Posts in wood type

Ampersands And Counting Skills

published by Fran Shea

Counting is not as easy as it looks. The intern and I had to count cards (we love to gamble) for a big Kate’s Paperie order.

Holiday cards in June?are-we-there-yetMy life is an endless sacrifice.

All of that counting tasted terrible, and so to cleanse her palette, the intern put a lot of ampersands together. That looked exactly like this:ampersandsAnd because I need attention, I made this:is-there-an-app-for-thisSee, it’s a profound cultural statement? DO YOU SEE?!

Please Like This

published by Fran Shea

It’s time to free ourselves from the shackles of this social networking monster.

We are ignorant prisoners, dragging our metal cups across the bars while our warden stuffs his fat face with naturally-cased wieners.

We are school children, wandering like Wii avatars, waiting for the bell to ring only to be called in to diagram sentences.wii avatars

We are the Israelites crushed by our taskmasters, waiting for the supernatural smiting of the Egyptians.

Rise up, people. Stop rowing the slave ship. The candy tasted so good before we got in the van, but now we must be deprogrammed. Make no mistake about it — this is some sort of Stockholm Syndrome. Oh, the candy… so sweet, so forbidden, so Turkish-Delighty.

Damn you, Facebook!

I’ve flushed my precious time down the toilet. Time I’ll never get back. Just like the year I got hooked on Party of Five – those orphaned Salingers led by their gorgeous brother/carpenter, Matthew Fox…

Oh, but it’s done now. No point in looking back. Friend requests, status updates, profile pictures — word combinations unwittingly added to the English lexicon!

I’ve got a word for you: insidious.

Never has there been such a tool, such a divisive tool. It wears a party hat and mixes the strongest drinks, watching the party-goers behave like jackasses. Why?

Ask son-of-a-dentist/billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg. Mr. Zuckerberg was unavailable for comment during the writing of this, and it’s no wonder. He’s in Palo Alto, counting his drug money. I’m booking a flight to Palo Alto and am either going to personally punch him in the face or flatter him until he hires me as his “personal secretary.” The second scenario is obviously more lucrative. The point is, I will no longer be in this creepy symbiotic relationship.

I will be free. (cue the MLK footage)wasnt affirmed on facebook


published by Fran Shea

In the belly of the Good Ship Whistlesnot sat two strangers — one called Captain Fatchtinkle and the other, Timtim Lipskin.

They chatted like two gentlemen between rounds of whiskey-pong and Password and it wasn’t long before discovering they shared a passion for shuffleboard.

A friendship was born!

(To be continued…)high-fivers-better-more-face

Fairy Tales And True Tales

published by Fran Shea

The poor peasant said it best, “even if we had only one and it were quite small, and only as big as a thumb, I should be quite satisfied, and we would still love it with all our hearts.”

If Fairy Tales were true, hedgehogs would speak and donkeys would spew gold. And poor old peasants could wish and receive tiny children.

I wrote a Fairy Tale about an old childless couple and a duck. Inspired by true events. In the story, there is a duck, a baby, and an angry mob.

But I’ve said too much!

I’ll get that published someday but MEANWHILE here is a card for the new parent — it features a disgruntled chick.phew-you-arrived-chick

Have You Seen This Baby?

published by Fran Shea

I’ve nursed a few babies in my day and that makes me an expert on sacrifice.

It does.

Or is it laziness? Making a bottle seemed like so much work! …Get out of my cozy bed, walk all the way to the kitchen, measure and pour powdered formula into a bottle, warm water in pan on stove, add water to bottle, test temperature


lift up my shirt.

Anyway, I made a card for the new mother:wanted-have-you-seen-this-baby-sage


published by Fran Shea

Time alone was rare. But in a pinch, I was forced to conjure up an imaginary playmate. This was a strange exercise and not something I was particularly good at.

Other children lived in complex and exotic worlds of make-believe — I don’t think the “friends” in their pretend worlds were from Minnesota — with names like Carura Fadida and Anarada Salsa.

There was a girl who lived in the glossy tile next to the toilet. I spoke with her when there was no soul around.

Her name was “Fran.”fran-balance-beam

Rooted in reality, with a strong sense of the superfluousness of an imaginary world. I was, and am, from German stock. Zees duss neecht make senss.

It must be that toe-hold in reality that permits me to create the following:thinking-of-you-lady-3thinking-of-you-because-thought-dont-violate-restraining

Speaking of Snakes

published by Fran Shea

There was a pet store in my neighborhood (Petcetera) that had all kinds of fascinating creatures. The best creature was a full-size (5 feet, from snout to tip of tail) alligator in a steel tub. The tub had a makeshift screen cover so that the alligator couldn’t escape.

A screen cover. 

So the ALLIGATOR couldn’t escape.

I think it was drugged anyway — it just laid there, blinking it’s beautiful eyes.

Of course there were snakes, and I don’t know much about snakes, but what I do know is pretty scientifically accurate. When snakes speak, they drag out their s’s. thanks-grabThey’re usually pretty shy but if you give one a frozen mouse they are your friend for at least 5 seconds.

Six Lives Left and the Fifth Commandment

published by Fran Shea

Judy was tired of being stuck upstairs. She longed for the streets. She longed for adventure. She longed for danger.

Day after day, trapped by that drooling, excitable houseguest. It was just too much. She had only one choice: jump off the balcony. balcony-4504Thank goodness the deck broke her fall. This wasn’t the first time she threw caution to the wind. It was, in fact, the third. Words are unnecessary when there is photographic evidence of this nature (if you are squeamish, scroll no more):

judy-tailThat’s what a tail looks like when all of the nice stuff has been ripped off of it. Or, as the vet told me, “degloved.” We can’t imagine what she did in the cat world to deserve that treatment.

Just when we stopped crying ourselves to sleep, she came home looking like a BP oil spill casualty.judy-gets-a-bathMeow!

Poor Judy, only six lives left. Use them wisely.

Judy happens to be my mother’s name and so this is the perfect way to introduce a new Mother’s Day card:escaped-from-prisonAnd just to keep it fair, here is a Father’s Day card:work-it-dad

International Internetter

published by Fran Shea

The intern packed up her carpetbag and rode away. I felt like we should hug but we didn’t – hugs are best left out of print shops. She made this before she left:barns-print

Go, my young grasshopper, go and use the life-skills I so generously shared with you.

Fred photographed the new cards – here’s my favorite:She knew kids loved surprises and so she filled the piñata with real animal entrails. Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.

That’s a true story.

ALSO: Becki Iverson at Metro Magazine wrote a nice thing about us. I think we’ll keep giving out that photo until we are 60 years old.jen & fran june 2009 press kit smiling.cabinet

Nobody needs to see a photo of us taken in February.