The Art of Darkness

Fun with Cockroaches

April 8th, 2015 by Cobwebs

When I was cleaning out a closet recently I ran across a package of rubber cockroaches that I picked up at some post-Halloween clearance and decided to put ’em to use. This project is pretty much the ultimate in “last-minute,” since you only need three things: Fake cockroaches, small magnets, and something to stick one to the other.

Supplies Fake cockroaches are widely available at party-supply stores around Halloween, but you can also get them online. If cockroaches aren’t really your bag, this project would work well with plastic spiders or other lightweight creepy-crawlies.

You’ll need two small magnets for each roach. I used these little round guys, but you could also get flexible magnetic tape and cut it to the desired size.

Now you just need something to stick ’em together. I used a hot-glue gun, but just about any adhesive should work. (I guess you could also save yourself a step and use self-adhesive magnets.)

Roach with Magnet

Turn each roach over and glue a magnet to its underside. Let dry.

Boom. Done. That’s the entire amount of work required for this project.

Roaches on Lampshade Now to have fun with them. Place the roach on a lampshade or curtain, and stick the second magnet behind it on the other side. The magnets will hold the roach in place, so it looks like it’s crawling around by itself.

The magnets will also hold the roaches on any metal surface, so arrange several crawling around on the refrigerator too.

If you’ve got leftover bugs, you can:

  • Glue thumbtacks to their undersides and use them as pushpins on a bulletin board
  • Glue them to a bar clasp or a tie tack and accessorize.
  • If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you could also attach them to a necklace (source). In this particular case I doubt that glue would be strong enough; the rubber that the roaches are made from is fairly soft, so your best bet would probably be to poke a hole through their underside with a big needle and thread embroidery floss or thin wire through the hole. Use that to tie each roach onto the necklace.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 3 Comments »

Trivia Tuesday

April 7th, 2015 by Cobwebs

  1. Although not as famous as Nessie, the lake monster Ogopogo has plenty of fans. The critter allegedly makes its home in Okanagan Lake, in which country?
  2. In the “Mecha-Streisand” episode of South Park, this goth music legend voiced an animated version of himself; he engages the evil Barbra Streisand in a giant robot battle and saves the world from her tyranny.
    A) Peter Murphy
    B) Andrew Eldritch
    C) Robert Smith
    D) Nick Cave
    E) Ian Curtis
  3. Armin Shimerman, who played Principal Snyder on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, also played which character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine?
  4. Which of the following locations gained fame as “the most haunted house in England”?
    A) Raynham Hall
    B) Woodchester Mansion
    C) Chillingham Castle
    D) Salmesbury Hall
    E) Borley Rectory
  5. What is the license plate of the Ghostbusters’ vehicle?
  6. The Monster in Young Frankenstein was accidentally given an “abby normal” brain instead of the brain belonging to whom?
    A) Friedrich Wöhler
    B) Hans Delbrück
    C) Karl Stetter
    D) Gottfried Leibniz
    E) Julius Plücker
  7. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are War, Famine, Death, and Pestilence. In Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens Pestilence retired in 1936, “muttering about penicillin,” and was replaced by whom?
  8. One of the most famous cases of purported past life regression is that of Virginia Tighe, who claimed to recall a past life as a 19th century Irish woman named what?
    A) Mary Reilly
    B) Fiona Shaw
    C) Nora Barnacle
    D) Bridey Murphy
    E) Kate O’Brien
  9. Who lives at 1313 Mockingbird Lane?
  10. In the novel Dracula, which of these vampire-hunters doesn’t survive until the end of the book? (Um, spoiler alert for a 115-year-old novel, I guess.)
    A) Jonathan Harker
    B) Arthur Holmwood
    C) John Seward
    D) Abraham Van Helsing
    E) Quincey Morris

(Answers below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Trivia | 4 Comments »

Pearl, the Ascended Squirrel

April 6th, 2015 by Cobwebs

I was going to try and write some kind of summary explaining this whole thing, but the more I think about it, I don’t think it’s possible to explain this whole thing. Best to just let it exist in its own little pocket of weirdness.

Check out the whole channel, featuring gems such as Proper Opossum Psychic Services and Proper Possercising: Prancercise for Possums, as well as the ME Pearl website. And then sit there with your mouth slightly open, wondering what the hell you just watched.

(Hat tip to pdq)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 3 Comments »

Mysteries of the Unseen Link Dump

April 3rd, 2015 by Cobwebs

Princeless – Comic series about a princess who can save her own darn self.

Medusa – Arresting knitted cap. There’s no pattern for this one, but Ravelry has one that’s fairly similar.

Steampunk Easter Eggs – Attractive DIY from EPBOT. There’s still time to make these if you hurry.

#VeryRealisticYA – “The two teens saving the world are not romantically attracted to each other.” “Hot immortal vampire/werewolf/magical dude doesn’t go to high school because WHY WOULD YOU.”

Cool Places to Buy Weird Shit in Los Angeles – A helpful roundup for locals, but several places have online presences so the rest of us can play along.

Horror-Themed Easter Eggs – A little heavy on the zombies, but the NMBC-themed ones are cute.

Cave Evil – Review of an interesting-sounding board game. (Beware: Page suffers from “spooky” = “hard to read” syndrome.)

Medieval Game Room – This game room was decorated to look like a Medieval European tavern, and there are some really nice details.

25 Animal Hybrids That Will Give you Nightmares – Yes, it’s clickbait; yes, it was probably ripped off from some Worth1000 contest; yes, pretty much everyone who reads this site, instead of having nightmares, would adopt most of these photoshopped beasts as pets. But at least everything is on one page instead of being a slideshow and the Batypus is pretty cute.

Afraid – I love the Savage Chickens.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Ticket Stub Fabric

April 2nd, 2015 by Cobwebs

Ticket Stub PillowsThis is a neat, fairly simple way to commemorate a favorite concert or similar memento: Scan them, upload the images to Spoonflower, and print them out on fabric.

Redditor Sunflower_Fortunado posted some that her mother had turned into throw pillows, and noted in the comments that her mom had used the service previously to make kitchen towels out of a handwritten recipe and given them as gifts.

Someone else in the comments suggested making a quilt, which is a neat idea but could get expensive if you custom-printed a lot of different tickets. A repeat print of a single ticket would be interesting fabric for a dress or shirt, too.

If you’ve saved ticket stubs from a special occasion, this would make a really thoughtful gift; one of the other thread commenters said that his wife still had the movie tickets from their first date, and he was going to have fabric made from them.

Throw pillows require minimal sewing skills, so even a novice should have no trouble turning out an attractive, very personalized, decorating accessory.

Posted in Bad Things | 4 Comments »

The Gentleman’s Single-Use Monocle

April 1st, 2015 by Cobwebs

Bear with me, because this sounds like an April Fool’s prank but in fact is not.

Zach Weinersmith, creator of the webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, currently has a Kickstarter project for The Gentleman’s Single-Use Monocle. It’s a simple visual joke, the punchline being that it’s not a condom.

Although we have worked hard to keep the price low, we have also taken care to make sure the monocle is of a better quality than the cheap ones you usually see in novelty shops. Our monocle is mostly plastic, with a metal chain that gives it a pleasant jingle, and color choices that give it a realistic look. The monocle itself is very durable and would be a fine addition to a cosplay costume.

Its wrapper has a clear back so you can show it off without opening it, but he also plans to sell them in multipacks in case you use them. It’d be a mildly amusing addition to a steampunky cosplay ensemble, but if they can be bulk-purchased cheaply enough I’m thinking they’d also be an excellent promotional freebie for vendors at conventions to hand out.

Here’s his Kickstarter video:

This might seem like a simple attempt to cash in on the popularity of steampunk, but if you go over to his site and read the promo ad you’ll see the real reason he’s doing this: “Please do your part to make me right and my wife wrong.”

The Kickstarter runs through April 15.

Posted in Needful Things | 2 Comments »

“Modern Ten Plagues” Manicure

March 31st, 2015 by Cobwebs

Ten Modern PlaguesThis nail art is six levels of meta. It’s a riff on the biblical Ten Plagues of Egypt, only updated with “modern” plagues. Some of them, like, anti-vaxxers and gun violence, are sound choices; others, like NFL scandals, are a bit more…niche. (I do like the hazmat suit and the drippy blood, though.)

This made me wonder if nail art featuring the original Ten Plagues was a thing, and of COURSE it is. The same business responsible for the Modern Plagues nails, Midrash Manicures, actually sells decals depicting cow skulls, googly-eyed flies, and phlegmatic-looking frogs. A quick google also turns up some neat freehand versions like this one at 10 Blank Canvases and these (found at Marjorie Ingall).

Incidentally, Midrash Manicures has done different “modern plagues” for the past few years; you can see the whole collection here. I’m not sure why iPhones qualify as a plague, but whatever.

Passover begins April 3 and Easter is on April 5, so there’s still time to paint your nails with cutesy little reminders of divine horrors.

Bonus links: If you just can’t get enough plaguey goodness, check out the Ten Plagues Hand Puppets, Masks of the Ten Plagues, and the brilliant Passover Bag of Plagues.

(via Amber Dawn)

Posted in Paint It Black | 1 Comment »

Disney Death Metal

March 30th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Musician Andy Rehfeldt did this marvelous original arrangement of Mary Poppins singing death metal. It is a thing of beauty.

Apparently metal covers of Disney songs are fairly popular. Aggressive Comix has a roundup.

(via Spooky Moon)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

Duck! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 5

March 27th, 2015 by Cobwebs

That’s all the links for this week. Regular posting (and once-a-week Link Dumps) return Monday.

Door of Durin – Redditor Eclipse_007 built a light-up “Mines of Moria” door for his home theater.

The Haunted Studio – Lewis Barrett Lehrman, “The Painter of Dark,” will paint a custom “haunted” version of your house. He also sells prints of other haunts he’s painted. I like this one.

Apocalypticon – A comedic post-apocalypse novel with a plot that sounds a little like Zombieland.

The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief – Free knitting pattern for an attractive vintage-y kerchief/shawl.

boom-art – Has limited-edition skateboards and surfboards featuring images like the “Maiden and the Unicorn” tapestry and Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights.” Some images are NSFW, so beware.

The Axolotl Song – Any song that manages to work, “neotenic” into a lyric is okay by me. Also axolotls. (via Anna)

Anti-Suffrage Postcards – This isn’t really goth, but occasionally it’s nice to realize that progress toward justice actually happens sometimes.

Pigeon Stories – Amusing Instagram account which explores the hidden lives of London pigeons.

Model Maze from The Shining – Adam Savage built a lovely model replica of the Overlook Hotel’s maze. I’m a little sorry it isn’t snow-covered. (Update: Savage has now published build notes.)

Creepy Art – Tumblr of “creepy art” with one of the most irritating backgrounds I’ve ever encountered. Anyway, this photo by Rachel Baran is neat.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Duck! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 4

March 26th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Mermaid Lapghan – Instructions for crocheting a cute “mermaid tail” lap blanket.

Gillian Anderson as Morticia Addams – Anderson posed as Morticia for an US Magazine photo shoot in 1997. How peculiar.

Canis Mortuus Familiaris – Artist Jeremy Dower has a series of illustrations featuring ghostly, monstrous dogs. There are ostensibly more at his site, but since it’s all Flash-based it can’t be linked to directly.

Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook – A Discworld-inspired cookbook.

Anton LaVey Blackhouse Photographs – Some photos of the interior of the Church of Satan HQ in San Francisco. I rather like the octopus mural.

Spaghetti Toes – An artist illustrates some of his three-year-old daughter’s more memorable expressions.

(S)Edition – Wonderful art installation featuring mushrooms with bookish caps.

To Be or Not to Be – There’s a “choose your own adventure” version of Hamlet. Huh.

balderdash! – Webcomic with the subtitle, “or, a tale of two witches.” io9 discusses it briefly here.

Give Out the Coolest Candy on the Block – A roundup of interesting candy available on Etsy. A few items, like the “ghost poop,” would be easily DIY-able. (Hat tip to Empress Pam)

Posted in Link Dump | 4 Comments »

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