Paddy and Plunkett – The Hunt for Red October

Hello Beastie friends! I hope you all had a spooktacular Hallowe’en! We’ve been busily stitching away here in Beastie Towers, so it’s lucky for you that Paddy and Plunkett have been in touch… Otherwise you would have been treated to a series of pictures of me at my craft table today. After their recent adventures in the most northerly parts of Northern Ireland, the lads tell me that they have been taking advantage of the latest lockdown and having a quiet October at home.

Unfortunately, they have also been spending quite a lot of time on the internet, and they are now suffering from the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out).
Paddy has FOMO - October - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Awww, Plunkett! Look at all the fun they’re having down in Dublin! I want to go out and collect colourful leaves in the park with Autumn Beastie!”

Like a lot of humans, Paddy is feeling the pinch of these antisocial times. But isn’t it lucky that Plunkett has an answer for everything?

“I know where we can find some colourful leaves. Come on, Paddy!”
Not So Colourful Leaves - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Taaa-DAAAAAAH!”

Paddy is unimpressed.

“Huh. Bit green, aren’t they?”

“Only for the moment, Paddy. For this to work, we’ll need to climb the tree where these came from…”
October Leaves - Paddy and Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“… And wait for a bit. That’s it, straight ahead.”

Let’s get climbing! And look, it seems that Plunkett is not wrong…
Reddening Leaves - Red October - Paddy and Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… As the leaves had turned vibrant red before he’d even finished climbing up to where Paddy was sitting among the branches!

“How’s that for Autumn colour, Paddy? I think our work here is done!”
Climbing Down the Tree - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd with that, Plunkett started to clamber back down to ground level.

It’s a pretty spectacular display of colour though, isn’t it?
Red October Leaves - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd now Paddy can scoop up giant pawfuls of red leaves, and give Autumn Beasties everywhere a run for their money. Nice hat, Paddy!
Paddy and Plunkett and the Leaves - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesI still haven’t figured out why Beasties love Autumn leaves so much, but hey, at least they’re happy!

And I know we’re into a new month now, but did you have a colourful October? Be sure to share your many-hued Fall (or Spring) stories with us in the comments!

Aran Beasties and Autumn Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

Beastie Fall Festivities!

Hello there Beastie friends! Erk, not such good news from Dublin this week… As of last night, all of Ireland has moved to the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions to try to get our case numbers back under control. But it’s not all doom and gloom! Autumn (or Fall) is here in all its glory, and October is my very favourite month to get out and enjoy some natural beauty.

And it looks like I’m not alone in this. Look who I bumped into in the park!
Autumn Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesYou don’t see one of these guys very often – it’s Autumn Beastie! This little monster has been picking out the choicest fallen leaves for… Some ill-defined Beastie purpose. But there’s a great selection in there, and look at those colours!
Autumn Beastie's Leaf Collection - CrawCrafts BeastiesLovely!

Then, further along…
… I found a pair of Aran Beasties too! They were happy to pose for a photo.
Aran Beasties pose for the camera - CrawCrafts BeastiesCheers lads! This is only a small park though, so it was only a matter of time before their path crossed Autumn Beastie’s. Fortunately, Beasties aren’t having to do social distancing like the rest of us.

Aran Beasties and Autumn Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

That’s two extra pairs of paws to help with the leaf hunt! Good stuff. And it looks like further reinforcements are on the way too.
Woolly Jumper Beastie Joins In - Fall fun - CrawCrafts BeastiesHey there Woolly Jumper Beastie… Wow, this is turning into a full Fall Festival out here! And it’s definitely sweater weather today, with so many cosy knits to admire.

Wait, MORE Beasties?!

Beastie Fall Knitwear Collection - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd more snug knitwear.
Cosy Scarf Beasties by CrawCrafts BeastiesFall Fashion Show!
Beastie Fall Fashion Show - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd just as all the Beasties were preparing to go their separate ways…
Hurling Beastie - Fall Fun in the Park - CrawCrafts Beasties… Up pops Hurling Beastie! This little sportsmonster was keen to get a team together for a match, but with one hurl between four Beasties, it sadly wasn’t going to add up. Sorry! Maybe next week, eh?
Hurling Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesHow about you? Are you enjoying being out and about, kicking through piles of fallen leaves? Or is your Fall experience more of the hot-chocolate-by-a-roaring-fire variety? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

And as usual we’ll be back next week, with more shenanigans from Beastie Towers… See you then!

Autumnal Colours – Explorer Beastie at Kew

Hey there Beastie friends! It was a bit wild and wintry when I woke up this morning, so I thought that today’s post could maybe bring a splash of autumnal colour to a January Tuesday!

Continuing on from last week’s London-based post, we’ll follow Explorer Beastie as he steps off the road less travelled and turns his paws towards a much more well-known attraction. Where are you now, Explorer Beastie?
Crunching through Autumnal Leaves - CrawCrafts BeastiesKew Gardens!”

And it looks like autumn is the perfect time to visit. Look at those stunning colours!

Chihuly Glass and Autumnal Colours at Kew - CrawCrafts Beasties

And hey, wait a sec… Who’s this?
Meeting Garcia Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s our old buddy Garcia Beastie, of course! Fancy meeting you here… How about we explore together?

And it wasn’t long before the Beasties found something interesting…
Garcia Beastie and Autumnal Fungus - CrawCrafts Beasties“Ooooh, check this out!”
Explorer Beastie has to go in for a closer look.

Autumnal Fungus Fun - CrawCrafts Beasties

And that was is only the beginning. Look at these stunning autumnal shades!
Autumnal Yellows - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s almost possible for Beasties to get lost in among all that colour. Can you spot them?Beasties Under the Tree - CrawCrafts Beasties
Of course, you can only see so much from ground level… Especially if you’re a mere 6 inches tall. Time to take this adventure up a level!
Treetop Walkway in Autumn - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe treetop walkway is really spectacular… But the boys really had to hold on tight! It was a little breezy up there!

Still, they were able to spot a familiar sight from those (sometimes dizzying) heights…
The Temperate House from the Treetops - CrawCrafts Beasties“Look, it’s the Temperate House! It was closed last time we visited, wasn’t it?”
“It was! We should probably make that our next stop!”

And I guess that’s where we’ll pick up next time! Be sure to join us on Tuesday for more monster adventures… And if you’ve ever been to Kew Gardens, why not tell us all about it in the comments?

See you next week!

Woolly Jumper Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Woolly Autumn Wonderland!

Hello Beastie friends! Since the sun was peeking out between the autumn leaves earlier, I thought it might be fun to head out for a seasonal wander… And guess what? A Beastie stowed away in my camera bag! Well, it’s an occupational hazard in this line of business. Hi there, Woolly Jumper Beastie!
Woolly Jumper Beastie with Leaves - CrawCrafts Beasties
Hey, your sweater matches those leaves perfectly!
Woolly Jumper Beastie With Leaf - CrawCrafts Beasties“Oh yeah! Look at that!”

A little further along, we found some more fallen leaves… In a conveniently Beastie-sized pond.
Beastie-Sized Pond - CrawCrafts Beasties
But not all of nature is packing up in preparation for winter! There’s still a lot of greenery about… We are in Ireland, after all.
Woolly Jumper Beastie with Greenery - CrawCrafts BeastiesThen…
“Come and look at this!”

Woolly Jumper Beastie in the Wall - CrawCrafts Beasties

Although this park next to St Audoen’s Church has recently had a bit of a facelift, some parts of it have obviously been here for a while. There are plenty of places for a mischievous woolly monster to hide in this old ivy-covered wall!

Found you!
Woolly Jumper Beastie in Ivy - CrawCrafts BeastiesAlright, time to get back to the studio! We’re heading to the Dublin Championship Cat Show on Sunday, and we’re going to need to rustle up some more Cat Beasties! But if you’d like to hang out with Woolly Jumper Beastie some more, why not swing by the Beastie HQ store? This little monster is on the lookout for a new home! 😉

Aaaaand we’ll be back next Tuesday – hopefully a little earlier in the day – with a new Beastie for you to meet. See you then!

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!

 

Among Fading Colours - CrawCrafts Beasties

Explorer Beastie’s Wintry Ramble!

So, the clocks have gone back and the evenings are starting noticeably earlier every day. And, after a slightly rainy start to the autumn here in Ireland, the sun finally showed his face – fortunately at a time when Explorer Beastie and I were away in the countryside for a couple of days!
Late Autumn Colours With Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe bright sunshine made for some great photos… although the slight nip in the air was a reminder that winter is very much on the way! Care to join us on our stroll?

Oh, but we’ll just have to wait while Explorer Beastie climbs a couple of trees first…
Climbing Trees - CrawCrafts BeastiesAmazingly, there are still some flowers out brightening up the garden at this time of the year…
Explorer Beastie with the Nasturtiums - CrawCrafts Beasties…Even if everywhere else is starting to look a little less colourful.
Among Fading Colours - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut when the leaves fall, they sometimes reveal hidden treasure among the branches – like this cosy, mossy bird’s nest!
Finding a Bird's Nest - CrawCrafts BeastiesYou need to be careful where you perch though… I think you’ve picked up some extra accessories on your hat there, Explorer Beastie!
The Natural Look - CrawCrafts BeastiesFurther down the lane, we found some natural treats – sloes, blackberries and rosehips!
The Natural Look - CrawCrafts BeastiesIn fact, the whole hedgerow had become one beautiful natural tapestry, dancing in the sunlight.
Leaf Tapestry - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut despite the bright sunshine, it was starting to get a little chilly out here! So after a quick pitstop in a sheltered spot…
Sandwich Break! CrawCrafts Beasties…It was time to head for home!

How is winter arriving where you are? Or are you somewhere that’s already looking forward to long, lazy summer days? Let us know in the comments!

We’ll be back on Tuesday, when I’m hoping to have a preview of next year’s Beastie Calendar to share with you all! See you then!

Explorer Beastie with Rosehips, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Autumn Fun With Explorer Beastie!

Oh, poor Explorer Beastie! We were hoping to get out and about this week, but both the weather and my work schedule were against us… Still, at least we have some great photos from previous years to look back on. I hope you all enjoy this trip down memory lane as much as we did!

First up – Explorer Beastie and Garcia Beastie hanging out in the olive trees at Kew Gardens a couple of years ago!
Beasties Climbing Olive Trees - CrawCrafts BeastiesThey also took a stroll through the first fallen leaves of the season…
Beasties set off for adventure!… And some of the leaves that hadn’t fallen yet, too!
Explorer Beastie scaling the fenceHere’s another photo from later that year, when Explorer Beastie found a perfectly Beastie-sized toadstool. This has to be one of my favourite monster pictures!Explorer Beastie with ToadstoolWe got lots of other great shots on that trip, too!
Autumn Days with Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesThen last Hallowe’en, he bravely ventured into an isolated graveyard!
Explorer Beastie in the Arched Doorway - CrawCrafts BeastiesYes, okaaaay, it was daylight… But all the same! We really enjoyed this view from the wall – it was so peaceful!
Explorer Beastie Admires the View from Lissonuffy - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd nothing could have put him and Crablet off dressing up later on for some trick or treating…
Beasties at Hallowe'en - CrawCrafts Beasties… Not even a furry gatecrasher!
Gizmo the Gatecrasher - CrawCrafts BeastiesI wonder what we’ll get up to this year? Hopefully we’ll have some new photos to share with you soon – weather permitting, of course!

Here’s wishing you all a super weekend… We’ll be back on Tuesday with another new Beastie! Care to guess which Famous Monster will be joining the gang here at Beastie Towers this time around?

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!

Explorer Beastie in Autumn

On the road again...

A couple of weeks ago, Explorer Beastie and I had a chance to head out West and enjoy a little quiet time. Autumn is far and away my favourite season, and I’d argue that the Irish countryside looks its best at this time of year. We definitely got more than our fair share of “mists and mellow fruitfulness”, as you will see! Our first discovery was a toadstool among the fallen leaves in the garden…
Explorer Beastie with Toadstool

Then we headed out into the fields to see what natural goodies we could harvest!
Exploring the Fields

I was particularly keeping an eye out for sloes on this expedition, but I needn’t have worried. The blackthorn trees were weighed down with these super-bitter berries, which, like a lot of us, become a lot mellower and nicer to be around with the addition of a little gin. My sloe gin stocks have been sorely depleted after two consecutive bad years, so I was pleased (or relieved) to see such a bumper crop! Picking the sloes is usually an arduous task, involving multiple scrapes and jabs from the vicious thorns that give the trees their name, so it was good to have a little extra help this time around.
Explorer Beastie Picking Sloes

We were also on the lookout for more immediately edible treats – blackberries! We took these home and used them to make miniature apple and blackberry pies…
Explorer Beastie finds Blackberries
… Once Explorer Beastie had finished gadding about in the brambles.
Explorer Beastie's Bramble Trapeze

There were plenty of other natural treats to be found along the way… unfortunately, I lack the equipment and expertise to make these beautiful hedgerow fruits into something tasty! Maybe next year…
HawsRosehipsElderberries

After that, we had just enough time to say hello to the cows…
Explorer Beastie with Cows
… And take a few artsy shots of glistening mist-spangled spiderwebs…Spiderwebs in the Mist

…Before heading home to toast our toes by the fire!

How do you spend a perfect autumn day? Let me know in the comments!

Autumn Beastie

Autumn Leaves

I thought I’d make a monster to celebrate the arrival of my favourite season. In Ireland, the seasons rarely behave as they’re supposed to… mild spring days, balmy summer evenings and winter snows are the exception, rather than the rule. But for some reason, Autumn always delivers. The leaves fall off the trees, the days get shorter and there’s a little extra nip in the air that means I can crack out my winter woollies again… at this time of the year, I can even forgive the incessant rainfall. Almost. Anyway, this little guy is carrying a bundle of fallen leaves, and is decked out in all the cosy colours of the season. I had a great time going through an old children’s book about trees in search of ideas for leaf shapes…