The Art of Darkness


February 15th, 2016 by Cobwebs

In this neat short horror film by Toby Meakins, a collector repairing a vintage camera gets more than he bargained for. It’s amazing how intense a three-minute film can be.

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Still Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 5

February 12th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Like sands through the hourglass, so goes another week of link dumps. Regular posting (and once-a-week dumps) return on Monday.

The Holy Order of the Sasquatch – This “Bigfoot cult that rocks” describes itself as “a sacred Knighthood of creative warriors who make and do cool things, a DIY spirituality that exalts the imagination in order to make the world a better place.”

How to Deal with Trick or Treaters – Classic sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie.

Dracula from Nebraska – Podcast exploring an unusual theory about the inspiration for the character of Dracula. (Hat tip to Bruno)

Halloween Wedding – Some interesting decoration and reception ideas.

Dan Sperry – Magician who bills himself as the “Anti-Conjurer.” You can see some of his work on his YouTube channel.

Anything Could Be a Spider – I rather like this idea.

Ship Your Enemies Glitter – A company that will do just what they advertise. This should qualify as some kind of terrorism.

Van Helsing Robot – A ‘toon just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The Transitive Vampire – “A Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager and the Doomed.” A style guide full of black humor, which understands the Oxford comma.

Aleister Crowley’s Rice Recipe – Make curried rice like Mr. Golden Dawn himself. (I keep getting distracted by his inability to spell “colander.”)

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Still Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 4

February 11th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Dragon Blanket – Crochet pattern for a cute blanket that appears to be eating its wearer.

Bat Tattoos – A roundup of “badass and adorable” bat-themed tattoos.

Grim Grinning Ghosts – The projection used for the singing busts in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion.

Closed on Account of Rabies – Peculiar album featuring works by Edgar Allan Poe interpreted by artists like Marianne Faithfull, Iggy Pop, Christopher Walken, Debbie Harry, and many others.

Mandrake Root Bouquet – EPBOT has an easy tutorial for making a Harry Potter-inspired mandrake root with a bouquet of flowers growing out of its head.

Burgess Shale Boogie – Custom fabric pattern featuring some of the awesome fossils from the Burgess Shale.

Fated – I’d swear I just saw a Reddit thread with the same topic as this ‘toon, but I can’t find it so I may be hallucinating. Anyway, funny.

Elven Silverware – This 3D-printed silver flatware design is actually called “Setae” and doesn’t seem to have actually been inspired by Elves, but I agree with Geeks are Sexy that this looks like something you’d find in Rivendell. Where they hand-wash everything.

Monsterism – Etsy shop featuring illustrations of oddly charming monsters.

Random Useful Websites – This isn’t goth, it’s just really neat. Click the button to be taken to a random useful site; my first three clicks took me to Forvo, What Should I Read Next?, and PDFEscape, all of which are indeed useful. (Hat tip to Empress Pam)

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Still Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 3

February 10th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Dem Bones – Sells skull-shaped sugar cubes (including a large apothecary jar full), soap, and other skully goodies.

Critter Compendium – “Daily drawings of creatures, cryptids, yokai and other miscellaneous monsters,” along with a short description of their characteristics.

Things you should know about the original Dracula – Helpful bulletpoints.

What if Tim Burton directed all Disney classic movies? – Artist Andrew Tarusov has done a series of illustrations depicting classic animated Disney films in the style of Tim Burton. I’d watch the hell out of these.

Kiva Ford – Glass artist who creates unusual sculptures, many with a gothy bent. I particularly like Memento Mori, and the miniature body parts under glass (like eyes and hearts). There’s also an Etsy shop.

SM Dad – This amused me mightily.

Black Heart Soap – Tutorial for making Joan Jett-inspired melt-and-pour soap.

Octopus Stuffies Flickr Pool – Several years ago futuregirl created a cute felted octopus pattern (which inspired one of the most wonderful Christmas trees ever). This is a set of photos uploaded by people who made the pattern, and there are some neat variant ideas: A coin purse, bride and groom cake toppers, and cat toys. There’s some nicely Cthulhoid inspiration to be had.

Swingin’ at the Seance – Interesting Halloween-themed album featuring spooky songs from the 1920s – 1940s. Might be fun to have for a retro party.

Harry Clarke Illustrations – 50 Watts has good-quality scans of Clarke’s illustrations for Faust, the works of Poe, and several others.

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Still Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 2

February 9th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Bonelab – 3D-printed skeleton model kits. The vampire bat and rattlesnake are particularly lovely. (Hat tip to Fiend4Halloween)

M is for Monocle – A “Victorian Alphabet” picture book, with lovely illustrations.

Tattoos for Knitting & Crochet Lovers – The knuckle tats cracked me up.

Turkey Merck – Sculptor who offers disgustingly realistic limited-edition “slow zombie” mugs.

Disneyland Candles – Anthology Candles has released a line of candles with Disneyland-inspired scents, including one themed for the Haunted Mansion.

50 Fresh Flicks – A look at digital art by Christophe Huet. Notable particularly for these two NSFW images of human-arachnid couplings.

How to Make Paper Out of Lint – Tutorial for making attractive handmade paper from dryer lint.

My Jello Americans – Blog devoted entirely to jello shot recipes. It doesn’t look like it’s been updated in a while but there are plenty of spooky suggestions in the archives, like the cappucino skulls in Catacombs and absinthe-flavored Van Gogh ears.

Frankensteinia – Site devoted to all things Frankensteinian.

How to Make Sugar Skulls – A small terrycloth monkey walks you through the process of making sugar skulls.

Mummy – The University of Chicago has an interactive tutorial which explains the ancient Egyptian practice of mummification. Help Anubis use a hook to remove the brain through the nose, place the internal organs in canopic jars, and wrap the body in linen. Fun for the whole family!

Posted in Link Dump | 6 Comments »

Still Another Week of Link Dumps

February 8th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Will the link dumps never end?!? No. No they won’t.

Haunted Mansion Comic Series – Marvel will release a new comic series based on Disney’s Haunted Mansion in March. Hopefully it won’t carry the stench of the Eddie Murphy movie. (Hat tip to Sharonda)

Hell’s Super – The adventures of Steve, Hell’s superintendent, his assistant Orson Welles (who was damned), and their neverending attempts to fix Hell with duct tape.

19 Creepy Wikipedia Pages – A roundup of Wikipedia entries on odd phenomena and people.

Horror Movies 2016 – A guide to the “best” upcoming horror movies.

Smart Art Box – Subscription service which sends you monthly art projects.

Middle Ages Tech Support – Oh, lawsey; I have lived this.

Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary – Ballet version of the Stoker novel. I’m linking to the IMDB description since it’s available from various streaming services; search whatever yours happens to be. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

Human Heart Cake – Recipe and tutorial for an amazing anatomically-accurate human heart cake. Just in time for Valentine’s day.

Artists Bring Imaginary Friends to Life – Communications agency AMV BBDO asked 60 kids to draw their imaginary friends, then gave the drawings to model makers to create real versions.

Thingbats – Etsy seller specializing in little polymer clay sculptures. These sweet little vampires would make great cake toppers.

Posted in Link Dump | 4 Comments »

Gravity’s Link Dump

February 5th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Fairy Tree – Redditor radamshome built a “fairy tree” in his daughter’s bedroom, and posted photos and build notes. The original reddit discussion thread is here.

Fatally Yours – Collection of vegan chocolates shaped like skulls, coffins, and other spooky things which comes in a ouija-themed box. (Hat tip to Empress Pam)

@WhoresofYore – Twitter account run by a post-doc researcher of historical sex work. There’s an article which discusses it further here.

Chippy Ruxpin – Instructions for hacking a Teddy Ruxpin to make it say any text you type or tweet. The core idea would be fairly awesome as a “demonic teddy bear” Halloween prop. (via Jan)

Blood Bath – Shower Gel that looks like a bag of blood.

/r/DeathPositive – The Order of the Good Death has launched a subreddit “Death Bunker.”

10 Haunting Documentaries That Are Stranger Than Fiction – A roundup of documentaries with creepy, disturbing subject matter. There’s a followup list as well.

The Illegitimacy of Aragorn’s Claim to the Throne – “…while ‘commands a terrifying ghost army’ is a fantastic qualification for fronting a Norwegian black metal band or a community Halloween parade, it’s less than ideal for ruling a vast and diverse country of the living.” (via Bill)

Roger’s Gardens – This landscaping company’s Halloween boutique has some great decorating ideas, like massed creepy photos and (ambitious, but awesome) a suit of armor sprawled in a glass case. (via Shellhawk)

Plots Among the Plots – The author of the OTIS blog lists graveyards featured in various horror movies which he’s visited. This would be a neat road trip idea. (via Spooky Moon)

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Homemade Shaving Cream

February 4th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Shaving CreamOne of my favorite quick gift ideas is homemade bath products, because people are so often under the impression that they can’t be made at home and you wind up looking like some kind of miracle worker.*

Shaving cream is particularly nice to make yourself; it doesn’t dry the skin like most commercial products, and you can personalize the fragrance as desired. The ingredients are easy to find, either at health food stores or online.

1/3 C virgin coconut oil
1/3 C shea butter
4 Tbsp sweet almond, jojoba, grapeseed, or olive oil, OR 2 Tbsp oil and 2 Tbsp liquid castile soap
10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil*
2 tsp baking soda (optional)
3-4 drops Vitamin E oil (optional)

In a small saucepan over low heat, stir the shea butter and coconut oil until just melted. Remove from heat, transfer to a heatproof bowl, and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Stir until thoroughly blended, then place in the refrigerator until the mixture solidifies.

Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer (or to a medium bowl if you’re using an electric hand mixer). Whip until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the cream looks like you could ice a cupcake with it.

Spoon into a jar or tin and keep covered in a cool, dry place. Makes about 8 oz.

*Be sure that the oils you use are skin-safe; some varieties can be irritating. Some nice fragrance blends are 10 drops rosemary/3 drops peppermint, 10 drops lavender/5 drops peppermint, or 5 drops lime/5 drops bergamot.

Note: The baking soda acts as a mild exfoliant, and also makes it a little easier for the razor to cut cleanly. The Vitamin E oil acts as a natural preservative, but the cream will last several months without it. The amount you need for one batch of shaving cream is more or less equal to the amount in a Vitamin E oil capsule.

*I once gave a bar of homemade soap to an acquaintance and she was astonished. She babbled something about, “I thought soap was made of…soap.” Apparently she thought it was quarried out of soap mines or something.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 1 Comment »

Disturbed: The Sound Of Silence

February 3rd, 2016 by Cobwebs

Simon and Garfunkel songs seem to lend themselves particularly well to covers, with the cover frequently outshining the original (The Bangles’ version of “A Hazy Shade of Winter” is far superior to S&G’s version and I’ll fight you over it). This heavy-metal cover of “Sounds of Silence” by Disturbed has a raw, nightmarish feel to it that pairs well with the lyrics.

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Trivia Tuesday

February 2nd, 2016 by Cobwebs

  1. Pottsylvanian spies Boris and Natasha are Rocky and Bullwinkle’s perennial arch-enemies. What are their last names?
  2. What’s the animal symbol of Ravenclaw?
    A) Crow
    B) Dragon
    C) Lion
    D) Eagle
    E) Badger
  3. One of the denizens of Corpse Bride‘s cheerful Land of the Dead is Bonejangles, a one-eyed, singing skeleton. What musician performs his voice?
  4. The golem is a creature from Jewish folklore, an anthropomorphic being magically created from inanimate matter. The most famous golem story involves the rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel creating one to protect this European city.
    A) Vienna
    B) Warsaw
    C) Kiev
    D) Budapest
    E) Prague
  5. Arguably the most famous Dungeons & Dragons monster, this creature appears as a floating sphere of flesh with a large mouth, single central eye, and many smaller eyestalks (each of which have a different magical ability).
  6. This classic Western stars Clint Eastwood as an enigmatic revenant, returned to mete out justice to the corrupt townspeople who murdered him.
    A) A Fistful of Dollars
    B) Unforgiven
    C) High Plains Drifter
    D) Pale Rider
    E) Hang ‘Em High
  7. In Neil Gaiman’s American Gods the protagonist takes a job as a bodyguard for Mr. Wednesday, who is actually an incarnation of what god?
  8. Where was the eventually murderous HAL 9000 computer built, according to 2001: A Space Odyssey?
    A) Urbana, Illinois
    B) Berkeley, California
    C) Riverside, Iowa
    D) Cambridge, Massachusetts
    E) Steve Jobs’ garage
  9. One of the classic sequences in Disney’s Fantasia is the “Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria” segment, which features this giant demon looming above a mountain and summoning his evil minions.
  10. Before she became the vengeance demon Anyanka, Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Anya was a 9th-century Scandinavian named what?
    A) Alida
    B) Anke
    C) Agneta
    D) Aud
    E) Astrid

(Answers below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

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