Posts in Grandma

“Every joke is a tiny revolution.”

published by Fran Shea

~ George Orwell

AND it’s Franmas! Oh, ANNND it’s also a little thing called Easter, or whatever. 

I seem to be full of tiny revolutions, wait… how can a joke be a tiny revolution?? Are wet-markets full of bat-soup or Chinese bio-weapons funny?? Is my Mom’s “End the shutdown!” name-tag funny?? NO. But you know what is funny??

Joe Exotic.

THERE, I SAID IT.I read the book ‘1984’ actually in 1984.

George Orwell wrote about dystopian fictional government overreach and totalitarianism. Oh, George! You’re so Orwellian!

And here’s my joke:

And here’s ANOTHER joke:

HAHAHA!! Right?? *An emoji would be perfect here.

And this might take your mind off the pandemic for 2 seconds.

And because I’m a giver, here are 2 more seconds:

En français s’il vous plaît!

published by Fran Shea

Sometimes neighbors can be enemies – just like Canada! J/K, Canada is not our enemy! Mexico is! Too political?? 

There was a granny who lived down our block and every other weekend her grandkids came to stay with her. Their last name was Bestman but we secretly called them the Worstmans. (It might be because we hated them?? Once my older sister and her friend pointed corn cob holders threateningly at them across Vincent Avenue. It was just like West Side Story without the Tony Award-winning music, choreographed dance numbers, Puerto Ricans, and doomed love!)

The “fight” fizzled out (aka Mrs. Heefner asked us what we thought we were doing) and the next Winter the Bestman house caught on fire and all of their Christmas presents burned up! My Mom told me that one of the boys (Miles) was playing with matches in the attic.

I guessed my parents didn’t know about our turf rivalry because they bought them a bunch of stuff. I was jealous but acted like I wasn’t because I had already had my First Confession/First Communion.

2020 is Already Amazing

published by Fran Shea

The New Year’s water broke and after 24 hours of back-labor, vaginal-tearing, and a hemorrhage, a baby named Winefride Irene Statz blessed us with her presence. (Oh, my daughter had a baby.)

And because I am always vain, here is photo of ME holding her. IGNORE MY BRA STRAP.

After that holding-session and never one to SHIRK MY DUTIES, I made some cards: (Is January almost over??)

Field Trip+!

published by Fran Shea

Our 1983 Field Trip to the Art Institute ended tragically when some naughty eighth-grade boys smuggled in their skateboards and much to the museum docents dismay, rode them up and down the herringbone wood-floored hallways. These same boys also smoked cigarettes and at least one of them had a super-tall mohawk… Lucky for everyone, I looked like this:

My Mom threw caution to the wind and signed ANOTHER permission slip for me the very next year. This time it was to Como Zoo/Park. I made sure to pack my tunafish sandwich and wrap my Shasta in tinfoil just like my sister. It went off without a hitch. For me. One boy in our class was not so fortunate because he decided to avoid the gate and slipped while climbing over the pointy, cast-iron fence. His corduroy pants and bottom were never the same… He walked around holding his derriere and I was, of course, scandalized.

Speaking of school… I made some graduation cards:

And speaking of Field Trips… without permission slips (WHAT??), Lucy and I went to the Arboretum yesterday with Aunt Clare to see the Dahlias and have a picnic. (WITH NO SHASTA?!) Also, we saw Edward Scissorhands stumble out of this grapevine-creation:

And PER TRADITION, I made Jen a birthday card and PER TRADITION we avoided seeing each other. DON’T BE JEALOUS!! 

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!)

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.

So Many Curiosities!

published by Fran Shea

There were no coats to push aside, no snow, no Mr. Tumnus, no White Witch… Just a regular bedroom door, a heated terrazzo floor, twin sinks, and His and Hers glass cups ready for dentures. My Grandparent’s bedroom was entered by Invitation Only and was filled with so many curiosities… I remember asking my Grandma if she loved raspberries as much as I did and she told me she couldn’t eat them because the tiny seeds got stuck in her dentures… I felt like that was the saddest thing I had ever heard and that she was truly a martyr.

Here she is with all her own teeth:

It’s a good thing my Grandpa had his pens with him because you just never know.

The old newspapers the Intern gave me are a treasure-trove of graphics

and full of hard-hitting local stories…

Whaaat?? Mr. Therien never used his sick leave??

Chronic – WHAT??? Chronicles of Narnia.

published by Fran Shea

My Mom speed-walks up to the library with her tote bag to solve whatever needs solving. She uses their Xerox machine to copy important pages of uncheckoutable periodicals and checks out the books that are checkoutable. When she is done, she scampers home to (speed) read those books and take notes on a fresh pack of 3″ x 5″ (lined) index cards. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

I also feel compelled to solve whatever needs solving but I prefer never leaving my laptop (or house) and using Google to search the World Wide Web. Just this week, I needed to get to the bottom of the origin of our Stone Table.

I opened the drawer and took this photo of the (seedy) underbelly:

APPARENTLY Barnhart Bros. & Spindler operated out of Chicago from 1883 – 1911, BEFORE THAT they were called the Great Western Type Foundry AND THEN they became American Type Founders.

I also learned that ye olde printers used the smooth and clean side of the slab of granite for their own personal gravestone – I can’t wait to share this info with Jen! My brother will be so happy, he hates waste and loves recycling.

After I finished my important research, and because the Intern gave me a huge stack of Tribunes from 1938 to steal graphics from, I wrote and designed a card.   

Tangible Tenacity ~OR~ How To Replace Your Head With a Pig’s Head

published by Fran Shea

How could my mom have known when I was born I’d spend so much time trying to get Martha Stewart‘s attention?

And so little time in the space program?? Silly mom! Didn’t she know that Martha’s career as a stockbroker was about to be traded for a career in the catering business? And that I would hate wearing helmets??

I do challenge Martha to prepare a fennel and smoked salmon salad in zero-gravity while I set my lead type to create a greeting card for the disadvantaged masses.

HOW ABOUT IT, MARTHA??