went along hoping to make some friends and meet some like-minded people, which I did, but at the same time I discovered the world of blogging,” she explains. “A lot of the people I met there had blogs so I started reading them. The more I read them the more I wanted my own creative space on the internet so I set up Daydream Lily. Originally I had intentions of sharing things I was making but I was discovering so many amazing artists I just felt I wanted to promote and share their work with the world.” 

Since it was started Winnel’s blog has changed and evolved to incorporate art and craft, photography and more recently fashion, but what has remained the same is the dreamy aesthetic and her love for posting about all things crafty, cute and homemade. “I always find it hard to tell people what Daydream Lily is about as such as I’m not sure what exactly I aim to tell people other than I want to share with them inspiration and the work of artists, photographers and designers who I love, and hopefully that my readers will love it too.”


Winnel recently moved from Melbourne to the Gold Coast where she manages to juggle working on Daydream Lily with her full time job the reality of which means that she now works more of a 12 to 14 hour day. “I often work from the moment I get up till the moment I go to bed, but I’ve never been afraid of hardwork,” she says. “I find that having a daily routine works best for me. Mornings are my blogging and email time, then I do my day’s work, then at night I try to have some downtime before getting on the computer again and going to bed late. I spend quite a bit of time each day going through image sharing websites and bookmarking favourites. I’ve become a bit of an image junkie, always looking for pretty new things.”

“I try to post daily during the week and once on the weekends,” she adds. “I feel the most creative early in the morning so that is my blogging time. I also try to take at least one day off on the weekends to rest and have ‘me time’ but to be honest I really enjoy blogging so rarely feel that I need to motivate myself to do it. It’s become a part of my life as much as some people might put time into cooking a nice meal I put my time into creating beautiful blogposts.”

Winnel finds much of the content for her blog on sites such as deviantart and flickr although as the blog has grown she has found that more and more content is submitted to her directly. She has also begun to host a number of giveaways on the blog and recently collaborated with fashion brand Element Eden to create a capsule collection for the brand. “This was a great experience getting to conceptualize my blog and the Daydream Lily brand into clothing and accessories,” she explains. “It has been really good to take my blog to another level and it’s given me a taste for creating again which is exciting.”


So would she ever give up her day job and focus on Daydream Lily full time? “No, I love my job and I love blogging,” she says. “If anything were to go it would be other social media, for instance email can be so time consuming. I’m also learning to figure out what my limits are and to say no sometimes so I can manage both my job and my blog, and my life”

Winnel’s number one piece of advice to anyone wanting to start a blog is to blog about a topic that you absolutely love and are passionate about as well as to be yourself, work hard, have good blog etiquette and update regularly. “There will be times when you feel like no one is listening or you’re blogging to an empty room and it’s your passion for your topic that will keep you going through these times, plus it makes the whole experience so much better,” she explains. “Don’t pay too much attention to what others are doing. Make your blog your own and be yourself. It’s important to have nice manners and etiquette, I try to link and credit wherever possible, so if I discover something on someone’s blog and re-post it I link to them as where I found it.  Also work at your blog, think how you can improve it, nurture it, but at the same time don’t get to caught up in reading ‘how to blog’ just make a start and learn as you go, make mistakes it’s the best way to learn!”