The Art of Darkness

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 »

Dark Side University

June 17th, 2014 by Cobwebs

DraculaIf you have any free time and value its continued existence, you’d probably better skip this post.

Venerable goth internet fixture Dark Side of the Net has recently branched out into a goth-centric online university which teaches free classes with titles like, “History 103: The Life and Work of Edward Gorey,” “Horticulture 101: Gothic Gardening,” and “Mythology 102: Dark Goddesses.”

Dark Side University is a goth community offering free classes on gothic, horror, vampiric, and Halloween topics. You don’t get credit or a grade, just the fun of learning new things and discussing dark topics alongside other cool people from the subculture.

Our instructors are knowledgeable, passionate people who donate their time to share information with students.

The site is a trove of resources and fascinating subject matter, and provides several avenues for interacting with like-minded people. Particularly nice, of course, is that geographic boundaries are no limitation for this type of study.

If you have passion for some particular aspect of goth culture and want to share your knowledge, the university is also looking for instructors. The position is unpaid, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to connect with others who share your interests and value your contributions. You can view information about that here (requires registration/login). They’re particularly looking for “practical” instruction with real-life applications: Goth-oriented sewing or baking tips, how to get one’s horror stories published, and ways to promote and manage a festival or other event.

My single quibble about the setup, and it’s a relatively minor one, is that everything beyond the front page requires registration. (Additionally, the registration has to be approved by a human being so signup is not instantaneous.) I can understand things like the forums and classroom areas not being open to the public, but I would expect the FAQs and possibly the base course descriptions to be more accessible. Since the university is hosted on Ning, I’m going to assume that’s a limitation of the platform itself.

The university also has a Facebook presence which posts news about upcoming classes and shares interesting gothy tidbits.

(via Cat)

Posted in Resources | 1 Comment »

“Owlman” Prank

June 16th, 2014 by Cobwebs

As a child, Scottish filmmaker Lawrie Brewster was fascinated by the Owl Man, a Cornish cryptid who seems like a cross between the Moth Man and Slenderman. The Owl Man features in his new movie, Lord of Tears, and as a promotional stunt they dressed someone up in an Owl Man costume and sent him to lurk around a creepy, abandoned children’s hospital. “Urban explorers” venturing into the hospital to take photos or poke around found themselves confronted by the creature, and their reactions were caught by hidden cameras.

I’m trying to decide how I feel about this. On the one hand, if you’re wandering around an abandoned Victorian hospital it’s presumably with the intention of being mildly creeped out, and bingo! These people hit the jackpot.

On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that second guy is going to need therapy.

They’ve also done a couple of videos where the Owl Man shows up unexpected on ChatRoulette, here and here.

(via WitchArachne)

Posted in Whatever | 4 Comments »

The Blair Link Dump Project

June 13th, 2014 by Cobwebs

“Vampire” Pumps – Cute costume heels.

Monkey Brains Bowl – Sadly, you have to supply your own monkey brains. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

Slow Motion Tattoo – Interesting slow-motion look at the process of tattooing.

Russian Optimism – Kickstarter for an illustrated book of Russian nursery rhymes (including their English translation). As the project creator says, with riotous understatement, “Russia has a very dark culture.”

The Might of Cthulhu – This made me giggle.

The Stinky Candle Company – If you’ve ever wanted a scented candle that smells like onion or car exhaust or urine (that one’s called “Rest Stop”), this is the place.

Drowned Doll – Unusual ear plugs featuring small porcelain doll parts “drowned” in resin. This pair has been sold, but the concept seems DIY-able.

Schadenfreezers – Popsicles with depressing “jokes” on the stick. It’s a fake product created by a couple of advertising guys for their own amusement.

Ear Worms – Ear buds that look like cheerful little worms crawling out of your ears.

Fordite – This isn’t particularly goth, it’s just really neat. Fordite, or “Detroit Agate” looks like a mineral, but it’s the product of layered spray-painting.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Bass Dogs

June 12th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Bass DogThis is the sort of thing that I would normally just toss in a link dump, but Jay Bentley determinedly playing a corgi needs a wider audience.

After noticing that “bass players who use their fingers as opposed to a pick look like they’re tickling hairy dogs,” Michael M decided to make that connection more obvious with poorly-photoshopped dogs. Thus began Bass Dogs, and it is glorious.

He accepts submissions, but only if they’re photoshopped; he’s quite adamant that no one should attempt to play a real dog like a bass. He apparently will also do requests if you send him a photo, although he says he has a bit of a backlog. (And yes, he knows that the photoshopping is bad; according to his FAQ, he likes that bit the best.)

The dogs are often appropriately-costumed, such as the bee-suited dachshund being played by Sting. The blog will also occasionally branch out with things like piano sharks.

The whole thing is really deeply surreal and also deeply wonderful. I may never be able to look at a bassist again without giggling.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

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