Happy Birthday, Mad Hatter!

To my darling Mad Hatter,

Happy birthday! You have blessed this world for 9131 days! And as of today, you have blessed my world for 747 days.

I started working on a present, to celebrate our 730 days together. But of course, I didn’t finish in time. Guess that means I’ve got to pamper you even more this Christmas!

In the mean time, I’ve compiled some journals of our most recent week together. As my first blog subscriber, I dedicate this post to you. ❤

 

Adventures in Wonderland, October 21 – 28, 2018

—Sunday—-

At long last, I have arrived! And I got to meet the newcomers!

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Meet No-Face and Sootsprite, Hatter’s new pets! No-Face is the lighter of the two. I call them “Nofie” and “Sootsie” for short. They are about 3 months old, and are like two peas in a pod. When they get separated, they meow until they are reunited. I think they miss their momma cat.

Mad Hatter cooked me a delicious steak dinner, and I made the baked potatoes. Or at least, I tried to….

The skin did not crisp, as expected. It turns out you’re only supposed to drizzle a bit of oil, rather than rub the oil all over the potatoes. Oh well, you live and learn. The cheese and meat juices gave the potatoes all the savour they needed.

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—Monday—

Shopping, first day home alone with the kitties, and a mysterious brown package.

I broke out in horrendous hives this week. Okay, they had technically started the week before, but today they flared up all over my legs, arms, and hands. I walked with Hatter partway to his work, and then went to the drug store to buy anti-itch medicine.

Downtown Wonderland is pretty quiet in the mornings, but it does provide some nice street-side topiaries. And some of the neighbours really go all-out for Hallowe’en.

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A mysterious package arrived from Amazon.

And…I think I’m in love.

Mad Hatter bought this for me, in hopes that I could use it to work comfortably on my animation assignments. Now, even 800+ MB Maya files open, and run like a dream. On top of that, Steam works again! I haven’t used it in four years…

I’ll make you proud, Hatter. I’ll make cool things using this laptop. And you’ll be all, “why, my pretty girlfriend made all these amazing things, using the laptop I gave her!” Thank you, I love you. ❤

 

—Tuesday—

Today was a fiddle day. By which I mean it was a day to fiddle with the shiny new laptop. Sadly, I didn’t accomplish much, with all the hive itching.

I finally played Fez. Look at this fellow, walking around!

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Four years ago, I would’ve had more in-depth things to say about this game. If I recall, I originally bought the game, to write a game development blog about it. For now, my verdict is: Fez is fun. Play it, and try to find all the secrets.

At least the previous night’s dinner, made for great leftovers. (Failed) Goulash, alfredo pasta, and green peas.

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The rest of the night contained kitten shennanigans. The kittens discovered the stairs… and how to fall down them.

I gave the kitties a jingle bell ball. 18 hours later, it vanished.

 

—Wednesday—

We let the kitties wander about the apartment. But then we realized a little too late that….someone had a poop butt. Gross!

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Who, me? (*This might actually be Nofie)

*sigh* Apparently, we forgot the problems of long haired cats…and things getting stuck to their fur. So after he left several “butt prints” on the already-brown floor, we had to give Sootsie a bath. He wasn’t too happy about it, but he seemed a lot better after I held him in my arms, while he was wrapped in a towel burrito. I gave him a treat, for being a good bather.

The rest of the day consisted of general housekeeping. After a summer of getting paid to do this, I…actually kind of miss it? The getting paid part, anyway.

The hives had caused my hands to swell, when I washed the dishes, so we decided to eat out for dinner. OF COURSE, guess who decided to show up unannounced, and uninvited, just as I was getting all dressed up? Nobody’s favourite fairy! Mad Hatter bought us burgers. It was still a lovely night, even if we stayed in. Perhaps we can dress up, and go out another time.

 

—Thursday—

The day we (maybe?) ate laundry detergent.

I braved the red fairy’s curse, to cook spaghetti and meat sauce for dinner. The recipe called for corn starch.

screenshot_2018-11-02-00-26-14I opened a plastic baggie containing what I thought was corn starch, and immediately noticed it smelled…nice. Like, artificial, floral-scented nice. Curious, I gave it a taste… and it felt like I had licked a bar of soap. I texted Hatter, and he assured me it was indeed corn starch. I took his word, (I had never tasted straight up corn starch before) finished cooking, and awaited the return of my hatter.

It did smell nice, and the spaghetti turned out perfectly springy.

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And then…. we both started to get suspicious. The sauce had a soapy taste to it, and it was a lot darker than Hatter was used to. I texted Shoonie, the baking/cooking expert, voicing my concerns about the white powder. She responded:

She ended up calling us in a semi-panic. XD

We’re fine, don’t worry. We didn’t eat much of our dinner, and I hadn’t been feeling well enough to eat much that day anyway. It kinda sucked that we had to throw away all the sauce, but we managed to store the remaining spaghetti. Hope it’s not still there as I post this…

After that incident, we took Nofie and Sootsie to their first vet visit. It turns out they’re both boy cats! No wonder they love to rough house, like brothers often do. Sootsie growled, when the vet poked him with the vaccine, but otherwise, both were well behaved boys. I felt like a proud parent. XD We had to give them some follow up medicines when we got home, which proved to be a struggle at first. Poor Mad Hatter faced the long claw of the law, when he tried to pin one, and squirt the medicine into their mouth. (Translation: Hatter got scratched)

*Protip for giving pets oral medicine: squeeze the syringe gradually, and let your pet lap up the medicine. It’s less stressful for them, and for you, too!

 

—Friday—

Working from home….

I had the worst morning. Not only did I barely sleep the night before, but I woke up with my right eye swollen shut! I forced myself out of bed, to see Hatter off to work, and we sat at the breakfast table together. I remember feeling woozy, and the only thought was, “I need to lie down.” Next thing I know, I’m on the floor…

Hatter worked from home, while I napped on the couch for the rest of the morning. When I woke up, we made a trip to the walk in clinic, to finally see about the horrendous hives. (They had not changed all week) Sure enough, within minutes of taking the medicine, I felt my face melting back into its original shape. And the hives died down quickly, though as of writing this, they do flare up from time to time. But at least now they’re under control.

I gave Hatter an early birthday present. Let me take a moment, to apologize in advance, to anyone who was subjected to his dreaded toe shoes…

I bought these from Muji. Next time I see him, I’ll bring my Rainbow Brite toe socks.

Oh yeah, we had fish and chips for dinner.

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—Saturday—

Last full day in Wonderland… Let’s start the day off, with the most important meal of the day.

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I have shared pictures of our meals, because they represent my favourite parts of the week: when the Mad Hatter and I sit down to a delicious meal. Sometimes he cooks, sometimes I cook, and sometimes we cook together. But in the end, we sit down to eat, relax, and just be together. Whether we’re at East Side Mario’s in our nice clothes, or just at home in our pyjamas making spaghetti, I hope I’ll be able to share many more meals with my Hatter.

After a week with the kittens, I have observed that Sootsprite is more interested in human cuddles, than No-Face. I’ll just pick him up and carry him like a baby, and he dozes right off. He purrs really, really loudly.

On the other hand, No-Face appears to be the smarter of the two. He’s figured out that he needs to cover his business, after using the litter box. He’s also the more peaceful of the two brothers: if he’s going for a toy, and his brother gets to it first, he’ll go “eh…” and sit quietly until it’s his turn. Sometimes I’ll throw a toy for No-Face, and zooom! Sootsprite will run to steal it.

Click here to witness the circle of pets.

Mad Hatter’s good friend, Paul, came for dinner. We made spaghetti carbonara, watched Spirited Away (too bad Nofie and Sootsie weren’t interested in seeing their namesakes…) and served tea and cookies for Paul’s parents, when they came to pick him up. And I think Paul’s mom, conquered her (fear?) of cats. Paul and his parents are nice. Last year, they invited us to a Christmas party, which is where I first met them. I wonder, if we will see them again this Christmas?

 

—Sunday, October 28—

Before they got married, my friend Kitty would recount how he and Bear would cry, when they had to be separated again. I don’t cry when I have to be separated from Hatter, because I know I’ll see him again soon. But I do feel that sense of emptiness. This week, it felt like I had my own little family, of a Mad Hatter, and two “hairy babies.” Mad Hatter, Nofie, and Sootsie… I’ll be with you again real soon. ❤

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Happy birthday, Ben. ❤

*plays the song you sent last night*

Pika, so happy~

Tea and Gondor – DIY #11

I made a cozy for the Mad Hatter’s sister, Kate. It features a cross stitch pattern of the Tree of Gondor, from Lord of the Rings.

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Click to see the video demonstration.

This cozy is part of an art exchange. Kate made me this adorable earring and necklace set. Now I can always keep the Mad Hatter close to my heart. ❤

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Unfortunately, I don’t know much about Lord of the Rings, (I was more of a Harry Potter fan) aside from this ancient meme. I do know however, that cross stitch is not my forte. Multiple sources have tried to teach me over the years, yet the stitches never look right. That’s when Mad Hatter designed this pattern, which accounts for the chunkier floss (yarn) used in the project.

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The body of the cozy was created using materials provided by Mother Top Hat. I used her cozy to make a pattern, and sewed the batting inside. The crochet cover took forever to make, but it was all worth it to see it come to completion. And I had a lot of fun cross stitching the Tree of Gondor. In the future, I might make the cover a bit tighter. I didn’t count on it becoming drapey in the wash. x_x

Mother Raichu was tickled to see a tea cozy again, after many years. Apparently, tea cozies were all the rage in the olden days. My grandmother Raichu used to cross stitch her own covers, too! Perhaps I will make a cozy for us, and decorate it with cross stitch flowers.

*yawn* As I type this, it is 1:50 AM, and I long for a cup of tea. We have just completed my first game jam with the Mad Hatter and friends. I hope to blog about our final game here soon. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, that as soon as I lamented not being creatively productive over the summer, Mad Hatter suggested this game jam. He’s always looking out for my best interest, and his cuddles warm me up like a hot cup of Forest Green. Kate is probably thinking, “my brother, cute? Eww…” XD

If you’d like to get to know Kate a bit better, you can read her blog, Peace and Pekoe. I blog about crafts while musing about life, and she blogs about life while musing about “a lot of things.” – Mad Hatter 2018

Are you a tea drinker? If so, what is your favourite kind of tea? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

 

Totoro – Amigurumi #41

To-toro, to-toro~ To-toro, to-toro~

This Totoro was made for my friend An. Her birthday was on the 13th of this month. She loves Ghibli characters, and has a Totoro keychain. I had tons of grey yarn to burn, so I figured, why not a cuddly Totoro?

This Totoro is about 8 inches, or however tall this water bottle is. All I can say for certain is that he’s big enough to cuddle. Which is what An did as soon as she took him out of the bag.

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Totoro found his mini-me

What else can I say about An… out of all four of us main girls, she’s probably my favourite artists. She has a very light, yet detailed style of drawing. I’m even more impressed that she manages to juggle school, on top of a part time job. I’m also impressed that it took so long before her, “Pikaaaa, how do you do this in Mayaaa?” got annoying. XD I am proud of how far An has come with her 3D modelling skills. I also appreciate that she shares a lot of drawing references on her Facebook page, because they have been instrumental to my gaining confidence and practice in hand drawing.

An is also one of the few school friends who isn’t going back to a home country this summer. I’m thinking of a movie night at some point…

You can see more of An’s art on her Instagram page.

As of Friday, we have officially completed our first year of Animation! The year has flown by. It’s hard to believe that in only 8 months, I moved to a new place, made new friends, finally got a chance to leave the Fluff Company, and spent long hours stuck in the computer labs at school. It’s been absolute heaven, and absolute hell at the same time. Click on the pics below for caption nonsense.

Maybe one day, we will create memorable cartoons like Studio Ghibli. Maybe we will create our own studio! Whatever the future holds, let us never forget what inspired us to move in that direction, and thank the people who supported and cheered us on while we did so.

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How has your school year been? Spring/summer, anyone? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Ice Cream – Amigurumi #39

I scream you scream, we all scream for… plushie 2/4 from the summer binge! Click here to view the first one.

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Pictured with its friend, the Lolly

Greetings from my home, away from home! I have now completed the first semester in residence. I am very excited to finally be taking steps towards true independence.

Residence isn’t necessarily living on your own; you have a roommate. One of my prospective roommates was a girl called Maddie. I’m still not 100% sure why I chose Juefei over her. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both lovely girls, but for some reason I felt like Juefei would be a good choice. As fate should have it, Maddie ended up living right next door! Yay, wall mates! I gave her this ice cream cone as a first meeting present. (Juefei got the chocolate covered strawberry) Ice cream is now sitting with Doggy.

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I lost the picture of Squirtle eating the ice cream. Oh well.

The original plan, was to make the ice cream scoops and cone all one piece. When that failed, I made the vanilla and strawberry scoops separately, and the chocolate attached to the cone. No more chocolate drips this way!

As much as I love ice cream, it was the food that taught me I’m lactose intolerant. Shoonie can attest, that that was the worst car ride ever. We had gone to PEI, and stopped at COWS Creamerey for…well, what else? COWS prides themselves on their 100% real dairy ice cream, and it was indeed delicious. But about an hour after consuming this delicious treat… ohhhh my poor tummy. And I had to sit in the car for an hour, feeling like I was gonna explode. Luckily Uncle Shoon was great and managed to pull over to a nearby gas station.

Oddly enough, store-bought ice cream from the grocery store rarely affects me. What the sheep on the farm is in that stuff? Or rather…isn’t in that stuff?!

 

 

 

What do you think 3/4 will be? Do you like ice cream? What is your favourite flavour? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Pudding – Amigurumi #38

Last week, I went on a 24-hour ami-roll. This is plushie 1/4 that I made. Hooray! Now I have blog material for the rest of the summer!

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I thought this pudding would turn out a bit better. Notice how it puffs up, and doesn’t lay flat. Real custard pudding “plops” out flat, which is what I was going for. Oh well. I already made real custard for the Top Hat family at the start of this month.

 

The Mad Dinner Party

We made korokke for dinner one night. While we were cooking, Vimes the cat was meowing at the door for a servant to let him out. However, the servants’ hands were dirty, so by the time I went to let him out, he was meowing away. Do you ever respond to your cats’ meows with, “I know, I know, hold on?” The korokke were tasty, though they took a long time to make, and we ended up making too many for one sitting. They paired well with Father Top Hat’s homemade salad. We also tried breading and deep frying cheese to make cheddar sticks, but the cheese melted into the breading, leaving nothing but a crispy, cheesy shell. It turns out you’re supposed to freeze cheese sticks before frying. Whoops! Well, now we know for next time.

The following day, we made pudding for dessert. Unfortunately, the water boiled, which sacrificed some of the smooth texture. But the Top Hats seemed to enjoy it just fine. They said it was pretty. I was happy, because pudding is one of my favourite desserts to make, as well as eat. Afterward, Mother Top Hat got out a recipe book full of desserts, and started flipping through for future dessert ideas. There were so many! I hope Top Hat and I will have enough opportunities to cook together…

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Which pudding is the imposter?

Did you know Rilakkuma’s favourite food is custard pudding? Dating advice: Find someone who looks at you, the way Rilakkuma looks at pudding.

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Or better yet, find someone who is willing to share their custard pudding.

What is your favourite dessert? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Pikachu Card Holder/Wallet – DIY #10

Pika… I’m just a Pika on a wallet.

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Shoonie turned 18 on April Fool’s day. I still remember going to visit 3 days after she was born, and now she’s going to start college in a few more months. (;w;)

If there’s one thing I can recommend to a prospective college student, it’s to keep a wallet or card holder on your person at all times. (That is, if you don’t already) Along with your student ID card, you will need to carry your bus pass/driver’s license, health card, points cards, and debit card, to name a few. And as you get closer to graduation, it’s nice to create and keep a business card with your information on it, to hand out at job fairs.

This project was inspired by a Pika phone case Shoonie made for me years ago, back when I was about to graduate high school. Sadly, the case was too small for my clunky LG Neon. Said phone up and snuffed itself out about a year later. Good riddance.

Now it’s 8 years later, and both Shoonie and I have come quite a ways since our beginning years in crafts and design. I decided to make this as a tribute to how far she’s come.

The initial design for the wallet included a few slits for card holders, a clear window for a photo ID, and a pocket for cash money. Kind of like this, but with a photo ID window instead of the zippered change pocket. To make the ID window, I took inspiration from one of Yumi King’s past tutorials. And you know that Rilakkuma = YASSS.

Then, I gathered the materials needed:

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1 sheet yellow fabric

Scraps of dark brown, red, and black fabric

White 3D paint pot

Needle and matching threads

scissors

measuring tape

seam ripper

clear ziploc bags

money and cards (for reference)

Pencil and paper

 

…and promptly decided that the scope was too great. As you can tell from the lighting, it was very late at night, and we had to travel to Shoon Land the next morning. After much hesitation and deliberation, I decided to just duplicate my own basic cardholder. The outside would be a Pika face and tail, while the inside would resemble a 3DS. I made a paper prototype:

I cut a 10 x 13 cm rectangle, and two 5.6 x 5 cm rectangles. The “dip” in the center is meant to make it easier to slide your cards in and out of the holder. The small rectangle on the right was meant to become a tail for Pika’s backside, but decided it would only cover the stripes on the back.

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In the end, it wasn’t as all-in-one as planned, nor did it have the fancy 3DS detail on the inside. But it does what it’s supposed to do. And look, it holds $18!

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Overall, I have quite a ways to go in terms of my felt/needlepoint skills. Attach11638_20170425_165436Luckily, the upcoming month’s project will grant plenty of time to work on that…

Watch out for this at the end of the month, along with a plushie to go with!

Have you tried making a wallet/purse before? If so, what did you use? What were the results? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Bunny – Amigurumi #34

It’s still December 17 somewhere…

Hey kids, wanna see a magic trick?

Last year, I made Top Hat a top hat for his sheep. This year, I made a bunny for Top Hat’s top hat.

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This little bunny was made with yarn I bought during our fancy date. Here is a summary of every crafter’s inner dilemma, whenever they walk into a craft store:

Okay, I’m here for [item]. I’ll just get it, and get out.

*walk into store*

Come to think of it, I don’t have anywhere else to be, might as well take time to look around first. Oh look, [item A] is on sale! I should get some just to stock up. Ah, here’s the [item]! But if I get [item] and [item A], it’ll cost too much. Wait, I’ll just use a coupon! …. and the wifi is down. Well would they even count it towards sale items? Forget it, it’s not much anyway, I’ll just pay whatever they ask for. Let’s go cash out—*gasp!* [Item B]! I just remembered I was gonna make [project], better get some of those. Or could I just get these at the dollar store? There’s more of a selection here, but will I really need this many? Okay you know what, I can just [solution that is a lot more complicated than it really seems] so I’ll just buy this thing instead…oh whoops, I’ve been here for an hour. Better go cash out. Ughhh there is a line up, as if I have all day…

 

It ended with me picking up two little balls of yarn, and sending Top Hat to return the big roll. So much for not spending any money that day. ;w; But it was worth it, because I found soft, lightweight yarn to make this cutie pie.

 

It was a debate, as to whether or not the bunny should also have a top hat. I got lazy and decided to give him a bow tie instead, reminiscent of Top Hat’s red tie, that he wore to our date. Bunny ended up borrowing Sheep’s top hat. Now he looks like Pharrell Williams.

I attached the eyes using a method called french knot. The very first plushies I made, simply used embroidered “lines” for their eyes. This worked fine for certain designs, but eventually I wanted to make more detailed plushies. Goomba required his eyes to be cut from felt and sewed on. I started to get lazy, and began gluing the eyes. And then I discovered the wonders of 3D paint. This is the first time I’ve made a french knot. The trick is to catch a bit of yarn on the body, to really anchor the eyes on. Otherwise, if you pull the knots, they will sink into the head. It took me more tries than I’d like to admit, to get this part right.

Here is a nice tutorial on how to make french knot eyes.

The tail is simply a brushed ball. If anyone asks, the aliens came and made it.

I watched the latest episode of the Big Bang Theory last night. It got me reflecting on how much things have changed in the past year. Top Hat and I were just friends for the longest time. In fact, I originally turned him down, because I didn’t want to spoil the friendship. But I understand now, that some things in life are worth risking. Just as Alice followed the white rabbit down the rabbit hole, and encountered the Mat Hatter, I will take risks in a similar fashion, with my Mad Hatter at my side.

By the way, if Top Hat asks, I totally wasn’t staying up late to type this. I looked like this from the time we said goodnight:

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Honkshoo honkshoo zzz…

If you followed a white rabbit down a rabbit hole, what would you expect to find? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~