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~

30 Day Drawing Challenge: Part 1 of 2

So this is what I’ve been doing all month. And holy sheep, I actually finished it. Why not recap the experiences with the 30 day drawing challenge?

Day 1 – Super You!

uoit-dc-day-1The first challenge was to draw yourself as a super hero. This is Shay Crowe, alter ego: Crocheria. (Working name) She has the ability to bring the plushies she makes to life, or simply wrap her magical yarn around her body, and use it as leverage to grapple. Think of her as “yarn spodermin.”

If you’ve perused Tumblr, you’ve likely happened upon The Knitter. Consider this his nemisis. I took way too long to finish this, and it looks like something I would’ve drawn in high school. There is a long way to go…

The design was inspired off Pascal from Tales of Graces, and… I dunno…Harley Quinn? I would like to wear long, thigh high socks with garters. As for the boots, not even I remember if they’re supposed to be boots, or thicker socks.

Days 2 – 7: Basic Anatomy blaster

These days were the most tedious. Although the point of this week was to help improve your ability to draw basic anatomy, they were very tedious. Hands are forever my nemesis, though day 6 was the day I learned to use shadows to indicate depth. Legs and feet were fun to draw, and yes, I used Spiderman as a reference for the leaping pose. The eyes and basic poses were drawn on the same sheet, and I didn’t feel like separating them in the dA submission.

 

Days 8 – 14: Concept art, and a doggy

Finally, a chance to draw concept art for other projects! These are plans for things that appear in my next project, a NaNoWriMo novel. It would be nice if the dream home became real one day. And the doggy is just a doggy, because doxies are cute.

The owl is Hibou, the main character’s pet owl. He is a cute, loyal companion for the most part. However, he also has the ability to turn his head upside down and emit a horrid screech, when he is upset or provoked.

The grey chain link on the right hand side is a sort of mind-controlled weapon. At least, that’s the best way to put it. The blue chain on the left is an alternate version of the weapon, after a certain point in the story.

Lac Gaawel (Mirror Lake) is a spring located on a mountain summit. They say the water here is so pure, that if you gaze upon it, you will see your true reflection. This means that you will see yourself as you naturally are, without makeup, masks, or transformative magic.

This armour is initially worn by a character who appears much later in the story, but is significant nonetheless.

 

Days 15: uoit-dc-day-15Hero Revisited

We’re at the halfway mark, which means it’s time to revisit that character you brain-farted out on day 1. You must place them in an action pose. This is where I settled on this style of using polygons, rather than drawing lineart and colouring in. (Translation: I couldn’t be arsed to put effort into lineart)

I do like the way the hair turned out, and it felt refreshing to draw something besides the usual 3/4 view static pose.

Incidentally, day 15 was also Keedee and Bear’s wedding day! I was unable to attend, so I wrote a simple prayer for the two of them on Facebook. Remember folks, true love is not letting them put green peas in their mac and cheese.

It’s safe to say day 15, was the start of a time of changes for my close friends and I. Kitty got married to a cute bear. Tabbs found and adopted a kitten companion. And me? Well, you’ll have to find out next time!

Have you tried a 30 day challenge before? If so, what were they, and have you finished? Are you participating in this month’s NaNoWriMo challenge? 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~

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~

 

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~

Japanese Style Curry

Warning: diet blog incoming. And by diet, I mean reduced pictures. It’s not easy to take pictures and cook at the same time!

As you probably know, I’ve been on a cooking kick lately. You may also recall the time I found Pokemon themed box curry, and thought it looked kinda gross. Well, Ochikeron had a homemade recipe that looked way tastier, so I gave it a watch. Unfortunately, the recipe called for curry roux blocks. These blocks are harder to come by than I thought. That’s why I was glad Ochi also had a recipe completely from scratch, using all natural ingredients. And so today, I finally made this Japanese style curry, with a bit of my own technique mixed in. My suggestions are written in bold. Video recipe here:

The first bit of the recipe was easy; cut and prepare your meat and veggies. (I used beef instead of pork) I only decided today that I wanted to make curry, so the poor meat didn’t get to marinate overnight.

Eww… these potatoes were mushy. Let this be a lesson to anyone else out there: use fresh ingredients. I was trying to finish up whatever we had left, so that’s the only excuse I have for using these sad, hard-to-peel potatoes. Aside from the onions, carrot, and potatoes, I also threw in a single chopped celery stick.

Making the broth went well, until I realized I’m hopeless at opening corked bottles. (The wine bottle) It seems that cranberry, pomegranate, or unsweetened grape juice also work in a pinch. I used pomegranate; we will add Worcestershire sauce, which contains malt vinegar. I theorize that this balances out the taste of the juice.

Because so many Japanese curry recipes suggest the use of honey and apple, I envisioned this curry to be sweet. But so far it was vinegary! This is because we’re adding in a lot of salty (chicken stock, salt and pepper) and vinegar-based ingredients. (Ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce) If it’s too vinegary or salty, add a little bit of sugar to balance the taste. Oh! I just got it after typing that sentence: sweet honey and apple helps balance the vinegar taste! GENIUS! XD;

The recipe called for a grated potato. The idea is that the starch from this potato will help thicken the curry. Not sure if it was because these potatoes were mushy or I just have bad luck, but it didn’t work. So instead, I sprinkled a little bit of flour at a time, until the sauce was thick enough that some of it held onto the spoon. Here’s why I knew it would work:

Curry roux is meant to be used as a thickening agent. Roux is a flour and butter mixture used to give sauces and stews their thick consistency. Ever wonder why Kraft Dinner cheese comes in powder form? At least that’s my theory. Hey, flour is safe to eat. Not like I’m suggesting it’s made from bugs. Ha ha ha ha…. <_<

Joaks. I do loves me some boxed mac and cheese from time to time. Anyway, let’s finish this curry.

After liquid reduced and the curry thickened, it was time to serve! Unlike our Indian curries where we dunk it on top of the rice, this curry is more appealing when served beside the rice.

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Final verdict: kare oishii desu! [/weeaboo] I will mix a bit of honey into my next plate, see how that turns out. It is indeed pretty strong on its own. Also, beware telling your Japanese-savvy friends about this. They just may magically lose their clothes. (Will get a picture to prove this ASAP)

So… what is my excuse for not blogging last week? Slowness. Why do you ask?

*wind blows the tumbleweed* Oh, right, there’s no one here. But at least now you are aware of a delicious curry recipe! As for the big, complicated plushie, it has been shipped. It’s a surprise, and I don’t want to give it away before the person receives it. 😀

Round 2! Om nom nom

Round 2! Om nom nom

Do you like curry rice? How do you prepare it? What other curry recipes do you like? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~