The Art of Darkness

The Girl, the Gold Link Dump, and Everything

September 30th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Dracula Clothing – Goth and steampunk fashions. Since they’re based in Prague, they’ve got a better claim to the “Dracula” moniker than a lot of companies.

Dilbert – These seem like valid questions.

Bowlingheads – Remarkably creepy German ad campaign featuring “decapitated head” bowling balls. If you like to bowl, this is a heck of an idea for a custom ball.

Top 10 Movies About Death – Roundup of movies where death “stars.”

Matcha Recipes – Powdered green tea confers a moldy-looking green to a variety of foodstuffs. Good for a Halloween party spread.

Blood Spatter Fingernails – Creative use of nail polish.

Organ Transport Lunch Cooler – Never worry about anyone stealing your lunch out of the office fridge.

Realistic Spider Prop – Tutorial for making surprisingly lifelike little spiders.

Pumpkin Pie Leather – Instructions for making “fruit leather” from pumpkin puree.

The Pig with the Froggy Tattoo – Trailer for the new Muppet movie which parodies the incomprehensible Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trailer.

Posted in Link Dump | 4 Comments »

Halloween Jar Cookies

September 29th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Jar CookiesThis is my favorite kind of project: Something where the results look like you spent way more time and energy than you actually did.

Over at The Crafty Nest there’s a lovely tutorial for making Halloween-themed “jar cookies.” In addition to a recipe and instructions, there’s also packaging suggestions and free downloadable labels.

A jar of these would be a great last-minute hostess gift, and the assembly is simple enough to be a good project for kids. They’d also be easy and inexpensive to make in quantity as party or wedding favors.

If the M&M recipe isn’t really your thing, just search “jar cookie recipes” for lots of other varieties, from cranberry-oatmeal to gingerbread to butterscotch chip. You could also substitute hot cocoa or soup mix if you prefer.

Add a scrap of Halloween-print fabric tied with ribbon or raffia and you’ve got a perfect, fast gift.

(via Cult of the Great Pumpkin)

Posted in Doom It Yourself, Terror in the Aisle | No Comments »

The Black Angel

September 28th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Saturday Night Live has a “dress rehearsal” before each live show, and if it runs too long sometimes sketches are cut. Sometimes these cuts border on the criminal.

(via Topless Robot)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 2 Comments »

Seen Online

September 27th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Soulmate sounds like something Satan puts in his coffee.

If you never break eye contact, I assume you want to wear my skin.

There aren’t any girl magicians because we burned them all.

Just because God doesn’t answer your prayers it doesn’t mean he’s not listening. It probably just means you’re boring. Maybe try incorporating car chases into your prayers. Or something with vampires. Vampires are really hot right now.
The Bloggess

Don’t commit suicide alone. That’s selfish! Make people pay money toward the national debt to see you fight a rhinoceros with a banana.

No one talks about how Hogwarts is a VOCATIONAL SCHOOL

There’s a Marilyn Manson video directed by Shia LaBeouf. That’s the joke. That’s it right there.

Two of the heads melted at the end of Raiders, while one exploded. Why? Something to do with diet?

“Love is patient, love is kind, love is…CALLING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!” – The Spooky Bible

I used to sneak into my stepkids rooms and tell them I was murdered years ago and I needed them to find my killer. They’d cry SO much! Cute!

Cauliflower is Broccoli’s deformed sibling that grew up chained to a post in the backyard.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | No Comments »

Celebrate Halloween in April

September 26th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Secret Pumpkin Logo

The main problem with Halloween is that it only comes once a year. By the time April rolls around Halloween is six months in either direction, and those of us with a little ghoulishness in our souls can start feeling a bit bereft. Fortunately, a few years ago the members of a haunt-related listserv to which I belong found a solution.

The Secret Pumpkin gift exchange is similar in concept to “Secret Santa” exchanges, except it takes place in April and it’s Halloween-related. It’s open to members of either the Halloween-L or HOWL2000 listservs, and it’s a lot of fun. Participants list a few of their likes and dislikes, everyone is randomly assigned a “Pumpkin” to gift, then some time between April 1 and April 15 they send an appropriately spooky item to their gift-ee and receive something they should like from their gift-er.

Gifts are supposed to be $20US or less (matches are assigned in plenty of time to take advantage of after-Halloween sales), but many participants like to make something for their Pumpkin instead. Lovely handmade props, crafts, or other items often make an appearance.

I’ve been running the annual exchange since 2004, and it probably should have occurred to me well before now that it might be of interest to readers of this blog, but I never claimed to be quick on the uptake.

If you’d like to participate, sign up for one of the listservs (a lot of mail about the exchange gets sent through them): Halloween-L is a “casual” list, with lots of back-and-forth chatter, and the volume can be fairly high. HOWL2000 is much more stringently kept on-topic and has very low volume. Then, register at the Secret Pumpkin site. (Even if you don’t want to participate in the exchange, you might want to join one of the listservs just to make friends with more like-minded people.)

Non-US residents are welcome to join, with a small caveat: Residents of the same country are preferentially matched with each other, but if there are no other participants from your country you may find shipping costs for your gift to be fairly expensive. (Sending your gift early to take advantage of slower, cheaper shipping might help.)

And please, PLEASE don’t sign up for the exchange unless you’re serious about following through. We occasionally have participants flake out, and their Pumpkins are always sorely disappointed.

So come join us! Getting a little bit of Halloween in April is always a lovely surprise! The deadline to sign up is October 15.

Update: The page for the HOWL2000 list has an old address for subscriptions. To sign up for that listserv, send a blank email message to

Posted in Whatever | 5 Comments »

Silence of the Link Dumps

September 23rd, 2011 by Cobwebs

Haunted Housework – T-shirt featuring adorable little ghosts spooking up their house. (Hat tip to Kitten Herder)

Blood Lite – An anthology of “humorous horror stories.” Because “horror” and “guffaw” go together so naturally.

Good Omens Perfume – Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs has a limited-edition collection of scents based on Pratchett/Gaiman novel Good Omens, with combinations such as Crowley (infernal musk, red patchouli, lilac cologne, mahogany, lemon rind, oakmoss, leather, and vanilla husk) and Hastur (smoky-sour labdanum, black patchouli, wet tobacco, and brimstone).

Flower Pump – Vase shaped like an (anatomically correct) heart.

10 Creepiest Abandoned Morgues – I can’t imagine how anyone could pick just ten.

Infectious Threads – Goth/punk/alternative clothing site which unfortunately suffers from the common delusion that purple-on-black equals “edgy” instead of “hard to read.” Some nice clothes, though.

crap at my parents house – Highly entertaining blog which allows people to send in photos of the weird junk that everybody’s parents seem to have. (Potentially NSFW due to the occasional appearance of things like ceramic boobies.)

I Heart Guts – Plush versions of various internal organs. Nothing says “I love you” like a stuffed pancreas.

Time for Pets – If you don’t want to immediately snorgle this baby bat I don’t want to be your friend any more. (Hat tip to JoAsakura)

Two pieces of movie-related WTFery:
The Evil Dead Remake Kisses Its Ash Goodbye
Guy Who Might Direct the Unnecessary Crow Remake Might Also Direct the Unnecessary Highlander Remake

Posted in Link Dump | 6 Comments »

Grave Rubbing Quilts

September 22nd, 2011 by Cobwebs

Grave Rubbing DetailI recently happened upon a comment in a quilting forum where someone mentioned quilts made from tombstone rubbings. Intrigued, I did a bit of looking and discovered that grave-rubbing quilts are very definitely a thing, and they are very definitely made of awesome.

It looks like one of the main creators of this sort of quilt is fiber artist Susan Lenz. She’s got a whole blog devoted to the quilts and other items she makes with the rubbings, often incorporating lace, linen and other vintage fabrics as well. (A few of her items are also featured in a gallery here.)

I had initially thought that she used some sort of transfer method to copy paper rubbings onto fabric, but from her descriptions it instead appears that she makes the rubbings directly on the fabric (often silk) using crayons. She then hand- or machine-embroiders parts of the design and often appliques it to a sturdier base fabric.

I love everything about this. I’m immensely taken with the soft, muted colors of her work and with the wonderful designs she finds on old gravestones. The pieces look marvelously old-fashioned and are charming rather than macabre.

If you’d like to try your hand at something similar, the Association for Gravestone Studies has a very nice article on making gravestone rubbings. You can get fabric crayons at craft stores or online. Thin silk is available at many craft stores, but my favorite place to get it is Dharma Trading; they have a great variety and they’re surprisingly cheap.

If you don’t want to commit to creating a quilt or other large piece, a single small rubbing would look splendid on a piece of clothing: Depending on the clothing you could either do the rubbing directly on the fabric (like this gorgeous linen christening gown) or do it on thin silk and then applique it in place.

I love visiting old graveyards anyway, and this project has given me a brand-new reason to plan an excursion.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 3 Comments »

Kreepee Board

September 21st, 2011 by Cobwebs

I had no idea that Ben Stiller even had a TV show, which may not be indicative of the show’s quality so much as my attention span. If this is the kind of comedy they did, I’m sorry I missed it.

(via Mr. Macabre)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 2 Comments »

Spidery Cake in a Jar

September 20th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Cake in a JarHow adorable is this?

i am baker has easy instructions for making individual jar cakes with spiders or spooky messages baked inside, topped off with wonderful chocolate spiderweb lids.

She piped chocolate cake batter on the inside of the jars to make the spiders, but I suspect that you could use melted chocolate as well; piping it on and then chilling for a few minutes to harden should firm it up enough that it’ll stay in place when the cake batter is poured in.

I’m particularly taken with the snug-fitting spiderweb lids. I’ve made chocolate spiderwebs by piping them onto parchment paper–they’re a cute decoration for ice cream–but I had never considered fitting the parchment over a jar to make the edges curve. The same method could be used to create spidery little toppers for all sorts of things.

These would be perfect desserts for a Halloween party. They’re easy to turn out in quantity, and they should keep, covered, for a few days if you want to make them in advance (for a grown-up dessert, add a tablespoon or so of rum, brandy, or your favorite liqueur before covering; storing them for a day or two will make them even better). They’re also kid-friendly enough that decorating the inside of the jars might be a fun party activity; take the embellished jars, pour in prepared cake batter, and present each partygoer with their individual cake (with premade lids) as a party favor at the end of the evening.

(via CRAFT)

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 1 Comment »


September 19th, 2011 by Cobwebs

iDrakulaEvery time I think Dracula has been reimagined in every way possible, somebody digs up Vlad’s corpse and does something new with it.

iDrakula is a rather literal “reboot” of the story, a modern retelling done entirely via text messages, browser screenshots, e-mails, and file attachments like photos and PDFs. It’s really rather clever, with lots of detailed touches like pages of bounced emails during Jonathan’s captivity at Dracula’s castle.

The book has also been ported into an iPhone app, which creates an interactive story that includes emails and voicemails sent to your phone.

The first text is, “Renfield had a psychotic break. Carted off to Bellevue. More l8r.” How can you not be amused by that?

Posted in Needful Things | 1 Comment »

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