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1. 29 Days


February, I like you! Only 29 days and it's light past 4:30 means we're rotating ever closer to the days when I don't have to wear five shirts. I finally gave up and went to the greenhouse last week because I couldn't hack January any longer. A half hour of daffodils and hyacinths was just what the doctor ordered.

Anyhow. Some less Wintry things.

* My Etsy shop is closed temporarily. I'd hoped to open after the holidays, but I'm focusing on some deadlines right now. I'll open again once things ease up -- apologies!

* I have a Valentine's Day printable in the works. I'll have that available by next Monday at the latest.

* Le Concert is a lovely film. Equally hilarious and heartfelt, it's well worth a watch.

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2. Blue


Something I painted this afternoon for the 12 Months of Paint challenge (this month's theme was blue.) Most of what I'm doing these days are black and white sketches, so it's nice to switch gears for a bit with color.

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3. The Swing of Things

 
Back into the swing of things this week: thumbnails, lettering, catching up on Serial's second season and some pattern making (case in point, above).

Also, there may have been a chocolate sea salt cruller (because, January).

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4. Twenty Sixteen

The year still feels new and fresh. And cold. Really cold. I'm sitting here with a hat on and a puffy vest because I'm too much of a crank to turn the heat up higher. But hey, I don't have to shovel anything, so it's all good.

Anyhow, I've been mulling over 2016 for the past couple of days, taking the time to figure things out. So an assortment of goals for the next twelve months:

1. Develop a fabric collection.

2. Read 25 books.

3. Finish unfinished things. Quilts, cleaning, running, a childhood dollhouse, etc. Anything that's languished in a back closet or the recesses of my mind is fair game.

4. Work on the graphic novel idea I've been researching for the past two years. I've chucked it a few times over, but the subject doesn't seem to let go. So I'm going to dedicate some scheduled time to that each week.

I have a few other ideas kicking around in my head, a group pop-up shop, embroidery concepts, screen prints, etc. There'll be more "Alfred" updates and book things to mention in the coming months. But for the time being, I'll start with the above and see where the next twelve months lead.

Also, I give up, I'm going to go turn up the heat.

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5. For Auld Lang Syne my Dear


Thanks for the memories, 2015! I'm plunking down with a cup of coffee and my laptop for a minute, to stop and meander through the past twelve months. Every January I have a battle plan in my head, a roadmap of the new year ahead. And invariably by December, I've taken highways and byways unintended, but eventually appreciated. I think Dirk Gently (a.k.a, Douglas Adams) put it best when he said, "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."

I started 2015 flying into Washington, D.C, on New Year's Day. San Antonio this past Spring was splendid and ditto for a night spent on an island off the coast of New Hampshire this past August. And a trip to Los Angeles in September was swell.

I began work on Finding Wild amidst the most punishing winter I can remember and sent in final artwork just as the leaves started to unfurl. My sister and I launched a graphic novel in weekly installments -- eight months in and I feel like we're really getting to the good parts. And I experimented, making lots and lots of artwork, trying to get closer to the things I want and need to make.

So how about 2015 New Year's resolutions? I didn't sew as much as I wanted to, but I did make an Archer shirt that I wear continuously. I took an etching class at Chase's Garage and am loving Skillshare. And I did read 25 books, you can see them over here.

I'm still mulling over 2016, how to map out the next twelve months. But for now, I'm going to have a glass of champagne, a slice of this cake and binge on the Twilight Zone marathon. Happy New Year and here's wishing you all the best in the months ahead!

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6. Fa La La La La -- Gift Tags Printable


Happy, happy holidays! Here's a free gift tag downloadable to celebrate the season.

 
Fine print: you'll need a PDF reader to open these. Before printing, I recommend fiddling with your printer settings so that it's at its highest output quality (especially if you choose to run these on card stock). Feel free to print as many as you like for personal or educational use. Enjoy!


  :: Download Here ::

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7. The Holly and the Ivy

 

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8. Deep in December


Everything since mid-November has been a bit of a blur, but I think that's true for most of the general public at present. I haven't even managed to haul out the Christmas ornaments, but am hoping to rectify that situation this weekend. Aside from that, what's what?

* I'm finishing up a free holiday gift tag downloadable. I'll have that up here next week.

* I'm completely obsessed with the Limetown podcast and literally squealed with delight when I realized Serial launched its second season yesterday.

* I have a Christmas card downloadable in the shop. Speaking of the shop, I'll have calendar tea towels up tomorrow, Saturday. And the Cyrillic alphabet illustration above is a print I finished up ages ago, but forgot to show here. Head desk.

And that seems to be it, so back to the drafting table. If this was the year 2100 I'd offer you virtual egg nog and sugar cookies, but technology hasn't caught up with my internet dreams yet. Someday.




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9. Stitched Up


If you made it to Salmon Falls Open Studios this weekend, it was swell to meet and chat. Thanks for coming by! In between visitors, the above embroidery is something I spent some time stitching. Speaking of which, my mother and I are organizing a beginner embroidery class for after the holidays. If you're in the area and interested, feel free to drop me a line for more information.

And before I forget, Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

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10. Elks and Echinacea


A pattern I'm finishing up at the moment.




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11. Novemberings

Life lately has included illustrating book covers, a Tweed Ride, a whole lot of The Great British Baking Show (see above) and rose tea. So that's that.
   
Also, goodbye foliage. You outdid yourself, Mother Nature. Fist bump.

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12. Gather Round


Finishing up a card illustration so that she can go winging her way off to the printer's this week.

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13. Kitchen Things

I recently took Elizabeth Olwen's "Pattern Design: Bring Your Artwork to Life on Products" class on Skillshare. It's my first Skillshare class and I'm definitely hooked! Anyhow, I chose for my project to design a range of kitchen goods -- here's how it all turned out.

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14. Days, Weeks, Months and Years

I finally finished up the 2016 tea towel calendar I've been working on! I'm excited to get stitching on these in the coming weeks.

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15. Halloween Coloring Sheets


Oh what the hay, Halloween only comes once a year, so I decided to whip up some PDF coloring sheets. There's two designs included here: the pumpkin celebrants (above) and the mysterious lady (below). Happy coloring!



Free for personal, classroom and library use only, please. Abigail Halpin, © 2015.


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16. Things of a Seasonal Nature


I haven't had a chance to create anything eerie or terrifying for the season, sadly. Assorted projects, "Alfred" and various other things are claiming my attention at the moment. But, fear not (or fear if you want to, I mean, it is October). In the archives here, one can find:

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17. An Autumnal Addendum

 


Here and there, this and that. I've been working on two book covers lately, staying busy with that. In the meantime, here's what's occupied the spaces in between.

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18. October

Overnight the trees have turned and when I open my eyes in the morning, the first thing I see is a swamp maple gone brilliantly red. And now all I want to do are paint those autumn colors, capturing all of them (or at least as many as I can lassoo) before they fade.

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19. St. Honoré


A hat tip to the fictitious island of St. Honoré (because I just finished reading A Caribbean Mystery).

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20. Star Island

 

I spent the past weekend on Star Island for Gatsby on the Isles. A 1920's themed shindig, it's a real delight full of top notch company, sharp dressing and hot jazz. I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked, but here's a few snaps that I did manage. The top two are of the Oceanic Hotel (as well as a few revelers) and the bottom is Sunday's sunrise.

And I brought my sketchbook, too. Here's a small sketch I made of Smuttynose Island.

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21. Begonia Blooms


It's a Mod, Mod World...

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22. September


Owing to the fact that Labor Day's come and gone, I'm finally admitting that autumn is nigh (even if my flip flops claim otherwise). There's something about September, though, that lights a fire under you to get stuff done and I've hit the ground running this week.

I showed a snippet of the above on Instagram the other week. I've got a ways to go still, but I've begun adding color and here's a preview. I'm thinking of maybe turning her into postcards?

Also, what are your favorite books as of late? Bonus points for good Fall reads!


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23. Maidenhair

 
A small pencil drawing I just popped in the shop.

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24. An Armful of Octopuses


A cephalopod-centric pattern I made this week. Working on this, I kept wondering what the collective noun for a group of octopuses was. The internet regretfully informs me that none exists. Sigh...

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25. Vera

 
A quick sketch of DI Vera Stanhope to end the week. I'd tried watching the first episode of Vera a few years back, but ten minutes in, found it too bleak to go further. I recently gave it a second go with another episode, though, and am quite glad. Vera's fashion sense and policing are unorthodoxly delightful and I could stare at the Northumberland scenery all day.

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