Exquisitely Minimalist Embroideries by Miga de Pan

miga de pan

Miga de Pan is the label under which Buenos Aires-based crafter Adri­ana Tor­res cre­ates her work. Her exquis­ite and min­i­mal­ist pieces are a lovely com­bi­na­tion of tex­ture and line. Quiet scenes fea­tur­ing wood­land crea­tures, geo­met­ric shapes, and even archi­tec­ture are sewn onto natural-colored back­grounds. These images are inspired with the help of Adriana’s ded­i­ca­tion and for­mal train­ing in a num­ber of fields: archi­tec­ture, graphic design, illus­tra­tion and gen­eral fine arts.

As some­one who embroi­ders for fun, I am lov­ing the vari­ety of stitches that Adri­ana uses. It adds keeps things visu­ally inter­est­ing. My eye doesn’t get bored look­ing at the same stitch over and over — instead, I find myself keenly exam­in­ing every part of her handiwork.

Fol­low Miga de Pan on Face­bookInsta­gram, and Pin­ter­est.

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How Did You Do That?

How Did You Do That? ‘The Robot Factory’ App by Tinybop


You might recall the debut of How Did You Do That?, a series focused on how mak­ers cre­ate the things that we love. Nancy Liang kicked it off by shar­ing her GIF-making process. Now, I’m pleased to present some­thing totally dif­fer­ent - the mak­ing of an app! Brooklyn-based com­pany Tiny­bop just fin­ished their newest cre­ation called The Robot Fac­tory It’s an opened-ended build­ing app that lets kids make, test, and col­lect robots. How fun!

As with any app, there’s a lot of mov­ing parts. I spoke with three peo­ple involved in mak­ing The Robot Fac­tory hap­pen (although there were many oth­ers): Tiny­bop CEO Raul Gutier­rez came up with the con­cept; Owen Davey illus­trated the app; and Leah Feuer was the project man­ager. They all have tasks that were inte­gral to mak­ing the app hap­pen, and they’ll help give us some sense of how The Robot Fac­tory was created.

Com­ing up with the con­cept: Raul Gutierrez


Brown Paper Bag: What did you do before you founded Tinybop?

Raul Gutier­rez: I was work­ing in Hol­ly­wood on film and later in the startup world on the web, but always at the inter­sec­tion of art and tech.

BPB: After you had the ini­tial idea for The Robot Fac­tory, what was the first step towards mak­ing the project a reality?

RG: Prob­a­bly the orig­i­nal inspi­ra­tion for the app was an Apple ][ game called Pin­ball Con­struc­tion Set. I remem­ber think­ing back then, “Build­ing pin­ball machines is cool, but it would be so much cooler to build robots.” I was part of the first Star Wars gen­er­a­tion. All the kids back then thought that when we reached the 2000’s the world would be full of robots. Maybe this app is my small attempt to make that imag­ined future a lit­tle more real.

The first step in actu­ally start­ing the project was build­ing a com­pany and sur­round­ing myself with lots of smart cre­ative peo­ple.
Con­tinue Reading


Vintage Film Stills Reimagined as Tiny Paintings by Ellen Surrey

ellen surrey

I enjoy a good flick, and so I was really excited to see that Ellen Sur­rey was paint­ing these small illus­tra­tions based on film stills. The title and year are labeled at the bot­tom of each piece. So, if any of these paint­ings intrigue you, I’d encour­age you to watch the movie! I’ve never heard of The Cat From Outer Space, but I know that I need to see it.

Ellen writes about this project, stat­ing:

I watch a lot of movies, espe­cially the clas­sic ones. Because I love the look of these movies so much I usu­ally take screen shots while I’m watch­ing. These screen shots make for great ref­er­ence but lately I feel as if I could be uti­liz­ing them so much more. Some­times I have a hard time decid­ing what to draw and paint when that cre­ative urge hits, so I thought I would start paint­ing my col­lec­tion of screen shots.

Each gouache paint­ing is small (3″ x 4″) and on piece of water­color paper. ellen surrey ellen surrey ellen-9 ellen-7 ellen-6 ellen-5 ellen-4 ellen-3 ellen-2 ellen-1



Get a Load of All These Flowers by Mia Charro


Mia Charro is a designer and illus­tra­tor whose love of nature is appar­ent through her bright art­work. She also enjoys fairy tales and magic, and I’d reckon ani­mals, too.

With all of these col­or­ful, flo­ral crowns, I totally want to make my own! That’d be a fun DIY project to make out of paper…

Mia sells a lot of these works as prints through her Etsy shop.

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Elegant Illustrations of Animal Hybrids with Landscapes Bodies

daniel mackie

Daniel Mackie’s water­color paint­ings depict ani­mals that have lush land­scapes con­tained within their bod­ies. A black cat with large eyes has tem­pes­tu­ous sea and giant ship trav­el­ing through its ele­gant body. Like­wise, an owl fea­tures a moon­lit path wind­ing on its chest.

Navy tat­toos are a source of inspi­ra­tions for these illus­tra­tions. Daniel’s web­site, The DM Col­lec­tion, fur­ther describes the process:

In order for the paint­ings to work with so much detail, the shape of the ani­mal was key in the design, it had to be instantly rec­og­niz­able as the crea­ture it rep­re­sented, here Daniel took his cue from Art Deco, keep­ing the shape of the ani­mal as sim­ple as pos­si­ble. Daniel is a big fan of the print­mak­ers of the Ukiyo-e period which was between the 17th and the 20th centuries.

These illus­tra­tions are avail­able in cards, prints, note­books, and more. Buy em here!

daniel mackie

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Lately & Liked

Soap Packaging So Lovely You Won’t Want to Open It


Do you ever buy things just based on their pack­ag­ing? I totally do. It adds a whole other level of prod­uct enjoy­ment for me. I also keep some pack­ing that I really like. This tea towel by Mir­di­nara Kitchen, for instance, was almost too lovely to open.

Lately, I find myself look­ing (and really lik­ing) soap labels. The for­mat lends itself well to charm­ing illus­tra­tion and fun design. There’s a lot of pack­ag­ing real estate to make some­thing beau­ti­ful. After all, just look at all the great scenes that Emma Block pro­duced on the Hand in Hand Sus­tain­able Suds wrap­pers (above).

Savon Sto­ries

Designed by Menta.

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[botani] COAL

Designed by Lemon Sanuk Kim.

Wool­worths Soap Shop

Designed by Nicole Bird.



Drum Roll, Please… Announcing the Collage Contest Winner!


We finally have a win­ner! After much delib­er­a­tion, Emily Haasch’s col­lage was selected by Papir­mass for inclu­sion in an upcom­ing issue (plus a cash prize and free sub­scrip­tion.)  “It’s a very inno­v­a­tive use of col­lage and am impressed with the effect she has achieved with such a lim­ited color scheme,” Kirsten (of Papir­mass) told me. (Read more about how they made their deci­sion.) Emily’s swap part­ner, Ian Caulkett wins a free sub­scrip­tion, too.

Con­grat­u­la­tions, Emily! Great work. And remem­ber, all Col­lage Scrap Exchange par­tic­i­pants — you can view all sub­mis­sions here. (While you’re there, click on thumb­nail of a col­lage to see it enlarged.)

Lately & Liked

Friday Round Up: 10 Product Recommendations from ArtSnacks

ArtSnacks April Box via @asdfmariely

Art­Snacks April Box via @asdfmariely

For months, I’ve been think­ing about doing a post that cov­ers art mate­ri­als. Specif­i­cally, prod­ucts that are help­ful and seem fun to try. I don’t test out enough of these items in my day-to-day life, and so I have the help of some­one who does! Sarah Ruben­stein of Art Snacks com­piled a list of what to try.  I’ll have her take it from here:

Art­Snacks is a monthly sub­scrip­tion box to the best art sup­plies. Every month, we send you 4–5 full-size art prod­ucts that range from pens and pen­cils, to inks and paints. Once you get your box, we encour­age you to cre­ate a piece of art­work using only the items in the box. When you’ve made your mas­ter piece, share it on any social media out­lets with the hash­tag #artsnackschallenge.

Tombow Mono Zero Eraser

The MONO Zero Eraser by Tombow has a sweet pen-style grip, so the expe­ri­ence of using an eraser doesn’t change — com­pared to using a pen­cil. It’s really great for using within detailed pen­cil drawings.

Palomino Black­wing 602

The Palomino fam­ily includes 3 dif­fer­ent eraser-topped pen­cils – but this one is a favorite of ours. The lead in this cedar pen­cil makes for a darker black than your aver­age pen­cil, even with less pres­sure. It has a vel­vety draw­ing tex­ture and a firm weight.

Cat­a­lyst Con­tour (Series 20)

This lit­tle guy gives you a very dif­fer­ent paint­ing expe­ri­ence. The Cat­a­lyst Con­tour by Prince­ton Brush is basi­cally a wedge that pushes paint around a sur­face with ease, and cre­ates shapes you wouldn’t get with a reg­u­lar brush.

Copic Ciao Marker

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Every­one loves a reli­able Copic marker. This is a professional-grade, double-ended marker with the abil­ity to blend like no other. The high-quality color cre­ates dimen­sion in any illus­tra­tion or design.

M. Gra­ham & Co. Artists’ Gouache

M. Gra­ham & Co. Artists’ Gouache has a sim­i­lar recipe to their water­color paints. The honey-based gouache won’t crack or chip when dry. You’ll achieve very fine lines with­out a prob­lem, and with a con­sis­tency of soft but­ter, it’s suit­able for impasto or thick brush work.

Con­nois­seur Pro­tégé Short Han­dle Pre­mium Tak­lon Brush

This is a professional-grade brush that is short in size, and will han­dle any type of paint. It makes a great mark when paired with the M. Gra­ham & Co. Artists’ Gouache, and is just a sta­ple item to have in your art bin.

Copic Mul­ti­liner

The Copic Mul­ti­liner is a new detail­ing ink pen with a high qual­ity mark. It has pig­ment– based ink, and is great for fine art, design, comics, col­lage, writ­ing and doodling.

Genie Can­vas Mini

The Genie Can­vas Mini is the first and only fully col­lapsi­ble can­vas out on the mar­ket. Made in a vari­ety of sizes, you can stretch it tight over a few wooden dow­els, and take it apart when your paint­ing is dry. It’s super easy to roll up and send to a friend.

KRINK K-80 Per­ma­nent Paint Stick

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Atten­tion: This is just another crayon. The KRINK K-80 Per­ma­nent Paint Stick is a new prod­uct from KRINK, and is actu­ally a solid stick of thick paint that cre­ates a tex­tured line, resem­bling the mark/line left by a crayon. It’s really cool.

Pen­talic Soft Pastel

We love con­ve­nience, and when it comes to grab­bing art sup­plies on the go, we reach for our Pen­talic Soft Pas­tels. This petite four-pack of pas­tels is neatly packed in a small box, mak­ing it per­fect for sketch­ing on the go.

Thanks, Sarah!

Sculpture, Textiles

Elin Thomas Makes Moldy Petri Dishes Look Cuddly

Elin Thomas

Artist Elin Thomas makes moldy petri dishes look cute and cud­dly. Using a com­bi­na­tion of embroi­dery thread, cro­chet, and nee­dle felt­ing, she cre­ates unique tex­tile pieces. The fuzzy felt pro­duces the effect of tiny hairs sprout­ing from the yarn spores.

If some­thing has mold on it, I’m usu­ally grossed out. But not with Elin’s work! She’s able to make these sci­ence projects into appeal­ing brooches, rings, and art for your home. Check out more of her acces­sories on Etsy.


Elin Thomas

Elin Thomas

Elin Thomas









Colorfully Fun Enamel Pins by Big Bud Press

Big Bud Press

Illus­tra­tor Lacey Micallef has been a life­long col­lec­tor and trader of pins. She cre­ated Big Bud Press as a way to com­bine this beloved pas­time with her artis­tic career.  The 1″ (and larger) hard enamel pins are made from plated metal, filled with col­ored resin, and baked at a high temperature.

Lacey’s designs are super fun, fea­tur­ing golden eggs, banana leafs, orange blos­soms, and more. She also col­lab­o­rated with Martha Porter of Buried Dia­mond on a dog, hand, and water­melon pin.

Big Bud Press recently launched — April 13, to be exact — and I’m super excited to see how it devel­ops. Also, I am in love with Lacey’s styling! She uses minia­tures to frame the pins in these col­or­ful, sur­real scenes.

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