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!

Hop Monster IPA can - CrawCrafts Beasties

A Monster Father’s Day!

Hey there Beastie friends! Sorry about the slight delay in transmission (again!)… It’s been another busy week, and it seems like it’s always my internet time that takes the hit when there’s a deadline to meet! But don’t let this slip fool you – I’m still super excited to welcome another new member of the Beastie family today. Better again, this is kind of a two for one deal…
Father's Day, the Beastie way - CrawCrafts BeastiesHey there, Cool Dad Beastie – and sweet little Baby Girl Beastie too! This charming woolly pair were requested as a super-special Father’s Day gift for a new dad. A very new dad… Father’s Day 2019 was his first! So, to help the festivities go with a trademark Beastie bang, these two little monsters needed to make sure that their human counterparts recognised them straight away.

First of all, let’s talk about that Beastie baby!
Beastie Baby in Sling - Father's Day Commission - CrawCrafts BeastiesHer new human friend is heading for her first birthday, so this Baby Beastie is also a little bigger than some of the Beastie babies you might have met before. She’s also wearing a sweet little bow headband, just like her human does!

And because she’s still so little, Dad is in charge of carrying her around… In this very handy custom-made baby sling. It’s securely held in place by crossover straps at the back…
Baby Sling Straps - Father's Day Beastie gift - CrawCrafts Beasties… And these straps unclip too, making the sling removable!
Beastie Baby Sling - Father's Day Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesHere you go, Dad Beastie!
Handing over the Baby Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesI think it’s time for a hug!
Hug Time! Father's Day Beasties - CrawCrafts Beasties

Side note for those of you interested in Beastie development – Baby Beasties grow arms before they grow legs! This probably explains why Beastie legs are so short and stumpy, even in adults… And it makes Beastie parents extra devoted to their littl’uns during those early years too. Awwwww!

Oh, hang on… What did you say, Dad Beastie? Are you sure… Can I hold her?
Holding Baby Beastie - Father's Day Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesHeehee! Look how teeny she is!

And while I hold the baby, let’s get to know Dad Beastie a little better. I’ve copied his human buddy’s awesome beard, and made him a custom-tailored felt t-shirt!
Cool Dad Beastie, A Commission for Father's Day - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd look, he’s into craft beer too! These two new friends will have lots to talk about. Regular BeastieBlog readers will recognise the brand of beer from a birthday commission I did last year… Good news, Beasties everywhere! Your favourite Hop Monster IPA is now available in cans!
Hop Monster IPA can - CrawCrafts BeastiesYum!

And then, it was time to hand Baby Beastie back… These two little monsters had to get on their way, or they’d miss the party!
Father's Day Gift Commission - CrawCrafts BeastiesThanks so much to Deirdre from Olann And magazine for requesting this very special Beastie pair… And I’m sure Deirdre Beastie is happy to have her family complete at last too!
Beastie Family - Photo by Deirdre McArdleWe’ll be back next week (hopefully!) with more monster mayhem… See you then!

Woolly Wedding Gift II – The Groom Arrives!

Hey everybody! I hope the new week (and new month) are treating you well! It’s been another busy week here at Beastie Towers… So much so that last Tuesday’s post feels like a loooong time ago! But you might remember meeting this lovely Beastie lady…
Everything for a Bridal Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties… And getting a brief peek at the handsome monster man in her life, too!
The Happy Couple, Wedding Gift Beasties by CrawCrafts BeastiesThis happy pair were created as a one-of-a-kind wedding gift, to be given to the groom on the big day itself! So perhaps we should take this opportunity to get to know him a little better.

Hey there, Mr Adam Beastie!
Mr Adam Beastie, A Wedding Gift Commission by CrawCrafts BeastiesAhhh, look at that winning smile!

In keeping with the “us as we are everyday” wardrobe brief, I kitted him out in knitted jeans and a bright green felt t-shirt. I think the zingy lime shade really makes the most of his lovely blue complexion!
Adam Beastie's Outfit - Wedding Gift Beasties by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd what’s this? Do we have another guitar-playing Beastie in our midst? I think so!
Beastie Guitar - Wedding Gift Beasties by CrawCrafts BeastiesAs usual, I’ve tried to capture the essence of Human Adam’s favourite guitar in Beastified form! This process always takes a while – when I made my first Beastie guitar many years ago, I couldn’t have imagined the huge number of shapes the humble guitar could potentially take! Every Beastie guitar calls for a serious tweaking of existing templates – if not a complete redesign.

That said, the end result always makes me smile… And I’m grateful that I’ve never (yet) been asked to Beastify something really tricky, like a tuba or a trombone! Perhaps you’d like to play us something, Adam Beastie?
Adam Beastie Plays Guitar! CrawCrafts BeastiesAaaah, music to my ears! And it looks like I’m not the only one enjoying it…
Sweet Beastie Music - CrawCrafts BeastiesHis Beastie Bride certainly seems to be a fan too! Oh, and who’s this coming over to join them?
Who's This? A Beastie Family, by CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s Zoey, their fuzzy, faithful Beastiedog!
Beastie Zoey - Needle-felted Dog by CrawCrafts BeastiesBeastie Zoey was an essential part of this wedding gift, and I brought her to life through the magic of needle felting! She’s also wearing a felt collar personalised with her initial, so there’s no mistaking who she is.

Oh, it looks like she’d like to get to know YOU a little better!
Beastie Zoey Smiles - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut of course, her heart belongs to her adopted mum!
Doggies are a Beast's Best Friend - CrawCrafts BeastiesLooks like doggies really ARE a Beast’s best friend!

And now that everyone’s here, it’s time for…
Walkies! Wedding Gift Beasties by CrawCrafts Beasties…WALKIES!

Thanks again to Kristen for requesting this super-special wedding gift, and trusting me to Beastify her family! It’s been a lot of fun, and got me trying out some new skills to boot!

Oh, and in case you missed Saturday’s post, I blitzed the final 3 calendar pages of 2018 at the end of last week, and uploaded them all together as a single handy package.
Calendar October to December - CrawCrafts BeastiesAs usual, they’re totally free… So don’t forget to grab your copy from our online store! And October’s page is a bit special, because it’s another colour-it-yourself drawing. We’d love to see your finished masterpieces, so tag ’em on Instagram or Twitter with #beastiegallery so I can enjoy them!

To inspire you, here’s one Weekes did earlier!

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

And now I’m off to set a good example, and colour mine in too! I’ll be back next week with some autumnal pictures from Dublin’s parks, so be sure to join us then!

Have a super week!

Monster Family Fun!

OK folks, I promised you something big this week, and here it is! Now, I’ve made Beastie families before (you can meet some of them here and here), but when I was asked to create individual little monsters for all of a customer’s nieces and nephews, I did briefly wonder what I was letting myself in for. Sometimes families here can be on the large side – in fact, Boyfriend has so many cousins that he’s pretty sure there are some out there that he’s never even met! Fortunately, the grand total turned out to be a totally manageable seven… And although that’s still more than I’ve ever made for any one Beastie enthusiast, I reckoned I’d definitely be able to get them ready in time for Christmas!

So, let’s take a quick tour through my biggest Beastie custom order ever! These Beasties were heading to three separate households, with a brother and sister in one…
Katie Beastie and Jack Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Beastie Closeups - Jack and Katie - CrawCrafts Beasties
…Two sisters next…
Georgia Beastie and Eva Lily Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Eva Lily and Georgia - Personalised Knitted Monsters by CrawCrafts Beasties
…And a family of three to complete the picture!
Shannon Beastie, Kate Beastie and Cian Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Shannon Cian Kate - Custom-made Knitted Monsters by CrawCrafts Beasties
We decided it would be best to keep all the Beasties quite similar, but each with their own unique twist to make them as individual as their human counterparts!
For the boys, who are both big into their Gaelic football, that meant shirts in their county colours… So, blue for Cavan and white for Kildare. And they both get to be #1 in their own teams!
The Boys, in their GAA Jerseys in County Colours - CrawCrafts Beasties
Oh, and I had to send them each out with their own felt football, of course. The shape of the segments that make up the ball are based on the human-sized version – that took some figuring out!
Miniature Felt GAA Football, by CrawCrafts Beasties
You might also have noticed that I experimented with a new way of doing short hair for these two – I think the fur fabric captures the fineness of children’s hair better than wool can, and it’s so soft as well. What do you all reckon?

As for the girls…
All the Girls - Custom Handmade Toys by CrawCrafts Beasties
… Each got her own hand-knitted sweater with an appliquéd felt initial, and I was in experimentation mode with their hairdressing too!
Hair and Sweaters for Beastie Girls, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Sometimes Beastie hair (as I’ve made it in the past) has come out a bit thick and unmanageable, and because I had five girls to make, I wanted to ensure that each of them had their own distinct hairstyle. At first, I experimented with a technique I found in a magazine, which involved laying out a line of sticky tape, sticking strands of yarn to it, sewing through the tape, then peeling it away and stitching the hairpiece to the head, which had been prepped with a piece of felt in a similar colour.

Um, the less said about my state of mind that day, the better.

When she was bad, she was horrid!
(Image from my old Dean’s Gift Book of Nursery Rhymes)

That said, I did like the effect I was able to create by using multiple shades of yarn, so I decided to cut out the sticky tape middleman, and sew strands directly to the felt “hair cap” where they were needed. The result? More readily style-able pigtails and ponytails!

So, I suppose that means we’re all ready for the group photo…
Beastie-Wrangling for the Camera - CrawCrafts Beasties
Oh. Maybe another one, with everybody looking at the camera this time?
Say Cheese, Beasties! CrawCrafts Beasties
Much better!

Did any of you take on a monster project in the run-up to Christmas? Tell us all about it in the comments!

Aaaaaaand next week we’ll be taking a break from Christmas commissions and catching up with Paddy and Plunkett… They have some wintry photos they’d like to share with you. See you then!

Explorer Beastie Picking Haws - CrawCrafts Beasties

All Aboard for La Rentrée!

One of the first things I picked up when I arrived in France for my study-abroad year (a veeeery long time ago) was the concept of “La Rentrée” – the name given to this time of year, when summer is drawing to a close, people are coming back from their holidays, and the familiar routine of school, college or work is kicking back in again. And sure, this has its downfalls – who doesn’t want the summer holidays to last forever, or the sunny weather to hang on in there for another week or two?
Catching some rays, Beastie-style
But at the same time, the idea of “coming back”, and doing this just as the season starts to turn, makes you feel that new possibilities are just around the corner… or that, even at this late stage in the year, you can start afresh and still have time to wrap things up on a high note by December! It’s also a great time to catch a breath, enjoy the cooling weather and get everything in order before we’re hit by the event avalanche of Hallowe’en-Thanksgiving-Christmas! So, with that in mind, today’s post is a quick public service announcement about what’s happening in Beastie Towers these days.
Plan Your Life the Monster Way - CrawCrafts BeastiesFirst of all, I’ve reviewed the postage rates for my online store, and included a couple of new (lower!) price bands. Up until now, caution nudged me towards only offering registered postal services, even though the price of these almost made my eyes water as I typed them in! So, you now have the option of receiving orders by standard post instead, and anyone outside Ireland will notice a pleasant bit of extra change in their pockets when they choose standard shipping… As this handy little graphic shows!
Postage Table - Online Orders - CrawCrafts Beasties
You can also see where the difference arises… Although both services are offered by Ireland’s national carrier, An Post, there is no parcel tracking with standard post. This means that, if you choose this option and your Beastie parcel goes missing, there is no way for me to help you track it down.

With that in mind, I’ve chosen to only roll out this option to places where the receiving postal services are, apparently, less likely to lose your precious monster consignment… In a nutshell, that’s Europe (EU, Scandinavia, Switzerland and some others), the US, Canada, Japan, China (including Hong Kong), South Korea, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. If your home country isn’t on the Standard Post list and you feel it should be, drop me a line before ordering and I’ll see what I can do for you! For those of you who choose Standard Post, I’ll do my utmost to reassure you that your order has indeed started its journey, by sending a photo of your stamped, addressed parcel before I hand it over to the nice ladies in my local post office.

And what else is new? Well, it’s time for me to do something that might make me a little unpopular…
Santa Paws is Comin' to Town! CrawCrafts Beasties
Yes folks, Paddy has indeed braved the heat of the September sunshine and dressed up as Santa Paws to deliver this very important message:

If you’d like to find your very own Beastie under the tree this Christmas (or surprise someone you love with one), get your thinking caps on, and order before October 31st!

Last December was pure distilled craziness, and I’m planning to attend far more markets this year. So please, please pleeeeeease book in early to avoid disappointment! Placing your order now will allow me to get your sketches done in good time, and make a start on your project before the days begin to get noticeably shorter. Even if you’re just thinking about it, drop me a line and we’ll throw some ideas around!

Well, that’s it from us… What about you? Has La Rentrée got you making plans for the fall (or spring), or are you just wondering where the summer went? Either way, let us know in the comments!

A Sweet Sweetheart Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

Enough Beastie Love to go Around…

Well hello there! And WOW, for some reason it feels like ages since my last post – there’s been a lot happening this past week. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

But first, I think I promised you a new Beastie – although some of you might recognise this little guy from the post I did a couple of weeks ago about my new Beastie-sized photo studio!
Beastie-Sized Photo Studio! CrawCrafts BeastiesLet’s take a look at how those pictures turned out, shall we?
A Beastie for Molly, by CrawCrafts BeastiesOoooh, look at that! Cerise and blue, side by side, with neither colour flaring or getting washed out – teeny photographic studio, I salute you!

As for the Beastie, he’s a Sweetheart Beastie… One of the mainstays of my monster crew for every market I go to. Hearts speak to everybody*, and a soft, squishy felt one stitches up nice and quickly. This particular one was made to order for a customer I met at the Dublin Christmas Flea, who wanted a friend to keep her niece company while she’s in hospital. Hopefully his big toothy smile will help keep her spirits up…
Beastie Smile - CrawCrafts Beasties… And he’s so proud of his oversized cuddly heart!
Heart Closeup - CrawCrafts BeastiesI also couldn’t resist kitting him out with a funny little bobble hat! Very stylish.
Beastie Bobble Hat - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis Beastie had quite a way to go as well – as soon as he was ready, he left Beastie Towers and headed Down Under. But he’s bringing a flavour of this side of the globe with him… Since half of the family originally hail from Huddersfield in the UK, he’s proudly sporting the local football team’s colours!
Blue and White for Huddersfield FC - CrawCrI hope he’s settling in well in his new home!

*Well, almost everybody. At a Christmas market a few years ago, a boy marched up to my stall and told me that he really liked the handsome black and red Sweetheart Beastie I’d brought along. “Apart from that,” he said, indicating the heart, and pulling the most disdainful face I’ve ever seen.

And now for my other big news – I’m in a magazine!
Caboodle Magazine Cover - K Peschke/CrawCrafts BeastiesI first found out about Caboodle, an independent magazine from the UK that publishes twice yearly, through the blog Claireabellemakes. I ordered a copy, loved it, and when I saw an email calling for submissions a few months later, I thought why not? Then, can you imagine how excited I was when they actually accepted one of my tutorial ideas? WOWEEEEEEE!

The magazine is available now from the Caboodle website, but here’s a sneak preview to whet your appetite! I should add (although it is probably quite obvious) that those clumsy arrows in the first picture were added by me in paint.net as an expression of my joy at being a published author. Check it out!
Sneak Preview - Caboodle Magazine/K Peschke/CrawCrafts Beasties

My tutorial is a simple dip-your-toe-into-needle-felting project, inspired by my own first forays into this craft last year. If you’re interested in giving needle felting a try, this is a handy way to get used to the basic techniques by making and decorating some simple shapes!

Big thanks to Kayti Peschke from Caboodle for sharing an electronic version of the magazine, and giving us permission to use it! And also to Eirin, who took all my photos – believe me when I say that the tutorial would have been a disaster without her help! You can view her own stunning, atmospheric work on Instagram.

Phew! That’s about all I have time for this week! Swing by again next Tuesday, when I’ll have another new Beastie to share… In the meantime, have a great week!

Seasonal Market Set-Up - CrawCrafts Beasties

Jumping on the Festive Bandwagon!

Uh-oh! Try as you might to ignore it, there’s no denying that it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! And while I’m already preparing to be haunted by my least favourite seasonal song (“Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time”) as I wander around Dublin’s city centre over the next couple of months, the ever-earlier arrival of the festive season has its advantages too… Top of the list being CHRISTMAS MARKETS!
Seasonal Market Set-Up - CrawCrafts BeastiesI do enjoy going to markets – obviously there’s a Beastie adoption motive underpinning every one I attend, but I also really like the buzz of market day. Not only is it a super way to catch up with other craftspeople (and probably, let’s face it, leave a substantial chunk of your earnings at their stalls), I also love meeting my own customers face to face! For a crafter, markets are a great (and non-creepy) way to get to know the people who admire your work, and to see which aspects of what you do appeal to them most.

This past weekend, I spent Saturday and Sunday at my first Christmas market of 2016 – the Creative Collective Ireland Craft Fair, which is held annually in the Multidenominational School in Ranelagh, one of Dublin’s most charming suburbs.
Ranelagh Craft Fair - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe Ranelagh Fair is always a special one for me… BeastieBlog veterans may dimly remember my first market update back in 2013, when I launched my Beastie-making career at this very market! And although my stock and setup have changed a bit since then, it was nice to see to see some familiar faces, both behind the stalls and among the punters!

I also thought it was time to crack out the party season finery for my stall… My spooky Hallowe’en setup has made way for bright red felt and cheerful fairy lights on my (only slightly Scrooge-y) black Christmas tree!
Feelin' Festive! CrawCrafts BeastiesThere were a couple of festive special guests at the table too, of course…
Christmas Beasties and Jingle Beans - CrawCrafts Beasties… And on day 2, I managed to get my banner up behind the stall as well!
Beastie Banner - CrawCrafts BeastiesBy the end of the weekend, we’d found new homes for some Beasties… And a whole lot of cuddly beans!
Au Revoir, Beasties! CrawCrafts BeastiesHopefully they’ll stay in touch, and share their adventures with us in the new year!

We’ll be doing more markets as Christmas draws closer… Be sure to follow us on Facebook to see where we’ll be popping up next! And don’t forget to call back on Friday, when we’ll be doing some wintry countryside rambling with Explorer Beastie. See you then!