pet portrait - Brown Paper Bag https://www.brwnpaperbag.com Illustrative Delight Mon, 03 Jan 2022 20:38:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.3 https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/cropped-icon-3-32x32.jpg pet portrait - Brown Paper Bag https://www.brwnpaperbag.com 32 32 Happy 2022! Some of the Pet Portraits I Stitched During My Time Off https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/2022/01/03/hello-2022-pet-portraits/ Mon, 03 Jan 2022 20:35:44 +0000 https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/?p=34928 Did I MEAN to take 3 months off from blogging? No, I did not. But hello again!

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Custom pet portrait patch by Brown Paper Stitch

This article is brought to you by Brown Paper Stitch, my business that makes your wardrobe pawesome by embroidering your pets on clothing.

Hello again, and hello 2022! I say this every time, but I never mean to take extended hiatuses on Brown Paper Bag. I miss writing and connecting with others. But alas, the holiday season got away from me; all of those embroideries I mentioned had to be stitched, and my husband and I closed on our first home (!). Between embroidery, house stuff, and my roles at My Modern Met, I had to take the pressure off of Brown Paper Bag.

But, I’m back! And I wanted to start this new year by sharing some of what I stitched during my time away (from the blog). It’s not everything, but I did a lot of stick-on patches this year—upwards of 40. And what was interesting was that many people didn’t even stick the patches on clothing. When faced with where to stick the patch, some folks framed the pieces. I even converted a Shar-Pei patch into an ornament on a Christmas tree.

Looking forward in 2022, one thing I’d like to do this year is to expand my product line. I’ve got a growing list of product ideas and intend to launch at least a couple of them this year. Soon, I’m moving into my own studio/office space (as opposed to sharing it with my husband), so I’m hopeful that will give me a creative boost to do even more things. (And be more organized.)

As I’m getting back in the swing of things here, expect to see more regular content that you’re used to—of my work and other creatives’ artwork and products that inspires me and will hopefully inspire you, too.

Custom pet portrait patch by Brown Paper Stitch

Custom pet portrait patch by Brown Paper Stitch

Custom pet portrait patch by Brown Paper Stitch

Custom pet portrait patch by Brown Paper Stitch

Custom pet portrait patch by Brown Paper Stitch

Custom pet portrait patch by Brown Paper Stitch

Custom pet portrait patch by Brown Paper Stitch

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Pet Portrait Sketches That Will Eventually Become Stitches [Brown Paper Stitch Dispatch] https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/2021/10/06/pet-portrait-sketches-brown-paper-stitch/ Wed, 06 Oct 2021 21:29:39 +0000 https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/?p=34909 I've been sketching a lot lately—not so much stitching. See what I've been up to!

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Drawing a Pet Portrait on an iPad Air

This article is brought to you by Brown Paper Stitch, my business that makes your wardrobe pawesome by embroidering your pets on clothing and as patches.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, I’ve been sketching a lot of pets for soon-to-be embroideries. In fact, I had a marathon sketching session over the past couple of weeks; I was definitely doing that more than stitching.

But, I don’t mind. My background is in illustration, and so sketching is an integral part of the process. As an illustrator, the typical workflow is that I’d create a sketch that would then go to review from the client. (In this case, it’s the person who orders a pet portrait patch.) Once I get the OK from the client, I then move on to the “final,” or the embroidery.

Digital pet portrait of a cat illustrated by Sara Barnes / Brown Paper Stitch

Because I don’t have much in the way of stitching to share right now (check back here in the next month!), I want to show what’s on deck. I’m really excited about all of these portraits! If you’d like your own special pet portrait, just visit my Etsy shop—I have commissions available.

My intention in the near future is to make these types of digital portraits available as an option for a pet portrait (no stitching). I’m still working on the logistics of this, but stay tuned—I’ll let you know when these are a possibility.

Digital pet portraits of dogs illustrated by Sara Barnes / Brown Paper Stitch

Digital pet portrait of cats illustrated by Sara Barnes / Brown Paper Stitch

Digital pet portraits of dogs illustrated by Sara Barnes / Brown Paper Stitch

Digital pet portrait of a cat illustrated by Sara Barnes / Brown Paper Stitch

Digital pet portraits of dogs illustrated by Sara Barnes / Brown Paper Stitch

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9 Custom Stitched Patches That Immortalize Our Furry Friends [Brown Paper Stitch Dispatch] https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/2021/09/08/custom-pet-portrait-patches/ Wed, 08 Sep 2021 22:55:03 +0000 https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/?p=34797 Here are some furry friends I've recently immortalized in thread.

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Custom embroidered pet portrait of a dog

This article is brought to you by Brown Paper Stitch, my business that makes your wardrobe pawesome by embroidering your pets on clothing.

When I first began stitching pet portraits, I started embroidering directly onto shirt collars. (It’s something I still do!) But over the past year, patches have become my most popular product. I love creating patches—there is something so satisfying about the process of embroidering onto felt and by the end, producing something that someone will wear on their shirt, jacket… or whatever fabric choose! There’s a lot of freedom in determining where a patch goes. When placed, it becomes something of an heirloom.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my patches, which is a bit wild since I’m always so happy with how they turn out. If you’d like me to stitch your furry or scaley friend, visit my Etsy shop to learn more.

I’ve got more patches in the works. Be sure to follow my Instagram to see what’s next.

Custom embroidered pet portrait of a dog

Custom embroidered pet portrait patch of two cats

Custom embroidered pet portrait patch of two cats

Custom embroidered pet portrait patch of two cats

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All of The Custom Pet Portraits I Stitched During My Break [Brown Paper Stitch Dispatch] https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/2021/05/12/custom-embroidered-pet-portraits/ Wed, 12 May 2021 14:19:26 +0000 https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/?p=34317 Well, I didn’t mean to take a month-and-a-half long break, but sometimes it happens. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Custom cat embroideries on a collar lapel

This article is brought to you by Brown Paper Stitch, my business that makes your wardrobe pawesome by embroidering your pets on clothing.

(Well, I didn’t mean to take a month-and-a-half long break from writing here, but sometimes it happens.)

I’ve been busy these past six weeks. One of the things I’ve been doing is stitching pet portraits! Patches have proved super popular this year (already), and I’ve stitched a lot of dogs as well as a few cats. Furry friends are definitely my specialty, but they aren’t all I do—I’m working on a reptile right now.

Here are some of the embroideries I completed on my hiatus. Many of these were a challenge. I am always trying to perfect my color choices (so that they match my sketch), and on a few of these embroideries, it took several tries to get the hues just right. I was second-guessing a lot of my choices which never feels good. But ultimately, I got to a place where I am happy and proud of all of these portraits.

I try to never get too down on myself and look at every setback as an opportunity to learn. And I think having to redo stitches over (and over) forced me to implement strategies that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

I’ve put my Etsy shop on vacation mode but now that I’m nearly caught up, I’m going to reopen it. Follow me on Instagram to know when that happens. I’ll also announce it on here, of course!

Custom embroidered cat patches to go on the collar of a shirt

Custom dog embroidery on a jacket collar and scarf

Custom embroidery of dogs

Custom dog portrait patch embroideries

Custom pug portrait embroidery

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Want to Get an Embroidered Pet Portrait? Here’s the First Step [Brown Paper Stitch Dispatch] https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/2021/02/24/february-24-brown-paper-stitch-dispatch/ Wed, 24 Feb 2021 15:03:46 +0000 http://www.brwnpaperbag.com/?p=34090 Your pet isn't sketchy; but I make them one.

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Sketching a Pet Portrait on Procreate App

This article is brought to you by Brown Paper Stitch, my business that makes your wardrobe pawesome by embroidering your pets on clothing.

When the 2020 holidays had passed, I thought that I might get some downtime to tackle some of my goals for Brown Paper Stitch this year. (New product development, for instance.) But ever since the beginning of January rolled around, I’ve been busy with custom work. I’m elated that this is the case. I love working on custom projects and developing portraits of your pets.

But it hasn’t yielded much to show at the moment, and I dislike showing my embroideries in progress when there isn’t much thread and it’s hard to tell what it is I’m stitching. So, I thought I’d give you a little more insight into the sketching phase of a custom order—the first step in creating your pet portrait!

Digital Pet Portrait by Brown Paper Stitch

Sometimes, the color is off. Here’s an example of a tweak I made.

I’m formally trained as an illustrator, and in the illustration process, you will typically submit a sketch to a client. They will offer their comments. Maybe your sketch looks great! Or, maybe there are a few tweaks needed. If the latter is the case, then there are sketch revisions that take place with the client’s comments in mind. All of my custom pet portraits are started with this premise; you, as the client, get to OK the sketch before I start on the final (the stitching).

I sketch with an Apple Pencil on an iPad using the Procreate app, so most changes are pretty quick.

Digital Pet Portrait by Brown Paper Stitch

Tweaks are often in the shape of the face, like in this pug portrait.

I like to do this for a couple of reasons, but the biggest is that it gives you control over the portrait. After all, you know your pet better than I do! And it also ensures that when you receive the shirt or garment, there won’t be any surprises with what it looks like. It’s peace of mind for you and me.

Want to get your pet stitched as a patch or on a garment? Check out the custom options in my Brown Paper Stitch shop

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How Do I Draw? The Better Question is How Do I Think [Brown Paper Stitch Dispatch] https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/2021/01/13/brown-paper-stitch-dispatch-jan-13/ Wed, 13 Jan 2021 17:16:48 +0000 http://www.brwnpaperbag.com/?p=33887 I posted an Instagram reel and the comments got me thinking about how I create my art and on a larger scale, how I think. Join me on this thought journey!

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I don’t have a lot to show—stitching wise—from this past week (with the exception of 1 Year of Stitches). But I have been sketching and waiting for approvals from my clients to move forward with embroidering their pets. The sketching process is two-fold; first, I create a color sketch of what the embroidery will look like. Once given the go-ahead, I then turn the drawing into lines that become the pattern of what I’ll stitch.

To share a little bit about this process, I posted an Instagram reel that showed me finishing tracing and then revealing what it looks like when a design becomes outlines. Soon after posting, I received questions about it. Queries basically fell into two camps; the first was if I first vectorized a photo to aid me in drawing, or if I did it all freehand. The second question wanted to know how I decide on what shapes to make.

Those questions were interesting to me, as they are a bit like asking someone how they think. To begin, I don’t vectorize a photo or convert it to shapes in any way on the computer—everything I do is freehand. I grew up without Photoshop and Illustrator and didn’t use them until my freshman year of college (2004), so thinking about using a filter over a photo wasn’t something that entered my consciousness. Rather, I’ve cultivated this style since my freshman year ever since a professor told me I wasn’t good at realistic drawing. (Talk about a shot to the heart! That’s all I tried to do growing up!)

After the realization that realistic drawing wasn’t my forte, I had a creative crisis—experimentations that ultimately went nowhere—until my junior year of college when a visiting professor told me to try working in collage. It made sense; we don’t have the same expectations of reality when looking at collage, so it lends itself well to stylized artwork. The same goes for embroidery.

Learning to translate the world into simple shapes is integral to how I work—it’s something I’ve been practicing for nearly 15 years, first through collage and now through embroidery. I focus on abstracting planes (of an animal’s face, for instance) and draw the shapes I see in Procreate. In my head, I’m converting them into tones and colors in order to build some semblance of three-dimensional form.

If you’re interested in trying this too, check out one of the artists most influential to how I think about collage and abstraction, Henri Matisse. He’s known for his paintings, but later in life couldn’t paint anymore so he started “drawing with scissors” and created collages that celebrate shape and decorative forms.

Brown Paper Stitch Instagram Reel

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Saying Hello to ‘1 Year of Stitches’ 2021 and This Embroidered #CreatureCoat https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/2021/01/04/1-year-of-stitches-2021-jan/ Mon, 04 Jan 2021 16:20:23 +0000 http://www.brwnpaperbag.com/?p=33787 Hello again! How's your new year going? Does it include 1 Year of Stitches?

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Dog embroidery on a coat

Hello! It’s been a while. I took an unintended break for the past six weeks (or so) to work on some custom embroidery orders for the holidays. They all went out (and were received—whew!) on time, but after that much stitching, I really needed a break with as few obligations as possible. The first full week of the new year seems like a great time to return, so here I am. Let’s start 2021 with some 1 Year of Stitches talk. If you were reading last fall, you might’ve seen my articles on participating in 1 Year of Stitches 2021.

Unfamiliar with 1 Year of Stitches? It’s a yearlong daily embroidery project created by artist Hannah Claire Sommerville. The premise is that you make at least a stitch a day (typically on the same piece of fabric) every day for a year. It’s simple and fun. Learn more about it here.

You can technically start 1 Year of Stitches any day of the year as long as you’re stitching 365 consecutive days. I like to start on January 1 for a few reasons. First and foremost, the dates are easy to keep track of. Second, I feel a renewed creative outlook because it’s the new year. And third, this time of year is cold and dark so why not brighten it with an embroidery project?

I’d been thinking about my own 1 Year of Stitches for months; it began this summer when I was browsing the Poshmark app and saw a denim jacket on sale for very cheap. On an impulse, I bought it with the intention of using it for embroidery… somehow. It later occurred to me that this would be a great garment to use in 1 Year of Stitches 2021.

Stitching pet portraits on clothing is my specialty, and I knew I wanted to do something that centered around animals. After all, 1 Year of Stitches is a great way to practice a technique or style of embroidery. So, my plan is to stitch a different animal portrait (most likely a dog or a cat) every month for the entire year. If all goes according to plan, I should have a dozen creatures all over this jacket. (I’m calling it the #creaturecoat this year.)

I spent my Christmas holiday finalizing the sketch for January. It’s a portrait of my parent’s dog Maddie, who sadly crossed the rainbow bridge in late 2020. (She was the ring bearer at my wedding!) You can follow my progress on Instagram, but here’s how the first few days have gone.

I look forward to sharing with you more throughout the year! If you’re participating in 1 Year of Stitches, let me know through DM or email.

1 Year of Stitches daily embroidery project

January 1, 2021

1 Year of Stitches pet embroidery on coat

January 2, 2021

Dog embroidery on a coat

January 3, 2021

I’ll be sending periodic emails about 1 Year of Stitches that will inspire you and help you prepare (including what I am doing for the project!).

Sign up for my 1 Year of Stitches newsletter:

Want to try 1 Year of Stitches? I send periodic emails about the project that will inspire you and help you prepare (and hopefully keep you on track when you begin).

Sign up for my 1 Year of Stitches newsletter:

Dog embroidery on a coat

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Pugs, Patches, and Goosenecks [Brown Paper Stitch Dispatch] https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/2020/10/21/brown-paper-stitch-dispatch-oct-21/ Wed, 21 Oct 2020 18:10:59 +0000 http://www.brwnpaperbag.com/?p=33576 Plus, learn about how I "meditate" with thread.

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DMC Floss

This post contains some affiliate links. If you make a purchase, Brown Paper Bag may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more here.

I love to wind embroidery bobbins with DMC floss. The act is so simple and repetitive that it has a meditative quality. It also signifies the “clean up” of a project. After I’m done stitching, I take all the loose threads I accumulated during a project and find their corresponding bobbin in order to tidy up my thread stash. How satisfying!

Custom embroidered pet patch by Brown Paper Stitch

I’m happy to report that I was able to perform my clean up ritual this week. I finished the custom pug patch and shipped it to its new home. Once I finished the embroidery, I cut it from the fabric (a bit terrifying, if I’m honest) and then mounted it on felt. From there, I applied a stick-on back—so new sewing required to adhere it to a jacket or backpack.

I mentioned in my weekly newsletter that I’ve been trying to film more of myself stitching after upgrading some of my photography equipment. This comes in the form of reels that I post on Instagram. Here I am embroidering an eye in another edition “wow I wish I could stitch this fast.” (The video is sped up 1000%.)

And here is the same shirt farther along:

Custom embroidered pet portrait on shirt by Brown Paper Stitch

If you’re interested in filming what you do, this gooseneck phone holder is great; it’s the easiest and most convenient one I’ve used yet.

Custom embroidered pet patch by Brown Paper Stitch

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Celebrate Your Furry Friend With This Custom Embroidered Patch [Dispatches From Brown Paper Stitch] https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/2020/09/23/custom-embroidered-patch-pet-portrait/ Wed, 23 Sep 2020 16:41:38 +0000 http://www.brwnpaperbag.com/?p=33227 Stick this custom pet portrait on your favorite jacket, backpack, or pair of jeans.

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Custom embroidered patch of a cat

This article is brought to you by Brown Paper Stitch, my business that makes your wardrobe pawesome by embroidering your pets on clothing.

Did you have letter jackets at your high school? Mine did, and you could earn giant “letter” patches for things like sports, academics, music, and more. (I had a couple for running varsity cross country and academics.) I’ve always loved those patches and their vintage, handcrafted feel. It’s what’s inspired me in my latest offering for Brown Paper Stitch: custom pet portrait patches. You can now commission a portrait of your favorite cat, dog, bunny, reptile—you get the picture—as a large patch that will stick on your jacket, backpack, jeans… whatever you like!

How the Custom Pet Portrait Patch Works

Custom embroidered patch of a cat

The custom portrait process is very similar to the collars I already offer. The big difference is that you won’t need to send me a garment, as I’ll be creating a patch for you.

Once you purchase the listing, I’ll get in touch with you and you’ll send me photos of the pet you want me to stitch. The more photos the better—especially images that are snapped in natural light and offer a clear view of the animal’s face (so that I can get markings, etc correct).

Custom embroidered patch of a cat

I then work on the sketch. After I complete it, I’ll send it to you for approval. This where you tell me any changes that need to be made—like the eyes are too big or the color is off. If there are tweaks that need to happen, I’ll make the changes and send it back to you. Once it all looks good and you give the OK, I’ll start stitching. The finished embroidery is mounted to felt with a peel-and-stick backing.

Custom embroidered patch of a cat

With my current workload, it’ll take between two and four weeks to complete, from sketch to finish. This does not include the time it takes to ship to you.

So, ready to get your custom pet portrait patch? Visit my Etsy shop to get started! If you have any questions, feel free to message me via Etsy or a DM on my Instagram @brwnpaperbag_stitch.

Get your custom embroidered patch!

Custom embroidered patch of a cat

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Have a Pet That Needs Celebrating? Get Them Stitched on Your Favorite Shirt! https://www.brwnpaperbag.com/2020/04/13/custom-pet-portraits-on-shirts/ Mon, 13 Apr 2020 15:12:57 +0000 http://www.brwnpaperbag.com/?p=31757 Celebrate your favorite furry friend (or reptile or wild animal) by getting them stitched on a shirt—by me!

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Custom pet portrait embroidery

It’s been a while, but I am finally opening slots for my custom commissioned animal portraits again. What are those? Well, they are your favorite furry friend, reptile, or even wild creature that is stitched on the collars of a shirt. You’ll send me a garment that you want to be embroidered as well as the animal (or animal’s) picture(s) and I’ll create a sketch based on that. Once it gets your approval, I start stitching and send you the shirt once it’s done.

Get a custom-stitched shirt by visiting my Etsy shop. Spots are limited!

 

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And, I’m pleased to announce a new offering: personalized patterns! If you know how to stitch (or want to give it a try), I’ll design you a pattern based on your favorite creatures. Like the custom shirts, we’ll work together to ensure the sketch looks right. Then, I’ll convert the sketch into an outline pattern. You’ll receive that, plus a color guide of the exact DMC threads to use as well as a stitch guide.

The pattern will need to be on a special Stick and Stitch stabilizer. For delivery options, I can either send you a digital file via email (that you’ll then print yourself), or I can mail you the patterns.

Get a personalized pattern from me when you visit my Etsy shop.

If you’ve commissioned a collar from me in the past, thank you! I’ve had so much fun stitching this past year. Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see what I’m working on next.

Embroidered bunnies on a shirt

Custom pet portrait embroidery on a shirt

Custom pet portrait embroidery on a shirt

Custom pet portrait embroidery on a shirt

Custom cat embroidery on a shirt

Custom cat embroidery on a shirt

Custom cat embroidery on a shirt

Custom pet portrait embroidery on a shirt

Gecko embroidery on a shirt

Custom cat embroidery on a shirt

Hand embroidery on shirt

Custom pet portrait embroidery on a shirt

Custom pet portrait hand embroidery on a shirt

Custom pet portrait hand embroidery on a shirt

Custom pet portrait embroidery on a shirt

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