*DO NOT CLICK OR POST BEFORE DECEMBER 30, 2016*

Greetings from 2015! Another year has come and gone. With the success of your 2014 time capsule, it’s only right to make one for this year, as well. Although this blog was written on January 3, 2016, it only encompasses the dates between December 31, 2014, and December 31, 2015. Please comment as you see fit!

You can’t remember the first half of 2015 very well, since it was pretty meh. You made the decision to take a semester off school to clear your head, and in the process found a part time job to help earn your keep. Plushies have been put on hold for the most part, in favour of learning to cook new dishes from scratch. Your current signature dish is chicken “stoup,” as dubbed by Shoony this New Year’s Eve.
The semester you spent in school was not a waste, of course! You studied Mandarin Chinese, discovered a new interest in video editing, and made a cutscene for your Demo Reel Development class. The latter is your first step towards completing your game project. That’s good! Next stop, the prototype. Expect to graduate in 2017; better late than never.

Your first Anime North was great! You went with your birthday buddy, and you cosplayed Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Sadly you didn’t stay long, due to exhaustion, and the fact that your cosplay was derpy at best. Assuming you do return this year, you were considering cosplaying either Sheena from Tales of Symphonia, or Oliver from Ni no Kuni. Hopefully, you’ll run into more people you know.

Tay moved away this year, but you still say hello now and then. You two spent a day together in the summer, and you sent him a Sadaharu plushie after he moved. Thanks to him, you got back into anime, and even found a couple new series to watch. Don’t forget, once he gets his own place, he owes you a sweet snack! Ginger is still as adorable as always, and you continue to pray for his good health. As a matter of fact, you were talking to him moments ago! Conversely, you haven’t spoken to East much since he graduated this year. He’s keeping busy busy, working on everything and stopping for nothing. Whatever that means.

As far as the blog and crafts go, you entered and won a couple contests on DeviantArt, and you may have earned some fans among Shoony’s friends. 😛 You succeeded in making two more giant plushies: Kirby, and a Master Ball. This year was focused on crafts, particularly sewing and decorative desserts. If anything, you’ll make a good housewife, right? Ha! Ha! Ha!

Speaking of which, you met someone very special this year. We’ll call him M. You met him while visiting Top Hat, and your first words to M were, “hi! Do you taste good? :3” He likes Magic: The Gathering, Doctor Who, cheese, and eating pasta raw. His personality can be described as quirky, silly, nerdy, and cute. He’s also quite keen on you learning to play Magic.

You two had your first official date on July 29, first kiss on August 8, and became “official” on September 1. That means as of writing this blog, you’ve been official for 4 months. Not to mention, he’s convinced you to start watching Doctor Who! Kitty and Brandon seem to like him, as well. This Christmas, you rode the VIA rail train for the first time, and had an “actual” Christmas dinner with his family. (The kids’ table is a thing! People really do bake stuffing inside the turkey! You thought these things only happened on TV!) Maybe things can work, maybe you can make it to an anniversary…
I really didn’t want to get my hopes up by asking this, since we know how things can come crashing down at a moment’s notice: are you two still together? It would be really nice if you are. If not, well like I said last year, you’re hottest at 25, so he’s totally missing out. 😛

Now, it’s time for a checklist of goals, and things I’m looking forward to in the coming year:

  1. Game: Making a playable prototype.
  2. Animation: lots more of it.
  3. School: finally passing “that course.”
  4. NaNoWriMo: actually complete it this time.
  5. Plushies: complete at least one per month, even if it’s just a small thing, or not even my own pattern.
  6. M: our first anniversary.
  7. Friends: Introducing more of them to M, and attending Kitty’s wedding! =O
  8. Anime North: attending for the second time.

Well, 2016 Pika? How’d we do? What do you think of your 2015 self? Comment in your next response!

Pika, happy new year~

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~

Korilakkuma – Amigurumi #32

It’s about time Rilakkuma got a friend. Say hello to Korilakkuma!

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You know that feeling when you fail to read yourown handwriting? That’s how I felt making Korilakkuma. Her head was going well, until the img_20160925_041302786bottom started to show obvious gaps. Luckily, I was able to count the stitches in Rilakkuma’s head. The rest went smoothly, and now Korilakkuma can chill with Rilakkuma. Look, she’s awake!

Korilakkuma turned out a bit bigger and chubbier than Rilakkuma. Perhaps it’s because she’s freshly made.

Recently, we had Kitty’s “Bachelorette” dinner. Korilakkuma wasn’t ready in time, but Rilakkuma ate enough for both of them. After dinner, he was happy to relax with her in my bag. Even if she was just a head, body, and one arm.

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Rilakk… we’re just Rilakkumas in a bag.

Here’s the part where I amend and append some thoughts, from the Rilakkuma blog:

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*tugs ear*

As you know, Rilakkuma is a “relaxing bear:” he likes to take it easy, eat snacks, and listen to music. Korilakkuma is the opposite: she likes to play tricks, and listen to loud music. Yet they are such great friends, because opposites attract. Can you imagine what would one would do without the other? Rilakkuma would never get his homework done, because he’d be too busy sleeping. And Korilakkuma’s mischief would not be cute; it would be annoying. Though one could argue that Rilakkuma still wouldn’t get his homework done, due to Korilakkuma’s trolling. But you know what? At least they’d have fun.

Rilakkuma liked to play with Panda, but maybe Panda was not his true play mate. Yes, Panda was also a bear. And yes, Rilakkuma enjoyed hanging out and eating snacks with Panda. And of course, Rilakkuma was sad and lonely after Panda moved on to a different bear. So sad in fact, that Rilak settled for bears that had nothing in common with him. But it wasn’t the end after Panda left. Panda leaving, was just the herald of Korilakkuma’s appearance.

So don’t look for Panda. Look for Korilakkuma. I hope you readers will find your Korilakkumas, too.

Who knows, maybe one day they will find a kiiroitori.

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Have you found a Korilakkuma? If you identify more with Korilakkuma, have you found your Rilakkuma? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Umbreon – Amigurumi #31

At long last, another ami! This was made from a pattern by Wolfdreamer Off The Hook.

I’ve finished watching Inu x Boku: SS. It’s a nice, light series you can watch while doing something else. It’s kind of like Fruits Basket, but instead of animals, they turn into supernatural beings. And why not set the mood with a dark-type Pokemon? It’s Umbreon!(Click image for pattern link)

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Oof. This turned out a lot bigger than it looked. Guess I missed the part where it said the ami would be approx. 8 inches. I attempted to work on this during the trip to FanExpo, but fat lot of good that did. The yellow felt was a much darker shade than the yellow yarn used on the ears and tail, so instead I made crochet rings. I ended up gluing them anyway, due to laziness. u_u

It can stand on its own pretty well.

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Pondering life

img_20160917_194656318-1The shape of the head and body give me an idea for future Eevee-lutions. Have you noticed that all the -lutions have the same general face shape, while Eevee has a chubbier, more square-shaped face?

I hope Pokemon Go will be successful enough, to include gen 2. Umbreon is a solid evolution, but Espeon is cute too. Anyone else here still not have the update? *raises hand*

 

Ah… smart, half-asleep Val broke the yarn needle again. That meant poor Umbreon was just bits and pieces until we finally heaved the mattress.

Unfortunately, we were too late to submit Umbreon to Knitting and Crochet’s August Contest. Though I doubt this would’ve gotten very far (ain’t nobody got time for 10 deviations…) but it was still nice to finally post an ami after so long. Plus, it doesn’t feel right to submit a pattern I didn’t create. Maybe we can try making smaller versions of the other -lutions?

Oh my goodness… this is happening in Texas now. How exciting! Someone in Texas is also making the world plush. Poke-plush, to be exact. I wonder if we could bring this to Ontario?

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Skinny legs club

What’s your favourite Eevee-lution? Or do you just like Eevee? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

30 Day Drawing Challenge: Day 3 – Favourite Food

Most people associate soup with cold winter days. But I believe there’s never a wrong time for a nice bowl of soup. Thick soups make for filling meals, and noodle soups are great light snacks. Out of potato chips? Just shake up a bag of raw Mr. Noodles and the soup stock! But don’t tell mother Raichu I said that.

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Also viewed at: http://pikainabag.deviantart.com/art/30-Day-Art-Challenge-Day-3-Favourite-Food-622123028

As you can probably tell, this particular drawing was inspired off the ramen Sosuke’s mum made in the movie, Ponyo (on the Cliff by the Sea). The trick is to close your eyes and wait three minutes. It doesn’t work if you peek!

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The truth is, I still haven’t seen Ponyo. After delving deeper into the wonderful world of interactive entertainment known as “vidya gaims,” it has become harder to sit idle and watch movies, in which the characters follow a straight path, upon which you have no influence. Even if the video game is linear, you have the feeling of knowing the story cannot progress until you do something to help them along.

The most fascinating part of Miyazaki’s films were the little details that make things feel so much more three dimentional. From Chihiro tapping her shoes in Spirited Away, to Pazu licking his lips before playing his trumpet in Castle in the Sky, these little details stay true to real life, and make the movies feel like both fantasy and reality rolled into one. In Ponyo, it’s the inclusion of this very simple trick you can do for kids. And for yourself, on those days when you also want tea.

You might recall a previous post, in which we tried the 3-minute ramen recipe. If you want a more vegetarian-friendly recipe, skip the ham and eggs, and add a spoonful of organic peanut butter. It tastes like pad Thai. Don’t forget the 4068!* (You know you’ve been working at the grocery store too long when…)

And thus concludes another brief post about the drawing challenge. We’re nearly at the next plushie post! What could it be?! Here’s a hint:

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Going back to where it all began…

How do you like your instant noodles? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

*That’s the PLU for green onions, by the way.

30 Day Drawing Challenge: Day 2 – Favourite Animal

Truth be told, I like all kinds of animals. But being a dog person in particular, this funny little guy came to mind:

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Daschunds combine two of my favourite things: doggies, and food. Ta-da! Sausage dog! As you can see, I had improved somewhat in my colouring techniques. One of the best tips is to not be afraid to press harder when colouring. Also, try using the very tip of the pencil, rather than laying it on its side.

I went back and touched up this doggy, after realizing the shading on its back leg was actually not too bad. You know, I never liked when people took pictures of their drawings, because they would hold the drawing (creating an obvious dent in the page) or turn on flash. (Seriously bro, what is your life about?) But after seeing what scanning does to pencil drawings, taking pictures may not be a bad idea. Now, if I could just get the lighting right…

And now, some sausage dog stories. Because everyone likes dogs, right?

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Percy the Dog

I once went with M to his friend’s birthday party, and the friend had two doggies: a white dog (Maltese, I think?) called Sophie, and a sausage called Percy. When I tried to pet Sophie, Percy came, shoved her out of the way, and put his snout in my hand. Later, when I was sitting on the porch step, he squeezed himself under my legs, and he felt like a squishy pillow. When M came outside, Percy ran away, and I was upset with M for scaring him away. M was forgiven after he gave me a drink. 😛 Percy was also staring at me while we were eating dinner. I think he was confused as to why I was eating a sausage. His eyes looked like he was saying, “but… I thought you loved me!”

You might also remember Edgar, a long-haired daschund from doggy days a couple years back. I sang him a song called, “I’m so Edgar” by Doggy Azalea. It went as follows:

I’m so Edgar,
you already know,
I’m in the Edgar,
from Edgar to Edgar land. (8)

He had a bit of small dog syndrome: when Abby the big rottweiler came, he started barking at her. XP; Here is a video of me feeding him doggy snacks. (Warning: Vertical video incoming)

Finally, Top Hat drew this for me, for my birthday. Now, I just need to find the right frame. (Click for original link)

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Doggies are great, aren’t they? I often wish I had one for companionship, but too many factors stop me from getting one. Oh well… hopefully one day I can post about doggy DIYs. Other girls my age are all, “OMG LOOK AT MAH NEW BABEH” while posting pictures of their, well, human babies. I’ll be that one lady who’s 30, wears dresses from Hot Topic, and when I say “new baby,” I’ll mean furry baby, as seen above.

And that wraps up this week’s post. Tune in next time when — gasp! — a new ami will appear!

What is your favourite kind of dog? Or do you prefer cats? Have you attempted the 30 day drawing challenge, as well? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Napstablook (Undertale) – Amigurumi #30

<_<
>_>
Is February gone?
Yes?
Okay.

…ahem… *puts away tumbleweeds*

I’ve mentioned before that the best way to get out of a slump, is to work on easy patterns to get your motivation back. And since I spent a chunk of reading week playing Undertale, what better way to get out of a slump than with Napstablook?

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You encounter Napstablook early in the game, during the tuTORIEL. *zooms in on Sans, badum tss* Later on, you can join him in lying on the floor. I personally prefer to lie in my bed.

Warning: Napstablook plushie may start running snail races.

When I found Napstablook again, he said he would just weigh me down. Aww no, Napstablook. You wouldn’t weigh me down. I don’t think you’re physically capable of doing so. Here, let’s lie on the ground together and feel like garbage.

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IMG_20160312_135636The bottom was the most difficult part. At first, I thought of working through the front loops, like I did for Clara’s frill. However, Napstablook’s bottom is not frilled. It is straight down and static, like the ghosts

UntitledSo why have I been MIA? Eh, for the same reason as before: school + work + homework + life. Oh yeah, I’ve been trying to learn Krita. I drew this Napstablook while making a sprite sheet. He looks like one of the PacMan ghosts.

Sigh. Pixel art suddenly reminds me of my weeaboo phase. Oddly enough, that was the phase during which I picked up a lot of my current hobbies. I recently visited my old deviantArt account for sprite inspiration, and realized how those characters have changed. Their names, their physical designs, and even their stories are so different. As I’ve grown and learned, so have they. It’s like looking at a mini time capsule of the past 10 years.

Yeesh. Glad I’ve grown since then. Things that seemed cute and fun at age 14, are cringe-inducing today. Kind of like Temmie.

Napstablook and I are gonna go lie on the ground, listen to music, and contemplate life now. A lot of people have asked for a Papyrus plushie, and I want to make a Sans plushie for Peck Peck. I also wanted to make a Chimchar plushie for him, but look how well that turned out. .-.

Have you played Undertale? Oh wait, silly question, of course you have. Everyone on the internet has. Right?

Which Undertale character would you like to see next? Do you like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage? Comment below!

Pika, “not really feeling up to it right now~”