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Green Giving

February 2011

By Dina Pugh, San Francisco

The DIY spirit is alive and well in San Francisco with design studio Yellow Owl Workshop inspiring wanna-be crafters like me. Also attractive to me is the studio’s green sensibility, using only non-toxic water-based inks and recycled paper, card stock and rubber to create their unique products.

While leafing through last month’s Sunset Magazine, I came across Yellow Owl founder Christine Schmidt’s instructions for hand-printed seasonal menus that gave me the idea for my homespun holiday gifts—french macarons packaged in hand-printed recycled boxes. Not only did this lightning blot idea save me hundreds on store-bought gifts, it also spared many excessive gifts that could have gone unused and packaging that would have been tossed away. These special, edible gifts were certain to please and to leave nothing to waste!

The upside of the recession is that it has left me more time for crafting, so I am eagerly awaiting Schmidt’s new book, "Print Workshop: Hand Printing Techniques and Truly Original Projects". Billed as a tool for "low budgets and high expectations," the book promises tons of creative ideas and templates for making eco-friendly cards, tees and other printed goods. Beside saving a fortune on all those gifts you buy throughout the year, there is also an immeasurable value on giving a handmade piece of art. The gift of an original piece of artwork is never forgotten and truly never stops giving.

San Francisco

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