*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~

In Response to the 2014 Time Capsule

Happy New Year! How’s your 2016 so far?

Before the start of 2015, I wrote and scheduled a blog containing some small tidbits about the past year, and my goals for the future year. 2015 has come and gone, so let’s see how we did, shall we?

I’ve decided to make a mini time capsule for this coming year. These are questions for myself, a year from now.

Hey, hi, hello, how are ya?

Today is December 30, 2014. This is the year you started blogging and opened your Etsy shop. As a result, you made about $200. That’s twice as much as you would’ve made just selling in person!

For the year 2015, here are our goals:

1. Earn $1000 in total sales.

2. Be at least halfway finished the personal game project.

3. Be ready to graduate in 2016.

2015 is now over. Did we reach our goals?

Unfortunately, I lost track of sales somewhere around the $300 mark. So yeah, I made over $300 in total sales that I know of!

As for the game project… it has been on hold. You took a semester off school, which halted actual production. Prior to that, however, I made a rough cutscene of a scene I envisioned.

 

—More Questions—

Are you even still updating this blog? What have you made this year? PICS NAO PLZ

Yes, although the past two months have been a silent mix of distraction, laziness, or both.

You did pass everything this year, right? If not, well… FML

Again, you took a semester off school. So… no. HOWEVER, all is not lost! Read on to find out more!

Do you have an actual job now? Besides plushies, of course.

Yes! It has really helped make up for the lack of plushie dollars. It’s a minimum wage position located in a pretty crummy area, but it makes for some interesting stories.

How’s your personal project coming along? Please tell me you’ve actually started… I want all the details!

I just realized, this is the same question as goal #2.

Are you still writing stories? If not, KEEP WRITING FOO!

Yes, of course! I’m always writing in my phone’s Notepad App, and this year I attempted my first NaNoWriMo. My goal for 2016 is to actually complete NaNoWriMo.

When was the last time you saw/spoke to East? Tay? Ginger? Aburr? Any of your UOIT buddies who have gone before you? If you didn’t have contact within the past 4 months, GET IN TOUCH WITH THEM NOW!

I actually wished all four of the aforementioned gents Happy New Year. 😛 As for everyone else, well they come and go. I became closer with Tay over the summer, and I still love talking to Ginger whenever we get the chance.

Did you ever talk to Squirt again? How about Tommy? If both answers are no, oh well.

Oh well, indeed.

How’s Kitty? Do they have a set date for his wedding to Bear? Don’t tell me they’re already married… ( – w – )

Kitty’s the same old King Kedede. In fact, as of writing this, I’ve met Bear in person! She’s cute. :3 Their wedding is scheduled for October of this year.

Do you have a guy?  If so, DETAILS!!! If not, don’t freak out. You don’t look your hottest until 25, right?

I’ll let the last couple posts speak for themselves. :3

And that’s all I can think of right now. What other things have happened this year? Comment in your next time capsule!

This isn’t the capsule, but 2015 year was a year of firsts. I attended my first Anime North, performed onstage for a public audience for the first time, learned to cook new dishes from scratch, watched a boatload of new and old shows, and even had steak for the first time. It was also the first time I put my foot down when I was no longer happy, instead of toughing it out because I was afraid to say no. And for the first time in years, I met someone who gives me butterflies whenever we see each other.

Hopefully, 2016 will be another year of happy memories and learning experiences. And hopefully, the butterfly-giver will still be around in time for 2017!

As of posting this blog, I will be preparing and scheduling the time capsule for December 30, 2016. What are your plans and resolutions for 2016? Have you achieved your goals from 2015? Comment below!

Pika, happy new year~

OMG DOUBLE FEATURE!!!

So I’ve missed last week, and the week before the last post.

You: “What does that mean??”

It means we’re doing extra fun stuff this weekend!

Now that it’s September, we’ve succumbed to the dreaded bipolar weather patterns. This week has been comfortable, but last night was freezing cold! And just last weekend was cold and rainy. Either way, it’s time to bust out the layered outfits. If you don’t go out much, chances are you have stuff in your closet that no longer fits, but it stayed in said closet because you forgot it existed. This became the inspiration behind the dress I wore yesterday.

I don’t remember where this dress came from, but I do remember how old I was the last time it was worn: 12 years old. Imagine all the other girls your age dressing in sexy spaghetti strap and halter dresses, yet there you are looking like your favourite doll from when you were 6. I stowed this dress in my closet and never wore it again. As for why I still haven’t given it away? See above.

I like the light, airy fabric of the skirt, but could do without the huge collar and puffed sleeves. And I wanted a new outfit for a date with M yesterday, so figured why not. Let’s help this dress grow from a self-conscious tweenager to a self-confident twenty-something!

Before vs After

Before vs After

Let’s assess what we have to work with here: the dress looks like it has two layers, but it’s actually sewn in one layer. The dress has a zipper at the back to account for the closed collar, and ties at the back to make the dress more fitted. It also has a nylon cord in the front, to lace up the bodice. While it will waste less fabric, it will also require a lot more time to detach the white parts of the dress.

rip

We begin by turning the dress inside out to find the seams. Then we’ll take out our lovely eye goug–er, I mean seam ripper, and rip out the sleeves. As always, you can simply cut them with scissors. I like to seam rip, so as to waste as little fabric as possible. Seam ripping also leaves the bent edge, so you only need to fold over once more to create the perfect, fresh seam. Once that’s done, repeat the ripping process for the collar. I wanted to keep some lining underneath, so I marked the part of the white body piece that will be covered by the floral dress. We’re not going to seam rip anything below this line.

I saved the collar to make a necklace. This will add interest to a baggy, plain sweater. Just in time for fall!

Halfway done! Hem and iron out the edges.

Finally, I tried on the dress. It feels a bit long, but I’ll let M decide what he thinks of this length.

Ne-ne~ Simply by removing the sleeves and collar, we have a comfortable sleeveless dress! Pair this with solid coloured accessories, and you’ve got the perfect end-of-summer date night outfit. 12 year old Pika is very happy.

Part 2: Delicious Eats with M

This next part is a great date idea: cooking lunch together! M loves cheese, I love chilli, and so we made chilli mac n cheese. He has stories about his grandma using a whole block of cheese in her homemade mac, but for my tummy’s sake we’re going to use a small bag of shredded cheddar. Click here for the recipe we used.

M cut the onions, while I stirred the meat. We used the whole box of macaroni, because M started eating the noodles raw. XD I’ll admit it doesn’t taste bad, but it feels weird to eat uncooked macaroni. It feels like a cross between a corn nut, and a plastic tube breaking in your mouth.

*A tip on cooking mac n cheese from scratch: if you make the noodles seperately, don’t add all the cheese right away. As you take servings, add cheese accordingly. If you add all the cheese right away, leftover mac will become dry and gross.

IMG_20150919_125754

You drooling yet?

Final verdict: amazing! This is the perfect comfort food, all right. Too bad we didn’t have any garden salad on the side. I filled up a huge plastic container for M to take home.

I got two phone calls during this date, both from people I actually care about. It may not seem like a big deal, but when you typically text instead of call, this is quite a treat. M talked to both of them. XP Until it was time for dinner, M and I cuddled and watched Rick and Morty. It reminds me of a cross between Doctor Who, Adventure Time, and South Park. I should finish watching Archer… Man, it’s hard living with your parents. It’s annoying when you just get comfortable while watching a great show, and then all of a sudden you hear, “don’t sit like that, it’s bad for your back! You’ll walk with a hunch!” “Why you’re watching this? This is not a good show!” “Instead of watching TV with your guest, come help me!”

( – _ – );

We went to dinner with Kitty that evening. When he saw M, Kitty’s like, “HOMG, M!!! HI!!! NICE TO FINALLY MEET YOU!!! <3” They were bros. It’s blurry, but this is an immortalization of my favouirte memory from yesterday: walking to dinner with my BF and BGF. (Best guy friend) Peck Peck asked, “why does that guy on the right (M) look like he’s from Brokeback Mountain? XDDDD” (- _ -); Humph. M if you’re reading this, don’t worry, I still think you look handsome. :3

IMG_20150919_191210530

Kitty and M

I tried Steak and Kidney pie for the first time. It was pretty good, albeit very salty. Think of a chicken pot pie, but instead of chicken it’s beef. And no, the “kidney” doesn’t mean kidney beans. If you know what liver tastes like, kidney tastes the same. I for one am not a huge fan of either, but I give it 7/10. The pie came with mashed potatoes, but the waitress forgot to bring the potatoes, so I got free dessert! Wot wot~ I felt awful for undertipping; to the waitress at the Black Dog Pub, I promise you’ll get a better tip next time! Here is the free key lime pie, a perfect end to a perfect day.

IMG_20150919_203528

Sometimes, you come across a person who just makes you feel great. Sure you felt great before you met them, but this “greatness” is different. You want to improve for them, you want to make them happy, and in return they make you happy. You want to share the most important parts of your life with them, whether it’s going out to your favorite restaurant or introducing them to close family and friends. I know it hasn’t been a long time, but I’m looking forward to many more memories with M. I can’t wait to cook new dishes with him, go on new adventures, and cuddle with him again. ❤

How’s September starting out for you? Any cool new changes this year? Have you repurposed or upcycled any of your old clothes into new outfits for this year? What do you like in your mac n cheese? (If you say “green peas,” we can’t be friends) Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Chibi Doll Base – Amigurumi #26

Last week’s post was postponed due to extended work on this project. Today’s blog was delayed because I was gathering pictures of our subject. Excuses aside, I present to you… Mini M!

Mini M is all ready to go to his new home.

Mini M is all dressed and ready to go to his new home.

Quick facts about this plushie

This is made from my improvised standard chibi base, using a big head and chunky body. The ribbon was suggested by Shoony, instead of wrapping the doll in tissue. His hair is sewn in strands using brown yarn. Yes, it was time consuming. Yes, it was worth every second. Eyes are made from scratch, not safety eyes.

The pattern is a change up from my original pattern that tried to make things look more realistic. See here, with a Mini Shoony doll made circa 2011.

Penguin Shoony doesn't approve

Penguin Shoony doesn’t approve

Perhaps I’ll remade this Shoony doll with the new pattern. Forget the “Draw This Again” meme, I’ll doing the “Make This Again” meme. 😛

But who is M, you ask? He’s one of Huggie Buddy’s roommates. And last Wednesday, M and I had one of the best days of this boring summer. We went for lunch, had froyo, watched the movie Stealth, and found a secluded area in the park that had couches. I also got a gigantic mosquito bite on the back of my leg. Woo…

Today, we had an adventure. M has been very kind to me, so it didn’t feel right to go over empty handed. And so I made the journey with Mini M and a bunch of homemade peanut butter cups.

Riding in Pika's Bag, to his new home.

Riding in Pika’s Bag, to his new home.

You can probably tell his eye is a bit messed up. While trying to make simple paint dots, the squeeze tube suddenly decided, “hey, know what this tiny squeeze needs? LOTS of paint!” BOOM! Gigantic blob of black paint. At first, I tried to fix it by scooping up the paint and duplicate stitching over the stained area. Then I tried painting it with a bit of white paint. Both… barely worked. M seemed happy nonetheless.

Famished from the journey

Famished from the journey

And yes, M was responsible for the hungry hungry Deku in the last post. 😛

Mini M always repays his debts.

Mini M always repays his debts.

Today was a day of movies and general cuddles. Hey, anyone else out there notice that Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a really long movie? Well, you don’t miss much by the end. John Cleese can call my mother a hamster any day. XP What a lovely day, sans the lactose intolerant tummy aches endured by yours truly. (You just HAD to get cheesecake bits on yours, huh, Pika? D: ) M was truly a sweetheart to cut our walk short just to take me to the nearby restaurant for the washroom. >_<;;; Here’s our selfie to commemorate the good parts of the day!

IMG_20150808_103109789

Pika introduces Mini M

I can’t wait to see M again! ^w^

Have you made something you want to retry? What other characters would you like made using this pattern? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Canada Day Pudding Party!

Edit: use only unsweetened milk for this recipe! Remember, marshmallows are just puffs of sugar. If you melt them into pre-flavoured milk (like chocolate milk) your pudding will turn out way too sweet. Use only unsweetened cocoa, or a tiny bit of your favourite flavour extracts.

Happy Canada Day!!!

I’ve been cooking up storms lately. And we can’t have food without dessert! Since today is Canada Day, here’s a light dessert to follow up your poutine, or provide a sweet complement your Tim Hortons’s coffee. (Man, our mainstream cuisine is unremarkable…)

Nailed it!

Nailed it!

One of my favourite types of dessert is pudding. (Custard, for people outside North America) Since I was a Pichu, I’ve tried all kinds of store-bought pudding brands, from the sugary sweet Snack Packs to the rich, $5 4-packs found in the dairy aisle. My favourite go-to homemade dessert is custard pudding, or creme caramel. I’ve made it for guests, and they always rave about it. Aunty Waggie makes it the best.

Let’s begin the summer with some super easy 3 ingredient pudding from ochikeron.

Matcha is green tea powder, and one of my favourite flavours when mixed with milk. Green tea mochi ice cream = yum num num. Sadly, I don’t have matcha powder, but I do have cocoa powder. Ergo, chocolate pudding, here I come!

IMG_20150630_215945244Ingredients:

3/4 cup milk

50g marshmallows (approx. 6 jumbo size)

1 tbsp. cocoa powder

Directions

Mix the powder with a bit of the milk. This will make it easier to incorporate.

IMG_20150630_220030231

Add in the rest of the milk and marshmallows.

IMG_20150630_220222769

Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. The mixture doesn’t need to boil, it just needs to be hot enough to completely melt the marshmallows. You can help the marshmallows melt faster by cutting them into pieces.

IMG_20150628_175708133

Taken while making vanilla pudding

When it looks like this, you've got it!

When it looks smooth like this, you’ve got it!

Once all the marshmallows are fully melted, pour mixture into molds.

pour

Chill in the fridge for at least 2 – 3 hours, and then dig in!

IMG_20150701_135536831

Obby~

Makes 2 small servings.

Final Verdict

ASDFGHJKL;’ IT’S SO GOOD!!! The pudding is smooth, creamy, and not too sweet. According to the package, 4 marshmallows = 30 grams, so I used 6 marshmallows + 1 to make sure the pudding set. In the video, ochikeron added a lot of marshmallows and got very obvious foam on top. When you add more marshmallows, the foam is more likely to separate. The pudding also ends up thicker and less “jiggly.”

I wonder how this pudding would look in a glass dessert dish, topped with whipped cream. If I have to describe the taste and texture in relation to a store-bought pudding, this felt like a milkier version Danone’s dark chocolate “Danette” puddings. Taste wise, this chocolate pudding tastes exactly like a Fudgesicle. This gives me an idea for later in the month, when it REALLY gets hot out…

You have to be patient with this pudding: make sure it stays in the fridge for AT LEAST 2 hours. It won’t set if you keep poking at it! Due to its softness, the pudding separates from the mold fairly easily. That doesn’t mean it transfers well…

plop

Plop.

Serving sizes are very small, creating less than 1/2 cup servings after the mixture settles. This is the type of dessert to make when you have only one friend over, or you and the sweetheart don’t feel like going out. That would be a cute date idea: make these together, let them chill in the fridge while you eat dinner, watch a movie, and take them out after the movie to enjoy while chatting. You’re welcome, Internet.

*You can swap the cocoa and milk for any other flavours of your choice! The original recipe called for soy milk, but I used skim milk. If you want a creamier pudding, try heavier milk. How about strawberry flavoured milk? Use your imagination! I do not think this will work with condensed milk, because it is too sticky and heavy.

And of course, you can make plain vanilla pudding by simply omitting the flavour agent. Marshmallows are already vanilla flavoured, so there’s no need to add vanilla extract. Serve with fresh berries; who needs marshmallow dip?! I theorize that this white pudding would taste great if made with almond milk.

Nailed it!

Since it’s Canada Day, how about some maple syrup flavoured pudding? Skip the artificial stuff you use on pancakes and grab some 100% pure maple syrup. Or just buy some maple candies and decorate your pudding.

What other quick and easy recipes should we try? Did you make any cute patriotic snacks today? Comment below, and have a Happy Canada Day!

Pika, so happy, eh~

Etsy Shop Updates

I think I learned what checking “this post is super-awesome” does. It prevents WordPress from posting to Facebook. Pointless box is pointless. -_-

 

There aren’t any finished projects this week. Instead, let’s see what’s going on with Etsy.

After 8 weeks of uncertainty, Mr. Drippy finally arrived at his new home in Germany! I’m glad I got a chance to ship all the way to Germany; I never thought my first exposure could come from a whole ocean away! Sadly, it’s because of this long journey that I will not be shipping outside North America for a while. I will start selling internationally again once I’ve fully figured out this craziness with express shipping and tracking.

The important part right now is that the first sale is complete, and I now have confidence to add new items to the Etsy shop! Profits from Mr. Drippy will go towards paying the listing fees for new items.

You can also check out the shop page for updates. As always, if you see something you like that isn’t listed in the shop, comment below or contact me on Etsy, and we can work something out. ^_^

Big thanks to my first customer Malle, for being so patient. 🙂

And to everyone, whether you celebrate it this weekend or next month: from all 1 of us…er, me… at Pika Plushies, I wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! Eat lots of delicious food and enjoy time with your family. What are you thankful for this year?

Pika, so happy~

Snorlax – Amigurumi #11

So I was about to do my Mandarin homework, when suddenly…

A wild Snorlax blocked my path!

IMG_20140926_165822411_HDR

“But lăoshī, my Snorlax slept on my homework!” Unless the teacher asks why you didn’t have a Pokeflute, then you’re kinda screwed.

This was another pattern semi-inspired by Wolfdreamer. Her pattern is cute, but if I’m going to sell my own plushies they should be as much of my own creation as possible. I also didn’t like how the ears were sewn on; Snorlax’ ears were attached. I always remembered them being smoother, rather than detached at the bottom. I’m not sure how else to describe it, so here is the main reference I used for Snorlax:

I also hate sewing stuff on crochet/knit items, so I avoid it wherever possible. The colour I used is based off what I remember Snorlax looking like in the anime.

compare

Some time ago, the adorable Ginger and I were discussing Bree. Bree is his girlfriend, and she’s nice. When I made Ginger a Reptar-shaped chocolate, Bree came along. I didn’t have any chocolates for her, so I took the chocolate from Ginger and gave it to her.

Bree: “Oh, thank you!”

Ginger: “That was mine…. </3”

I don’t think Ginger remembers, since his head’s in the clouds most of the time.

This Snorlax is just a prototype, so it’s super tiny just to get an idea of how to shape it later on. Ryan was being a bully about the lack of ears. WHAT LACK OF EARS? IT’S A PROTOTYPE DAMMIT!

Ahem….Bree, if you’re reading this, do you like it? Don’t worry, I’ll give your “Ginger” a discount. 😀 The plan is to blow this Snorlax up into a nice, cuddly pillow. I’m thinking of making it a similar size to Altair Sackboy.

That ends this week’s post. I guess that means it’s time to get into Fall crafts.

Questions? Concerns? Like Snorlax? Want your own Snorlax? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~