Monday, May 27, 2013

The set that should have been (by now)

It's been a bit of a wild ride these past [many] months.

2012 I found myself on a roller coaster of good news followed by equally bad news. Work, life, et cetera. Found jobs, nearly lost jobs due to lack of work. Computer woes . . . car trouble - expensive repairs followed by more troubles. Medical problems . . . dental troubles . . . a dear friend passing away. 2012, in a word, sucked.

This year seemed to start out well - new computer - that lovely interview for SF Magazine. I was even crowned . . . well, dentally speaking of course. I was even amped up to start meshing again. So what happened?

I had this really long post ready for you to read and then I basically felt like no one really cares about that sort of intense and deeply personal introspection. So, I have edited it down to the bits about the set that should have been.

A long time ago, someone requested that I fix the shadow on my flour cabinet. It blinks and I know what the error is - I thought - I need to quickly do that. That was the beginning of some flawed thinking. I can't do anything 'fast' - I opened the file and saw it was a mess - it's not that it would be a problem in game, but I have learned so much since making that item that I felt it needed to be smoothed correctly and mapped better. In attempting to organize the file to smooth I realized it would be easier to start from scratch. The new one is closer in style to the one that sits in my kitchen, but the original mesh has a closer handle and more preset styles to choose from. The new one has more masks for more coloring options. The second one wins by default.

The old style sits center - the new ones in many variations.
This, I thought, would be a great start to some new kitchen pieces.

I have a tall cabinet in my studio that I look at every day and I love it. It used to sit in my kitchen but it's such a small room. The cabinet cost me all of $5 - it's metal. I would have liked to make the handle exactly the same - it has a spring handle sort of like a honey dip (those spiral utensils for honey?) - tha would have pushed the poly count through the roof. My thinking was that the cabinets would be like the World Adventure chests or the Supernatural Cabinet. Sadly - the  SN cabinet base caused routing issues because the original has doors which must be opened by the sim to be used correctly, so WA chests it is. I was on a roll.

A few presets - one with heavy distressing (which looks like my own)
Then things started to dip a bit. I made a washboard wall light. This is something I want to make in real life - it wouldn't be that hard. In fact - I meshed it exactly as I would make it - take the round fluorescent fixture from my kitchen and put it behind the textured glass. The glass being textured would dapple the light which is where the problem started. How to texture glass. I borrowed the texture from the shower glass, but at the moment it's not working very well. Then no matter what I do - the whole fixture glows. I chatted with Heidi about it and I thought we found a solution, but I tried it again in game and it still glows. I have no idea how to make it NOT glow. (If you know - tell me!!) So I started to lose interest a bit in the set because I spent so much time failing at the light. I felt it was probably just better to move along to something new.

This is CASt in a dark color so you can't see the horrible glow. Notice the lack of texture too. UG.
I wanted to make another mug. The mug I did in a very short amount of time - I love it and it looks just like the real one. I even made it stackable. The real mugs belonged to my friend who passed away and while this is a memorial to a dear friend, the manner in which I obtained the mugs left me with a horrible hollow feeling. It was nearly three months after his passing that I saw them in an antique store. It was a moment before I recognized them as his and when I did the math I was left instantly angry as well as grief stricken. I walked away without them at first but called the store to request that they be held for me. It's sadly one of the few things that I have to remember him by.

Five preset colors - can stack . . . finally.
Then I made two books. They started as cookbooks and were made to stack next to each other. Two slots - one for the skinny and one for the wider one (I need to make one that goes on its side as well). They look so cool in game, but they look nothing like a cook book though.

Spines - multiple styles with one CASt capable
The pages . . .
When I stepped back I didn't really know what else to include in a set that would be for the kitchen. I don't want to make counters (though I did find a source image that I would like to attempt at some point) but then I was fixated on the Supernatural cabinet - I wanted to make some sort of sideboard that would work to hold items. I have a number of real life chests that I wouldn't mind making for the game for additional means to hold things. In my inability to make a decision, real life was starting to take a stranglehold on me.

The garden was going to need to be attended to and then my car was making especially loud exhaust noises. What I expected to be a $100 gasket or seal was going to be a $2500 repair and, oh yeah - did I know that the underside of my car was so severely rusted out? Cah-fucking-ching. New car.

So - I have a couple of things that I need to do prior to making this hodge podge release, but I will let these items go soon. My expected March release turn April is going to be a June release. Real life 1, my ass 0.

If you didn't know - I started a Tumblr too. Mostly to show my support for all the amazing creators (whether that is CC, Mods, or simply stunning pictures and stories) in our community by way of the 'like' button . . . yes, a small effort I know - but I want to be able to do it. I had all of a few followers until it was made known that I had a new site and suddenly I have a ton of followers. I am seriously humbled. Check it out if you want. It's nothing you haven't just seen here.

I am also getting my groove back on with some of the fun challenges over at The Sims Daily. They have challenged members to remake some of the classic homes there with a strict budget. I am wildly out of practice - I barely know what is in my now extremely limited CC collection (by comparison to what I used to have). Many members have entered and done some stunning revamps (both inside and out) - these were my three attempts:

Pescadero - the seaside house owned by some grumpy thief of a sim. Outchago! Wendy Darling needed a new home after her many sim years as a hand model:

Moderne for a not so modern lady.
Then there is the home of Agnes Crumplebottom:
Who needs windows?
And this weekend I attempted one of the starter homes called "The Monotone" - I wanted to evoke an Atlanta bungalow feeling.
Rustic garden included! Hope you have your tetanus shot!
Alright bubbies . . . I am off to try my hand at a very secret project. Something I have never attempted before so wish my luck. To keep me fresh I will be finishing off this set shortly. Keep your peepers peeled either here, there, or at Tumblr.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about your friend Eric...the bit with the mugs in the shop would have shattered me...I'll stop there.

    I'm the one who mentioned it about the flour cabinet (although others may have as well!). Oh how I miss it in my game! I really believe it was Pets that broke it. It was just fine before that disaster struck (for me, anyway).

    I hope you're having a better year so far!

    I know 2012-2013 have been quite hard for me, due to serious health issues pretty much keeping me house-bound, (and heaven knows I've had my fair share of work and car troubles in years past) so I can sympathize quite strongly with everything you experienced last year and I'll keep you in my prayers and thoughts in hopes that 2013 doesn't throw too many hurdles in your path!

    P.S. I can't wait for the new set! I've been playing Sims 2 lately and it's not the same without all your lovely things! My Sims 2 game would die to have your rugs in it! : )

  2. Amy! So glad to 'see' you!

    Oh, I'll tell you - I still get emotional about the whole thing with the mugs. There is a very long story involved around the mugs - in fact, one of the items on the table at the antique shop was a gift I gave to my friend on Valentines Day, 1997. It was a crushing reality that all we are is the stuff we leave behind. It's further complicated by connection to objects as memories which is another insanely long essay of its own.

    I'm so happy that you saw this post - I never forget a request and that flour cabinet has been on my mind for some time now - for more than just the shadow. I am confused why we have all these objects with doors and drawers in game - like kitchen counters - that we cannot use for storage. I realize the game isn't about collecting utensils and Tupperware, but we do have collecting aspect to the game with only a couple of displays to remedy it. It was actually a relief to come back to the flour cabinet with a furthered education, but honestly - I will keep both versions in game - there are so many styles of flour cabinets in real life.

    I'm rooting for both of us - for a better this year and perhaps a better next one, huh? I think we deserve it!

    As for Sims2 - I have seen conversions of my objects in pictures, but I don't know if anyone has them for release? Now we have Sims 4 to worry about!

  3. At least you have the mugs now - it was serendipitous that you saw them that day. They were obviously meant to find their way back to you : ).

    I found out last summer I have an illness called Temporal Arteritis, which is hard to explain, so if you're interested you can always Google it. But we've recently realized that particular malady (which is very odd for someone who's only 38!) probably has roots in the fact that I've probably been suffering for years (and didn't realize it) from Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    The whole mess is rather complicated, but I've been blessed with a lovely nurse practitioner named Sherri who makes house calls if I need her to and is willing to confer with me via e-mail. She's pretty awesome, which is lucky for me since I have no insurance and have to rely on my family for everything now. So, it's some good days and some not so good, but I try to keep a positive outlook and not get too over-dramatic about it all, because life's simply too short to focus on the negative.

    I have some wall art of yours that a lovely person at GOS converted for Sims 2, so I at least have that in my Sims 2 game! Although I recently discovered a database of Sims 3 to Sims 2 conversions and I've barely waded through it yet, so I might unearth something else...never know!

    I won't be moving on to Sims 4. It's not even just the cost factor of a whole new set of games either...I just don't have the time in the day for another game with the limitations I'm dealt. Plus I've burned out on the Sims community, generally speaking. This is my first time speaking out in awhile! : ) But I adore your work!

    To be quite frank...I had a bad experience with someone in the community who harassed me both via PM on two forums as well as publicly haranguing me, because I suppose I'm a bit too free with my opinions at times and they didn't care for that, but caused me to just decide to leave the community and focus on my own game and the rest of my life. It was one of those other "life's too short" moments. It's just a game after all!

    Anyway - I'm glad to see you're keeping your hand in, so to speak! Your work really is lovely (and so unique!). You're a real treasure to the community!

  4. Hi! I'm a fan of your work for the sims and I think that the washingboard light is going to look great as a real life object too, at leat it won't glow on your wall^^. It's awesome that you can make object for a game AND for your real house. I wish I had your talent :)
    Sorry for the bad English it's 6AM here and I really should go to bed. Goodnight!
    Hope the best for you for 2013!

    Melanie - Zx_Ta from The sims daily.

  5. Zx_Ta - Thank you! I am going to try something with the light today that will hopefully help the pattern. I remember your sideboard project over at TSD - that was very cool - especially the trick with the handles. Keep it up - that trick alone shows your natural potential!

    Amy - I am sorry to hear about this condition - in reading, briefly, about it - I cannot even imagine. That is has roots in RA? Ah, the joys of rheumatoid arthritis. I don't speak often of it, but I have struggled with an arthritis like -whatever- since I was 18. I've seen specialists and have had countless tests and fluids removed from joints; X-rays, MRI's . . . I would swear it was medication induced, but most medical professionals brush it off as a ridiculous notion opting instead for the term 'medical mystery' ... if someone uses that term on me again they'll need a good plastic surgeon for their broken nose. I have all of the observable traits of the disease, but none of the classic markers. Total aside - my experience thus far with nearly every person in the sims community is that we all struggle with something if that is any consolation. In a way I think that, in part, is what draws us to the game.

    As for your experiences in the Sims community - I hate hearing stories like that, but they can be quite common. I suppose it's naive to say 'can't we all just get along' - it is just a game. Sharing our games allows for a richer game experience. My own style of gameplay has broadened seeing the photos and listening to the stories. We have seen so many people leave the community and while I understand, it is a shame.

    Sims 4 ... I was initially unsure of where I stood. I don't know that I am ready for another rehash of the same game. 1, 2, & 3 have all been pretty much the same in respect to the base game is hyper limited and then it slowly builds adding in all the things that fans expect. I am hopeful that Sims 4 base game will have something major like pets or weather from the get go - perhaps a city. If it's just the same old/same old then I would probably see what others are saying. Who knows - I might be revisiting a lot of my items from 3 to recreate for 4!