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     There is something about unearthing a thing with your own dirty paws that transforms the simplest of objects into pure magic.

     As we drove past Amish farms and families, on our way to the Amethyst Field (part of a private Amish farm) in Lancaster early Saturday morning in post-rain-perfection, my mind wandered to The Foundlings Collection that we were launching 3 hours from then. We passed horses and buggies, families dressed in black and white, and a very tiny Mennonite school established in the 1800s. Everything was simple and beautiful and open, and the earth smelled clean and loved. It could have been 1919—except for our car and Aldous Harding singing. As we wandered through the Amish community I wondered if any parents or grandparents of the very people we were passing had painted any of the animals and plants and creatures we were celebrating, since they were made 100+ years ago, in this very area. I wanted to ask someone, but I thought it would be intrusive, so we passed through.

     We arrived at the farm that glorious overcast morning and parked in the alfalfa field by the Delaware Mineralogical Society's makeshift cardboard sign. When we stepped onto the freshly plowed and rained-upon field with our antique tools (which had been left in our new old house by the family before us, or the family before them), the earth fairly sparkled with purple gems—but we didn’t see them yet. First you must clear your expectations, then comes a finding, and soon enough, you can’t not see them. Within a few hours our Hunter Satchels were brimming with earthly magic: Amethyst, Smokey Quartz, regular Quartz, Feldspar, and mystery minerals.

     We gathered with some families from Open Connections and within a few hours everyone was sitting in the muddy fields chattering and inspecting their finds. By the time the sun broke through the clouds, Søren and Silas were thirsty and hungry, so we walked back to the alfalfa field where they sat in the trunk of the Subaru and ate lunch. I headed back to the field to retrieve a forgotten antique and found a few groups of determined treasure hunters who remained, one of which found the biggest Amethyst of the day—had Amethyst fever, and couldn't stop searching. Another group was digging a trench that looked more intentional than the rest of the holes scattered throughout the field. I asked about their digging—it turns out they are part of the Friends of Mineralogy, Penna Chapter, and, like so many geologists and rock lovers we’ve encountered, they were happy to share their knowledge. They told me about saddles and folds and intersecting ditches, but, being foundationless in this complex science, the information trickled through me like the dirt through so many sieves that morning.

     I returned to Søren and Silas, who were not bored as I feared, but hanging out with the other boys. We set off for home, covered in dirt, (after stopping for ice-cream of course) where we were greeted by Walter, also covered in dirt (from our garden-to-be) who photographed us as we tooth-brushed our finds.

Amethyst Pennsylvania Rockhound Eco Friendly Family Business

Rock Hunting with the Waxed Canvas Hunter SatchelAmethyst Cleaning, Earth DayWaxed Canvas Hunter Satchel

Postscript: I posted this on Instagram @thebrotherskent and on FB and received a lot of questions (public and private) about the site. This is private land, and the family was kind enough to share it. I would recommend you look into mineralogical societies near you. There are chapters all over the US, and they are amazing resources! The PA and DE chapter cost $25 per family for a year. There are many field trips and educational meetings. Links are above!

We’re psyched to see 2018 Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell loving his Sendak!

Check out Matt’s work here!

Sendak in the Wild | Peg and Awl –

An Unexpected Centerpiece

For most of my life I’ve carried things to keep me occupied – often in the form of books. They offered entertainment when stuck in a line or having arrived somewhere early – which I always did. I was pleased to be lost in a story or scribbling in a journal – unaware of the wait.

So, when the idea for The Sendak took hold, I was excited at the thought of bringing more organized ‘things to do’ on outings. And we’ve discovered, whilst perfect for the solo artist, The Sendak also turns out to be a sensational family centerpiece! For us it’s been fun way to engage with hungry boys during The Waiting at a restaurant, a lifesaver on long car rides, and ever-exciting to unfold and repack for each excursion.

The more often we open our Sendak, the less often we get caught ‘Blue-facing’ – our family name for phone and tablet excess. Our hands criss-cross as we reach for coloured pencils, pens, erasers, and our minds ignite – pass your paper to the right, a round of exquisite corpse anyone?

Whether your Sendak brings your own family together or accompanies you on solo en plein air excursions we know one thing: People dig ’em, ’cause we’ve been sending them out as quickly as we can make them!

The Sendak Artist Roll by Peg and Awl All Black Sendak Artist Roll by Peg and Awl
The Sendak Artist Roll
All Black Sendak Artist Roll

We’ve been delighted to see everyone sharing their Sendaks in the wild and are psyched to share some of the amazing artists + makers who have put theirs to good use!

Read more to see wonderful photographs of our Sendak In the Wild!

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Artist and author Rebecca Green was featured in a Facebook Live video on The New York Times’ Books page promoting her new book How To Make Friends With A Ghost. She brought and displayed her custom Sendak Artist Roll we made specially for her! Check out the full Facebook Live video here!

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