Tag Archives: election

The Women’s March in Chicago

Women's March Chicago 2I’ve been meaning to share some pictures from the Women’s March in Chicago for awhile now.Women's March Chicago 1After the election, I was feeling so discouraged. And still, most days I feel this way. I know we’re not supposed to talk about politics in public and on blogs, but for me, this goes beyond Democrats and Republicans. If Mitt Romney or John McCain had won in 2012 and 2008, I would have been disappointed, but I wouldn’t have been afraid for our country. And, while I think it’s fine to disagree, this whole “alternative facts” thing where the two sides are living in two separate realities…it’s scary. Women's March Chicago, White House CatBut I’m inspired by the number of people who are awakened to politics and getting involved. I have been a huge fan of politics since I was able to vote. I registered as soon as I turned 18 and I’ve voted in almost every election since then. I have always been a fan of writing to my Senator and Congressman, even the ones in “my party” because they don’t always get it right. Women's March Chicago, Trump puts ketchup on his hot dogBeing in the city with 250,000 motivated, progressive, witty people gave me some hope that we’ll get through this, even if there is a lot of work to do. (By the way, that yellow sign is the ultimate Chicago burn.) Women's March Chicago, Grab them by the ballot box, Kimberly and NaotoSo thanks to my fellow marchers for giving me a shot of hope…especially this guy, who is always beside me.


P.S. I wrote this in March 2017 but never hit publish. I retroactively published the post January 21, 2018.

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Election Party 2012

The 2012 Election Party was an epic night of worry (mainly me…everyone else was a lot more confident!), pundit chatter (our own and on television), tasty food (Chicago-style hot dogs & Freddy’s meatballs for-the-win!) and in the end, celebration.

I spent the day on Tuesday breaking out all of my red, white and blue decorations while watching pundits speculate on TV. For the dining table, I used my red table cloth and sprinkled the table with patriotic ribbon, candles (some were decorated with washi tape), VOTE cards (from the teacher store) and my collection of vintage election buttons. It was fun eating dinner and checking out some of the old candidates. Over the table, on our 1970s chandelier, I hung red, white and blue stars (from here).

In the kitchen, we had the “food buffet”. I didn’t get a picture of everything all laid out, but we had a nice spread. It all started with my red, white and blue napkins.

And it ended with these delicious red velvet cupcakes made by our friend Karen. (I ate the last one for dinner last night!)

In the living room, I had my garlands hung, my Abe Lincoln book on the table and of course my glittered elephant and donkey were ready to go.

And I sifted through my vintage book collection for the red and blue books to set out with my Barack Obama action figure (leftover from the 2008 election) and Lefty (a mini Beanie Baby my parents found for me).

And on my desk, I hung a partisan garland. (Naoto gave me those sunny tulips on Sunday night…aren’t they cheery?)

It was supposed to be a long night, but in the end it wasn’t. We broke out the champagne and toasted the President.

It was a good night…a very good night.

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I VOTED 2012


It’s Election Day here in the US! I am feeling proud and thankful to be able to vote for someone I believe in. I am thankful for the women in history who fought for my right to vote as a woman. I am thankful for those who fought in our history’s wars so we could continue to enjoy the right to vote today (especially the World War II veterans, who always have a special place in my heart). I am thankful for the men and women who are still protecting our freedoms and the freedoms of others.

I am also feeling anxious, nervous and scared to see the election results unfold tonight during our Election Party. Naoto has already told me that I shouldn’t cry in front of the guests. I couldn’t make him any promises.


The Weekend Was Spent With Glitter

It took all weekend, but these guys are ready for their Election Party debut tomorrow night. Okay, it didn’t really take all weekend, but I worked on them throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, and I even added a little more glue and a few more dashes of glitter this morning, so it feels like it took all weekend. (And for the record, glittering these guys is pretty much all I did this weekend as far as Election Party prep goes.)

I used this Martha Stewart tutorial for the idea. I used bookbinding glue (because it is my “craft glue”) and Martha’s “red corundum” and “azurite” glitter (from a 24 pack). And. in spite of the fact that the elephant and the donkey are pretty big, I feel like my vials of glitter are still full. It’s like magic…but it’s also a little annoying because now I feel like I’m never going to use up all this glitter!

Last winter, I glittered a family of tiny deer. By the time I finished two of the three, I was over the project. And, to be honest, that’s how I felt about these guys…I just wanted them to be done. I think waiting for the glue to dry and going back to fill in the bald spots kills my momentum and crafty spirit. But, as always, I’m glad I suffered through in the name of our 2012 Election Party. I think they look fun and flashy.

And I’m even sitting here right now thinking about all of the plastic toy turkeys that could be glittered for Thanksgiving…

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My Little Red Toolbox | Sakura Quickie Glue Pen

The Little Red Toolbox is back! And, with another pen (not on purpose)! But this one is not full of ink, it’s full of glue. Glue that streams out in a nice fine line. Glue that can be covered in glitter to add little more *sparkle* to your projects. Glue that can be used to stick the teeeeniest bits of paper to other bits of paper.

Sakura’s Quickie Glue Pen writes like a smooth ballpoint pen making it easy to add small glittery details to paper projects. I used it to add some subtle sparkle to some decorations (the Stars & Stripes Garland from Paper Source) for the Election Party. The Quickie Glue Pen writes with a 0.7mm point and is really easy to control. I traced the outline of the stars inside the circles and I had no problem staying along the edge, even though I am often careless, impatient and messy when I craft. When I first started, I traced small sections of the stars and added glitter to each section before “writing” more glue.

By the time I was on the last color, I was tracing the entire star and glittering all at once. (For the record, I only glittered six of these…see what I mean about being impatient?) The good news is, the glue stays tacky long enough to hold the glitter well.

I strung them up (with the included tiny clothespins and twine) and stuck them on the TV stand. I still have eight more circles and eight more stars that I can play with someplace else, if I don’t run out of time (or interest).

It’s hard to see the glitter in the picture, but it adds just enough sparkle to make things festive around here. As soon as the donkey and the elephant are glittered, they will join the garland near the TV for a little sparkle party.

But back to the glue pen. When the glue is still blue, it is a permanent adhesive. While I wouldn’t use a thin glue pen to glue large areas or heavy papers together, I do use it to adhere tiny bits of paper to other paper or to stick down that pesky corner that the glue stick always seems to miss. But for the most part, I use the glue pen just as I used it today–to add some glitter to decorations or cards. Because a little sparkle goes a long way around here. (And even a little sparkle creates a glittery mess that lasts for weeks…but it’s worth it!)

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These Guys Won’t Even Know What Hit ‘Em

Election Party prep is in full swing around here. On Thursday I packed up all of the Halloween stuff and the weekend ahead promises to be full of cleaning and craft projects of the red, white and blue persuasion. Those guys up above (a plastic elephant and donkey from the toy animal bins at Michaels) are going to get a glitter treatment. We are still deciding on food and I’m trying to motivate myself to get the cleaning and decorating and shopping out of the way so I’m not rushing around on Tuesday while I’m trying to vote and obsessively watch the election coverage on television.

And, while everyday life goes on here, everyday life has virtually stopped out East. My heart is breaking over the devastation there. Cecelia, my longest-running pen pal lives in Manhattan and I am anxiously awaiting a letter from her so I can hear how she fared in the storm. Of course, I understand that it might take awhile as she focuses on adjusting to the new normal there, but in this age of instant communication, it’s weird for impatient me to have to wait for news in the mail…like we’ve turned back the clock 100 years. Cecelia and I have never exchanged email addresses or phone numbers, so I’m relying on John-the-Mailman to bring me news.

In the meantime, I will be hoping for the best for Cecelia and everyone who is affected…

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Smart Women Vote

When I was a college freshman, I voted for the first time by absentee ballot. I remember being so excited when the ballot arrived, punching my choices with the little stylus, and dropping the completed ballot in the blue mailbox near my dorm. It was really exciting, but I was so disappointed that I didn’t get to vote in the real voting booth and I didn’t get one of those I VOTED stickers. Upon hearing my disappointment, my grandfather (who always wrote me the most charming letters) sent me his voting sticker. I’d forgotten all about this kind gesture until a few years ago when I was sifting through all of my college mail and I found it folded in a letter written in my grandfather’s beautiful script. Just thinking about it makes me all weepy.

Since then, I’ve voted at the polls in every election–and I’ve always proudly sported my I VOTED sticker. And, for the past few Presidential Elections, I’ve sported these Smart Women Vote buttons. This year, I did a mass mailing and sent a bunch out to my friends and pen pals. It’s a “safe” political outreach, because it’s non-partisan…I’m a firm believer in agree-to-disagree…I know I’m not going to change anyone’s mind about their political leanings, just like they are certainly not going to change my mind. (I am very stubborn.) But I do think it’s important to vote–so, no matter which side you are on, or whether you live in a red state, a blue state or a swing state…as they say in Chicago–vote early and vote often!*

*Kidding…just vote once.

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planning…election party 2012

I love politics. I love the strategy, the speeches, the photo-ops, the over-analysis from pundits, the debates, the fact that adults in Washington DC can act like children and somehow it’s totally acceptable… I love how Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert have such a keen eye for the craziness and I love that Saturday Night Live ups its game on election years. (Oh, how the candidates give us so much to laugh about!)

Naoto & I have been hosting election parties since 2004. The party in 2008 was the best, complete with Election Bingo, campaign cocktails, Chicago-style hot dogs and Presley dressing up (under much duress) as an elephant.

There are less than fifty days until election night, and I am in full planning mode. I’ve been stocking up on red, white and blue paper-y goodness, washi tape and (non-partisan) election buttons. I’ve been digging through my collection of vintage political paraphernalia (George H.W. Bush paper dolls, anyone?) I’ve been pinning ideas for cocktails and snacks and decorations like crazy. I’ve been trying to talk Presley into dressing up again. (She put her paw down…she will not be dressing up in 2012.) And I’ve been researching televisions…because we want our guests to be able to see the results on our TV.

That’s what is keeping me busy today. (That and master bath remodel planning…) Do you host an election party and wait up to see the results with all of your friends? Or do you go to bed and catch the news in the morning? And if you’re not in the US, are elections a huge deal where you are?

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