In Response to the 2017 Capsule

Have you ever been asked what you did over the summer, only to draw a blank? That’s how it feels, when I sit down to write about everything that happened the past year. Though less exciting than 2017, 2018 was still a nice year. I rang in the new year away from home for the first time, made honour roll in my first year of college, and learned to use Toon Boom. Let’s see what else I can remember…

For past capsules, click the links:

2016 response

2015 response

2014 response

2017 was a wonderful year. You got into college, moved out on your own, went to Anime North, went to FanExpo, and did it all with a fantastic Mad Hatter by your side.

You took a few financial risks this year: this included booking a hotel for Anime North, spending >$100 on winter boots, purchasing Megabus tickets to wonderland, and basically supporting yourself through college. What was that saying, about making omelettes by breaking a few eggs? Has it all been worthwhile?

You still need to work on your hesitation. While you made and sold a few neat things this year, you took your time with some of them. Have you improved at all in 2018? Have you kept up with at least making a Pokeball each month?

2018 really feels like a blur. Much of the time was spent travelling back and forth between places, often for hours on end. You can call me, “Pika on a Bus.”

This year, I lived in a grand total of three different places. I think I like my current place the best: it has a kitchen inside the apartment, the laundry room right outside the front door, and…my own bedroom, with a lock on the door! Don’t get me wrong, Juefei was fun to live with, and I never had trust issues from her, or my summer roommate. As an introvert, I love my alone time, just as much as my social time.

I also saw We Will Rock You at the Regent theatre in Oshawa. I saw commercials for it years ago, and wanted to go. Tickets were expensive, so I never ended up going. That is, until summer 2018, when I scrounged up enough money for tickets. It was a great show, even for those who weren’t as familiar with the music of Queen. And yes, they sing Bohemian Rhapsody at the end.

You completed not one, but TWO 30 day drawing challenges! And you won a prize for the latest one! To answer your question from the end of 2016, there were some pretty neat things behind that curtain of uncertainty. You barely noticed the bad things, because you had so many awesome people to support you through them.

I didn’t participate in any drawing challenges this year, due to some administrative changes in the school’s digital arts club. However, I did work on two separate films! In the first one, I wore two different costumes and a ton of makeup. I also pretended to vomit flour, put eyeliner on my tongue and held it there for 15 minutes, and had a burning hot spoon accidentally graze my chin. And yes, it left a scar. We got a fantastic mark for the video, but I don’t think I’d agree to this kind of process again.

46439076_309241263244222_5952002765839400960_nThe second film went over a little better. Meet our main star: Fred Pudding!

Fred Pudding played a red panda, who just wanted to sit down and eat his food. But then, a red panda-obsessed student (me) spots him. Terrified, Fred runs off to protect his food, and the student gives chase. Hilarity ensues. After all the editing, and Toni nearly freezing her fingers off trying to figure out how to set up the tripod, you bet we got a great mark. I’d post it here, but then you’d see yet another reason, why I try not to show my face on this blog.

How are An, Toni, Isa, Juefei, and Aimz? Is everyone well? Are you all still friends? Did you and Isa find a new place together? Is Juefei still living with you? How are the others from res?

How is your Mad Hatter? Was this “the year?” If not, I hope you will continue to support him no matter what. There is still time.

Your blogs have gotten shorter, partly from laziness, and partly from business. You always thought it was intriguing, that business = busy + ness. How have we done, in terms of the crafting game? Make anything cool?

Everyone is well. An and Isa have decided to move on to bigger things outside of college, but I wish them the best. And it turns out, An will have classes with Aimz! The world is so small… Juefei is not living with me anymore, but she is living with Toni. It’s kind of nice, that even though people are no longer physically close, they can still be reached. Connections are nice that way.

Yes, this was “the year!” And who’d have thought it would be with that company, of all things?! Hatter now lives in his own apartment, and visiting him is sooo much more flexible. And now that he lives alone, Hatter adopted No-Face and Sootsprite, the two naughty, cuddly, fluffy kitties. I’ve named myself as their cat mom. Well okay, I’m the deadbeat cat mom, who only shows up every few weeks or so. Nonetheless, I love No-Face and Sootsprite as though they were my own hairy babies. I’m not sure when we will all be reunited, but hopefully that will be before reading week in February. I cannot bear to be away from my fluffy family any longer………

Shoonie, if you’re reading this, put the sketchbook away. >_<

Did you make any new cosplay breakthroughs? Write anything cool? Try your hand at a new program, or style? I hear we’re going to use Toon Boom in second semester. Let me know how that goes! Did you make any cool 3D models? Any funny animations?

We learned Toon Boom, I honed my Maya skills, and I turned out some pretty decent stuff, if I do say so myself. Here is a link to a few of the things I don’t mind sharing:

Skydiving (2D Animation)
Penguin (2D Take animation)
2D Lip Sync
Robots (3D Animation)
Shark! (3D Take animation)
3D Lip Sync
3D Lip Sync and Hand animation

And it took me about 5 hours to model, rig, paint the skin weights, and animate this butterfly: Click here to view

Final verdict: animation is a tedious process, full of revisions and banging your head against furniture. But when I see the results, and how happy people are to see these results, I think to myself, “I wouldn’t want any other career in the world.” Except maybe professional cat cuddler. Yes, that’s a thing.

Where are you now? How are you spending New Year?

I’m currently in my apartment, having just come back from the first class of the new semester. I spent New Year with Mad Hatter and the old cats. Vimes the cat is a bit grumpier this time around, while meowy Cheery has gotten a little more affectionate. The former meowed angrily and ran away, when he was sitting on my lap, and I leaned forward to reach something on the coffee table. The latter has begun climbing on the back of my chair, when she wants pets. Maybe they exchanged energy?

Did people finally stop eating Tide Pods? *cry cry cry weeping for the future*

I mean, I think so? The “dab” is still alive, however.

Let’s try something new this year. Click here to see your first capsule. How much have things changed since then?! Comment in your response!

Okay, let’s bullet point this.

  • I don’t say, “hey, hi, hello,” anymore. Or FML. I have been saying, “if I do say so myself,” “that sounds like a you problem,” and, “womp womp…”
  • This year alone contained a lot of “I thought I would, and then I didn’t.”
  • I did get a job since this capsule. I left it this year.
  • I’m still in touch with Ginger and Ada. Ginger a little more so, since Ada has been incredibly busy. Then again, so have I.
  • Kitty and Bear got married in 2016. Incidentally, Hatter and I started dating shortly after. Shoonie, what did I say about the sketchbook?!
  • The thing about looking your hottest at 25 is totally true.
  • Not being able to see my annual “to-do” list, doesn’t help me get things done.
  • This blog has been around for almost 5 years.

From all of us at Pika in a Bag, have a safe, and prosperous new year!

Pika, Happy New Year~

*DO NOT CLICK OR POST BEFORE DECEMBER 31, 2018*

2017 was a wonderful year. You got into college, moved out on your own, went to Anime North, went to FanExpo, and did it all with a fantastic Mad Hatter by your side.

You took a few financial risks this year: this included booking a hotel for Anime North, spending >$100 on winter boots, purchasing Megabus tickets to wonderland, and basically supporting yourself through college. What was that saying, about making omelettes by breaking a few eggs? Has it all been worthwhile?

You still need to work on your hesitation. While you made and sold a few neat things this year, you took your time with some of them. Have you improved at all in 2018? Have you kept up with at least making a Pokeball each month?

So far, you are doing well in college. Why didn’t we do this sooner?! No more 2 hour commute one way, no more incessant calls demanding you be home by 7:00, staying on campus to work… it’s swell, I tells ya, and that’s just the living portion! Though it would be nice to live in a place, where you don’t have to go to a different floor to cook.

You completed not one, but TWO 30 day drawing challenges! And you won a prize for the latest one! To answer your question from the end of 2016, there were some pretty neat things behind that curtain of uncertainty. You barely noticed the bad things, because you had so many awesome people to support you through them.

How are An, Toni, Isa, Juefei, and Aimz? Is everyone well? Are you all still friends? Did you and Isa find a new place together? Is Juefei still living with you? How are the others from res?

How is your Mad Hatter? Was this “the year?” If not, I hope you will continue to support him no matter what. There is still time.

Your blogs have gotten shorter, partly from laziness, and partly from business. You always thought it was intriguing, that business = busy + ness. How have we done, in terms of the crafting game? Make anything cool?

How was your first year in college? Thanks to that you-know-what, it feels like we’ve been in first sem forever… I hope you finished all your assignments. How did we do?

How was Valentine’s Day? Did you make a new outfit? Pics pls.

Did you make any new cosplay breakthroughs? Write anything cool? Try your hand at a new program, or style? I hear we’re going to use Toon Boom in second semester. Let me know how that goes! Did you make any cool 3D models? Any funny animations?

Where are you now? How are you spending New Year?

Did people finally stop eating Tide Pods? *cry cry cry weeping for the future*

Let’s try something new this year. Click here to see your first capsule. How much have things changed since then?! Comment in your response!

Pika, happy New Year~

Happy Birthday, Mad Hatter!

To my darling Mad Hatter,

Happy birthday! You have blessed this world for 9131 days! And as of today, you have blessed my world for 747 days.

I started working on a present, to celebrate our 730 days together. But of course, I didn’t finish in time. Guess that means I’ve got to pamper you even more this Christmas!

In the mean time, I’ve compiled some journals of our most recent week together. As my first blog subscriber, I dedicate this post to you. ❤

 

Adventures in Wonderland, October 21 – 28, 2018

—Sunday—-

At long last, I have arrived! And I got to meet the newcomers!

IMG_20181022_084620.jpg

Meet No-Face and Sootsprite, Hatter’s new pets! No-Face is the lighter of the two. I call them “Nofie” and “Sootsie” for short. They are about 3 months old, and are like two peas in a pod. When they get separated, they meow until they are reunited. I think they miss their momma cat.

Mad Hatter cooked me a delicious steak dinner, and I made the baked potatoes. Or at least, I tried to….

The skin did not crisp, as expected. It turns out you’re only supposed to drizzle a bit of oil, rather than rub the oil all over the potatoes. Oh well, you live and learn. The cheese and meat juices gave the potatoes all the savour they needed.

20181021_175653

 

—Monday—

Shopping, first day home alone with the kitties, and a mysterious brown package.

I broke out in horrendous hives this week. Okay, they had technically started the week before, but today they flared up all over my legs, arms, and hands. I walked with Hatter partway to his work, and then went to the drug store to buy anti-itch medicine.

Downtown Wonderland is pretty quiet in the mornings, but it does provide some nice street-side topiaries. And some of the neighbours really go all-out for Hallowe’en.

20181022_09215620181022_133825

A mysterious package arrived from Amazon.

And…I think I’m in love.

Mad Hatter bought this for me, in hopes that I could use it to work comfortably on my animation assignments. Now, even 800+ MB Maya files open, and run like a dream. On top of that, Steam works again! I haven’t used it in four years…

I’ll make you proud, Hatter. I’ll make cool things using this laptop. And you’ll be all, “why, my pretty girlfriend made all these amazing things, using the laptop I gave her!” Thank you, I love you. ❤

 

—Tuesday—

Today was a fiddle day. By which I mean it was a day to fiddle with the shiny new laptop. Sadly, I didn’t accomplish much, with all the hive itching.

I finally played Fez. Look at this fellow, walking around!

20181023_161526

Four years ago, I would’ve had more in-depth things to say about this game. If I recall, I originally bought the game, to write a game development blog about it. For now, my verdict is: Fez is fun. Play it, and try to find all the secrets.

At least the previous night’s dinner, made for great leftovers. (Failed) Goulash, alfredo pasta, and green peas.

20181023_183800

The rest of the night contained kitten shennanigans. The kittens discovered the stairs… and how to fall down them.

I gave the kitties a jingle bell ball. 18 hours later, it vanished.

 

—Wednesday—

We let the kitties wander about the apartment. But then we realized a little too late that….someone had a poop butt. Gross!

20181022_192916

Who, me? (*This might actually be Nofie)

*sigh* Apparently, we forgot the problems of long haired cats…and things getting stuck to their fur. So after he left several “butt prints” on the already-brown floor, we had to give Sootsie a bath. He wasn’t too happy about it, but he seemed a lot better after I held him in my arms, while he was wrapped in a towel burrito. I gave him a treat, for being a good bather.

The rest of the day consisted of general housekeeping. After a summer of getting paid to do this, I…actually kind of miss it? The getting paid part, anyway.

The hives had caused my hands to swell, when I washed the dishes, so we decided to eat out for dinner. OF COURSE, guess who decided to show up unannounced, and uninvited, just as I was getting all dressed up? Nobody’s favourite fairy! Mad Hatter bought us burgers. It was still a lovely night, even if we stayed in. Perhaps we can dress up, and go out another time.

 

—Thursday—

The day we (maybe?) ate laundry detergent.

I braved the red fairy’s curse, to cook spaghetti and meat sauce for dinner. The recipe called for corn starch.

screenshot_2018-11-02-00-26-14I opened a plastic baggie containing what I thought was corn starch, and immediately noticed it smelled…nice. Like, artificial, floral-scented nice. Curious, I gave it a taste… and it felt like I had licked a bar of soap. I texted Hatter, and he assured me it was indeed corn starch. I took his word, (I had never tasted straight up corn starch before) finished cooking, and awaited the return of my hatter.

It did smell nice, and the spaghetti turned out perfectly springy.

20181025_174655

And then…. we both started to get suspicious. The sauce had a soapy taste to it, and it was a lot darker than Hatter was used to. I texted Shoonie, the baking/cooking expert, voicing my concerns about the white powder. She responded:

She ended up calling us in a semi-panic. XD

We’re fine, don’t worry. We didn’t eat much of our dinner, and I hadn’t been feeling well enough to eat much that day anyway. It kinda sucked that we had to throw away all the sauce, but we managed to store the remaining spaghetti. Hope it’s not still there as I post this…

After that incident, we took Nofie and Sootsie to their first vet visit. It turns out they’re both boy cats! No wonder they love to rough house, like brothers often do. Sootsie growled, when the vet poked him with the vaccine, but otherwise, both were well behaved boys. I felt like a proud parent. XD We had to give them some follow up medicines when we got home, which proved to be a struggle at first. Poor Mad Hatter faced the long claw of the law, when he tried to pin one, and squirt the medicine into their mouth. (Translation: Hatter got scratched)

*Protip for giving pets oral medicine: squeeze the syringe gradually, and let your pet lap up the medicine. It’s less stressful for them, and for you, too!

 

—Friday—

Working from home….

I had the worst morning. Not only did I barely sleep the night before, but I woke up with my right eye swollen shut! I forced myself out of bed, to see Hatter off to work, and we sat at the breakfast table together. I remember feeling woozy, and the only thought was, “I need to lie down.” Next thing I know, I’m on the floor…

Hatter worked from home, while I napped on the couch for the rest of the morning. When I woke up, we made a trip to the walk in clinic, to finally see about the horrendous hives. (They had not changed all week) Sure enough, within minutes of taking the medicine, I felt my face melting back into its original shape. And the hives died down quickly, though as of writing this, they do flare up from time to time. But at least now they’re under control.

I gave Hatter an early birthday present. Let me take a moment, to apologize in advance, to anyone who was subjected to his dreaded toe shoes…

I bought these from Muji. Next time I see him, I’ll bring my Rainbow Brite toe socks.

Oh yeah, we had fish and chips for dinner.

20181026_182529

 

—Saturday—

Last full day in Wonderland… Let’s start the day off, with the most important meal of the day.

20181027_100832

I have shared pictures of our meals, because they represent my favourite parts of the week: when the Mad Hatter and I sit down to a delicious meal. Sometimes he cooks, sometimes I cook, and sometimes we cook together. But in the end, we sit down to eat, relax, and just be together. Whether we’re at East Side Mario’s in our nice clothes, or just at home in our pyjamas making spaghetti, I hope I’ll be able to share many more meals with my Hatter.

After a week with the kittens, I have observed that Sootsprite is more interested in human cuddles, than No-Face. I’ll just pick him up and carry him like a baby, and he dozes right off. He purrs really, really loudly.

On the other hand, No-Face appears to be the smarter of the two. He’s figured out that he needs to cover his business, after using the litter box. He’s also the more peaceful of the two brothers: if he’s going for a toy, and his brother gets to it first, he’ll go “eh…” and sit quietly until it’s his turn. Sometimes I’ll throw a toy for No-Face, and zooom! Sootsprite will run to steal it.

Click here to witness the circle of pets.

Mad Hatter’s good friend, Paul, came for dinner. We made spaghetti carbonara, watched Spirited Away (too bad Nofie and Sootsie weren’t interested in seeing their namesakes…) and served tea and cookies for Paul’s parents, when they came to pick him up. And I think Paul’s mom, conquered her (fear?) of cats. Paul and his parents are nice. Last year, they invited us to a Christmas party, which is where I first met them. I wonder, if we will see them again this Christmas?

 

—Sunday, October 28—

Before they got married, my friend Kitty would recount how he and Bear would cry, when they had to be separated again. I don’t cry when I have to be separated from Hatter, because I know I’ll see him again soon. But I do feel that sense of emptiness. This week, it felt like I had my own little family, of a Mad Hatter, and two “hairy babies.” Mad Hatter, Nofie, and Sootsie… I’ll be with you again real soon. ❤

Image result for hairy baby gif

Happy birthday, Ben. ❤

*plays the song you sent last night*

Pika, so happy~

So…Where have I been?

Happy New Year 2018!!! I’ve been MIA for the last few months of 2017.

Let me explain where I’ve been for the past few months: I got into art college! As a result, I’ve been drawing and animating all semester, even during the 5-week-long, province-wide strike. Thanks to that strike, our semester ended in the middle of January, and we are now into the second semester. Goodbye, reading week, you will be missed… 😦

Here are some of my workings from these past semester.

Life drawings

Yes, they were real live nude models. Come now, we’re all adults here.

Remember the golden rule of life drawing etiquette: don’t chatter, take pictures, or laugh during life drawing. It’s distracting and disrespectful to the model, as well as to your fellow sketching artists.

 

After impromptu sketching a classmate, you really appreciate the skill and patience models have, to hold perfectly still.

I quite liked our female model. Her curves were soothing, and fun to draw. Although I didn’t like some of my classmates’ reactions to the models: “why can’t we draw hot people?” As animators, we will be required to draw people of various ages, genders, races, and body types. We shouldn’t limit ourselves to the chiseled Adonis, or the wide-eyed anime girl. I could probably write an entire post, about why teachers “don’t like Anime.”

Speaking of which, I’d like to think life drawing has encouraged me to break out of my limiting box. To aspiring artists out there, remember: even the best manga-ka have an understanding of human anatomy.

 

Character Sketches

A term you will learn about is silhouette. Indeed, all characters have distinct silhouettes. For example, even if I showed you this silhouette, you already know who this is:mickey

Similarly, we studied silhouettes and designed characters. This is Frank McLauchlin, a “goofy” archetype character I designed for assignment purposes. Because of his design, Frank is capable of pulling humourous body language and poses. Here he is falling down, surprised, chilling, running, and hungry:

 

Modelling

Ah, modelling…I have a love/hate relationship with Maya, and the things it entails. I made a sword, though. And a Master Sword! (Click for the original concept art source)

Oh, and I made a house.

 

Animation

Unfortunately the playblasts refuse to cooperate with YouTube. But I did animate a bouncing ball, follow-through actions (tail wagging in response to the bouncing motion) and other neat things. You’ll just have to take honsest PiBaa’s word for it.

 

 

It’s really happening, guys. I’m finally on my way to make great artwork, and animation. Let’s keep making the world plush…and animated!

Pika, so happy~

In Response to the 2016 Capsule

It’s that time of year again, where I respond to my past self!

For those who are new to this blog, I have made a New Year’s tradition of summarizing the past year, and saving it to be opened at the end of the following year. You can read my past capsules here:

2015 Capsule
2014 Capsule

As you write this, you should be sleeping in time for Cassie Day in a few hours.

2016 has been strewn with both positivity and negativity. You began the year on a rocky note, with a fail new year’s date, followed by a broken heart a few days after Valentine’s Day. Fortunately, it was nothing a spontaneous change to your style couldn’t fix. And you made a new friend in the process!

The second half of the year was devoted to your mental and physical health. This has been beneficial so far, because it gave you a lot of breathing room to schedule other events, and work on crafty projects. Not to mention, you travelled further on your own, twice! Last year you went to Belleville, Ontairo. This year you went to Lyndhurst, Ontario – a town about an hour away from Kingston, which is even further than Belleville. This is the place where Top Hat, your first ever blog subscriber, evolved into the tall, dark, and handsome Mad Hatter.

And you’ve gotten back into drawing! As our Mad Hatter pointed out, you completed the 30 Day Drawing Challenge in October. You even finished the bonus challenge?! Like WOT?! I hope you have participated in a drawing challenge since, this was fun. ^_^

Here is one of your best pieces from the challenge. It symboilzes a lot to you. Now that you have surpassed the curtain of 2017, what do you have to say?

You have since returned to Lyndhurst several times. In fact, you’ve spent a lot of time away from home this year. You moved out on your own, went back to school to pursue your dream career, made new friends, and became closer with old friends.

And yes, you have participated in two more drawing challenges this year. Now that you officially attend the school that hosted it, you were eligible for a prize!

You may not have achieved last year’s goal of 1 plush/month, but you did learn a new skill: beading. Have you made anything since? Pics pls.

Oh yeah, how’s this blog look so far? Are you still posting? Even if you have to drop it down to a post every two weeks, please please PLEASE write something.

And holy sheep, PLEASE tell me the shop came back. Do you really want to work at The Fluff Club forever?!

Ehehehe…yeah, about these…

I think it would be better, to post a catch-up blog at the end of each month. And not just blogs about plushies, but drawings, beading, plushies, knits, treats, candy kits… anything that requires one to get creative.

The goal for this year is to make a plushie/craft sale. In 2017, I sold a baby Groot, and a pair of fingerless gloves/wrist warmers. Let’s see if I can make more in person sales, if not online sales.

By the time you read this, our wee baby Shoonie will have graduated high school, and gone off to college. How is she? Do you still have fans among her friends? XP

How are Ginger, Aburr, Kitty, Tabbs, Huggie Buddy, and Cassie?

Shoonie has grown up before our eyes. She is now studying to be a baker lee! She has made lots of delicious baked goodies, and has a cute uniform to wear during classes. And on New Year’s Eve, she pulled out all the plushies you’ve made over the years. It was humorous to see, how much you’ve improved over the years.

You haven’t spoken to Aburr in a bit, but everyone else is great as always. You should really make effort to see Cassie…

You’ve also made new friends this year: Aimz, Juefei, Isa, Toni, and An. Aimz is bubbly and snuggly, and thanks to her you went to your first concert: Fall Out Boy! The goal for this coming year, is to find a new place to live with Juefei and Isa.

Did you watch any good anime this year? As you type this, you were squeeing over Yuri!!! on Ice. Hey, you’re never too old to like pretty artwork and music. :\

Yes, you’ve watched a lot, thanks to your new roommate, Juefei. Some include Black Butler, Durarara!, Re:Zero, Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure, Angel Beats, One Punch Man, Baccano!, Gintama, and one of your new favorites, Another. I have considered making the other bears, to go along with the We Bare Bear’s Panda plushie Juefei gave us.

Of course, thanks to Aimz, you still squee over Yuri on Ice. Sadly, there’s still no season 2 of it.

How is school? Did you get in anywhere? If so, how is it? If not, what’s the plan?

School is great, you got into your first choice, and so far so good! You’ve learned more in a single 2 hour class, than you did in a single 3 hour lectures, and 90-minute tutorial! Unfortunately the province wide strike occurred this semester, leaving everyone in limbo for 5 weeks. Fortunately the Mad Hatter came to visit during that time, and you got to enjoy his visit uninterrupted.

Did you remember Anime North this year? Did you go? How was it?

You remembered! And it was great.

Did you take up NaNoWriMo again this year? Remember to write what’s in your heart. Let Sammi and friends tell their story through pictures; the book can be about something else.

NaNoWriMo came right after the 30 day drawing challenge, so you ignored it this year. Not to worry, because we happen to be taking a creative writing course, and the final assignment happens to include writing a script…

Did you get a chance to play Breath of the Wild? How is it?! Anything else interesting come out this year?

Yes, and it is FANTASTIC~ We definitely want to play it through again, and were devastated when the Champion tunic hoodie disappeared from Hot Topic. Also released this year: Super Mario Odyssy. It’s been a good year for Nintendo, at least. You haven’t had a chance to play a lot of games, especially over these past few months. Last we went home, we were playing Tales of Xillia 2, having finished Xillia (Jude’s Story) earlier this year.

Dare I ask… how is our Mad Hatter? You began the year seeing his silly face. Did you end it the same way? If so, he must truly be mad to have stayed this long.

❤ He certainly is mad. But we’re all a little mad around here. It’s been over a year later, and he still brags to his family about cool things we make. As you type this sentence, you should be sleeping for the secret Santa exchange tomorrow…. *honkshoo honkshoo*

If nothing else above was positive, at the very least, please tell me the “dab” died…

Weep for the future, Pika. Weep.

And that’s all I’ve got for the start of 2017. How did it go? Did we achieve anything cool? Comment in your response!

I’m making a more formal response. Go read that!

And so ends my response. Now, off to write a capsule of 2017!

Pika, happy new year~

*DO NOT CLICK OR POST BEFORE DECEMBER 31, 2017*

As you write this, you should be sleeping in time for Cassie Day in a few hours.

2016 has been strewn with both positivity and negativity. You began the year on a rocky note, with a fail new year’s date, followed by a broken heart a few days after Valentine’s Day. Fortunately, it was nothing a spontaneous change to your style couldn’t fix. And you made a new friend in the process!

The second half of the year was devoted to your mental and physical health. This has been beneficial so far, because it gave you a lot of breathing room to schedule other events, and work on crafty projects. Not to mention, you travelled further on your own, twice! Last year you went to Belleville, Ontairo. This year you went to Lyndhurst, Ontario – a town about an hour away from Kingston, which is even further than Belleville. This is the place where Top Hat, your first ever blog subscriber, evolved into the tall, dark, and handsome Mad Hatter.

uoit-dc-day-27And you’ve gotten back into drawing! As our Mad Hatter pointed out, you completed the 30 Day Drawing Challenge in October. You even finished the bonus challenge?! Like WOT?! I hope you have participated in a drawing challenge since, this was fun. ^_^

Here is one of your best pieces from the challenge. It symboilzes a lot to you. Now that you have surpassed the curtain of 2017, what do you have to say?

You may not have achieved last year’s goal of 1 plush/month, but you did learn a new skill: beading. Have you made anything since? Pics pls.

Oh yeah, how’s this blog look so far? Are you still posting? Even if you have to drop it down to a post every two weeks, please please PLEASE write something.

And holy sheep, PLEASE tell me the shop came back. Do you really want to work at The Fluff Club forever?!

By the time you read this, our wee baby Shoonie will have graduated high school, and gone off to college. How is she? Do you still have fans among her friends? XP

How are Ginger, Aburr, Kitty, Tabbs, Huggie Buddy, and Cassie?

Did you watch any good anime this year? As you type this, you were squeeing over Yuri!!! on Ice. Hey, you’re never too old to like pretty artwork and music. :\

How is school? Did you get in anywhere? If so, how is it? If not, what’s the plan?

Did you remember Anime North this year? Did you go? How was it?

Did you take up NaNoWriMo again this year? Remember to write what’s in your heart. Let Sammi and friends tell their story through pictures; the book can be about something else.

Did you get a chance to play Breath of the Wild? How is it?! Anything else interesting come out this year?

Dare I ask… how is our Mad Hatter? You began the year seeing his silly face. Did you end it the same way? If so, he must truly be mad to have stayed this long.

If nothing else above was positive, at the very least, please tell me the “dab” died…

And that’s all I’ve got for the start of 2017. How did it go? Did we achieve anything cool? Comment in your response!

Pika, happy new year~

Candy Kit Review – Ramen

I bought three candy kits for Shoonie, from Anime North. Here is the first one.

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Brand: Kracie

Cost: $8.00 from Vendor’s Alley (Anime North 2017)

 

We were eager to try this kit. After the great hamburger kit of 2014, we couldn’t wait to torture ourselves again, with a kit that tasted like the real thing!

This weekend was Shoonie’s Graduation Weekend. After enjoying home-cooked Japanese-style curry, and Uncle Tetsu’s famous cheesecake for dessert, we settled down to make yet another take on the blooper reel that is our lives.

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Click for RRCherrypie’s tutorial

This kit contains:

  1. Broth/soup
  2. Noodles
  3. Filling/garnish
  4. Gyoza (dumpling) dough
  5. Piping bag
  6. Toothpick
  7. Tork (Sorry, Shoonie. Maybe next time. 😦 )

 

DSC_0655The plastic tray contains four sections: one section is a stamp/mold for a fish cake (naruto) and boiled egg. (Tamago) Another is a dough press for the gyoza. It looks like the thing we use to make neures. (Sp? They’re like coconut-filled empanadas) The rectangular section is for mixing the noodles, and you can probably tell which one is for serving the ramen. Give up? It’s… the rectangular section.

After cutting all the sections out, we went straight to the gyoza dough. To make the gyoza, you must divide the dough into two sections. Don’t forget to remove some bits to make the egg, and fish cake. How much? Well, however much fits the mold!

Or so we thought… we totally missed the circle guidelines on the piping bag. Luckily we went back with the gyoza and remade them, even if it meant tearing the first one open to dump the fillings.

The gyoza dough was nice and soft, unlike the seaweed from the sushi kit. Perhaps it’s because I bought this one fresh?

It was fun to watch Shoonie pipe the noodles. And the final product didn’t look too bad, either.

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Overall Verdict

Difficulty: Easy

Aside from the mini-measuring derps, this was an easy kit. The inclusion of pictures on the packets helped, as well.

Taste: 7/10

The broth doesn’t taste like real broth at all. In fact, it tastes like grape…very sweet grape. It wasn’t a great idea to sip on the leftover broth. XP The noodles and gyoza dough taste like Ramune soda, or “candy sprite” as Peck Peck calls it.

The gyoza filling tasted like cola. The only thing I didn’t like was the texture: I expected popping candy, yet this stuff…. melted in your mouth, and left a cold feeling on your tongue. If I recall, that’s usually a sign of artificial sweeteners being used. We discarded the remaining filling.

 

Overall verdict: 7/10 Beware the cola.

I was pleasantly surprised that the soup and noodles tasted like candy, rather than grape noodles in actual broth. It appears only the original kit used real broth. However, the broth is now incredibly sweet, and a bit thick.

Candy ramen isn’t enough to sate cravings, so keep a pack of 40 cent Mr. Noodles handy!

Would you try this kit? Have you tried the original ramen kit? What do you think the other two candy kits are? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~