Posts in Christmas

Behold, I bring you Good Tidings Of Great Joy!

published by Fran Shea

And like the Canadian Goose, she stayed. She stayed and embraced the cold, using her derriére to warm the waters of her pond.

And by derriére, I mean “bottom” and by waters of her pond, I mean “the Midtown Market.”

What?!

It’s time for the No-Coast Craft-o-Rama! TOMORROW (Friday, December 7 AND Saturday, December 8)!!

Here’s what I’ve done to get ready: firewoodThat’s a full cord of wood that I ordered.

AND I made this card:face-melting-holiday-joy-betterJen did everything else.

See you tomorrow!

xo,

Fran

She Wore A Small Christmas Tree On Her Head

published by Fran Shea

Secured to her bonnet with picture wire, butcher’s twine, and Christmas Spirit (egg-nog). That spruce-top sat atop her head for the entire season of Advent.

She knew that it offset her dour expression — an expression she couldn’t redesign. Oh, but the tiny tree brought delight to all she passed!

For those blissful weeks, nobody seemed to notice her stern glower, her face — twisted into the judgmental scowl went unnoticed. She imagined wearing other elaborate fancies on her head — but for now, this would do:tree-hat-lady-new

Man vs. Himself

published by Fran Shea

I was once one of them — an innocent amusement park customer. I looked down at them now, from the highest man-made point in Shakopee, Minnesota. I sighed and listened to the chug-chug-chugging from beneath our coaster — our lives depended on the integrity of a giant bicycle chain. Our open-casket hesitated for just a moment at the tippy-top of the steel summit — hesitated just enough for me to grasp the inevitable free-fall. And as we plummeted to our possible deaths, I screamed.

And wet my pants.

The End

How old was she?

Don’t judge me.

Obviously, I wasn’t born riding a roller coaster, I was born screaming. And wetting my pants.

*Hint: this photograph was taken close to the time of the event and **Double Hint: I’m not the baby.fran-dylan-taken-by-memaSpeaking of literary themes, there is a lot (not really) to dissect in this new (Holiday/Winter Season?) card:born-wearing-skate-3

Countdown To Countdown

published by Fran Shea

The newspaper is delivered to our doorstep each morning (by horse and buggy) and I comb through it — if I find a particularly odd/sad/absurd story, I read it aloud to whomever (the dog) is nearby.

Here is an abbreviated digest of the only (two) articles I remember from the past (two) months: (In alphabetical order)

1) Stratosphere jump by daredevil, Felix Baumgartner: In an attempt to break the world record, Felix jumped from a capsule suspended 23 miles above Roswell, New Mexico.

felix fall

I plan on breaking that record when I get tired of this whole letterpress thing.

2) Talking elephant in South Korea loves Zeichen Press. Strange but true.

Crazy?! I know! Koshik’s trainer must $*#%-love Zeichen Press.

Enough time-wasting.

Here is a new Christmas card (available NEXT Christmas. Sorry).the moose

Winter Preview

published by Fran Shea

The Winter Walk Home from school included two memorable rituals: Dipping our un-mittened hands in 25¢ Tom Thumb coffee (how old IS she?) and passing by a very high retaining wall.

The wall held up the yard of our enemies: Two freckle-faced, red-headed brothers. These boys went to a Public School and as if that isn’t bad enough, they took great pleasure in tormenting me.

I will remind you that this is what I looked like:fran-school-photo

Why would anyone want to harm such a sweet creature?

Armed with boulders of snow, poised-and-ready atop the wall — they would wait. Down Vincent Avenue I trudged: snow-pants under my plaid skirt, grease-covered hand-me-down coat, knit cap with sheepskin earflaps.

Again, why would anyone want to harm such a sweet creature?

I won’t tell you the ending.

We had a dusting of snow the other day but I knew better than to break out the snow-pants and knit cap. It was merely a teaser, a preview, an appetizer, an AMUSE-GUEULE.

Speaking of snow, here’s a new card: each-and-every-snowflake

Insomnia and the Woolly Mammoth

published by Fran Shea

I can’t wait until scientists clone the Woolly Mammoth.

Some might call it reckless curiosity, I call it Vegas-style science. Implanting salvaged Woolly Mammoth nuclei into an unsuspecting Asian Elephant sounds safe to me — what could happen? 

Meanwhile, I lay awake and imagine receiving (or not receiving) a baby Woolly Mammoth as a gift. thanks-for-almost-everything2

State Fair Inspired Christmas Cards

published by Fran Shea

Maybe it’s the Grilled Spamwichesspam-dandy

or the Walking Tacos. Maybe it’s the 4-H Barn, full of homespun country talent.

chainsaw-board

Or maybe it’s the Birth Barn.baby-pigsHam!

Perhaps it is a combination of these magical happenings. This yearly phenomenon fills me with such joy… such eager anticipation! There are visual delights to behold whenever the head is turned!

It reminds me of The Birth of Our Lord. I bet the shepherds know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, I shouldn’t question my inspiration.

Here are two new Christmas cards:new-christmas-spiritgoose-ew-grab

I Don’t Understand You

published by Fran Shea

I’m talking about leap day. Don’t even bother trying to explain it to me, I don’t actually care. The important thing is that I milked one more day out of this prudish month.

Zeichen Press would be nothing without self-imposed deadlines (and cake) and our card-release was set for March 1.

It was a real pressure-cooker situation around here — and because I don’t have enough intensity in my life, I locked myself in the linen closet and reenacted Apollo 13’s return journey. Just me, my laptop, both cats, and toilet paper tubes. We got home safely, God Bless America.

Anyway, we can thank the ground crew (Kim & Fred) for jury-rigging up product photos:handsintheairaboveaveragebacon

Fortune Teller, Tell My Fortune

published by Fran Shea

Winter has been creeping in like a gas leak and I am always pleasantly surprised to find myself awake in the morning. It would not take long for the madness of Winter to descend upon the little house. Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.

“That’s nice.” I say, as I stretch and crawl off my sofa-bed. Never one to miss nuance, I wonder why I’m not in my own bed.

Good design sometimes requires getting into character – I’ve been dressing like a gypsy (not showering) for our latest Tanek project. A paper fortune teller is easier to mail than a crystal ball and some might argue – more accurate. Tanek will send 300 of these out to their dearest friends – I only hope they take the responsibility of predicting the future seriously:

fortune-teller-1fortune-teller-5 fortune-teller-2 fortune-teller-3 fortune-teller-4  fortune-teller-6

You Can Take the Girl Out of Minnesota

published by Fran Shea

The odyssey began exactly three and a half miles West of the Mississippi during what would later be called “Friday.” No need for an alarm to be set because rising at 4am comes so naturally to me – getting a jump on the day makes me feel like a dynamo.

First legs of journeys are often fueled by earnestness and without vigilance, that fuel can turn to ennui. (ahn-wee)fran-ennui

Ennui can turn to desperation and when mixed with starvation, can lead to tragedy. Remember the Chilean rugby team? Their plane crashed in the Andes and they ate each other. Survival and cannibalism are in cahoots, everyone knows that.

Our airline didn’t want that blood on their hands so they loaded us up with a rib-sticking breakfast.

coffee-cookie-airtran

Our plane did land safely on the ground and we were stuffed into a sweat lodge/taxi-cab that smelled like thousands of weary travelers. (Curry + pine tree + urine).

I don’t remember my own birth but I bet it felt similar to exiting the taxi – the crying, the relief, the hotel cradling me in it’s arms.

Like good tourists, we went right from the hotel to the subway. Now I know that when I go to Purgatory (and I know I will) it will look, feel, and smell like the subway.

It will make heaven even more glorious.

manhattan-night

Because traveling underground on a train isn’t strange enough, the subway was filled with hundreds of boozed-up Santas.

santa-subway-2

santa-subway-1

And because my touristy feet were killing me, I had to go to the T.J. Maxx on Wall street to buy slippers. I did see the Occupy Wall Street people and asked them if they wanted to occupy T.J. Maxx with me but they (all five of them) looked at me like I was crazy.

occupy

Oh, we also walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. Has anyone seen that thing? It’s pretty cool and people should really be aware of it.

fran-and-lucy-brooklyn-bridge

Don’t I look serious? I didn’t crack a smile all day.