May 26, 2016

Measuring and Marking

My grandfather passed away last week. While he'd been in declining health, nothing was expected so soon and the news was a shock. Over the past few months, I'd been able to spend more time with my grandparents, giving me a wealth of memories and joy. I feel so very, very lucky to have had him in my life then and still.

As we've been taking care of things, I've been able to collect a few of his work tools. My grandfather was a civilian design engineer for the Navy, close to 30 years. I swear by his Eagle pencils and a small, homemade T-Square is quickly becoming my go-to for measuring.

And while I miss him profoundly, there's a joy and a connection that comes in giving his tools a new life.

May 10, 2016

Finding Wild

It's release day for Finding Wild!

Written by Megan Wagner Lloyd, published by Knopf Books for Young Readers and illustrated by me, it was a joy to illustrate. Thanks so much also to editor Julia Maguire and Nicole Gastonguay for the terrific art direction.

Apr 25, 2016


April in a nutshell:

*Tea to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday, complete with fancy hats, delectables and the host's delightful collection of royal memorabilia.

*More stitching/painting in between deadlines. I'm planning a shop update next month (more, later).

* A trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with friends. Despite the relative proximity, I never make it down to Boston (confession: I'm terrified of city driving). But thanks to the commuter rail out of Newburyport, the Green Line and traveling companions with a better navigational sense than my own, the trip was all smooth sailing.

* New episodes of Grantchester!

* And a visit from a brand new nephew. Which makes all in all for a pretty solid thirty days.

Apr 11, 2016

For the Love of Mother Earth

Find this (and two other designs I painted) available as a free digital download over on Spoonflower. Enjoy!

Mar 30, 2016

Out Like a Lamb

The month flew by so fast I think I have jet lag. What, what?

* I've been working on sketches for Fort-Building Time this winter. Written by Megan Wagner Lloyd (the author of Finding Wild), it comes out Fall 2017. It's been a delight working on the sketches (getting to relive childhood fort-building memories has been pretty terrific).

* Eclectic Bambino makes the sweetest clothing for littles, and I was tickled pink to see her using one of my prints on this baby playsuit.

* If you're an Uppercase Magazine reader, keep your eyes peeled! A bookmark with one of my illustrations will be randomly inserted into copies of the next issue. And if you're not a reader, may I suggest picking up a copy, immediately? Uppercase is hands down my favorite creative publication and I can't recommend it highly enough.

* And I knit myself a pair of TARDIS mittens. The pattern is by SpillyJane and I don't care if it's nigh on April, I will wear these until the temperature makes it unbearable to do so.

Mar 9, 2016

March-ing Onward

A quick painting of the red barn I drive by almost daily.

And if you're local, be sure to take in the Illuminating Tarbell show in Portsmouth. It's a phenomenal look at the American impressionist painter, Edmund Tarbell. Also included is a selection of work by contemporary artists inspired by Tarbell's legacy. Allons-y!

Feb 25, 2016

Winter Necessities

Fleece lined leggings are all that and a bag of chips. Seriously. I got some as a Christmas gift this year and let me tell you, they've made this winter 99.9% more tolerable.

Also, coffee. Always, coffee.

Feb 16, 2016


February so far, in a pictorial nutshell.

My first diary was a Peter Rabbit journal with a lock and key that I kept in first grade. I think I only managed to fill up about 15 pages of the 365 available. Flipping through it a few months ago I was appalled at my, shall we say, "creative spelling." But entries about the Tooth Fairy and staying the night at my grandparents still hold up.

As a teenager, I became a more regimented diarist, detailing each day's events in cramped, school-girl script. When I went away to college, I shifted from keeping a diary to writing daily emails home, a way to combat homesickness. And then there was the first awkward attempt at blogging my senior year, a Microsoft Frontpage document (cringe) that I updated daily and is mercifully no longer available on the internet. I remember vaguely writing about miniature marshmallows in cocoa and CD purchases that I will not now publicly admit.

It seems on a weekly basis that articles about THE DEATH OF BLOGGING pop up -- insert disaster sound effects. And while wonderful alternate forms of communication do rise to the surface, there's something about blogging that still seems comforting.  I guess in a way, it doesn't feel so very different from that Peter Rabbit diary at the end of the day. Except I'm not reviewing episodes of "Jem and the Holograms." Or should I?

Just kidding. Sort of. Anyhow, February has included book sketches, a trip to Flight Coffee, watching episodes of Mr. and Mrs. Murder, sewing a baby quilt for a brand new nephew and reading The Thing With Feathers. And snow.

Feb 11, 2016

Valentine Printable

Here's a free Valentine printable (including three different designs) for all your February 14th based needs. Give them to your classmates, pass one out to your letter carrier or send surreptitiously to your secret crush, your call. These look fun as is, but would look even more swell with glitter I bet. Enjoy!

And want more options? Here's a few other designs from the archives:

And a Valentine's themed desktop wallpaper:
Free for personal, classroom and library use only, please. Abigail Halpin, © 2016


Feb 1, 2016

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.