Wow, what a hectic week it’s been! And before I introduce you to another pre-Christmas new Beastie, I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everybody who came along to meet me and my little monsters at our recent Christmas markets! It was so nice to see the faces behind some of my favourite Instagram accounts, catch up with Beastie buddies I’ve met at past events, and make some new friends, too. You all rock!
Now, we’re really keeping it local with this week’s new Beastie – she’s a true Dublin girl! She was created as a surprise birthday gift for a lady who’s a big Dublin GAA fan, and who loves her coffee. Knowing that, and with a few photos to work from, it was easy to sketch up some ideas for a little monster friend!
Then, a few tweaks and a lot of teeny sewing later… She was ready!
This Beastie has soft, curly wool and alpaca hair, and a pair of super-cool glasses…
… Which she can take off, if she likes.
She’s also proudly sporting the latest Dublin GAA football jersey, complete with sponsor logo and the team crest!
I used a combination of hand embroidery and appliqué to get these details as close as possible to the real thing… here, take a closer look at that teeny tiny Dublin crest!
There’s also a little personalisation on the back of the jersey, to make this gift extra special!
And finally… That all-important cup of coffee! This Beastie’s new human friend is especially fond of Americano, so that’s what she’s drinking too. I thought it might be fun to add a wisp of crema around the edges, to give the coffee that proper barista-made look!
Now, making Beasties makes me very happy… But what makes me happier is seeing them well settled in their new homes! So you can imagine how delighted I was to receive this photo of these two girls posing together for the camera!
Hopefully this is the first of many fun adventures for this pair! And if you’d like to know how you (or someone you love) would look as a little woolly monster, I’m already starting to take orders for 2018! Sooo…
Find out more about the design process here
or get in touch with me through the Contact page to book your spot!
Next week, join us for a look back through the highlights of 2017 – it’s been quite a year! See you then!
It’s beautiful here in Dublin today – the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and it’s only a little bit breezy. Perfect for sports, if that’s your thing… And it certainly is for today’s new Beastie!
Meet Galway Hurling Beastie!
Hurling is one of Ireland’s traditional sports, and if I were to describe it (from a completely non-expert point of view) I’d say it’s like someone blended hockey and tennis. It’s played with a wooden stick (the hurley, usually made from ash wood) and a little hard ball (the sliotar), so there’s your hockey connection. But unlike hockey, the ball is allowed to leave the ground… in fact, I’m pretty sure it spends most of the match in the air! It’s frequently thrown and then smashed down to the other end of the pitch, as in a tennis serve, or carried egg-and-spoon style on the end of the hurley, while the player runs with it. Skillful, right?
I’ve paid monster tribute to this sport before – you can meet that first Hurling Beastie in this post from 2015 – but this latest project called for a more personal touch. First of all, let’s show where his loyalties lie, with a hand-stitched shirt in his county colours!
Galway is one of the top hurling counties in Ireland – they’re currently ranked third after the 2016 Championship – and their maroon-coloured strip is one that even a layman like myself can pick out of a lineup! I also made sure to emblazon this miniature version with the county crest, and the logo of their main sponsor.
And on the back, a little bit of extra customisation to help him fit in with his new family!
Next, how about some nice red hair? Well, he is an Irish Beastie, after all!
He’s also the first Beastie to have brown eyes (look closely), and I’ve given him glasses modelled on the ones his new friend wears!
And of course, to complete his kit, he gets his own Beastie-sized hurley and sliotar!
Anyone fancy a knock-about in the park? Or are there any other sporting Beasties you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments!
Aaaaand next Tuesday, I should have a fresh new Explorer Beastie adventure for you all… So stay tuned! See you then!
Hey there, sports fans! It’s new Beastie time again!
And since this is the last full week of August – and, in my mind, the end of the summer – I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to one last Summer Barróg Beastie before we head into the autumn. So, without further ado, let me present – Hurling Beastie!
I have to confess to having had very little contact with Gaelic games and the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) before I moved across the border to Dublin. I suppose my profound lack of interest in any kind of sport (Irish or otherwise) probably didn’t help matters. But I do remember the first time I saw Gaelic football and hurling on TV… I was watching the news on the ancient 1980s TV I had in my college dorm room, and I didn’t get a chance to switch it off before they moved on to the sports. The football coverage was on first, and what made me stop and watch open-mouthed was the extent to which the players seemed, to my very untrained eyes, to be just whaling on each other. Then they moved on to talk about the day’s hurling, which was the same story… but this time the players had weapons!
I was transfixed – this seemed so much more fun than regular football, where the players fall over clutching their knees and wincing if someone so much as looks at them, or the lacklustre hockey and netball I was made to play in school.
So when I was trying to think up a sporty-themed summer Beastie with an Irish twist, I just had to have a go at making a hurling player. In some of the larger parks in Dublin (like the massive Phoenix Park, for example), a sunny day will see kids taking their hurls (that’s the stick, traditionally made from ash wood) and sliotars (the hard little ball) out for a knock-about, to hone their skills. And it is a skilful game… you can hit the ball on the ground or in the air, and although the rules allow the ball to be carried over short (4 paces, officially) distances, most players choose to keep possession by balancing it on the end of their hurl and running with it. Given the trouble I had with the egg and spoon race in primary school, this kind of ability is pretty much superhuman in my book… and don’t even get me started on the goalies, whose job it is to stop the rock-hard, speeding sliotar and prevent their opponents from scoring. They must have nerves of steel!
Anyway, having kitted Hurling Beastie out with his hurl and sliotar…
It was time to let him outside to play!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before he lost his ball in the long grass!
Ooooops! Something tells me he has a long afternoon of searching ahead… I’ll let you know how he gets on!
In the meantime, if any of you would like to find out more about Gaelic games, you can check out the GAA’s official website here!