Picking up speed!
February was a busier month than what it’s been, which is good, but also made me realize that I can only realistically commit to doing one button blog a month. So that’s what I will do, moving forward.
I vended at two events, both were newer with not much foot traffic, but I still really enjoyed myself and the company I was hanging out with. A lot of really solid amazing vendors, who also happen to be amazing people. And the event has a lot of potential. I’m excited to see what it will evolve in to. On February 2nd I did the Sunday Bazaar at Dalancy’s in Renton as a benefit for 50th Street Studio and on the 16th I did the small vendor showcase at 50th Street Studios. I had a couple of people stop by both events and make some buttons.
It rains in Washington State, a lot. And downtown Renton is one of those places where if the sun isn’t shining, people aren’t really out walking around much, but I am not one to focus on what’s not happening, as I am to make the best of situations that aren’t ideal. I would’ve loved to sell more than 2 DIY buttons at each event, but sometimes you find yourself exactly where you need to be at the exact moment you need to be there, and I had the privilege of sharing space with two other amazing vendors, who also prefered to look at the brighter side of life during the event on the 16th. One of the vendors is a husband and wife team that run KG Arts, and the other was an artist who sells her artwork under the name Morbid Heart Designs.
We wound of diving into some deep, heart felt conversation in between the window shoppers and folks stopping in to ask about when the next movie would be playing. Keith, the owner of 50th Street Studio has a passion for film. The main purpose of the studio is to provide film and recording space for directors, podcasters, etc., and he also plays a movie every Saturday from the public domain library. I saw a great movie back when I vended there in December that really plucked all of my heart strings and was like nothing I had ever really seen before, called Sita Sings The Blues. I love what Keith is doing with this space and I highly encourage you go check it out! The bazaar runs every Saturday and Sunday, with rotating vendors, so you never know what you will find on any given weekend.
I think anyone who’s ever had their heart broken can relate to this, and if nothing else, the style and delivery is amazing with a new twist on an old tale.
Before I start diving into the custom orders I processed over this last month, I just have to share a really cool picture James sent me after receiving his last button order. He made a stage for his buttons to perform on. I thought it was super cool and a fun way to showcase the buttons he ordered. Thank you so much James, this picture really made my day!
I love that he even completed it with a tiny little set list.
ON TO THE CUSTOM ORDERS!!!
So, I always feel pretty lucky when people choose me to make their buttons. I really do my best to provide a quality product and I feel like the people who keep coming back really appreciate the eye for detail that I put into every order. I know that there are hundreds upon thousands of button makers and that you really could choose anyone, but there are some button seekers out there who choose me and it really means the world to me, especially since this is now my full time job.
This month, here are some of the rad-a-dactyl people who have chosen me and a lot of them are repeat clients. Thank you so much for helping to keep my little business in the woods going. And thank you for doing what you do and sharing your craft with the world!
SOME KIND OF NIGHTMARE
– San Diego Punk Band –
I’ve been making buttons for SKON since I played a show with them back in 2013 or so, I think it was. They are a great band to be around. They treat everyone with respect, load in and load out in the blink of an eye, and provide a full blast of energy straight to your core for their entire set. So much fun and awesome people on top of it. They are a husband and wife team that have been touring almost non-stop for about six or seven years now.
You can buy all their music on Bandcamp or follow them on Instagram, Facebook or both.
They are going to be releasing a new album in April or May and are almost always on tour, so be sure to check out their schedule for when they’ll be at a town near you.
They ordered 100 2.25″ pin-back buttons with a black logo on red and white paper.
Also got to put together a super sweet swag pack for my buddy, Jesse.
JESSE KENNETH COTU WILLIAMS
This swag pack includes a sampling of every product I offer; pin-back buttons, magnets, and the 2.25″ key-ring bottle openers. I just added a rendition of this to the store here on the website, but if you don’t like the combo offered, you’re welcome to contact me and customize a package to fit your needs. 🙂
I met Jesse what feels like eons ago when he was singing for The Backup Razor and I was working for The Athiarchists back in 2010 or 2011. Jesse is road family 100%, we’ve housed each other, fed each other, and supported each other throughout the years with various projects. He is the head booker at the Blue Lagoon in Santa Cruz, CA. He also is behind like a bazillion other projects. I often run into him in other states when he’s working for a band as a road dog or on his own tour. He recently just put out a solo EP (which is what these buttons are for)on Voted Best Records, featuring an original song called “I Tried” (same as the EP title), and 4 other songs he just happens to really love and wanted to share with folks who might not normally listen to that style of music, but love everything he’s put out.
I really love the third track on the EP, which is Jesse’s cover of Manchester Orchestra song, Apprehension.
Jesse is also part of a pretty sweet project for all you wrastlin’ fans out there called “The Randy Savages” that’s pretty entertaining. According to their Facebook page, they are a “Punk Rock Wrestling Accompaniment Collective” formed by Jesse Williams and Nick Carroll in Santa Cruz, California late 2014.
Anywho…I could go on forever, gotta a lot of love for this guy and his little kitty, Olive Oil, who’s face has graced thousands of buttons made by myself and Free Spirit buttons, another button maker that Jesse supports…but I have other orders from other awesome clients that went out as well, that I also have a lot of love for.
-Laytonville, CA, Metal Band-
First off, the name alone is just amazing…my buddy, Jack, described it as forged somewhere from a love for gardening, a love for metal, and making fun of Metallica…and there you have…McGarlica. I love the name, it’s fun and the design was fun too…an onion, with the name of the band lost somewhere in the roots, black metal style.
They ordered a mix of buttons and magnets in all the sizes I offer. The band is still pretty new and still looking for a couple members to complete the project, but they have a fun attitude and if doomy/black metal style metal is your thing, they are definitely worth checking out. They also have elements of rock…idunno, hard to describe. I have a wide pallet for all genres of music, so I dig them. They have a Facebook and an Instagram. They post videos on their Facebook, but here’s something from one of their practice sessions…
They are still a pretty new project that doesn’t take themselves all that seriously, with a name like McGarlica, can you blame them? So much love to Jack and his band.
The other order I made for a band this month was a little closer to home and is attached to my Bham fam.
Done To Death
-Pacific Northwest, Alt Metal String Band-
These guys, I didn’t know at all, but I have a lot of love for Bellingham and the Bhammers usually return that love pretty hard. Back when I toured all the time, the bands up there at the time became my second family. So whoever sent these guys my way, thank you so much! I really love the logo a lot. Part of what makes buttons so fun for me is all the different art pieces that come across my desk. Some just make me really go, “Wow, that was awesome”, and this one is no different. It’s a very simple black and white piece, but I love how it seems to mimic the feel of an over-copied image or frame that starts to deteriorate from over use. I do think it’s worth mentioning that they are more styled towards Slayer than what comes to mind when you think of a string band…but I don’t make their descriptions, I just steal them from their social media accounts. 🙂
They ordered the 1.75″ Pin-Back Buttons.
They have a Facebook, an Instagram, and here’s a video I found that was posted on YouTube. The sounds quality is much better on the videos posted to their Facebook, but I can’t embed those, so I work with what I can find. Check out there Facebook page…these guys are pretty good and I’d like to check them out live sometime.
I also made some magnets to celebrate the launch of my Podcast, SYMPTMS of a Creative Mind, that is created under my performance name, Zebrana Bastard. The 2.25″ magnets are something I just recently added to the products I offer in the last couple of months, so I’ve been having fun with them.
These ones with the ZB004 was for a special run I made for my Patrons who support the show by Subscribing to my Patreon. I actually have a blog on Patreon that I update weekly under my performance name, and a button club you can subscribe to, if that interests you. I often try to keep my music and buttons separate from each others, but I’m a pretty passionate person, so either way, they always cross paths eventually. I will be adding these as a regular product in the very near future.
Are you guys sick of scrolling yet? I hope not…still have a few more to go…but hey, I’m only updating this once a month right? If nothing else, you can mob through, and check out the pictures, but I hope you stop to read some of the blurbs too…because I wouldn’t be able to keep operating if it wasn’t for the wonderful people that fill these blogs!
This one here really surprised me. I did an event last month at Ocean Shores, where I met a wonderful artist named
MR. BEN BARTLETT
-Olympia, WA, Artist-
Ben was also vending at the Urban Unglued event in Ocean Shores, and when he had a moment, he came over to stop at my booth and talk buttons. He makes his living by drawing cutesy little creatures of varying styles and putting his creations on products he can sell like tshirts, hats, prints, and-you guessed it-buttons. He had created this really cool monster alphabet, with the idea that it would at some point become a set of alphabet refrigerator magnets. I freaking LOVE doing sets like this. So far, I’ve only got to make a couple things for chore charts and once I did name tags for glasses so a mom with her hands full wouldn’t have to wash a million cups every day. Those are always super fun, but I have always wanted to do an alphabet or a number set as well.
I know on my own, I could probably create just about anything…but I am super busy making buttons, writing songs for my band and solo project, editing podcasts, and being an awesome wife, that I really don’t have room on my plate to sit around creating fun ideas for buttons. I do it when I can, but I can’t make it a focal point right now, so I jumped at the chance to bring Ben’s vision into a reality.
He loved the buttons so much that in less than a month, he had placed another order for more monster alphabets, plus this really fun set of BUTTs Buttons.
And after he received his order, he posted the following on his Instagram and Facebook that almost made me cry.
It’s not the only nice thing he’s said about me and my buttons, but seriously, it really means a lot to me when people honestly appreciate the work I put into to ensure you’re receiving a quality product. Especially when I’m reproducing works of original art that my customer created themselves. Strength is in the details and I really do the very best I can to ensure that everyone is getting exactly what they wanted when they placed their order. Ben has so much fun and cool stuff on his Instagram and Facebook pages, and he also participates in a lot of events where you can meet him face to face and buy from him directly, so I highly suggest you follow him on social media to keep up with the latest on all things Mr Ben Bartlett and definitely go VISIT his store and PURCHASE his art! It’s like a 2for1, you can simultaneously support us both!
I had another repeat client place an order, which features another logo I really love and love to press!
-Tacoma, WA, Wine Bar-
Back when they celebrated their grand opening, I had the pleasure of making magnets and buttons for them, and when they ran out, they placed another order for these little 1″ pin-back button beauties!
They proudly boast to be Tacoma’s first Meadery, using local sources to make their mead, paying mind that folks don’t want to spend hundreds just to enjoy a tasty beverage. I, myself, have never tried their product, as I haven’t drank alcohol in nearly 8 years for the benefit of myself and all mankind, but people seem to really enjoy them, I really enjoy the fun posts and puns they make, and I love making their buttons…so if you are someone who can responsibly handle your alcohol intake, I definitely encourage you to swing by Tacoma’s very first meadery, and enjoy a sip of their wares.
Kvlt Mead is on Facebook, Instagram, and they have their very own website.
Buttons are very versatile products, because you can put just about anything on them, and they will look cool…but if you have a special event going on, they can become something that builds a real memory. So earlier this month, a friend of mine from the East Coast hit me up with a special request for a shared bachlorette/bachelor party that’s they will be hosting for a couple of wild and crazy kids that are going to be tying the knot later on this year. The story I got behind these is that they are both burlesque dancers, and one has a full strip tease routine that involves the dinosaur depicted on these buttons.
I couldn’t tell you what the hashtag means, but these were such a fun design that I was almost sad to see them go. Good luck to the bride and groom these were made for. I think you seriously have some super rad friends, but I’m a total sucker for dinosaurs, so I just might be a little biased.
These are 2.25″, when your talking about a crazy blowout bash to celebrate upcoming nuptials, the bigger the better when it comes to party swag.
Last, but not least, I had a couple of button orders come through last minute that I did serious rush orders on. Meaning, I put everything else I’m doing on hold and make them top priority, with the goal of getting them out in 24 hours or less of the order being placed. Sometimes I’m able to ship the same day the order is placed, so long as I have time to reach the post office in my town before they close at 4pm. In my opinion, memorial buttons are the most important of all the buttons I make, because they always mean more to the receivers. It’s a way of connecting to the heart and it shows how something as small as a button can hold a powerful meaning. It really is an honor to be chosen for such an important task, and I’m almost always happy to aid in the healing process of losing a loved one. Death and loss is hard and I’ve dealt with a lot of loss in my life and have made buttons for a lot of my friends and loved ones who’ve also passed. I keep them on the visor of my truck, so my friends are always with me, reminding me to keep going and keep living my best life. No two batches are ever the same, so I never treat them like they are. It’s super important to me to really get these right the first time, especially when making decisions while dealing with grief can be really hard. Everything can be a delicate process, and I recognize this when I make these. I want these to truly represent the person who’s life you wish to celebrate. So thank you to the two women who placed these orders, thank you for trusting me with such an important task.
People can say to me all day long that I’m “just making buttons”, so I shouldn’t care so much, but I can promise you that to the one’s who come back and keep coming back, they really do appreciate the care and attention to detail I put into the buttons I make. It really does matter to me that you get a quality product, and that you get what you pay for the first time. It is a pleasure to serve you, I am happy to make your buttons for any and every occasion, and I love it when you choose me to be your button maker.
Thank you so much for being here, I wish you all the best and peace in your heart when faced with hard times.
With love and buttons,
PS: I almost forgot to mention, I’m doing an event that’s coming up soon! If you’re anywhere near Bremerton, WA, I’ll be vending at Urban Unglued’s Spring Unsprung Maker’s Market next week. So come on out and make a button or just smile and say hi! I’d love to meet you or chat for a bit. ♥