The Art of Darkness

Crop Circle Art

April 16th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Crop CircleLaughing Squid recently posted about a Kickstarter for Crop Circle Towels, featuring woven designs inspired by the “mysterious” formations. I’m mentioning it here because I am dumb and it had never occurred to me to consider crop circles as a design element. There will be a short pause whilst I slap my forehead really hard.

Although some crop circles are just, y’know, circular, a lot of the more recent ones have intricate geometric designs. They’d be lovely on a quilt, either appliqued as part of the pattern or outlined in quilted stitching. A sampler of different formations would be a fun cross-stitch project, and they could also be used as stencils for painting walls or furniture.

Doing an image search on “crop circles” brings up loads of photos that could be used as reference or inspiration. I love this montage (from here); wouldn’t that be a gorgeous quilt?

If you don’t have the CAD skills or graphic software to translate a photo into a pattern, search “crop circle designs” for black-and-white drawings that can just be printed out and used directly. (In doing that search, I also discovered that crop circle tattoos are a thing. Huh. Anyway, this one is pretty.)

If you’ve got the ambition and space, you could also get back to the roots (so to speak) of the designs and plant a garden in one of the simpler patterns; you could use pebbles to create the lines between plants, or just intersperse plants of different colors.

Even if you don’t believe that The Truth is Out There, these patterns are attractive in their own right and would be a fun way to add a little geometric weirdness to your surroundings.

Posted in Paint It Black | 2 Comments »

Eat My Face

April 15th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Chocolate FaceBompass & Parr is a sort of culinary think-tank, whose projects include a whiskey pipe organ called The Flavour Conductor, a theatrical “dinner adventure” with an Alice in Wonderland theme, and something called Scent of Darkness in which they “traversed London between sunset and sunrise to chart the scents of the city at night. Londons (sic) aromas were composed as perfumes and shipped to Thomas Brown who photographed them with stylist Lyndsay Milne.” I’m a little fuzzy on the point of photographing perfumes, but I am clearly not high-concept enough to be their target audience.


Their latest offering is Eat My Face, a 3-D printed cast of your face suitable for molding chocolate or gelatin. Putting aside the fact that “eat my face” sounds like a mild epithet, the price for one of these beauties is “available upon request” which means that they’re likely well outside the range of anyone so plebian as to wonder why somebody would bother photographing perfume.

However, if you simply can’t bear the idea of not owning what amounts to a chocolate death mask, this is DIY-able with a little time and effort.

Bompass & Parr’s service uses facial scanning software and 3-D printing. The low-tech approach is to take a mold of your face (or, um, body part of your choice, I guess), make a positive plaster cast from that, then use the cast to create a food-grade silicone mold. (Note: There are “lifecasting” products that use silicone, but unfortunately it’s not food-grade silicone, so you can’t skip the plaster-mold step.)

Casting your face is a fairly straightforward process; googling “how to make a cast of your face” will turn up several helpful tutorials like this one. You use a material called alginate, which is available online at Amazon or at companies that specialize in lifecasting products like Reynolds.

Make a positive plaster cast from the alginate mold as described in the tutorial, then use food-grade silicone to create a mold from that. Smooth-On and Make Your Own Molds sell the right kind of silicone, and also have instructions for using it for mold-making. You can also get tips on successfully making silicone molds (such as making sure you have room to wiggle out the original cast) by googling for tutorials like this. (Once you’re done with the original plaster cast, incidentally, you can display it as an objet d’art. Paint it like a calavera. Cover it with rhinestones. Follow your bliss.)

Finally, it’s time to cast the chocolate. You can get general guidelines for molding chocolate from a variety of tutorials, such as here and here. After going to all the work of making a mold, you’ll want to make sure to temper the chocolate so it doesn’t develop white streaks. Rather than just pouring in chocolate, you may wish to paint on a thin layer with a (new!) paintbrush or basting brush to make sure there aren’t any teensy bubbles. If you do pour in the chocolate, give the mold a couple of whacks on a firm surface to help burst the bubbles and ensure a nice smooth surface.

Once unmolded, you can present the chocolately face as-is (preferably nestled in a pretty box), or you can paint on details with a (new!) small paintbrush and colored candy melts.

Bonus link: When researching this article I discovered that edible chocolate buttholes are a thing. If you want to try that at home, you are totally on your own.

Posted in Needful Things | 3 Comments »

Seen Online

April 14th, 2015 by Cobwebs

He died doing what he loved most: not being dead.

i just saw a 24 hour carwash. If you’re washing your car at 4am you just killed somebody.

what are girls doing when they go to the bathroom together? we’re casting spells

I’d like the backstory on 90% of the “For External Use Only” warning labels.

When the hostess at the restaurant says “table for two?”, I always like to look surprised and whisper “you can see her too?”.

I’m a health goth in the sense that I fantasize about death every time I work out.

everybody’s scared of the dark until they become it

Tomorrow I’m calling a guy who interviewed me 5 years ago asking where I saw myself in 5 years to let him know that I was wrong.

When you have a torch, everything looks like a Frankenstein.
Burgeoning Lads of Science

Did you just say “go east” instead of “turn right,” you pompous little direction shitlord?

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 2 Comments »


April 13th, 2015 by Cobwebs

What if you found out that everybody dreamed about you last night?

As io9 put it, this short film “plays like an ultra-violent Twilight Zone episode.”

Posted in Whatever | No Comments »

Tales of the Brass Link Dump

April 10th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Kissing Mice – Free pattern for adorable little amigurumi mice.

The Neurotic Owl Tarot – Kickstarter for a Tarot deck featuring oddly winsome little animals. The artist is posting some of the images here.

Vincent Price Sings “The Monster Mash” – This is an audio recording with a still photo instead of a video, but it’s still fun. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie) Bonus link: Check out this Vincent Price/Monster Mash Tattoo Sleeve.

The Phantasmagoria: An Ancestry Of Fear – A discussion of scary “magic lantern” slideshows from the 1800s.

The Peanuts Gang Meets H.P. Lovecraft – I’ve seen artwork of Peanuts/Lovecraft mashups before, but this is the first time I’ve seen actual comic strips.

Cats in Hats – Book of knitting and crochet patterns for, y’know, cat hats. Because what every cat really wants is a hat.

The eTomb – Design concept for a tombstone with “digital remains” of the deceased. Besides being a solution to a problem that doesn’t actually exist, this would be hacked for the lulz in about three seconds. (Hat tip to Sisifo)

Labyrinth Knocker Earrings – Cute handmade earrings and pendants made in the shape of the door knockers from Labyrinth.

Nothing But Dinosaurs – For all your retail dinosaur needs.

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew – Handy readers’ companion for 19th-Century British literature, explaining the rules and customs of Victorian life: Whether a duke outranks an earl, why the middle class avoided eating cheese, and the difference between a gig and a curricle.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

There’s a Short Story in Here Somewhere

April 9th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Part of my blog analytics are search terms that bring people to this site, and occasionally I’ll browse through them and wonder about the motivation behind searches for “bed cthulhu” or “facehugger sex toy” (and also wonder whether the same person searched for both terms; they seem somehow squickily related). This one turned up the other day:

accidentally bought christmas wraith

The logical explanation, of course, is that somebody just misspelled “wreath” and wound up here entirely by accident. In this case, however, I am choosing to ignore logic in favor of the much more appealing image of somebody frantically googling for help whilst a holly-trimmed ghoul swooshes around their head.

You can almost hear the letter of complaint being written. “To whom it may concern: What I assumed was a typo on your order form….”


Posted in Whatever | 5 Comments »

Fun with Cockroaches

April 8th, 2015 by Cobwebs

When I was cleaning out a closet recently I ran across a package of rubber cockroaches that I picked up at some post-Halloween clearance and decided to put ’em to use. This project is pretty much the ultimate in “last-minute,” since you only need three things: Fake cockroaches, small magnets, and something to stick one to the other.

Supplies Fake cockroaches are widely available at party-supply stores around Halloween, but you can also get them online. If cockroaches aren’t really your bag, this project would work well with plastic spiders or other lightweight creepy-crawlies.

You’ll need two small magnets for each roach. I used these little round guys, but you could also get flexible magnetic tape and cut it to the desired size.

Now you just need something to stick ’em together. I used a hot-glue gun, but just about any adhesive should work. (I guess you could also save yourself a step and use self-adhesive magnets.)

Roach with Magnet

Turn each roach over and glue a magnet to its underside. Let dry.

Boom. Done. That’s the entire amount of work required for this project.

Roaches on Lampshade Now to have fun with them. Place the roach on a lampshade or curtain, and stick the second magnet behind it on the other side. The magnets will hold the roach in place, so it looks like it’s crawling around by itself.

The magnets will also hold the roaches on any metal surface, so arrange several crawling around on the refrigerator too.

If you’ve got leftover bugs, you can:

  • Glue thumbtacks to their undersides and use them as pushpins on a bulletin board
  • Glue them to a bar clasp or a tie tack and accessorize.
  • If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you could also attach them to a necklace (source). In this particular case I doubt that glue would be strong enough; the rubber that the roaches are made from is fairly soft, so your best bet would probably be to poke a hole through their underside with a big needle and thread embroidery floss or thin wire through the hole. Use that to tie each roach onto the necklace.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 3 Comments »

Trivia Tuesday

April 7th, 2015 by Cobwebs

  1. Although not as famous as Nessie, the lake monster Ogopogo has plenty of fans. The critter allegedly makes its home in Okanagan Lake, in which country?
  2. In the “Mecha-Streisand” episode of South Park, this goth music legend voiced an animated version of himself; he engages the evil Barbra Streisand in a giant robot battle and saves the world from her tyranny.
    A) Peter Murphy
    B) Andrew Eldritch
    C) Robert Smith
    D) Nick Cave
    E) Ian Curtis
  3. Armin Shimerman, who played Principal Snyder on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, also played which character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine?
  4. Which of the following locations gained fame as “the most haunted house in England”?
    A) Raynham Hall
    B) Woodchester Mansion
    C) Chillingham Castle
    D) Salmesbury Hall
    E) Borley Rectory
  5. What is the license plate of the Ghostbusters’ vehicle?
  6. The Monster in Young Frankenstein was accidentally given an “abby normal” brain instead of the brain belonging to whom?
    A) Friedrich Wöhler
    B) Hans Delbrück
    C) Karl Stetter
    D) Gottfried Leibniz
    E) Julius Plücker
  7. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are War, Famine, Death, and Pestilence. In Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens Pestilence retired in 1936, “muttering about penicillin,” and was replaced by whom?
  8. One of the most famous cases of purported past life regression is that of Virginia Tighe, who claimed to recall a past life as a 19th century Irish woman named what?
    A) Mary Reilly
    B) Fiona Shaw
    C) Nora Barnacle
    D) Bridey Murphy
    E) Kate O’Brien
  9. Who lives at 1313 Mockingbird Lane?
  10. In the novel Dracula, which of these vampire-hunters doesn’t survive until the end of the book? (Um, spoiler alert for a 115-year-old novel, I guess.)
    A) Jonathan Harker
    B) Arthur Holmwood
    C) John Seward
    D) Abraham Van Helsing
    E) Quincey Morris

(Answers below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Trivia | 4 Comments »

Pearl, the Ascended Squirrel

April 6th, 2015 by Cobwebs

I was going to try and write some kind of summary explaining this whole thing, but the more I think about it, I don’t think it’s possible to explain this whole thing. Best to just let it exist in its own little pocket of weirdness.

Check out the whole channel, featuring gems such as Proper Opossum Psychic Services and Proper Possercising: Prancercise for Possums, as well as the ME Pearl website. And then sit there with your mouth slightly open, wondering what the hell you just watched.

(Hat tip to pdq)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 3 Comments »

Mysteries of the Unseen Link Dump

April 3rd, 2015 by Cobwebs

Princeless – Comic series about a princess who can save her own darn self.

Medusa – Arresting knitted cap. There’s no pattern for this one, but Ravelry has one that’s fairly similar.

Steampunk Easter Eggs – Attractive DIY from EPBOT. There’s still time to make these if you hurry.

#VeryRealisticYA – “The two teens saving the world are not romantically attracted to each other.” “Hot immortal vampire/werewolf/magical dude doesn’t go to high school because WHY WOULD YOU.”

Cool Places to Buy Weird Shit in Los Angeles – A helpful roundup for locals, but several places have online presences so the rest of us can play along.

Horror-Themed Easter Eggs – A little heavy on the zombies, but the NMBC-themed ones are cute.

Cave Evil – Review of an interesting-sounding board game. (Beware: Page suffers from “spooky” = “hard to read” syndrome.)

Medieval Game Room – This game room was decorated to look like a Medieval European tavern, and there are some really nice details.

25 Animal Hybrids That Will Give you Nightmares – Yes, it’s clickbait; yes, it was probably ripped off from some Worth1000 contest; yes, pretty much everyone who reads this site, instead of having nightmares, would adopt most of these photoshopped beasts as pets. But at least everything is on one page instead of being a slideshow and the Batypus is pretty cute.

Afraid – I love the Savage Chickens.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

« Previous Entries Next Entries »