*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~

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~

Luna and Artemis (Sailor Moon) – Amigurumi #28

October has been a quiet month here at Pika’s Penguin Production Company. It’s incredible how you can go from an entire summer of free time, to a whirlwind of commitments in the fall. According to my neglected deviantArt account, Deku Link won second place in dAKnitters’ July contest! I may have mentioned this in the past, but well… everything’s happening all at once. So yay! Second place once again! 😀

So now that we’re back in action, what’s happening today? Well of course… KITTIES! And not just any kitties: (faceless) sailor kitties.

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Waiting for Shoonie to take them to their new home.

Time to let the cats out of the bag.

Time to let the cats out of the bag.

These kitties were made as a request for Shoonie’s friend, who also requested Navi and the Deku. Would you believe our luck: the Raichus (my parents) went through my Pika Cave (room) and threw stuff into plastic bags. And guess what else ended up getting tossed in there? Naturally, I found them moments after Shoonie went home.

 

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Click for Laure’s Instagram page

These kitties are now at their new home. They were modelled after the designs from Instagram user Laure Lafey. From what I gather, she uses a lighter yarn and smaller hook, which allows for fine details and small plushies. I use thick yarn and a standard H (0.5 cm) hook, which works well for my heavy-duty, less detailed, chibified designs. For more crocheted cuteness, feel free to visit her page at laurelefay.

I’m in my 20’s, and you will rarely find a girl my age who doesn’t say Sailor Moon was her childhood. I am one of those rare girls; Sailor Moon was one of those shows you watched just to fit in with your best friend. It grew on me after a while, (the Pure Heart story arc was my favourite, for some reason) and I would recreate a lot of the episodes with my Barbie dolls. Sometime’s I’d make up my own episodes. But like many childhood favourites, the show ended and we grew up. By the time Sailor Moon Crystal came out, my interest faded. Crystal looks nicer, but that’s about it. We all know the story, we all know the characters, and it doesn’t add much else to make this show “fresh.” But on the plus side, at least it’s easier for the new generation to get into it, right?

I’ve received requests to make additional kitty plushies on Etsy. Here is a sample of what the customer asked for. (Original source unknown) :

Original source: Unknown

Original source: Unknown

What did I do for Halloween this year, you ask? I worked at my part time job. This was the first year of being a childless adult on Halloween. Not sure how I feel about it. Maybe one day, I can write a list of annoying things about working in retail.

Do you/have you watched Sailor Moon? Do you prefer cats or dogs? What did you do for Halloween? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Nyan Cat Headband – Amigurumi # 27 / DIY #4

Yes, I am counting this as an ami.

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So this project took longer than necessary. I originally tried knitting this headband and changing the colours vertically. It looked great at first, but it quickly became a nuisance with all those colours getting tangled and shifting apart. I finally gave up and ripped it out. Summer was starting, so I didn’t bother with it again.

Until now. Oh Moogly, bless you and your blog.

Moogly posted this blog with links to 10 free headband patterns. It just so happened #8 was perfect! The band is worked horizontally, and has a cute cinch in the middle that makes it look more like a giant bow. And the “wrapper” to cover the cinch looks just like Nyan Cat’s body! Time to bust out the colours once again.

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Boo!

This headband was super easy and fun to make. Now that we’re getting into fall weather, this band will be great for keeping your ears warm and your hair in place, without the bulk of a hat. If you tend to work slowly, start now so you’re ready for the full cold blasts!

You can also try variations of Nyan Cat:

Next project: get better quality pictures.

Do you prefer hats, headbands, both, or none? Do you like original Nyan Cat? Tac Nayn? Taco Cat? 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!

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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~

Deku Link – Amigurumi #25

Happy Saturday! I think I’ll buy a box of funnel cake sticks today.

This plushie started as a request from Shoony’s friend, who requested the Navi plush way back when. It is one of three things. And it just so happened that Huggie Buddy’s belated birthday was coming up, so I decided to make one for her, too. And then this happened…

And yes, I am of legal drinking age in both Canada and US. n_n

And yes, I am of legal drinking age in both Canada and US. n_n

Deku Link! Or “Harold,” as she called it. :3 As you can tell, I glued the felt instead of sewed. Oh yeah, I also drew the blueprints. All those years of drawing have finally paid off! ^_^; Here are the reference images used, in case anyone wanted to vouch for my ability to work visually:

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Here’s a question: What do you do when you want to make a plushie present for your friend’s belated birthday the next day, but you also have Fire Emblem: Awakening and just figured how marriages work in game? If you said, “keep playing Fire Emblem, we can finish the plushie in a night” then congrats, you and I share the same mind. Yes, I was working on it at her place, too. Fortunately they played a card game I didn’t like, so I sat out working. At least Deku Link was finished in time for pizza.

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It ain’t easy staying light enough to bounce on water.

I liked how this request came right after I finished Majora’s Mask 3D. This time, I didn’t use a walkthrough at all! Hey, I was young, still getting into gaming, and didn’t really have the logic/puzzle solving skills I have today. What else is there to say about this game, other than it’s short, sweet, and very, very sad.

As I was playing through the water level on the Moon, I kept missing the jump and was getting frustrated. Do you know what you have to do in this place? You have to LAUNCH yourself up at the right time in order to land in front of the doorway. If you miss, guess what? You have to start ALL over from the beginning! I looked up, thinking, “are you laughing at me right now, sensei?” (As a prospective game developer, I felt obliged to refer to the late CEO of one of gaming’s biggest companies as such)

I wonder what it would’ve been like to meet Iwata-sensei. Though at least my dream of one day meeting Miyamoto may yet be attainable. XP Meanwhile, I found this image buzzing around the internet, and figured it would be relevant. (Not sure of the original creator) RIP Iwata-sensei. To us, they aren’t just games. They’re inspirations.

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In fact, did you know that Majora’s Mask is entirely about death? Huggie Buddy and Andrew the new guy explained that each of the five main environments represented the five stages of grief. I knew death was a common theme in the game, since all your transformation masks were the embodied souls of a dead Deku, Goron, and Zora, but I never thought of how deep this really was. Especially coming from one of Nintendo’s most popular series. Again, I’ll come back to it with examples in another submission. Meanwhile, let’s be happy and enjoy Deku Link with his sheep friends:

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For now, he’s just gonna chill on the TV. Like all my plushies, Deku Link can also be… a hat.

Huggie Buddy! :D

Deku Link and Huggie Buddy!

What are your summer plans with friends? Have you played Majora’s Mask? Which release was your first: original N64, collector’s edition, or the 3DS remake? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~