Monday, December 28, 2015

Strawberry Shortcake's Apartment & New Series?

As it's notoriously known for, Christmas has come and gone once again, and I'm just sitting trying to gather my bearings while I await for the announcement of summer vacation. Though I'm sad to see the holiday season go, I did have a very nice Christmas and received a lot of exciting gifts that I look forward to incorporating in my future videos. In addition, I vlogged the entirety of my Christmas break and fit it into a twenty two-minute vlog, so if you'd be interested in watching it, you can watch it here:
 
 
One gift that I received in particular, as pictured in my vlog, is a Lori wooden dollhouse (it looks more like a loft or an apartment, but you get the gist). I found it at Target a few months back and wished to own one for myself, but given how packed my bedroom is with toys and supplies I figured that it would be one dollhouse too many. Despite this, I was very surprised to find it on Christmas morning when my sister made me go on a hunt for it, and almost as soon as I placed the little furniture and my six-inch Strawberry Shortcake dolls inside, the ideas just came pouring in.
 
 


 
I don't want to give too much away since people often like to steal my ideas, but let's just say that I decided to start a new series the day I opened this dollhouse, and it's one that I am really thrilled to begin. It'll be another SSC series, of course, but one that'll take a far different approach than it's predecessor A Day in Berry Bitty City. Strawberry and her friends will take on new roles and slightly different personas, and perhaps we'll even see some of the elements that they'd never show in Berry Bitty Adventures (if my sisters are reading this, they will be ecstatic. Trust me). I must admit, part of my inspiration for this derives from the new Strawberry Shortcake stop motion series Beyond the Box, which the company hosted a contest for this past summer to find animators to work on the four-episode mini-series. Stupidly, I entered without realizing how many credentials I would need in order to succeed and was crushed by my professional competitors. By the third stage of the contest, I dropped out, and after that experience I don't think I would have the confidence to enter another one. The past is in the past now, and I've learned to move on from that humiliating experience. I thought it would blossom into something bigger for me, but apparently it wasn't meant to be, and that's okay. I'll just spend this time continuing to work on my YouTube channel (I'm considering starting a new one come 2016, but it'd be completely separate from MirandaShortcake and would be more personable) and if Strawberry wants to contact me someday to do a bit of work for her company, that'd be great. I don't know if it'll ever happen, but hey, it doesn't hurt to believe it will.
 
Watching Beyond the Box gives me mixed feelings. Part of me is ecstatic that Strawberry has finally entered the world of stop motion and is gushing over the detailed sets and how much movement the dolls have in the animations. Another part of me feels, I don't know, a bit intimidated and unprofessional. The series makes me realize how far of a way I have to go, and at this rate, I fear that if the SSC company does actually contact me someday, it won't be anytime soon. Maybe the opposite effect might occur, but I can't be sure. My animations dull in comparison to the hard work put into those one to three-minute episodes - and our plotlines are entirely dissimilar. I guess I should cut myself a bit of slack given they had a production team work on this series that's had plenty of experience while I'm a teenage girl working on stop motions in my bedroom on a much smaller budget, but my point remains.
 
Okay, I switched topics kind of quickly there. What I really wanted to say is that my new stop motion series, which will focus on my larger Strawberry Shortcake dolls (I've had them for years and have hardly used them for anything), will be slightly inspired from Beyond the Box but won't become a copy of it. I am definitely not supportive of copycats. Rather, my series will be a little more mature if I can make it that way, but I wouldn't want you to assume that I mean there will be inappropriate themes in my episodes. No, I don't mean that. I'll more so touch on certain subjects such as the struggles of getting a jumpstart to a career, and yes, perhaps other themes such as dating. I'm not going to focus too much on that aspect because it'd be too awkward for me (my family watches my videos, after all), but in order for me to reach an older audience, I have to incorporate more age-appropriate and realistic themes. We'll just see how this goes.
 
I took a few test shots of my Strawberry doll in the house, and I instantly fell in love with them. The house is so open that it allows for pretty much any camera angle, and that's a great plus. The more camera angles, the more professional and the merrier. ^_^
 







 
I'm hoping this series will bring my channel to a better state and will help introduce Strawberry to an older audience. When will production begin? I don't know for certain. All I know is that I have several ideas for this series and I'm excited to show them to the world.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Long Time, No See

It's been a while since I've updated this blog, about three months to be exact. To summarize what I've been doing during my absence from the blogosphere, I was busy finishing up my first semester of school, trying to fit in time to work on videos, and using whatever time I had leftover to relax and pretty much do nothing.

Currently, it's only four days until Christmas (I can't believe it's gotten here so quickly once again), and typically this would be the time that I'm not feeling too great, but that's beside the point. I've been spending my free time binge-watching Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music non-stop, and watching so many YouTube videos that I've made myself bored with the internet. Then, too, I'm trying to finish up some DVDs for my dad as a Christmas present, and I'm down to the last one which I should have burned to disc by tomorrow.

After a lot of contemplating, I came to the conclusion to officially delete my Instagram account; there was nothing going for me on there, and every time I turned around I was losing followers instead of gaining them, so I thought it was time to let it go. Once I hit the delete button, the feeling of my action being executed didn't feel as dramatic or alarming as I imagined. Rather, I had the sense of breathing in fresh air, and now that this has been done, I don't have to constantly check my unfollowings list to see which user unfollowed me this time.

That aside, I haven't posted about my progress in the Sims 3 in a while, so I guess I'll give a brief summary of that as well. For starters, I added Apple Dumplin' and Sweet and Sour Grapes into Strawberry and the others' world, but because the game allows for only eight Sims in a household, the new girls can't live with Strawberry and her friends, and therefore I have no control over them.



This grows very annoying when I want to work on building friendships between them and the newest members of the Berry Bunch are nowhere to be found. When creating their household, I couldn't use any cheats to increase their income, so they were stuck with a run-down-looking cabin (as pictured in Sweet and Apple's photo), so I cleverly thought to merge households with one of the other Sims in the community and then to evict the original owners. Thanks to that method, Sweet, Sour, and Apple now live in a luxurious estate. ;)

Plus (and believe me, you will thank me for this), I finally fixed Huck's face. His first appearance struck me as very odd and fairly ugly, so I tweaked a few bells and whistles like his eyes, face shape, and nose to create the newly invented Huckleberry Pie. I don't think I have a picture of what he originally looked like in Create a Sim, but here's a little pic of his facial improvement:

 
Oh, and don't get me started on Lemon Meringue's Mummy Curse. I sent the girls and Huck on cave excavations after installing the World Adventures expansion pack, and I didn't even realize until several Sim days later that Lemon had received the unwanted mark as a result of being beaten up by a mummy. Following this instance I avoided playing my game for several months out of frustration (after all that I achieved with Lemon, I didn't want her to just die. Let's just say I've accidently killed Raspberry before, but fortunately I quickly came up with an idea to resolve the issue). When I [finally] came back to it, my game lagged so much and I had so much trouble following the tutorial to save her, but in the end I managed it, and now Lemon continues to lead a normal life with her friends.


I don't think there's much else to say about my progress in the game, even though my stories from it are more than likely old news to everyone else who's played the Sims 3. Other than that, I also added Custard to the tale.


Hm? And what's going on between Blueberry and Huckleberry? If you've caught the various hints in Berry Bitty Adventures season 3, you'll probably know where I'm coming from with this.


 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Berry Bitty Adventures Season 5? (My Ideas and Thoughts)


The season four finale of Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures ended on a slightly different note than usual, but all in all it didn't wrap up the season the way I'd hoped it would. The final episode detailed the struggles of Cherry's celebrity life, and this is the first time that we've seen her career bother her the way it has. Cherry, who is supposedly writing an anthem for the queen of Berryvania, becomes too frustrated to think straight to compose the piece, though she manages to find the concentration to help Strawberry and the others write a song for their pets' dance routine. The song instantaneously becomes a hit around Berry Bitty City, and the rest is history. We later find Cherry becoming so angry with the others for listening to her "Dance Puppy Dance" song so much that she goes to dastard measures to ensure that she never hears it again.

But now that season four is over, what are we to expect next from the series? Will we have to wait another two years before we even hear about the announcement of a possible season five, or could this have been the last season of the animated series that spanned five years?

In the previous seasons of Berry Bitty Adventures, the same pattern always followed: Strawberry and her friends met a new character somewhere in the berry patch, and eventually the new person found a home with them in Berry Bitty City. This is pretty much the common basis for the series, and by now, it's quite to be expected. So with a season five possibly in the works, what if the producers decide to switch things up a bit? What if they introduce a new element into the series, one that the fans would never expect?

Well, for this matter, we do have one piece of news to contribute to the potential fifth season. Several weeks ago, I discovered that Shannon Chan-Kent, Janyse Jaud, and Aidan Drummond will no longer continue their roles as Cherry Jam, Orange Blossom, and Huckleberry Pie. Instead, they will be voiced by Courtney Christine Rosemont, an accomplished voice actress who's also a very talented dancer. With this bit of news, this pretty much guarantees the return of the well-known children's show. However, will we have to wait another century before it releases?

Knowing the pattern of the series by heart, I should probably expect the same old same old to recur for yet another cycle. Despite this, I still can't shake my desire to see the show take a different route, and though some of my fellow SSC fans disagree, thankfully I'm not entirely alone in holding this opinion. Quite frankly, I'm not the only one who wants to see the show step it up: some of us SSC fans want the producers to introduce a more dynamic standpoint, as in we want it to travel beyond the young child standards. We want to see the characters travel and explore the world, because let's be honest, it grows old over time when they only spend their days in Berry Bitty City and merely only discuss other locations and lands. What about Berry Big City, as I always mention? Since season 4 launched, now I'm curious to learn more about Berryvania, too, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's just composed of bugs and berrykins like pretty much every other location in the Berry Bitty world. Though I find this true, it still wouldn't hurt to at least see what it's like.

Likewise, which character(s) will be (re)introduced next? I've noticed a lot of fans wish for Angel Cake and Ginger Snap to come back, but if I were asked who I would like to return to the series, I personally could not provide a sufficient answer. The only character I'd be interested in seeing make a comeback would be the Peculiar Purple Pie Man like I mentioned in one of my previous posts; given his mischievous personality, I can only imagine him stirring up trouble in town and possibly after the task of working Strawberry's nerve.

Also, I would like to do away with the episodes involving the girls playing some kind of game or sport (hence, "Dandyball"). To me, these episodes aren't very interesting, especially when it just involves cartoon characters playing outside with a ball. Rather than have those two to three episodes in each season about them playing, I want to see something more dynamic with a broader plot.

Honestly, I want Berry Bitty Adventures to show us something we've never seen before. What about back stories for the characters? This same concept was applied for My Little Pony, it being a rated TV-Y children's show as well, and yet it worked out perfectly fine. With this being said and Strawberry's show containing the same rating, could it possibly outline the characters' back stories as well? A prime example would be in the unaired pilot episode when Strawberry opened her café. Where did she live prior to moving to Berry Bitty City? How come her friends already had their established businesses but Strawberry was just now opening her own? Not only will this be sufficient to the show's premise, it'll also serve as good character development.

Alright, I guess that's enough of my rambling for now. If you watch Berry Bitty Adventures, what would you like to see in the fifth season? Also, if you want to hear a bit more about the new fifth season, please be sure to check out my video about it on YouTube:


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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

An Unexpected Birthday Surprise

Let me be honest: for my birthday yesterday, I wasn't expecting much out of it, only the usual card-exchanging and cake-eating. Because of this, I wasn't too thrilled about it, coupled with the fact that I'm another year older and that I'll have to take on additional responsibilities, so to say the least, I wasn't really looking forward to it. My birthday is always the last occasion to be celebrated before summer vacation is over, and I don't even want to fathom thinking about what freshmen experience will be like in the next couple of weeks. This day has taken on a melancholy feeling, and by this time I wish nothing more than to go back in time and start the summer over. If only that fantasy could turn into a reality.

I mostly spent the day working on videos for my channel and lollygagging on the internet, so I didn't necessarily do anything festive to commemorate the day. But when the time came for me to open my gifts, I was sure in for a surprise.

I was presented with a large colorful birthday bag and was informed to open my gifts from biggest to smallest, all of which were wrapped, so I had no idea what to expect (my family kept pestering me saying that they were giving me boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats, and since I can't eat that cereal anymore after it being my favorite for so long, it kind of stung). The first box was exceptionally heavy, which I wasn't expecting, so I was thinking, "Is this the Blue Yeti microphone that I've been going on about the last couple of months?" However, I was not prepared for the real surprise that was contained beneath the wrapping paper.

The paper revealed a brand new camera, a Canon Rebel EOS T3i to be precise! I was speechless. A few weeks ago during our Tennessee vacation, my previous Nikon camera started falling apart: the rubber grip fell off, and what's worse is that chunks of plastic came off its bottom. I was furious that it'd torn up like that after I've only used it a year-and-a-half, so it was then that I started to research cameras for a future replacement that I'd save up my money for. My Nikon is fixed now with the help of super glue, but it still contains those holes at the bottom that I can do nothing about. I'd complained about its various problems to my parents and siblings, but I wasn't thinking that they'd buy me a DSLR in response!

What's great about my new camera is that it has a flip screen: now I can finally see what I'm filming if I have to get a tricky shot. Also, it has a little remote control, so guess what that means? Smoother stop motions! I was becoming frustrated with my animations because I had to create them by pressing the shutter button manually, and that caused the shot to look like it was shaking. I put up with this a great deal while working on A Day in Berry Bitty City episode seven, so it'll be a breath of fresh air knowing that episode eight will turn out a lot better. In addition to these two points, I can take my photography to the next level now that I have a professional camera, and that excites me. I'd say the only downside is that I have to depend on the lens for zooming instead of having an ultra-zoom feature like on my previous one, but that's not too bad. Perhaps I can save up for a bigger lens, but those things are so expensive that I don't think I'm going to buy any lenses any time soon. The best part is that this camera is compatible with Dragonframe, so I'm on my way to creating professional stop motions like you see in the movies!


With all of this excitement, I was more than ready to start working on some new projects for my channel. But typically, something would get in the way of my plans. I awoke this morning feeling sick, and though I'm feeling a lot better now, I think it's advisable that I get some rest first. If I had known I was going to receive this camera for my birthday, I wouldn't have put up as much of a fuss about getting older. I'm just hoping that this year will be better than the last.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Unanswered Questions in Berry Bitty Adventures: Conspiracies and Theories

After being an avid viewer of Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures for the past five years, I've noticed that the series contains some unanswered questions, which brings me to formulate my own conspiracies and speculations of the situations at hand. These opinions are my own and are in no way actual segments of the series, so please keep that in mind.

First of all, when I watched the opening credits of season four, I paid close attention to the new clips that were being shown. Most of them contained snippets of Strawberry and her friends having a pillow fight, exploring a cave in cowboy hats, etc., and it was then that I noticed that Huckleberry Pie wasn't in the intro except for one brief clip of him from season three. As a matter of fact, there weren't any new clips of him at all, which brings me to believe that he won't be a part of this season. Either that, or he'll have very minor roles in the background that aren't very significant.

I find this as strange: the only boy character in the entire series has disappeared? Whenever new characters were introduced in prior seasons and in the current, no matter what the circumstances, they always moved to Berry Bitty City in the end, giving up whatever jobs or careers they may have had beforehand. Huck is the only exception to this, which leads me to believe that he was an experimental character or perhaps his voice actor decided he didn't want to play him anymore. But then I started thinking about the events that occurred in season three. We all saw it: even though the goal of that season was to prove that he and the girls could remain friends without any romantic relations, one couldn't help but notice that he and Blueberry acted like they liked each other in a more-than-friends way. On the web, others acknowledged it and even started forming a love triangle between Huck, Blueberry, and Cherry. If you don't believe me, watch "Partners in Crime", "Berryella and Prince Berry Charming", and "A Basket of Blueberries" - I assure you that you'll see what I'm talking about. What if the producers saw these posts and decided to pull him from season four just for the sake of this one reason?

Another thing I've come to notice is that you never see any humans on the show besides the protagonists. In Strawberry's 2002-2007 days in Strawberryland, there were actual side characters that you would see when she and her friends visited different locations - and there were a lot of them, too. However, in her current incarnation, you only see people when they're going to become a part of the cast. Aside from that, you only see a variation of human-like insects and animals and berrykins.

So what's going on with the human population in Berry Bitty City? Are there just not many people to begin with or are they going extinct? Are there more people besides Strawberry and her friends?

When Apple Dumplin' was introduced in "Berry Bitty Adventurer", she only spoke of her adventures in the "Macadamia Mountains" and other landmarks that are only associated with rivers, mountains, and oceans. Before the premiere, I was anticipating the announcement that there are other cities and countries (besides Berry Bitty City, Berry Big City, Acorn Acres, Berry Breezy Bay, Brooksville, etc.), that Strawberry and her friends aren't alone in their tiny berry patch home. I even had the faint hope that the producers would finally show us what some of these other locations look like, but I didn't put too much faith in that. Sadly, we don't hear about the return of "Pearis" or of other places that represent other countries, so that was a bust for me and makes me think even more that the human race is fairly small in Strawberry's world.  

Furthermore, I'm aware that this concern of mine probably doesn't matter much to other viewers, but I just want to know how old Strawberry and her friends are, or at least an estimate of what age group they belong to. Kids, preteens, teenagers, maybe even adults? Clearly they know how to drive and operate vehicles (but that's to be expected from a children's show anyway) given Cherry lives and drives around in her tour bus, Huck drives his Pup Mobile to and fro, and Sweet and Sour Grapes run a food truck. And then I started thinking: the company acknowledges that in our years Strawberry is thirty-five, so what if she actually is that age but looks and acts like a thirteen or fourteen year old? Or maybe she and her friends aren't victim to aging since Berry Bitty City is said to be magical. I read online that adults don't exist in Strawberry's world (despite side characters like Jadeybug, Berrykin Bloom, Mr. Longface [who mysteriously started disappearing after season one], and a few berrykins here and there like Berrykin Bill and Berrykin Bruce).

This former point brings me to another unanswered question. Do the girls have parents or any adult relations at all? In the show, you'll notice that parents actually do exist in their world if you pay close attention to some of the episodes. For example, in Sky's the Limit (my all-time favorite SSC movie - oh, the feels!), Mr. Longface cried when the girls confronted him on his fake directions to find the fabled Great Geyser Stone. Amidst his sobbing, he said that the book that was supposedly filled with the wondrous adventures of his cousin Miranda was actually his mother's cookbook. His tone was so sad, so filled with sorrow that he made it seem like his mother wasn't alive anymore. Well, he is in the middle-aged to slightly elderly stages, so that could have been probable. In addition, in a couple of the season one episodes, you'll notice that it was implied that some of the berrykins had their own children. Remember in "Babysitter Blues" where Baby Berrykin splashed another berrykin's color-numbered canvas in Blueberry's bookstore? There was an older berrykin there that was supposedly his parent whom Blueberry told "You should enroll him into some event-taking classes!" Plus in one of the Glimmerberry Ball episodes, Strawberry read the story about the annual occasion, and there was an image of a parent berrykin cuddling what was supposedly her child. With this being said, wouldn't Strawberry and her friends have parents, too, if the rest of the characters have them? I just think it's a bit odd how that works out. Unless they were born in their namesake areas like Cabbage Patch Kids and that's how they got their names. Or maybe they are older, so therefore they don't have a need to live with their parents any longer. Again, I'm probably the only one who overthinks this stuff, but back in the 80s SSC specials, Lemon Meringue mentioned that she had a mom and a brother, and that was the only moment in the history of Strawberry Shortcake that that ever happened.

Finally, for the past couple of years or so, I've become curious of whether or not actual human-sized people exist in Strawberry's world. Strawberry and the gang are bitty, hence the title of the show and where they live, but how would they look in comparison to a normal-sized person? I recall seeing promos some years ago back when Discovery Family was still The Hub, and Strawberry was animated outside playing hide-and-seek with a real girl. In the commercial, Strawberry looked like she was at least a foot tall, which changed my thoughts from thinking she was two or three inches like the mini dolls, but then I realized that the animators probably made her larger so you could see her better on the screen. In another promo, a summer one at that, Strawberry and a couple of her friends were relaxing by the pool in their beach chairs, and they were so bitty that the real people in the shot were giants compared to them. This just makes me wonder if Strawberry and her friends were ever to have an encounter with a larger human being, would they be comfortable around them or become scared and run away? That is definitely a moment I want to see.

I'm certain that there are countless other conspiracy theories out there from other Berry Bitty Adventures fans, so if you enjoy the show and have your own thoughts on some of the events in the series, feel free to leave a comment below to share your opinions. I would love to hear them!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Last week, my family and I took a rare vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee so we could relax and unwind a bit. The long drive there and back was the most irritating experience, I must admit, and though I wouldn't say the whole trip was all fun and games, it was overall an enjoyable treat.

While I was there, I vlogged with Strawberry during each day, and knowing me, I just had to take several pictures with her to remember the moments. Here's one of them, and you can view the rest of them on my Flickr page: (http://www.flickr.com/mirandashortcakeofficial)


So now I can proudly say that Strawberry visited the Great Smoky Mountains!

Although this vacation was meant to be a relaxing time away from home, I can't help but feel tired and think I should catch up on some sleep. But in the meantime, I have a bunch of videos I need to film and finish editing, the vlog of this trip being one of them. I just need to relax a bit despite my desire and bad habit of working on more videos at a time than I can handle.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Sims 3: Create Berry Bitty City Challenge

After playing The Sims 3 for the last couple of months, I've been really been getting into the game and have discovered new things that I had never known before. I recently purchased additional expansion packs (Pets, World Adventures, and Generations [I haven't installed this one yet]), and they really keep things interesting whereas the original two expansion packs I bought didn't keep me entertained.
 
So here's the drill as to what's happened since April: Raspberry Torte was electrocuted to death and was taken away by the Grim Reaper, and thankfully I thought to not save the game and reopen it so she would be alive again, Huckleberry Pie and Cherry Jam are now a part of the cast, and I've managed to create Berry Bitty City within the game.
 
Initially, I made a second, larger house for Strawberry and her friends, but I ended up ruining it when I started messing around with the landscaping and made the floors sink in the house. I was beyond irritated with myself considering that house took me several hours to make over a span of a few days, but that opened a new window for me to try something else: to create Berry Bitty City. This was the only picture I had of the other house before I basically destroyed it by accident; I wasn't finished with it yet when I took the photo.
 
Berry Bitty City - Phase 1
To create Berry Bitty City was a bit of a hassle, but I was willing to accept the challenge. I used the largest lot that the game would allow, but I don't even want to think about how much trouble I had trying to build the girls' and Huck's houses. Since the lot was placed on a rather bumpy hill, I had to try to level the ground in order to get doors on the structures, let alone construct them. I had to resort to using the "level ground" tool, which placed the lot on a bad-looking chunky mountain, but I guess that's better than not being able to build anything period.
 
Berry Bitty City - Phase 2
 I was originally going to try to fit all eleven of the Berry Bitty Adventures characters onto one lot (Apple Dumplin' and Sweet and Sour Grapes included), but I don't know why I didn't think to check the amount of Sims that can fit in each household before I began. It turns out that you can only have eight of them per lot, so that was a bust for me. I was going to build a restaurant-style house for the twins and have Apple live with Strawberry, but the game just won't allow these plans to take root.

In addition, I've given each of the characters' houses its own distinct features that will make the other Sims visit one another's households. For example, if I gave all of them kitchens, none of them would have a reason to visit Strawberry's café. With this in mind, Strawberry is the only one who has a kitchen, just like Blueberry and Huck are the only ones with computers (for story-writing), Raspberry's the only one with a gem cutter, and so on. I can't think of what to give Orange, though. She owns a general store, of course, but what can I give her in the game that will make her house seem like one? A bunch of refrigerators? Nah. She obviously can't own a grocery store since I don't have the Ambitions expansion pack (even though I don't even know if Sims can own grocery stores in that game), so I'm pretty stumped with her house. I'll manage to think of something, but if you have any ideas in mind, feel free to leave a comment below.

Since Sweet and Sour can't live on the lot, I demolished their restaurant and put a stage area there instead. On the far right of the above picture was supposed to be their dwelling, but that's now where Strawberry and the Sweet Beats will have band practice (I didn't even know the Sims could form bands until I made mine play instruments - cool!).

It's taken me several weeks to build Berry Bitty City, and I'm still not finished with it (Orange's store, plus I need to finish decorating Blueberry's house), but I am happy with what I've done so far - in my opinion, the houses pretty much look like theirs, but in Sim form. Of course I couldn't create exact replicas, which means I can't make Strawberry's house strawberry-shaped, etc, but at least you should be able to tell whose is whose.

Strawberry Café - (I should have taken more pictures: it's snowing and the game isn't fully loaded, but at least it's showing most of it. Cherry's house is sitting in the background on the far left - I made it fairly small to represent her tour bus.
 
 
 
 
Sweet Beats Studio - Plum has the largest house out of the rest of the gang, but I'd say she has the largest house on the show in real life, too. The blue and green house to the right is Huckleberry's, though I didn't think to snap an individual picture of his, nor did I Raspberry's.

 
 Blueberry Books - Blueberry Muffin has become quite an accomplished author.
 
 

Well, you can see Lemon's and Raspberry's houses from this angle: Lemon's is the small yellow one, and Raspberry's is behind Strawberry's. I should definitely get more pictures of them before my next Sims post.
  Lemon getting gussied up.

Raspberry's studio - Like Orange, I didn't really know what distinct thing to give Raspberry, so I just gave her a gem-cutting machine. I guess that's somewhat related to her occupation, right?

Aside from building Berry Bitty City, I've been trying to build up my Sims' relationships so they can all be best friends with one another. This tends to take a while, though it wasn't hard at all for Blueberry and Huck to become best friends (yeah, Huck didn't turn out looking too good :/).
 
 
Cherry has been building up her musical skill and was the first one to become a five-star celebrity despite being there only a couple of days.
 
 
Blueberry had her first encounter with a unicorn.
 
 
And the eightsome has traveled to France and Egypt. I thoroughly enjoy visiting the caves.
 
 
 
 
Plus, they like to go on road trips and hang out at the beach.
 
 
 
I haven't played The Sims 3 in a couple of weeks, but that's probably a good thing - I don't need to get more addicted to it than I already am. I feel like I'm running out of things to do, though, so I might begin making short stories of the characters and post them to my blog - that is, if anyone is interested in reading them.
 
I would be very interested if anyone else is willing to take up this challenge. You never know, maybe someone will try to create Berry Bitty City in The Sims 4!
 
On a final note, I apologize for the picture layout being slightly crooked and for the text being the same way: Blogger always messes up everything that I post, and this issue is becoming a real burden for me as there's no way I can fix it. Maybe I should just avoid posting a bunch of pictures. Anyway, see you next time!

 
 


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Summer Update

With summer comes freedom, and with freedom comes other priorities. These past few weeks, I've been trying my best to work my butt off and film some new videos, but I'm finding it rather difficult because I want to spend my free time being lazy and watching youtube videos. Despite this, I'm forcing myself to get up and start working on (and finishing) some more projects to upload to my channel.

Yes, yes, I know: A Day in Berry Bitty City episode seven is long overdue, just like my various other over twenty minute stop motions. I'm still working in it, but I can say that I've made some significant progress: if I set my mind to finishing it, I might possibly do so in the next couple of days.

But then comes some minor issues, which I'm still trying to conquer but can't completely rid myself of. First off, I have been very frustrated with my animation skills lately. If you follow my posts on Instagram, you'll see that I stated that I was frustrated with my stop motion and that I didn't know what to do about it anymore. My animations are just too choppy for my taste, and after making stop motion for over half a decade, I want to progress to the next level and reach the professional stage. To my misfortune, it looks like it'll be a while before that can even happen.

Even though I felt set back, I decided to try again because I don't want to disappoint my fans. Thankfully I'm getting back on track, but then came the other detriments that go hand in hand with video production.

For the past couple of months I've noticed that the bottom of my camera has been cracking, and it wasn't until this morning when pieces of it started coming off. I guess the cause is from changing out the batteries so much (plus the body of my camera is made of pure plastic), so I'm starting to regret choosing a camera that constantly needs its batteries changed out. I have to change them out about two to three times a day when I'm using it because the thing never holds a charge long enough. Let's put it this way: if I shoot a couple of stop motion scenes and then hit the record button only once, the battery indicator informs me that my charge is half gone. In a simpler sense, that means my batteries are basically dead.

While I am quite agitated by these issues, like Strawberry, I'm trying to stay optimistic. I'm filling the cracks in my camera with glue, so hopefully that will do it justice. Aside from that, I happily get to go on vacation soon, so I am really looking forward to that. My family and I will be heading off to Tennessee, and of course Strawberry and a couple of her friends will be coming along for the ride. I've already planned their summer attire for the trip and posted them on my Instagram account:




Be sure to follow me on Instagram @MirandaShortcake!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Berry Bitty Adventures Returns with Season 4 on June 20!

Yesterday afternoon, I was just nonchalantly browsing the web on my tablet, not really expecting to find much on the internet except the usual same old same old, but boy was I in for a surprise. As I have discussed multiple times, the fact that I have literally scoured the internet every single day for the last two years in search of information regarding season 4 of Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures, I wasn't expecting to actually find some valuable information when I looked it up this time - usually I would only find my own posts in relation to the new season.

But when I hit "Search", all of a sudden a bunch of articles started popping up stating that the new season is premiering June 20. By this point, I was becoming extremely excited, my heart rapidly beating in my chest as I clicked on one of the articles. It stated that the Discovery Family corporation officially announced by press release that season 4 is most certainly airing next month, so I'm sure you can guess how enthused I was by this news. Now we don't have to just go by rumors anymore!

When I read further, the article announced the plots for the first two episodes. The first one will introduce twins Sweet and Sour Grapes as they help Strawberry at her café as she helps Lemon and Raspberry with an online fashion contest, and the other will introduce Apple Dumplin', who is Strawberry's cousin in this series. I must state that I wasn't expecting them to have any familial relations in Berry Bitty Adventures, but I guess it's good to know that they're making references to past generations in that the two girls used to be siblings.

However, there are quite a few things that concern me regarding the new season; they're not major, only minor speculations that I've made in regards to how a few things will work out in the series. For one thing, now that Berry Bitty City will have eleven occupants, it might become more difficult to focus on each character like the show has the last few seasons. But then again, the base characters have had plenty of limelight, so perhaps that won't be too much of an issue for them, but for characters like Huckleberry Pie, will he even be in this season? I recall reading that there is a possibility that he could move to Berry Bitty City, but nothing was ever officially announced about that. If he still lives in Berry Big City, then, I'm assuming that he'll just have to keep driving over there time and time again, which could grow a bit tiring over time. Either that, or the season might begin with him getting settled in to the town after just moving there. Just a guess. On the bright side, if one of the characters still lives in Berry Big City, hopefully there's a chance that we'll finally see what it looks like!

Also, I'm kind of puzzled regarding Cherry Jam's career. It was announced via one of the season 2 episodes that she gave up her career to live with her friends, which I don't see how that would work out in her favor, but later in season 3 it was implied that she was still working and producing music. Perhaps we can get a bit of a backstory on her character? I really want to see one, but considering that season 4 will only have 13 episodes like the two seasons prior to it, I'm pretty sure that the new season's sole focus will be on the new girls in town.

Furthermore, since Sour Grapes is being introduced as Strawberry and the others' age, what will happen if Pieman ever returns? Will he, too, be a teenager (I'm assuming that's what they are) and be named something else like "Pieboy" or "Pieguy"? That would be an odd change, I'll bet, but I predict that he would most likely have some kind of relation to Sweet and Sour Grapes, perhaps being a cousin of theirs. Or would he return as an adult like he's always been, therefore being the only human one in the series?

The article continues to state that season 4 will have a lot of surprises and the inclusion of modern day internet and travel, and that excites me. Here's why: well, for the latter, we might find out whether or not there are other cities, countries, etc. besides the few that have been named in the previous seasons. Since Apple's a world blogger, there has to be other bitty cities across the globe - I just continue to wonder how they stay concealed from the human (well, normal-sized ones, that is) eye. Are they comfortable around them or in hiding because of them? Perhaps we'll find this out if there's ever a season 5, but it will probably just follow the pattern of the other seasons and introduce even more characters to Berry Bitty City. At this rate, Berry Bitty City won't be so bitty for much longer!

Since there's said to be surprises, I'm curious as to what they might be: is the bitty world more populated than we think, being more than just insects, berrykins, and a few people here and there? What I liked about Strawberry's previous generations is that there was a whole world around them that actually contained other people. In Berry Bitty Adventures, though, the only people you see are the protagonists, and not once have they shown someone who is a background character that isn't a bug of some sort.

After all of this, I dashed to my room to retrieve one of my notebooks so I could start writing a script. To my surprise, I actually managed to film a video about it and edited it the same night. You can watch it below, in which I make the exciting announcement that season 4 is coming soon. Of course, the beginning part is only a joke, though I have actually experienced a few of those things, such as the dreams. I can't even count the amount of times that I dreamt of Berry Bitty Adventures season 4 just to wake up and feel agitated because it never really premiered. Anyway, the rest is just overly exaggerated to add humor.


Oh, and here's the link to the article if you'd like to read it for yourself:
Discovery Family Channel Serves Up Another Delicious Helping of Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures with Season 4 Premiere on June 20

Remember, season 4 premieres Saturday, June 20 at 12:30 (EST) 11:30 (CST)!
 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

When Will Berry Bitty Adventures Air Its 4th Season?

Upon the initial announcement from the Discovery corporation that Berry Bitty Adventures will indeed return for a fourth season, there's been no news about its airing new episodes since then. This announcement was made a month ago in May, so I'm sure that Strawberry Shortcake fans are eagerly anticipating the promos for the new season to be released, as am I.

However, I've checked my TV guide time and time again, hoping to see when the Discovery Family Channel will reintroduce the animated series back to its daily programming, but that hasn't happened yet, either.

Since I'd read that the new season is supposedly airing in spring of this year, that would mean that it's coming in May, right? After all, summer begins in June, so it seems apparent that the show would return in about a few weeks.

On the downside, I can't be entirely sure that season four will even premiere this summer - in fact, it may be pushed back to the fall. I'm only resorting to this conclusion because of the details listed on the corporate site: it said that it was listing the lineup of shows for the 2015-16 season, and that would automatically push Strawberry to the fall because I know for a fact that her new season isn't going to last from May 2015 to possibly winter 2016. That would make for a pretty long season, which I wouldn't mind, of course, but we have to take into consideration that the last two seasons of Berry Bitty Adventures only had thirteen episodes apiece, so I won't be surprised if season four is also restricted with a half season's-worth of episodes.

Again, I just want to keep everyone up-to-date as to what's going on with the show. I now know for certain that it is returning, I just don't know when. I've been just as confused as most of you regarding Strawberry's show, and I'm glad that we're finally beginning to solve the puzzle as to what's been going on with Berry Bitty Adventures for the last two years.

As for Strawberry switching to Iconix, I'm assuming that she's still getting settled in to her new production team, and I can tell the difference by the different kind of content she posts on her social media as well as by her activity patterns. I'm just curious as to what new changes Iconix will make for the character, if they plan to make any, that is.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Berry Bitty Adventures Cast in The Sims 3

Since I stated that I would buy The Sims 3 in one of my recent posts, I thought I'd post an update as to what I've been doing in the game so far. First of all, the process of me creating the Berry Bitty Adventures cast in Create a Sim was overall a great success. They turned out a whoooole lot better than I was expecting.       

I am very pleased with the way Raspberry Torte turned out this go round. If you read my other post entitled "Strawberry Shortcake in The Sims 4," you'll notice that the Raspberry Sim wound up looking like the worst one in the bunch. I was unsure if she would look any better in The Sims 3, but again, I'm surprised with the results. I downloaded her hairstyle off the official Sims 3 website, but I could only buy it with Simpoints, which you have to purchase with physical money (I had earned some from buying the game, but it was a limited supply). The site provides an alternative to earning Simpoints besides the former, and that involves watching ads on their website so they can reward you with five points every time you finish watching an approx. thirty-second advertisement. At the time I'd thought this was a good idea so I could save my points to later buy more clothing, hairstyles, and hopefully new cities, but then my antivirus software notified me that it blocked a virus, which - you guessed it - came from watching those ads. I don't know what I'll do about the situation at this point; I'm unsure if I should just limit the amount of ads that I watch so I can still earn more points or if I just shouldn't take the risk. A computer virus is not something you should mess with, so I guess I'm at a dead end here.

As for Strawberry Shortcake, I think she looks pretty good, too - well, overall. I was able to give her her trademark hat, unlike I could in The Sims 4, and what I especially like about The Sims 3 is that it enables you to customize the clothing to look the way you want. That's what I did with Strawberry's hat so that it actually resembles her one on the show. I'm not too fond of how it sort of hides her face and casts a bit of shadow, but I changed her hairstyle with a few of her other outfits just for the sake of getting rid of these minor issues. If you look closely, you'll notice that I also gave her pink highlights, a significant feature that can often be found in the dolls, unlike I could give her in the other game.

By the time I got around to Lemon Meringue, I was running short on hairstyles to give her. The game includes quite a few hairstyles, no doubt, but none of them resembled Lemon's hairdo at all. I basically had no other choice but to choose this one, which I guess can pass for a Lemon-esque 'do.

I ran into the same issue with Orange Blossom: no hairstyle options. The other girls had taken up the other good styles, so I became a little dismayed when I couldn't find one to suit Orange. I then settled for this side braid with the flowers, because it fits pretty well with her character, doesn't it?
                                         
Hm. With Blueberry, I don't quite know how I feel about this version of her. I mean, she overall does look like the character, but I can't part with the version of her that I created in the fourth installment. I can let the minor differences slide, but I'm wishing that I could make her look more like the other model. Now that I think about it, I think I need to lower her eyes a little bit; they seem kind of too high for her face.



And last but not least, we have Plum Pudding. This isn't the outfit I wanted to snap a picture of her in, but I never got around to putting her back in the other one. I should, though - it's much cuter. Anyway, since I've started playing the game, I've given her an athletic trait, and I am instantly regretting that decision now. She won't stop exercising, so she's become very muscular and chunky-looking, and that's not how I wanted her to look. On top of that, she tends to get dirty a lot faster than the other girls. I kinda want to go back and get rid of that trait, but I don't know how. What I do know is that it's possible, as I've seen other Simmers do it all the time.

Apart from creating the cast from Berry Bitty Adventures, I've had a load of fun playing this game so far, but it does come with a few frustrations, I must admit. For example, the girls clog the toilet all the time and break things, I've already had two house fires, and the current house they're living in is so small that they keep blocking each other's paths. To solve this dilemma, I've built a new house for them to live in, which I made to look more like Blueberry's bookstore. However, I can't afford to move them into it yet, and I'm trying to refrain from using cheats.

Also, I like all of the fun activities that they can do. I'm not going to list all of them because that would make this already pretty lengthy post quite unbearably long, so I'll name a couple of them. With the Seasons expansion pack you can make your Sims attend festivals at Central Park, and that, too, comes with a set of fun activities for the characters. Lemon looks very happy that she has her face painted, and Strawberry sure looks like she's really enjoying that snow cone while sitting in the rain.




Meanwhile, Cherry Jam lives by herself in Bridgeport where she leads a lonely life. I initially decided to place her in the city instead of with her friends because I wanted her to experience the celebrity life since she is a pop star and all, but I find myself getting a little bored with her character because there isn't much for her to do. I might just place her in Sunset Valley with her friends, but I wanted to see what the other towns in the game are like as well.
 

In addition to these characters, I've also created Apple Dumplin and Sweet and Sour Grapes from season four, though I haven't gotten around to actually playing as them yet. I don't know if I should place them in Sunset Valley, a.k.a "Berry Bitty City," or if I should give Cherry some friends and put them in Bridgeport ("Berry Big City"). Whichever choice I make, I'm more than likely going to post pictures of them, probably on my Twitter instead of on here. I don't know if this is my last post about the Sims or if I should be expecting to write some more about them in the future - it just depends, I guess. However, this is my last Sims-themed blog post for now.