ShoeBakery – Specializes in custom shoes that look like desserts.
Plush Giant Isopod – Who doesn’t want to cuddle with an adorably realistic giant bug? Also available through Amazon because why not. (via Cat)
What Will You Leave Behind? – Art installation by Nino Sarabutra, featuring 100,000 small porcelain skulls on the floor. You’re supposed to walk on them barefoot as you go through the gallery. Supposed to be meditative; mainly looks ouchy.
Terribly Messy Maker Nichola “Knickertwist” Battilana decided to express her love of Sherlock Holmes by re-creating 221B Baker Street inside an Altoid Tin (she’s since made several additional versions, shown here).
I think these are simply adorable; I love the notion of a whole little world that you can carry in your pocket. It’s like dollhouses taken to the next level of twee.
I’m apparently really late to the party in being surprised by Altoid-tin art, however: Nichola has done other awesome designs like this Halloween vignette, and googling “altoid tin diorama” turns up a ridiculous number of amazing designs.
Jim Doran combines the tins with carefully-cut paper to create a whole series of “miniature worlds.”
If you like Altoids anyway, you suddenly have a whole new reason to buy them. The dioramas would make really interesting party favors. You can create personalized scenes for all of your friends. And after you’ve gifted everybody you know with a teensy diorama, you can squeeze out a few more tins with an Altoid Advent calendar like the steampunk version done by Over the Crescent Moon.
This is one of those projects that’s been languishing in my Drafts folder as other shiny objects catch my eye, and it’s languished so long that its original source has vanished. I’m fairly sure that I originally saw it in Better Homes and Gardens’ outdoor Halloween decorations, but after slogging through their insanely irritating slideshow it ain’t there, and all other roads lead to Pinterest. Oh well; I don’t recall the original source including instructions, so we’re on our own anyway.
(Click for larger.)
Although probably intended as a seasonal Halloween prop, this is attractive enough to leave up year-’round (although I’d probably just put the crows up seasonally, lest they mildew). The upright appears to be a reclaimed porch column, and the crossbar is a piece of recycled 2×4. There are numerous places to buy or salvage recycled wood (google around for a local source), or you can fake-distress lumber from the hardware store.
Putting this together would require some tiny amount of woodworking skill–you’d need to be able to drill holes to attach the chains, and nail pieces to other pieces–but it wouldn’t require great depth of knowledge. You don’t have to saw anything for the sign (although if you are a woodworker you can get fancy and make your own custom shape): There are plenty of reasonably easy tutorials for making simple signs from precut wood. I particularly like this one, which uses a small tabletop, but this and this are also good resources.
Stencil the sign with your name, and you’ve got a wonderful yard decoration. If you intend to leave it up permanently, you’ll probably want to dig a proper post hole and sink it there. For a seasonal decoration, nail the post to a wooden base large enough to stabilize it; you don’t want it knocked over by the wind or errant trick-or-treaters. The sign by itself would also be an attractive wall decoration in a rec room or kitchen.
No one except Gandalf could ride this horse, given to him by King Théoden
In the noir science fiction movie Dark City, the controllers of the titular city are extraterrestrial parasites inhabiting human corpses. What are they called?
A) The Others
B) The Strangers
C) The Decepticons
D) The Visitors
E) The Greys
In the classic political cautionary tale 1984, the most feared room in the Ministry of Love is this one, where the victim is subjected to his worst fear.
In Joe Hill’s novel NOS4A2, the villain abducts children using this type of car.
A) Lamborghini Diablo
B) Dodge Demon
C) Pontiac Banshee
D) Plymouth Fury
E) Rolls-Royce Wraith
In this über-creepy David Cronenberg film, a television entrepreneur looking for new content encounters a mysterious pirate station which broadcasts sadomasochistic porn and what appears to be real, on-camera torture and murder.
The seminal conspiracy-theory novels The Illuminatus! Trilogy were written by Robert Anton Wilson and whom?
A) Bob Shaw
B) Norman Spinrad
C) Robert Shea
D) Bruce Sterling
E) Michael Swanwick
This Greek hero fought robbers such as Procrustes and captured the Marathonian Bull, but is perhaps best known for killing the Minotaur.
Charles Stross’ “Laundry” series is a spy thriller/horror hybrid which follows the adventures of Bob Howard, a computer tech and demonologist, as he saves the world from Lovecraftian horrors. Which of these titles is not part of the Laundry series?
A) The Atrocity Archives
B) The Jennifer Morgue
C) The Fuller Memorandum
D) The Apocalypse Codex
E) The Lambda Functionary
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle published a sequel to their 1975 novel, Inferno, titled Escape From Hell, in which the protagonist is accompanied by an author whom he has saved from eternal damnation as a sentient tree in the “Wood of the Suicides.” Who is this author?
The movie Screamers, which involves soldiers in a future civil war being infiltrated and murdered by more and more human-seeming robots, was based on the influential short story “Second Variety” by this brain-bending author.
A) Poppy Z. Brite
B) Tim Powers
C) Neil Gaiman
D) Philip K. Dick
E) Pat Cadigan
Just Ella is a short science fiction film by Jim Munroe which “posits a future overrun by gibbering monstrosities.”
Ella takes refuge in a “the Ossington Safehouse, a collectively-run space dedicated to human sovereignty.” But despite doing the assigned tasks on the chore list, the Safehouse isn’t safe — the terrors outside are nothing compared to those within.
Contains perhaps the first cinematic example of autocomplete used for a dramatic reveal.
The Raven – The Library of Congress has a high-resolution scan of a rare edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” with gorgeous illustrations by Gustave Doré. (Note that there are several scans of blank pages, which can be a little confusing; the library aims to capture the physical book as closely as possible, which means including the blank pages.)
Rule of Cuteness #7 – “A Thing, Accompanied By A Smaller Version Of That Thing, Is Always Cute.” Especially when the things in question are jumping spiders.
The Family Jewels – Reproduction Medieval jewelry with “naughty” subjects. NSFW-ish, depending upon your boss’ tolerance for winged vaginas. (Hat tip to WitchArachne) Edit: It looks like that section of the site is down; there are photos of similar pilgrims’ badges here.
Ursula Vernon is a writer of magical realism; the author and illustrator of the Hugo Award–winning graphic novel Digger and the Dragonbreath series of children’s books. She’s got a lovely short story up at Apex: Jackalope Wives plays with the age-old idea of skin-changers, and of humans who occasionally marry them. Here’s the beginning:
The moon came up and the sun went down. The moonbeams went shattering down to the ground and the jackalope wives took off their skins and danced.
They danced like young deer pawing the ground, they danced like devils let out of hell for the evening. They swung their hips and pranced and drank their fill of cactus–fruit wine.
They were shy creatures, the jackalope wives, though there was nothing shy about the way they danced. You could go your whole life and see no more of them than the flash of a tail vanishing around the backside of a boulder. If you were lucky, you might catch a whole line of them outlined against the sky, on the top of a bluff, the shadow of horns rising off their brows.
And on the half–moon, when new and full were balanced across the saguaro’s thorns, they’d come down to the desert and dance.
The young men used to get together and whisper, saying they were gonna catch them a jackalope wife. They’d lay belly down at the edge of the bluff and look down on the fire and the dancing shapes — and they’d go away aching, for all the good it did them.
For the jackalope wives were shy of humans. Their lovers were jackrabbits and antelope bucks, not human men. You couldn’t even get too close or they’d take fright and run away. One minute you’d see them kicking their heels up and hear them laugh, then the music would freeze and they’d all look at you with their eyes wide and their ears upswept.
The next second, they’d snatch up their skins and there’d be nothing left but a dozen skinny she–rabbits running off in all directions, and a campfire left that wouldn’t burn out ’til morning.
It was uncanny, sure, but they never did anybody any harm. Grandma Harken, who lived down past the well, said that the jackalopes were the daughters of the rain and driving them off would bring on the drought. People said they didn’t believe a word of it, but when you live in a desert, you don’t take chances.
When the wild music came through town, a couple of notes skittering on the sand, then people knew the jackalope wives were out. They kept the dogs tied up and their brash sons occupied. The town got into the habit of having a dance that night, to keep the boys firmly fixed on human girls and to drown out the notes of the wild music.
As in previous editions, here’s a bunch of images I’ve run across which I want to share but might not be able to hang a whole post on. Some of them have no attribution, so if you happen to know the source for any of these please leave a note in the comments. (Click to view larger.)
This is a barbecue grill housed in a coffin, it’s awesome, and I have no idea where it came from because all roads lead either to Pinterest or 404s. From the table it’s sitting on and the cups stacked to the right in the photo it appears to be the centerpiece at some sort of picnic or other outdoor gathering, possibly for funeral directors. Anyway, it’d be reasonably easy to DIY if you’ve got a steel casket that you don’t know what to do with.
I am so very sorry that this is just digital art and not a real piece of jewelry. It’s by Giovanni Bortolani, whose gallery is loaded with disturbingly visceral imagery (possibly NSFW). If you’re handy with polymer clay, it might be possible to create something similar in real life. (Hat tip to Beans)
The sole place a reverse image search turned up was a Pinterest pin which cited Conjurer’s Kitchen (whom I’ve featured previously). But I don’t see these anywhere on the site, so I dunno. They’re lovely, though, with lots of detail, and would certainly be an interesting departure from regular cake pops.
Jack the Ripper Tattoo
This gorgeous piece is by Pavel Roch. It looks more like a painting than a tattoo, and is wonderfully evocative.
This is by Mister Finch, who creates marvelous creatures from textiles. I desperately want to make a moth like this just to sort of have around the house.
This was part of Prada’s Spring 2011 collection, and I’m sure it wasn’t meant to have anything to do with Halloween (although darned if there weren’t a number of other Halloween-friendly shoes in the same collection). A knockoff striped effect could be done with tape and spraypaint.
Found at Build-a-DIY although I don’t think they originated there. I like how these look like poppy seedpods. They could be made in a variety of sizes, as throw pillows or bean-bag chairs (teensy ones would make nice pincushions), and would be pretty in black or scarlet.
A “soaking art” tub by Jetta. This is definitely a fixture in the bathroom of my dreams.
What a neat idea to hang a site on: Paper and Salt seeks to re-create (and sometimes reinterpret) “dishes that iconic authors discuss in their letters, diaries and fiction.” Nicole, the site’s author, describes it as, “part historical discussion, part food and recipe blog, part literary fangirl-ing.”
It’s a fascinating look at authors, the edibles with which they were familiar, and their eating habits. A recent post about Mary Shelley, for instance, points out that Modern Superfood kale used to be a common comfort food. The entry includes a yummy-sounding kale-and-egg tartine which would be a lovely breakfast dish.
The site’s archives are broken out by both recipe category and time period, so you can browse the 18th Century and find a molten chocolate cake inspired by the Marquis de Sade or look through Drinks for Edgar Allan Poe’s eggnog.
Some of the relationships between author and recipe seem rather thin (“Jane Austen once mentioned cheesecake, so here’s a custard tart“), but the mini-history lessons more than make up for it.
There are the makings of an interesting themed dinner party here as well: A meal with each course inspired by a different author. It’d be fun to start with a soup mentioned by Bram Stoker and end with a Stephen King-inspired dessert.