"One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” 

-Jack Kerouac



As a child, I remember arriving at the coast completely enchanted by the idea of collecting broken pieces of shell washed up by the bubbling sea. If you stumbled upon a whole one, that was a very special find. If you spotted a mile long piece of kelp entirely intact, that was counted a treasure to drag up and down the beach with pride… leaving a snake trail behind you. 

I can recall those lovely feelings very well. How simple they were.

It is more difficult to come by a "lovely simple" as adults. I sometimes feel my exsistence becoming so complex that I cannot enjoy anything without creating a stream of rationale in my head giving me permission to. My thoughts become foggy and I compare myself to others or feel guilt at the things I am not….all the hats I wish I could wear but simply was not mean't to. I long for a childlike sense of adoration of a very little thing, or a very little treasure (like a sea shell or long strand of kelp).

Those moments are few and far between yet I have a thought to chase them down because I know they are mean't for us in order to live well and enjoy peace. 

I ate a fig just now. It's a rare snack for me as I imagine greek goddesses tossing them into their mouths and not necessarily graphic design students on a budget. I will report that I caught a momentary awe looking at them. So pretty and fresh, so many details…and very yummy. I felt gratitude.

I caught a "lovely simple". I suppose it takes practice 🙂


Posted in Life + Thoughts

I'm so excited to be sharing a long awaited interview with Meg Gleason, creater of Moglea. She is an artist that I find very inspiring and I've been looking forward to this interview and gleaned a lot of interesting take aways. Meg has also graciously offered an exclusive GIVEAWAY to JARFLY readers, so make sure to follow the "rafflecopter" directions to enter the contest below. The more entries…the more your chances increase to win! The winner will be announced next Monday, October 15th at 12am Pacific Time. Check it out and share with your friends!

All Photo Credits: Moglea



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Name, Age, Location:

Meg Gleason, 27, Audubon, Iowa. I live in the country about an hour west of Des Moines.


When did your business first begin?

Moglea began in the summer of 2009 when I purchased my first letterpress. We moved to Audubon that year to farm with my husband's family and it was the perfect time to pursue my stationary design career. I had freelanced before then when we lived in the city and didn't have the space for a letterpress. That same year I traveled to Penland School of Crafts to learn to set lead type and operate a press. I fell in love with printing.


How would you describe your artwork and products?

My products are a simple extension of what I love doing:  writing, drawing and printing. I love bright colors, intricate patterns and unique processes and packaging. I simply create cards that I would want to use and pray others will enjoy them as well.



What are a few things you draw on for inspiration?

Nature is such a huge inspiration for me, and if I'm trying to think up ideas for a new design, I often go outside for a walk or run. I have a collection of vintage children's books so I often sour those for type or color inspiration.

What are you favorite colors, supplies and locations for creating your work?

All of my illustrations start OFF the computer, so I use up tons of tracing paper and sharpie markers. I use gouache and colored pencils often as well. I think I use my scanner several times a day to scan in textures, drawings, lettering, etc.

What do you love about life as an artist….what could you live without?

I'm completely blessed to get to do what I love on a daily basis. With Moglea, I can add and subtract products at will and I love being my own boss and art director. It's amazing to have an office and letterpress studio in my home. The Downside: because I love what I do, I work more than I should. I'm trying to keep a schedule where I quit around 6pm everyday. Family is so important and when you own your own business, it's easy to disresepect family by working late.




What's the story line behind the name "Moglea"?

It was so challenging to think of the name! I spent a couple of months brainstorming before I could decide on the right word. When working on naming my company, my goal was to create a word that is void of meaning so that when someone heard the name it didn't suggest anything. I could fill the name with meaning through products and branding. Moglea is just a mixing of the "M" from my name and the "Glea" from my last name.


Your paper goods line is quite the success! Can you describe the journey from the beginning to now?

That's so sweet of you! I intitally started out by designing cards for Minted and I grew a lot through having helpful critiques from other designers within their design community. I spent a couple years doing social stationary design for a few online card companies before I felt confidant in my style and that I had a vision for a product line. It actually took a couple years before I felt confident in my printing ability as well. I just launched my letterpress line in May at the National Stationary Show and since then I've been trying to keep up with the new orders and expand the line.



Any big projects on the horizon that aren't top secret?

I'm excited to expand the current line. I've got some completely new products that I'm designing at the moment to hopefully launch next spring. A couple new Letterquettes are in the works as well.


Any funny habits or hobbies you don't mind telling us about 🙂 ?

My husband and I really love skiing and cooking together. Iowa isn't very mountainous (ha!) so we try to get to Colorado once each winter. We've been remodeling our farm house for a couple years and it's been fun to work together on creating a space that is uniquely ours.


Finaly, any big sister advice for anyone out there seeking to build their small business and/or online brand?

Branding and packaging is very important. Spend time on your business identity and build a cohesive system for your whole online and off-line presence. Learn your strengths and weaknesses as a designer…you'll save so much time letting someone else do something you aren't gifted in.


I hope you all enjoyed this interesting interivew with Meg! Remember you can connect with Moglea socially around the web by entering today's contest (above)…not to mention win some some beautiful cards! Don't delay…and have a lovely Tuesday 🙂





Posted in Life + Thoughts

I always love finding a good blog…and even better is when the writer is multi-talented! Over the next few months I'm going to be sharing lovely blog finds that come my way…as if your google reader weren't full enough already! Hopefully the more the merrier.

Today I just wanted to give you a little glimpse into the world of Rachel Ball of Elephantine. I love visiting Elephantine for a host of reasons…but I think what inspires me the most is the organized, lovely, simplicity of it. I always leave feeling inspired and peaceful. That being said I can only imagine how much work it is to keep the many faces of Elephantine going, which include a jewelry & kitchen shop, photography and recipe tutoritals….not to mention some amazing short stories (links to all provided below).

All Photo Credits: Rachel Ball of Elephantine

I can't wait to get these darling earrings in the mail! Rachel is a talented jewelry maker describing her work as "modern everyday jewelry". I often browse her etsy store and finally had a little money set aside to buy some earrings. 

If you like to add whimsical detail to your kitchen, Mignon Kitchen Co is a great little online boutique (also curated by Rachel) to find those simple additions. I cannot get enough of it and find myself browsing into the wee hours. One of these days I'll have to set aside some fun money to indulge a bit!

If that weren't enough, you can find amazing recipes at Elephantine! Each recipe is carefully laid out with beautiful photography and styling to make the steps easy and enjoyable… and if you are lucky….there may even be a fun video tutorial included.


Rachel's photography is also very inspiring. It captures the simplicity and sweetness of everyday life, and I always enjoy seeing what her lense is focused on from day to day. I also highly reccommend taking a look at her short stories, as they are full of life and written beautifully. These are featured on Fridays.

If you have not stopped by Elephantine, I encourage you to do so. I'm amazed at how mult-faceted Rachel is. She makes it all seem so effortless. Enjoy!


And remember….here's where you can connect with Rachel:

Elephantine Blog: food & recipes, style,  photography & fiction

Elephantine Jewelry Store

Mignon Kitchen Company



Posted in Life + Thoughts

The weeks just fly by lately. I can't decide if that is good or not, as they say time flies when you are having fun. However, the summer completely got away from me and that's just a wee bit sad. But no matter…we shall press onward!

I will confess to you, (if you haven't noticed) that I have neglected by blog lately. I'm just finishing up wedding rental season as well as a demanding summer of coursework, so I'm excited to get newly inspired once again. Blogging for me is it's own kinda of therapy and creative release so I always get a little cranky when I'm away too long. 

I don't know exactly what Autumn with JARFLY will bring, as I've never been much of a planner when it comes to my blog. I like the spontanaity of just writing WITH life…rather than before it happens. That's probably why as much as I'd like to be the clean, organized blogger (like many of my favorites) who have weekly columns, I've never been much good at that kind of consistency.

However I do have some fun DIY projects in my back pocket as well as some much needed sketching and goal setting to get my paper boutique store on it's way (it currently lies empty on Etsy). I always love sharing those things with you and so appreciate feedback. There is also a very important part of me who used to love writing short stories and making up ridiculous poems that are full of foolishness….so I'm hoping to get back into some of that. 

In conclusion, well there isn't one. And I'm doing what is just never done by posting without a visual to share (eee Gads!). I just wanted to check in and say I haven't left! I'm just getting my footing 🙂 See you all soon….thanks so much for supporting JARFLY.

Posted in Life + Thoughts