Hot Damn! We finally picked a sales rep! A first-rate group of gals (there is a guy in the group that reps Iowa but he’s on a sort of hiatus – sorry Iowa) that will spread the Zeichen Love across this frigid, northern land. Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota. I’ve actually never been to North or South Dakota… In fact, I’m not even sure they exist. I’d like some sort of proof. Anyway, our fax machine has been ringing off the hizzle with orders – our biggest so far: Kowalski’s Markets. I love Kowalski’s and I’m not just saying that. My ice cream melts in the cart while I wander around like a free-range chicken. (Before the farmer kills it and Kowalski’s sells it and I eat it. Mmm, delicious.)
I guess that last round of cards I did for Trader Joe’s were tossed into the “maybe” pile for being “too snippy, irreverent, and sarcastic”. That would hurt my feelings if I wasn’t made entirely of gears, microchips, and ice. I figured I better try again. I thought, “what would a nice person want to say to another person that they actually cared for? How can I help facilitate some positive communication that may otherwise be forever unspoken due to awkward shyness or maybe even because of some sort of speech impediment. What if someone has simply taken a vow of silence? I will be their voice.” (Didn’t that totally give you chills? I know, I KNOW. That was totally unrehearsed.) Here are the nicer cards for Trader Joe’s: (Will they be nice enough? Stay tuned.)
Umm, the Target Center was a strange, strange place last night. So many jewel encrusted tank tops and hoodies… I felt out of place in my Witch Costume. My friend, Melissa Peterman rocked the house with her comic stylings. To thank her for setting up a meet-n-greet with Kelly and Reba, I made her a set of these:
I was disappointed that Kelly and Reba didn’t arrive on horseback. I did allow them to take a picture with me. An act, I feel, was very much appreciated by both of them. They were thrilled to meet me and asked me all sorts of questions about my lifestyle.
They say this cat Shaft is a bad mother SHUT YOUR MOUTH! I’m talkin’ ’bout Shaft. THEN WE CAN DIG IT!
Brrrrrrrr. Um, brrrrrrrrr. Something (snow) tells me summer is over. I had a VERY busy weekend, there was Kelly Clarkson, then a bunch of stuff, then Don Draper. Oh, yes – I managed to squeeze in a design/letterpress project.
Some Bad Catholic Mothers of OLG (hardcore acronym: Our Lady of Grace) asked me to design a book cover for their Tell-All Confessional. Thanks to Boxcar for their perfect plate and thanks to all you Bad Catholic Muthas out there for your indiscretion and moral ambiguity.
That Trader Joe’s Card Chick was wondering if I’d like to do some more cards for the stores. Doesn’t she understand that she can’t turn me on and off like some sort of magic faucet?
Doesn’t she understand that my creative process is a flowing, uninterruptible, inspired tangent? You bean counters! I will not submit to your big box schemes. You can’t make me. I’m an artist, a non-conformist! … What’s that? Our 401(k) is down to what? Well, that’s just fantastic… Once again, I’ll have to step in and kick-start the economy. I had really big plans for the week, none of which involved saving America. Well, I guess that my Winter Wardrobe is going to have to try itself on. I hope you’re happy, lady. I hope you’re happy.
Last Sunday, the basement of the Uptown VFW became home to the i Like You craft fair. The Uptown VFW seems to be three floors of basement. Wait, that’s every VFW. The water-stained, drop ceiling has soaked in more than 50 years of delicious cigarette smoke. The vinyl, accordion fold wall was straight out of my grandparent’s house. I felt like having a poached egg or a ham salad sandwich.
Oh, the VFW… so similar to the church basement. Or maybe a bomb shelter. A bomb shelter with awesome junk in it. I recently spent an evening in a VFW for the karaoke portion of a friend’s birthday party.
Again, we were in the basement but I swear we didn’t go downstairs. I knew the night was over when I saw this:
I won’t say whose leg that body was attached to. That’s a silent shame she must carry to her grave. Note the glass of water I kindly placed by her body.
But enough about nighttime VFW! Here’s a photo I took of the Daytime VFW:
My fans are relentless, “Fran, how do you do it? Please, let us in to that magical and mysterious world you call your brain. Give us, if you think we can handle it, a tiny snippet of what it’s like to experience your Creative Process.” Well, stand back; I’m about to blow your minds. BLOW YOUR MINDS. This will be a little bit like someone revealing the secrets of the universe, the meaning of life, and the riddle of the sphinx. Until now, there has only been speculation. Speculation and rumor. Just like the moon landing. So, just sit right down and call in sick to work – Ready, set, go; here’s the deal: Notebook + pencil + old printer’s cut =
The nice thing about owning your own company and producing your own line of goods is that: A) I won’t fire me for sexually harassing myself. B) I give myself outstanding quarterly reviews. C) I haven’t showered in God Knows How Long and nobody (hi Jen!) cares. D) I can write/design/print whatever I think is funny.
The other day, the Trader Joe’s Card Chick submitted three of my cards to TJ’s. Originally there were nine and after some pretty complicated calculations on my calculator, I figured that left six for us. (Eat that, Sister Diane, I told you I’d be able to apply my limited math skills to the real world!) Here’s a peek at the six rejects: Three are for sale in our online store. Why only three? I bet you’d like to know.
The Trader Joe’s Card Chick called and asked us to do some custom work for them.
I was like, “get in line lady, it’s not like Consumer Reports ranked Trader Joe’s the second-best supermarket chain in the nation.” And she was like, “yeah, they did.” And I was like, “I knew that, I was just testing you.”
Even without my lucky historical period costume we were able to produce some winners. (My teacher used to say, “we are all winners when we don’t use drugs” but I think she was using the word ‘we’ in the royal sense).
We gave nine cards to The Card Chick, she selected three to show to TJ’s and TJ’s is going to produce all three. They will be in the stores in March. They’ll be offset printing them, I feel good about that because I’m sure that Jen and I would be fingerless if we had to hand feed 80,000 cards into the jaws of The Beast.