Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hallowe'en Pumpkin Carving 2012 - Suggestions & Submissions

Well, it's that time of year again... Time to plan how we'll be carving our pumpkins for Hallowe'en!!! :-D Some of you may recall last year's efforts: The Vampire's stunning rendition of Victor from The Corpse Bride, and misspulga's anatomically correct (and beating!) heart. Whatever shall we create this year? Zombies? Sugar skulls? We want *you* to tell us what you'd like to see!!

In addition to hearing your suggestions, this year we want you to show us your mad skillz by sending in your pumpkin carving photos! Please leave us a comment, or e-mail your pumpkin carving suggestions and submissions to: 

Be sure to include your: 
  • Name (at least a first name) 
  • Location (e.g., Toronto, Canada)
  • Social media info (if applicable/desired - e.g., website, Pinterest, Twitter...) so we can give you credit! 

Implements of torture, a.k.a. pumpkin carving tools.
Anatomically correct heart design.
Victor (The Corpse Bride) Design.
Finished products by misspulga (left) and The Vampire (right).

Planet Obscura takes your privacy and intellectual property rights seriously. We will not publish your e-mail address or any other revealing personal information. Only your name, city/country, and social media info (if desired) will appear next to your photos on the SSWC blog. Please also remember that all photo submissions *must* be original photos you took yourself and NOT from the Internet.

We're looking forward to seeing your beautiful creations... Happy carving, everyone!!! :-D

misspulga's beating heart, 2011.
The Vampire's Victor, 2011.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Celebrating 12,000 Visitors!!!

Dear faithful SSWC readers, followers, and blog visitors from around the world... Thank you for helping us to achieve and surpass an amazing 12,000 visits!!! This is an incredible milestone for us. When we first started SSWC, we never imagined that we would develop such a following. The attention the blog has received has inspired our creativity and fueled our passion to take SSWC to a whole new level. Big things are happening at SSWC headquarters...

As you may have noticed, the SSWC blog is now being hosted by Planet Obscura: An innovative event production service and social networking platform based in Toronto, Canada. Planet Obscura's mission is to create the world's first global online community for artists, performers, businesses, and individuals who share a passion for all things eclectic, obscure, macabre, bizarre, and exquisitely deviant. The goal of having such a community is to create a safe and engaging environment where people from every facet of this spectrum can collaborate and flourish creatively. In addition, Planet Obscura endeavours to promote and facilitate this organic process by inviting community members to participate in unique and sophisticated event projects that are fulfilling to devise and delightful to behold. These opportunities not only encourage the development of diverse artistic partnerships, but also provide a means by which to support local talent.

Stay tuned for new Planet Obscura developments (e.g., official website launch next month!!), and information on ways to become involved with the community. In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Pinterest and Twitter. :-)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mysteries of Vernacular: Hearse

Check out "Hearse" - a truly epic video from the "Mysteries of Vernacular" series by Myriapod Productions. It explores the etymology of individual words in a very creative way. According to the project's website, the series will include 26 individual etymological instalments - one for each letter of the alphabet - with each episode taking more than 80 hours to complete. Thus far, four episodes have been completed: assassin, clue, hearse, and pants. Click on the link below to check out the other three episodes.

[Link to Mysteries of Vernacular project website]

Interactive Virtual Anatomical Model

Check out this very neat video that demonstrates new technology developed at Gifu University (Japan)... The "interactive virtual anatomical model" allows researchers to study anatomy in 3D. This technology is especially useful for understanding complex physiological structures, such as cranial and facial nerves. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

The Sun's Path over Girona, Spain between March 2003-March 2004, by Juan Carlos Casado
This post is to wish everyone a Happy Autumnal Equinox on this 22nd day of September. Did you know:

  • Equinoxes fall approximately between the solstices, and as such they got pegged as the start of Fall and Spring
  • The autumnal and vernal equinoxes are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west
  • They are also the only two days of the year when a person standing on the Equator can see the sun passing directly overhead
  • On the day of the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, a person at the North Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, signalling the start of six months of darkness
  • On the same day at the South Pole, a person would also see the sun skimming across the horizon... but this signals the start of six months of daylight

Check out the following links for more info, and some really cool time-lapse photography:

[Link to Autumnal Equinox article on the National Geographic website]

["Sun Pictures: A Full Year in a Single Frame" on the National Geographic website]

Friday, September 21, 2012

Invoking the Spirit Hunt by David Ruben Piqtoukun

This past August, I met up with an interesting and friendly creature named "Invoking the Spirit Hunt" (above) while appreciating many fantastic carvings of Shamans, Sedna, people, and various animals at the Museum of Inuit Art in Toronto, Canada.  David Ruben Piqtoukun, the artist, is from Paulatuk, Northwest Territories, Canada, and used stone and caribou antler for this piece.  If statues could come to life, I feel that "Invoking the Spirit Hunt" would have a lot to contribute to the SSWC blog!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

True Blood: My New Favourite TV Show

Rolling Stone "True Blood" Magazine Cover - September 2010

Y'all are gonna think I live under a rock or something, but I just recently discovered the True Blood television series. I can't believe I never watched it before... It's so completely right up my alley! 

For those of you who also similarly live under rocks, True Blood is a series created by Alan Ball (who also created Six Feet Under - another one of my all-time favourite shows) that first aired in 2008. It follows the escapades of Sookie Stackhouse (Canadian Oscar winning actress Anna Paquin), a southern girl from Bon Temps, Louisiana who has special "abilities"... and is in love with a vampire. 

I'm not going to spoil it for those who haven't tuned in yet, but let me just say this: True Blood is sex, drugs, and rock n' roll all the way... and thoroughly TWISTED. I've watched most of the first season so far... and highly recommend it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Quick Trip to The Junction in Toronto

This weekend, my Dad and brother and I went to The Junction - a neighborhood in Toronto located at Keele & Dundas. For those of you who aren't familiar with the area, check out this map of The Junction => Google Maps in order to situate yourselves. Even after living in the city as an adult for the past 10 years, I never realized that such a place existed in Toronto! It's eclectic and cool with a touch of the macabre - every bit the ideal Planet Obscura neighborhood. Below are some photos I took of shops and sights during the trip, featuring the following: Metropolis Living, Post and Beam Reclamation, The Rue Morgue House of Horror, and Smash.

Phrenology Busts @Metropolis Living
Eclectic Industrial Display @Metropolis Living
More Phrenology Busts @Metropolis Living
Close-Up of Display @Post and Beam
Window Display @Post and Beam
Inside Post and Beam
English Pub Window @Post and Beam
Forlorn Bench @Post and Beam
The Rue Morgue House of Horror
Epic Sugar Skull Display inside Smash
"Circulation" Anatomy Chart @Smash
"Nervous System" Anatomy Chart @Smash
Authentic Vintage Crime Scene Photos @Smash

Crime Scene 2
Crime Scene 1

Crime Scene 3
More Vintage Crime Scene Photos @Smash

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Black Diamond Solitaire Ring by Core Jewels

Side view

Top view

This is what The Vampire wants for Hallowe'en!  Core Jewels designed this stunning black diamond ring.  It is approximately $9,500 CAD, 2.0 Ct., and 100% Vampire.  

[Link to ring on Core Jewels]

[via Core Jewels]

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Steampunk Art Deco Spider Ring Box Sculpture

Spider Ring Box by CatherinetteRings - Open View

Spider Ring Box by CatherinetteRings - Closed View

Steampunk Ring from the Belly of the Spider 

If anyone has $1,200 USD to spare, and would like to buy me a present (anonymous donations also accepted) >:-) ... Then please click on the link below. The High Holy Holiday (HHH... aka Hallowe'en) is fast approaching!!! 

Here's a challenge for SSWC members and readers: If money was no object, what would you like to receive for the HHH? Please send your submissions to, and we will publish your ideas.

[Link to Spider Ring Box on CatherinetteRings Etsy webpage]

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Epic Skull Pendants by John Willers

Beautiful skull pendants in 10K gold and sterling silver, created by John Willers of the Sturgis Jewelry Company.  Adorned with perfect laboratory grown rubies and emeralds. Check out these pendants and other skull-related items created by this company at the link below (yes, these pendants are available as rings)!

[Link to the Sturgis Jewelry Company website - Skulls Catalog]

Friday, September 7, 2012

Death Triumphant

Another epic piece of art.  Created around 1670, Death Triumphant hails from Germany, possibly Bavaria.  If you are ever in Toronto, Canada, you can visit this battle scarred, yet victorious-looking skeleton at the Art Gallery of Ontario, where it is part of their Thompson Collection.

[Link to Death Triumphant on the AGO website]

[via Art Gallery of Ontario]