The Art of Darkness

Echo Park Paper

July 18th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Apothecary EmporiumI refuse to be sucked into scrapbooking because the last thing I need is another time sink, but a couple of collections by Echo Park Paper are sorely tempting me. Even worse, the materials lend themselves to plenty of non-scrapbooking uses too.

Their Happy Halloween stuff is sort of cutesy and candy-colored, and would be great for kid-friendly crafts. The Happy Haunting and Graveyard papers would also be wonderful for custom party invitations.

They also have a brand-new collection, Apothecary Emporium, with a vintage look and more muted colors. I can think of a lot of stuff to do with these, from potion bottles using the Apothecary Labels to decoupage projects with Striped Toad or Haunted Forest papers.

The site also has a blog which features suggested projects using their materials, in case your inspiration needs a jumpstart. Neat.

Posted in Resources | 3 Comments »

That Was No Link Dump, That Was My Wife

July 15th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Jessica Joslin – Artist who combines metal and bone to make amazingly intricate “taxidermy” sculptures.

Spine Candles – I like these, but I can’t quite countenance spending $50 apiece for them. I wonder if it would be possible to DIY a rubber mold using a plastic skeleton spine for the cast.

Savage Chickens – Spot the differences! (Hat tip to xJane)

Iron Fist Bikinis – Bikinis with monstrous motifs. In particular, the zombie, “excuse me ma’am but your cleavage is staring at me” design amuses me.

Musical Parody of “Silence of the Lambs” – I think my favorite part of this article is that the description of a chorus of dancing lambs is immediately followed by, “It all comes from a place of respect.”

Dead Beautiful – Cosmetic company Illamasqua is teaming up with a British funeral director to provide makeovers to the dead. (Hat tip to Linda)

The Whole Death Catalog – Anecdotes and facts about, y’know, death.

You Will Never Guess What This Ad is About – Amusing advertisement. (via Cat Winterfox)

Ten Disturbing Home Decorations – I think the “taxidermied Hitler” rug probably tops the list.

Medium Large: Lord Voldemort Edition – :::giggle:::

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

The Goth Calendar

July 14th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Goth CalendarA while back I posted a list of events which provided excuses to party in a Halloween-like manner on dates other than Halloween, and made some offhand comment about eventually expanding it into a proper calendar. Several people responded with, “Yes, why don’t you get on that?” so I have.

Behold The Goth Calendar. This isn’t so much a calendar of any particular kind of event (holidays or conventions or what-have-you) as it is a list of dates and celebrations that might be of interest to those of a gothy nature. The calendar is color-coded for birthdays, deathdays, holidays, and miscellaneous.

It’s definitely a work in progress, with events being added as I come across them. Fixed events show up as recurring every year, and events that move around (like solstices) are up-to-date through 2018. I’m sure that there are simply loads of interesting events that I’m missing, so please feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line if you have suggestions for additions.

Posted in Resources | 6 Comments »

Blood and Bone China

July 13th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Blood and Bone China is a slick-looking “Victorian vampire” Web series created by filmmaker Chris Stone for his hometown of Stoke-on-Trent’s Stoke Your Fires film festival. The series consists of 12 5-10 minute episodes which are being released every two weeks.

It is 1897 and a city is in turmoil. In the smoky, dirty depths of middle England, the people are terrified. The once bustling streets of Stoke are empty, the silence is only broken by the whispers of devils, demons and vampires. Poor souls are being taken, vanishing without a trace.

When the local doctor is snatched away, word travels to his brother, a young vet by the name of Newlyn Howell. Spurred on to discover the truth by the enigmatic Alexander Pyre, Newlyn’s dark adventure into the depths of Victorian Stoke begins… and what he discovers is beyond belief.

There’s also a blog which offers behind-the-scenes clips and commentary.

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Trivia Tuesday

July 12th, 2011 by Cobwebs

(No prizes, but if you can answer them all without googling you get bragging rights.)

  1. In the short story/essay “The Revenant” by Walter de la Mare, the ghost of what author rebukes a modern lecturer who has made disparaging remarks about him?
  2. The excoriatingly (literally) gruesome films Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula were produced in 1974 by this artist.
  3. The following line opens chapter one of a well-known dark fantasy novel: “The seller of lightning rods arrived just ahead of the storm.” Name the novel.
  4. In the Star Trek episode “Wolf in the Fold,” what historical villain pays a visit to the Enterprise?
  5. Warren Zevon’s immaculately-coiffed werewolf was seen drinking a pina colada at this, then popular, chain restaurant. Name this upscale eatery.
  6. Vincent Price was a renowned master of what cuisine?
    A) Chinese
    B) Italian
    C) Mexican
    D) Turkish
    E) Romanian
  7. F.W. Murnau’s 1922 masterpiece is thought by many to be the greatest vampire movie of all time. Name the movie.
  8. “It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train – a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter.” What story, set in Antarctica, is this description from?
  9. In The Exorcist, Father Merrin (Max Von Sydow) discovered an evil-looking amulet whilst on an archaeological dig in Iraq. What was the name of the demon that the unholy object represented?
  10. Tim Powers wrote about Byron, Shelley, Caligari and the vampiric Lamia in this darkly-dripping secret history novel.
    A) The Drawing Of The Dark
    B) Expiration Date
    C) Declare
    D) The Stress of Her Regard
    E) On Stranger Tides

(Answers below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Trivia | 4 Comments »

Zombie “Truffles”

July 11th, 2011 by Cobwebs

TrufflesI’d never paid much attention to the novelty brain-shaped molds for chocolate and ice cubes, but over on Instructables kristylynn84 is using them to great effect. Her zombie truffles look splendid, and I’m particularly taken with the presentation.

I do have a couple of minor quibbles about her instructions: She suggests dropping a blob of melted chocolate (actually coverture, in her example) into the mold, adding filling, and then covering with another blob of chocolate. This tends to cause small bubbles which will mar the surface of the finished candy, plus quite a lot of hardened chocolate will have to be trimmed off the bottom. Better results could be had by filling and then inverting the molds to evenly coat the interior (you could also use a clean paintbrush to paint the chocolate onto the molds), filling them as desired, covering with additional chocolate, and then using an offset spatula to help smooth the top.

Also, these technically aren’t truffles, they’re filled chocolates. Truffles are made with ganache, which could certainly be used as the filling, perhaps with a raspberry tucked into the center of each one. However, I think the very best thing to make with these would be chocolate covered cherries.

The “blood” appears to just be powdered sugar and food coloring; a tastier version might be made with raspberry or cherry syrup, either purchased (raspberry | cherry) or homemade (raspberry | cherry).

I do love the suggestions for presentation, with each candy individually nestled in red tissue. What better way to tell a loved one that you’re thinking of them than to give them a boxful of brains?

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 3 Comments »

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Link Dump

July 8th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Cauldron Craft Miniatures – Site devoted to “dark” miniatures.

The Lost TinTin Book – I’d read this.

The Halloween Queen – Etsy seller with a small selection of creepy things, including a truly squick-worthy Taxidermied Face. (Hat tip to WitchArachne)

Never Be My Friend – When bored, Adam browses friends’ Facebook albums and draws his favorites. Sometimes he takes certain liberties.

Steampunk News – Link aggregator for steampunk-related stuff. There’s also an iPhone app.

Fear is the Liberator – Article about “weird” fantastika. Includes a few reading suggestions.

Wouldn’t You Like to See Something Strange? – Photoblog devoted to all kinds of weird stuff.

Fashion icons – ‘Toon from Indexed. I’m not going to argue with the validity of this.

Ben Venom – Artist who creates “heavy metal quilts,” often from T-shirts.

Rotters – YA novel about a boy who discovers that his long-lost father is a grave robber.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Spooky Shots

July 7th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Test TubesHere’s something that’s been hanging around in my Drafts folder for ages looking for a suitable home, and although it’s probably something more suited to Halloween parties I’m tired of looking at it so you guys get it in July.

These are recipes for shots that have spooky names and look good served in test tubes, a la Evil Mad Scientist. There are plastic test tubes purpose-made for serving shots, but you can also get Pyrex ones which both look more authentic and can be reused. (You could also turn some of these into Jello shots using unflavored gelatin and serve them in syringes.)

Embalming Fluid
1 part Apple Dekuypers Liquor
1 part Vodka
1 part Sweet and Sour (or Melon Liqueur)

TruBlood
1 part Chambord (or Dekuypers Razzmatazz)
1 part vodka or light rum
1 part Sweet and Sour

Toxic Refuse
1 part Vodka
1 part Triple Sec
1 part Midori
Splash Lime Juice

Green Spider
1 part Vodka
1 part Green Creme de Menthe

Smashing Pumpkin
1 part Kahlua
1 part Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 part Goldschlager

Neon Ghost
1 part Vodka
1 part Pisang Ambon

Peach Death
1 part Vodka
1 part Peach Schnapps
1 part Amaretto

Nightmareland
1 part Blue Curacao
1 part Jägermeister
1 part Kahlua

Caramel Apple
1 part Apple Pucker
1 part Butterscotch Schnapps

Posted in Resources | 1 Comment »

The Morbid Fashion

July 6th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Morbid FashionThe Morbid Fashion is a blog “dedicated to showcasing grown up goth fashion,” and site owner Zellain has a splendid eye for detail.

The blog grew out of her Morbid Fashion Tumblr site, where her posts of goth-fashion images attracted so many followers that she decided she needed a site for more substantial articles and tutorials.

The posts tend to be centered around a particular theme, like red and black for the home or men’s goth purple, so they’re a fantastic source of inspiration. She also offers useful tutorials and tips such as what makes a good shoe and how to put together a goth spring wardrobe.

You can also contract for her services personally via Subtle Goth, where she will offer sourcing and styling advice for wardrobe and interior decor.

The site is really a treasure trove of fashion and decorating ideas. Go take a look!

Posted in Resources | No Comments »

“True Blood” Dinner Party

July 5th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Bloody MarysI don’t know if the True Blood TV series has suddenly gone mainstream or if their marketing people have just gotten more aggressive, but everybody seems to be jumping on the blood-drenched bandwagon.

A case in point is the True Blood Menu and Party Plan over at Epicurious:

If you’re going to hang with the vampires of northern Louisiana’s Area 5, you’ll be getting up at dusk, so why not have breakfast for dinner? Life does, after all, begin after dark. We’ve created a menu that’s high in iron, offers a bit of spice, and features sausage, as that’s what Sookie Stackhouse first tastes after drinking vampire blood. “It’s like I can close my eyes and I can see the farm the pig lived on, and feel the sun and the rain on my face, and even taste the earth that the herbs grew out of,” she tells Granny.

Naturally, we included some blood (in the form of Bloody Mary soup—don’t forget to garnish with spiced beans and pickled okra); a tropical-fruit salad the maenad Maryann Forrester would have, well, she has, died for; and some chili powder–infused home fries sure to find their way on to the Merlotte’s menu. For Tara, we added an Eggs Benedict Bread Pudding, and we end the meal with a nod to Sookie and Jason’s beloved Granny—a Texas/west Louisiana take on pecan pie using cane syrup.

I like how they’ve tried to tie the various dishes into the show’s characters, although I’m sort of lukewarm on the breakfast-for-dinner menu. I’d probably drop the bread pudding and serve andouille burgers, and instead of hash browns I’d just make french fries and toss them with the same spices the home fries recipe calls for. The Bloody Mary shots and pecan pie can stay.

Posted in Whatever | 2 Comments »

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