2017 – A Year of Monster Adventures!

Oh wow, I can’t believe we’re nearly at the end of 2017 already! It’s all been a bit of a blur – surely it was only just Hallowe’en? So I thought I would use this, the last “real” post of the year, to take a look back over the highlights of the last 12 months. If nothing else, it will help me figure out whether I’m right in thinking that I lost a month or two somewhere!

So, what did we get up to? Well, first of all, Explorer Beastie loved getting the chance to go a little further afield on his adventures! We started the year with a trip to Donegal
Explorer Beastie on Five Finger Strand - CrawCrafts Beasties
… And then made it to Copenhagen in the spring…
City Spires - CrawCrafts Beasties
…and Dรผsseldorf in early summer!
Explorer Beastie in Dusseldorf - CrawCrafts Beasties
Paddy and Plunkett were also at large, dropping in on some ancient Irish wells…
Paddy Examines the Holy Well - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
Punting down the Cam…
Paddy and Plunkett Set Sail - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
…And sampling some highly unusual cuisine in Croatia!
Yum! Smallpox! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, Tammie‘s Beastie Finn McSpool has been keeping her readers entertained with his unique brand of “help”. With this guy around, it’s a miracle she gets any books written at all!
Your host, Finn McSpool! T Painter/CrawCrafts Beasties
Finn’s adventures appear on Tammie’s blog every Saturday. I had a hard time picking a favourite to recommend to you all, but I think his underwater exploits in Hawaii back in September win out!

More recently, an old friend dropped us a line while on holidays in South Africa
Garcia Beastie on Table Mountain - S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
… And we welcomed a new face to the Beastie family!


You can meet Sinรฉad the pro-cat activist on Daze and Weekes, and find out more about her mission to improve Beastie-feline relations!

The Beasties have been getting social with other blogging folk this year, too! Back in April, we were lucky enough to be featured on Melissa’s excellent fibre craft blog Knitting The Stash
We're on Knitting the Stash! M Littlefield/CrawCrafts Beasties
… While an appeal for handmade items for a craftivism event in Manchester from Jan at The Snail of Happiness gave me the opportunity to make these little critters!
A Little Felt Bee - CrawCrafts Beasties
I also worked out a pattern and tutorial for these felt bees, which is FREE if you’d like to have a go at making your own!

Oooh, and let’s not forget that the BeastieBlog got a facelift back in August…
New BeastieBlog Homepage - CrawCrafts Beasties
… Which included not only a snazzy new look, but also the addition of my very own online shop! Admittedly, the virtual shelves are a little bare at the moment, but there will be fresh monster faces in there again in the new year!

The Beasties also found themselves in some real shops, including this intrepid mob who journeyed all the way over to Carrick Mรณr in New Jersey!Barrรณg Beastie Group Photo - CrawCrafts Beasties
We also did a few markets… But I reckon you’ve probably heard enough about those recently! I’m still super-grateful to all the good people who organised those events, or who came to visit us in person while we were there – it was lovely to meet you all!

And that only leaves one bit of news to share, and it’s one that I’ve been holding onto since the end of the summer. Since I decided to quit regular 9-5 employment in favour of making monsters a couple of years back, I’ve always worked part-time on the side – it’s reassuring to know that I’m not going to end up out in the streets if I have a couple of commission-free months, or if a market turns out to be a bit of a dud.ย  But back in August, I was let go from my job… And I thought, why not try being a maker of monsters full time for a couple of months, just to see how things go? I’d often wondered what I could do if I got the chance to focus exclusively on the Beasties, and with Christmas looming on the horizon, it seemed like a good time to give it a bash. So, that’s what I’ve been doing! And while it’s had its hairy moments – like me losing my voice for the entire of the biggest market in my calendar – it’s been quite the adventure, and I’m already looking forward to seeing how much more I can do in the coming year!

But of course, dear readers, none of this couldย  have happened without your support – so thanks to all of you who regularly read, like, comment and send me photos of your own monster adventures! I realise that I’ve been a little less diligent in keeping up with you all over the last couple of months, as I tackled the challenge of my first self-employed Christmas season, but I’m so looking forward to getting caught up again in the new year, and seeing what delights 2018 holds for us!

So, that was my 2017 – no wonder I’m tired! How was yours? And what have you got planned for the coming year? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

27 thoughts on “2017 – A Year of Monster Adventures!

    1. Thank you, Tajana! And thanks again for your wondrous socks… They’ve been keeping my toes cosy as I work away this winter ๐Ÿ˜„ Hope your own Christmas crafting has been going well, and all the best for the new year! ๐Ÿ˜€

  1. Hopefully there will be not adventures in 2018, I’ll be keeping up with you and Sinead looks like a top blogger, so I’ve followed her โ˜บ๏ธ

    1. Cheers, Simon! Maybe your Beastie might get out on a few trips in the coming year, so you can claim your rightful place in the Hall of Fame? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for all your support this year, and I hope you enjoy Weekes’s blog as much as I do (Sinรฉad is just her Beastie’s name)… Don’t forget to check out her new album as well, it’s awesome! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Thanks, Maggie! I’m so looking forward to catching up with your recent travels, now that the finishing line for Christmas orders is finally in sight… All the best for the holidays, and I can’t wait to see where 2018 takes you! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Thanks, Jan! It already looks like January is going to be busy too (somehow!) so I should be able to avoid getting a real job for at least a little while longer! ๐Ÿ˜€ Cheers for being such a long-standing friend to the Beasties, and for your surprise parcel a few weeks back… I cracked into one of the soaps on a trip home last week, and it was divine! All the best to you & yours for 2018 ๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. This review makes clear how busy you have been this year and how hard you have worked to grow your brand and business. I am so glad it is translating into well-deserved success for you and that self-employment was a sound decision. I look forward to seeing what 2018 brings to you and the Beasties.

    1. Thanks, Laura! Once I started writing that post, it suddenly became clear where the whole year had gone! I’m hopeful that I’ll at least be able to make use of this opportunity to set myself up for a less frantic Christmas season in 2018, and keep learning new skills so the Beasties can go from strength to strength. Oh, and I have a VIB (very important Beastie) to deliver to the US in the new year, of course! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope you and your boys have a super Christmas, and I’m looking forward to catching up with what you’ve all been up to lately!

  3. Wonderful year-in-review, Helen! Congratulations on an amazing and inspiringly prolific year! It’s been such a delight to get to know the Beasties and follow along their 2017 adventures. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m sorry to hear about August but, from the review, it looks as though the past few months have seen the Beasties hitting the ground running in a big way! I wish you all the best to come as the Beastie-biz continues to grow. Actually, how about designating 2018 Year of the Beastie?! ๐Ÿ˜€ I hope you’re finding some islands of R & R in the holiday + market shuffle (and that the voice returns asap). Happy Holidays and a Happy Beastie New Year!

    1. Cheers Shirley… I’d actually forgotten how busy I’d been myself, especially with the sudden flurry of activity that took hold in September and hasn’t really let up since! ๐Ÿ˜† In fact, I had to double check that Melissa’s feature on Knitting the Stash was this year, because it felt so long ago! I think you’re on to something with 2018 being the Year of the Beastie… Let’s see what the new year holds, eh? Have a wonderful crafty Christmas, and I’m looking forward to seeing what knitting adventures you take on in 2018! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Phewfff what a year you’ve had!!!! I for one can say that you’ve made my year significantly more enjoyable, and I’m so honoured to be a part of the Beastie family! Thank you, thank you! I know that must have been a bit scary for you in August (acckkkk!), but hopefully it was the little kick you needed to delve into monsters full time. That is SO awesome. You are my hero. I really hope things continue on the up and up so that you can keep devoting your all to your own business. And I think that they will because you’re just soooooo great and talented. I hope you are able to have a restive holiday with lots of tea and the return of your voice, and I can’t wait to see what you have planned for 2018!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Awwww, thanks Weekes! I’m so glad you stumbled upon the BeastieBlog this year, because your support and laugh-out-loud funny posts have been keeping me and the Beasties buoyed up as we go about our business! I hope 2018 holds wondrous things for you too… You’re a talented lady yourself, y’know! ๐Ÿ˜€ Hope you, Sinรฉad and B have a lovely Christmas, and let’s see where the new year takes us all! ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. I can’t think where to begin with my comments on this! Hmm…alphabetical? Okay…

    1) Beastie-Filled Anticipation..something I have a gob of waiting to see what you come up with in 2018!
    2) Congratulations on taking the big leap into self-employment!! The world will be a far better place with a full-time monster maker in it.
    3) Decisions…as in I can’t make up my mind of which part of your 2017 Review I like best…the bees or the smallpox. Doesn’t any major choice always seem to come down to bees and smallpox? Sigh.
    4) Finn says “Thanks” for the shout out – I’m not saying thank you because you know what a handful that little diva is going to be for the next week. And finally,
    5) Luck, as in wishing you the best of it in 2018 (not that you need it!).

    1. An alphabetical list of comments? Pure liquid perfection! Thank you SO MUCH for all your support this year, Tammie… I only hope that my thoughtless complimenting of Mr McSpool hasn’t ruined the festive season for you! And of course, I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for the good (well, mostly) people of Osteria. Enjoy the Christmas break (you’re taking SOME time off, right?) and the best of luck to you for the new year. Not that you need it either, obviously, but just in case ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. I believe I have a couple hours on Christmas Day set aside for cramming as many snacks and glasses of wine into my face before getting back to work. That is, of course, assuming I can get to the wine before Finn does. It’s been so much fun watching your monster business grow to, um, monstrous proportions this year. Can’t wait to see how far you go in 2018!!

        1. Thank you, Tammie. Sounds like a plan… Finn permitting, of course! ๐Ÿ˜† And yes, hopefully I can carry on embiggening the Beasties further – because that’s TOTALLY a word, and a viable business plan ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Those beasties have been busy! It was great to read this post and all the cool things that happened in “Beastieland” in 2017! Hope 2018 is even more exciting (but make sure the beasties get plenty of rest over the holidays!)

    1. Thanks, Tierney! Yes, I think we could all use a little R&R over the next couple of days… But I know it won’t be long before I’m picking up those needles again! Season’s greetings to you’n’yours! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Cheers Hannah! I’ve got big plans for these little monsters this year… I just hope there’s enough time for me to do everything! ๐Ÿ˜€

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