Sleepy Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

Monster Maker M.I.A.

Ooopsie!

In a change to the advertised programming here on the BeastieBlog, there will not be a new Beastie post this week… Or, unfortunately, for a couple more weeks, either. Between a growing heap of commissions, the reopening of knitting classes, a looming tax return deadline and a few new projects that have been bubbling away on the back burner, I’ve been finding myself spread a little thinly these past few weeks.

Explorer Beastie has too, apparently.

So, we’re going to take a short late summer break, get back on top of things, and return replenished with stories to share in the autumn!

Take care and see you then!

Helen and the Beasties x

Woof! Or, Another Visit to the Beastie Pet Shop

Hello everyone! I’ve another creature feature for you this week – and I’m surprised at how long it’s taken me to share this special Beastie pet with you! She’s a real cutie.

Hey there, Mini-Penelope!

Mini Penelope - Teeny needle-felted dog by CrawCrafts Beasties

This sweet little French bulldog pup was created to complete a Beastie family which I made a few years ago. Here’s the original trio…

Who's This? A Beastie Family, by CrawCrafts Beasties

They landed in their new home just in time to help their new human friends celebrate their wedding. However, that was ALLLLLL the way back in 2018! And with the arrival of Penelope (a cheeky lil’ French bulldog puppy) during last year’s lockdown, this family portrait needed an update!

So, I grabbed my needle-felting kit, and spent a good bit of time getting to know Penelope a little better. You can too! She and her sister Zoey have their own Instagram account.

And now here’s her Mini-Me!

* Waves magic Beastification wand *

Beastie-Sized French Bulldog - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

And turn and smile for the camera, please.

Penelope the Frenh bulldog - CrawCrafts Beasties

Very nice.

Oh sorry, what’s that? You want to play Fetch?

Miniature Fetch - CrawCrafts Beasties

Maybe the pens and pencils might be a bit big for you, don’t you think?

Beastie Bulldog - CrawCrafts Beasties

Oh. She looks disappointed. Hey, you can still climb on them! Endless hours of fun.

Exploring my work table - Beastie Bulldog Commission by CrawCrafts Beasties

Who’s a good girl?

Good pup - CrawCrafts Beasties

Thanks to Kristen for requesting this fun addition to her little family of woolly monsters!

And be sure to join us again next week, when we’ll be catching up with Paddy and Plunkett. I wonder where they’ve been for the last couple of weeks? See you then!

Meow!

Hey there everyone! And THERE’S a post title that could probably use a little explanation… Have I perhaps switched up in the last week, and moved on to making just cats and cat accessories?

Funny you should ask, actually, because it turns out that the Beasties I featured in last week’s post and the post from the week before are both very much “cat people”. Some of you might even have picked up on that fact already…

Beastie in Cat Hat - CrawCrafts Beasties

So it only seems right and proper that these Beasties should get a feline friend of their own.

Beastie with Felted Kitty, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Awwww, look how friendly she is! See if she’ll climb up on this pincushion so we can get a closer look.

Kitty Closeup - CrawCrafts Beasties

Sweet! But wait… Do I hear more meowing? Does that mean…

More Beastie cats! CrawCrafts Beasties

Yes, our first cat has brought along some friends!

And it looks like they ALL want cuddles.

Beastie kitty cuddles - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

Each Beastie Kitty is modelled after a regular-size cat owned by one of the two sisters I Beastified for this recent BIG project. I used 100% wool roving on a wire frame for their bodies, and various shades of green beads to give their eyes that brilliant feline glow.

And just look how fearless they are! None of them had any problems stepping up onto my giant human hand to investigate.

Needle-felted Beastie Kitty by CrawCrafts Beasties

This is Soy, who belongs to the elder sister, while Zeus…

Another Beastie-sized Cat - CrawCrafts Beasties

… And Prince…

Black Beastie Cat - CrawCrafts Beasties

… Are both looked after by the younger sister.

As you can probably tell, photographing a Beastie black cat is just as impossible as photographing one of the regular-sized ones!

Well, now that we’ve met everybody, it’s time to round them up…

Beastie with custom-made needle-felted cats - CrawCrafts Beasties

… So they can head off to their new home!

Thanks again to Miri for this awesome project… And the Beastie Pet Extravaganza doesn’t end here! Recently I’ve had lots of people asking if I can extend the Beastification of their friends and family members to include their beloved pets, so we’re going to meet some more of those miniature critters next time.

See you then!

Sunshine, Sunflowers and a Summer Singalong

Hey there everyone! And WOW, is it hot here! Well, for Ireland… I won’t invite eye-rolls and derisive laughter from those of you who have been experiencing actual heatwaves over the last couple of weeks by citing temperatures. Let’s just say it’s been a little warmer than usual, the sun is out, and it’s not so bad that we can’t travel because the weather is already lovely right here at home.

And THAT was a pretty roundabout way to introduce this week’s new Beastie… A little monster girl who has a distinctly summery, sunshiney vibe. Oh look, here she is now! Hello!

Personalised Beastie Commission by CrawCrafts Beasties

Oooh, I love your dress! The geometric print makes me think of cartoon sunshines, or maybe sunflowers… Give us a twirl, there.

Beastie Dress, front and back - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

Very nice! I modelled this vintage-style dress on one owned by this Beastie’s human counterpart. The fabric is different, but I copied the full collar and slightly puffed sleeves of the original.

Beastie Mini-Dress with Gathered Sleeves and Wide Collar - CrawCrafts Beasties

You might also have noticed that there’s been a bit of a change to the usual Beastie layout for this project. No stripey legs here! This little monster lady is rocking a pair of cute white knee socks instead.

Beastie knee socks - CrawCrafts Beasties

Now, what next? Sticking with the retro style of her dress, we’re going to add a pair of cool red-framed glasses.

Beastie Glasses by CrawCrafts Beasties

As usual, they’re completely removable, so she can pop them on top of her head when they’re not needed.

Removable Beastie Glasses - CrawCrafts Beasties

Very nice! And, like her sister who joined us for last week’s post, this Beastie also has magic magnetic paws…

Magic Magnet Paws - CrawCrafts Beasties

… To help her hold on to all her awesome accessories…

Beastie with Sunflower - CrawCrafts Beasties

… Like this Beastie-sized sunflower! My sources informed me that our Beastie’s human counterpart loves sunflowers, so I just had to include one in her accessory lineup.

It’s planted in a felt pot of 100% wool roving, which has helped it to grow nice and tall, with plenty of fresh green felt leaves.

A Beastie-sized Sunflower with Felt Leaves, Petals and Pot - CrawCrafts Beasties

And what else can she do? Well, I did mention a singalong, didn’t I? And good news – we get musical accompaniment!

Here you go, Miss Beastie – a teeny little ukulele for you, so you can play us a summery tune!

Beastie Ukulele, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Has anyone any requests? Be sure to share your favourite summertime song in the comments!

And you might think that this haul would be plenty to keep a pair of Beastie sisters happy… But wait, there’s more! Join us next week to find out who joined them when they ventured forth from Beastie Towers into the wider world… See you then!

Bubble Tea and Dungarees!

Hello everyone! As promised in last week’s post, I’ve a new Beastie for you to meet today… And she has so many cool accessories! Hey there, Miss Beastie!

It's New Beastie Time! Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

I have to say, I really love this outfit. This Beastie is taking her stye cues from her human counterpart’s actual wardrobe, so including a stripey top and dungaree overalls was all part of the design brief.

Beastie Dungarees - CrawCrafts Beasties

I also personalised them by embroidering one of the littlest Totoros (a creature from the animé My Neighbour Totoro) on the front pocket!

Mini Totoro Embroidery! Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

This Beastie also has multi-toned dark brown wool hair, magic magnet paws (so she can really hold onto things) and the usual winsome Beastie smile.

Smile, hair and magic magnetic paws - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

And now, for some special personal touches… This Beastie’s new friend has a favourite hat, and I was asked if maybe I could have a go at copying it. Here’s the original (lifted from this website):

Smoko Oliver Animated Cat Hat

And here’s the Beastified version (slightly adjusted for shorter, broader woolly monster heads)!

A Cat Hat... For a Beastie! CrawCrafts Beasties

Our model seems pretty happy with it, anyway!

Beastie Girl in Cat Hat - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

Now, what else does she need? How about a sketch book and pen, perhaps?

Beastie-sized sketch book and pen - CrawCrafts Beasties

Perfect! And with her magic magnetic paws, she can really hold them too!

And finally, maybe some refreshments are in order. Our human girl LOVES bubble tea (also called boba tea), so it only seemed right to send her new Beastie friend off with a cup of her own to enjoy on the journey. It’s even her favourite flavour – lychee. Yum!

Beastie Bubble Tea - CrawCrafts Beasties

This Beastie-sized boba drink is brewed from 100% wool roving, and is served in a hand-stitched clear cup with a felt straw.

Now, is that everything?

Beastie with all her accessories - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

I think so!

Thanks to Miri for this fun Beastie project… Oh, and did I mention that this monster girl has a sister? No? Well, she does… And she’ll be dropping in to join us next week! See you then!

Monster Online Sale!

Hello there everyone! Well, I’ve got some news for you all this week… We’re having a Beastie sale!

Yes, you read that correctly!

You see, some of the Beasties I have here in Beastie Towers have developed a serious case of lockdown cabin fever. They want (or perhaps more correctly, NEED) to stretch their little stripey legs and see more of the world. Normally I’d be taking them out to markets through the year, and that would quiet their yearning for adventure for a while. But with no big market days in sight just yet, this seemed like the best possible substitute.

Here are some of the lil’ woolly monsters who are eager to break out and explore pastures new!

And if you fancy a quick Beastie fix, and since we’re now halfway through the year, our printable Beastie 2021 calendar is now FREE!

Beastie Calendar Sale - CrawCrafts Beasties

But you’d better be quick!

The sale is running from now until this coming Saturday – that’s the 19th of June – and it will end at 6pm Irish time.

After that, I’ll be making some changes to Beastie HQ… The most significant being that there will no longer be an online store on the Beasties’ website. Over the past year, the number of Beasties finding new homes through the website has remained the same, but the amount of commission requests I’ve been getting has leapt up… And those commissions are becoming ever more complex, too! So it makes sense for me to focus on that side of things, at least for the moment.

For anyone who appreciates the simplicity of an Aran or Cookie Beastie though, don’t despair! I’m still happy to make these perennial favourites… Just drop me a line. You’ll even be able to add a more personal touch by selecting your preferred colour scheme and winsome monster smile style!

And finally…

Website updates always bring the potential for disaster interesting and unforeseen developments, so I’ll be skipping next week’s post to weed out any potential gremlins in the works. You can still keep up with the Beasties and their antics on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook in the meantime, though… And we’ll see you again in a couple of weeks!

Help me, Superhero Max Beastie!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a new Beastie!
Superhero Max Beastie - A Commission by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd not just any new Beastie – this one is a SUPERHERO!

Last year during lockdown, a customer contacted me to ask if I’d be able to make a Christmas gift for her daughter. This girl LOVES superheroes, and even has a secret alter-ego herself… When danger looms, she transforms into Superhero Max! Not content with merely fighting crime, Superhero Max is also a dab hand at fixing electrical boxes – you know, those anonymous grey or green metal cases you see on pretty much every street.

Well, with material like that to work with, how could I refuse?

First of all, I thought I’d better provide this little monster lady with some tools. She’ll need those if she’s going to fix anything!
Tools of the Trade - Superhero Max Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesNormally I’d pop magnets inside these so the Beastie can hold them securely… But since her human counterpart is still quite young, I went for elastic loops on the handles instead, just to be on the safe side.
Utility Belt + Tools - CrawCrafts BeastiesAs you can see, they still fit snugly into her utility belt, ready for action.

She also has a cream-coloured super-suit, based on Superhero Max’s own favourite outfit. And this one comes complete with a special custom-designed hand-embroidered logo!
Superhero Max Logo - CrawCrafts Beasties

But of course, it’s oh-so-important that her identity remains a secret. Don’t worry, Miss Beastie! I’ve got you covered.
Superhero Max in Disguise - CrawCrafts BeastiesWith a red felt mask and starry cape (inspired by her human counterpart’s passion for outer space), she’ll be able to head out completely incognito.

But wait a sec… Doesn’t every SuperBeastie need a super-sidekick?

Yes, absolutely!
Superhero Max and Hop - CrawCrafts BeastiesJust as Superhero Max never goes anywhere without her trusted bunny friend Hop, this Beastie has a cuddly rabbit companion to join her on her adventures, too. He even has the same uniform, including a removable mini cape!
Hop Closeups - Superhero Max Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesI also had fun adding in special bunny details, like a fluffy white tail and carrot-inspired sidekick logo.

Well, I think that’s all the angles covered! Just as well, because it looks like someone is ready for takeoff.
Superhero Max Beastie Takes Off - CrawCrafts BeastiesUp, up and… AWAAAAAY!
Superhero Max Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesYikes, she’s flown right out of the teeny photo studio! Um, can I ask everyone to please keep an eye out and report any low-flying Beasties in your neighbourhood directly to Beastie HQ? Thanks and see you next week!

Beasties on TV - R Moore/CrawCrafts Beasties

Beastie TV!

Hey there everyone! And wow, what an exciting week it’s been… Yesterday morning, bright and early, we arrived at the door of Virgin Media TV studios to appear on their breakfast show, Ireland AM! They wanted someone to talk about how knitting has really taken off again during the Covid-19 lockdowns… And you know, I do love to chat about all things knitting!

Plus, as we are all aware, the Beasties are incorrigible attention hounds.

So, soon after arrival, they fitted me up with a microphone. Then I helped to set up a table display of tasty yarn and surprisingly well-behaved Beasties.
Beasties on TV - R Moore/CrawCrafts BeastiesRoslyn from the Ireland AM crew had the presence of mind to take a few photos of the setup, thankfully… I completely forgot! She also took this picture, which some of you might have already seen on social media.
Me on Ireland AM - R Moore/CrawCrafts BeastiesThen, what seemed like microseconds later, we were live! My Dad very kindly photographed the TV at home while the segment was on and sent me these stills… Here I am, teaching the hosts Karen and Tommy how to knit!
Teaching Knitting on live TV! B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThey both picked it up incredibly quickly, I was super impressed!

I also brought along a few samples of easy projects that I recommend for beginners, like these little fingerless mitts.Fingerless Mitts for Beginners - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties(These are very easy, by the way… And so much quicker than knitting a scarf!)

Here we are finishing up. I was so proud of my new pupils… And of the Beasties. Honestly, I’ve never seen them so quiet.
Knitting on TV - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThe knitting revival – you heard it here first, folks!
Beasties behaving for the TV cameras - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIf you’d like to see the complete piece, it’s currently up on the Virgin Media Player, here:
https://www.virginmediatelevision.ie/player/show/809/185364/0/

You can access the show from this link for the next 29 days. Some friends of mine in Europe have already watched it without a hitch, but if it’s not available in your country, please let me know! I might be able to send it to you a different way.

Also…

Commissions are officially open again as of today! So if you’ve an idea for a little woolly monster of your own, now is the time to get in touch!

We’ll be back next week with the second part of Explorer Beastie’s countryside adventure – sorry for bumping you this week, E.B.!

Vintage Beastie Playing the Drum - CrawCrafts Beasties

Vintage Fashion, Beastie Style 2 – All the Accessories!

Hey there everyone! And oh wow, look… I managed to post on a Tuesday! If you missed last week’s post (and who could blame you, it went out on Friday), we were catching up with this Beastie lady and her rather awesome vintage inspired look.
Vintage Style Beastie, a Commission by CrawCrafts BeastiesBut while it could be argued that “clothes maketh the monster”, this woolly little gal has much more going on. Let’s take a look at what she took with her when she left Beastie Towers for her new home.

First up…
Beastie Drum - Vintage Style Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesIs that a Beastie-sized drum? It certainly is!

And thanks to her magic magnetic paws, our friend can grab those drumsticks and belt out a thumping beat!
Vintage Beastie Playing the Drum - CrawCrafts Beasties

Drumming is thirsty work though… Perhaps some refreshments are in order?
Beastie Refreshments - CrawCrafts Beasties“Oooh, a Beastie-sized glass of red wine? Don’t mind if I do!”

I’m going to guess it’s her favourite vintage 😉

This wine glass was a pretty challenging make. Trying to sew see-through material is always tricky, and even calling on my old arch-nemesis, glue, didn’t provide any easy shortcuts! In the end, I went with keeping stitches to a minimum, using the most unobtrusive thread colours I could find, and throwing some unusual transparent items into the mix. I quite liked the effect that resulted from using crystal beads to make the stem!Beastie Wine Glass - CrawCrafts Beasties

There was even space inside for a discreetly-placed magnet, so she can quite literally hold her liquor!
Vintage Beastie plus Wine - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s probably not wise to drink on an empty stomach though…

“Definitely! Let’s eat!”Let's Eat! Vintage Style Beastie by CrawCrafts BeastiesWell, since she’s all set up with the proper cutlery and everything…
Beastie Cutlery - CrawCrafts Beasties… We’ll see what we can rustle up in the Beastie kitchen!

Oh, that does look good!
A Feast fit for a Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesOur vintage loving Beastie’s human counterpart loves a bit of fine dining… So hopefully her new monster friend will be suitably impressed by this needle-felted haute cuisine!

Dinner is Served - Vintage Style Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

It looks like it’s passed the taste test! Let’s leave her to enjoy the rest of her meal. She’ll need to keep her strength up to look after all this stuff!Vintage Beastie with Accessories - CrawCrafts Beasties

Also…

Don’t forget that our Bank Holiday shipping sale ends tonight at midnight!
Shipping Sale - CrawCrafts BeastiesCheck out the Beastie HQ store… Maybe your own monster friend is there waiting for you!

Retro Style Beastie, A Commission by CrawCrafts Beasties

Vintage Fashion, Beastie Style

Greetings, Beastie friends! And wow, do I have a new Beastie treat for you this week… A fashion-conscious monster lady with an eye for retro style. Say hello to everyone, Ms Beastie!Vintage Style Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties

This Beastie was commissioned as a gift for a stylish girl who’s also big into vintage, and I have to admit that I had so much fun making her clothes and accessories.

For starters, let’s take a look at that dress.Vintage Style Print Dress - Commissions - CrawCrafts Beasties

Oh, do I love a good bold print! They’re my biggest craft shopping weakness. My fabric stash is heaving with fat quarters I’ve picked up while travelling, or random half-metres I bought “as a treat” when all I went into the shop for was a spool of thread. I was on the verge of wondering if perhaps I had a problem… But with all my favourite haberdasheries still closed, I was incredibly glad to have this stockpile! It meant that I was able to offer my customer a selection of prints with a bit of a 60s/70s flavour, and I’m so happy she chose this one. It caught my eye immediately when I saw it in the shop, and the colours look great with the Beastie’s lustrous red locks.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that I’ve been monkeying around with my construction techniques lately, too.Beastie Dress, Back - CrawCrafts Beasties

Facings in the bodice area on both sides of the dress make for a neater neckline and armholes, and the closure on the back sits better as well. Happy days!

The dress has a sweet A-line shape and closes with a hook and eye fastener on the back.

Oh, and while we’re looking at the back, let’s get another shot of that amazing hair.Red Hair - Beastie Style - CrawCrafts Beasties

This wool and alpaca yarn is outrgeously soft, and so much fun to style! It’s quite chunky though, so I cut down on volume by teasing some of the strands apart to make thinner pieces. Then I completed the hairstyle with a cute mint-green felt bow!

Turning around to the front again… A nice flick of eyeliner adds a bit of retro chic to any outfit, doesn’t it?Beastie Eyeliner - Retro Style - CrawCrafts Beasties

And this Beastie has more in her makeup bag, too. Behold, for the first time ever… Beastie nail varnish!Beastie Nail Varnish - CrawCrafts Beasties

I’m not a big fan of using glue, so the best option for a monster manicure turned out to be pearlescent sequins held in place with embroidery thread. They’re a sweet baby pink that flashes pastel yellow or blue, depending on how the light catches them.

Then, to complete the outfit, a pair of Beastie-sized pumps!Beastie Shoes - Beastie Vintage Style - CrawCrafts Beasties

These are based on shoes that our Beastie friend’s human counterpart actually owns. And this isn’t the only time we took style inspiration from her wardrobe… I also Beastified her earrings!Beastie Earrings - CrawCrafts Beasties

Aren’t these cool? And she doesn’t have to wear them all the time, either. The lobster claw clasps easily clip in to the small silver “everyday” hoops in her ears.

And last but not least… Let’s complete the look with a pair of Beastie-sized cat’s eye glasses!

Beastie Glasses - Retro Style Cat's Eye Glasses - CrawCrafts Beasties

This pair marks a bit of a departure in Beastie spectacle style – I don’t normally get to make bright or pastel-coloured frames! As usual, they have bendy wire legs to fit neatly around the Beastie’s head, and real lenses made from clear plastic.

Now, I know I said “last but not least” just then, but there’s more to this Beastie than her cool outfit. You see, over the last while, I’ve had a whole lot of “GME”s… That’s when I do up a sketch with lots of accessory options for someone and they say “Give me everything!”. And this was a serious GME! So be sure to join us again next week to see what else this Beastie took with her to her new home!

PS…

Cookie Beastie and Aran Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

To celebrate the long weekend and the arrival of spring*, we’re having a sale!

Beastie buddies in the Republic of Ireland can use the code SPRING2021IE to get free standard shipping on any purchase from our online store. Or, if you’re in the US, UK or Europe, MAYDAY21 will get you a €7 discount on registered post shipping for your Beastie store order. That makes it half price!

Both offers run until midnight on Tuesday (that’s the 4th of May), so get ’em while they’re hot!

*In theory, at least. I’m trying to ignore the frequent hail storms and chilly mornings we’ve been having this week.