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Viewing Blog: Theodesign.com, Most Recent at Top
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1. Rusalka

 A quick color study from last week.

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2. A-Tisket, A-Tasket - Treat Bag Pattern

Here's some springtime stitching for you: a rabbit-ish treat bag pattern. Tips, tricks and the pattern, after the jump.

The treat bag is a fun, quick project. For supplies, you'll need felt (about a 12" by 12" square), 1 skein of embroidery threat and a button. If you're unfamiliar with transferring embroidery patterns to felt, this tutorial is terrific and the method I like best.

And don't forget the chocolate!

For personal and classroom use only, please.

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3. Merrymeeting Bay

I wanted to needed to doodle something fussy and mysterious this afternoon. This was the end result.

 nd over on the Little Crooked Cottage, I'm sharing my favorite childhood book.

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4. The Snowdrop

I finished this in January, then placed her under a stack of books to press, promptly forgetting about her existence. That is, until today, when rifling through a pile of books she popped out. And seeing that the river is racing and the mercury in the thermometer is creeping doggedly upwards, I'd say today's as appropriate a day as any to unearth a missing springtime maiden.

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5. The Bibliophile

A detail of something I'm working on for fun at the moment.

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6. It's the Same Old Song

Things in heavy rotation here in the studio, this week and last. If you have Spotify, you can listen here

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7. Interconnectivity

Here's an end-of-day Dirk Gently sketch because, well, why not.

And happy Spring! It looks impossibly wintry still out of doors, but at least the calendar is at odds with the weather. We'll just politely ignore the fact that I'm wearing snow-boots and had to push some hideously slushy precipitation off my windshield this morning.

Speaking of green things, remember the fig tree? Well, it's rallied marvelously (see specimen below) -- take that, physopella fici.

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8. Saint Patrick's Day

 Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

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9. Hasten, Spring


One last sketch before I head off to the weekend.

I'm planning to watch this.
Read that.
And fingers crossed, cook this.

And you?

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10. Poppies, Patterns and Pillows

I'm ignoring the snow, choosing to paint poppies instead. I tried growing Icelandic poppies last year and it was a spectacular failure, but I'm going to give it another go this year.


So in the meantime, I'm making prints (and pillows) while I wait for the real thing.

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11. Sophie's Masquerade

It's March? It's March!

Something from my sketchbook, before the weekend commences.

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12. The Last Gentleman

"It was not the prospect of the Last Day which depressed him but rather the prospect of living through an ordinary Wednesday morning." -- Walker Percy, The Last Gentleman

(Gouache, pencil, thread. A photo of my maternal grandfather served as reference and the tie is woven onto the card.)

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13. Stitch, Stitch, Sew

Right now: I'm currently bouncing between projects and deadlines, taking this class and shoveling a completely inappropriate amount of snow. And you?

Also locals: you should go to Lil's, then walk through the connecting door to RiverRun. You can thank me later.

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14. In The Kitchen

I've been fiddling with this print for weeks, in between projects. I modeled the fig tree on one that's in my studio. I bought it this past fall, blissfully unaware that it had contracted fig rust at some point in its journey to the grocery store. Within a few weeks, all of the leaves had given up the ghost and one by one, made their way to the trash bin. I babied the tree, trying all sorts of remedies but the defoliation continued until it stood completely leafless.

They say the only thing you can do after fig rust is wait, so I did. I thought about pitching the fig tree but I'm cheap and paradoxically sentimental, so it's been sitting in a corner most of the winter. But within the past week, almost four months on, there's a one inch leaf starting to poke up from an offshoot. The rest of the plant is covered in green buds and nothing's gone mottled and yellow yet (fingers crossed).

So huzzah for hopeless causes and fig trees and finished illustrations.

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15. XOXO


Here's a little something for you to celebrate February 14 with: some print-your-own valentines. They should adequately assist your in proclaiming your affection for classmates, significant others and charming mysterious strangers.

Print, cut, disseminate at will. And a hint: I bet they'd be nifty with some glitter.

For personal use only, © Abigail Halpin. 

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16. The Magic Mistake

Today's the release day for the second installment in the "Oh My Godmother series," The Magic Mistake! Written by Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson and illustrated by me, The Magic Mistake was a real treat to work on. It's not every day that you get to draw a snarky fairy godmother with cat-eye glasses*, you know? And thanks to the nice people at Disney, especially editor Catherine Onder and Whitney Manger for the top notch art direction.
*Fun fact: Katarina's specs are modeled after a vintage pair my Aunt Polly gave me for Christmas a few years ago. Additional fun fact: The Magic Mistake is dedicated to the aforementioned aunt (who's pretty great, by the by).

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17. Mvsevm

I visited the Museum of Fine Arts on Sunday. It was a pretty great day because A) I got to see room after room after room of the most stunningly gorgeous work that mankind has produced B) I took the bus (take that, Boston traffic).

Highlights? The "Holland on Paper" exhibit is amazing (and ends this month), the Catalonian Chapel Gallery was breathtaking and the Audubon show is A+, five stars.

Nice work feet. High five for lasting a solid six hours. I owe you one.

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18. Pushing Pixels


When I get cabin fever, I either move furniture around or redesign my website. Three guesses what I did this week (and the first two don't count). You can see more, here.

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19. Dr. Watson, I Presume?

Some end of day Sherlock sketching.

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20. Mia's Ballerinas


Remember those skirts I was talking about making this past fall?

Well, I finally finished them this weekend (blush). I printed the fabric through Spoonflower and used Oliver + S's free Lazy Days skirt pattern, minus the ribbon.

And speaking of Spoonflower, I updated the sidebar so you can find my designs over there, if you're so inclined.

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21. Candlemas Bells

At the moment:

* I'm listening to Bryan Ferry's The Jazz Age. Repeatedly.

* Becoming moderately obsessed with these ginger spice cookies.

* And am working on book sketches, a Valentine's printable and avoiding contact with the polar vortex outside my door.

And you?

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22. Make Do and Mend

They sure don't make 'em like they used to, no siree.

And if you're eagle-eyed, you can spot this little illustration in the newest issue of Uppercase Magazine (which is a mighty fine publication, by the by).

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23. Orange You Glad


Satsumas were on sale at the grocery store, so I bought a few. And for the rest of the week, orange hues kept popping up everywhere.

And in non-orange related matters, I'm putting together a FAQ post about illustration (in general) and digital workflows (specifically). If there's anything you'd like me to touch on in said post, feel free to holler at me in the comments!

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24. "Put another pin in your hat, Dot. You're in for a fast ride"

I just started watching "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries," which inevitably means drawing the eponymous Miss Fisher. Aside from the historical glosses (ahem, pants) Phryne's a cracker jack detective, DI Robinson is an A+ straight man and I'm pretty sure Dot and I would be BFF's in another lifetime.

And before I forget, the second installment in the Oh My Godmother series, The Magic Mistake is out in a few weeks! Speaking of which, if you're in the mood to win a signed, hardcover copy of said book, I'd get a move on over to Goodreads for a giveaway, ASAP.

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25. Twenty Fourteen

Hello 2014, I'm so glad to make your acquaintance.

The holidays were swell. 2013 was great. But now that January's here, I'm itching to get going on the new year at hand.

I've been mulling over the next twelve months, making notes about projects to tackle and places to go. And I've been making resolutions. So far, I've tasked myself with reading 25 books and sewing a pair of blue jeans. I'm planning to visit Los Angeles, Washington, D.C and (fingers crossed) Québec. And I'm quite sure I need to pitch a tent this summer and shun electricity for a couple days.

Also, I'm planning to draw. And draw. And draw some more. I want to finish a book dummy, screenprint fabric and and burn through all the pages in my brand new sketchbook.

So in short, here's to twenty fourteen. Wishing you loads of luck in your fledgling adventures and hopeful goals.


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