Sleepy Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

Monster Maker M.I.A.

Ooopsie!

In a change to the advertised programming here on the BeastieBlog, there will not be a new Beastie post this week… Or, unfortunately, for a couple more weeks, either. Between a growing heap of commissions, the reopening of knitting classes, a looming tax return deadline and a few new projects that have been bubbling away on the back burner, I’ve been finding myself spread a little thinly these past few weeks.

Explorer Beastie has too, apparently.

So, we’re going to take a short late summer break, get back on top of things, and return replenished with stories to share in the autumn!

Take care and see you then!

Helen and the Beasties x

Monster Online Sale!

Hello there everyone! Well, I’ve got some news for you all this week… We’re having a Beastie sale!

Yes, you read that correctly!

You see, some of the Beasties I have here in Beastie Towers have developed a serious case of lockdown cabin fever. They want (or perhaps more correctly, NEED) to stretch their little stripey legs and see more of the world. Normally I’d be taking them out to markets through the year, and that would quiet their yearning for adventure for a while. But with no big market days in sight just yet, this seemed like the best possible substitute.

Here are some of the lil’ woolly monsters who are eager to break out and explore pastures new!

And if you fancy a quick Beastie fix, and since we’re now halfway through the year, our printable Beastie 2021 calendar is now FREE!

Beastie Calendar Sale - CrawCrafts Beasties

But you’d better be quick!

The sale is running from now until this coming Saturday – that’s the 19th of June – and it will end at 6pm Irish time.

After that, I’ll be making some changes to Beastie HQ… The most significant being that there will no longer be an online store on the Beasties’ website. Over the past year, the number of Beasties finding new homes through the website has remained the same, but the amount of commission requests I’ve been getting has leapt up… And those commissions are becoming ever more complex, too! So it makes sense for me to focus on that side of things, at least for the moment.

For anyone who appreciates the simplicity of an Aran or Cookie Beastie though, don’t despair! I’m still happy to make these perennial favourites… Just drop me a line. You’ll even be able to add a more personal touch by selecting your preferred colour scheme and winsome monster smile style!

And finally…

Website updates always bring the potential for disaster interesting and unforeseen developments, so I’ll be skipping next week’s post to weed out any potential gremlins in the works. You can still keep up with the Beasties and their antics on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook in the meantime, though… And we’ll see you again in a couple of weeks!

Famous Tomb - Paddy and Plunkett - CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy and Plunkett – Russian Around!

Hey there everyone! It’s just going to be a quickie post today… Mostly to clear up the mystery of where in the world Paddy and Plunkett were last week. Did you guess?
A Famous Cathedral - Paddy and Plunkett - CrawCrafts BeastiesA good few of you got it right! Plunkett had indeed got his woolly paws on the photos of the short Russian adventure I enjoyed with my good friend and travel buddy, waaay back in 2012. We spent a fun couple of days exploring Moscow, which included wandering through the labyrinthine interior of St Basil’s Cathedral, pictured above.

We also went inside the walls of the Kremlin…
Still Cold - Paddy and Plunkett - CrawCrafts Beasties… To see the treasures of the Armoury Museum. That, by the way, includes the Russian Diamond Fund, or “more sparkly things than I have ever seen in my life.”

Oh, and this place?
Famous Tomb - Paddy and Plunkett - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis is Lenin’s Mausoleum, and like Paddy, we went in! The embalmed body of Lenin lies in state inside, protected by some very serious, very armed soldiers. Keeping a respectful distance is… um… encouraged, and lookie-loos will find themselves moved on promptly if they stop to stare. Like us, Paddy was probably in and out in five minutes, so Plunkett wouldn’t have been standing out in the snow too long!

That said, he’s decided he needs to warm up a little this week.

On the Beach - Paddy and Plunkett
Original Photo by Asad Photo Maldives from Pexels. Guess who added the Beasties in 😉

I can’t imagine those woollies and tweeds will be particularly comfortable though, so we should probably cut and run while the lads are still decent!

By the way…

If you feel like your own post-lockdown adventures would be enhanced by the addition of a little woolly friend to your travel party, just swing by the Beastie HQ store! There’s a whole host of monsters in there who can’t wait to get out and explore the world.

All-Irish Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesAlso, a quick word about commissions – unfortunately my books are currently full, so I won’t be taking any new custom orders until May 25th. For anyone who has been in touch with me already (through email or social media), don’t worry!  You’re all set, and your Beastification is in progress. And if you’re looking ahead to the summer, and think you’d like to have a Beastie to help celebrate a wedding, birthday or other big occasion, be sure to reach out nice and early so your lil’ monster buddy is ready in time.

We’ll be back next week with a new Beastie for you all to meet… See you then!

Header - CrawCrafts Beasties Beastie HQ

It’s that time again…

Oh, it’s snuck up on me (and possibly all of you as well) a bit this year! But with the evenings getting darker, trees suddenly looking bare and the odd set of fairy lights appearing in windows around town, there’s no denying it – the end of the year is fast approaching. And that means…
Paddy's Idea - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts BeastiesNo, I’m not quite ready to say it yet either! So I’ll just hint that I’m going to be very busy for the next couple of weeks, and leave it at that for the moment.

And my full schedule means that unfortunately the BeastieBlog will be going into hibernation until things quieten down a bit on the monster-making front. Don’t worry, we’ll be back before the end of the year to wave goodbye to 2020! So, stay safe out there and we’ll rejoin you in a few weeks.

In the meantime, please resist the urge to party too hard…

Plunkett Falls For Buckfast - CrawCrafts Beasties

…Lose yourselves in the news…
Beastified Irish Times - Beastie Accessories by CrawCrafts Beasties… Or overindulge in high-calorie foods.But you may wish to take your mind off the Beastie-shaped gap in your life by perusing the shelves of our online store. That we can heartily endorse! 😉

See you soon!

Inside La Catedral Studios - CrawCrafts Beasties

Our New Studio Home!

Hey there Beastie buddies! It’s been a bit of a hectic week here at Beastie Towers… Yes, I know I’ve been saying that A LOT recently, but it seems like every week that passes brings even more action than the one before! So, what’s this week’s slice of news? Well, it’s a biggie – I took a studio space!

Up until now, my monster-making activities have always taken place in the comfort of my own home. And that was great, up to a point… A point that usually corresponds with the onset of the festive season. Then – CRAFTSPLOSION! Piles of wool, felt and fabric had been steadily colonising the living areas of Beastie Towers, making it nearly impossible for the non-crafting members of the household (sorry, Boyfriend!) to find a spot to sit down at the end of a working day. Trying to contain the sprawl wasn’t really an option either – it seemed like a lot of my valuable crafting time was spent trying to find things I’d only just tidied away.

Then, I started taking sewing classes with Zaria at The City Seamstress, and I was very taken with the incredible building where she has her workshop. Through a small door on a side street, up a flight of stairs… And you’re in the most amazing eclectic art space! I began to wonder if the Beasties could maybe find a home there too. So, on a whim, I applied – and was offered a place the same day! Care to take a look? Follow me!
The Back Loft at La Catedral Studios - CrawCrafts BeastiesWe’re just down this passageway, in the open-plan Back Loft area! Turn the corner and…
My Studio! CrawCrafts BeastiesPlease excuse the mess… I’m still in the process of moving in! A bit of that craftsplosion I mentioned earlier will definitely take care of those empty walls and clear tables, too.

For the moment, I’ve been enjoying spreading out across my new desk…
Colonising the Desk - New Studio - CrawCrafts Beasties… While still having a separate fabric-cutting and ironing station!
Ironing Table! CrawCrafts Beasties

Filling up the shelves is fun, too!
New Studio Shelves! CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd here’s a sneaky peek at some of the communal spaces. I’m really looking forward to relaxing in the roof garden this summer.
Inside La Catedral Studios - CrawCrafts BeastiesToday, I brought along the first (and most important) decorations for my studio walls as well – pictures and cards from some of my Beastie friends! Perhaps a few of you will spot something familiar in here…
Beastie Memorabilia! CrawCrafts BeastiesOh… And one more thing. This studio comes with a free feline friend! Hey there, Ophelia!
Ophelia the Studio Kitty - CrawCrafts BeastiesIsn’t she pretty? Expect to see a lot of her in future posts! Apparently she has a bit of a thing for yarn though, so I’m making sure all my storage boxes are kitty-proof!

So, welcome to our new home! I hope you enjoyed the tour… And if any of you have any decor tips, please share them in the comments. I haven’t done any interior designing since I painted my entire bedroom teal at age 14, so I’m not hugely confident in my abilities!

Also, I’ll be taking a bit of a break from blogging over the next couple of weeks as I get settled into this new space and get caught up with some of the other work I’ve been neglecting lately! But we’ll be back soon with new Beastie friends to meet and fresh monster adventures. See you then!

Godzilla Beastie! CrawCrafts Beasties

A Festive Beastie Weekend!

Hey there Beastie friends! It’s just a quick “hello!” from me today, because (and I might have mentioned this once or twice lately) we’re going full tilt here in Beastie Towers right now! But I really wanted to share some photos of the lovely market we went to this past weekend – a fun, festive affair in one of the beautiful Georgian houses that surround Merrion Square park in central Dublin.

Take the Beastie Tour!

I caught up with Woolly Jumper Beastie in the entrance hall…
Festive Christmas Tree at the Irish Architectural Archive - CrawCrafts BeastiesOoooh, look at that Christmas tree!

This building is home to the Irish Architectural Archive, and our Beastie friend took full advantage of their miniature Dublin skyline sculpture to do his best Godzilla impression!
Godzilla Beastie! CrawCrafts BeastiesThen I lost him for a moment – I could have sworn he was right next to this leaf and berry arrangement a second ago!
Festive Beastie Berries! CrawCrafts BeastiesAha! Found him. That’s some pretty good camouflage, though.

Now, upstairs to join your friends at the market!
Stone Stairs at the Irish Architectural Archive - CrawCrafts BeastiesThat’s better!
Christmas on the Square Stall - CrawCrafts Beasties

We had a great time here, and many of the Beasties you see in the photo above headed off to new homes over the course of the day! We were also kept in good festive spirits by a kind gentleman who wandered the building for the duration of the market bearing a tray of complimentary mulled wine… How civilised!

I hope the Beasties behaved well enough for us to be invited back next year!

And speaking of markets…

I’ve a teeeeny favour to ask. A whole heap of Dublin markets have been made to close their doors this year, and the future of those that remain is looking a little wobbly.

The organisers of the Dublin Flea market are lobbying Dublin City Council to make some provision for market spaces in Dublin’s ongoing development plan. They want to ensure that markets and indie retailers aren’t squeezed out by the bigger players… And we want to support them! The Beasties and I love our markets, and we’d hate to see them become a thing of the past.

And even if you don’t live in Dublin, your signature still counts! Because you might want to visit at some stage, right? And wouldn’t it be nicer to travel to a city with its own unique identity?

So, please take a sec to click through and sign their online petition here.

Alrighty, back to my crafting table I go! We’ll be back next Tuesday with a quick reminder about our last market of the festive season. See you then, and have a great week!

 

Old Wall, New Market Season Beasties - CrawCrafts Beasties

The Calm Before Market Season

Hello everybody! There’s heavy weather forecast for Dublin later today, so as I write I’m looking out the window and enjoying the bright sky and autumn colours before the storm sets in! And it seems doubly apt, because with market season on the way, right now is the calm before THAT particular storm kicks off too.

So, I thought it would be the perfect moment to share some sunny snaps I took on a bright, crisp Saturday a couple of weeks ago, when I let a few Beasties off the leash in the gardens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art!

First of all, I had to get them there. And that wasn’t easy, with every other tree presenting them with a tantalising climbing challenge and colourful photo opportunity!
Cosy Scarf Beastie in the Tree - CrawCrafts BeastiesAlthough it turns out that urban scenery appeals to them too.Aran Beastie at the Camac River - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd interestingly, Aran Beastie has stumbled upon The River That Google Maps Forgot! This is the River Camac, whose name took some pretty intense searching to find… Possibly because it has been sent underground in several places along its course to avoid various roads, canals and other man-made features, and then it trickles unobtrusively into the Liffey at the end of its journey. Around here, though, its rushing waters made a pleasant soundtrack to our wanderings.

Now, onwards! We’re almost there.

Inside the gate, we found a rustic stone wall that was crying out for some Beastie action!
Cosy Scarf Beastie and Gift Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd a faded alcove at the entrance to the formal gardens made an excellent spot for a group photo.
Old Wall, New Market Season Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut when I turned the Beasties loose in the hedges, they really started to have fun!
Hedge Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesThey also enjoyed walking down the tree-lined avenues, and marvelling at how tall their shadows looked in the sunshine!
Autumn Sun - CrawCrafts BeastiesAutumn Sunshine Before Market Season - CrawCrafts BeastiesAs the sun started to set, it was time to think about heading for home. But wait a sec, isn’t there someone missing?

GAAAAAAAAH! PANIC!

Fortunately, Gift Beastie’s lovely bright pink complexion was easy to spot among the green grass and fallen leaves.
Gift Beastie Leaf - CrawCrafts Beasties“I just stopped to look at this leaf… Check out that yellow! You should get some wool this colour for next year.”

And with that, all the Beasties piled into my bag and let me carry them home. Thanks, lads.

Back at Beastie Towers, I was able to put these pics to good use… As market season promotional shots! I sent them off to the nice folks at the Dublin Flea Christmas Market, and my profile on their site went live this morning! See which photos made the cut here.

And don’t forget to join us again next week, when I’ll be confirming my final lineup for Market Season 2018!

See you then!

 

Tae (Tea) Beasties, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Beastie News Roundup!

Hello there Beastie friends! How’s your week going? This week’s post is going to be a bit of a mixed bag, as we catch up with a few snippets of Beastie news that I’ve been meaning to share for a while.

So, without further ado, let’s start the show…

Beastie Autumn Fun Worldwide!

Autumn Leaf Colours - CrawCrafts Beasties Explorer Beastie isn’t the only little monster who’s been out and about enjoying the fall colours. Before he even stuck a paw outside, tierneycreates Beastie was enjoying the great outdoors with her mini-miniature schnauzer Mikelet!

tierneycreates Beastie and Mikelet - T Hogan
Picture sneakily borrowed from https://tierneycreates.com

This woolly little lady was so excited to change into her handknitted Aran sweater and kick through the fallen leaves… Although be advised that this post contains – SHOCK – Beastie nudity! You have been warned! Be sure to skip over to Tierney’s blog and check out the full post – it really made me smile.

If you’re in the mood for something more blood-curdling though, you might want to swing by Tammie Painter’s site and see what Finn McSpool encountered on his autumnal wanderings.

Finn McSpool at Hallowe'en - T Painter
Image spirited away from https://tammiepainter.com

Portland, Oregon is already gearing up for Hallowe’en, and the city is sporting some truly spine-chilling finery! Finn caught up with some celebrity spookies at City Hall, but the true horror was lurking in someone’s garden on the walk home. And if that wasn’t enough to turn you into a gibbering wreck, Tammie also used my October calendar page as the basis for a tale of Beastie terror that will scare the stuffing out of even the most courageous woolly monster!

Spooky Beastie Colouring - T Painter
Image Beastie-napped from https://tammiepainter.com

And Also in the Blogosphere…

Now, I usually like to keep things nice and upbeat here on the BeastieBlog. I mean, life is serious enough, right? But wow, this year September was tough! A couple of side projects that I’d invested a bit of time in came to nothing, and then I found out that I’d managed to completely miss the application call for my favourite Christmas market. Disaster!
Oooops! CrawCrafts BeastiesFortunately, I stumbled on some good readin’ among my fellow bloggers that helped perk me back up again. It was super cool to hear all about Weekes finding her creative feet again, and how taking photographs helped Paula of Typewriter Girl discover that she has an artistic streak after all! So thanks to both of you for making me smile!

Oh, and my mood lifted completely when I learned that the market I thought I’d missed out on had added an extra weekend, so I’m in! Hurrah! Full steam ahead on the Beastie-making!

And Looking Further Ahead…

Christmas Flea Stall 2017 - CrawCrafts BeastiesWhile we’re on the subject of Christmas markets, I’m in the process of confirming a few for this coming festive season! Check out my scedule so far!

  • The Dublin Christmas Flea is the big one, and, all being well, I’ll be there with bells on for the second weekend (that’s the 13th-16th December inclusive). If you’re in the neighbourhood, come on over and say hi! Entry is free, and there is always SO MUCH GREAT STUFF THERE! (Besides the Beasties, obviously.)
  • I’m also going to be selling at the Dublin Cat Fair for the first time! So I’m currently working on a few feline sidelines that will be exclusive to that event, as well as some cat-themed Beasties. That’s on the 25th November.

There are a couple more in the pipeline, which I’ll post about as soon as the details are finalised.

Phew! Beastie news roundup complete! So I’d better get on with some crafting now, or those market stalls are going to be a little bare!

How about you? Are you prepping for festivities, or planning to remain blissfully in denial until the 15th of December? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

October View - Calendar Pages - CrawCrafts Beasties

Wrapping up the Year – Last of the Calendar Pages!

Hey there everybody! OK, I know I said that this would be ready yesterday, but due to some computer-related issues, I totally ran out of Friday. Who would have thought that uploading crazy giant image files and trying to play around with them would really slow down the editing process?! Ah well, we’ll chalk that one up to experience. Anyway, even with that little hiccup, I’ve managed to cobble together the final installment of this year’s free downloadable calendar pages!
Calendar October to December - CrawCrafts BeastiesYou can grab yours right now, from our online store!

I’ve put them together as one file, so you only need to download once. After that, you can print them all out together, or page-by-page as you need them! And as usual, you can ignore the part of the order form that asks for your postal address – all we need to deliver this deeeelightful free goodie to your inbox is your name and email.

If you don’t get your download immediately, check your spam or promotions folder.

And here’s what you’ll get…

October

October View - Calendar Page - CrawCrafts BeastiesGrab those crayons… It’s another colour-it-yourself bonanza! Hallowe’en is still my favourite festival, so October’s page is all about the best bits of the spookiest night of the year. Sparklers and toffee apples were the highlights of Hallowe’en as a kid – am I the only one who mysteriously lost their appetite after eating all the sticky sugar shell from the toffee apple?

Pumpkin carving is a more recent addition to the festivities, and I’m making up for my apple-dodging younger days by using all the pumpkin’s insides once the carving is done. Pumpkin soup and roasted pumpkin seeds? Yes please! As for the broomstick aerobatics… Well, maybe someday.

Of course, we’d love to see your finished calendar pages, so don’t forget to share! Use #Beastiegallery on Instagram and Twitter so we don’t miss your masterpieces!

November

November View - Calendar Page - CrawCrafts BeastiesExplorer Beastie is back for November! We took a lovely sunlit wander through some of Dublin’s parks yesterday, and I thought this photo of him kicking through the fallen leaves and conkers would be a nice reminder of how lovely autumn can be. Yes, the days are getting shorter and it’s not as warm as it was… But when the sun shines, there’s no finer time of year!

December

December View - Calendar Page - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd finally… Well, I wanted to avoid getting full-on Christmassy, so Explorer Beastie and I braved the spines of a selection of local holly trees to bring you a nice cheery picture to wrap up the year. And after all that prickliness, the best of the bunch proved to be this smooth-leaved one!

So, that’s it – 2018 calendar pages complete! And I’d be interested to know how this experimental calendar delivery method has worked out for you. From my end, it’s been a bit more work through the year… But not having to deal with under/over supply, delivery problems and getting overcharged at the Post Office has been brilliant! What do you reckon? Let me know in the comments!

Oh, and we’ll be back on Tuesday with the second part of my latest Beastification – I promise!

September Featured Image - Calendar Page - CrawCrafts Beasties

Hello September!

Yes, I know I’m jumping the gun a little here! But over the last couple of days, the cooler breezes and suddenly shorter days have been signalling that the season is about to turn. And much as I enjoyed our very un-Irish Irish summer this year, I am SO ready for September! Autumn has long been my favourite season, so I’m already looking forward to digging out all my favourite cosy knits, cooking up giant pots of soup, and kicking through piles of fallen leaves.
An Autumnal Stroll - CrawCrafts Beasties

And, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s something about this time of year that makes it feel like a good opportunity to start a new project… Or even to finish up one or two that you’ve let slide over the summer!

So, what better moment to announce that the free September calendar page is now available for your downloading pleasure?
September Featured Image - Calendar Page - CrawCrafts BeastiesI’ve been seeing sunflowers all over Dublin these last few weeks, so this picture was the obvious choice for this month’s page. I love their bright, friendly blooms, and Explorer Beastie thinks they really complement his yellow stripey legs.

As usual, this printable costs a very reasonable €0/$0/£0! Also, don’t forget that you only need to give your name and email address for delivery. All the other fields in the form are optional, so it’s ok to skip ’em!

Of course, the arrival of autumn also signals the start of the busiest time of the year for a Beastie-maker. So, this is going to be the last Friday post for a while. There are still a few outstanding summer orders to ship out… Then I’ll be starting to assemble squads of market-ready monsters to grace the stalls of Dublin’s seasonal craft fairs.

Buuuuut I’ll still be here every Tuesday! And over the next couple of weeks, there are new Beasties to meet, plus more shenanigans from Paddy and Plunkett. Be sure to join us then… And here’s wishing you all a monster weekend!