The final result doesn't really look that much like my brother, but I've stared at it so long, that the image I stitched has now replaced my brother's real face in my mind. I had to stitch in my nickname for him so that he would know it was supposed to be him. He will protest, but I imagine George and Abe wouldn't be completely satisfied with their images either.
I had planned to do my first flat fold as a finish, but I was scared I'd mess it up. Better wait to practice that later. So it's more like a 6" pinkeep. Found a cute stand at A.C. Moore so it's easily displayed. This is done on 32 count Lugana with a purchased braid trim.
And now for the process. I settled on trying a simple back stitch style profile. My backup plan was just to stitch his initials, but I really wanted this to work. I planned to start with a profile head shot of my brother as a guide. Unfortunately that didn't exist. But no worries.. my brother is often mistaken for Larry David and a Google image search turned up tons of possible model photos. I picked out one that most resembled my brother and was ready to start. This is the starting photo:
I used MS-Paint to re-size and highlight the outline of the parts I wanted to stitch:
Next, I printed it out and traced the outline on tracing paper. I then laid the tracing paper on graph paper printed with a grid size of 16 squares per inch and Voilà! I was ready to go. Alas, that nose and jawline eluded me. At least it's done and well before his birthday.