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Goodbye Craftstravaganza 2011

published by Fran Shea

I was right in the middle of a dream where both of my eyeballs were, curiously, weeping blood. This was, of course, followed by an intense search for a public toilet and, AS USUAL, the only available toilet was in a high-traffic area of the Southdale Mall.

Thank God Jen called and woke me up. But not before I reluctantly (why do I always do it??) sat my bare bottom on the toilet.

If I’ve learned anything in my life it is how to be wrenched from a sound sleep and into a car in under 5 minutes.

It’s not pretty but neither is childbirth.

Jen and I stopped for our traditional latte at the May Day Cafe and then it was onward to the State Fairgrounds. The Fine Arts Building was our cold and unwelcoming host, its huge doors left open to remind us that April can be just as cold as November.

I’m sure the whole building was full of crafty-goodness but unless tables were set up on the way to the bathroom, I wasn’t going to see them. For eight hours, I did observe the folks running the Burlesque of North America table. They are screen printers – a craft that I have always had a crush on. Anyway, despite the sweetness of their prints, they were just as freezing as us.

burlesque-worker-cold

Poor thing!

Our big experiment for this year’s fair involved a QR code

qr-code-token

that led to our latest Watch and Share card.

It was successful. If you measure success in terms of wishes and smiles. Which I do.

zp-craftstravaganza-booth-2011

WATCHandSHAREcards

published by Fran Shea

Dynamite magazine was full of hard-hitting news for kids growing up in the 1970’s.dynamite-magazine

But the best part of the magazine were the centerfolds. I wanted the Hang in There! poster so bad. It would have looked sweet on my closet door – right next to my Jackson 5 poster.

jackson-5

Struck by nostalgia and surrounded by (more) kittens, I took it upon myself to recreate the magic moment of the earnest kitten:hang-in-there-pamWhen I was all done forcing the kittens to perform adorable stunts, it was time to make videos of people reading Zeichen Press cards.

Let me explain: Beneath various cards in our online shop, there will be a link to a video of someone (it could be you!) reading the card aloud. Why? Because even the lazy and the ne’er do wells have a right to Zeichen Press cards.

Some New Cards and Some Other Things

published by Fran Shea

Katie Dohman, style editor for Minnesota Monthly, made a special guest appearance in the shop. She was just delightful and for that she got one of these:

Wounds & Shame

The moral of the story on that broadside would be the theme of the weekend. Don’t ask questions – just accept my cryptic storytelling. JUST ACCEPT.
On to other matters of no importance to anyone. The following photographs were taken in three different Ladies Rooms (for LADIES) in Minneapolis – Can you guess the venue? If you can, I (or someone that works for that empire called Zeichen Press) will send you a fancy letterpress card. Fun! *You are instantly disqualified if you are in the photograph. Sorry. But don’t act like I don’t give you free cards anyway.
fran-and-jenny-bathroom helen-fran-bathroom
katie-fran-bathroom
I just need, like, 500 more photographs for a lovely coffee table book.
Enough small talk! On to the new cards:
 if-by-different-you-mean-aw thank-you-for-putting-up-bl youre-welcome-blog_ im-calling-to-thank-you-foplease-accept-this-as-a-tok
PS: I know the card above looks like a black blob but it’s a man carrying a baby elephant. Don’t worry, the real card will be perfect.

Sweat Shop

published by Fran Shea

The shop has been a very sultry 90° for the past couple of days – which makes for nearly nude printing. The latest Room & Board project is half done and it’s looking frantastic – the ink loves the heat and lays down like a whipped dog – I also love the heat and yet I stand. And stand. I’d like to thank cold-press coffee from Sisters’ Sludge for helping me to keep it real.

fran-in-the-sweat-shop-2-450x428 fran-in-the-sweat-shop-450x427

St. Frances

published by Fran Shea

I nearly took that martyr shortcut last night.  Jen drove her teeny-tiny Honda  and our brand-new printer got to ride shotgun while I sat in the back with Loretta.

Loretta, screaming sweet nothings

She was very busy screaming sweet nothings in my ear, while Jen was trying to drive with an 80 pound boxed laser

Dr. Evil

printer resting gently on her right hand, her rear-view mirror tilted helpfully at the ceiling. She wasn’t applying make-up so I guess she didn’t really need it. I told Loretta that she was lucky because the last thing she’d ever see was my face. She screamed louder and I handed her my iPhone. Sometimes Jen would ask me if it was “safe” to switch lanes. I always told her yes because in the grand scheme of things isn’t it always safe to switch lanes? We actually made it home. I kissed the ground. Loretta screamed and cried goodbye and they drove away.