ellenmillion: (Default)
UGH. This cold! I have wicked sinus congestion now, and my digestive system is protesting the volume of phlegm and cold medicine it's being asked to deal with. On the plus side, the aches are gone and I've got a ton more energy than I had a few days ago. Come ON immune system, let's kick those germs to the curb already.

Have more new art:



This is Olarali, of Torn World, writing secret coded notes in her journal.

I did this from a prompt at the March Muse Fusion, and we've got another Muse Fusion coming up NEXT WEEK! It will be hosted at the Torn World webpage, but there is also a Facebook event you can join for updates and reminders: https://www.facebook.com/events/1931588110397486/

See you there!
ellenmillion: (Default)
This is my fourth deck with 78Tarot, an artist collaborative project. (And you know me and collaborative projects... :))

The twos in tarot are all about balance. The two of pentacles, in particular, is about balance of earthly things – wealth, business, and communication most specifically. Here we have an astronaut who is balanced in space, indicating the rich-looking, pentacle-adorned space ship she is attached to, and a satellite, which represents communication and more spiritual needs. It can be a tricky balance, complicated even further by blazing rocket boots! The infinity symbol from the traditional Rider Waite deck is hinted at in the curve of her tether, implying that the figure in question can handle an unlimited number of problems. Below her, a cold-war Russia and Alaska face each other under aurora-lit skies, representing outside conflicts.

This card cautions us to manage our time well, and encourages us to remember that if we do, we can handle all the things life throws at us.



This piece was an experiment from start to finish. I wanted a crisp, vintage look, and painted over my linework with acrylic before realizing that I had completely obscured my lines. Not daunted, I printed out my linework scan and colored it with Copic markers, then cut it carefully out by hand. That was the really sharp feeling I was going for! A few touches with colored pencil and gelpen were made at the very end. The original is 9x12, acrylic, marker, ink, and the kitchen sink (including glittler glue), and it's available for $200, US shipping included.

The Kickstarter to fund this deck is on NOW! It only runs one more week, and has already funded, so if you want to snag one of these gorgeous decks, this is your best chance: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kayti/78-tarot-astral
ellenmillion: (Default)
Today, I finished a piece of artwork that puts me at the bare minimum I needed for a May 1 deadline - I'd still like to do one more page, but I have an older thing I can use in a pinch, which is a great weight off my mind. I've also crossed a few other nagging things off my list of doom, and worked on my cast list for my next not-a-novel. I'm not feeling a lot better - my head is now stuffed with snot, and that period where one dose of cold medicine has worn off and I can't take another yet is this wasteland of misery to slog through.

Have some art!


Available at Portrait Adoption! http://portraitadoption.com/portrait.php?id=2849

I've also got a poem up at Torn World today, this one reserved for supporters. http://www.tornworld.net/storypageview.php?id=614

You can sponsor it to the public for $5 (EMG or Torn World credits accepted!), or get a subscription that will allow you access to all of this: http://www.tornworld.net/suplist.php - as well as several bonus downloads of high res files in the gallery.

Guppy and I are watching Equestria Girls for the eight hundredth time, because I'm too worn out to play.
ellenmillion: (Default)
I've missed some days in my blogging, apparently. It's been kind of a blur. Not much writing, but a ton of artwork, and I've been doing a lot of slogging at the Torn World site - adding boatloads of missing characters to the database, editing old articles, polishing up half-finished things. Have a silly picture that I did as part of #inktober last year:


This is one of the riding birds of Roluma. See more...

I parent-aided with Guppy on Friday, which was only partly disaster. My daughter? She is stubborn. She likes to stand up at the sitting down parts and sit down at the standing up parts. I think I mentioned here that her preschool teacher told us that she was never going to have problems following other people into trouble due to peer pressure. She might lead them there herself, however.

She had a pretty good fever Sunday night that came back Monday morning, so we skipped preschool yesterday in case it was something catching. You wouldn't know it to look at her, though - she had tons of energy and was in every way her bouncy self. I, on the other hand, woke up this morning feeling like a bus had run me over. Slightly runny nose, just a little bit of a sore throat, but oh man, the energy is GONE. (Guppy is fine. No fever, no sniffles, nothing wrong at all. This is so unfair.) I'm drinking loads of tea and sucking down the vitamin C.

We also baked chocolate chip cookies today, because they are so entirely comforting!
ellenmillion: (Default)
Poor Guppy did not appreciate being left at preschool this morning and chased me to the door in tears. The teacher is awesome about lifting her up and letting her wave through the window and getting her calmed down. I'm expecting a leveling up event of some sort, but it could also be that she went to sleep a little late last night.

I'm drowning my feelings of guilt in a whipped cream hot cocoa from the fabulous sipping streams and getting ready to write a little.

Went for a walk last night on the crunch snow with Guppy and Norway. My poor old man dog, he is not doing so well. He broke through the snow crust at one point and had to scrabble really hard to get out as I was coming to get him. He ended up dragging his back half for several hundred feet before his back legs started working again, and then limped and staggered the rest of the way home. He still wants to get up and go - so many interesting smells and things to go see! - but his body is just starting not to work so well. He's 13 now, and for a 90 lb dog, that works out to about 90 years old. He bunny-hops pretty frequently now (something old dogs do because their back legs won't comfortably support their weight individually anymore) and if things are slippery, his back legs have a tendency to go out from under him altogether. We've got extra rugs down in the house for him, since we've got slick laminate flooring, and he gets pain pills when he seems to need them. He's still eager to go out, but we have to be extra careful with him. He wants to run, but he shouldn't.

It's tough getting old.

Writing now, and some art things.

Hug your pets.
ellenmillion: (Default)
I am seriously miffed. Mostly because part of the LJ change that I missed while traveling added ADVERTISING to my blog entries for anyone who was not logged in. I paid for a permanent account SPECIFICALLY to make sure that didn't happen. It looks like the import of my entries to dreamwidth was successful - and since I didn't use LJ to host my pictures, it shouldn't look any different here. Oh, userpics are gone, but that's small fry. I am going to continue to crosspost to LJ, but I am not going to be crossposting my LJ to Facebook and Twitter because I have exactly no interest in driving more traffic to LJ - which also means those updates may not happen regularly anymore. I will probably hand-post to Facebook, but I may just say goodbye to Twitter. (It will continue to get business and instagram posts, just no journal entry updates.)

In order to combat my grumpy attitude, I put on a rainbow tutu after my shower, because that's how I roll.

I am making a package of magnets and artbooks to send to 78tarot for goodies, and I've got art and writing to do, in between a walk on the ice crust, and a tea party with the daughter.

Have an adorable mammal. This was started for Sketch Fest #84 (prompt: magical jungle) and polished up for Torn World. It is a longfinger, a creature created by Kir Talmage. You can leave a comment at Torn World (and earn karma!) here http://www.tornworld.net/artpageview.php?id=537 using your Sketch Fest/EMG login. (Seriously, comments at Torn World cheer me up as much as rainbow tutus.)



Me and my tutu are off to do stuff now.
ellenmillion: (Default)
Friends who have imported from Livejournal, do you get inbox messages about the import failing, followed by an 'imported successfully' message? I've got pages and pages of these messages, first a failure, then a success. Should I be concerned?? I haven't received any emails one way or another, and it looks like the import is still in progress, as my journal here only goes back to 2002.
ellenmillion: (Default)
I went in to have a tooth cleaning today, and found out I had a cavity. It's better to fix cavities before you have to start talking crowns and such, so I said 'do it,' and they said, 'right now?' There was just enough time before I picked up Guppy to get it done, so I did, and then had a droopy face and aching jaw. I ditched the rest of the running around I was thinking about doing, and am honestly super grumpy right now. I floss every day, dammit. It was a crack, from grinding my teeth, apparently. And since I wear a night guard, religiously, it's daytime grinding.

Anyway.

Here's the artwork currently on my desk. I'm finishing two coloring pages for a magazine feature, then I'll have one or two more to do. I couldn't pick SIMPLE things to do while on deadline, could I. No, I had to do tricky perspective, architecture, and insanely detailed pieces with multiple figures.



(I've made a few adjustments since this photo, and begun the inking...)

I'm also getting a little writing done nearly every day. Sometimes that's just a few hundred words. Yesterday, I got about 1200... by getting up at 4 AM. Though to be fair, I thought I was getting up at 5 AM, because I hadn't set my watch to Alaska time yet. And also, I went back to bed and got another hour of sleep.

Now I'm going to go attempt to do both of those things, while Guppy tries to get out of quiet time by 'having to go potty. For an hour.'
ellenmillion: (Default)
The last few days of March, we packed up and went on a whirlwind grandparents tour - 14 days in total, 3 sets of grandparents, with a bonus of 3 great-aunts, 2 great-uncles, 2 aunts, and 1 uncle, spread across 3 states, involving 6 airline flights, none of which were United, so no one got dragged off our flights unwillingly. (Thanks for being awesome, #alaskaair!*)

The trip was about 100 times better than it sounds in the description; it was wonderful seeing everyone, and we're hoping to do it again in a few years. Guppy was AMAZING. She was a five-year-old rockstar: unfailingly polite, resilient to all the sleep disruptions and travel stresses, and more charming and adorable even than her usual fabulous self. Everyone was wonderfully hospitable, and though she always started out shy, she warmed right up to all the strangers and near-strangers in record time.



And yes, to those of you who guessed, Wisconsin was one of our stops. Here's another plastic cow**, this one in front of a cheese outlet store. Her name is Patty, and she is a bench, as well.

I've got a whole bunch to catch up on, but I hope everyone had good times while I was out! I was browsing some social media on my phone, but it was pretty intermittent, and if I've missed anything I should know about, poke me. :)


*This may sound like a very low bar, but actually Alaska Air has been incredibly awesome. Their app is fantastic, their service is great, I feel like a respected sardine, at least, and I love their new extra legroom option.)

**Jake has pointed out that they are undoubtedly actually fiberglass cows, not plastic.
ellenmillion: (Default)


Testing more crossposting things - this time with images!

This particular giant plastic cow was at a gas station that advertised CHEESE - FIREWORKS - GIFTS!

You have two guesses which state I was visiting.
ellenmillion: (Default)
Honestly, I'm not too sussed about the new LJ TOA. But there certainly was a heavy new rush of members away from Livejournal while I was out (more on that later), so I'm importing my journal to Dreamwidth and poking at it here and testing the various crossposting features. It's not that I feel like Livejournal has become more evil, and I don't feel like my light-and-fluffy, never-political blog is in any specific danger, but more of my friends are over here these days, and I've never liked the all-in-one-basket feeling. I've had this DW account for a while, but may finally be making the primary posting switch over to here, and actually reading my friendslist here...
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Friday got derailed with emergency unscheduled parent aiding for preschool - and it turned out wonderfully, because it was a special cultural snack day, and I didn't even need lunch afterwards. It all went very smoothly and was fun.

The weekend was useful, but I'll be dashed if I can remember what I did, now. There was dance class, and I think I drew some things, and possibly wrote some things, and I read Castle Hangnail, and there was very good food. Oh! And I got all my Patreon patron packages mailed. They made out like bandits, ya'll. Originals, etched mirrors, art books, coloring pages, magnets...

Yesterday was a day off for Jake, but not for me, and Guppy unhelpfully got up about 40 minutes before the alarm - which isn't really enough time to get her back into bed, so we just got up, and then she fell asleep in the car on the way to preschool. DOH! I worked for about an hour at the library on my next not-a-book (grindingly slow!) and then went shopping before we went home for lunch. Guppy got a good nap, and I, for the first time in as long as I can remember, said 'a nap sounds great!' and also took one, followed by a cup of green tea and a nice productive afternoon. Bellydance was wonderful as always, and I came home to a culinary coup of Porta Rican stew and boxed macaroni and cheese. (They don't sound like they match, but WOW, they really did.)

Today, instead of going to the gym, I took daughter and dog out into the woods. It's been cold enough that the trails aren't rotten yet, like they often are this time of year.

Once they'd both burned off some of their energy, I was even able to let Guppy walk Norway.



I also made about eighty phone calls (I put off making phone calls, so they pile up...) and was on hold with the USPS for 45 minutes to get the Sekrit address to which you send written appeals for claims. They lost a box of coloring books last August and wouldn't let me file a claim while they were doing a search for it... which took them 6 months, and then it was 'too late to file a claim.' So now I have to send them a letter to get my $%&& insurance money out of the box, which barely pays for the time I spent on hold, let alone the value of the coloring books (40 of them! *clutches chest*). AND I get to pay them for a stamp for the privilege.

Have some artwork that I did for the last Sketch Fest, which is now up at Torn World:


(Original for sale, $20)

Now, a cup of tea sounds marvelous, and I've got some art with looming deadlines.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Guppy and I are reading chapter books, which thrills me. Seriously, I never thought she'd have the attention span for it, and I'm delighted she finally does now.

We read How to Train Your Dragon first, which honestly was a disappointment. I was spoiled by the movie, which was heartwarming and gorgeous, and thought the book was sort of mean-spirited and had utterly dreadful illustrations. But we got through all 30-odd chapters, and I consider that a big win.

We're now almost finished with [livejournal.com profile] ursulav's Harriet the Invincible, which has been MUCH more fun. (I think it's really quite awesome being able to point out 'I knew the author back when!' but Guppy is unimpressed. She thinks I know everyone and is constantly asking 'Who's that?'about complete strangers and then not believing me when I say I have no idea.)

Guppy has been going backwards into reading. She likes to put all kinds of letters together and ask me what they spell. "What does t-y-k-m-o spell?" I gamely try to sound it out. She grins. "What does g-m-w-l-c spell?" I work that out. She grins.

Muse Fusion is still going! These are the sketches I've done so far:



I've also started a short story and written (and then re-written) a poem. There's still time to leave prompts - and you can do so with your EMG/Sketch Fest login, you don't need a separate registration for Torn World anymore. :) https://www.tornworld.net/musefusion.php
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Over the weekend, I spent a few hours doing triage on my studio space. I broke down some old boxes that had been lying around, put together a load of things for cold storage, sorted the various paperwork that had accumulated in drifts around the desk, and basically made it usable space again. It is so shiny and happy down there now. I look FORWARD to working there, instead of dreading it.

Today, I decided to do the same with Guppy. I declared no TV until she cleaned her room, then went up with her and turned 'cleaning' into 'massively purging.' I threw away a trashbag of stuff, and put together several boxes and two very full trashbags of things to sell at a garage sale this spring. We emptied out her entire dresser into the closet drawers. The dresser was in pretty bad shape (I kept having to fix the drawers), and I can envision the room without it, very cheerfully. (I couldn't move it out myself, and she's not that kind of help yet.) It went from disaster zone to a bright, happy, clean space in just a few hours, and I let her watch Octonauts until quiet time.

I'm half a poem, a sketch, and a colored pencil piece into Muse Fusion. I've been re-reading some of the Torn World stuff on the site, and it's been FUN. I had forgotten a lot of it, and reading it again 'like new' has not been as painful as I feared. Some of this is actually good, and I should put Rails into ebook format posthaste. I also want to put the Itadesh Fire into a single download, too. Hmm!

I've got the outline for my next not-a-book down, too. About 2000 words of outline - is that normal? Some scenes are just: "Adorable montages of shopping... awww!" but some of them have notes about several different interactions I want to work in. Stepping back and looking at the outline, I like it. There's lots of places for fun humor, and good realistic (within the boundaries of the ridiculous premise) relationship tension, and it hits the structural beats I want it to very nicely. The end is a bit hand-wavy right now, but that worked out okay with the last two books. Let's hope I can work out the detailed solutions as I get closer.

Have some artwork!

This guy was inked for #inktober, and recently released on Portrait Adoption

ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Today, I feel like SuperMom. I got the preschool literacy bags washed, sorted, restocked, and relabeled over spring break, and delivered them back to the school this morning. They looked awesome. The teacher told me that hadn't been done that thoroughly in eight years.

I also have programming successes to report - the Torn World overhaul is basically done. Minor pages still need updates, but they are all Small Stuff compared to what has gone before. And I got the Muse Fusion page all coded up and ready to release, too. In time for Muse Fusion today! Horrah!

Come leave prompts for writers and artists: https://www.tornworld.net/musefusion.php

The predecessor of Sketch Fest, this is a prompted creative jam. Leave prompts, or ask questions, and you'll be surprised what you might get back.

Also, have some artwork:



Now I'm off to wash dishes and get ready for bellydance!
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
$sql = "UPDATE blog SET language = English";
$res = brain_dump($sql);

ERROR! Language not found! Braincells forfeit!

I've been coding on Torn World like a mad, possessed thing, and it's finally starting to pay off. I thought the backend would be the easy part, then found bits of code I'd started more than a year ago, and finished them all up and made things better, and then found a field day of bugs to squash, and I kept thinking 'just a little more,' and then something major would rear it's ugly head, but now I really DO think it's pretty much done... except for the bit that was what I REALLY wanted to do when I first started this whole thing, and I have NO IDEA how long that will actually take.

I would LOVE folks to test drive the site - your Lilypad/Sketch Fest/Portrait Adoption login will work there: http://tornworld.net You can leave a comment on any of the art or fiction, and you'll earn karma immediately! (And your name will show up as your nickname, not your real name, which was part of my motivation for the Big Switch)

In related news, Muse Fusion is next week! We've got a Facebook event for it: https://www.facebook.com/events/1440896162596157/

In non-related news, it's been spring break this week, and I have been Momming like mad, too. TWO playdates (gasp!), a trip to the library, a trip to the museum, an appointment with the allergist (cats, horses, dogs, and alder pollen), plus she's been 'helping' me sort, clean, and weed the literacy bags for preschool. I haven't gotten to the gym this week, but I did go to bellydance, and in a fit of utter girliness, I did get my hair highlighted, so I am a genuine blonde again.

In celebration of St Patrick's day today (and because I had a stale loaf of bread), I have made bread pudding with whiskey sauce, and I've got a corned beef to make later, with roasted potatoes and carrots. I also made granola, since we were out, and called my mother.

In arty things, on Tuesday I met [livejournal.com profile] laylalawlor at the Morris Thompson Complex, where we sketched the exhibits while Guppy played in the accessible places. (And did a remarkably small share of hanging on me complaining that she was bored, considering her age...) Here is my favorite of the sketches I did:



That place is really amazing. Local friends, bring your out-of-state visitors there. The bits of the exhibit on what it's like to live here are remarkably accurate, and the winter cabin is really immersive.

I've got just a little bit of quiet time left, and I'm going to go finish my code...

$sql = "UPDATE website SET language = geek WHERE project = nearlydone!";
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I did a crazy six pieces for Sketch Fest this weekend, two little paintings, three big sketches that might become coloring pages, and a colored pencil on toned paper piece that I then finished into a PA portrait:



With my big Secret Project turned in, and the 78Tarot piece turned in, I feel like weight is off my shoulders. I've got about 1150 words in on my next not-a-book. I've been doing random artwork for fun. I've been looking at projects I haven't had the energy to examine lately. I have enough stories in my head to start a library. I'm even back at the gym once a week! My inbox is at 318, which is not awful. (For me.)

Daylight savings is messing with my head. Tomorrow morning is going to be terrible; it was finally to the point where it was just starting to get light when the alarm went off, and now it's going to be an hour darker when I have to get up. Guppy actually got up tonight to say, "Mom? Did you put me to bed early? Because it's still really light out."

I assured her that I was not trying to pull a fast one on her.

(Also, the subject of this post puts the 'creature report' song from Octonauts straight into my head. AGH.)
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
More major progress on the Torn World site (I think everything public-facing is mopped up) and on my inbox (390!), and yesterday I got a big chunk of my 78Tarot piece done, too (Whee!). Crossed another project off my list of things-that-should-have-been-done-long-ago, and have another queued up and ready to print in just a few moments. I've gotten a few hundred words in on my next not-a-book (so fun!) and now Guppy and I are going to wrap up in ALL our things and go outside to play, since she didn't go out at preschool. It's only about 5 below right now, compared to the chilly 20 below it was this morning.

Have a portrait that's available now at Portrait Adoption:



*zooms cheerfully*
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
One of the things I've wanted to do with Torn World is merge it a little more nicely with the rest of EMG - and yesterday, in a fit of... something... I decided to tackle that. I'm about halfway through the process, and the hardest and scariest parts are done. (I about gave myself a heart attack as I pressed DELETE on the entire artist database for EMG and hoped to the depths of my SOUL that the backup was going to work correctly. [SPOILER: it did.])

I still have a lot of mop-up left to do, but it's coming together nicely, and I'm also purging out some leftover gruff that wasn't doing anything (the old tours functionality that never did what I wanted, and some commented-out stuff leftover from the site I borrowed a lot of the script from). I'm also... sort of impressed with myself. The Torn World site is really pretty amazing. I mean, don't go look right now while it's all half-broken, but holy MOLY. This is an awesome thing I've built. I love the storyline functions, and the way you can browse next/previous within storylines or follow the timeline, and the article organization is finally as I'd envisioned, and once you step in, you can just follow threads around and get a sense of how rich and in-depth the world actually is.

I stepped away from the project feeling really discouraged about it a year or whenever ago, and I had forgotten some of the more wonderful aspects of it. The webpage, not to be too humble about it, is one of those things. It could be made more mobile-friendly, for sure, and that's definitely on my list once the broken bits are all picked up and put back together. The landing page could use an update, too. But the bolts? The backend? Oh, yeah.

It makes me want to write some more for it, too, but commercial books are where my writing time needs to go right now. (Which, tbh, I am getting SUPER excited about writing as well...)

Anyway, this is advance notice of our next Muse Fusion! March 20-24 will be a week of Torn World inspiration! I will be available for a chat (times to be announced), and we'll be doing a Sketch Fest-esque prompt-fest of creative inspiration, for writing, artwork, and metafiction. The site will be back to tiptop shape by then (I think it will only be another hour of bug-squashing, tops), and it's possible that the fusion will be hosted there - otherwise, we're trying a social media mix of Facebook and LJ.

ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I had an AMAZING weekend. Really, it was fantastic.

I had people over on Friday to watch Ascension during Guppy's quiet time, and then [livejournal.com profile] laylalawlor and I hit the First Friday scene, which is always super inspiring. On Saturday, I used some of that energy to work on a new coloring page (dragon and squirrel!), and also the 78tarot project. I started painting, and LOVED the background, but lost all of my lines completely. Not daunted, I decided to print out a new copy of the ink version, color it, and play with cutting out the figure. I absolutely love how it's working out.



I clearly have more coloring to do, and the satellite needs cut out. Then I'll do gluing and go over it with colored pencil/gel pen touchups. This is so far out of my comfort zone it's not even funny, but it's been great fun, and I think the result is coming along really well.

With my leftover paints, I did a collection of abstract ACEO canvases, which are always fun.

On Sunday, I got to watch my sister sing a solo and go to gaming, where we didn't have a quorum for the RPG, and played a super complex Cthulu boardgame instead. Yummy Mexican food and fellow nerds for the yay.

Then I went home for delicious dinner and Jake and I made the mistake of watching Black Mirror before bed. SO GOOD. SO DISTURBING. TOO CLOSE TO REALITY.

Today so far has been productive. I cleaned the house and even vacuumed upstairs. I've delivered some tweaked print files and done a bunch of administrative things (phone calls, emails, etc). I've got a portrait to do today for the Secret Project client, and need to finish the 78Tarot piece. Also, folding clothes, going outside to play, washing dishes, and one of these days soon I'm going to have to tackle the exploding room of Guppy.

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