The Art of Darkness

Along Came a Link Dump

July 16th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Voodoo Chic – Awesome embroidery project.

Hard Candy Jewels – Tutorial for making “gems” out of candy. Great for decorating cakes.

Latex Bow Tie – Nice detail for an alt-wedding.

Hoochie Ghoul Wallet – Featuring a skeletal pinup.

Off with Their Heads – I love this cameo from Etsy seller doctormorose.

Cannibal Rose Creations – Cafepress store with lots of interesting items, including things like calendars featuring spiders and tote bags with bats.

Infectious Beauty – Infectious diseases as art. These are strangely beautiful. (Hat tip to Empress Pam)

The Twilight Saga – Literally. Hee hee hee.

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

Black and WTF

July 15th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Black and WTFHere’s a wonderful time-waster: The Black and WTF blog is devoted to peculiar black-and-white photos, presented without comment.

Some will make you scratch your head, a few will make you wince, and others might be sources of inspiration. (And a couple are pure nightmare fuel.)

Part of the site’s appeal is that no attempt is made to interpret these photos. I’m sure that many of them have some reasonable explanation, but the fact that they’re just there, with no context, makes them altogether more surreal. (I think this one might be my favorite. So. Many. Questions.)

A few are mildly NSFW in that they contain various unclothed bits, but frankly that’s probably the least of your worries where this site is concerned. Weird. Eerie.

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Brontë Sisters Power Dolls (!!!)

July 14th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Phil Lord and Chris Miller recently uploaded this to YouTube, saying:

This was a fake commercial we made in 1998 for a series of educational shorts about action figures based on historical figures. Its educational value was somewhat suspect. It was never aired.


(Hat tip to pdq)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 3 Comments »

Gothy Gardens

July 13th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Herby SkullI haven’t done a gardening post in ages, largely because most of my gardening this year has tended toward the mundane rather than the spooky: I’ve been planting things to make the bees happy, and their preferences aren’t particularly gothy. However, I’ve been saving a list of plants that would be perfect for a spooky garden, so even if I haven’t had the chance to plant any at least I can share them with you.

Obviously, check any plant for suitability (size, temperature requirements, invasiveness, etc.) before you stick it in the ground; depending upon your location, some of them may have to be grown in pots. You can use one or two as accent plants in a garden or mass a lot of them in a single bed to create something more blatantly spooky. That latter is my preferred approach; I like to give visitors the impression that my front yard might eat them.

One of my favorites is Spilanthes oleracea, also called the “Peek-a-Boo Plant.” It’s got round yellow blossoms with burgundy centers and essentially appears to be a bunch of eyeballs on stalks.

Ricinus communis, the castor bean plant, is a big, showy ornamental. Depending upon the variety, foliage can be purple, dark green, or reddish, and the seedpods are colorful and spiky. The plant is also highly poisonous, so do NOT plant it if you have children or animals who might nibble at it.

The Butterfly Bush species Buddleia davidii ‘Black Knight’ is a tall, attractive plant with blackish-purple blooms. It has the added benefit of attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden.

The Bat Flower, Tacca chantrieri ‘Black’, has black blossoms that look sort of like a bat. If you squint. It’s a really striking houseplant, though, with huge glossy flowers and dramatic whiskers.

There’s a variety of broomcorn (Sorghum nigrum) that has shiny black seeds is often sold under the name “Black Witch’s Broom.”

The daylily Hemerocallis ‘Bela Lugosi’ is a gorgeous purple-black flower with the added benefit of a wonderful name.

Speaking of that, there are actually a lot of daylilies with evocative names, like Forbidden Desires, Goblin MoonMerry Witch, Wicked Witch, Creature of the Night, Banshee, Deep Secret, Autumn Sunset, and Night Song; irises named Dracula’s Shadow, Ominous Stranger, and Ghost Train; and tulips called Queen of the Night and Tattoo. Let’s just say that if there’s a popular flower you happen to like, it’s probably got at least a few varities with spooky names.)

A variety of sea holly, Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ is a tall, greenish-grey plant that has prickly flowers. It’s a striking landscaping plant and would also look nice as part of a dried-flower arrangement.

One of my favorite shrubs is the Corkscrew Willow, Salix matsudana tortuosa: Its twigs are twisty and contorted, which not only give the whole bush a peculiar look but also make wonderful additions to a vase of cut flowers. The Corokia cotoneaster is another great shrub; it’s also called a “wire netting bush,” and its grey foliage and mounding habit make it look odd and ghostly.

Japanese Blood Grass is an extremely arresting ornamental grass, with tall garnet-to-burgundy blades. Eleusine coracana ‘Green Cat’ is another ornamental grass that produces strange claw-like flowers.

Carpet Bugle (or Bugleweed), Ajuga reptans, is a nice ground cover which has several dark varieties like ‘Burgundy Glow’ and ‘Royalty’.

Other, non-specific suggestions for a gothic garden is to look for twisty trees, vines and other trailing plants, black or other deep-colored flowers, and perhaps some night-blooming plants. The Victorian-type garden with a wide variety of plants stuffed into every available place is a great look for this kind of garden. Gazing balls, menacing statuary (I’m partial to pleurants), sundials, and wrought iron are all attractive additions. Even better, use a big cauldron as the focal point of a flower bed and plant it to overflowing with trailing plants.

What’s your favorite gothy plant? I’d love to hear more suggestions in the comments!

(Image from Skull-a-Day. Isn’t it fabulous?)

Posted in Unhallowed Ground | 3 Comments »

Artsy Animal Specimens

July 12th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Fish SkeletonHoly moley, look at this gorgeous thing. Alert reader Chas sent me this link to a short article on MAKE about cleared and stained animal specimens. These are more like artwork than laboratory specimens.

The article points to instructions for the procedure, although I don’t think it’s really something you could DIY over a weekend. (At the very least, it would probably take numerous tries to achieve good results.)

If you’re not up to preparing your own specimens, it’s possible to find similar items (although not so luridly colored) at science and biological supply houses. You can get replica skeletons, plastinated animals, preserved invertebrates, and quite a lot more. Some are fairly expensive, but many are surprisingly reasonable.

I’d also love to see a series of high-resolution prints of some of the stained specimens. They’d look fantastic massed on a wall.

(Thanks, Chas!)

Posted in Bad Things | 1 Comment »

Requiem for a Link Dump

July 9th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Crocheted Python Items – Craftster member MsPremiseConclusion crocheted a Grail tote and a Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, and they are kind of awesome.

Felt Cake Toppers – These little custom-made monsters are just adorable.

Games for Hallowe’en – Partial text of a 1912 book with lots of suggestions for period parlor games.

Yak-Anthropy – I just really like the yak.

Tarot Card Embroidery – Urban Threads has a new line of tarot card stitchery patterns.

The Big Idea: Leanna Renee Hieber – A look at Hieber’s gothic novels, which sound interesting.

Amigurumi Cthulhu – Free crochet pattern from a blog that appears to be devoted to such things. Gawd, I love the Internet.

Ghost Love Jewelry – Etsy seller specializing in jewelry that’s heavy on the cameos and skulls.

Posted in Link Dump | No Comments »

Whom Shall You Telegram?

July 8th, 2010 by Cobwebs

The League of S.T.E.A.M. (Supernatural and Troublesome Ectoplasmic Apparition Management) is a group of steampunk ghost-and-monster hunters. They frequently post their exploits on their YouTube channel, and they recently did this amusing ad for their services.

(via BoingBoing)

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

The Black Broom

July 7th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Bar SetGhoul Friday recently linked to this utterly wonderful bar set over at Gothic Rose Antiques, and whilst nosing around to see if I could find it cheaper elsewhere I ran across The Black Broom. They appear to be the original creators of the bar set, and they’ve got loads of other great cast items as well.

I’m a sucker for decorative buttons, and their metal Elizabeth Bathory and Vlad the Impaler buttons strike me as the perfect detail for a long coat or velvet jacket. They’ve got some cast-stone statuary (including fetal, newborn, and child skulls, a set of which would make a truly arresting baby shower gift), interesting jewelry like this Pazuzu bracelet, and if you’re really feeling luxurious, a Baphomet hood ornament.

They’ve also got an e-Bay store which appears to feature some items that aren’t listed on their main site. Many of their items are surprisingly reasonable, and it’s nice that they’re creating the stuff themselves instead of just reselling mass-produced items.

I didn’t see anything on their site about custom orders, but since they say they sculpt and manufacture the pieces themselves, if you’ve got a special cast item in mind it doesn’t hurt to inquire.

Posted in Needful Things | 1 Comment »

Seen Online

July 6th, 2010 by Cobwebs

The road to hell is not paved with good intentions but marshmallow fluff, and the damned are made to wear Crocs as they walk it.

For those about to rock: Why are you prepping to rock? There’s no planning involved in rocking! Dear god IS THAT A SPREADSHEET??

Back off, or I’ll use this butterfly to start a chain reaction leading to a terrifying alternate future.

“Are monsters real, daddy?” “Like on TV?” “Yeah.” “Totally. George Bush, Dick Cheney, Tony Hayward… all real. Now, go to sleep, dear.”

Instead of Little Caesar’s I go to Little Caligula’s. The pizza is the same, but it’s served to you on top of a naked 16-year-old boy.

Sometimes I like to scream “Am I not merciful?” when I hand money to homeless people.

When there’s a full moon, the everywherewolf is always right behind you! However, don’t mind the shampire; he does not exist.

Twilight’s like soccer. They run around for 2 hours, nobody scores, and its billion fans insist you just don’t understand.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | No Comments »


July 5th, 2010 by Cobwebs

NMBC TreeCraftster member kirastorm has a miniature Christmas tree that she plans to decorate with a different theme every year. Her inaugural theme was The Nightmare Before Christmas, and I think it turned out splendidly.

The ornaments are simply plain balls that she painted: Black, white with black spirals, and Jack’s face. The rest of the tree is filled in with black-and-white garland and white stars. As simple as the ornaments are, they’re really very striking.

This would be a great decoration for a small space, for Halloween or the various winter holidays.* If you wanted to get fancy, you could also decorate blown eggs with the same designs. You could also swap out the tree for something a little less overtly seasonal like a bare branch or standing metal hanger and use it to display the ornaments (or eggs) year-round.

*I realize it’s only July, but think of this as getting a head-start on seasonal crafts.

Posted in Paint It Black | 2 Comments »

« Previous Entries Next Entries »