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~

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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.

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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

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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.

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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~

Knitting Time

I’m in the middle of making Christmas presents, so this week’s post is a throwback to stuff I already made. If you’re reading this on December 20, this is not the new post for the week. I’m just insanely busy finishing presents and sweets for everyone. x_x

Oh yeah, I knit too.

These are called “Hugs ‘n Kisses with Love Handwarmers.” I found the pattern in a book called 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. It’s a nifty little book to have around, in case you have a single ball of yarn and want to use it up. The handwarmers are pretty dirty, since they’ve been in my coat pocket since first year, 2010. I gave Suzie one to wear, and I wore the other. Our Graphic Design prof called us “the wonder twins” because everything we did was somehow connected. Of course, I’m dumb and wore the right hand warmer. While drawing, pencil lead rubbed off on it. Now I know how lefties feel. ;w; When Suzie met Rychu, I made him solid red gloves, like Ryu from Street Fighter.

I don’t think I should’ve made these striped… it made the garter stitch heart difficult to see. At least it made the Xs and Os stand out! 🙂

I recommend looking up this pattern. It’s actually quite easy to do, even if you’ve never worked with cables before. (It was my first time when I made this pattern) If you remove the XO motif and the garter stitch heart in the palm, it becomes a quick and easy standard hand warmer pattern. I also made a pair of black warmers with a Batman symbol, but I won’t post because I want them to be a surprise. You can start working on a pair in January, and have them ready by Friends’ Week! ^_^

Right: XO (hugs and kisses) motif on the back of the hand. The heart is garter stitched into the palm.

Right: XO (hugs and kisses) cable stitching on the back of the hand. The heart is garter stitched into the palm.

 

About a year later, I made this dress. I remember trying to use the standard Super Saver yarn I now use for plushies. It turned out so stiff and heavy! >_< And so, I bought a big fat ball of baby sport yarn. This is a cute shade of blue. I like to pair it with dark blue leggings and sleeveless tops. Next, I want nice bright red yarn for a more “stylish” dress. Kind of like this, but maybe without the cowl neck. Or even this, but not so long.

 

dress

And now, back to work on everything! If you don’t see a blog next week, consider the pattern links in this week’s blog as my Christmas presents to you. 😛

 

Hugs ‘n Kisses with Love Handwarmer pattern found in 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. (Click for Ravelry link)

Sweater Dress pattern found here, as a FREE DOWNLOAD! (Originally retrieved from bernat.com)

 

What should I knit next? Do you like to give knitted/crocheted gifts? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Two T-Shirts into Dress – DIY #3

As a stereotypical female, I know the feel of opening an overflowing closet and deciding, “there’s nothing to wear…” And when it comes to choosing things to donate or throw away, this video is the story of my life. So when digging through the closet once again, I decide that this time I would actually use some of my old clothes for a DIY project. Summer’s on, but I don’t have many “casual” dresses for school or every day wear. And so, this happened. I might cut out the neck though, the closed neck looks a bit stuffy. This will be the first sewing blog here on Val Crafts.

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Now let’s proceed to turn two dumpy looking T-shirts, into a cute dress/shrug combo!

Materials

2 T-Shirts

Scissors (I recommend fabric scissors)IMG_20140731_143739106

Sewing pins

Matching thread

Sewing machine

Fray preventing sealant (optional, if you don’t feel like hemming)

Directions

Bodice of the dress

Choose which t-shirt you want for the top of your dress. Flip it inside out, and put it on. (I chose the V-neck shirt)

Making the shirt more fitted:

I wanted the shirt to be more fitted, so I took in the sides just a little bit. Try not to take in too much, otherwise it will be too tight to put on. Your best bet would be to pinch at the side seams. Press the joint of your thumb at the seam, and make a mark at the tip. Draw a line from here to about where your bust begins.

take-in

Flip the shirt in half and copy the markings on the other side.

Sew along the lines you’ve created. Sew loosely so that you can rip out the seams if you make a mistake.

Put on the shirt again. If you’re happy with the fit, trim off the excess. Yes, it will be bulky on top! We’re going to take care of that next.

Fitting the sleeves.

sleevesLet’s make this a sleeveless dress. While still wearing the shirt inside out, mark on your shoulders where you want the armhole to be. Cut off the sleeves in a curve toward the “underarm” seam. (Where the sleeve and side of the shirt connect.) Try to follow the existent sleeve seam, and snip exactly under the underarm seam. Hem the sleeves.

My bodice is ready!

My bodice is ready!

Make adjustments to the sides as necessary. I pinched the corners closed to create a new armpit seam, and sewed it down.

I left my bodice with the neck intact. If you want a more summery look, cut out the neck . Hem or use anti-fray gel to keep it looking neat.

Attaching the skirt

This will be much easier. While wearing your new bodice, place the second T-shirt against the bottom of the bodice, as though creating a skirt. Adjust it until the skirt is as long as you’d like it to be. I made mine a bit longer so I could wear it with or without leggings.

First, cut the shirt horizontally, leaving about an inch (2.5 cm) below the sleeves:

skirt

Attach the skirt as follows:

1. Make sure the bodice is inside out, and the skirt is right side out.

2. Turn the skirt upside down and put the bodice into it.

3. Find the side seams of the shirts. Align and pin them together. Do the same for the other seams

4. Hold the pinned seams together and fold the shirts in half again. Pin these new edges together to attach the skirt.

5. Repeat the process around. You should have a total of 8 pins.

6. Sew along the natural seam at the bottom of the shirts. If you get to a loose, unpinned portion, pinch and flatten them as you sew.

*If you’re having trouble attaching the skirt, refer to this pleated skirt tutorial.

Now, flip everything right side out, and something resembling a dress of sorts should magically appear.

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Now you’re probably wondering, “but what will I do with the leftover shirt?” Easy – make a shrug to match! Cut down the middle of the remaining shirt, and voila~

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Here is the finished project:

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From left to right: without shrug, with shrug, full outfit

And there you have it, I’ve given you a new outfit idea and saved you a hanger. And now, you have an outfit for just hanging out and playing video games (or “vidya gaims” as we call it) with your friends. I now have an idea for Oreo Day! 🙂 What’s Oreo Day? Well, you’ll have to wait and find out. 🙂

Questions? Concerns? Suggestions for improvement? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~