The Art of Darkness

The Link Dump on the Floss

August 31st, 2012 by Cobwebs

From A to B and through to Z – These splendidly grotesque illustrations would look magnificent framed.

Cloth-Covered Shoes DIY – The tutorial uses houndstooth, but obviously you could replace it with a creepy pattern of your choice.

The 8 Best “Hail Sagan” Designs – I was previously unaware of this particular meme, but it definitely hits the sweet spot between “geek” and “goth.”

Lace Earring Frame – Simple, lovely idea.

Punk Disney Princesses – A roundup.

Jack Skellington Crochet Pattern – Cute, free pattern.

Skull Door Knocker – Lovely polished brass knocker. (Hat tip to WitchArachne)

Sketches of Biological Mythology – Lovely drawings of unicorns and dragons done in the style of old biology texts.

Virtual Garage Sale – Trystan Bass is selling off period costumes/accessories and costuming books to raise money for an SCA event. She’s got some great stuff, very reasonably priced.

Beck Hansen’s Song Reader – Beck has one-upped those bands who are releasing vinyl-only albums by releasing his album as sheet music and telling fans to record it themselves. (Hat tip to Sisifo)

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Listen to the Pumpkins

August 30th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Here’s something I wish I’d known about last spring:

Etched Pumpkin

According to Seeds of Change, if you carve a message or design (about 1/8″ deep) in a pumpkin whilst it’s still growing, the message will grow along with the pumpkin. Hello, party centerpiece idea. (Or individual place cards, if you use mini-pumpkins and don’t mind planning your parties six months in advance.)

I would assume that the same idea would probably work for things like watermelons and other smooth-skinned squashes and gourds, too. (Provided that the rind is fairly thick; I doubt it would work on zucchini or summer squash.)

Folks in the other hemisphere who might be thinking about planting some pumpkins in a couple of months, start planning your designs now. The rest of us can tuck this away for next year.

Posted in Unhallowed Ground | 1 Comment »

Lady Vadore

August 29th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Lady VadoreOh. Wow.

Jen of EPBOT decided to create a female steampunk Darth Vader costume, because why not. She’s been documenting her progress in stages, detailing her adventures in turning a flashlight into a lightsaber, not to mention the epic hackery that turned a plastic Vader mask into this steampunk confection.

She’s finally finished, and has revealed the entire costume. There are dozens of splendid little details, like a belt buckle made from a vintage compact (which doubles as a business card holder), and feathered epaulets.

Most of the costume was made from thrifted bits, and her build notes are full of great ideas for adding a steampunk vibe to plain articles of clothing. The whole thing is a fantastic source of inspiration; check it out!

Posted in Resources | 2 Comments »

Frankenweenie Unleashed

August 28th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Everyone is probably abundantly aware that Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie is due out in early October. There’s also a soundtrack of music from the movie, which will be released September 25. Yeah Yeah Yeahs vocalist Karen O contributed “Strange Love,” which will play over the end credits.

Tim wanted an unconventional unconditional love song. My music inspiration came out of the same era of B-movie fright film references, sprinkled throughout the film. I went in the direction of exotica and calypso stylistically, because it’s quirky, good vibes music of that era and when you throw in a theramin solo it’s a marriage made in heaven. I remember Beetlejuice introducing me to the genius of Harry Belafonte’s calypso record so I wanted to give a nod to that too.

Here’s 30 seconds of the song. You can listen to the entire thing at Pitchfork.

(via io9)

Posted in Needful Things | No Comments »

Cadbury Screme Eggs

August 27th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Screme Egg:::jumping up and down excitedly:::

I just found out these things exist and if they don’t come to the US this year I will just plotz.

Most people are probably familiar with the Cadbury Creme Eggs that pop up like mushrooms around Easter. Last year Cadbury introduced a Halloween version: Same flavor, but with a bilious green yolk. As nearly as I can tell they were a UK-only thing, but I would be very interested indeed if they were more widespread this year.

The US Amazon site has a listing for the eggs, but the page just invites you to sign up to be alerted if they become available (UK Amazon has a similar listing but only for a whole box).

If you’re desperate to have some, a few online retailers appear to stock them: Cadbury Gifts Direct in the UK offers a gift box of 24, and Metro Candy in the US sells a box 0f 48. A US-based purveyor of British food called Jolly Grub also sells them in packs of 3. (I couldn’t immediately find an online source for the eggs elsewhere, although Metro Candy ships via UPS so they may sell worldwide.)

The eggs also have their own official Facebook page, so you can keep track of their availability that way.

Posted in Whatever | 5 Comments »

R.I.P. Neil Armstrong

August 25th, 2012 by Cobwebs


Neil Armstrong, 1st Man on the Moon, Dies at 82


Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

A Comedy of Link Dumps

August 24th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Black Magic – Ceramic(?) sculpture. I’d love a pair of these shoes in real life, although it’d be impossible to actually walk anywhere in them.

Zombie Bath Salts – Zombie-themed actual bath salts (like, for bathing) from ThinkGeek. The product description assures, “Will not make you eat people.” (Hat tip to Empress Pam)

10 Creepy Halloween Cocktails – Five under 200 calories, five not so much. The “rumpkin” sounds tasty, but I think I’d want to change the name.

Team Human – YA novel about a high-school girl falling in love with a vampire. Sounds sort of like what Twilight should have been. BoingBoing reviews it here.

McMartin Spellbook – Overview of a gorgeous prop spellbook made by Curious Goods.

Dark and Spooky Etsy Shops – A modest roundup. (via Cat)

Text Messages from a Ghost – Sweet, melancholy transcript of a fictional text-message conversation. There’s also a sequel.

Steamdrunks – A “steampunk cocktail” guide. It’s free for the Amazon Kindle.

How to be Goth – A “primer” which tries a little too hard to be funny. On the other hand, you could build a drinking game around how many times you roll your eyes during this video.

Jacket That Has Been Renewed – A nice dark makeover for a boring denim jacket.

Posted in Link Dump | 5 Comments »

Ghost Cams

August 23rd, 2012 by Cobwebs

Ghost CamDid you know these were even a thing? Because I certainly did not.

In much the same way that many zoos offer live “animal cams” that let you watch pandas and wolves and naked mole rats cavorting, a number of purportedly haunted sites have set up “ghost cams” to give viewers the opportunity to glimpse something supernatural. There’s a suprising number of them.

The Willard Library boasts a “grey lady” and has several cameras in different locations. They also allow users to submit screenshots of possible sightings, and have a gallery of past submissions online.

Ordsall Hall apparently has a number of ghosts. Since the Hall is open to the public during the day, their cams only operate at night.

The Knickerbocker Hotel has several live feeds, plus videos and EVPs from past “encounters.”

David lives in a haunted house and has both live cams and running commentary on odd happenings in the residence.

The Paris Catacombs have an infrared cam set up in one of the tunnels, although you have to manually refresh the page to update.

Ireland’s Eye has a ghost watch at an old linen mill and invites visitors to report unusual sightings.

There are several others, although apparently a number of UK-based ones that were hosted on the BBC site have all gone defunct at once.

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, some of the cam locations are nicely creepy.

Bonus link: There’s a Pyramid Cam of the pyramids at Giza. Neat.

Posted in Resources | 2 Comments »

Tea Time

August 22nd, 2012 by Cobwebs

Now that the summer in this hemisphere is heading toward a close, it’s time to start collecting the last remnants from your herb garden and drying them for use over the winter. Drying herbs is easy; there’s a good overview of various methods here, although I would lean toward air-drying as the best way to preserve the maximum flavor.

Once dry, store them airtight in a cool, dark place. You can use them in cooking as you would fresh herbs–use about one-third as much, since the favor is more concentrated, and you can also use them for herbal projects such as custom tea blends. These are easy to make in bulk and are a great gift idea, so be sure to dry plenty of herbs.

(If you don’t have room for a garden or don’t grow herbs in quantity, it’s easy to buy pre-dried herbs online. I like Monterey Bay Spice Co.’s selection.)

Here are a few blends to get you started. To make tea with these, use 1 C boiling water and about 2 tsp of tea blend for each cup (plus an extra 2 tsp “for the pot” if brewing several cups in a teapot). Let steep 5-10 minutes.

To give as a gift, pack in a tea tin or other airtight container, labeled with contents instructions. If you’re feeling extra-fancy, include a tea infuser and a ceramic mug.

Sweet Meadow Tea
(Chamomile and catnip are both calming, so this is a nice sleepytime blend.)

1 1/4 C chamomile flowers
3/4 C catnip
1 C sweet marjoram
1/2 C peppermint

Spicy Mint Tea

1 1/2 C spearmint
1 C dried orange peel, cut into small pieces
1 C cinnamon chips
1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise and finely chopped
1/4 Tbsp whole cloves

Tummy Tea
(Especially good for an upset stomach)

1 C peppermint
1 C spearmint
1/2 C lemongrass

Winter Warming Tea

1 C spearmint
1 C peppermint
1/2 C dried orange peel, cut into small pieces
1 C dried rose hips
2 Tbsp candied ginger, diced
1/2 C cinnamon chips
1 Tbsp whole anise seeds
2 Tbsp whole cloves

Posted in Unhallowed Ground | 1 Comment »

Suggest a Site

August 21st, 2012 by Cobwebs

Help me out here, guys: I recently pared down the site blogroll quite a bit to get rid of dead links and other cruft. This leaves me plenty of room to repopulate it with useful new links. So…suggest some!

Are there gothy/crafty/DIY/home decor sites that you visit regularly? Would your own site interest this site’s readers? Lemme have it in the comments!

Posted in Resources | 9 Comments »

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