Techie Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Adventuring in Lockdown

Hello there Beastie friends! And welcome to February… Spring is now juuuust around the corner, right? And with days lengthening and daffodils and snowdrops starting to poke their way through the earth, is it possible that the lockdown is thawing out a bit too?

Paddy certainly thinks so.
“Camera, car keys, a box of travel sweeties – I think the humans are going somewhere!”

But Plunkett isn’t so sure. He suggests they check the news before they start making travel plans.Going Somewhere? Paddy and Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Ah. Oh dear.

“Sorry, Paddy. Lockdown continues… It looks like we’re staying home for the time being.”
But Paddy, as we know, is an optimistic creature. And lockdown or no lockdown, he’s still happy to tuck into the humans’ travel sweets. Except…

“Gaaaah! Plunkett! WHAT ARE THESE? They don’t look like sweeties!”
Isn’t it lucky that tech-savvy Plunkett is on hand?
“It’s a memory stick, Paddy.”
“Huh?”
“Come on, I’ll show you. It’ll help us put in the time until lunch.”

He selects a nice bright green one, to match his lovely mossy complexion, and…

“Pop it in the side of the computer here… We’re on our way! Look at all those photos.”

“So, where would you like to go, Paddy?”
“Oooh… How about those ones there?”
“Carlingford? Good choice!”

He’s right! It looks beautiful there.
Carlingford Lough - Lockdown Travel - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesLet’s swing in for a closer look.
Carlingford Lough - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesI don’t know about you, but this is EXACTLY the kind of view I needed to see today! And the boys’ tour isn’t finished yet… Now they’re off to Carlingford town.

“Oh cool, a castle!”
King John's Castle - Lockdown Adventures - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Yes, Paddy! Carlingford Castle was built by King John of England, and has been here on the shores of the Lough since the 12th century.”

And it’s not the only castle in town, either.
Castles in Carlingford - Lockdown Adventures - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThere’s a medieval church too. Plunkett is in raptures over all that lovely stonework.
Medieval Church in Carlingford - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“I’ll just zoom in here, for a closer look…”
“Do you see any leprechauns, Plunkett?”
“Noooo… Why would I?”
“Carlingford is the leprechaun capital of Ireland, of course!”

It really is, you know. Paddy pulled up this website to prove it! And if you want to capture your very own leprechaun, you can join the annual Leprechaun Hunt. It takes place in the Cooley Mountains, up behind the town.
Cooley Mountains - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesI can think of worse places to spend a day looking for the “little people”! The Mourne mountains are also nearby.
Mourne Mountains - Lockdown Adventures - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“And there are some incredible beaches, too.”
Beach at Carlingford - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“I’d love to go there sometime, Plunkett!”
“Well, with a little technical wizardry…”
Boys on the Beach - Lockdown Travel - CrawCrafts Beasties“… We can!”
“Cool! Hey, if we travel like this, just imagine the places we could go!”

Good thinking, Paddy. So, is there anywhere you’d like Paddy and Plunkett to virtually visit over the coming months? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Quarantine at Beastie Towers

Hey there everyone! How are you getting on? We’re still locked in here in Ireland, but there’s the possibility of a few things starting to return to normal next week, so hopefully I’ll have some good news for you then. In the meantime, we’re sticking with quarantine procedures, and trying to go out as little as possible. And although they’re Corona-immune, even the Beasties are getting in on the act. Here, take a look!

Quarantine Birthday Beastie – A sign of the times!

People are pretty quick off the mark when it comes to suggesting personal touches for their Beastifications. So this Birthday Beastie…
Quarantine Birthday Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties… Got a Covid-19-era update!
Quarantine Face Mask - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe face mask is made from cotton, pleated and lined with felt for some good woolly air filtration. Then, a pretty ribbon strap with a little elastic helps to hold it in place.

And when she’s staying safe at home, and not having to be socially distant… There’s a whole birthday cake to eat!
Quarantine Birthday Cake - CrawCrafts BeastiesTwo needle-felted wool sponge cakes, sandwiched between layers of felt jam and icing? That would put a smile on any Beastie’s face!
Smiling Beastie Face - CrawCrafts BeastiesShe’s also dressed to impress, in a sweet floral print sundress with ribbon ties on the shoulders.
Birthday Party Dress - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd finally, check out those lustrous alpaca tresses! I really should get the Beasties to share their hairdressing secrets.
Shiny Alpaca Tresses - Quarantine Birthday Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesNow all we need to figure out is how she’s going to blow out the candle without removing her face mask!
Quarantine Dilemma - CrawCrafts BeastiesBig thanks to Annemarie for suggesting this fun and timely project! And speaking of fun…

Quarantine Entertainment

So, I’ve been working from home these past few weeks – you might remember seeing my desk invaded by a Beastie raiding party on St Patrick’s Day in this post – and I’ve noticed myself picking up some new hobbies. I thought I’d share them with you… Mostly to see if any of you have started doing similarly odd things yourselves!

The big difference between home and my studio is that I now have a window to stare out of when I’m figuring out the angles of my latest Beastification. I also don’t see Ophelia the studio cat as often as I did. I miss her antics!
Ophelia - Studio Kitty - CrawCrafts BeastiesAs such, I have been avidly following the daily patrollings of Big Ginger Cat and Little Tortoiseshell Cat, who swing by several times a day to sunbathe, hunt bluebottles and wage war on the magpies in the big tree. It’s nice to see them continuing about their usual business!

And when the cats are away, the birds get a chance to play… A lot of people are saying that they’ve been noticing birds and birdsong a lot more, and we’ve been enjoying the occasional full-on dawn chorus here some mornings. It’s harder to see the little birds in the trees now that they’re all leafed out, but I’ll sometimes catch a glimpse of a robin or blackbird as they flit from branch to branch. This morning I spotted some swifts for the first time this year, zipping around high in the sky! Has anyone else become an amateur ornithologist lately?

Then again, there’s a downside to that window too. When the sun comes around in the late afternoon, it blazes in and makes my work table hotter than the surface of Mercury! What’s a girl to do?

Why, retire to the garden of course! My balcony pots are looking better tended than they have in years, and on Sunday I harvested my first home-grown radish. Talk about satisfying – I’ll share some pics when a few more things sprout or flower.

And how about you? Have you taken up a new quarantine hobby, or had a change of pace that lets you see things you’d have missed before? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

We’ll be back on Friday with a run-down of some of the craziest Beastie accessories I’ve ever made, so be sure to join us then!

PS…

In case you missed it in last Friday’s post, I did this!
From the Maker to the Made Podcast - CrawCrafts Beasties
Barry interviewed me for his podcast just before the lockdown kicked in, and the episode went live last week. You can have a listen here, or on your usual podcast provider. And a big thank you to all those people who listened already and got in touch afterwards! It was so nice to hear from you all!