Yellow Owl Workshop’s Make It Yours: Patterns And Inspiration To Stamp, Stencil, And Customize Your Stuff, by Christine Schmidt
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Blogging For Books/Clarkson Potter Publishers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
In all honesty, this is not the sort of book that I consider to be personally very applicable to my own hobbies. To put it extremely mildly, the designs in this book are rather girly, and I am not nearly arsty or crafty enough of a person to have any interest in taking the time to create these designs. That said, I am interested enough in generally hipster artistic endeavors  to read this book and thus gain some skills in discussing crafts with those who are interested in such matters enough to do them for fun and profit, as is the case with quite a few people I happen to know. I may not be able to do what this writer talks about, nor do I necessarily want to learn, but the quirky designs included here are definitely the sorts of crafts I would appreciate and compliment if I saw others doing them, and that is enough to make me, I hope, at least a generally fair audience for this book, which is aimed squarely at the hipster do-it-yourself crowd.
This book is a bit under 200 pages, and takes the first three fourths of the book in six chapters that cover various projects using abstract & geometric patterns, every day patterns, custom motifs and that are focused on occasions & celebrations, flora and fauna, and travel-inspired patterns. The projects themselves range from a cork wall and lovely art deco dresser to a lovely plaid tote, a cute bathroom set, tips on how to draw with chocolate, a lovely desert quilt, and quirky do-it-yourself deftware, among many other worthwhile projects that should be appealing to a large audience. After the projects themselves are done, there is a lengthy collection of templates to help the reader along in their projects as well as an extensive collection of supplies and an appendix that gives design and pattern principles as well. The author clearly done her homework in giving an explanation of the sorts of ways that one can become a home entrepreneur in quirky and individual designs and patterns. For those of us who are not particularly skilled at sewing or other related tasks, the author’s four star system of difficulty seems more than a little bit optimistic, though.
So, what is one to think of this book? On the one hand, the book is immensely gorgeous, the author is very helpful to the reader attempting to follow along with the various projects, and the instructions are detailed. There are great photographs and the author is clearly appreciative of her many fans as well as the help she got in writing this book. This is the sort of book that is very aware of its audience–urban and suburban women who enjoy making arts and crafts and who think that their creativity sets them above the norm. These are the sorts of people you will see buying cheap products at estate sales or flea markets and then adding some personal flair to them and reselling them for double and triple what they paid. That appears to be, at any rate, the sort of person that the author describes herself as, and is likely that other members of her tribe will recognize themselves in the book’s approach as well. At least the author and her humorous descriptions and way with words is appealing for those of us who appreciate the artistic flair but have no interest in imitating it ourselves.
 See, for example: