So Many Curiosities!

published by Fran Shea

There were no coats to push aside, no snow, no Mr. Tumnus, no White Witch… Just a regular bedroom door, a heated terrazzo floor, twin sinks, and His and Hers glasses ready for dentures. My Grandparent’s bedroom was entered by Invitation Only and was filled with so many curiosities… I remember asking my Grandma if she loved raspberries as much as I did and she told me she couldn’t eat them because the tiny seeds got stuck in her dentures… I felt like that was the saddest thing I had ever heard and that she was truly a martyr.

Here she is with all her own teeth:

It’s a good thing my Grandpa had his pens with him because you just never know.

The old newspapers the Intern gave me are a treasure-trove of graphics

and full of hard-hitting local stories…

Whaaat?? Mr. Therien never used his sick leave??

Water is closed due to blood in the water OR WHATEVER

published by Fran Shea

The most important part of getting ready for the Cape is downloading important apps. The Sharktivity app is my latest obsession because tide charts are boring and knowledge of shark activity is a guaranteed conversation kickoff!

Try it yourself:

You: Water is closed due to blood in the water north of the life guarded beach…

Them: Whaaat, closed due to blood in the water??!! Well, that’s crazy!! Do you think it’s seal blood or human?? 

Who could resist that conversation?! Oh, and hopefully the Lovebirds coming with me don’t have their limbs ripped off (by a shark) before they get married. STAY TUNED.

Chronic – WHAT??? Chronicles of Narnia.

published by Fran Shea

My Mom speed-walks up to the library with her tote bag to solve whatever needs solving. She uses their Xerox machine to copy important pages of uncheckoutable periodicals and checks out the books that are checkoutable. When she is done, she scampers home to (speed) read those books and take notes on a fresh pack of 3″ x 5″ (lined) index cards. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

I also feel compelled to solve whatever needs solving but I prefer never leaving my laptop (or house) and using Google to search the World Wide Web. Just this week, I needed to get to the bottom of the origin of our Stone Table.

I opened the drawer and took this photo of the (seedy) underbelly:

APPARENTLY Barnhart Bros. & Spindler operated out of Chicago from 1883 – 1911, BEFORE THAT they were called the Great Western Type Foundry AND THEN they became American Type Founders.

I also learned that ye olde printers used the smooth and clean side of the slab of granite for their own personal gravestone – I can’t wait to share this info with Jen! My brother will be so happy, he hates waste and loves recycling.

After I finished my important research, and because the Intern gave me a huge stack of Tribunes from 1938 to steal graphics from, I wrote and designed a card.   

MY (by MY I mean Jen’s) WORK IS NEVER DONE

published by Fran Shea

Jen went above and beyond her usual role (Queen of Letterpress) when she took my protagonist/muse to the vet for a wounded paw. We knew it was bad when it looked like Mickey Mouse’s gloved hand (hand?). (AND NOT A MINUTE SOONER.) 

Here is Tib at the Uptown Vet… See how she gingerly lifts her damaged digits?

I WANT TO POST A CLOSE-UP SO BAD. Just imagine pus oozing out of a furless area between her toe phalanges. But why was it furless?? STOP ASKING QUESTIONS.

While Jen was busy watching vet techs handle My Very Own Tasmanian Devil with (LITERALLY) Hawk Gloves,

I was busy making a Mother’s Day card. This company is obviously 50/50.

Spring is for Weaklings

published by Fran Shea

No Spring this year, but I don’t even care because there are usually too many weeks (wasted) between moving cars so the snowplow can plow

and installing air conditioners in bedroom windows.


PLUS, I hate when the blossoming trees smell like Jolly Ranchers and I have to watch the urban wildlife go forth and multiply. Yuck.


SPEAKING OF FATHER’S DAY! Here’s a card I wrote:

Another doppelgänger…

published by Fran Shea

Jen’s son, Will, was confirmed last week and my daughter, Lucy, was (OBVIOUSLY) his sponsor.

Becoming a soldier of Christ involves wooden pews and a fancy church and cannot happen on a gold-colored couch. (Sorry, Wonder Years cast.)

But it took this sacred event to bring Will’s doppelgänger to my attention:

Whaat?? Will is a dead-ringer for Jason Hervey! I never would have put that together without this sacrament! PHEW.

Wherein Millie Has a Bath and Other Springtime Merriments

published by Fran Shea

Is it sad that Millie only has two baths per year? Maybe. 

But when she gets too unpleasant to be around, I know it’s time to release our Spring cards, AND she is shorn like a sheep on the English countryside!Speaking of the English countryside, I had to watch an entire season of Escape to the Country on Netflix

so I could pretend their expansive views were mine.

It worked!! AND after I had properly brainwashed myself, I even added the new cards to the shop! 12 goodies! Go buy some!!

On this day…

published by Fran Shea

Facebook is so good at reminding me of important dates, LEST I FORGET. Normally I’d chisel a statue to honor a significant event, but I settled on creating a letterpress greeting card and ALLOWING the Intern and Jen to print it. 

It will be added to our much anticipated Spring Release. And I’m sure if Prince were still on Planet Earth, he’d whisper a thank you and dance away in his tiny high heels.

Bye Bye Winter ~or~ HELLO SPRING

published by Fran Shea

Winter was saving one last blizzard for the weak but I escaped by hiding under the bed and burying my face in my hands.

I’m not into conspiracies but as soon as I paid my taxes, the sun came out and it was time (for Jen and the Intern) to print and for us to choose paper and envelope colors. Tib the Cat just wanted to be part of it but the Intern held her back with a freshly printed card while we convinced her to not show fear because as soon as Tib senses fear, she attacks.

We watched one woman take control of the situation. It was pretty amazing.

AND THEN, another amazing thing happened…

I donned my favorite costume (a witch) and redesigned a card with the help of the Zeichen Press Team:  (Millie, Tib, and Dinah. I’M KIDDING!) Jen and the Project Manager aka The Intern!

I asked them to also put on costumes and despite their icy stares, I know they love me.)

Here’s the card: Coming this Spring to a shop near you!

Duck, Duck, GRAY DUCK ~or~ Decisions, Decisions

published by Fran Shea

I heard (via Facebook) we had a lot of snow last week but I don’t know what to believe because I locked myself in my bedroom and closed the… how do you say?? Blankets… on the windows?? Oh, BLINDS. Sunshine and warm weather only leads to selfish behavior and I’d much rather spend my days emailing Jen and the Intern about the Spring release and organizing my tax documents. Spoiler Alert: we chose 12 cards and my tax guy wept with joy when he received my paperwork. (But through his tears, he mumbled something about me being second to none.) 

Before my self-imposed deadline arrives, I have time to disclose the two cards that nearly made me exit my cloistered life:

Oh, and despite my other critical obligations, I managed to do some pro bono (Latin for dope) work for a worthy cause: Putting together a podcast for the fine folks at The MS Gym. Anyway, I know what you’re thinking, it’s about time she learned about RSSs and XMLs.