dottie angel lives in a run down cottage over looking the sea. she has two airstream trailers in the yard, one is her studio and the other stores her vast collection of vintage notions… her eight children are home schooled and spend the day outside running barefoot and their evenings sitting by the fireplace, learning ancient crafting techniques. they never talk back to their mother and always smile… she has several chickens, seven rescued greyhounds and a bearded dragon named STIG… dottie spends most days dressed in an old vintage slip that belonged to her grandmother, that she customized. she thinks to herself, surely everyone dreams of living this life, or at least dressing like they do…
Now, I’m going to be a bit lazy here and quote the blurb which UPPERCASE (the publishers) have written about this book:
The Suitcase Series presents in glorious detail the lives of artists and designers. The books are image-based, full of artwork, beautiful photographs and artifacts from where the artists live and work. The books are small and intimate, like a diary or sketchbook with each including a special treasures. The book is a precious souvenir of a creative journey shared between the reader and the artist.
Dottie Angel is actually the second book in The Suitcase Series, and I’ve just bought the first one on the strength of this one, so look out for a review of that in due course!
So, what did I make of Dottie Angel? The book is beautifully designed, chock full of photographs which help immerse you in the colourful and sometimes chaotic world of Tif Fussell. The text takes you through the life of the artist and is interspersed with half a dozen or so how-to sections for little projects including crocheted jar covers and embroidered wall hangings. The instructions are pretty basic, but in fairness so are the projects.
Would I recommend this book? Yes and no: it’s a pretty, quirky glimpse into another person’s world. Tif takes us on a journey through her life and whilst this isn’t a book designed to teach, I think that her frank honesty about her thoughts and work are quite inspiring. She does the things she loves, she lives the life she crafts, and her passion is plain to see. The only hesitation I have in recommending this book is the price… the book costs $35 (approx £23), and the shipping is $17 (£11), and $52, or £34, is an awful lot of money to spend on one book. I’m sure I’ll dip into this book every now and then because the imagery is so pretty and I think it’s a good way to cheer up a rainy day (and boy aren’t we having a lot of those this summer?!), but as with any book which is mainly autobiographical in content I think people would be unlikely to read it from cover-to-cover more than once.