The Art of Darkness

Amazing Spooky Miniatures

December 18th, 2008 by Cobwebs

CauldronThe work that MiniMotion does is absolutely mind-blowing. They create intricate miniatures and shadowboxes with unbelievable detail, many of which are animated: There’s a little witch stirring a cauldron, a teeny trapped fairy fluttering inside a bell jar, and an armoire with a magic mirror.

They also have a “how-to” section, explaining how to make your own custom staircases and haunted trees, plus an extensive links page for the miniature enthusiast.

If you’re interested in creating spooky vignettes of your own, this site is a fantastic source of inspiration. (Assuming it doesn’t make you feel really inadequate.) I’m quite impressed with all of the little details, and love the whimsy in so many of the scenes. Do go take a look, if only to drool.

Posted in Needful Things | No Comments »

Googly Eye Purse

December 17th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Googly Eye PurseHere’s an entertaining way to transform a purse or other accessory: Cover it with googly eyes.

The basic idea comes from Crafty Crafty, and although no instructions are provided the method seems pretty straightforward: 1) Get a bunch of googly eyes. 2) Glue ’em on.

I like the varying eye sizes on the purse; it adds a bit of textural interest.

You could do this with other kinds of eyes, too. There are many varieties of plastic eyes meant for dolls or stuffed animals, in all kinds of colors (like the creepy red ones I use in my zombie frogs). Some types have a plastic stem on the back, but they’re easily removed with wire cutters.

It’d be fun to cover a clutch with malevolently staring eyes. Tell people it’s where you keep your Mad Money. (:::snort, guffaw:::)

(via Evil Mad Scientist Labs)

Posted in Paint It Black | 2 Comments »

Knitted Dissections

December 16th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Lab Rat
I’d seen Etsy seller CraftyHedgeHog’s knit dissected frog previously, but she’s now added a lab rat. I love their fuzzy little organs.

She sells both the finished creatures and patterns to knit them yourself, so if you’re looking for a real conversation piece this would certainly be a good candidate.

It’d be fun to knit one of these into the fabric of a hat or sweater, too.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 2 Comments »

“Mourning Monument” Costume

December 15th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Angel CostumeRemember what I said about SF/F convention masquerade costumes being elaborate? This is Exhibit A.

This costume was worn at a recent DragonCon and was inspired by the Doctor Who episode Blink, the plot of which involved statues that moved when you weren’t looking at them. Astonishingly, it’s mostly painted cloth.

Over at the Replica Prop Forum, member penwiper has posted detailed instructions with lots of pictures explaining how she made this clever costume. I’m particularly impressed with her solution for making her exposed skin look like stone.

If you’re feeling ambitious, something like this would certainly make an impressive Halloween costume. (And if you’re like me, you’d have to start right now in order to finish by Halloween.) You could also do a somewhat simpler version by using a hooded cloak and dressing as a pleurant.

What’s spookier than cemetery statuary? Cemetery statuary that moves when you aren’t watching, boogedy-boogedy.

(via The Anticraft)

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 4 Comments »

Yet Another Link Dump

December 12th, 2008 by Cobwebs

More randomness from the depths of my Drafts folder. It’s a pity I can’t harness my blog-cleaning energies and turn them to housework.

But First, an Important Announcement:
If you’re a crafter in the U.S. and you sell your work, go here and read about what you can do to stop a proposed law that would essentially make it illegal to sell handmade crafts. Zoiks.

Now on to the random links….

Real Monsters – Mental Floss takes a look at the science behind some of the legends.

Best Ghost Photos Ever Taken. A gallery of some of the more “convincing” ghost photos. Some of them–particularly the older images–look more like sundogs or double exposures, and I wonder if they’d still be considered good examples of ghost photos if they didn’t have the patina of legend surrounding them. (In particular the alleged image of Lord Combermere makes me wonder: It looks like a double exposure, and the only evidence that it isn’t is the family’s word that it isn’t.) Still, creepy.

Blue Q – Offers merchandise with entertaining titles like “Evil Twin” gum and “Instant Rehab” breath spray.

Despair, Inc. – The source for “demotivational” posters and all sorts of other items like calendars and “Despairwear.”

Alien Loves Predator – One of my favorite Webcomics has revived itself after a long absence. Best to start at the beginning.

Chocolate Larvae – Japanese candy shaped to look like grubs. Yum! Or, um, not.

Ugly Overload – The antidote to Cute Overload. Everything featured here is hairy, possesses too many eyes, or has really unfortunate feeding habits. Yay, vampire squid!

Day of the Dead Crafts – New book featuring instructions for making a variety of Dia de los Muertos crafts, including calaveras and jewelry.

Gorey Details – Online shop featuring all sorts of Edward Gorey-themed merchandise.

Spaghetti Cake – I need to make this for somebody’s birthday.

Barbie of the Undead – Photos (but no text instructions) detailing the process of turning a Barbie doll into a zombie. I like the partially-rotted face with the jawbone peeking through.

Just in time for the holidays: Bid on a chance to have a newly-discovered bat species named after you or a loved one.

Posted in Link Dump | No Comments »

Furry Monster Wreath

December 11th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Monster WreathCraftster user callakat made this adorable wreath out of fake fur and ping-pong balls. She originally made it for Halloween, but obviously it’d be wonderful as a Christmas decoration too (particularly with green fur and red eyeballs).

She’s kindly posted a tutorial, which actually looks fairly easy. The wreath is really just a big ring-shaped pillow, and it doesn’t even require any sewing; she hot-glued the whole thing together.

Since the eyeballs are just drawn on with marker, you could give it slitted cat eyes instead. It could also be embellished with teeth, eyebrows, spider legs, or whatever else amuses you. Be sure to check the comments too; other Crafster members made suggestions and/or posted photos of their own creations. There’s all kinds of inspiration to be had.

I love this wreath. I want to hug it.

(via ThreadBanger)

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

“Mad Scientist” Blocks

December 10th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Mad Scientist BlocksHere’s the perfect item for the young maniacal inventor on your gift list: Alphabet blocks lovingly engraved with a different mad scientific motif. Original pen-and-ink drawings are laser-engraved (natch) onto maple blocks, and they’re just gorgeous. The set of five includes all of the themes that any well-rounded mad scientist should explore:

A – Appendages | B – Bioengineering | C – Caffeine | D – Dirigible | E – Experiment | F – Freeze ray | G – Goggles | H – Henchmen | I – Invention | J – Jargon | K – Potassium | L – Laser | M – Maniacal | N – Nanotechnology | O – Organs | P – Peasants (with Pitchforks) | Q – Quantum physics | R – Robot | S – Self-experimentation | T – Tentacles | U – Underground Lair | V – Virus | W – Wrench | X – X-Ray | Y – You, the Mad Scientist of Tomorrow | Z – Zombies

It’s never too early to teach your children mad science proficiency, and once they’ve grown up and begun an illustrious career reanimating dead tissue and launching laser satellites these blocks would make a lovely desk accessory or source of evidence when the FBI shows up with questions.

Link (via BoingBoing)

(Also check out the “Mr. Bitey” personal organizer on the same site. I want one of these for my desk.)

Posted in Bittens, Needful Things | 1 Comment »

Cauldron Candles

December 9th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Mini KettleHere’s a fast and easy project: Candles that look like a witch’s brew.

This little cauldron is just a cast iron serving bowl. You can also get cast iron soup bowls which feature cauldrony wire handles.

Use a gel candle base to create a transparent “brew,” colored and scented however you like (this site goes into some detail about making gel candles, and there are lots of other tutorials a Google away). Then embed brew ingredients in the gel. You can use just about anything nonflammable or made of candle wax. There are commercial embeds like spiders and bats, or you could cast your own objects like rats or frogs.

Paint mystical symbols on the cauldron if desired, and you’re done. These would be cute “place cards,” too: Paint each guest’s name on the side, or write it on a card and tie it to the handle with ribbon or raffia (include a warning to remove the card before lighting the candle).

Posted in Doom It Yourself | No Comments »

A Little Holiday Magic

December 8th, 2008 by Cobwebs

The Big Winter Holiday is headed in our direction, and whilst the adults are busy with holiday prep, kids are mostly left to work themselves into a lather of anticipation. Here are a couple of fun projects to do with little ones, because there are only so many sugar cookies you can decorate before declaring your kitchen a Superfund site.

Magical Reindeer Food

1/2 C instant oatmeal or birdseed
2 Tbsp sanding sugar or edible glitter (make sure the glitter is edible, for the sake of non-magical creatures that might eat it)

Mix together, place in an empty plastic spice bottle (the kind with the flip-up lid), and label. Sprinkle liberally outside on Christmas Eve.

During the off-season, the same mixture can be used to attract unicorns.

Summoning Snow Fairies

Present the child with a pretty bag containing the items needed for attracting Santa’s Elves, Hannukah Hobs, Solstice Fairies, or whatever magical creature you happen to feel needs a little encouragement.

You will need snow fairy food (blue and white jelly beans), plus whatever “ritual” items you want to include: A little silver plate to hold the food, special gloves to wear whilst preparing the meal, a bell to ring to alert the fairy that it’s dinnertime, pretty note cards to write a greeting to the fairy, and so forth.

Be sure to include instructions for properly performing the “ritual,” along with any background information about the creature in question, for instance, “Solstice Fairies tend to have snow-white hair and blue eyes.” “Elves don’t like to hear whining, complaining, or teasing, but get very excited when they hear ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you.'” (A side benefit of having one or two of Santa’s Elves hanging around is the tendency for children to be on their best behavior, lest the elves rat them out to Santa.)

It’s fun to get creative with the labels and packaging, and kids really get caught up in the magic.

Either one of these items would make unique party favors, too. The fairy-summoning bag could even be used as a wedding favor, particularly if you included additional elements like flower seeds (for attracting summer fairies) or votive candles.

Posted in Bittens | 1 Comment »

Link Dump

December 5th, 2008 by Cobwebs

There’s nothing even resembling a theme here, unless you count “I swept out my Drafts folder and dumped it all here,” as a unifying element.

Weird Tales – The classic magazine reinvents modern spooky with a lovely Website relaunch.

15 Weirdest Shoes – I want the platforms with the live tarantula in the sole.

“Bones” Salt and Pepper Shakers – Cute little shakers shaped like femurs.

Turkey Head Salt and Pepper Shakers – Shakers cast from real dead turkey heads. The seasonings come out their nostrils. Wish I’d known about these before Thanksgiving.

Smugopedia – Their tagline is, “Pretend you know better,” and they describe the site thusly: “Smugopedia is a collection of slightly controversial opinions about a variety of subjects. We offer you the chance to buy a fleeting sense of self-satisfaction at the small cost of alienating your friends and loved ones.”

Rose Ice Cubes – Neat idea for spiffing up a champagne bucket.

Food Chain Friends – A whole series of plush animals eat each other, but are oddly serene about it. You’d think that this would be offered by some “alternative” retailer, but it’s on sale at FAO Schwarz.

Trilobite Cookies – Instructions on making little chocolatey fossilized arthropods using one of those gun-shaped cookie press things.

Gothic Charm School – The Lady of the Manners gives tips on how to be a better black-clad freak.

American Monsters – A clearinghouse for U.S. cryptozoology.

The Steampunk Home – Blog devoted to steampunk decor and accessories.

Idol Cake – A child’s birthday cake inspired by the golden idol at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Lots of neat detail work.

Posted in Link Dump | No Comments »

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