Just in time for spring (in certain hemispheres), the Geyser of Awesome recently profiled Etsy shop Sugar Bakers Bakery which offers a selection of candied flowers, including lollipops.
If you have access to edible flowers, similar lollies are easy to make at home. They have a lovely Victorian feel to them, and would be perfect at a tea party.
This is apparently a fairly popular project, since there are a zillion tutorials available online. PopSugar, Sprinkle Bakes, and Fancy Flours have good ones, and if you search “how to make edible flower lollipops” there are plenty more.
You don’t have to use a lollipop mold–the Sprinkle Bakes tutorial outlines a method using powdered sugar, and you can also pour dollops of the candy on an oiled marble slab–but using a mold makes the process a lot easier and results in a more uniform candy with clean edges. You can find inexpensive molds at craft and baking-supply stores, or online.
In addition to making sure that the flowers you use are edible, also take care that they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or similar chemicals. Gently rinse them, then dry thoroughly on paper towels before using them in a recipe.
Instead of flowers, you can use small sprigs of herbs. And in addition to lollipops, you can candy the flowers in sugar. Sugared flowers can be eaten as-is, but they’re also fantastic decorations for cakes or cookies.
This author seems to have an October fixation, giving us such books as The Halloween Tree, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and The October Country. Name him.
“They’re coming to get you, Barbra!” is a famous line from which zombie film?
A) Dawn of the Dead
B) White Zombie
C) Day of the Dead
D) I Walked with a Zombie
E) Night of the Living Dead
Born Theodosia Goodman in Cincinnati, Ohio, this silent movie starlet was nicknamed “The Vamp.”
What was the name of Wednesday Addams’ favorite pet spider?
What was the last film Bela Lugosi ever appeared in?
In Haitian Vodou a male priest is called a houngan. What is a female priest called?
In Poe’s poem “The Raven,” the main character pondered (weak and weary) in what month of the year?
What is the only horror movie to have been nominated for 10 Academy Awards?
A) Rosemary’s Baby
D) The Exorcist
E) The Silence of the Lambs
In the original Halloween movie, the mask worn by Michael Myers was actually fashioned after the face of what famous TV actor from the 1960s?
Who wrote the horror story “Lamb to the Slaughter,” in which a housewife bludgeons her husband to death with a frozen leg of lamb, then cooks it and serves it to the police?
A) A.A. Milne
B) Maurice Sendak
C) L. Frank Baum
D) Roald Dahl
E) J. R. R. Tolkien
Fan-made films are often truer to the spirit of their fandom than commercial ventures, and when you run into a fan-made film with astonishingly good production values the result can be, as EPBOT put it, “all the feelz you can feel.”
Set in 1978 just after Harry Potter’s father James graduates from Hogwarts, he and his friends Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew celebrate at a bar, contemplating their place in a war they are to soon become a part of. When Severus Snape enters the same bar, knowing the part he might play in the war, James Potter decides to do something about Snape once and for all.
You can check out their official site for behind-the-scenes stuff, wallpaper, and lots more.
Ghost Post – Disney has a new Haunted Mansion-themed subscription box.
Weird Al: 5 Songs to Scare the Neighbors – Weird Al Yankovic shares “a sampling of tunes that most people wouldn’t particularly appreciate hearing through their bedroom wall at two o’clock in the morning.”
Gather ’round, kids, as your Old Auntie Cobwebs shares another pointless reminiscence about the early days of the world wide web.
Long before there was TVTropes there was Peter’s Evil Overlord List, a list of ways that a successful evil overlord could overcome the plot cliches that might threaten his rule. Here’s the first 10:
My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.
My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.
My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.
Shooting is not too good for my enemies.
The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.
I will not gloat over my enemies’ predicament before killing them.
When I’ve captured my adversary and he says, “Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?” I’ll say, “No.” and shoot him. No, on second thought I’ll shoot him then say “No.”
After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks’ time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.
I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled “Danger: Do Not Push”. The big red button marked “Do Not Push” will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labelled as such.
I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum — a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.
Peter Anspach began compiling the list in 1994, and after his top 100 suggestions were augmented by user submissions he eventually collected those in Dungeon A and Dungeon B.
Although some of the advice may seem a trifle outdated today (“Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45MB in size,” is only funny if you remember that floppy disks had a maximum capacity of 1.44MB), the list remains a classic of Evil Overlord Competency.
I was reminded of the list when Charlie Stross mentioned it in his taxonomy of Space Opera cliches, and was pleased to learn that several similar guides have sprung up since Anspach created his humble list. TVTropes has a whole section of Additional Evil Overlord Vows, and their Evil Empress Guide (“Sex is certainly a weapon at my disposal, but then so is a blaster. If it is not clear which weapon I should be using, I will opt for the blaster.”) and The Very Complete, Very Extended, Printer Friendly, Evil Overlord List (plus other evil stuff) which includes helpful tips for henchmen (“When you have someone at gunpoint and that person says ‘you haven’t got the guts to kill me,’ disprove his/her hypothesis.”), evil cultists (“Never invoke anything bigger than your head.”), and vows every Starfleet captain should take (“I will design my ship’s tactical systems so that I do not have to personally direct every single shot fired.”).
These lists are actually useful for aspiring writers, since they help you avoid the very cliches they lampoon. It’s also fun to use them to play Bad Movie Bingo: See how many of them you can check off in one sitting.
Most cat owners know the joy of their murderous hellbeasts fluffy sweethearts gifting them with small animal body parts. Now you can re-create that special feeling with felt catnip toys.
1 9″x12″ sheet of craft felt for each head (I chose grey for the mouse, gold for the fish, and yellow for the bird; you can get two toys from each sheet of felt if you cut carefully)
Scrap of red craft felt for the neck
Scraps of craft felt for details (pink for the mouse’s ear, white for eyes)
Yarn (I used all red, but you could use a mixture of white, pink, and red to suggest various dangly innards)
Scrap of cotton fabric (optional)
(Click to enlarge)
Download the desired pattern (Bird | Fish | Mouse) and cut two of each pattern piece from the appropriate color of felt. Sew the eyes on the head pieces with an X of embroidery floss (if desired, omit the eye piece and just make an X right on the head, as for the mouse). If making the mouse, sew the ears on with straight stitching.
Make a small pouch from cotton fabric (fold a piece in half and sew two sides), fill with about a tablespoon of catnip, and sew the final side closed. This will keep small particles of catnip from leaking out through the felt. (Note: Make sure the pouch is small enough to fit inside the toy.)
Cut 4 pieces of yarn, each about 5″ long. Sandwich one end of the yarn strands between the felt neck edges, and stitch across a couple of times to secure in place. Make sure that your stitching is near the end that will be hidden under the edge of the head.
Place the two head pieces with wrong sides together. Sew around the head with embroidery floss, using a short straight stitch, leaving the neck end open. Insert the bag of catnip. Place the red neck edge into the neck and stitch across the neck end, making sure to stitch through all four layers.
And…done! These are super-easy to make so you can turn them out for all of your furry friends.
Those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s will recall the horror that was Lisa Frank: You couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a Trapper Keeper that Frank had vomited psychedelic rainbow unicorns all over.
Now, years later, when we thought we were free of the Lisa Frank scourge, artist Ariel Hart has brought the twee rainbow animals to tarot, and it is terrifying.
She’s done the entire Major Arcana, and even the most curmudgeonly amongst us will have to admit that her artistic choices are brilliant. If you were the kind of person who had a Lisa Frank poster hanging proudly in your bedroom (in which case, what are you doing reading this site?), these are the tarot cards for you. What better way to take the edge off a prediction of gloomy fate than with a grinning, denim-clad koala?