Sushi Cats – Amigurumi #52

I asked on my Facebook page, and you answered! You guys really seem to like cats, and food. the lucky winner of the plush suggestion is…..

Cat Sushi!

Or are they Sushi Cats? Either way, these cute little guys exist. Two versions exist: salmon Nigiri (left) and Tamago. Tamago was created first, as evidenced by his eerie eyes and failed cross-stitched mouth. I’ll admit, I’m not one to cross-stitch often.

They have little tails, too!

Lookit the tails!

It is important to keep your sushi cats fed and happy. They are social creatures and thrive best when kept with at least one other friend. Put them on a pizza trivet, and you’ve got sushi pizza!

Perhaps I’ll stick a key ring on these guys and make them into keychains. They could also be made into larger pillows, like the Pusheen I made for Toni. (Oh no, I never blogged about that…)

Nofie and Sootsie didn’t seem particularly interested in these cat sushis. I blame the abundance of boxes and wrapping paper. Although, I did get Nofie to paw the tamago around a strip of wrapping paper. Both of them really liked the No-Face and soot sprite plushies. Maybe a little too much. The poor plushies don’t quite look like themselves anymore. ( ;w; )

For cat toys, it is best to use cotton yarn, so as to withstand the gnawing and licking. To give plushies a fuzzy texture, I use a pet brush that I specifically bought for this purpose. (For those concerned about allergens and cross-contamination) These brushes mimic a cat’s naturally coarse tongue, resulting in soft, mat-free fur. No-Face and the sootsprite plush got naturally brushed. XP Nigiri’s salmon piece is made from cotton yarn, as is Tamago’s seaweed. I think these cat sushis made from 100% cotton would make nice cat toys.

As you may recall, the shop is opening soon! The Torchic keychains and Popplio will be for sale, and comissions will be open! Leave your suggestions and let’s see how much more plush we can make this world!

What kind of sushi is your favourite? Mine is salmon sashimi. What should the next plush be? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

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Make This Again: Torchic – Amigurumi #9.1 + Bad News…

Ever heard of the Draw This Again challenge? If not, it’s pretty self-explanatory. I did the “Make This Again” challenge. Here are two wee baby Torchics!

Ahh! Surely, I have improved!

Previously, I tried to make the plushie all one piece. While efficient, it robbed the plushie of its intended shape. I’ve also used brighter coloured orange yarn to help them stand out. The feet are still chained, but they are broader and are closer to chicken feet. It was a hassle to sew the head, wings, and body together, but it was worth it in the end. I now feel confident selling these little guys in the shop.

Five years ago, I made a Torchic key charm for Kitty, before he went to live in the UK for a year. He attached it to his luggage, as intended.

When he went through baggage claim, he found his luggage…but not Torchic. It made me sad.

This time, I’m prepared.

I attached a metal keychain! It’s not great as a baggage tag anymore, but it’s definitely stronger than a yarn cord. This Torchic would be right at home on a backpack or carry-on.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years since Kitty went to the UK. How much has changed since then? Well, to sum up, he now has a master’s degree, a beautiful wife, and a million more snob points. He’s seen me through new beginnings and bad breakups, made jokes at my expense, and took his share of my salt. He’s just like a real cat; drives you up the wall, but at the end of the day provides comfort. Sad to say we don’t talk as often as we used to, due to busy schedules and life in general. But when we do chat, it’s as though nothing has changed. This is my favourite kind of friendship. And we’ve established that he’s playing piano for my wedding, if I ever get married.

Now that you’re all happy from seeing such a cute little fire chicken…time for the bad news: I done goofed. Tomorrow was supposed to be the re-launch of my shop. However, due to imminent travel plans for which I forgot to account, the shop will be unavailable until May 12.

All is not lost, however! I will be taking requests and commissions during this time period. I currently only have Torchic and Popplio scheduled to be sold, but we need more colours, yarnit! Leave suggestions for plushies/amigurumi that you’d like to see, and let’s start making the world plush!

Do you have any commission suggestions? Have you attempted the “make/draw this again” challenge? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

*Edit: changed “darnit” to “yarnit” at former roommate’s request. Miss ya, Triztan!

Taco – Amigurumi #51

There are a couple things I want to taco ’bout.

First, this is a taco. It’s one of the plushies from the plush binge a couple years back. It has been almost 2 years since the binge, and I may have forgotten what plushies were made when. For argument’s sake, let’s say that there were actually 5 plushies in the binge, because I don’t remember making the cupcake that time, but I do remember making the taco.

Click here to view 1/5: Pudding

Click here to view 2/5: Ice-Cream

Click here to view 3/5: Cupcake

Tacos are amazing, as this video from Pleated Jeans will tell you. They can be crunchy or chewy, meaty or beany, cheesy or saucy. There’s something for everyone, and you can’t be wrong no matter what you choose. As a wee Pichu, I remember the Raichus taking us to Scarborough Town Center, where we would eat fresh, crispy tacos, and I would get ice cream for dessert.

I was craving tacos today, and took that as an opportunity to take some taco pics. I got 2 tacos, supreme fries, and some cinnamon bites. As I type this, I just remembered the latter are still in my bag. (Was too full of fountain drink to eat them)

Hatter suggested I save the amigurumi taco for last, because it looked like the best. So I did. But when I took a bite of it, I went *pleh pleh pleh* I guess just because something looks good on the inside, doesn’t mean it tastes good on the inside.

Messy food is best.

The amigurumi taco contains little red tomato bits. Perhaps I should have made them more prominent.

The next thing I want to mention is: 4 more days until the shop re-opens! I will be selling small plushies and remaking some old ones, as well. I think I will include several plushies as a single listing at a time. Larger plushies will get their own listings.

You will be able to purchase the plushies through PayPal, and in time I hope to incorporate online banking as an option. (I haven’t been on Etsy in a while, and want to check what other payment options are available) Currently, the plushies are only for sale in Canada, but hopefully after the shop sees more success, I can start shipping south of the border.

If anyone I know personally is reading this, please contact me directly for plushie orders. 😉

Hard, or soft tacos? What do you put in your tacos? Do you like fire sauce? What else do you like to eat with your tacos? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Macarons – Amigurumi #50

*This plush also appears on @pikainabag!

And with this blog, I complete my Lenten promise, however late it may be.

Sometimes, it is nice to let other people do things for you. Cooking for yourself is nice, but when you’re busy, it’s nice to just kick back and have someone bring you a pizza. Likewise, when you’re busy but still want to blog, it’s nice to have someone provide a pattern for you to follow.

These macarons were made using the pattern from AmigurumiPianosound. (Click name to visit YouTube channel) I was in the mood for something sweet and simple to make in a single sitting, so as to have blog material that didn’t distract from the boat load of schoolwork. And then I ended up making several.

The above picture demonstrates how varied yarns and alterations can affect the outcome of the macaron’s appearance. The mint chocolate macaron (green) was created using thing green yarn, and I skipped the “*inc, sc 3, repeat from *” round. The result was okay, but a little too round, compared to an actual macaron. I followed the pattern exactly for the pink one, but the colour combination should have been inverted, to help the cream stand out. The yarn I used for the chocolate macaron is thinner, and although it looks normal in the photo, it is a bit too thin in real life.

I like the purple and yellow macarons best. I gave the purple one to Shoonie as a belated birthday present. We promptly fed it to Little Feet, for his first birthday. Seeing as how macaron halves should have “little feet” once they are baked, it felt appropriate.

Feet not shown

And she made delicious Easter desserts!

The best one was the Shoonie hand.
I take my coffee with milk and sugar. Fight me.

You might recognize the pink macaron from the Popplio post. Indeed, Popplio likes macarons. Or are they poffins? They can’t be malasadas… malasadas are fried, and remind me of mandazis. I heard that the new gen will take place in England. Maybe macaron-like Pokemon treats will make an appearance?

Haaaa… at long last, it feels like I can breathe again. There will be another blog this weekend, along with an announcement! Until then, let’s continue to rest, recover, and make the world plush

To make your own cute macaron plush, click here for pianosound’s video tutorial.

Which dessert should be next? Did you achieve your Lenten goals? How was your Easter? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Popplio – Amigurumi #49

*The following plush also appears on @pikainabag

Meet my son, Popplio.

I made this Popplio circa December of this past year. It went on hold while I fiddled with ways to make its eyes. And then I picked up felting needles and stabbed fluff repeatedly into its head. It kind of worked.

I would give this Popplio a 7/10. In future iterations, I would make the snout broader at the base, and make the ears longer. And maybe the flippers should be a row or two longer.

The eyes are very fuzzy. Maybe if they were hand washed, they would lay flat?

As you may remember, Popplio received a lot of hate when the Alola starters were announced. But when I lifted Popplio gently into my arms, I knew I wanted him to be my son.

And my son, he was. His attack stats aren’t too strong, but his defense is off the charts. Basically, Popplio is a tank.

And look at its final evolution. LOOK AT IT. ABSORB THE FABULOUSNESS.

My son went to school with me, to help alleviate a bit of crunch time stress.

He found my one friend’s drawing of (Eevee?) and Jolteon.

And then he found a macaron. But wait…so did Mimikyu!

They bonded over their love of macarons. And now, Popplio and Mimikyu are friends.

Popplio and Mimikyu came to the annual demo reel screening on Thursday. People seemed to like mine. Do you? (Click here to watch)

Despite watching the demo reels on Thursday, the semester is not over yet! And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go finish the remaining assignments. There will still be a blog post next week, but it will be scheduled ahead of time. (This post was, too.) Whew… we’re getting to Easter, and despite how insane school has gotten, I’ve managed to blog each week since the beginning of Lent! I would say that I have accomplished my Lenten promise. Now, can I accomplish my academic promises????

Which Pokemon is next? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Mimikyu – Amigurumi #48

*The following plush also appears on @pikainabag

Monday was Shoonie’s birthday! In commemoration of her 2 decades on this planet, I broke taboo and made…a Pikachu!

Hm? What’s that? This ISN’T a Pikachu?

…oh. It’s a Mimikyu!

This little guy was a bit tricky to get just right. As pictured to the left, it turns out Mimikyu’s black body underneath has the same spiky pattern as the bottom of its costume. I thought that was merely shadow, but after looking at its model in Sun, it turns out that is not the case.
You’ll also notice it doesn’t sit flat, but rather rocks a bit. The weight created by its head and tail leaning to one side doesn’t help either. After doing a bit of research, I may have found a way to keep the base laying flat. Once the shop reopens, I will make and sell a new Mimikyu according to these strategies.

This cutie has been widely received among my classmates. It’s very well behaved too; it quietly listens to music while I work.

Sometimes it joins me for tea.

This Mimikyu is Canadian made. So Canadian, in fact, that it sat and watched hockey with my roommate.

Poor Mimikyu. It just wants to be loved. Maybe it will find a friend in No-Face.

With only 2 weeks left of school, things are getting hectic. While I’m glad to have gotten a chance to sit down and make plushies again, I must also focus on the plethora of assignments that are due in the coming week. Perhaps I will share the completed ones here at the end of the semester!

Which Pokemon should be next? Or should Mimikyu get an alternate costume? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

No-Face and Soot Sprite – Amigurumi #47

Before we begin, allow me to take a moment for some shameless self-promotion: I now have Facebook and Instagram pages! Yeah, I know, 5 years late, but better late than never. Follow for plushies, as well as crafts and miscellaneous artwork that won’t necessarily be featured on this blog. Etsy shop is expected to reopen by May 1, 2019!

Follow me on Facebook at Pika in a Bag, or on Instagram @pikainabag! (Click links to follow through)

These count as one post because they are from the same movie.

We watched Spirited Away in our History of Animation class last week. I’ve watched it quite a lot in the past. We watched it when Hatter’s friend came to visit, but No-Face and Sootsprite didn’t want to see their namesakes.

At first, No-Face’s mask turned out too small. It made the purple designs look like blush. No-Face’s mask is an oblong shape, and therefore needed to be made with an oval shape. I am working on a round 2 No-Face plush. Hopefully it will turn out better.

Remember that scene at Zeniba’s house, when No-Face was knitting? In Japan, they have a No-Face who knits. In Canada, we have a crocheted No-Face.

The soot sprite is made from leftover black fluff. Recycling level: crafty.

I’ve been experimenting with felt needles lately. To make the details on No-Face’s mask, I felted some bits of fluff to his face. To think, I used to glue and sew felt onto things… maybe I’ll make my own goomba plush, and felt the eyes directly onto the plush.

Today in class, the soot sprite wanted to drink coffee. But he needed a little help.

Ne ne~ (8)

And then we travelled to Wonderland, to meet the cat-No-Face and cat-Sootsprite.

Let’s see what No-Face (Nofie) and Sootsprite (Sootsie) think of their namesakes…

Nofie with the soot sprite

As I type this, Nofie is jumping around with his namesake. I did not put cat nip in the doll, so I’m not sure why he’s doing that. And just now, he picked it up in his front paws and threw it against the bedroom door like a pro-wrestler. “Mom” is pleased that he’s enjoying the toy. Good thing this was a prototype No-Face, because it is covered in dust now.

Sootsprite is watching his brother. Earlier, he was hesitating to go play with the toys. I told him he needs to go ask his brother nicely for the toys, not just stare awkwardly. So then I threw the No-Face doll, and it spun around like a top. The cats seem to like the No-Face a bit better than the soot sprite.

Like the jingle bell balls before it, the soot sprite toy has vanished under the couch. The cats tried licking the soot sprite, and both went “pleh pleh pleh.”

Did you know…. the bath house was actually based on a location in Taiwan? Toni from the PepperToni Pizza is from Taiwan, and thought the environments looked familiar. I would love to visit this location. Maybe Toni will take us?

Since I watched this movie for the first time at age 12, I’ve had a fascination with the attention to environment and character development present in Miyazaki’s works. When I first watched Spirited Away, it began with a long intro by John Lasseter, pointing out the detail of Chihiro putting on her shoes “like a real little girl.” Years later, my teachers would point out the finer details of the shine in eyes, breeze blowing through grass, and yes, character behaviours. These are all things one must pay attention to when animating. You can tell a lot about a character or environment by how it behaves. When something bad happens, Chihiro curls in a ball like a little girl. When she feeds Haku the medicine, she pulls his mouth open like a dog. You don’t think of things until you watch behind the scenes, or fun facts about the movies. But if you want to create believable, interesting animations, you must take notes of little nods like these.

I often like to sit back and wonder, “how do they come up with these things?” Who else could have come up with No-Face, or thought to personify the dust that comes from burnt objects? That’s why I long to be an animator, and to create my own works. I want to create, animate, and make the world plush.

What Studio Ghibli plushie should be next? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~