“Yellow Owl Workshop’s Make It Yours” by Christine Schmidt



This book covers a wide range of artforms, but it includes a lot of things seen in printmaking. I feel like I should mention that I was NEVER even allowed inside the printmaking studios at my colleges while getting my art degrees.

Actually, they barely trusted me to work the paper cutter.

But, seriously, printmaking was so involved and sometimes so dangerous that you couldn’t walk through the studio unannounced (acid washes, craft knives, and wood carving tools-you get it…) But, it’s beautiful, and the techniques here in this book are not hazardous to your health and safety provided you can carve things with an x-acto knife carefully and not drown in a paint bucket.

However, things like carving stamps and dye buckets are not particularly forgiving. I don’t feel this book is extremely useful for people like me who have multiple kids running around who are young enough to get into art supplies: I don’t know at what age they stop doing that, but none of mine have hit it yet…

But, if you have the time and the motivation, this is a great crafting book. It’s like having an instructor with you, it’s that detailed and I never had a question about how to carry something out. The author shows you how to make everything from a painted silk scarf to patterns on your blinds. She even covers Shibori techniques, which by the way, if I had enough time to myself to do that, that project is first on my list. So. Beautiful.

It also comes with lots of patterns for stencils or inspiration. For anyone really interested in getting into this,”Make it Yours” rocks. Just know that most of it is not a light hobby, and you need time, space, and special trips to your local art store to make the pretty stuff listed in this book happen.

I wanted to show a picture of my twist on prints which, in season-appropriate fashion, is on plastic cheap eggs. I used some of the elements of this book including a few of the design template ideas to put together something I could do with my time and could do safely with my children around (we used markers). The older ones even helped. A lot of the projects listed in the text are not things I’m able to complete, but I was still able to find a way to incorporate what I learned from reading it into everyday art.



There is a specific joy to making the things in your life, and other people’s lives,  beautiful in a way that only you can. I love books like this from masters eager to share that with people, and there is no mistaking Schmidt loves what she does.  The only other thing I’d say is that this is a very folk-styled art book. But it doesn’t force you to follow that style at all, so no points lost/gained for that, especially for my already artsy brethren who have their own styles developed.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.*




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