The Art of Darkness

Haunted Mansion Merchandise

January 30th, 2009 by Cobwebs

High TopsDisney’s Haunted Mansion attraction is about to turn 40, and they’re planning all kinds of commemorative merchandise to celebrate. My favorite are these awesome shoes, featuring the spooky eyeball wallpaper pattern from the entrance hallway.

You can view artist’s concepts of all the planned merchandise here. They’re expecting high demand for some of these limited-edition items, so they’ll be using a “Random Selection Process” computer program to choose who gets to purchase the merchandise.

Incidentally, if you’re in the Anaheim area, there’s an after-hours special event planned for the ride’s anniversary. It looks like the tickets are mostly sold out already, but I’d be surprised if they weren’t available on eBay.

Posted in Needful Things | 3 Comments »

BHG Hallowedding

January 29th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Cake TopperDespite their annoying interstitial ads, I do like Better Homes and Gardens Magazine’s decorating slideshows. They’ve posted a bunch of cute ideas for a Halloween wedding reception, many of which would also be appropriate for an upscale Halloween party.

Several of the ideas include project instructions like this easy Guest Book and Pen Holder.

Be sure to check out their other Halloween slideshows for additional ideas.

Bonus Link: Check out these cute ideas from Christine’s Couture

Posted in Terror in the Aisle | 1 Comment »

Monster Skin Rug

January 28th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Monster Skin RugEvery so often I’ll run into an item that’s just begging for a DIY riff. This clever rug is one of them.

Artistic “funhouse” Longoland lists the materials for this Monster Skin Rug as Brushed Woven Cashmere & Wool and Polymer Clay. The cashmere/wool appears to be felted, and their related Monster Skin Chair page even has a few photos demonstrating how the fabric is marked and cut. The teeth are, presumably, where the polymer clay comes in.

I’m not sure how I feel about the felty-scaly look of the body, but I completely love the concept. You could go nuts with faux fur, leather, or alligator skin (or a combination!), plastic or polymer clay fangs and claws, plastic eyes (the kind used for dolls or stuffed animals), and create your very own trophy cryptozoological specimen. If you need help getting started, check out this eHow page on making a fake bear rug out of an old plush toy and faux fur.

A Chupacabra- or Yeti-skin rug would be an amusing addition to any room. Pair it with some mounted Mothman wings and get ready to spin tales of your latest expedition to hunt mythical creatures.

(via We Covet)

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 1 Comment »

Free Vintage Illustrations

January 27th, 2009 by Cobwebs

RountreeThe Grandma’s Graphics site has a nice collection of public domain artwork from vintage children’s books.

From Harry Clarke to 1890′s storybooks, if you’re looking for unique images or clipart for use on your web pages or in other design or craft projects you’ve come to the right place. There’s a treasury here at Grandma’s Graphics that you probably won’t find anywhere else online. Some of these graphics are quite large and take time to load, but be patient, they’re worth the wait.

The free images are 72 dpi (Web resolution), but for a small fee they also offer higher resolution scans. These would be a great resource for design projects. In particular, check out the Avatars page, which features all kinds of creepy visages from works by Poe and Goethe.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Resources | 1 Comment »

Digital Fantasy/SF Art

January 26th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Vampire TwinsPSDTUTS–an awesome resource for Photoshop tutorials and a good place to make those of us who think we know a thing or two about Photoshop consider resigning in shame–has a roundup of “digital paintings,” heavy on the fantasy/horror/science fiction. Their digital nature make them seem hyper-realistic, and they’re eye-poppingly lovely.

Each entry also links to the artist’s Website or gallery, so there’s plenty more where these came from. (Some are on the NSFW side, so practice safe surfing.)

Link (via Big Dumb Object)

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Link Dump

January 23rd, 2009 by Cobwebs

Yeah, yeah, yeah, phonin’ it in with another link dump. Sue me.

Shrunken Head Necklace – Cute little pendant made of polymer clay and wool.

Dragon Cake – Every time I think I have reasonably good cake-decorating skills, I run into something like this.

People Eat the Weirdest Things – Roundup, with photos, of some odd cuisine. (Although inexplicably they overlooked balut.)

Full Moon Industries – Image-heavy site devoted to spooky things. Good source of inspiration.

Knitting for Psychos – Flickr set (no instructions) of all kinds of cutely-dismembered creatures.

Elysian Fields – Neat wallpaper with a subtle bat motif. Expensive, but very pretty.

Electric Bath Duckie – “One Use Only.”

Eyeball Garnish – Instructions for making the most disgustingly realistic drink garnish you’re ever going to see. You will wince to look at it.

Barbie Wreath – Unusual bondage-esque decoration made of wire-wrapped Barbie dolls.

Disney Celebrates You – This isn’t exactly spooky, but it amuses me because of my Disney roots and it’s actually quite well done. Enter a person’s name and the site will generate a customized “news video” about how the Disneyland parks are going to honor that person.

Spiderweb Watch – Very pretty wristwatch with a spiderweb case.

Nightmare Playgrounds: Part 1 and Part 2 – Playground sculptures that will give small children the fantods. I especially like the shot of the little girl sitting on Cthulhu’s lap.

Making Vinegar – with…Science!

Zombie Cross-stitch – “Zombies only want you for your brains.”

Rattlesnake Glass Holder – Realistic rattlesnake that coils around a standard pint glass.

The Recently Deflowered Girl – Odd little humorous “etiquette” book, offering “The Right Thing To Say On Every Dubious Occasion.” Illustrated by Edward Gorey. (Safe for Work.)

Fire Meets Desire – I have a couple of comments about this: My non-U.S. readers probably have no knowledge of Burger King’s mascot (for which you surely have fewer nightmares), but he’s a guy in a creepy-looking plastic mask. Last month, Burger King ostensibly launched a new men’s fragrance which featured “a hint of flame-broiled meat.” It was taken at face value all over the news, although the whole thing screams “viral marketing campaign” to me. (The single place where you can buy the fragrance is perpetually out of stock.) However–however!–their promotional site for the cologne is pretty damn funny. Keep clicking, and you’ll see what I mean.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Chocolate Frogs

January 22nd, 2009 by Cobwebs

Chocolate FrogI recently ran across this neat pattern for an unusual papercraft box, and it reminded me about the Great Chocolate Frog Project.

Several years ago, when Shadaughter was very much a fan of the Harry Potter series, we decided to give our annual Halloween party a Harry Potter theme. (We weren’t anywhere near as gung-ho as Britta is, but we lived up to my family’s motto* anyway.) One of our party favors was chocolate frogs.

We used a frog candy mold to cast the frogs, and each was presented with a special “trading card.” F’rinstance:

Famous Wizards
Merlin

Merlin tutored the young King Arthur and helped chart the course of British history. His use of the Soopergloo charm enabled only Arthur to pull a sword from a stone, thus winning him the throne. After Arthur was defeated by Mordred, Merlin went into show business. He is best known for his smash-hit musicals “No, No, Nimue” and “A Hard Day’s Knight.”

After the first movie came out a few members of my Halloween listserv decided to replicate the box, and I offered my cards as part of the package. So, if you’d like to try your hand at your own chocolate frogs (they really do make nice party favors), check out Minions Web for complete instructions.

*If a Thing is Worth Doing, it is Worth Overdoing.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | No Comments »

Swarovski Skulls

January 21st, 2009 by Cobwebs

Skull TiaraUK-based jeweler Butler & Wilson offer a large selection of skull-themed jewelry encrused with Swarovski crystals. They aren’t cheap, but they’re certainly arresting. This skull tiara would be an awesome bridal accessory, and this trinket box is intricate and creepy.

If you’re patient and good with gluing on fiddly bits, you might be able to hand-make something reasonably similar. (You’d have to be much more patient than I am.)

Link (via Haunt Style)

Posted in Needful Things, Terror in the Aisle | 1 Comment »

Ch-ch-ch-Changes

January 20th, 2009 by Cobwebs

ChangelingThe lovely Crypt Stitch recently held a contest to give away one of her Changeling dolls, and I was the lucky winner. It arrived last week, and it’s just adorable (you can see more pictures on her site, and there’s a similar one in her Etsy shop).

The doll is reversible; her skirt flips up over her head and she changes from dark to light. I just love the fabrics she chose, and the little lacy sleeves and necklace are nice touches. (Not that I’ve actually gotten to play with it much; Shadowboy thinks it’s the Coolest Thing Ever and is hogging it for himself.)

Go look! She has some lovely things.

Posted in Needful Things | 1 Comment »

Happy Birthday Edgar

January 19th, 2009 by Cobwebs

PoeIt’s been 200 years today since Edgar Allan Poe was born. This will also mark the 60th anniversary of the Poe Toaster who, despite sounding like an eldritch kitchen appliance, is actually a mysterious man who visits Poe’s gravesite every year on his birthday and raises a cognac toast.

It’s hard to overestimate the influence that Poe has had on the collective goth psyche. Today would be an excellent day to get together with some velvet-clad friends, sip cognac, and read some of his stories. Project Gutenberg, Black Cat Poems, and PoeStories.com have many of his works online, and here’s an article on Poe and music if you need inspiration for mood music. And Cynical-C did a roundup of readings of “The Raven” a while back, by people like Vincent Price and Christopher Walken. It’s fun to listen to the different reading styles.

Have a gloomy and direful day!

Posted in Whatever | 2 Comments »

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