The Art of Darkness

I Like This

February 22nd, 2007 by Cobwebs

“Many people lead unhappy, unachieved lives. And that’s sad. Goth is about making depression and angst a lifestyle choice, and that’s art.”
— from “The Goth Primer” (formerly at

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I Did a Foolish Thing

February 19th, 2007 by Cobwebs

I am a reader of blogs, many of which are “Mommyblogs;” I figure I can always use a little reassurance that Shadowboy is normal (more or less). One of them was tagged to answer questions about herself, and rather than re-answering questions she’d done previously, she challenged her readers to ask her “the most outrageous, inappropriate, entertaining, or just plain hilarious” questions they liked. So I asked one. And then the bitch tagged us back.

So here are my answers. (Hi, readers of Beth’s blog! Welcome to a site that is more or less entirely outside your demographic! Come over to the Dark Side–we have cookies!)

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Book of Shadows Guest Books

February 19th, 2007 by Cobwebs

Book of Shadows - White MagickYour humble hostess was married on Halloween (you can read all about that experience at my Halloweddings site), and I used a blank Book of Shadows as my guest book. Mine was fairly plain, and I am horribly disappointed that the designs Shadow Manor now carries weren’t available then. I’m very excited to be offering these: Book of Shadows Guest Books

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The Optic Nerve

February 18th, 2007 by Cobwebs

The Optic NerveA pair of crocheted eyeballs connected by a bloody optic nerve. I want this to hang over my rear-view mirror, right now.


Update: Check out Monster Crochet for severed fingers, spiderweb shawls, bone scarves, and loads more. I’m insanely jealous.

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Open Letter

February 15th, 2007 by Cobwebs

Dear producers of “Dora the Explorer,” who is sprinting toward first place on my list of cartoon characters my son loves and I can’t stand: Enough with the supernatural crapola. “El Mago,” the evil-as-well-as-bilingual sorcerer was bad enough, but yesterday you rolled out The Witch. Despite the fact that she looked not so much evil as just sort of pissed off, and she came around to Dora’s way of thinking in the end and joined in a celebratory dance with the rest of Dora’s friends,* she disturbed my son deeply. Throughout the rest of the day he would suddenly say, apropos of nothing and with genuine concern in his voice, “Da Witch not comin’,” and I would have to assure him that no, The Witch wasn’t coming, and witches didn’t exist, and well they kind of existed and some of his relatives were them, but not that kind, and besides didn’t The Witch join in the celebratory dance, complete with hand motions, at the end, and no, really, The Witch was not a threat. This is tiring. One more show about evil supernatural doings, and I’ll sic the Pagan Antidefamation League on your asses. Thank you.

*Including the mariachi-playing insects what the hell is up with those?

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Doom It Yourself: Tub Truffles

February 8th, 2007 by Cobwebs

These luscious cocoa-cream “truffles” melt in your tub, soothing and softening the skin. Toss one in your tub, sit back and enjoy the chocolatey goodness. Makes a lovely and decadent gift, as well.

8 oz. cocoa butter
1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons of perfume fragrance oil or essential oil
1 1/2 cups baking soda
1 cup citric acid
1/3 cup fine colloidal oatmeal

Small saucepan
Wooden spoon
Plastic chocolate molds or ruffled paper cups

If you will be using paper candy cups, set them on a cookie sheet before filling to make it easier to move them. Melt cocoa butter in saucepan. Add fragrance and mix well. Remove from heat. Add baking soda, oatmeal and citric acid, mixing thoroughly (mixture will be a little soupy). Use a metal teaspoon to ladle mixture into molds or cups. Let stand at room temperature until they begin to set (1-2 hours, depending on how hot it is in the room), then place in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes.

If using candy molds, place face-down on a sheet of waxed paper and hold your hand over the back for a few seconds, then flex to release. If they don’t release easily, return to the freezer for a while longer.

To use, add 1 truffle to a warm bath.

Makes approximately 60 truffles, depending upon the size of the mold. Recipe can be halved.


  • Make sure that any fragrance you use is approved for use on skin. Some synthetic fragrances can cause skin problems.
  • Plastic utensils can absorb odors, so use wood or metal (and don’t use the chocolate molds to mold chocolate after you’ve made tub truffles).
  • The truffles must be molded as soon as everything is mixed, and cannot be reheated (the oatmeal gets crumbly).
  • Avoid making your truffles too large, or you’ll wind up with a “tub of sludge”.
  • Do not eat, no matter how good they smell. (If you give these as a gift, make sure the label mentions that they aren’t edible.)

Supply Sources:
Cocoa butter, citric acid, and essential oils are available at health food stores or by mail order (look for suppliers of soapmaking ingredients). Chocolate molds and paper candy cups can be found at cake supply or hobby shops.

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A Letter to the Caretaker

February 3rd, 2007 by Cobwebs

To: Caretaker, Shadow Manor
From: Fishbein, Fishbein, Fishbein, and Hayakawa
Attorneys at Law

Tomb it May Concern:

The Saiberville Beautification Society has retained the services of our firm in response to certain violations of the neighborhood appearance guidelines by the denizens of your mansion.

Specific infractions include:

Incessant tormented shrieks of the damned, rattling chains, maniacal laughter, and guttural moans continuing after 11 p.m.

The nooses hanging from the large oak in your front yard have caused unsightly rope scarring on several of the tree’s limbs. This is a matter of some concern to several local environmental action groups, who suggest that you install a gallows.

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February 1st, 2007 by Cobwebs

Shadow Manor is devoted to goth beauty, decor, and accessories. This blog will be devoted to projects, news, and suggestions for adding a little darkness to your life.

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