7 December 12 • MAV

Maybe it’s the time of year or maybe it’s just getting into my late thirties but either way there’s no denying that I’ve been feeling pretty contemplative of late. As we face the end of our year here at 3191 (our shop closes until 1/11/13 on Sunday) I feel the need to share with you some of my deeper thoughts on what we do here and why we do it.

What you may not know is that Stephanie and I ponder, quite often, our connection to each other and to the people who come to this site. We do feel it’s a special group. A small community of people who connect because of one major thing: the small moments. We are a group who appreciates every second of being alive (even if we are struggling or depressed and need to take days, weeks or months to stomp around or go to dark places); in the end, we don’t take life for granted.

These small moments that our community sees and feels, Stephanie and I believe, actually make up the framework of life. As humans we look for and wait on the BIG things. We look for love, we look for opportunity, we wait for stability, we wait for happiness. But how often do big things really happen? Once a year? Maybe.

On the other hand, how often do small moments happen? Well, they happen all of the time … right in front of our eyes … every single day. The beauty and simplicity of light or darkness, the calmness and comfort of home or of time spent having a glass of wine with an old friend, the warmth and magic of being around children whom we love and adore. These small moments are the ones Stephanie and I want to share with you because we know you too are touched by them.

We pack our cameras in our bags every day, we concept, write and design each issue of 3191 Quarterly just the two of us, we take notes throughout the week for our Friday posts here at 3191 Miles Apart, we show up here week after week even when we are struggling or have nothing to say of any consequence. Sharing small moments with you drives us to continue this project, it really does.

And we don’t know all of you but we know through your emails, through your dedication to our dear 3191 Quarterly … we know through your support of the new shop that we opened earlier this year … we know through the photographs we are starting to gather for our upcoming launch of the 3191 Album (keep your 3191-related photos coming to photos(at)3191milesapart(dot)com) … we know that we here at 3191 Miles Apart are all in this together and we will calmly and modestly proceed into another year together.

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” is something Mother Teresa tells us and without any real planning for the last 6 years, that is just what we are doing with 3191. We are doing small things with great love. We have you to thank for that.

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Photographs here were some small moments from a year ago around this time that I did not get a chance to share with you. They are, from top to bottom:
Photos 1–4: My home, winter time
Photo 5: On my way to Stockholm, Sweden
Photo 6: Stockholm at night
Photo 7: London, Rochelle Canteen (a longtime favorite)

7 December 12 • SCB

As a companion piece to MAV’s beautiful gift guide from last week, I wanted to share some ideas for gifts that you can make yourself.

I made these no-sew napkin sets using the fraying technique from my post on scarves. Look for quality woven cotton, linen, or cotton-linen blend fabric that has a design that is the same on both sides. I used two ikats and a homespun plaid. I was able to cut six 15-inch napkins from each 1.25 yards of fabric (if I had made them slightly smaller, I could have cut nine). I am giving out sets with six mix-and-match napkins. Larger 18-24 inch “lapkins” for picnics,  10-inch kid-lunch napkins, or 4-inch drink coasters would all make great gifts as well.

A few other simple gift ideas:

:: For a crafty friend: a forked tree branch, some yarn, and a copy of Issue No. 8* which includes the branch weaving instructions).

:: For a friend who likes to sit fireside: a basket full of firestarters wrapped in newsprint and tied with twine

:: For a smoothie-loving friend: mason jar to-go cups (you could also include Issue No. 8* which has our favorite smoothie recipes).

:: For a friend who doesn’t like to get out of bed : selvedge pillowcases in a beautiful linen.

:: For a friend who is always in the kitchen: a new wooden spoon and a jar of spoon-oil.

:: For a friend that wants to learn to cook more things from scratch: the recipe for granola and a jar layered with the dry ingredients.

In Issue No. 9*, you’ll find instructions for a hand-knotted bottle carrier. Fill it with wine or beer or one of these other ideas:

:: A candle in a jar

:: A rock collection

:: Balls of yarn for a knitter

:: A stack of grapefruits

:: Your homemade pickles

And finally, brighten someone’s winter with living greenery. If you have Issue No. 6 (now sold out), make a knotted rope plant hanger. We also reprinted the instructions in 3191Q Notebook which is included in all subscriptions and is only available to our subscribers (you’ll also find some great suggestions for your book-loving friends in there).

* Please note: 3191 Quarterly subscriptions close for good on Sunday December 9th at 11:59 pm, eastern. The rest of our shop will close for the holidays at this time as well. If you’d like a subscription, a 3191Q Issue or something from MAV’s collection, make your purchase this weekend!!