The Art of Darkness

Why Yes, it is Another Link Dump

May 15th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Heavy on the decorating links this time. I got ruthless with some draft posts that have been staring at me for a while.

Living in a Haunted House – “Surreal Estate” art installation. Some unique decorating ideas.

Gothic Haunted House – List of products which might be useful in home decor.

Haunt Your Home – Halloween haunting “superstore.” Some home décor and party items. They also rent a hearse for proms and weddings if you live in the Portland, OR area.

Victorian Goth – Themed home decorating ideas.

Eddie Ross: Holiday – This designer has some lovely upscale-spooky decorating ideas, although you have to paw through the Easter and Christmas stuff to find them.

Tasteful Halloween Decor – A few ideas for seasonal decorating that could actually be used year-round.

Gothic Bedroom Design – Squidoo lens with some interesting ideas.

Bonus: Not a link, but some color/theme ideas from Deanna Witchypoo, who recently redecorated her house:

  • Kitchen – Orange and black with Victorian Halloween décor.
  • Guest bath – Blue, black, and grey with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme.
  • Living Room – Blood red and black, with gothic art on display.
  • Dining Room – Grey and black.
  • Library – Sage and taupe, where “the more interesting sculptures” will be displayed.

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

Two Auctions of Interest

May 14th, 2009 by Cobwebs

The ShamblesIf you have a little extra cash and are looking for some really unusual decorative items, there are a couple of upcoming auctions you might want to keep your eye on.

Guernsey’s is preparing to auction a collection of torture items from the 16th century, including shame masks, a rack, and even an executioner’s sword. (The proceeds will go to Amnesty International, which I think is a nice touch.) The site doesn’t list the auction schedule yet, but there’s an article about their plans here.

There’s also an entire Victorian museum collection being sold off May 18-21 in Newent, Gloucestershire. The Shambles Museum is a steampunk paradise, with everything from vintage furniture to stuffed guinea pigs. Catalogue and information about the sale are here. A Guardian article about the museum and sale is here. There’s some amazing stuff listed in the online catalogue, so if you’re anywhere in the area you might want to take a look.

Posted in Bad Things, Needful Things | No Comments »

The Best Song About Zombies Sung by a Sunflower You’ll Hear All Day

May 13th, 2009 by Cobwebs

PopCap has a weird little game called Plants vs. Zombies, wherein you plant things like “Pea Shooters” and “Wall-nuts” to form a protective barrier against the zombie horde trying to get into your house.

And this is their promotional music video.

I…think I need to go lie down now.

(via Topless Robot)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

Moebius Monster Models

May 12th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Aurora KitI don’t miss much about the 1970s–especially the fashions–but one thing that gives me a nostalgic pang is the wonderful Aurora model kits featuring classic movie monsters. My grandparents owned a hobby shop and my dad did some gorgeous detailing on several of the models* for display. I have very fond memories of the toothless old Witch in her workroom, the Mummy shambling out of his sarcophagus, and the Victim…being strangely ineffectual.

That’s why I’m thrilled to discover that Moebius has reissued seven of Aurora’s Monster Scenes models, right down to the wonderful box art.

I may have to get the Hanging Cage as a desk accessory. I’m always looking for new ways to keep people out of my cubicle.

(via BoingBoing)

*I do mean gorgeous. Things like gluing fake fur all over the werewolf. My family’s motto is, “If a Thing is Worth Doing, it is Worth Overdoing.”

Posted in Needful Things | No Comments »

Decorating Jar Candles

May 11th, 2009 by Cobwebs

CandlesNight Magick mentioned the Vampire Candles on this page a while back, and it struck me how cheap and easy it would be to make something similar.

The ones shown on the site are “ritual” candles, but they’re a nice inspirational jumping-off point for some interesting decorative accessories. They’d also be pretty centerpieces for a wedding. A montage effect with spooky clip art and burnt-out fonts would be striking and very easy to do.


  • 7-Day Jar Candle*
  • Translucent paper like vellum or rice paper (thin gift-wrapping paper works, too, if you can find an appropriate design)
  • Glue strips or craft glue
  • Rubber stamps and ink (optional, see below)
  • Glass paint (optional)

*It took me forever to figure out what these were actually called, because I’ve always known them as “those candles in the Hispanic section of the grocery store.” I’m linking to one online just to show you what I’m talking about, but you can probably find them much cheaper locally. You might also see them called “devotional,” “sanctuary,” or “altar” candles. They’re $1.10 at my local grocery.


  1. If desired, paint the rims of the candle holder. Let dry overnight.
  2. Roll a piece of scrap paper around the candle and cut it to fit, leaving a 1/4″ overlap on the ends. (If you plan to make a lot of these, use the paper as a guide to cut a sturdier template out of cardboard).
  3. Trace the pattern onto the vellum and cut out.
  4. Either decorate the vellum with the rubber stamps or use an inkjet printer to decorate it with clip art of your choice (depending upon the desired design and the size of the vellum sheets, you may be able to do this before cutting them out).
  5. Cut two glue strips the width of the short ends of the vellum (the glue will gum up your scissors, so either use a pair you don’t mind ruining or be prepared for some cleanup).
  6. Lay the vellum flat and apply one glue strip along each edge (on the wrong side of the paper)
  7. Lay one edge of the vellum on the candle, making sure it’s aligned properly, and press down on the glue strip to stick it to the candle.
  8. Wrap the vellum around the candle snugly and press down on the other edge to seal.

Posted in Paint It Black | No Comments »

Link Dump

May 8th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Spooky Cabinet – Great inspiration for painting a flea-market armoire or other wooden furniture.

Real Life Mad Scientists – Profiles of real “diabolical madmen.”

ScaryGirl – Flash game featuring a spooky little girl with a giant octopus as a guardian.

Nightmare Before Christmas Trivia – Interesting tidbits about the movie.

Museum of Depressionist Art – Amusingly re-labeled artwork, such as Life Before Martha Stewart and Office Xmas Party, London Society of Morticians, 1905.

Craftastrophe – As their slogan says, “because handmade isn’t always pretty.”

Haunted Mansion of Long Branch, N.J. – This was a “haunted house” which has no relationship to the Disney version. Check out the scans of the rather unsettling “Haunted Mansion Coloring Book” at the bottom of the page.

Goth T-shirt – Okay, I thought it was funny.

Zombie Attack Prevention – The blogger doesn’t specify where the image originally came from, so I don’t know if it’s available for sale or not. It’s amusing anyway.

Ghostly Photographs – This blog allows people to submit photographs that they think capture images of ghosts.

A couple of sources for Latin phrases, which are a quick way to make something look sort of antique and noble: A real one, Latin Mottoes from 16th-Century Sources and an amusing one, Fun Latin, which teaches you how to say things like “The check is in the mail” (Perscriptio in manibus tabellariorum est).

Posted in Link Dump | 6 Comments »

Adopt a Bat

May 7th, 2009 by Cobwebs

CleobatraThe Bat World sanctuary has a sponsorship program that allows you to “adopt” a bat in need. Sponsors receive a personalized adoption certificate, matted photo of their bat, the bat’s personal story, and lots of other neat items.

This would be a wonderful gift for bat enthusiasts, as well as a good teaching tool for kids. Many bats have long lifespans, and it’s great that this sanctuary offers long-term care for those that can’t make it in the wild. (I also love the idea of proudly displaying photos of my “adoptees” on my desk at work.)

Also be sure to check their Bat Bazaar for merchandise featuring some heartbreakingly adorable photos of bats, and their Wall of Shame if you want to get indignant.

(via Neatorama)

Posted in Whatever | No Comments »

Spooky Finger Puppets

May 6th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Finger PuppetEtsy seller cherylasmith makes whimsically spooky little finger puppets, including skeletons, zombies, and bats. The designs are simple enough for a DIY project, but since she sells them for a mere $5 each it’s almost cheaper to let her do the work for you.

A collection of these would be a cute desk accessory or, if you can bear to part with them, a unique gift for a child. Pair them with a handmade desktop or doorway puppet theater for hours of creepy fun.

Be sure to check out the seller’s other listings. I especially like her voodoo-inspired Speak No Evil brooch.

Posted in Bittens, Needful Things | No Comments »


May 5th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Flu MaskThere are indications that the whole Swine Flu thing might be a bit overblown, which is almost a shame once you take a look at what you could be wearing out in public.

Japanese illustrator Yoriko Yoshida made a whole bunch of these utterly awesome masks, including designs with fangs, dragon snouts, raven beaks, and many that appear to be based on traditional Japanese stage masks. I don’t know if they’re available for purchase (anybody read Japanese?), but I bet they’d lend themselves pretty well to a DIY project.

Link (via Street Anatomy)

Posted in Paint It Black | 1 Comment »

News That Sounds Like a Joke

May 4th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Will Ferrell is teaming up with a guy whose last movie involved Nazi zombies to make a movie about Hansel and Gretel growing up and becoming witch-hunters.

The idea is, they’ve grown up and they hunt witches… It’s a hybrid sort of old-timey feeling, yet there’s pump-action shotguns. Modern technology but in an old style. We heard it and we were just like, ‘That’s a freakin’ franchise! You could make three of those!’

I…there’s nothing I could say to make this any weirder than it actually is.

Link (via io9)

Posted in Whatever | 3 Comments »

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