The Art of Darkness

The Church of Ed Wood

May 18th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Ed Wood LogoIt’s probably somewhat telling that the very first thing you encounter when hitting this site is a popup that says, “To answer your first question – yes, we’re TOTALLY serious!”

The Church of Ed Wood* is an internet church which practices “Woodism.”

Woodism is a pop-culture-based religion created in 1996 by Reverend Steve Galindo. We follow the late cult director Edward D. Wood Jr., and we look to him as a savior. We at The Church of Ed Wood use Ed and his films to inject spirituality into those who get little fulfillment from more mainstream religions like Christianity. By looking at his films and his life, we learn to lead happy, positive lives. We strive for acceptance of others and of the self.

The basic tenets of the religion seem to boil down to “follow your dreams,” “don’t be ashamed of who you are,” and “be accepting of others,” and frankly a lot of more mainstream religions could do worse than to preach those views. The site goes into these in great detail with The Lessons of Wood, and once you have accepted Woodism into your heart you can be baptized right online.

Or if you’re feeling a little more secular you can just buy a T-shirt.

(Hat tip to Emily)

*Note to the seizure-prone: This site is really fond of flashy blinky things.

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Seen Online

May 17th, 2011 by Cobwebs

At 11:59 PM Cinderella should’ve said to the Prince, “I bet you a million bucks I can turn that carriage into a pumpkin.”

“HERE COMES THE TICKLE MONSTER!” the villagers cried, fleeing from the beast. But he wouldn’t stop, he would never stop.

Of course this Indian Burial Ground is haunted, it was built on an INDIAN BURIAL GROUND

The more inappropriate a time to make a joke, the funnier that joke will be.

Unfortunately at no point during my workday does anyone ever have cause to shout my name and then toss me a sword.

Goths love cats because they are elegant, independent, aloof, sleep a lot and throw up on things, just like Goths.
Stuff Goths Like

Whenever I hear a lady in the next stall trying to unwrap a tampon as quietly as possible I want to yell HEY IS THAT CANDY CAN I HAVE SOME

I think it’s safe to assume that we all kind of know what Judas Iscariot would have done for a Klondike Bar.

If the hospital let me cut my son’s umbilical cord, you’d think this stupid funeral home would let me embalm my dad.

Attention sad young and not-so-young men being preyed upon by unscrupulous marketers: if Prince William is balding THERE IS NO CURE.

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Alpha Stamps

May 16th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Crow StampEvery so often I run across a site and immediately regret it, because I can easily envision it sucking all of the money out of my bank account. The latest entry on that list is Alpha Stamps.

ShellHawk’s Nest recently pointed to their Halloween Stamps page, noting that they’d be excellent motivation to start scrapbooking. They would indeed, and it turns out that Alpha has many more items than just stamps to spend money on enhance your creativity.

They’ve got things like “vampire” epoxy stickers, “death” tarot collage sheets, skeletal cameos, and entire collections devoted to Halloween, Steampunk, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and many more.

The site also features tutorials for interesting projects like a haunted house decoration and an Alice in Wonderland lunch box.

One thing I particularly like about the layout is their use of “inspirational” thumbnails throughout the catalog, suggesting interesting uses for various items. The sugar skull stamp, for instance, is accompanied by a beaded, embroidered patch featuring the design. They also have an entire gallery of items made with their products, which is a fantastic source of design ideas.

If you’re looking for the perfect little detail piece for a craft project, check this site out. They have all sorts of lovely things.

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The Link Dump with the Fringe on Top

May 13th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Some of the World’s Most Venomous and Dangerous Spiders – Lots of gorgeous up-close photographs.

Princess Ghibli – “Extreme metal” covers of songs from various Studio Ghibli films. If you’ve ever yearned to hear music from Princess Mononoke as performed by Living Corpse, now’s your chance.

50 Unexplainable Black and White Photos – It’s sort of comforting to know that people have always been nuts.

Backlit Bathtub – This is just ridiculously atmospheric. I like the matching sink, too.

The Steampunk Bible – Illustrated compendium which covers the history of the movement and explores its modern-day incarnation. There’s also a companion blog.

Late Bloomer – Odd short film (Sundance Festival entry) which combines high school sex-ed and the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.

Frankentoys – Etsy seller which “repurposes” rescued toys by taking them apart and reassembling various bits. I think Raggedy Tapeworm is my favorite.

Builder’s, Crafter’s Maker’s Rules – The Wondermark Webcomic has been running a series of parody “tinkerer’s handbook” pages. The final one in the series, however, actually has some pretty good rules to Make by.

Moving Announcement – Neat “we’ve moved” card featuring a spooky crow.

Two from Cracked:
6 Bizarre Ways Architecture is Designed to Ward Off Ghosts
The 7 Most Ridiculous Ghost Stories from Around the World
(As an aside, Cracked is second only to TVTropes as a site where you go to read one article, then you click on a link to another, and then you look up and three hours have passed.)

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Easy Skeletal Brooch

May 12th, 2011 by Cobwebs

BroochHere’s a knockoff that I think I like better than the original. Kirsten of Studs and Pearls was inspired by this silver-and-crystal brooch to create this far (far!) cheaper alternative. She’s posted a tutorial, which could hardly be easier: Spray-paint a plastic skeleton hand (available at party and craft stores around Halloween or year-round at Pushin’ Daisies) in the desired color, glue on rhinestones, and attach a brooch pinback. This is a super-cute fastener for a scarf or decoration for a tote bag.

You could go further and cover the entire hand with rhinestones, or do the “blood dripping” thing from the original using a string of little red seed beads. If rhinestones aren’t your thing you could spray it with glue and coat it with glitter, or decorate it with puff paint.

Since the plastic is lightweight, you could decorate several hands in different styles and mass them together on a sweater or run them along a purse strap. It’s certainly an arresting (and inexpensive!) way to make a statement.

(via Creepy Cupcakes)

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DIY Voodoo Kit

May 11th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Voodoo SachetA while back Bonni Reid mentioned this peculiar vintage ad for “voodoo kits” which contained, quote, “Haitian doll, hand-carved mahogany needles to stick in doll, chicken feathers, voodoo dirt, list of awful voodoo curses.” After being rendered momentarily speechless by the ad copy, it occurred to me that a DIY kit would be sort of fun to put together.

Although popular culture nearly always depicts voodoo dolls as being used for evil purposes, actual practitioners generally use them for positive goals such as healing illness or sparking romance. A kit with a doll (or components to make one), pins, and other accessories would be a novel gift to celebrate someone’s new job or other life-changing event. (Depending upon the amount of stock you put in the efficacy of “magic,” you may wish to include a note indicating the belief that using the doll for malign ends will result in karmic backlash.)

Starting with the doll, you can either sew a simple cloth rag-doll or make a more “traditional” one from sticks and Spanish moss.

For the former, either hand-draw a basic human shape for use as a pattern, or look around for simple cloth doll patterns such as this or this. Fabric can be anything from basic muslin to silk brocade, depending on how primitive you want the doll to look and/or the tastes of the person you’re making it for. Add facial features, a heart, and optional “targets” with embroidery or fabric paint, then sew, turn (optional), and stuff. For the one in the photo up there, I wanted a very rustic look so I used a rough natural cotton and ran the seam along the outside so that the edges would eventually fray.

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Trivia Tuesday

May 10th, 2011 by Cobwebs

(No prizes, but if you can answer them all without googling you get bragging rights.)

  1. In the 6th installment of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Krueger’s father is seen in flashback. What singer portrayed the father?
  2. Will-o’-the-wisps are also known as corpse candles, friar’s lanterns, and spook-lights. Their Latin name is ignis fatuus which translates as what?
  3. Death-rock band Skeletal Family derived their name from a song by what well-known rock star?
  4. This 1953 play by Arthur Miller is a dramatization of the Salem witch trials.
  5. Complete the title of Lord Dunsany’s most popular (and most gruesome) horror tale: “Two Bottles of ___”
  6. This Swedish film focuses on the relationship between a child named Oskar and a childlike vampire named Eli.
  7. The scary clown prop from the movie Poltergeist is now prominently displayed in what Las Vegas hotel/casino?
  8. Burke and Hare were two “resurrectionists” who eventually turned to murder to supply fresh corpses for anatomical dissection. What was the name of the doctor who bought their merchandise?
  9. Who played Septimus Pretorious, the sinister doctor who promised Frankenstein’s Monster a mate, in Bride of Frankenstein (1935)?
  10. “Every nail, claw-scale and spur, every spike
    and welt on the hand of that heathen brute
    was like barbed steel. Everybody said
    there was no honed iron hard enough
    to pierce him through, no time proofed blade
    that could cut his brutal blood caked claw”
    This is from the Seamus Heaney translation of a work that is extremely important in Western culture. What is it?

(Answers below the fold)

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The Troll Hunter

May 9th, 2011 by Cobwebs

This looks like fun. Troll Hunter is a Norwegian Blair Witch-esque “mockumentary” about students hunting trolls in modern Norway. It will be available in the U.S. in limited release in June, and apparently available on DVD soon after. Here’s the English-language version of the trailer:

(via Topless Robot)

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Love Among the Link Dumps

May 6th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Doktor A. – Artist and sculptor of peculiar things. I particularly like his Mechtorians series, such as Arbuthnot Wince, the Poisoner.

Wicked Crochet – Blog devoted to strange and rather skull-heavy crochet projects. The blogger also has an Etsy shop.

Urban Fairies – Site which collects “sightings” of fairy doors.

Anti Joke – “There’s an Irishman, a homosexual, and a Jew standing at a bar. What a fine example of an integrated community.”

Rocky Horror Amigurumi – It is to squee.

Six Degrees of Black Sabbath – A database that does the Kevin Bacon thing, but with musicians. Here’s one that I did.

Lady Symphonia – Artist who specializes in “dark” photomanipulation. Her deviantART gallery is here. (I especially like this one.)

If Harry Potter Had an MBA – Imaginary business productivity books written by various characters.

Ghost Osama – Faux-celebrity Twitter account of dead Osama. This appeared about an hour and a half after the announcement of his death. Black comedy never sleeps.

“From the Deep” Dinnerware – Pretty dishes patterned with sea life, heavy on the cephalopods. I love that the teacups have tentacles for handles.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

A Spider on the Web

May 5th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Flash SpiderHere’s an oddly charming little time-waster: Developer Tomas Eriksson has several simple Flash-based activities on his site, including one where you interact with a realistic-looking spider.

It drops from above when the page loads, and you can drag it around the floor by clicking on its body or legs. Double-clicking on the floor will drop “bugs” for it to eat, and once it runs out of insects it will scamper after your mouse like a friendly puppy hoping for more treats. I sort of want to hug it.

I wish there was a way to enable this on my computer desktop; I’d enjoy having a big hairy spider come to greet me whenever I closed a window.

Bonus link: A zillion years ago (give or take), a company called Virtual Creatures offered a couple of desktop “pets,” including a tarantula. They’re long gone, but you can still download a trial version of the software.

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