These books offer step-by-step projects, expert advice and inspiring images for a selection of different hobbies
THE ART OF BOTANICAL PAINTING
By Margaret Stevens, Harper Collins, R350
There's no denying we're obsessed with this art form and if you're serious about botanical painting, this book is a great resource. Touted as the definitive instructional guide to the art of botanical illustration, and published in association with The Society of Botanical Artists, it features step-by-step demonstrations by society members. Packed with info about materials, basic plant anatomy, flower and leaf shapes, and exploring techniques for drawing, pencil work, painting with watercolour and gouache, the book features exotic and common plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables and is as beautiful as it is practical.
By Sanae Ishida, Sasquatch Books, R356
It took quitting her corporate job due to chronic illness for Sanae Ishida to discover her true passion - sewing. Inspired to take her sewing to another level, she vowed to make all of her daughter's clothes (and most of her own) for one year. Sewing Happiness includes 20 projects created during this period, plus variations (including Japanese-inspired home goods and children's and women's clothing) organised by season, and stitched together with Ishida's charming personal story. From a tooth-fairy pillow to a felt floral crown, and a versatile knit dress, this book is a great resource for family-friendly projects.
By Esther Thorpe, Pavilion Books, R365
If you love the idea of origami but don't know what you'd do with hundreds of paper cranes, this book is for you. Containing step-by-step instructions for 15 origami projects, the book is designed for crafters of all levels. Novices can start off with simpler projects, like the Triangular Box or Star Garland, which are designed to ease you in gently, and require you to fold the same shape over and over, helping you master your skills. As you advance, you can move onto projects such as a functional set of "feltigami" storage baskets and the more ambitious, and incredibly impressive, concertina lamp shade.
MODERN CALLIGRAPHY WORKSHOP
By Imogen Owens, Quadrille Publishing, R340
No more the domain of church service brochures, calligraphy is enjoying a massive revival, with contemporary artists gaining celeb-like status on Instagram and Pinterest. This interactive book will help you pen like a pro, and bring back the lost art of hand-lettered stationery. Full of sample alphabets, fun exercises, and simple step-by-step projects, from modern calligraphy in ink to hand lettering in chalk on blackboard and brush lettering in paint, this book contains myriad ways to turn words and letters into projects that can be given as gifts, used as invitations or brought into your home as décor.