ellenmillion: (Default)
Last week I was a featured artist for a Facebook event, and instead of doing a coloring contest, I did a crowd-sourced coloring page. I asked for ideas, and tried to incorporate all of them into one piece, then showed progress shots and even livestreamed some of the process. It was a lot of fun, if a lot to cram into one piece and one week, but I'm very happy with the results:


Prompts included: A forest scene, fairies in the forest, a baby dragon on a toadstool, baby creatures, fae, wands and crystals, and angels. The original is available for $400 and available as a digital download at Etsy.

And because it had a unicorn in it, it counts as my #junicorn 30! Yay!

Got a little over 1k written yesterday, more of the sloggy in-between stuff, but I like how it's all coming together. I think the end will be really fun to write now, because I know how it all ties together!

Today is the last day of summer camp, and I don't have any others lined up. However, my parents are in town, and they are talking about taking Guppy to the library some mornings next week, so hopefully I can continue to plug away at this and get it finished in the next few weeks. I'm doing camp NaNo, and my goal is 15k for the month. That seems reasonable! I'm pretty close to hitting that this month - I actually think I can get there today. (I actually woke up about 5:20 this morning and debated getting up to write... but the bed was sooo comfortable. It didn't happen.)

This morning was exciting in all the wrong ways. Velcro expressed her displeasure at seeing the bottom of her food dish by throwing up on the rug, and down the backside of her bed (which then required laundering), and for extra credit, the one spot on a colored throw rug where it blended in, so I stepped in it and then had to spend time tracking down all my footprints. We were a few minutes late to camp. On the plus side, the other kids were really happy to see Guppy, and our hand-off was basically painless.

Now to try to get that workcount up! Not-a-book is at almost 29k!
ellenmillion: (Default)
Aging pets are hard. Just, hard.

A few nights ago, Norway tried to get up the front steps and failed. There are only two, and they aren't that steep, but he was having a bad back legs day. We put out the truck ramps for him, but they are metal, and although strong, sort of rattly. He looked at them, he looked at me, and said nope. I did finally get him up them with a firm hand on his collar, but it wasn't much fun. The next day, he ignored them and hopped down the steps. That night he got up the steps with effort. The following night, he walked right up them. It's so variable!

He's not the only one having issues with steps. Velcro's catbox and bed are on the main floor of our house, and her food and second waterdish are upstairs, where Norway can't help himself. I've pondered moving her food down because she clearly doesn't enjoy the stairs anymore, but figured it was the only exercise she was getting at this point. Yesterday, however, I watched her fall down them twice, and that's the end of that. The first time was just a few steps as she was going up. She picked herself up and powered up them, so I figured it was just one of those ungraceful cat moments they pretend you don't witness. But shortly after, she came down them and sort of got away from herself and ended up upside down at the bottom rocking in shock with her little extra toes in the air. She mewed at me in a very disappointed way when I came to help her up and spent the rest of the day sulking in her bed.

She's been missing the catbox more regularly lately, too. Oh, she tries! There are no accidents around the house, but sometimes she just barely gets into the catbox and the important parts aren't there yet. I've got puppy pads down, so cleanup isn't bad.

Poor old lady cat. Poor old man dog.

It seems like a lot of friends lately are losing beloved fur family members; Facebook seems to show me a few each week lately. I suspect it's just that I'm hyper-aware of them right now, because I know that my time with my own fur friends is not going to be a lot longer.

Have some art!

I recently did this for Portrait Adoption:


This one started life as a Sketch Fest sketch, in very rough form, and got refined at a gaming session.

A little over 800 words yesterday, slogging onward. The not-a-book is about 16k. I do not anticipate getting writing time today, as we have a playdate over quiet time. I've also got two more #junicorn pieces done (but not scanned), and am 1 behind (not counting today).

In less thrilling news, I finished the laundry, cleaned out the toaster with the air compresser, vacuumed upstairs (downstairs, too, but that's daily), and Guppy helped me measure and cut wood blocks for the woodshed.



And when I say helped, I don't even mean that with air-quotes! She fetched the blocks and drew the lines while I held the square. (She's wearing gloves because it's splintery treated lumber, not because it's cold.)

We made GREAT progress on the shed over the weekend, and we had our neighbors over for dinner, which was simply delightful, and we got a date night to go watch Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and have sushi. There have definitely been good times.

I'm growing on my bangs, and the irritation level is about a 6 right now. I've promised to try it until September.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
About 1 this morning, I stumbled into a lovely pile of cat vomit and hairball. Pets are so... rewarding. I cleaned it up, used up all the paper towels, had to get more paper towels from the basement, and staggered back to bed feeling wide awake (and grossed out) and sure I would never get back to sleep, and then the alarm was going off and I was not ready to get up at all.

Fortunately, the day improved markedly from there, with many spots of sunshine. Lots of kid-giggles, too.

UNfortunately, the printer I have tried to order three times now was CANCELED on me, the seller claiming they are out of stock even though it's still listed on the page. (I have deep suspicions that they weighed it to get a shipping estimate to Alaska and panicked because they were going to lose money.)

Working on getting more stock to Amazon, poking at another two potential wholesale buyers, all the various fun things with self-marketing and such. Also trying to get Guppy back into swim lessons, which we honestly both need. I have been sooooo lazy this summer.

I do think I figured out what was so terribly wrong with my third not-a-book that was causing my wheels to spin, and how to fix it. It will mean cutting several thousand words, which is always painful when you write as slowly as I do.

I am making good progress on #smaugust. Here are some of them:




If you want to prompt one, you can donate $1 at my site, or become a Patreon patron. Patrons in October will be able to sponsor a sketch to a finished ink piece for as little as $1, as well.

Sketch Fest is NEXT Friday! I'm already excited for it!
ellenmillion: (Mmm..)
I got to go sketching at the botanical gardens with [livejournal.com profile] laylalawlor over lunch. I think it hit 95 today, which is ridiculous, but it was somehow miraculously clear, without even a hint of smoke in the air. I am a delicate flower, and not accustomed to this kind of heat, but I still enjoyed every moment of it.

Given that everything else I attempted to do today was an exercise in frustration, I shall leave the recap of day at that. I hate paperwork.

In the category of things I will regret my daughter learning to say...

I mentioned that my tummy hurt a little. The daughter's response: "You should toot. It will make your tummy feel better!"

I gave her an egg crate to play with. She thought it looked a bit like a lifejacket, and belonged on the cat.



And, I have proof that it is voles devestating my lettuce. This is a leaf half-drug into a hole.

ellenmillion: (orly guppy)
Yesterday was pretty much a scrub, because of Things. I didn't even answer or delete any emails, which means I have a lot to do there this morning. (244 this morning, I'd love to get that down under 150...) (And of course, that WOULD be the day that ALL my freelance clients get busy, and all my project partners finish their bits, and my printing client runs into trouble uploading...)

In writerly things, I am slowly, SLOWLY working on a story I am utterly in love with. It's been a long time since I had inspiration this deep.

Have a brief Guppy story with pictures while I try to catch up and jumpstart my morning:



"No, no, don't take my picture!"



"Okay, I'll just take a photo of the kitty, then!"



"Smile, Kitty! You have to smile!"
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)
I won INKtober! I did it! Yesterday, I did three final ink pieces as part of Sketch Fest:



And lo! There was poop in the catbox this morning! I've never been so happy to see turds.

Here is a shot of Guppy in the costume she loved trying on, but would not actually wear ANYWHERE we went yesterday. Ah well. It will continue to fit her for some time!



Working on my review of October, and will post a full image of (almost) all my INKtobers at that time. :)
ellenmillion: (working hard)
Velcro update:

She ate and drank and pooped copiously over Wednesday night, and appears much improved. However, there were no poops to report from yesterday or last night, so I'm desperately hoping she's not blocked up again. I'm giving her subcutaneous fluids (which is surprisingly fun - the only trouble is keeping her from rolling over on her side; she doesn't seem to notice the prick and purrs the whole time).

Guppy:

She says she wants to dress up as a fairy today. We'll see if it lasts; the last time, the costume only lasted about 10 minutes before she wanted out.



We got up several hours earlier than normal (before the alarm went off! zzzz!) and had a lot planned, so this might be an interesting day.

Art:

Still 3 behind on INKtober and today is the last day. But it's also Sketch Fest... so it could happen if I get a good nap out of the small monster. I'm so close that I REALLY REALLY want to try to make it.

Other things around the web:

[livejournal.com profile] ariestess is doing a one-card draw today: http://ariestess.livejournal.com/2134808.html

Sketch Fest starts in a few hours! http://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/
ellenmillion: (thud)
Just back from dropping Velcro off at the vet's. When I told Guppy we were going to the doctor for the kitty, she said, very solemnly, "Yeah. Because the kitty has to have more bandaids." She thought about it a little and then added. "Maybe they have ice cream for Kitty!" (Her last visit to the doctor ended with a popsicle, which left a very favorable impression.)

[Velcro's off her food and and incubating a large stuck poop - it has to be manually removed, and we're checking kidney and liver levels while she's there. *throws money in the air like confetti.*]


Aren't those the darlingest gloves?

We did storytime this morning, and it was half-successful. She bolted around for the first half, loudly announced that she was done with storytime, and then, miraculously, spent the second half snuggled in my lap watching raptly. She charmed people at the post office on the way home - everyone loves her Anna hat and she was also wearing her purple Batman/Anna cape and velvety red boots with white pompoms and she cavorted shamelessly.

Filling Kickstarter orders now. Not many - I haven't got the brains for it - but a few every day will get it done in good time.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Monsterus Minimus is on some kind of sleep strike. I do get her down, eventually, but it takes a loooong time, and most nights, she's still babbling away when we go to bed. Right now, she's wailing, "I'm sad! I'm SAD!" from upstairs. "I need a hug! MOMMMMMY!"

*twitches*

Then, it takes her so long to get down for her nap that I have to wake her up so she doesn't sleep through dinner, and she wanders around like a zombie.



I was really spoiled by how easily she's gone down up until now.

I have started laundry, done a bunch of running around, and made carrot cake. (Carrots were one of the few things that grew well this rainy, cold summer, so I've got a bunch leftover from our farm share.) Unfortunately, the one thing I REALLY needed at the Post Office wasn't there yet, so I'll have to do some more errands tomorrow.

In better news, I think that Velcro's prescription food is finally starting to do the trick. I haven't caught her pulling tufts out lately, and the fur on her sides is coming in again. It's still prickly-short, but no longer bald. She seems to have a little more energy, as well - this morning she attacked my foot, and she's acting a little more alert and easy-going. She's also been more tolerant about hanging around the toddler and getting hugs:



In Kickstarter news, we're less than $50 from the zombie coloring book! This Kickstarter has been more fingernail-biting than the last. For one, it's not just my work, and I'd like to see the other artists make out on this, too. It's not taken off as fast, either, though I can't tell if that's just how I FEEL about it, or if it's genuinely slower. Too many factors, and this one has been less steady! The trending data says we'll probably get all 7 titles printed, but really waffles over whether or not we'll get much further than that. We're one of the three weeks through now, and if you haven't, please consider sharing the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1624616265/fantasy-coloring-books-for-so-called-grown-ups

Coloring books! For grown-ups! How awesome is that??

Prepping the first book for the printed proof now! Woo!
ellenmillion: (just)
While I was in my shower this morning, the cat threw up a nasty wet hairball all over my clothing.

I hope this isn't an indication about how the day is going to play out...
ellenmillion: (ellen with wrench)
Programming this morning, plus a flurry of housecleaning, fire-making, laundry-starting, and adorable-baby-wrangling. I also scanned the finished submitted description artwork and brushed the cat.

Poor Velcro is finally starting to show her age. In addition to double-thinking jumping up on things, she's started having trouble grooming the area from the middle of her back to her tail. To compensate, she has been over-grooming the area around it, leading to funny little bald spots in a triangle down her back, which is what clued me in to her trouble. I've been making sure to brush her every day, and that seems to help. She's at least 14 by now (a pound adoption!), so this isn't unexpected.

In better news, yesterday was a banner day at the Post Office - not one, but THREE Kickstarter rewards came in! I now have two new art books, a GIANT copy of Digger, and a few various goodies.

I am trying to decide if dressing Guppy up as Digger for Halloween is the mark of a geek or just silly:


(See? Blurry! So many blurry photos! Baby is constantly in motion! I still thought these were cute.)

Sketch Fest is on Friday!
ellenmillion: (baby kitty)
Let's see if this embedding works!



Busy day, that's all you get this morning...
ellenmillion: (Default)




Puttering around on coding things at Torn World and getting a bunch of metafiction things ironed out and sorted. It's going well! You can see a sneak peek here, though it's definitely more impressive if you're logged in as a contributor. And it seems to be better suited for my current state of mind than fiction writing or art. (Though I have some ideas for the Rails storyline that I really ought to jot down...)

Healthwise, doing better. My things are healing up like they are supposed to be - the tailbone still causes some pretty good discomfort if I sit too long, but it isn't agony every time I sit anymore, and I'll take that any day. Elsa's health goes well - we had to go to the doctor about a rash (yeast, grr!) yesteday, but otherwise, she's growing and doing well. 12 lbs, 4 oz, as of yesterday! Her hand coordination continues to improve. If she misses naps (like yesterday), she turns into a monster (like she did at the doctor's office, *sigh!*), but otherwise, is still happy, wonderful baby.

Velcro continues to expand due to Operation Fat Cat, and continues to mostly be a great, happy cat... but has meowed at night a few times lately. I get up and squirt her with the spray bottle if I can muster the energy, because my sleep is still precious. (I did get a decent amount of sleep last night and feel pretty good today.) She (Velcro) has figured out that purring sometimes calms Elsa down, and will come hang out beside us purring for all she's worth when Elsa's being noisy. She's also discovered that she fits on the boppy while I'm nursing, so it's sometimes a cuddly threesome for mealtimes.

Woops, window of opportunity for a shower and lunch - I'm going to take it!!

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