The Art of Darkness

Black Spirits and White…

October 20th, 2008 by Cobwebs

…also red, but no grey that I’m aware of.

John pointed me to this list of Halloween-themed cocktails on Dabbled, which makes a nice segue into Cobwebs’ Big List o’ Booze(tm) that I’ve been meaning to post.

I got married on Halloween, and one of the many bits of research I did involved finding thematic beer brands. That list is posted over at Halloweddings. I also served a couple of brands of hard cider and (it almost goes without saying) Vampire Wine.

If you’re looking for spirits for a Halloween party (or just to drink any time; what’s the point in being goth if you can’t be spooky at unexpected moments?), that list should give you a leg up. A few thematic beers that have popped up since I compiled the list include:

Hard alcohol choices (besides absinthe, duh) would include Blavod, REDRUM, and Black Death Vodka.

If you sometimes drink…wine, look around for some of these (note that some are more widely available than others):
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Posted in Resources | 2 Comments »

Fantasia Screencaps

October 17th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Fantasia ScreencapThe Monster Memories blog (tagline: “Reviving Horrors from the Past”) has posted a nice selection of screencaps from the “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence from Fantasia. It’s a shame that Disney doesn’t offer some of these as art prints; I’d love a couple of big framed prints in the kitchen. (Along with the Sam McKim Haunted Mansion concept art, which I coveted all the time I worked for Disney and now that I can afford is no longer available, dammit. But I digress.)

Be sure to explore the rest of the MM blog as well; it’s a trove of artwork and images, focusing mainly on classic science fiction and horror.

(Fun bonus fact: Vladimir Tytla, the artist responsible for creating Chernabog, also created the Sugar Crisp Bear. This is somewhat akin to discovering that the creator of the Pillsbury Doughboy does Iron Maiden covers on the side.)

Posted in Whatever | No Comments »

Gothy Wedding Cakes

October 16th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Bride of Dracula CakeI ran across this gorgeous “Bride of Dracula” wedding cake at the Pumpkin and Spice site, and realized that I’ve got a few other spooky wedding links to share.

Designs by Dorian has a number of unique cake toppers, including some cuddly bats and “‘Til Death Do Us Part” matching tombstones.

Freed’s Bakery in Las Vegas does some marvelous spooky designs which utilize the whole cake as canvas. Their Halloween Cakes section has a couple of designs, but for some reason they no longer directly link to Weblock, which is the one I like best. If you’re not in the Las Vegas area, perhaps your local bakery could use these as inspiration.

This is more than a little bit cutesy, but the Once Wed site has instructions for making a “Newly Webbed” wedding cake topper out of styrofoam balls and pipe cleaners.

Tim Burton-inspired cakes are popular, too. Pink Cake Box has some lovely designs, like this Corpse Bride wedding cake and this Nightmare Before Christmas groom’s cake. The Sugar Baker did this NMBC wedding cake; I particularly like the bone swagging on the second tier.

It’s a bit close to the date this year for delusions of grandeur, but if you’re planning a Halloween wedding next year, this would be a good time to google around and collect ideas to show your baker.

Posted in Terror in the Aisle | 4 Comments »

Vampire Wine Special at winewoot

October 15th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Vampire WineI just got this in the mail:

Dear Mortals and Immortals,

We are pleased to offer a special once in an eternity deal to all our vampire friends over 21 mortal years of age. The deal is available only at wine.woot.com, and the offer is: 2 bottles of our Chateau du Vampire and 2 bottles of our Dracula Syrah for a limited time offer of $49.99 with an unbelievable shipping price of just $5.00.

The deal expires on Wednesday or until they sell out, so act fast if interested.

If you read this email too late, or just get to it too late, please be reassured that we will be continuing to offer these wines at wickedwinesonline.com site.

Yours faithfully,
Vampire Vineyards

Vampire Wines are in the “meh” category for taste, but they’ve got oodles of style. This price is only slightly cheaper than the regular prices on their site, although shipping is less. If you can’t find the wines locally (most places that sell wine stock it around Halloween), this might be a good deal.

Posted in Needful Things | 5 Comments »

Hand-Poured Soap

October 14th, 2008 by Cobwebs

SoapFlickr user de-kay has a photoset of handmade soaps, many with a spooky theme. I’m particularly taken with these skulls and these embedded shapes.

This is an easy project which would make a cute (and inexpensive!) gift. Unlike making soap from scratch–which really isn’t that hard; I’ll do a post on it some time–making melt-and-pour soap isn’t much harder than melting and, um, pouring. The Teach Soap site (which is an awesome resource) has a short tutorial on making soap with embedded shapes. You simply put an opaque soap shape in the bottom of a mold and pour transparent glycerin soap over it. (Instead of soap, you can also embed plastic spiders or other creepy-crawlies; kids particularly enjoy these.)

Shaped soaps like the skulls are even easier: Just pour the melted soap base into the mold and let harden. The HGTV site has a guide for making three different soaps, including bone and coffin shapes.

In addition to soap molds, many candy and candle molds are also suitable for soaping. Just make sure that they’re small enough to turn out reasonably-sized chunks of soap; a huge three-D skull might look good, but nobody’s going to want to use it if it weighs four pounds.

This would be a good time to stock up, as most retailers should have their seasonal molds out. You can find soap-making supplies at many large craft chains as well as online (this place seems to have a fairly good selection). You can experiment with all kinds of scents and colorants and turn out something really unique.

Posted in Doom It Yourself, Paint It Black | No Comments »

Neat Items from What On Earth

October 13th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Skeleton Serving ForksI find it vaguely annoying that so many of the sites which carry unusual items have patronizing names like Stupid.com and What On Earth.

But anyway.

There are, indeed, some unusual items to be had here. These skeleton serving forks are actual metal rather than the cheap plastic this kind of thing is usually made of.

The Skel-a-Flamingos are a cute statement in anti-kitsch, and I love this embroidered skull satchel.

Also check out their hand X-ray pendant, skeleton apron, and this amusing T-shirt. (Update: The shirt is apparently no longer available. Curses! Here’s the same one at Hot Topic.)

Ah, well. If it were mainstream, it wouldn’t be goth.

Posted in Needful Things | 2 Comments »

Link Dump: Spooky Stuff

October 10th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Sweet Skulls – Blog devoted to “the image of the skull as seen in past years in horror movie posters, Halloween decorations, spooky sound effects records, books, comics, monster magazines, etc.”

Grip the Knowing – An article about Charles Dickens’ pet raven Grip, whose inclusion in Barnaby Rudge wound up inspiring a certain famous poem.

Entrances to Hell – It’s good to keep track of these, you know.

Two spooky sets of playing cards: Skulls and Skeletons and Tragic Royalty.

Halloween Glass Ornaments – All kinds of items for your Halloween tree.

Claymation Zombie Movies – Very gory. (I don’t explain ’em, I just report ’em.)

Play with Spider – A Flash-based widget that lets you drag a very realistic spider around, and drop insects for him to eat. Play with the sliders for extra creepiness.

Tombstone Tutorial – RavenTalker has an easy tutorial for making tombstones out of foam.

Monster Brains – “From the infernal creatures to the delerium, you will take pleasure.” Blog devoted to all kinds of creepy imagery.

The 1932 movie Freaks is available for download at Archive.org. This is a seminal and disturbing film, long considered a cult classic.

Xibalba Found – Archaeologists may have discovered Xibalba, the Mayan version of Hell, near the Yucatan Peninsula.

Find Your Vampire Name (Okay, this one isn’t that spooky.)

Manifesto Press – Stationery and other ephemera, including some nice woodcut-style skeleton bookplates.

Haunted Memories – Lenticular photos that change depending upon the angle they’re viewed from. Someday when I’m rich I want about six of these.

How to Embalm a Body – The Novice at The Morning News writes about a visit to a funeral home.

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

Neat Photoblog

October 9th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Shorpy ImageShorpy is a photoblog devoted to high-resolution images from a century (or more) ago. The posts include a bit of commentary about the photos, and you can buy art prints of the images.

“Sidney Lust girls.” Circa 1919, two of Washington, D.C., movie theater owner Sidney Lust’s chorus girls, seen earlier out of costume. National Photo Company Collection glass negative, Library of Congress.

This would be an excellent reference resource for period costumes and hairstyles, in addition to providing all kinds of offbeat images for use in collages and other artwork.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Resources | 1 Comment »

A Labor of Lovecraft

October 8th, 2008 by Cobwebs

My Little CthulhudeviantART user Spippo has finally found a good use for those pestilential My Little Pony toys: She slaps Sculpey on ’em and turns them into works of art.

In addition to My Little Cthulhu, check out My Little Jack Skellington, My Little Sally, and My Little Edward Scissorhands.

If you’re crafty with clay, this would be a fun way to “reinvent” any particularly cutesy toys you have lying around. “Kali Barbie” and “Catwoman Strawberry Shortcake” spring to mind.

Posted in Paint It Black | 3 Comments »

Making Pickled Punks

October 7th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Pickled PunkThe I Make Projects site, whose tagline is “A good project is made better when its parts have been misused, and the result is hideous” (a sentiment I can heartily get behind), has a nice tutorial on making pickled punks and other monstrosities. (via BoingBoing)

If you’re good at working with Sculpey or polymer clay, check out Uncialle’s alien specimen page for ideas on creating miniature beasties to bottle.

For additional inspiration, there’s Aranamuerta’s Witch Kitchen tutorial which shows how to slick up jars and bottles and includes some great suggestions for potion ingredients.

And for some unbelievably gorgeous labels, take a look at the Love Manor Halloween haunt’s Flickr photostream. (via Spooky is as Spooky Does)

I love this kind of project because the method could hardly be simpler–stick a plastic thing in a jar–and the impact is all in the presentation. Thinking up imaginative labels and choosing the appropriate prop is loads of fun. A collection of jars would be an arresting decorative accessory for a cubicle or living room. It’d also be fun to send small (plastic) specimen jars as invitations to a Mad Scientist-themed party; just write the party details on the bottle’s label.

Go forth, and pickle some punks!

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

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