Tuesday, January 15, 2019

100 Day of the Macabre: Kickstarter Project

Sorry I've missed several posts the last few days. I've had the dreaded flu or some other nasty sickness that includes every bad symptom you can imagine. I'm still feeling a bit woozy, so I'm sharing a Kickstarter project with you today that looks interesting. It's already fully funded and the first stretch goal has been met.

I really can't tell you much about who is behind this project other than it is the writer and creator of the Bertram Fiddle Adventure Games by Rumpus Animation, Seb Burnett. What you'll get for the final product is a book called 100 Days of the Macabre that features black and white illustrations done in a sort of Victorian, gothic style and 50 one-page short stories.

The artist has already published a 100 Days of Mystery book and this one will be similar.

Head over to Kickstarter to read more about this project. It looks pretty cool and it's very affordable.

And now, it's time for my medications.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Most Adorable Rats

Toy maker Julia Berg lives in Siberia. That conjures up all sorts of images, doesn't it? Now picture a warm, adorable studio where Berg creates her gothic, little rats and bats with the snow falling outside. Throw in a bottle of Vodka and I'm ready to visit!  These creatures will fit right in with your Halloween collection and you probably don't have anything from Siberia. The shop is called Rat Berry Toys.

Brown Bat
Black Mouse
Grinda Witch Mouse
Skeleton Raven
Baby Ravens
Gothic Creepy Animal
Berg calls herself a toy artist, but really she creates art dolls. Aren't they lovely?

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Spooky with a Smile

Olivia Faust is the perfect example of whimspookal. Her delicate illustrations are macabre, but bring a smile to my face. Her characters are more mischievous than horrifyingly evil. Faust offers both original art and prints, stickers, and pins. Check out her shop at Flora Fauna and Faust.

Spider Baby Original Art
Dark Forest Original Art
Darling Abduction Pins
Witch Rats Drawlloween Print
Cat Lady Ghost Print
Baba Yaga Sticker

Faust is delicately dark and I would drink tea with her anytime.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Are you a follower of A Series of Unfortunate Events tv series? You should be. It's the perfect whimspookal escape. I have to pause several times during each episode just to take a closer look at the set design. From Daniel Handler's writing to Barry Sonnenfeld's directing to the perfectly cast Neil Patrick Harris- the entire show is a gloomy delight. I can't even begin to honor the art direction, set, and costume design. I hope it never ends.

A Series of Unfortunate Events Characters T-shirt from WinterWolfDesign
Count Olaf Disguises T-shirt from WinterWolfDesign
Count Olaf's Acting School T-shirt from Nemons
Lucky Smells Lumber Mill T-shirt from OldSkoolHooligans
Count Olaf Purse from LoveGeekChic
Cake Sniffer Pendant from MagicVagabondsDesign
A Series of Unfortunate Events Spyglass Replica from GentleGiantJGC
This show is so much fun! There is still time to catch-up and laugh at the macabre.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Dark Landscapes to Sink Into

This really is dark art- black on black. It's mystical, cosmic, and haunting. The artist is Lucas Cook and I want to sink right into his landscapes.

Grim Nebula III Pillow
Cough T-shirt
River Spirit Tote Bag
Gloom Woods Acrylic Painting
Mass Grave Acrylic Painting
Dungeon Dweller T-shirt
Cook has many more otherworldly landscapes in his shop. Some even have color. I encourage you to visit.

Friday, January 4, 2019

La Befana: Epiphany Witch

If you're keeping count, today is the 10th Day of Christmas. The 12th Day of Christmas will be January 6th also known as the Feast of the Epiphany (when the magi reached Bethlehem in case you're following that story.) That brings us to today's post about La Befana: known as the Christmas Witch in Italy.

According to legend, La Befana was an old woman who the magi (wise men) approached looking for directions to find the baby Jesus. She took them in and fed them and they liked her so much that they invited her to come with them on their journey. She declined because she had to clean her house (?!) but the next day regretted it and went out on her own to search for the baby Jesus. She wasn't able to find him, but every time she came upon a child she would give sweets and toys to the good ones and coal, onion, or garlic to the bad ones. (Now I know why I love garlic so much.) It parts of Italy she visits the children on the eve of Epiphany- January 5th. I'm not all too clear on why she is considered to be a witch, but I'm sure it's lost in translation. Maybe because to get everywhere she has to fly on a broom??

I'll be celebrating La Befana tomorrow by cooking the traditional sausage and broccoli dish that La Befana loves more than the cookies that Santa gets. If there is any left over, I'll leave her some. I also intend to drink Italian wine and give my husband some Italian candies- he's been pretty good. Of course one of my witch dolls will be the table centerpiece.

If you need to add La Befana to your traditions I have a few suggestions for you. Buy one on her feast day.

The Night of La Befana, Children's Book from Italian Children's Market
La Befana Art Doll from RavensMillArtDolls
La Befana Socks from bwet13
Set of La Befana Christmas Cards from LionOfBali
Kitchen Witch Doll from Epilekton
Kitchen Witch from Joyful Redo
La Befana Ornament from Italian Children's Market
It's interesting that there are several legends of old women on the Eve on Epiphany around Europe. If you're looking for a much darker witch check out the legend of Perchta in Austria and Germany. She rips out the guts of women with dirty houses. I wrote a little something about her back in 2015. Read Is Your House Clean?

Thursday, January 3, 2019


I finished reading my first horror novel of 2019! Oh sure, I started it in 2018, but finishing is the important thing. Well actually, the important thing for this post is that it was excellent and I want to suggest it to you.

Dracul (October 2018) is written by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker. The premise behind the novel is that when Dracula was published in 1897 the editors asked Bram Stoker to remove about 100 of the first pages of the novel. According to accounts, Bram Stoker claimed that the novel was based in fact and wanted to share his knowledge about the evil that roamed the night, but the publisher felt that was too extreme. Fast forward to a bit over 100 years and Bram Stoker's great-grandnephew, Dacre Stoker, starts to search for the missing pages of the original novel.

Dracul is Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker's attempt at the missing pages. Using editions published in other languages that the English publisher didn't have rights over, and by searching for lost notes and manuscript pages, Stoker.2 and Barker weave a story about Bram Stoker's experience with a vampire nanny and eventual search for the tall, dark man we affectionately refer to as Dracula. It's actually much better than I describe it.

The story is told using fictitious journal entries from Bram Stoker,  his sister Matilda, and his brother Thornley and moves forward and back in time to put the story together. That we know much about the legend of Dracula makes the novel interesting. I found myself trying to piece together what was slowly being unveiled to the reader using what I thought I knew about vampires and being led in different directions by my own understanding of the night creatures.

The novel is paced wonderfully. A little slower at the beginning and then speeding up as we get closer to the finish. I had a hard time putting Dracul down. I was a little worried that the story was going to be continued in a second book, but have no fear, it's neatly wrapped up.

I've read rumors that Dracul may be headed to film. I think it could work. Dacre Stoker has a website you should probably bookmark if you're interested in hearing him speak about Bram Stoker and Dracula. I'll be watching for a location near me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Beady Eyes

Betsy Youngquist is an artist to keep an eye on. Her work attracted my attention because it is covered in beads- lots of beads.  She also depicts the human eye quite nicely and I'm always attracted to the unattached eyeball. I can't help it.

Youngquist is a collector's artist (that means you'll pay dearly for her work), but her Etsy shop has a few items under $200. Even if you can't afford your own beaded eyeball, you can be inspired by her artistry.

Oyster Eye
Eye Shine 47
Eye Heart Pin
Dolly Cake on Pedestal
The Seed Whisperer
If this last piece takes your breath away, visit Youngquist's gallery at buyart.com.

P.S. Thanks for coming back in 2019!