ellenmillion: (Default)
 We're getting a real fall! It's been relatively warm, and I'm so delighted that the leaves are staying on the trees. It feels like the last few years we got windstorms early in the autumn and went directly from just-changing to ugly-bare.

 




Today:

~Write 500 words
~Work on color logo for client
~Print rest of the Patreon physical reward
~catbox/dishes/vacuum
~Get email to 100. OMG I DID IT!
~Coloristas catchup
~Get Sketch Fest set up
~Mail art order <3
~Artwork for Patreon patron
~1 Torn World Character added to database
~Post last Torn World article in series
~Art afternoon
~Second delivery to Woven Sylver
~Post office


My reward for finishing will be painting mini-totes for Sketch Fest and Gotham.


This week:

~Return library books
~Get email down to 100. (at 120!!)
~Start poking on potential project - poking initiated! 
~Post rest of the articles at Torn World (3/4 posted)
~Finish color logo for client
~Finish anthology illustration
~Finish anthology revisions
~Write a total of 2500 words. (at 2252)
~Mail physical Patreon rewards. 
~Finish and deliver Patreon reward story.
~Catch up on Coloristas
~Clean downstairs desk
~Update Woven Sylver!

I'm off to eat bonbons now and file my nails...

ellenmillion: (Default)
I feel so behind! The last six weeks or so have felt like one setback after another, and lots of little things have gotten shoved aside. Time for a list!

Today I'd like to:

~Write 500 words. (1000 would be better)
~Get through 100 emails. (My inbox was up over 700 this weekend. I beat it back to 560.)
~Post next article at Torn World
~Shopping
~Catbox/dishes/vacuum
~Work on color logo for client
~Sketch for possible anthology illustration
~Next Patreon reward out (Sketch Tarot)
~Fold laundry (2 loads)
~Bellydance


This week:

~Get email down to 100.
~Start poking on potential project
~Post rest of the articles at Torn World
~Finish color logo for client
~Finish anthology illustration
~Write a total of 2500 words.
~Mail physical Patreon rewards.
~Finish and deliver Patreon reward story.



Guppy and I went cranberry picking on Saturday, and took a long walk in the autumn woods on Sunday. My purpose on the walk was to get her some exercise, and it wasn't very far before it hit me that this was my first time walking these paths without Norway, which was very hard. Guppy was effervescent and energetic, which really took the edge off, and the forest is gorgeous, going all gold and rust. In all, it was a lovely walk.



Nose to the grindstone now.
ellenmillion: (Default)
I won't say that I'm 'all better,' but I am crawling back to some new normal. I haven't responded to all the sweet comments and messages yet, but I will when I feel able to go through them.

Yesterday was all self-care and shopping, because we were out of everything. Crying for a few days in a row is unflattering, and even now that my eyes aren't blazing red, they are very puffy and I look like a poster-child for Botox gone terribly wrong. Thankfully, my glasses minimize the effect.

Guppy and I did some art yesterday:


Serious artist is serious.

She asked me to draw a camel, pretty much out of the blue. I thought I finished it, but then she handed me a pink pencil. "It needs a tongue."


(Original available, if anyone is need of an ACEO of a camel...)

Fun fact, a lot of the physiology of the snow-unicorn is based on a camel, though structurally they are more horse/mammoth/goat.

Today I'm going to go to the Farmer's Market for lunch, and the afternoon will be spent doing something fun with Guppy, tbd.

Now I'm going to catch up on Torn World and send Sketch Fest payouts.
ellenmillion: (Default)
Guppy bounced out of her first day of Kindergarten declaring that she had fun, and that she had done everything the teacher asked. Except sing. But everything else. And she liked the teacher. And she didn't make friends, but she did talk to other kids, and some of them might become friends (she didn't remember any names), and she was hungry and could she have a snack?




Look out, Kindergarten... here comes Guppy.

I got to have brunch with my husband after dropping her off and then went shopping ALL BY MYSELF, and bought tubs of ice cream and hot tamales to help me cope.

Kindergarten stress was the tip of my emotional iceberg today, as Norway is failing very fast, and I'm deeply frustrated by what I'm not able to do, but I also know someone who got stung by 20 hornets today, so it could all be very much worse and I will be grateful for what I have and call the day an overall win.
ellenmillion: (Default)
I owe a weekend report! On Thursday night, I drove out to Chena Hot Springs, all by myself in the van. I camped there overnight, soaked in the morning, and met Layla for a plein air watercolor painting class. Yes, I was torturing myself again with Things I Am Not Good At. Patreon patrons will get a look at what I painted! Friday night I camped out with Layla, Saturday was another day of painting outdoors, and then Saturday night Layla drove back in and Jake left Guppy with the grandparents and drove out in his fancy car. We stayed until Sunday afternoon, soaking and enjoying a leisurely breakfast.

It was a gorgeous time. Sunny weather the first day, threatening clouds the second - but no actual rain until we were tucked into bed, long after a lovely fire and marshmallows.



I brought my iPad and keyboard with me, and actually managed to write a few thousand words, as well! Not-a-book is up to 40k, and I've got just another scene (maaaaybe two) and a fluffy epilogue still to write on it. I've mocked up the cover and drafted the blurb. It feels like it's stampeding to the finish line now! It's eating my brain, big time.

Tomorrow: a massage, the farmer's market, a new artwork release, and maybe a thousand new words, if I'm lucky. All the paid #junicorns are mailed except a few I'll take into town with me tomorrow. (And one more original sale would make me over the moon! I made a special folder at my artist Facebook page to show which originals were still available.)
ellenmillion: (Default)
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!

April started late - I spent the first several weeks doing a whirlwind grandparent tour of three different states. I attempted #faepril, but burned out after 7 or eight of them, and wasn't particularly happy with any of them. I was also working ridiculous hard on exclusive work that I won't be able to show off until July (except to Patreon patrons!), so it was a brief month from the outside...

Artwork:

My big release was this painting, for 78Tarot:


I also did three rough sketches for Sketch Fest #86: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestartist.php?id=9&date=86
All of them were for my failed #faepril attempt, none of them were very polished!

Posted at Torn World:


And at Portrait Adoption:



Writing:

A poem for subscribers at Torn World: http://www.tornworld.net/storypageview.php?id=614

Almost no not-a-book writing.


Other:

Livejournal's insistence on adding advertising for visitors (despite my paid account!) was the final nail in that coffin, and I imported my journal to Dreamwidth, which is where my primary blogging now is.

I had a cold for a few weeks of the month. When I went to the doctor, they said 'walking pnemonia?' I said PLBT! and refused to get xrays, and was better then next week.

Favorite photo, Me and Guppy with a GIANT plastic cow: http://hotlink.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/baby/IMG_8554-withagiantcow.JPG
ellenmillion: (Default)
I've done So. Much. Today.

I couldn't point a finger at anything individually grueling, and my to-do list wasn't really that impressive, but I feel like I haven't stopped all day, rushing from thing to thing. It is, at least, a nicer day than yesterday, with spots of sun, and batches of chocolate chip cookies.

I wrote no words today, but I did finish a commission and deliver it, and tweak it, and get it approved! Horrah!

It's pretty hilarious that Jake and I got each other early birthday presents of thermoses without collaborating on it. I got him a tiny 9 oz thermos for his coffee (he was lamenting not being able to find anything smaller than 12 oz), and he got me a thermos for nighttime ice water because I was jealous of the one he had. (I am excited to give him his second present, but his birthday isn't for another few days and he reads my blog, so I can't gush about what I found yet.)

Have a photo from last week when it was ridiculously sunny and hot:


We stopped for lunch at the Pita Place, which has AMAZING falafel, as a treat after the gym. Guppy enjoyed her hummus pita. I'm not sure what the L signifies, except that she was doing her best to be completely loony.

ETA: Woops, didn't post this last night. A great night of sleep later, and ready to tackle the to-do list that is no shorter than yesterday! *cracks knuckles*
ellenmillion: (Default)
The last day of preschool was yesterday! *SOBS*

I got my 500 words (and a little bit) written, and I did a bunch of Torn World admin, and I did some errands, and I made some phonecalls and now I'm looking at my to-do list and remembering the things I forgot I needed to do while I was in town. BRILLIANT. It helps if you use the darned list, self.

I forgot them again today, along with a half dozen other minor things, like my earphones for the gym. We went to get the tires inspected on the truck today, but it's first come, first served, and by the time I'd dragged Guppy out of the house, there was a 3.5 hour wait, which didn't exactly fit the schedule. So we went to the gym, and when I picked her up from an hour of gym daycare Guppy burst into tears and said she waited for me the whole! time! and GUILT SOB GUILT.

We met a dad friend of mine at the park for a surprise (to the kids) playdate and picnic lunch, and I got to carve my first wooden spoon, which was great fun and I didn't lose any fingertips, though I do have a blister now. My first spoon is a bit wobbly and I haven't whittled since I was about eight (and it shows) but I love it!



Waiting for it to dry a bit more before I sand it.

No words yet today, but maybe after someone's bedtime.
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: (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)
I am a puddle. An absolute puddle.

Sekrit Project is delivered in full. My brain, it is used up. It feels like a raisin in my skull. This was very high-intensity, out-of-comfort-zone, RUSHRUSHRUSH work in an already busy and short month... and I KILLED IT. Seriously, at the beginning of the month, I had two finished pieces and 7 sketches. 28 days later, I have 16 finished high-detail pieces, 16 spot-illustrations with page layouts, and a full color cover. And I don't feel like I let quality slip, either.

(Pst, Patreon patrons have gotten to see a whole passel of sneak previews! You could see them ALL with as little as a $1/month pledge.)

I very much feel like a nap now.

Guppy's birthday was yesterday! She was thrilled with her presents and loved the cupcakes we made for preschool.



How is she five? HOW?

Now I have to go... I dunno. Fold clothes. Wander around the house with glazed eyes going, "What? Who?" Weep into a post-project-let-down bowl of ice cream, maybe.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I'm DONE DONE DONE with the inking of my Big Secret Project. I've erased the pencil and touched things up, and now I'm scanning like a mad thing.

Not-a-book spent most of the weekend (wait, how is it Thursday already??) in the top 500 books, and has since slipped and has been wiggling around 700 since then. Not as good as the first book, but much better than the second. I'm pleased. And sales of the second book got a nice bump, too. I am itching to start on the next one, and got a few words of outline done today while scanning.

It's snowed about 5 inches over the last day, and Guppy and I have been out playing in it whenever possible.

ellenmillion: (fairysquash)


A problem with our chimney cap means our woodstove has been burping smoke into the house with increasing regularity, and yesterday did so severely enough that, after setting up two air purifiers, Jake fled to the garage and Guppy and I bundled up and went for a walk and played in the yard. It was actually grand to have an excuse to go outside and play - it was cold, but really fun, and we were well-dressed. Here are our snow angels. Guppy thought it was very tragic that we could not make a snowman, but there were no snowballs to be made at 20 below.

The ashtray smell is fortunately gone from the house this morning, and I survived another round of parent aide, this time with a topping of Valentine's Party.

I also published a book on Sunday, and am not obsessively reloading the page to check for stats and comments. Well, not too obsessively. I mean, obsessively is comparative, right? *refreshesrefreshesrefreshes*

Going back further, poor Guppy was terribly sick on Friday. I could tell because she was very cooperative about wearing pants. (And also because she kept draping herself over things saying she hurt, and also the throwing up was a pretty solid sign.) She bounced back admirably on Saturday, though we did skip dance class, just in case.

Did I blog on Thursday? I can't remember. Deadlines eating my brain. *runs away to refresh the book page work on the art in NDA.*
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I have a crazy amount of things to do today, so its time for a list...

*take out the trash
*change out the catbox
*vacuum

*dishes
*clean toilet
*shower
*ink raven piece
*sketch one new page
*fold laundry
*start new laundry
*Sketch Fest ad graphic
*post Portrait Adoption piece
*review another two chapters of audiobook
*approve submitted description
*update PA race
*update Patreon
*mail Amazon order
*prep dinner
*100 emails deleted or filed or answered, etc. (my inbox is at 589. *dies*) 425
*Start compiling data for taxes

Have a goofy photo from the Seattle Aquarium. (The aquarium visit as a whole was a bit of a whiny tired-child disaster, but there were plenty of spots of fun in it.)

ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I've had this entry open, blank, since Wednesday, and the days just gallop past before I can capture them.

In unfun things, I have to get my eyeglass lenses replaced because the coating is flaking off. And I had to go to the vet with a limping Norway this morning for more pain meds. Crawling under the porch to drag a 90 lb dog out by his reluctant furry face is not my idea of fun. (I tried many things before resorting to that, including bribery, cajoling, and scolding. Which is starting to sound like my LIFE lately, thanks to living with a four-year-old.)

I did get my not-a-book all formatted and sent off for reader reviews, and I did get some other running around sorts of things done. But today, so far, my house is not vacuumed and I have not washed the dishes yet.

In fun things, it's Sketch Fest! http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestprompters.php

I am trying to motivate myself to do something for a prompt - something fast, because Guppy is in ultra-clingy-not-gunna-nap mode. And I think I never uploaded my piece for last month. Oops.


From several days ago, hiking with Norway. I want to post more selfies this year, not because I'm vain, but because I want to look at myself realistically, and I want to be the kind of person who can post goofy photos without feeling self-conscious.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Starting the year as I mean to go on, adding beauty and art to the world, here is a new piece of artwork available now!


I did this as part of #inktober, but PA artists rose to my challenge last quarter, and provided enough portraits that I'll be posting one a day for the next three months. This is a beautiful "problem" to have. Click to adopt! The original is also available.

There is a Sketch Fest on Friday! https://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/

I traditionally take the month of January off, but this one crept up on me. I will do the Sketch Fest through the weekend as promised, send out payments and such on Monday, then button up and take the last three weeks of the month off to recharge and get ready for the rest of the year. I need a little break where I'm NOT feeling obligated to answer emails and be the boss. (Except of Guppy. But then, we know who's really the boss there.)



The storm brought a lot of fresh snow (15+ inches), and it was very, very windy. We were without power for just a few hours Friday night. The howling wind and lack of nightlights scared Guppy, who came to snuggle with me in bed for a little while before deciding her bed was better after all. My snow-shoveling muscles are quite well-used.

Bellydancing tonight! I'm thinking I'll pick up pizza on my way home as a treat.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
May you have many boxes!

We had a quiet, delightful Christmas eve and day. I love my loot - primarily a sock-and-flowerpot snowman from my daughter and a set of burly fireplace tools - and Guppy and Husband both got things they will use and enjoy as well. Guppy is using her new camera everywhere, and has made many things from Playdough and Legos. We had butter meat for dinner, which is to say a rib eye roast cooked to perfection, and a green bean casserole, with butter-drop biscuits. Leftover steak and fresh chicken eggs were breakfast this morning, before we went out and did snow clearing things.


Our Christmas day walk.


My new favorite snowman.

A storm is barreling down on us this week, and we should get even more new snow, possibly with wind and power outages. Alaska is never boring, whatever else it is.

I have artwork to ink, and edits to make on my not-a-book, a year-in-review to look at, goals to post for next year, and I think I may bake cookies...
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:

Only the cover for Wild Teas of Alaska was technically released:



I did paint a few teeny ornaments, as well:



Writing:

13k on my not-a-book, which is AWESOME for me.

Other:

We did landscaping at our house, completely transforming the downhill side of our house in particular. It may actually qualify as a yard now, not just a tangled wilderness of junk we don't know where else to put and scruffy willows.

Everyone in the house was sick at one point during the month, some of us worse than others.

Finished the artwork for and released Wild Teas of Alaska! http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/coloringbook.php?id=75

Flooded the basement being dumb and ended up dismantling, drying, and reorganzing my entire studio.

Got new furniture for Guppy and completely rearranged her room into something MUCH better. Which was my favorite Guppy photo of the month:

ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
My skeleton army has been decimated! I sold every skeleton ornament I brought except the teeny unicorn skellie, even the ones I did on the spot at the show, and the ones I did Saturday night. As we were closing, I was painting a skeleton commission. I didn't even get a photo of it.

It's safe to say they were a total hit. Ornaments were in general.

Here's one I painted with a lace pattern - I may do more like this; they are very striking:



Coloring book sales were quite slow, though I moved many copies of Serenitrix, and several of the Alaska coloring books. I got to see many dear friends, and the show itself is so well run I'm spoiled for other bazaars.

Next weekend: PopCon! Then, I'm done for the season.

I've got my not-a-book half edited on Friday and had planned to work on it more today, but brain says blaaaaaaaaaah, and I've got some marketing and sales things to work on.

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