An Explosion of Pattern and Colors: Abstract Embroideries by Sabatina Leccia

Sabatina Leccia

Artist Sabatina Leccia plays with abstract color and threaded marks in her Painting Embroidery series. Here, the stitches become part of the painting, adding a contemporary spin on the timeless craft of embroidery. “I work directly on the fabric, without preparing sketches beforehand,” Sabatina explained on her website. “The result is spontaneous explosion of patterns and colors.” But with this “blast” comes clarity: creating her embroideries allow Sabatina time to meditation and reflection.

Sabatina Leccia

Sabatina Leccia








Illustrator, Paper Craft

Yelena Bryksenkova’s Delightful Paper House for FLOW Magazine

Yelena Bryksenkova

Did you ever play with paper dolls when you were younger? I did, which is one reason I love Yelena Bryksenkova’s collaboration with FLOW Magazine. The third installment of their Book for Paper Lovers is now for sale, and it includes this pullout of a folded paper house. Yelena even added some fun extras for you to cut out and play with!

Yelena works on a lot of interesting projects. Check out this hand-cut window display she created in Montreal!

Yelena Bryksenkova







Illustrated products

Charmingly Illustrative Mugs, Rugs, and iPhone Cases Available on Society6

I’m always amazed at the variety of products that Society6 offers. You could outfit your home and wardrobe through their site, with unique designs to boot. Here, I’ve picked out some mugs, rugs, iPhone cases, and tote bags that have caught my eye, but they offer much more than that, including: shower curtains (I bought this one), t-shirts, laptop sleeves, and clocks.

To celebrate the holiday season, Society6 is offering 20% off home decor and free worldwide shipping for today (Wednesday, December 2) only. Here are a some of my favorites!

Tote Bags

Throw Pillows



iPhone Cases

…and a blanket!


Giveaway! The Charming ‘Diary of a Time Traveler’

diary of a time traveler

What if you could travel to any era in history, where would you go? That’s the premise of Diary of a Time Traveler by David Long and illustrated by Nicholas Stevenson. The children’s book revolves around young Augustus and Professor Tempo—when the boy falls asleep in history class, his teacher decides to teach him a lesson that the past isn’t boring at all. Professor Tempo then hands Augustus a magic diary, where all he needs to do is write a time and place to travel there.

I’ve got a copy of this book to giveaway! Scroll down to enter. 

diary of a time traveler

diary of a time traveler

Together, student and teacher travel throughout time and geographical locations to meet famous inventors, leaders, writers, painters, athletes, and more.  Each double-page spread covers a different place and era. Augustus writes an introduction to explain the sights and sounds, while the Professor provides interesting captions—facts—about the locale.




Some of the 100+ famed figures include: Mozart; Louis XIV; Shakespeare; Leonardo Da Vinci, and Marie Curie. They cover events around the world, with more a focus on Western culture.




Let’s get to the illustrations. They’re easily my favorite part of the entire book! I was a fan of Nicholas’ work before Diary of a Time Traveler, and this just confirms his talent. I love the character design—they’re stylized, cartoonish, and quirky—and the various textures make the images visually exciting page after page.



Get this book for yourself! Enter to win my giveaway!

To enter, leave a comment on this post (make sure I have a way to contact you!). If you’re on Instagram, double your chances by following @brwnpaperbag and liking the giveaway photo.  Open to anyone around the world.

Giveaway ends on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 11:59PM EST. Good luck!


Floral-Filled Illustrations Inspired by Renaissance Paintings


London-based illustrator Eleonora Kolycheva is inspired by vintage botanical illustrations, posters, and early Renaissance paintings. The beautiful artworks showcase florals as they burst from figures and ceramic pots. Using bold pigments, the images feel solid and almost sculptural, as the colors are carved against the dark background.

Ya’ll know I’m always on the hunt for great Instagram accounts—be sure to give Eleonora a follow.








Illustrated products

My Weekly 7 Illustrated Product Obsessions


1. The Bee by Barış Özyurt
2. Le Loup, a haberdashery multi tool by Dominic Coballe (a Kickstarter!)
3. Milk Jug Vase by Dana Bechert
4. Porcelain Pedestal Dog Stand by Eleonor Boström
5. Floral Fox Transparent iPhone Case by Papio Press
6. Conversation Crew Socks by Tintoretta for Anthropologie
7. Moth Risograph Stationary Set by Tallulah Fontaine

This week’s illustrated product obsessions inadvertently features animals. What can I say? I love creature-themed objects.

To all my US readers celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you had a happy one! I’m out west, hanging out in the red rocks of southern Utah—a far cry from the Eastern seaboard.

Looking for a fun weekend project? Sign up for my Skillshare class: Paper Art: Create a Cut Paper Self-Portrait. This short video series goes over techniques for creating a one-of-a-kind portrait that you can use for your social media profiles (like I’ve done!).

Ceramics, Illustrated products

Quirky Ceramics by Lucy Kirk are Silent Film Stars in Porcelain

Lucy Kirk

These ceramic figures by Lucy Kirk (previously) remind me of stars in a silent film. Or a freak show, depending on how you want to interpret their tattoos. The strong, muscly figures are adorned with traditional(ish) Sailor Jerry style of tattoos, drawn imperfectly to create a quirky (often wonky) object reminiscent of a charming pen sketch.

There’s more of Lucy’ ceramics to see below. In addition to mustachioed men, she’s also crafted tiny sculptures of flexible women, loving couples, and furry friends. Some are available in her online shop, just in time for the holidays.

Lucy Kirk

Lucy Kirk











A Busy Stitcher: Yumiko Higuchi’s Floral Embroideries

Yumiko Higuchi

I’m always looking for inspiring Instagram accounts, and I’ve found that with Yumiko Higuchi (@yumikohiguch). Her embroidery is beautiful and process-oriented, so you see a lot of work-in-progress and detail shots in her feed. Judging from how many different patterns and pieces she photographs, you can tell that she’s a busy stitcher.

Yumiko creates a lot of hand-crafted coin purses, highlighting the beginning of the process to the finish product—it inspires me to make my own! Have you ever sewn your own purse? If so, what’s the best tutorial(s) for it?

Yumiko Higuchi














Esthera Preda’s Illustrations are a Curious Interpretation of Reality

Esthera Preda

If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you’ll probably know what attracts me to Esthera Preda‘s watercolor illustrations. They’re bright, surreal, and include beautiful blooms! Featuring portraiture, landscapes, and cats (my favorite!), the minimalist paintings offer a curious interpretation of reality. Animals with two eyes? Horses that can fly? This is all possible in Esthera’s universe, and we’re better off for it.

Esthera sells her handiwork in a couple of shops: Society6 and Tictail.

Esthera Preda

Esthera Preda







Illustrated products

Amelia’s Colorful Coloring Companion Featuring 40 Artists Across the World

My 7 Illustrated Product Obsessions will return next week! In the meantime, let’s talk about Amelia’s Colorful Coloring Companion. This is a beautifully-illustrated book that’s in keeping with the adult coloring craze. 40 artists from across the world have created  unique and unusual illustrations that are perfect for some tranquil coloring time.

The imagery is diverse and includes jungle scenes, urban environments, psychedelic views of the ocean, and much more.  This diverseness came from an open brief to illustrate a double page spread for the book: a full-color image is on the left-hand side, while a black-and-white line drawing occupies the right. The two illustrations are similar (but not the same), and the colored side offers inspiration for how to tackle the right.

Want to score this book for yourself? You’re in luck! Amelia is raising the funds for production via Kickstarter. At the time of writing, you’ve got 3 days to pre-order your copy for delivery in December.

If you’ve long been a fan of illustration, the name Amelia might ring a bell. She’s the lady behind Amelia’s Magazine, which has been around for 11 years, first in print and now online. The Coloring Companion will be her fourth self-published illustration book.

Amelia's Colorful Coloring Companion

Amelia's Colorful Coloring Companion




Using the hashtag Instagram #ameliasccc, you can an example of colored pages. So many possibilities!