Cupcakes – Amigurumi #46

Who wants cupcakes? This is plushie 3/4 of my ami binge.

Or at least, it would be if I could find the original plush. 

Click here to view 1/4: Pudding
Click to view 2/4: Ice Cream

At long last, I have found a cupcake pattern that works. I also figured out how to (kind of) fix the blobby-bottom problem from the pudding. It turns out, all you have to do is use an invisible join on the base. Unfortunately because of the way I stuffed it, the underside still puffs outward, but it’s nothing a bit of kneading can’t fix. And at least it doesn’t look like a baking failure.

Crocheting a flat base

I normally work in spirals when crocheting amis, but put that aside for traditional joined rounds to achieve a flat base.

It also helps to use a smaller hook when working the base. This results in a sturdier fabric.

This pink and green abomination was going to be a cupcake with swirled icing. The idea behind it was to crochet a conical cake top, and wrap the yarn around it. Somehow I thought it made sense to tie the yarn at the top of the cake, and twist it around the bottom. #pastPikaLogic

Here is the swirl-top cupcake from before, and the one I made today. This time, I just single crocheted around the top of the cupcake to simulate a blob of icing:

The new cupcake looks like a rose

Cupcakes are like people: they come in all flavours and colours, and there’s something for everyone. Chocolate cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting are indulgent, but shortcake ones with a big ol’ strawberry on top are classic. They’re all cupcakes, just different kinds of cupcakes. Some people like certain cupcakes better than others, and that’s fine. At the end of the day, just keep calm and blah blah blah you know the rest.

Can someone explain this? (Click to follow through)

The slice of cake is part of this post because I am not a cake racist. Cake slice pattern is credited to Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me. (Click the link for the pattern)

Personally, I feel that red velvet cupcakes are a bit overrated. Store bought red velvet cakes just taste like sugar and cream cheese. Does anyone out there follow Tasty? Have you noticed they’ve been posting a ton of cheesecake fusion desserts? I like cheesecake just as much as the next person, but seriously? My stomach hurts just from scrolling through Facebook.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go look like this for a bit:

What are your favourite types of cupcakes? What other snackies do you like? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

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Ariel (Little Mermaid) – Amigurumi #45

Look at this plush, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you say that this project’s complete?
Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl… the girl who makes, everything? (8)

This is Ariel from The Little Mermaid. She’s pretty cute, if I do say so myself! I chose this combination of red and green, because they contrasted each other and really stood out. She looks pretty close to the original design, so I’d say this was a success.

The body and head shapes were easy. The hair was the hardest part. I felt discouraged at first, because the hair fibers looked much shorter once they were brushed out. I broke a few of the strands too, resulting in a waste of yarn in general. Sigh…

After some brushing and work with the hair straightener, the hair finally started to come together. I used Red Heart Super Saver yarn to make this hair, which is not recommended. The final product looks nice, and didn’t take much head to get it nice and smooth. (The iron was only 350 degrees) However, you can’t give this plush to a kid who likes to brush and style doll hair. The fibers of Super Saver get snagged in toy brushes, such as the ones that come with Barbie dolls. I had to pin up her hair while I sewed on the seashell bra and tail frill. Taking out the bobby pin after finishing the doll was very satisfying. It was like taking down your girl friend’s hair after doing her makeup, and asking her what she thinks.

Admittedly, I didn’t watch Little Mermaid all the way through until about 3 years ago! As a kid, I became a fan the same way some people become fans of Overwatch: through fan osmosis. In grade 1, I owned a two-piece outfit decorated with Ariel, Flounder, and Sebastian. It looked like a pyjama set. Around this time, someone gave me a volume of the Little Mermaid TV series. I remember one episode where Ariel brought home a baby whale and hid it in her room, only for the whale to sneak out and interrupt one of the concerts in the palace. When everything falls into chaos, Sebastian says, “and dat, my friends, is what is meant by ‘bringing down de house.'” My dad told me ‘bringing down the house’ meant to annoy everyone. I took his word for it, because that’s exactly what the whale did.

Until Rapunzel came along in Tangled, Ariel was one of my most identifiable Disney princesses. Despite her father’s warnings, she risked everything to experience walking on land for the first time…even if it was primarily motivated by a guy she liked. I’m not saying that you should always disobey your parents; sometimes you have to think for yourself and make your own decisions in life. Sure, our parents love us and want what’s best for us. But what’s best for us, and what makes us happy, doesn’t always go hand-in-hand. When was the last time you heard a story of a person who did everything they were told, never took risks, and never thought for themselves? I worked with people who were Ariel’s age at my old job, and many of them lamented that they wanted to study art or learn a trade, but their parents were making them go to University. Having been in their situation at one point, all I could say is, “go with what your parents are saying for now. But as soon as you get the opportunity to do what you want, take it.” (I suppose this advice would better relate to Moana, another plush I hope to make)

Zzzzz…

Ariel’s decision wasn’t perfect; she got what she wanted, but at the cost of her voice. But she still made the best of what she had. Because she couldn’t speak, she could only listen to Eric. Even though it was mostly shown in montage, you could see that she enjoyed every minute of those three days on land. Well, two, if you include the day Ursula appears in human form. In the end, Eric saved her from Ursula, because he loved her. And he wouldn’t have realized he loved her, if she hadn’t risked everything to be with him… Many critics say that Disney princesses are sexist, but I think it’s about how you look at it. Some see Ariel as a story of “go ahead and make stupid mistakes. Your boyfriend will save you in the end.” I see it as, Ariel took that risk to ultimately become happy.

Late night snack

In the darker, original version of the tale, the little mermaid does not live happily ever after with the prince. However, she does have a happy ending: she is granted a chance to gain eternal happiness, by only doing good deeds for the next 300 years. I think the moral of The Little Mermaid remains the same: there is no pleasure, without pain.

Do you have gadgets and gizmos aplenty? Or whozits and whatsits galore? Which Disney character should be next? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Octopus – Amigurumi #44

Me, last summer: “I was invited to a baby shower. What do you do at baby showers?”
Shoonie: “Uh…you give presents, play games, and pat the baby. :D”

But what if the baby isn’t born yet?

Answer: You give the mum-to-be an octopus!

Inspired by the preemie octopus, this was a present to the Mad Hatter’s other sister, Jo. She wanted a colourful octopus for baby to be, and I happened to find some rainbow “baby yarn” in my stash. I didn’t make it to the actual baby shower, so I gave it to her when I saw her prior. Jo looked very happy, and let me pat her belly. ❤

It’s nice to finally have color on this blog.

This octopus was made with a now discontinued yarn, called Bernat Candyland. (Click the name for link) It has a boucle texture, which means it adds a bumpy texture to the finished fabric. I made a scarf using the green, white, and purple yarn, pictured on the same page.

Washed and ready to wrap!

The octopus’ legs are crocheted directly to the body, so they wouldn’t come apart once baby gets to the grabbing/pulling phase. Once I finished making the octopus, I stuffed it into an old stocking and washed it. Octopus became socktopus, and then washtopus. It’s important to wash knitted and crocheted items before giving them to a newborn. Especially if you’re using yarn that’s been sitting in storage for a long time.

And if you desire, this octopus can also be… a hat.

Please join me in wishing Baby Izzy a very warm welcome. Hello Izzy! I hope you’ve enjoyed your first 6 months on Earth! When you grow bigger I’ll make you snacks. Trust me, they’ll be even tastier than my finger!

As fate should have it, I got Jo in the Secret Santa draw. Among the other things, I gave her this birth announcement. I really just wanted to experiment colouring with colored pencils. Unfortunately I didn’t scan or take a photo of the final product, but the photo on the right is the rough draft. I’m happy that Jo is happy.

As I mentioned at the beginning, this octopus was inspired by the octopus toys made to comfort premature babies. I’m sure even non-preemies would love to have a dangly friend to cling onto. Izzy wasn’t a preemie, but she certainly enjoys her octopus! If you would like to contribute an octopus, visit the “octopus for a preemie” website or one of their Facebook pages. (Click the blue texts to follow through)

What other baby toys should appear on the blog? Do the octopus’ colors turn your cats into rock-toed pusses? Know any better octopus puns? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Kittens – Amigurumi #42

Kitties!!!

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Mad Hatter’s niece, Lily, turned three in June. She likes kitten stuffies, particularly purple ones. Due to some weather related issues, we ended up skipping the beach party (sad!) and going straight to Lily’s house instead. (Happy!)

These kitty patterns were designed by the talented designers over at Lilleliis. It was easy and clear to follow along. When worked on a larger sized hook, these kitties end up being the perfect cuddle size, for a small child like Lily. The only thing I don’t understand, was why the girl cat didn’t have a shirt.

dsc_13261On the right, is a picture of what the kitties were going to look like, before Mother Top Hat lent me her cross stitch equipment. It was cute, but sadly the kitties’ faces didn’t quite match enough. I liked embroidering the faces better, because the thread was fine enough to give the girl cat eyelashes.

These kitties gave me a chance to hang out with Cassie again. She covered Soft Kitty, and Adele’s Hello.* Cassie liked the cats. Cat-sie.

This is how the kitties stand upright:

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No bones, no bones, no bones…no tail?

Me: “Duchess, what do you think of the cat?”

Duchess: *sniff sniff sniff*

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Mad Hatter got a job at a prestigious company! Which company is it? That’s a secret. But it means the winds of changes are brewing stronger than ever. We must remind ourselves, that we are not just stagnating. We are working and grinding to save money, learn skills, and build relationships. It will also mean fewer trips to see the cats. This is why Mad Hatter must work hard to make lots of money, so he can adopt his own cat.

This pattern is credited to Lilleliis. For this pattern and more, click here to visit their website.

Because Lily is a minor, I will not show her picture. Just imagine a cute little girl, sitting on a Pika’s lap, with a Mad Hatter beside them.

Do you like cats? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

*Spadina and Bloor is an intersection in Toronto.

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.

ice creams

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~