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~

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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~

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~

Strawberries – Amigurumi #33

Summer may have ended, but the delicacies can be enjoyed year round.

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This was inspired by Shan, my other cousin. When Korilakkuma was just a head, Shan was entertained by throwing the head up in the air. She commented that the size of Korilak’s head was the perfect size for a stress ball. However, she didn’t really like strawberries unless they were dipped in chocolate. And so…

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Dark chocolate-dipped strawberry with a white chocolate drizzle. Yum! It feels nice to make something that isn’t Pokemon-related. And Arceus knows I need more colour in that dA gallery.

I don’t think she reads this blog, so this will be a present for Shan, when she comes over for Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, I need to decide what to give Fei. I hope Shan and Shoonie will get along. Don’t worry, Shoonie, I have a present for you too. 😀 (Even if you already know what it is)

Here is a “dummy berry” I made, to experiment with the shaping. It looks nice in mother Raichu’s garden, even on a rainy day.

 

Strawberries are cute, tasty, and versatile. They can be eaten alone, in sweets, in salads, and sometimes even as pasta sauce! It’s true, I once made strawberry pasta. It was… interesting. Twiggy was the ginuea pig. Hey, twiggy piggy! 😀

Why not wear strawberries on your nails? I followed Bubz’ tutorial, back when I could keep my nails nice. And look who else got the idea to make a(nother) strawberry this week! Maybe great minds think alike.

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Rilak vs. Korilak: Decisive Battle! Referee: Umbreon

You can make any food into a stress ball. How about a pumpkin, for Halloween? Or a slice of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving?

Do you like chocolate-covered strawberries? Or do you prefer strawberries and creme? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Plushie Sales Anxiety

I went back to school yesterday. It was a great day, but my evening wasn’t so great.

Squirtle accompanied me to school, along with his WIP brother. I find that when I am nervous, holding a cute toy in my hands is calming.

Squirtle’s first task came when I met a stranger on the bus. Really, he wasn’t a stranger; his name was Joseph. He was starting his first year at the college and wasn’t totally sure what to expect. I showed him the ultra awesome, secret doev lab, where no one but gaim doevs can enter. Okay so it’s not that secret, but I think Joseph enjoyed his mini tour. I hope he will have a good year this year.

I took Squirtle to the fair, which was located in the commons. Squirtle met Mr. Bear, and KK posed on the pink table. I insta’d that ish. Mr. Chair decided to be silly about guessing the identity of our guitar doggy friend:

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(Click for full view)

I was initially going to charge East $15 for KK, but I gave him a discount because he gave me some good ideas for Iron Man, which actually worked. What kind of ideas? Sorry internet, we’re not yet at that level in our relationship.

I’ve said it before in the mushroom earring blog: There’s something exciting about strangers liking your crafts. While walking about, people stopped to compliment Squirtle, or the Pokeball earrings. A guy handing out orange bracelents did so, and Squirtle got too excited and gave him a kiss. X3 Later, I found my classmate, Puppy, and his friends waiting to sell some books. He smelled a bit, but Squirtle didn’t seem to mind. Puppy’s friend Cameron said it was cool that I could do stuff like this. To which I replied, “AND YET I’M SINGLE!” It was a joke, obviously. I don’t need to worry about being single when I’m surrounded by awesome people.

Tay, JC, and Puppy, with Squirtle

Fishes wish their boys were HALF as cute as mine.

I suppose now’s the time for the “bummer” half of the blog. After posting some pictures of Squirtle’s day, a friend of one of the guys said she wanted Squirtle. In fact, she wanted all three original starters. Since this was a personal sale (we could ask our mutual friend to take it to her, saving us from shipping costs) I was willing to charge a little less than usual, bearing in mind that she was in a bit of a financial rut. She wouldn’t agree if the price was $10/each or higher. I tried to negotiate an option to make smaller plushies, which were cheaper and easier to produce. Sadly, she was more interested in this regular size. Instant stress! Sometimes I think that introverts are not built to negotiate.

Of course, Kitty was there to help. I showed him Squirtle, and he instantly said that $10 was way too low and I should sell to somebody else. I was looking forward to making a sale so this didn’t feel right. But then Kitty brought up some interesting food for thought. He relayed the predicament to his girlfriend, who also sells handmade things, and she asked an interesting question: do you want to make a good impression, or do you want to make money?

Sure, you can sell for a low price just to make a good impression, but once you sell for that low price once, you’re stuck with that low price. Future customers will expect that price from you all the time, and you will only end up losing out in the long run.

Here is a question: if you wanted to buy this Squirtle plushie, how much would you be willing to pay?

Size comparison to ceramic Pikachu, approx. 3"

Size comparison to ceramic Pikachu, approx. 3″

 

If you say anything less than $5, to you I say: “If you ever fall down a flight of stairs, I will just stand there laughing at you.”

A lot of people don’t understand the costs that go into making plushies, especially crochet plushies like these. A single skein of basic yarn, depending on the brand can cost between $5 – 8 each. I bought the blue and yellow yarns, while the white and burnt orange were leftover from another project. That means I’ve already spent $10 on the yarn alone. Letting this Squirtle go for $5 would be a ripoff. How can I make the world plush if I cannot even make up the cost of the materials?

As you can tell, most of my charges come from the materials. Additional charges come for labour and amount of the materials required. With a few exceptions, the plushies I’ve sold this year are created from my own pattern. When someone asks for a specific plushie, I look up references, sketch it out, and create the pattern accordingly. It takes time and effort to make these patterns. I work on these in my free time, so I don’t charge according to a specific time limit. I DO charge for the labour. Hey, as the Joker said:

So please; help a girl out. I just want to make the world plush in a way that everyone can enjoy.

By the way, $15 would be ideal for a Squirtle like this. That would cover the materials and effort, with a little bit left over as profit. Also this is an estimate for a one-on-one sale, not online.

 

The person was awesome and agreed that we’d just take pictures of Tay with funny stuff on his head, but I still felt guilty about letting that possible sale fall through. It’s fortunate Kitty, East, and Derpston were online to chat. East sent me this pic, and I felt happy to know that he and his Lady’s world was now plush. Kirby and KK look so cozy with the other plushies! The boys know how it feels to be overwhelmed and unappreciated, so even though multiple conversations stress me out, it felt good to get the feels out. Derpston even gave some inspiration for another plushie, on top of the many I still wish to make. In class, East suggested a Cyndaquil plush.

Kirby and KK - the K's of love.

The K’s of love.

With so much inspiration, I wonder what plushie will be in the next blog! As for the shop, I’m still waiting to see if Mr. Drippy arrived safely, in case I have to refund the person.

Got a plushie idea you want to see? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~