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  •  Come visit us at La Colombe in Philadelphia, Penna on Feb. 13–14! See more in our Steller story.

    Made in Philadelphia at La Colombe

     Come visit us at La Colombe in Philadelphia, Penna on Feb. 13–14! See more ...

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  • Sometimes a little simplicity is good for one’s well-being.
    The day Søren, Silas and I set out to make single quire books this was definitely true.

    Each one took about 10 minutes.

    These are perfect as little notebooks for projects, ideas, recipes, doodles, &c.
    They are simple and useful and even give something useless – a cereal box in this instance – prolonged life!

    DIY Bookbinding – Steller.co

    Sometimes a little simplicity is good for one’s well-being. The day Søren, S...

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  • Such a wonderful weekend - beginning with Silas's schools Fall Festival (and the realization of what a great neighborhood we are part of), and then this family of skeletons went trick-or-treating. That very strange, very enjoyable night wherein neighbors feel good about sharing crappy candy with each smiling child, and welcomes their gentle "trick-or-treats" and "thank yous". To-day has been calm, damp and chilly, and possibly because we have remained inside this cold-holding olde house. 

    Silas is upstairs watching Star Wars (the kids at his school having been living their own interpretation for the last few weeks, intimidating the uninitiated, like my Silas, so we promised him and Søren the works.) It was also the perfect place to sit him, for earlier, he walked into the knife's edge of the antique door-locking mechanism on his bedroom door, resulting in a triangular gash in his forehead which just let out so much blood. And the hole - not the blood - weakened me a bit, giving me that too familiar sensation of tingling knees when one of my boys is even in the slightest bit o' danger. Which may relate somehow to ASMR - the other side of the tingling realm, resulting in a calming sensation, which Søren's drawing is bringing to me now. (This, likely, what made Bob Ross famous, as opposed to his method of painting happy trees and clouds.) Søren, more bored with the story of Star Wars, has been sitting across from me as I finish a batch of jewellery, drawing each of the characters from the film he has barely been watching. His memory regularly amazes me. 

    Prior to Søren's joining me, I had discovered the podast "Ben Franklin's World" and have been devouring it. I cannot, cannot wait to get back to it!

     

     

    Two boys whooped from candy-getting. 

     

    Søren's Drawings...

     

    and finally, sleep... 

     

    for more @stellerstories - I have been making a lot of stories lately...

    Star Wars and Hallowe'en

    Such a wonderful weekend - beginning with Silas's schools Fall Festival (and ...

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  • As I sit here trying to put words on the screen, I hear Søren and Silas discussing the difference between the Union and Confederate uniforms. It is 10:40am on Sunday morning and already our day has been so full. (Though our bellies remain empty.)

    I dream often, of escaping the constant chaos and duties of our current lives to explore the world with my fellows. This would mean taking them out of school, eliminating the familiar, abandoning systems, saying farewell to family and friends and making the most of the unknown. What a friggin' dream. 

    Until then, I neglect my duties - the laundry (clean since Monday) that needs folding, a house that needs a thorough going-over, boys that need bathing and piles and piles of Peg and Awl lists that need conquered. This morning the boys awoke with projects on their minds which included testing out the already blackened scratchpaper and cutting out and putting together articulated armies of soldiers and monsters from a Figures in Motion book we picked up in Gettysburg. 

    Together the boys and I searched the house for tools to scratch with. I flipped through books for inspiration as Silas chanted the Star Wars theme song. Though our 'things to scratch with' were a little rusty and limited, the boys figured out how to make different marks on the paper, which was our goal. We also found brass fasteners and put some bodies together...

     

     

     Of course my favourite part was when Søren held up his Transformation of History...

    Vampire Lincoln and Ghostly Barton:

    Here is some of our inspiration - varied, though I must confess, a bit on the (usual) gloomy side.

    No. 1: Edward Gorey

    No matter the project, Edward Gorey is up for discussion. His work always connects to what we do and in this case we were exploring the variety of marks that he used to fill leach page with texture and tale.

     

     

    No. 2 Heironymus Bosch

    Another favourite, this time H.B. was great for showing how to load up a page with characters and monsters not in a straight line. Søren, like Edward Gorey, tends to line his characters up, adding page after page as his army grows.

     

    No. 3 Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

    Such a fantastic book. There are so many little details that make this book wonderful. Here we look at the marks on the black background combined with the effect of the flashlight brightening everything in its path.  

     

     

     

    To Road School or Not to Road School...

    As I sit here trying to put words on the screen, I hear Søren and Silas discu...

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  • The weekends have been our adventure spots lately. We have forgone grand escapes to far-away places, settling for close-by weekend road trips which have proven to be quite extraordinary. Our list is mostly comprised of historic spots which are generally surrounded by nature of one kind or another. 

    This past weekend found us heading toward Western, PA, a direction I headed once a year, as a child, with my mom and my brother to visit my Grandma and cousins on the Mountaintop upon which they live(d) in Blairsville, PA. A place, my Pop always claimed that had two seasons: August and Winter. This certainly seemed true this October weekend as we drove through hail and snow and sunshine.

    Our mission was to collect wood from a friend who called upon us rescue it. Our first stop was Gettysburg. Always fun, though we weren't prepared for 34 degree weather. Cloaked in hoodies and colds, we steered clear of the battlefields and toured the museum. (Which was fantastic!)

    We left Gettysburg, a place that changed the course of American history and nearly immediately encountered a very strange and very strangely typical American tourist stop - Mister Ed's Elephant Museum. We couldn't resist. It was a candy shoppe, truly, surrounded by elephant tchotchkes and a mysterious collection of regular human things like hats and flip flops hanging in trees amongst pumpkins, neglected elephants and these Wildermenn:

     

    We were quite fortunate, that evening, to find Horn O' Plenty in Bedford for dinner. Western PA was never, in my childhood anyway, a place for good food. More often, we stuffed ourselves with Blizzards from Dairy Queen and passed by Quick Marts &c). Next stop, and late, was a visit with Grandma, born in 1927 (that makes her 88!), full of pep and so excited for our unexpected visit. When we pulled into her driveway (past the olde shoppe that use to be my Grandpap's, the shoppe my mom painted robin's egg blue when she was 6 or so - she told me this one day when we were visiting and Søren was a baby, and I peeled a peeling layer from the brick and sure enough, robin's egg blue on the inside!) My grandma stood by the door, as I remember her always doing, when we arrived and as we left. We stayed up til midnight talking. I love gathering bits of stories and memories, and neglect this all too often. 

    The next morning we awoke, played Mille Born, had breakfast and headed toward Indiana. The sun shone bright, though the chill, propelled by the wind, snaked through our hoodies and into our bones as Walter and Joseph cut and sorted slabs of Oak, the boys ran amongst the rows of felled trees as I often did in my Frogger dreams as a kid, and I documented what I could with camera clicks and pen scratches.

    We are lucky to have our boys near so often. There is always something to explore, something to learn, and people to meet. Next trip, at the end of November, will find us on the road again, this time heading South for Renegade Austin, followed up by a week in Dallas to set up a Peg and Awl showroom at The Dallas Market along side Coral and Tusk and others we cannot wait to meet!

    Søren drawing, Joseph sawing. 

    Silas and Exxon

    Silas draws whilst Exxon looks up for a snuggle.  

     

     

    An Autumnal Adventure

    The weekends have been our adventure spots lately. We have forgone grand esca...

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  • When was it decided that bringing your kids to work was a bad idea? Separation in general seems to be a strange and unfortunate part of our culture.  At the Peg and Awl workshoppe, Søren and Silas, like Shop Kids all over the world, get to see people making things all day long.  Here they dive into piles o' trash and extract bits, confirming literally, as does Peg and Awl, the trash and treasure cliche. 

         

    Shopkid Love

    When was it decided that bringing your kids to work was a bad idea? Separatio...

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  • I loved Colonial Williamsburg, VA, of course. 

    But I never got that feeling that sometimes takes over of actually travelling back in time. (There was a time long ago that I would go to the Philadelphia and walk around for hours with Ben Franklin's autobiography (and a random assortment of Philadelphia pasts) and read and imagine (easily) that I was there, nearly 300 years prior.) (This is something I kind of do(id) whenever I wander(ed), but mostly pre children). 

    I enjoyed it more in a Twilight-Zone way. 

    And learned a lot a lot - shoemaking, bookbinding, business &c. My most favourite was the brick house. Insanely fascinating and the numbers (10,000 brick fired each year - enough to make a chimney!) were beyond me. I am particularly good at small things.  

    The one story I was most fascinated with was the Bowden-Armistead House. Or the woman in it who, it was told, sweeps her porch every Sunday. The mystery here is, that when she was approached by a Rockefeller who wished to purchase her home, she allegedly said, "I am not impressed with your money." This was in 1926, or the project began that year anyway. So Miss Bowden-Armistead (or Mary A. Stephenson) would be 86 years old if she was exactly 0 when she was approached. So perhaps it is a daughter who sweeps. The home was built in the 19th century and endured some modernity like telephone wires that cast wobbly lines on the not dirt road, but then all was sucked back. Buildings, wires, telephones, plumbing. Everything around her into the colonial era. And she remained. And she sweeps. Or her ghost sweeps. 

    I really want to know and I kind of don't want to know.

     

     

     

    you can see the house on the left... 

    Williamsburg, A Kind of Twilight Zone.

    I loved Colonial Williamsburg, VA, of course.  But I never got that feeling t...

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