As confessions go, this is a pretty easy one to admit.
I am obsessed by pin back buttons and cloisonne pins; I have collected them for years. The first category is quickly overtaking the second. My collection is growing at an even faster rate because some of my favorite authors give them away at the romance conventions I attend.
I don't just collect them - I make them. At first, I paid other companies to produce them for me to take as swag to meetups. After some research I realized I could produce them myself with the proper equipment. It gave me much more control; I am picky on the paper and the color on the printing. I should be - this is my own artwork on that button. It has to be just right.
Which is what this really boils down to - a button is a tiny wearable piece of art. It is a way for me to collect beautiful and/or silly images that tickle my fancy. Not only collect them, but wear them and display them on my person. But lately I began to wonder with my ever expanding collection...how could I display them at home?
Many of you reading this might be wondering that as well. You've also amassed these crazy little things and wonder what to do with them. I thought I would share with you some of the creative ways you can showcase them as the memorable souvenirs they are. I searched the idea on the web and found these.
If you are the crafty type, purchase the supplies necessary to make a shadow box. The directions are pretty easy, even for those who might be mystified by a glue gun.
I found a frame and some ribbon can make a creative display of buttons as well. This was found on Pinterest.
But I hear you cry "I'm not a crafty person!" You don't have to be. Check out the lampshade discussed in this article about organizing clutter:
They can be used as quirky (but fun!) home decor on a curtain as well.
Last but not least, who doesn't have a few throw pillows in their home these days? Why not dedicate one to your buttons?
So if you see an offer for a button and you like it but wonder "what would I do with it?" hopefully these suggestions will help you out. The buttons I create remind me of the characters or people who are special to me. The ones I collect from authors and other artists serve the same purpose.
Every time I look at them I smile.
Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. This is my first year participating in the Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia 2015 but I doubt it will be my last. While I think our community has made great strides in combating the ignorance and fear which surround LGBT people we certainly have a long way to go.
I often think the answer to creating a new wave of understanding are the children. Kids are not born hating.
They learn to hate.
As a mother I interact with children all the time. I have tutored many in digital art. My graphic tablet is always out and ready for kids to doodle on. While sitting around waiting on my kids I often work on projects for LGBT authors or I'm creating bunnies.
If you have never seen my work you are probably wondering....bunnies?
I told the story of Skip & Pip (aka The Pride Bunnies) on a post over at Prism Book Alliance, which you can read here. Since that post, more children have adopted my cute little boy bunnies who are madly in love with each other. I have seen the buttons on kid backpacks. Others own the plushes and even carry them to school.
Quite a few adults have adopted them as well.
A ten year old girl looked over my shoulder while I drew them one day and asked, "Which one is the boy and which one is the girl?"
I replied, "They are both boys" and smiled at her.
She grinned hugely. "Wow! That's so cool!"
Skip & Pip did their job of showing "love is love" just as I hoped they might.
Her response gives me hope. I honestly believe our best resource are the new generations - those kids that haven't been taught hate yet. We can't reach them all but the ones we do interact with will push the tide that is rolling - acceptance for everyone no matter if you are gay, lesbian, genderfluid, transgender, bisexual or any of the other beautiful colors of the rainbow.
Please check out all the other blogs hosting the Hop today at the links below. A huge number of amazing people have incredible things to share and giveaway. I am sure their words of wisdom and their ideas of how to reach out and fight against hate will spur you on to do more. There are so many little ways to help.
Follow the link to the rafflecopter below to win your own Skip and Pip t-shirt!
What's that? What needs to be here?
A page for some of my more, er...crazier art. The things I do just because it amuses me and only me.
Only it doesn't. It ends up amusing a great number of people as a general rule.
I love fandoms. While I have played in book and movie fandoms, my favorite fandoms these days are LGBT romance novels and their universes. Which means making something that enters my brain and won't let go and then showing it to the author who's book it was based on and saying, "I did this thing and please don't yell at me."
They NEVER yell at me. Authors love to get artwork centered around the books they so painstakingly write; those universes they sweat blood and tears over. Those universes that grab us and won't let go.
So I vascillated, but the silly art... it needs to be here too.