Posts in COLD

Would You Rather?/No-Coast Craft-O-Rama

published by Fran Shea

Would you rather have your significant other’s hands be replaced with Flounders OR your lips be replaced with a duckbill?

62787_4-flounder

That’s a toughy.

How about: Would you rather have to wear a Kiss the Cook apron everyday (for the rest of your life) OR a multi-colored clown wig?

clown

Sorry about that.

Okay, would you rather do your holiday shopping at the Midtown Market – where there will be 100 venders, vending beautiful/original handmade goodness – the air filled with the smells of exotic foods and the spirit of gift-giving??? OR maybe you’d rather sit at your computer and click on an Add To Cart button??

no_coast2010

We’ll see you there! Zeichen Press is at table E-35!

Canadians are just as dark and twisted as Minnesotans!

published by Fran Shea

I knew it!

People always ask me, “what made you write that card?” This question is usually followed by either laughter or tears and then I am dumped on the side of the road with a pack of cigarettes and a mix-tape.

If I even had time (or could pull the gag out of my mouth) to answer, I’d say that the inspiration for each and every card is just a reaction to some experience that I’ve had. I’m not a scientist but I’m pretty sure that the brain works like a Rube Goldberg Machine. One observation leads to a series of tangents and the end result is either a small, quiet room in a mental institution or a greeting card that part of the (dark and twisted) population can relate to.

Example: My grandmother decided to spend her twilight years traveling. She and her companion wanted to tour some parts of Hawaii in a helicopter. Tragedy struck, and the helicopter and all of its passengers were smashed against the side of a volcano. The only identifying evidence available were the teeth.

What?! Yes, it’s true. That card is not a big seller in the U.S. but strangely, it’s quite popular in Canada. What does that even mean?? And now are you going to wonder if there is a story behind this card?:

There isn’t. THERE ISN’T.

As we descend into the bowels of that beast called Winter

published by Fran Shea

It is February 1.

If anyone is left please contact me. I have locked myself in the furnace room and my rations are dwindling. I am eating Panko Japanese Style Breading with a dirty popsicle stick and telling myself it’s Lik-A-Stix. Mmmmm, Lik-A-Stix…

Somehow, I was able to make this card:sup-dawg-450x577

-33° in Brainerd

published by Fran Shea

That’s where I am. Will I ever be able to get back to Minneapolis? Stay tuned.

And, just because I’m a little obsessed with the weather, I gathered some very important figures. – Record low temperatures in The United States of America:

State Temp. Date Station Elevation
Alabama -27 Jan. 30, 1966 New Market 760
Alaska -80 Jan. 23, 1971 Prospect Creek 1,100
Arizona -40 Jan.  7, 1971 Hawley Lake 8,180
Arkansas -29 Feb. 13, 1905 Pond 1,250
California -45 Jan. 20, 1937 Boca 5,532
Colorado -61 Feb.  1, 1985 Maybell 5,920
Connecticut -32 Feb. 16, 1943 Falls Village 585
Delaware -17 Jan. 17, 1893 Millsboro 20
Florida – 2 Feb. 13, 1899 Tallahassee 193
Georgia -17 Jan. 27, 1940 Mauna Kea 13,770
Idaho -60 Jan. 18, 1943 Island Park Dam 6,285
Illinois -36 Jan.  5, 1999 Congerville 722
Indiana -36 Jan. 19, 1994 New Whiteland 785
Iowa -47 Feb.  3, 1996* Elkader 770
Kansas -40 Feb. 13, 1905 Lebanon 1,812
Kentucky -37 Jan. 19, 1994 Shelbyville 730
Louisiana -16 Feb. 13, 1899 Minden 194
Maine -48 Jan. 19, 1925 Van Buren 458
Maryland -40 Jan. 13, 1912 Oakland 2,461
Massachusetts -35 Jan. 12, 1981 Chester 640
Michigan -51 Feb.  9, 1934 Vanderbilt 785
Minnesota -60 Feb.  2, 1996 Tower 1,430
Mississippi -19 Jan. 30, 1966 Corinth 420
Missouri -40 Feb. 13, 1905 Warsaw 700
Montana -70 Jan. 20, 1954 Rogers Pass 5,470
Nebraska -47 Feb. 12, 1899 Camp Clarke 3,700
Nevada -50 Jan.  8, 1937 San Jacinto 5,200
New Hampshire -47 Jan. 29, 1934 Mt. Washington 6,288
New Jersey -34 Jan.  5, 1904 River Vale 70
New Mexico -50 Feb.  1, 1951 Gavilan 7,350
New York -52 Feb. 18, 1979* Old Forge 1,720
North Carolina -34 Jan. 21, 1985 Mt. Mitchell 6,525
North Dakota -60 Feb. 15, 1936 Parshall 1,929
Ohio -39 Feb. 10, 1899 Milligan 800
Oklahoma -27 Jan. 18, 1930 Watts 958
Oregon -54 Feb. 10, 1933* Seneca 4,700
Pennsylvania -42 Jan.  5, 1904 Smethport est. 1,500
Rhode Island -25 Feb.  5, 1996 Greene 425
South Carolina -19 Jan. 21, 1985 Caesars Head 3,100
South Dakota -58 Feb. 17, 1936 McIntosh 2,277
Tennessee -32 Dec. 30, 1917 Mountain City 2,471
Texas -23 Feb.  8, 1933* Seminole 3,275
Utah -69 Feb.  1, 1985 Peter’s Sink 8,092
Vermont -50 Dec. 30, 1933 Bloomfield 915
Virginia -30 Jan. 22, 1985 Mountain Lake 3,870
Washington -48 Dec. 30, 1968 Mazama 2,120
West Virginia -37 Dec. 30, 1917 Lewisburg 2,200
Wisconsin -55 Feb.4,   1996 Couderay 1,300
Wyoming -66 Feb.  9, 1933 Riverside 6,650

AND before we start killing and eating each other, we are entertaining ourselves by throwing boiling water into the cold air.

rob-turns-water-to-steam

0°, Hydraulics and a Hair Dryer

published by Fran Shea

Why is it that the one time I leave my house something awesome happens?? Jack drove the Heidelberg Windmill down from Wahpeton, North Dakota this morning. Drove it right down to our fancy studio.

zeichen-press-hq

I’m in Brainerd not running around the house in my underwear and Jen is back at ZP headquarters. Who knew (Jack the mover knew) that the press was going to be delivered TODAY? Apparently, the hydraulic part of the pallet jack (not Jack the mover) didn’t love the 0°. I guess it was frozen and I’m no expert but that seems like a setback. Jen called me wondering where she could find a hair dryer. I don’t know why she wanted to style her hair but I’m not going to judge. Apparently, Jen’s beautiful hair did the trick because the new press is safe and sound in the SW corner of the shop.

get-the-heidelberg-off-the

get-the-heidelberg-on-the-pthe-heidelber-is-home

 

The strong would survive the winter. The weak would, of course, be eaten.

published by Fran Shea

the-strong-would-survive-th

The Long Winter is the true tale of a Minnesota family surviving one of the most brutal Winters in our recorded history. Trapped in the house – day after day after day – the blizzard makes it impossible to see out the window or even walk out to the barn without getting lost. Good ol’ Pa rigs up a rope to follow, he is always coming up with some creative solution! Ma follows that rope because Pa finds himself trapped in a ditch by the creek. The wood pile dwindles to nothing and the family is forced to twist hay into little bundles – they would burn these in the cast-iron stove to heat their little house. … Tough, brown bread is the only food left to eat.

Or is it?

What if that was on the jacket flap? I’d totally read that book.

No Coast 2009, Sleestacks and ANOTHER Doppelganger

published by Fran Shea

WHEW! What a weekend!

First of all, Amanda came to my house to do my hair.

She did.

Shut up.

I totally care about how I look. It seemed strange to look so beautiful AND carry 500 lbs of cards from a loading dock to a folding table. But I did it for the kids. Jen and I have worked out a system of communication that really facilitates a speedy set up: Jen orders me around like some sort of slave and I stifle sobs behind my Crying Scarf.

There was another letterpress company about 10 feet away from us and we had to fight to defend our turf. Zeichen Press ended up winning because we have better dance moves and we bribed the judges with Bazooka gum.

I figured out something pretty important on Saturday morning: I look like a Sleestack.

fran-sleestack

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OH! Another thing that was pretty amazing: That dapper gent from one of our new cards actually bought the card that he is on!

I hope she likes thoughts that count. Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.

thoughts-that-count-real-ma

I love a handsome man with a wallet full of cash. (Do you hear me, Kenny?!)

Let’s see… oh, yes.. the show was jam-packed and we made gobs of moola. I mean, we spread the joy of the season through letterpress goodness.

Here’s me laughing at one of my own jokes:fran-laughing-no-coast-2009

And here’s Jen endlessly fussing over a display:jens-arms-arranging-cards-2

I almost forgot to share this bit of news: Somebody actually stole an entire stack of these:I'm still stalking you. Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.

What the???

She must be a professional stalker.

Rewriting History OR Making Ken Piper sit on Scary Santa’s Lap

published by Fran Shea

Dear Scary Santa,

How is Mrs. Scary Santa? How are the reindeer? That’s nice.

Could you please bring us our own architectural firm? Just like Mr. Brady from the Brady Bunch?

brady-bunch

He’s always making models in the den and walking around with rolled-up blueprints. It looks like so much fun. PLUS, we would totally take care of it. We figured out the best name for it:

Tanek.

Get it?

It’s our names! Spelled backwards!!

Anyway, we’ll let you get back to working with the elves.

From,

Ken & Nat

big-screen-grab-santa-nat-k

May my suffering bring you joy

published by Fran Shea

Only my fellow Minnesotans and residents of Chicken, Alaska can truly understand what it means to be cold. I am intrigued by deadly weather. Cold that can freeze a limb solid. Cold that flattens your car tires. Cold that makes your eyeballs feel funny. I braved the extreme cold today.

Twice.

-21° is COLD. But a Mexican Omelette was whispering my name with such longing… I put on every bit of clothing I own and headed outside. The car actually told me to F – Off. I reminded it that we were both in this together and that if it cooperated I would fill it up with Premium Gasoline. Foolish car, choosing gasoline over Mexican Omelette!

When I was safely inside of Hot Plate I laughed… Oh, how I laughed – and saluted the outdoors for being a worthy adversary. Later that day (that SAME day) I went outside again. I actually ran to the studio. It took 1.5 seconds. Luckily my exposed body part (my bottom) was unharmed.

Where was I? Oh, yes. I risked my limbs (and bottom) to run to the studio and lay out previously written cards. Three birthday cards. The metal type was awfully cold. I wanted to lick it but I exercised restraint.

In your own urineGet out of my room.

My tiny friends.

Waist-deep snow

published by Fran Shea

Day Two.   Snow fell through the night and drifted into the passage. The women and children are weaker today. Kenneth is ailing and must be dragged on a make-shift sledge. Robert appears to be delusional and only can speak of thick-cut bacon and death metal. The dogs are starting to look delicious, especially the fluffy one. We are, most certainly, in a predicament.

Edmund in deep snow

•••••

Um, here’s a new card – inspired by the men, women, and children that ventured West .

Donner Camp

The Donner (Birthday) Party