The Art of Darkness

Cemetery Terrarium

November 30th, 2007 by Cobwebs

Cemetery TerrariumUncialle’s Halloween Darksite is a trove of spooky inspiration. I love the originality of her ideas and her vast enthusiasm.

One of her projects that I’ve been itching to try is the Pocket Cemetery: A terrarium made over into a miniature graveyard. She’s made tombstones out of Sculpey clay, uses bare twigs as miniature trees, and even plants grass seed in early October so that the cemetery can be properly grassy by Halloween. My very favorite touch in her cemetery is the little plastic skeleton buried right up next to the glass, with a tombstone appropriately positioned aboveground.

Now for the fun! There are countless things you can add. Go wild in a miniatures shop! In her Pocket Cemetery, Uncialle has placed a tiny red wagon with two pumpkins in it, as if a small child had visited, and perhaps run home, frightened. Two tiny, glowing red LEDs are monster eyes, hiding in the shadow behind a tombstone. Miniscule black paper bats hang from “invisible” sewing thread in the tiny trees. A tipped-over vase beside a tombstone spills out dried flowers, while a miniature white pitcher holds “fresh” flowers. Tiny stones can create a stone wall. You could even put in a witches’ hut, a tiny hand reaching from the ground, miniature people, a goblin, or a mummy going for a stroll!

I’ve been saving various odds and ends for a terrarium of my own: A marble pestle that broke in half is eventually going to be a ruined obelisk, and I have miniature bones ready to strew about. Now that the last of our tropical fish is sleeping with the humans, I’ve informed Shadow Jack that the aquarium is mine. (He’s learned not to argue when I get that look in my eye.)

A miniature cemetery like this would be an intriguing focal point for a room, particularly if it were in a Victorian glass terrarium or a Wardian case. Add a blue lightbulb for moonlight, and you can have your own little pocket of gloom to meditate on even when it’s perfectly sunny outside.

Posted in Doom It Yourself, Paint It Black | 4 Comments »

Ear Ring

November 29th, 2007 by Cobwebs

Ear Ring CloseupArtist Margaux Lange makes jewelry and accessories out of Barbie body parts. The result is both intriguing and creepy as hell.

I enjoy the funny juxtaposition of wearing the body, on the body. Barbie has become the accessory instead of being accessorized. I take pleasure in the contrast and contradiction of something mass-produced being transformed and revealed as a unique, handmade, wearable piece of art.

I like the daintiness of many of her pieces; you wouldn’t necessarily notice immediately that the jewelry contains little dismembered body parts, thus enhancing the Zoiks Factor when you looked closer.

Here’s her Website and her Etsy shop.

(via Awesome)

Posted in Needful Things | 3 Comments »

Embroidered Necktie

November 28th, 2007 by Cobwebs

Skull NecktieHere’s another neat commercial product that could easily be stolen adapted for the home game. These ties are freehand machine embroidery, and I like the loose, casual look of the finished skulls.

There are all kinds of embroidery patterns and clip art that are there for the googling, or if you’re artsy you could draw a design yourself. Be sure to keep the lines relatively simple, since you’re going to have to follow them with a sewing machine.

If you’re sufficiently comfortable with your sewing skills to attempt a freehand design, get a blank silk necktie or scarf (psst: Shadow Manor sells these) and either draw the lines lightly on the tie using tailor’s chalk or transfer the pattern to tracing paper and pin the paper securely on top of the tie. Then, moving slowly, follow the lines with your sewing machine.

If you’re no good with a machine, hand-stitch the pattern using a contrasting color of thread; the stitches won’t be quite as tight, so you’ll need a contrasting color for the design to stand out. Either way, you’ll have a unique and fashionable accessory.

Posted in Doom It Yourself, Needful Things, Paint It Black | 1 Comment »


November 27th, 2007 by Cobwebs

Fake MohawkGoth outfitter Venom & Bootle is offering a Mohawk toupee for those whose own hair can’t quite manage this kind of Foof Factor. Their “secret formula” for attaching the piece uses “techniques from special FX film make up to bond to your head.”


Anyway, it’s £45 (about $90) for a toupee that they say will last about 15 uses, with the caveat that setting it on fire or throwing up on it will shorten its lifespan a bit. Come to think of it, either of those would shorten my lifespan a bit.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Skullphabet Font

November 26th, 2007 by Cobwebs

SkullphabetI’ve mentioned the Skull a Day site previously, but just in case you haven’t been checking the site regularly, let me call your attention to the “Skullphabet” font available for free download.

As with many novelty fonts, it’s too hard to decipher for it to really be effective in long passages of text. But it’d be perfect as a page header or a short title.


Posted in Whatever | 2 Comments »

The Music of the Night

November 25th, 2007 by Cobwebs

If you’re looking for some atmospheric music to play by candlelight, here are a couple of artists you might check out.

Nox Arcana’s albums include titles such as “Darklore Manor,” “Carnival of Lost Souls,” and “Blood of Angels.” Their latest, “Shadow of the Raven,” is a Poe-inspired album:

Delve into the haunted realms of Edgar Allan Poe, as Nox Arcana enriches the classic tales of the literary master of the macabre with a lush musical tapestry of Victorian elegance and Gothic nightmares. This dark soundscape of ghostly melodies, mournful dirges, eerie sound effects and ominous orchestrations is accompanied by Joseph Vargo’s lavish artwork depicting Poe’s classic horror tales, and even offers fans a hidden “gold bug” riddle.

(Joseph Vargo also did the artwork for The Gothic Tarot, which is very pretty.)

Midnight Syndicate advertises themselves with the slogan, “Gothic Nightmare Soundtracks,” but I think that sells them rather short. (Their bio mentions their quest to create “soundtracks for the imagination,” which is closer to the mark.) They’re a favorite with haunters trying to enliven–or, um, endeaden, I guess–their attractions, but I like them as background music. The all-instrumental albums are meant to tell a story, so (for example) their “Gates of Delirium” album begins with “Arrival,” moves through tracks such as “Cage of Solitude” and “Non Compos Mentis,” and winds up with “Ebony Shroud” and “Sleep Tight.” Lovely!

If you like Dead Can Dance, you ought to like these two. Check ’em out!

Posted in Needful Things, Whatever | 1 Comment »

The Skull in Design

November 24th, 2007 by Cobwebs

The AIGA Journal of Design has an interesting article entitled Forever Skull, a look at the skull as a design icon.

As an icon, it will never die, not as long as we are flesh and bone. We might one day be cyborgs, but the skull as symbol will morph into something like a drive-in-theater speaker, a metallic encasement with antenna and a mesh mouth. From primate to hominid to homo sapiens to… robo skull. The skull will outlive us.

I sort of have to agree. The skull is one of the few constants across all civilizations and time periods. It’s interesting to see the various forms that it takes in art and iconography.

(via Morbid Anatomy)

Posted in Whatever | No Comments »

I Love xkcd SO Much

November 23rd, 2007 by Cobwebs

The Webcomic xkcd is a thoughtful, surprisingly lyrical, musing on various aspects of Deep Geekery. Occasionally it strays into gothy territory, as in this one.

Added bonus extra feature: Each comic has an Easter eggy-sort of thing in the form of the ALT tag on the image file. Mousing over the cartoon should make the tag appear in most browsers.

It’s fun! Go read it!

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

Gothic Rose Antiques

November 23rd, 2007 by Cobwebs

Antique BookCurses! Where were these guys when I lived in California? Located in Placerville, they’ve got a gorgeous collection of dark decorative elements and curiosities, from mortuary photos to garden statuary. Some of their smaller items are available for sale online, but all of the big stuff is reserved for locals. They even offer interior decorating services.

I really love the brooding, haunted atmosphere their pieces suggest. Dig around their site for all sorts of decorating inspiration.

Link (via Witches Caldron [sic])

Posted in Bad Things, Resources | No Comments »

Fairy Wings HowTo

November 22nd, 2007 by Cobwebs

Corinne Leigh on Threadbanger has posted a wonderful set of instructions for making your own costume fairy wings out of coat hangers and pantyhose. Purchased wings (such as those found at RenFaire) can be expensive and/or of poor quality. These easy instructions give you the opportunity to design your wings in any shape you like (bat wings, f’rinstance), and go nuts with the colors and embellishments.


Posted in Doom It Yourself | No Comments »

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