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.
Sort of. Not exactly. Technically we were not named in the newspaper but we feel like that must have been an oversight. Somebody is probably going to lose their job because of that little error. We’re just sorry that we can’t be there to see it. See, we designed and printed wedding celebration invitations for the couple who were in the Style Section of the New York Times – um, like, that’s a super big deal. It’s right here, in black and white.
Yesterday, I spent 10 straight hours sitting in the kitchen. I didn’t brush my hair or teeth.
(I once saw a medical show about a man who complained of stomach aches, they finally cut him open and discovered his partially re-absorbed, unborn twin in his own belly. It had hair and teeth. Not much else to it. A lot of hair. A lot.)
I stayed in my pajamas. I drank coffee and cold fried chicken. Disgusting? Undoubtably. Did I care? Not the slightest. I was being paid to sit there and provide art direction for a local ad agency. Me and my laptop and the kitchen table strewn with yesterday’s dinner dishes. Who cares? Certainly not me. My Grandma would have been disgusted. She also would have been confused by the “strange typewriter machine”. Anyway, I finished the job, went to The Happy Gnome with my mom and made one of the kids clean the kitchen. Here’s a picture of me after I finished the job: note the fried chicken triggered chin acne.
The Republican National Convention is coming to our town! Right after the State Fair! How can one state be so lucky? It’s like having Christmas and Easter back to back! We live in Minneapolis, so I guess we’ll be the GOafterP. We wanted to make something to commemorate this momentous occasion, postcards are a nice flat souvenir, we made some. Actually it was at the request of the owner of the Romeo and Juliet Shops in Gaviidae Commons. Apparently she loves politics. Oh, The Weisman Museum Store bought some yesterday, we’ll see how they do with the kids on campus. Buy some online:
I’ve heard home computers are all the rage. I’ve heard I could use a computer for design and something called a desktop printer to print my wonderful design. That sounds awfully complicated. Today I went into the shop~studio, dug around for an old cut, selected a nice fat face of type, locked it all up in my 7 pound cast iron chase, inked up my 2 ton cast iron printing press and printed a singe birthday card for Jen. She liked it.
I’m the dummy, not you. Or maybe you are? Only you can answer that. So, here we are. One, possibly two, dummies. Maybe you are interested in design, or letterpress, or both. Maybe you like funny things. My studio (Zeichen Press) does all (not all) it can to combine design, letterpress, and funny. We happen to have cornered the market on that little tripartite. As if teaching myself to use tons of antiquated letterpress equipment isn’t geeky enough, I’ll also drop annoying words like, “tripartite” and “antiquated”. Even that phrase, “cornered the market” should be erased. Too late, I said it, it’s done, I refuse to censor myself. Hence the divorce. I’m kidding. I’m separated. I’m not separated, I’m happily married to a separatist. Did I say separatist? I meant, Septembrist.