Vampires, Monsters and… A Graveyard Park?

We haven’t seen Explorer Beastie in a while, have we? Well, this might explain why… With Hallowe’en looming, he has been watching A LOT of horror films. He especially likes any that feature vampires, and his absolute favourite is…
Vampires Rule! CrawCrafts BeastiesSo when I suggested we take a trip to Dublin’s spookiest park, he was more than willing to tag along.

St Kevin’s Park is right in the city centre… But since it’s smaller than other nearby parks like St Stephen’s Green and Iveagh Gardens, it tends to attract fewer visitors, most of them locals. Why is it spooky? Because it was originally a church and graveyard!
St Kevin's Park, Dublin - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe ivy-covered shell of the church stands in the centre of the park, while the gravestones of the old churchyard are propped against the boundary walls. The park officially opened in 1971, and in preparation for this change of use, all the graves were catalogued and the headstones (but not the graves!) relocated. So it’s hardly surprising that stories abound of the place being haunted!

Perfect for a pre-Hallowe’en wander, I’m sure you’ll agree.

“And we’ll definitely see a vampire!”

Right, Explorer Beastie. We definitely will.

But first, lunch!

“It’s nice here…”
Lunchtime! CrawCrafts Beasties“… Disappointing lack of vampires though.”

No Vampires at Lunch - CrawCrafts Beasties

Explorer Beastie also failed to see any vampires as he looked at the old headstones…
No Vampires near the Gravestones - CrawCrafts Beasties… Studied the fallen leaves…
No Vampires in the Leaves - CrawCrafts Beasties… Walked on the lawns…
No Vampires on the Lawns - CrawCrafts Beasties… Or enjoyed the abundant Autumn colours.
Autumn Colours - CrawCrafts Beasties

“Hmmm, I wonder how the renovations are coming along?”
Renovations at St Kevin's Church Park - CrawCrafts BeastiesJust then, I heard another small, possibly Beastie-like voice.

“Um, excuse me?”
Beastie Meets Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesThen…
Dracula Beastie says hello - CrawCrafts BeastiesRun Away! CrawCrafts Beasties“He’s a bit skittish, isn’t he? I only wanted to ask if he had a spare sandwich. I’m STARVING!”

Sorry, Dracula Beastie, he’s just seen too many movies. Finally, with much coaxing, we were able to convince Explorer Beastie to come back. And as it happens…
Sharing Sandwiches - CrawCrafts Beasties… He did have a spare sandwich.

“Here you go!”
“Yum, thanks!”
Vampires eat Sandwiches, who knew? CrawCrafts BeastiesThen there was just time to take a quick photo for the Beastie family album before we headed for home.
Dracula Beastie and Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesAll in all, a spooktacular day out!
Beasties in the Park - CrawCrafts BeastiesSo, what are you up to for Hallowe’en? Be sure to scare us silly with your plans by telling us about them in the comments!

Gardener Beastie, meet Explorer Beastie! CrawCrafts Beasties

Botanic Beasties 2 – Back to the Gardens!

Hello Beastie friends! Wow, is it really Tuesday again already? How about we kick off this week with a continuing tour of Dublin’s Botanic Gardens, then? And don’t worry if you missed the first part last week, you can catch up here!

After encountering a very busy BumbleBeastie last time…
Beasties in the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts Beasties… Explorer Beastie strolled off to see if there might be any other Beasties about.
Strolling through the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesHe didn’t have to go far… There’s one!
Gardener Beastie in the Botanic Gardens, Dubin - CrawCrafts BeastiesHey there, Gardener Beastie!
Gardener Beastie, meet Explorer Beastie! CrawCrafts Beasties

This little horticultural monster is super-busy keeping all the beautiful seasonal plantings in order… But there’s still time to pose for a quick photo!
Explorer Beastie with Gardener Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd we got a special guided tour of the displays, too. There’s plenty of floral colour everywhere for visitors to enjoy!
Floral Colours at the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesVisitors of all sizes.
Red Admiral Butterfly at Dublin's Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd just as we were about to leave, Explorer Beastie spotted a familar face. Look who’s hanging out in the hanging baskets!
BumbleBeastie in the Hanging Baskets - Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts Beasties
Nice to see you again, BumbleBeastie! Maybe we’ll bump into each other again on a future visit to the Botanic Gardens?

And speaking of the future, join us next Tuesday to meet another new Beastie! See you then…

Botanic Gardens Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

Beasties in the Botanic Gardens

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Beastieland… We’ve missed you! And just to show that I haven’t spent the last couple of weeks sitting on the sofa eating crisps (well, not all of them), I’ve got a brand new Explorer Beastie adventure to share over the next two posts. Where did we go? Well, when the sun breaks through the rainclouds here in Dublin, one of the nicest places to be is the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland.

So, if you go down to the woods today…
Arboretum at the National Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts Beasties… You’ll see BEASTIES!
Explorer Beastie in the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts Beasties
Explorer Beastie wasn’t the only monster in the gardens that day, either. Check out this spooky tree we found, with what looks like eyes all over its trunk!
Spooky Tree - Botanic Gardens Dublin - CrawCrafts Beasties

Our Botanic Gardens aren’t especially big – they’re nowhere near as massive as Kew Gardens, for instance. But there are lots of quiet hideaways and secret corners where a little monster can relax and enjoy being outdoors among the plants.

We both really liked the Chaintent, with its human-sized benches and twisty wisteria branches for a Beastie to climb!
Chaintent, National Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesEven as summer here draws to a close, there are plenty of bright blooms to enjoy too. The hydrangeas are very much in flower!
Beastie in the Blooms - CrawCrafts BeastiesNext, we made our way down to the lily pond.
Explorer Beastie at the Lily Pond - CrawCrafts BeastiesThere are still enough lily pads on the surface that Explorer Beastie figured he could cross to the other side by walking over them, but I encouraged him to use the picturesque bridge instead.
Lily Pond Bridge, National Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd further on… HERE BE MONSTERS!
Monster trees, that is.
Monster Trees at the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesI’m not exactly sure what species it is – I couldn’t see a sign or tag near it. Anyone want to help us out here?

As I tried to figure out the identity of the mysterious giant tree, Explorer Beastie decided to have a go at climbing it.
Climbing Trees - CrawCrafts BeastiesI think we’re going to be here a while.

So, I headed off to take a look at the herbaceous border. It’s a riot of colour at this time of year, and is humming with insects making the most of the last days of summer.

Wait, what’s that?
BumbleBeastie in the Herbaceous Border - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s a bit hard to see among all those yellow flowers but…
BumbleBeastie at the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesYes, it’s a BumbleBeastie!

I followed her until she landed on a nice purple thistle, where I could get a clearer photo.
BumbleBeastie on a Thistle - CrawCrafts BeastiesThen Explorer Beastie found us.

Beasties in the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts Beasties“Hello! Want to join us for lunch?”
“Love to, but I’m soooooo busy! You’re welcome to stick around while I work though… If you can keep up!”

She wasn’t kidding. She must have visited every flower in that border!
BumbleBeastie at the Herbaceous Border - CrawCrafts BeastiesWe even met some of her six-legged insect counterparts along the way.
Bees and BumbleBeastie at the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesWe left her tucking into some lamb’s ear – a favourite bee treat!
BumbleBeastie and Lamb's Ear - Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesI wonder who else might be in the Botanic Gardens today? You’ll have to join us next time to find out!

PS If you can keep up with their hectic pace, you can adopt a BumbleBeastie of your very own. Have a look in the Beastie Store!

Autumn in Dublin's Parks - CrawCrafts Beasties

Dublin in Autumn

Hello there, Beastie friends! How’s your week been? I’m juggling a couple of ongoing monster projects just now, but unfortunately none of them are at a publishable stage yet! So for today’s post, I thought I would share some pics of Dublin’s parks in their autumn finery instead. Care to wander with us?
Lime Walk in Autumn - CrawCrafts BeastiesLiving in the middle of a city is great – if you feel like walking, there’s always somewhere interesting to walk to. And in Dublin, we’re lucky to have several beautiful parks right in the city centre! So anytime I’m in town, I’ll usually find an excuse to take a toddle around St Stephen’s Green, at least. It’s probably Dublin’s most famous and busiest park, since it’s just a stone’s throw from Grafton Street, one of our main shopping districts.

Explorer Beastie is posing in one of my favourite bits of St Stephen’s Green – an avenue of lime trees that leads away from the main gate. Lush and green in spring, shady and cool in the summer… And in Autumn, a riot of yellow leaves!

We would have taken more pictures here, but the downside of being in a popular park is that a Beastie could easily get trampled underfoot. Time to cut across to the far gate and seek out a hidden gem only a few streets away!

Much better! This is Iveagh Gardens… It may not be a truly secret garden, but it certainly feels that way. Two of the three main entrances are set well back from the street, and the park is full of quiet walks and crumbling statues.
Statue at Iveagh Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesExplorer Beastie also likes this big heap of rocks, which provides the perfect mountaineering challenge for an adventurous Beastie!
Autumn Climbing Adventure - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd from the top, you can enjoy the spectacle of the trees glowing in the Autumn sunshine. (Or catch your breath a bit, whichever fits!)
Autumn Leaf Colours - CrawCrafts Beasties

On this walkabout, we had an ulterior motive – to audition potential candidates for a holly-packed Beastie calendar page for December! Explorer Beastie threw himself into the challenge with gusto – braving the prickly leaves to help you all to better organise your busy lives.
Holly Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesActually, those prickles don’t seem to be bothering him much at all…
Explorer Beastie Braves the Holly - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd with the photoshoot complete, we were able to enjoy kick back and enjoy the morning sunshine.
Autumn Sunshine - CrawCrafts BeastiesExplorer Beastie really appreciates how tall he looks in the slanted sunlight – well, his shadow at least!

We even had a chance to meet some of the park’s residents…
Park Residents - CrawCrafts Beasties… Although some of them were a little camerashy!
Swift Squirrel - CrawCrafts BeastiesSo, have your paws taken you anywhere interesting lately? And how is Autumn (or Spring) in your part of the world? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

Oh, and don’t forget to grab your free Calendar Pages for the last three months of 2018, and see which photos made the cut for November and December.

See you again next week for more monster adventures!

A Beastie Gathering! May Update, Beastie HQ - CrawCrafts Beasties

The End of Mad May!

I might have mentioned it already (once or twice) but May has been a SUPER-busy month here at Beastie Towers! With multiple commissions on the go, our stint at Woollinn last week, and a bit of extra time spent at our local yarn shop, it’s a miracle I’ve had time for anything else!
But May has also been the month of visitors, and one of the people I’ve been looking forward to meeting the most is long-time Beastie-and-blogging buddy, Tammie Painter! She and her husband first told me of their plans to visit Ireland waaaaay back towards the end of last year, and I have to admit that the excitement of maybe meeting one of my virtual friends in the real world has had me bombarding them with suggestions for must-visit places ever since.

Fortunately, this didn’t deter them.

But hey, what happens when two camera-shy blogesses meet up? Well, you let your Beasties take centre stage, of course!
A Beastie Gathering! May Update, Beastie HQ - CrawCrafts BeastiesIn the mix here, we have Explorer Beastie and the famous Finn McSpool… Plus a couple of new Beastie faces!

The turquoise-complexioned Beastie lady enjoying a bottle of Hop Monster IPA is Tammie Beastie, while the yellow fellow clutching the cookie is the monster counterpart of Tammie’s own “Mr Husband”. Human Mr Husband got in touch with me well ahead of their travel date, asking if I could create this woolly pair as a surprise birthday gift for Tammie – so of course I jumped at the chance! You’ll be able to meet them (and their extensive collection of Irish travel essentials) in my next post this coming Friday.

So, on with the tour… Although honestly, I was so busy playing guide that I kinda forgot to take pictures. And when I did, they ended up looking waaaaay better on the phone screen than they did once I saw them on my computer. OOOOPS.

Our first port of call was the Book of Kells and the Long Room Library. You’re not allowed to take pictures in the room where the Book of Kells is kept, but it’s so dark in there that I doubt my phone camera would have coped anyway! Fortunately, it’s a different story in the Long Room – and it’s every book lover’s idea of HEAVEN!
Explorer Beastie in the Long Room Library - CrawCrafts Beasties Beastie HQEach one of those alcoves on the left and right sides is lined with floor-to-ceiling shelves, and their lovely neat arrangement is down to the fact that they’re arranged by height, rather than alphabetically.
The Long Room Library, Trinity College Dublin - CrawCrafts Beasties, Beastie HQAs is the norm at this time of the year, the library was packed with visitors from all over the world… But Explorer Beastie still found a quiet corner to pose with this regal-looking bust!
Explorer Beastie meets a Long Room Library Resident - CrawCrafts Beasties Beastie HQI was also eager to take Tammie and Mr Husband to the home of the Black Stuff – but as the main Guinness visitor experience is pretty touristy (and also scarily expensive), I thought their experimental Open Gate Brewery might make for a better evening’s entertainment.

Once we’d chosen which of their extensive selection of brews we’d like to try, it was time for a little Beastie magic…
Beastie Magic - Open Gate Brewery Visit - CrawCrafts Beasties, Beastie HQAbracadabra! One humble bottle cap becomes several Beastie-sized glasses of beer. Nice one, Explorer Beastie!

Now, the good news is that Tammie has been much more diligent in documenting her travels than I was. You can catch up with Finn McSpool’s first reportage from the Emerald Isle here!

Oh, and speaking of holiday plans… It’s almost time for a new calendar page! I’m doing something different this time around, and doubling up June and July as one download.
June and July Calendars - Download from Beastie HQIt’s still free, of course! But at this time of year, there’s so much to keep track of… And this way, you can get going with those holiday plans right now! You can download your copy now from the Beastie HQ store, here.

Are any of you thinking of travelling to far-flung places? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments! And I’ll be back on Friday with some new Beasties to share… See you then!

PS Over the last couple of weeks, the BeastieBlog has apparently been snacking on some of your comments! I’m really sorry about this, and I’ve been fishing them out of the spam folder as promptly as I can. Hopefully this glitch will be sorted out soon, and thanks to all of you who have persevered and left comments anyway! You’re the best!

Beasties on Parade! CrawCrafts Beasties

Good Things Come in Threes…

Oh wow, what a week it’s been! Isn’t it funny how life can be so quiet for a while, and then a whole bunch of things happen all at once? So, although the original purpose of this post was just to share the results of my Beastie calendar poll, I’ll get around to that in a tick… Because I have some breaking news to share first!
We're in a Shop! CrawCrafts BeastiesCow’s Lane Designer Studio in Temple Bar has very kindly offered the Beasties a spot in their prestigious Irish craft and design store! The Beasties are so chuffed to find themselves on the shelves and rubbing shoulders with some of our favourite local talents, including Guadalupe Creations, Niki Collier Design and Brookwood Pottery!

An elite squad of little knitted monsters already made their way down to the shop last week, but Explorer Beastie was keen to pop in and see his friends in their new pad. So we took a quick trip over there yesterday… Care to join us?
Beasties on Bicycles! CrawCrafts BeastiesExplorer Beastie was tempted to freewheel down twisty Fishamble Street on this greenery-bedecked bicycle, but fortunately I was able to talk him out of it. Let’s just walk the rest of the way, perhaps?
Explorer Beastie in Temple Bar - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd sure enough, it wasn’t long before we found ourselves in the narrow cobbled streets of Temple Bar!

Aha! This must be the place. Let’s go in!
Explorer Beastie Goes Shopping - CrawCrafts Beasties
Ooooh! Pretty!
Inside Cow's Lane Designer Studio - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd look… There they are!
Beasties on Parade! CrawCrafts BeastiesBeasties in Store! CrawCrafts BeastiesThe Beasties will be guests at Cow’s Lane Designer Studio for at least the next month, so if you’re in the area, please do pop in and say hello! All of them are eager to meet you, and maybe find their forever home!

Now, what about that calendar? First of all, thank you SO MUCH to everyone who voted, and especially those of you who shared further insights and ideas in the comments! More than once during the past week, I’ve been truly floored by what a generous, thoughtful and ingenious bunch of people you are… I consider myself incredibly lucky to have found you all! So, without further ado –
Survey Results - CrawCrafts BeastiesTa-daaaaah! The people have spoken, and they’ve come out in favour of a calendar gap year. Although I reckon I’ll really have to deliver on my promise to get something bigger, brighter and better together for 2019! It’s also interesting that the idea of abandoning the calendar altogether was the least popular option – I’ve been happy to discover that I’m not the last person on earth who depends one of these primitive devices to stop my world from descending into chaos!

A couple of you even suggested other ways I can create a calendar, without having to go the whole hog and get a printer involved. I’m excited to give these a try over the next couple of weeks, so fellow calendar enthusiasts – watch this space!

Aaaaand finally – I couldn’t do a post about good things without mentioning the delightful parcel I received during the week from my long-term blogging buddy Tajana! In case you missed it on Instagram…

My beautiful handknitted socks arrived just as the weather took a turn for the chilly, and look at all the other goodies that found their way into the package as well! Tajana is probably sick of hearing me saying thank you at this point, but one more can’t hurt… THANK YOU, Tajana! You rock!

If you’d like to see more of Tajana’s incredible knits, bakes and other makes (plus some views of the glorious Italian countryside to boot), you can find her here…

Just baked off…. the cinnamon scent is divine….

A post shared by Tajana Rabar (@tajanarabar) on

You can tell it’s nearly lunchtime when I’m posting pictures of cakes!

So, between shop-stocking, surveying and sweet new socks, it’s been a pretty peachy week here at Beastie Towers! What’s been making you happy over the last 7 days?

Cherry Blossom, this season's must-have fashion accessory - CrawCrafts Beasties

Cherry Nice!

Aaaah, cherry blossom! When you see those trees turned out in their delicate pink and white flowers, it’s usually safe to say that spring has well and truly sprung… Even in Ireland!

In St Stephen’s Green, right in the centre of Dublin, there’s a short walkway by the bandstand that’s lined with cherry trees. It’s one of my favourite places in the city at this time of year, so I decided to take Explorer Beastie out for a stroll there the other day. He seemed quite taken with it, and was happy to pose under the trees for a few photos… Spot the Beastie!
Explorer Beastie under the Cherry Trees - CrawCrafts BeastiesThen he realised that you can have WAY more fun kicking through the fallen flowers, and pretending that they’re pink snow.
Explorer Beastie in the Fallen Blossoms - CrawCrafts BeastiesOh, and they make a pretty natty fashion accessory, too…
Cherry Blossom, this season's must-have fashion accessory - CrawCrafts BeastiesVery nice. But is this really the best place to view this seasonal spectacle? Of course not! We need to be up higher.
Finding the Best Viewpoint - CrawCrafts BeastiesAaah, that’s much better!
The View From on High - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt took more than a little coaxing to get him back down again, but fortunately there were some colourful displays in the flower beds in the centre of the park that needed closer inspection…
The Colours of Spring in St Stephen's Green - CrawCrafts Beasties…Even if that meant breaking a couple of rules along the way.

Oi! Can’t you read?!
Paws off the Grass! CrawCrafts BeastiesLuckily I was able to scoop him up and sneak him away in my bag before the park attendants came along, but there’s every chance Explorer Beastie is now officially on the run from the law!

We’ll be back with more monster adventures next week – Paddy and Plunkett have been on another expedition, and they’ve sent me some great photos which I can’t wait to share with you! Until then, you can get a second dose of Beastie goodness this week, courtesy of Melissa at Knitting the Stash, who published a really lovely feature about us on her blog over the weekend!
We're on Knitting the Stash! M Littlefield/CrawCrafts BeastiesFellow yarn and fibre addicts will find lots to love in Melissa’s posts – a knitter, spinner, vlogger and occasional sheep farm visitor, there’s really nothing this lady can’t turn her hand to! Be sure to check out Knitting the Stash if you haven’t already, and thanks again to Melissa for letting us join the party!

Explorer Beastie at Niki Collier's Studio

A Bit of Local Colour

Explorer Beastie With Some Felt Gems - CrawCrafts BeastiesWith Paddy and Plunkett enjoying some well-earned rest after their last round of travels, it’s been left to me and Explorer Beastie to come up with an adventure to share with you this week! Fortunately, we didn’t have to go too far to find something interesting… In fact, we barely had to leave our own neighbourhood!

My friend and fellow craftsperson Niki Collier (who I featured recently in my guest post for craft magazine Olann And’s blog) recently relocated to a new studio space, and she decided it was high time she had a “studio-warming” gathering to celebrate her move. So of course Explorer Beastie and I had to go for a nosey!

The first thing that caught our eye was the impressive Wall of Tools – look at all those scissors! I promise I only experienced a little bit of craft den envy!
Explorer Beastie and the Wall of Scissors - CrawCrafts BeastiesThere are also plenty of Niki’s finished pieces dotted around the studio. That meant there was lots to keep a curious Beastie entertained…
All The Felt - CrawCrafts Beasties…While the grown-ups talked out the angles of a future collaborative project! Can any of you guess who this Beastie might be?
A Beastie in the Making - CrawCrafts BeastiesOne of my favourite pieces in the studio was this little tree.
The Felting Tree - CrawCrafts BeastiesNiki made this when she started felting. Each leaf was contributed by another crafter, and has notes on the back about the properties of the wool used to make it – what breed of sheep it came from, the length of the fibres – as well as the name of the person who donated it. What a great way to learn!

Once we’d seen everything there was to see in Niki’s studio, it was time for us to go and inflict ourselves on the people who occupy the other half of this building!
In The Leatherworkers' Studio - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis is the home of RJ Mooney Leathers, and their workshop is incredibly cool! Explorer Beastie had fun checking out all the different leathers…
Explorer Beastie Checks Out the Goods - CrawCrafts Beasties… And look at the machinery! Talk about a vintage-lover’s paradise!
Vintage Singer Sewing Machines - CrawCrafts BeastiesApparently they are all still in perfect working order, too! I’d love to come back and see them in action on a proper work day!

Tour completed, there was time for a quick cup of tea before we headed for home. Since the sun was out, we decided to stroll back along the canal – a great end to a super afternoon!
Walking Home Along the Canal - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis weekend we’ll be heading to The Grand Social on Liffey Street for the Ha’Penny Market – hope you’ll join us there if you’re in town! Otherwise we’ll see you again on Tuesday, when I hope to have new Beasties to share (AT LAST!)…

Explorer Beastie, Sommelier - CrawCrafts Beasties

Social Beastie-Flies!

Getting Out More - CrawCrafts BeastiesPhew! What a busy week it’s been! After our Etsy photography course a couple of weeks ago, Explorer Beastie and I decided to keep our socialising momentum going… so when an invite to a special sneak-preview-tasting-menu dinner at Oscar’s Bar and Kitchen dropped into our mailbox, we were pretty quick to RSVP! As an extra bonus, the event was being organised by the Irish Blogger Association, which meant that we’d get to meet some more bloggers – in person for once!

Now, I hope you’re hungry… Here come some of the highlights of the meal!
Dinner at Oscar's Bar and Kitchen - CrawCrafts BeastiesClockwise from top left – wild boar black pudding starter (proof, if any were even needed, that black pudding is more than just a component of your typical full Irish breakfast), the bbq ribs that were so tasty that I forgot to photograph them first, rhubarb panna cotta for dessert and Explorer Beastie looking on enviously at my Moroccan lamb with aubergine.

Yum! There were also plenty of opportunities for Explorer Beastie to pose with an almost-Beastie-sized wine glass…
Explorer Beastie, Sommelier - CrawCrafts Beasties… Relax among the tasteful decor…
Enjoying the Evening in Style - CrawCrafts Beasties… And atone for the rest of us eating all that black pudding.
Wild Boar's Revenge - CrawCrafts BeastiesLooking back at my photos as I was putting this post together made me think about how I wouldn’t even have been there enjoying all these delicious delicacies if I hadn’t started writing a blog about the Beasties and their adventures. Blogging has introduced me to people I never would have had the chance to meet otherwise – people who share my interests, or who have introduced me to new ways of looking at the world. People whose work inspires me, or whose stories make me laugh out loud when I read them. In the last week, I was delighted, excited and a little surprised to see I’d passed the 300 followers mark! So thanks to all of you for reading, and especially to those among you who regularly like my posts or comment on them. The Beasties and I are so chuffed to have you all along with us on our adventures!

Further “thank you”s are due to Fiona and the Irish Blogger Association for organising a great night out, and to the staff at Oscar’s for looking after us so well. It certainly looks like I wasn’t the only one who left happy!
The Writing's on the Wall - CrawCrafts BeastiesJoin us again on Friday, when we’ll be checking in with another Beastie abroad! And if blogging has taken you to interesting or unexpected places, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!

The Trouble With April In Dublin…

A Rainy Monday Morning - CrawCrafts Beasties… Is that we take the concept of “April showers” to a whole new level. I’d promised Explorer Beastie a day out yesterday (Other Work kept me pretty busy over the weekend), but on Monday morning we were greeted with teeming rain and grey skies. What to do?
What Happens Now? CrawCrafts BeastiesAnything outdoors was totally off the menu. And all of our lovely free museums and art galleries are closed on Mondays! Fortunately, I remembered about the Book of Kells!

The Queen at the Book of Kells, from
Good enough for the Queen, good enough for us! Image borrowed from

So I grabbed my umbrella, and Explorer Beastie hopped into my bag for the journey. But when we arrived…
The Old Library at Trinity College - CrawCrafts BeastiesOh no! Clearly everyone else had the same idea! What now?

“Hey, why don’t we go in here?”

Explorer Beastie's Plan B - CrawCrafts Beasties
“Here” is the Douglas Hyde Gallery, a small, FREE art space located just inside Trinity College’s Arts Building. I must have walked past it thousands of times when I was a student here, and I never thought to go inside! Time to fix that… Good call, Explorer Beastie!
Explorer Beastie at the Douglas Hyde Gallery - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe exhibitions change fairly frequently, so there’s always something new to see. The current one will be running until the 4th of May, and is definitely worth a look. We especially enjoyed Bill Lynch’s work!
Explorer Beastie in the Douglas Hyde Gallery - CrawCrafts BeastiesUnfortunately, it hadn’t stopped raining by the time we went to leave…
It's Still Raining! CrawCrafts Beasties… But we did get to pose with Douglas Hyde himself on the way out! It’s not often that little woolly monsters get a chance to rub shoulders with former Irish presidents!
Explorer Beastie Meets Douglas Hyde - CrawCrafts BeastiesAs for the Book of Kells… Well, we’ll take you there another day. And it definitely won’t be on a rainy Monday morning!

See you all next week, when I’ll have some more new Beasties for you to meet!