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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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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.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1603003.html
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*

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1602742.html

Garden Wars, garage sales, and more...

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.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1602435.html
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.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1602273.html

Tuesdaily - a productive day

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...

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1602035.html

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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...

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1601676.html

Ellen's Blog; Thursdaily

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.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1601364.html

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Ellen's Blog: Tuesdaily

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.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1601073.html

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Ellen's Blog: Mondaily with new painting

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??

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1600925.html

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