The Art of Darkness

The Noshing Dead

October 17th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Zombie ArmYou know what I love about running this blog? People occasionally send me pictures of apple tarts shaped like hacked-off arms and it’s perfectly normal.

I’ve mentioned creepy-food blog Kitchen Overlord previously, and intrepid blogger Chris-Rachael recently sent me a note:

I wanted to give you a heads up that I’m working on a Walking Dead cookbook. For the month of October, I’m releasing some extra gore-tastic recipes I think your readers would get a kick out of. For example:

Bloody Banana Guts

Brain Frittata

I’ve attached a sneak preview of my upcoming recipe for a sangria soaked apple tart shaped like Merle Dixon’s arm, post hacksaw. It even has a little flesh peeking from the gaping wrist.

I replied, “gack,” and she responded:

I’m kinda proud of this one:

Plucked Zombie Eye

It looks evil in a bloody red bowl of Thai curry. Evil and delicious.

Also, here’s the full step by step post for Merle Dixon’s Arm.

There’ll be a lot more of this disgusting awesomeness this month. I’m having way too much fun making my kitchen look like a crime scene.

So. If you’re looking to create a truly kickass zombie-based party menu, it looks like Kitchen Overlord is the place to be. Check it out!

Posted in Resources | 4 Comments »

This Year’s Costumes

October 16th, 2013 by Cobwebs

FezMaking costumes is one of my favorite activities, so every year I go all-out on Shadowboy’s Halloween duds. For the past few Halloweens I have predicted that he would eventually break my heart, costume-wise, and this is the year he finally went and did it. Doctor Who is his new passion, and he insisted on dressing as the Eleventh Doctor. I’m perfectly happy with his Whovian fandom, but the Doctor essentially wears street clothes. Street clothes!

To make it even worse, I also make costumes for a friend’s niece, and this year she wanted to be a cat. A shapeless overall with a tail and ears swam across my vision.* Sob.

So I did my best. Shadowboy’s outfit is, sadly, mostly purchased; the boots are from Morenza, and everything else except the coat came from local clothing stores. I did make the coat; a simple blazer pattern done in tweed. My only change was to add elbow patches. (Incidentally, if you’re looking for an exhaustive guide to the Doctor’s clothing, check out Steve Ricks’ blog.)

I had a little more leeway with the cat since she didn’t have to hew to a particular style, and I parlayed that into a lot of leeway. I just couldn’t countenance a plain-overall-with-ears-and-tail sort of costume, so I decided that if the fabric was leopard- or tiger-print, I could do anything I wanted.

I normally provide pattern numbers for reference, but the resulting kitty princess is such a bastardized melding of patterns that pinpointing its parentage is difficult. A lot of its DNA comes from (discontinued) Butterick 4320, but I added a stretchy velvet panel to the bodice and shortened the skirt dramatically. I added an underskirt which was just a simple circle skirt with a whole bunch of black tulle ruched on top,** a long tail (just a plain tube stuffed with fiberfill), and a fabric-covered headband with ears. She also requested a matching costume for her favorite dolly, and I was happy to oblige. That was Simplicity 1711.

My reward for doing this sewing every year is professional photos, which I add to my big gallery o’ costumes. The photos above, plus these of Shadaughter and Shadowboy and Shadowboy and friend make me awfully happy.

*Thank goodness for Shadaughter. Not only did she request a gender-bent Tenth Doctor costume (covered here), she recently informed me that she wants to go to next year’s Comic-Con as Daenerys Targaryen. I can always count on her for a challenge.

**A friend recently mentioned that she liked a particular costume made largely from pink tulle. I said, “If you don’t mind using black instead, I’ve got 100 yards of black tulle in the basement.” She replied, “Why would anyone have 100 yards of black tulle…never mind, I forgot who I was talking to.” Clearly.

Posted in Whatever | 6 Comments »

Seen Online

October 15th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Just once I’d like to see someone coolly walking away from an explosion walk right into a spider web.

Everyone says they want a fairy tale wedding. But as soon as I show up and curse their baby I’m “out of line”.

It’s really a lack of imagination that makes children check under the bed. Like the monsters couldn’t be floating invisibly just above you?

Anyone else getting sick of their dad constantly bragging that the Zodiac Killer was never caught?

Actually I would love to try cauliflower but it looks like broccoli’s ghost and I don’t eat haunted foods.

I can’t believe there was ever a time when I didn’t understand why Charlie Bucket’s grandparents stayed in bed for twenty years.

I like how Dracula wore a bow tie. Didn’t need to. Did so anyway, even without the help of a mirror. That’s class.

They Found Her Earring In Your Car, Charlie Brown

I want the word pizza tattooed on my arm in Japanese, people will think its something deep & emotional but really it just says pizza

If my Ouija board keeps saying “ANYBODY WANT A PEANUT” is it Andre the Giant or just some asshole ghost doing Princess Bride quotes

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 2 Comments »

High Tide

October 14th, 2013 by Cobwebs

This whimsical short film is a project by Kristin Kemper.

(via pdq)

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

The Link Dump of Dr. Caligari

October 11th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Monsters of New York – Wonderful images of whimsical monsters added to photos taken around New York City.

The Haunted Garden – Odd little Tumblr devoted to botanical myths and legends.

A Book is a Sneeze – Letter from E.B. White discussing Charlotte’s Web which includes some lovely thoughts about spiders.

The Gibson Girl’s Guide to Make-Up – A guide to historical makeup, with suggestions for period-inspired looks.

Omar Rayyan – Artist who specializes in wonderfully surreal paintings. I particularly like his Contessa with Squid.

Bat Molding – The subtle bat relief on the Penn Mutual building is lovely.

12 Horrifying Photos of Clowns – Vintage photos of clowns that will haunt your dreams. These would make excellent Facebook banners.

Deer Jaw Glasses – It’s a pity these were just done for a show and aren’t for sale.

Victorian Poop Table – Made of poop, that is; specifically coprolites. Also technically Georgian rather than Victorian. Whatever. It’s neat.

Freedom – The Carousel – Pretty artwork by Anne Wipf.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Giveaway Thing: Martha Stewart Back Issues

October 10th, 2013 by Cobwebs

I’m sort of an idiot.

When I saw that the 2013 special Halloween edition of Martha Stewart’s magazine wasn’t available in my area, I decided to order it online. There were a bunch of back issues available, and I thought, “Hm. The 2012 and 2011 issues don’t look familiar. Obviously I have holes in my collection. Lo! I must order them as well.” So I did. And they came in the mail. And when I went to file them, I discovered that I had both of the back issues because I am more alert than I thought I was.

So. I have an extra copy of the 2012 and 2011 issues to give away to two commenters who might actually be missing them.

If you would like one, leave a comment by Friday, October 18. If you have an issue preference, mention that too. Two commenters will be chosen at random. (Non-US people can play along; I don’t mind shipping overseas if you don’t mind waiting however long it takes cheap postage to arrive.)

And next year, somebody remind me that I have all of the back issues.

Update: spat back magic numbers 3 and 7, so KJ and Gail FC win these silly back issues. I’ll send email separately to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to everyone who played!

Posted in Whatever | 8 Comments »

Ghost Singles

October 9th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Ghost SinglesLong, long ago, in the early days of the World Wide Web, setting up a website was: a) Difficult and b) Expensive. Today it is neither, and although that means that any tinfoil-hat-wearing yahoo can set up a site claiming that the Royal Family is actually a bunch of lizard people from Zeta Reticuli, it also means that anybody with a silly idea like a dating service for ghosts can run with it. I think the tradeoff is worth it.

Ghost Singles is a site where girl ghosts can meet boy ghosts in hopes of becoming soulmates (:::rimshot:::). And they play it totally straight. From the privacy statement (“We understand that just because you float around in nothing but your nightgown night after night doesn’t mean you want anything less than total privacy.”) to contact information that includes “Gypsy” (“Wispy smoke followed by three swirls (crystal ball), or tea leaves in the shape of a goat”), the site never breaks character. Here’s part of their “Dating Tips” page:


By now you’ve learned that your fellow phantoms come from many eras; some may be hundreds of years old, or more! This means that cultural standards will vary widely; what may have been taboo in your generation might be the norm in the one a few generations from now.

It would be impossible to list the details of every culture throughout all time, but there are some behaviors that are universally approved — and others that are universally disliked. Here’s a quick primer.

  • Ask questions. Get to know your date. How did he or she die? What was it like to stand over their own lifeless corpse? Did they see a light at the end of a tunnel, and if so, why didn’t they go towards it? You may find you have a lot in common.
  • Compliment your date. Are they looking ghastly? Particularly eldritch? Be sure to let them know!
  • Don’t kiss on the first date. Don’t kiss ever, in fact, because your faces just pass through each other, and it’s really weird for both parties.
  • Don’t be offended if they suddenly disappear. You should know as well as anyone that existence in this twilight realm can be inconsistent. If your date vanishes, don’t be too quick to judge.

Unlike other parody dating sites which are mainly fronts for real dating services, this is apparently done entirely for the hell of it. (The creator, incidentally, appears to be Randy Tayler, whose site is linked from the bottom of the home page.) It’s nice to see this sort of untrammeled silliness.

(Hat tip to pdq)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

Warming Autumnal Drinks

October 8th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Autumn is finally here in the Northern Hemisphere, and chilly evenings are custom-made for warming drinks. Here are a few that have been sitting around in my Drafts folder, just waiting for the proper time to emerge.

Caramel Apple
Serves 4

4 C apple cider (the non-alcoholic, apple-juice sort; thanks, Mim!)
1/4 C brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
1/2 C caramel vodka,* or more to taste

Put the cider, brown sugar, and cinnamon into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, stir in vodka, and pour into mugs.

*You can find caramel-flavored vodka in many liquor stores, but it’s also easy to make your own. For either of these methods, you’ll need a 750ml bottle of vodka (the better the quality of the vodka, the better the final result, so don’t use paint-thinner-grade stuff):

  • Pour out 1/2 C of vodka and replace with 1/2 C of caramel sauce. If you want to go the full homemade route, you can make your own sauce; otherwise, the store-bought stuff meant for ice cream topping is fine.
  • Pour all of the vodka into another container temporarily, add 20 chopped-up caramel candies to the bottle, and pour as much vodka as will fit back in. Cap the bottle, set aside, and give it a good shake a couple of times a day for around 5 days (the smaller the caramel pieces, the faster it’ll infuse).

For either method, you can optionally strain the finished vodka through a coffee filter to remove any leftover small solids.

Candle in the Window
Serves 1

In a mug combine:

2 tsp. Bourbon
1 tsp. cherry brandy
1 tsp. dark Creme de Cacao
2 oz. light rum

Fill with coffee, top with whipped cream, and dust with cocoa powder.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Resources | 2 Comments »

Ghost Song

October 7th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Musician Max Ablitzer performs “dark and melancholic” violin pieces. Here’s one track from his album “Dark Violin Songs.” You can listen to the other tracks (and also buy the album) on his site.

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Link Dump

October 4th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Zombie Engagement Shoot – This kind of photoshoot is becoming oddly common, but I like that the rest of the wedding party are zombified by the end of the session. (Hat tip to xJane)

Spiderweb Bra – The price is patently ridiculous, but the design is cute. There are also matching (similarly overpriced) panties

Animated Portraits of Cyborgs – These animated collages by “Sholim” Rajkovic are decidedly unnerving. (via Bonni)

Creepy Doll Mobile – DIY for making a spooky mobile from thrifted dolls. The inspiration was also amusing.

How to Make Halloween Lanterns – Easy instructions for making lovely luminaria-style lanterns out of vellum and picture frames.

Digital Taxidermy – Splendid photoshopped mashups of disparate animals. I especially like the owl spider. (via WitchArachne)

Steampunk PC – Amazingly elaborate casemod.

Poseable Dragon Figurine – These adorable little dragons are all jointed, so they can curl up and nap in your hand. (There’s an English translation near the bottom of the page.)

Skull Half Mask – Protective mask for paintball and similar sports.

Superfight! – Card game which allows you to answer questions like, “Can a Pope who shoots lightning (but can’t see) defeat a chimp who throws grenades (but is handcuffed to a golf cart)?” (Hat tip to Jes)

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

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