Springtime Beastie Fun! CrawCrafts Beasties

Beastie Weekend Reads, Part 1

Well hello there, BeastieBuddies!

I did promise you a double dose of blogging this week, so here I am!

When I was celebrating welcoming my 500th victim follower into the fold a couple of weeks back, I really did underestimate the number of awesome bloggers I keep up with (or at least try to) on a regular basis. I started that post with the noble intention of namechecking all of my favourites. Can you believe my naivety? Halfway through, I realised that if I were to give them all their dues, I would be tapping away at the computer all day. And by the end of the list, no-one would still be reading anyway. So, in the name of delivering the best possible shout-outs, I’m dividing up my reading list into nice, bite-sized chunks, which I’ll be feeding to you every now and again on Fridays. I’m hoping you’ll find a spare minute over the weekend to dip in, and maybe stumble on a new must-read!

So, without further ado, here are my first three…

Knitting the Stash
Knitting the Stash - Beastie Reads - CrawCrafts Beasties
If you’re in any way craftily inclined, you’ll find so much to love on Melissa’s blog… Although her enthusiasm for all things woolly and yarny is really quite infectious, so even if you don’t know your knit from your purl, you might find yourself getting sucked in! What makes Melissa different from so many other craft bloggers out there is that she takes a look beyond her own works in progress, and taps into the growing community of people involved in producing the wool she knits and spins. This takes in everything from visiting farms (and getting involved in the sheep shearing!) to meeting indie dyers and pattern designers. One of my favourite recent posts was her interview with Kara Syvertsen of Second Cycle Yarn Co… It was so inspiring to learn how one woman is making a living (and saving heaps of usable high-quality fibre from ending up in landfill) by turning unwanted clothing back into beautifully presented skeins of yarn! Melissa has also been a huge supporter of me and the Beasties, so we’re happy to be able to return the favour at last!

And as if that wasn’t enough, Melissa is also responsible for producing one of my favourite podcasts. I have to admit that I’m usually more of a “reader” than a “watcher”, but I always try to make time for Knitting the Stash. The episodes are a good length (usually around the half-hour mark), and Melissa is a fun, interesting person to hang out with! Here’s the latest episode, if you’d like to meet her for yourself!

Handmade Habit
Handmade Habit - Beastie Reads - CrawCrafts BeastiesI love checking in with Shirley’s blog. I think it has a lot to do with the way she writes – her calm, warm voice just puts you at ease, and it’s like you’re meeting a good friend for coffee and a catchup. Shirley is another person who is all about handmade, and her posts are mostly about what she’s got on the go at the moment – she knits, weaves and is a super-talented illustrator. She also loves to read around her interests, and I’ve so enjoyed sharing in her library finds (or special orders)… Especially when she comes across something with a crafty theme! Lately, I’ve been avidly following her first foray into working with reclaimed yarn (the journey starts here, if you’re interested) and I also really enjoyed this post about why working slowly isn’t such a bad thing… Perfect reading for a chilled-out Saturday morning!

Daze + Weekes
Daze and Weekes - Beastie Reads - CrawCrafts BeastiesHistory was one of my least favourite subjects in school. For three years, we sifted through an apparently random selection of dry topics, in no particular order, and the classroom was always stupidly hot. I never regretted my decision to drop it at the very first opportunity – until I got hopelessly hooked on Daze + Weekes. This is history as it should be told, with high drama, tongue-in-cheek humour and frequent Game of Thrones references. It also helps that the subject matter is fascinating – there’s a strong focus on the interesting women of history here, and it really makes for great reading. I think Joan, Minx of Wales gets my vote for favourite recent feature, or if you will insist on remaining in the present day, why not join Weekes at that most hateful of modern inconveniences, The Group Interview? She will also, very considerately, provide the soundtrack for your weekend lounging – on her sister site, weekesmusic.com, you’ll find the first two luscious, dreamy tracks from her upcoming album, AND a link to a curated mixtape playlist on Spotify. That should keep you all out of mischief until my next post on Tuesday!

Have a great weekend, everybody!
Boozy Barfly Beasties - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Oh Looky! A Liebster Award!

About two weeks ago, the very lovely Roma at Craft Odyssey nominated me and the Beasties for a Liebster Award. While we were all supremely grateful – her adventures in cottage renovation, crafting and keeping a neurotic cat and exuberant puppy in check never fail to make us chuckle – time to consider her questions and pick out some fellow bloggers to nominate always seemed to elude me. Until now! Well, better late than never…

Now, bring on the questions!

1 Tea or coffee ?
TEA. With a capital T-E-A.

2 What was the first book you remember reading ?
Possibly “The Nickle Nackle Tree” by Lynley Dodd. A few years ago, I was working in a bookshop and a new edition came in. Before putting it on the shelf, I opened it and had a flick through… it was like meeting an old friend again!

3 What is your favourite pastime ?
Hanging out with Boyfriend, watching horror films and knitting monsters. Yes, I can do all three at once!

4  What one item would you buy if money was no object ?
I wouldn’t buy a thing… but I would take A LOT more holidays.

5 Name an ambition you harbour
I’d love to have my own craft studio. Although I suspect it would end up looking like this:

(Image of Francis Bacon’s studio sneakily borrowed from http://www.francis-bacon.com)

6 Describe your perfect day
Cold and rainy outside, warm and cosy inside and no reason to leave the house! Extra bonus perfect day points would be awarded for the inclusion of copious amounts of tea, home-made tasties and craft beers. Oh, and if I were to try out a whole lot of new ideas for Beasties and have them all work out exactly as I imagined on the first attempt that would be AMAZING.

7 Describe yourself in 3 words
I couldn’t possibly.

8 What can you see from your sitting room window?
For now, more houses. But when the trees get their leaves back in a couple of months, it’ll be a jungle out there!

9 What made you start a blog?
I just wanted a place to showcase and archive pictures of my Beasties. I never imagined for a second that I’d end up as part of this great online community!

10 How did you come up with your blog’s title?
I stole it from the name of my little crafting business!

11 Where will you go next time you leave the house?
It looks like it’s going to be the supermarket. I lobbed everything in the kitchen into an improvised stew last night, so the cupboards are officially bare. Oh, the glamour!

Next up – the random facts!

  1. I can’t drive a car.
  2. I speak a little bit of Japanese.
  3. I lived in France for a year when I was a student.
  4. I wasn’t won over to the merits of beer until I was in my early twenties.
  5. I walk everywhere. Well, within reason.
  6. I grew up in Northern Ireland, but I’ve spent pretty much my entire adult life in Dublin.
  7. I once worked in an office for a year. That was enough.
  8. I’m a real wimp when it comes to spicy foods, but I LOVE mustard and wasabi.
  9. My one big indulgence is holidays.
  10. I’ve seen the Northern Lights.
  11. I still have real difficulty making lists of random facts about myself.

Thanks for reading! Now, the important bit – the nominations! I choose…

The Snail of Happiness – A blog about all the things that are good… handcrafts, living sustainably and, most recently, cheesemaking!

Funky Air Bear – For divine hand-knits, homebakes and life in Canada.

Make+Do – Lovely handcrafts and savvy business advice.

A Rottweiler at The Cottage on the Green – Okay, this one is a VERY new arrival… but I have a feeling Oscar the Rottweiler has a great blogging future ahead of him!

I’d also like to give honorable mentions to Tatie’s World and Beak Up Crafts – Roma already nominated them, so I’m sure they don’t want to have to come up with another 11 interesting facts about themselves just yet, but if you haven’t checked these blogs out already, you really should!

Nominees, your questions aaaaare…

1) Christmas or Hallowe’en?

2) Trip to the cinema or night on the town?

3) City break or sun holiday?

4) E-book or paper book?

5) Ghost stories or fairy tales?

6) What’s your favourite treat?

7) What’s the first thing you ever made?

8) What do you like most about where you live?

9) What’s the most interesting (or weirdest) job you’ve ever had?

10) What’s your favourite childhood memory?

11) What, for you, is the best part of writing a blog?

Should you accept this award, you’ll need to know the rules, which are:

1: Acknowledge and accept the Liebster Award by leaving a comment on the blog where you were nominated.
2: Copy and paste the Liebster logo onto your own blog.
3: Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
4: Answer the 11 questions put to you by the person who nominated you.
5: List 11 random facts about yourself.
6: Nominate and link to 3—11 other blogs you enjoy that have less than 3000 followers
7: List 11 questions for your Liebster Award nominees on your blog.
8: Inform your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog.

And that’s it… looking forward to hearing from you all! Have a monster week…

Liebster Award – it’s like Oscars Night all over again! (Sort of)

Well, a little exaggeration never hurt anyone… Many thanks to lovely Roma at Cottage on the Green, who has nominated me for one of these:

Liebster Award logo

If you have a minute, check out her blog – it always makes me smile!

Anyway, it seems that I have some work to do before I can swan off down the red carpet and start swigging champagne like it’s going out of fashion. Let’s start with some rules… the first rule of Liebster Awards is that you do not talk ab… no, that’s not right. The rules are:

*Thank the person who has nominated you and link back to their blog (by posting a link on yours).

*Copy and display the award in your blog post available from here

*Answer the 11 questions about yourself, which are given to you by the person who nominated you.

*Write 11 random facts about yourself.

*Nominate 5 – 11 blogs/bloggers that you feel deserve the award. They need to have less than 1000 followers.

*Think of 11 new questions for the bloggers you have nominated and write them in your post.

So, it looks like you’ll be finding out more about me this week. Here goes…
1) Where would you most like to visit?
I’d love to travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Not really a destination, but never mind.
2) What item do you treasure most?
It’s a tie between my spiffy fabric scissors, the bookshelves my Dad made for me and the toy monkey I got on my first Christmas.
3) What craft do you admire most?
All of them. Seeing a skilled craftsperson at work is the most fascinating thing, whatever they’re doing.
4) What is your favourite meal?
Pie or sushi. But not together.
5) What is your favourite TV program?
Murder, She Wrote.
6) What makes you laugh?
My boyfriend.
7) What is the best time of day?
MEALTIMES.
8) Who is your favourite author?
Truman Capote.
9) What is your favourite flower?
Cactus flowers.
10) What must you do before leaving the house?
About six entirely unnecessary things.
11) Do you wear a watch?
Yes.

11 Random Facts About Me
1) I can sleep anywhere, apart from on long-haul flights.
2) I hate getting up early, especially when alarm clocks are involved.
3) I brew my own beer.
4) I once worked on a commercial pig farm for a week, to learn where sausages come from.
5) I have flown a plane, but can’t drive a car.
6) I am unbelievably, hilariously bad at singing.
7) I need at least 2 cups of tea a day to function.
8) I still listen to cassette tapes.
9) I would never go to the cinema alone.
10) I don’t really understand the appeal of Twitter.
11) I find it incredibly difficult to compile lists of information about myself.

I’d like to nominate:
Monster Maven

Make + Do

Strey Creative

Manon’s Maze

CultureGeek

A Wandering Teacup

…And my 11 questions are:
1) Where would you most like to revisit?
2) What’s the most useful thing you own?
3) What’s your guilty pleasure?
4) Do you tend to arrive late, early or on time?
5) What’s your hot drink of choice?
6) Where is the scariest place you’ve been?
7) What makes you nostalgic?
8) What annoys you?
9) What was your favourite childhood TV show?
10) What item of clothing do you most regret wearing?
11) Yippee! You have an unexpected day off! How do you spend it?

Thanks for reading! To wrap up, I’ll include a picture of some Beasties with the giant box of tea (“Knitting Fuel”) I was forced to buy yesterday… it was either monster-sized Lyons or any other tea, so that decision pretty much made itself.
Beastie Tea Party