Posts in Free-Range Chicken

Voodoo Doll

published by Fran Shea

I started getting acupuncture this weekacupuncture-wordsbecause my qi [chee] is obviously messed up. And, everyone knows, it is impossible to write a book with messed-up qi [chee].


I’m writing A BOOK!! Remember??

It’s one of the four things I talk about, so it should be easy to remember.

But, what are the other three?

1) Bacon

2) Rat-kingsrat-kingAnd 3) My new nephewbaby-trojackHere’s a card that explains everything:chickens-are-anxiousRight??

First, Poison The Ants

published by Fran Shea

An ANTfestation in the shop required aggressive use of insecticide. Two waves of spray-on poison were needed to completely wipe out the colony hiding behind the Great Wall Of murdered thousands of antsantsbefore Jen and I had an important meeting to decide which cards should be included in our next release.

Wait, after the genocide, but before the important meeting, Classic Pam got ahold of another baby rabbit. (See blog post: Fear and Dread) There was some backyard bedlam involving the dog and five kids chasing the cat… I got caught up in the chase but ended up somehow kicking the hopping baby rabbit. Don’t ask me how that happened.


And without further adieu… the moment you’ve all been waiting for… OUR… NEW… CARDS!!!

applause-sign-1forgive-me-fatherlet-us-not-dwell-2 sometimes-i-cry ruled-his-kingdom count-the-rings-2 happy-birthday-gandhi-no-image clown-card-orange this-too-shall-pass-meanwhile raise-the-roof water-vodka-2 i-cant-thank-you-enough evil-twin-2 

Ampersands And Counting Skills

published by Fran Shea

Counting is not as easy as it looks. The intern and I had to count cards (we love to gamble) for a big Kate’s Paperie order.

Holiday cards in June?are-we-there-yetMy life is an endless sacrifice.

All of that counting tasted terrible, and so to cleanse her palette, the intern put a lot of ampersands together. That looked exactly like this:ampersandsAnd because I need attention, I made this:is-there-an-app-for-thisSee, it’s a profound cultural statement? DO YOU SEE?!

Purgatorio di Pesce

published by Fran Shea

That sounds delicious!

If Spring would come I wouldn’t be forced to sit here and email sell sheets to hundreds of newspapers around the country. wrapped-in-bacon-sell-sheetI won’t complain about the weather because that’s about as interesting as listening to someone list their health problems. But I WILL say this:

If I lived in Hawaii, there’d be no Zeichen Press.

See, I can always find the blessing in disguise.a-blessing-in-disguise-blueOh fine, here’s a new card — inspired by the endless Winter:purgatory-red

Vocabulary Quiz And Card Celebrating Angry Parents

published by Fran Shea

My high school English teacher told the class that if we looked up the word ‘glib’ in the dictionary, there would be a picture of me.glib-fran-definition-2

She was right!

I think I felt insulted.

I’m sure Jen’s high school English teacher said something similar about her.jen-reckless-definition-2

And if not, she should have.

What does this have to do with angry parents or a new card?

Obviously, my glibness was not celebrated at home. In fact, it was frowned upon — can you believe it?! 

And Jen’s reckless behavior?? You’ll have to ask her about that… I mean, pregnant at 19?! What was she THINKING?! (Wait, that was me?? We need to hire a fact checker.)sometimes-mommy-and-daddy-fight

Fairy Tales And True Tales

published by Fran Shea

The poor peasant said it best, “even if we had only one and it were quite small, and only as big as a thumb, I should be quite satisfied, and we would still love it with all our hearts.”

If Fairy Tales were true, hedgehogs would speak and donkeys would spew gold. And poor old peasants could wish and receive tiny children.

I wrote a Fairy Tale about an old childless couple and a duck. Inspired by true events. In the story, there is a duck, a baby, and an angry mob.

But I’ve said too much!

I’ll get that published someday but MEANWHILE here is a card for the new parent — it features a disgruntled chick.phew-you-arrived-chick

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

Free-Range Franimals

published by Fran Shea

Off-key Christmas carols float dreamily through the Summer air, the ice-cream truck trolls for kids using low-fi audio technology. Water-balloons are filled, teams are picked (bubble gum, bubble gum, in a dish, how many pieces do you wish?) but distractions are everywhere and soon talk turns from who is on which team to pretend lands filled with orphaned children. Poor, parentless children, left to cobble together meals from mint leaves and wild rhubarb.

Summertime, and the children and animals are off-leash — days are filled with sprinklers, wet bathing suits, hot dogs burned on the grill, and day dreaming.

Here’s a new card:not-your-typical-chicken-grab

ACTUAL Cards With Real Healing Powers

published by Fran Shea

Step right up, step right up!

It’s here, a cure for all that ails! Do you suffer from one (or more) of the following complications?:

Bumpy skin?
Webbed toes?
Nagging wife?

No? How about?:

Limp tongue?

Rotting scalp?

Too many fingers?

Fear not! Just one purchase of a Zeichen Press letterpress greeting card will set you on the proper path to wellness!

(The following photographs are guaranteed to cure any inflammation:)oldcrab-smaller-forgot-birthdaythanksss-smaller hugh-smaller freaktastic-smaller fatgratitude-smaller facebookbd-smaller chicken-smaller beast-smaller

International Internetter

published by Fran Shea

The intern packed up her carpetbag and rode away. I felt like we should hug but we didn’t – hugs are best left out of print shops. She made this before she left:barns-print

Go, my young grasshopper, go and use the life-skills I so generously shared with you.

Fred photographed the new cards – here’s my favorite:She knew kids loved surprises and so she filled the piñata with real animal entrails. Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.

That’s a true story.

ALSO: Becki Iverson at Metro Magazine wrote a nice thing about us. I think we’ll keep giving out that photo until we are 60 years old.jen & fran june 2009 press kit smiling.cabinet

Nobody needs to see a photo of us taken in February.