David Bowie’s new album Blackstar will be released in January and the promotional video of the title track is, dare I say it, a space oddity. It starts with a dead astronaut and ends with a bedazzled skull and there’s a whole lotta weirdness in between.
Regular posting and once-a-week link dumps will return on Monday. But you already knew that.
Ghost Nail Art – Neat manicure idea featuring a 3D ghost face and hands.
Off to Battle – Michael Tapson and his daughter created Halloween costumes based on their “vision of a machine-animal hybrid and the little girl it protects.” The costumes are amazing and the implied backstory is tremendous. You can see an earlier video of the “Beast” costume on Tapson’s channel.
HorrorNaments – Christmas ornaments depicting things like bloody axes and vampire bats. (via Spooky Moon)
Mummy Cat – Sweet children’s book about a cat who was mummified with his queen, waking up once a century to see if she’s come back yet. io9 has some pages.
Angela Kirkpatrick – Profile of a jeweler who makes modern memento mori and other memorial keepsakes.
Gifts with Meaning – Suggestions for charities you can donate to in lieu of giving someone yet another necktie. Mentioned here because one of the options is sponsoring one of those giant rats that are trained to find land mines. Who wouldn’t want the gift of a giant land mine-sniffing rat?
Where’s the Jump? – “Our aim is to provide a comprehensive database of all jump scares from major horror and thriller movies along with a short description of the scene and the time in the movie it occurs.”
Is This the Most Beautiful Dragon Penis Yet? – BoingBoing looks at a design by Bad Dragon. NSFW (although honestly if I have to tell you that a link with “dragon penis” in the title might be NSFW, the problem lies with you, not me).
Silicone Mermaid Tail – This tutorial is fairly complicated and expensive, but if you hanker for a realistic-looking tail and can’t afford to buy one this may be an alternative.
Behind You – Artist Brian Coldrick has a delightfully creepy Tumblr of drawings inspired by horror stories. “Each page is simply a character with someone, or something, behind them and one line of text.”
Blockhead’s Revenge – John Carpenter does Charlie Brown. This is a couple of years old, but apparently has been revived via the recent Charlie Brown movie.
Reelscary – Site which lists movies by scariness, and invites public votes to help with rankings.
The Final Connection – Author John M. Ford once wrote a song about death to the tune of “The Rainbow Connection.”
Cartoon Closets – Series of fashion suggestions themed around various cartoon characters. There used to be a whole Tumblr devoted to these, which has apparently since gone to The Land Where Tumblrs Are Eternally Blessed, but lots of them turn up in a Google image search.
Cereal Killers – It’s an old, tired joke, but this series of illustrations (and marketing slogans) by Kate Willaert are pretty cute.
Seakae – For Inktober, artist Chuck Knigge gave his wife a D&D Monster Manual and drew characters based solely on her descriptions. I think my favorite is the Rug of Smothering: “This is a magic carpet, but evil.” (via xJane)
Universal’s Monster Plan – Universal plans to revive its “golden age” monster franchise, with new movies featuring Dracula, the Mummy, the Bride of Frankenstein, and more.
Frivolous Forest – Etsy shop full of the most adorably weird needle-felted critters you’ve ever seen.
Calling the Quarters – A collection of four short role-playing games “based around the ideas of witchcraft, feminism, and telling stories together.”
Atelier Iwakiri – Artist who makes lovingly-detailed leather bags which resemble various animals. The site and Facebook page are both in Japanese, so I can’t tell you anything about pricing and shipping, but the photos are fun to browse.
A few years ago some unnamed marketing genius at the Walt Disney Company hatched the idea of pin trading: You get a lanyard and purchase little enamel pins depicting characters and attractions and other Disney-esque faff (there are roughly nine bazillion different designs). Then you can offer to trade pins with other guests you see wearing the lanyards, plus many employees wear them and are required to trade with you if you ask. It’s a hugely popular pastime, and there are pins for pretty much any Disney property you care to name.
Many of the pins are offered in themed sets, such as the much-sought-after princess mystery pins, the “pumpkin” villains from their 2015 Halloween collection, and the character silhouettes used in this neat project by Craftster “maleficent.” She made personalized boutonnieres for each of the groomsmen in her wedding, and the result is rather elegant.
There are lots of spooky sets which could be put to similar purposes–the Haunted Mansion alone has at least four (1, 2, 3, 4)–and then there are Nightmare Before Christmas, villains, Tower of Terror, and on and on and on. (It looks like Universal has also gotten into the pin-trading action: There are lots of Harry Potter-themed sets, like the Hogwarts crests.)
It’s apparently fairly popular to turn the pins into necklaces as well, so you could make a matching set for the bridesmaids.
Even if you don’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen to attach these to, the pins would make lovely brooches or lapel pins to give as gifts.
UK confectioner Lou Lou P’s Delights recently decided to take the common feline paws-tucked-under “catloaf” pose and turn it into the real thing. The result was this sleepy mama cat and her yeasty litter of kittens, which would be reasonably easy to re-create at home.
She recommends using Donna Currie’s recipe for Bunny Bread, which produces a dough that’s easy to shape, but any recipe which results in a fairly stiff dough should work. You could try a black bread recipe if you wanted a darker-colored cat.
She doesn’t supply instructions for shaping, but it looks to me like the general method would be to take slightly less than 1/3 of the dough and set it aside. Form the remaining dough into an egg shape, and flatten the narrower end. Shape the other piece of dough into a ball and press it onto the flattened part of the egg to make the head (I think you could probably brush the flat bit with a little beaten egg to ensure that everything sticks together). Pinch up triangular bits on the top to make ears (it might help to use a razor blade or a baker’s lame to cut shallow triangles into the dough); be careful not to make them too thin or they’ll burn before the rest of the bread is done. Optionally, make slashes on the front of the head to form whiskers; you could paint them on later too.
After baking, use food-safe decorating pens to draw features. The big cat would be a nice centerpiece loaf and the kittens are perfect for dinner rolls.
Be sure to check out the rest of Lou Lou P’s feed (just Facebook, unfortunately); she has all kinds of macabre creations. She apparently sells a few downloadable tutorials as well, like these spider cupcake toppers. My favorite comment, from a visitor to her page: “Did you make a Voldemort-au-vent or was that just an awesome dream that I had?” I don’t even know what those would look like, but I may have to try to make some.