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So, we were planning to go camping this weekend. That was before the forecast called for 4 INCHES OF SNOW and winds of up to 60 MPH at our campground. SO that ended up being a big NO THANK YOU, and instead we're working on home improvement. Think warm thoughts for all my poor flowers. The lettuce baskets and potatoes were in the garage last night, and this morning I woke up to buckets of snow coming down... but not sticking for very long at all. It was just wet, and warmed up quickly. Nothing looks frosted. (Though we did lose power for an interesting 20 minutes or so...)

For my birthday, I got hacked. Okay, that's not entirely true - it's still the day before my birthday. But I'm cranky about it! I think it's all cleaned up, and nothing was compromised (just some crap that got added to an old forum and a defunct folder at EMG-Zine). Passwords updated and all the folders in question were summarily deleted (or are still processing through deletion).

In other news, I did finish some client artwork! This is part of a filed trademark application:



And I'm well into inking another sea monster piece that I'm really hoping to have finished up to post this month. :) I have another commission to do in color, and then everything is off my plate. Until the next big secret project, which supposedly I have until next March to complete. (The last secret project hit some delays, but should be out of the gate... by March, I suppose.)

Now, it's time to get birthday dinner ready for the best husband in the world.
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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*
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The battle of the dill ended in retreat - I took the single straggly stem that survived their last onslaught and planted it in a hanging basket. TRY TO GET IT NOW, YOU GERBIL WANNABES.

I also got some lettuce starts, and now I have salad baskets that are safely out of their reach. (Last summer, I tried planting lettuce and it was gone in a day.) I also planted a few potato buckets, so hopefully we'll get a few dozen red potatoes in the fall.

The weekend was pretty well lost to a garage sale, which was wonderful for getting rid of stuff and also put a few hundred dollars in my pocket. We could not have picked a better weekend - it was sunny and warm, with just enough of a breeze to keep mosquitoes down but not blow anything around. For clutter reduction, it was absolutely wonderful - I got rid of our crib/toddler bed, a dresser, an old chair, a sleeping bag, a set of skis, a bunch of clothing, shoes I'll never wear... just stuff. So much stuff.

The people-watching was amazing. People bargained much less than I expected.

Today, it rains. I cleaned up Guppy's bedroom, and did my chores, took some trash into town, got a load of water, and picked up the mail. After three days of no writing, I did get a little over 1000 words in an hour, so hopefully I can get caught up again. I have a piece of artwork for finish for a client first, though, and bellydance tonight.

Today's artwork is a serious throwback. Like 21 years, throwback. I did this design in 1996 for Denali Science Camp, where I was a junior counselor. So many awesome memories!



Now I have a pile of dishes to wash, and some chicken to cut up and cook for a pot pie tomorrow.
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The bastard voles have some kind of vendetta against my dill. They have been systematically chopping it down, but then just leaving the stalks on the ground in the garden, right next to the plant. I've harvested some of the fallen dill, but most of it wilts before I find it. I only have about a quarter of what I started with. FURRY LITTLE JERKS.

We visited a kindergarten open house today. Guppy mostly wanted to know when we were going to LEAVE, and refused to tell anyone her name or do much more than hide behind me. Then we went to the park and had a lunch playdate, which went remarkably well. I carved most of another spoon.

I also managed to lose a bunch of info out of the Torn World database (the stories/poetry field only), and my backup won't restore. So I'm fairly tooth-gnashy about that. There aren't very many pieces affected, but enough that doing line-by-line fixes is going to be a headache.

But here, have some new artwork!


You can get this as a coloring page as a subscriber at Torn World (starting at $5/month): http://www.tornworld.net/artpageview.php?id=548
Or as a Patreon patron (starting at $1/month): https://www.patreon.com/ellenmillion
Or as a download at Etsy ($2): https://www.etsy.com/listing/531514167/arguing-over-dinner-sea-monster-battle (special sea monster month price!)
The original (9x12) is available for $200, or half price for Patreon patrons.

I also got my writing goal in, +43 words. Need to send a commissionee a revised sketch, and eat cherries on the porch with the daughter.
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Yesterday was very Monday. We spent most of the morning at the tire shop, where we got the incredibly surprising good news (after three hours of waiting) that our 14 year old summer truck tires still had plenty of life left in them, and we did NOT actually need to buy new ones. (To be fair, these tires have been in storage most of those 14 years, but storage in Alaska can be hard on things!) Then we went grocery shopping, and finally came home. I got about 800 words written, and went to bellydance.

Today was super productive. My second load of laundry is in, I've changed the bedding, we went to the farm and got a mower and buckets of dirt and compost for bucket potatoes, I sorted through several boxes of my stuff in the connex box and threw out one box and generated about three boxes of things to sell at a garage sale next weekend. (Shoes I've never worn, old sweaters, candles, knick knacks... I've also been collecting stuff from around the house for about two months now, just trying to find one thing every day and rarely stopping at that. I've got boxes and boxes of things stashed under the stairs ready to go.) I also got my 500 words in, +82, and worked on a commission and got a coloring page juuuuuust about ready to ink. I also got great news from a client! (But I can't share more than that...)

It's been so gorgeous and sunny lately, we've been eating snacks on the porch in the sun, and my garden is going great guns - the violets are riotous, and come back as fast as I pull them up (because they would cheerfully take over the whole thing). I have one strawberry leaf, my delphiniums have spread from one spindly stalk to SIX healthy plants, the tarragon came back, along with TWO of some mystery herb that I planted last year. The chives truck along as always, and I've planted marigolds and dill... which the voles have already eaten half of. Guppy brought home seeds they planted in preschool, so she has her own pot, with marigolds, a scrawny sunflower, and a mystery squash. (We killed her bean, I think.)

Someone small but shrill is demanding my attention now...
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It's Sketch Fest weekend! http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/

I've done two sketches so far, may tackle another in paints...
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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.
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Today was errands day. We went shopping, to the post office, another kind of shopping, finished Kindergarten registration, more shopping, and finally home. It was a feat of great restraint not to get more plants than I did at the garden store; I got the ladybugs and potting soil I was after and just one dill start and one flat of marigolds that Guppy picked out. I did not buy the giant pots I was tempted by, or the gorgeous butterfly and dragonfly sculptures, or the gazebo.

Wrote about 1100 words on my not-a-book and caught up to my 500 words/day goal for May. YES. I'm actually liking it right now, and figured out a great little twist to add. *soldiers on*

Continuing to slowly improve health-wise. Still a little tickly cough, some stuffiness. Will definitely take my cough medicine tonight. Last day of preschool tomorrow. Very mixed feelings.
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I finally finished the sea monster painting I started last year!


12x16: acrylics, colored pencil, pastels, gel pens... the kitchen sink, basically. The original is available for $200 plus shipping. Torn World subscribers and Patreon patrons get half price. (Shipping is additional)

Got nearly 1200 words written during quiet time today, and a little over 1200 yesterday (though I had to get up at 6 AM to manage that). Progress! Horrah! The next not-a-book is about 9k now. My goal is to finish by June, but honestly, I'd like to do it sooner than later. No one's paying for books I haven't written.

I think I've finally turned the corner on this cold, too. The coughing and snuffling are barely trace now, and I don't have to get up halfway through the night for cough medicine. The doctor I saw on Friday was making noises about a chest x-ray to check for walking pneumonia, and I'm glad I waited it out a little longer.

Today is trying to be green-up - that magical day when the birch trees put out leaves and the whole world turns GREEN. It's very exciting, and we're up in the hills, so the last to get it.

There was preschool today, and Guppy did well. Only one day is left, which makes me whimper and hide in the corner. I've picked up her shot records and will be filling out more kindergarten forms tomorrow. How is this even possible??
ellenmillion: (Default)
So, that was a thing basically summed up by the image of a 14 adorable little children in caps and gowns... and in the middle of them, my daughter in her sparkly pink dress who refused to wear either and sat down and scowled ferociously through the songs she didn't want to sing.

Jake in my ear: I always thought you were exaggerating when you told me how much you dreaded being parent aide.

Vindication is a two-edged sword.

On the bright side, she was an enthusiastic acorn in the little play, joined cheerfully in all the songs she liked, and she was very polite about her little rebellions. She also played well with the other children before and after the event, and we went to a birthday party afterwards that she did well at despite missing her afternoon nap.

I? Am wrecked. I think I am going to have a margarita and go to bed early.
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Kicking back to health. Slowly. I'm at the coughing and grouchy stage of things, but no longer crawling from dose to dose of decongestant.

Muse Fusion is going! I've done two sketches and an itty bitty painting so far:


Available for $15 (includes US shipping, international add $2). It is about a half inch longer than an ACEO, and I can trim to ACEO size if requested.

Leave more prompts here: https://www.tornworld.net/musefusion.php (Use your Sketch Fest login!)

I got a few hundred words on Not-a-Book 4 yesterday - I've made a May goal of 500 words a day, which seems doable, even though I missed the 1st two days and it looks like my summer babysitter is unavailable. (That sound you hear is me weeping, yes.)

Back to it!
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Ugh. A bit of a relapse today - terrible night of sleep and my sinuses are very unhappy. Taking an easy day in and watching Strawberry Shortcake with Guppy, who has a bit of a cough today, too. Poked at some programming things and two of my mysteries continue to defeat me. I don't think it's a good programming day.

I have a poem up at Torn World for subscribers from our last Muse Fusion, "Tokens, Time, and Fire": http://www.tornworld.net/storypageview.php?id=614
Sponsor it to the public for $5 (or subscribe and get access to all the supporters-only material).

Probably be napping during quiet time today.
ellenmillion: (Default)
I have reclaimed my sinuses, and though I sound a little rough, I'm definitely on the mend. And feeling very behind. If you need something from me, please feel free to prod. Chances are good that I have just forgotten.

I finished the last of the pieces I needed to do for a deadline of today, and Patreon patrons can see previews of what that project is! (I'm RIDICULOUSLY happy with how it's come out...)

My inbox was 600 earlier today, and I've beat it back to 498. That's where it's going to stay for now, because it's time to wake Guppy from napping and tackle.... I'll have to consult my list. Things. To do. That need done.

Have a piece of artwork that I posted at Torn World last month!


This is a three-mantle lamp in a time crystal bubble, which means a small amount of fuel will provide light for a very long time. Time crystals one of the more curious things about Torn World...
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! - and now I'm playing catchup, as apparently, I'm 5 months behind. *facepalm*

Artwork:

I did this piece for a submitted description:

(It wasn't claimed, so if you'd be interested in this original, it's $20. Half-price if you are a Patreon supporter!)

I did a sketch for Sketch Fest... and never posted it. OOPS.

New at Portrait Adoption: https://portraitadoption.com/portrait.php?id=2795

New at Torn World: a Squatty Goose (from #inktober): http://www.tornworld.net/artpageview.php?id=532

And Skykittens: http://www.tornworld.net/artpageview.php?id=531
(Artwork from Jan 2015, but only just posted to the Torn World site)


Writing:

I did a first round of edits on my third not-a-book and started vague-plotting my fourth.



Other:

I changed a tire at 30 below. Rar!

There was Christmas, with a tree and everything. I AM NEVER DOING TINSEL AGAIN.

Favorite Guppy photo: http://hotlink.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/baby/IMG_7134snowmirk.JPG

Released:

A very brave thing I can't really post about yet... with no definitive answer yet.
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!
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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.
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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!
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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.

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