The Art of Darkness

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 »

Seven Deadly Sins Mosaic

June 26th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Notre Dame Mosaic

If you’ve been looking for a new cross-stitch or similar artwork idea, check these out. The fogbound site recently posted this set of images taken at the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière in Lyon, France. They’re mosaics representing the seven deadly sins, plus an additional reptilian critter with the legend Vade Retro Satana (“Get thee behind me, Satan”).

There’s a set of photos of the same mosaics (minus the Satan one) on Wikimedia Commons; the resolution is a little higher on those, but the colors seem a bit washed out.

These would be splendid patterns for cross-stitch, beading, or (if you’re particularly ambitious) quilting. There are several online converters which will translate photographs into patterns: MyPhotoStitch, Pic 2 Pat, PictureCraftwork, and Stitchboard will all allow you to upload a photo for conversion, either for free or (if the stitch count is above a certain size) for a small fee. You can google “cross stitch pattern converter” for others.

A set of cross-stitched sins would look great on framed a wall or even used to decorate throw pillows. You could also choose your favorite sin to decorate everything from book covers to pocket patches.

Posted in Resources | 2 Comments »

Stuff I Found While Looking Around

June 25th, 2014 by Cobwebs

As usual, here’s a bunch of images I’ve run across which I want to share but might not be able to 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.)

Burned Paper Nails

Burnt Paper Nails

This is a great-looking, fairly easy, nail treatment. Instructions are here.
Addams Eggs

Addams Family Easter Eggs

From Super Goody Bag. I unfortunately didn’t see these until after Easter, but you can bet I’ll be doing them next year.
Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

All roads lead to Pinterest on this one, so I can’t tell you who the originator was. It’s funny and shouldn’t require much skill to pull off.
Dust Bunny Bat

Stuffed Bat

This is a “Dust Bunny” art doll. There are lots more here and in the artist’s Flickr stream, but this one is my favorite.
Taxidermy Underwear

Taxidermunmentionables

Oh, look; it’s part of a set.
Dia de los Muertos Cake

Dia de los Muertos Cake

This was done by Bleeding Heart Bakery. The color is gorgeous.
Cobra Boots

Cobra Boots

I…got nothing.
Necronomicon Costume

Necronomicon Costume

This is by Alessandro Piva and was shot at the World Bodypainting Festival 2009 in Seeboden, Austria. There’s a closeup of the face here.
Please Wake Up

Please Wake Up

Originally seen in Weird Tales‘ Facebook feed. I just sort of liked this.
Star Cloak

Star Cloak

This gorgeous thing is by costumer Fairytas, whose site is getting a makeover. In the meantime, you can check out her Facebook page.
Poe Nails

Poe Nails

I can’t find the original artist so can’t give credit. The effect is really cute.
Shirtless Vincent Price

Shirtless Vincent Price

This is here because everybody should occasionally be reminded that Vincent Price was really hot.

Posted in Whatever | 2 Comments »

Canary Suicides

June 24th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Canary SuicideThe Canary Suicides (a.k.a. “Tiny Demises”) are a series of assemblage pieces by artist/taxidermist Catherine Coan. They’re macabre little dioramas featuring suicidal canaries, and each contains “money, a suicide note, a pet owned by the resident canary, and unique surprises.”

They’re marvelously detailed, with loads of miniatures setting the scene, each housed in a vintage-y birdcage which complements the interior. (The canaries, incidentally, while real, are birds which have died of natural causes, obtained from a reliable breeder.) One of my favorites is Contact, which tells a whole story with just a few details.

There are a few pieces in the gallery still for sale, and she also does commissions. There’s no mention of pricing, so I have no idea how much of a splurge a dead canary of your very own might be.

Coan also has a Facebook page where she shares lots of amusing stuff, including some of her non-canary taxidermy. I adore her You Are Unique in All the World hyrax.

Posted in Needful Things | 1 Comment »

Pockets

June 23rd, 2014 by Cobwebs

“I’ll hold your stuff.”

(Hat tip to pdq)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 2 Comments »

Attack of the Killer Link Dump

June 20th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Spoiler Alert – A roundup of horror movies with twist endings.

Roots – Gorgeous ceiling light made of pewter wire. (Hat tip to Sisifo)

Dracula’s Grave Discovered – Or, as the Roadtrippers site phrased it, “Researchers finally discover, plan to open Dracula’s grave. We’re all going to die.”

Skull-a-Day Kickstarter – Noah Scalin is publishing a book of his 365 original Skull-a-Day pieces.

The Parasitological Museum of Meguro – There’s a museum in Japan devoted to parasites. I don’t recommend viewing these images if you’re snacking. (Hat tip to pdq)

WaterstonesOxfordSt – The Twitter feed of this bookseller is a surreal delight; Failbook captures a typical set of tweets.

Bejeweled Skull Cakes – I’ve mentioned Conjurer’s Kitchen previously; these cakes made to look like the relics of saints are just astonishing.

Yetis and Friends – Etsy store full of adorable plush mounted Yeti trophy heads.

Midnight Planetarium – Gorgeous wristwatch depicting planetary motion. I don’t even want to guess what this costs.

Cinder – SF-ish take on Cinderella, in which the heroine is a cyborg. There are two sequels so far: Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood), and Cress (Rapunzel).

Posted in Link Dump | 4 Comments »

Design Your Middle-Earth Heraldic Device

June 19th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Herald of LuthienAs someone whose relationship with Tolkien tends to be on the casual side* it’s easy to forget just how rich and detailed his mythology and history actually are. Then I discover that not only did Tolkien create heraldic devices for many of his characters, he even laid out the rules (formulated by “the Elves”) for designing new ones.

The Council of Elrond discusses how to design a woman’s device, with the main points being:

  • It must be circular
  • The background is generally black
  • It usually contains a flower which has special significance to the bearer
  • There can be a mark which identifies the bearer’s family (such as a detail from the family coat of arms)
  • The number of points touching the edge of the field relates to the bearer’s rank

The Tolkiensällskapet Forodrim site has a detailed article on Middle-Earth emblems and heraldry; the rules for men don’t seem to be quite as cut-and-dried as for women, other than that it should be lozenge-shaped and you need to pay attention to the number of points touching the edge. There are additional examples at the Tolkien Gateway wiki, and you can also look at sites devoted to “real” heraldry for ideas on color choices, placement of charges, and so on.

If you can draw or have access to a computer graphics program, this would be an interesting way to create your own unique “brand.” Once you have a design you like, it could be used as a pattern for all sorts of craft projects: Quilts, wall hangings, cross-stitch, personalized stationery, painted fabric, and lots more. (And, obviously, if you’re into LOTR cosplay, embroider the design on a cloak or paint it on your shield.)

Couple of bonus links from the Council of Elrond site: Planning the Middle-earth Wedding and Gardens of Middle-earth, which has a bunch of theme garden ideas (including one representing Mordor).


*Saruman and Sauron should have had less-similar names. The Two Towers could have been replaced with a pamphlet saying, “They rode and rode and rode and rode….” The Silmarillion is a loooooong way across. That sort of casual.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 2 Comments »

Modern Curses

June 18th, 2014 by Cobwebs

CurseThe Toast has an amusing list of modern curses that you can yell the next time somebody cuts you off in traffic.

A few of them aren’t really “modern” in that they’d work in pretty much any day and age:

May you achieve just enough success to keep you from giving up and finding satisfaction elsewhere, but never enough success to truly relax.

May everyone you lend books to return them unread or keep them forever.

Many of them are technology-dependent:

Whenever you want to watch either Working Girl or 9 To 5, may the other one always be the only one streaming on Netflix Instant.

May none of your friends take your food allergy seriously; may they always pretend to forget just before serving you something you’ve told them you can’t possibly eat.

I think this one is my favorite:

May you never be understood in the comments.

Many commenters have contributed suggestions of their own, and some of them are lethal:

May the username you chose in 1997 because no one else had it (no numbers after your name!) and have had ever since, which you use on all social media and your personal email, become the name of a hate group, a boy band, or a reality show.
– Vera_Knoop

May your google image search results (for anything, and everything) always include a photo with holes and pods.
– omg_kitties

And commenter Elsa is Emily rejoined with a list of modern benedictions:

May your readers always know that you keen out not an indictment but the common anxieties between you.

May your wifi never waver, nor your bars drop below four.

May your co-workers understand the mundane truth that “It is what it is,” but never give you a plaque inscribed with those words in the Secret Santa swap.

May the world be large enough to accommodate your idiosyncratic passions, and small enough to find others who do.

I can think of a few other curses too:
“May your Save function always fail.”
“May your boss stumble upon your Twitter feed.”
“May online dating sites pair you repeatedly with your ex.”
“May you be logged out of eBay just as you go to place a last-minute bid.”
“May you accidentally hit Reply All.”

Got any others? Leave ‘em in the comments!

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 4 Comments »

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