The Art of Darkness

Knitted Bat Pattern

September 30th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Brown BatCheck out this adorable little knitted bat by Barbara Prime.* The pattern is available at Lulu for $3.75, and includes a bonus jack-o’-lantern pattern.

It’s a small project and can be knitted up in a couple of days. This would be a perfect Halloween gift for a child. Or keep it for yourself to snuggle with at night. (I know I would.)

Link (via CRAFT)

*No relation to Optimus. Probably.

Posted in Bittens, Doom It Yourself | 3 Comments »

Halloween Game Suggestions

September 29th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Witches BrewMatthew Baldwin of Defective Yeti often reviews board- and card games on his site. He’s done a roundup of Halloween game reviews, so if you’d like to invite a few friends over for an All Hallow’s Eve gaming party, check out his recommendations.

Give me the Brain and Lord of the Fries: Light, simple, inexpensive, and funny, Give me the Brain and Lord of the Fries differ from the games above in pretty much every respect save one: Zombies remain the stars of the show. In this case, you and your undead companions are workers in a fast-food restaurant that specializes in the grisliest of fare. Both titles are fairly straightforward card games despite the theme, and each has a significant luck component (so steer clear if that’s not your thing). Still, the ease of learning and playing make these the most “family friendly” of the games on the list, and the grotesque elements of the artwork are tempered with enough humor to make them palatable to almost anyone.

Part I: Zombies
Part II: Vampires and Witches
Part III: Miscellaneous Malevolence

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Creepy Pet Toys

September 26th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Dog ToyOh, I do love this time of year. All the mainstream establishments trot out their Halloween-themed wares, and the smart goth stocks up for the lean times.

In this case, it’s the Doctors Foster and Smith pet supply site. They’ve added a Halloween section to their site, offering items like the tarantula dog toys shown here and these cute spooky catnip balls. There’s no reason that your pets can’t get in on your lifestyle too. (Or at least the warm-blooded ones; there’s no Halloween store for reptiles, so my lizard will just have to feel left out.)

I’m going to get one of the tarantulas for my mother-in-law’s cockapoo. I like the idea of a little cutesy dog wrestling with a big fuzzy spider.

Posted in Needful Things | 1 Comment »

Link Dump: Artists

September 25th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Deadly Sins DetailHere’s a batch of artists for your inspiration.

Kris Kuksi creates mixed-media installations that would give Hieronymus Bosch a nervous breakdown. The image here is a tiny bit of his “The Deadly Sins,” which kind of puts me in mind of an H.R. Giger work, only insanely more detailed. (Hat tip to Beth Church)

Andre Lassen specializes in cast and sculpted pieces, including furniture, jewelry, and swords. In particular look for the awesome flatware with skeleton handles.

Julie Miller creates “Vintage Fictions” by photoshopping antique photos with all sorts of peculiar details. I particularly like Moonrise on the Ika Estate and Millicent Fenwick and Friends. (via Phantasmaphile)

Art and Ghosts – Louise creates haunting digital images, nearly all of which feature dolls. The images are surreal yet soothing.

Toadbriar – Whimsical sculptures and paintings, including cute little mounted fairy “specimens.” (via Lady Lavona)

Ricardo Salamanca – Creepy, hyper-realistic Photoshop wizardry.

Posted in Link Dump | No Comments »

Sarah Cihat Dishware

September 24th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Spider PlateDesigner Sarah Cihat “rehabilitates” used ceramics by resurfacing them with unusual images and then re-firing them. She has a number of stock images available (including skulls and spiders) and also does custom work.

Her items aren’t cheap–the range is around $35-$60 per piece–so buying an entire set of dinnerware might be a bit spendy. However, a big serving tray or other single piece might be a unique and elegant accent for a plainer set of dishware.

You could also just buy one and hang it on the wall. They’re lovely.

Link (via Halloween Hotlist)

Posted in Needful Things, Paint It Black | 1 Comment »

Spooky Clothing Tutorials

September 23rd, 2008 by Cobwebs

Skelly DressCraftster member Smarmyclothes has posted tutorials for making some spooky-looking clothing including a blood-spattered gauze corset top, a Corpse Bride-inspired circle skirt, and this unbelievably awesome bleached skeleton dress.

I’m enormously taken with all three tutorials; the fabric mix on her ruffled skirt is extremely appealing, and I just can’t get over how gorgeous the bleached skeleton is. Her tutorials (linked at the bottom of the post) are fairly straightforward, and she’s even good enough to list some suppliers. Lovely!


Posted in Doom It Yourself | 1 Comment »

Scanner Skulls

September 22nd, 2008 by Cobwebs

Squirrel SkullHere’s a definite “Why didn’t I think of that?” idea. A submitter by the name of Balint sent some images to the Skull-a-Day blog that he made by putting animal skulls on a flatbed scanner.

This would be an easy way to create some eerie, unique images to decorate your walls. Small animal skulls (or plastic replicas, if you’re squeamish) are reasonably inexpensive. You can find them at local taxidermists or online at places like Skulls Unlimited or American Headhunters.

I really like the sensual, mysterious quality of these images. A collage of different skulls (or the same skull scanned at different angles) would be an arresting focal point for a room. After you scan them and frame the results, you can also display the skulls as objets d’art.

Inexpensive! Easy! What’s not to like?

Posted in Bad Things, Paint It Black | No Comments »

Bone Chillers

September 19th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Bone ChillersHere’s another item that’s capitalizing on the current pirate craze, but also feeds right into the goth lifestyle. These cute ice cube trays (which are even black; a nice touch) will let you add a little veracity to “name your poison.”

Link (via We Covet)

(Check out the Skeleton Keys and Poison Flask on the same site. Cute!)

Posted in Needful Things | 2 Comments »

Halloween Tutorials and More

September 18th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Spooky BookI initially ran across Dave Lowe’s blog via Pumpkinrot, who linked to this gorgeous creepy book tutorial.

Then I started looking around, and have fallen in love. Check out his preserved hand of Captain Hook and his cute little Altoid tin coffin.

My only complaint is that he doesn’t seem to use tags, so you have to read all of his posts to find the Halloween stuff. This is hardly a hardship, since his other posts include cartoons, design anecdotes, and all kinds of other entertainment. There are all kinds of ideas for small projects lurking in the archives.

Great. I didn’t have enough projects waiting for my attention. Now I find a blog that makes me want to start a dozen more.

Posted in Doom It Yourself, Paint It Black | 1 Comment »

My Mother Wears Combat Boots

September 17th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Book CoverJessica Mills, touring punk musician and columnist for MAXIMUMROCKNROLL, has written a book based on her experiences as a punk parent.

Amid stories of bringing kids (and grandparents) to women’s rights demonstrations, taking baby on tour with her band, and organizing cooperative childcare, Jessica gives detailed nuts-and-bolts information about weaning, cloth vs. disposable diapers, the psychological effects of co-sleeping, and even how to get free infant gear. This book provides a clever, hip, and entertaining mix of advice, anecdotes, political analysis, and factual sidebars that will help parents as they navigate the first years of their child’s life.

Some of her advice wouldn’t work for everyone–her goals included raising her child without “gender-coding,” punishment, or authoritarianism, and at least two of those goals made me roll my eyes–but her experiences as an alternative-lifestyle parent might be comforting to punk or goth parents who meet with disapproval of our lifestyle choices.

(The trick is to embrace the opprobrium. I used to love dressing Shadowboy in a onesie that said “Spawn of Freaks” and taking him to the grocery store. Little old ladies would come up to coo at him, read his shirt, give me a horrified look, and take off like a shot. Good times.)

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Bittens | No Comments »

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