Pudding – Amugurumi #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~

Pikachu Card Holder/Wallet – DIY #10

Pika… I’m just a Pika on a wallet.

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Shoonie turned 18 on April Fool’s day. I still remember going to visit 3 days after she was born, and now she’s going to start college in a few more months. (;w;)

If there’s one thing I can recommend to a prospective college student, it’s to keep a wallet or card holder on your person at all times. (That is, if you don’t already) Along with your student ID card, you will need to carry your bus pass/driver’s license, health card, points cards, and debit card, to name a few. And as you get closer to graduation, it’s nice to create and keep a business card with your information on it, to hand out at job fairs.

This project was inspired by a Pika phone case Shoonie made for me years ago, back when I was about to graduate high school. Sadly, the case was too small for my clunky LG Neon. Said phone up and snuffed itself out about a year later. Good riddance.

Now it’s 8 years later, and both Shoonie and I have come quite a ways since our beginning years in crafts and design. I decided to make this as a tribute to how far she’s come.

The initial design for the wallet included a few slits for card holders, a clear window for a photo ID, and a pocket for cash money. Kind of like this, but with a photo ID window instead of the zippered change pocket. To make the ID window, I took inspiration from one of Yumi King’s past tutorials. And you know that Rilakkuma = YASSS.

Then, I gathered the materials needed:

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1 sheet yellow fabric

Scraps of dark brown, red, and black fabric

White 3D paint pot

Needle and matching threads

scissors

measuring tape

seam ripper

clear ziploc bags

money and cards (for reference)

Pencil and paper

 

…and promptly decided that the scope was too great. As you can tell from the lighting, it was very late at night, and we had to travel to Shoon Land the next morning. After much hesitation and deliberation, I decided to just duplicate my own basic cardholder. The outside would be a Pika face and tail, while the inside would resemble a 3DS. I made a paper prototype:

I cut a 10 x 13 cm rectangle, and two 5.6 x 5 cm rectangles. The “dip” in the center is meant to make it easier to slide your cards in and out of the holder. The small rectangle on the right was meant to become a tail for Pika’s backside, but decided it would only cover the stripes on the back.

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In the end, it wasn’t as all-in-one as planned, nor did it have the fancy 3DS detail on the inside. But it does what it’s supposed to do. And look, it holds $18!

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Overall, I have quite a ways to go in terms of my felt/needlepoint skills. Attach11638_20170425_165436Luckily, the upcoming month’s project will grant plenty of time to work on that…

Watch out for this at the end of the month, along with a plushie to go with!

Have you tried making a wallet/purse before? If so, what did you use? What were the results? 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~

Pixel Art: Heart Earrings – DIY #8

Why wear your heart on your sleeve, when you can wear it on your ears?

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These earrings ended up looking like raspberries. So I’m calling them “raspberry hearts,” like in that one song from DDR. As you can see, they look better from a distance.

I’ve been staying in the Winter Wonderland this weekend, to spend Valentine’s day with Top Hat. We are going to stay in, dress up nice, and eat a candlelit, homecooked dinner. I’m going to wear a red dress, but couldn’t find matching accessories or jewellery. And so two nights ago, I made these with materials provided by Mother Top Hat, and earring hooks that were hiding in my bag from the Muffet earrings. Here is what I used:

dsc_0146Beading needles

Fine beading cord

Earring hooks

Pliers

This pixel heart, as a guide. 

*The scissors became useless, after I learned that the pliers had built-in wire cutters.

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I started out with a length of wire that was the length of my forearm, and 5 beads to start the center chain. There must be a proper name for it, but I call it “weaving.” Basically, you string the 5 beads as normal, then use one end of the string to weave back and forth between them, creating a sturdy chain.

I personally prefer to use polyester sewing thread, because it doesn’t curl back on itself as much, and it lays completely flat and doesn’t kink. Beggars can’t be choosers, of course, not to mention this cord is sturdier and doesn’t show between beads as much.

When working pixel bead art, start from the middle, and work one side at a time. This will keep you from getting confused, and causing the work to twist. It also helps if you sort out your beads ahead of time. This way you can determine which ones are too tight for your needle. If they can’t handle the eye of a needle, they won’t be able to handle the bundles of cord created by weaving. I got the Mad Hatter to do this step for me… after he woke up from his couch cat nap.

dsc_0153Another thing I suggest is to work beside someone motivational. Sometimes the best way to work isn’t to work with them, but to work alongside them. What I mean is, do your own thing, but do it in proximity to one another. I kept struggling and breaking beads while sitting alone. It wasn’t until the Mad Hatter finally came to sit with me, that I made progress. This is also a good way to spend time together, while still doing nothing at all… if that makes any sense.

Whether you have a date for Valentine’s Day or not, this is a cute project to make. You can wear them, give them to your girlfriend, or give them to your best friend tomorrow, for Friends’ Day.

To attach the hooks, I wove the remaining ends until they both stuck out of the top center. Then I just tied them to the hook, and snipped any excess cord.

Tonight, The Mad Hatter and I are going to have a nice date. I’m going to wear these earrings with a red outfit. Stay tuned this weekend, to hear about our date, and a DIY for the outfit! Meanwhile, enjoy today’s entry for the 30 day art challenge. Click the image to see the rest of this month’s submissions!

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Food is a universal language. Whether you have a Valentine, are just celebrating with friends, or you have exams to worry about, take time today to share a meal with someone. Meals taste better when shared.

From all of us at Pika’s Penguin Production Company, have a safe and happy Valentine’s day, and don’t forget to brush your teeth tonight!

Pika, so happy~

Pixel Art: Muffet (Undertale) – DIY #7

Blaaaargh.

Beadwork is a lot harder than it looks. Gone are the days of being five years old and simply stringing brightly coloured plastic beads onto an elastic cord. These are the days of painting 1 mm beads, (millimeter, for those outside Canada and Europe)  and then weaving them in such a way that they remain firm.

Top Hat requested Undertale-themed earrings for one of his nieces. And because the internet can never have too much Undertale fanart…

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muffet-gridAs usual, pixel art is easier said than done. Fortunately, Muffet is already drawn in pixels, so it was simply a matter of transliterating the large image to GIMP, with a visible grid. Doing so resulted in a product that was about 36 beads long.

Well…that turned out to be waaaay too long.

img_20161218_211049167So there I was, hunched over a puddle of tiny beads and a single, flimsy beading wire, with only the soothing melody of Danny Sexbang’s vocals as company. Because the wire was a shiny gold colour, it kept getting lost, or mistaken for a stray thread. I always found it in the end, touch wood, but it was time consuming. After about an hour, this was all I had accomplished.

Let’s take a break to enjoy this amusing incident that occurred during this time.

Me: *singing aloud* “Taaaaake…onnnn….meeeee~”
Top Hat: “Take me on? :D”
Me: “Yep, it’s the NSP cover!”
Top Hat: “NSP?”
Me: “Ninja Sex Party.”
Top Hat: “…”
Me: “Lawl it’s a band.”
Top Hat: “So there are sexy ninjas playing instruments?”
Me: “Well, only one of them is a ninja.” (Ninja Brian)
Top Hat: “That’s such a lonely party!”

img_20161219_123558782Finally, I could take no more. This chintzy wire was good and fine for getting through those too-tight beads, but it was flimsy and kept getting lost. Fortunately, Mother Top Hat has lots of craft supplies. Including steel beading needles! Things went a lot faster with these needles. It was nice to sit next to Top Hat, while we worked on separate projects. Except the part where I stabbed myself in the throat with a needle, that hurt. X_X With the needles, this is what I accomplished in less than 20 minutes. Note that it’s a lot neater, as well. The trick is to work one side at a time, and finish that side before returning to the other.

At long last, I was finished. And then Top Hat pointed out, that Muffet has eight legs, not six. And this is why I ‘humphed’ at him. Which really wasn’t a good thing, because then he got more pictures of me going ‘humph.’

At this point, I was so tired and wanted to spend the last night doing something besides working. So the earrings now look like the finished product, shown above.

After posting the earrings to Facebook and Instagram, Huggie Buddy posted this in the comments. Super! Just as I said I didn’t want to look at beads for the rest of the year, all my brain could think of now was, “MAKE MORE CHARMS!”

1482428044245Upon returning home, pink beads and a pack of needles in hand, I set to work on a full-size Muffet. And here’s her progress, two days and a stiff shoulder blade later. When it’s finished, I’m going to send this to Top Hat, as a supplementary gift alongside the derpy earrings. Maybe it can be a window charm?

Next week will be the blog no one waited for: the time capsule! I don’t remember what I wrote in it, but hopefully I stuck to at least half of those resolutions.

From all of us at Val’s Crafts, Pika Plushies, Pika’s Penguin Production Company, and so on so forth… Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year 2017!

Pika, so happy~

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~