The Big Five-Oh-Oh!

Hey there everybody! And this is an extra-special post for me today, because over the weekend the BeastieBlog got its 500th follower!

So of course, I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all of you… Especially those of you who take the time to come and hang out with me and the Beasties here every week. We thrive on your likes and comments, so please keep ’em coming!

I thought this might be a fun time to do a bit of a retrospective… So join me as I look back over some of my favourite Beastie-making moments, and introduce you to a few of the awesome blogging folks I’ve met along the way!

Let’s start at the very beginning… with this photo that is, now that I look at it, not good AT ALL. This is Schnocks, the very first Beastie!
Schnocks, the very first Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesWow, haven’t they changed? Unsurprisingly, this first post of mine got no likes… at least not until Noémie from Focal Heart took it upon herself to scroll back through ALL my old posts last year to find him! Noémie has since invited 3 Beasties to come and live with her, and has been good enough to share photos of their adventures with me. Why not check out the first one here?

Although Schnocks was created in around 2010-11, it was a couple of years before I thought of adding to the Beastie family… Or encouraging them to head out and invade other peoples’ homes! All that changed after my first market, though.
Craft Fair Stall - CrawCrafts BeastiesUrrrgh, again with the terrible photography! Isn’t it lucky that I was trying to rehome Beasties that weekend, rather than photographs? That said, I was pretty surprised that I had to put up this sign on my table halfway through Sunday afternoon…
Sold OutAnd thus, a Maker of Monsters was born! From there, it was a short leap to taking on my first commission…
Justin Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties… And by now, I’d picked up two of my longest-standing followers, who I still try to keep up with. Knitters will find lots to love on Funky Air Bear‘s site, and Mrs P‘s tales of daily life in the Cottage on the Green always crack me up.

OK, let’s skip forward a bit, and see if we can find some better pictures, shall we?

Check it out! Explorer Beastie’s first away trip!
Ampelmann and Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesLook at him there, hanging out with Ampelmann in Berlin! And by the time he’d taken the first of many trips to Co. Roscommon, in the western midlands of Ireland…
Explorer Beastie with Mountain… We’d picked up another BeastieBlog lifer, The Snail of Happiness. Jan’s blog is a beacon of contentment and good sense in a world that sometimes seems to be going off the deep end, so it’s one I heartily recommend you check out!

Inspired by the scenery of the Roscommon countryside, I decided it was high time I made some Beasties with a more Irish twist. And so, Barróg Beasties were born – any excuse to grab a bit of locally-made yarn in some glorious rich hues, and get cracking on some new accessories! Here’s the first one, clutching a lovely mug of hot milky tea.
All-Irish BeastieBarróg Beasties (the name is the Irish word for “hug”) have gone on to become some of the most popular Beasties out there… Especially the ones with pints of Guinness or little Aran sweaters! Oh, and it’s around this time that LucyAnn and Tricia joined the party – they’re both great crafters, and I love sharing the adventures of their dachsunds as they explore Tricia’s beautiful garden.

Of course, there are two Barróg Beasties who have really made a name for themselves since their first adventure back in 2015. Yep, that’d be Paddy and Plunkett! Here’s a picture (a decent one) of their debut away trip to the mossy forests of Co. Fermanagh!
Paddy & Plunkett by CrawCrafts Beasties/Heather CrawfordBy now, we’d been joined by Jem Arrowsmith Knits and Tajana from Tatie’s World, and I’ve so enjoyed following their crafty journeys over the last couple of years!

2015 was the year that commissions really took off for me, and that resulted in some pretty elaborate monster creations… Anybody remember these?
Dog Lover Beastie with her Dog by CrawCrafts Beasties

Fireman Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Harry Potter Beastie Recaptures The Monster Book of Monsters! (CrawCrafts Beasties)That year, I also found some great new blogs through WordPress’s Blogging 101 course – including one of my favourite travel blogs, Travel Magnolia. Maggie finds herself in some truly fascinating places, and somehow she always finds the best foodie spots to share wherever she goes!

More recently, the BeastieBlog seems to have grown in all kinds of directions as I share more of my own adventures and experiments alongside what the Beasties are up to. Explorer Beastie at the Etsy Offices - CrawCrafts BeastiesMeeting Other Crafters - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s also been fun to see more people getting in touch with pictures of their own Beasties’ adventures – like Tammie Painter, whose Beastie friend Finn McSpool always seems to be up to some sort of mischief! It’s a wonder she ever gets a chance to pursue her writing and artwork at all when he’s around…
Of course, she’s not the only one – thanks to all of you who have sent in pictures of your Beasties at work or play… They always make me smile!
Beasties Abroad - Various Contributors/CrawCrafts BeastiesAaaand that’s probably enough gushing from me for one day! I hope you enjoyed this whistle-stop tour of Beastie history – it’s actually been fun for me to look back through the archives as well. It’s also made me realise that, although there are a good few people who have been with me since the early days, I’ve encountered a whole LOAD of interesting and inspiring bloggers in the last few months. So I’m saving my “who I’m reading now” list for a future post, coming up in a couple of weeks!

In the meantime, be sure to join us next Tuesday for a bit of a catchup with Paddy and Plunkett. See you then!

53 thoughts on “The Big Five-Oh-Oh!

  1. Wow!!! Huge and deserved congratulations! Aughhhh I want all of them!! I’ve been fantasising about a customised Beastie for a while now and can’t decide which direction I want to go in…

    1. Why thank you! And not that this will help your predicament at all, but I love a challenge… The crazier the better! Although you’ll have to go a long way to beat Dog Walker/Trainee Neurosurgeon Beastie from a couple of years back 😆

  2. 500! Well done! Actually, I’m not surprised. These Beastie Blogs would surely brighten anyone’s day. Of all your creations I think the Grim Reaper and the Goths are my favourites. They put such a cosy, impish spin on all those old black and white horror films I used to watch on TV on wet Saturday afternoons when I was little…, THAT’S going back a bit!

  3. I love the way you have laid this all out, Helen! It’s a testament to your relationships with other fun bloggers and your own awesome creativity! Keep up the good work. I ❤ beasties and try to spread the word whenever I can 🙂

  4. Ooh, this is a terrific study of Beastie evolution! My scientist’s eye notices they’ve gone from having four teeth to only two, which makes me wonder if this species has lost the need for teeth (consuming most calories in the form of beer or other tipple), or do they just eat too much sugar and lose a couple incisors in their youth? Thanks for the shout out and congrats on snagging all those followers!!

    1. Awww, thank you for your comment, Tammie… And all the other hundreds that have preceded it! Your scientific conclusions on the causes of Beastie dentition evolution are largely sound – they really do like their food to be liquid, sugary or a combination of both – but you’ve missed the key factor of “creator laziness”. 😆 Plus Beasties look cuter when they don’t have a mouth full of pointy fangs, wouldn’t you say? Hope your fortnight of extreme work is going well!

  5. Hey Helen, this is so wonderful! A big congrats on the 500 mark-that’s huge!! Thanks for sharing the evolution of the beasties and your blogging-its so cool to see the photos get brighter and the beasties get bolder. They are such a mischievous bunch and it seems they are invading the world! Keep up the awesome work. It seems the beastie-potential is limitless!

    1. Thanks Nina! And cheers for joining us for our adventures, we love checking in with your work too! More new Beasties (properly photographed 😉) coming soon… The invasion continues!

  6. Thank you for the shout-out! How lovely to see some beastie history… and some old triumphs. Here’s to many more happy years of monster-making. I can hardly wait to see the next beastie.

  7. Yay! Congrats on 500! Love the memory lane post, it’s so cool to see how Beasties have evolved! So many Beasties I still need to discover! That little gamer Beastie is too cute!

    1. Thank you! I really did enjoy making that one… And if you want to check out my “greatest hits”, view the BeastieBlog in your browser and have a look through the gallery! I do a weekly “Flashback Friday” feature with classic Beasties on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram too 😀

  8. A bit late to the party, but congratulations! What a great introduction to your site and seeing the evolution of your beasties 🙂

  9. Congrats, Helen! How wonderful to see this Beastie retrospective and to get to know some of the bloggers who have given the Beasties their homes over the years! 🙂 Wow, Schnocks was a 2010 Beastie! An amazing and inspiring craft story. I love the knit terrier, too. They’re all so unique. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Shirley! Although I have to confess that I can’t pinpoint Schnocks’s exact year of birth… I really wish I’d put dates in my knitting journal back then! Cheers for being part of the family 😀

  10. Look at all those great beasties! You’ve created a great thing here Helen and I’m pleased I met such a fun and creative person.
    Like the new gravatar 😊

    1. Cheers Simon, we’re happy to have you on board! 😊 And thanks for spotting the new gravatar… I’m seriously thinking my Mum should take up portrait photography! This is the best photo that’s been taken of me in about 3 years 😂

      1. Lol… I might have loads of followers but it doesn’t seem to make me popular. My page views don’t go up or anything. I think you’re better off than me with the beasties!

        1. I actually notice the same, just on a smaller scale. But I consider myself so lucky to have a bunch of people who drop in regularly to say hi. Numbers are nice, but the community is better! Your blog seems to have a really nice buzz about it too! 😀

        2. I like the buzz about it, but I notice that who likes and comments changes. I guess it’s who WordPress shows my posts to.

        3. Yes they did that ages ago I realised. Have you not noticed your feed changes? You can make feed lists from specific bloggers.

        4. Actually, no! 😆 Most of my reading time goes to keeping up with the lovely folks who regularly like and comment on my posts, and I only dip into the Reader when I feel like I’m properly caught up… Which is hardly ever! 😆 Lucky I have you to keep me up to date, eh?

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