Posts Tagged ‘Letterpress’

Alright, back to work

August 20, 2010

Fran Shea’s résumé

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1988-1988 (Nov. 1-Dec 23) Lyndale Garden Center

My first job. Silly me, I heard “making Christmas wreaths” and thought I’d be “making Christmas wreaths.” Pre-made wreaths were heaped onto a lunch table – my job was to choose the sprigs for the wreaths. Sprigs was an industry term for cheap Christmassy crap.

1989-1989 (Sept. 1-Sept 15) Pearson’s Family Restaurant

I bussed tables and was told to clear as much of the table as would fit in the gray bin. It would have been very satisfying if I were training to be a power-lifter. Two weeks was too long.

1989-1990 (Oct. 1-March 1) Leeann Chin, Richfield

As a server, I wore a little white hat and jacket. Like a chef. A disgruntled, panicked, 17-year-old chef.

1990-1990 (June 1-Aug. 15) GJ’s SuperValu

A block walk from my apartment above Ribizza – this job required speed and superhuman strength. Bagging groceries during a “rush” filled me with doubt and indecision – eggs before bread or bread before eggs?? Should I take my smoke break now??

1990-1990 (Sept. 1-Nov. 1) Telemarketing for the Special Olympics

I don’t even know how I found this job – it was in a bland office in a bland office building on University Avenue.  The script we were handed was written in the 1950’s and we were supposed to offer lots of garbage bags in exchange for donating to the Special Olympics. Our boss was, I think, Bob Saget.

1990-1991 (Nov. 15-Jan 15) Meyer’s Bakery

A job that required cash register skills. I’d rather wash old peoples bottoms than use a cash register – I’d try to push customers into buying things that would result in even dollar amounts so I wouldn’t have to make difficult change. Three cookies? Why not four?… Two loaves of bread? Why not two loaves of bread AND a cookie??

Fast Forward—>

1993-1996 : Carney Studio

The interview went something like this:

“So, you want to be a graphic designer?”

“A what?”

“You’re hired.”

1996-1997 : Odney Advertising

This is where I learned about advertising. And stealing office supplies.

1997-present : Stay At Home Mom/Perfect Wife

This is where I learned about cleaning up poop.

2006-present : Owner of Zeichen Press

The culmination of a life-long set of painfully acquired skills.

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Achieving perfect balance

May 19, 2010

People always ask me, “Fran, how do you balance everything so well?? Zeichen Press, kids, marriage, hypochondria, facebook, animal-taming, daydreaming – It doesn’t even seem possible!” I wish I had some fluffy (Oprah-approved) secret to share but it’s really much more simple: Evil twin. What?! Yes. You’d be surprised by how many people actually have evil twins.

This has been a regular rat king of a week: The big Tanek party is tomorrow and Jen and I have been planning the whole thing – From venue to letterpress printed coaster to life-jackets. One of my favorite things is the Tanek 10 Year CD – a music mix and letterpress printed sleeve/party favor/door prize. My playlist skills were honed as a teenager – hour after hour spent with the dual cassette player… see, mom?? I told you it was more important than algebra.

As soon as this party is done I can get rid of that mannequin.

Craft+Extravaganza=Craftstravaganza

May 1, 2010

Does Geek+Spectacular=Geektacular? I was never good at math but I DO know that the State Fairgrounds are going to be wall-to-wall geeks tomorrow. Jen and I will be there handing out love-letters and hugs to all of our loyal customers.

We went there tonight to set up. This baby has been following Jen around for, like, two years:

Is letterpress too classy for you?

April 14, 2010

It might be. I’m going to have to credit Martha Stewart with sparking the mainstream revival of the craft. Everyone settle down. If Martha and I ever met (someday on NBC 11:00AM CST) I would burst into tears. She’d slap me across the face and tell me to get ahold of myself. Oh, Martha! You always know just what to do!

Zeichen Press has designed and printed it’s share of wedding related invitations – and we’re pretty certain that gives us some sort of carbon-neutral status. How? It’s pretty complicated – something to do with joy and decency neutralizing our usual gaucheness.

Here’s the part about salvaging letterpress equipment:

March 21, 2010

People (my mom) always (whenever she feigns interest) ask me, “where do you get this stuff?” Type, cabinets, printer’s cuts, ink, chases, quoins, sticks, cutters, furniture, leads, slugs, tympan, rollers… letterpress takes up a lot more space than this tidy little laptop. I wonder if that’s one of the reasons people stopped using it? I doubt it. I think heavy, huge and filthy is really practical.

Jen and I both agreed that our favorite salvaging-situation involved a compulsive hoarder with a murder/torture-pit (alleged) in his basement. This house had it all; two commercial espresso machines:

two Kluge Printing Presses:

(just in case you’re wondering: TWO Kluge Printing presses are massive and would look like this if not covered in books, dvd’s, televisions, kleenex boxes, grocery bags, magazines and mail):

a family-style restaurant booth: (this suspiciously barricaded the basement door)

dozens of old computers: (so sentimental)

a letterpress “library”:

“stackable” type cabinets: (we took these)

and this:

and this:

Oh, here’s a fun game:

Can you find the treasure in this photographic vignette?:

How about here?:

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Oh, well. Enough of the sweet, sweet memories. Here’s part of our latest salvage:

I better go write some cards to pay for it.

Potato-Guns and Make Magazine

March 4, 2010

The other day, I needed to learn how to make a potato gun. It doesn’t matter why. Anyway, I made my way to the MAKE Magazine blog – If you haven’t been – I don’t know what to say. It’s not like we can’t be friends. It will just never be more than that.

So, they are doing this Maker Business Series and I thought, “hey, I make things… I own a business…” The potato gun would just have to wait. Sorry Edmund.I sent an e-mail to someone named Gareth (Jen keeps referring to Gareth as “her” – I don’t have the heart to correct her) and told him about Zeichen Press – he responded and then it turned into an interview and… Go read it!!

Wake up call

February 23, 2010

I try so hard. Really, I do. I try to follow the rules.

I’m jealous of those people (is it everyone?) that climb out of bed at a respectable hour, get dressed, fuss with their hair, apply make-up, brush their teeth, read the paper, make and drink a cup of coffee…

In high school, my morning carpool (I say “carpool” but really it was just my friends carting me around like some sort of package. A smoking, swearing package) would lay on her horn outside my house while I lay in my bed – dreaming that I was missing tests because I was laying in bed dreaming that I was missing tests.

Mr. Heidelberg… you RASCAL!

November 22, 2009

If all goes according to my master plan, 2,500 pounds of love will soon be mine.

2,500 pounds…

That’s one of these:

Or two of him:

Are you intrigued??

Go HERE to find out more!

OR, just watch right here if you’re too lazy to go all the way to YouTube: