Posts in DIY

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

Umfa-Umfa and Itchy-Scratchy

published by Fran Shea

A long, long time ago, when men roamed the wild, with sharp spears and heavy stones, a discovery was made: A charred nub-of-a-stick was scraped against the wall to create a picture, a representation of reality — why? 

The need to communicate visually is unique to humans (and some elephants).elephant painting elephantI wish I had a trunk.

Here’s what I need to communicate visually:

ugh.cave manugh.vomit

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

Eating My Weight In Vegetables

published by Fran Shea

Did you know that the Arboretum has a pick-your-own vegetable garden? The signs were more intuitive than posted.smuggling-vegetables

My latest health craze (the last one turned out not to be a “health” craze) promises an upward trajectory of boundless energy and crisply firing synapses. Kale, spinach, green chard, cucumber, celery, lemon, parsley, and apple in one glass.

In one glass.

I’ve learned that a bagful of smuggled kale equals one thimbleful of juice.

One thimbleful.

I wonder how many ounces I would be if I were juiced. Note to self: Juicing bodies would make them easier to flush down toilet.

Look at these beautiful Dahlias and forget everything I just said:anenome-dahliasunburt-dahliaWeren’t those lovely?

All of the flowers and vegetables inspired a Father’s Day card:papa-grayer

MERRY (name)MAS!

published by Fran Shea

Times were simple then — pre-Facebook… cats fixed… no Dance Moms

The air was thick with anticipation — it wasn’t fair to keep Zeichen Press hidden from the public.mj-blanket-balcony-wordsIt was time to pry open the (heirloom-quality) tupperware lid. Time to expose the rotting and pungent living carcass to the unblinking eye of its critics.

The Universe demanded documentation. Who am I to refuse?

That was four years ago (today).merry-blankmas-2Now, readership of the Zeichen Press blog hovers somewhere between cable-access viewership and meaningful Craigslist encounters.

Cheers!

Nightmare/Retreat

published by Fran Shea

I’ve been told that it’s important to take a break — get in the car, hop on a plane, inject yourself with propofol — whatever it takes. I love free advice — remember when everyone told me to get my cat fixed? She did die but I hate dwelling on details.

Anyway, I decided to take that break…

Step one was important and involved shaving the dog.millie-wearing-a-wig

This took about two hours because she insists on wearing the wig.

Step two involved tuna-salad. That’s self-explanatory.

And step three was spent poring over maps. This step was critical because, for some reason, I would be the person driving the car. “WHAT?!” you say. And rightly so.

Yes, for two and a half hours, my passengers/prisoners sat with clenched jaws, praying for safe passage or a quick, painless death.

Praise the Lord, prayers were answered, tuna salad was consumed, ticks were pulled, and screens were repaired.torn-screen-cabin

It was only 24 hours, but it felt longer. If someone you love is diagnosed with a terminal illness and wants to make their life feel like it’s dragging on and on, send them to a place without flushing toilets — a place where you are forced to haul your own water to pour into the toilet bowl so the toilet will (magically) flush.

The drive home was terrifying and I gripped the steering wheel like a scrap of wood floating by a freshly wrecked ship. If the other drivers on 35W only knew my fear, they would have given me my own lane and maybe a police escort.handsintheair

Mister Eat All The Things OR Three Acres And A Cow

published by Fran Shea

There once was a Frenchman that could, and would, eat large objects. He ate them bit by bit and was able to digest bicycles, televisions, shopping carts, chandeliers, and even an airplane. This took patience and, reportedly, gallons of mineral oil.

Bit by bit.

This wasn’t some sort of performance art piece — he never meant for it to be a metaphor.

But he ate a plane.

Such deliberateness! I like to imagine that he carefully considered each piece as he pried it off and swallowed it.

Mister Eat All The Things (Monsieur Mangetout) could be an inspiring mascot for an economic philosophy.

I’ve been told that a printing press in the shop is just as good as three acres and a cow. We’ll see. WE’LL SEE.

Anyway, I made this card for the president of The Society of Distributism because he has a fancy book signing coming up — 150 lucky people will receive the card. Oh, and a signed book.there-is-no-place-like-small

Farewell, No Coast OR Joy For Sale

published by Fran Shea

It’s hard to put a price tag on joy and laughter, but we did: $10.

Actually, four cards for $10. This, and Jen not wearing a top, made our shoppers more giddy than usual.

The Zeichen Press booth was a beacon of laughter bobbing in the sea of wrist-warmers, nose-rings, and ironic Christmas sweaters.

no-coast-1 no-coast-2

I hid behind our card racks for two days and talked to Jen about important things like iron lungs and Santa Clause while our customers snort-laughed (my favorite kind of laugh). There was even a gal that was laughing so hard she had to stamp her foot on the floor. Those responses made me feel like this:

beaker

And I think Jen felt like this:

dr-bunsen

Finally, a man came up to us and told us all about human exoskeletons. (See blog post #390: Freak-Magnet) Eventually, he rode away on a unicorn.

What I guess I’m trying to say is that the No Coast Craft-O-Rama was, once again, awesome.

PS: No show would be complete without a little danger and ours came in the form of an icy, yet beautiful, drive home.

lakestreet-snow-carwash-sign lakestreet-snow-arbys-sign

I DON’T MEAN TO BE PUSHY

published by Fran Shea

Yes, I do.

That festive, urban craft fair (the No Coast Craft-O-Rama) is coming up this weekend and if you’ve never been, I will describe it to you:

Have you ever legally died and felt yourself being drawn into the comforting white light?

It’s just like that, only better.

Think Holiday Bazaar. Just kidding. Don’t think that. Think table after table of handmade goodness, guaranteed to provoke gasps and tears of joy.

To get ready for the show, I made these prints for our wall:no-coast-print

And Jen did everything else.

Also, I am thinking about getting my hair done.

Asylum-For-One

published by Fran Shea

Listen, I could break out of this place if I had some sturdy cornhusks, one tablespoon of vaseline, two steel springs, and a puppy.

But do I really want to?

Jen is printing a card

This time of year fills me with greed. Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.

in preparation for the MCBA Festival, not the Mutation Chinchilla Breeders Association—a real thing—but the Minnesota Center for Book Arts festival. It’s Saturday, November 19th and if you like celebrating books via buying book-like items (handmade paper, journals, our cards) you should totally go.

My contribution to the show is this lovely display signage I designed:only-losers-santa

See you there!