The Art of Darkness

Raventalker’s Room Makeovers

July 31st, 2008 by Cobwebs

Goth BathroomArtist Raventalker is a dab hand at gothic room makeovers. She’s posted before and after pictures of several projects, including a bathroom, guest room, dining room, and entry hall.

Although some of her wall murals might be a bit daunting to undertake (or might annoy a landlord), much of the atmosphere is derived from carefully-chosen accessories and fabrics. If you’re looking for inspiration for a makeover of your own, check out these lovely designs.


Posted in Bad Things, Doom It Yourself, Paint It Black | 2 Comments »

Graveyard Photography

July 30th, 2008 by Cobwebs

CemeteryA friend recently sent me this link, which has some gorgeous photos of cemeteries but is down about two-thirds of the time. I decided to look around for other photography pages, and oh, there’s a lot of lovely stuff out there.

In addition to the drinking-from-the-firehose results you get from searching for graveyard or cemetery on Flickr, there are many sites that specialize in this kind of photography. For instance:

Graveyard and Dark Photography – These are mostly black-and-white photos from the UK and Romania, along with some dark and unsettling portrait shots. The photographer sells prints, if you’d like some unique framed artwork.

Northstar Gallery – They describe their work as “sensuous, fine art,” and there are some lovely photographs. Mostly color, heavy on the statuary rather than tombstones.

The Cyber-Cemetery – Lots of artsy black-and-white images.

Taphophilia – In addition to photos, this site includes other funeral- and death-related curiosities.

Gardens of Light, Dark, and Stone – Some very pretty, evocative photos. There’s even a downloadable screensaver featuring some of the photographer’s favorites.

There are also at least two webrings devoted to cemetery photography, here and here.

It’d be fun to cover a wall with a collection of framed graveyard photos. There should be plenty of inspiration here to get you started.

Posted in Resources | 3 Comments »

Papier Mache Inspiration

July 29th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Baby Dragon

Scott Stoll has taken papier mache and made it his bitch. His creations over at Stolloween are simply breathtaking.

His site is a wonderful resource, with tons of pictures and step-by-step instructions about his projects. Even if you don’t have the gumption to tackle a big sculpture, there are many wonderful little details which might make a great small project: The Apt Pupil, for instance, is completely beyond my sculpting abilities, but I think I could make something similar to the book he’s holding.

Go look, and prepare to be astonished.


Posted in Doom It Yourself | 1 Comment »

Speleobooks: Your One-Stop Bat Resource

July 28th, 2008 by Cobwebs

NecktieNo, really. This site started out as a used bookstore for cavers (spelunkers), but at some point veered sharply into bat-themed merchandise.

They’ve got clothing. They’ve got jewelery. They’ve got household accessories and plush toys and vintage artwork and books and candles and desktop toys and sculptures and stationery and…let’s just say that if it’s got a bat on it, they probably carry it.

Some of the bats are cutesy (natch), but many of them are elegant and lovely. They have many unusual items from all over the world. I particularly like the Art Nouveau bat brooch and the Bat Faces vintage print.

The Christmas cards imprinted with, “I Guano Wish You A Merry Christmas” alone are worth a trip to the site.


Posted in Needful Things | No Comments »

Scream House Needlework Case

July 25th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Scream HouseThe Silver Needle is taking pre-orders for this cute etui kit by Just Nan. Bats, ghosts, and spooky trees adorn the outside, and there’s a pumpkin pincushion and straps for scissors and other supplies inside.

The shop also sells Victorian mourning pins for use with the kit, although these might be nice to use for everyday sewing as well (you can never have too much black, in my book).

The kit isn’t cheap–nearly $80–but even if that’s currently out of your price range you can still use it for inspiration. A similar box might be made out of squares of plastic cross-stitching canvas; stitch a spooky motif of your choice on each one, then stitch the pieces together at the edges. There’s also a free pattern for a simpler needlework “book” here; just replace the swan with a bat or a spider.

If you enjoy doing needlework, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a sewing kit that reflects your personality. I love all the little details on this one.

Link (via Stitch Bitch)

Posted in Doom It Yourself, Needful Things | 1 Comment »

“Cabinet of Curiosities” Wall Covering

July 24th, 2008 by Cobwebs


Here’s a really brilliant decorative idea: Walls covered with scientific illustrations. The bathroom shown here is decorated with pages from Albertus Seba’s Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, but you could use anatomical illustrations, Dürer or Bosch artwork, or pictures of mementos mori.

If you didn’t want to do a whole room, you could cover one wall and use it as your focal point. I’m really impressed with how eye-catching yet soothing this decorating scheme is.

(via Lady Lavona’s Cabinet of Curiosities)

Posted in Bad Things | 4 Comments »

Kill Spiders, Buy Art

July 23rd, 2008 by Cobwebs

Spooky ArtFreelance artist Matthew Woodson was recently bitten by a poisonous spider, and the wound became badly infected. In order to pay his medical bills, he’s taking commissions for artwork.

Any possible commission you could have for me; gifts, wedding invitations, cards, wall art, tattoos, anything. I am interested in the job. I will also definitely consider larger personal commissions, considering the work involved. I would prefer to only be working in black and white, but don’t be afraid to ask about color. I haven’t exactly figured out how pricing will go yet, but obviously pricing will be negotiable and varying, but for small to medium sized drawings I was thinking between $100 – $500 through paypal.

His drawings are lovely (portfolio here), so if you’ve been yearning for a unique piece of spooky art, this might be your chance.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Needful Things | 1 Comment »

Pretty Gothic

July 22nd, 2008 by Cobwebs

I turned up this site in a Google search for something entirely unrelated. It’s a Web Zine that appears to have lasted a grand total of one issue (either that or they’re going five or six years between publications), but it’s got some articles about maintaining a perfect Goth pallor that are worth a look. There are suggestions for sunscreen, skin lightening techniques, and makeup recommendations.

It’s hard to look like a frail consumptive with a tan, so if you want to have any hope of being mistaken for someone named Lenore you may want to check out these tips.


Posted in Resources | 1 Comment »

Inky Dreadfuls

July 21st, 2008 by Cobwebs

Inky DreadfulArtist M. Mararian juxtaposes innocence with the macabre in his Inky Dreadfuls artwork. The hand-inked drawings remind me of antique photographs. Except, y’know, for the butcher knives and stuff.

If you’re in the Southern California area, he’s got a new exhibition entitled “Phobias, Foibles & Fiends” at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City.

Featuring over thirty macabre ink renderings, his new body of work is a dark comedy of psychological fears, character flaws and complexes of the human id. Using black India ink, archival brush pens and rapidographs, Mararian continues to create narratives that transform traditionally cheerful images and concepts into frightening yet humorous tableaus.

I’d like him just because one of his drawings is called “Sweeney Toddler.”

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Whatever | No Comments »

Coffin Menu

July 18th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Coffin MenuMorbid Anatomy mentioned this menu a while back; it’s a 1907 menu for a convention banquet held by a chapter of Skull and Bones.

I think a do-it-yourself version would be splendid at a Halloween-themed dinner party or goth wedding.

The menu could be made of heavy cardstock; the slightly-smaller layer on top could be a contrasting color of cardstock or perhaps something soft like felt (it’s hard to tell from the picture, but the contrast layer looks kind of softish). I wouldn’t recommend using velvet because of its tendency to fray at the edges and get “dust” all over everything.

You will cut out:

  • Two pieces of heavy cardstock for the menu front and back

  • One piece of cardstock, colored paper or felt, slightly smaller than the menu front, which will be the top contrast. (I guess you could do a contrast on the back, too, if you’re feeling motivated.)

  • Two pieces of colored paper, the same size as the top contrast, for the inside contrast.

  • One piece of a light-colored paper, slightly smaller than the inside contrast, which will be for your menu.

Here’s a pattern to help with your dimensions. It’s at half-size, so print at 200%.

Use a glue stick to attach the top contrast to the menu front, leaving an even border on all sides. Do the same on the inside with the menu front and back and the inside contrast pieces. Let dry.

Now it’s time for the menu itself. Depending upon your level of ambition (and your handwriting), you can cut out the paper and then hand-write the menu on it. You can also print the menu before cutting out the coffin shape as long as you make sure your margins won’t intrude on the pattern edges. Alternately, you can write or print the menu on a rectangle of cardstock and just glue it inside. Once you’ve written or printed your menu, glue it on top of the inside back contrast piece. (Note: If you’d like to re-use your menus, use something like 3M’s Spray Mount or other artist’s adhesive to stick down the menu. Then you can peel it off and stick down a new one later.)

Put the menu front and back together and use a hole punch to make two holes near the top. Thread some velvet ribbon through the holes and tie the ends in a bow. Make sure you leave enough “give” in the ribbon that your guests can lift the top and read the menu. (Instead of ribbon, you could also use something like heavy jewelry chain as your menu hinge.)

Finally, use a bit of hot glue to affix a skull or other spooky decoration on the front. The popularity of certain pirate movies means that skull-and-crossbones charms are easy to find. (Here’s a cute one from Auntie’s Beads.) You can use any other charm or button that strikes you, just as long as it’s reasonably flat on the back and fairly lightweight.

You could get an assembly-line technique going and turn out a lot of these in a short amount of time. They’d be a neat keepsake for your guests to take home after a special dinner party.

Posted in Doom It Yourself, Terror in the Aisle | No Comments »

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