ellenmillion: (Default)
I'm a fairly mechanically savvy person. I replaced the alternator in my last Subaru, by myself, at twenty below. I have a degree in mechanical engineering. So not, you know, the average helpless driver.

Last week, I took my car in for A Noise. A crunchy, mechanical, grinding sort of Noise. I was expecting bad news regarding something in the suspension, but it ended up being a very basic fix of swaybar links, which was swiftly done.

This week, however, I noticed More Noises. It was especially bad when I went over bumps.

Hating to be That Customer, I took it back to the shop. "It's making The Noises again," I told them.

I sat down and wrote a few hundred words while they checked it out.




They tightened down the bolts for me and sent me on my way with no charge but to my ego.
ellenmillion: (Default)
Jake texted me partway through gaming: OMG Your Daughter.

When I called him later to talk about why truck wouldn't start, he warned me that she had been terrible and I wasn't going to like her room.

When I got home, Guppy put her hands on her hips and told me, "I'm not going to clean my room. EVER."

"We can throw everything away, then," I told her, gathering a garbage bag to do exactly that.

I was halfway up the stairs before I could look into her room. "You're pranking me!"

She, with help from Jake to move some of the furniture, had cleaned up her room of her own volition. They had rehearsed how to deceive me. It was adorable and wonderful.

Best April Fools Ever.
ellenmillion: (Default)
Enjoy this bedtime story that I just told my daughter.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Guppy who drew on the walls, even though she knew she shouldn't.

Her parents got very tired of cleaning the walls and finally one day they put Guppy in a box and mailed it to Antarctica, where Guppy lived the rest of her days with the penguins.

Guppy frowned at me from bed. "Mom, stories are supposed to have happy endings."

"You want a happy ending? Then don't draw on the walls.

My stories make up in morals what they lack in subtlety. 

Shown here before deportation to Antarctica.  

ellenmillion: (Default)
I was drawing on the couch, minding my own business, when I felt a tickle against my thigh.

I looked down to discover that a VOLE was wiggling in the space between me and the arm of the couch. Being a grown woman of great sensibility, I shrieked like a little girl, and leaped from the couch like it was on fire. The vole, sensibly, dove under the cushion into the recesses of the couch.

This resulted:

Heavily gloved and armed with a flashlight, I probed and prodded the interior of the couch, nearly cornered the terrified rodent several times, and finally gave up and set the live trap baited with peanut butter nearby.

The cat continued to doze.

We sat down to dinner, debating the idea of leaving Norway outside, because if he caught the scent of vole and saw it scrabbling around through the fabric, chances seemed good that we would wake up to shredded couch. We also speculate on how the vole got into the couch, let alone into the house, and decide the likely culprit is the sleeping bag we brought in from the garage that had been laying on the couch for several hours.

The cat snored louder.

Then, suddenly I caught sight of it braving the outside world and coming around the corner of the still-sideways couch. I hissed and pointed and generally flailed, and as quietly as we could, Jake and I got out of our chairs and started stalking the wily beast.

It made basically a beeline for the cat, who slumbered blissfully on, then darted back behind the entertainment credenza.

I put on the heavy gloves and positioned myself at the escape end of the credenza while Jake poked and prodded and hissed and generally flushed it my direction. "This is a terrible idea," I said, but patiently waited. The vole, cautious but not terribly cowed, came my direction.

I waited.

The vole hesitated, just out of Jake's reach. I could have made a grab for it, but it would have sent him hiding if I missed.

The cat snored.

Jake rattled wires.

The vole darted.

I pounced.

Vole safely in my gloved grip, we all cheered.

The vole took a swift air flight out into the woods, and we returned to our dinners.

The cat wheezed on in sleep.
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)
I have been rebuilding my skeleton army, though these still need their festive wreaths/lights/stars:

Pteradactyls are WEIRD. I'm not sure they are convincing as skeletons. I also did a gryphon that I haven't photographed yet.

I may need a volunteer in the lower 48 to receive a box of black ornaments and ship them to me, because I've run into roadblocks trying to restock them. :/ The only place I've found that would ship them to me wanted $56 for the pleasure. I think the box will weigh about 3 lbs, and does not even have to be oversized. So, no.


In fun Guppy quotes:

She was wrapping herself in a blanket on the floor.
"I'm going to be a racoon and turn into a butterfly!"

So close!


I spent another $7.50 on my (er, Guppy's) Astrid costume and got some hockey shoulder pads at the used sports store. >.> There will be wrapping with duct tape and modification with scissors tonight. Mwahahaha. (I am having entirely too much fun with this.)
ellenmillion: (Sketch Fest)

Only bummer? My white paint pen has bit the dust! I've ordered another several, but they may not be here until next week. I am weeping. And also wondering what hot orange dinosaur skeletons would be like...

I got words written this morning during preschool, and also went to the second hand store and bought costume components for Guppy's Halloween costume. She's decided to be Astrid, from How to Train Your Dragon. So I found a striped sleeveless shirt, a pair of socks to cut up for arm warmers, a discount two-edged axe, and a skull necklace to take apart and use as accents. I was thwarted in my attempt to get spike strips for the skirt, so settled on a simple tiered skirt that I think she will wear anyway - she'll wear my belt with it. I am shockingly out of silver duct tape (I have black, blue, orange, and Batman, but no silver), so I will need to get some to make the shoulder guards. Photos to follow once it's all put together.

Not surprisingly, she loves her axe, and is begging me right now to go outside and play dragon with her.

Which I shall now do.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I have been working away at the NDA project, and I'm up to 19 on #inktobers, so that's still looking possible! I've been writing just a few words a day, so the not-a-book is crawling, but I'm counting it as progress. And I've been squeezing in a few ornaments, since my only big show of the season is in two weeks.

I did this one based on one of my favorite #junicorn cards from this summer.

And I had so much fun painting skeletons that I did this one:

Four of these are mine. I keep thinking R2D2 ought to be easy and fun and recognizable, but it's just a lot more work than it's worth and really hard to keep mechanical enough. I think natural things are a lot easier!

Guppy has informed me that she will stop growing when she's eight.

I told her I was still growing and I was forty, and she informed me that I'm not still growing, I'm just getting more numbers.

Okay then.

Also! There is another event I just added to my last entry - on Sunday the 30th, I will be at Sipping Streams doing another coloring party! This will be so much fun - there will be tea, and amazing food, a fabulous face painter, free coloring pages, and the use of my high end coloring tools. Come enjoy!!

To project work now! I'd love to get to the final approvals stage of this portion by the end of the month. That means knuckling down.
ellenmillion: (facepalm)
Me: Guppy, do you want to go to [event redacted] tonight?

Guppy: No. I don't want to put on pants.

Me: ... You could wear a dress?

Guppy: Oh! Sure! That sounds great! I'll wear tall socks! It will be fun!
ellenmillion: (Mmm..)
A little more progress on my project I can't share, and I've finished eight #inktobers (though I still haven't spent any quality time with my scanner...).

Added about a thousand words to my not-a-book today, and spackled all the holes and outlined the last four scenes. Then I polished up my summary and tweaked the cover a bit. The finishline is in sight!

Guppy is starting to be interested in having friends, and today attached herself to one of the little boys at the preschool to run an ice cream stand. When others wished to be involved, she announced that "This is a PRIVATE establishment!"

But she was still willing to sell them ice cream, because she's apparently a little capitalist.

This is a photo where she is wearing her 'winter fashion scarf,' which was what she chose to take to preschool for show and tell.

(I have no idea why LJ is showing me this image roatated - if you open it in a new tab it looks correct!)
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Last week, in adventures-with-a-four-year-old, we went to the dentist for the first time. She did well, but was squirmy, and had no cavities. She even let them do xrays to check for an impacted tooth (none! Yay!).

This week, in adventures-with-a-four-year-old, we went to the eye doctor for the first time. She was mostly good, and it's very hard for a four-year-old to focus for that long and sit that still.

We also rode on the train at Alaskaland and played on the swings, and did not get a nap today.

She is hanging on the arm of the couch saying mom mom MOM MOM MOM mmmmmooooommmmm right now, which is really killing my ability to blog or think about anything for longer than about two seconds at a time.

Guppy: Mom. Mom. Mom. MOM!

Me: You HAVE to stop doing that.

Guppy: I just don't think that's going to happen.

I have to go hug her and play pretend tea party or something again or I'm just going to strangle her.


Apr. 28th, 2016 02:49 pm
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Yesterday, I took the Christmas tree to the dump.

Yes, it is the end of April, but it's not QUITE as bad as it sounds. We took the tree out of the house very shortly after Christmas. (Like, the DAY after, I think. Jake protested that it was too soon.)

But it didn't get far - I shoved it into a snowbank, where it happily lived, looking very much like it had grown there.

Until the snowbank melted, a few weeks ago, and it's since been lying on its side next to the driveway looking like tree carrion and collecting spiders.

So yesterday, I finally took it to the dump, we had a playdate at the park, and there was shopping that I ended up having to drag the child out of, and I got some laundry done, and my days are a haze of tickling and giggling and hugging and trying to type and make Kickstarter updates with a child hanging on my arm saying, "Mommy, mommy, I have a question! It's about I love you!"

(She doesn't really grasp the concept of 'question' yet.)

I got about 1000 words written in 45 minutes of nose-to-the-grindstone at the teashop this morning, and I'm down to two missing scenes, and still thinking its possible I might finish this thing by the end of the month. YES.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wyld_dandelyon, I also submitted my portfolio for an illustration assignment that sounds wonderful. It forced me to add a new category to my page, for children, and that made me realize that there were several relevant pictures missing, and so added the following pieces:

Fala the Leader is an illustration from Torn World: http://ellenmillion.com/artpageview.php?id=302
Glynda and Kavita is a piece I did as an art trade at Kadanzer. http://ellenmillion.com/artpageview.php?id=301
And Resla Gives Varla a Swing is another Kadanzer piece I did. Resla remains one of my dearest characters. http://ellenmillion.com/artpageview.php?id=300

Alright, the upstairs is silent for a few moments. I'm either going to finish my novella, or take a nap. I haven't decided.
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)
A few weeks back, Jake called Guppy on some line she was trying. (Like, 'I'm not tired' or 'I don't know who unrolled the toilet paper around the bathroom,' I don't remember exactly what.)

"Baloney!" he told her. "I call, baloney! You know what I like to do with baloney? I like to put it on a sandwich with lettuce and EAT it!"

Big eyes filled with tears. "I don't want to be a SAMMICH! Please don't eat me, Papa!"

The same happened again a few nights ago when she asked for food.

"There is no more food."

"We aren't going to feed you again, we ran out."

And instead of getting the joke, she burst into panicked tears and began sobbing. (Of course, we fed her and hugged her and told her were were only teasing.)

Four-year-olds are entirely too serious.

Here's a photo from an open house a few weeks ago:

She is so pooped right now - she got up nearly an hour before the alarm, and although she was nicely quiet and let us sleep, did not go back to sleep herself. She's eaten two cheese-and-mayo sandwiches, and I'm hoping she'll finally go to sleep for at least a little nap before I have to go get her up.


YOU GUYS! We're only $8.30 away from unlocking Scaled and Splendid! I am SO excited!! Because then I get to reveal the first solo title! SQUEEE!! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1624616265/more-fantasy-coloring-books-for-so-called-grown-up
ellenmillion: (aahhhhhh)
All the kids at preschool picked their favorite colors, and they made a chart to put on the front door.

You saw the spread you'd expect - a few pinks, mostly green and blue and purple, a few hold-outs for red and orange. And my kid, whose favorite color has been black for at least a year, all by herself in that column. My poor mother, who would love to make her frilly, colorful dresses, keeps asking despairingly, "Is black really still her favorite color? Really?"

I think it is telling that Guppy's favorite song right now is Bad Reputation, in all its rebellious glory. We would listen to nothing else ever if she had her way.

My darling little punk-and-black-loving daughter. <3

And my Kickstarter passed 100% Woo! We're working on the second title now, Equine Enchantment, and I released the cover for the third:

Here's the obligatory link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1624616265/more-fantasy-coloring-books-for-so-called-grown-up

(Also, I am mortified to find that I mixed up two of the other Moms this morning during preschool dropoff, and can only hope that they both have Sudden Specific Amnesia and don't remember me opening my mouth.)
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: (thud)
I have been savaging my to-do list, and making good inroads on it, and staying caught up on laundry and orders and life.

We got a Christmas tree on Wednesday, and got lights on it last night. We didn't get ornaments up, in no small part because I spent probably an hour trouble-shooting the string of lights that was half out. (Changed the fuses, twice, then sighed and started going through each $%^**# light looking for the culprit.) It's still gorgeous, and our house smells great!

My novella is back with some copyedits to pick up, but I anticipate those won't take much longer than an hour - it's mostly formatting stuff, plus a few typos, and a few easy details to add. I hope to have that finished today during naptime. I'm hoping it will be up before the end of the year.

I am taking over the Coop Plaza! Not literally, but you can find my work in THREE stores there now. At Alaskana Raven, you will find my complete line of coloring books, including the coloring kits with pencils. At Rings and Things (right across the hall), you will find a few packs of cards, and a selection of prints and matted and framed originals. Upstairs at Woven Sylver, I have coloring books and a dozen of my ornaments. Gulliver's has also been restocked - they have a complete display for adult coloring books. The gift shop at the hospital also has a selection of my coloring books, only available in kits with pencils. So if you're local, support these awesome local businesses! (And me!) (The Comic Shop also has a few of my coloring books, but you may have to ask about them - they may not have ever been put out!)


Funny Guppy/husband story:

"I want to do Christmas now!" Guppy told me, dancing around our new tree.

We explained that Christmas was still 23 days away. "Maybe we should do an advent calendar," I suggested to my husband.

"Is that the thing where you give stuff up?" he asked skeptically.

I stared at him for a moment. "That's Lent."



Something from #Inktober that I hadn't shared yet:

Prompted by Lorna Cowie

New artwork up at Torn World:

I will be mailing some ornaments this weekend. All the leftovers are posted here with prices and details: https://www.facebook.com/EllenMillionArtistrix/posts/768586066578794

I sold more than half of them at the shows! Including a few that I painted AT the shows. I am working on getting photos of them, because I was really happy with how they turned out!

Alright, I have to get moving - my sleep last night was wretched, and I'm still in my bathrobe, but there are things to do and orders coming in, and Guppy is inviting me to a tea party that involves Lincoln logs and flashcards. She's been cooking frantically, and it would be a shame to let it get cold!
ellenmillion: (thud)
Yesterday, while I was posting my 'we made it!' Kickstarter update, Guppy did the following:

*Emptied my change purse - I'm still not sure where all the quarters went and suspect I'm missing some one dollar bills.
*Dismantled the coloring book proofs and spread them across my entire work area.
*Took apart the cat's carry case.
*Crinkled a piece of original artwork.
*Emptied the bag of toys that was supposed to keep her occupied and scattered them about the basement.
*Tried to open the printer.
*Tried to steal the bills off my desk.
*Unpeeled a label from the label paper.
*Carried on a running commentary of her adventures and questions ("Can I touch this?" [answer irrelevant], etc.)

It's a miracle anything gets done around here.
ellenmillion: (Mmm..)
So, Guppy's big thing lately is "Ta da!"

She'll finish eating and throw her hands in the air: "Ta da!" Or find something she hid: "Ta da!" Or peel off all of her clothing (hopefully in getting ready for a bath, and not at preschool): "Ta da!" Sometimes, she'll fake fall down: "Ta da!"

(Our fabulous new slide, thanks to the transfer station.)

In my own moments of "Ta da," I finished my last piece for this deadline. I have scanned and cleaned up all five pieces, and I don't hate any of them; I actually think they are some of the best I've ever done! I am so excited to share them with you guys, but can't until November. (Unless you are one of my patrons at Patreon, in which case you may catch a glimpse!) They are uploading for submission now.

I've decided to launch my Kickstarter on October 20 - I've got some things (okay, lots of things!) happening the first week of November that I'd like to use to generate some traffic that direction. It will be a three week campaign, and the video is coming along swimmingly.

Ta da!
ellenmillion: (aahhhhhh)
I've been trying to get her to wear more than three of her favorite dresses.

I often ask her if she dreamed when I go collect her from her naps or in the morning. One afternoon, she told me, "Just one dream. It was TIE DYE!"

Which sounds like a perfectly lovely dream to have.


Newest coloring book approved for print.

Today's excitement is trying to track down an order to Sweden, which went to Anchorage, then to San Francisco. Then Anchorage. Then Fairbanks. Then Anchorage. Then Fairbanks. Then Anchorage. Then Fairbanks, a week ago. Nothing since. I double-checked both addresses, and it ought to be just fine. *baffled*

Okay, art now. Making a game try for this Finish Fest thing!
ellenmillion: (baby kitty)
We made a brief stop at the park yesterday and made time for a longer visit today, when the weather was even better:

Today's photo is first because the light is best. Despite all the great equipment at the park, the rocks are still probably her favorites.

She's gotten bold lately, and volunteered to sit on the swings with me and even let me push her higher. Yes, she picks her own clothing.

Speaking of clothing, today's entertainment was Guppy taking off her pants. "It's warm. I don't need to wear pants."

She was quite adamant about this fact. When I suggested shorts, she just shook her head. "It's warm. I don't need to wear anything."

Her latest favorite book is Firefighters TO THE RESCUE, and she looks for the fire engines every time we pass the fire station.

Other than shopping, I finished revisions to the Garden Sprites coloring book and uploaded them to the printer tonight, and poked at a few other latent projects. Also, there's a new Sketch Fest on the calendar, and a week-long event for the following week aimed at FINISHING work. https://www.facebook.com/events/1454986741470117/

I can't believe it's August. I need to do a July roundup, but I fear it's going to be a super slim one.

April 2019

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