By day, Chris-Rachael Oseland writes for the Austin post. By night, she “descends into her lair at the base of an extinct volcano, dons her apron and monocle, and subjects her minions to countless culinary experiments.”
The site’s emphasis leans slightly more toward “geek” than “goth,” but there’s plenty of overlap. Indiana Jones-inspired monkey brains would certainly be right at home on a Halloween table, and roasted tribbles could easily be passed off as roasted tarantulas.
Ultimate Deck – “Luxury” deck of playing cards which features a different piece of original artwork on each card. Lots of interesting, occasionally macabre, designs. (The gallery of images scrolls, which is not made obvious, so you can see more cards.)
Scarfolk Council is an odd little site on which a “Dr. R. Littler” reports upon the mysterious town of Scarfolk.
Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever. “Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay.” For more information please reread.
It’s filled with perfect vintage images and strange anecdotes, all of which chronicle a twisted community full of horrifyingly banal evil.
Back in 1975 the children of Scarfolk primary school released their own 45rpm record to commemorate their music teacher Mrs Payne who disappeared in 1972, but whose body was found encased inside one of the thirteen ancient standing stones just outside Scarfolk.
A young girl was found wandering the streets of Scarfolk in 1976. She claimed that she had escaped from a secret school hidden beneath the town hospital.
She was sent to Scarfolk Hills mental facility where, in brief lucid states between medication regimes and electro-therapy, she created this image again and again.
Her claims were never investigated.
Scarfolk’s 1972 tourism campaign was as successful as the mayor had hoped. Seven tourists visited that summer. Oddly, they were all called Timothy, wore identical clothes and appeared to communicate with each other telepathically. Everyone in Scarfolk called them ‘The Tim Seven’.
Three days after they arrived in Scarfolk all the birds disappeared and for months after the Tims left whenever Scarfolk residents tried to use their telephones all they could hear on the other end was distant, frantic backward birdsong.
If the citizens of Midwich built a town on Summerisle, Scarfolk would be the result.
New Mexico company Great Face and Body peddles Bathing Bad, bath salts tinted to resemble the crystal meth in the cable series Breaking Bad (as ShortList Magazine put it, “Just Add Walter”).
It’s a cute idea, but an 8-oz bag goes for 16 bucks, which is a fairly ridiculous markup (in their defense, the label states that part of the proceeds go to charity). Bath salts are absurdly cheap easy to make at home.
1 C Epsom salts
1 C sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 C rock salt
1/2 C Borax (optional)
1/4 tsp glycerine (optional)
Essential oil of your choice (see note below)
Blue food coloring
Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the glycerine, a few drops of essential oil, and a few drops of food coloring. Stir or place in a container with a tight-fitting lid and shake until thoroughly blended (if you’re making a large batch, you can mix with a heavy-duty mixer too; a hand mixer isn’t powerful enough). Continue adding essential oil and food coloring a few drops at a time until you’re satisfied with the color and scent.
Package in a ziploc bag. If giving as a gift, attach a label with instructions to add about 1/2 C to a bath; if desired, use the graphics program of your choice to add additional images and text to the label. You can print out the labels on precut stickers to make it easy to prepare several bags at a time.
A note on essential oils: Not all essential oils are suitable for use in this project, since some can irritate skin. Also be sure to take allergies into account if giving the salts as a gift.
Try different combinations of these:
Refreshing – Sandalwood, cedarwood, lavender, vetiver, or jasmine
Romantic – Rose, geranium, jasmine, ylang-ylang, or clary sage
This is pretty much the ultimate in “committing to the bit.”
Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum own an old Victorian home near Boston, and a few years ago they decided to modernize their kitchen whilst retaining the original antique vibe: In other words, they steampunked it. And they liked the result so much that they: a) Went on to do the rest of the house in the same style; b) Bought a nearby house to steampunk and resell; c) Launched a business devoted to steampunk interior decorating.
Their stuff is simply gorgeous, and makes one long for enough cash to attempt something similar. Sadly, I seem to have a dearth of rich relatives who are likely to mention me in their will, so the best I can do is drool over the Rosenbaums’ house.
The company they launched is ModVic, and the site’s gallery has photos of several of their commissions (including a tattoo station made out of an antique gas pump).
A couple of references on other sites are more puzzling: Trial by Steam reported that the Rosenbaums had signed a book deal with a working title of Steampunk Art, Fashion & Design, to be published in Summer/Fall of 2012. However, I can’t seem to find any other information about it, so I’m not sure if the book was scrapped or just delayed. Additionally, Wicked Local’s 2010 article about the Rosenbaums noted that they had launched a site called steampuffin.com, “offering Steampunk appliances, gadgets and fixtures to online shoppers.” Unfortunately, that URL goes nowhere. (There’s a link for “Steampuffin Exhibitions” on the ModVic site, but that goes to a “Coming Soon” page, which I roundly loathe.)
Steampunk fits nicely into the Victorian milieu, but is somewhat less daunting to outsiders (and rather more landlord-friendly) than a Gorey-esque decorating scheme. If your sensibilities like in the Victorian direction, the Rosenbaums’ designs ought to give you all kinds of ideas.
For those who don’t know, one of the conditions of entering a film in Tropfest is that is must contain ‘the signature item’, which is announced at the previous year’s festival. This year’s was ‘Balloon’.
When shown next to the other films, it was this use of the balloon that made the film all the more heart-wrenching.
Artist Benjamin Dewey’s Tragedy Series consists of, quote, “Depictions drawn from regrettable accounts of the less fortunate for purposes of instruction; so that one may avoid similar missteps.” They are wonderful, unlikely, tragedies, all drawn in a vintage style that somehow make the surreal nature of their subject material seem plausible. A few of my favorites are 265, 255, 277, 290, and 48 (also Sassy Yaks is totally going to be the name of my next band).
Fortunately, lest the plight of these multiple tragedies become too overwhelming, he also presents occasional Sadness Reprieves such as this and this.
He sells prints of some of the tragedies on Etsy and you can see examples of his other art (he’s a professional comic book artist) here.
A while back I stumbled upon this link, which details ten unusual eBay purchases. One of the items was what purported to be an 18th-century Vampire Killing Kit. It was more likely a Blomberg Kit (which have a murky and tangled past of their own), but I quite liked the idea of such a project so I decided to take a crack at making one myself. I gave this one to my Secret Pumpkin this year, but my notes are below if you’d like to make one of your own.
Although this project is somewhat on the involved side, no single piece is particularly difficult; there are just a lot of pieces and it takes a while to put everything together. However, I think the results are worth the effort. You can create a stripped-down version to carry around as a prop when you go clubbing, or display a full kit on a bookcase as an decorative object. Plus you can also use it to kill vampires, should you encounter any.
First I had to decide what items to include. A quick canvass of the Internet turned up a surprising number of sites devoted to “vintage” kits; I chose interesting equipment from a variety of sources, and came up with the following list: Read the rest of this entry »