A Year Between Friends : 3191 Miles Apart: Crafts, Recipes, Letters, and Stories
by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes and Molly Wizenberg

Overview - An exploration of 365 days of shared experiences between two friends on opposite sides of the country, inspired by their blog, 3191 Miles Apart .

Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes share a love of art and design, handmade pleasures, and a well-lived domestic life.

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More About A Year Between Friends by Maria Alexandra Vettese; Stephanie Congdon Barnes; Molly Wizenberg
An exploration of 365 days of shared experiences between two friends on opposite sides of the country, inspired by their blog, 3191 Miles Apart.

Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes share a love of art and design, handmade pleasures, and a well-lived domestic life. Almost a decade ago, they began their first year-long project together, posting a photo from each of their mornings on their blog, 3191 Miles Apart, named for the distance between their homes in Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregon. 3191 Miles Apart quickly acquired a worldwide following of readers drawn in by the delicate intimacy of their shared experiences.

A Year Between Friends celebrates their most recent project together--a visual representation of 2015, month-by-month, side-by-side, but miles apart. In addition to 400 photographs recording their daily inspirations and creative undertakings and a foreword from New York Times bestselling author Molly Wizenberg, this unique collaboration expands on their prior work with over 25 handmade crafts and seasonal recipes, notes on simple living, and personal stories that follow the tide of a year filled with new life, change, and loss. It is an intimate joint portrait revealed through photographic snippets--mending a sweater, making a mobile from a cherished collection, creating fabric dyes from natural materials, baking scones--that defies distance through the celebration of shared moments of calmness, warmth, and family.

Both aspirational and down-to-earth, A Year Between Friends is an inspiring visual love letter to friendship and creativity, a timeless reminder to appreciate life one day at a time, to slow down, to cherish simplicity, and to make the extra effort to do things with care and with the people we love.

  • ISBN-13: 9781419722462
  • ISBN-10: 1419722468
  • Publisher: ABRAMS
  • Publish Date: November 2016
  • Page Count: 208
  • Dimensions: 8.9 x 7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

Related Categories

Books > Crafts & Hobbies > General
Books > Photography > Subjects & Themes - Lifestyles
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs

BookPage Reviews

Lifestyles: Briding dirty

Even though I’ve been hitched for a decade, Weddiculous is a book I’d want in my clutches if stranded on a desert isle. Seriously, it’s that funny. The fabulous title sets the perfect tone: Comedian Jamie Lee’s guide to modern nuptials—and all the nuttiness they entail—is written in an ultra-casual style that’s sure to charm today’s irreverent AF brides. (If you think AF is short for “auto focus,” this book may not be for you.) Lee’s mission is to fight the tyranny of “Big Bridal” with belly laughs and unfiltered reports from her wild wedding ride. All the usual how-to territory gets covered, including newer stuff like choosing a wedding hashtag and writing a “how we met” narrative for the wedding website. But we’re really here for the rude, crude comic relief on every page. Can some single friend of mine put a ring on it ASAP so I can shove this book in their face? Kthxbye. 

Makeup is among the more mystifying of everyday items—ever scan the ingredient list of your mineral powder foundation? But thankfully these days we have DIY guides for whipping up almost anything from scratch. Marie Rayma’s Make It Up speaks to those who want to understand the compounds of cosmetics and formulate their own safe, cruelty-free items at home. These recipes are mostly written for small portions—a single mask or pot of lip gloss—but this book’s thorough instructions could easily be a launch pad for an artisanal line, should the entrepreneurial urge strike. Rayma provides color-blending tips, starter shopping lists and information about online sources for plant-based oils, butters, waxes, powders, pigments and other ingredients. The savings from making your own makeup, Rayma suggests, can be enormous. If Sephora makes you shaky—whether because you love or loathe big-name beauty—this book may be the cure. 

Beauty and pleasure in the smallest things: This is a sort of mantra at the heart of A Year Between Friends, the latest installment of an ongoing art project formed from the long-distance friendship of Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes. Vettese and Barnes live with their families in Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregon, respectively. Their first book collected the photographs each shot and posted on a shared blog as a morning ritual. As their lives have changed, so has the artistic product of their correspondence. Now the shared offerings include recipes—Vettese’s mother’s cranberry sauce, Barnes’ sweet potato biscuits—and crafts, as well as images that preserve the quiet, sweet details of family life and nature’s seasonal gifts. This book unfolds month by month, meditative and soothing in its imagery and ideas for simple, seasonal projects. But what makes it remarkable is the poignant honesty of the letters between Vettese and Barnes, which lay bare the truth that, amid all the moments of beauty, life will shoulder us with great pain. This is a beautiful, unique book—a reminder to us all to celebrate seasons and stoke friendship.


This article was originally published in the January 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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