Posts in Birthday
Post-Franmas AND a Donkey Wine Bottle AND a Very Special Franmas Presentpublished by Fran Shea
My older sister warned us even before we dared set foot in the antique shop of Barnstable Village, “DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT TOUCHING ANYTHING IN HERE!!!” We quietly crept in, SHE turned around while “shopping” and promptly knocked The Donkey Wine Bottle to the floor AND had to shell out $24 to pay for it.
She swore us to secrecy because she was filled with shame AND when we got back to the house, she WHIPPED that no-longer-perfect Donkey Wine Bottle into the Great Salt Marsh. When The Coast Was Clear my friend and I picked our way through the low-tide marsh, found that no-longer-perfect Donkey Wine Bottle/element of shame and put it in her bed ala The Godfather.
MINUS the blood/mafia message BUT WITH ALL SHAME INCLUDED. Oh, how we laughed!
Speaking of laughing… Our sewer backed up yesterday, the laundry-room was full o’ poop, and the plumber used his special camera to determine that we need to tear up our front yard and replace the pipe! ANOTHER oopsy! The good news is that Lucy scrubbed the laundry-room floor with gusto and into the night! Whew! That’s totally worth it!
That event inspired a card!
That Dad drops wisdom and truth-bombs.
JUST KEEP MARCHING!published by Fran Shea
On the Cape, before we got our mail from the Post Office we would dig our grubby fingers in the change return box from the line of pay phones hoping to find a forgotten dime to spend on penny candy. (I swear I’m not 90 years old.)
Things are so much easier now because of our smart phones! RIGHT?? (Insert cry-face here.)
Speaking of pay phones, my son-in-law finished that balcony just in time!
But wait! in a few days:
See how magical?? I finally have a place to march!
And SPEAKING OF MARCHING?.. The Intern ™ brought me some Easy Reading:I think she was hoping I’d scour the magazine for vintage content to inspire new cards.
But first I have A LOT of stories by Miss Phyllis Moore Gallagher to catch up on (like, 80 years worth).
Oh, ALSO, I got an email from the art licensor… They want to turn some of the “card art” I sent them into post-it notes!
And here is a design I made inspired by the 2020 election. DON’T TELL ANYONE.
Pretty HUGEpublished by Fran Shea
Last week, a company in England
sent us an email praising our “delightfully bonkers” cards, I was CRUSHED because our cards are super sincere! They wanted to know if they could letterpress print/distribute them across the pond. I’ve heard people call the Atlantic Ocean a pond and I think it’s WAY bigger than a pond – COME ON, PEOPLE!! This was perfect timing because I make all the decisions about my house based on whatever is happening with Zeichen Press and I really needed a place to practice my John Philip Sousa marches!Thanks to my son-in-law this will be a rug-shaker AND marching-practice balcony – FINALLY.
To celebrate (after high-fiving Jen), I made a card:
And Kim Jong Un came out of his coma to share this wish: (What a trooper!)
2020 is Already Amazingpublished by Fran Shea
The New Year’s water broke and after 24 hours of back-labor, vaginal-tearing, and a hemorrhage, a baby named Winefride Irene Statz blessed us with her presence. (Oh, my daughter had a baby.)
And because I am always vain, here is photo of ME holding her. IGNORE MY BRA STRAP.
After that holding-session and never one to SHIRK MY DUTIES, I made some cards: (Is January almost over??)
YOU’RE OLD NOW.published by Fran Shea
Didn’t we JUST release new cards?? Is it already October?? Was that blur-filled season actually Summer?? WHAT HAPPENED??
Jen, #oldestintern, and I have scheduled a meeting for tomorrow – I had a serious talk with the Franimals about not interrupting. I’m sure they will still interrupt though because they don’t seem to understand that I hold all of the power over their pathetic little lives. (Ugh, they know they’re in charge.)
If this whole letterpress thing stops being such a lucrative money-maker, I’m gonna invest all of my time and energy in creating dioramas like I did in the 5th grade. Who else could turn a Nike shoebox into an homage to fishing at Lake Calhoun, complete with construction-paper-created boys standing atop a construction-paper-created fishing dock, wielding cane-poles complete with real monofilament fishing line leading to construction-paper-created Carp that, like an illusion, float in the waterless interior of the Nike box??
NOBODY COULD. That’s probably why the older boys smashed it to smithereens. I’M NOT BITTER ABOUT IT AND BARELY REMEMBER THAT EVENT BECAUSE IT HAPPENED 37 YEARS AGO.
Oh, I almost forgot… Sally Struthers has a birthday message to share:
Memento Mori!published by Fran Shea
Dan the Man (number one) knocked on my door and brought me a heaping pile of curried potatoes on a paper plate, introduced me to the music of Tori Amos, and listened to our kitchen-conversations because our windows were so close. (HOW COULD HE NOT?!)
Dan the Man (number one) also played classical guitar, had a big belly, long curly hair, and wore red suspenders. With OR WITHOUT a stained white t-shirt.
I used to babysit for my baby cousin when Dylan was also a baby (Note: I knew he ate the cat food over there because his poopy-diaper smelled like a litter box). We were picked up in a taxicab three mornings per week
by a hippie named Dan the Man (number two),
and while we buckled up in the backseat (carseats were for suburbanites), he would tell me all about the best items to eat at the Old Country Buffet. Thanks Dan the Man, that IS useful information!
Oh, I carpe diemed like crazy in those days.
Field Trip+!published by Fran Shea
Our 1983 Field Trip to the Art Institute ended tragically when some naughty eighth-grade boys smuggled in their skateboards and much to the museum docents dismay, rode them up and down the herringbone wood-floored hallways. These same boys also smoked cigarettes and at least one of them had a super-tall mohawk… Lucky for everyone, I looked like this:
My Mom threw caution to the wind and signed ANOTHER permission slip for me the very next year. This time it was to Como Zoo/Park. I made sure to pack my tunafish sandwich and wrap my Shasta in tinfoil just like my sister. It went off without a hitch. For me. One boy in our class was not so fortunate because he decided to avoid the gate and slipped while climbing over the pointy, cast-iron fence. His corduroy pants and bottom were never the same… He walked around holding his derriere and I was, of course, scandalized.
Speaking of school… I made some graduation cards:
And speaking of Field Trips… without permission slips (WHAT??), Lucy and I went to the Arboretum yesterday with Aunt Clare to see the Dahlias and have a picnic. (WITH NO SHASTA?!) Also, we saw Edward Scissorhands stumble out of this grapevine-creation:
And PER TRADITION, I made Jen a birthday card and PER TRADITION we avoided seeing each other. DON’T BE JEALOUS!!
Kool-Aid Stands and Rocking Horsespublished by Fran Shea
Before Cape Cod (could that be the most irritating thing I’ve ever written?? MAYBE), summer days were spent “building” backyard forts, floating to the middle of Lake Calhoun in an orange rubber raft (sans life jackets), stubbing big toes while walking to the beach, and selling Kool-Aid in front of our neighbor’s house to thirsty-passersby.
I don’t remember seeing a nickel of the profit, but I didn’t even care because I didn’t even know what money was for anyway and I looked like this:
Fast-forward 40 years to these kids selling LEMONADE across the street from our house and I’m pretty sure their parents were a part of the whole thing. I mean, look at that professional signage.
I bet none of these girls even wears a neighbor’s hand-me-down unitard for a swimsuit! I’m going to give this birthday card to one of them so they really understand life before it’s too late.
I’m sure their parents will thank me.
HAPPY 4TH!!published by Fran Shea
Independence day in Minneapolis is kind of ho-hum compared to Barnstable. Sure, there ARE fireworks to watch,
but there are zero parades followed by egg-tossing/potato-sack-racing/pie-eating contests. And definitely no shimmying up poles greased with crisco.
Some call that boring. I call it unAmerican. We ended up buying our own patriotism this year from Menards. (FYI: $2/2 flags.)
And I loudly wept as each flag was plunged into the lawn. Between my tears, I created a belated-birthday card for #oldestintern using an image from a VINTAGE newspaper she gave me.
I took German (DEUTSCH) in high school (why was I in the same class as my little brother and why did I quack like a duck with Tourette’s every time he spoke?? I’M SORRY, ANDY.) Our teacher was a Russian ballerina who hated being there as much as we did. I DID use my language-skills to translate a movie – here’s a scene:
Ohh, THAT’S what he was saying!!
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: