Anna Von Hausswolff is “a small Swedish woman who sings about death,” and she does it magnificently. Her music often includes big, soaring pipe organs which make her sound Gothic in the more traditional sense of the word. Here’s a track from her album “Ceremony:”
There are several others available on her site. You can also buy a CD or vinyl(!) album of “Ceremony” through the site; it’s also available for download on Amazon, along with her two previous sold-out releases, Singing from the Grave and Track of Time. Great stuff.
PyroPet – As the cute kitty candle melts, it reveals an aluminum cat skeleton within. (Hat tip to Beans)
Best Friends Forever – This winsome rendition of Ellen Ripley and her li’l xenomorph pal is ridiculously charming.
Prepare for Battle! – I want to meet the woman who wrote this Amazon review and become her best friend.
Steampunk Frankenstein’s Monster – Legendary FX master Rick Baker made up as a steampunk version of the monster. This is amazing work. (Hat tip to Kitten Herder)
Cthucken – Like a turducken, only more Cthuloid. I have no idea what this is made of–it looks more sculptural than edible–but if I found one in my house I’d scream. (Edit: It’s edible. Oh lawsey, lawsey, lawsey.)
Here’s an easy makeover for a mirror to hang in the guest room and unnerve visiting relatives. It’s not only a very uncomplicated project, it also has the advantage of being cheap: You can look in thrift stores for (depending upon the method you use) mirrors that already have some of the silvering worn off or glass-fronted picture frames that have been banged up a bit; either should be sold at a discount.
There are two main methods to achieve the effect; the first one involves removing some of the silvering from the back of a mirror and pasting a picture in the clear spot. Mitzi’s Collectibles has a good tutorial for that method, and suggests using oven cleaner to help remove the silvering (you’ll probably have to scrape or scrub a little, too). You’ll want to take care not to make the scraped-off edges too jagged, since the effect you’re after is a sort of ghostly fading-in.
The other method involves a product of which I was hitherto-unaware: Looking Glass spray paint by Krylon. It can be sprayed on glass surfaces to “mirrorize” them, which is pretty neat (I can think of a number of other applications for this stuff). You simply spray several layers on the back of a glass picture frame, adding less where you want the image peeking through, then finally attaching the image. Cre8tive Compass has a fairly good tutorial for that (and I like the idea of misting water in some spots to create a more “antique” effect), but is somewhat unclear on the image placement. Domythic Bliss has slightly better instructions for that (and I like her image choice).
The only other thing you need to do is a choose an appropriate picture. You can google around for vintage-y images, use a copy of a family photo if you’re lucky enough to have an acceptably-creepy one, or create something using an image tool like Photoshop. I like the Victorian kids with blacked-out eyes that Ghost Hunting Theories did (shown above), and you could also alter an image in a Travis Louie-esque fashion.
This would, of course, be a wonderful Halloween decoration, but if you choose an attractive mirror (or frame) there’s no reason why it couldn’t be left up year-round.
Bonus Link: For a different, more complicated (but also cooler-looking) effect, check out this haunted mirror using two-way glass done by Aidtopia.
Kathy doesn’t blog, so she sent her gift to me for posting here. It’s quite thoughtful and lovely.
Your blog has been giving me pleasure ever since I discovered it. Giving you a virtual Christmas present is very easy since you and I share similar pastimes. We like to sew. We like beautiful things to make and we enjoy the macabre.
My first gift to you is an all-inclusive art adventure to Orvieto, Italy, May 25-31 2014 where you will create a one of a kind art quilt.
“….Begin with a textural pieced background using a combination of fabrics and then an applique which will be filled with your own visual journey…..For your design, use journaling and include simple drawings from the streets of Orvieto. The use of imagery using wool, taffeta, silk, silk velvet, and cotton applique as well as dimension using stacking of fabric, couching embroidery stitches, beads and words will be explored.”
By all-inclusive, I mean your air flight, food, drink, your materials (all those glorious fabrics!!!!) and tools for your week long art adventure, and, last but not least, all the pocket money one needs to satisfy the inner magpie are part and parcel of this gift.
I would like to include a subscription to Somerset Studio’s “Altered Couture Magazine”. It contains many ideas for making something innovative out of something ordinary. While many of the illustrations are usually overtly feminine and pretty-pretty, the trained gothic eye will see the potential of a possible garment.
Finally, because I am a doll maker and I would like to introduce you to my world, my last gift to you is your choice of one of the dolls made by Beth Robinson. You will find her website at http://strangedolls.net Click on ‘Shop’ and feel free to choose what ever doll you desire – I’m a Dr. Scops fan, myself.
I was recently listening to the radio and was rather startled to hear a Cocteau Twins cover of “Frosty the Snowman.” I was even more startled to learn that it’s one of two Christmas classics they did, the other being “Winter Wonderland.” They were originally released on a (now out of print and selling for insane prices on eBay) two-track CD entitled “Snow,” and can also be found on the second volume of their singles collection Lullabies to Violaine.
Here’s “Winter Wonderland,” with a fan-made video:
And here’s a link to their version of Frosty (just audio over a static picture).
I’m glad I could make your holiday a little more surreal.
What Should I Read Next – Enter a book you like, and their database will suggest similar books that you might enjoy.
Los Disneys – Odd little cult video game (which needs to update its backstory to something a bit further in the future) wherein you try to infiltrate a post-apocalyptic Disney World to destroy Walt’s frozen head.
Need a short break from all that holiday cheer? ScreenCrave has a great roundup of the scariest short internet films which will make you a little less certain that the thumping sound on the roof is reindeer. Here’s another as a bonus, the wonderfully understated Ten Steps:
The Bloggess recently shared the best and worst Christmas presents she had ever received, and encouraged her commenters to join in. I think this is a splendid idea and am certainly not too proud to steal from her. What are the best and worst gifts you’ve ever received (for Christmas or any other occasion)? Here are mine:
Best: My own copy of a particular Andre Norton book that I had checked out from the library about a zillion times. I was around 10, and instead of playing with toys I spent the afternoon re-re-reading my book.
Worst: Two are tied for this, both from my quasi-ex-mother-in-law: One was a toilet brush, which I am not convinced was unused. The other was a bizarre stuffed Shih Tzu that appeared to be less “toy” than “taxidermy.” I thought, “Huh,” stuck it in a box in a storage shed, and forgot all about it. A couple of years later I was in the process of moving out; I was alone, and by the time I got to the shed it was nearly dark. Nervously hurrying to finish and leave, I opened a mysterious musty box and discovered what I initially mistook to be a long hank of human hair, attached to something lumpy which was about the size of a human head. I nearly pissed myself thinking that I’d stumbled upon the remains of a murder. Then I realized it was that goddamn toy dog.
Now it’s your turn! Share your best/worst gifts in the comments.