Out and About With Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesHey there everybody! It’s great to be back!

We hope you all enjoyed the holiday season and that 2017 is treating you nicely so far. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’m ready for another year as eventful as 2016 was!

Anyway, after rather a lot of this…
Relaxing Times! CrawCrafts Beasties… We’re excited to get back to reality!

But, as you might have guessed from the title of this post, some things are gonna change around here, and I’ve spent the last couple of weeks having a big ol’ think about the past year and where to go next. Overall, I reckon 2016 was generally Beastie-friendly – for starters, I’m still reeling from our success at the Dublin Christmas Flea!
Crawcrafts Beasties at the Dublin Christmas FleaIn 2016, I also enjoyed meeting and collaborating with other craftspeople…
New Friends - S Twist Yarn and Niki Collier - CrawCrafts Beasties…Seeing the world through the eyes of Beasties who had left home…
Beasties Abroad - CrawCrafts BeastiesFinn doing his best David Attenborough impression.…And getting to write for the Olann And Blog!

My Featured Craftspeople! CrawCrafts Beasties
My Featured Crafters! Clockwise from left: Dinah’s Dolls, Guadalupe Creations, Niki Collier Design.

And outside of my Beastie-making activities, I also landed a new job – one which I’m really enjoying, and which I hope will better complement my hectic monster manufacturing schedule!

So, if everything’s so rosy, what am I going to be changing? Well, I felt I spent most of last year lurching from one panic to the next – it seemed like there was always a deadline looming, and time just zipped by! I’m still trying to figure out what happened to April, July and September… Oh, and then the last quarter of the year hit, and somehow I found myself with hardly any market stock, and several commissions whose trickiest elements I had sensibly decided to leave until the darkest days of the year. GAAAAAAH! By Christmas Eve I was totally frazzled, and badly in need of a few days R&R&MW (rest and relaxation and mulled wine) with my family.
Explorer Beastie at Christmas - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut with that (and a few healthy portions of Christmas dinner) under my belt, I was ready to start scheming for the year ahead. It’s the first time I’ve really taken the time to sit down and plan what I want to do and how I might get there, and I was surprised by how much it felt like time well spent! So, without further ado, here’s what I’ll be doing differently in 2017.

  1. Make more, more often! Last year it seemed like I spent more time talking about making than I did actually making. This year I want to get back to what I love most – making monsters!
  2. Prepare for Christmas, starting NOW. I’m planning to start assembling a crack squad of Beasties throughout the year, so we can take the Christmas markets by storm, AND save more of those precious December daylight hours for creating special bespoke monsters for anyone looking for a seasonal commission.
  3. Set a stricter timeframe for commissions. I’ll be making myself stick to a 4-week turnaround time from first sketching to completed monster masterpiece! I’m also going to be learning some new skills to help speed up some of the parts of the process that I find trickiest… more on that soon!

And finally, this might raise a few eyebrows – but I’ve decided to cut back my posting on the BeastieBlogย  to Tuesdays only, at least for the foreseeable future. I’m hoping this will free up more time to actually keep up with all YOUR blogs, and feed my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts more frequently!

How about you? Are you doing anything differently this year? Tell us all about it in the comments!

37 thoughts on “Ch-Ch-Changes!

  1. I’ve started exploring the possibility of starting a completely new career… I’ve just had my 50th birthday, so what better time? It’s early days yet and it might not work out (my last attempt at a new career failed), but you never know…
    Hope your plans work well – early preparation for Christmas markets is a great idea, and should make your life a little less stressful.

    1. Yes, all I have to do now is actually DO it! Happy belated birthday to you… And a new career, eh? I’m intrigued to find out more! Good luck with it, the Beasties and I are rooting for you!

  2. Good to see the beasties about again! Does it really take four weeks to make one? I need to keep up with your blog more (and many others) and I actually need to post something at some point. Gaaa! Where does the time go?

    1. Hey Simon, thanks for stopping by! And yes, it does take 4 weeks to get a Beastie together… But that’s to allow time for all the other mayhem and monster-wrangling that’s part and parcel of life here in Beastie Towers! That said, if you DO find out where all those minutes and hours are running off to, please let me know! I want them back ๐Ÿ˜†

      1. So the amount of money you sell a Beastie for is a bargain. Wow, the love and effort that goes into each Beastie is amazing!
        I’m going to have to get one at some point! ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Yes, so my crafty friends keep telling me! Commission prices will be going up this year though… I’m stockpiling money for the glasses I will eventually need if I keep doing tiny sewing in the darkest months of the year ๐Ÿ˜†

        2. I’m certainly looking into developing some new species of Beasties that will be quicker to make, but we’re still in the prototyping stage on that one! I hope to stumble on that magic combination of easy to make and totally irresistible one day though…

        3. Not for the way they’re designed, no… Plus the knitting is my favourite part, so I’m not letting a machine take that over! It’s actually the sewn accessories that take up the most time. I’m trying to do as much of that by machine as I can though!

        4. I was going to say, that detail must take some time, I guess it shows the love and attention you put into crafting every Beastie. It’s a labour of love more than anything else I suppose. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Oh, I can easily understand what you mean! I still feel the Christmas rush ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ maybe because I have some commissions to do and I feel I’m proceeding so slowly…. I love your plan, it has inspired me to do the same! A good organization is basic!

    1. Yes, I think we deserve a serious high five for surviving another Crafter’s Christmas! ๐Ÿ™Œ I’ve quite enjoyed doing my planning this year… Now the biggest challenge is going to be sticking to it ๐Ÿ˜† Good luck with yours!

  4. I sure know what you mean about 2016 flying by …I’m sure I was robbed of at least 2 months!! good luck with your new job and I hope your plan makes every thing achievable ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Mrs P! I’m glad I’m not the only one who experienced lost time… Maybe we were abducted by aliens? As for the planning, I’ve used up about half an A4 pad in doing my scheming, so surely I cannot fail! That’s how it works, right? ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. I think you have very good points! My crazy year was 2015. I couldn’t keep up with making things fast enough and I came to the same conclusion you have. So this year I was prepared for Christmas craziness and it did not totally freak me out. The markets were a lot more fun since I didn’t have to stress myself into constantly making and inventing new things. Also for the first time ever I did not take ‘last minute’ custom orders. I decided it is not my problem that some people are not up to their game and want to order something 2 days before Christmas.

    Good luck with your new job!

    1. Hooray! It’s great to hear that your 2016 was such a success… All thanks to a little planning! I’m double-motivated now! And like you, I’ll be inventing my new things NOW… not two weeks before market season ๐Ÿ˜† I hope 2017 is as successful for you as last year was!

  6. Well I shall miss seeing your blog posts more frequently but I definitely understand. More time for doing the things you love and which generate an income is definitely the correct priority and I am glad you will still be posting regularly at least. 2016 was a very tumultuous year for me on every level and I am definitely not recovered from it yet. It may take me the whole of 2017. As a result, however, I too am making some necessary changes and scaling back commitments so that I conserve my energies and time for the things that bring me joy and fulfillment.

    1. It does seem that 2016 was just a frantic, out-of-control year, doesn’t it? I hope things get back on track for you soon… I think realising that you need to take your foot off the gas for a while is a good start! As for me, I might get back to posting more frequently later in the year, but only once I have repopulated every square inch of Beastie Towers with new monsters! Thanks for your comment, and good luck for the coming year ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Oh sure, you become famous and then ditch us! Kidding. Glad to hear your creative ventures are going so well and that your 2017 is off to an organized start (must be those calendars). I still haven’t gotten back into the twice-weekly blogging routine, but somewhere on the to-do list is to plot a new route for my blogging & social media life. Happy 2017!!!

    1. Hahaha! Yes, I am THE WORST! ๐Ÿ˜† I might return to twice-weekly bloggings, so don’t write me off just yet, but I’m actually quite excited to get started on all of my new schemes and master plans! Good luck with all yours, and happy 2017 back! ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. 2016 flew by, thankfully! I’m looking forward to 2017 and a year filled with lots of creativity: more sewing and learning to spin and weave…and more Etsy Ireland meet ups, I really enjoyed those last year!

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