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~

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~

Torchic (mini plush) – Amigurumi #9

Be me, back to school for the year.

Realize there’s a Zora’s chance on Death Mountain that you’ll pass one particular class.

Pray that your attempts to get out of said class will be successful – it’s all you can do right now.

Regain your social life.

Get thank you hugs for bringing your copy of Cards Against Humanity to the board games club.

Reunite with Iron Man, hug him, and never want to let go.

Remember you have pizza night with the girls (oh, and Kitty) in two days.

“Where has the week gone?!” I cry.

 

This week was supposed to feature Charmander. And then I realized that making Charmander from scratch was a lot easier said than done. The reason Squirtle was so easy is because Squirtle is fairly round and made up of spherical shapes. Charmander, on the other hand, is more asymmetrical, since it’s based off a lizard. Spherical shapes are much easier to form, while oblong shapes like the ones I used for Charmander’s head and body have to be just right in order to look convincing. Much ripping out occurred.

And holy sheep on the farm, the tail. THE. BLOODY. TAIL. If you look carefully at the official art, Charmander’s yellow belly spot extends onto its tail. I like to keep my plushies as true to the original material as possible, so I began trying over and over to get the tail just right. First I thought about making the tail separate from the body and sewing the tummy/tail panel on seperately, and then I thought about trying to attach the tail as one piece to the body…

Yeah, this is one project I’ll put on the back burner until further notice.

Fortunately, I remembered that this week is very important, and therefore I had a backup project!

 

I’ve mentioned Kitty in a few blogs, and this one is no exception. This bonus is dedicated to him because this weekend shall be his last weekend in Canada. *sad face* We are going to spend an evening having a pizza dinner with some old friends. I made him this as a present:

wee-baby-torchic

It’s a wee baby Torchic! Kitty’s not big into plushies, and yet it didn’t feel right sending him off without something to help his world stay plush. He also likes Torchic because, “it’s the cutest [fluffy] chicken. ;w; “And so, this little “baggage buddy” was born. I tied a chain loop on the back, so you could tie it to something. The loop was inspired off the little Winnie the Pooh cell phone charms you can get in gacha machines. Back when Kitty and I first met, I had one of these Winnies tied to my old Motorola Razr flip phone. (Late 2000’s nostalgia – it’s a thing, apparently!) Winnie the Pooh was inside a little beach house, and his face looked like this: :O

Making a tiny plushie into a “bag buddy” charm is a great gift idea!

chain-loop

Ah, Kitty. Seems only yesterday I was 15 years old, and this weirdo came up and hugged me because I said I was cold. For a good amount of time, however, life wasn’t so great between the two of us. In first year University, it got so bad that new friends were warning me to let him go. Which I did for a while. And it feels so much better now… I met new friends and had lots of fun! It’s amazing what can happen when you let go of the things that put you in a bad mood.

I don’t remember what happened to make us friends again, but that time apart was just what we both needed. It’s 8 years later and we’re on much better terms, if I do say so myself. In fact, I think Kitty is my closest guy friend. He listens whenever I have something to say, and I tell him everything.

tmi

Even stuff he doesn’t want to know!

Kitty is going far away to study. Thanks to the power of modern technology, he won’t be too far away in case of rant emergencies. Of course, I’ll still miss going over to his place for dinner, or ranting in the same timezone.

 

….Several hours later……

So I totally thought I scheduled this to post at 5:00. Turns out I didn’t. Whoopsie. It’s okay, because now I can post this picture of Kitty with Torchic:

Kitty and the cutest little chicken. ;w;

Kitty and the cutest little chicken. ;w;

If Kitty’s reading this… Take care, slipper face. :3

Sniff sniff sniff...

*Sniff sniff sniff*… Torchic, Tor…. (This is a strange Pokeblock…)

Questions? Concerns? Do you have a close friend you miss right now? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Super Mario Mushroom Earrings – Amigurumi #7

August sure is a dry spell for creativity. All I can think of is going out and having fun, instead of sitting at home and doing crafts. It’s also very surreal to return to school knowing that most of your old classmates won’t be around.

I hope Mr. Drippy is on his way to his new home by now. The post office didn’t include tracking, (though they would have… for +$60) so there’s no way for me or the customer to track his progress. It’s been a week, and the lady at the post office said to give it 3 – 5 weeks to arrive. Man, selling plushies over Etsy is a lot more stressful than I thought.

Maybe thinking of nice things will help. Earrings are nice. This week shall be round 2 of earrings.

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These were the first mushroom earrings I made, back in second year. There was a lot of emotional stress going on, and I needed a change of pace in some way. Making things is a great way to blow off steam. If you don’t have a hobby already, I highly recommend a creative outlet like this. Especially hobbies that involve the use of pointed objects.

From classmates to restaurant waiters, I’ve gotten compliments for these earrings left and right! The first few came from classmates, many of whom became some of my favourite boys. And then came times when I was running to catch a bus, only to have a stranger stop and compliment the earrings. I once said to a friend’s father, while visiting said friend’s home for dinner one wintry night, “sir, these are the earrings your son fell in love with!”

As I’ve probably mentioned in my pokéball earring post, the problem with these earrings is that they’re quite bulky and heavy for my poor ears. Sometimes when wearing them, I feel the weight pulling down my poor ears. I’m not too keen on stretching my earlobes, so I had to make a modified version:

big-mash-small-mash

Top: First mushroom earrings, size comparison to the new ones.

In case you can’t tell, the new mushrooms were made alongside the Pokéball earrings way back when. I know, it took a couple years. As a matter of fact, these new mushrooms were made with a modified version of the Pokéball earrings; I changed up the bottom so that they would sit flat, rather than mush up like the old ones.

I forgot to write notes for the big mushrooms, so it doesn’t look like we’ll see a recreation of those ever again. *sigh* I plan to have the mini mushrooms in my shop within the coming week.

mash-ball

For the sake of comfort, I prefer the smaller mushrooms because my hair and backpack don’t get tangled in them as much. They aren’t stuffed with fiberfill either, which leaves them light. However, the bigger ones have all the sweet memories. They are my way of showing that even though some bad things happened to me, I won’t let them ruin my future. And they look super adorable on ginger legs.

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Iz mashram.

Hm… I think that sort of worked. Though it didn’t help the writer’s block I’ve been experiencing.

Do you prefer big mushroom earrings, or smaller ones? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Pokeball Earrings! – DIY #1

[14/06/14] These earrings are now available on Etsy!

Unfortunately, it appears that the Etsy shop launch will be delayed. To make up for it, however, here is a free pattern for you to try!

People might tell you I’m noted for my Super Mario mushroom earrings. Even strangers have complimented them! The problem with the earrings is that they’re heavy, because I made the mistake of stuffing them with the fiberfill stuffing I used for plushies.

This is the lesson of the day: DO NOT STUFF EARRINGS WITH STUFFING. It may not feel very heavy at first, but remember your earlobes are very delicate, and the fiberfill weight is enough to stretch them over time. Ouch!

These pokeball earrings are an improvement on that old earring-making technique. You start with a long tail, and stuff it into the earring afterward. This way it maintains its shape without weighing down your piercings. So easy, quick, and cute, you’ll want to make a pair in every type of pokeball!

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How to make Pokeball Earrings

Materials needed:

1. Fine weight yarn in the following colours:

  • Red
  • White

2. *Lace crochet hook, 0.5 mm

3. 3D Paint in the following colours:

  • Black
  • White

4. Earring hooks (x2)

5. Scissors

*Note: The directions are based off what I personally used. A lace crochet hook is just a very tiny hook, so the smallest regular hook you can find should work as well. To make life easier, I’ve also included the number of stitches you should have after completing each round. 🙂

 

Abbreviations

st/sts = stitch/stitches

sc = single crochet

inc = increase

dec = decrease

 

Pokeballs (make 2)

With white yarn, start with a tail about 10 cm long.

Round 1: 5 sc into magic ring, pull tight to close (5 sts)

Round 2: inc into every st around (10 sts)

Round 3: sc around (10 sts)

Round 4: change to red, sc around (10 sts)

Round 5: sc around (10 sts)

At this point, stuff the white tail into the pokeball to help keep its shape. Snip off any excess that cannot fit.

//image: stuffing

Round 6: dec around (5 sts)

Fasten off, leaving a 5 cm tail.

 

Assembly

Use the tail to attach pokeballs to the hooks. Use your crochet hook to push the remaining tail into the top of the pokeball, and snip off any excess.

Using the black paint, draw a line around the pokeball, where the white and red change. It’s easier to draw half the line first, leave it face up to dry, and then finish it off.

When drawing the button, make sure that you draw it on the same side that will be facing FORWARD when you wear the earrings. Wait a few minutes for this to dry, and use the white paint to add the final dot in the middle of the button. Give the whole thing about half an hour to dry completely.

 

Enjoy your new Pokeball earrings!

Enjoy your new Pokeball earrings!

 

And that concludes my first pattern. That was fun! If you want a pair but don’t know how to crochet, don’t worry! I will be selling these on Etsy once it finally gets going… *sigh*

This summer, my intention is to have a post every Friday evening. I hope you will join me at this time for a weekly dose of cute and craft!

Pika, so stylish!

Pika, so stylish!

Questions? Concerns? Corrections? Favourite colour? Comment below!

Pika, so happy!