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[sticky post] Who is the nut behind the wheel?

Ellen Million: Artist, Writer, Project Enabler, Creative Force of Nature. And, Mom.

Projects:

Currently in crowdfunding: Sketch Tarot! - Sponsor a card or pre-order a deck at a steep discount today!
Coloring Books - Highly detailed coloring books for grown-ups. (By many artists!)
Sketch Fest - a monthly prompted 48-hour creative jam for artists around the world.
Portrait Adoption - adopt a pre-finished character portrait that will be exclusively yours! (By many artists!)
Ellen's Escape - my personal webpage and an archive of pretty much my entire artistic journey.
Torn World - a shared science-fantasy world.
Etsy - digital stamps (digi stamps) and coloring books.
Patreon - support Ellen and get monthly surprise goodies!

Other links of possible interest:

2015 goals
2014 goals review
Chopping Block of 2010 - an interesting snapshot at all of my projects of that time, including several that did not survive the cull.

Ellen elsewhere:

Ellen Million Graphics at Facebook
Ellen Million, Artistrix at Facebook
Sketch Fest at Facebook
Torn World at Facebook
Ellen Million at Facebook - mostly a feed of this journal.
@ellenmillion at Twitter - almost entirely a feed of this journal. (Has been hijacked by hackers. See my business twitter: @ellen_million)
@torn_world at Twitter - updates for Torn World
ellenmillion at Deviantart - very, very rarely updated
Elfwood gallery - oldest gallery of my work (aside from my personal site, above).

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Yesterday was another smashingly busy day in which I crossed many things off (many boring things, like take van to the shop, and fold laundry). Because we went in very early to drop the van off, we were in town before the library or usual kid things opened, and it was too wet to go to the park. So, instead, Guppy asked sweetly if we could go to Creamer's Field, and I thought that sounded like a great idea.

The mosquitos were fierce, and the boardwalk in places is quite tippy and slick, but we clung to each others hands and navigated the boreal loop with much laughter and excited observation. We saw ducks, and I introduced her to algae, and we climbed up to the observation tower (she was more interested in the stairs than the view) and we counted bridges and it was great fun. We had just restocked the hospital with coloring books, so I brought a copy of the Wildflowers of Alaska coloring book into the Creamer's giftshop to see if they'd be interested in carrying it. The woman at the desk was very enthusiastic, so I left a copy with my contact information. Fingers crossed!

Have some photos:





The rest of the day involved lots of busy work, cleaning, more Portrait Adoption certificate counting (I FOUND THE MISSING ONE! In the Ps instead of in the Cs where it belonged. There was no P anywhere in the name, it was totally a clerical error.) and lots of cooking and processing of the farm share. Mmmm... farm share.

(Also, I totally fooled both husband and Guppy into eating a beet, which they both hate, and it was the funniest thing I've seen in weeks. I laughed myself to tears.)

Today so far has involved cleaning - I had two drawers that were utterly uselessly stuffed with things, half of which I just tossed. And poking for more Alaskan coloring books to print, and getting current printing quotes because I'm getting low on two of my best sellers. And more laundry, because it Never Ends. Hopefully, naptime will involve some writing, but I should also finish counting PA certificates. There were enough little dependencies (and some major head-scratching with name changes) that it was a good thing I was doing it.

Tags:

Today, so far, I have:

*Gotten my flat tire repaired (to be fair, I have to pick it up tomorrow, because I don't want to go back in today).
*Refilled propane
*Bought a replacement headlight for my car
*Replenished the ridiculously expensive prescription catfood
*mailed an order
*cleaned out the freezer
*3 loads of laundry
*some emails
*arranged to restock one of my retailers
*realized I was missing a set of certificates for a portrait adoption. *ARGH.*

The last precipitated a full certificate count and file purge. I am to the Hs so far, and there are several head-scratchers in my files. Some I suspect are people who have changed their names (marriage, etc.), a few are people who never registered at the site *tosses*, but there are a few oddballs I'll have to track down. Illegible signatures for the argh. I'm getting rid of reams of paperwork, which is nice, and tagging everything I identify so I don't have to do this again.

I did 4 sketches for #smaugust over the weekend: https://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestartist.php?id=9&date=78

I got a massively flat tire on my way to gaming and discovered that I need a cheater bar in my car because I could not BUDGE those nuts.

Now I have to go empty the van because it gets serviced tomorrow and I have dance class tonight! *flies*

Wednesdaily looking up!



My week is looking up.

I also fixed the gallery problem and have about 2 hours of completely kid-free time. I am going to dive into writing for that time. Right now.

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So I get to decide if I need ANOTHER new battery, or if I'm just going to replace my laptop. And the printer that three companies have refused to ship to me now.

Also, my gallery script is not working as a pop-up now that I've got my site upgraded to https. I've beaten my head against it for a while this morning and last night and I'm just ready to give up.

SEND CHOCOLATE. STAT.

Tags:

*I had to replace 30 coloring books that were damaged in transit.
*I spent an hour trying to submit a shipping insurance claim (that won't cover all of the expense anyway), only to be told that their system is broken. Try again tomorrow.
*I got a big box of coloring books I'd sent to a con returned as unclaimed. Recipient as baffled as I am.
*My laptop crashed. I lost the last several hundred words I'd written on my not-a-book. Everything ELSE recovered successfully. The replacement battery is no good, I popped the older one in and things seem to be working again.
*The fuser in my laser printer is on its very last legs.
*I forgot to bring the propane tank into town to refill.
*I spent about a zillionty hours on the telephone, between making half a dozen appointments and trying to get USPS tech support. I had varying levels of help with each phonecall. (By which I mean a drone of 'Mommy,mommy,mommy,MOMMY' in the background.)
*I got a rejection letter for an art thing.
*Chrome doesn't support the gallery script that I JUST added to my webpage, so now it's all stupid-looking.

I'm going to bed before I can add anymore to this list.

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Thursday we took Guppy on her first not-a-baby camping trip. Getting out was a little more complicated than we'd hoped, as the fridge had mildewed, and the coach battery was dead. But some genius from my husband and some elbow grease from me fixed both items, and we had a smashingly good time.

Guppy's summary of the event (picture her sitting on her bed at home pretending to read to me from an imaginary book):

We went camping! The woods were very very very long, and we slept in the van and had a BIG fire.

We did have a lovely fire and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows (she was unimpressed and only ate half of one) and sleeping was just fine once she was un-excited enough to actually sleep.

The 'very long woods' is a description of the hike that we took, the morning after camping. The first part was quite nice - dry, level ground, some wooden bridges, clear trails. Then we got to the river, and realized that parts of the trail had very recently been underwater. There were washes of sand and very slippery mud, and lots of downed trees to scramble over and duck under. We had to strike out into the woods to bypass water in several areas, and the last short bit - we could actually see the end trailhead! - we had to ford in ankle-deep water*. It was quite an adventure.

I can't wait to go out again. Once my shoes are dry.

I have a new portrait up! I was stretching my comfort zones, and wrinkles are unexpectedly fun:




*Jake says that this doesn't really sound all that adventurous, and suggests I say that it was fast-flowing, waist-deep, and had sharks. I concur that sounds more exciting, but I have journalistic integrity to maintain...
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!

Asking a favor!

I always feel sort of weird asking, but it would mean a huge amount to me if any of you who own my coloring books - pdf or print versions - would review them on Amazon. All the new ones are sitting there with zero reviews, and even the new covers of Fantastrix and Dotminatrix have only one apiece. Reviews MATTER for Amazon sales, and I'm trying to get all my ducks in order for the upcoming holiday season. Be honest about your source, if you aren't a verified buyer (ie: I got a PDF copy through the Kickstarter, or I bought directly from her site, or this was a gift) and do not review if you are one of the artists in it, but even less-than-five-star reviews give a product legitimacy and I will be wildly grateful. My stuff at Amazon

In related things, I have only ONE copy of Steam Dreaming remaining (but Amazon has three!), and less than ten of Scheherazade's Shimmy, and less than five of Apples and Roses.

July 2016 Roundup

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!

Art:

Official release of the color version of Tentacle Friends.


Inked my first #junicorn and released it as a coloring page at my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/listing/468252337/junicorn-unicorn-digi-stamp-digital

Two little pieces for Sketch Fest: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestartist.php?id=9&date=77


Writing:
Released second not-a-book (which did fine if not as spectacularly as the first), and wrote 7700 words on the third.

Other:
I had a First Friday artshow.
I participated in the "HUGE" Facebook event promoting my art.
I was a vendor at AYP (a local music fest).
All Kickstarter rewards were sent!
I took a scary painting class!
I signed the biggest contract of my life.
There was the release of Adult Coloring Treasury 2, which I have 2 pieces in!
I picked blueberries!
I did a product pitch for a thing that I may or may not follow up on...
I suffered more than a week with SERIOUSLY BUGGY email.
My favorite Guppy photo: http://hotlink.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/baby/IMG_3800-sittingonafrog.jpg
I did a Goodreads giveaway for Serenitrix - almost 1700 people entered, which is exciting, but lead to no actual sales, so I'm not sure it was worth it...

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