Tag Archives: Portland Button Works

My Year in zines: 2012

I don’t really use thins space anymore but I thought I would round out the year with this post.

2012 was a ridiculously active zine year for me. It started with creating the StolenSharpieRevolution.org site to be a companion to my book. The site includes a Zine Event listing calendar. In February I attended the first L.A. Zine fest and it was great! In March I attended the Chicago Zine Fest and it was really fun. We even had a Zine Organizer’s Event where we met with other zine event organizers to talk shop and I released my very first fiction zines (Brainscan #29) as a split with No More Coffee #4. In April I helped the fine folks at Zine Works run zine workshops at Coachella. I made some really great friends and got to see some great bands for free.

In May I opened a brick and mortar storefront and online shop in Portland, Oregon called Portland Button Works and zine distro. July was International Zine Month and I created a poster of events to do for each day of the month.and participated in the 24 hour zine thing. August had the Portland Zine Symposium that I helped organize and I hosted a bunch of guest at my house. In September I quit volunteering at the Independent Publishing Resource Centerafter over a decade of volunteering because I just didn’t have any more time for it after opening the Portland Button Works shop.

October and November were big months. I had been saving for a UK trip for a few years and somehow we had also planned for The Copy Scams, our zine themed pop-punk band, to record and tour. We wrote 3 new songs that we hope to release next year. I got to hang out with a lot of my awesome Uk friends and attend the Leeds Zine Fair and the SE London Zine Fest. I kept a bit of a travelogue on tumblr and put out issue #7 ofNobody Cares About You Stupid Zine Podcast, it’s all about trading zine.

So, now it is December and I did a bit of updating to the Etsy Team Zine and my own Etsy shop and changing it over to a Portland Button Works shop. I’m also offering free shipping Sunday and Monday  in my Etsy shop when you use the discount code: POSTMAN. I also hope to work on my new zine this week. It’s all typed up and I just need to do layout. I also just signed up for the 2013 Chicago Zine Fest! Hope to see you there.

Tomorrow is International Zine Library Day also, the Portland Zine Symposium 24 Hour Zine Challenge starts tomorrow!

Tomorrow is International Zine Library Day! What are you going to do to celebrate?

Tomorrow at 10 am I will be at the IPRC to spend 24 hours making a new zine! I don’t know what the new zine will be about yet, but I hope it will be awesome! the past two years have been really successful. If you would like to be the first to get your hand on the new issue of my zine you can sponsor me for $10 or more. The money goes to the Portland Zine Symposium to help it continue to be an awesome zine event!

Come on, $10 (or more!) will get you:

*my new zine

*button of new design

*31 Days of International Zine Month poster.

*a copy of my 1 page mini zine/com (that’s right! I attempt to draw stuff!)  made about the stuff that happened on July 10th when I worked a 10 hour shift at Portland Button Works.

Speaking of Portland Button Works, we are having a sale for International Zine Month from now until the rest of July! Use the Coupon code: IZM2012 for 10% off! We’d love for your to use it on zines, but it is good for anything in

*

here’s the zine I made in 2010 at the 24 hour zine challenge. it was about all the postboxes  have ever had.

The cover is so-not my style at all- but I do like it. The new copier at the IPRC does color copies at a reasonable price. I cut all these irises out of an old iris catalog from the 60s. I’m not used to working in color so this was fun. The insert is also in color.

 

Fingers in too many pies and too many hats on my head…..

I turned 35 last week! It’s the Presidential Birthday (American civics lesson: as stated in Article 2, Section 1 of the US constitution the president must be at least 35 years old.) I don’t want to be President. It seems like a shitty and stressful job. I already have too many “jobs” that are stressful enough, but at least I don’t have to deal with congress.

Anyway, I’m so over trying to organize birthday parties. They end up being too much work with too much expectations. I just went out for a yummy vegan meal with Paul at Portobello and had a drink with some friends.

But there are lots of other things going on!

The Portland Button Works distro and shop are humming along beautifully.

Derek and I released the 6th episode of Nobody Cares About Your Stupid Zine Podcast! We talk about what we have been up to for the past year as well as the upcoming International Zine Month.

Derek and I also organized a 31 Days of International Zine Month with zine related things for you to do each day! What? Last year I wore a zine shirt for each day. How was I going to top that?

We also just put together the Portland Button works Quarterly. It is part zine/part catalog for PBW. It looks like this and is available free with every Portland Button Works order, free at the shop and other places around Portland, or a self addressed stamped envelope sent to the shop.

Two color risograph print, 8 pages.

Let’s see…paul and I have also been working in the garden but I haven’t been taking photos. They all just seem to look pretty similar as years past. I’m working on a new zine to have out by the symposium. I just need to sit down and work on it. I’m also working on the Portland Zine Symposium again and getting stoked for all the guests we are going to have!

30day Photo meme- day 24 and my new zine

Day 24- Something important to you

Portland Button Works

Clearly Portland Button Works  is important to me, so important that I have been ignoring this blog. It’s been 3 months since I worked on this meme. Normally this time of year I would be posting photos of my garden. The irises have come and gone and the borage is on its way out. Paul presented me with the first strawberry of the season and the cats are happily hanging out with me during the small amount of time I have actually spent  in the yard working.

I have a new zine! It is two tiny mini zines about my experiences at Coachella! I’m only selling them through the Portland Button Works brick and mortar and the online shop.

2 day of Alex Wrekk’s adventures at Coachella helping Zine Works teach the glory of zines to the masses and sleep in the desert. This is two short mini zines about about meeting new friends, getting yelled at for climing lemon trees, seeing awesome music, and amusing observations about the sights and sounds of Coachella.

$1 and only available at Portland Buttons Works. See, that’s the trick. I’m hoping that you’ll go to the site and see other rad stuff you want to get and them too!

I swear I will finish this meme!

Day 25- Graffiti you have seen
Day 26- Something you do everyday
Day 27- Your favorite place
Day 28- A favorite piece of clothing
Day 29- Something you like
Day 30- A photo of you today

I’ve been busy

Generally I don’t like to make excuses for my absence from wherever. It just means that my energy has been diverted to some place else and that with the ebb and flow of life I’ll end up back at someplace comfy. Lately the Portland Button Works shop has consumed me. I’m here everyday from 9 or 10 am to 3 or 4pm. It has been a long time since I had a place to go with specific hours for work and I’m still adjusting. I mean, my commute has gone from 10 feet vertical, to 2.5 blocks from my house.

The shop is open and people trickle in but we are still working to build our space in the neighborhood and also online. I’m slowly transitioning Small world buttons and eventually my Etsy shop into Portland Button Works. Right now we are working on getting all the zines in the shop up on the website and well as all of our buttons. It is a tedious project but we are making headway everyday.

I’d sort of rather being working in my garden, and I know Jackie and OJ would rather have me there too, but growing this shop is something special too. Please check it out and see what I have been up to:

Portland Button Works

Portland Button Works facebook

Portland Button Works tumblr

Portland Button Works flickr

Portland Button Works: 1322 N Killignsworth Portland, Oregon 97217

Portland Button Works, or the thing that has been in the back of my head for months…

Portland Button Works has been an idea kicking around for months. I walked by an empty store front last autumn and thought “It would be nice to have a shop. I could sell buttons. I could sell my custom buttons from an actual shop. I could let  people make their own buttons and have the machines lined up on a bench. I could sell zines too!”  The reality busted in “Shops have a lot of overhead. You would have to be there a lot. What would you do when you left town?” So, I tucked that idea into the back of my head.

Then Derek gave me the large percentage chance that he was moving back to Portland. I was stoked that he would again be working on the Portland Zine Symposium and having him closer would make it a lot easier to put out episodes of Nobody Cares About You Stupid Zine Podcast. Derek also makes custom buttons and someone asked him what he was going to do when he moved back and if he and I would have turf wars for button business, then that person suggested we form a collective.  We joked about it and I told him about my button dream.

The next day he told me that he had a dream that night. In the dream we had a button business called One Hour Buttons, where people could pick up their buttons in about an hour. Something came out of that dream, we started to talk about the things we would want and not want in a shop. We talked about business and physical locations all the idea that we were dreaming about, but every time I would say something about an opinion I thought he might not like, he actually agreed. It was really exciting to think about but it was still just a dream.

Then a space was open that would require us to look at it immediately once we got back from the Chicago Zine Fest. We thought we would look at that and a few other spaces but first, we had to have a serious talk. So, we sat down over breakfast. It was fun to make lists and share googleDocs of ideas but the brass tacks of it were scary and involved leases, insurance, promotion, and deciding what to do with our individual businesses.

The deciding what to do with our individual button businesses was a big thing, still is, especially for me. I’ve been making  custom buttons in Portland since 2000 and working under the business Small World Buttons since 2006. I have a lot of repeat customers in Portland and beyond and I had to build all of that back up since I left where I was working before.  The truth is that I can see my personal capacity coming at me. There is only so much I could do alone from promotions to the actual button pressing. I’m tired of going at it alone in business. Derek is a good friend and hard worker. I have organized the Portland Zine Symposium and a podcast with him. He”l, we’ve even traveled two days on a train to Chicago and didn’t get on each other’s nerves! Derek is clever and funny and excitable and has lots of skills that I don’t. He’s good at encouraging me and pushing me when I need to be pushed. We have a lot of compatible values, ethics, and politics. And even though he is straight edge, I know I will enjoy this new business partnership in my life.

So, the past 2 weeks were about business filings and setting up credit union accounts and getting all our ducks in a row. We have approached a small handful of zines we would like to carry, we have build a website, I’ve purchased a new button machine in 2.25″ size that will make bottle openers, we have worked out a logo, and more things we can’t actually talk about yet. I am really excited about this!

So, along with creating this website here: Portland Button Works, the Facebook page: here, and the Twitter page here we have also started an IndieGoGo campaign. I have a bit of money but having more will really help. If you can give anything it will help us out.  We wanted your contribution to be an investment for you to get something you would already want so reward levels range from copies of our zines, a Portland Button Works bottle opener, pre-orders of custom items, and lifetime discounts on custom orders.  While your monetary contributions would be greatly appreciate, we would also love it if you could help promote this project and spread the word about our fundraiser.

Please go here to help out!

Thanks so much! Words of support and encouragement are greatly appreciated!