The Art of Darkness

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Link Dump

May 8th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Electric Sticker Co. – Sells vinyl stickers for electrical outlets that look like faces. Lots of Halloween-related ones like vampires and witches. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

Garden Witchery – Book about practicing “magick from the ground up.” The same author has also written Seasons of Witchery about celebrating Sabbats in the garden.

Ghoulia Childs – Twitter account (and accompanying Facebook page) combining horror and cooking. As you do.

How To Tell if You Are in a Shirley Jackson Story – Another helpful guide from The Toast. (Hat tip to pdq)

Girly Viking Dragon Academy Birthday Party – I have seriously mixed feelings about this party idea. It’s refreshing to see a warrior-type theme aimed at girls, but then it gets slammed right back into Pretty Princess territory with pastels and cartoony imagery.

Houdini and Doyle – Fox has picked up a period drama in which Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle team up to investigate supernatural mysteries. …I got nothin’.

Whiskey River Soap Co. – Sells soap and candles with names like Soap for Black Sheep (“Smells Like a Recessive Gene”) and Soap for Writer’s Block (“Smells Like Regurgitated Ideas and Probably a Vampire”). (via Beans)

CuriousCephalopods – Last year, artist Kirstie Williams got a lot of positive attention for her awesome octopus fascinator. She began taking custom orders and now offers them in an Etsy shop. So cute!

Professor BJ Sears’ Technological Rarities – Series of faux-antique steampunky devices with interesting backstories. Good source of project inspiration.

Fluevog Odette – I really like the skull detailing on these shoes’ buckles.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Light-Up Skirt Tutorial

May 7th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Fairy SkirtCostumer Angela Clayton, with whom you may already be familiar from when her Elsa the Snow Queen costume went viral, made a gorgeous “Christmas Angel” costume which featured a light-up skirt. You can see more photos of the costume here and read her build notes here and here. (While you’re there, be sure to check out the rest of her costumes, particularly the adorable Halloween-themed flower dress near the bottom of this page.)

Here’s a short video of the light-up effects:

Clothing with battery-powered lights has been around for ages–I fondly recall a 50’s-vintage skirt belonging to my aunt which featured a felt Christmas tree with working lights on the branches–but modern wiring, lights, and battery requirements are vastly improved and easy to use. Today, if you want to add dramatic lighting to the folds of your wizard’s cloak or wear an appliqued bat with glowing eyes, there are tons of supplies and resources which make it easy.

In addition to Clayton’s tutorial, there’s a good easy-to-follow tutorial at Gizmodo, and some some general tips at CreativeBug. If you’re feeling more ambitious, MIT professor Leah Buechley has some pretty awesome instructions for creating a tank top with a microcontroller that can be programmed to spell messages or run a Life session.

Wired has a good overview of materials for sewable circuitry, and you can buy supplies at SparkFun or Evil Mad Scientist.

A simple circuit with a couple of LEDs is an easy project that’ll give you confidence to try more elaborate effects. It’s also a good intro to the world of programmable circuitry; after you’re comfortable adding circuitry to clothing, you can move on to elaborate Jack-o’lantern light displays.

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Seen Online

May 6th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Maybe bats leave Hell in a slow and orderly fashion.

me: all our teeth fall out as children and then they all grow back stronger
alien: okay, i mean…that definitely sounds fake, but…okay.

When it’s my time, I just want to go in a way that leaves my Wikipedia entry a “Death and Aftermath” section.

An all-cat Ghostbusters reboot that’s just 90 minutes of them staring intently and occasionally meowing at a blank wall.

Game of Thrones gets a lot less dramatic when you remind yourself Lannisters, Starks, and Greyjoys alike all have to shit in fancy buckets.

In Australia it was called The Passion of the Crikey.

Why would you not name your pet shark Jump?

I think that the moment right before you die, you hear your mother calling you inside as the streetlights flicker on

Actually, I’m leasing a stairway to heaven.
I also craft artisinal bustles, specifically for hedgerows, which have the quality of not alarming passers-by.

i’ve figured out that horror games with grotesque monsters and spooky environments are -9000 scary if you pretend you’re steve irwin on a mission to document the monster(s)
“Lookie there. That’s a six-foot grunt from the basement. A-hm gonna wrassle it.”

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 3 Comments »

Trivia Tuesday

May 5th, 2015 by Cobwebs

  1. What nationality is Abraham Van Helsing?
    A) Swiss
    B) Dutch
    C) German
    D) Hungarian
    E) Belgian
  2. There was a loose sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show which never achieved much success. What was its title?
  3. This water-dwelling monster with long, sinewy arms is said to inhabit marshes, bogs, and ponds in Yorkshire. It grabs and drowns children who stray too close to the water’s edge.
    A) Boggart
    B) Redcap
    C) Hobgoblin
    D) Barghest
    E) Grindylow
  4. Over the course of its run the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows featured werewolves, zombies, witches, and a host of other monsters, but its star was definitely the vampire played by Jonathan Frid. What was his name?
  5. Who owns the ice cream parlor in Diagon Alley?
    A) Newt Scamander
    B) Elphias Doge
    C) Florean Fortescue
    D) Sturgis Podmore
    E) Ludo Bagman
  6. In Macbeth, the three witches’ prophecy that he will be king has come true, but he feels that his power is insecure so he consults them again. They call forth horrible apparitions which, amongst other things, assure him that he will be safe until what happens?
  7. Sarah Brightman, who starred as Christine in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, played this ill-fated singer in Repo! The Genetic Opera.
    A) Amber Sweet
    B) Jessica Adams
    C) Marni Wallace
    D) Blind Mag
    E) Carmela Largo
  8. In Poe’s short story “The Black Cat,” the narrator’s downfall begins with his mistreatment of a cat, named after this deathly deity.
  9. Chris Sarandon provided Jack Skellingon’s speaking voice in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Who did Jack’s singing voice?
    A) Johnny Depp
    B) Danny Elfman
    C) Tim Burton
    D) Robert Smith
    E) Tim Curry
  10. Stephen King’s vampire novel ‘Salem’s Lot takes its title from the name of the fictional town where the narrative is set. “‘Salem” is a shortened version of the name; what is the town actually called?

(Answers below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Medusa’s Ball

May 4th, 2015 by Cobwebs

This lovely CGI short was produced by the 3D animation training school at ESMA.

(via The Presurfer)

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I Walked with a Link Dump

May 1st, 2015 by Cobwebs

A Natural History of Dragons – The first in a series of “Memoirs by Lady Trent,” a sort of Victorian travelogue mockumentary, except with dragons. The sequels are The Tropic of Serpents and Voyage of the Basilisk.

Sailor Moon Tarot – This set of the Major Arcana is really well done.

Crab Centipede – This shellfish arrangement would be the BEST centerpiece for a Halloween party. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

Night Terrors – Indiegogo campaign for an augmented reality horror game that uses your phone to make the action seem to be happening in your own house.

Gardens with a Magickal Theme – Suggestions for witchy plantings.

Spiders vs. the Sun – From Randall Munroe’s “What If?” series. Favorite footnote: “Spiders are quantized.”

9 Terrifying Old Movies That Put Modern Horror To Shame – A roundup (on Cracked, so be prepared to get lost in a thicket of links and waste several hours). The Man Who Laughs really is creepy as hell.

Finelineworkshop – Etsy shop full of gorgeous leatherwork creations, including some of the most adorably “monstrous” storage boxes you’ll ever see. Bored Panda has a roundup of those.

Feelers – Animated typeface meant to resemble wiggly tentacles. I like the still version, but think that the animation would have to be slowed way down to be readable.

Frock Flicks – A costume movie review podcast. “Because stretch velvet isn’t historically accurate.”

Posted in Link Dump | 5 Comments »

Las Muertas

April 30th, 2015 by Cobwebs

SpringWow. Wowwowwow.

Last October, photographer Tim Tadder was inspired by artist Krisztianna’s Dia de los Muertos sculptures and decided to do a photo series of the four seasons represented by calaveras. Krisztianna painted the models’ faces and created their headdresses, and stylist Julia Reeser did their costumes. The setting for the shoot was “a stormy day over the recently wild fire scorched earth. The combination of color, destruction and foreboding storm makes a truly surreal tribute to the traditions of the Dia De Los Muertos holiday.”

The result was Las Muertas, and they are just stunningly beautiful. They’re also a phenomenal cosplay resource; although they look really intricate, similar could be assembled from carefully-chosen thrift store finds and silk flowers. I think it’s the combination of colors that make these so striking; the clothing and face paint beautifully match the seasons they represent.

It’d be fun to do a group cosplay with all of the seasons, or choose a favorite season–I vote for autumn–and make a matching couples costume.

(via Laughing Squid)

Posted in Paint It Black | No Comments »


April 29th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Cory O’Brien, who writes the marvelous Myths RETOLD, took to Twitter with a series of “quick myths.” Behold:

CINDERELLA: Some girl crashes a bunch of parties and then gets married. #quickmyths

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Girl falls in love with prince and they get married. This would not be a story except dude is ugly. #quickmyths

THE FROG PRINCE: Princess murders sassy talking frog, is rewarded with marriage. #quickmyths

EVERY FAIRYTALE: Something something something marriage. #quickmyths

PERSEPHONE IN HADES: Girl is kidnapped. Mother gets to share custody with kidnapper because of fruit. #quickmyths

APOLLO AND DAPHNE: Man sees woman. Man gets wood. Woman becomes wood. #quickmyths

THE THREE LITTLE PIGS: Three homeowners are audited for unsafe building practices. Two are eaten. #quickmyths

SNOW WHITE: Dumb girl chokes on apple, marries first guy who knows the Heimlich maneuver. #quickmyths (thanks @shannamann)

HERCULES: Dude punches every animal in the world, then dies of a wardrobe malfunction. #quickmyths

THE ODYSSEY: Dude bangs half the Mediterranean, kills the other half, then goes home to his wife. Best. Road trip. Ever. #quickmyths

THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR: Dude uses a sword and a ball of twine to kill the last surviving member of an endangered species. #quickmyths

KING MIDAS: Dude gains the ability to transmute matter into gold. Conspicuously fails to become a supervillain. #quickmyths

These definitely cut right to the heart of the myth.

There are plenty more that he didn’t cover:

MEDUSA: Priestess forsakes her vows, is punished with a really bad hairdo.

JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS: A bunch of men never stop to ask for directions.

CRONUS: Dude can’t tell the difference between a baby and a rock, winds up in a very deep hole.

Got any others? Share ’em in the comments!

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 7 Comments »

A Monster to Love

April 28th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Plush MonsterA Monster to Love is an online shop with a really great deal: For every one of their cute, huggable monsters you buy, they’ll donate one to a kid in need.

Whenever you buy a monster from A Monster to Love, we give a monster to a child who could really use a monster to love. Sometimes they are children that cannot afford a monster or a child who is in the hospital and could use a friend to hang out and snuggle with.

Their “Monster Drops” partner with children’s hospitals, shelters, and the World Relief Refugee program to bring a little monstery friendship to children who need it. Best of all, they’ve made a free pattern for their monsters available on Craftsy. You can make your own monsters to give to local kids in need, or send them to their Monster HQ in Colorado to be donated.

Geek Crafts has some great suggestions for organizing a Monster Making Party to turn out a whole heap of cuddly monsters. You can hang out with friends and make the world a slightly less-scary place at the same time.

So, buy a monster from their store–I’m partial to the crazy-eyed joie de vivre of Henry and Theo–and they’ll make a matching donation. Or make monsters of your own to give away to local kids (I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if you kept one for yourself). Either way, it’s a worthy cause. The monsters all approve.

Posted in Bittens | 1 Comment »


April 27th, 2015 by Cobwebs

In this cute animated short by the Vancouver Film School, a little ghost girl finds a teddy bear.

(Hat tip to Devries)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 2 Comments »

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