Supplies purchase and Beth’s templates

We recently discovered Illinois button maker Beth McLennon now has a template download page on her website, Buttons For Barack! She makes 2.25 inch buttons and we’ve been honored to host some of her designs on our templates page. There’s a whole new bunch of her 2.25 inch designs on her site. Check it out!

Today we made our first purchases with the donations raised at the DNC in Denver. A hundred dollars of your button money bought two color and one black printer ink cartridges, and a 100 page pack of the Kodak glossy photo paper we use. That 100 page pack of paper will print out artwork for 3000 1.25inch buttons! Next week we’ll be purchasing button part supplies with the donations.

Jody has a lead on a used printer, the same model as we’re currently using for printing button artwork, an Epson Stylus Photo 820. Ours started acting a little “eccentric” before we left for Denver. It seems fine now, but we’re worried it’s maybe thinking about throwing in the towel right when we need it most. If this used one checks out fine we’ll be bringing it home for back up.

In other equipment malfunction news, we lost a crucial part to our graphics circle cutter–also right before we left for Denver. It fell out while the cutter was being moved from one room to another. Inexplicably, we can not find the part anywhere. We moved the cutter only 15 feet! We’re starting to think we may have to look into a replacement part. For now, we’ve rigged the cutter to work without the part, but it’s much, much slower. Ugh!

The DNC and Donations

Denver 2008

We must apologize for not announcing our recent trip to Denver and the DNC here before we left. We found out the Wednesday before the start of the convention that we had passes into the stadium event and had to scramble to make travel arrangements and get as many buttons as possible made to take with us. We were making buttons right up until we had to leave for the airport.

We had a fantastic time passing out buttons, attending various convention related events and of course getting to be there for Obama’s acceptance speech! Wow, what a special night that was, eh?! It’s taken us a week to recover and we’re slowly working on uploading tons of photos from the trip to flickr.

The other thing we didn’t get to announce before leaving was our new donate page. Buttons4Obama is now taking donations to fund our button making for the Fall campaign. We’ve tried funding it mostly out of pocket up until now, but our extra funds are quickly running out. If our efforts are something you’d like to contribute to, we invite you to check out the donate page. There’s several ways to contribute.

Jody passing out buttons outside the DNCTo that end, we decided to take a $1 suggested donation for our buttons while in Denver. We didn’t turn anyone away that wanted a button but didn’t have the cash, however, thanks to everyone that did donate we were able to raise $395! Thank you all so much!! We’ll update here about the specific supplies we end up spending your donations on. Above, that’s Jody in yellow passing out buttons outside one of the gates into the convention.

We took an estimated 1200 buttons to Denver. The few hundred we had left after the convention we took Colorado Springs Campaign Office Signdown to the Colorado Springs Obama campaign office while we were still in Colorado. We had a great visit with the folks there. They were hard at work late on a Saturday night preparing for the next day’s phone banking and voter registration activities. They explained to us they have a huge veteran population in Colorado Springs. The majority of their volunteers are vets and just that day they had 30 NEW vets come in wanting to volunteer!

They told us they could really use Veterans for Obama buttons. If you’re making or buying Veterans for Obama buttons send some their way care of their field organizer Nate Hundt. You can get their address here. I know they’d be very grateful for it. Keep up the great work Colorado Springs!

Button Goof

I’m sure it’s a sign of how crazy things have been around here lately between button making, Jody’s delegate events, and sheer excitement over Obama clinching the nomination (!!!) that we only now realized we have a design mistake in our Si Se Puede buttons. The text was supposed to be all caps, but the i in Si is not. The funny thing is, I’ve been staring at this button lately thinking the spacing on it was off, but never noticing the lower case i until today. Thus, we will be fixing that as well as the spacing. However, the fixed template will most likely not be up until sometime next week. The template preparer, Jody, is off on a work trip this week. Our apologies to anyone that might have made buttons from the template currently up. Or perhaps you liked it with a lower case i. It was kinda stylin’.

We are still quite behind in putting up some other templates, and getting some new button photos taken and posted. This weekend, June 13-15, is our Washington State Democratic Convention in Spokane! We’re in a frenzy with getting things ready and making gobs of buttons for it! After that we should have more time for devoting to the site. There’s some new designs we’ve made and we can’t wait to unveil them here. But for now, please be patient with us.

Buttons and More Buttons

Christy\'s buttons

Here’s the two buttons I got from photographer and button maker Christy Cusick at our Congressional District caucus on May 17. They’re 1 inch buttons, but next to our 1 1/4 inch buttons they still seem tiny. Tiny=really cute! You can check out the other designs she uses at her Obama fundraising page. Here’s a little about her and her buttons:

Hello my name is Christy Cusick with the 1344-36 WA state. I am working on making buttons for the Barack Obama campaign. I have had the opportunity make 3000 buttons that have gone to over 15 states and growing. If you need buttons for events or just want one for yourself to wear please let me know. I am looking for people to help spread the word.

Enjoy a small 1 inch button designed by Bellingham, WA artist Tara Vodopich, Fairfax, CA artist Tenaya Amelia, and Seattle, WA photographer Christy Cusick. Help us get the word out and wear a button for Obama! Send me your address in an e-mail and I will ship your buttons off ASAP! You can also make a donation to help me reach my fundraising goal of $600.00. A standard donation is $10.00 and gets you one dozen buttons.

Henry with Babies for Obama ButtonWe’ve got some photos on flickr of the Babies for Obama and Yes WA Can buttons that you see used for size comparison in the photo above. They both made their debuts at the CD caucus. This is our little friend Henry modeling the Babies for Obama button. Again, tiny=really cute! But, moms and dads, make sure your little one is not likely to hurt themselves with a button before putting one on them, please! Henry doesn’t have the coordination yet to grab at it and was supervised very closely. No babies were harmed for this photo.

Cafe Vivace button making

Chris and Sal making buttons.
Photos by Andrew Caldwell

One of the things we’ve been needing to get up here are these button making photos from last week’s button making party at Cafe Vivace on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Rose Minier, one of the Seattle Obama super-organizers, hosts a button making party each week at Vivace. They’ve churned out tens of thousands of buttons! It got started with the appropriately named Ten Thousand Button Project, organized by Rose and another Obama super-organizer, Jen Hauseman. The original 10,000 went to PA, and now they send them out all over the US, focusing on states with upcoming primaries. This week they meet on Thursday at 6pm and will be working on buttons for Puerto Rico.

Sal, #13 in the photo above, has been instructing us on our spanish for buttons for Puerto Rico. Chris, behind, is a dedicated button making volunteer.

Rose organizing at the button making party.
Their fearless leader, Rose.

Andrew Caldwell at Vivace button making party.
Andrew with button. Thanks for the photos Andrew!

More photos from Vivace on flickr.

Excitement is in the air

We’re a little behind here, bear with us. We’ve got many things to post, but Saturday was our Congressional District Caucus (7th CD, Washington state), where our delegates to the national convention were chosen. We’ve been very busy with that and now are just plain exhausted. It was an incredible day though. We campaigned hard but unfortunately Jody didn’t make the final cut of delegates to the national convention. However, the 7th is sending a fantastic Obama delegation to Denver!! More on that later when I get some photos posted, but I AM SO PROUD of who the delegates chose. It sends a great message to the rest of the country about who we are here–progressive, diverse, inclusive, timely and fired up!

It was great for me to finally meet button maker Sal Celis, and I met another Seattle Obama button maker, Christy! Christy makes tiny little Obama buttons. We traded buttons and I’ll get some photos up of hers, as well as some other buttons and pins I got there. (Christy, if you read this please email me at the email address on the contact page. I’m having trouble with the email address you gave me…probably my tired eyes…)

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Sal’s Buttons

Sal Celis\' buttons

Sal is an Obama button maker here in Seattle. He bought a button maker after trying ours out at one of the delegate events Jody has been taking the button machine to. He’s got some cool designs and we hope to have some of them up on the templates page soon! He’s focusing right now on making batches of buttons to send to Puerto Rico ahead of their primary on June 1. Congratulations on becoming an Obama button maker Sal!

The buttons we got have a thin stripe around the edge. Nice touch! More of his designs below.

Stripe around the edge of Sal Celis\' buttons.

Sal\'s button collection