The Art of Darkness

The Horror Portfolio

January 31st, 2012 by Cobwebs

Here’s a “supercuts” montage of 64 horror movies in 5 minutes. Good luck getting to sleep tonight.

The full list of movies used is available on the YouTube page.

(via Blame It On The Voices)

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Hellboy Camp

January 30th, 2012 by Cobwebs

BPRD Promotional MaterialI’ll be adding this to the ever-growing list of Things I Wish Had Been Around When I Was a Kid. Trackers is Portland-based “outdoor education” organization that teaches skills like wilderness survival and environmental education. They offer classes for both adults and kids, and one of the latter is the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense Training Camp, a.k.a. “Hellboy Camp.” Kids aged 9-17 learn survival skills, investigation and forensics, and how to use “gadgets of the occult” such as EMF detectors.

Find out if you have what it takes to join an elite team of paranormal investigators combating the forces of darkness from all across the globe. We immerse you in tactical training of all forms, including survival skills in any environment (both earthly and non), martial arts and self-defense specific to praeternatural entities, hand to hand weaponry (we train foam swords, bows and more) and forensic investigation. All these key skills that every agent must have, plus you are steeped in the history of our Bureau and legacy of paranormal research.

Does that sound awesome, or does that sound like the awesomest thing ever?

Fortunately, they also offer some other cool-sounding programs with both kid and adult versions, including Zombie Survival Training and a very Lord of the Rings-esque Ranger wilderness training course.

Mad props to their marketing department; these sound like loads of fun.

(via BoingBoing)

Posted in Resources | 3 Comments »

A Post of Very Dubious Interest

January 28th, 2012 by Cobwebs

So I was tagged in one of those “if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be” posts by Pensive Pumpkin, and although I generally decline to participate in those she threatened to grovel. The last thing I need is a groveling pumpkin. So here’s an extra Saturday post. Whee.

(I would, incidentally, be the kind of tree that drops heavy branches on Barbara Walters.)


1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

11 random things about me:

I met my husband in a science fiction chat room on AOL. Since I’m a huge computer geek I’m almost embarrassed to mention that I ever had anything to do with AOL, but in the early 90s they were one of the only games in town. Anyway, yeah; we were on opposite coasts at the time so I knew him for over a year before I ever laid eyes on him.

I do not collect anything, and in fact have made a conscious effort not to. I don’t like things that don’t have any purpose other than to be decorative, and I particularly don’t like them if I also have to dust them.

My favorite birds are hummingbirds. They buzz around and menace you when you’re in their territory. I love being menaced by something two inches long. Makes me feel like Godzilla when the helicopters come.

When I tell people that my son’s name is Rhett, they assume that I’m a whackaloon-level Gone with the Wind fan. In fact I have neither seen the movie nor read the book, and at this point I’m sort of bound by honor not to.

I was Disneyland’s very first Webmaster. Working for The Mouse is nothing like you probably expect it to be.

My current pets include the three dumbest dogs in the tri-state area and a large and irascible Bearded Dragon. (Also a hive of bees, but they’re not very cuddly.) Someday I would like to keep a few chickens and a dairy goat, but I will probably wind up divorced if I obtain either of those right now. So, thwarted, I wait.

When I was little I wanted to grow up to be a Forensic Pathologist.

I hate unhappy endings in books, to the point where I routinely read the ending before I read the rest of the book to see if I want to invest my time in it. This drives my husband insane.

I have donated over 30 gallons of blood, one pint at a time.

The musical instrument I learned to play as a child? At my parents’ insistence? The accordion. Yeah, that’ll get you a lot of dates.

As part of a project in college, I prepared and ate a variety of insects. Dry-roasted mealworms taste exactly–I mean exactly–like Doritos. If this doesn’t concern you, it probably should.

Pensive’s questions for her tag-ees:

1. Who is your favorite superhero?

Batman. Other superheroes, whether they’re born that way (Superman, Wonder Woman) or have superherodom thrust upon them (Spiderman, Elastic Man), have some special innate power. Batman is just a guy with cool gadgets. I also have to declare a strong preference for Golden Age Batman over the current incarnation, who is just So Damn Tortured. (And I prefer Superman when he was visiting Bizarro Earth and growing six eyes from exposure to Red Kryptonite.)

2. What is your favorite of all your awesome body parts?

I’m afraid that all of my body parts are mediocre at best.

3. How many careers have you gone through so far?

Jobs, or careers? I’ve pretty much always just had the one career; I started out in Web development, and there I’ve stayed. I’ve never had any interesting jobs like chicken plucker or carnival barker or anything.

4. What was your latest Halloween costume?

The last costume I made was Cthulhu, for Shadowboy (who gets a custom costume every year). My Halloween costume last year was Tired Mom; goth reputation or not, sometimes the prospect of schlepping around the neighborhood in six layers of velvet sounds entirely too much like work.

5. If you have the time and energy to cook anything you want, what do you cook?

I would probably tackle something labor-intensive like from-scratch mole or several different types of dim sum.

6. If you could wake up in someone else’s body for the day, who would you be?

I have barely gotten the hang of being in my own body, and you want me to try being somebody else? Let’s see…I suppose I’d choose a man; I’ve always wanted to be able to write my name in the snow. It’d be fun to be somebody important, because then you could play pranks (like, be Jesus for a day: “Hey, Luke, write this down: Whosoever wants to enter the Kingdom of Heaven…should always carry around a rubber chicken.”) I’m assuming you’re allowed to be somebody from any historical period…oh, wait–there also doesn’t seem to be any limitation on whether they’re real people. I want to be the Tenth Doctor.

7. What would you do as that person? (easy two parter- score!)

There would be some serious research into historical mysteries, baby. How were the pyramids actually built? Who was Jack the Ripper? What did Anomalocaris really look like? That TARDIS and I would go places.

8. What is your favorite book?

I couldn’t possibly choose just one. Sorry. (My favorite “mainstream” novel is To Kill a Mockingbird, if that helps.)

9. You win one of those around the world plane tickets- where do you go first?

The country closest to my present location. If I’m going to go around the world anyway, I might as well do it sequentially.

10. What is your biggest struggle?

Let’s just say that I know exactly where Sartre was coming from when he said “Hell is other people.” There’s a reason I’m in a profession that involves sitting quietly by oneself all day.

11. What is your biggest goal in life?

To raise a couple of smart, happy kids. Which may be a very boring goal, but I don’t care.

As for tagging others; sorry, no can do. I’m willing to go along with the gag as far as replying if I’ve been tagged, but I don’t forward chain letters and I don’t tag other people in posts. If you want to play along, here are 11 questions for you (I’ll be happy to read other people’s answers, either in the comments or on their own blog, I just don’t want to be responsible for anybody’s question-answering angst):

  1. What is your favorite candy?
  2. What is your least favorite vegetable?
  3. Do you play a musical instrument?
  4. What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?
  5. What’s under your bed?
  6. If you could publish one book, what would it be about?
  7. Do you believe in ghosts?
  8. What’s on your mouse pad?
  9. What are you currently reading?
  10. If you could have any job you wanted, what would it be?
  11. What’s your all-time favorite TV show?

We now return you to your normal goth-oriented blog.

Posted in Whatever | 8 Comments »

Wuthering Link Dumps

January 27th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Artista Muerta – Etsy shop specializing in skull-themed art, heavy on the calaveras.

Cthulhu Bento Box – I like the little tentacled hot dog (which can be made freehand or with an Octodog).

Gaiman Secrets – PostSecret-style blog devoted to secrets about Neil Gaiman.

1975 things Mr. Welch can no longer do during an RPG – A riff on Skippy’s List, with entries such as, “A one man band is not an appropriate bard instrument” and “Clown shoes have no place in a dungeon crawl.”

Grenades – A bowlful of knitted grenades. Because why not.

The Name of My Next Band – You know how random phrases sometimes sound like great names for Indie bands? John Scalzi is a master of these. (I would buy everything Assembled Ferret Skeleton ever did.)

Spooky Clocks – Hand-painted vintage clocks with a Halloween theme.

Giant Spider Puppet – Neat video of a huge air-powered spider that some guy built. (Hat tip to pdq)

Let’s Play: Ancient Greek Punishment – Flash game designed to look like an old 8-bit video game. Try to help Tantalus get a drink of water! Help Prometheus writhe in pain and dislodge the vulture from his liver!

If Famous Horror Movies Were Rated “G” – I especially like Nightmare on Elm Street.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Wine Bottle Decoration

January 26th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Wine BottleThis is another project that I’ve had in my Drafts folder in hopes that I’ll eventually get around to making it. Since it’s been knocking around in there for over a year that apparently isn’t going to happen any time soon, so I’m just going to throw it out here for you guys.

I saw this in a Flickr photostream, listed as “scary wine bottle lady” (click to enlarge). Given its elaborate nature I assume the components are permanently attached to an empty bottle, but I like the idea of presenting a full bottle of wine “gift-wrapped” in this fashion.

A base for the body could be created by molding chicken wire around an empty wine bottle. Cover the form with papier-mache, Model Magic, Sugru, or plain old duct tape, then wrap wire or pipe cleaners around the upper third to attach the arms. The photo isn’t clear enough to tell if the fingers are wire or actual small skeleton hands; if you can find the latter in the appropriate size it might look nicer. Something like the Skeleton Store’s Cheap Charlie might be about the right size, and it also gives you a skull and extra body parts to work with; I like the idea of a bit of rib cage peeking out of holes in the lady’s rags. The bones can be darkened and aged with a bit of plastic-safe spray paint if desired.

Once the body is complete dress it in purchased doll clothes, hand-sewn clothing, or simply scraps of fabric. The trailing skirts appear to be fairly stiff; this can be done by soaking dyed cheesecloth in laundry starch, draping it as desired–make sure you work over plastic to catch drips–then letting it dry. Add doll accessories such as a lantern, broom, or severed head; attach them to the hands with a dab of hot glue.

Now for the head. You can either carve a hole in the base of the skull (easier with a foam skull than plastic) to fit down over the neck of the wine bottle, or mold a cap on top of the bottle with paper clay or Sugru and hot-glue the skull to that (cover this “neck” with a scarf or fur stole). Glue on wispy bits of doll hair and top with a hat.

Once everything is thoroughly dry, slip them off of the empty bottle and put them on the full gift bottle. Present as an extremely unique hostess gift.

Posted in Paint It Black | 1 Comment »

Seen Online

January 25th, 2012 by Cobwebs

I don’t go to the mailbox because that’s where the Responsibility Monster lives.

If someone catches you staring blankly into space & asks you what you’re looking at, shush them & whisper “ghost porn.”

It’d be fun to release a gorilla in a gorilla suit at the mall and see the look on security’s face when they pull off that first mask.

Mine’s the USS Everyone Gets Home Safe. RT @scottEweinberg: Prometheus. Icarus. Daedalus. Parsimonious. #badnamesforspaceships
The No Aliens Allowed. The Nobody Dies. The Sunshine Unicorn. The Punch and Pie. #myscifispaceship
cleolinda (More collected here)

Correct me if I’m wrong, but babies are the only parasites people keep and raise as pets after removing them from their bodies, right?

Marsha is a beautiful name for a supervillainess with an army of frogs.

Tried to donate blood today but they had too many questions about where I got it.

Sometimes I fear that none of my work matters and I’m actually in this office so aliens can feed me coffee and harvest my pee.

Those first two guys who thought Superman was a bird or a plane… ? What the fuck were they so excited about?

If I was a cab driver, I’d whisper “I could have kept you” to passengers before they got out.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 3 Comments »

Super Terrific Teeny Tiny Things

January 24th, 2012 by Cobwebs

TombstonesI recently linked to this necklace
featuring tiny figures in vials with the comment that I’d probably replace the people with tombstones, and my dad promptly sent me a link to some adorable gravestones meant as accessories for model train layouts. I’m surprised I haven’t written about model train accessories before now; it’s not uncommon to see layouts where the actual trains are secondary to the scenery. (They’re kind of like dollhouses for men.)

Even if you have no interest in model trains, there are loads of detailed miniatures which would be perfect added to a terrarium or simply displayed on a shelf. In addition to the basic tombstones, you can get a set featuring more elaborate graves and an Angel statue. There are also at least two complete cemetery kits: One by Busch complete with graves, hearse, fountain, park benches, and wreaths; and Woodland’s Maple Leaf Cemetery with stone fenceposts, lots of different tombstones, trees, and a tool shed.

To round out your graveyard you can purchase generic funeral attendees, which also come in Catholic and Protestant flavors.

There are also cute little horse-drawn hearses, including a rather elaborate version with lots of detailing.

If cemeteries aren’t your thing, you can also choose from a haunted house, including a version that lights up, an abandoned log cabin, a great-looking funeral home, a generic “haunted mansion” a spooky Vampire Villa, or even a full-blown castle. There’s even an electronics kit available which allows you to provide your building with lightning and thunder.

There are also plenty of little individual figures to choose from, including demons, devils, mermaids, female and male vampires, and even the Grim Reaper. Various animal sets feature crows, cats, and owls and snakes. There are also all kinds of “pedestrian” sets in themes ranging from a crime scene investigation to a group of punk rockers.

These would all be wonderful for dioramas, but if you want to more fully investigate the hobby of model railroading–it’s a fine pastime, much beloved of Gomez Addams–there’s certainly no reason why you couldn’t darken it up a bit too. Decorate the train with glow-in-the-dark paint and turn it into a ghost train passing through an abandoned village, or load it with pumpkins and send it on its way to Halloween Town. There’s almost surely a set of accessories to help you realize your vision.

Posted in Needful Things | 5 Comments »

This is Entirely Wonderful

January 23rd, 2012 by Cobwebs

Some of the more…ahem…mature amongst us may remember The Electric Company, a 70s kid’s show that was to Sesame Street as Mescaline is to Pop Rocks. The original cast included such luminaries as Bill Cosby, Rita Moreno, and Morgan Freeman, who is seen here as a vampire taking a bubble bath in a casket. As you do.

As one commenter over on the YouTube page put it, “if this were an ad, i would own at least 4 caskets right now.”

(via The Gothic Tea Society)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 5 Comments »

A Pocketful of Link Dumps

January 20th, 2012 by Cobwebs

People Take Warning – Huge boxed set of “murder ballads and disaster songs” from the early part of the last century. This would be fantastic background music for any kind of period event, like a Titanic-themed dinner party.

SinIsPretty – Etsy shop with interesting clothing and accessories like Bone Shoe Clips and a Spider Web Tap Pant Set.

Elegant Musings – Blog devoted to “vintage” (1930s-ish) fashion. Has several tutorials.

Unicorn Poop – Brilliantly decorated sugar cookies.

Spiked iPhone Case – Interesting idea for decorating an iPhone case, although this would make it rather difficult to put in a pocket or clutch.

Scientific Creativity – Surviving the World makes me giggle.

Itsy Bitsy Spider Baby Shower – I love this idea for a gothy baby shower, but the black-and-white theme is sufficiently restrained and elegant that it could also provide some inspiration for a more grownup party.

Halloween Hair – This is certainly an…arresting…hairstyle.

Randy Newman’s Theme Song for “We Need to Talk About Kevin” – Parody song that nicely captures the Pixar-esque themes that Newman has turned out.

Gearing Up for 2012 – Calendar of steampunk conventions in 2012.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Plant Some “Magic” Seeds

January 19th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Magic SeedsOkay, in its raw form this idea has a Christmas theme, but there’s no reason it can’t be generalized to make any season magical. It’s an adorable project to do for small children.

Over at East Coast Mommy, the Elf on the Shelf (aka Santa’s Narc) arrived for Christmas duty with a packet of “magic” tree-shaped candy sprinkles and planting instructions from Santa (on official North Pole letterhead, which I thought was a nice touch). The sprinkles were planted in a bowl of sugar and somehow grew into tree-patterned cookie lollipops overnight.

Well, there are candy sprinkles in shapes beyond numbering, and plenty of cookie cutters. A child could receive a special package from the Great Pumpkin, the Solstice Hobgoblin, or simply the Fairy in Charge of Magical Botany. They could plant anything from dinosaurs to ghosts to bugs to autumn leaves, and appropriately-shaped cookie pops (or even regular lollipops) can magically “grow” when they aren’t looking.

No need to wait until next Christmas; this is a fun and super-easy way to make any day a little more whimsical.

(Hat tip to Empress Pam)

Posted in Bittens | 2 Comments »

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