Time for a Rest! CrawCrafts Beasties

Flashback Friday – Beasties on Holiday!

Hey there everyone! Summer has returned to Dublin – I think temperatures climbed to their highest heights of the year so far yesterday! And that’s got me in a holiday sort of mood… So I thought I might use this week’s Flashback Friday to revisit some of my favourite “Beasties on tour” moments. Hopefully it will tide us over until we can all travel again!

Let’s start with Explorer Beastie’s trip to Germany in 2018… A rare example of a Beastie holiday where I was allowed to tag along.
View from the Train - CrawCrafts Beasties, Beastie HQAnd thanks to the themed gardens in Düsseldorf’s Nordpark, you might have even thought we were briefly in Japan! Explorer Beastie does enjoy a bit of zen serenity now and again.
Sunbathing by the Stream, Nordpark, Dusseldorf - CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy and Plunkett are also fond of an away trip. Here’s one of my favourite pictures of them, lurking in the tulips around Arundel Castle in Kent.
Paddy and Plunkett at Arundel Castle - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesWhile I was looking for this photo, I found some other travel souvenirs – pictures from Antonello and Tiziana Beastie’s visit to Abruzzo!
Beasties at Pescasseroli Park Zoo - A de Girolamo/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd yes, that is a real live BEAR in the background!
A Poorly Bear at the Park Zoo, Pescasseroli - A de Girolamo/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd speaking of dangerous exploits… One of my favourite Beastie holiday snaps of all time comes courtesy of Tammie Painter, who encouraged her Beastie Finn McSpool to try his paw at scuba diving whilst on holiday in Hawaii!

Underwater Adventuring - Extreme Beastie Photography
Extreme Underwater Beastie photo borrowed from tammiepainter.com

He wasn’t the only one having fun in the sun in Hawaii, either. Grim Reaper Beastie went there too! Doesn’t he look right at home among all that lava?
A Fitting Backdrop for a Grim Reaper Beastie! N Depping/CrawCrafts BeastiesThen again, holidays don’t have to be all non-stop action and dramatic scenery. They can also give you the opportunity to take a moment to pursue a favourite hobby…
Monster Lunchtime! L Döring/CrawCrafts Beasties… Or just kick back and relax!
Time for a Rest! CrawCrafts BeastiesAre you dreaming of getting away on holiday when things return to normal? Or are you planning a staycation in your favourite local hideaway? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

We’ll be back on Tuesday with more monster mischief… Enjoy the weekend and we’ll see you all then!

Grim Reaper Beastie Sketch New - CrawCrafts Beasties

Flashback Friday – Beastie Sketches

Hello everyone! I’ve something a little different for you this Flashback Friday – a retrospective of Beastie sketches, or “Sketch-rospective”, if you will!

It occurred to me recently that the sketches I draw for custom Beasties very rarely see the light of day. I do them, I send them to the customer, we finesse the details. Then I put the originals in a folder, stash the electronic versions in with the photos of the finished Beastie… And that’s it! So, how about we take a peek in those archives?

I had to look waaay back through my old sketchbooks to find my very first Beastie commission drawing. Check it out!Diver Beastie Sketches - CrawCrafts BeastiesPretty rustic, eh? Back then I was using “graduate” sketchbooks – books with a thick paper cover that are stapled together in the middle like a magazine – and sending my customers photos of the pages. That’s why you can see shadows down some of the sides!

I was also outlining with my favourite fountain pen, and colouring in by hand with coloured pencils. It took FOREVER! Especially for large areas of black, like this Grim Reaper Beastie from the following year.
Grim Reaper Beastie Sketch New - CrawCrafts BeastiesThat said, I did keep on drawing by hand for a good while afterwards! Here are a couple from back in 2017 – do any of you recognise these Beasties?
Cyclist Beastie Sketches - CrawCrafts Beasties
Cyclist BeastieSimon's Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties
Slartibartfast, who now hangs out with Simon of Simon’s SpaceDublin Football Beastie Sketches - CrawCrafts BeastiesDublin Football Beastie

However, much as I love the hands-on approach, I was having trouble keeping up! A hectic pre-Christmas season in 2017 had me scouting around for new drawing options… Preferably ones that wouldn’t involve quite as much controlled shading with coloured pencils.

Enter GIMP and Inkscape, two open-source computer graphics programs. I won’t pretend that the learning curve with these has been speedy – I still feel like I’m figuring out the angles a bit – but the one-click colouring is a definite plus. This is my first attempt:
First Digital Sketches! CrawCrafts BeastiesThen when I figured out that I could scan in my fabric stash and show people the actual prints I’d be using for their Beastie’s outfits, I couldn’t have been happier!
Family Frame Beasties - Sketches - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd although I can now type most of the text, I still like to throw the odd bit of my own hand-drawn lettering into the sketches too.
David and Tammie Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesHow about you? Will you be cracking out your pencils this weekend, or creating artwork on your computer? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

We’ll be back next week to see what Paddy and Plunkett have been up to – see you then!

A Beastie-sized Pocket Knife - CrawCrafts Beasties

Flashback Friday – All In A Day’s Work!

Hey there everyone, and greetings from a slightly grey and showery Dublin! What a strange coincidence that, as life here starts to return to something like normality, the weather follows suit! And since Ireland is very slowly starting to head back to work, I thought I’d devote today’s Flashback Friday to some of the “tools of the trade” accessories I’ve provided Beasties with over the years.

So, how about we start with a literal toolkit?
What's in Spencer Beastie's Rucksack? CrawCrafts BeastiesThis set of hammer, torch and pocket knife headed off to Illinois with Spencer Beastie in late 2018. The torch even has a glass bead “bulb” inside…
A Beastie-Sized Torch, by CrawCrafts Beasties… And the pocket knife opens to reveal a sharp(ish) felt blade!
A Beastie-sized Pocket Knife - CrawCrafts BeastiesNext, some of the more unusual work related items I’ve created – a Beastie-sized micropipette and cell culture flask!
Beastie Size Coffee Cup, Cell Culture Flask and Micropipette by CrawCrafts BeastiesHonestly, these little monsters can (and do) turn their paws to just about anything! You can find out which Beastie left Beastie Towers with this lot here.

And seeing that reusable takeaway cup in with the lab equipment reminds me… This Beastie wasn’t the only one who liked to kick off their work day with a delicious hot coffee! Does anyone remember this, from September 2018?
Starbeasts Coffee - Beastie Coffee Cup by CrawCrafts BeastiesAs I said in the accompanying post, a Beastie could easily drown in a human-sized grande latte… That’s why they go to Starbeasts, where the beverages are scaled down to Beastie size. Now this monster lady is ready to start her day!
Everything for a Bridal Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties(I also kinda love her tiara… It’s probably not workplace-suitable attire, but let’s give it a mention anyway!)

And while we’re on the subject of workday routines… This comes to mind.
What's in Beastie Bruce's Backpack? CrawCrafts BeastiesThis Beastie-sized needle-felted croissant and hand-embroidered newspaper celebrate the way Bruce Beastie‘s human counterpart liked to start the day while he was working here in Ireland. And with good reason! Nothing beats a tasty breakfast…
A Beastie-Sized Croissant - CrawCrafts Beasties… And a scan through the news of the day!
Beastified Irish Times - Beastie Accessories by CrawCrafts BeastiesPhew! After that lot, you’d almost need to take the weekend off and put your feet up! Did I miss any favourite Beastie accessories out in my round-up? If I did, be sure to give me a nudge in the comments!


Speaking of weekend activities, you might want to take 20 minutes out to catch up with the latest episode of The Book Owl Podcast. Not only do the Beasties get a lovely shout out at the beginning (thanks Tammie!), it’s also a timely look at a very famous diary and the girl who wrote it. You can track it down on Podchaser, here.

And for dessert… A comment about the Beasties meeting up on Zoom on Tuesday’s post made me think of this. You’ll need to watch to the end to see why 😉

Enjoy! We’ll be back on Tuesday with more monster-shaped mayhem… See you then!

Relaxing on Glencolmcille Beach - CrawCrafts Beasties

Flashback Friday – Beasties by the Seaside

Hello Beastie friends! Is it really Friday again already? And what’s with all this talk about the seaside?

Well, this week for Flashback Friday I wanted to revisit a little lady monster from back in 2016 – hey there, Mermaid Beastie!
Mermaid Beastie Makes her Escape - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut her fishy tail…
Mermaid Beastie's Tail, by CrawCrafts Beasties… And aquatic-themed accessories…
An Unconventional Use for Starfish - CrawCrafts Beasties… Made me realise that it’s a veeeery long time since I was last at the seaside. So, as well as a timely reminder that Beasties are found under the sea as well as on land, I thought I’d take a trip to the coast through some of my old photos.

Look, here’s Explorer Beastie enjoying the sun and sand in Lanzarote, from this adventure back in 2014!
Explorer Beastie on Black Sand BeachAnd while he was living it up overseas, I took Victorian Explorer Beastie to the seaside town of Bray, just south of Dublin!
Victorian Explorer Beastie on the Beach

Paddy and Plunkett enjoy the odd day at the beach too. Here they are at my favourite childhood haunt… Crawfordsburn Beach in County Down, Northern Ireland. I spent a lot of time clambering over these very rocks looking for rock pools!
Paddy and Plunkett Take the Scenic Route - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThat said, not all of their seaside visits have gone so smoothly. In this post from 2016, the two of them ended up in a bit of a pickle after someone let Paddy take the wheel…
Beach Beasties Frame 3 - CrawCrafts Beasties

And finally – one thing I’m really looking forward to when the travel restrictions are completely lifted here is getting back to Donegal. Spectacular scenery, great eating spots and, if you visit off-season like we do, miles of deserted beaches to enjoy! See for yourself!
Beastie Hide and Seek - CrawCrafts BeastiesHow about you lot? Are any of you still able to get to the beach, or are you longing to feel sand between your toes again? Let us know in the comments!

And we’ll be back on Tuesday with the last part of June Beastie’s travel diary… See you then!

Beastie Pugaliers - CrawCrafts Beasties

Flashback Friday – Beastie Pets Retrospective

… Or, as first floated in Tuesday’s post, it’s a Pet-rospective! Beasties love their pets, and at the suggestion of regular reader Queen Bee, I thought it was high time we revisited some of those fuzzy companions from previous commissions.

Let’s start with the very first one – a woolly old English sheepdog I made way back in 2015!
Neurosurgeon Beastie Relaxes with her Beastdog, by CrawCrafts BeastiesMy very first Beastie dogs were knitted. You know me, I love to knit! But although the technique and yarn worked well enough here, I soon found it quite limiting. It’s hard to capture the huge range of dog body shapes, colours and fur textures with yarn!

Fortunately, it wasn’t long before I discovered the magic of needle felting… And all kinds of possibilities opened up.

Enter Mikelet, the miniature miniature schnauzer, who now hangs out with Tierney of tierneycreates and her hard-working blogging Beastie. Here he is just before he left Beastie Towers…
Mikelet, the Super-Miniature Schnauzer, by CrawCrafts Beasties… And he makes a special guest appearance in Tierney’s latest blog post, here. Also, thank you Tierney for listening to the interview I did for From the Maker to the Made and taking the time to write such a lovely review… Or rather, for getting tierneycreates Beastie to write it 😉

Mikelet turned out to be a real trendsetter – that’s like a red setter, only cooler – and I started to get a lot more people looking for Beastified versions of their beloved pets.

So, here’s a pair of pugaliers from last summer…Beastie Pugaliers - CrawCrafts Beasties…And a Pekingese from a little later that same year.Beastie Pekingese Close-up - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd of course, because I err more on the side of “cat lady”, I also started making Beastie kitties along the way. My first ones were special editions for my first time selling at the Dublin Cat Fair…
Cat Owner Beastie by CrawCrafts Beasties… But I soon started making them to order as well! This Beastie with a black cat was made as a partner for the one in the photo above…
Beastie plus Kitty! CrawCrafts Beasties… And then there’s this handsome fellow, created as a gift for a lady who owns a beautiful polydactyl cat called Paddy.
Paddy the Beastie Cat - CrawCrafts Beasties

And finally, who could forget the best-dressed Beastie pet of them all – Marge the pug!
Beastie Marge the Mini Pug - CrawCrafts BeastiesI still love those glasses.

So, did your favourite make the cut? Let me know in the comments if I missed anyone out!

We’ll be back on Tuesday with more monster antics – have a great weekend and we’ll see you then!

Flashback Friday – Craziest Beastie Accessories EVER!

Hey there Beastie friends! I hope you’ve all been having a good week. For the last while, a couple of big commissions have been keeping me super-busy… So many accessories! I’m really looking forward to being able to share the finished projects with you all very soon, but in the meantime I thought I’d use this Flashback Friday post to revisit some of my most challenging Beastie accessories EVER!

Weekes Album Cover, 2017

Beastie-sized Vinyl, by CrawCrafts BeastiesI was reminded of this when I looked back at “Definitely Maybeast” in last week’s Flashback Friday post. This project predated the arrival of my magic magnifying lamp, and I’m still wondering how I managed to see to do those stitches in the dead of winter. You can read more about the creation of this Beastie in the Gallery – she has some pretty cool stuff!

Carcassonne Board Game Box, 2016

Beastie Carcassonne Board Game, by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnother bit of teeny sewing that somehow fell into the BMML (Before Magic Magnifying Lamp) era. I look at these now and wonder how I’m not blind! This appliquéd felt and embroidery board game was an important part of the accessory lineup for a wedding commission though, so it was totally worth cutting all those tiny felt pieces and stitching them in place.

The TARDIS (x2!)

I made my first Doctor Who Beastie for a Christmas order in 2015… And how can a little woolly Time Lord travel the galaxy without a specially-adapted old-style police phone box?Doctor Who Beastie heading off to his Home Planet... CrawCrafts BeastiesThe Beastie TARDIS was made of felt, and reinforced with foam and interfacing so it didn’t collapse in like a woolly tent! I lined the inside with shiny silver material for a space-age feel, and embroidered on the window panes and lettering. The doors also close with velcro so the Doctor can travel in safety.

And when I posted about this make, despite the fact that my photos back then were hardly top notch, one of my regular blog readers decided that the man in her life would appreciate a Beastie Doctor of his own! So…
The Tardis, Inside and Out! CrawCrafts Beasties… I made a second one! And I took more photos that time. You can see the original posts about these commissions here and here.

From what I can remember, the trickiest part was cutting out the square panels under the windows. I invested in a rotary cutter, mat and metal ruler to help, but it was still slow going. Beastie Doctor Who seemed happy enough with the results though!
Guess Who! CrawCrafts Beasties

A Beastie-Sized Camera, 2018

A Beastie-Sized Camera, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Oh, I had fun with this one! It’s got it all – teeny sewing, a bit of embroidery, and I was able to incorporate a knitting pun to boot. I made this for Laura from A Pict in PA  – she’s a keen photographer, and, like me, she still likes to use a proper camera for her pictures. That’s worth celebrating! So I copied the shape of her DSLR as closely as possible…
Beastie Camera Features - CrawCrafts Beasties… And only went a bit overboard by making the lens and strap removable.
Taking the Beastie Camera Apart - CrawCrafts BeastiesOh well, sometimes you just have to! Laura’s little monster left Beastie Towers with a whole heap of other accessories too – check them out here!

And then finally… Sometimes Beastie accessories take a while to get right. But this one stands out as the most challenging ever – even now! Paws up if you remember…

The Beastie Dragon, 2015

Beastie Dragon, by CrawCrafts Beasties

This was one of those projects that just wouldn’t behave. I’d get one aspect sorted, only to have something else start causing problems! But I learned a lot about prototyping and materials choices from making it, and despite many, many discarded templates…
Test Run Dragons - CrawCrafts Beasties… I did end up with the ferocious-looking gold and silver dragon that my customer asked for! You can relive the entire, um, interesting experience here.

Well, that’s it for this time… But don’t worry if your favourite accessory didn’t make the cut this time around! I so enjoyed putting this together that I might do a second Beastie Accessories Roundup in a couple of weeks. Suggestions welcome, if you want to pitch in your two cents in the comments!

Have a monster weekend!

Beastie Besties - tierneycreates Beastie and Dog by CrawCrafts Beasties

Flashback Friday – One Beastie and her Dog

Hey there everybody! As promised in Tuesday’s post, I’m going to reintroduce Flashback Friday posts… Just while we’re all stuck indoors. Also, it might help me remember what day of the week it is!

So, who’s up first? Well, this Beastie recently had a sheltering-in-place adventure with her human, and that’s what made me think of revisiting my own photoshoot pictures from a couple of years ago. So let’s say a big hello to tierneycreates Beastie…
tierneycreates Beastie and Mikelet - CrawCrafts Beasties… And her miniature miniature schnauzer, Mikelet!

One of my favourite features of this Beastie is her amazing hair. Check it out! There’s a bit of a story behind the making of these luscious locks though… You can find it in the original post from 2018, here.
tierneycreates Beastie Dreads and Hat - Beastie HQShe also left Beastie Towers with two outfits…
Beastie Aran Sweater and T Shirt, handmade by CrawCrafts Beasties… And a whole heap of accessories!
Quilting Inspired Beastie Bag by CrawCrafts BeastiesHer “survival kit” pays tribute to a few of Human Tierney’s favourite things – quilting, blogging and visiting her local library.

And let’s not forget that little woolly pooch!
Mikelet, the Super-Miniature Schnauzer, by CrawCrafts BeastiesThe match was placed here to give you an idea of just how teeny he is… Although I can’t guarantee he won’t be playing fetch with it later!

For a full breakdown of this Beastification, you can check out tierneycreates Beastie’s spot in the Beastie Gallery, here. And you can keep up with her adventures in the “Beastie Adventures” section of Tierney’s blog!

Cheers for joining us for the reboot of Flashback Friday… Enjoy the weekend, and we’ll be back on Tuesday with more monster fun!

Goth Beastie with Flowers - CrawCrafts Beasties

Blooming Beasties!

May started this week… and that also heralds the traditional start of summer in Ireland! Now, the weather never feels truly summery until we hit June, but you can’t argue with tradition, can you? And this idea goes way back – the Celtic festival of Beltane falls at around this time each year, signalling that it was time to start moving livestock to their summer pastures. Customs associated with this celebration include variations on the theme of bonfires (lighting them, driving cattle between a pair of them, jumping over them) and decorating homes, trees and even livestock with flowers.

In the name of safety – not even Paddy was up for jumping over a bonfire – we’re going to focus on the second of these. So, bring on the Beastie-ful floral tribute!

Look, here’s Bride Beastie to get us started! The heather flowers complement her bouquet quite nicely, don’t you think?
Bride Beastie in Heather - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe flowers in St Stephen’s Green in Dublin are always amazing at this time of year… As this tea-drinking Beastie discovered!Spring Flowers at St Stephen's Green - CrawCrafts BeastiesExplorer Beastie is also partial to some blooms, when he finds them…
Explorer Beastie Makes a Botanical Discovery - CrawCrafts Beasties… And there’s nothing more relaxing than enjoying your favourite beverage in the garden on a sunny day. Right, Red Lemonade Beastie?
Red Lemonade Beastie in the Garden - CrawCrafts BeastiesEven Minibeasties can get a slice of the floral fun – thanks to LucyAnn from LucyAnn & Luna Craft for this pic!
Oh, and we’d better not leave Paddy and Plunkett out!Paddy and Plunkett at Arundel Castle - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesYikes, this flower fever is contagious! It’s even spread to those Beastie characters who usually see things in black and white…
Goth Beastie with Flowers - CrawCrafts BeastiesSo now there’s no excuse not to feel nice and summery… Even if you’re in the southern hemisphere! Enjoy the weekend (especially those of you who’ll be getting an extra day thanks to the May bank holiday) and we’ll be back on Tuesday for some fresh Beastie fun!

Paddy and Plunkett have a Picnic - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Everyone’s Irish today… Or so I hear! And I thought this might be a nice excuse to revisit some of my favourite Barróg Beastie* pics from the past year. But, for a little bit of Paddy’s Day fun, it’s up to you to decide who is the most Irish Irish Beastie of them all – let me know in the comments!

*For those of you who are new to Beastie-spotting, a Barróg Beastie is one knitted from 100% Irish wool. They can be identified by their slightly smaller stature, and more typically Irish accessories! Oh, and that word “barróg”? That’s Irish for “hug”!
Beastie at the Breakfast Table - CrawCrafts BeastiesFry-Up Beastie can’t wait to tuck into his full Irish breakfast. I’m not surprised – YUM!

Red Ale Beastie's Pint, by CrawCrafts BeastiesSláinte! Toast this most festive of days with Red Ale Beastie – I’ll drink to that!

Redhead Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesEnjoy the sunny spring weather with Redhead Beastie…

Leabhar (Book) Barrog Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties… Or relax with a good book, like Finn McSpool here!

And if you just can’t decide, your last option is a two-for-one deal… Adventurous duo Paddy and Plunkett!
Beach Beasties Frame 3 - CrawCrafts BeastiesWherever you are, however you’re celebrating, have a very happy St Patrick’s Day! Cheers!

Flashback Friday – My First Beastie Hallowe’en

Who sewed this guy together? CrawCrafts BeastiesAs you may have noticed, I’ve been having fun recently putting together a couple of Hallowe’en-themed Beasties. And regular readers will already have met this charming Frankenbeastie on Tuesday… but he wasn’t the first seasonal monster I’ve ever made! Over the last couple of days, I’ve been chatting to Ivonne at Aurian’s Blog about Hallowe’en accessories she could give to her own knitted and crocheted creations, and that made me want to look up some of my first ever Autumnal Beasties. Perhaps you’d like to meet them too?

First up (since we’re not quite at Hallowe’en yet) is Autumn Leaves Beastie!
Autumn Leaves Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesThis was one of the last Beasties I made before I moved back to Dublin. As you can see, he’s being helpful and clearing up the fallen leaves from the garden… and his armful of foliage contains maple, oak and ginkgo leaves!

As it happened, Boyfriend was working in a small indie bookshop at the time, which made the perfect backdrop for some more photos…
Autumn Leaves Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties…On more than one occasion! Skull Beastie really enjoyed looking through these macabre titles…
Skull Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties…And with his mouthful of little pointy teeth, he’s definitely one of my spookier creations!
Skull Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesAt around this time, I also made a Beastie with a little felt pumpkin, and I was hoping to share him with you today as well. But, despite combing my monstrous Beastie photo archive, I haven’t been able to track down a single picture of him! I’m sure there’s one out there somewhere – probably stashed away in the memory of a defunct mobile phone – but at least my knitting journal remembers everything! I was able to find my preliminary doodle, and samples of the yarn I used to make him.
Jack O'Lantern Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesSo if anybody happens to see a purple and yellow Beastie clutching a Jack o’lantern when they’re out trick-or-treating this year, be sure to take a photo and send it to me!

How about you? Do you like changing up your crafting to reflect the seasons? Let me know in the comments! And we’ll be back on Tuesday with another Famous Monster… see you then!