The Art of Darkness

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.

Posted in Whatever | 3 Comments »

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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Chinoiserie Pumpkins

October 15th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Chinoiserie PumpkinI’ve run into several recent articles about decorating pumpkins with blue-and-white Chinoiserie patterns, so there’s apparently some new trend in the Collective Design Unconscious (a.k.a. the marthastewartsphere). I like them; it’s a subtle, elegant way to include pumpkins in your decorating scheme.

There’s an Etsy store called IndigoHome which sells them (there’s only one current listing, but several others in their Sold list), but if you’ve got a little patience it should be possible to DIY a simple design.

You could decorate one of the “White Ghost” varieties of real pumpkin for a temporary display, or use a fake one for something a little more permanent (I’ve seen white craft pumpkins, but if you can’t find one, just spray-paint an orange one). Draw the patterns with blue, black, or brown permanent marker or paint (which is easier to wipe off and re-do if you make mistakes).

The Relished Roost has a bunch of lovely designs that she’s painted, and Chinoiserie Chic has some photos of an oversized pumpkin decorated with a simple tree design. I dream of did a painting of a painted pumpkin (meta!) which included a witch on a broomstick amongst more traditional patterns. Although not Chinoiserie, I quite like this octopus too.

If you’re completely hopeless at drawing (a category I definitely fall into), Between Naps on the Porch has a tutorial for a decoupaged version that looks great.

Two or three of these would be a lovely centerpiece for a dinner party, and are pretty enough to use as decoration all year long.

Posted in Paint It Black | 1 Comment »

Seen Online

October 14th, 2015 by Cobwebs

I once murdered a man by pushing him into a comic book store and yelling, “He thinks Darth Vader would beat Batman.”

Bit of an oversell, “dragonflies.”

“Oh, no. No, no, no. Are you kidding me?” -First thing I would say if someone raised me from the dead

If you go out for American food in Mexico does a grunge band come up and loudly play at your table?

How did people first figure out that it was cicadas that make this noise? I could see that taking a long time.
Were there just like a thousand years where people were like “yeah, the trees are screaming. They do that in the summer.”

My doctor says that one day I will be able to eat baba ghanoush without singing “Baba ghanoush (snap snap)” to the Addams Family theme.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me ten times, congrats! You filled the punch-card! This shame is on the house!

Everyone SAYS they want a fairytale wedding but when I show up and curse their firstborn suddenly I’m the jerk.

Books are just dead, tattooed trees.

Helena Bonham Carter eats eight spiders a day. Not in her sleep, just whenever.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | No Comments »

A Wand for an Artistic Witch

October 13th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Wand DetailA few years ago there was a rather excellent blog called “Seeing Things” which was a trove of Halloween projects. And then, one day…there wasn’t. The entire site was deleted without explanation and the whole wonderful archive of ideas was gone without a trace. This was particularly galling to me since I’d had my eye on one of the projects, a wand for an “Art Witch,” because my sister happens to be both an Art History professor and a Wiccan.

Fortunately, the googles are your friend. I was able to dig up enough of the details to take my own crack at the wand, and my notes are below.


  • Wooden bobbin, for the body of the wand. Vintage hardwood bobbins used in textile mills from the 1890s – 1940s are a common shabby chic/primitive decorative item and are available on eBay, Etsy, or at flea markets and antique stores. I got mine from Stampington. The original post noted that there was probably all kinds of creative energy already stored up in the wood, so…sure, let’s go with that. (If you don’t want to use a bobbin, a largish wooden dowel should work although you’ll have to drill the ends.)
  • Wooden dowel, small enough in diameter to fit snugly into the hole in the center of the bobbin (optional).
  • Cabinet knob, for the back of the wand. The type used for kitchen and bathroom cabinets is about the right size. I used a faceted crystal knob that I picked up at the hardware store, but I really like these crystal balls too. You can use a metal or ceramic one if you prefer. (You could also use plastic but it seems kind of a shame to get a cool wooden bobbin and then stick a cheap plastic doohickey on the end.)
  • Hanger bolt of the correct size to fit the cabinet knob. This is optional, depending upon how you decide to secure the knob to the wand (see instructions below).
  • Crystal bead, for the front of the wand. I hit the beading section of my local craft store and picked up some natural quartz beads (similar to these, although nowhere near as expensive; the strand cost about $3). Any other small pointy thing should work.
  • Wire, for wrapping the wand. I used 20-gauge wrapping wire. It’s available in all sorts of colors.
  • Wire cutters. Additional wire tools like needlenose pliers are not strictly necessary but are really helpful.
  • Decorative elements, to personalize the wand. I used some metal-rimmed tags from Stampington, some vintage Halloween images (see below), a glass capsule bead from the craft store, some wire connectors, charms, and thin copper chain. Most of the items were found on clearance, so choose whatever appeals to you.

    The little round tags were for “inchies,” which is apparently a scrapbooking term, so I looked for round “inchie” images on Etsy. I finally settled on this set, but these and these were close seconds. If you’re feeling intrepid you can create your own set of images using clipart and your favorite graphic software, but I figured it was worth the four bucks to have all of that done for me. (I did use Photoshop to add the words “Art Witch” to one image before printing, but that’s completely optional.)

  • Hot glue and/or wood glue, depending on how you secure the cabinet knob (see instructions).
  • White glue or Mod Podge (optional, depending on your decorative choices).

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 1 Comment »

Strange Alloy

October 12th, 2015 by Cobwebs

In this affecting short film, an alien schoolchild studies primitive human ruins.

There’s also a “making of” video.

(via BoingBoing)

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