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A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart Paperback – October 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1568987842 ISBN-10: 1568987846 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2008: Imagine for a second what it would be like if you could see again--in one grand and lovely collection--all of the precious moments you've ever seen. That's what it feels like to flip through A Year of Mornings, and even though the authors have set their sights on their own surroundings, you'll recognize in their photos a familiar, physical sense of joy experienced in daily rituals. Born out of a year-long visual blogging project, the book profiles passing early-morning moments at home shared between two women living 3,191 miles apart. What started as a meeting of two creative minds became a close friendship that went on to inspire a huge community of readers (whose participation in the project is paid tribute at the end with a month-by-month section of the authors' favorite posted comments). As the book progresses from season to season, you can see a kind of kindred vision taking shape between them, so much so that after a while it doesn't really matter which pictures are Stephanie's or which are Maria's. Their story is a welcome reminder that the opportunities to take notice of life's simple beauty are never as rare as you may think. --Anne Bartholomew


A fascinating book...magical...it's really a beautiful way to celebrate every day. --Martha Stewart; Television Show

"Stephanie Congdon Barnes and Maria Alexandra Vettese are the photographers behind A Year of Mornings, a blog-turned-book that documents a year's daily exchange of photos--one picture taken each morning and swapped by email--between two friends. What makes the pictures remarkable is that Barnes and Vettese seem of one mind, or at least one art director. Though the original Year of Mornings blog is now offline, you can catch Barnes and Vettese in their new form: a year of evenings. " --The Morning News, Rosecrans Baldwin, October 6, 2008

The Ties That Bind, "That each woman paused to record the curve of a daughter's ear, a bowl of cereal or a shadow cast across the floor before sitting down in front of a computer is an act that carries with it the most clichéd, yet essential, of all messages: stop and smell the roses (and the coffee, the toast, the morning air).We're living in difficult times, and it seems it's exactly these tiny details and fleeting moments that can offer us the most solace and even joy. Just as I hold "Noisy Nora" dear, so, too, I believe, will the children of Mav and Stephanie be grateful for "A Year of Mornings." Its transformation from blog to book helps to insure its preservation through the inevitable, endless iterations of technological innovations to come." -- Allison Arieff --The New York Times (October 18, 2008)

"3191 are two friends who live 3,191 miles apart. Each morning they both post a picture and the result is beautiful. We've enjoyed the past year being inspired by their photos - and now are looking forward to seeing their work published in book form from Princeton Architectural Press {available in the Fall of 2008.}" --See Saw Designs Blog, January 9, 2008

Eagerly Awaiting, "3191 references the number of miles that separate the two friends who live in Portland, Oregon and Portland, Maine. I love that they met online through their blogs and Flickr. " --Perfect Bound Blog, February 01, 2008

Oh Boy, Oh Boy, "One of my first favorite blogs is 3191, A Year of Mornings. Two friends and talented photographers, Stephanie and Mav, living 3191 miles from each other have chronicled the past year by daily posting photographs they take every morning. I was totally inspired by their unique way of connecting with each other and the beautiful photos that transpired. A Year of Mornings has ended but I am happy to say that A Year of Evenings will begin on Jan 15. And great news for all - their book of images will be published by Princeton Architectural Press and will be released Fall of 2008. So excited!" --Pretty Crafty Thing Blog, January 7, 2008

"Their loving photographs of pre-10 am life on opposite coasts (Vettese is based here, and Barnes lives in the other Portland) are beautiful and soft. The book is the result of a blog collaboration, and its a study in color, composition, and the casual calm of morning. No matter whos in charge, we all could use a bit of that." --Portland Phoenix: (November 5, 2008)

"So many of us turned to 3191 in 2007 to see the beautiful images Mav and Stephanie posted of their mornings each day. I knew early on in their project that this would make a wonderful book. Obviously, I was not alone... If you are not familiar with their work, you really should treat yourself to a dip into their archives. I'm not a morning person myself, so I'm always kind of in awe at what these ladies have seen and done long before my sleepy head lifts from the pillow. On January 15, they will begin a new project on 3191 documenting their evenings. Can't wait." --The Metaphorical Magpie Blog: (January 11, 2008)

In just the first few pages, I fell in love with photography and mornings all over again. During my high school days, you couldn't get me out of bed before 9 or 10am (thanks to having first period open, ha). In the past 4 years, I've trained myself to be a morning person, mostly because my fiance is anything but. It is so easy to rush through our morning routines without taking the time to acknowledge and embrace the beauty each new day offers. For me, that is what this book is all about. --Victoria Everman Blog, February 25, 2009

"Last year these talented women made a picture every morning, combined them together and showed them on their blog 3191. (The women live 3191 miles apart)......but 3191 doesn't end here...they will be starting a new project in this space on January 15, 2008 ... 3191, A Year of Evenings..." --Bloesem

"Early in 2007, we discovered 3191, a lovely visual blog collaboration between Stephanie Congdon Barnes and Maria Alexandra Vettese (Mav). It was a treat to see the gorgeous photographs of their mornings -- mornings spent 3191 miles apart, but that always resulted in photos that, somehow, matched. So we're very happy to hear that this fall Princeton Architectural Press will publish the project as a book..." --Apartment Therapy Blog

"If you're not familiar with 3191, you should be.Everyday for one year, two women who live 3,191 miles apart (one in Portland, Oregon and one in Portland, Maine), posted a photo each morning. Their photos are sensual, yet familiar, and their images always seem to complement one another. Princeton Architectural Press was so intrigued with their online experiment that they're publishing a book of their 365 morning photos, which will be released Fall 2008. Their one year of mornings came to an end a few weeks back. I was elated to discover they just began "one year of evenings." --Daisy May Robin Blog

"Did any of you visit the blog 3191 last year? Two women, Maria Alexandra Vettesse and Stephanie Congdon Barnes, collaborated on an impromptu, year-long photography project. "3191, A Year of Mornings" began on January 1, 2007 as an almost daily photo conversation, in blog form, between two friends that live 3191 miles apart. It lasted the entire calendar year ending on December 31, 2007." --Rhinestone Armadillo Blog

"She has just released a second book of her collaborative photographic work with Stephanie Congdon Barnes called 3191: Evenings. You may remember the last series which began online and then was turned into a beautiful book by Princeton Architectural Press. A Year of Mornings, paired each of their still life daily photographs creating amazing juxtapositions and incredible dialogue between the two photos, even though the artists live 3191 miles apart. As a follow-up, they decided to do a series of evenings: photos taken between the hours of 5 and 10pm. It again started online, and when the year was over they self-published this book (under Other Books), curating the collection themselves. The result is a another lovely book full of tiny personal glimpses into the lives of these two artists. The design of this book is better: the square format allows for bigger full size images, and they have included more at that scale. The very matte paper softens all the color giving the photos an even more calming quality than they already have. Very pretty book!" -- Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes --Book By Its Cover

Each photo makes me want to quit my job, move to Portland or Maine, and drink lots of tea while surrounded by mountains of gorgeously illustrated books. Sigh." -- Mo --Pink Argyle Blog

"Every single pairing from that year is in this new book from Princeton Architectural Press. I had gotten a sneak preview of the book from seeing a clip on Martha Stewart that was swirling around blogland- yes even Martha was excited about it. But I did not actually hold the book until now, which I learned has a nice raised texture on the cover of white tiny polka dots that feel really nice to run your hands over. The interior has the photographic pairs sometimes as big as they can be on the page or sometimes scattered around as small as thumbnail images. There are too many image pairings where my mind wonders- how could this have happened? The images sometimes seem so linked that without the other it wouldn't work. There are real coincidences- like a photo of a sleeping cat paired with a photo of some tangled yarn." --Book By Its Cover Blog

"3191 A Year of Mornings is very, very high on my want list right now. " -- Kelly Kilmer --Kelly Kilmer Blog

"They both love the early morning, for the promise and possibility they see in it and for its soft light, they revel in being at home and find grace in the small details and quiet rhythms of domestic life spooning yogurt into a bowl, say, instead of eating it straight from the container." -- Susan Schwartz --Vancouver Sun

"When Stephanie and Mav embarked on their "year of mornings," they'd never worked together before. And they live 3,191 miles apart, one in Portland, Oregon; the other in Portland, Maine. Yet, these kindred spirits have bridged their continental divide with a daily project that's become one of the most quietly beautiful photoblogs on the Web." --Yahoo Picks!

"In a roundabout, blog-surfing kind of way today, I came across this: A Year of Mornings, 3191 Miles Apart. The co-authors of this book both photographed their mornings each day for a year and uploaded the photos to Flickr, totally unbeknownst to the other. And then the Princeton Architectural Press picked up the book idea and published it. Lucky (talented) ducks.The work is really lovely." -- Annabelle --I Heart Mountains Blog

"Maria Alexandra Vettesethe and Stephanie Congdon Barnes began taking photos of things randomly displayed on their kitchen tables {all before noon} and posting them to flickr. complete strangers and living 3191 miles apart, neither woman was aware of the other or that she was doing the same. eventually catching wind of the other's work, they began developing a blog together. the two continued to post their photos, one next to the other. everyday. and the crazy thing is that they've only met, in person, once. really. Incredible story isn't it? The beautiful pairings of their work will appear, this fall in their book "3191, a year of mornings" the book is a compilation of these serene images, taken by two women with a love for early mornings quiet hours and the beauty found in the simplicity of life~ 3191 miles apart." --Beach Bungalow 8 Blog

"I give A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart, by Marai Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes. It's a collection of photographs taken by two friends who live across the country from each other. The pictures - two for every day of the year - are gorgeous and inspiring." --Real Simple

"Took photos: Two women 3,191 miles apart snap pics before 10 a.m." --Entertainment Weekly

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568987846
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568987842
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By victor lee on December 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart is a photographic collaboration between Maria Alexandra Vettese (Portland, Maine) and Stephanie Congdon Barnes (Portland, Oregon). The two met online and discovered that each had interests in crafts and a passion for simplicity in images. After a series of discussions, they embarked upon a year-long project in December 2006, in which each agreed to take a photo every morning for a year and then post that photo onto a shared blog. ([...])
They uploaded photographs that are posted as diptychs, and time after time had uncanny resemblances. On certain days, I wondered if the two discussed what to photograph--such as subjects, angles, etc. For example, the first set of images were both of eggs. There were also diptychs in which comparisons of colors were made--like green grass with a white ladder compared to a pair of green socks with a white embroidered design. Not all of them have such obvious comparisons, but still make for interesting diptychs.
I do have some complaints about the book. First, the paper that it is printed on dulls the colors, and I would've liked to see these images in their true colors, not a muted representation. Second, I wish that they would have showed all of the images from that year instead of just selections, and much larger than thumbnail sizes.
Overall, I think that the idea of the collaboration, as well as the content displayed on the website, was a fantastic idea that was poorly represented in the form of a book. Perhaps it would have been better left as a digital project.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. Carrell on October 29, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: this is a book by a friend. But that said, I honestly find it lovely. I'm a book in hand person, not ready yet to go only for screen images so I was glad this book (based on a popular web site) was created. I received my copy during a difficult time and I found great comfort and distraction in the peaceful images. Both photographers have a fresh outlook and wonderful hand at simplicity and nuance. I got ideas about room decoration, hand made crafts while at the same time basic reminders of the cycles of life. This is a book I will return to for quiet times and times when I need creative inspiration. My only wish was that the book was a larger format.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mary Zapien on October 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Absolutly loved this book. It made me realize how little we document our daily life and how we over look the beauty of simple things that are part of our daily routine.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By L. Parks on December 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I really loved gazing at these gorgeous photos in the "year of mornings" blog. Though it contains the same beautiful photos, I thought the layout of this book was a bit of a letdown. It could've been put together in a more aesthetically pleasing way, which was surprising, since it's a book of photos. All in all, it's still very nice.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Kehoe on July 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
Love love love the blog.

I wanted to buy this book because I loved the photos on the blog. I must not have paid attention to the description of the book, because it was not what I was expecting. I was hoping for a lovely coffee table type of book, but instead it's a small paperback and the photos are printed on regular paper and are pretty small on each page to boot. The book doesn't do the photos justice. This book will now just sit on my shelf not to be admired as I had hoped it would.

The biggest disappointment is how the photos are printed on regular paper!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Granolamama on June 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
I absolutely love this website and the beautiful photographs taken by these two women. However, when the book arrived, I was very disappointed. I was expecting a nice coffee table sized book, but what arrived was a book not much larger than a writing journal. I ended up returning it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mountain mama on January 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the idea of this project, the beauty and simplicity of the pictures, how they synchronize sometimes and sometimes not. I wish that the quality of the pictures was higher and the size of some of the pictures were bigger. Perhaps it would have been to expensive to print glossy, high definition pictures but something was lost in the lower quality of reproductions.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Poopsy on April 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been coveting this book for some time now and finally got around to ordering it. It almost has a Scandinavian aesthetic. As an introvert, I appreciate their quiet sense of seeing their surroundings and how the smallest of things resonate and become objects of beauty when you live calmly and beautifully in your home.
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