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!

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!

Grim Reaper Beastie Sketch New - CrawCrafts Beasties

Flashback Friday – Beastie Sketches

Hello everyone! I’ve something a little different for you this Flashback Friday – a retrospective of Beastie sketches, or “Sketch-rospective”, if you will!

It occurred to me recently that the sketches I draw for custom Beasties very rarely see the light of day. I do them, I send them to the customer, we finesse the details. Then I put the originals in a folder, stash the electronic versions in with the photos of the finished Beastie… And that’s it! So, how about we take a peek in those archives?

I had to look waaay back through my old sketchbooks to find my very first Beastie commission drawing. Check it out!Diver Beastie Sketches - CrawCrafts BeastiesPretty rustic, eh? Back then I was using “graduate” sketchbooks – books with a thick paper cover that are stapled together in the middle like a magazine – and sending my customers photos of the pages. That’s why you can see shadows down some of the sides!

I was also outlining with my favourite fountain pen, and colouring in by hand with coloured pencils. It took FOREVER! Especially for large areas of black, like this Grim Reaper Beastie from the following year.
Grim Reaper Beastie Sketch New - CrawCrafts BeastiesThat said, I did keep on drawing by hand for a good while afterwards! Here are a couple from back in 2017 – do any of you recognise these Beasties?
Cyclist Beastie Sketches - CrawCrafts Beasties
Cyclist BeastieSimon's Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties
Slartibartfast, who now hangs out with Simon of Simon’s SpaceDublin Football Beastie Sketches - CrawCrafts BeastiesDublin Football Beastie

However, much as I love the hands-on approach, I was having trouble keeping up! A hectic pre-Christmas season in 2017 had me scouting around for new drawing options… Preferably ones that wouldn’t involve quite as much controlled shading with coloured pencils.

Enter GIMP and Inkscape, two open-source computer graphics programs. I won’t pretend that the learning curve with these has been speedy – I still feel like I’m figuring out the angles a bit – but the one-click colouring is a definite plus. This is my first attempt:
First Digital Sketches! CrawCrafts BeastiesThen when I figured out that I could scan in my fabric stash and show people the actual prints I’d be using for their Beastie’s outfits, I couldn’t have been happier!
Family Frame Beasties - Sketches - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd although I can now type most of the text, I still like to throw the odd bit of my own hand-drawn lettering into the sketches too.
David and Tammie Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesHow about you? Will you be cracking out your pencils this weekend, or creating artwork on your computer? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

We’ll be back next week to see what Paddy and Plunkett have been up to – see you then!

Personalised Birthday Gift Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties

A Special Beastie for a Special Birthday!

Well hello there, Beastie friends! After Paddy’s totally genuine high-speed adventure last week, we’re shifting down a gear to a more sedate pace, and meeting a new Beastie. Hey, Birthday Girl Beastie!
A Special Birthday Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis Beastie was requested by a thoughtful mum, who wanted to help her daughter to celebrate a very special birthday in the Beastie-est way possible. I mean, you don’t turn 10 every day, do you?

So, this was the design brief – a Beastie with long, dark brown hair just like her new human buddy’s…
Beastie Hair - Special Birthday Commission - CrawCrafts BeastiesDone! And we needed to include her favourite colours, too – blue, mint green, white and peach.

I managed to tick most of those boxes with this stripey handknitted sweater…
Beastie Sweater - Special Birthday Commission by CrawCrafts Beasties
… Complete with an appliqu├ęd felt “O” for the birthday girl’s initial!

Now, how can we get some peach in there? I know… What about a little felt bag, so she can gather up souvenirs (and, more importantly, birthday cake) on her adventures?
Beastie Bag - Special Birthday Commission - CrawCrafts BeastiesPerfect! I even picked up some rose-gold-coloured jewellery findings to better match the warm peachy tones of the bag and its ribbon strap. Here you go, little Beastie lady!

Handing Over Bag - Commissions - CrawCrafts Beasties
That looks great! Your outfit is complete.
Beastie with Bag - Special Birthday Commission by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd now I reckon you’d better get going… You wouldn’t want to miss the party, would you?

So, thanks to Dee for requesting this sweet little girl monster! And if you know someone who’s about to celebrate a special birthday too, why not send a personalised Beastie to help with the festivities?

You can check out past Beastifications in my Gallery, or if you’re ready to start now, drop us a line from the Contact page!

We’ll be back next Tuesday with more Beastie shenanigans, so be sure to join us then!

See you next week!

This Beastie’s a Real Winner!

Happy Tuesday, everyone! And I have a very special new Beastie for you all to meet today…

Hello, new Beastie! CrawCrafts BeastiesI called this little woolly dude “Lucky Guy Beastie”, because he was made for the winner of the prize draw I ran on my market stall just before Christmas. The magic randomiser picked out Ismail’s name from the hat… and then I felt like I’D hit the jackpot, because not only did he already have a good idea of what he wanted, he even provided me with sketches!

After that, it was just a case of me getting on with making his Beastie double… First thing’s first, a miniature version of his favourite jacket, complete with put-up-able hood!

Beastie Jacket, by CrawCrafts BeastiesThe jacket is also removable, of course!

Look, no jacket! CrawCrafts BeastiesNext, he needed a backpack… and I snuck a tasty cheese sandwich in here, in case this little monster gets hungry on his travels!

Beastie Backpack and Sandwich - CrawCrafts BeastiesFinally, I completed his kit with a Beastie-sized watch…

A Beastie-Sized Watch - CrawCrafts Beasties… And he was ready to go!

One Lucky Beastie! CrawCrafts BeastiesThat said, Ismail thought that his Beastie might get lonely all by himself… So he asked if I could make him a companion. Done and done!

Lucky Beastie's Lucky Lady - CrawCrafts BeastiesWhile Ismail is here in Dublin studying, his girlfriend is still at home in Indonesia. Fortunately, her Beastie counterpart was ready just in time to be shared via videochat on her birthday!
(And DOUBLE fortunately, I didn’t take the video, so I don’t have to include it here! :D)

This is the first time I’ve made a Beastie in hijab, and it took a good bit of research (and a couple of failed attempts!) to get the shape and fabrics right. The trickiest part was working with a Beastie – rather than human – body shape… It turns out that having a neck and a chin is really helpful when it comes to securing the fabric discreetly! In the end, I went with a felt “under-hijab”, with a light floaty chiffon on top to get the right amount of draping.

Beastie Girl in Hijab - CrawCrafts BeastiesYou might also have noticed her nice little knitted cardigan, which can be taken off on hot days…

Warm Weather Beastie Attire - CrawCrafts Beasties… And which is my second top-down knitted garment! (My first was the “first draft” of this, which turned out a little too big after blocking and was subsequently pinched by Explorer Beastie. I’m starting to wonder if he maybe had a hand paw in making it turn out that way…)

A Top-Down Beastie Cardigan! CrawCrafts BeastiesIncidentally, I owe a big thank you to Shirley at Handmade Habit and Melissa at Knitting the Stash, for inspiring me to try top-down knitting techniques for my Beastie sweaters. I’m now in the process of redoing my plain and Aran sweater patterns, and I’m loving the results so far!

But, back to the Beasties in hand! Here they are, all kitted out and ready to go!

The Happy Beastie Couple - CrawCrafts BeastiesCongratulations again to Ismail, and I hope you like your new monster friends!

We’ll be back with more Beastie antics next week! In the meantime, why not have a go at making a bee? I was delighted when The Snail of Happiness shared a picture of her make on Twitter over the weekend… and she was able to confirm that the pattern works, too!