Makeshift Gate - Countryside Christmas - CrawCrafts Beasties

Countryside Christmas

Hello there Beastie friends! I hope you’re all staying safe and keeping well in these strange times. I thought I’d do something a little different today, and share a behind-the-scenes story… My Christmas in the countryside!

I usually head north of the border to spend the festive season with my family in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, Coronavirus laughed in the face of my holiday plans. But luckily, Boyfriend’s family stepped in and “adopted” me for a couple of days, and Christmas Eve saw us both scooting westwards on the train to the peace and quiet of County Roscommon.

It was so nice to leave the city behind for a couple of days, and I made sure to head out for a walk every day to enjoy the sights and sounds of the countryside! Care to join me?

Now, we are in Ireland here, so it rained A LOT. Can you tell?
Rainy Ireland - Countryside Christmas - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd while some shadowy thickets retained a feeling of chilly mystery when the clouds parted…
Thicket - Countryside Christmas - CrawCrafts Beasties… In some places the winter sun broke through the trees and made the empty fields glow.
Willows - Countryside Christmas - CrawCrafts Beasties

Gotta love those quiet roads and wide open skies.Countryside Christmas Wander - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd there are wonders right at your feet in the undergrowth, too.
Earthstars - CrawCrafts BeastiesThese alien-looking marvels are fungi called earthstars. They pop up in the same place every year, so I always make sure to check in on them when I’m in the neighbourhood.

Then as the sun slipped below the horizon, I headed for home… Just as the moon started to rise over the fields.
The Moon & the Fields - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut where was Explorer Beastie while all this was going on? Ummm…
Sleepy Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesWell, I suppose the holidays are a time to rest up and recharge your batteries.

So, did the pandemic throw a spanner in the works of your usual end-of-year activities? And did you end up doing something different but equally fun? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

Paddy and Plunkett in Winter - CrawCrafts Beasties

We wish you a Merry Beastmas…

… And a monster new year!

Explorer Beastie at Christmas - CrawCrafts Beasties

Wow, it’s been a bit of a crazy one, hasn’t it? I’m sure many of us will be glad to file away our (barely-used) 2020 calendars, and get stuck into a fresh shiny year!

Here’s wishing you all a very happy holiday season, whatever you’re doing and wherever you end up spending the final week of 2020. And if you need a festive chuckle…
Paddy's Idea - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts Beasties… Paddy is, as ever, happy to oblige. Revisit his attempt to obtain gainful seasonal employment from a certain jolly Beastie in a red suit here!

Santa Beastie - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts Beasties

Merry Beastmas, everyone!

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!

Explorer Beastie in London - 2020 Update - CrawCrafts Beasties

Bringin’ Beastie Back for 2020!

Hey there everybody, and happy new year to you all! I hope you had a lovely Christmas/Beastmas/holiday season, and that you’re all ready to tackle 2020… We certainly are here at Beastie Towers!

So, it’s been a while – what have we been up to since we last sat down for a chat together? Well, the headline is MARKETS!
Christmas Market 2019 - CrawCrafts BeastiesIn 2019, I took a big leap and had a go at organising my own craft fair! I rounded up a group of my favourite local craftspeople, and met some awesome new makers as well.
Christmas Market - 2020 Update - CrawCrafts Beasties

It was A LOT of work, but I really enjoyed the challenge. Heck, I’d even consider doing it again in 2020!

I also had a few other market dates in the calendar as usual – the Beasties and I always love to get out and meet our public. Here we are at the Dublin Cat Fair!

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And of course, there were a few commissions in the mix, just to keep me on my toes! I can’t wait to introduce you to all these new additions to the Beastie family over the next couple of weeks!
Beasties of 2019 - 2020 Update - CrawCrafts Beasties

But before the Christmas madness set in, let’s not forget that Explorer Beastie and I skipped town for a couple of days to visit friends in London! He’s looking forward to sharing his holiday snaps with you all.
Explorer Beastie in London - 2020 Update - CrawCrafts Beasties
Finally, with everything else that was going on in the last few months of 2019, creating a 2020 Beastie calendar didn’t quite make it onto my to-do list. That said, I depend on mine so much that I ended up rejigging the dates from last year’s so that I could reuse it! I was just going to keep it all to myself… But I’ve decided to add it the Beastie Store as a free download if any of you want to grab a copy. Click here to go directly to the listing!
2020 Calendar Cover Page - CrawCrafts Beasties

Well, hopefully that’s whetted your appetites for a fresh year of monster mayhem! Now I’m looking forward to catching up with all of your news… Be sure to say hi in the comments so that I remember to swing by your blog!

We’ll be back next week with more from June Beastie, who made a surprise visit to Paddy and Plunkett at Beastie Towers a couple of months ago. If you missed it, you can pick up the thread of the story here and here.

Hey Sisters! Go Sisters!

Hello there Beastie friends! I’ve another fresh new Beastification to share with you today… And better yet, it’s a two-for-one deal! I give you – the Beastie Sisters!
Beastie Sisters, a Personalised Gift by CrawCrafts BeastiesThis happy pair were made as a Christmas gift for two real-life human sisters, Emily and Holly.

Let’s meet Holly Beastie first!
Emily Beastie, Personalised Monster Doll by CrawCrafts BeastiesHuman Holly is super into horses, so a Beastie with an esquestrienne flavour fitted the bill perfectly. I started at the top, with a traditional black peaked riding hat…
Beastie-Size Riding Hat - CrawCrafts Beasties…And her soft alpaca hair is pulled neatly in underneath in a very stylish bun.
Emily Beastie's Hair - CrawCrafts BeastiesThen her outfit is completed with a natty little hand-sewn tweed jacket… Which really unbuttons!
Emily Beastie's Jacket - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd underneath, she’s got a crisp white shirt and ribbon tie.

Anything else? Oh yes, here’s a riding crop in case you need it!
Emily Beastie's Crop - CrawCrafts BeastiesPerfect! And then for little sister…
Holly Beastie, a Personalised Monster Doll by CrawCrafts Beasties…A sweet little ribbon-tie dress, with a cute Matryoshka doll print! Ideal for little hands to play with.
Holly Beastie's Dress - CrawCrafts BeastiesI also love her hairstyle!
Holly Beastie's Hair - CrawCrafts BeastiesThese are the same alpaca tresses that Emily Beastie has (they are sisters, after all!) but they look completely different cut short in a halo of soft curls.

And of course, Holly Beastie needs an accessory too. Here you go!
Holly Gets a Bag - CrawCrafts BeastiesLooking good!

And we all know that when a Beastie has a bag, there’s usually something inside. This is the perfect place to stash a tasty snack for later… And maybe she’ll even share it with her sister!Holly with Accessories - CrawCrafts Beasties
And with that, these two were ready to go! They hopped in a box, and made it to their new home just in time for the Christmas festivities. According to inside sources, they spent most of their first day there being helped into and out of their outfits!

Next week, we’re taking a break from new Beasties to check in with Paddy and Plunkett for the first time in 2019. I’m not sure what they’re up to, but they did want me to remind you that their handsome green faces are gracing the first page of the Beastie Calendar for this year. You can still download your copy from our online store here.

See you then!

Spencer Beastie, A Personalised Commission by CrawCrafts Beasties

Beasties Are Doin’ It For Themselves!

Aaaah, the new year! It’s a time when many of us think about taking on a new interest, or learning a new skill… And perhaps more than a few of you are considering trying your hand at a little DIY.

Well, the Beasties are WAAAAAY ahead of you on that one! Meet Spencer Beastie, a practical little monster who lives for building, creating and fixing things.
Spencer Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesSpencer Beastie was requested by our good buddy Melissa at Knitting the Stash, as a gift for her husband. And he’ll have to be VERY on the ball to keep up with Human Spencer, who is always working away at something cool. In fact, Human Spencer’s latest oeuvre is a complete renovation of an old prison bus… It’s amazing! You can catch up with the project on his YouTube channel, or keep an eye on his progress on Instagram, here.

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So, I thought a good starting point would be to make sure that Spencer Beastie can pull his weight when there’s work to be done. Go go magic magnetic paws!
Magic Magnetic Beastie Paws - CrawCrafts BeastiesNot only can he now hold things, he can also “hang out” on metal surfaces in the prison bus!

Then with Melissa’s guidance, I was able to copy Human Spencer’s tattoo…
Beastie Tattoo - Spencer Beastie by CrawCrafts Beasties… Glasses…
Glasses for Spencer Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties… Favourite hat…Spencer Beastie's Hat - Felt and Embroidery - CrawCrafts Beasties… And trademark bandana handkerchief!
Spencer Beastie's Bandana - CrawCrafts Beasties

Now, what’s that? A backpack?
I spy a Backpack! Spencer Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesI think we all know what that means… Let’s see what’s inside!
What's in Spencer Beastie's Rucksack? CrawCrafts BeastiesAha! Everything a Beastie needs to tackle a serious refit project – a Beastie-sized torch, pocket knife and hammer!

And of course, each piece contains a magnet so that Spencer Beastie can hold them by himself!
Hold on, Spencer Beastie! Magnetic Felt Accessories by CrawCrafts BeastiesFinally, for those of you who are suckers for the teeniest of tiny details, the torch contains a glass bead “bulb”…
A Beastie-Sized Torch, by CrawCrafts Beasties… And the blade of the pocket knife really folds out!
A Beastie-sized Pocket Knife - CrawCrafts BeastiesWell, I think you’re ready to help out in the workshop, Spencer Beastie! Better get packed up and make the journey Stateside…
Spencer Beastie Packs His Bags - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd the best bit is, you can see him settling in to his new home! Melissa very kindly featured Spencer Beastie in the latest episode of her podcast series… Check it out here!


It gets Beastie-ful at 15 minutes, but I so enjoy Melissa’s engaging, interesting shows that I’d recommend watching from the start. Who knows, it might inspire you to pick up the needles and get knitting this year!

And that’s all from me this week… But I’ll be back next Tuesday with more of the Beasties who found new homes during the festive season! Hope to see you then!

Santa Beastie - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts Beasties

Happy Beastmas!

Hey everybody! We’re baaaaaack! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, but we just wanted to swing by to wish you all…

A very merry Beastmas!

And while I’m here, how about a seasonal Beastmas tale? Pull up a chair, grab some mulled wine and a fistful of mince pies, and let me tell you all about…

Paddy’s Santa Trap!

‘Twas the night before Beastmas,
And up in Beastie Towers,
Paddy wasn’t sleepy
– He’d been awake for hours!

Sleepless Paddy - Beastmas 2019 - CrawCrafts Beasties

He’s thinking about Santa,
And reindeer, elves and toys…
And bringing all the Beastmas gifts
To Beastie girls and boys.

He says, “They need a helper
To aid them in their task.
But Beastmas is so busy!
There won’t be time to ask!”

Paddy's Idea - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts Beasties

So he thinks, “I’ll build a Santa trap!
That will slow him down.
And then I’ll ask him for a job,
While he’s stuck on the ground!”

He sets to work, and builds a trap
With hammer, nails and wood.
Four feet tall and eight feet wide
– It’s looking pretty good!

Paddy Building - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts Beasties

Now, carpentry is heavy work.
Paddy’s eyes begin to close.
He settles down beside the fire,
And has a little doze.

But while Paddy is dreaming,
A shadow moves and shifts.
Hey look! It’s Santa Beastie
With a big bag full of gifts!

Santa Beastie Arrives - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts Beasties

He dodges Paddy’s Santa trap
– He doesn’t even stall –
He spots the cookies left as bait
And then devours them all!

Santa Beastie with Cookie - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts Beasties

But then he looks back at the trap.
Such craftsmanship! Such care!
And that’s when he sees Paddy
Who’s sleeping, unaware!

A Gift for Paddy - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts Beasties

He pulls a parcel from his bag,
Leaves it by Paddy’s side.
Then vanishes, like magic,
As Paddy’s eyes spring open wide.

Paddy rushes to the Santa trap.
Oh no! There’s nothing there!
But when he opens up his gift,
He really doesn’t care.

“Come join me at the North Pole,”
The note inside it reads.
“Your building skills are awesome,
You’re just the Beast we need!”

So that’s how Paddy’s Santa trap
Made a Beastmas wish come true.
And if you ask, Santa Beastie
Might do the same for you!

Santa Beastie - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts Beasties

Happy Holidays, everybody!

We’ll be back next week with new Beasties to kick off 2019 in style! 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!

 

Cat Sweater Beasties, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Beasties! Cats! Gin!

It may only be Tuesday, but it seems like we’re already in party mode here at Beastie Towers! Come and join us as we pick a name for the 2018 sloe gin batch, as promised last week, and give you a sneak peek of some of the other kitty-inspired goodies we’ll be bringing to the Dublin Cat Fair this Sunday! First up…

It’s Sloe Time!

Thanks to all of you who contributed pun-tastic name suggestions for this year’s Beastie Towers Blend sloe gin! The only downside was that they were all so good that I couldn’t choose one purely on merit, and I decided to hand over the reins to chance instead. Well, chance and a couple of Beastie assistants.

First, I gathered up all the suggestions, wrote them on slips of paper, folded them neatly and… Fed them to Crablet.
Decisions decisions - Crablet is Helping - CrawCrafts BeastiesThen I called on Explorer Beastie to pick a winner.
Picking a Winner - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis didn’t exactly go according to plan.
Explorer Beastie Falls In - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut Explorer Beastie is made of sturdy stuff. Look, he’s got one!
We Have a Winner! CrawCrafts BeastiesWho is it?
Who Won? CrawCrafts BeastiesTaaaa-daaaaah! 2018 is the year of “Sloe on the Uptake”, courtesy of Tammie!
Sloe on the Uptake! CrawCrafts BeastiesOf course, Explorer Beastie would have to pick the most messily-written slip of the bunch! But an excellent result. And now I can finally get those bottles labelled!
2018, The Year of Sloe on the Uptake! CrawCrafts BeastiesThanks, Tammie… And to all of you who took part! I reckon I’m all set with sloe puns for at least the next decade!

Now, how about another…

Cat Fair Preview!

This morning I assembled a sampling of my Cat Fair specials together for a pre-market photoshoot. Care to take the tour?

First of all, I thought some snow-white kitties for the tree would be a good addition to the lineup! The grey ones from last week got a good response, so let’s see how these work out. Do you have a favourite?
White Cat Tree Ornaments - CrawCrafts BeastiesI also turned my hand to making some stitched embroidery hoop pictures. I’ve been meaning to do this for years! There’s a small (4in/10cm) version and a large (6in/15cm) one.
Cat Frames - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd of course, the Beasties had to get a slice of the action! First up, I made some Beasties in cosy, smiley cat sweaters.
Cat Sweater Beasties, by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd there will also be Beasties with their own felty, feline friends, like this guy!
Cat Owner Beastie by CrawCrafts BeastiesPlus I reckon a few other little woolly monsters will stow away in my Beastie backpack on market day… I’ll see how much space I have!

And on that note, I’d better get back to my sewing table! Join us for more Beastie shenanigans next Tuesday, and in the meantime, 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!