*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~

Korilakkuma – Amigurumi #32

It’s about time Rilakkuma got a friend. Say hello to Korilakkuma!

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You know that feeling when you fail to read yourown handwriting? That’s how I felt making Korilakkuma. Her head was going well, until the img_20160925_041302786bottom started to show obvious gaps. Luckily, I was able to count the stitches in Rilakkuma’s head. The rest went smoothly, and now Korilakkuma can chill with Rilakkuma. Look, she’s awake!

Korilakkuma turned out a bit bigger and chubbier than Rilakkuma. Perhaps it’s because she’s freshly made.

Recently, we had Kitty’s “Bachelorette” dinner. Korilakkuma wasn’t ready in time, but Rilakkuma ate enough for both of them. After dinner, he was happy to relax with her in my bag. Even if she was just a head, body, and one arm.

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Rilakk… we’re just Rilakkumas in a bag.

Here’s the part where I amend and append some thoughts, from the Rilakkuma blog:

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*tugs ear*

As you know, Rilakkuma is a “relaxing bear:” he likes to take it easy, eat snacks, and listen to music. Korilakkuma is the opposite: she likes to play tricks, and listen to loud music. Yet they are such great friends, because opposites attract. Can you imagine what would one would do without the other? Rilakkuma would never get his homework done, because he’d be too busy sleeping. And Korilakkuma’s mischief would not be cute; it would be annoying. Though one could argue that Rilakkuma still wouldn’t get his homework done, due to Korilakkuma’s trolling. But you know what? At least they’d have fun.

Rilakkuma liked to play with Panda, but maybe Panda was not his true play mate. Yes, Panda was also a bear. And yes, Rilakkuma enjoyed hanging out and eating snacks with Panda. And of course, Rilakkuma was sad and lonely after Panda moved on to a different bear. So sad in fact, that Rilak settled for bears that had nothing in common with him. But it wasn’t the end after Panda left. Panda leaving, was just the herald of Korilakkuma’s appearance.

So don’t look for Panda. Look for Korilakkuma. I hope you readers will find your Korilakkumas, too.

Who knows, maybe one day they will find a kiiroitori.

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Have you found a Korilakkuma? If you identify more with Korilakkuma, have you found your Rilakkuma? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

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~

Boot Cuffs – DIY #5

Happy New Year 2016! You may have read the blog posted on December 30, 2015. I posted a reply to that blog on Sunday, which you can read here.

It’s time to start the new year off right: with some much anticipated craft posts. Whatever your reason for lack of motivation, completing quick ‘n easy projects get the creative juices flowing again. Now that we finally have snow and winter chill, why not try making these boot cuffs?

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50% of girls on social media have a picture like this. 100% of those girls think it’s artsy. That being said, I call this one, “Waiting for You.”

Here is the tutorial I followed:

For this project, I used the now-discontinued Bernat BlackLites yarn in Cherry Chill. I also possess a ball of Cowboy, which I would like to use for longer cuffs.

Bernat BlackLites in Cherry Chill, left, and Cowboy.

Bernat BlackLites in Cherry Chill, left, and Cowboy.

If you already know how to knit, this project should be a breeze. Your fingers are the knitting needles!

The girl in the video cast onto her dominant hand, but I started by casting onto my non-dominant hand. I found this easier, because I could count the rows as if they were on regular knitting needles. The first row is the “right side,” while the second row is the “wrong side” in stocking stitch.

Regardless of the size of your calves, 20 rows should be enough to wrap around. Thanks to the wide stitch, you don’t need to make buttonholes! I made the buttons using a smaller crochet hook than the yarn’s recommended size. They measured about 3/4″ (2 cm) in diameter.

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boot socksFinal Verdict: My boots have never looked so stylish! And my calves are nice and warm, without having to wear baggy pants. I want to make more cuffs, using actual knitting needles next time.* I wonder if they could be worn long, like the ones on the right?

Humph. The yarn became frayed. No wonder it was discontinued. Still, I like the colour design of black mixed with red, white, and pink. Here’s to hoping the blue ones will look great, too!

I finished my first pair, the night before seeing Kitty and Bear. That almost rhymed.

The next few months will be quite a challenge. Not only will I be returning to school, but I will return to school AND work a part time job at the same time. It may not be so bad, though it means M and I will have less time to chat and hang out. But at least we will have time in between classes for lunch. This week, we went skating and ate chilli. For all the bad luck I’ve had so far this year, it’s reassuring to have a positive M at my side. M says I worry too much.

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Staying warm, on and off the ice!

Top: Finger knitting, 8 sts cast on. Bottom: Size 11 needle, 16 sts cast on.

Finger knitting, 8 sts CO vs. Size 11 needle, 16 sts CO.

*After a bit of experimenting, I discovered that swapping to knitting needles may not be such a good idea. Finger knitting creates wide, open stitches, while size 11 needles (the size recommended on the yarn label) create tighter stitches. My fingers ended up creating stitches twice as wide as the needles!

You can design a needle-based pattern for long cuffs using this pattern. Simply multiply the rows you worked in finger knitting by 2. For example, the video tutorial showed 20 rows. 20 x 2 = 40 stitches cast on. From there, work until the cuffs are as long as you like. Make button holes as you see fit.

The adjustable stitches mean that the excess will stick out. Try adding a third button, beside the top button, to keep things in place.

And so ends the first official craft post of 2016! What other crafts and DIY would you like to see here? Have you tried making winter accessories for friends, or family, or yourself? What projects would you like to complete this year? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

 

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~

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~