The Art of Darkness

Still Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 4

July 10th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Ghost Purse – This site is all Japanese and I have no idea if the same design is available elsewhere, but I love this little ghost trying to look menacing.

Klára Pernicová – Artist who creates interesting pieces like snail and slug headphones (which I would totally wear if they were actually for sale) and human ear hair clips (which are creepy).

Animal Lip Art – These little lipstick animals are adorable.

The D’Morte-Disney Tarot – Splendid illustration of the major arcana featuring characters from classic Disney cartoons.

7 Terrifying Video Games You Can Play for Free – A roundup.

Alice in Wonderland Birthday Party – Hostess with the Mostess showcases party ideas for people with far more time and disposable income than most of us have, but it’s still possible to crib an idea here and there. This Wonderland-themed party is pretty stinkin’ cute.

Skull Nails – Nails with skull-shaped heads. These would be a neat detail on woodworking projects.

Horse Master – “The game of horse mastery.” Free, text-based online game. I don’t care if the last game you played was “David Cronenberg and Phillip K. Dick’s Excellent Adventure,” this one is weirder and more unsettling.

This Day in Murder – A murder for every day of the year.

How to Make Origami Claws – Just in case you need to disembowel somebody during a staff meeting.

Posted in Link Dump | 5 Comments »

Still Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 3

July 9th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Spiders Are Adorable – A Tumblr chock-full of spider photos, although some are more adorable than others.

Nightmare Before Christmas Cuckoo Clock – A tad pricey, but the details are wonderful.

Laurie Lipton – Artist who draws lovely, macabre illustrations. I especially like her “Knitter of Bones” (the site is Evil Flash so the image can’t be linked to directly; it’s the bottom image here). She also has a couple of books, here and here

#YummySmiths – Smiths song titles and lyrics replaced with food. I think my favorite is “Girlfriend in a Food Coma.”

Massive Voodoo – Site devoted to the sculpting and painting of miniature models. I love this recent “Theseus and the Minotaur.”

Dinosaur Planter – Cute idea for turning toy dinosaurs into little windowsill planters.

Lost Child Prank – As with many “scare unsuspecting passersby” videos, I’m surprised somebody didn’t get punched.

Making Faces Pottery – Etsy shop with the tagline, “Aesthetically Challenged Mugs.” Sells an array of mugs, vases, and other objects featuring weird, creepy, whimsical faces.

Goth Auctions – I have no idea how reliable this site is, but the concept is interesting.

The Bells – Musician Phil Ochs set Poe’s “The Bells” to music.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Still Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 2

July 8th, 2014 by Cobwebs

8 Creepiest Places in U.S. National Parks – Some nicely atmospheric photos.

Plush Octopus Backpack – This backpack by Hello, t’is Jen is impossibly adorable.

Why Horror is Good for You – Interesting article which argues that being scared can teach positive lessons. (via xJane)

Steel Hip Design – Etsy shop full of unique (and, sadly, commensurately pricey) steampunk jewelry. I particularly like the mad scientist necklace.

The Tell-Tale Tats – Edgar Allan Poe-themed temporary tattoos.

In Extremis – Subtitled “Bodies with No Regrets,” this photography project depicts people who have died and apparently faceplanted in the process. It’s certainly…unique. (Hat tip to Sisifo)

How To Tell If You Are In A Jane Austen Novel – “You have five hundred a year. From who? Five hundred what? No one knows. No one cares. You have it. It’s yours. Every year. All five hundred of it.”

Giant Isopod Sausages – Turn a boring cocktail frank into a cute li’l isopod!

Museum Selling Viking Ships – Just in case you ever wanted your own replica Viking ship.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Still Another Week of Link Dumps

July 7th, 2014 by Cobwebs

It’s time once again to clear out the backlog in my Link Dump folder by dropping them all in your laps. This week will be nothing but Link Dumps. Brace yourselves!

Are You Afraid of Bats? – So. Stinkin’. Adorable.

Tequila Mockingbird – Book full of “cocktails with a literary twist” including “A Rum of One’s Own,” “The Count of Monte Cristal,” and “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margarita.”

“Leather Bound” Book – Easy tutorial for making a good-looking prop book.

Eeriest Abandoned Amusement Parks – A brief roundup.

Bleak Movies Coloring Book – Amusing “coloring book” which gives dark R-rated movies a positive spin for kids.

Your Organ Grinder – Etsy shop full of felted anatomical jewelry. Who wouldn’t want a gall bladder brooch?

The Artist is Going to Hell – “Vampire Jesus” explains a whole lot.

Baked in Blood – “Black Metal” cookies with names like Blood Ritual and Pervading Evil. Yum!

The Scary Ham – A very surreal anecdote by Ellen Klages.

Moody Night Scene – Neat little haunted house by I Draw Air Conditioners. (Hat tip to Sisifo)

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Night of the Walking Link Dump

July 4th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Preserved Tapeworm Necklace – The shop is called MyParasites, but aside from this single item they appear to carry nothing but generic goth-ish accessories. This is certainly shudder-worthy, though.

Penny Dreadful Animated Guides – Attractive promotional videos for the Showtime series.

Gentleman Octopus – Squee-worthy lampwork pendant featuring a very dapper cephalopod.

Academy of Villains – This is a pretty spectacular dance routine. (Hat tip to Sisifo)

Capuchin Crypt – Some nice photos of the ossuary in Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini. How is “Crypt of the Pelvis” not a Sisters of Mercy album title? (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

American Gods Coming to Starz – Neil Gaiman’s novel is being adapted as a series.

Cream and Sugar – Polymer clay sculpture of cute little tea-stealing fairies.

Paper Mache Dragon Trophy – Dan “The Monster-man” was commissioned to create a Maleficent-style dragon head trophy. It is gorgeous. Update: Apparently there was some sort of site disaster and the blog went away. The main page is still up; you can see photos of the Maleficent sculpt here.

Spooksville Bats Dress – Cute acid-green dress with a bat motif. (Hat tip to Cat)

Really Creepy Bundle – Similar to the Humble Bundle, but, y’know…creepier.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

The Wonder Room

July 3rd, 2014 by Cobwebs

Stonehenge TerrariumIntrepid commenter Sisifo pointed me to this Etsy shop full of “terrarium-style” dioramas.

As a child, artist Tony Larson was heavily influenced by the special effects of Industrial Light and Magic, Ray Harryhausen, and similar movie magicians, and grew up to create miniature “worlds of wonder” to display. His miniature vignettes are lovely little glimpses into fantasy worlds, depicting ancient ruined statues, fairy landscapes, and lost worlds.

The materials he uses are all either artificial or dried, so the landscape won’t change, but it might also be fun to do something similar with real plants. If you’re handy with polymer clay you could sculpt your own ruined towers, gravestones, ancient idols, or other interesting features. If not, pre-made miniatures abound; take a look at model train hobby sites as well as dollhouse miniature suppliers for various scales.

You can either make the miniature the focus of the piece–perhaps a temple slowly being reclaimed by the jungle–or tuck them away in the foliage to be stumbled upon; something like a dinosaur skull weathering out of the ground or a fairy staircase hidden behind a fern could suggest a much larger story that the detail only hints at.

This kind of desktop ornament would make a splendid gift, particularly if customized to the recipient’s interests. This is also a gift that can be made well in advance, since it’ll give the plants time to settle in and look more cohesive.

(Thanks, Sisifo!)

Posted in Needful Things | No Comments »

Yummy Delicious Nopes

July 2nd, 2014 by Cobwebs

Cookie Monster

Artist Christine McConnell posted a series of cookie monsters to drool over (and, as someone on the original Reddit thread put it, “to make the rest of us feel inadequate”).

I have to agree with that latter sentiment; her caption under the photo above was, “I decided to try making homemade waffle cones; Then this sorta happened…” How does something like this just “sorta happen?”

The photo series has some amazing stuff, including a 3D sugar-cookie facehugger, a Danzig birthday cake, and a cake for a Voodoo-themed party with a snake on top: The snake’s forked tongue is a double-wicked birthday candle that she made herself. Why yes, I am feeling inadequate, thanks.

One of her creations is 3D tarantula cookies: Shortbread glued together with caramel, covered in chocolate, then dusted with toasted-coconut “hair.” I think the legs would be a little tricky and prone to breakage, but the bodies are comprised of fairly simple forms: A roughly egg-shaped abdomen, crimped oval thorax, and two small teardrops of dough pressed together for the head/fangs. Those might be manageable even by Muggles, and if the legs are too brittle to work with they could be replaced with something like pipe cleaners; the main part of the cookie would still be edible.

The fanged flowers in the photo above are probably do-able too, albeit a bit of work. The “heads” are strawberries with the stems carefully cut out in a V shape, then painted with chocolate and given little icing fangs. The tentacles are most likely modeling chocolate. The rest seems to be primarily cake-crumb “dirt” and icing details. It’d probably take most of an afternoon to put together, but it’d be a heck of a centerpiece (and also fun to bring to a company pot luck). Individual flowers would be fantastic decorations for cupcakes, too.

As commenter gluon said in the thread: “Finally, a diet that works. I’m too scared to eat any of this.”

Posted in Paint It Black | 5 Comments »

Trivia Tuesday

July 1st, 2014 by Cobwebs

  1. Vincent Price’s last motion picture appearance was in this Tim Burton film.
    A) Sweeney Todd
    B) Edward Scissorhands
    C) Dark Shadows
    D) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    E) Mars Attacks
  2. Who died on Halloween 1926 from the results of an ill-timed punch to the stomach?
  3. In Labyrinth, the head Firey is voiced by the performer who also voiced this muppet.
    A) Bunsen Honeydew
    B) Grover
    C) Oscar the Grouch
    D) Elmo
    E) The Great Gonzo
  4. Complete this line: “Fair is foul and foul is fair…”
  5. “No, nor did he believe it even now. Though he looked the phantom through and through, and saw it standing before him; though he felt the chilling influence of its death-cold eyes; and marked the very texture of the folded kerchief bound about its head and chin, which wrapper he had not observed before; he was still incredulous, and fought against his senses.” What great ghost story is this description from?
    A) The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
    B) The Death of Halpin Frayser, Ambrose Bierce
    C) Afterward, Edith Wharton
    D) The Horla, Guy de Maupassant
    E) A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  6. What movie series, originally helmed by the Wayans Brothers, uses the title Wes Craven initially wanted for his slasher film, Scream?
  7. This was H.P. Lovecraft’s favorite author, to whom he once referred as “my god of fiction.”
    A) M.R. James
    B) Algernon Blackwood
    C) Edgar Allan Poe
    D) Walter de la Mare
    E) Clark Ashton Smith
  8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer occasionally made favorable reference to this woman-warrior TV series, which returned the favor by mentioning a play titled “Buffus the Bacchae Slayer” in one episode.
  9. This comedy/thriller short film was Sam Raimi’s first directing work; it also co-stars his future regular collaborator Bruce Campbell.
    A) It’s Murder!
    B) Easy Wheels
    C) A Simple Plan
    D) Crimewave
    E) Darkman
  10. Perhaps best known for her short story, “The Lottery,” this author turned out many creepy classics including The Sundial, The Haunting of Hill House, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle

(Answers below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Whatever | 2 Comments »

Tim Burton’s “Hansel and Gretel”

June 30th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Here’s one of the reasons I really love the internet: Nothing is ever truly lost.

Back in 1983, when Tim Burton was working in Disney’s animation department, he directed a live-action Japanese adaptation of Hansel and Gretel for the Disney Channel. It aired exactly once, on Halloween, and was promptly shelved (ostensibly because Disney execs didn’t appreciate the “twisted” subject matter). According to Wikipedia, “prints of the film are extremely difficult to locate, fueling rumors that the project did not exist.”

And…here it is. This appears to have been transferred from videotape, so presumably some home viewer happened to tape it the single time it aired and eventually converted it to digital. Awesome.

(Hat tip to Pixel Pixie for the very cool find)

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

The Texas Link Dump Massacre

June 27th, 2014 by Cobwebs

NailSpin – Etsy store specializing in nail decals, including some neat spooky designs like vintage movie monsters and Poe. (via Spooky Moon)

Legends of Cthulhu – This Kickstarted set of retro-look Lovecraftian action figures is marvelous.

Online Papier Mache Workshops – Scott Stoll, papier mache artist extraordinaire, is offering an online course (he also teaches a meatspace class in Michigan).

White Lines on a Green Field – Fun “magical realism” short by Catherynne M. Valente. (Hat tip to Sisifo)

As You Wish – Cary Elwes has published a book about the making of The Princess Bride.

Dracula Untold – Upcoming movie exploring Dracula’s backstory.

Spider Dance – Ballet dancer Milena Sidorova “becomes” a spider.

Digital Periodicals – Hic Dragones is releasing old penny dreadfuls like Varney the Vampyre as serialized e-books.

Things to Do with Cremains – List of unusual things to do with someone’s ashes besides just sticking ‘em in an urn.

Warning: Possible Goth Triggers – A Tumblr of goth wonderfulness. This one made me giggle. (via Pixel Pixie)

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

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