Staff-picks: eBooks and courses to learn new hobbies

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Lockdown bringing you down? Getting bored at home and want to try a new hobby? Take a look at our list of staff-picked eBooks, movies and documentaries to get into learning new hobbies like drawing and crafts with the kids. They're all available free with your Randwick City Library card number and PIN – just click the links and create an account with your RCL credentials.

We'll be creating lists of all the fabulous resources that your RCL card can bring to you so keep an eye out for our series of staff-picks!

Hobby eBooks and eAudiobooks

Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Workshop, Nick Offerman:

Nick Offerman, star of Parks and Recreation is a widely known carpenter. His infectious enthusiasm for carpentry even bled into his fictional character Ron Swanson. This book outlines what goes into the craft and the joys of creating something with your barehands, told in Nick’s unique humour.

Quick Crafts for Parents Who Think They Hate Craft, Emma Scott-Child: Are you struggling to keep the kids busy at home? Why not try this simple book aimed to get parents and children making some cool craft work. There are 40 ideas in this book to try with your kids and is split into four parts: play with it, wear it, spruce it up and useful things. Make a pirate sword and hat and go swashbuckling or go on a safari with jungle creatures.

Paper Home, Esther Thorpe: Origami has been around for centuries but this is a thoroughly modern take on the art of paper folding. Basing her work on simple, traditional shapes and techniques, Esther creates simple, striking items that appear much more intricate than they are. Make paper cranes into a child’s mobile or string tiny stars onto a garland before moving on to a functional set of 'feltigami' storage baskets and the more ambitious, and incredibly impressive, concertina lampshade.

The Joy of Water, Lonely Planet: Missing the beach? Experience The Joy of Water with this inspirational book from Lonely Planet. Tap into the 'water wellness' trend with personal stories about the best places to take a dip and forge a stronger connection to the elements through joyful interactions with water.

Courses and docos to get you going

Fundamentals of Photography (online course of 24 episodes on Kanopy):

With Fundamentals of Photography, you'll learn everything you need to know about the art and craft of great photography straight from Joel Sartore, a National Geographer photographer with more than 30 years of experience. Designed for people at all levels, these 24 episodes are an engaging guide to how photographs work and how to make them work better for you.

How to Play Chess – Lessons from an International Master:

When you learn to play something well, it becomes an art. This 24-episode series will walk you through the perennial game and inspire a passionate approach to it. There’s always something to learn about Chess and Chessmaster Jeremy Silman will guide you through the fun moves and gambits that it has to offer.

A Time for Making: Artisans Share Their Handmade Crafts:

This doco follows nine different artisans on Gabriola Island opposite Vancouver, Canada. They explain why artisan items are important, the amount of care taken into making each item and their relationships with their crafts.

How to Draw (online course of 36 episodes on Kanopy):

If you haven’t drawn in a while, why not take a look at this comprehensive course series. Drawing is one of humanity's oldest forms of expression, with existing examples dating back an astonishing 80,000 years or more. It’s older than written language by tens of thousands of years, and developed across millennia, forming the base of many of the world's artistic traditions. Take a look, learn and refine your style of drawing.

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