The Art of Darkness

Fun DIY “Curiosity”

June 16th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Bumble ToothIn addition to making props for a living, Dave Lowe frequently makes little one-off items for himself, either as part of his Halloween decor or just to amuse himself. They’re always marvelous, both in terms of creativity and sheer artistry, but I think that the thing I like most about them is that they’re such fantastic inspiration for doing a project of one’s own.

Such is the case of this wonderful item, which would be a gorgeous display piece for a desk or bookshelf. I love that the display text suggests it’s actually a tooth from a Bumble instead of a plain old Yeti.

Each part of this piece is (reasonably) easy to do: The tooth carving isn’t too intricate, and the display stand is a wooden bowl and a dowel. Put together, painted, and aged, they look fantastic. A similar “collected item” would make a unique gift for a monster (or Rudolph!) fan.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | No Comments »

Official Tooth Fairy Paperwork

June 15th, 2010 by Cobwebs

TeethShadowboy lost his first two teeth over the weekend,* and instead of eagerly surrendering them to the Tooth Fairy he was adamant that he wanted to keep them.** This threw me a minor curve, since I’d made a tooth fairy sachet to facilitate the tooth-to-money conversion (it’s way easier to find that under a pillow than it is to go groping around for a single tooth), and I hadn’t expected a tooth-based mutiny.

We compromised by putting the tooth under his pillow but leaving a polite note asking the fairy not to collect it.*** In retrospect, however, we should have just filed an official Tooth Loss Certificate with the Central Bureau of Fairies.

Notion Farm has a cute kit that is precisely that: A pretty letterpress form with tooth loss details and embossed seal, plus a silk-screened “deposit bag.” It’s $16 for the starter kit, and extra certificates are $5 (apparently official fairy policy only requires one tooth to be kept on file, but some families like to be particularly diligent and deposit additional teeth).

I like the Notion Farm kit, but if it doesn’t suit your tastes it wouldn’t be too hard to DIY something more to your liking. An “official form” isn’t difficult to create–I did a mockup just for fun, and it took me about 15 minutes–and you can customize it to include whatever information you want (it’d be entertaining to do one that required reams of information, from blood type to grandmother’s maiden name). You could decorate the “deposit bag” with embroidery or fabric paint, or eschew the bag in favor of an official-looking manila envelope or file folder.

This is much more fun than just jamming a naked tooth under a pillow, so if you know a child who’s shedding teeth this would be a great project.

*Everybody sing! “Sunrise, Sunset….”

**It’s possible he thinks the Tooth Fairy dabbles in voodoo.

***She even wrote back! Her handwriting is surprisingly similar to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny’s, so apparently all mythical beings use the same stenographer.

Posted in Bittens | 3 Comments »

“Cabinet of Curiosities” Auction

June 14th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Skulls and Skeletons

A Creationist “natural history” museum in Georgia is auctioning off its collection, and although I despair at giving money to charlatans, there’s some awesome stuff to be had. Items up for sale include:

  • authentic mammoth teeth
  • leaf fossils
  • 3-pc dinosaur fossil
  • woolly mammoth hair
  • dinosaur replicas
  • mummified cats from Egypt
  • carved and decorated hippo teeth
  • authentic skulls
  • mahogany hand-carved Chinese display case
  • urns
  • oils on canvas

Internet bidding is available and many items have no minimum bid, so even if you’re not in Georgia you might be able to get something marvelous. The auction begins June 25.

(via BoingBoing)

Posted in Needful Things | No Comments »

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Link Dump

June 11th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Cobweb Wreath – Idea for making a cute pumpkin/spiderweb wreath.

Kevorkian’s Paintings – The Ariana Gallery has some signed and numbered works by Dr. Jack Kevorkian. They’re…meh.

How to Make Paper Out of Lint – Tutorial for making attractive handmade paper from dryer lint.

Kaleidoskopic Romance – Etsy seller specializing in “dark and unusual” dollhouse miniatures such as teeny ouija boards and tarot cards.

Calendar Cake – Cute idea for a “Halloween countdown” cake. You could use M&Ms or other round candies if you didn’t feel like making macarons. (via Creepy Cupcakes)

Aging Wood – Tutorial for taking the “shine” off of new wood. Useful for making vintage-looking wooden items.

Aberzombie Shirt – Amusing DIY knockoff of an Abercrombie sweatshirt.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Skeletal Hair Accessories

June 10th, 2010 by Cobwebs

BarretteCraftygoths member eyedollize posted these striking “fallen angel” barrettes a while back. I like the juxtaposition of the skeletal body with the butterfly wings.

She uses just the head and torso for the barrettes, and cleverly uses the leftover arms as hairpins. (The picture of those on her original post has disappeared, but there are some in her Etsy shop.)

Something similar–although perhaps not quite as sinister-looking–would be pretty easy to make if you’ve got a miniature plastic skeleton or two laying around. (As one does.) The ones from Anatomical are nicely detailed, but you can sometimes find cheaper ones at “dollar stores,” particularly around Halloween. Artificial butterflies are available from craft stores or online.

Something similar would be cute as a brooch or used to accessorize a hat or bag, too.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 1 Comment »

Tulle Blossom Tutorial

June 9th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Tulle BlossomsBeetlegirl Design has an easy tutorial for making “springtime blossoms” out of circles of tulle. The examples are soft pastels, but they’d also look great in darker shades.

Branches of these would be great centerpieces at a wedding: You could make the flowers match your wedding colors, or spray-paint the branches black and fill them with orange or scarlet blooms for a gothier look.

A few of the delicate little blossoms would also be pretty on a hat or scattered along a jacket lapel. They’re easy to make, so they’d be a great last-minute way to add a little punch to an article of clothing.

Cheap! Easy! Two things I love in a project.

Posted in Doom It Yourself, Terror in the Aisle | No Comments »

Zombie Defense is Everyone’s Business

June 8th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Zombie Defense StationCraftster member Bunny in a Bear made this “zombie defense station,” and it is just jaw-droppingly wonderful. It includes a shotgun and shells, machete, helpful instructions, and the front panel doubles as a riot shield. His post includes information on how he obtained/made the various items, and other than having to drill a couple of holes in a sheet of plexiglas the whole thing could be made by even the least crafty amongst us.

This would be a marvelous gift for the zombie-loving person in your life, and you could also take the same basic idea and modify it for other monsters: A vampire emergency kit with a stake and vial of holy water, a werewolf version with silver bullets and a bottle marked “dried wolfsbane,” and so on.

Bonus Link: If you aren’t quite up to building a wall unit, check out this cute zombie hunter gift pack. There’s some great inspiration for giving someone the gift of mayhem.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 1 Comment »

Insanely Wonderful Gift Idea

June 7th, 2010 by Cobwebs

The marvelous xJane recently discovered Fiverr, a site where people advertise things they’ll do for $5. She was surfing around and found bsza’s offer to send a postcard from Transylvania to the destination of your choice. And she wrote me with the following suggestion:

If their handwriting is suitably calligraphic (or perhaps you could send them a gif to copy onto the postcard), this might be a fun Random Thing On The Fridge Or Coffee Table:

Dear xJane,

Was so glad you could visit this winter. You know how much the long nights here make me lonesome. What a great idea to trade meals for lodging whilst traveling through Europe! I hope the rest of your trip was as memorable. Please come back soon–I so rarely get visitors since that hubub with the Ottomans.

Yours always,


And then I passed out from the sheer brilliance of this idea.

So, for a mere $5 (or your local equivalent; there doesn’t appear to be any geographical restrictions), you or a friend can have an extremely cool Transylvanian postcard.

Thanks, xJane!

Posted in Needful Things | 2 Comments »

The Link Dump of Shallott

June 4th, 2010 by Cobwebs

Spider Crown – Gorgeous crystal tiara. This would be lovely for a bride. (Hat tip to Empress Pam)

Savage Chickens – They make me giggle.

Poe Shrine – Mini Edgar Allan Poe shrine on Crafty Goths.

The Purple Hippo – Etsy seller specializing in “snarky cross stitch.” She also has a Flickr set of more of her work. I especially like this one.

Bombarock – Furniture company with some lovely upholstered skull-pattern items.

Skeleton Bodysuit – This would be a lot of work to knit, but it’s undeniably awesome.

AT-AT Wedding Cake – It’s the accompanying Ewok cupcakes that really make this.

Zombie Meat – Beef jerky that purports to be the flesh of zombies. The Japanese are way, way ahead of us in terms of sheer weirdosity.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

An Excuse to Make Costumes

June 3rd, 2010 by Cobwebs

Here’s an interesting charitable organization: The Princess Alexa Foundation is a charity that gives critically ill children the opportunity to play dress-up. They stock costume closets at hospitals and ship packages of clothes and accessories to children nationwide. It’s a nice way to let very ill children play and do something a little “normal.”

I have a tendency to buy costume patterns whenever they’re cheap even if I don’t have anything particular in mind for them, and since I’ll use any excuse to play with pretty fabric, this is looking like an excellent way to use up some of my backlog.

If you don’t sew, you might consider picking up a costume or two on clearance after Halloween to donate. For non-US folks, you can check whether there’s a domestic charity which performs a similar function, or simply do it yourself: I’m willing to bet that a local children’s hospital would be thrilled with the donation of a few costume items for the kids to play with.

Posted in Bittens | 2 Comments »

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