The Art of Darkness

Oh No! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps! Day 4

October 29th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Halloween Ghost Meringues – These fluffy little ghosts are cute as cookies, but would also look nice massed on top of a cake.

Not-your-grandma’s Vampire – An excellent rant on “modern” vampires.

Halloween Playlist – Shudder, the new streaming movie service, has put together a spooky Halloween music playlist on Spotify.

Googly Eye Monster Costume – This dress is certainly…arresting.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Room Service – A review of the Harry Potter-themed rooms in London’s Georgian House Hotel. There are some good suggestions for decorating in a subtly Potteresque style.

Tiny Hamster’s Halloween – We all need more trick-or-treating rodents in our life.

NMBC Decorating – Some fairly ambitious interior decorating featuring papier-mache(?) sculptures and black light. (Hat tip to Fiend4Halloween)

Skull Shotglass – These crystal shotglasses with a skull interior make “name your poison” particularly appropriate.

Boo-Boos – Adhesive bandages that make small scrapes look like horrible injuries.

Edward Scissorhands Palette – Sugar Pill has a limited-edition makeup collection inspired by the film.

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Oh No! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps! Day 3

October 28th, 2015 by Cobwebs

10 Gods of Death, Destruction, and the Underworld – A roundup. I’m not sure how you’d rank death gods, frankly. (via pdq)

Haunted Halloween Party – Shared mainly for the great eyeball cake pops.

Claw Mark Cupcakes – The tutorial suggests “blood” made from glucose syrup, but I suspect you could do this with strained raspberry jam, too.

Glass Symphony – Etsy shop specializing in lampworked glass figures, including gorgeous spiders, scorpions, octopi, and even rats.

Halloween with Liz Climo – Cute little cartoons of animals dressing in costume. The narwhal one makes me happy.

Halloween Saints – Sam – Cult of the Great Pumpkin is introducing a series of “Halloween Saints” art prints and T-shirts. So far they have Sam from Trick ‘r Treat, Mr. Dark from Something Wicked This Way Comes, Billy Butcherson from Hocus Pocus, Moundshroud from The Halloween Tree, and Sammi Curr from Trick or Treat.

Squash Confit Recipe – This squash with a brown-butter pecan sauce looks very Halloweeny paired with black (squid-ink) pasta.

Bat-Winged Heart – The perfect origami pattern to give to a spooky loved one.

Halloween Wreath Tutorial – EPBOT has a DIY Halloween wreath that features flowers with eyeball centers. You could also just make some of the eye-flowers and arrange them in a vase.

Weight Watchers Recipe Cards – Someone found a stash of recipe cards from 1974. The commentary is dynamite, and you could probably design a fairly horrific Halloween party menu around these suckers. (Hat tip to Empress Pam)

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Oh No! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps! Day 2

October 27th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Monster House – An artist transformed her parents’ house for Halloween. If we get started now, maybe we could pull this off by next year.

Candy Corn Cake – There isn’t much in the way of a recipe or tutorial, but the three-layer design is pretty and could be adapted to your own favorite cake recipe.

Dermestid Beetles in Action – KQED’s Deep Look has a cool article on how museums use Dermestid beetles to strip the flesh from carcasses.

Atelier Nostalgia – Good resource for historic costume, with helpful advice on things like achieving a proper Edwardian silhouette. (via Charlyn)

DIY Light-up Skull – EPBOT has a great tutorial for turning a cheap skull prop into a steampunky item with glowy eyes.

Cat Purse – Nicely-detailed handmade leather purse in the shape of a black cat’s head. The same shop has a number of other interesting leather items as well. (Hat tip to Fiend4Halloween)

Trick or Treat Bags – Ravelry crochet pattern for cute little skully bags. The design could be adapted for a shawl or other item.

Dark Books Magic Library – Huge collection of books on magic and the occult.

Let’s Talk About Horror In Art – A look at the extraordinarily unsettling sculptures of artist Sarah Sitkin. (Hat tip to Bruno)

Mummy Cookies – Edible googly eyes make everything better.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Oh No! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps!

October 26th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Crivens. Another week of nothing but links. Let’s think of this set as “a special treat for Halloween week” instead of “Cobwebs was too busy for more substantial content.” Yes, that sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Spider Web Cupcakes – Super-easy method for topping cupcakes with tufts of cobwebby cotton candy.

Halloween Manicure – A ouija board on one hand and spooky imagery on the other. There’s another shot here.

Scary Paintings from Art History – A roundup, with amusing captions.

Butcherei – Profile of a Berlin leather shop which specializes in kink couture. (via Bill)

9 Celebrities Reciting “The Raven” – Christopher Walken, James Earl Jones, Vincent Price, William Shatner(!), and others. (via Pixel Pixie)

New NMBC Clothing Line – Hot Topic has launched Yet Another line of clothing based on Nightmare Before Christmas. The Jack Skellington print fabric is cute. (via Linda)

Selfie from Hell – Short horror video which illustrates the dangers of taking selfies. The plot reminds me a bit of Stephen King’s “Sun Dog.”

GraveDigger Candles – Beeswax candles cast from real human vertebrae.

Death and the Afterlife – Interesting-looking “chronology” of death and the afterlife, covering everything from golems to quantum resurrection. BoingBoing has a short review and sample pages here.

Mini Monster Cakes – This is one of those, “cute in theory, WAY too much work in practice” items that might be worth it if you don’t mind spending an afternoon covered in icing.

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Crimson Link Dump

October 23rd, 2015 by Cobwebs

Poison Apple Sugar Cookies – Great-looking cookies styled like Snow White’s poisoned apple.

Vampires are Immortal, Right? – The last line is the name of my next band. (via Pixel Pixie)

Evil Supply Co. – Evil paper products. I like this inspirational message. They also have merit badges.

Halloween at High Noon – High Noon Records has released their annual compilation of creepy tracks. Cult of the Great Pumpkin has a review and links.

Crocheted Animal Skeletons – Artist Caitlin T. McCormack crochets creepy, misshapen animal skeletons. (Hat tip to Frances)

Frankenstein – xkcd just saved everybody a lot of trouble.

Time Bandits TV Series – Terry Gilliam may (possibly) (perhaps) be working on a TV series based on the film.

Zombie Mouth Cupcake – Instructions for making absolutely disgusting-looking cupcakes.

Frostbeard Studio – Candles for book lovers, some of which have literature-themed scents (“Gatsby’s Mansion,” “Cliffs of Insanity,” “The Shire”) and some of which are supposed to evoke the actual smell of old books.

Benze – Artist who creates lovely, intricate line drawings. (via Beans)

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Yet More Stuff I Found While Looking Around

October 22nd, 2015 by Cobwebs

It’s time for another bunch of random stuff I want to share but can’t 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.)

Cat Rump Coasters

Cat Rump Coasters

These crocheted coasters are by Gray Matter Artistry. Put your mug on a cat’s ass today!

Save the Date

Magic: The Gathering Save the Date Cards

From Reddit. You could theme a whole wedding around this concept.

Bat Treat

Bat Party Treat

This simple party snack idea is part of a larger bat-themed party.

Garden Loom

Garden Loom

This was on a Wiccan-y site with the caption “weave a spell.” I can’t find the original attribution for this image, but the idea is similar to this nature weaving project. It’d be an interesting addition to a garden, with or without the spellcraft component.

Eyeball Manicure

Eyeball Manicure

I can’t find the source for this particular design, but it turns out that eyeball fingernails are surprisingly popular. There’s a video tutorial for a basic design.

Spider Skull

Spider Skull

Found here. This would be super-easy to do with bumpy chenille stems and a cheap plastic skull.

Barbie Funeral

Barbie Funeral

I think that what I love most about this is that they’re all vintage Barbies. The watermark says “P. Schmidlin,” there’s a “Paolo Schmidlin” who shows up on Pinterest associated with Barbies a lot, but he doesn’t seem to have a website so whatever. Doesn’t matter; if you’ve got some old Barbies hanging around, now you know what to do with ’em. (Hat tip to Kitten Herder)

Ghost Facts

Halloween Jokes

I can’t find an original source for this. It made me giggle. (via Beth)

Mrs. Lovett's Pies

Mrs. Lovett’s Pies

Dahlia Jane made these using “Super Sculpey and liquitex paint and fingers.”

Skull Cupcakes

Skull-and-Brain Cupcakes

These are apparently a kit, available (in theory) from Amazon and World Market. You could also use the Nomskulls mold and ice a brain on top.

Snake Squash

Snake Squash

I love that this Instructable says it was inspired by Calvin & Hobbes’ snowmen. That’s an excellent pedigree.

Jack Skellington Dress

Jack Skellington Dress

This is a custom job by Nez of Darkspectre Custom Couture. Browse the site and her Facebook page for all kinds of other gorgeous creations.

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This Year’s Costumes

October 21st, 2015 by Cobwebs

Delorean Console

In 1985, Marty McFly and Doc Brown went to the “future” of October 21, 2015. Today is Back to the Future Day, baby.

Weirdly, despite having been born a good 20 years after the movie was made, Shadowboy and his best friend are both huge BTTF fans. It goes without saying that this year they wanted to go as Marty and Doc Brown. And this is the year that it finally happened: Shadowboy broke my heart and requested a costume consisting entirely of premade clothing. (He came close a couple of years ago, when he was the 11th Doctor, but at least I was able to make his tweed jacket by hand. This year…bupkis.)

Fortunately I was able to console myself with Shadowboy’s friends: His best friend wanted the “future” version of Doc Brown rather than the white coverall worn in the first movie, and Shadowboy’s other friend, for whom I traditionally also make a costume, announced that she wanted to be a frog. (She resisted any suggestion of something that would tie in with the other costumes, such as a poodle skirt, but such is life.)

For the pieces of Marty’s costume I tried to be reasonably screen-accurate. In the movie, Marty wears a red T-shirt layered under a Tattersall shirt, a jean jacket, and the iconic orange vest. I happened to get Shadowboy a Hill Valley High T-shirt as a gift for his birthday, and realized that it was the right color for the costume. So even though you’ll never see the lettering, we know it’s an authentic BTTF item. The Tattersall shirt was a cheap number from Amazon, found after comparing Tattersall patterns until my eyes crossed. After scouring thrift stores for a jean jacket with no luck, I happened to remember that I had an ancient one stuffed in a closet. So that’s an honest-to-goodness vintage 80s piece, brought 30 years into the future the hard way. The vest was from Land’s End, another birthday gift (Shadowboy had a very BTTF-heavy birthday, at his request; he even got some Calvin Klein underwear). The jeans were…y’know…jeans. The sneakers were sneakers. I’m really mad about not being able to make any pieces of this costume, you guys.

Doc Brown’s costume was a mid-80s stab at what 2015 fashion would look like. I’m not sure if I’m sad that they were wrong or not. He wore a long jacket, matching short pants, a Hawaiian shirt, and a transparent necktie (which only shows up in publicity photos because it’s really hard to photograph).

The shirt was Simplicity 4760, with the pockets omitted. I couldn’t find a fabric pattern that matched the one in the film, so I just picked an appropriately garish one. The jacket was a modified nightshirt from the McCall McCall’s M5992 pattern. The pants were McCall M6973, lengthened by several inches. The necktie was made freehand with clear vinyl and swearing. The wig was a costume-shop Mad Scientist’s Wig (I wonder what Einstein would think about his hairstyle being shorthand for “mad scientist”) and the glasses were a serendipitous discovery in Shadowboy’s toys; they were included in a novelty coloring book that was supposed to be “3D.”

And then there was the frog. I spent weeks scratching my head, trying to figure out something that said “frog” that was not a shapeless one-piece green overall thing. Shadowboy and his friend had a couple of years where their costumes were all overall-type things and I swore a blood oath to never make another one. Whilst I was haunting fabric stores to pore over their pattern catalogs, I’d occasionally see fabric that struck me as froglike and would buy a yard just in case.

I finally decided that my best option was a costume that looked like a frog sitting on a lily pad. The main part of the dress was Simplicity 2817, with a bodice and sleeves made of different material. I welded that to the “petals” from Simplicity 1305, half of which used the same fabric as the sleeves. I also made a little Kermit-the-frog-style neckpiece using much smaller petals.

The underskirt was tulle in a seafoam-green made from Simplicity 1122, which gave the skirt some bulk and made it look like a floaty lilypad. The headpiece was made freehand by attaching some stiff cardboard to a headband, blanket-stitching green felt to cover the cardboard, then gluing on some oversized googly eyes I found at a craft store. I completed the look with green striped tights.

My sewing room is covered in glitter and I’m still picking bits of tulle out of the serger, but overall I’m quite pleased at the results of my labors. Here are a couple more photos of the trio: Sitting, Standing.

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Audience Participation

October 20th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Since we’re sneaking up on Halloween, this seems like a good time to do one of those open-up-the-floor-to-the-readers posts. Here are some spooooooky questions for you to answer in the comments. Or don’t. See if I care. Jerk.

1) What’s the creepiest thing that’s ever happened to you?

2) Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not? (Also, how do you feel about UFOs, astral projection, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster and the theory of Atlantis?)

3) What’s your worst fear?

4) What’s the scariest book you’ve ever read/movie you’ve ever watched?

5) What’s your favorite Halloween candy?

Posted in Whatever | 6 Comments »

Tim Burton Zoetrope Cake

October 19th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Food artist Alexandre Dubosc created an edible zoetrope as an homage to Tim Burton.

There are “making of” photos here.

Dubosc did another caketrope recently, this one a playful pairing of popcorn and pop culture.

(via Geyser of Awesome)

Posted in Paint It Black | 1 Comment »

The Good, the Bad, and the Link Dump

October 16th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Haunted Dollhouse – Gorgeously detailed miniature dollhouse full of creepy items.

Cthuvian Ipsum Generator – Lorem ipsun generator based on H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. (via Jan)

The Immaculate Pumpkin – Splendid Halloween take on the standard “heart of Mary” imagery.

Harry Potter Lipsticks – There’s a new line of Potter-themed lipsticks, some of which are quite attractive.

Art of Will Pigg – Illustrations and gorgeously intricate laser-cut paper silhouettes. I like the Snape/Lily and Sleeping Beauty ones especially.

Crying Candles – Candleholders with eyeholes that cause them to “cry” wax. The skull candleholder with the brain-shaped candle is particularly striking.

Cast That First Stone with the Jesus Slingshot – What would Jesus shoot?

RPF – With the tagline “craft your fandom,” the Replica Props Forum is a fantastic resource for props, costumes, and models from entertainment media.

The Ultimate Deck – Playing cards, each featuring a different, macabre, painting.

Red Velvet Pudding with Meringue Bones – Fun idea for party food.

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