Posts in True Story

No Coast 2009, Sleestacks and ANOTHER Doppelganger

published by Fran Shea

WHEW! What a weekend!

First of all, Amanda came to my house to do my hair.

She did.

Shut up.

I totally care about how I look. It seemed strange to look so beautiful AND carry 500 lbs of cards from a loading dock to a folding table. But I did it for the kids. Jen and I have worked out a system of communication that really facilitates a speedy set up: Jen orders me around like some sort of slave and I stifle sobs behind my Crying Scarf.

There was another letterpress company about 10 feet away from us and we had to fight to defend our turf. Zeichen Press ended up winning because we have better dance moves and we bribed the judges with Bazooka gum.

I figured out something pretty important on Saturday morning: I look like a Sleestack.

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OH! Another thing that was pretty amazing: That dapper gent from one of our new cards actually bought the card that he is on!

I hope she likes thoughts that count. Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.

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I love a handsome man with a wallet full of cash. (Do you hear me, Kenny?!)

Let’s see… oh, yes.. the show was jam-packed and we made gobs of moola. I mean, we spread the joy of the season through letterpress goodness.

Here’s me laughing at one of my own jokes:fran-laughing-no-coast-2009

And here’s Jen endlessly fussing over a display:jens-arms-arranging-cards-2

I almost forgot to share this bit of news: Somebody actually stole an entire stack of these:I'm still stalking you. Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.

What the???

She must be a professional stalker.

When I get my hands on Santa

published by Fran Shea

Nothing says Christmas like sitting on a boozed up strangers lap. Especially if that stranger promises you all sorts of “goodies.”

The 1970’s were a rich time for the Shea family. 5 of 8 kids had already come through the hatch, (what did she say?) Mr. had a job, Mrs. kept house. Santa Clause sat at Dayton’s just waiting to kick off Christmas-Time. I do remember wondering how he could waste precious toy-making time just SITTING THERE on that throne. That wondering turned into anxiety which turned into paralyzing fear.

That might be why I’m not in this picture.

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Nat, Em, and Zak are in it.

Andy and I are noticeably absent. There might have been a pants-wetting episode, or a throwing-up episode. Or a poopy-pants episode. Andy was always trying to get attention.

With the help of photoshop, I’ll be revising history. Soon, Nat and his BUSINESS partner, Ken, will be sitting on Santa’s lap… together. Ken needs to scrape up some childhood memory and get it over to me. I will remove Em and Zak (Zak clearly wants to be removed) and replace them with a little Ken. THEN, I will create a 4-color process halftone – OF COURSE it will be 50 lines per inch.

Duh.

It will be the new holiday card for Tanek. The finest architectural firm in the land.

I’ve heard it’s tricky to print a 4-color halftone using the letterpress printing method. But you know what I say to that??

DO YOU?!

I say, “you’re not so tricky!”

So, here’s what that image looks like when it’s all pulled apart and put back together as a 4 color separation. Isn’t it delicious?santa-em-nat-zak-screen-grab-for-web1-450x353

Happy Monday!

published by Fran Shea

I wonder if schools are more selective about their teachers these days.

I had a high-school teacher that greeted us with such giddy enthusiasm when we entered the classroom – I might say he “pranced” around the room, his little toesies all dressed up for the day in black, dress socks. I could see the socks because those feet weren’t stuffed into a smelly old shoe – no! They were free as you and me in a classic Birkenstock sandal.

Seven Paula Figurines lined the front of his desk.

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Six of them kept their backs to us, the seventh would be turned to let us know what day of the week it was,”Happy Monday!” and so on. So much better than a calender.

We were told that we should address him as “Doctor” – that title was later disputed. And revoked. Turns out it was all just a fantasy… oh, such a fantasy… I imagine myself getting a doctorate degree in religion…

He described one of his teaching methods as “accelerated learning.” All students were required to put their heads on their desk – or grab one of his strange-smelling pillows from his “cubby-hole.” Classical music blaring, he read aloud – synchronizing the inflection of his voice to the swells and ebbs of the music.

I wish I could remember what he read. Maybe it was the multiplication-tables. Or Jim Jones’ manifesto.

Wishes DO come true!

published by Fran Shea

It’s no secret that I have always wanted 300 feet of bubble wrap.

Somebody (Jen) had it delivered to our headquarters – it’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen on my doorstep. Although… the Sunday paper is nice to see when I open the door…or girl scouts selling cookies. Hmm, one of my stalkers once left a skinned, boiled squirrel on my doorstep… that was strange – and I still don’t get the  message – was it: “Love me back, or I’ll boil and skin you” or was it “I am capable of providing small game for your meals.”

Oh, I guess I’ll never know.

bubble-wrap-delivery

Would You Rather…?

published by Fran Shea

Vomit blood for a week or have a nail gun misfire so that the nail pierces your eyeball?*

WHICH ONE DO YOU CHOOSE?!

Maybe I’d choose the vomiting… I hear the ICU is like staying in a fancy hotel. You see? Life is about choices. Or wait… is it about rolling with the punches? Having your eye sewn shut is worse than getting punched – Maybe life is about getting your nail-pierced-eyeball sewn shut.

Yes. That sounds about right.

°°°°°°

* These events are true and happened to two men that I know. Both named Ben.

Seven Pounds is the name of the movie not the weight of my head

published by Fran Shea

About a jillion years ago, I was contacted by some Hollywood set designer – she wanted to know if I had extra letterpress “JUNK JUNK JUNK” for a new movie starring Rosario Dawson and Will Smith. Wait. What?! Trembling, I clutched my Fresh Prince of Bel Air collection to my chest and replied, “Oh, that’s cool. Yeah, I could Fed Ex some stuff to you guys – I won’t charge extra for the dust.” (Followed by cool and knowing laughter). What a comfortable rapport! I was talking TO Hollywood. Maybe they’d ask me to audition for the movie! The movie… Maybe Rosario Dawson needed an understudy… or a body double?

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We could be twins!judy-gets-a-bath

I asked the set designer when they’d like to fly me out, explaining that my schedule was flexible enough to accommodate movie- shoots, sightseeing, and pool-parties. She told me she’d have her people call my people.

ANYWAY, it turns out they were able to pull the set together without my JUNK JUNK JUNK and Rosario politely declined my offer — we’re still totally friends

…So I finally watched The Movie last night. Ummm, Will Smith can fix my press anytime. Is that my review? Is that all I have to say? … Uhh, Rosario was convincingly ill and I bawled like a baby. There. Happy?? OH, and the garage-studio was super cute and perfect.

PS: Strangely, Rosario’s character ALSO nicknamed her press The Beast. What?! c-and-p-shop-2012

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:

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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.

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

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:

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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