More of the Island

Tonight I created the King family; they weren’t originally on Annabel Island, but have moved there since the hurricane (taking advantage of the cheap land prices), and started up a farm complete with orchard and enormous garden. They have more land than the Whidbees do, but they don’t have any chickens, and they grow apples instead of lemons and oranges. However, they do have a pair of dogs which they plan to breed so they can sell the puppies to other inhabitants of the island. Here’s a view of their property, which they call Kingstone Farm.

Kingstone Farm

The lovely country road is part of a terrain mod by Stev84. It adds a nice touch of realism to the ‘hood. I’m also using a mod which makes the garbage cans invisible, but I might get rid of it — it occurred to me that if someone knocks over the garbage can, I’ll be clueless. (At least until the cockroaches invade. Yuck.) So I’ll probably just get rid of the invisible garbage can and use move_objects on to place the cans out of view (otherwise they’ll be in the middle of the road! Not good).

Here’s another view of the house:

Kingstone Farm

Looks like someone left their homework out in the road. Tsk. That’d be a new one — “I’m not finished with my assignment because…it was trampled by horses!”

I’m experimenting with Paladin’s Employee Gardening controller, so I built a little employee shed containing a communal shower and the public toilet. Hired help assigned to a controller will then use the toilet and shower if they need to, which means they can garden for longer without getting all stinky and upset. I’m still learning how to use the controller (and a bunch of other Paladin hacks), but once I get it all sussed out maybe I’ll do a little demo. It’s pretty slick so far.

Kingstone Farm

This is just a view of the porch off of the kitchen (I got a little snapshot-happy):

Kingstone Farm

Let me know if the pics are too dark — I really like how things look in that “sunset” light, but it can be hard to make out sometimes. I lightened them a little in hopes of making them easier to see without losing the twilight tinge.

Some pics of Annabel Island in neighborhood view:

Annabel Island

You can see the country roads better here. Unfortunately you can also see modern automobiles. D’oh!

Annabel Island

Yep, that’s a lot of space to fill up. But most of it will end up being trees; Annabel Island is pretty sparsely populated. I figure I’ll have 20-25 lots at the most by the time I finish (and that includes parks and businesses).

Next I want to finish the Dunnavant Mansion and start on the De Groff house. And I’m hoping to post a Fran update somewhere in there, too. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of the Dunnavant dining room (I’m building their home in odd bits and pieces since I’m not sure how I want the exterior to look yet):

Dunnavant Mansion

As always, thank you to all of the amazing custom content creators, without whom Annabel Island would not be possible.

If you want to know where I found anything you see in the above pics, feel free to ask, and I’ll track it down.

UPDATE: By request I’ve added links to the CC in the above pics. Let me know if I’ve missed anything!

Kingstone Farm:
Exterior wall – Deathkat @ Simthing for Everyone
Rustic fence, front exterior lights (Green House Sconce) – Jendea @ SimsShoppe (used to be a subscription site, but is now completely free — yay!)
Broom – Taroo @ Tarox
Wagonwheel – Mummysim @ SimsDivine
Rowan and oak trees – callum91 & Numenor @ MTS2
Foliage/shrubbery/flowers – Khakidoo @ MTS2, Macarossi @ MTS2, Pimp My Sims
Clumps of grass – Lethe_s @ MTS2
Rocks, climbing plants – Nengi65 (drat, she seems to have retired, but you can find some of her stuff at the Sims 2 Graveyard)
Horse and wagon – hexameter @ MTS2
Hanging lamp outside employee shed – Steffor @ Avalon
Glass candle (on porch table) – Grand Trianon Collection @ MTS2
Potted Cypress by xrax @ MTS2

Dunnavant Dining Room:
Dining room set & wallpaper – Mummysim @ SimsDivine
Wallplate – Avenida Sims
Picture frames on fireplace – buggybooz @ MTS2
Crochet doily by Megahue 2 @ MTS2
Curtain recolor – Aussie Topenders
Rug – Echo
Rug recolor – VR Zone 1
Painting recolor – SimSpore @ MTS2
Vase recolor – Mermaid Cove
Clock on mantle – still tracking this one down…

Happy Simming!

38 thoughts on “More of the Island

  1. wow, i love it, all of it lol. The mansion dining room looks great cant wait to see more ( and a franupdate lol)

  2. Woah! :0

    You have some talent at building, Jen! All my houses are horrifically ugly by comparison! I really like the Dunnavants’ dining room; it’s amazing how much awesome free stuff you can track down if you really look hard enough.

    Er, now that you mention it…there is a fence in the left of the picture of the outdoor lavatory. I really like that fence, it’s just lovely. I hope it’s not Maxis and I’m simply wasting your time, but do you know where you found it? Thank you ever so much. :D

    I like the puppy idea; and it will be a useful source of income in the winter when the apple trees are dormant.

  3. Oh I came across that road hack too! I was thinking it would look good in this type of neighbourhood setup.

    It all looks really great, I can’t wait to see how the rest comes along, and the Fran update.

    I’d love to know where you get all your plants from too!

  4. Wow…o.o
    No seriously, WOW.
    You are one amazing builder Jen!

    Anyways, Hi, Im Katherine *waves*
    Although I’ve been reading your blog, and others for awhile now, I’ve never commented, but now I’ve decided to finally enter the Sims 2 blogging world!
    I’ve made my own blog, and its very new and not very good yet. But Im hoping I can make it good.
    I’d really appreciate if anyone could check it out, and any suggestions or constructive criticism is very welcome ^^
    I’ll post my first update tonight.:)


    And keep up the good work Jen, Annabel Island looks really great!! x x x

  5. I’m with yaz and amalinaball, that’s an awesome dining room set. (although my brother disagrees, he has no taste (or maybe he just wants to disagree)) Just wondering, are you still playing by the 20,000 only for peasants rule because there is no way the Kingstone and Whidbee Farms are only 20,000. Love the houses, and if the garbage can was knocked over, wouldn’t you see garbage?

  6. I always use the move_objects on cheat and put the trash can in the back by the kitchen. It makes more sense to have it there.

    The dining room is great!

  7. Beautiful, as always!

    Thanks for the link to the road hack, too. I was looking for just such a thing and knew I’d seen it somewhere.

  8. I see why you like the twilight athmosphere so much, those are some gorgeous pictures! :D Personally I wanna know where you got the lanterns attached to the shed (black metal, blue candles) and the ivy going up the wall next to the kitchen-porch?
    Wah. Now I wanna make a Victorian themed neighbourhood again. Must. Resist! XD
    Awesome work as always, I doff my hat to you! *swoosh*
    And I really am working on my neighbourhood. I just get scruffed and dragged off to play Lotro a lot. Must resist evil forces! Want to sim! Rargh.

  9. Oh Jen! That’s AMAZING. Beautiful pictures – and they’re not too dark. I like sunset lighting too! The Paladin hacks sound very cool – I can’t wait to see how it works out! That’s an awesome idea. I love the country roads, and the decor and wow. It’s all just breathtaking. I love it.

  10. You make the best time period stuff, Jen. Wow. So impressive! I LOVE it! I could stare at your houses and interiors all day. :D

  11. Wow… it all looks amazing. Just the little bit you have in your neighborhood even looks great. I love, love, love the dining room. I can’t wait to start reading the story. ;)

  12. Jen, just a suggestion, because I ALWAYS want to know where you’ve gotten your CC…. Would you mind terribly posting links to the CC whenever you do a post that contains it? It would be so much easier on those of us who want to know where things came from, and you DO have some of the most amazing houses EVER. :D

  13. Jen, sorry for the double post, but I was just thinking something. You take really, really amazing pictures. Do you have a picture-taking tutorial somewhere, or if you don’t, do you think that at some point you might be able to write one? My own pictures are getting better, and I’m realizing that you don’t have to have a totally awesome graphics card to get good shots either, but I’ve NEVER seen anyone with pictures of quite the quality that you have.

    You use PSP to edit your photos, right? I think I saw you say that. What enhancements do you use? When I “enhance photo” in PSP I wind up with the images looking washed-out :(

  14. I’m not Jen, but picture taking is my forte and editing them is my second nature. Jen goes for a more ‘sharpened’ look, which brings out precise details. This is also used on the Sims2Community (some tutorials and tips there) by some of the members, as well.

    Images being ‘washed out’ when you ‘enhance’ is generally due to overabundance of bright, white lighting. Avoid over lighting, especially if you’re going to edit the photo. If you’re using GunMod’s lighting mod, this can be difficult to gauge. You have to experiment. Seasons also changes things up a bit. The summer sun’s natural light in the game is BLINDING!

    One very, very easy way to get that sharpened, rich look is if you have PSPXI. Of course, the lighting has to be right… and if it is, you need only select Adjust > One Step Photo Fix.

    Otherwise, you can likely find a custom-made filter to achieve the same thing. Filters are normally adjustable, so that helps. Unfortunately, a lot of them require moolah.

    The third way involves you getting your hands dirty and messing with options/etc. It requires you have some prowess with basic editing concepts, Adobe Photoshop, and sliders/etc. There is an excellent tutorial here.

    Sorry if I stepped on your toes, Jen. I’ve seen this asked elsewhere (about the sharpening thing). I know you’ve said you mess with brightness/contrast, too. There’s just so many ways to do it, LOL! If I messed up anything, feel free to say so. :D I just know from looking at the pictures; making an ‘educated’ guess, hahaha. Right.

  15. Mao,

    Unfortunately I’m using 7 because it’s my prefered PSP, so I don’t have that option. After eight, they just got weird to use (though I loved the gradients with 8!). My pictures are definitely getting better just taking them in game (I’ve figured out after all this time that if I reduce my graphics options until I’m ready to take a picture, then increase them, I retain clarity throughout the game.

    If you look at my site, the pictures that are looking “washed out” are coming from inside the house, where I don’t have an overabundance of white light, and I’m not using the lighting mod. I’m not sure if I didn’t do something weird with the contrast when I was fooling with the images, but they also wound up a little bit pixelated. Ugh!

    Are you using PSPXI? Your pictures are also pretty good, though I’ve had on several occasions to go through all of Jen’s links to find the right one for you. I’m going to have to click your name and bookmark lol

    What’s interesting is that going back through your blogs and Jen’s it’s great to see the differences between early on and recent in your photos, as well as in your stories. You’re both amazing on that front, as are a few other bloggers in the community. I just wish I could do what y’all do without struggling! Changing the display options constantly is driving me batty!

  16. I use Paint Shop Pro XI for Knock it Down’s images. They are nothing. I have been sick of them for awhile now. Wings of Steel uses purely Photoshop CS2. I can’t wait for those. I love those pictures. I spend a lot of time learning new tricks. :D I originally started by trying to recreate Kara’s, from Confessions of a Simmer, style of pictures. Once I figured that out, I started doing my own thing. I prefer softer, more dynamic pictures. I do a lot of editing.

    KiD was never a serious thing until towards the end, thus the questionable picture quality. Man, Jen remembers when I was a sims 2 newb using sharpen! Ick. Never again. I’ve been editing images for years. I’m so ashamed of that LOL!

    I checked your blog. The Camelot Cove, right?? It doesn’t look washed out. Unless you mean a different image. Messing with brightness is almost a guarantee you’ll cause ’em to look all bleach-y though. You have to be careful and make sure it is subtle. Maybe try duplicating the layer, and then manipulating the layer style and applying the brightness/contrast to the top layer so it is more subdued.

    I have some tutorials on my site and am progressively adding to them in you are interested. I do try to keep them ‘basic’ though. Tutorials here.

    Sorry for hijacking your comments, Jen!!

  17. YAY!!! That Dining room is incredible, when you finish the dunnavent mansion, you have to post a tour. The roads are pretty cool, I love how it’s all so realistic.

  18. Forgot a question, is that house way in at the other side of the island the Dunnavent mansion (or soon to be)?

  19. Everything is gorgeous and detailed, as usual. Annabel Island is looking incredible, Jen. Great job!

  20. Devin had a good suggestion — I should start posting the CC I use when I post pics like this. It takes a little extra time, since I sometimes have to package the lot and open it in Sims 2 Clean Installer to figure out what the heck I’m using, but what the heck, it’ll be a good way to advertise free sites. Look for updates to these posts with lists of CC added in soon.

    Devin – I’d be happy to do a tutorial at some point — I’ve had some ideas for it brewing in my head for awhile now; I just need to sit down and plunk it all out. In the meantime, I do have some more info in my FAQ (second question down). Mao’s tutorial on SimScribes is very helpful as far as editing in Photoshop, and there’s another great tutorial here which has in-depth instructions on setting up and taking pics.

    In my photos above, I basically built the house, turned on the lights, waited until 6 PM (which is when “twilight” hits if you have GunMod’s Radiance Light Mod installed), used Snag-It to take my pics, opened them up in Photoshop to crop, resize, sharpen, and lighten slightly so they wouldn’t be too dark, and there you go. Kind of time-consuming, but to me it’s worth the extra effort! Also, I have all of my graphics settings on high (except I turn shadows off).

    Mao is the Queen of Sims Pictures, though, especially with editing — I’m a total noob when it comes to Photoshop and the like. My pics are good enough for a story like Fran and for snaps of houses, but if you want to see truly amazing story pics, make sure you check out Mao’s stuff.

    And Mao, you didn’t step on any toes — I welcome any wisdom you feel like sharing with us!

    Abby – Yep, that’s the Dunnavant Mansion, partially built. Not much to it yet! I was going to work on it more today, but I got sidetracked playing the Whidbees for a bit, and then building a new lot, which was just too much fun to give up. ;-) The Dunnavants are next on my list, though!

  21. Fantastic house Jen, I love the homely farm look of the place. I think the lighting really suits the pictures and no, not too dark, it makes it look warm and arcadian :)

    Definitely makes me want to try harder with my rather abysmal picture taking!

  22. Hi. wow lovely pics!. I can’t wait and see what the families look like.

    This might sound sound like a silly question but how do you get the twilight effect on your pics?.

    Keep Simming!.

    See ya.

  23. I’ve added links to my CC in this post. It took me awhile to track things down, find links, etc., so I’m thinking of just doing a massive credits page where I can list everything ONCE, and then point to it. Otherwise I’ll spend all day tracking down content and not Simming! Heh. (That’s what happens when you download too much stuff…) Anyway, have fun!

    Pandora Moon – The twilight is from GunMod’s Radiance Light Mod. It does that between 6 and 7 PM each night.

  24. Jen: Sorry…. I’m trying to do the same thing as much as possible as far as listing out the CC that I’m using for my sims when I create them or use CC in their homes. Most of the stuff I use is from MTS2, which makes it a bit easier for me, I suppose.

    Mao: Thanks! The tutorials helped me to effectively lighten some of the pictures I had that were too dark. They’re still a bit on the dark side from the days when my sims didn’t have any lighting in the house (poor legacy sims, yanno?) but it really helped out! Thanks!

  25. Devin – No need to apologize! I’m just being whiny. It’s a Good Thing to credit the creators and let people know where they can find great free stuff. I just have…too much of it. Hee!

  26. I do too. But you’ve got such awesome stuff, and I know that *I* don’t have time to browse all the sites you list in the sidebar every time looking for it. Especially if you consider that some of them (like MTS2) are enormous!

    I hadn’t even thought about the clean installer. Now I’ve got to figure out how to use it so I can credit the right source lol

  27. I was looking through old posts (Shanley Legacy II) and was loofing at the bedding you had and wondering ‘Where is Jen getting that amazing bedding?’. So, where are you getting that amazing bedding? If it’s a pay site I don’t need to know, but tell me anyway, please.

  28. Hi. oh right thanks for answering I thought it might’ve been something I was missing from the game lol!

    Thanks again

    See ya.

  29. Wow … it all looks so real that it’s SURreal. ;) But it all looks very good. Very country. I like the fall lighting effects. Very seasonal. :)

  30. Great Update! Does anyone know anything about the whisp’rings of a Sims 3???????

  31. Lucia-No Way!!! I don’t even want to know how much it will cost! But it makes sense. I can’t think of any more x-packs. So far its been x-pack, stuff, x-pack, stuff. But just recently it was stuff, stuff. Where did you hear?

  32. Re: Sims 3, it’s been in the works for a couple of years now afaik. No word on it except that EA’s confirmed it is in the works, and like simlover said it’s so far been scheduled for the first quarter of 2009.

  33. There’s another expansion pack in the works too. I haven’t seen a release date yet, but I haven’t looked in a couple of days. It’s going to be Bon Voyage :)

  34. Thanks for the comments, guys! As for Sims 3, I can’t WAIT. I bet you anything it won’t be out until late 2009 (The Sims 2 was 60 months late, I think), but it’ll be so worth it! I hope they make the neighborhoods more interesting, with the ability to integrate the economy and such like Jade did for Thyme. Also I’m hoping for more customizeable Sims. It’d be great to choose parts of hair to create new hairstyles, or make short, tall, fat, and skinny Sims. Kind of like making a Spore creature.

    And I’m definitely getting Bon Voyage! I don’t care what the EP’s about; more build and buy objects = I’m buyin’.

    simlover – Hm, which bedding were you wondering about? Could you narrow it down to a specific update or pic? Thanks!

  35. I actually like the concept for Bon Voyage. I miss Vacation the most out of the Sims 1 EPs.

    What’s weird is I’m getting a 404 on the official site for Bon Voyage now. Maybe they were premature in announcing it? I’m just glad they’re still expanding with Sims 3 on the horizen. I’d heard something about Sims 3 being an expanded version of Sims 2. I can’t imagine how much further they can go with the game, but I’d not thought about integrated economy. That would be awesome!