Totoro – Amigurumi #40

To-toro, to-toro~ To-toro, to-toro~

 

This Totoro was made for my friend An. Her birthday was on the 13th of this month. She loves Ghibli characters, and has a Totoro keychain. I had tons of grey yarn to burn, so I figured, why not a cuddly Totoro?

This Totoro is about 8 inches, or however tall this water bottle is. All I can say for certain is that he’s big enough to cuddle. Which is what An did as soon as she took him out of the bag.

 

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Totoro found his mini-me

What else can I say about An… out of all four of us main girls, she’s probably my favourite artists. She has a very light, yet detailed style of drawing. I’m even more impressed that she manages to juggle school, on top of a part time job. I’m also impressed that it took so long before her, “Pikaaaa, how do you do this in Mayaaa?” got annoying. XD I am proud of how far An has come with her 3D modelling skills. I also appreciate that she shares a lot of drawing references on her Facebook page, because they have been instrumental to my gaining confidence and practice in hand drawing.

An is also one of the few school friends who isn’t going back to a home country this summer. I’m thinking of a movie night at some point…

You can see more of An’s art on her Instagram page.

As of Friday, we have officially completed our first year of Animation! The year has flown by. It’s hard to believe that in only 8 months, I moved to a new place, made new friends, finally got a chance to leave the Fluff Company, and spent long hours stuck in the computer labs at school. It’s been absolute heaven, and absolute hell at the same time. Click on the pics below for caption nonsense.

Maybe one day, we will create memorable cartoons like Studio Ghibli. Maybe we will create our own studio! Whatever the future holds, let us never forget what inspired us to move in that direction, and thank the people who supported and cheered us on while we did so.

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How has your school year been? Spring/summer, anyone? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

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Cherry Tart – Amigurumi #40

Happy Pi Day!

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This cherry tart was made out of boredom. It was going to be a cupcake, but then I failed. The cherries look like literal bombs. If you give this to someone, are you saying that you’re their ch ch ch ch ch ch ch ch cherry bomb?!

Here is the tart beside a cupcake, which was going to be a slice of pie, but it failed:

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It turns out that the tart is scaled to real life!

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I made mini quiches for the first time today. They contain cheese and green onion. I skimped on the bacon bits, because they were expensive and I’m already on a tight budget. [/collegeLife] I substituted with flaked ham, which didn’t have the same smokey taste. And I should’ve used a less overwhelming cheese besides cheddar, so they wouldn’t have turned out as salty. Regardless, my roommate, Juefei, ate a third of them!

Mmmmm fresh out of the oven… Though I probably should have baked the crust separately. I theorize that my college city has a pie ban; we went to two different grocery stores to find cream pies, and came up short. Instead, we have a McCain cake.

What do you mean “cupcakes don’t count as pies?!”

What kinds of pies did you eat today? Or did you use pi in your equations at school? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Ice Cream – Amigurumi #39

I scream you scream, we all scream for… plushie 2/4 from the summer binge! Click here to view the first one.

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Pictured with its friend, the Lolly

Greetings from my home, away from home! I have now completed the first semester in residence. I am very excited to finally be taking steps towards true independence.

Residence isn’t necessarily living on your own; you have a roommate. One of my prospective roommates was a girl called Maddie. I’m still not 100% sure why I chose Juefei over her. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both lovely girls, but for some reason I felt like Juefei would be a good choice. As fate should have it, Maddie ended up living right next door! Yay, wall mates! I gave her this ice cream cone as a first meeting present. (Juefei got the chocolate covered strawberry) Ice cream is now sitting with Doggy.

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I lost the picture of Squirtle eating the ice cream. Oh well.

The original plan, was to make the ice cream scoops and cone all one piece. When that failed, I made the vanilla and strawberry scoops separately, and the chocolate attached to the cone. No more chocolate drips this way!

As much as I love ice cream, it was the food that taught me I’m lactose intolerant. Shoonie can attest, that that was the worst car ride ever. We had gone to PEI, and stopped at COWS Creamerey for…well, what else? COWS prides themselves on their 100% real dairy ice cream, and it was indeed delicious. But about an hour after consuming this delicious treat… ohhhh my poor tummy. And I had to sit in the car for an hour, feeling like I was gonna explode. Luckily Uncle Shoon was great and managed to pull over to a nearby gas station.

Oddly enough, store-bought ice cream from the grocery store rarely affects me. What the sheep on the farm is in that stuff? Or rather…isn’t in that stuff?!

 

 

 

What do you think 3/4 will be? Do you like ice cream? What is your favourite flavour? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Pudding – Amigurumi #38

Last week, I went on a 24-hour ami-roll. This is plushie 1/4 that I made. Hooray! Now I have blog material for the rest of the summer!

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I thought this pudding would turn out a bit better. Notice how it puffs up, and doesn’t lay flat. Real custard pudding “plops” out flat, which is what I was going for. Oh well. I already made real custard for the Top Hat family at the start of this month.

 

The Mad Dinner Party

We made korokke for dinner one night. While we were cooking, Vimes the cat was meowing at the door for a servant to let him out. However, the servants’ hands were dirty, so by the time I went to let him out, he was meowing away. Do you ever respond to your cats’ meows with, “I know, I know, hold on?” The korokke were tasty, though they took a long time to make, and we ended up making too many for one sitting. They paired well with Father Top Hat’s homemade salad. We also tried breading and deep frying cheese to make cheddar sticks, but the cheese melted into the breading, leaving nothing but a crispy, cheesy shell. It turns out you’re supposed to freeze cheese sticks before frying. Whoops! Well, now we know for next time.

The following day, we made pudding for dessert. Unfortunately, the water boiled, which sacrificed some of the smooth texture. But the Top Hats seemed to enjoy it just fine. They said it was pretty. I was happy, because pudding is one of my favourite desserts to make, as well as eat. Afterward, Mother Top Hat got out a recipe book full of desserts, and started flipping through for future dessert ideas. There were so many! I hope Top Hat and I will have enough opportunities to cook together…

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Which pudding is the imposter?

Did you know Rilakkuma’s favourite food is custard pudding? Dating advice: Find someone who looks at you, the way Rilakkuma looks at pudding.

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Or better yet, find someone who is willing to share their custard pudding.

What is your favourite dessert? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Carrot – Amigurumi #37

It’s a carrot.

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I was bored and trying to get the creative juices flowing again. And so, I made a carrot. Top Hat doesn’t like to eat the carrot. He says it’s all, “pleh pleh pleh.”

Bunny likes the carrot.

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It’s also good for jousting.

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But sometimes he and Sheep fight over it.

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Uncle Jeb: “Guys, don’t fight….zzzzzzzz….”

The carrot also makes a good cat scratcher. See below for details.

Step 1: Find a cat.

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Step 2: Massage cat.

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Finished. Happy cat. Be sure to toss it in a green bin when you’re finished.

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And that’s all, while I’m still in Wonderland. Next week, we’re going to try something else that can go in the green bin.

Do you like the idea of play food? Have you used plushies to massage your pets? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Cookie Cat (Steven Universe) – Amigurumi #35

Okay, so it’s actually a felt-gurumi. But with the ami rut I’ve been in lately, this is still a suitable friend for your tummy, and super duper yummy!

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Well okay, I wouldn’t recommend eating this. If you want one that actually awakens your gem powers, you’ll have to go to Nerdy Nummies.

I don’t release knitting and crochet patterns, but I never said anything about felt patterns. ;3 Feet free to follow along with my somewhat-coherent instructions on how to make your own Cookie Cat plushie!

 

What I used:

DSC_02431 sheet each of dark brown, light pink, and white felt

Scissors

Sewing needle

Matching pink, white, and brown thread

Polyfill stuffing

Paper and pencil

*Optional: someone to Skype with while working

 

First, make your pattern. I folded the paper in half, and eyeballed a half-cookie cat shape on the fold. Cut out the shape, open it up, and use it to trace and cut out two ‘cookies’ on the brown felt.

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For the front piece, fold one of the cookies in half, and draw a circle for the eye. Pinch the piece in the center of the eye, and make a snip so your scissors can go through. Cut out the eye through both layers. Unfold everything, trimming as you go. You should have two eyes like this:

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For the strawberry ice cream, fold your pattern in half again, and use this to trace two pieces from the pink felt. Do the same for the vanilla ice cream, using white felt. Then, place all the pieces together, and trim off about 1 mm around the edges. This will make the cookie ‘hang’ over the edges of the ice cream, just like in the show.

To make the sides of the ice cream, I used a scrap of thread to measure the outer perimeter of the ice cream pieces. This takes me back to grade 3, where we learned to use string to measure the perimeter of irregular shapes. Simply align the thread along the side of the ice cream from point A to point B, (see image) and measure this length against a ruler. I’m quite proud of my fine motor skills lately; this perimeter measured exactly 15.5 cm! I added 0.5 mm for seam allowance, and decided I wanted the sandwich to be no more than 2 cm thick. (It would shrink while sewing) Therefore I cut a pink strip, and a white strip, that were 16 cm x 2 cm.

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Sew the strips onto their respective ice creams using their matching threads, and a blanket stitch. I find it was best to begin each stitch by inserting the needle into the strip, and sewing the needle up through the flat face. You should have two “pouches:” one strawberry, and one vanilla.

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DSC_0277Sew these pouches together using a hemming stitch. (At least, I think that’s what it’s called. Mine turned out a lot more visible than this…) Basically, you weave the needle under the fabric, on an angle, and pull up. This creates horizontal stitches that hold the two pieces together, while allowing them to remain flat. Do not sew all the way around! Remember, we need a hole to place the stuffing. Once you’ve added enough stuffing to help the plushie hold its shape, go ahead and sew it up.

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When you’re finished, it should look something like this.

Now, begin to assemble the Cookie Cat. Remember, strawberry goes under the right eye, and vanilla goes under the left eye. At this point, I realized that not only did I have the wrong coloured brown thread, but the cookies looked way too flat. And so I decided to cut two more identical cookies (one extra front, and one extra back) and layer them on top of the first cookies.

Sew the first cookie layers onto the ice cream using a… hm. I’m not sure what this stitch is called. It reminds me of a modified running stitch. You insert the needle from the top, through the cookie, and through the bottom of a stitch on the ice cream. Then, you re-insert the needle into the cookie only, from underneath. I’m not sure how to describe this… see the images below for an example.

Sigh. This is why I don’t post tutorials. (.-.)

Anyway, once you have your cookies secured, use a blanket stitch to sew the second layers to your cookies, and you’re finished!

 

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Final verdict:

It’s very time consuming to hand sew all the pieces together, but it’s totally worth it in the end. Cookie Cat is best served on a plate, along with a smiling popsicle. Even if it’s not yet warm enough outside, there’s never a wrong time to enjoy a delicious ice cream sandwich.

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What other felt-gurumis should we try? Should we try an amigurumi version next? Comment below!

Pika, so hungry~

Bunny – Amigurumi #34

It’s still December 17 somewhere…

Hey kids, wanna see a magic trick?

Last year, I made Top Hat a top hat for his sheep. This year, I made a bunny for Top Hat’s top hat.

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This little bunny was made with yarn I bought during our fancy date. Here is a summary of every crafter’s inner dilemma, whenever they walk into a craft store:

Okay, I’m here for [item]. I’ll just get it, and get out.

*walk into store*

Come to think of it, I don’t have anywhere else to be, might as well take time to look around first. Oh look, [item A] is on sale! I should get some just to stock up. Ah, here’s the [item]! But if I get [item] and [item A], it’ll cost too much. Wait, I’ll just use a coupon! …. and the wifi is down. Well would they even count it towards sale items? Forget it, it’s not much anyway, I’ll just pay whatever they ask for. Let’s go cash out—*gasp!* [Item B]! I just remembered I was gonna make [project], better get some of those. Or could I just get these at the dollar store? There’s more of a selection here, but will I really need this many? Okay you know what, I can just [solution that is a lot more complicated than it really seems] so I’ll just buy this thing instead…oh whoops, I’ve been here for an hour. Better go cash out. Ughhh there is a line up, as if I have all day…

 

It ended with me picking up two little balls of yarn, and sending Top Hat to return the big roll. So much for not spending any money that day. ;w; But it was worth it, because I found soft, lightweight yarn to make this cutie pie.

 

It was a debate, as to whether or not the bunny should also have a top hat. I got lazy and decided to give him a bow tie instead, reminiscent of Top Hat’s red tie, that he wore to our date. Bunny ended up borrowing Sheep’s top hat. Now he looks like Pharrell Williams.

I attached the eyes using a method called french knot. The very first plushies I made, simply used embroidered “lines” for their eyes. This worked fine for certain designs, but eventually I wanted to make more detailed plushies. Goomba required his eyes to be cut from felt and sewed on. I started to get lazy, and began gluing the eyes. And then I discovered the wonders of 3D paint. This is the first time I’ve made a french knot. The trick is to catch a bit of yarn on the body, to really anchor the eyes on. Otherwise, if you pull the knots, they will sink into the head. It took me more tries than I’d like to admit, to get this part right.

Here is a nice tutorial on how to make french knot eyes.

The tail is simply a brushed ball. If anyone asks, the aliens came and made it.

I watched the latest episode of the Big Bang Theory last night. It got me reflecting on how much things have changed in the past year. Top Hat and I were just friends for the longest time. In fact, I originally turned him down, because I didn’t want to spoil the friendship. But I understand now, that some things in life are worth risking. Just as Alice followed the white rabbit down the rabbit hole, and encountered the Mat Hatter, I will take risks in a similar fashion, with my Mad Hatter at my side.

By the way, if Top Hat asks, I totally wasn’t staying up late to type this. I looked like this from the time we said goodnight:

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Honkshoo honkshoo zzz…

If you followed a white rabbit down a rabbit hole, what would you expect to find? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~