Wednesday, January 23

Unexpected Guests: Stephanie Congdon Barnes.

We're heading up to the Pacific Northwest today, to the lovely home of Stephanie Congdon Barnes, a woman with an amazing and creative eye. You've probably seen some of Stephanie's beautiful work before, and if you haven't you're in for a very special visit.

Stephanie is one half of the talented photography duo from the photo blog 3191, a year of mornings, on which she collaborated with Maria Vettese, of port2port. The premise being that they live 3,191 miles apart and both contribute a photograph a day from afar. The 'year' is up, but a year of mornings will be published as a book by Princeton Architectural Press in the fall of 2008, and thankfully, they've started a new project, a year of evenings, like these two wonderful photo compilations above and below.

Stephanie is also the creative mastermind behind little birds handmade and I sprinkled some of her creations throughout the post. You can also discover more about Stephanie on her blog and shop for her handmade goods in her etsy shop. I'm excited to share more about her home and her work with you. Come on and check it out...

What is your favorite outing in Portland?
Let's see. Swedish breakfast at Broder in Clinton, a hike in Forest Park, a visit or two to some of my favorite thrift shops, a stop at the market for some local food and wine, dinner at home, a walk down to Movie Madness for something good on DVD.

What's the best thing about Portland?
Affordability, livability, commitment to sustainability. I'm just pretty thrilled that my family can afford to live in an urban neighborhood with plenty of shops, restaurants, and parks in walking distance. The proximity to natural areas is an added bonus.

What's one thing about you that would surprise people?
I'm terribly shy.

Who are your favorite artists?
Oh, I don't have just one. I've been greatly inspired by everyone from Beatrix Potter to Jasper Johns to Uta Barth.

Where do you find inspiration?
Th natural world, vintage children's illustrations, my kids, music, old stuff, my talented friends and family.

Who do you admire and why?
I admire people that live simply and intentionally.

What's the last great book you read?
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007.

What's your favorite film?

Hm. I don't have a number one favorite, but I've seen Rushmore and Ghost Dog each many, many times.

If you could photograph anyone in the world, who might that be?
Myself as a child.

Who would you like to sit down to tea with?
My friend and co-contributor at 3191, Maria.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Answering Q&As.

What is your most treasured belonging?
My children.

What do you have really good taste in?
Everything...isn't taste subjective?

What is your greatest indulgence?
Merino wool underwear.

What is your idea of living hell?
The mall.

What are some of your favorites websites/blogs to visit?
So many! I have to catch up with my friends on Flickr, of course. My sister*, Lisa Congdon, always has something cool to see. I think Diana Fayt's new blog is so lovely!

(*Editor's note: that was a big surprise! I had no idea the two talented women were related! Ah, my feeble mind.)

Thank you so much, Stephanie, for the lovely visit and glimpse of your home and for sharing your beautiful and creative work with us. I can't wait to see more of all of it!

*All photos courtesy of Stephanie Congdon Barnes.


zee said...

This is my favourite Unexpected Guests yet! Lovely Q&A and of course, gorgeous shots. Thanks Victoria & Stephanie.

Amy said...

Wow, this is a beautiful post, and now I am intrigued by the sisters.

lolaurenlo said...


Victoria, saw this pillow today and thought of you deer.

Jessamyn Harris said...

I am SO enjoying this blog! very inspirational... though I am sitting in my pajamas procrastinating on the computer with cat in lap, it really makes me want to hop up, clean and redecorate the house, work on my photography, make some art, etc... thanks so much! I especially liked this artist visit, but each one is so great. I love her answer about photographing herself as a child :)

Wendy said...

Thanks for doing this Q&A! I really enjoy Stephanie's work, so hear more from her was great!

bettyninja said...

Very great post. I enjoy Stephanie's crafts so mucha nd her photos are very inspiring. thanks for showing!

Michael said...

doh! even i knew they were sisters and don't know either of them.

Julie said...

Great post! It's always nice to learn more about her.

Oliver Rain said...

Thank you for this post. I've been visiting 3191 for the past year and can't wait to find a copy of the book next fall. This is a great feature on your blog, though I enjoy seeing your own home too.

Maureen said...

What an inspiring little interview, and such a comforting home. (I'm still at a loss for the exact word I feel but it's good!) I'm so glad Lisa directed us to this site.

Bakelite Gal said...

I love the sentiment "I admire people that live simply and intentionally"