Today the Department of Awesome Parenting checks in on the work of Nina Levy (previously featured here), the Brooklyn-based artist and mother of two lucky sons who’ve been receiving beautifully illustrated napkins with their boxed lunches every day since 2006. Nina used waterproof markers and paint pens to transform plain white napkins into vibrant works of art and notes of affection and encouragement for her sons.

Nina recently won the TUACA Liqueur Company’s napkin art competition for her entry featuring two lions enjoying a drink at a bar.

Visit the Daily Napkins blog or Facebook page to check out more of Nina’s amazing illustrated napkins.

[via Lost At E Minor and Bored Panda]

We love this tentacular Cthulhu chess set. This is the work of Kelsey of LittleFatDragons based in Clayton, North Carolina. Kelsey handmakes each playfully evil piece without using casting or molds, so the chess set is one-of-a-kind.

He may be evil, but Cthulhu is just too stinking cute in this handmade chess set. The Little Fat Cthulhu Custom Chess Set is made to order so you can go with the traditionally evil green and purple or change it up with colors of your choosing.

Here’s what you’ll find on your Cthulhu chess board.

Pawns – Little Fat Tentacles
Rooks – Rhogog
Knights – Zvilpogghua
Bishops – Chaugnar Faugn
Queens/Kings – Little Fat Cthulhu

Visit the LittleFatDragons shop to check out more of Kelsey’s awesome creations. 

Cthulhu fhtagn

[via Nerd Approved]

These tentacular Octopus and Giant Squid tables are the work of San Francisco-based bronze sculptor Kirk McGuire. The beautiful bronze cephalopods are so lifelike, we wouldn’t be surprised if you felt phantom tentacles tickling your ankles while sitting at either of these tables.

Visit Kirk McGuire’s website to check out his standalone bronze sculptures and more of his awesome undersea animal tables.

[via Neatorama]

Los Angeles-based artist and baker Christine McConnell (previously featured here) just shared a fantastic selection of truly monstrous baked goods over on Reddit.

Here you see a batch of waffle cones that turned into a nest of ferocious be-tentacled beasties, a terrifyingly realistic facehugger made of sugar cookies (glued together with caramel and glazed with milk, sugar and nutmeg), an adorable chicken pot pie (with beak and feet carved from carrots), a fiery Danzig birthday cake, tarantula cookies prepared like Girl Scout Samoas, and a spectacular birthday cake created for a Voodoo-Bayou themed party. The tongue of the snake atop the cake is a handmade candle.

Click here to view even more of Christine McConnell’s awesome edible creations.

[via Reddit]

We can’t stop staring at the moving mouth tentacles on this incredibly awesome and rather disturbing animatronic Zoidberg costume. It was created by effects artist Frank Ippolito in collaboration with Tested and debuted at WonderCon 2014.

In addition to the nightmarish remote-controlled animatronic tentacles, the costume features foam-latex feet and claws that clickety-click just like they do on Futurama. Ippolito probably even recreated Zoidberg’s unforgettable odor. Let’s just hope they didn’t create an alternate costume depicting the Decapodian doctor out of his shell.

Click here for a fascinating making-of and demonstration video.

[via Technabob and the A.V. Club]

The Department of Awesome Parenting just discovered yet another amazing parent who turns their child’s school lunches into a mini art show. Minneapolis-based freelance designer and illustrator Bryan Dunn, aka The Bag Dad, has been illustrating his son’s brown paper lunch bags for two years now, ever since the boy’s very first day of school.

Each colored pencil drawing takes Bryan about 20-30 minutes to complete. He usually works on them during his own lunch break. Because the bags don’t always make it back home after school, Dunn started photographing each bag before filling it with his son’s lunch.

You can see them all over on The Bag Dad Facebook page. You can also follow his lunch bag artwork here on Tumblr.

[via Twisted Sifter]

This tentacular octopus hairpiece is the work of Australian artist Kirstie Williams (deviantARTist Deeed), who created it as part of a magnificent costume for a steampunk ball she recently attended. Williams documented each step of the elaborate creation process, which involved sculpting a foam core, covering it in long artificial hair wefts and then enhancing it with copper-colored paint and a few obligatory brass gears. The hirsute cephalopod was then attached to an Arda Candy Striper wig. As you can see, the result of all her effort is nothing short of spectacular.

Williams is currently auctioning off a commission for one customized octopus hairpiece just like the one seen here. The auction ends June 15, 2014. Click here for details.

Top three photos by Gillian B Dragancaor.

[via Nerdcore and Fashionably Geek]

These fantastical paintings are the work of Brazilian artist Rafael Silveira. His ornate frames are as unusual and beguiling as the surreal paintings within them. His work is heavily influenced by the comics and cartoons he’s loved since he was little. We love how he describes it himself:

“I like to create my own symbolism, using unusual stuff as a metaphors,” said Silveira. “I believe that the universe talks with us using secret, unexpected signs.”

Silveira will be showing his latest paintings in a solo exhibition entitled Unforeseeable, which opens at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York on June 28th and runs through July 26, 2014

Head over to Hi-Fructose to check out more beautifully bizarre paintings by Rafael Silveira.

The octopus is an awesome and astonishingly intelligent animal. This beautiful underwater video, shot by of OceanShutter.com, gives us the opportunity to take an exceptionally close look at a few of our tentacular friends.

Entitled “Octopuses of the Night”, the video was shot during night dives that Adamson made in the Philippines. He was able to film these remarkable creatures in such fine detail that we’re able to really appreciate the texture of their skin, their awesome tentacles, amazing eyes and how they tuck themselves into cozy beds made of seashells.

Goodnight little octopus. Sleep tight.

[via The Presurfer]

A few months ago we shared the concept design for an awesome toy that dares to combine the ancient unfathomable evil of Cthulhu with the cuteness and charm of My Little Pony. Her name is Little Maddie. She was designed by Bigshot Toyworks from Asheville, NC and now, for better or worse, we have the opportunity to help bring her into our own dimension.

Bigshot Toyworks recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to create Little Maddie Designer Figures. It’s the first step in their effort to fund the creation of The Four Horsies of the ‘Pocalypse, a whole universe of fantastic designer toys. For right now though, it’s all about tentacular Little Maddie. A $60 pledge will get you a gorgeous 6-inch-tall Maddie figure made of injection molded & ABS plastic, featuring ball-jointed wings and head in the original black/purple colorway. But that only happens if the project is successfully funded. There are lots of other Maddie-related goodies available at a wide range of pledge levels.

Head over to the Little Maddie Kickstarter page to learn more.