Posts in Winter
Letterpress studio in Minneapolis meets Apartment Therapy in New York, the Streets Run With Bloodpublished by Fran Shea
Where was Apartment Therapy when I lived in an apartment?? I could have used some advice — My television sat on two empty Old Milwaukee cases and the only chair was my bed. I guess my source of income (cat breeding, just kidding. Grocery bagging. Just kidding. Stripping.) didn’t really provide a lot of extra money for decorating anyway. See “Tater Tots, Kings Wine Bar, Letterpress, Deer John”
Every year, Apartment Therapy branches out of their usual home decorating palette to recognize “the best” letterpress cards. This year, we made the cut. I’d like to thank all of the families that send out those creepy holiday newsletters – you are an inspiration. You know who you are.
Canadians are just as dark and twisted as Minnesotans!published by Fran Shea
I knew it!
People always ask me, “what made you write that card?” This question is usually followed by either laughter or tears and then I am dumped on the side of the road with a pack of cigarettes and a mix-tape.
If I even had time (or could pull the gag out of my mouth) to answer, I’d say that the inspiration for each and every card is just a reaction to some experience that I’ve had. I’m not a scientist but I’m pretty sure that the brain works like a Rube Goldberg Machine. One observation leads to a series of tangents and the end result is either a small, quiet room in a mental institution or a greeting card that part of the (dark and twisted) population can relate to.
Example: My grandmother decided to spend her twilight years traveling. She and her companion wanted to tour some parts of Hawaii in a helicopter. Tragedy struck, and the helicopter and all of its passengers were smashed against the side of a volcano. The only identifying evidence available were the teeth.
What?! Yes, it’s true. That card is not a big seller in the U.S. but strangely, it’s quite popular in Canada. What does that even mean?? And now are you going to wonder if there is a story behind this card?:
There isn’t. THERE ISN’T.
A roomful of Letterpress printerspublished by Fran Shea
It was everything I imagined. Except better, because of the chicken shots. Yum!
Mary Bruno organized the event in honor of Amos Kennedy’s timely arrival. As far as I could tell, Amos is not related to THE Kennedy family. There were certain clues, like: He did not share that distinctive/made up accent or that glamorous head of hair. Also, he is black.
Anyway, Amos was there and we hugged like old friends. There was much talk, naturally, of printing presses. Mary Bruno ended up breaking a beer bottle and using it as a weapon – apparently her “street cred” was at stake. Boy was I glad to get out of there with only minor injuries. I wish I could say the same for Jen. Please send flowers and meals to our headquarters.
Two St. Paul printers showed up : Fred Petters of Vandalia Street Press and Bill Moran of Blinc Publishing. Bill was nice. Fred ate off of other people’s plates. I could go on and on but why should I when I have this amazing photograph that perfectly captured the evening?
And this is where Fran and Jen learn to use their new Heidelbergpublished by Fran Shea
Oh, the joy of leaning over a giant machine that has the potential to crush my hands and create such beauty!
I think I felt joy. Or panic? In any case, I felt some sort of feeling while leaning over the New Press. Karl (the previous owner) had explained, really clearly, the 1,000 things to know – why couldn’t I remember them?? Knobs, pulls, blades, grippers, clutch levers, friskets, sucker bars, rollers, toggles, gears, pins, springs… they all seemed to get tangled up in my mind.
Oh, so tangled!
Just like a rat king.
That’s what happens when the tail of one thought gets covered in feces and the tail of another thought gets stuck to it… and the tail of another thought gets stuck to the other thoughts. It’s all very messy and usually ends up in some Dutch chimney.
Anyway, here’s a snippet of our lesson:
-33° in Brainerdpublished by Fran Shea
That’s where I am. Will I ever be able to get back to Minneapolis? Stay tuned.
And, just because I’m a little obsessed with the weather, I gathered some very important figures. – Record low temperatures in The United States of America:
|Alabama||-27||Jan. 30, 1966||New Market||760|
|Alaska||-80||Jan. 23, 1971||Prospect Creek||1,100|
|Arizona||-40||Jan. 7, 1971||Hawley Lake||8,180|
|Arkansas||-29||Feb. 13, 1905||Pond||1,250|
|California||-45||Jan. 20, 1937||Boca||5,532|
|Colorado||-61||Feb. 1, 1985||Maybell||5,920|
|Connecticut||-32||Feb. 16, 1943||Falls Village||585|
|Delaware||-17||Jan. 17, 1893||Millsboro||20|
|Florida||– 2||Feb. 13, 1899||Tallahassee||193|
|Georgia||-17||Jan. 27, 1940||Mauna Kea||13,770|
|Idaho||-60||Jan. 18, 1943||Island Park Dam||6,285|
|Illinois||-36||Jan. 5, 1999||Congerville||722|
|Indiana||-36||Jan. 19, 1994||New Whiteland||785|
|Iowa||-47||Feb. 3, 1996*||Elkader||770|
|Kansas||-40||Feb. 13, 1905||Lebanon||1,812|
|Kentucky||-37||Jan. 19, 1994||Shelbyville||730|
|Louisiana||-16||Feb. 13, 1899||Minden||194|
|Maine||-48||Jan. 19, 1925||Van Buren||458|
|Maryland||-40||Jan. 13, 1912||Oakland||2,461|
|Massachusetts||-35||Jan. 12, 1981||Chester||640|
|Michigan||-51||Feb. 9, 1934||Vanderbilt||785|
|Minnesota||-60||Feb. 2, 1996||Tower||1,430|
|Mississippi||-19||Jan. 30, 1966||Corinth||420|
|Missouri||-40||Feb. 13, 1905||Warsaw||700|
|Montana||-70||Jan. 20, 1954||Rogers Pass||5,470|
|Nebraska||-47||Feb. 12, 1899||Camp Clarke||3,700|
|Nevada||-50||Jan. 8, 1937||San Jacinto||5,200|
|New Hampshire||-47||Jan. 29, 1934||Mt. Washington||6,288|
|New Jersey||-34||Jan. 5, 1904||River Vale||70|
|New Mexico||-50||Feb. 1, 1951||Gavilan||7,350|
|New York||-52||Feb. 18, 1979*||Old Forge||1,720|
|North Carolina||-34||Jan. 21, 1985||Mt. Mitchell||6,525|
|North Dakota||-60||Feb. 15, 1936||Parshall||1,929|
|Ohio||-39||Feb. 10, 1899||Milligan||800|
|Oklahoma||-27||Jan. 18, 1930||Watts||958|
|Oregon||-54||Feb. 10, 1933*||Seneca||4,700|
|Pennsylvania||-42||Jan. 5, 1904||Smethport||est. 1,500|
|Rhode Island||-25||Feb. 5, 1996||Greene||425|
|South Carolina||-19||Jan. 21, 1985||Caesars Head||3,100|
|South Dakota||-58||Feb. 17, 1936||McIntosh||2,277|
|Tennessee||-32||Dec. 30, 1917||Mountain City||2,471|
|Texas||-23||Feb. 8, 1933*||Seminole||3,275|
|Utah||-69||Feb. 1, 1985||Peter’s Sink||8,092|
|Vermont||-50||Dec. 30, 1933||Bloomfield||915|
|Virginia||-30||Jan. 22, 1985||Mountain Lake||3,870|
|Washington||-48||Dec. 30, 1968||Mazama||2,120|
|West Virginia||-37||Dec. 30, 1917||Lewisburg||2,200|
|Wyoming||-66||Feb. 9, 1933||Riverside||6,650|
AND before we start killing and eating each other, we are entertaining ourselves by throwing boiling water into the cold air.
0°, Hydraulics and a Hair Dryerpublished by Fran Shea
Why is it that the one time I leave my house something awesome happens?? Jack drove the Heidelberg Windmill down from Wahpeton, North Dakota this morning. Drove it right down to our fancy studio.
I’m in Brainerd not running around the house in my underwear and Jen is back at ZP headquarters. Who knew (Jack the mover knew) that the press was going to be delivered TODAY? Apparently, the hydraulic part of the pallet jack (not Jack the mover) didn’t love the 0°. I guess it was frozen and I’m no expert but that seems like a setback. Jen called me wondering where she could find a hair dryer. I don’t know why she wanted to style her hair but I’m not going to judge. Apparently, Jen’s beautiful hair did the trick because the new press is safe and sound in the SW corner of the shop.
The strong would survive the winter. The weak would, of course, be eaten.published by Fran Shea
The Long Winter is the true tale of a Minnesota family surviving one of the most brutal Winters in our recorded history. Trapped in the house – day after day after day – the blizzard makes it impossible to see out the window or even walk out to the barn without getting lost. Good ol’ Pa rigs up a rope to follow, he is always coming up with some creative solution! Ma follows that rope because Pa finds himself trapped in a ditch by the creek. The wood pile dwindles to nothing and the family is forced to twist hay into little bundles – they would burn these in the cast-iron stove to heat their little house. … Tough, brown bread is the only food left to eat.
Or is it?
What if that was on the jacket flap? I’d totally read that book.
No Coast 2009, Sleestacks and ANOTHER Doppelgangerpublished by Fran Shea
WHEW! What a weekend!
First of all, Amanda came to my house to do my hair.
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.
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 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:
And here’s Jen endlessly fussing over a display:
I almost forgot to share this bit of news: Somebody actually stole an entire stack of these:
She must be a professional stalker.
18 New Cards for 2010published by Fran Shea
Doesn’t that sound futuristic?
Anyway, you can come see them in person at the No-Coast Craft-o-Rama. It’s not until December but I know how my readers like to plan ahead.
My very special night at Maiden Minnesotapublished by Fran Shea
What a night! First, I was paper-bagged by my girlfriends and THEN I was handed a glass of wine and a sack full of pencils.
We were greeted by a wall of women at the The Grave’s Hotel – I was frightened at first – it was like a giant bridal shower… I always feel awkward at bridal showers. This is going to surprise some people but I’m just not really a girly-girl. I can’t walk in heels and I have no idea what to do with make-up or hair. My casual wardrobe may as well be borrowed from the Cloggy’s Friday Night Karaoke Ladies.
But who’s that in the bathroom with you, Fran? Well, silly, that’s my bathroom friend!
Okay, onto the vendors at the event. What event? Hush. Illume Candles was there – spreading their joy through the scented candle. We’re printing their holiday card again this year. They’ll pay us in candle currency which they assured us is just as good as real money. Let’s see… then there was some stationery vendor… forgot the name… it wasn’t us… so I didn’t care… And lastly, Foat Design. They do urban couture and yoga wear. I chatted with one of the owners – A nice gal who claims to have a twin in San Francisco. I’m not buying it, I bet she made up the whole “twin thing” to get away with crime.