ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Yesterday turned into Paint the Goddamn Bathroom Day. We taped and plasticked, and while the husband was Guppy-wrangling and handing me tools and refreshing my book stats because my hands were covered in paint, I did two coats of primer and a coat of white sand paint and the bathroom is PAINTED. We even have covers over the electrical outlets. It loos like a room, not just a scary box of doom. Now we can shelvinate, and put in a sink. AT LAST! AT LAST!

It goes a lot faster when you aren't trying to wrangle a 3-year-old at the same time. Protip: Trying to get your preschooler involved in bathroom painting is not efficient or good for your blood pressure. We did get half a wall a coat of primer up a week earlier, but I decided I wasn't going to do that again. EVER. Teaching life skills may be important, but I need to keep my hair.

At one point yesterday, I had the husband hand me a knife to cut through some paint to remove some tape. He watched me make a clumsy start and offered, "Do you want me to do that?"

"I don't know how to take that," I said suspiciously.

"I saw that you didn't know how to take it," he answered. "But then realized you were holding a knife and decided to go quietly into the kitchen and make food instead."

Between painting and the swimming I did on Friday (Guppy had lessons, I did some laps and sat in the hot tub), my arms and shoulders feel all rubbery and abused.

Have a photo of Guppy hugging a giant knit squid:




I told her that she had a birthday in a week, and that she'd be four, and she just about threw a fit. "I don't want any more numbers!! I'm THREE. I'm not going to be four. NO."

Also, just this week, she has turned into 'why' girl. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is met with "Why?"

My reply is to explain why, so things like "Why is the fan cold?" gets an answer of "It's not actually cold, it just feels cold because it increases your convective heat loss."

"Oh, Okay," she replies. "I get it!"

I'm not sure which of us you should feel sorry for.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
The first of this week's artwork reveals!



This was based in Torn World, of course. It had been FAR too long since I had done one of my big, furry beasts. You can get this as a coloring page through Color On! digital magazine, where you can also find an interview about me: http://coloronmag.com/article/a-chat-with-ellen-million/

Over the weekend, I also did the impossible, and pulled out the stops to finish #Inktober. All 31 pieces finished in 31 days! Some of them have been released, over this last month, some of them will be shared later this month. Here is a link to all of them thumbnailed together: http://hotlink.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/inktober15-spread copy.jpg

(I am not posting it as an image, because it may blow up your friendslist...)

The final tally (obviously with lots of overlap!):
11 pieces for portrait adoption (+ one additional portrait for a friend)
4 male portraits
1 multi-figure piece
2 full figures
5 pieces for Torn World
1 for RTH
1 for my Sketch Tarot project
2 holiday card designs
2 coloring book pages (both for the Wildflowers project)
9 animals - including 2 cats (which have always given me fits...)
30 were done in Micron, 1 in dip pens. (Which, incidentally, I started as #15, but finished last, because dip pens around Guppy are RISKY.)
8 were prompted through Sketch Fest, 3 more were prompted through my artist page.


We've also gotten a lot of snow over the past several days, which means playing outside in it, of course:



Child is gradually learning to nap in her new free-range state. (We converted her crib to a toddler bed last week. It was rough. Send chocolate.) I need to go take advantage of this and get more ornaments finished for the shows this weekend. (Which I am super excited about!)
ellenmillion: (kativa1)
We have 7.5 inches of snow so far today, and it looks lovely.



Today, I finished some client programming, made fudge (I am not well-suited to this process), did laundry, baked a pie pumpkin (which may lead to a pumpkin pie...), and played in the snow - I opted NOT to drive into town after hearing a few horror stories.

I need to figure out what's for dinner next... fudge and squash aren't going to cut it.
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)
Another productive preschool day at the tea shop. She got to take a field trip, I got to finish inking one of my pieces on deadline (3/5 done!! 1 is about 10% inked, and 1 is about 90% sketched. And I love them all pretty much unconditionally right now.). We both got hot chocolate as a treat.

She dropped into bed like a stone after a tired bowl of mac'n'cheese, so I scanned some things and am catching up on the panic of this morning (I let the EMG domain expire and when I went to renew it, the panel was down. Urgh.).

There is a Sketch Fest tomorrow! Join us for awesome good times!

Have a photo from last week's photo shoot!

ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
It was a mixed bag of a weekend. I got a piece of artwork finished for a project with [livejournal.com profile] laylalawlor, and did running around and went to gaming on Sunday. (I spent most of Sunday wondering why everyone around me smelled bad everywhere I went... and got home to find that there was dog poop on my shoe. Sorry, everyone I thought smelled bad... *facepalm*) I got orders filled, and updated my Etsy shop with Christmas digital designs. Hold onto your pants for some printed cards to color, coming soon.

But the real triumph? Today was our first day of pre-school.

Jake met me there and we ushered her in to the crazy, wonderful chaos of the classroom and left her busily playing with a dollhouse to not-quite sniffle together in the parking lot. I picked her up after a trip to the post office and a load of water and 950 words written at the library, and she was a little shell-shocked about the whole affair, but smiled and hugged me and said she had fun and she didn't say she didn't want to go back when I told her we were going again in a few days. (And she's is PLENTY fast about saying she doesn't want to something if there's even a hint of it...) She even said she made new friends, but she couldn't remember their names.

The idea that she would go down easily for her nap after such an exciting morning has proven a lie, alas, so not much done yet this afternoon.

Have a photo from our first day. Not exactly a smiley front porch first day photo, but this is monsterus minimus we're talking about.



Project status:

WoA: 4/6 inked Due: Oct 15ish
AotM: 1 inked, 1 half-inked, 2 near-final sketched, idea for 5/5 Due: Oct 1
Kickstarter: Half ready?
DB: 17k words. Probably another 5k to finish?
ellenmillion: (bzzz...)
More than halfway there to go for the full professional printing of the Sea Monster Mini-coloring book! I am so excited! http://ellenmillion.livejournal.com/1515101.html



We went into town today, charming people in the post office line and terrorizing them at the grocery store. We got to watch a dump truck leave a pile of dirt, and visit Papa's office. I drove the truck in, because we were delivering a wheelbarrow, and the lack of power steering is problematic in small parking lots. I came back with a load of water, which was fun!

At the store:
Guppy: (terrorizing at the checkout lane)
Me: Are you going to listen to me now?
Guppy: No. You have to give me a time out. And put me in the cart now.
Checker: *dies laughing*

Guppy is snoozing now, and I've got to lay out an ad for a fancy magazine! Taking this world domination thing seriously, I am. I'm starting to get nibbles on my first wave of postcards, and that makes me SO SO happy.

Much to do, off to do it.
ellenmillion: (thud)
It has been a very challenging week, and I've only been in the edges of most of the really terrible parts. This has been alleviated somewhat with sledding down the driveway, walks in the woods with Guppy and Norway, and watching M*A*S*H, which is now on Netflix. We also got the new fan/light up in the bathroom, and having light at the flick of a switch is really wonderful. Alas, I can also see that the corners desperately need cleaning... that and laundry are on my chores list for the day, along with the usual stuff.

This is a photo from a few weekends ago - Guppy insisted that the vacuum needed fixing, one of her favorite recent roleplays. "Needs new batteries," she told me, and went to work with the screwdriver. "I'm fixing it!" she told me with a grin.



She's been a little under the weather this weekend. Nothing major, but it makes every setback VERY DRAMATIC to her. There have been a lot of temper tantrums, and a lot of sobbing 'I need a hug!'s. I was up four times Sunday night, but she slept through more of last night (just one wake-up, and the husband handled it). Her naps have been pretty epic. It wouldn't surprise me if it's part of a growth spurt - she was due for one, I think.

My Sketch Fest showing over the weekend was pretty paltry - just two very, very rough sketches. Any art time I have really needs to be going to a few projects with deadlines that are galloping up. I'm hoping to finish one of them up today. Would like to do more writing, but there's no break in the clouds for that anytime soon. I'm trying to stay positive about my projects in general, but it's a little uphill right now.

I do have a color version of one of my portraits up: http://portraitadoption.com/portrait.php?id=2326

I am still head-over-heels about my new markers. They really suit my style, I think, and I'm super excited to do more with them.

Will try to get through emails today - sorry if you're waiting on me! They really stacked up over the long weekend.
ellenmillion: (wrench in the works)
I've done something to my left shoulder. I'm not sure what, but it hurts when I breath too deeply or reach the wrong way. Too much baking, clearly. It made it challenging to get back to sleep after the 2 AM wakeup call. (Guppy needed a hug and a blanket.) It could be from installing lights at my sister's house, which does involve a lot of reaching and holding over one's head... but it didn't hurt at all until rather late yesterday afternoon. I'm baffled. It's better than it was last night, so I'm not going to sweat it, but I am going to take it easy today.

Got a little painting done yesterday, of all shocking things. I'm hoping to get out to the garage once a week to slap some paint on canvas. Abstract, realistic - anything totally creative and unwinding for an hour or two. I think that will be healthy.

Here's just one photo for now - I have to go wake the Guppy up and haven't written a vacation post yet. (And I still haven't fixed my phone camera yet, so I haven't been taking current photos.)

ellenmillion: (gotlove)
Who got a cold for the holiday? This girl!

It's fortunately been fairly mellow, so far. I'm drinking lots of tea and water and eating far too many oranges in hopes of fending off anything worse. No one else in the household seems affected yet, and I'm hoping it stays that way.

Here's our turkey for the day:



We're having a pork tenderloin with various casseroles for dinner in a bit. We had pancakes with sausage bits this morning, and pecan pie, cheese, crackers, and olives, plus nearly all of a bag of satsuma oranges.

Food aside, I am very thankful for all the people in my life. I am rich in friends and family, and have so very much to be grateful for that it is sometimes overwhelming. I treasure you all, and don't tell you so enough.
ellenmillion: (Mmm..)
My inbox is at 110. Less than half of yesterday's tally! Horrah!

I also (FINALLY) fixed a setting on my phone that lets me delete and save sent messages, something that's been bugging me FOREVER. Granola was made (with assistance), and laundry was done. No art or writing to report, but I stared at a programming thing for Sketch Fest long enough to confuse myself.


Child in motion was difficult to photograph yesterday. I'm not sure what she's doing with her tongue, but the silver pot was being used to cook ice cubes, as one does.

She's waking up now, so I'm off to do Mom stuff and scoop the catbox and vacuum the floor and start the fire and such...
ellenmillion: (ellen with wrench)
I have much to do as soon as Guppy gets up; I hear early sounds of possibly rousing, so this may be one of those posts that doesn't actually get posted until afternoon.

She napped yesterday so hard that I had to wake her up after two hours, afraid she wouldn't go down to sleep at night. We went outside to play and after I finished stacking ALL of the wood (YES!), she proceeded to eat a bowl of mac and cheese, a slice of monterey jack cheese, half a bowl of squash, a pile of shredded pork with mustard sauce, a few pieces of roasted potatoes, several slices of watermelon, a graham cracker with peanut butter on it, a dozen grapes and a third of a Reeces peanut butter ice cream bar. She didn't go right to sleep after her shower, but pretty close to it.



Again, I am disappointed by the photo - it feels like a bigger chunk of wood in person. Maybe it's the tarp? It was drizzling all weekend, so, as much as I wanted to admire my lovely stack of fire fodder, it was prudent to cover it. It's nice not having the heap by the front door anymore! And it's a lovely, wonderful sense of accomplishment and security knowing that it's there for several winters in the future. We have a small, tight house, and I think that we've got about four winters worth of wood now - though some of that still needs bucked and split. (It's kerfed, at least, and tarped.) It's getting to be that time of year where we're picking up all the random tools (and toys!) throughout the yard, and thinking about where the snow will be falling off the roof and such.

Saturday was an awesome Kickstarter day, and Sunday was awful, so it evens out to an acceptable weekend. Please note! If you do not have a Kickstarter account (and don't want one, for whatever reason), but you'd like to grab some of these amazing deals (PDFs are ONLY available through the Kickstarter campaign, for example), I am accepting Paypal and EMG credits, and counting them towards our stretch goals! Just let me know which rewards you want, and I'll give you my paypal address or adjust your credits.

Baby, off...
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I have solemnly sworn (to myself) that I will not be All Kickstarter All the Time for the next three weeks, so have some silly Guppy stories and cute photos:

We were eating lunch and I told her she had to eat her hot dogs before she got any ice cream.

She nodded solemnly. "That's the protein," she told me.

!!

I guess she does listen to me.

...

Here, she begged me for a sideways braid, like Frozen:



She loved it.

...

We were playing in the front yard and she wanted to "Walk up and see Gramma and Grampa!"

Me: "They aren't here anymore. They went away until next summer."

Guppy: "That's so very sad."

(We later had the same discussion about Papa's truck not being there, and Papa being at work. Mostly, it was the very grown-up way she said it that struck me as so funny.)

...

During lunch, being a ham: "I'm a GOOFball!"

Yes, Guppy, yes you are.
ellenmillion: (ellen with wrench)
I'm nervous about the Kickstarter and there's a grant that I'm quite eligible for that closes Monday that I want to apply for but haven't done anything about (because I am a giant coward and feel unworthy), so instead of working on any of that, I completely rearranged Guppy's room ("You're moving the BED!"*) and took her out to pick cranberries in the cold.

She was even helpful!



Those are all her own cranberries that you see there, and she was very meticulous about digging into my (big) bucket and picking out the icky ones and leaves. We got nearly a pound and a half in probably 45 minutes. And it was lovely to be outside a little.

I want to try making fruit leather out of it. Can you put nuts in fruit leather? I may have to try. They would probably have to be chopped up REALLY fine to work.

Okay, Guppy is NOT interested in napping, but I'm going to suck it up and try to go get something done anyway...



*Having a 2 year old is like having your own personal sports announcer following you around. "You're washing the dishes! The kitty is sleeping! Your pants are blue! You're sitting in Papa's chair! You're driving the car!" All said with EXTREME interest, like I'm making the game-saving play at THAT VERY MOMENT.

Mondaily

Aug. 25th, 2014 05:08 pm
ellenmillion: (working hard)
It's a Monday after a night of not-enough-sleep, but I'm happily scanning artwork and stabbing at orders. (Almost done!)

I've scanned my artwork for the new coloring books, and am really very pleased with them. Patreon patrons will get first glimpses of them - the rest of you will have to wait until the coloring book reveals. *grins*

Which, btw, I'm getting Very Excited about. This could be a lot of fun! (A lot of work, which is scary, but a lot of fun!)

I got my second Etsy order, and I'm cautiously pleased with the interface, so far. I will continue to make time to add things to it. (Er, somehow.) It's pretty passive income, which I am a big fan of.

It's raining AGAIN today, so no park visit.


She's getting Super Serious about her tower-building... and I hear her waking up now!
ellenmillion: (working hard)
Tuesday! With more rain! But a little sunshine, too.

I have done a little housekeeping/improvement stuff, made lunch for the 'rents and sister (and monster), and gotten the smallest agent of mischief down to sleep. About to hop into a shower, and then ink like the wind. I am still utterly in love with my piece for the fairy tale coloring book. It is eating my brain. What is left of it.

Have a photo from last week!

ellenmillion: (mad scientist)
Coloring book pages are eating my rare free time. (2 zombies done, 1 dark fantasy about 25% inked, crazy-complicated-awesome fairy tale piece still in rough sketch, but I'm in LOVE with it.) Family in town. Got to go to the hot springs this weekend with my sisters and Mom. Went to the fair on Friday. Didn't realize that funnel cake came with the risk of spraying all nearby innocent bystanders with powdered sugar when it was windy!

Small monster went to the libbery today, but was very disappointed that there was no storytime. "No storytime! Storytime broken!" she told me as she ate (mostly refused) her lunch, later.



And, I'm back to the art.
ellenmillion: (working hard)
It poured all night. It's still pouring now. Some years, we'll get a few days in a row of drizzle, but I can't remember a downpour this steady for this long. I like rain as much as the next person - puddles are fun and I don't have to water my garden! - but it's been ENOUGH already. On the plus side, my trenches are awesome, and still working great.

The painting in the garage is finished, which is very exciting! (Though moving things in the rain is NOT a lovely idea.) We've bought the lights to install!

Here's a photo from the little puddle yesterday:



There are videos of her having fun in the rain at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ellenmillion/media_set?set=vb.620060099&type=2

Must fly now - monsterus minimus has been up since before the first snooze, so I won't get any work time until her nap!
ellenmillion: (Mmm..)
I put Guppy's hair in a ponytail yesterday, which delighted her enormously and ramped up her cuteness a level. "My little POHppy!" she says in glee, reaching back to touch it. "My little POHppytail!"



Inbox: 42

Today: A letter I've owed for some time, Sketch Fest prizes, Torn World contest that I had utterly forgotten about, and prizes for the Muse Fusion. Note to self: no more contests or prizes. They take too much time with too little return. Fun, but not fulfilling, and they feel stress-y. Going to cross them off so they are no longer weighing on me!

Thursdaily

May. 8th, 2014 03:11 pm
ellenmillion: (thud)
The next sea monster from the scale chart has been released!


The Thunder-Whale is the biggest Torn World omnivore. Just a whale. That happens to be able to disintegrate your boat with sound waves. You can sponsor him for $25, which gets you a print of the final chart, and this original 9 x 12 artwork. (The original has a slightly shorter nose, which was adjusted digitally.) We are $35 from our next goal, which is a human diver for scale!


Does she look grown up, or what?

One of her cutest things lately is saying 'You're welcome!' with great enthusiasm. Her 'Thank you' is more like 'tan tu,' and usually not said that clearly, and her 'Please' is next to non-existent. But even if YOU don't say thank you for something, if she thinks you should have, she looks you in the face, smiles hugely and says, "You're WELCOME!' Sometimes she says it twice, grinning away.

We went to the pet supply store today to get old-kitty treats and old-dog food, as well as a new collar. (Fred's has the food we like cheaper, but they only have the young large breed formula, not the old large breed formula. Both of the pets are getting old and creaky enough to spring for the senior varieties.) And Cold Spot is SO nice. The people are super friendly, and we found a hot orange collar that will fit the monster dog. I let the child free-range until she found the bulk cat food and would not leave it alone. So, I had to stuff her into the cart, protesting at the top of her shrill child lungs. She settled down quickly, and no one gave us dirty looks. At least, that I saw. They cooed over her at the front counter when we checked out, so presumably, they've seen worse.

She is currently yelling 'HIIIIIIIII' at the top of her voice to let me know she's ready to get up from her nap.

Mondaily

Mar. 31st, 2014 12:39 pm
ellenmillion: (I will stick forks in you)
Inbox: 19
I mustn't let it slide, so I'm going to keep reporting about it. I've cleared out all but two of the very oldest, stinkiest emails (and one of those is just a personal reminder about an art project I need to work on), but I've got a few more recent ones in here that are already a few weeks old I should tackle soon.

I got some personal programming time in bits and fits this weekend, and made HUGE Portrait Adoption strides. Artists can now offer their originals! The artist end of it works, the claim and approval end of it works. I just need to make the site itself show the availability, add it to the menu, and we'll be off to the races. :)

I didn't want to do this when we opened Portrait Adoption, because it relies on the artist not being a flake. (Which... you know...) But this has worked incredibly well with Sketch Fest, to my surprise, so I'm willing to risk it. I will be adding very explicit verbiage to the site so that customers know the risks.

They will expire, 90 days after the last edit of a portrait, to hopefully minimize any 'I lost it/spilled coffee on it/shipping costs have tripled' problems.

My next (PA) goal after that is to work on better browsing/searching. I had thought to do all of the updates at once, but that way lies overwhelmed-ness. So I'm dissecting my to-do list into manageable parts and doing what I can, instead of feeling bad about not getting it ALL done. And that works. I feel tremendously accomplished.

In other news, it was a GORGEOUS weekend. We got out and walked.

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