The Art of Darkness

Egad, a Link Dump

July 17th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Craftster Shirts – Skull shirts with knitting needles or scissors as the “crossbones.” You can add any slogan you want; I kind of like the one that says, “Yaaaaarn!”

Tattoos – Cracked takes a look at what your tats really mean.

Black Deck of Cards – I think I’d go cross-eyed staring at these after a while, but they look pretty cool.

Modern Alchemy – Candles with scents like “Secret Society,” “Speak Easy,” and “Salem.”

Two stitchers who specialize in subversive cross-stitch patterns: Kate Westerholt and Katie Kutthroat.

Safeword T-shirt – This makes me giggle. Available from Unshelved, which also has a fairly amusing Webcomic.

Evil Nemesis Wanted – Amusing Craigslist ad.

Four Halloween-themed mainstream games that might be good for kids: Halloween Jenga, Boo-opoly, Halloween Yahtzee, and I Spy Spooky Nights

Mean Cards – Darkly humorous stick-figure cards with messages such as, “It won’t hurt, you’ll like it” and “Crying means you’re weak.” The artist also maintains a blog liberally sprinkled with the same figures.

The Biology of B-Movie Monsters – Giant ants vs. the Cube-Square Law and much more.

The Fantastical Capybara – Interview with an owner of what amounts to a gigantic rat. I want a capybara.

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

Harry Potter Craft Roundup

July 16th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Death Eater MaskIn honor of the new movie (finally!) being released, Instructables has done a roundup of Harry Potter-themed crafts.

From lovely wands to henna Dark Marks, there are all kinds of easy projects. Some of these would be a fun party craft activity; it’d be easy to make a bunch of the paper wands and let guests decorate them. (I once did this with great success for a child’s party, using wooden dowels as the wand base, but the pretty paper ones would even be suitable for adults.)

Incidentally, the wands are from the DadCanDo site, which used to provide the instructions for free but now charge for the downloads. I’m pleased to see the free version is still available at Instructables. (Do check out the DCD site for inspiration, though; they’ve got a whole page of wands made by members, and they’re wonderful.)

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 2 Comments »

Taxidermied Accessories

July 15th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Rat HeaddressUK-based designer Reid Peppard has taken taxidermy to a whole ‘nother level with a collection of wearable dead things. She’s got loads of macabre accessories, including mouse head cufflinks and a guinea pig hair comb, but I think my two favorite pieces are the rat change purse (toward the bottom of the post) and this awesome rat headdress with Swarovski crystal-encrusted tail.

Her site is ridiculously hard to read because it’s got dark grey text against a black background, but it’s worth a visit just for the pictures. She doesn’t list any prices, but you can check this post for ordering details.

Acceptable DIY versions of some of the items might be possible using fake rodents, although I’m thinking that this might be worth digging my taxidermy books back out for.*

Link (via BoingBoing)

*I remember rather vividly walking into a crowded bookstore several years ago and telling the clerk that a book I’d ordered had come in. I said, “It’s called Home Taxidermy.” Jeffery Dahmer had been caught about two weeks previously; you should have seen the looks I got.

Posted in Needful Things | 3 Comments »

Fun with Knick-knacks

July 14th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Skull ShelvesHere’s a rather brilliant and subtle decorating idea: British artist James Hopkins carefully arranges mundane objects into artwork with “hidden messages.” I’m not quite sure how “hidden” the skulls are, but I love the arrangement.

This would be a fun project if you’ve got a bare wall to cover. Get a cheap bookshelf and arrange random knick-knacks in a similar skull pattern, collecting additional objects over time to fill in any gaps. Simple but extremely effective.

Link (via Haunt Style)

Posted in Bad Things | 1 Comment »

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fish-Men

July 13th, 2009 by Cobwebs

The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society did a musical version of “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” This makes me terribly happy.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | No Comments »

Another Darn Link Dump

July 10th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Mini-Monster Kit – Includes all of the materials you need to make a monster of your very own. A DIY version of this might make a nice gift for a child, too.

Ribcage Bag – A felted bag shaped like a human ribcage, complete with a change purse screen-printed with a heart.

Mrs. Lovett Prom Dress – Inspired by the “heroine” of Sweeney Todd, this dress is simply lovely.

Zombie Neurobiology – A Harvard psychiatrist discusses how zombies think.

Skeleton Bicycle – This is just gorgeous. (via Haunt Style)

Salome Coffee Set – Kind of a pretentious description and a hefty price tag, but I bet it’d be easy to do something similar with cheap whiteware and cereamic paint.

I’ve Become My Mother Shirt – At some point, we all turn into our mothers, no?

Tampon Finger Puppet – I don’t even want to know where the inspiration for this came from, but it’s actually really…cute.

Painted Glass Plates – I love the skeleton “trees” on this project at Craftster.

Curses – An interactive adventure game in which the object is to break an ancient curse that’s been placed on your family. It was originally a PC game, but it’s been ported to Java and is available to play for free online.

Shadow Manor Twitter Feed – This is just an automated tweet whenever there’s a new post up. One of my readers recently alerted me that Bloglines hadn’t been picking up this blog’s RSS feed since mid-June. We’re not sure why (and Google Reader picks it up properly), but if you’re not getting the blog updates you can subscribe to the Twitter feed so you don’t have to do anything as old-fashioned as actually checking the site for new posts.

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

Just Fake It

July 9th, 2009 by Cobwebs

ManuscriptDavid over at Dark Artifacts has a brilliant suggestion for a gothy accent piece: A framed manuscript page that you make yourself. I really like the “museum artifact” look, and the method couldn’t be easier.

Check out his post for project instructions. He doesn’t go into detail on aging the paper, so if you’ve never done it before take a look at Curbly or Instructables for tutorials.

Posted in Bad Things, Doom It Yourself | No Comments »

Party Like It’s 1929

July 8th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Group PhotoHere’s something that I thought I’d mentioned previously, but my archive search comes up empty so apparently I’m hallucinating. Several years ago, before I had children and could occasionally think straight, a friend and I put together an elaborate Halloween dinner party of the sort where everybody plays a role and they’re supposed to solve a mystery. In this case, it involved a haunted house. I posted details and materials in case anyone else was ever foolish ambitious enough to try something similar.

The premise was fairly straightforward: It’s 1926*, the inheritors of an old house have just re-opened it, and they’re celebrating by throwing a dinner party for the cream of society. During the party, strange things start to happen (disembodied knockings and moanings are heard, a bloody rag is found, objects seem to move). It could be a ghost. However, each of the guests also has a motive for “haunting” the house. Whodunnit?


We sent out an initial invitation, explaining a bit about the theme of the party and asking each guest if they planned to attend, whether they were bringing a guest, and what sort of role they and their guest wanted: A major character (someone with gossip and clues), a minor character (playing along, but in a lesser role), or the maid/butler.

Once we had this, we planned the characters and assigned clues. We decided to base each character loosely on real people. The guests then received a second invitation and packet containing:

  • An invitation, with the envelope addressed to their character’s names
  • General information (with slightly different instructions, depending on whether they were a major character or not). This included a page from an “old book” about the house itself
  • A fact sheet about their character (including two short ones–one of each sex–to accommodate one guest who didn’t know who he was bringing).
  • Some gossip (everything that others knew about them, plus one or two tidbits about other guests)
  • Some “clippings,” background information about their character, plus information about a couple of other guests

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Resources | 1 Comment »

True Blood Merchandise

July 7th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Fangtasia T-shirtIf you’ve been watching the HBO series True Blood, you may have seen Sookie wearing a T-shirt from the vampire bar Fangtasia. I’m amused to learn that the HBO store sells the Fangtasia T-shirts and quite a lot of other themed merchandise.

They also have Fangtasia pint glasses (unfortunately printed with the HBO logo on the reverse, which kind of, um, sucks), Eric Northman’s eagle claw pendant in copper-plate or sterling silver, and “Merlotte’s” pint glasses and T-shirts.

The pint glasses would make a nice addition to a home bar and the T-shirts would be handy in case you want to play “vampire and helpless barmaid.”

Wait…did I say that last part out loud?

Posted in Needful Things | 2 Comments »

The iCoffin

July 6th, 2009 by Cobwebs

I’d buy it….

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

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