The Art of Darkness

Love Bites

August 31st, 2009 by Cobwebs

Black Widow

The best part of this image is that the heart isn’t Photoshopped. Apparently when the spider gets particularly plump her hourglass warps into a heart shape.

This desperately needs to be a goth Valentine’s Day card.

(Photo from The Door Garden)

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The Link Dump of Otranto

August 28th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Stamp Expressions – Personalize stamps with an uploaded photo. Handy for wedding or party invitations.

Battle of the Insanely Awful Twilight Merchandise – I laughed. And then I curled up into a fetal position and sobbed that such things exist. (Second photo NSFW.)

Your Organ Grinder – Etsy seller who specializes in felted body parts. I like the Brain Hair Clip.

Hanzi Smatter – Blog dedicated to “the misuse of Chinese characters in Western culture.” (He appears to do Japanese too.) The blogger helpfully translates pictograms sent to him so you can discover whether the tattoo you thought meant “god will judge me” actually means “the great emperor’s tailor.”

The Sampler – This is an interesting promotional tool for indie businesses. You contribute samples of whatever it is you sell, they portion them out and send them to Sampler subscribers and members of the media.

Twitter: Helen Keller – This is so wrong. And yet you will laugh.

Gothers – Social networking site for the dark at heart.

Travis Louie’s Curiosities – I’ve blogged about Louie’s wonderful paintings previously. He’s just published a book of his work.

Black Leather Heart – I Heart Guts specializes in plush organs (why not?) and they’ve got a limited-edition faux patent leather heart that’s mighty cute. I’m sure my heart looks just like this.

The Mourning Market – This is what amounts to a farmer’s market of dark artists, taking place October 18 in Seattle. Grimvisions will be one of the vendors.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

DIY Steampunk Maps

August 27th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Steampunk MapSteampunk fan Chris Howard has posted a short tutorial on turning vintage city maps into maps of fictional places for use in gaming or as costume accessories. His method assumes you have some artistic talent, but you could do something similar with clip art.

Obviously, you don’t have to go steampunk. You could create maps of Dracula’s London or Poe’s Baltimore, or just use a map as a jumping-off point for a realm of your own devising. In addition game aids and props, they’d be lovely framed or used as part of an art project (books covered in old maps are especially striking).

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Easy Cookie Craft

August 26th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Cowgirl CookiesBakerella, whose experiments with cake pops are legendary, recently posted a cute “Cowgirl Cookie” mix tutorial and even included downloadable labels for the jars. Her example is rather obnoxiously pink, but we can fix that.

She mentions in passing that you can vary the color for different holidays and suggests checking the seasonal candy aisle for appropriately-colored M&Ms. If you don’t want to wait that long, many candy retailers offer M&Ms in a wide variety of custom colors–Sweet Be’s and Candy Favorites were the first two that popped up in a search–and you can also order custom-printed M&Ms at My M&Ms (although, oddly, they don’t offer black).

The smooth jars she uses are available at many craft stores or from Amazon. For a vintage Halloween-type look, decorate the top with black-and-orange checked gingham fabric tied with raffia (you can tie a miniature broom to the front if you’re feeling ambitious). For something a little gothier, use a scrap of black lace or brocade and tie with black ribbon. Stick a plastic spider or two to the top with a dab of hot glue.

Play with label design in your favorite graphics program; I gothed up a sample set here (isn’t that spider lovely? There are more like it at Larval Bug), but you can use whatever clip art and fonts appeal to you. (One caution: Make sure the font you use for the instructions is fairly readable.)

I love this kind of assembly-line project, where you can knock off a bunch of them in a short time. You can turn out professional-looking results easily and cheaply, and they’d be an interesting wedding favor or last-minute hostess gift.

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

You Just Know What the House Special is

August 25th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Zombie Bar

When a Minneapolis bar called Stand Up Frank’s closed recently, the owner of such establishments as Psycho Suzi’s Tiki Lounge and Saint Sabrina’s Tattoo Parlor decided to add a new member to the “family.”

The bar has been resurrected as Donny Dirk’s Zombie Den, complete with bartenders dressed like Simon Pegg in Shaun of the Dead (including bloodstains) and servers in long black gowns.

The new place doesn’t appear to have a Website yet, but this article in the Star Tribune discusses some of its decor and ambience.

It sounds a little more Las Vegas-Meets-Romero than straight-up zombies, but there might be some fun ideas for a dinner party or even decorating your own home bar area.

(via io9)

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Molding/Casting Tutorial

August 24th, 2009 by Cobwebs

GargoyleThe inimitable Dave Lowe has put up a wonderful tutorial on using plasticine and patching compound to quickly and easily cast small items.

This would be a fantastic way to inexpensively create decorative items. Make a mold of something like a skull or a bat, turn out loads of copies, and use them to accent things like mirrors or candlesticks. (You could also experiment with running a bunch of them along the wall as a decorative frieze.) The technique would also be handy for duplicating orphaned items, so if you’ve got a single gargoyle that you found at a flea market now you can give it a twin.

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Another Doggone Link Dump

August 21st, 2009 by Cobwebs

Black Chandelier – Sells candles with the scent of “imaginary botanicals” like African Stranglehorn and Deadly Kittenshade. Each candle comes with a description of the mytical plant’s properties.

Halloween Crochet Patterns – Huge list of free patterns. I especially like the skull amigurumi.

Brain Cupcake – This is extraordinarily gross-looking.

Crappy Taxidermy – A site devoted to just exactly what it says it is. Some of the items are poorly done, but many are just weird.

Steampunk Novel Reviews – Roundup of recent novels. In particular, Soulless sounds fun.

MARCON – This convention’s 2010 theme is “Necropolis: a year of Horror.” If you’re going to be in the Columbus, OH area, there will probably be some awesome costumes.

The Hangover Fairy – Sculpture from Bent Objects. I think this is just what he looks like.

Bride and Groom Skele-Hands – Little skeletal hands from Etsy seller CherryRiot. These would be a breeze to DIY using miniature skeleton hands and scraps of fabric. I like the idea of using them as a brooch or hair clip.

GrimTweets – Twitter account that retweets mentions of murder, torture, death, and etc. (Hat tip to Kitten Herder)

Creatures – Flickr set of a sculptor who specializes in “imagined creatures.” They’re all very Lovecraftian, and I love that he’s got a few in cages.

Gothic Splendor – Scanned issue of House and Garden magazine featuring some gorgeous decorating ideas from designer Douglas Little. (via Creepy Cupcakes)

Zombaritaville – Song rewritten with zombified lyrics. New posts three times a week.

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

“Lestat” Returns to Screen

August 20th, 2009 by Cobwebs

LestatBloody Disgusting reports that Universal Pictures is planning to restart Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles and is in close negotiations with Robert Downey Jr. to play Lestat.

There’s no word on whether this will be a reboot of one of the previously-filmed novels or a new entry in the franchise, but the choice of Downey should attract a lot of attention.

As Shadow Jack commented dryly when I told him about the choice of star, “Because he just does everything better.” He’s certainly done something…interesting…with the new Sherlock Holmes movie. (If you haven’t seen the trailer for that, it’s here. I suspect that if you hooked a rotor up to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s grave you’d have energy too cheap to meter.)

Anne Rice is on board with the choice. It’ll be interesting to see what he does with this role.

(via io9)

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Tanks for the Memories

August 19th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Tank TopHaute Macabre mentioned that a bunch of similar ribcage-themed tank tops have been showing up on eBay recently (the one shown here is from All Season Tops), which are adorable and quite reasonably priced.

A quick Google search turns up loads of tanks embroidered or printed with ribcages (I like this one and this one), but the cutout design isn’t easy to find elsewhere.

If you want a different size or style than what eBay’s got to offer, a DIY version wouldn’t be too difficult. Sandwich stiff fusible webbing between two pieces of fabric, cut out holes for the ribs, and zigzag over the raw edges. Draw details with fabric paint or (if you’re really hardcore) embroidery stitches. Stitch the ribcage to the back of a tank top, then cut away the tank fabric behind the stitching line. Definitely more work than buying one premade, but also more customizable.

Posted in Needful Things | 2 Comments »

“Ninth Gate” Book Tutorial

August 18th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Book CoverThe Johnny Depp film The Ninth Gate was fairly forgettable, but its McGuffin was an “evil” book that would make an attractive decorative item.

Apocalyptic Productions has created a detailed tutorial for reproducing the book, including text, downloadable fonts, engravings, and instructions for aging and binding the pages.

Even if you don’t need an absolutely movie-accurate version of the prop, this is a great resource for making something like a personalized wedding guest book. You could also make a variety of “spellbooks” with intriguing titles, either as Halloween decorations or just to stack artfully in a bare corner.

Also check out their Biblioteca Apocalyptica page, where you can download text for the Necronomicon and De Vermis Mysteriis.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 1 Comment »

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