I love doing reviews and discovering interesting businesses but my special favorites are always the ones that showcase talented artists. I was especially eager to get to review Demon Monkey Craft, because designer Rebecca Martz-Burley not only specializes in one of my greatest loves - cross stitch! - but she also showcases B-movies and horror pop culture themes in her designs.
Be warned - they're not your gramma's cross stitch! You'll find zombies, Hollywood vampires and some graphic (and hilarious) nods to R-rated gore, along with a few grin-inducing pop memes. At her Etsy shop, she not only offers .pdf file graphs for stitchers, but also several already stitched and ready to frame items that would be absolutely perfect for your favorite hard-to-shop-for geek.
The name Demon Monkey Craft comes from DMC - the largest and most popular brand of 6 count embroidery thread, used for most cross stitch projects. There are other threads out there, many of them fabulous to work with, but the beginner stitcher can almost always be assured that any graph they buy will include DMC colors and they'll be easy to find at any craft store that carries needlework supplies.
which graph to select from Demon Monkey Craft. and decided on "By the Pricking of My Thumbs", a simple yet evocative sampler bearing the famous words from Shakespeare's MacBeth in the scene where the 3 old witches are casting a spell around a cauldron. In this scene, they're interrupted by the arrival of MacBeth and the 2nd witch cries out:
By the pricking of my thumbs,I've been working on several 'witchy' pieces for awhile now from various designers - eventually, I hope to have an entire wall motif of them, and as soon as I saw this design, I knew it'd fit right in.
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks! Whoever knocks?
Purchasing was easy - after you've ordered via Etsy, you'll receive an email giving you a link to go to to download your .pdf file. I received two files - one has the chart printed out onto a single page, while the other breaks it up into five pages for easier viewing.
Unless you have eyes like the Six Million Dollar Man, I strongly suggest printing out the enlarged version - I set my printer to 2 sided paper, with 2 pages on each side (the 5th page is just the thread information), so I still only used one sheet of paper, but it was much, much easier to read.
Like many stitchers, I have a ridiculous stash of fabrics and threads already on hand, so I pulled from what I had. While this graph would have been perfectly fine in its original black thread on white fabric (or reversed! White thread on black fabric), I have had a large piece of beige 14-count Aida on hand for awhile and wanted to use that to give this a somewhat rustic look.
For the same reason I used DMC 3371, a very dark brown instead of the black and then got the impulse to pull in a little color by using DMC 115, a variagated floss that ranges from bright to very deep red. I used it for a portion of the top and bottom border and then by whim decided to highlight the word 'wicked' with it as well.
I thought the result was really good! (and yes, daughter of mine - I will 'sign' it, I promise) (She nags when I forget, bless her.)
This is going to look just wonderful with my other witchy stitcheries and has me highly motivated to get a few of them done before too much more time passes.
I found the chart to be very easy to follow - any mistakes in the work are mine alone. I liked how easy it was to modify to my taste and in looking at the other charts Demon Monkey Craft carries, almost any of them would work well for stitchers who like to personalise with a color change or two.
I think most of them would be just right for a beginner wanting to do something a bit more ambitious than a flower or heart. While they are larger, they all seem like they'd be pretty fast to stitch up without getting lost.
This particular graph is 139w x 109h, or 9.93" wide by 7.79" done on 14 squares per inch fabric. That also means it can be framed in a standard sized 8"x10" frame or mat.
While the end result is large enough to really show off well, the stitching itself requires only simple motifs and each letter stands alone, making it suitable for stitching without needing to concentrate overmuch.
I like projects like this for TV watching/listening - this one went through a marathon rewatch of Breaking Bad, a few old black and white movies, and tried to go to court for a murder trial but that didn't end well. (But I do wonder what would have happened if they'd caught me eyeballing the proceedings while stitching 'something wicked'? hah!)
I'm holding off on framing it for now, because I think it needs a really primitive looking frame. If I didn't have plans to hang it with other witch themed designs, I think it'd make a great pillow, too!
I will definitely be keeping an eye on this Etsy shop to see what new graphs might appear. I like several of her finished needlework pieces that are not currently available as graphs, and I'm excited to say that one of them will be given away to one of our lucky readers!
The winner of our Demon Monkey Craft giveaway will be able to pick from the following:
World's Okayest Mom - a simple traditional sampler with a more realistic than typical sentiment!
World's Okayest Dad - same as above, but for the dads who are keeping it real.
"We can't always be the WORLD'S GREATEST MOM ON EARTH, but we are always the World's Okayest Moms. It's ok to be, well....ok! Sing it loud, sing it proud, sisters. The mommy wars are over when we accept the best from ourselves and quit comparing ourselves to others. Who's with me?
This is a 7 inch x 5 inch UNFRAMED cross stitched piece. It comes mounted on acid-free board and ready to frame" Value:$15
ROFLcopter - with glow in the dark thread!
"ROFL Copter fits an 8 x 10 inch frame. It is cross-stitched on 14 count black, Aida fabric. ROFL comes mounted on an acid free mat board. All you have to do is take out the glass in your frame and pop the ROFL in. It will fit like a glove!" Value: $25.
This is my BOOMSTICK! - Just for Army of Darkness fans.
"The scene when Ash (Bruce Campbell) shows the villagers his BOOMSTICK! Groovy. 5 inches x 7 inches, framed and mounted on acid free mat board." Value: $28
Read on to see how to enter!
Demon Monkey Craft on Etsy
Demon Monkey Craft on Facebook
Demon Monkey Craft on Twitter
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Rafflecopter, then leave the name you commented under and your email in the box in the Rafflecopter entry. (This allows us to contact you if you win!) This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning.
This giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY
and will end just before midnight ET on 7-15-15.
and will end just before midnight ET on 7-15-15.
The winners will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.
Good luck everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway