First off, I apologize for not putting up a post last Friday. I was in Seattle, busily depriving myself of sleep and being surrounded by 90,000 or so amazing people. It was awesome. My lack of posting was less than awesome, but let’s remember my double post of the previous week and move along, forgiving and forgetting. Should be quite easy if you were at PAX and are thus as sleep deprived as me.
PAX, for anyone unfamiliar with the event, is a twice-annual celebration of all things gamer and geeky, an encapsulation of why online gaming communities, D&D groups and games night companions are amazing and will make your life a happier place, full of rainbows and unicorns and (My Little) ponies. It’s a massive video game convention hosted by Penny Arcade, an event to which the word “epic” can actually be applied with honesty and accuracy. It’s a place where people dress up as blue aliens because it makes them awesome. Everyday life should be so wonderful.
It’s difficult to describe the whole weekend without spiralling into run-on sentences of glassy-eyed wonder and incoherent adoration. One of the neatest things about this year was how much of a spontaneous reunion it became. Every year more of my friends attend, and every year I get to know more and more people at PAX, and throughout the weekend we’d see someone and I’d think, “Cool, we’ve now run into everyone here that we know!” And then I’d be proven wonderfully wrong as we turned a corner and bumped into someone else.
We got to do things like play Cthulhu gloom and Cthulhu Fluxx and one of WoTC’s up-and-coming, not-yet-released boardgames. We got our faces made into MtG token cards and enjoyed a wild and crazy dance floor where people were simply having fun, not getting down and dirty. We went to an improv show, we did an MtG draft, we met people we know online and connected IRL faces with avatars. We learned how to play Betrayal. We tried out the Mass Effect 3 demo and the new Zelda game. I managed to kill three dudes in the Skyrim demo, instead of being killed, which just goes to show how far I’ve come towards not totally sucking at games in the last few years. I could go on and on, but if you were at PAX you already have the idea, and if you weren’t at PAX hopefully you’re thinking that you should be next year.
Now, I promised a craft tutorial as well, but first we need a segue. Shouldn’t be too hard, because…
…there’s a huge overlap in the communities of gaming and geekery and crafting, and this is always evidenced at PAX. People wander around in the most incredible array of homemade costumes, they carry self-constructed Portal guns and Companion Cubes, they lug their merch and Magic cards around in hand stitched Castle Crashers tote bags, they walk around with self-designed puppet companions. And I was so busy admiring all this crafting goodness that, for the most part, I utterly failed to document it with photos. But trust me, these things were there, and they were awesome.
A few years ago, the trend of giving out and trading pinback buttons got started at PAX Prime. As an obsessive crafter, I am all over the idea of collecting small pretty, aesthetically pleasing things. And while I’m certainly not among the most determined of PAX’s buttoneers, I do have enough buttons from the past couple years to add significant weight to the front of my shoulder bag.
I’ve been looking for creative uses for these buttons once PAX is over. Obviously you can wear them on bags or clothes, but I worry about losing them. And Murphy’s law dictates that you’ll lose your favourite, most irreplaceable buttons first and always. There are also just so many of them. So, what else can you do with all these buttons?
1) Turn them into magnets.
- magnets (small round ones that you can get at the hardware store)
- circle punch or a pencil and a pair of scissors
- pliers or wire cutters
- buttons* – two matching (or mismatched, if you like) buttons for earrings, one for a pendant.
- needle nosed pliers
- round nosed pliers
- wire cutters
- jewelry findings (earring hooks, chain and clasps for a necklace or bracelet, jump rings to add length… whatever you want)