May 10, 2013

Angela's New Leaf

While I am enjoying (to my surprise) Fire Emblem: Awakening for my 3DS, it is really a hold over until next month when I can finally enjoy Animal Crossing: New Leaf.*

Anyway, I have sunk countless hours into the game cube version. I specifically asked my husband to set the cube up for me as one of the main consoles to the projector, specifically so I can play the original AC. How many more hours have gone into AC:Wild World... I have no idea.

New leaf has been on my radar for more than a year now... I had it pre-ordered when its release date was October 2012, then January 2013. So needless to say, I am excited. I just hope they have added a lawn mower, although some part of me enjoys picking weeds after a hiatus from the game.

Been wanting to make a new icon for Twitter and other online personalities... So this is a good opportunity. And I should mention that I was inspired by this tumblr post by Steps Over Snails, whose illustrations I adore.

This was sketched on paper with a 6H pencil, then inked with 03 and 01 pens. Thn scanned and pulled into adobe Illustrator to get clean vectors. Then colored in photoshop.

*Just as an aside I am super annoyed that they have made a limited edition 3DS with animal crossing theme on the outside and that I did not know about it before when I bought my boring blue one a few months ago. Wish they had mentioned that when I reserved my copy last freaking year... Ok, rant over. :(

May 6, 2013


A big congrats to Ramen Party for making their Indiegogo goal! Thanks to you too if you helped that happen! I know I am happy to have had a small part as a contributor. Tomorokoshi and I are really happy!! So here is the "pattern" to make your own Tomorokoshi (corn)!

Yellow yarn
Black Yarn
12mm black safety eyes
crochet hook (4.25 mm)
embroidery needle
scrap felt in black and white

Here is why I used pattern in quotes. This was so fast and organic that I did not write out what I did as I went along.

I think I chained 25, turned and sc in one loop only all the way back to the start. Then I did two sc in the end stitch to make a turn around the end of original chain to then chain 24 back down the other side of the loops. You can then continue around doing a sc in each straight sc and two sc in the corners. That should make a long oval shape. Once it is big enough that you like it, mine being about 3 inches long by about 1 inch wide, then you can just do sc around until the body from that top oval till the piece is about an inch long. Then I started decreasing to get the corn tapered shape. I did one decrease in the center of the long sides and continue around for a few more rows like normal. Then did a row with two decreases on the long sides and then continued around for another row or so. Then I did one more decrease on each long side and crocheted around once more even single crochet. This gave me the kind of corn kernel shape I wanted. I bound off leaving a long tail to sew up the bottom in the future. If it looks too short to you, keep going with decreasing and regular rows.

Face Details:
I used 12 mm black safety eyes and placed them low on the body like in the picture. Then used a little black thread to make the black line under the eyes and the eyebrows. This is why we did not stuff and sew up the body. That would make putting eyes on impossible, and the embroidery harder to do.

The mouth I made from felt pieces I had lying around. I drew the mouth shape on some paper and used it as a template for the black felt. Instead of cutting teeth out of the black shape I used white and cut teeth to glue on top of the black mouth shape. I also used white but colored it with a yellow marker to make the tongue. I glued it all down to the body, but next time I might sew it on.

A note on the limbs, be sure to leave long starting and ending tails to yarn for tying into body.

chain 9, turn slip stitch 8 back
I tried to make fingers, but this piece over all was too small. I tried to
A) in end stitch do a tassel of two piece of black yarn, fold to make loop insert loop through end stitch, pull ends through and secure. these 4 dangles are now fingers - did not work as planned.
B) when tassels did not work, I tried just tying two long threads and then trimming the end to look like finger lengths.. looked awful, so no fingers.
Then sew the arms to the sides of the body, lower than the eyes and mouth.

Now you can stuff and sew up the bottom of the Tomorokoshi.


chain 11 (8 leg, 2 foot plus 2 for turn)
turn, sc in next 2 chain from hook, slip stitch 8 back. bind off.
Sew them onto the bottom of the body where you sewed it closed and hide the ends inside.

DONE. My final size is about 3 inches by 3.5 inches.
Time to completion: 1 hour.

May 1, 2013

Totoro Tattoo Concepts

I am such a chicken. I don't even have my ears pierced, and yet I have wanted a totoro tattoo for as long as I can remember knowing about them.

Getting a tattoo is kind of a taboo thing for my family. Pretty sure I would get a lot of misery for it, especially since what I want is so "childish". I can just hear the Really?! How old are you? from certain family members...

But, I have a lot of friends with them, and my husband even has one. I have heard a lot of advice too, most of it kind of contradictory. The one piece of advice that I seems to have stuck in my head is that you shouldn't get one unless you have wanted it for at least a year. I guess that is to ensure that your tastes have not changed drastically. (Saw a guy with a Mitt Romney logo tattooed on his head on a TV show the other night.) I guess it might also prevent things like getting a tattoo of someone's name who you are dating, but might not eventually be. I don't have that specific problem... I have wanted it for at least a year now. Easily.

Personally I feel like it would sum up a lot about me. I like art, folklore and myths, make believe, childish things, cartoons, anime, Japan, drawing, coloring, good design, logos, etc. Plus, I can't look at one without smiling... and a reminder to smile constantly being on me might be a good thing, since I don't very often.

There are a lot of decisions to make though. Black and white? That might hurt less since it would be in theory faster. Might also stand out less, draw less attention, plus then it looks like a drawing. Color? If I ever got this done, might as well go whole hog and get the coolest thing. I love the color blue and the totoro I am leaning towards, the Chu Totoro, is blue. Wouldn't he be cute peeking up over the side of my ballet flats? Smiling? Contemplative? Leaf or no? Where to put it? Has to be somewhere I can see it or that defeats the seeing to smile purpose, and if I am going to go through it I want to look at it without a mirror.

Plus I have seen some bad tattoos... I would also need to find an artist with excellent line work, and preferably someone who also loves Ghibli so I know they would try hard to do it right.

Permanence is scary. Maybe I will try sharpie for now.

UPDATE: No I still have not gotten it yet... but I think I've gotten to what I really want for now, by simply changing a small detail. The kind of leaf. Now it is a Gingko leaf. Like my pup. I think it is too big now though so maybe I will have the leaf bend down behind totoro, give it some depth...