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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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The Great Vole Adventure...

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.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1607798.html

Tags:

Wednesdaily with improvement and #junicorn

Today started wretchedly. I wrote an interview back in April that I sent off to the publisher. They opened it yesterday and said, um, Ellen? Because it was blank. I figured I'd sent the wrong file, but I opened mine, and lo. BLANK. And of course, they needed files TODAY to send to the editor, and I've got appointments and early summer camp and I'm still reeling after a Very Bad Back weekend.

Leaving Guppy at camp was the usual amount of agonizing. MOM! MOM! MOOOOMMMMMY! One more HUG! MOMMMMMYYYYYY!

Oh, and the cat missed the catbox.

Then I got a massage that fixed the Very Bad Back, and found an un-formatted draft of the interview in... my wholesale accounts folder? What? So I got that fixed up, grabbed lunch (and veggies!) at the farmer's market, and Guppy had a grand time at camp, of course. Now I need a gallon of ice water and an ice cream sandwich in the sun.

No words today (yet), but I did get some reading research done, and started working on an exciting plot bunny with a partner in crime.


Here are #19 (claimed) and #13 (available!). I did finish #20 but haven't scanned it, so if I get one done today I'll be caught up again. The landing page for my #junicorn project is here: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1604777.html

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1607525.html

Tags:

Mondaily with new artwork

I haven't scanned the latest #junicorn pieces yet, but did go back and finish #13 and forge forward with #19 and #20. I got six done in total with Sketch Fest prompts.

This was just released at Torn World:



It was prompted at the March Muse Fusion and finished in April as part of a collection that I'll give you more information about in a few weeks. ;P

Speaking of Muse Fusions! Our next one is in August. I am eyeing the second week, does anyone have any thoughts on what would work for them?

Got about 700 words of not-a-book written at the library the morning after peeling Guppy off at summer camp. This is a new camp, in a new place, so all the anxiety was new, too. She was TIRED and nearly fell asleep on the way home, so I'm hoping she uses quiet time for a nice nap. (So far, no dice.)

I'm going to get some more words in now! More art later!

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1607344.html

#junicorn update!

I got five more #Junicorn pieces finished for Sketch Fest (so far!) and updated the landing page: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1604777.html

I also scanned last week's cards. I'm still not done with #13, but that will get finished eventually.



I've also added the option for magnets and bookmarks! These are also ACEO-sized, 2.5 x 3.5 inches. The magnets are flexible magnets, laminated and durable. The bookmarks are laminated, with a silky tassel in a random color. Both are $4 each or 5/$15.

(I've signed Guppy up for another week of summer camp, which is not cheap. Buy #junicorns!)

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1607081.html

Portrait,

I still haven't scanned the latest #Junicorn (and I'm still behind and working on lucky number 13), so have a Portrait Adoption piece I posted a week or so ago:


Adopt her here: https://portraitadoption.com/portrait.php?id=2947

Summer camp remains the greatest thing in my life right now. It's still hard to peel her off in the morning, and she doesn't want to leave in the afternoon. My writing count isn't quite as awesome as the first glorious day, but I have gotten to the gym every single morning (which feels amazing) and I've gotten a ton of stuff done. I'm 4/6 into sekrit art project #789 and finished up a private commission yesterday. I submitted a short story to an anthology, and the EMG newsletter finally went out, and I HAVE gotten 500 words minimum every day, with spurts of much, much better, so that I'm nearly at 6k for the week. (I know my powerhouse writing friends are sniggering up their sleeves, but that's a LOT for me.)

Having ME time is huge. It's different than nap/quiet time, too. I spend that time with half an ear at least out for her. This is time I spend with sound-cancelling earphones absolutely focused on what I'm doing. I've tried four different places, and they've all worked beautifully. I feel productive and free and fulfilled. And then I can pick Guppy up and not feel like she's pushed my buttons all morning and I'm happy to see her and spend time playing. (Or working outside in the guise of playing!)

It helps that she is clearly having a great time.

Yesterday, Jake took the afternoon off and we finished the decking on the woodshed. YES. I used our new impact driver and WOW. I'm sold. It's supposed to rain today and tomorrow, so we wanted to get that finished while the weather was nice.

Okay, back to the not-a-book.

This afternoon is SKETCH FEST! http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/index.php

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1606659.html

Summercamp, Day 2 and 3

I've gymed every morning this week, and it feels great! Day 2 was not quite as productive as Day 1, but I still got 1800 words written and a bunch of admin-type things, and I felt refreshed when I picked reluctant monster up from camp. (She tried to run away instead of getting ready to go, because she wanted to staaaaayyyyyyy!) Day 3 saw about 1300 words, but I also finished inking two more pieces for a project I've slipped to my Patreon patrons, and then squeezed in 2 junicorns when I realized I'd written and deleted the same paragraph twice and my brain was just not wrapping around story anymore.

These are three junicorns from the weekend:



The greenman unicorn was an experiment on birchbark, which was only semi-successful - the bark flaked as I worked, and is still really fragile. A sneeze would peel off the colored part. I will have to apply some fixative to it, now that it's sunnier.

The garden is exploding. The potatoes are just peeking up, but the lettuce baskets are gorgeously frilly and full, and the delphiniums are eager to take over the world. I planted some garlic cloves I had that had sprouted, and they merrily shot up several inches over the last few days.

The voles seems to have given way... to ants. It appears that they have moved into the rocks around my garden, and while they don't appear to be damaging anything, I have had to squish more ants in my house recently than I am happy to.

Speaking of happy, Guppy yesterday came cheerfully to the door while we were outside working on the woodshed. "I have a terrible emergency!"

Then she hands me a warm, stinky pair of underwear and flees back into the house. "I have to finish pooping."

Yes, my daughter had handed me a pair of poopy underwear. BECAUSE PARENTING IS AWESOME.

We're going to go have ice cream sandwiches on the porch now and I'm going to just pretend that never happened.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1606453.html

Mondaily

Me this morning: Probably children don't get kidnapped and sold into slavery on their first day of summercamp and she's going to be fine, shut up brain. But she might be sad that I'm gone and spend the whole time waiting at the door for me. And maybe she will be stubborn with the teacher. And maybe she'll get tired or hungry or whiny...

Me this afternoon after picking her up: THIS WAS THE BEST THING EVER.

She had a GREAT time and didn't want to leave, and made a new friend, and thought everything was fabulous. I went to the gym after dropping her off and got a workout and a steam and a shower, and then sat in the gym cafe and wrote 2000 words and then went to the art store and got to use two coupons and got a bacon-avacado-turkey sandwich that was great even though they forgot the bacon, and picked up the most awesome commission ever, and I got a check in the mail for coloring books, and it was all just FABULOUS. *gasp for breath*

I feel refreshed. It was really, really nice having productive hours of work, and the not-a-book is going strong, nearly 19000 words and I'll probably be able to crack 20k tomorrow. My plan is to do the same again, but find a place with better chairs, because two hours of the cafe chairs was the worst part of the day.

This bodes very well for Kindergarten productivity.

Now I've got some arty things to tackle, and a pie to make.

Here's some art that went up at Torn World last week:


This is an illustration for a brief article on the Queen Flower: http://www.tornworld.net/settingpageview.php?id=206

PS: Got to see Wonder Woman on Friday and it was WONDERFUL and Guppy had a good playdate while I was enjoying myself. Also, I'm still behind on #junicorn, but have finished three more that I still need to post!

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1606329.html

Summer equals Playdates.

The morning was cloudy and gray, but it turned out very hot (in the 80s, so you hot-climate people can mock me!). We met some kids-of-relatives-of-friends who were visiting at Alaskaland, and were very happy to get cheap ice cream at UAF shortly afterwards. There wasn't a lot of the kids actually playing together (Guppy was a little older than one and much older than the other), but Guppy still declared that "This day is fun!"

Quiet time was brief, and I spent some of it napping myself (because playing at the park is hard work). Then Guppy 'helped me' finish #junicorn 7:


I've kind of gotten stuck in a gray and white rut with my snow-unicorns, as that is their most common color scheme, but they actually do come in other colors, too. About time I showed that.

No writing today, but I did get some last night, and I tore the outline apart and repaired it, because it rarely survives the first 10k completely intact. In the meantime, I had completely changed the bad guy, and I wanted the resolution of one of the complications to be a little neater. I'm closing in on 17k, and feel like there's a nice little story here. Yay. I may get a little more writing time tonight to make up for the fact that I gutted out nearly 500 words yesterday.

(And next week is summer camp! I am hopeful for several hours of dedicated writing time every day, and can't wait to see what I do with it!)

Tomorrow I get to go see Wonder Woman and I'm SO EXCITED.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1605956.html

Four more #junicorns, playdates

Four more #junicorns finished!



#5 is claimed, others are still available.

The landing page has been updated! http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1604777.html

If I finish another today, I'll be all caught up. :)

Yesterday, we did a playdate with a friend of mine. Guppy had Attack of the Shy, and spent the first major chunk of the visit clinging to my arm and when someone addressed a question at her, she would grab a handful of my hair and yank my head down so she could whisper the answer in my ear instead of speaking out loud.

This got very old, very fast.

Then she thawed out, and the rest of the visit was utterly delightful. The other mom did needlefelting (EEEE, I can't wait to share what she's working on!) and I did the fire and water #junicorns, above.

And of course, when it was time to go, she had to be dragged away not quiiiiite actually kicking and screaming.

We did another playdate in the park today. We got there early and she reluctantly warmed up to a few strange kids who were very forward and wanted to know who she was and loved her name. ("Like Frozen! Why did you name her after Frozen?" ...)

By the time our playdate got there, she was swinging and yodeling, and it was the other child we were meeting who didn't want to interact, because being five is hard. By the end, again, they were laughing and chasing and playing hide-and-seek and it was all good. I got a little sketching done for a new not-so-secret project (Patreon patrons will get a first look at it!), and then I hit the farmer's market for cucumbers and hot peppers and brought the nearly-melting-down child home for quiet time. I got a little over 500 words written (today, but not yesterday), and consider the day basically a success.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1605707.html

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