The Art of Darkness

“Portraits as Living Deads”

December 31st, 2008 by Cobwebs

Bob MarleySwiss artist Frederik Peeters has an unusually specific blog, featuring nothing but drawings of celebrities as zombies. He appears to be concentrating on celebrities who are deceased for real, but he’s still got plenty to work with.

I don’t speak French so I have no idea whether he does commissions, but a zombified portrait strikes me as a really unique gift idea. (For the right individual, of course: Don’t be giving Aunt Bessie from Shreveport a picture of herself as the living dead and expect her to thank you for it.) An undead version of the bride and groom would be an adorable memento of a gothy wedding, too.

If you also don’t speak French (or if sending off to Switzerland for a painting seems a little excessive), it might be possible to find a local artist with an open mind to spook up a portrait as well. In addition to zombies, you could cast yourself or a loved one as vampires, demons, or whatever other creature of the night makes your skirt fly up.

(Even if you aren’t in the market for a portrait, check out Peeters’ work: It’s wonderfully imaginative.)

Link (via The Presurfer)

Posted in Paint It Black | 4 Comments »

Coffin it Up

December 30th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Coffin Drawer FrontSomeday when I’m rich I want the inspired woodworkers at Coffin it Up to build me a custom kitchen like the one they did for a homeowner in Las Vegas.

They’ve taken casket decor to a whole new level, building everything from cat beds to contact lens cases shaped like classic toe-pincher coffins. They offer an almost endless selection of coffin-shaped display cases and cabinetry, and they do a wide variety of custom work, ranging from stereo speakers to a Jack-and-Sally cake serving set carved from obsidian. Almost as an afterthought, they also offer real coffins for your funeral needs (although it seems a terrible shame to bury such craftsmanship).

If you’re thinking about remodeling or just want to go drool at their lovely cabinetry, go check ’em out!

Posted in Bad Things | 2 Comments »


December 29th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Crash Bonsai“Crash Bonsai” sounds like a video game character, doesn’t it?

Artist Josh Rooney, who is “who is torn between the desire to create and destroy,” carefully smashes model cars and combines them with bonsai trees. His creations are available in some stores in the Boston area, and he also sells the little “crashed” cars online for inclusion in your own bonsai garden. The prices are fairly steep, but the cars are very artfully smashed.

This would be a hilarious addition to a terrarium or desktop bonsai tree. If you’re good at model-making, you could try your hand at creating a DIY version for yourself or a loved one. Give the gift of carnage!

Link (via MAKE)

Posted in Paint It Black | 2 Comments »

FX Eyes

December 26th, 2008 by Cobwebs

GambyteJust in time for after-Christmas shopping, FX Eyes is having a sale!

It’s tricky getting special-effect contact lenses: The cheap ones can be very bad for your eyes, and the expensive ones are, well, expensive. FX Eyes is on the pricey side, but they’re a quality product and are even covered by some insurance plans.

They have a large variety of unusual designs available, and they even offer full-sclera lenses which are harder to find. (Also hard to look at; doesn’t Blackout kind of make you wince a little?) I’m particularly fond of Night Life and Green Dragon.

They also do custom work, so if you’ve always coveted, say, blood-red cat’s eyes, they’ll make them to order in your prescription.

It’d be fun to wear these to work and see how long it took anyone to notice.


Posted in Needful Things | 2 Comments »

Happy Holidays!

December 25th, 2008 by Cobwebs

HandmadeHere’s wishing everyone a lovely day filled with spooky handmade goodness!

If you’d like to get in touch with your Inner Grinch, leave a comment about your favorite holiday tradition or your best holiday memory. (You pick the holiday; I’m easy.)

p.s. – For those of you into science fiction, there’s a Christmas SF trivia contest over at the O*W*C.

(Comic from Para Abnormal)

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Witchbonnet Sue

December 24th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Witchbonnet SueIf you quilt, you’re probably familiar with blobby little Sunbonnet Sue: She and her various hats are a favorite sampler quilt for beginners.

Stella Australis Quilts has done a different take on ol’ Sue, making her pagan and giving her pointy hats and accessories like cauldrons and athames. The pattern is available for free download, but only in EQ4 (Electronic Quilt software) format.

A few years ago I happened to run across image files for several of the blocks and saved them to my computer (which is fortunate, since the site that posted them is now defunct). If you don’t have EQ4 software to view the pattern, these larger images might give you an idea of how to get started:

Basic Hat
Hat, Broom, Cauldron
Hat, Athame
Cape, Wand, Cauldron
Cape, Stonehenge
Cape, Maypole

The Stella Australis site also offers several other free pagan-themed patterns, such as appliqued goddesses and a pretty Green Man. If you use any of them, be sure to click their Donate button and help them keep the site up and running.


Bonus Link: For another riff on the same pattern, check out The Sun Sets on Sunbonnet Sue, a group quilt which features Sue meeting her demise in a variety of entertaining ways (crushed by Skylab, eaten by Jaws, drinking poisoned Kool-Aid).

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

Bat Trellis

December 23rd, 2008 by Cobwebs

Bat TrellisOver on the Halloween-L listserv, haunter extraordinaire Screamin’ Scott posted photos of his 2008 yard display. I was particularly taken with his awesome cemetery entrance gate, which included these decorative bats.

He commented that he was trying for a “Halloween trellis” look, which struck me as a fantastic year-round use for something similar. The bats could be cut out of wood or heavy plastic using a jigsaw (or you could get really ambitious and have a local metalworker make them from wrought iron), then anchored with standard trellis posts. They’d look wonderful with ivy or climbing roses twining around them.

Posted in Unhallowed Ground | No Comments »

If You Have a Leftover Card or Two…

December 22nd, 2008 by Cobwebs

…you might want to send one to Hannah Garman. It’s good for the karma.

(Unlike the occasional “send a dying child a card” hoaxes you see floating around, Snopes verifies this one as genuine.)

Posted in Whatever | No Comments »

Creepy Christmas

December 22nd, 2008 by Cobwebs

Santa ClawsI’m a bit late to the party on this one, but I just found it yesterday.* Fortunately, it’ll be fun to play catch-up.

Creepy Christmas is a site featuring short films by indie fright directors like Larry Fessenden, Voltaire, Sara Driver, and David Goldin. They’re all inspired by a huge holiday diorama built by Beck Underwood, and allow you to “peer into the secret, unsettling world hidden behind the doors and windows of traditional Christmas dioramas.” It’s kind of like a big advent calendar only instead of candy you get blood.

A new film is premiering every day from December 1st to the 25th; you can go to the calendar page to view past entries. (I’d link directly to it, but the navigation is all Flash. Boo, hiss.) They’ve also got a shop featuring ornaments decorated with creepy dolls, and you can purchase all of the films on DVD.

If you’re looking for an antidote to warm-and-fuzzy holiday feelings, this oughta do it.

*I hate stumbling upon seasonal countdown features when they’re nearly over. I didn’t find Gothtober until October 30. Yeesh.

Posted in Whatever | No Comments »

Unhallowed Ground

December 19th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Calla LiliesI’ve been meaning to do the occasional post about goth gardening for a while now but keep getting distracted by shiny objects. I’m finally ready, so let’s all ignore the fact that I’m talking about gardening in the dead of winter. (Readers in the Southern Hemisphere, this one’s for you.)

Despite the very real danger of winding up with a tan, gardening is a rewarding hobby and offers an excellent opportunity to extend your personality to the outside of your home. With a little effort, anything from a proper Victorian front garden to a Goreyesque my-yard-eats-the-occasional-passerby vibe can be achieved.

Incidentally, even if you don’t have a yard you can still indulge in a little gardening: Many plants are perfectly happy living in pots. I particularly like using strawberry jars for container gardening, putting a different plant in each pocket. HGTV has instructions for planting and caring for a strawberry-jar garden, if you aren’t sure how to proceed. If you have absolutely no access to the outside, you can grow plants in a sunny window or in a terrarium. Here’s a short primer on setting up a simple terrarium.

If you’re new to gardening (or if you have a black thumb), herbs are a good choice for a starter garden. They tend to be fairly hardy and resistant to drought and disease, plus you can use them for cooking or crafts. They’re also lovely landscaping plants if you have the room: They come in a variety of colors, so it’s possible to put together, say, an all-silver herb planting.

You can grow a selection of herbs for culinary use (rosemary, sage, basil, dill, mint, tarragon, parsley, chives, thyme), for herbal teas (peppermint, lemon verbena, chamomile, lemon balm, spearmint, lemongrass, sweet woodruff), beauty products (lavender, mugwort, wormwood, tea roses, marigolds), or natural dyes (alkanet, bloodroot, clematis, coreopsis, lady’s bedstraw, yarrow).

It’s also easy to grow an abundance of herbs for projects like wreaths or sachets, it’s much much cheaper than purchasing the same quantity of material, and the quality is almost always better, to boot.

You can go also darker. Before Shadowboy came along I had a poison garden featuring henbane, monkshood, deadly nightshade, wolfsbane, belladonna, and many others (Richters Herbs carries an extensive selection). These plants tend to like shady, damp conditions, so my little garden was a perfect fit for an area where sun-loving plants wouldn’t grow. (Obviously, if you have small children or pets that are likely to eat stuff at random, a similar garden would be a Very Bad Idea.)

If herbs aren’t really your thing, consider a theme garden. As the name suggests, these are gardens devoted to a particular subject (one popular choice is a selection of plants mentioned in Shakespeare’s works). You can choose any theme that strikes your fancy: Traditional witches’ plants, plants with “blood” in their name (bloodroot, bleeding heart, blood lily), or plants reputed to attract fairies (bluebells, forget-me-not, jasmine, white lotus).

There’s no reason why “spooky” should stay inside the house. Slather on the sunblock, grab a trowel, and let your darker side out to play.

Posted in Unhallowed Ground | No Comments »

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