Tag Archives: zines

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!

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 Buttons Works and zine distro needs your help!

We signed a lease for our brick and mortar shop in Portland, Oregon last week before I headed to Coachella to teach zines! We have signed a lease at 1322 N Killingsworth, just a block away from the Killingsworth yellow line Max stop and down the street from the PCC Cascade campus. We are totally excited about this. Right now our shop is bare and we are working the fill it up with fixtures, buttons and zines! We are also going to offer a space for people to make their own buttons in the shop. We have zines for the distro that are slowly trickling in and a friend helping us build awesome fixtures!

How can you help?  We have launched an Indiegogo fundraiser campaign. 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 (brainscan and All Things Ordinary), a Portland Button Works bottle opener, pre-orders of custom items, lifetime discounts on custom orders, gift certificates for when the distro is up and running, and even being able to name something in our shop!

And look!

Portland Button Works made it to the front page of Indiegogo! I’m really stoked on that!

While your monetary contributions would be greatly appreciated, we would also love it if you could help promote this project and spread the word about our fundraiser, or even send your zine for for distro consideration.

We only have 6 more days and we just got to the half way point! Please,  go here and help us out!

http://www.indiegogo.com/project/badge/87049?a=503988

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!

 

30 Day Photo Meme – Day 21 – Brainscan #29/ No More Coffee #4 split zine

Day 21- A photo you are proud of

I like this photos because of the colors in it and that it respresents a finished product on a table and ready to go. I’m also stoked on the photobooth picture that shows up out of or mind  before the tabling at the zine fest ever started. This was a fun project.
Released at the 2012 Chicago Zine Fest A split zine with Brainscan #29 and no More Coffee #4

Brainscan #29 – Ben Spies (no more coffee zine) threw out the challenge of fiction to my land of perzines and this is the grim result. These three short stories are my stab at fiction wrapped in the usual high contrast cut and paste layout you would expect in and issue of Brainscan. One story is about leaving a hometown for greener pastures only to make a stop half way there to visit an old friend and includes thoughts and reflections about the past. The second story is about a weird housemate and his strange perception of the world through Woody Allen tinted glasses and odd notions about art. The third story is about weighing the value of our short lives against the rock wall embankment of a cemetery. I admit that the voice is similar to mine and the subject matter doesn’t stray too far from what you would expect to find in an issue of Brainscan, but it was a really fun experiment and I’m glad that Ben talked me into doing this split.

No More Coffee is a zine of fiction for people who stay up too late. Stories like these are how I get the black bile out of my system, so to speak. Alex and I agreed to do a fiction split not knowing how morose it would end up, but we’re on similar wavelengths, I guess. I’m still writing fiction because I love it and because I’m too scared to write about my own life, but even if these stories never happened, the people in them did. “Photographs of the Dead” is about what the residents of a suburban apartment complex doesn’t know about their neighbors. “Exit 121″ is about an impetuous woman living at a truck stop. The untitled story is about Sunday breakfast at a diner.

44 pages, half sized, 2 color risograph

available in My Etsy shop or on my Small World Buttons site.

or for $3 US ($4US rest of the world) put into an envelope and sent to:

Alex Wrekk

5307 N Minnesota Ave.

Portland, Oregon 97217

Day 22- Something you cooked
Day 23- Your desk or work area
Day 24- Something important to you
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

30 Day Photo Meme – Day 18

Day 18- Where you work/go to school

I work at home in a room directly before my bedroom. I press buttons and magnet for people and package up zines and books. Ideally it looks like this:

But mostly it is a mess. Last night, while I was finishing up some work, these three shelves fell on me spilling EVERYTHING onto me head and the floor.

There was actually more on the bottom shelf. I got really frustrated and stacked on the boxes on the floor. I’ll re-hang the brackets on another day.
Day 19- Something you love
Day 20- Your mailbox
Day 21- A photo you are proud of
Day 22- Something you cooked
Day 23- Your desk or work area
Day 24- Something important to you
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

30 Day Photo Meme – Day 11

Day 11- Your bookshelf

It is true. The red things are filled with only some of my zines. I have a few boxes in my office and a wall of boxes in my basement filled with zines.

Day 12- Your mode of transportation
Day 13- Something you don’t leave the house without
Day 14- Something that makes you happy
Day 15- An old photo of you
Day 16- The view out your front door
Day 17- What’s in your bag/purse/pockets
Day 18- Where you work/go to school
Day 19- Something you love
Day 20- Your mailbox
Day 21- A photo you are proud of
Day 22- Something you cooked
Day 23- Your desk or work area
Day 24- Something important to you
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

2012 Portland Zine Symposium dates!

The 2012 Portland Zine Symposium will be held August 11-12, 2012!

The Portland Zine Symposium needs artwork for 2012, could it be yours?

taking a break from my 30 day photo meme to post this!

Hey zinesters!

The Portland Zine Symposium is looking for art submissions for the 2012 poster for the 12th annual Portland Zine Symposium. This year’s theme is “Sea of Zines.” Your art submission should be your creative interpretation of that theme.

We encourage artists to use any medium or style. We strongly prefer that the chosen artist is able to assist us in the process of transferring (resizing / cropping / etc) the image multiple mediums.

The formatting guidelines are simple:

- We are looking for a 11″ wide x 17″ tall poster that will also be used in other formats (the website, post cards, buttons, stickers, etc), so your design needs to be visible and striking at multiple sizes and resolutions (or have smaller, breakaway pieces).

- Only 3 colors! The design will eventually be silk screened / screen printed onto t-shirts, so limit your colors to black, white and one other color.

Your design should include (or be able to include once all details are finalized) the following:

- the theme –  Sea of Zines

- the dates – TBA (for now)

- the place –  Refuge 116 SE Yamhill

- the website  – http://www.pdxzines.com

- “12th Annual Portland Zine Symposium” and the year “2012”

- “A conference and zine social exploring facets of independent publishing and DIY culture.”

Submission deadline is February 25th.

Submissions can be emailed to pdxzines@gmail.com (most strongly preferred), mailed (to PO Box 5901 Portland, OR 97228-5901), or dropped off at the IPRC.

*

The Portland Zine Symposium is free conference and zine social exploring facets of independent publishing and DIY culture. The Portland Zine Symposium is a two day event held in Portland, Oregon every summer since 2001. It consists of two days of of workshops, panels, discussions, games and tabling of zines and independent media.

The Portland Zine Symposium aims to promote greater community between diverse creators of independent publications and art. This fun and free event helps people share their work while exchanging their skills and information related to zine culture. Through workshops, panels and discussions, Portland Zine Symposium explores the role and effect of all types of zines.

Newsletter! L.A. Zine Fest! Chicago Zine Fest! ZOE!

Ack! hello neglected blog!

I recently put out a new newsletter.You can read it online here. It has info about some of my new button designs, upcoming travel plans, and discount codes for both my Etsy and Small World buttons shops. I believe there is still a day or two to purchase things and have them arrive in time for Giftmas.

Speaking of travel! I found super cheap tickets to LA and snagged a table at the LA Zine Fest! So, I’ll be in Southern California over Presidents weekend in February, just in time to get a reprieve from the damp and gloomy Portland winter. I’m hoping to have a new zine done by then. I’m inspired by 90s zines and hope to make a travel zines about my trip to the UK a few years ago. I’m not going to worry too much about pretty layout and am just going to put it all together after hammering it out on my typewriter. hooray for zines!

I also registered last night for a table at the Chicago Zine Fest. I had so much fun last year that I want to do it all again! I’m also organizing another ZOE (Zine Organizers Event) It is a physical space for zine event organizers to meet and share ideas and experiences about running zine events. We had one last year and it was really fun so I’m looking forward to doing it again.

And all this talk about Zine Events reminds me, we really really really need people to help us organize the Portland Zine Symposium. The last two organizing meetings have been pretty empty. A lot of the old organizers are burnt out and we need some new blood. We should be having an open meeting at the beginning of the year.