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3674 Carrs Station Road
Sparta, Georgia
USA

706-998-8646

Journal

The Secret Catalog

Megan Fowler

Earlier this year we were asked to contribute to the first Winter Edition of one of our favorite projects: The Secret Catalog. I have been so inspired by the collection of artists and makers that have been included in past collections that I suffered from creative brain freeze for a month or two. I was scared that what we would come up with wouldn't live up to my expectations. After some failed ideas and illustrations I landed on three different letterpress goods: two large prints and a holiday card (shown above). I wanted to make a card that would feel festive, but wouldn't run you over with good cheer, just nudge you in the right direction I suppose. Pine is the main industry in our county so I'm constantly surrounded by pines. It's a humble tree that has a special sensory tie for most folks. A pine forest in winter can feel like a quiet refuge.

These goods were made exclusively for The Secret Catalog, so head on over there if you're interested in seeing their whole collection and the our other contributions!

Behind the Scenes: How We Build a Print

Megan Fowler

When our work leaves the studio I always wonder about what life it's going to have. Is this card getting mailed to an old friend? Is this print going to be hung in the bathroom right next to where a woman washes her makeup off every evening? It's a fun guessing game to play. And maybe, someone somewhere wonders what life the print they see everyday had before it arrived on their doorstep. Well, it's a longer journey than what I'm showing here, but this is at least a little snippet of how one of our prints comes to be.

Each illustration begins as a pencil or pen drawing. From there it gets scanned and brought into the computer for me to make minor adjustments and get color separated. Each color gets moved into a new layer on one file. This color separated file then gets made into a plate from a wonderful company in Syracuse, New York called Boxcar Press. They send the plate back to me and mom & I get to work. When we are working in the "computer phase" I do play around with colors, but it isn't until we get everything set up on the press that the illustration really comes alive. Each color gets its own run through the press. The plate has to be registered, ink has to be mixed, and then finally the paper goes through the letterpress. This happens for each new color, and the new color is mixed and chosen based on the color that went before it. The images above show how the print slowly builds up color by color. I'm such a dork, but this whole process gets me so excited each time we do it. It never gets old, and I can't imagine it ever will. Feel free to ask questions in the comments about any part of our process!

Home.Made Packaging Design

Megan Fowler

(All photos by Kristen Bach for Home.Made From Scratch)

(All photos by Kristen Bach for Home.Made From Scratch)

We don't really talk about it much on the site, but a lot of the work I do each day is commission design work. Graphic design isn't something I went to school for, but design is such a huge part of our own work, and I've been plugging away and honing in on my style for almost 9 years now. Most of our clients come from word of mouth, and I always love creating things for people that I know and respect. This past Spring we were approached by Home.Made From Scratch, one of our favorite eating spots in Athens, GA, to help them design the packaging for a snack line they're releasing for sale this Fall. Mimi, the chef, owner, & mastermind, behind Home.Made does such a wonderful job of being playful and creative with Southern classics. The flavors are nostalgic, but they always taste way better than you remembered them tasting growing up.

The labels went through a good number of iterations, but I think both she and I love the end product! With most of our branding and design work, I begin the same way I do with all of our own paper goods- I start with a hand drawn illustration. Making the patterns for the top of each of these boxes was my favorite part. The last image is a digital sample of one of the patterns so you can get an idea of what things look like on my end before everything is put together and printed.

Our Little Goose... the first four months

Megan Fowler

gilliandots.JPG

Gillian was born at the end of May, and she has made me grow in so many ways already. She is so full of life, excitement, and wonder and she's an extremely effective communicator of her emotions... both good and bad. The first four months with her have passed in a blink. It's so easy to want to know exactly who this little person is going to become so this is a reminder to me to slow down and enjoy each day with her. She's growing up faster than I realize.

Preserving 2014’s Most Beautiful Georgia Blooms for All of 2015

Megan Fowler

Collaborating with Mandy O'Shea to create our floral-themed, limited-edition 2015 letterpress calendar was a dream. Mandy, a farmer and florist here in Georgia, grows and arranges flowers for her studio Moonflower Design & runs an organic fruit and vegetable farm with her husband in Madison County. We were honored to have Rinne Allen photograph the "making of" for T Magazine's Harvest series: