Posts in Family

Kool-Aid Stands and Rocking Horses

published 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!!

Sticker-Fun!

published by Fran Shea

I (obsessively) read the entire Black Stallion series under the watchful eye of my molded-plastic mini-Arabian Stallion

and my best, inanimate, friend Raggedy Ann. (Who my mom called Raggedy Baggedy and my older brother reminded me that I could not bring to the first day of Kindergarten. I said I KNOW THAT. But I was lying and couldn’t imagine being separated from her. She was filthy but I didn’t care because underneath her clothes was a secret stitched heart that professed her love to me. 

As if I didn’t have enough blessings bestowed upon my busy-body, I was also honored with a sticker collection album… I don’t think my parents even knew how much it meant to me… I heard my little sister took it over when I had grown “too old” for it. I paged through “her” pages and held back my disappointment! Did she understand that stickers were meant to be saved between the clear plastic pages by cutting them out with their backing and a border that preserves the stickability and ease of future use??instead of just STICKING THEM TO THE CLEAR PLASTIC PAGES NEVER TO BE USED AGAIN??

I’m thinking about stickers again (did I ever really stop??) Because Zeichen Press is gonna stuff these 2″ x 2″ stickers in every order (for all of the big $30 spenders)!

I obviously read the Black Stallion series AGAIN to get into character. 

Possibly I’m Prejudice because I am Aunt Fran NOW

published by Fran Shea

The original Aunt Fran 

sounded just like Katherine Hepburn.

And my older sister told me I sounded just like a banana with hair. (Don’t act like you don’t know what that sounds like.)

DESPITE that voice, and (let’s be real) a face that only a mother could

use to test bathwater temperature and was also later mutilated with a nose-ring and surrounded by a bad perm and self-cut bangs, I have somehow prevailed! My evidence of this is best expressed through Lifetime Movie monologues

OR our latest release!

BEHOLD! (Here is a teaser/1 of 12 soon to be added to the shop!)

Ice Be Damned!

published by Fran Shea

Sometimes Winter digs its filthy, ragged nails in — refusing to allow the next season to sashay over snowdrifts and SOMETIMES pantyhose must be filled with Ice Melt and arranged like giant caterpillars on the roof to dissolve the glut of ice-filled flashing. SOMETIMES.

Did my new son-in-law know that he was going to spend so much time on my roof?? (TOO LATE NOW!)

 Ohh, I will give up… WHEN PIGS FLY. 

Doesn’t Winter understand that it takes more than a little water running down walls to derail Zeichen Press?? MUWAHAHAHA!!

But that cake though!!

published by Fran Shea

Something happened last weekend

and I’m pretty sure it involved the best cake and the best catering in Minneapolis! (Thanks Zeichen Press!)

*Hint: She consented.

The festivities inspired so many things! One of them was this card:

Now I’m busy watching Leaving Neverland because I need to balance all of the goodness of last weekend with something creepy! (Thanks pop-culture!)

Diversion Studios

published by Fran Shea

Never one to miss subtle innuendo, I observed the falling snow while Jen feverishly printed and concluded that it is almost time for the No Coast Show!Or almost time for Millie’s seasonal grooming. We spoil her!

Before Zeichen Press (BZP) took over my life, I homeschooled my three children and when the snow fell I amused myself by forcing them to complete arbitrary projects.

But now that they are older I am forced to amuse myself by creating greeting cardsOh, the humanity…

The other day my uncle posted a photo on Facebook of my great grandpa and, once again, I was forced to amuse myself. But this time via photoshop.  

Is that your eldest on the right?? YES. Fingers crossed he doesn’t meet the same demise! (Death-by-train-while-walking-on-the-tracks.)

Oh, and if you follow Instagram AT ALL, you would know that Magers & Quinn and Zeichen Press are having a love-fest.

See you at the Midtown Global Market December 7th or 8th! (OR BOTH, YOU HARDCORE CRAFT CONNOISSEUR.)

This is HUGE.

published by Fran Shea

List of things Millie has peed in or on:

  • – Shoes
  • – Coats
  • – Rugs
  • – The bathroom floor
  • – Towels left on the bathroom floor
  • – Backpacks
  • – Dirty laundry
  • – Clean laundry
  • – Stack of paper for a Room & Board project

Oh, yeah! Jen’s shoes! Silly Jen, doesn’t she know that is one of Millie’s 9 favorite places to empty her bladder??

Millie told me later that she does this to remind humans about overcoming adversity… It actually makes sense because she’s been totally into Brené Brown lately!

Why were Jen’s shoes off anyway?? BECAUSE she prints a sample of a new card, marches from the shop to the house, takes her shoes off by the back door so we can pick the perfect envelope and paper color, THEN slips her shoes back on so she can march back out to print. BUT while we were busy picking the perfect envelope and paper color, Millie was busy filling Jen’s Dansko clogs with a liquid surprise… Oh, Millie! One card down, only 17 more to go!

DAMN, that’s a lot of pinkish ink on the press… Don’t worry, we expressed our gratitude for Millie via organic beef treats (SHE DIDN’T SHARE.) Oh, and Jen prints barefoot now.

Here’s a teaser:

FRENZY (Franzy??)

published by Fran Shea

Sure, sometimes my brother teased me via original acronym:

Frantic

Run

Away

Nut

BUT HE WAS TALKING TO ME.

The past week was spent admiring my own biceps and preparing designs for the Fall Release. It’s been a DESIGN FRENZY. 18 cards added… New designs tweaked,

 and old designs nipped and tucked and ready to hit the clubs.

DON’T STAY OUT TOO LATE.

PS: That first Mother’s Day card isn’t a confession because there is nothing like that to confess.

HQ Sweet HQ

published by Fran Shea

Our New England rep told us to gut a fish and I knew exactly what she was talking about because my childhood memories are peppered with freshly-caught sunnies sliced open by my brother’s buck knife. WAIT… I misheard… she told me to CULL THE DECK. That makes so much more sense in this scenario. I better call a meeting… And throw back the freshly-caught sunnies.

GOOD RIDDANCE ALL YOU BOTTOM-SELLERS. It’s a good thing Millie barked her head off otherwise we wouldn’t know the mailman delivered a special package from Sellers Publishing! All the shops in the country need to spread this message during the holiday season. 

Oh, before we gutted the fish or culled the deck or whatever, a baby came over and sat on my dresser. She seemed nervous. Don’t be nervous, baby, a dresser is the best place to sit if the mantel is too far away.