*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 3 – Favourite Food

Most people associate soup with cold winter days. But I believe there’s never a wrong time for a nice bowl of soup. Thick soups make for filling meals, and noodle soups are great light snacks. Out of potato chips? Just shake up a bag of raw Mr. Noodles and the soup stock! But don’t tell mother Raichu I said that.

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Also viewed at: http://pikainabag.deviantart.com/art/30-Day-Art-Challenge-Day-3-Favourite-Food-622123028

As you can probably tell, this particular drawing was inspired off the ramen Sosuke’s mum made in the movie, Ponyo (on the Cliff by the Sea). The trick is to close your eyes and wait three minutes. It doesn’t work if you peek!

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The truth is, I still haven’t seen Ponyo. After delving deeper into the wonderful world of interactive entertainment known as “vidya gaims,” it has become harder to sit idle and watch movies, in which the characters follow a straight path, upon which you have no influence. Even if the video game is linear, you have the feeling of knowing the story cannot progress until you do something to help them along.

The most fascinating part of Miyazaki’s films were the little details that make things feel so much more three dimentional. From Chihiro tapping her shoes in Spirited Away, to Pazu licking his lips before playing his trumpet in Castle in the Sky, these little details stay true to real life, and make the movies feel like both fantasy and reality rolled into one. In Ponyo, it’s the inclusion of this very simple trick you can do for kids. And for yourself, on those days when you also want tea.

You might recall a previous post, in which we tried the 3-minute ramen recipe. If you want a more vegetarian-friendly recipe, skip the ham and eggs, and add a spoonful of organic peanut butter. It tastes like pad Thai. Don’t forget the 4068!* (You know you’ve been working at the grocery store too long when…)

And thus concludes another brief post about the drawing challenge. We’re nearly at the next plushie post! What could it be?! Here’s a hint:

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Going back to where it all began…

How do you like your instant noodles? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

*That’s the PLU for green onions, by the way.

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~

Napstablook (Undertale) – Amigurumi #30

<_<
>_>
Is February gone?
Yes?
Okay.

…ahem… *puts away tumbleweeds*

I’ve mentioned before that the best way to get out of a slump, is to work on easy patterns to get your motivation back. And since I spent a chunk of reading week playing Undertale, what better way to get out of a slump than with Napstablook?

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You encounter Napstablook early in the game, during the tuTORIEL. *zooms in on Sans, badum tss* Later on, you can join him in lying on the floor. I personally prefer to lie in my bed.

Warning: Napstablook plushie may start running snail races.

When I found Napstablook again, he said he would just weigh me down. Aww no, Napstablook. You wouldn’t weigh me down. I don’t think you’re physically capable of doing so. Here, let’s lie on the ground together and feel like garbage.

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IMG_20160312_135636The bottom was the most difficult part. At first, I thought of working through the front loops, like I did for Clara’s frill. However, Napstablook’s bottom is not frilled. It is straight down and static, like the ghosts

UntitledSo why have I been MIA? Eh, for the same reason as before: school + work + homework + life. Oh yeah, I’ve been trying to learn Krita. I drew this Napstablook while making a sprite sheet. He looks like one of the PacMan ghosts.

Sigh. Pixel art suddenly reminds me of my weeaboo phase. Oddly enough, that was the phase during which I picked up a lot of my current hobbies. I recently visited my old deviantArt account for sprite inspiration, and realized how those characters have changed. Their names, their physical designs, and even their stories are so different. As I’ve grown and learned, so have they. It’s like looking at a mini time capsule of the past 10 years.

Yeesh. Glad I’ve grown since then. Things that seemed cute and fun at age 14, are cringe-inducing today. Kind of like Temmie.

Napstablook and I are gonna go lie on the ground, listen to music, and contemplate life now. A lot of people have asked for a Papyrus plushie, and I want to make a Sans plushie for Peck Peck. I also wanted to make a Chimchar plushie for him, but look how well that turned out. .-.

Have you played Undertale? Oh wait, silly question, of course you have. Everyone on the internet has. Right?

Which Undertale character would you like to see next? Do you like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage? Comment below!

Pika, “not really feeling up to it right now~”

Candy Kit Review – Pizza

Now that that obligatory Doctor Who clip is out of the way, we’re making candy kit pizza.

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Poppin’ Cookin’ Pizza

Brand: Kracie

Price: $8.00 from a booth at Anime North 2015

Yes, this is the mystery kit I bought for Shoonie, from Anime North. At $8.00, it’s also the most expensive kit.

Holy moly, I found the English instructions.

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Click for RRCherryPie’s tutorial

This is yet another kit with a lot of things inside. You get the following packages, identified by colour:

  1. Pizza dough
  2. Cheese
  3. Tomato sauce
  4. Pepperoni (sausage?)
  5. French fries
  6. Grape soda
  7. Toppings

You also get a cup for the drink, and Shoonie’s favourite….

SHOOOOOON!

SHOOOOOON!

Oh dear… this was yet another kit that required the use of a microwave. And we all know what that means…

So let’s begin, shall we?

Once again, the bag contains a cute box to cut out. We didn’t make this box because we were more interested in torturing ourselves with the you-know-what. You do need to use the circle guide in the center, in order to form the pizza crusts.

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First, we made the emoji fries. Our kit came with (^_^), ( >o< ), :D, and jack-o-lantern faces. Surprisingly, after nuking them in the microwave, they didn’t smell like *eeeeee.* They shrank and became very dry in texture. Can you still see their faces?

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The pizzas were another story. Everything went fairly well, until we got to the sausage. It looked and smelled kinda gross. The closest thing I can think of is… beef stock? Dog food?

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“Sausage”

Kitty would have terrible deja vu if he saw how we made the sausage toppings. Once you mix the powder, you need to seal the bag and cut a corner to squeeze out the sausage. It looks really gross. ;w;

The cheese became a Play-doh that we had to shred. It smelled like mild Parmesan cheese.

Did you know that it’s a thing, to put peas and corn on pizza? It doesn’t sound gross at all. I’m currently a mushroom head, myself.

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Before microwaving

By the time we finished assembling the pizzas, they looked pretty appetizing! Someone with a lot of time and patience could make actual mini pizzas like these.

After microwaving

After microwaving

It’s too bad the cheese melted all over, ruining Shoonie’s decorating efforts. I’m not sure if our microwave was too strong, or we put too much cheese. This happens a lot with actual microwave pizzas, as well.

IMG_20151231_223510This kit came with grape soda drink mix. It fizzes up as soon as you add water, although the head doesn’t last very long. If beer and alcohol wasn’t so taboo, I bet this kit would be cute as an apple juice flavoured champagne kit. Maybe it could work as an adult-themed kit. Why not, it seems the majority of people who test these kits out on YouTube are teenagers, and people in their 20’s. Kracie, you can have that idea. Dou-itashimashite.

 

Overall Verdict

Difficulty: 3/10

Once again, we had yet another easy kit. Really, it’s pizza. You can’t go wrong with it.

Taste: 3.5/10

Yeah… no. These pizzas tasted strange; they were savoury, yet sweet. The fries were dry and crumbly, though they did taste like actual fries. This kit gets a 3.5 solely because of its best part: the grape soda. “Japanese” style grape flavour is tasty, unlike the grape flavoured candies we get in Canada, which are too sweet.

Overall verdict: 4/10 would barely recommend. Fun to make, not so much to eat.

It’s a shame… I do love pizza. What really put me off had to be the pizza crust. It’s as though it can’t decide if it wants to taste realistic, or like a candy. But at least it didn’t smell like farts. ;w;

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Kits like these make me consider looking up recipes for DIY kits. At least it’s fun to watch each other reacting to it. I think we’re getting better at this candy kit business. ^_^

Have you tried this kit? What do you like on your pizza? 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~