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Our Year (2024) in Photographs and Words!

Happy New Year!
“Turn it and turn it,
for everything is in it.”

–Ben Bag Bag

Growing and flourishing are not always analogous.

Join us for a quick wander through 2023, the year we smallened Peg and Awl, and moved out of Philadelphia. Also the year where we found ourselves finding ourselves again. The ‘smallening’, as I’ve been calling it, is a bit vague. I’m an open book when it comes to most things, and would love to engage in conversation on the topic, but mostly, I know neither where to begin, nor how to distill it. The simplest version is this: Peg and Awl was a thriving small business with twenty-five people at our height, reaching sales numbers we’d never imagined nor planned for. But the joy of having a small business, being curious, and exploring this weird world with family and friends, became secondary as our responsibilities to maintain this monster perpetuated. Somehow growing and flourishing are not always analogous.

And here we are in 2024, returning, already, to what matters most! We’ve ventured south for a little warmth and a lot of biking, I went north for a mini retreat in the snow. We’ve been working on new Peg and Awl treasures, building our barn storefront and workshop, and working on the land.

We cannot wait to share our progress – there are so many stories to tell!

Our 14th Anniversary was January 10th!

Søren and Silas made me a bunch of Specimen Cards of the Five Acre Wood for Christmas!
I continue to fill sketchbooks and journals, and am designing some new books and journals that will be available soon!

One of the most thrilling parts of 2023 was finally launching our long-in-the-works Solvitur Ambulando ring – and with much success! We appreciate all of your shared stories. Thanks to Claire of Warwick Furnace Farm for modeling for me!


We opened up our barn shop which we look forward to stocking with Peg and Awl treasures and more. We are heading to New Orleans for the NAMTA show in March!
We made new treasures out of Sendak scraps, and small batch colours, a puzzle of a kind!

We spent a week on a cargo ship during a storm on the North Sea – there were two visible twisters at one point! By the fourth day a calm settled over the sky, and the water, and the few floating birds, and we jumped into the cold sea. (no showers on board!) 

So often I wish to jump back in, to return to the cold depths in that utter post-storm quiet. We went from thinking we’d made a big mistake in booking this trip, to longing to do something like this again – such a harrowing and magical adventure!

Here in Whitby England, where we wandered in the glorious and misty rain.
Before the storm and the reality of our upcoming adventure, Walter painted and Søren drew. ps: Walter began to work on a larger Scout!

We discontinued 3/4 of our catalog – both daunting and freeing! Inevitably, once we sell out, the inquiries start pouring in. We still have some Rogues and Weekenders and more available in our Last Chance! section.
(Here, in Amsterdam on gigantic rented bikes!)

Søren, Silas, Pearl, and I moved our studios back into the cozy Springhouse! 
We opened our barn for the Chester County open studio tour. Come visit us May 18 and 19!

We traveled! Here we are, on the other side of our wild cargo boat trip after wandering down the coast of England. We spent a quick couple of days in London!

We cold plunged in Virginia when it was 29 degrees outside and were tingling and spectacularly warm when we climbed out onto the previously cold rock to shake off. 
Walter bringing flowers over to the barn to brighten the wet and wintry gloom.

Solviture Ambulando (It is solved by walking)! A Christmas Eve post dinner walk and view of the Peg and Awl Barn from the street.

I started 2024 with a retreat with my friend, Deb, in CT during a snowstorm! Making progress of a kind on a project. I share bits on my Substack and @beingmargauxkent
We did a few shows – here we are at Wintherthur, which we shall partake in again in 2024!

One of our last family photographs in our Philadelphia workshop!

* * *

Everywhere, Astonishments!

I was working on this newsletter at Lentil & Co, and this song came on. It comes and goes as songs do, but this one every time, crawls into that place where only certain songs crawl.

No Hard Feelings by The Avett Brothers

When my body won't hold me anymoreAnd it finally lets me freeWill I be ready?When my feet won't walk another mileAnd my lips give their last kiss goodbyeWill my hands be steady when I lay down my fears, my hopes, and my doubts?The rings on my fingers, and the keys to my houseWith no hard feelings.

This paired well with the essay Who Will Mourn Them When They Are Gone? from Margaret Renkl’s new book, The Comfort of Crows.
Also reading Planting in a Post-Wild World which is a really hopeful and process heavy take on regeneration!
Planting in a Post-Wild World
The Comfort of Crows


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