heading West
collaging with Kelly Kilmer

making buttons. again.

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Weird. I feel like I've been here before. Except this time the anxiety is about the entire nation and not just my state. It didn't end so well last time (Walker's re-election) (or the two times before that). Fourth time is a charm? And yes, I know. I've been absent from here for a while. I didn't even say anything to you after I got back from California! Eek. That trip was amazing. I am super inspired about art projects and techniques. I will fill you in shortly. Also, on recent arrivals. But let me just tell you, that nasty woman comment that Trump made during the last debate? It REALLY hit a sore spot. With a lot of people. And so, what I have been up to since October 19th? Making buttons.

I am quite tickled at the number of women, of all ages, who walk into the store looking as if they are on a mission. I'm pretty sure they are responding to Sachi's "Nasty Women buttons" sandwich board but haven't quite figured out a graceful way to say "you must be looking for nasty woman buttons."

It's like the days of the protest all over again, people surrounding the button table laughing over buttons, commiserating over family members and coworkers, not to mention Donald Trump himself. And now, just two days to go. I'm alternating between freaking out, trying to be calm so that I can be comforting to other people, reminding myself of all the work that has to be done anyway, while trying not to think too much about all the work that will have to be done should the White House become invaded by Republicans. Because, I tell you, it happened to the Governor's mansion here in Wisconsin and it ain't pretty (and even though Donald Trump is such a horrible little person with a little mind and a little heart, I have to say that the current crop of Republicans hasn't impressed me much either. ahem, Paul Ryan). 

 

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But anyway, it's hard to look up and think about other things. I'm mostly preoccupied with trying to figure out what window to install on November 9th and how many photocopies to make for new buttons. We will have sold close to 3000 in less than a month by the time Tuesday rolls around. I am grateful for Emily in Texas who provided us with a new infusion of button-making energy and has been tremendously creative and a source of great entertainment for our button table. Her many buttons have been quite a hit. I can't tell what the copy shop guys thought about the "Pussy Grabs Back" button. "Nasty Women Vote" is a simple and popular option as well. Emily even inspired us to do a little hand-lettering ourselves. Sachi made a great Russ button and I have a few other variations on the nasty woman theme. We are thinking also about new hand-lettered buttons for future series. Maybe some Wisco buttons?

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We had quite a buzz of excitement on Friday when Joe Biden was next door at the Orpheum. No, he didn't come to the shop. But it seems like everyone who went to hear him speak came and got their Nasty Woman buttons afterwards. We were swamped! But it was a lively crowd with amazing energy and a good way to kick off the last weekend of getting out the vote in all the different ways that people are working.  And also, someone invited me into the Pantsuit Nation group on Facebook and it is so wonderful! Inspiring, liable to make you tear up, a wonderful reminder of all that we are working towards and all the people working with us in this nation. It came along at a perfect moment and is making these last few days bearable.

Sachi and Mom are both working the polls on election day, and Mom has also been busy volunteering at the library helping the early voters. I'm in awe of the stories of people waiting in line for hours to cast their vote. Though also frustrated - doesn't it seem like we are a resourceful nation who could arrange things so that it only took every person no more than 30 minutes to vote? Why is that so hard? I feel incredibly fortunate that the City of Madison has dedicated itself to the voting process and expanded early voting this year. It took me about 10 minutes door-to-door, slightly less than my usual average of 20 minutes. Though I usually like to get my number on the day of, I was getting really stressed out about being hit by a car or something on election day and being unable to cast my ballot. Amidst all the other stress, it was nice to have already cast my vote. Anyway, apologies for not staying in touch. I will be back with pictures of my collages and trip to California, pictures of new arrivals to the store and shortly after that, the holiday window debut. Because, yes, it is time to think about Christmas.

I hope that everyone is remembering to take deep breaths, hug some little ones close to you, maybe work on some art projects - do whatever you have to do to make it through these last days of the worst election season I've ever known. Let's all work for good things on Tuesday, and liberty and justice for all ever after.

 

Vote

 

 

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