Cary Grant’s Tie, A Pile of Rocks, Dandelions

published by Fran Shea

Cary Grant’s tie is the perfect shade of gray.cary-grant-nxnw-450x327

It’s not like I’m obsessed with shades of gray because of this project I’m working on. I don’t get obsessed. I wasn’t obsessed with pulling out (and counting) all of the dandelions in my front yard (689). I wasn’t. I also wasn’t obsessed with collecting and transporting rocks halfway across the country to surround my little tree.rock-star-450x337

I’m not obsessed with letterpress.

And I don’t just sit around waiting for the sun to be in the perfect spot.sun-perfectly-behind-lampos

Doesn’t this gray look just like Cary Grant’s tie? :room-and-board-fresh-print

WELL?! It does, doesn’t it. Won’t it look lovely decking the halls of Room and Board?

Sigh.

1/3 of the project done.

Swine Flu and the Fish Pond

published by Fran Shea

We had a special guest for TWO WHOLE WEEKS! : The Swine Flu aka:H1N1 That’s just what we needed to shake things up around here! Oh, and nothing brings a family together like contagious disease. I mean it. I barely notice my kids unless their eyes get glassy and they vomit on my bedroom floor. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, a nosebleed will get my attention -and so will a 2 am phone call from the Edina Police. Oh, kids!quarantine-sign-450x293

I heard that “scientists” are working on some sort of “immunization” for this particular version of the flu. They can just inject themselves with their magic potion. I’m not standing in line at the Walgreens with a bunch of clammy people. Anyway, I discovered the cure: 100 episodes of Malcom in the Middle and lots of popsicles. When The Plague finally, and politely, exited our home – I felt that I needed another challenge:

The Fish Pond at St. Helena’s:

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Of course! Everyone knows what a daredevil I am – I just couldn’t say no to Jen’s (repeated) requests to “volunteer.”  I don’t regret a moment. In fact, I’m pretty sure that my time in Purgatory is reduced by exactly the same amount of hours that I spent in that claustrophobic booth. That’s five hours, God. Should I go on and on about the ROOM & BOARD project I’m working on? 21 down, only 279 to go! I love you, grayish-brownish-not-quite-taupe-ish-sort-of-smog-ish ink.

Would You Rather…?

published by Fran Shea

Vomit blood for a week or have a nail gun misfire so that the nail pierces your eyeball?*

WHICH ONE DO YOU CHOOSE?!

Maybe I’d choose the vomiting… I hear the ICU is like staying in a fancy hotel. You see? Life is about choices. Or wait… is it about rolling with the punches? Having your eye sewn shut is worse than getting punched – Maybe life is about getting your nail-pierced-eyeball sewn shut.

Yes. That sounds about right.

°°°°°°

* These events are true and happened to two men that I know. Both named Ben.

Psycho Suzie’s and the Fu Manchu

published by Fran Shea

I can’t wait to turn 40.

Jen did it and she got a Fu Manchu AND pickles. It was a very special evening – one she will never remember.jen-and-the-fu-manchu

See how the Fu Manchu put her under his spell? Isn’t he cunning? Poor Jen, she never had a chance.

Best In Show

published by Fran Shea

I was always jealous of those farm kids at the State Fair. Barefoot and confident, covered in dust — their coveralls did indeed coverall, catching every drip of ice cream, every drop of grease. I imagined that they slept right on the hay bales that penned off their milking goats – what a life!

Their blue-ribbon proudly pinned for all the Fair-Goers to see. And The City Kids lined up to milk their goats! Why can’t I have a goat? Why can’t I run around the fair barefoot — ringworm be damned! 

I guess that DIY story is coming together — one of the writers called me on my telephone… I kept telling her everything was “off the record” – she seemed confused. I can’t just open myself up to the public.  They did ask me to create Headlines for the other “Best In Show” categories. I wanted to do them in macaroni but they reminded me that I own a design and letterpress studio – not a design and macaroni studio. Now I feel like a missed the boat on that concept.

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Here are some of the headlines they asked for:web-printed-pressed-450x213web-cast-and-carved

Oh, they also wanted some blue ribbons:web-first-place-three-ribbo

Sankyou Panko Japanese Style Breading (box)

published by Fran Shea

“How can we be expected to teach children to read when they can’t even fit inside the building?”-Derek Zoolander

It turns out that Panko Japanese Style Breading boxes are the perfect size for my Press (kit) Boxes! It’s true. Now my family will enjoy breaded EVERYTHING for the next two weeks.

Breaded meat, breaded not-meat, breaded bread… YUMMY.    press-box-closedpress-box-open

The boxes have been turned inside-out, printed on, and stuffed with a variety of cards. I might sprinkle extra breading in for packing… We’ll see. I’d say that I’m sending them to my favorite magazines but that’s not entirely true.

Bass Master, Muslim Girl, and Quick Quilts didn’t make the cut.

Who did?

Oprah and Martha. And others. I think Oprah and Martha should combine forces, the masses would kneel before them.

Chanukah and the Beach

published by Fran Shea

Back on the Cape (Cod) again. I spent a restless night out in the barn. Maybe it was the vinyl covered futon OR my teenager’s shenanigans OR the twin mosquitos that took turns attacking me. I just don’t know – I just don’t know why my uncomfortable evening produced this:chanukah1

(Inside: God bless you.)

TOPLESS WOMAN MOLESTED BY LOCAL SEAL

published by Fran Shea

Wellfleet, Massachusetts

A Minneapolis woman dove into the icy Atlantic Monday morning in an attempt to “meet a seal”.
Assuring onlookers that the attempt was an “act of diplomacy” she swam a distance of approximately 50 yards using a stroke known as the Dog-Paddle. She met the 350 pound Harbor Seal unaware that the top of her two-piece bathing swimsuit had become untied and dropped to her waist. The woman is reported to have said that the seal reacted to the introduction like “some sort of wild animal” … “His flippers were all over me.”

David Hasselhoff, Jerry Lewis, Zeichen Press

published by Fran Shea

The closest I’ve been to Australia is the Victoria’s Filet at the Outback Steakhouse in Blaine, MN (pop: 44,942). I’m not sure who to thank for introducing Zeichen Press to our Australian cousins. Maybe Ampersand Duck had something to do with it or maybe it was my grassroots advertising campaign. I stuffed (but first I drank) 1000 bottles of wine with Zeichen Press Cards and threw them into the Atlantic Ocean.

Maybe one washed up on the shores of Melbourne because this showed up in their newspaper:sunday-age-450x277

Our CanCards are their Object of Desire. Thank you, Australia.

Someday I will visit you. And your kangaroos. And your boomerangs.