September 30, 2010
1. Bliss Massacre
A prop creator's blog, currently featuring gorgeous photographs of pumpkin fields. I can't wait to see what they post about as the month of October continues.
2. Haunted Mansion Northside
The blog of an animator who's worked for Disney on and off for the past 15 years. He's currently helping some friends design a haunted attraction in Burbank, CA.
3. So Cal Halloween
The home haunter in California who is seeking donations to help him build a steampunk drilling machine for his yard haunt this year.
4. Halloween Artists
This blog describes itself as "An online magazine and marketplace for Halloween artists, folk art collectors and holiday enthusiasts." Currently posting about a Halloween fairy, a Halloween clown, and a creepy witch prop that sits in a chair.
5. Creepy Cupcakes
A blog focusing on creepy crafts, cooking, and Halloween homemaking. Currently posting about decorative skull plates, pumpkin pie, gorgeous decoupage pumpkins, and a DIY standing candelabra. I love visiting this blog!
6. Artistic Halloween Queens
I was trying to avoid listing any blogs that seem to exist merely for the purpose of sending people to eBay and etsy auctions for Halloween items. But this lady's stuff is so cute, I really like visiting her blog to see what she's created. So I'm throwing this link in anyways.
7. Kat the Hat Lady
A UK-based crafter who creates miniature Halloween scenes, dollhouse miniatures, and shares pictures of her Halloween shopping trips and cool finds.
8. The Shadow Farm
Dave's fabulous Halloween creations, which he builds to incorporate into his yard haunt every year. If you're interested in the subject of professional-caliber Halloween props, you'll probably love this photo-rich blog.
9. Boo Spooky
A Halloween enthusiast who lives in Alaska. They post about creating Halloween art and building Halloween props. They also provide a curated list of Halloween eBay and etsy shops.
10. Grim Hollow Haunt
Currently posting about a visit to a local cemetery, Spiderfest, a dancing skeleton puppet, and the new Nightmare on Elm Street soundtrack.
11. Orange and Black: The Spirit of Halloween
A Halloween lover shares their thoughts on Halloween movies, decorations, the disappointing Martha Stewart magazine this year, and shows off her creepy withered coneflower. This is a very active blogger, so you'll always have something new to check out in the autumn months ahead.
12. A Nostalgic Halloween
A scrapbooker/paper artist's blog on Halloween, decorating, and traditions. Check out her cool Marie Antoinette-themed Halloween banner.
13. Witch Hollow Primitives
A primitive artist's blog, showcasing her current works but also presenting articles such as this one on witchy brooms. She also shows off her latest Halloween finds, including these German glass glittered skulls. I expect this blog to have a lot more for you to read as October advances.
Which one of these blogs was your favorite to visit tonight?
September 29, 2010
1. Eyes of Halloween
These people do an incredible job of documenting 2010's USA haunted attractions. (Without stealing other people's links and research, too! Yay for them!) Not only do they list the haunt's website address, but also an email contact if possible, and - get this - expected opening date! That's a huge amount of work to develop and maintain.
Besides the haunt listings, they some helpful Halloween articles and how-tos.
2. Fantasy Pumpkins
Year after year, I enjoy coming back to this site to see all the amazing pumpkis. Not only does the site show off nice photos of the pumpkins, but there's often a free pattern you can download in case you dare to attempt one of these complicated designs.
3. Halloween is Here
A fun website with rancid recipes, Halloween party games, a haunted art gallery, Halloween crafts, costume ideas, and graveyard links. The website is clean and easy to navigate, doesn't take itself too seriously, and doesn't pepper the website with ads.
4. Ghost Droppings
An active, interesting forum for Halloween enthusiasts. Whether you're a professional yard haunter, just looking for costume ideas, or you need tips for a Halloween party, you'll probably be glad you came here.
5. The Monster List of Halloween Projects
This incredible resource currently offers 808 links to serious Halloween projects (not crafts for kids). The projects include special effects, props and decorations. There's everything from a $20 fogger to a blinking talking skull and a dangling crank spider. A fabulous website from a very dedicated webmaster. I'm impressed!
More Halloween links coming soon!
September 28, 2010
But the following is my list of interesting goth, dark or horror-ific people you might not have heard of, who tweet unusual things, not just what they had for lunch or what movie they're watching right now. They tweet often, and I tried to avoid news sites or people just retweeting other people's sayings.
I don't personally know any of the people here, I just find them interesting. I find many other people interesting, too, but I only have time to mention 13 in this post today! The people featured here didn't ask to be mentioned, and I didn't give them a heads up that I was going to talk about them. Just wanted to make sure I'm not opening myself up for a can of wormy "Hey! You forgot to mention ME!!" or "please mention my Twitter feed next time!" or "how much did those people pay you?" type emails!
1. Jovanka Vukovic
This is a filmmaker. She's currently working on filming The Captured Bird, which is being produced by Guillermo del Toro. You'll find out what she's currently reading, articles she's been interviewed in lately, and videos she's posted of herself interviewing horror greats like George Romero. If you like horror films, you won't be bored by this Twitter stream.
2. Chad Savage
You've probably seen and enjoyed many of Chad's graphics, advertising banners, logos, and websites. A huge chunk of the professional haunt industry uses his services to design cool ads and logos. Meanwhile, Chad posts about cool Halloween, horror and goth related things he finds, shares what it's like to work with difficult clients (no names!), and shares what he's reading, watching and listening to. On my daily quick scan of my Twitter streams, I definitely make a point to stop and see what Chad's posting about.
This girl "finds bliss in all things delightfully dark." She runs a really cool website for Halloween artists, and Tweets about fascinating things she finds in her explorations.
You can tell this person has an awesome personality. They tweet about horror, steampunk, art and writing.
5. Jhonen Vasquez
The creator of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. His tweets sometimes make me laugh. He tweets about things he's reading and watching, but also gives updates on new things he's working on.
You can follow the progress of talented goth clothing designer Kambriel. I like peering into someone's life as they work on their business but also retweet interesting links they've come across.
The owner of October Effigies, creator of fabulous goth and horror art dolls, and contributor to the Obscure Hollow blog. Find out what she's working on, reading, and listening to. I like that she points out neat stuff she finds on Etsy that isn't necessarily hers or her friends - just cool stuff she thinks her followers would like to see.
Heidi is an urban fantasy and paranormal romance writer. I like reading Twitter feeds about books, writing, writers and music.
9. Robyn Warne Designs
An artist who creates cute hand painted ornaments, but whose tastes in books and movies and whatnot run dark. I find out about a lot of interesting other Twitter people and links through her person's stream, as she's constantly involved in discussions with people. Snoop through and see if you enjoy reading this as much as I do. She points out interesting things on Etsy, but not in a spammy way.
10. Kim Richards
Kim Richards is owner of Damnation Books, as well as a horror and sci-fi author. She doesn't post often - I'd like to hear more from her when she gets back from haunted writer's retreats and passes along interesting author interviews.
11. The Shadow Farm
I'm fascinated to watch the progress of Dave's haunted yard and I love seeing the new creepy things he's creating.
12. Boo Spooky
A Halloween crafter's feed, with back-and-forth conversations with other crafters that you can eavesdrop on.
13. Staci Wilson
A journalist who writes for horror.com and Syfy. She posts about horror and dark TV and films, and occasionally shares what she's doing on her many travels.
September 23, 2010
1. History of the Jack O' Lantern
History.com's retelling of the Irish legend about Jack of the Lantern.
2. Stingy Jack
A melodramatic reading of the story of the Jack O' Lantern, with nice background images of lit pumpkins.
4. Stingy Jack
Haunted Bay's history of the Jack O' Lantern customs.
5. Carving Pumpkins.com
Free patterns you can download. New for 2010 - Sissy Spacek as "Carrie," The Green Man, a leafy skull, and a creepy Frankenstein.
6. True Blood Jack-O-Lantern Templates
I absolutely worship Camp Blood for offering these. Very cool!
7. The Pumpkin Lady Store
Templates for sale, for simple, spooky pumpkins. Download them online after paying.
8. Pumpkin Nook
Info on growing pumpkins, carving them, submitting them to contests, and a community forum.
A shop selling amazingly cool Halloween pumpkin stencils. They also offer 100 free patterns as well. Cool new patterns for 2010 include Christian Bale from "American Psycho," an Art Nouveau woman (beautiful, but not creepy), Cthulhu, Gothic Tinkerbell, and many more incredible designs.
10. Ultimate Pumpkin Stencils
I didn't want to link to very many commercial pumpkin stencil websites. But this one won me over when I saw their Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland stencils. After you purchase the pattern online, it will be emailed to you. Print it out, and start carving!
11. 44 Spooky Cat Carving Stencils
Someone went to a lot of work to compile this list of 44 free pumpkin stencils.
12. Pumpkin Carving 101
A nice quick read for pumpkin carving beginners. There are helpful tips like rubbing the pumpkin with flour to make your dots easier to see when you start carving. I also recommend the Better Homes & Gardens how-to video.
13. Zombie Pumpkins
This site offers all sorts of pumpkin carving patterns you can print out, not just zombies. You do have to join the site in order to download the patterns, but they're free. New additions for 2010 include the Wicked Witch of the West, Jason Voorhees, and a creepy leprechaun. The galleries are quite fascinating to browse through.
September 18, 2010
Amarilli is an Italian painter and portraitist. She describes her style as Magic Realism expressed through faery, mythology, fantasy & gothic subjects. Her recent 2010 galleries include Dark Angels, Tuscan Dream, and Nudes.
Not the darkest work you'll see me feature, but there is a whimsical quality about these resin sculptures that I really enjoyed. The artist also has a small illustration gallery. Her site is in French, but it's easy to navigate as you're snooping around.
An illustrator with definite goth style tendencies. He gets inspiration from Japanese ghost stories, Victorian windows, art nouveau and silent films. I really enjoyed looking through the illustration gallery and sketches here.
The Monster Engine
Dave Devries' art project that explores what children's drawings would look like if they were painted realistically. There are definitely a lot of monsters here, but there are also superheroes. Dave's illustrations have been made into a book and have traveled as part of various art shows.
Black Eyed Suzie Art Dolls
A doll creator's journal, where she shares works in progress and shows off recently completed dolls. It's amazing how much work goes into these lovely, haunting dolls.
I love popping in here every couple of days to see what new skulls have been sighted. Today is skull-shaped cereal, yesterday was skulls painted on a skateboard deck, and the day before featured a skull ring on a woman's hand.
Skulls and Bacon
Another find-of-the-day type blog, but not just devoted to skulls. Besides bacon posts, there are occasional anime-related finds as well. Yesterday showed the really cool new skull-themed kitchen implements from Sur la Table.
24 Hour Pouty People
A "weekly goth blog" featuring the blogger's interesting comic strips. They're high quality, so it will be interesting to see if he can keep to his planned weekly posting schedule. I hope so!
Elders of Goth
The creator of Morticia's Morgue created this Facebook group for goths 30 and over. They discuss the lifestyle, music, and fashion. So far there are 1500 members and lots of ongoing discussions. Cool, I may have to join up.
The sconces and chandeliers here are stunning. It gives me pause to recommend this site when the "lamps" link is obviously broken and the copyright notice says 2009 not 2010. I hope this isn't an abandoned store, because their products are beautiful.
An Etsy shop selling taxidermy jewelry, goth/Victorian jewelry, Halloween decor, original paintings, and gothic Christmas cards.
This boutique sells "spooky, weird, and avant garde gifts." There's no copyright or date on the site, so I'm not 100% sure it is still attended and running. There is a lot of cool Day of the Dead stuff here, plus candles, purses, parasols, and T-shirts.
Stubbs & Wootton
This is a mainstream high-end shoe company with extremely expensive products. I'm just showcasing it because so many of the shoes have quirky or dark elements to them, such as the skull-and-crossbones shoe shown above. Check out the devil slipper in the gentlemen's section!
You can download PDF issues of this magazine to read right away. It covers goth, industrial, electro, noise and experimental music.
SNM Horror Magazine
This horror fiction magazine publishes every month on the 1st. You can read each issue online. You have to scroll far down the page to read as each issue is all published on one page, but that isn't necessarily detrimental here. They also have a fun Goth Covergirls section.
September 14, 2010
This artist previously worked on special effects for films including Edward Scissorhands, Terminator 2, Batman Returns, and Interview with the Vampire. This is his gallery of disturbing (I mean that in a good way!) mixed media collages.
The artist writes, "The characters in my work exist in a distant, half-remembered, autumnal place where even Halloween can last forever."
The Black Plague Art Show is taking place right now on Melrose in Los Angeles. The Congregation Gallery presents this curated set of macabre artworks. Artists include Jason Soles, Cam Rackam, Lacey Bryant, and Kelley Vetter. Even if you can't go see the show in person, the gallery website generously presents many images from the exhibition. My favorite is La Bella Morte Nera by Dan Harding.
23 artists use their unique style to illustrate one card from the Major Arcana (plus the card back). The project will be turned into a book and a deck of Tarot cards. While not every card is dark, I found myself utterly fascinated by each individual artist's interpretation of the cards. My favorite is Cate Rangel's "The Empress." I hadn't heard of most of these artists, so I have a lot of exploring to do in this page's links section!
An animator's gallery of fantastical art, featuring monsters and strange creatures. The combination of viewing the art while creepy embedded music plays on the page was too much, and I ended up having to turn my speaker's volume down. There's a lot of interesting things to see here. The detail on each painting is utterly amazing.
Sometimes you need a little dark diversion from the typical Farmville Facebook game. Choose to play an exorcist or a demon. The game is by Dark Roast Media.
A series of children's books. The main character, Araminta, lives in Spook House with her aunt and uncle. Her parents have been missing after their trip to Transylvania to hunt vampires. Araminta's dream in life is to see an actual ghost. The website features info on the author and the series, plus some downloads (a poster, a bookmark and two coloring sheets).
This website features high resolution posters from horror, sci-fi, exploitation, cult and B-movies. Very fun to look through their newest presentations every few days or so.
A post-punk darkwave band from Texas. I like them enough to mention them here (Dark Side of the Net only features things I like!) but I really wish they'd post higher quality songs with better mixing and more attention to the vocals, which can sound blurry and muddy in their MySpace and Last.fm uploads.
They describe their sound as "creepy and depressing rock and roll."
I saw them play live last October in Portland, Oregon while waiting for my cousin's band to go on. I was blown away - what a fun band and a really energetic performance. Each band member is talented on multiple instruments. I heard a violin, a piano, an accordion, a trumpet, and even a glockenspiel. Their music is described as "vaudeville rock" or burlesque.
They really sold me with their "Spanish Inquisition" song, and another about the apocalypse. Be sure to listen to their "Birthday Dirge" on MySpace. If you're looking for something dark to listen to, this isn't the band for you - their music is cheerful, silly, and fun, but with a dark edge at times. I'd definitely drive a few hours to hear them play live again.
A very active, well-maintained community for goth, industrial, darkwave and dark alternative music fans. It's run on the Ning network, so there are all the usual options: videos, forums, blogs, and events listings. Somehow affiliated with The Church of Nightbreed. They're also organizing a music festival in 2011. Exciting!
Somehow this club never made it into my listings, though I knew about it. Duh! Anyway, it's a goth/industrial club two Saturdays a month in Salem, Massachusetts. Lots of cool events are coming up, including the Purgatory Ball on October 9, the Darque Gathering's 10th anniversary on October 22, and Darq Gala 3.0 on October 23rd.
An Etsy shop selling art prints, buttons, cute plush toys, felt dolls like this Bat in the Cemetery, and adorable little pins.
An Etsy shop selling cute Coraline plush dolls. I guess this is trademark infringement though, so I sort of feel bad linking to this.
This store's candles were based on research from Medieval-era documents. The store writes, "A series of candles has been created from ancient apothecary aromatics that bring illumination to the present." Their collections include The Vestments, The Hours, and The Vessels. Not very goth, but I was intrigued by the concept and wanted to show it to you.
A wholesale perfumery located in Los Angeles. They specialize in natural botanical scents. I love, love, love the packaging. I've only smelled the "Linden Blossom" and definitely liked it, but don't know what the other scents smell like. Besides the perfumes and body products, they sell essential oils and offer a really cool section of perfume lab equipment.
Not sure what the actual name of this shop is, their store says one thing but has Sludgefaktory in their logos and icons. They sell men's and women's clothing, straitjackets, and T-shirts.
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September 12, 2010
1. Not-So-Spooky Halloween Cupcakes
These decorations are made with red gumballs for the spider's body, and licorice for the legs.
2. White Spiders
An interesting twist - white frosting spiders. Great for a black-and-white themed Halloween party, especially.
3. Purple Spider Cupcakes
This one isn't a recipe, just an idea for decorating using a gumdrop and candy eyes (if you can find them). I like the color combo of orange and black and purple on this one. Plus having the icing web sit under the spider is a cool idea, too.
4. Spider Web Cupcakes
Chocolate cupcakes with a simple white icing web. Classic.
5. Candy Corn Spider Cupcakes
A simple cupcake that uses candy corns to give a spider spooky fangs, and Red Hots for beady little evil eyes.
6. Spider Cakes
Not a recipe, just a series of photos showing how Megan decorated cupcakes with Pocky. A nice variation on the spider cupcake theme!