View From Beastie Towers in the Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

New Year? Snow Way!

It’s the first BeastieBlog of 2021… Happy new year, everybody! And although this first week of January didn’t bring a whole lot of good news on the pandemic front, in some parts of the island of Ireland it did bring something a little unusual – SNOW!

And some of it fell in the back garden of a pair of familiar Beastie friends.
Paddy Spots the Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy was up nice and early, so he spotted it first. And of course, the very next thing he did was…

Paddy Wakes Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

… To go and wake up Plunkett.

Poor Plunkett. He was having a lovely dream about igneous rock formations.
Plunkett Wakes Up - Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“What IS it, Paddy?”
“SNOW! It’s been snowing, Plunkett! Get up get up get up!”

View From Beastie Towers in the Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Look at that!”

It really is rather lovely. And every window revealed a fresh, snow-dusted view.
Snow at Beastie Towers - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut just looking at the snow was never going to be enough for Paddy. I think it’s time to head outside and play in it, don’t you?

Paddy Builds a Snow Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIt looks like he already has a project in mind, too. Look at him go!

“Ta-daaaaah!”
Paddy's Snow Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“It’s a SnowBeastie, Plunkett! What do you think?”
“I think it’s not quite finished yet… Hang on a sec!”

And with a few finishing touches from Plunkett…
The Finished Snow Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesMuch better! It’s almost as cute as you are, boys.
“Almost!”

But even little woolly monsters start to feel the cold eventually. With their SnowBeastie finished, the lads decided it was time to head back indoors…
Warming up by the Stove - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… And get toasty again by the stove!

So, how have you all been spending the first few days of 2021? Did you get any snow? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

Also…

Don’t forget that a new year means a new Beastie Calendar! This link will take you to the listing in our store… Download once, print off as many copies as you like, and be monstrously organised all year!
Beastie Calendar 2021 - Cover - CrawCrafts Beasties

New Year, New Calendar!

Hurrah! 2020 has been a heckuva year, but we’re down to the last couple of days now AT LAST! So might it maybe be a good time to start looking to the future? I thought so, and that’s why I sat down today to comb through my Beastie photo archives and put together an all-new Beastie Calendar for 2021!

Beastie Calendar 2021 - Cover - CrawCrafts Beasties

Hello, new year!

Because I didn’t make a new calendar last year (some pretty good foresight there, I thought) I had two years of Beastie pics to use. Hopefully you’ll like my selection! I’ve also changed the fonts and layout a bit…
… While still preserving the useful key features (a Monday-Sunday week and note space at the bottom) that help keep me on track.

A year’s worth of monster mayhem will set you back a mere ONE Euro, and you can download your calendar instantly from the order confirmation page on the website, or pick it up in your email. Then print off as many copies as you like… I’ve already got one set aside for home, one for the studio and one to keep track of my knitting classes!

You can grab your copy of the 2021 downloadable calendar in the Beasties’ online store, here… And don’t forget to tell us all about the events you’re most looking forward to in the comments!

Beastie New Year 2019! CrawCrafts Beasties

Beastie New Year, Everybody!

Hey there Beastie friends! And a very happy new year to you from all of us here at Beastie Towers!
Beastie New Year 2019! CrawCrafts Beasties
2019 has barely begun, but we’re already super-excited at the prospect of a fresh shiny new year, all crammed with possibilities! And, looking back, 2018 was a pretty awesome twelve months.

For starters, it was my first full year of not having a part-time job to prop up my monster-making habit. And while that was occasionally terrifying (because I’m a sucker for luxuries like food and shelter), I was lucky enough to have a few alternative means of making ends meet thrown my way.

Top among these was starting to teach knitting classes in my local yarn emporium, The Constant Knitter. How cool is that? I’ve met some great people along the way… And watching them progress from learning the first steps to becoming the kind of hardcore knitting addicts who sit up half the night to finish a project has to be one of the best feelings in the world!
Knitter Barróg Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties

I also gave some new Beastie-based projects a go too… The biggest leap here was the framed Beastie family I made at the beginning of the summer.
A Beastie Family Portrait Frame - CrawCrafts BeastiesWow, talk about a learning curve! But totally worth it… And now that I’ve done one, I’m definitely up for taking on more projects like this!

Then, later in the year, the surprise hit of the Christmas market season – Kitty tree decorations!
Tree Ornaments in Box - Cat Tree Decorations - CrawCrafts BeasI made these to tempt the attendees of the Dublin Cat Fair back in November, and thanks to a shout-out from the organisers on Facebook before the event, they sold out! From then on, I could barely keep up with demand, even when I was frantically making more behind my table on market days! I’ll definitely be adding these to my festive lineup for 2019.

But I believe I promised you new Beasties in this post, so new Beasties you shall have! The pre-Christmas rush usually sees some fresh Beastie faces gracing my market stall, and they don’t always get the attention they deserve. So, without further ado…

Watermelon Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties
First up is Watermelon Beastie! I had noticed that Beasties tend to embrace the less-than-healthy end of the dietary spectrum, so Watermelon Beastie is here to help balance that out a little. And their pink and green colouring so nicely complements that slab of delicious juicy melon, don’t you think? Look out for more fruit’n’veg munching monsters in the new year!

But those of you with a sweet tooth can rest assured that Beasties are still happy to share your favourite treats with you. Cookie Beasties and Doughnut Beasties were as popular as ever in 2018!
Sweetie Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd my All-Irish Beasties were still happy to down a tipple or two… Tea, anyone? Or would you maybe prefer a pint of the Black Stuff?
Tae Beastie and Pint Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

Meanwhile, others decided that the most important thing was to stay toasty – cosy sweaters and tweed scarves ahoy!Cosy Irish Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesI also brought along a new Unicorn Beastie… It didn’t take them long to find a home!
Unicorn Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd finally… Some of you might recognise this woolly little monster face from Paddy’s Christmas tale last week. Yes, a Christmas market lineup wouldn’t be complete without…
Santa Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties… SANTA BEASTIE!

Phew! There were a few more there than I bargained for, so I suppose we’ll have to tackle the first of the Christmas commissions next week. In the meantime, thank you all SO MUCH for hanging out with us in 2018, and a very Beastie new year to you all!

Oh, and if your life isn’t Beastie-ful enough already, don’t forget that our 2019 downloadable Beastie calendar is available now!
Beastie 2019 Calendar title page - CrawCrafts BeastiesCatch you next Tuesday!

 

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!

 

Paddy and Plunkett Reach Beachy Head - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Friday Social #6 – Beastie Adventures From Near and Far!

Well hello there, Beastie people! And look, the weekend is very nearly here! So I thought it might be fun to catch up with some other members of the far-flung Beastie family… it appears that a couple of them have been taking advantage of the (vaguely) improving weather!

For starters, any of you who enjoyed meeting my Magical Unicorn Beastie on Tuesday will definitely get a kick out of reading about Finn McSpool’s recently-discovered “magic” powers on Tammie’s site…

Finn McSpool in the Garden - T Painter
Finn sees the future! Picture from tammiepainter.com

… Plus, if you happen to share my complete lack of horticultural skills, I bet you’ll really enjoy a virtual wander around a garden in which things actually grow!

Now, let’s hop over to the other side of the pond, and catch up with Sinéad Beastie, over on Daze & Weekes. She’s just back from Amsterdam, the lucky little monster!

Sinead Beastie, Jumping on the Bandwagon - dazeandweekes.com
Jump on that Bandwagon, Sinead Beastie! Photo from dazeandweekes.com

For your convenience, Sinéad has visited some of the highest-quality (ahem!) tourist traps that this great European city has to offer, and she can’t wait to share her findings with you all!

Aaaaand if all that has you counting down the days to your own summer break, I can help you get your planning started!
May Calendar Image - Free download from CrawCrafts BeastiesMay’s Beastie calendar page is in the store now!

As usual, it’s totally free… And you only need to fill out your name and email address in the order form, then the internet pixies will drop your copy directly into your inbox!

Get yours!

Alrighty, that’s all the news from Beastie Towers and beyond… And now I’m planning to spend the weekend working away on the next batch of Beasties! If you’ve got any monster plans, be sure to tell us all about them in the comments.

See you on Tuesday for more Beastie shenanigans!

Get Your Beastie Calendars! CrawCrafts Beasties

Decisions, Decisions… Can you help?

Beastie Biscuits - CrawCrafts BeastiesA few of my fellow bloggers have had great success lately with solving their various conundrums (or should that be conundra?) through applying the good old principles of democratic voting.

(Thanks, Tammie – I’m totally stealing your idea!)

What’s my dilemma? Well, I was going to skip doing a Beastie calendar this year. And I was dead set on the idea, until a couple of people asked me if I was planning to make one… putting me squarely back on the fence about the whole thing!
Plan Your Life the Monster Way - CrawCrafts Beasties
So, why the no-show?

At the top of the list – AAAAARGH! They’ve always been a bit of a logistical nightmare. As you all know, the Beasties and I live on the beautiful island of Ireland. Unfortunately for us, pretty much every big online printing company is based in the UK. So we start off our order with hefty shipping charges and a non-market Sterling conversion rate… Then there’s the inevitable missed courier delivery, the 20 minutes on hold on their “helpline” only to find that they actually can’t help you, and the eventual arrival of the parcel which looks like it’s been trodden on by a particularly hefty horse. Last year I got additionally burned by a long lead time, non-delivery of the envelopes I requested and paid for (they showed up 2 months later, but only after I sent a stinker of an email to the printer’s customer service department) and two calendars which were damaged when I opened the box. So you can maybe see why I’m a little reluctant to join the line for THAT merry-go-round again!
Oooops! CrawCrafts Beasties
By giving the 2018 calendar a miss, I was hoping to spend some quality time tracking down a good, local supplier for my 2019 relaunch. I’d love to work with someone a little closer to home, who can put a more “Beastie” stamp on the calendars, rather than having to plop for the best out-of-the-box template from a host of super-cheesy options. Plus it would give me a whole year to take twelve awesome, season-appropriate photos! NICE!

Of course, I am also troubled by the bigger question of whether people actually still USE calendars. I know I do, but I’m the kind of throwback who likes nothing better than popping a cassette into my tape deck and settling down to read a good, old-fashioned, made-out-of-paper book. Perhaps the rest of the world has moved on, and I should be focusing my attention on making a Beastie app instead? This is why I need your help, people!

Now, the case for the defence. I know that I have regulars out there who, once the leaves start to turn and Christmas music is blaring from every shop door, come looking for Beastie calendars. And yes, I am worried that they’ll be disappointed by my (albeit brief) hiatus from distributing timekeeping materials.

I also like the fact that the calendar is a more affordable Beastie product – think about it, you get 12 Beasties for under €15! You wouldn’t even have got a bargain like that at my first market, when I had no clue about pricing! Plus, there’s a bit of a warm fuzzy aspect to them as well – I send these pictures out into the world, where they end up in homes all over the globe. How cool is that? And people use them to make plans, organise their activities and keep track of the big days in their own lives, plus those of their families and friends, for a whole year! I also like to imagine that at least a few of these good folks look forward to turning the page at the beginning of the month to see which Beastie is there waiting to greet them.
Calendar Time! CrawCrafts Beasties
So, there you have it… And now it’s your call! What should I do next? Your polling card is here:
[socialpoll id=”2460776″]

(If you’re viewing this post in Reader, you may need to switch to the full website to see it)

Now, do your worst! And please feel free to share any other thoughts or suggestions you have in the comments! Thank you in advance… the polls close at midnight GMT this Sunday night (that’s the 17th) and the results will be announced in next week’s post. See you then!

 

Calendar Time! CrawCrafts Beasties

Theeeey’re Heeeeere!

2017 Beastie calendars, that is!
It's the 2017 Beastie Calendar! CrawCrafts BeastiesThis year’s calendar features all-new photos – for those of you who are proud owners of the 2016 version, there won’t be any repeats in the coming year! Explorer Beastie is hogging the limelight as usual…
Explorer Beastie Calendar Shoot - CrawCrafts Beasties…But I snuck in a few of my favourite Beastie friends from the last 12 months as well!
Beastie Calendar Models 2017 - CrawCrafts BeastiesI’ve chosen a slightly different layout this time, which I think looks clearer and allows more space to write in the details of your busy life. Now all you have to do is decide how to spend your year!
Plan Your Life the Monster Way - CrawCrafts BeastiesIf you’d like a Beastie calendar to call your very own, head to the Contact page and drop me a line, or PM me through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

The Science Bit…
A single calendar will set you back a mere €12, and postage anywhere on the island of Ireland is free! If you live elsewhere, P&P will be an extra €3 for one calendar… Or if you’d like a few, I’ll calculate the postage based on the total weight of the parcel. Ping me over payment by PayPal, and your calendar(s) will be in the post that same day (Post Office opening hours permitting, of course)!

Oh, and get your order in soon – I’m only doing one batch this year!

And while we’re on the subject of time management and busy lives, Silly Season is now officially in full swing! So much crafting to do… and since most of my latest Beasties are destined to spend a little time under the Christmas tree before meeting their new families, it’ll be New Year before I’m able to share their photos with you. With that in mind, the BeastieBlog will be scaling back to just Tuesday posts for the time being. Normal service will resume in 2017!