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.