Sticker-Fun!

published by Fran Shea

I (obsessively) read the entire Black Stallion series under the watchful eye of my molded-plastic mini-Arabian Stallion

and my best, inanimate, friend Raggedy Ann. (Who my mom called Raggedy Baggedy and my older brother reminded me that I could not bring to the first day of Kindergarten. I said I KNOW THAT. But I was lying and couldn’t imagine being separated from her. She was filthy but I didn’t care because underneath her clothes was a secret stitched heart that professed her love to me. 

As if I didn’t have enough blessings bestowed upon my busy-body, I was also honored with a sticker collection album… I don’t think my parents even knew how much it meant to me… I heard my little sister took it over when I had grown “too old” for it. I paged through “her” pages and held back my disappointment! Did she understand that stickers were meant to be saved between the clear plastic pages by cutting them out with their backing and a border that preserves the stickability and ease of future use??instead of just STICKING THEM TO THE CLEAR PLASTIC PAGES NEVER TO BE USED AGAIN??

I’m thinking about stickers again (did I ever really stop??) Because Zeichen Press is gonna stuff these 2″ x 2″ stickers in every order (for all of the big $30 spenders)!

I obviously read the Black Stallion series AGAIN to get into character. 

Asphalt Antics

published by Fran Shea

Maybe Mr. Bo (doesn’t every grade schooler have a Vietnam War vet/gym teacher/recess monitor who relays stories about soldiers stringing human-ear trophies like Hawaiian leis and giant spiders perched on webs making passage of densely packed jungle-trails impossible without a machete??)  or a passionate parent painted the four square court and kickball field in white paint on our asphalt parking lot/playground. The important thing is that the sand used to provide traction on the ice was only embedded in knees if a girl-student was bold enough to slide home in her uniform skirt.

Speaking of playground antics, here’s a photo of my friend Steph and I playing tug-o-war with my scarf while our friend Kate observes:

And here we are not playing tug-o-war while Steph’s cat observes.  

Aren’t we cute?? 

Sightseeing in Minneapolis!

published by Fran Shea

If only someone would spray paint a clown riding a unicycle on the Washburn Water Tower. 

Wait, someone did that in 1989 and I spied it on my bicycle while I wasn’t procrastinating writing a paper on the Shroud of Turin!

Here is an an artist’s rendering (mine) because I didn’t have my fanny-pak (Franny-pak) filled with an iPhone/camera and, sadly, only had the image seared into my brain via synaptic plasticity:

The only difference between the artist-rendering and the real graffiti is that the clown’s legs didn’t end with feet and were just magically stuffed into the wheel-hub. Did this give me nightmares??  Why would it??

I haven’t even thought of it for the past 30 years.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

published by Fran Shea

ALLEGEDLY, 9.5″ of snow fell “Up North” but I was too selfish to care because it feels like Spring here in Minneapolis. It’s finally safe to peel off and burn my Smartwool™ socks! (Just in time for Mother’s Day!)

Speaking of Mother’s Day… I wrote a birthday card!

That balanced out a card about traveling via greyhound bus.

But here’s what I’m REALLY excited about/wondering why 217,912 people watched this before I had even heard of it:

Now, thanks to Carolyn Swiszcz, I know where I need to go.

Oh, and ANOTHER thing/how I know it’s Spring: Our Spring cards are being RELEASED as I write this! I created a supplement sheet for our reps  and because I am so dedicated, I even learned how to make drop shadows in Adobe InDesign:

YOU’RE WELCOME.

Possibly I’m Prejudice because I am Aunt Fran NOW

published by Fran Shea

The original Aunt Fran 

sounded just like Katherine Hepburn.

And my older sister told me I sounded just like a banana with hair. (Don’t act like you don’t know what that sounds like.)

DESPITE that voice, and (let’s be real) a face that only a mother could

use to test bathwater temperature and was also later mutilated with a nose-ring and surrounded by a bad perm and self-cut bangs, I have somehow prevailed! My evidence of this is best expressed through Lifetime Movie monologues

OR our latest release!

BEHOLD! (Here is a teaser/1 of 12 soon to be added to the shop!)

Franmas Eve!!

published by Fran Shea

Aww! Look at our deck covered in Millie and sunshine!

Spring is here!

Wait… what is that falling from the sky??

Oh, Minnesota… YOU TRICKSTER! You get me every year!

I tried to escape Minnesota’s clutches for one of my birthdays years ago… The cabin-pressure reminded my uterine lining that it should exit via my lady-parts posthaste. As I tied a sweatshirt around my waist, I reminded myself that I should have known better. 

 

Auf Wiedersehn und Gute Befreiung

published by Fran Shea

I know Winter is almost over because I’ve watched everything on Netflix and am now forced to look at my neighbor’s roof because their house is so close that when windows are open on quiet Summer nights, I’ve heard a stream of urine meeting a toilet-bowl full of water.

Oh, and another reason I know Winter is almost over is that Jen and I (and #oldestintern) are picking cards for the Spring release! It only took me two hours of meditation and four Xanax to kill my darlings! And by darlings, I don’t mean house pets or 4th trimester babies. I mean designs that I have birthed and cherished as if they were a sliver of my soul. As the kids say, #NBD. Maybe someday, my little friend.

Oh, this one DID make the cut!

Ice Be Damned!

published by Fran Shea

Sometimes Winter digs its filthy, ragged nails in — refusing to allow the next season to sashay over snowdrifts and SOMETIMES pantyhose must be filled with Ice Melt and arranged like giant caterpillars on the roof to dissolve the glut of ice-filled flashing. SOMETIMES.

Did my new son-in-law know that he was going to spend so much time on my roof?? (TOO LATE NOW!)

 Ohh, I will give up… WHEN PIGS FLY. 

Doesn’t Winter understand that it takes more than a little water running down walls to derail Zeichen Press?? MUWAHAHAHA!!

But that cake though!!

published by Fran Shea

Something happened last weekend

and I’m pretty sure it involved the best cake and the best catering in Minneapolis! (Thanks Zeichen Press!)

*Hint: She consented.

The festivities inspired so many things! One of them was this card:

Now I’m busy watching Leaving Neverland because I need to balance all of the goodness of last weekend with something creepy! (Thanks pop-culture!)

A love note to February

published by Fran Shea

On Valentine’s Day in 1990, I saw Pretty Woman at the Uptown Theater but little did I know that just a few months later I’d be living a few blocks North of that theater above a “restaurant” with the fanciest portmanteau-name ever. RIBIZZA. I was just like Julia Roberts! With less prostitution! And less Richard Gere! And less shopping montages!

SWOON!!

This Valentine’s Day I watched and rewatched that scene and despite the lack of a theater that smelled like feet, it was still magical.

On February 15th I had a guacamole-hangover and followed Tib around hoping for inspiration.

Thank you, Tib. Thank you.