The Art of Darkness

Zombie Pincushion Tutorial

December 20th, 2010 by Cobwebs

PincushionWell, the example is a zombie, but I think it just screams “voodoo doll.”

Art Threads has a nicely detailed tutorial for making three different pincushions from felt, including a ragged zombie with rudely-stitched wounds. Felt is great for making small items like this because you don’t have to worry about trying to turn it right-side-out after sewing; since the edges don’t fray, you can just top-stitch the whole thing and leave it right-side-out to begin with.

The tutorial has lots of cute (“cute” being a relatively term where zombies are concerned) suggestions for adding a little character to your creation; I love his itty-bitty turned-down collar and leaking brains.

You could use the basic pattern and instructions and turn out a range of creatures by changing the surface details. It would also be fun to stitch a loop of ribbon to their heads and use them as Christmas ornaments.

(via CRAFT)

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Just a Comment

December 18th, 2010 by Cobwebs

This makes me really, really happy.

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My Best Friend’s Link Dump

December 17th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Cross-Stitched Skulls – These are very detailed and gorgeous. I’d love to see a pattern made available.

The Blinkybug Kit – Simple kit for making electronic insects; suitable for kids.

Melting Snowman Cookies – These are hilarious. Traumatize small children today!

Potion Jars – Adorable little prop jars made of old pill bottles covered with polymer clay.

Hipster Hitler – A webcomic whose name describes exactly what it’s about. I…um…yeah.

Crocheted Owl Pellet – I love the little animal bones.

Sleeping Bag Creature – Cute idea for recycling a blanket into a child’s sleeping bag.

Kill Vampire Lincoln – Wil Wheaton name-checked this production company, and I have to admit that I sort of love the T-shirt.

The Louisiana Swamp Monster – This is a hoax, and Forgetomori does a fine job of describing why. I’m linking to it because the picture is creepy as hell.

Istvan Laszlo – Artist who specializes in drawing famous peoples’ skulls. Because why not.

Rudolph (You Don’t Have To Put On The Red Light) – A rather excellent mashup, particularly if you’re old enough to remember the original Rankin-Bass Rudolph.

Skeleton – Dog carefully groomed and dyed to look like an anatomical model of itself.

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Secret Santa: My Gift

December 16th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Santa CthulhuThe matches for our Secret Santa Can Suck It exchange have been made and sent to their assignees. After everyone posts about their “gift,” I’ll list all of the entries to peruse. To kick things off, here’s mine.

My recipient was the inestimable xJane, and a gift for someone who has been known to exclaim, “ZOMEGs [zee oh my elder gods]” is pretty obvious.

xJane’s gift is a Cthulhu makeover!

She can go out for a dark night on the town in this Tentacle Dress paired with “Nightswimming” Heels.

This Steampunk Cthulhu Necklace will be lovely with Tentacle Earrings made from real octopi, and this Vintage Chatelaine Purse festooned with all kinds of mythical sea creatures will complete the ensemble.

Of course she’ll have to wear Dagon Eyeshadow, Lovecraft Lipstick, and Cthulhu in Love Perfume.

Cthulhu fhtagn, xJane! I hope you enjoy it!

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Secret Santa Reminder

December 15th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to sign up for the Secret Santa Can Suck It virtual gift exchange. Matches will be made tonight and sent out by tomorrow morning.

C’mon, join in! It’ll be fun!

Update: The matches have been made and participants have been notified. Watch this space for the results!

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Seen Online

December 14th, 2010 by Cobwebs

A bird in the hand is worth significantly less if you’re Lennie from Of Mice and Men.
nonsequiturific

Accidentally bought a Christmas wraith. Everyone dead.
bengoldacre

In the land of the headless, the Headless Horseman is no better than the next guy. Suck it, Headless Horseman.
thedayhascome

The opposite of having problems is death.
YeahImAshley

Little known fact, vampires are allergic to magnesium. When ignited and shoved down their throat.
Nobody Asked Me…

The reason there were no fish Nazis is simple: Fish Hitler got into fish art school.
donni

This exists. http://twitpic.com/361bzj
badbanana

The worst part of having a monster under my bed is lending it condoms.
sween

Three Wise Men? Three of them? Now I really know the Bible isn’t real.
Paxochka

It’s important to clearly mark which egg nog has been spiked. Write that down. These kids are fucking hilarious though.
NakedNikki

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Heartwarming

December 13th, 2010 by Cobwebs

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Interview with the Link Dump

December 10th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Cherise the Niece – A “storybook for adults,” featuring a little girl who might be doing away with her aunts. (Hat tip to Tanya)

Write Christmas – This contest sounds right up my readers’ alley. Cleolinda nutshells it nicely here.

Bats in the TunnelAmazing photo of bats in an old tunnel. This would be great computer wallpaper. (Some other shots are here.)

Vampire Knits – Book of knitting projects which are supposed to be somehow vampire-y. I remain vaguely skeptical.

Dog Corset – Sigh.

Scary Christmas – Alternative holiday cards. I like the Rudolph-esque glowing eyes of the lead bat.

Genius or Grotesquery? – Morbid Anatomy visits an exhibit of truly peculiar taxidermy.

Necronomicox – Adult toys shaped like Cthulhu, zombie…um…members, and other scary things. NSFW, or possibly for one’s sanity.

Lovecraftian Playing Cards – Standard deck, except “the face cards depict Cthulhu, Shub Niggurath and Nyarlathotep; the ace of spades has an Elder Sign and Lovecraft himself is the joker.” The US store is in that link over there; the UK store is here.

Scary Godmother – Collection of Jill Thompson’s charming stories about a little girl who befriends all sorts of scary creatures.

How to Train Your Hellhound – Hee.

Edgar Allen Po – (It should be ALLAN, but given the subject matter it’s hard to be too pedantic.) A silly thing from Memebase. (Hat tip to pdq)

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Krampusnacht

December 9th, 2010 by Cobwebs

KrampusOne great thing about holidays with pagan roots is that, no matter how sanitized they may seem today, it doesn’t take too much digging to turn up some really interesting ways to celebrate.

Over at Mind on Fire, xJane has posted a nice piece on Santa’s creepy demonic helper Krampus, including an anecdote about her own experience with a Krampuslauf.

suddenly, the door banged open, and a number of demons invaded. They roared, shook their chains, and rang their bells. If they spoke at all, it was in heavy dialect. They got free drinks (because, as a bar tender, it’s probably a good idea to appease the demons who happen to arrive at your door), which they half drank and half spilled. They were dirty, smelly, and terrifying. They dragged a few people from the bar, screaming and struggling…

That is one hell of a long way from mistletoe and tinsel.

xJane mentions that a bit of googling will turn up lots more information and photos, and that Etsy has some cute Krampus plushies and other items. I’m rather partial to these earrings.

If you’re looking to inject a little spookiness into a too-bland holiday celebration, Krampus might give you an excellent excuse.

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Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day

December 8th, 2010 by Cobwebs

It’s today!

You’ve got Victorian clothes in your closet, don’t you? Or perhaps something that looks like the attire of some horrible dystopian future? Today you can use them to screw with somebody’s head.

The rules as Dresden Codak described them:

You must spend the entire day in costume and character. The only rule is that you cannot actually tell anyone that you are a time traveler. Other than that, anything’s game.

There are three possible options:

1) Utopian/cliché Future – “If the Future did a documentary of the last fifty years, this is how badly the reenactors would dress.” Think Star Trek: TNG or the Time Travelers from Hob. Ever see how the society in Futurama sees the 20th century? Run with it. Your job is to dress with moderately anachronistic clothing and speak in slang from varying decades. Here are some good starters:

– Greet people by referring to things that don’t yet exist or haven’t existed for a long time. Example: “Have you penetrated the atmosphere lately?” “What spectrum will today’s broadcast be in?” and “Your king must be a kindly soul!”

– Show extreme ignorance in operating regular technology. Pay phones should be a complete mystery (try placing the receiver in odd places). Chuckle knowingly at cell phones.

2) Dystopian Future – This one offers a little more flexibility. It can be any kind of future from Terminator to Freejack. The important thing to remember is dress like a crazy person with armor. Black spray painted football pads, high tech visors, torn up trenchcoats and maybe even some dirt here or there. Remember, dystopian future travelers are very startled that they’ve gone back in time. Some starters:

– If you go the “prisoner who’s escaped the future” try shaving your head and putting a barcode on the back of your neck. Then stagger around and stare at the sky, as if you’ve never seen it before.

– Walk up to random people and say “WHAT YEAR IS THIS?” and when they tell you, get quiet and then say “Then there’s still time!” and run off.

– Stand in front of a statue (any statue, really), fall to your knees, and yell “NOOOOOOOOO”

– Stare at newspaper headlines and look astonished.

– Take some trinket with you (it can be anything really), hand it to some stranger, along with a phone number and say “In thirty years dial this number. You’ll know what to do after that.” Then slip away.

3) The Past – This one is more for beginners. Basically dress in period clothing (preferably Victorian era) and stagger around amazed at everything. Since the culture’s set in place already, you have more of a template to work off of. Some pointers:

– Airplanes are terrifying. Also, carry on conversations with televisions for a while.

– Discover and become obsessed with one trivial aspect of technology, like automatic grocery doors. Stay there for hours playing with it.

– Be generally terrified of people who are dressed immodestly compared to your era. Tattoos and shorts on women are especially scary.

And that’s it. Remember, the only real rule is staying in character and try to fit in. Never directly admit you’re a time traveler, and make really, really bad attempts at keeping a low profile. Naturally, the dystopian future has a little more leeway. And for the record, I’ve already tried out all of these in real life, in costume. It is so much fun you want to pee yourself.

A Facebook event page is here.

I’m particularly in love with the idea of giving someone a phone number to call in 30 years. Given my tendency to truly commit to the bit, I’d be forced to keep the same number for 30 years…and wait.

Get out there and make somebody’s day a little more surreal!

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