Ivy and the Inky Butterfly – Johanna Basford

Synopsis: From colouring book queen Johanna Basford, a lavishly illustrated fable about a girl named Ivy who stumbles upon a secret door leading to the magical world of Enchantia.

A charming story that interacts playfully with beautiful, colourable artwork in Johanna’s signature style, Ivy and the Inky Butterfly is a one-of-a-kind adventure for the whole family and readers of all ages to customise, colour and cherish.

Johanna has picked a crisp ivory paper that accentuates and compliments your chosen colour palette. The smooth, untextured pages allows for beautiful blending or gradient techniques with coloured pencils, or are perfect for pens, allowing the nib to glide evenly over the surface without feathering.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We love Johanna Basford’s books, and Ivy and the Inky Butterfly is a delightful development from her usual colouring books. By including a charming and enchanting story this book becomes something very precious to work on and to be kept for generations to come. The quality of the paper is sublime and the detail in the illustrations is exquisite. Our junior reviewers absolutely adored this book and it is a perfect gift for all the family to enjoy together. Highly Recommended!

Cut it Out! by Poppy Chancellor

Cut it Out! by Poppy ChancellorSynopsis: Featuring 30 highly original and stylish designs by cutting edge illustrator and renowned paper cut artist Poppy Chancellor, transform a blank sheet of paper into a stunning work of art.

Forget complicated step-by-step instructions, no need for lots of expensive equipment, all you need is a sharp scalpel, craft mat, Poppy’s imaginative designs and a bit of creativity, and you can make cards, masks, invitations, partyware and presents for birthdays, hen dos, weddings, Halloween and Christmas.

Complete with a beautiful paper cut cover and stunning photography.

Buy now from Amazon.co.uk

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
In Cut It Out! Poppy Chancellor has created a stunning collection of original designs for every occasion, she also offers advice on paper and suppliers, including sensible safety advice for first time users, and also how you can frame and display your finished results. The book itself can be used to create the designs, or you can copy them if you wish to keep the book intact. The cover is also very inspirational! If you are looking for a new and original hobby for this Autumn, this book is perfect!

The Simple Art of Origami – Mari Ono

The Simple Art of OrigamiThe Simple Art of Origami reveals the best of true Japanese design, focusing on understanding and using paper in a modern and authentic style to make beautiful gifts, decorations, and more. Tokyo-born graphic designer Mari Ono reveals the top Japanese origami techniques in a range of projects, each with clear step-by-step images and easy-to-follow instructions. Also included are 50 pieces of gorgeous origami paper to help you get started.

The projects range from traditional ideas to more contemporary designs. Give a card embellished with Oriental symbols of love and luck on a special occasion or fill a vase with pretty paper irises to decorate your home. Why not present some roses in your own handmade flower box, or if you are an animal lover, bring paper to life by folding a rabbit or a crane?

With tips and variations throughout, this is the book that will show you how to create truly authentic Japanese papercrafts using the best papers from the modern East.


The Simple Art of Origami ExampleHot Brands Cool Places Verdict

Take one 12 year old, one stunning book, beautiful paper, result – half-term creative activity sorted! The Simple Art of Origami is a delightful collection of very pretty and useful Origami creations. The designs are graded for levels of difficulty and the step-by-step photographs really help with the creation. Our young reviewer absolutely loved it.

With clear instructions, inspiring photographs, and gorgeous paper this book is a joy for all ages. Highly Recommended!

Monograms – The Art of Embroidered Letters by Susan O’Connor

Monograms - The Art of Embroidered Letters - Susan O’ConnorSynopsis: The allure of an elegant monogram is irresistible and has timeless appeal. Contemporary applications illustrated in this book include cushions, napkins, bridal bag, towels, blankets, sheets. Any of the projects in this book can be adapted for different uses.

Through the pages of this book readers will learn, in step-by-step photographs, how to produce the various forms of stitching, what materials to use, and where to place a monogram.  A range of alphabets from cross stitch to padded satin stitch are also supplied.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

We adored this beautiful book! It is a comprehensive guide that will appeal to both the beginner and experienced embroiderer.

This is a very special book, beautifully produced with stunning examples to uplift and inspire you, a wonderful gift, or something special for you to create. Highly Recommended!

Mini Knitted Toys by Sachiyo Ishii

Mini Knitted Toys by Sachiyo IshiiSynopsis: The latest title from innovative knitter, Sachiyo Ishii, this charming book contains fun, simple knitting patterns for a range of wonderful toys. Create simple playthings such as animals, cars, trains and cupcakes, as well as larger items, including a castle under siege, a prehistoric play-scene and a fairytale cottage complete with characters!  The book is suitable for knitters of all skill levels, and all the patterns require only small amounts of readily available yarn.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

This delightful book creates a fun and charming range of toys, from simple bears, figures and playthings to larger castle scenes, prehistoric characters and fairytale settings. The book also contains a useful techniques section containing step-by-step instructions for the necessary techniques, including stuffing and sewing up figures, creating knitted eyes, and all the embroidery stitches needed to create the facial features and details.

Half Yard Christmas by Debbie Shore

Half Yard Christmas - Debbie ShoreSynopsis: Half Yard Christmas contains over 30 stylish, festive projects in six Christmas-themed chapters. Simply select your favourite Christmas style or mix and match them throughout your home. Featuring Debbie Shore’s informative and friendly guidance, this book is ideal for all abilities.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

We absolutely love this book, there are over 30 simple, stylish projects, each requiring only a half yard of fabric, Beautifully produced with easy-to-follow photography, this book is ideal for beginners as well as providing inspiration to more experienced.   We loved the variety of styles, you can pick and choose from the six Christmas themes: ‘Scandinavian’, ‘Rustic’, ‘Traditional’, ‘Contemporary’, ‘Monochrome’ and ‘Kids’.

This book is perfect for family crafting.  Highly Recommended!

We Love to Craft Christmas by Annabel Wrigley

We Love to Craft Christmas by Annabel WrigleySynopsis:
Is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas? Then it’s time to think about presents! This year, give your family and best friends something they can’t find in the shops!  This book will teach you how to make 17 of the cutest things you’ve ever seen. All you need is paper or fabric! You’ll learn how to make barrettes, pillows, ornaments—you name it.

You’ll even learn how to make Christmas stockings for everyone in your family! Tips on sewing and picking fabric will make you the best gift-giver ever!


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

This is a delightful book, perfect for Christmas crafting, we loved the selection and range of projects in this book, everything from a skirt for the Christmas tree to cute wreaths for the front door.

As well as detailed descriptions and templates for the projects there are also tips and tricks for successful sewing and crafting. Our junior reviewers loved it! Highly Recommended!

Christmas stockings by Rachael Rowe

Christmas stockings by Rachael RoweChristmas stockings by Rachael RoweSynopsis: Sewing expert Rachael Rowe has designed twenty fantastic Christmas stockings that readers will want to make. There are step-by-step instructions with selected photographs and beautiful styled shots of the finished stockings, and all the templates are provided. Ideal for beginners to sewing and full of ideas for the more experienced.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

This is a cute collection of Christmas stockings in a wide variety of styles: shabby chic, country style, modern and sophisticated, traditional and more. The techniques required are all shown with step by step photographs at the beginning, then each project has full step by step instructions and selected step photographs, with beautiful styled photographs of the finished stockings

The Affirmations Colouring Book by Louise Hay

The Affirmations Colouring BookSynopsis
World-famous teacher Louise Hay has already helped millions of people to free themselves from the cycles of fear, stress and guilt that limit our lives. Now, in this first ever affirmations colouring book, Louise combines the life-changing powers of affirmations with the profound positive effects of creativity. This unique combination will enable readers to start creating deep shifts in their lives.

Colouring these in and focusing on the affirmation at the same time encourages our minds to put attention on what we truly desire in life. What’s more, through creative right-brain activity, we tap into our subconscious, and therefore all transformations through this process are even more effective and long-lasting.For all those who want to take their work with affirmations to a new level through an enjoyable, relaxing and meditative activity.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

Colouring books have seen an amazing growth in popularity with all ages and this stunning colouring book, by Louise Hay in collaboration with Alberta Hutchinson, features 44 affirmations, each coupled with an exquisite illustration and decorative border. A beautiful and uplifting gift.