ellenmillion: (Default)
Goodness, when did I last post? I won #inktober, but only by virtue of counting the ornaments I painted. (They were paint pens. Close enough.)

I put out a new book, Tropical Christmas Stag: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KDTW6P2

It is probably my favorite book that I've ever written, and arguably my best. It's not doing nearly as brilliantly as Tiger Next Door, but the reviews make me mist up happily, and I utterly loved writing it.

I have the sequel to Tiger Next Door drafted, but it still needs a pretty heavy round of revisions before I pass it on to first readers, and for NaNoWriMo, I'm working on the next Shifting Sands book, Breck's tale. I'm at 28,000, which is not up to speed to win NaNo, but I had to stop and work out several plot kinks (huh huh, kinks...) and I'm really liking how it comes together. It's a pretty bold premise for the romance genre, with a bisexual hero and a major asexual side character. (Plus magic and destiny and doomed duels, oh my!)

And in really exciting news, I got a Bookbub feature for the first box set of Shifting Sands scheduled for Dec 1 and I am trying not to think about it too hard. (Shut up, lizard-brain. I do so deserve this.)

I am taking a few moments off from building my wordcount to do a 2018 Chopping Block. It's long overdue, and has been weighing pretty heavily on me mentally. Look for that... soon, because I think it's going to feel like a pile of bricks off my brain.
ellenmillion: (Default)
I am four pieces into #inktober on day two! One is a commissioned sketch (of a catbox) for a patent cut-sheet, two of them are coloring pages for the next Coloring Alaska book... which I hope to release the first week of November.

This the fourth one:

Inked kitty with pumpkins
This was experimenting with a Copic brushpen that I think I quite like. Original available: $15 includes all shipping.

I wrote a little over a thousand words on the not-a-book this morning, and have pie-in-the-sky ideas of getting it finished this month. I hit my goal of 500 words/day last month, despite starting 10 days late, so it feels... actually possible. I also jotted down some of the ideas I have for the NEXT book, which is one I really, really want to write.

There is snow in the forecast for next week. Hold me.

Off to go shopping again today... because I forgot bread.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
My stupid brain. It keeps insisting that I'm slacking off, that I haven't dooooone anything today.

Shut up, brain. I finished a book yesterday.

Also, I finished scanning my #inktobers!

Click through for a much larger version.

I am pleased with myself for trying different ink mediums - brushes, and brush pens, and dip pens, as well as my favorite pens. I am pleased with the variety of themes. I'm tickled I got some good Portrait Adoption portraits out of it, and two Torn World illustrations. I think some of my dragons turned out awesome, and I'm looking forward to adding them to my Etsy shop. I've even sold a few! Not all of them are amazing, but I'm okay with that. Summary: #inktober is awesome. A+, will do again. (This, FYI, is my third time winning it.)

Also, I fixed some details at Portrait Adoption that were raising red security flags on some browsers. (It wasn't really not secure, I just hadn't updated all the various graphic links since I added a security certificate. But big red flags could be off-putting to someone interested in adopting, and we don't want that...)

I even chopped wood and made a fire, and vacuumed and did dishes and scooped the catbox.

See, brain? Stuff a sock in it. I'm having a brownie.

I... may have an ornament problem. I didn't realize I had SO many. I'm not sure how (or if) I will be able to display them all. After next weekend's show, expect to see some here for sale. A lot of them are on shatterproof balls now, and I've also successfully shipped the glass ones several times.

I'm going to treat myself to an episode of Arrow and then there will be a walk with Guppy, and probably I'll start packing the car for Saturday.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I have not been blogging, but for good reasons!

Guppy's Halloween party was a blast, but the skirt shed spikes in a most alarming fashion, and she removed it partway through. The headband also required some further glueing, as the self-stick Velcro stuff was not happy to self-stick to the backside of the fake leather. I wore the costume myself on Sunday for the Coloring Tea Party (great, great fun, again!), and found that it wasn't just 4-year-old enthusiasm that caused the spikes to come off. After re-gluing and re-gluing, I finally got smart and STAPLED the suckers on. You can't see the staples at all, and the spikes stay on very well indeed. In fact, I test shook the skirt very vigorously, and a bunch of the beads fell off instead. Oops. I'll need to sew those on. :P

I won #inktober! I won! I haven't had a chance to scan yet, but I will have proof soon. Many will be available for sale, but speak up quickly if you spot one you'd like.

Here's #31

I've made excellent progress on my NDA project, and decent progress on the last outstanding commission I have. I've also painted lots more skeleton ornaments. They are so much fun. The UWA bazaar is this weekend, and I will have an army of festive dinosaur skeletons, plus some mythical critters, too:

Just shy of 1000 words on my not-a-book today, and I got up early yesterday to add another 1000 to it. It's like pulling teeth, but I am determined to Get Er Done.

I've got another promotional project on deck that is proving to be TREMENDOUS fun. I cannot wait to release it. I'm nailing down dates now, and will have more information about it soon.

Also, I made an apple pie today. A DUTCH apple pie, which is like a regular apple pie with ice cream already injected underneath the crust. No soggy crust! All the creamy joy! So easy and delicious! Jake will be lucky if there is any left to come home to.

My attendance at a tea party is now required. There are also dishes to wash, and although it is not cold out, I am considering a fire in the woodstove.
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)
I'm working on a rather large art project that I can't share, but I'm so tickled with how it's coming along. I've made big progress this week, and the client is really happy about it. My writing is at a crawl, but progressing - the not-a-book has just topped 26k, and I may have finally worked out the sticky plot mire I was stuck in for the last few weeks. The last quarter of the book is going to need some heavy editing, but I think I've got a solution for all the problems I didn't like. Now, I just have to write the last 5 or 6k words that will wrap it up, and get it off my desk already. 600ish words today so far.

I continue with #inktober, and have gotten six finished, though only the first two are scanned yet. Last night I broke out the dip pen I got in the Artsnacks box Jake surprised me with. I haven't used a dip pen in a really, really long time, so I'm rusty, but I loved it.

Things to do now! Off to do them!
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I spent the weekend at SenshiCon, which was a delightful feast for the senses. Sales were modest on Saturday and modestly dire on Sunday, which would have been fine if I'd lived in Anchorage. I paid for my table easily, and about half my hotel stay (yay for airline miles!). I would love to go back, but it will have to be bundled with something else if I do. I did have time to do my first two #inktober pieces, and I also painted a number of ornaments. I also gave out all of my business cards, so hopefully some of that will come back around, too...

Here are the first two #inktobers:
(Both originals are on hold for the Patreon patrons who sponsored them)

Photos of the ornaments will wait until later in the week when I have them in hand again. (They are driving back with [livejournal.com profile] laylalawlor, while I flew.)

A pile of rough sketches are off to a client this afternoon, and a Guppy (who is very happy to have me back) is eating my hardwon Cinnabon. A fire is crackling in the woodstove, and the familiar strains of Megamind are keeping me company while I start a dish of potatoes au gratin...
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)
80! My inbox is down to EIGHTY. This is down from about 300 this morning. *flops*

I found another Inktober piece I hadn't posted:

(original available: $10 includes US shipping) on hold

I've been continuing to clean and purge, in bits and fits, and one of those fits I found the bound copy of the Upheaval novel that I wrote for NaNo a few years back. And... it's not terrible. It's actually really GOOD in places, and I'm getting excited to start filling in some of the big gaps and fixing up the characterization. (Oh look, this character gets REALLY important in the last chapter. Maybe I should actually mention them at some previous point... and give them a name.).

I got the Kickstarter surveys compiled into a document today so I could look at the trends: people felt strongly about zombies (some people wanted them, more REALLY didn't). The next most mentioned was Fantastrix, which was perfectly evenly divided between people who didn't want it (largely because they already had it!) and those that did. Most responders (by one!) didn't care what they got.

There is a FB event for the next Sketch Fest: https://www.facebook.com/events/1639152869681450/

It is not until February, because I am REALLY SUPER SERIOUS about taking a sanity month. I am going to put on an autoresponder, and just step away for a while and do without having to update anything or answer anything or fill orders or do customer service or help anyone reset their password. Orders have trickled away to nothing, so I'm tempted to close up a few days early. Very tempted.

Fire and wood now - it's not as cold as I was hoping it would get, but it's still chilly, and I've let the fire die down. Brr!
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)
Happy solstice! It really matters up here - we're down to less than 4 hours of sun (and functionally NONE on this side of the hill), and I am more than ready to get some more of that back.

I feel back on the horse, health-wise, but as many times as that's gone quickly sideways on me this fall, I'm making sure to stay hydrated and rested.

I have been working on artwork I can't share yet, for 78Tarot, and the perk for the subscription Kickstarter. But here's a piece leftover from Inktober. This is the last one, I think:

(Original available, $15 includes US shipping) on hold

This weekend I redid some of the bathroom work we did over the week - we'd accidentally buried some electricity for the lights behind finish work, and it needed to be dug out. And after Guppy got up from her nap on Saturday, I impulsively said, 'It's time to give away some things!' and we spent about three hours doing a MASSIVE room purge. She was remarkably compliant with the idea that we were giving away piles of her toys to 'girls who don't have any' and we also took the opportunity to put up some of the toys she either didn't play with yet or didn't play... er... correctly with. Puzzles, for example, were all dismantled into pieces and carried around in tote bags with crayons, cards, stamps, play jewelry, lincoln logs, and Duplos. We sorted bags and bags and bags of these miscellaneous things, and put up all the Lincoln logs and Duplos, sorted the stamps into their boxes (put up), put all the art supplies together (left down), separated out the cards (also left down, and not sorted into their games - it's just a giant stack of playing and flash cards), and her room looks marvelously clean and uncluttered. Her training potty was given away, and her diaper genie and the stroller and booster seat and all the things she doesn't use anymore. The basement looks better, too. It was followed by a necessary flurry of vacuuming, and everything is much less 'I've been busy lying on the couch praying for death' and more 'a house I wouldn't be ashamed to show people'.

I have two more gifts I'd like to get mailed (already late, of course) before the season is officially over, and a few small family things to wrap. Otherwise, I'm ready for Christmas to be here! It's supposed to get COLD over the next few days (-30!), and I'm actually really excited for that, too. As soon as Guppy is up from her nap (soon!), we'll be going outside to stock up on wood inside and I'll start a fire.

I still need to do my November roundup! This may be the lastest monthly wrapup I've ever done... but I was sick most of that month, so it probably won't be worth the wait. :P
ellenmillion: (thud)
This morning's plans were derailed by a sad little "I have to throw up!" and delivery on that promise.

So, we're staying home!

Here's another little piece from Inktober:

Ink and a little metallic paint. (original available, $10.)

Brief post today!
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Boxes are in my car ready to be mailed. This is the first time in years that I've mailed actual gifts, and it feels lovely. It's cold in town today, so I will probably wait until tomorrow to send them; we're going to have a lazy day in front of the fire, with one well-bundled walk to hang ornaments on the trees in the forest. We may watch Enchanted. There will undoubtedly be a tea party.

Another #Inktober piece to share:

I had rough-sketched this, and I'm not sure what was going on with the chest piece, but I thought to myself, that looks like a Superman shield... and lo, Superturtle was born. (Original for sale, $20)

I have new artwork up at Torn World, too:
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: (fairysquash)
Locals! I will be at two shows not this weekend, but next. First is PopCon, our very own little local con, here at UAF. You can find me at the Wood Center Friday, Nov 6 between 4-10(ish) and Saturday, Nov 7 between 2-9(ish). I will also, thanks to the power of being two places at once (IE: sharing a table with [livejournal.com profile] laylalawlor), be at the UWA bazaar Saturday and Sunday, from 9 AM-4 PM.

We'll be debuting two things that I am super, super excited about. The first is:

I've approved the proofs at the printer, and it is going to be a GORGEOUS little coloring book. As it says on the label, it's a coloring book of wildflowers, 6 from me, and 6 by Layla. Layla wrote descriptions of each flower, which are included on each image.

Like this one!

If this does well, we'll be tackling all kind of Alaskan topics: birds, fish, animals, landmarks...

The other items we'll be unleashing on the world are hand-painted ornaments. We've been having tremendous fun painting these.

And in other artwork, here is #Inktober 24, available for adoption at Portrait Adoption now:

(Finished from a Sketch Fest Sketch, Happy Tears was the prompt... from January 2012!)

I'm up to #25 for Inktober, and not at all sure I will continue. There's a limit to my energy (no, really!), and I'm enjoying the ornaments more right now. 25 is still impressive, and I've got a lot of things crossed off my list.

I think that's enough artwork for today... Monsterus Minimus appears to be on a nap strike, and I've got an ad to design and some writing that's due. I'll save the rest of my big news for tomorrow!
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I feel like I'm tipping distance to ALL THE THINGS right now. Seriously, I am THIS close to finishing about seven projects. I am super excited about all of them. I'm going to go do them instead of blogging about them. There is a new portrait available for adoption!

(Click to adopt. He's #inktober number something, and the original is available...)
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I'm up to 12 for #Inktober! Three are for Portrait Adoption (2 posted already!), 5 are for Torn World (mostly sketched during Sketch Fests), 3 have been prompted at my Facebook artists page ( https://www.facebook.com/EllenMillionArtistrix/photos/a.583430851760984.1073741838.407054896065248/745775952193139 ), and one is an overdue character portrait I promised to a friend.

It's lovely both crossing things off my list and getting ahead on Inktober at the same time. At the end, maybe I'll put them together in a little chapbook or something.

(Sale pending)

Our walk yesterday was very slick and slushy, and Guppy's boots over-topped with snow several times. Next time, snowpants, she agreed.

Today was a lunch out with Guppy and an out of state friend (and her coworkers). Guppy was well-behaved for the most part, though I went with a sinking feeling because we had a major screaming fit shortly before we left the house. Fortunately, that passed smoothly, and there was a lot of giggling and basically being good, if slightly wiggly. I got her on a bench seat pinned in by a very tolerant lady and me, and she played quietly with her coat and the menu and nibbled at her food (once it finally came). There was room for her to lay flat on the bench while we were waiting for food and she could squirm without bothering anyone, and never got too loud. I will count it a success.

I also picked up my newly modified display rack, and Cripple Creek Custom did an amazing job on it. It looks SO nice, and is so sturdy. I hate watching people shove things back in too roughly and make the whole display rock; I don't think that will ever happen again.

Art and Agents of Shield now.
ellenmillion: (guppy stare)
Most people equate Alaska with snowmen, but the truth is, the snow in Fairbanks (the dry interior), is usually awful for making snowballs. You pat it together, it just falls apart. We only get a brief window of sticky snow in the spring and fall, when it's warm enough to stay structurally sound. Today was one such day!

It's a snowbunny, because we've been watching Max and Ruby, and they make snowbunnies.

And one shot building it:

I have a First Friday show this evening! The roads may be awful, and I'm not expecting a great turnout. More caramel apples and cider for me! I thought I'd bring my sketch book and work on some Inktober pieces, and bring some blank ACEOs and do sketches if anyone wants one. I've already got my show box together, and I'm not doing anything fancy with displays - just some coloring books in stands, an original or two, and a scatter of cards and bookmarks.

Guppy is dawdling over her snack now (and getting most of it on her face...), then we've got a nap, and I'll try to do more art. I've gotten 7 pieces done for Inktober, and am excited to work on more of them....
ellenmillion: (Mmm..)
I have completed 3 pieces for Inktober thus far, and have just wrangled a worn out Guppy into bed and hopefully to sleep. I will be working on coloring book things for a while here, but am hoping she stays asleep long enough for me to get a little further ahead on inking, too. Given my schedule this month, a two-day lead is Not Enough. And some of the pieces I'd like to do will be multi-day affairs.

(This was #2)

Tomorrow is First Friday at Woven Sylver! Come see my books and artwork upstairs in the Coop Plaza mall. There will be cider and caramel apples. And amazing handmade costumes
(not mine). And me.

Preschool was cancelled today. The roads are passable again, but big chunks of town (including the school!) were still without power. So, no tea shop and inking for me! "I'm going to make a disaster!" Guppy told me merrily, walking up the stairs. "Okay," I answered. "Have fun!"

We also went outside for a while. The sun came out, but the photos I tried to take didn't capture the sparkle at all.

And there was mac and cheese, and tea, and a little Max and Ruby, and princess music, and many laps around the dining room table. Also, no pants. Because... well, just because.
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)
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!

October was as nuts as September was, with a lot of coloring book work, the INKtober challenge (31 ink pieces in 31 days!), stomach flu (not fun!), animal illness (more not fun!), and the true arrival of winter.


GIGANTIC image. )

I did 31 ink pieces this month - some of them from existing sketches, some from scratch. The final tally was 2 pieces for coloring books, 20 of them were from Sketch Fests, 7 were for Torn World, 16 were ACEOs, and 3 ended up being for the Sketch Tarot project. (Clearly, there was lots of overlap.)

Most of the originals are available - just let me know if you are interested in one!

Additionally, the color version of Skykittens went up!

Three oooooold pieces of non-canon Torn World concept artwork also were posted: Fighting the Others, Early Ranger Concept, and Early concepts of Bai and Ressa

A ridiculously complicated ACEO was posted at River Twine: Illustration for Brightwood.

Sketches for Sketch Fest: 5 total for 2 Sketch Fests.


A poem went up at Torn World: Sea Monster Skipping Song

And one for subscribers: Ressa Knows


I made some improvements at the Sketch Fest site - especially for product management and expiration. I also did a bit on the backend of the Lilypad and reprogrammed the coloring book ordering page.

The perk for Patreon supporters was a digi stamp of my very popular Candle dragon artwork.

I got 11 coloring books back in print, and sent all of the PDFs out for Kickstarter patrons! This was actually a LOT of work - even the coloring books that had already been in print needed some pretty good re-formatting, and I went ahead and did some general improvements, even releasing one of them as a second edition. But they look AMAZING. I am really happy with my new printing service.

I was part of an art show at the North Pole Grange - it was a lot of fun and I sold a nice pile of coloring books, cards and bookmarks. (Though none of the originals I brought! Alas!)

This is my favorite photo of Guppy from the month:

ellenmillion: (cat in hat)
It suddenly occurred to me that there is a Sketch Fest THIS Friday! Woah! How has time passed this quickly?

Today's update will be brief - we're about to go play outside.

She's so constantly in motion, it's hard to keep her in focus...

New INKtober pieces! I'm caught up through today and have just three to go to make it!

Both available.
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)
It was a lovely weekend. We took it easy, and I got a tremendous amount of Kickstarter work accomplished, did a handful of artwork, and have nearly finished How I Met Your Mother. A grand Duplo tower was built, Jake made the Best Soup Ever, and managed to top that by then making the Best Casserole Ever. I am salivating over the leftovers I get to enjoy this week.

Let's start with art:

These are pieces 22-24 (For sale, $15 each).

#25 - a rather random scrolly thing. (For sale, $10)

This is the Moon for my Sketch Tarot project. SOLD

I'm currently caught up on INKtober! I haven't done today's yet, but it's looking likely I'll ACTUALLY do this!

And in the theme of art:

Coloring books are going out! I've got the first 10(?) packages out! I have to pick up boxes at the post office today, and figure out how on earth to hold someone's hand while I get THESE boxes into the post office. (As shy as she is, Guppy's a bolter - I don't dare let go in a parking lot.)

And in the theme of Guppy:

With my good camera. I have about a dozen awesome photos from this shoot, but will you spare you.

All for now! Much to do!

April 2019

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