Not As Easy As It Seems

May 7, 2012

The Sims makes moving seem especially easy. From house, to the sim bin, to the new home, without much tumult in between. Ah, how I long for that sort of quick and easy move.

 

Between working full time and buying my new house, I haven’t had any time whatsoever to play. Hopefully after I get settled in my new place I’ll be able to delve back in, but until then, posts will be few and far between, with few pictures.

 

Either way, stories are springing up in my mind, and will be ready and waiting when schedule permits to explode upon the blog.

 

And hopefully a change to my Christmas banner will be in the works, too. It’s a bit out of date, considering it’s May….

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Pictures of the Past

January 1, 2012

I’m a big history buff, and because of this, I get the urge every so often to go on a downloading spree for historical objects/outfits/etc and revamp my game. In the past I’ve had medieval neighborhoods, Victorian neighborhoods, WWII-era neighborhoods (with enormous help from the incredibly talented Kativip at GoS) , fun, hippie 60’s neighborhoods, 20’s gangster neighborhoods…. if there’s CC for it, I’ve done it.

Simberry has been my baby for quite a while now, but I’m getting the itch to add a historical neighborhood into the mix. Either that, or just break down and buy The Sims Medieval.

So, simmers – do any of you get into theme neighborhoods? Do you like having hippies, or gangsters, or simmish Anne Boleyn’s running around your hoods?

A Holiday Lull

December 22, 2011

Apparently, people don’t get sick during the holidays. Or rather, they don’t come in to the doctor during the holidays. I guess spending time with surly doctors and stressed out nurses isn’t many people’s forte when they have their own Christmas stresses to deal with. This means my week has been short on work, and in turn, moving slower than molasses in winter. And it drives me absolutely mad that I’m spending time sitting with nothing to do when I could be simming!

 

On a somewhat related note, I have all the photos taken of the Yuletide Festival. There was a fantastic turn out, especially from sims from other neighborhoods! Thanks to the simmers who sent sims to visit – and I hope I did you proud! I look forward to posting the pics as soon as I can. Keep an eye out for them in the blog!

 

Merry Christmas to all my fellow simmers! I hope you all have wonderful holiday!

 

 

Amish Sims

December 5, 2011

I’ve lived near Amish country for a very long time. Horses and buggies, women in brightly colored dresses and kapps, bearded bishop-looking fellows in suspenders and wide-brimmed hats… these are things I’ve been privileged to see fairly often. When I lived out in the country (in Amish country proper), I’d see Amish women doing their shopping in Walmart and horses snorting and puffing as they pulled along the shiny black buggies along the side of the road. I’d listen – or eavesdrop, whatever you prefer to call it – to the rapid Pennsylvania Dutch they spoke with immense interest.I’ve always been fascinated by their way of life. This is why I couldn’t see having a sim’s community without a few Amish sims.

This provides it’s share of problems, of course. These sims, they don’t really grasp the ‘Amish’ mind-set. Always wanting TVs, stereos, easels, things like that. Don’t even get me started about my Amish talking about fashion and politics. Telling dirty jokes. Gossiping. It’s so unAmish.

But then again, there are also aspects of sims that are perfect for making them Amish. You have sims that adore gardening, ones that always wanting more pets (what would a farm be without a handful of farm dogs, after all?), and then there are objects that make Amish simming so much fun, and authentic. The sewing machine, the juicer, plus a plethora of CC aimed at country/rural sim life.

I love building sim houses that look Amish. The lack of power-lines makes this look extremely authentic! Here’s a house I’ve built for one of my Amish sim families, the Hochstetler’s.

I’ve been rather lazy with cropping – and I noticed after the fact that I have the grid on in lot of these pictures – but I thought I’d post a glimpse into the life of one of my Amish families.

The Amish generally have gorgeous homes. Simple, but beautiful, solidly built and impeccably clean. Their gardens are perfection – weedless, tended often with amazing produce. The yards are always perfectly coiffed, the houses white-washed and often, the properties are enclosed by white fences, especially if they’re on small lots near the road. This is one of my Amish houses, and I’m quite proud of it. A lot of people think ‘Amish’ and think sprawling farms, but where I live, there’s a great deal of Amish who live on (I’d estimate) about half an acre, right up near the road. The amazing thing is, everything fits. The house, the barn, the outhouse (for those who have them), the garden, everything has it’s place and everything seems to fit perfectly.

Because of this, I try to emulate that feeling in my game. Every inch of space is utilized, and I try to make the property look as authentic as possible.

The barn is always an important part of an Amish homestead. Rarely this small, it’s where the trusty (and gorgeous) horses are kept, hay is stored and where other livestock is housed. The Hochstetler’s barn is tiny, because let’s face it, how much room do these horses actually need?

On a side note, I love love love TS3 conversions for TS2, and this clothes line was a fantastic addition to the Hochstetler’s homestead. It’s not uncommon to see long clotheslines standing in Amish yards with dresses, aprons, trousers and towels of every color hanging out, billowing in the breeze.

The little gardening nook holds the essential tools to maintain the family garden. Needless to say, Susanna spends a good amount of time in the garden with her dad. The plot is huge, as it’s their main source of income, and it takes a lot of tending.

The heart of the Amish household. I’ve been inside a few Amish homes, and they’re generally completely decluttered, with little to no superfluous decoration, no mirrors and everything has a purpose. I was a little more liberal with the deco here, but I like my houses to have a full, homey, lived-in feeling.

Some little known facts – Amish are generally finished with school after grade 8, by the standards of most Ordnung. Sometimes they attend their own schools in small schoolhouses, and others – like in the community I lived in for a while – they go to school, at least in elementary, with English kids in public schools. After grade eight their education continues, but at home. They focus on how to run a household/homestead, how to farm/do a trade. I’ve used Simlogical hacks to allow for this, but I always try to make sure my teenage simmies have a plethora of different skills to make up for the lack of time in school. Logic is a favorite, because my Amish simmies love chess. Charisma wouldn’t be very handy in the Amish world – and gaining it without mirrors would be difficult – and art, under some Ordnung, isn’t welcomed with open arms.

When people thing of Amish, a lot of times they think of quilts. (Very, very expensive quilts, I might add.) Every sim bed in my households are covered in quilts, and I like to think of them as heirlooms or home-made treasures. I picture a heavily pregnant sim mother, sitting at her sewing machine, churning out a quilt for her baby to grow up with.

So, this is one of my six Amish homes. It’s one of the smaller and simpler homes, but it’s one of my favorite to play.

Events

November 28, 2011

I’m planning a Yule Festival in Simberry this year. It’s something I’ve attempted in the past with limited success, but I’m looking forward to working on this. I’m planning on having numerous holiday-related photo-ops in my hood, including a ice-skate-off, a holiday cooking competition and a children’s Christmas play, plus numerous other fun things I’m brain-storming. I’m thinking it’ll be a hybrid of a holiday festival and my previous events, like the Garden Committee Festival I had last year (year before last? Who knows.) A community lot filled with holiday themed fun stuff.

So, simmers, what kind of events do you hold in your cities? Any secrets to success?

 

My Grammar Nazi’s on Holiday

November 23, 2011

I’ve been working on the next blog post for Simberry’s resident’s blog for over a week. It is officially driving me OUT OF MY MIND. I can’t seem to get it to sound right, to flow correctly, and I’m so frustrated with it, but I need to post it to advance my story. So consider this my plea, begging for lenience for my sloppy grammar and lack of flow. It’s these darn sims, I’m telling you! They’re taking on lives of their own! Making it very difficult to concentrate on silly things like grammar. 😉

A Little Too Much Free Will?

November 12, 2011

At what point do you let your sims do their own thing?

I’m a major plotter. As a storyteller by nature, when I planned my town, I knew exactly who the characters were going to be, what their lifestyles would be, who they’d end up with, etc.

Then I installed ACR. Queue dramatic music.

I’d dabbled a bit with ACR before, and it always tickled me to see my simmies have a bit more autonomy, but if something happened that I wasn’t particularly happy with, I’d cheat my way out of it. Sim A developed a crush (or worse, that big red heart!) for Sim B, but I had other plans for them? Well, that’s what the Insimenator is for, right?

But now I find myself with a bit of a dilemma on my hands. Or a major dilemma, depending on how you look at it. One of my favorite simmies – one who’s life I have meticulously planned, and have had a wonderful time with since she was born in-game years ago (as in, human years. Yes, I’m that in love with this family!). But now, this simmie has managed to go and get herself pregnant. Not by the sim she was supposed to be with. And not when it was supposed to happen, either!

So, here’s my dilemma – do I just let it go and chalk it up to some new excitement in my game? Or do I do a little Insim magic and undo what ACR did?

I guess only time will tell….

Challenges?

September 30, 2011

So, fellow simmers, what challenges have you participated in in your game? I’ve never really done anything scripted, just played by the seat of my pants if you will, but I came across this very interesting challenge a while ago.  Even though the challenge has long since finished within the community, I’m still intrigued by the rules and different facets of it.

Now, I’m a simmer who has a single family of sims who I’ve played with for so long, and I’m so attached to them, I tend to focus on them and their storyline. I sometimes lose track of my other simmies (even though I have a variable army of them!). So I was thinking that adding a challenge might help me expand my horizons and help get me attached to another family or set of sims.

So! What challenges (legacy or otherwise) have you played with in your game?

Mystics and Witches and Creole Townhouses, Oh My!

September 23, 2011

Ah, Monreauxville Crossing. How I’m coming to love you. I haven’t had this much fun building in ages! From shotgun houses to creole cottages, and townhouses aplenty, it looks like New Orleans has exploded in Monreauxville. I don’t know if that’s because I associate supernatural happenings with the area (I intend to have at least one voodoo priestess wandering the streets of M.C), or because I’ve never built in this style before, but I’m having such a ridiculous amount of fun with this.

Here’s a preview of one of M.C’s community lots.

Districts of Simberry

September 18, 2011

a.k.a, Biting Off More Than I Can Chew.

So, I made a teensy little update to Simberry’s blog today. Stricken with strep and still exhausted after a thirteen hour nap, I figure any little bit I can get done before the work-week begins again will work in my favor!

Slowly but surely, the website is coming together, as is my newest district of Simberry, a cozy little place called Monreauxville Crossing. Supernatural sims have never played a very big role in my game, but I’m hankering to have a vamp or two, a hanful of weres and a smattering of Aliens, so I figure I might as well give them their own place in the city! I mean, I doubt the Bernardi clan in Simberry would take to having a family of Weres move in next-door.

I’m adoring how Monreauxville is coming along, but as I look at my list of hoods and subhoods – Simberry proper, historical Settler Sound, downtown Junction City, my Amish country subhood, my two vacation destinations and my college town – adding anything else seems sort of ill-advised, as any one of the towns listed above could use some tweaking. Ah, well. Here’s to biting off more than I can chew!

So, fellow simmers, how do you run your hoods and subhoods? Are you like me, continually finding that you have too much on your plate? Or are you a single hood happy camper?