Posts in Jen

Craftstravaganza Review/Doppelganger Evidence

published by Fran Shea

The day began with a single, tissue-wrapped banana-lovingly prepared by the May Day Cafe.

It’s all about the details.

From there it was a regular thrill-ride down 35W. Sometimes when Jen drives, I close my eyes and scream The Lord’s Prayer. Jen tries to shut me up by stuffing buttermilk scones in my mouth. I do a lot of praying when Jen’s around. Dear God, please help me not to crush Jen’s toes with a case full of lead type.

The Craftstravaganza was more fun than usual. Everything is more fun with darts. We sold lots of stuff, here’s Jen practicing her smile:

Jen!!

After I took this photo, I backed into Pevenshire Wiffynuts.

Mr. WiffynutsPevenshire Wiffynuts Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.Needless to say, my mind was blown. With barely a moment to recover, Two Bald Men came to our table. I fainted and hit my head. To wake me up, Jen threw a cup of hot coffee at my face. She should be a nurse.

Two Bald MenCheer up, you could be two bald men. Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.

I ♥ NE + Downtown + Scott Parkin + Stephen Lynch + Rod Cone + David Josefsberg

published by Fran Shea

Dear Diary,

Last night was ever so much fun! I went to a party and got a lock of everyone’s hair for my scrapbook. My art was hot glue-gunned to the wall by Jen.

Jen at work - note the ever-present bottle of beer that is always within arms reach of her arm.

Oh, Jen… will she ever settle down? She wore a short little dress and MOTORCYCLE BOOTS!! She’s trouble. See her little tiny head?:

I see you, Jen!

The young man that sold me my dress failed to tell me that it also doubled as a shirt.

I blame him for the indecent length.

Before wine.

I also blame him for climate change, hiccoughs, Christopher Reeve’s “accident”, and my parents break-up.

~

There were so many tasty bits about that party. Jocelyn’s food and drink was dee. lish.us.

 Scott Parkin‘s street-level office was cooler (and cleaner) than anything I will ever own.

Maybe that’s why he asked me to stand by the door.

And sit in a highchair.

Studio on Fire displayed their goodness on the West Wall. And by that I mean, Ben Levitz stood nude on a chair in front of the West Wall. It wasn’t the least bit uncomfortable. Something about the beard made him seem fully dressed.

Part II of the evening was jam-packed full of comedy. Stephen Lynch was gracious enough to give us front row seats to his show. Um, I don’t think I’ve laughed this hard since he came to town last year. AND did you know that The Hilton grills up Steak Bites for hungry travelers after midnight? Well, they do. We ate them and laughed at Rod Cone.

Rod Cone posing so pretty at the Hilton

Or was it the other way around?

BUT there was one thing we all could agree on: It would be better to lose an arm than have your face chewed off by a chimp.

AND never wrestle a Praying Mantis. 

Ready, Wrestle!

Oh, and somehow during the course of the evening, this happened:

Me with two purses - on stage at the State Theater

Oh, Diary… what will tomorrow bring?!

Teaching strange children

published by Fran Shea

As we pulled up in the parking lot to our Pre-School Speaking Engagement, Jen reminded me not to swear in front of the children. I told her I would do my best but I wouldn’t make any promises and that sometimes I need to use strong language to really make my point… sometimes I need to use strong language when children REFUSE TO BEHAVE.

I’m kidding. I told Jen to stick it in a hole. She’s not the boss of me. Then she slapped me good and hard. I can’t say that I blame her.

It took a few minutes for the kids to warm up to me. My costume might have confused them. Anyway, I brought a chase locked up with wood type and set it on the floor.

When I was a kid, I saw a kid throw another kid’s shoe into the Primate Den at The Como Zoo. The monkeys approached cautiously but before long they were all over that shoe. They wanted that shoe. I was fascinated. But then I was distracted because of another kid. A mischievous boy who met his match while trying to climb over a spike-tipped, wrought-iron fence.

I love the zoo.

Chase alone on classroom floor

Children interested in chase

Children attack chase

Back in the shop

published by Fran Shea

The low magenta toner has put a hold on the catalog production. I am really, really upset about it. I’d like to spend more time with the new laser printer. Understanding its quirks, its likes and dislikes. What makes it get out of bed every morning? Does it enjoy being my slave? Don’t worry, Brother HL-4070CDW – this is only temporary. Jen paid the extra $3.99 for shipping and your toner will be here Wednesday. Thank you, Jen. I mean it. 

So I spent the day in the shop. Despite my tears I was able to lay out some previously written cards. I think the anguish really comes through. I am, after all, an artist. My soul is appropriately tortured. Whoa is me.

happy-brithday-you-tool

shhh nobodyll-notice-us

pevenshire wiffynuts

i-said-congratulations

you-make-you-live-good-luck

Where’s my unpaid intern?

published by Fran Shea

WHERE??? If I have to work on this catalog layout for 10 more seconds I’m going to quit my job. I will instantly rehire myself just so I can quit again. This could go on for days. Of COURSE I couldn’t just work with the catalog copy in Adobe InDesign – I HAD to use a WWII era typewriter – a Smith-Corona Skyriter… to type in each individual bit of information about all 100 products. What is wrong with me?

I actually cheated in “keyboarding I AND II” in high school. Don’t ask me how. DON’T ASK ME.

Jen is just dying to say, “I told you so.” Just shut up, Jen. Why must  you take the place of my underdeveloped sensibilities?

No-Coast and a stock pot

published by Fran Shea

Good Lord, what a day! I got up at the crack o’ eight – Jen picked me up and brought me to the MidTown Market to hawk our goods. It was the No-Coast Craft-o-Rama! We were pretty much SiameseTwins – due to my crippling Math Anxiety, I can’t be left alone to make change for a twenty. I welcome your prayers. I smiled lots and said, “four dollars” or “five dollars” whenever I felt like it. Sometimes it was in response to a customer’s question. Here are some customers: notice their intense cheerfulness:

three-females-at-our-table

three-males-at-our-table
I did manage to step away from our table to find a crinkly cat bag for My Mother-in-Law. She’s gonna frickin’ love it. Those cats are gonna thank me by walking by me and not noticing I exist. It’ll be one awesome Christmas.

…Fast forward, like, eight hours and I found myself at a delightful Holiday Party. I think it was in Plymouth. Anyway, the halls were decked, the booze was flowing. The booze was flowing. In retrospect, I don’t think it all wanted to be in my body. I’m not sure why, at the time, I thought it did want to be in there. And honestly, there wasn’t a lot of  room, what with all the spanakopita . I was planning on giving it all up in a stock pot that Katie generously donated to the car. I felt the love. I did make it home, with a clean stock pot, and Kenny dumped me into bed. He was like a hunter and I was like a deer carcass. The bed was the pick-up truck. It was so much fun. I dragged my sorry arse out of bed this morning for churching. The stock pot is a symbol of one woman’s redemption. So much can happen in a day.

stock-pot-with-bulletin

PS: Did you know that 80’s glasses are back in style?? You crazy kids!80s-glasses

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.

No karaoke at the VFW

published by Fran Shea

Last Sunday, the basement of the Uptown VFW became home to the i Like You craft fair. The Uptown VFW seems to be three floors of basement. Wait, that’s every VFW. The water-stained, drop ceiling has soaked in more than 50 years of delicious cigarette smoke. The vinyl, accordion fold wall was straight out of my grandparent’s house. I felt like having a poached egg or a ham salad sandwich.

Oh, the VFW… so similar to the church basement. Or maybe a bomb shelter. A bomb shelter with awesome junk in it. I recently spent an evening in a VFW for the karaoke portion of a friend’s birthday party.

Again, we were in the basement but I swear we didn’t go downstairs. I knew the night was over when I saw this:

leg-under-stall1-180x240

I won’t say whose leg that body was attached to. That’s a silent shame she must carry to her grave. Note the glass of water I kindly placed by her body.

But enough about nighttime VFW! Here’s a photo I took of the Daytime VFW:jen-at-vfw

Our biggest custom customer: Trader Joe’s

published by Fran Shea

The Trader Joe’s Card Chick called and asked us to do some custom work for them.

I was like, “get in line lady, it’s not like Consumer Reports ranked Trader Joe’s the second-best supermarket chain in the nation.” And she was like, “yeah, they did.” And I was like, “I knew that, I was just testing you.”

Even without my lucky historical period costume we were able to produce some winners. (My teacher used to say, “we are all winners when we don’t use drugs” but I think she was using the word ‘we’ in the royal sense).

We gave nine cards to The Card Chick, she selected three to show to TJ’s and TJ’s is going to produce all three. They will be in the stores in March. They’ll be offset printing them, I feel good about that because I’m sure that Jen and I would be fingerless if we had to hand feed 80,000 cards into the jaws of The Beast.

*not a bill***make it a double.redwhatever congratulations

Positive Retrogression.

published by Fran Shea

I’ve heard home computers are all the rage. I’ve heard I could use a computer for design and something called a desktop printer to print my wonderful design. That sounds awfully complicated. Today I went into the shop~studio, dug around for an old cut, selected a nice fat face of type, locked it all up in my 7 pound cast iron chase, inked up my 2 ton cast iron printing press and printed a singe birthday card for Jen. She liked it. 

Jen's Birthday Card