The Raven – The Library of Congress has a high-resolution scan of a rare edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” with gorgeous illustrations by Gustave Doré. (Note that there are several scans of blank pages, which can be a little confusing; the library aims to capture the physical book as closely as possible, which means including the blank pages.)
Rule of Cuteness #7 – “A Thing, Accompanied By A Smaller Version Of That Thing, Is Always Cute.” Especially when the things in question are jumping spiders.
The Family Jewels – Reproduction Medieval jewelry with “naughty” subjects. NSFW-ish, depending upon your boss’ tolerance for winged vaginas. (Hat tip to WitchArachne) Edit: It looks like that section of the site is down; there are photos of similar pilgrims’ badges here.
Ursula Vernon is a writer of magical realism; the author and illustrator of the Hugo Award–winning graphic novel Digger and the Dragonbreath series of children’s books. She’s got a lovely short story up at Apex: Jackalope Wives plays with the age-old idea of skin-changers, and of humans who occasionally marry them. Here’s the beginning:
The moon came up and the sun went down. The moonbeams went shattering down to the ground and the jackalope wives took off their skins and danced.
They danced like young deer pawing the ground, they danced like devils let out of hell for the evening. They swung their hips and pranced and drank their fill of cactus–fruit wine.
They were shy creatures, the jackalope wives, though there was nothing shy about the way they danced. You could go your whole life and see no more of them than the flash of a tail vanishing around the backside of a boulder. If you were lucky, you might catch a whole line of them outlined against the sky, on the top of a bluff, the shadow of horns rising off their brows.
And on the half–moon, when new and full were balanced across the saguaro’s thorns, they’d come down to the desert and dance.
The young men used to get together and whisper, saying they were gonna catch them a jackalope wife. They’d lay belly down at the edge of the bluff and look down on the fire and the dancing shapes — and they’d go away aching, for all the good it did them.
For the jackalope wives were shy of humans. Their lovers were jackrabbits and antelope bucks, not human men. You couldn’t even get too close or they’d take fright and run away. One minute you’d see them kicking their heels up and hear them laugh, then the music would freeze and they’d all look at you with their eyes wide and their ears upswept.
The next second, they’d snatch up their skins and there’d be nothing left but a dozen skinny she–rabbits running off in all directions, and a campfire left that wouldn’t burn out ’til morning.
It was uncanny, sure, but they never did anybody any harm. Grandma Harken, who lived down past the well, said that the jackalopes were the daughters of the rain and driving them off would bring on the drought. People said they didn’t believe a word of it, but when you live in a desert, you don’t take chances.
When the wild music came through town, a couple of notes skittering on the sand, then people knew the jackalope wives were out. They kept the dogs tied up and their brash sons occupied. The town got into the habit of having a dance that night, to keep the boys firmly fixed on human girls and to drown out the notes of the wild music.
As in previous editions, here’s a bunch of images I’ve run across which I want to share but might not be able to hang a whole post on. Some of them have no attribution, so if you happen to know the source for any of these please leave a note in the comments. (Click to view larger.)
This is a barbecue grill housed in a coffin, it’s awesome, and I have no idea where it came from because all roads lead either to Pinterest or 404s. From the table it’s sitting on and the cups stacked to the right in the photo it appears to be the centerpiece at some sort of picnic or other outdoor gathering, possibly for funeral directors. Anyway, it’d be reasonably easy to DIY if you’ve got a steel casket that you don’t know what to do with.
I am so very sorry that this is just digital art and not a real piece of jewelry. It’s by Giovanni Bortolani, whose gallery is loaded with disturbingly visceral imagery (possibly NSFW). If you’re handy with polymer clay, it might be possible to create something similar in real life. (Hat tip to Beans)
The sole place a reverse image search turned up was a Pinterest pin which cited Conjurer’s Kitchen (whom I’ve featured previously). But I don’t see these anywhere on the site, so I dunno. They’re lovely, though, with lots of detail, and would certainly be an interesting departure from regular cake pops.
Jack the Ripper Tattoo
This gorgeous piece is by Pavel Roch. It looks more like a painting than a tattoo, and is wonderfully evocative.
This is by Mister Finch, who creates marvelous creatures from textiles. I desperately want to make a moth like this just to sort of have around the house.
This was part of Prada’s Spring 2011 collection, and I’m sure it wasn’t meant to have anything to do with Halloween (although darned if there weren’t a number of other Halloween-friendly shoes in the same collection). A knockoff striped effect could be done with tape and spraypaint.
Found at Build-a-DIY although I don’t think they originated there. I like how these look like poppy seedpods. They could be made in a variety of sizes, as throw pillows or bean-bag chairs (teensy ones would make nice pincushions), and would be pretty in black or scarlet.
A “soaking art” tub by Jetta. This is definitely a fixture in the bathroom of my dreams.
What a neat idea to hang a site on: Paper and Salt seeks to re-create (and sometimes reinterpret) “dishes that iconic authors discuss in their letters, diaries and fiction.” Nicole, the site’s author, describes it as, “part historical discussion, part food and recipe blog, part literary fangirl-ing.”
It’s a fascinating look at authors, the edibles with which they were familiar, and their eating habits. A recent post about Mary Shelley, for instance, points out that Modern Superfood kale used to be a common comfort food. The entry includes a yummy-sounding kale-and-egg tartine which would be a lovely breakfast dish.
The site’s archives are broken out by both recipe category and time period, so you can browse the 18th Century and find a molten chocolate cake inspired by the Marquis de Sade or look through Drinks for Edgar Allan Poe’s eggnog.
Some of the relationships between author and recipe seem rather thin (“Jane Austen once mentioned cheesecake, so here’s a custard tart“), but the mini-history lessons more than make up for it.
There are the makings of an interesting themed dinner party here as well: A meal with each course inspired by a different author. It’d be fun to start with a soup mentioned by Bram Stoker and end with a Stephen King-inspired dessert.
Clear your schedule before clicking any of these links, because you’re going to be browsing for a while.
I discovered Semi Sweet Designs a couple of days before Valentine’s Day, when ThinkGeek pointed to these awesome Star Trek Valentine Cookies. It turns out that those were just the tip of the frosting-covered iceberg.
The site is the brainchild of Mike, an aerospace engineer who discovered cookie art a couple of years ago when he was looking for a unique gift idea for a friend. He notes that he is, “constantly imaging ways to turn my love of TV, Sci-Fi movies, and pop culture into cookie form,” and from the stuff he’s created I’d say he’s succeeding admirably: When he isn’t making Game of Thrones-inspired dragon eggs, he’s ringing in the new year with steampunk gauges.
Some of the designs are (obviously) detailed and time-consuming, which makes me wonder about the possibility of making them from polymer clay and turning them into pendants, brooches, or even Christmas tree ornaments. Faux sugar cookies seem to be a fairly widespread thing, and there are plenty of tutorials which provide tips on materials and techniques.
Do check out the site; his enthusiasm is infectious, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself surrounded by sugar cookies in the near future.
This isn’t precisely goth, but it’s such a brilliant idea that I have no choice but to share it. Over at She Knows there’s a splendid tutorial for making a mailable slice of cake.
It’s a wonderful trompe-l’oeil whose main ingredients are a sponge and some caulk. The result is apparently quite durable and is certainly a memorable way to send a postcard. There’s a related pumpkin pie postcard tutorial which could also be repurposed as a cheesecake.
Either of these would be a really unique party or wedding invitation. You could up the Goth Quotient a little by making the cake “red velvet” with black icing; since caulk is usually available in only a few colors you could either carefully tape the “cake” and paint the “icing” after it’s applied and dried or custom-color it before application.
If you aren’t feeling up to making these yourself, there’s an Etsy shop which sells them pre-made. A bit pricey if you want to send a lot of them, but reasonable for a one-off where you really want to make a splash.
Mixologist “Cody” of has created a collection of Disney character-themed cocktails: Several princesses and heroes, sure, but also plenty of villains. There are photos of many of his concoctions, along with their inspiration, at Incredible Things and more on his Facebook page.
I love how well he’s matched the colors and garnishes to the characters: The “Hades Hatred” is black, blue, and on fire; the “Grand Vizier” is crowned with a piece of orange peel reminiscent of Jafar’s staff; and the “Sea Witch,” well, just look at it.
He’s working with Tipsy Bartender to create how-to videos of each of the drinks, but until then the ingredients listed on each cocktail should be enough to get you started.
These could be the basis of a fun themed cocktail party; you could also make “virgin” versions using fruit juice or food coloring for a kid’s party.
Lonesome Wyatt describes himself as “the Ambrose Bierce of underground country,” playing “the kind of music you’d hear while walking down a dirt road headed deep into the woods weaving your way through haints and shadows.” He tours solo and also has a side project as “Lonesome Wyatt and the Holy Spooks,” which specializes in murder ballads, ghost stories, and other fun stuff.
Here’s “Dream of You,” which is rather pretty; their most recent release is Halloween is Here, whose title track rather puts me in mind of Spike Jones.