Week One

Aug. 4th, 2017 02:35 pm
ellenmillion: (Default)
It's been a week.

A loooooong week.

I am going genuinely stir-crazy, sitting in this chair.

I am just now to the point where I previously would have said I was having a "bad back day" (how little I knew...) and I want to doooo things again, because it isn't actively hurting, and I am impatient to get stuff done.

(I'm not, no one has to waggle fingers. I am taking it very, very easy. It is counter to my nature, but I am doing very little. It is very boring.)

I've can be comfortable with the laptop again, which is nice, and I've got my not-a-book about halfway edited. I've also been able to do some promotional stuff, though it didn't happen before national coloring book day, as I'd hoped. You do have until August 6th to take advantage of this sale:



I also got my Patreon rewards out for August! I have new tiers now, and have brushed off my latent Sketch Tarot project. I'll be releasing a card a month, and for as little as $3/month, you can get a high resolution copy to print and color, and I'll give you some of my thoughts and process about each card. If you are a patron at this level (or above) for 24 months, you'll get a free basic deck when it's eventually finished.

Capitalism aside, I am improving. And posting this finally, having started it about 6 hours ago...
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)


I'm back! Guppy and husband and I went to Hawaii for a few weeks, meeting my Mom and friend M for the first week, and on our own the second. It was warm and relaxing and I am much rejuvenated. (Though, the less said about the EIGHT HOURS we spent at the Fairbanks airport trying to get out of town, the better.)

I'm behind, but trying hard to catch up. I have an insane deadline to meet by the end of the month. (InSANE.) But I'm going to do it, and it will be amazing, and I should be able to share it with you next month.

(Unless you're a supporter at Patreon, they get to see them first! Patreon patrons also got to see photos and sketches during my recent travels, for as little as $1/month.)

Otherwise, I'm going to be more quiet than usual for February. We're getting back into the regular patterns of life, and there are Guppy things and house things and tax things and EMG things to get done... on top of the most wonderful deadline ever. Oh, and I'm releasing a book next week! Yay!

Sketch Fest is next week! https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)


Taking some sanity time and unplugging from social media and all the various business things that hang over my head online; a little mental reboot. I usually do this after Christmas and through January, but I got all caught up in projects. So now I'm scheduling my me-time. Self-care, here I come!

I will be back, refreshed and ready to go, with February.

The February Sketch Fest will be Feb 17-19!
ellenmillion: (thud)
I'm very sorry for delays in communication this week. My Monday ick turned out not to just be woodsmoke, and blossomed into a miserable cold on Tuesday. I felt considerably better on Wednesday, though I sounded quite rough. When I got up this morning, I had pain in my ears, so I took a sudafed that knocked me for a serious loop - I keep taking my temperature because I've had hot and cold sweats, dizziness, and brutal exhaustion that I didn't have before taking the sudafed. On the plus side, my sinuses are dry and my ears stopped hurting. I'm not entirely sure it was worth it. I've been just crawling through my morning chores, not helped by the fact that poor Guppy has caught it, too.

At any rate, I'm feeling behind on things and I'm quite dismayed that we're 9 days off from Christmas. What?!

If you, like me, are scrambling for last minute gifts, I've got a way to give a whole lot of people a great thing in one fell swoop: a Gift Certificate to EMG. You'll make my day, you'll support an independent artist (or several!), and you'll make the recipient's day, by giving an art gift without having to wonder if they have wall space for that print, or if they have that coloring book, or if they need a character portrait for their RPG campaign. It's even a great gift for an artist, as it also includes the EMG-Zine anthologies, stuffed full of business and technical advice for artists and writers.



/holiday shill

Now I'm going to go feed us some lunch and wash some dishes.
ellenmillion: (Kativa2)
I'm excited to share the official launch of Hidden Youth. I have the following illustration in the anthology:



I am taking down the files for the scavenger hunt now - it was really a lot of fun and people had wonderful positive feedback about it. Not a whole lot of participation in the end though, so I'm not sure if I'll do it again. Maybe in a few years when I've got new sites to show off? (People even suggested my poetry wasn't awful!)

I saw Dr Strange on Saturday with a friend, and it was lovely. It was a gorgeous movie. A bottle of water cost more than $5, but it was still a good movie.

I went to bed last night feeling miserably ill, sniffling and sneezing and feeling like I was moving through a vat of honey. I drank things with vitamin C, and took a NyQuil and attempted a good night's sleep. Guppy had other plans, and I was up four freaking times, but even so, felt remarkably good this morning. Not... quite sick. A little sniffly and slightly spacy. I'll take it.

I got my car windshield replaced today - it was a spider web of cracks and chips and long overdue for fixing. Small monster went to preschool, and I got a brutal massage. Then we went grocery shopping and she is down for the most reluctant nap in the world.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I survived another parent aide day. Barely.

For the project today, the kids drew themselves as grown ups, picking a profession and dressing drawings of themselves up and having one of the aides write a bit about them. One boy was a policeman and caught a bad guy. Another was a parent, with one kid. A little girl was a teacher, another was a dermatologist who lived on a farm. My daughter? My daughter wanted to grow up to be Astrid and fight dragons.

(Honestly, I think that's pretty awesome.)

Today's artwork is:


I did this nearly two years ago (guh!), but just posted it at Torn World!

The Scavenger Hunt is live! It is amazing fun - people who have taken it have enjoyed it a ton, and no one has issued any arrest warrants for the awful poetry. The prize is also awesome, and includes a coupon from me that you could apply to a skeleton army of your very own.

The Scavenger Hunt is here: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/scavengerhunt.php

If you need hints, email or PM me!
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)
Come join us now for the EMG Holiday Scavenger Hunt! It's live! http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/scavengerhunt.php

It should be a little silly fun, and it ends in a great coloring and coupon book from more than a dozen amazing EMG artists.

And, as promised, more new artwork to release!


This is a page from Wild Teas of Alaska: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/coloringbook.php?id=75
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)
I am officially throwing my hat in for #junicorn - a month long challenge that is June + unicorns. I'm aiming for 30 in 30 days, not necessarily one per day, because my life doesn't work that way...

#1 was a pencil sketch in my sketchbook, but #2-7 have been colored pencil on ACEO cards. I want it to be a bit of a stretch, and color is always hard for me. Not to mention horses. (I originally thought this would be a good way to get some new work at Torn World, but only one of these is even remotely Torn Worldish.) So! Watch me doing hard things!



And in hard things I'm not doing much - social media. This is largely because I have amazing help with much of the EMG stuff right now - if you are subscribed to my email list, this won't be a surprise, but I was lucky enough to get Deborah Brannon of GeekDame on staff.* She's been running weekly featured artists and spotlights on the archives that have been just wild fun. It's been eye-opening how MUCH there is to enjoy at EMG. Years of archives and stories and artwork! I lose sight of that, when I'm nose-to-the-grindstone, and it's enabled me to get a lot more done and keep me on track having her keep the energy up and help me keep a regular appearance at tubmlr and twitter and Facebook. I am SO, SO grateful for her help and organization. Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] talkstowolves! <3 <3




*Where staff means underpaid and highly appreciated!
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I forgot to post about this here last week:



You can download the high res copy here: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/coloringbook.php?id=47

Over the weekend, we got some cabinets moved around in the kitchen and conquered a disaster area. (You know the type - it collects things you don't know where to put, until its an eclectic array of bottles and lunchboxes and things you temporarily wanted out of Guppy's reach, and gosh, I thought I'd thrown that out already....) We also worked on the bathroom sink - we have a vanity, and the faucet is attached to it (but not yet to water), and the exit plumbing is several steps closer to being hooked up. It looks so wonderfully bathroom-y in there!

I also have been nose-to-grindstone on artwork for the next collection of coloring books. On my desk now are these two still in pencil:



Guppy is being new levels of needy and clingy this morning, so that it for my time right now.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Have you missed some of my creative updates over the last month? I'm doing monthly roundups to try to keep some sense in the chaos!

Artwork:

2 pieces sketched for Sketch Fest, both of them later finished for Sketch Fest. (But one of them is still in NDA!!)



Also finished this piece for Finish Fest:


Available: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=17940

I worked feverishly on pieces that I won't be able to share until next month...


Writing:

Another 5kish on DB, but nothing new shared.


Off the Press:

Two new coloring books: Garden Sprites and The Collected Faeries of Victoria Griffin! http://ellenmilliongraphics.com/coloringbooks.php


Also:

First Friday at Alaskana Raven. (Very slow, few sales, but worth it for the few enthusiastic fans I met.)

New phone. Oops.

Favorite Guppy photo: http://hotlink.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/baby/IMG_0113-puddles.JPG

September Patreon perk: the Torn World short story, Never Traveling Alone.
ellenmillion: (SG-1)
Orders and shipping fun - printing prints, addressing postcards, looking up zipcodes, printing labels. A nice rush of Portrait Adoption adoptions over the last week, and I also have to a replace an order from last October that got lost in the Australian customs. *shakes tiny fist in rage*

Do likes on Facebook matter? Short answer: yes. I got an order this week that was directly due to someone liking something that linked to my coloring book page. Likes matter WAY more than Facebook's retarded boosting scam. *shakes tiny fist in rage*

Sea Monster month continues! I am more than halfway to professionally printing these books, which I would really, REALLY like to get to. We're also just $18 from getting an extra two pieces finished: http://ellenmillion.livejournal.com/1515101.html

You know you need more sea monsters in your life. :) PDFs start at just $2!

(You can like this post over here: https://www.facebook.com/EllenMillionArtistrix Just sayin'.)

I have to wake up Guppy now - she had a very late, very stubborn night last night. I'm hoping today goes more smoothly. *shakes tiny fist in rage*


Here's the sketch I'm working on today:

ellenmillion: (Sketch Fest)
Here's the final version of the postcard I was working on, I think:
800 pixels wide )

Guppy and I went for a walk this morning - the snow is getting soft and will turn into slush not long from now. Mornings will be easier walking for a little while, while things are still frozen from the night. I dread the days we can't go out at all.

Groceries and post office after that, and Guppy was not exactly cooperative at the grocery store. She turned to make sure I was watching her run away from me AS I was telling her not to run away from me, and then couldn't understand why I put her in the cart. (Other shoppers got a kick out of me running after her, though...) Loud wails of 'I wanna listen to you!' as she kicked me did not thaw my icy heart. Her nap was short, and she was up early, but I still managed to get my NEW new phone set up. Mostly. I'll probably remember other apps to reinstall as I go to use them and don't have them.

Here's a photo of artist-Guppy:


And one from yesterday (or Wednesday?), sleeping on a Squid...
ellenmillion: (Are You Sure?)
I'm looking at ordering some new postcards. My current stock is badly dated, including with an expired domain. (That I'm still sort of kicking myself over on several fronts, but that's a whole 'nother story.)

And I have dilemmas. Whole PILES of dilemmas. Like, do I continue to plug Fantastic Portfolios? It's still technically an EMG project, but I don't actually run it anymore, and it's lagging seriously behind right now. And EMG-Zine - there are 7 YEARS of fantastic archives there, and three print anthologies that I'd eventually like to sell out of. But the space on an advertising postcard is some seriously valuable real estate. What about Commission-Control? Do I put that on to make myself get this project geared up or is that a stupid amount of extra pressure. I really DO want to get this project released this year - sooner than later, even (I have some GREAT ideas for it, actually...), but putting it on business cards makes it pretty real.

I'm intending to do something similar to my landing page:



Naturally, I'll be updating all the link addresses and text, making things more readable at the smaller scale, changing the aspect ratio a bit, updating the coloring book covers to things that are actually available, using more active portrait artist examples, etc.

I could also redesign the whole bloody thing, but let's not get crazy...

ETA: Here's what I've got so far...

somewhat big! )
ellenmillion: (ellen with wrench)
Ice day! It started raining on Saturday night. Norway, bless his fuzzy little pinhead, freaked out over the snow sliding off the roof, and crept up the stairs, whining and bumping himself into the bedroom doors at 3 in the morning. I had to throw all one hundred terrified pounds of him back down the stairs, and he begged me to let him outside to the safety of his doghouse. (Not literally throw, of course, but it did involve grabbing him by the scruff of the neck and the butt and heaving him down the first step... all while trying not to wake the child.)

Yesterday, it started to get cold again, and the roads are sheets of ice. The husband is still getting over an illness, so we called an ice day and slept in. It was lovely!

I have newly colored art up at Portrait Adoption! I'm pretty tickled by this one, and the original is available:


Adopt it here: http://portraitadoption.com/portrait.php?id=950

I finished another colorization of an older PA piece, and did seven inked animal pieces for Torn World this weekend, because we're basically out of things to post. On Friday, after my whiny post about too much to do, I finished the big deadline project, scanned and delivered it. (No changes requested, whew!) I also edited the overdue gift story and sent it out for first level approval. I'm packing up some coloring book orders while I scan the weekend's efforts, and there will be some playing with the energetic child.

Aaaand, that will be right now, because she just found me in the basement and is dismantling my piles and trying to play with the tape...
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I decided not to do a July-December image-intensive post... because after June, I started doing those monthly and it seems redundant to do that all over again. (You can see them at the monthly roundup tag)

But I AM interested in looking at some of the totals I got to, and examining how the things I did related to my goals as I think about what goals I need for the next year.

Long, and possibly boring... )
ellenmillion: (working hard)
In Guppy News

I am astonished how fast she's growing. It's easier to see when I spent a good chunk of two weeks away from her than it was when I was constantly with her.

Her speech is getting clearer - milk is no longer gum, blankets are no longer boppies. (Each blanket, in fact, has a name, and must be put on her in order: Pink Blanket, Guppy Blanket, Rose Blanket, Kitty Blanket. And heaven help you if one of the blankets is missing!) She says 'please' if barely prompted, 'thank you' nearly always, and 'you're WELcome' all the times in between. 'Do it myself!' is one of her favorite things, and she drew an 'H' and identified it correctly this weekend. Her counting is still hit and miss. ('One, three, one, two...') 'Build a tower!' is still a favorite. Reading never goes out of style. A few weeks ago, she made a drastic change and began personifying her things. Suddenly Kiko, her rag-doll, has to be fed and have her diaper changed and take naps, where before I think Kiko's little blanket meant more to her than Kiko. Even her 'Little Green Person' (a Duplo figure) is addressed as a character now. She cannot seem to sit still through storytime - today she bolted across the library (just to be chased, as far as I can tell) five times before I finally just pulled her out and went to play with Duplos with her.


Growing up is hard work!

In pet news

I need to take Norway for more walks! But as he's gotten older, he seems more content with hanging out at his house and doesn't bolt around quite like he used to. Long walks sometimes wind him now. His weight is down at a healthier place for him, and he seems in good health.

Velcro, on the other hand, had started grooming bald patches down her sides, so I took her in for shot updates (just rabies - she's not at risk for anything else, being an indoor only cat) and to get an opinion on that. $300 of bloodwork later (and two draws, because they LOST the first one...), it turns out she is hyperthyroid, poor kitty. We're trying prescription food for a month or so, before resorting to medicine. No improvement yet, but it's only been a little over a week. She's definitely showing her age these days, but remains tolerant to toddlers who cover her with towels and try to stack books on her and convince her to eat duplos.

In house news

We got the lights up in the garage, and they are fabulous! The fan is also purchased, but not yet installed.

In weather news

More %^*##@ rain. I don't want to talk about it.

In project news

Sketch Fest was a little bit slow this month, and the Torn World Muse Fusion (which runs the entire month) is shaping up to be a bit of a flop. I suspect that my being offline and largely out of touch plays a role.

I am all kinds of inspired over Shifting. I have, in fact, reserved a domain for it, because I have no sense at all. It is now required to make me $15/year. Sketch Tarot is still moving forward - Empress is inked!

Going to draw now, and then make banana bread. Inbox: 117 (urgh!) and I've got Sketch Fest payments to get out.
ellenmillion: (ellen portrait)
Inbox count: 371

I'm appalled to find whole SWATHES of emails from months ago... that I simply never answered. This is my head hanging in shame. Some of them are outdated, and I've been in touch with these people since, so they just get filed, but many, MANY of them are things I should have replied to much sooner. I'm so, so sorry.

Laundry is in, and I've showered and had breakfast. It's balmy today, so no fire. Posted at Torn World (this old sketch!), and sketched a super, super rough idea down. I took a long walk with Norway yesterday evening, and my back is a bit whiny about it now.

Monsterus Minimus never did take her nap yesterday, and at about 6:30, started nodding in her high chair with that glazed look she gets before unconsciousness. (Interestingly, she has fallen asleep in her high chair twice, but she never does that thing I see photos of other toddlers doing where they fall asleep in other random places. Maybe I just catch her before that stage and get her down to nap soon enough? Possibly, she's more self-aware about when she needs sleep, as she will sometimes come up to me and directly ask for a nap.) She hadn't eaten enough dinner at that point, so I got her engaged in her food, and she got a second wind that carried her, giggling and scampering, through to a slightly early bedtime, rather than a ridiculously early bedtime. She passed out decisively, and we watched an episode of Fringe before following suit. She is still asleep now. Those molars she was working on almost 6 weeks ago are finally coming through, I think - there is a suspicious hollow on those gums now, and she was putting all kinds of things in her mouth yesterday. I gave her a teether, for the first time in a long time, and it was chewed on with much enthusiasm.

I've found some older photos, in cleaning out my inbox:




Oh! There's the baby! Off to be Mom.
ellenmillion: (ellen with wrench)
Guppy broke her sleeping-late pattern this morning by waking up wailing just before the alarm went off - and went back to bed two hours later, so I don't think she was really ready to get up yet. Yesterday, I had the monitor with me as I worked in the basement, and when she woke up, she rustled around for a little bit, then cheerfully said, "Hi!"  She waited just a moment, then said again, "Hi?"  And I hollered, "Hi!" back at her, and she giggled and was quiet until I came and got her.

She loves reading, possibly more than anything else.  She will pile our laps with books and then sign 'books' at us.  "Booo? Boooo?"  Nothing makes her happier than turning to her favorite page in any given book and having someone read it to her.  (Almost every book has a favorite page.)  And she will entertain herself with a book, too, babbling the stories to herself as she turns the pages.  Yesterday, she went one step further and... well, I know it's not technically reading and is just memorization, but just LOOK how pleased she is with herself:



https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152044805305100&l=3108209690562885837
(7 second video on Facebook)

Today I've ordered a new printer with my Kickstarter earnings - I'm downgrading, because the 4000 is just more printer than I want on my desk and I want to get rid of the space-hogging 17 x 22 inch media. The R3000 sounds like it handles the thick media I use much better, so I suspect it will actually be an upgrade.  I am eyeing a new scanner, too - but the one I really want is $2500, and I just can't justify that kind of expense for something that ultimately only serves my own artwork.  The reviews make me absolutely salivate, though.  It is an 11 x 17 bed, and it picks up really fine and light pencil details in sketches, which is something lesser scanners just can't do.

In related news, Fantastrix is SOLD OUT. I have two copies un-claimed, and I'm keeping them.  I am going to reprint, but the second edition will be the more standard 20 page coloring book, lacking 6 of the pages of the Kickstarter edition, to keep sales simpler (and to reward my beautiful Kickstarter patrons!), and it won't happen immediately.  Prices on all coloring books will be going up with the new year, just as a warning! http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/coloringbooks.php

I am printing the very last of the *Asterix copies now, including the +10 copies that I reserved for off-Kickstarter sales, and printing two more pages of ACEOs to replace some that got messed up. (Or missed - I think I just counted wrong and missed a page of Dotminatrix ACEOs...)  I think the very last orders on my desk - just 7! - all require something I'm waiting on,  I'm very excited to have this all wrapped up. Packages are arriving at their homes, and I'm gleefully imagining how happy people are as they unpack them.

I will be sending out Sketch Fest payments today, and doing laundry. Debating bread! 
ellenmillion: (EMG)
Nothing new is for sale today; I will be tallying up boxes and sending out invoices with shipping charges (if they apply). This is your last chance to snag some of these fabulous bundles - and I've marked every bundle down even further today - let's move 'em out! Oracle decks ($10 each), calendars (between $5 and 10/$12), anthology collections ($50 for all three volumes), teas (6 peppermints, 1 oolong, 4 apricot/peach green - $6 each), coloring books (5/$40, 10/$70), and 2 Happy Cthulu pins ($!0) are still left, too! And, I have Fantastrix and Dotminatrix in stock, so I'll be starting the mailing of those, too!

Here is the master page, all updated with available bundles: http://ellenmillion.livejournal.com/1403112.html

Nothing new is for sale, but I do have something free for all of you: a free PDF of the Archivistrix coloring book!



Two versions are available for download here: http://ellenmillion.com/coloringbooks.php

Enjoy! Spread the word! Download, print, color, share! It is my gift to you - brought to you by the Kickstarter campaign that funded Fantastrix.

It's been a really fun and exiting 20 years of Ellen Million Graphics. From the tremendously humble beginnings in 1993, the business has evolved in directions I never anticipated. I am enormously grateful to all of the people who have made it possible, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
ellenmillion: (EMG)

The Everything Else Bundle: $20 (9 cards, 3 bookmarks, 1 magnet, 1 sticker, 2 buttons, 2 mirror-backed keychains, 3 mini-totes)

You only have until Thursday to claim any of the remaining specials or bundles! I will be packing things up starting on Friday, and anything unsold at that time will be broken up and spread out across all the boxes I'm packing up.

Here's the master page: http://ellenmillion.livejournal.com/1403112.html

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