Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

The strong would survive the winter. The weak would, of course, be eaten.

December 24, 2009

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.

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It’s time for Christmas rejects!

December 18, 2009

Gosh, that’s a scary movie!

Those poor misfit toys… the choo-choo with the square wheels, the pistol that shoots jelly, the effeminate jack-in-the-box…  I think the jack-in-the-box and that little dentist-elf would make a cute couple.

Okay, so I keep trying to design something to print on these FIVE THOUSAND BEVERAGE COASTERS that we have lying around. I guess no one cares about preserving the shine and luster of their finished furniture.

I think that’s barbaric.

Maybe they think it sends the wrong message? I don’t. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to booze it up through the 12 days of Christmas. In fact, it is acceptable all year round IF you set your drink on one of our beverage coasters. (Was that some sort of plug?? Yes. Here’s a link: BUT don’t expect to see the whole series of coasters. I don’t even know you.)

Here’s one I designed for Touchpoint Retail. It has the recipe for a candy cane martini right on it. Isn’t that handy??

They decided to go with a card design from the Zeichen Press line but JUST TO BE DIFFICULT (I mean, sui generis.) they had us print it on an oversized SQUARE coaster. But I must admit, it’s pretty darn nice.

Rewriting History OR Making Ken Piper sit on Scary Santa’s Lap

November 13, 2009

Dear Scary Santa,

How is Mrs. Scary Santa? How are the reindeer? That’s nice.

Could you please bring us our own architectural firm? Just like Mr. Brady from the Brady Bunch?

I knew that it was much more than a hunch

He’s always making models in the den and walking around with rolled-up blueprints. It looks like so much fun. PLUS, we would totally take care of it. We figured out the best name for it:

Tanek.

Get it?

It’s our names! Spelled backwards!!

Anyway, we’ll let you get back to “working with” the elves.

From,

Ken & Nat

taNeK + atnaS

When I get my hands on Santa

November 5, 2009

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.

Look at the firm grip he has on Em:

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!”

Sorry I had to get all hard-core like that.

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?

So veneer yet so far

November 3, 2009

I’m gonna letterpress print on wood veneer.

WHAT?

People have done it and lived to tell the tale. It’s a risk – it’s a little bit like the 4th or 5th moon-landing. I know, I know… I can hear your cries, “don’t do it, Fran! The risk is too great… Think of your children! Why do you have to be so goddamn beautiful?!” What? I thought that’s what I heard.

Life is really going to change

October 16, 2009

No more casual afternoons at Starbucks. No more sidewalk cafes. No more days at the park with the kids. No more walking down the sidewalk with a kid on my shoulders while sipping a Starbucks Latte while going to the sidewalk cafe from the park.

Not any more. Because we’re celebrities. I know, I know – don’t worry – I’ll still make me-time. 

If you are living in a well, you might not have heard that Zeichen Press was proclaimed Best of Show by -my new favorite- magazine: Do It Yourself 

Your ice cream is melting!

With the magazine in her hands and a cart full of groceries, Jen called me. She called me over the loudspeaker. I was in the frozen foods section and she ordered me to get myself to Lane 7. I did as I was told and Thank God because Jen was being dragged away by security – I got there in the nick of time, explaining that we were on a “living on your own” outing and I’d be taking her right back to the group home as soon as we bagged her groceries.

Phew! 

Okay, here’s a sneak peak into the magazine – go and get your very own copy and don’t forget to buy some of our goddamn holiday cards.

See!?

Will I win the Nobel Peace Prize?

October 15, 2009

Maybe.

Oh, who am I kidding? I can’t broker peace between nations. I’m no Dalai Lama. I’m no Barack Obama. I’m just kidding about that second one  –  I just wanted something to rhyme with Dalai Lama. Wait, what? Barack Obama really did win the Nobel Peace Prize? Oops. My bad.

It’s hard, toiling away, day after day – trying to make this crazy planet just a little bit cheerier. Ghandi knows how I feel. 

Do you know this man?

Alfred"Alfie" Nobel

What would Fran do?

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ANYWAY. I wrote some new cards. Perhaps, one day, they will bring peace to war-torn countries…

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Eh?

PSST, is this my birthday party or my funeral?

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Lovebirds.

Great. My parents just got home.

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Nice package.

I hope she likes thoughts that count.

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Amen.

 

I’ll celebrate Christmas however I damn well please.

I’ll celebrate Christmas however I damn well please.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

No!
            

The Christmas concert would be her chance for revenge.
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I just love you.
I’m Christmas Stalking you.
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
On the good china!
The strong would survive the winter.
The weak would, of course, be eaten.
 
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Kids!
The gifts don’t count       themselves.
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34C    
Thank you for your support.
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Back in the shop

January 12, 2009

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

SO. MANY. WORDS.

December 3, 2008

 Three 10″x15″ iron chases locked up with Touchpoint Buzzwords. Buzzwords and some other random cuts from the ZP collection – including a chunk from a newspaper insert advertising handy items for the ladies: A rubber-lined shopping bag available in gay plaids, a multi-tiered clothes hanger, a cap to protect the hairdo.

What I wouldn’t give to have those items. My drab, rain-soaked groceries… My closet, crammed full! How could I be hanging my clothes on ONE plane? My hair, My God, my hair… I don’t even know where to start. I get a “do” and leave it completely unprotected. It’s like I don’t even care!

Oh. Back to the Touchpoint Holiday Card/Disc Sleeve. It’ super sweet:

It’s Christless time!

November 12, 2008

Time for more corporate holiday cards! My Big Brother owns Tanek, the coolest (of course) architectural firm in the Midwest. Every year they ask us to bring some of our freshest (dopest) designs to their table. We drop whatever we’re doing (eating) and hop to.  This year I’ve created a couple of things:

taneksnowflakekerned-prop1

subtlehalftone-peppermint

The humor is subtle. Just like me.

I think this one should have been chosen last year:

tanek-paper-dolls

But no. It was voted down. Apparently the Tanek Leaders didn’t want to be seen in their fictional underpants. Prudes.