The Art of Darkness

A Night in the Lonesome October

October 31st, 2010 by Cobwebs

Ulalume: A Ballad

The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crispéd and sere —
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year;
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir —
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through an alley Titanic,
Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul —
Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
There were days when my heart was volcanic
As the scoriac rivers that roll —
As the lavas that restlessly roll
Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek
In the ultimate climes of the pole —
That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek
In the realms of the boreal pole.

Our talk had been serious and sober,
But our thoughts they were palsied and sere —
Our memories were treacherous and sere —
For we knew not the month was October,
And we marked not the night of the year —
(Ah, night of all nights in the year!)
We noted not the dim lake of Auber —
(Though once we had journeyed down here) —
We remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,
Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

And now, as the night was senescent
And star-dials pointed to morn —
As the star-dials hinted of morn —
At the end of our path a liquescent
And nebulous lustre was born,
Out of which a miraculous crescent
Arose with a duplicate horn —
Astarte’s bediamonded crescent
Distinct with its duplicate horn.

And I said — “She is warmer than Dian:
She rolls through an ether of sighs —
She has seen that the tears are not dry on
These cheeks, where the worm never dies,
And has come past the stars of the Lion
To point us the path to the skies —
To the Lethean peace of the skies —
Come up, in despite of the Lion,
To shine on us with her bright eyes —
Come up through the lair of the Lion
With Love in her luminous eyes.”

But Psyche, uplifting her finger,
Said — “Sadly this star I mistrust —
Her pallor I strangely mistrust: —
Oh, hasten! — oh, let us not linger!
Oh, fly! — let us fly! — for we must.”
In terror she spoke; letting sink her
Wings till they trailed in the dust —
In agony sobbed, letting sink her
Plumes till they trailed in the dust —
Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

I replied — “This is nothing but dreaming:
Let us on by this tremulous light!
Let us bathe in this crystalline light!
Its Sybillic splendor is beaming
With Hope and in Beauty to-night: —
See! — it flickers up the sky through the night!
Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,
And be sure it will lead us aright —
We safely may trust to a gleaming
That cannot but guide us aright,
Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night.”

Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,
And tempted her out of her gloom —
And conquered her scruples and gloom:
And we passed to the end of the vista,
And were stopped by the door of a tomb;
By the door of a legended tomb: —
And I said — “What is written, sweet sister,
On the door of this legended tomb?”
She replied — “Ulalume — Ulalume —
‘Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!”

Then my heart it grew ashen and sober
As the leaves that were crispéd and sere —
As the leaves that were withering and sere,
And I cried — “It was surely October
On this very night of last year
That I journeyed — I journeyed down here —
That I brought a dread burden down here —
On this night of all nights in the year,
Oh, what demon has tempted me here?
Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber —
This misty mid region of Weir —
Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”

Said we, then — the two, then — “Ah, can it
Have been that the woodlandish ghouls —
The pitiful, the merciful ghouls —
To bar up our way and to ban it
From the secret that lies in these wolds —
From the thing that lies hidden in these wolds —
Had drawn up the spectre of a planet
From the limbo of lunary souls —
This sinfully scintillant planet
From the Hell of the planetary souls?”

— Edgar Allan Poe

Posted in Whatever | No Comments »

The Link Dump of Amontillado

October 29th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Knit Candy Corn – Free pattern for teensy knitted candy corn. (Why you’d want to knit teensy candy corn is left as an exercise for the reader.)

Arise Ye Dead – I love this tombstone pumpkin pattern.

What the Great Pumpkin Said to Linus – These are hilarious.

Sears Zombie – I had no idea that Sears was catering to the undead-American community.

Get Back in Your Book – Fun photoset of fictional characters being sucked back into the books which spawned them. (Hat tip to Empress Pam)

How to Make Sugar Skulls – A helpful tutorial from Hi Monkey.

My Jello Americans – Blog devoted entirely to jello shot recipes. I like the pumpkins and the absinthe-flavored Van Gogh ears.

We Belong Alive – I love this T-shirt (it’s currently sold out and thus not available on the site, so I’m linking to Shellhawk’s post about it).

Pearl Necklace – Jewelry which does not actually contain any pearls (potentially NSFW). As someone commented elsewhere, $500 for a punchline on a chain does seem a bit excessive.

Elvira’s Not a Witch – Amusing ad that parodies Christine O’Donnell’s campaign commercial. (For the non-Americans who may be blissfully unaware of this nutball–oh, how I envy you–see here for the backstory and here for the ad.)

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

The Haunted Gardens

October 28th, 2010 by Cobwebs

LogoI can’t believe that a blog devoted to gothic gardening has been operating for nearly a year and I only now stumbled across it.

The Haunted Gardens is a group blog devoted to environmentally-friendly gardening with a spooky twist. They talk about plants like cemetery lilies and black hollyhocks, and feature interesting garden accessories like jack-o-lantern chimineas and skull gardening boots.

Since the blog is fairly new they don’t have a lot of archive depth yet, but their posts so far are definitely intriguing. It’s exciting to find a site devoted to just the kind of gardening I’m interested in, and I’ve already found several plants that I may have to try in my own yard. Lovely!

Posted in Unhallowed Ground | 3 Comments »

Seen Online

October 27th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Pope says atheists pick & choose their morals. Correct. Today I will be frowning on child abuse & not having a problem with homosexuality.

Need a cigarette holder, green makeup, and a wheelchair to finish my Halloween costume (Frankenstein Delano Roosevelt).

“…and that’s where my fear of camels comes from…”

Every time you fart as you’re walking through first class getting on a plane, Jesus high-fives your grandmother.

By using the phrase “so random” you agree to the Terms and Conditions in which I stab you in the fucking face 3,000 times.

Tea and fruit bats! #VictorianEraOrgasmYells

A horse walks into a pub. “Why the long face?” asks the barman. The horse, unable to understand language, eats a beer mat.

Halloween costume warning. Once “Slutty Ira Glass” crosses your mind, it’s hard to seriously consider anything else.

Yesterday, stiff legs. Today, stiff back. My body must be practicing to be a corpse.

My neighbors thought the tombstones in my yard were festive until they saw their pets’ names scrawled on them.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

This Year’s Costumes

October 26th, 2010 by Cobwebs

ShadowboyAs per usual, I have to show off the annual costume photos (it’s my blog; I can brag if I want).

Every year I make an entirely-too-elaborate* costume for Shadowboy, then have professional photos taken. I also occasionally make costumes for a friend’s niece, and when said niece decided that she wanted to be a bat this year, I managed to talk Shadowboy into being a vampire. (Every year, I edge closer to the time when he’s not going to let me help choose his costume. I view this time with dread and loathing.)

The vampire was actually fairly straightforward: It was cobbled together using pieces from several different patterns, but the only pattern modification I had to make involved attaching ruffled sleeves from one shirt to the body of another one.

The bat was somewhat more complicated, and may have involved swearing. It started with this pattern, and I added long sleeves to the overdress. I spent a long time looking at various permutations of bat wings, and finally settled on this general method, with a few modifications:

  • Instead of felt, I used the same fabric that I used for the overdress. I measured the side seam length from the edge of the wrist to the bottom of the skirt, then cut four squares of fabric one inch larger (i.e., the seam was 26″ so the squares were 27″ on a side).
  • For each wing, I sewed two squares (right sides together) with 1/2″ seams on three sides, then turned the resulting bag right-side out.
  • The seam opposite the open edge was sewn along the side seam of the dress.
  • I cut a piece of paper (I used some old gift-wrapping paper, because that was the only stuff I had handy which was wide enough) the size of the square, then used a dinner plate as a pattern to draw various scallops until I liked the look of the wing. The resulting paper pattern was used to cut the edges of the fabric wings (which were then basted).
  • Single-fold bias tape was sewn on the front to make the channels for the struts, and wire from cut-and-straightened coat hangers were slipped down inside (I padded the ends with a bit of electrical tape to keep them from poking through the fabric).
  • Finally, double-fold bias tape in the same color was sewn along the wing edges to cover the open ends of the strut channels and to give the wings a more finished look.

The costume was topped off with a headband covered with black fabric, with two folded fabric triangles attached for ears.

It was a lot of work, but she loved the flappy wings. And although I may be somewhat prejudiced, I have to say that I think they make a very cute duo.

So this year’s costumes are in the bag, and I’m already happily anticipating next year. Halloween never really ends at our house.

What about you? Any exciting Halloween plans?

*I mean, really, entirely too elaborate. Sometimes velvet or brocade is involved. Not to mention that I insist on enclosing all the seams and finishing all the raw edges of a costume that’s going to be worn for a total of about two hours. I must be stopped.

Posted in Whatever | 6 Comments »

Eyeball Wreath

October 25th, 2010 by Cobwebs

WreathThere’s not a whole lot of time left to make Halloween decorations, but this gorgeous wreath by booturtle is so easy (and cheap!) that you can probably still pull it off.

This is brilliantly simple, consisting of a styrofoam wreath wrapped in black tulle, some glittery black leaves, and a whole load of bouncy eyeballs. The decorations are secured to the styrofoam using pins, so there isn’t even any gluing.

Check out the whole how-to here, and be sure to browse the rest of the blog for lots of other great decorating ideas. I particularly love these painted glass luminaries.

(via CRAFT)

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 3 Comments »

Fried Green Link Dumps

October 22nd, 2010 by Cobwebs

Halloween Weathervanes – Several attractive weathervanes, along with links for purchase.

Halloween Cupcakes – They’re on the cutesy side, but have the advantage of being fairly easy. A lot of cupcake decorating suggestions take far more time and talent than I’m interested in investing.

Smithees – This made me giggle.

An October Moment – Magazine Man and his family have a lot of odd, spooky things happen to them, which he posts as October Moments. This is a brand-new one.

Pic of the Day – This father and son at DragonCon are adorable.

Potato Smiles Fail – Each serving contains your RDA of nightmares. (Hat tip to pdq)

Halloween Cookie Cutters – Really nice selection, including some (like a cauldron) that I hadn’t seen before.

100 Ways to Cook a Pumpkin – A particularly-relevant roundup from Endless Simmer. (Hat tip to Empress Pam)

Things I Don’t Have to Think About Today – Not goth, but very meaningful.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Attractive Skull Ring

October 21st, 2010 by Cobwebs

Skull RingDespite my suspicion that Keith Richards has been an audio-animatronic since the late 70s, he’s evidently still got a lot of cachet in some circles.

For several decades he’s worn a silver skull ring made by Courts and Hackett, and they’re now offering a new ring modeled from the same skull as the original.

I quite like this; apparently the skull model was going to be part of an entire miniature skeleton, so it’s more anatomical-looking instead of having the “evil demon skull” vibe that you so often see in skull rings. It’s fairly expensive (around $485), but it’s actual quality jewelry instead of cheap cast metal.

This would be a fantastic gift, not to mention a unique wedding ring. Pretty!

Posted in Needful Things | No Comments »

Muppet Ghost Hunt

October 20th, 2010 by Cobwebs

I feel for Beaker.

(via Dave Lowe)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 2 Comments »

Eerie Alley

October 19th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Eerie AlleyThis right here is why I love the Internet.

Last week my blog alerted me that I’d gotten a pingback on my Halloween Calendar tutorial. I followed the link to Simply Sunshine’s version, and had two immediate thoughts:
1) I love the tombstone header.
2) Where can I find that hearse fabric?!?

So I plugged “hearse fabric” into The Great and Powerful Google and discovered that it’s from a collection called “Eerie Alley” by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. You can see the whole collection here. Yay, Internet!

In addition to three different hearse variations, they’ve also got some lovely spiders, pumpkins, and a couple of stripe patterns that I’d expect to see as upholstery in the Addams Family’s sitting room. These would be perfect for quilts or other fabric crafts, not to mention adorable as clothing.

The Robert Kaufman site has a retail finder for U.S. locations, and there are also plenty of places to buy the fabric online: Google Shopping | Amazon | Etsy

There is definitely a hearse-print dress in my near future.

Posted in Resources | 1 Comment »

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