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!

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 animรฉ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!

Famous Tomb - Paddy and Plunkett - CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy and Plunkett – Russian Around!

Hey there everyone! It’s just going to be a quickie post today… Mostly to clear up the mystery of where in the world Paddy and Plunkett were last week. Did you guess?
A Famous Cathedral - Paddy and Plunkett - CrawCrafts BeastiesA good few of you got it right! Plunkett had indeed got his woolly paws on the photos of the short Russian adventure I enjoyed with my good friend and travel buddy, waaay back in 2012. We spent a fun couple of days exploring Moscow, which included wandering through the labyrinthine interior of St Basil’s Cathedral, pictured above.

We also went inside the walls of the Kremlin…
Still Cold - Paddy and Plunkett - CrawCrafts Beasties… To see the treasures of the Armoury Museum. That, by the way, includes the Russian Diamond Fund, or “more sparkly things than I have ever seen in my life.”

Oh, and this place?
Famous Tomb - Paddy and Plunkett - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis is Lenin’s Mausoleum, and like Paddy, we went in! The embalmed body of Lenin lies in state inside, protected by some very serious, very armed soldiers. Keeping a respectful distance is… um… encouraged, and lookie-loos will find themselves moved on promptly if they stop to stare. Like us, Paddy was probably in and out in five minutes, so Plunkett wouldn’t have been standing out in the snow too long!

That said, he’s decided he needs to warm up a little this week.

On the Beach - Paddy and Plunkett
Original Photo by Asad Photo Maldives from Pexels. Guess who added the Beasties in ๐Ÿ˜‰

I can’t imagine those woollies and tweeds will be particularly comfortable though, so we should probably cut and run while the lads are still decent!

By the way…

If you feel like your own post-lockdown adventures would be enhanced by the addition of a little woolly friend to your travel party, just swing by the Beastie HQ store! There’s a whole host of monsters in there who can’t wait to get out and explore the world.

All-Irish Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesAlso, a quick word about commissions – unfortunately my books are currently full, so I won’t be taking any new custom orders until May 25th. For anyone who has been in touch with me already (through email or social media), don’t worry!ย  You’re all set, and your Beastification is in progress. And if you’re looking ahead to the summer, and think you’d like to have a Beastie to help celebrate a wedding, birthday or other big occasion, be sure to reach out nice and early so your lil’ monster buddy is ready in time.

We’ll be back next week with a new Beastie for you all to meet… See you then!

New Beastie Time! CrawCrafts Beasties

New Beastie Time!

Hello there everyone! Wow, it’s nice to be back with a new post AT LAST. I hope you’ll forgive my rather haphazard blogging habits of late… With any luck, this will signal the start of a return to normality. Well, as close to normality as we ever get here in Beastie Towers, anyway!

And speaking of new, it’s been a while since we had any new Beasties around here, hasn’t it? I reckon it’s high time I fixed that. So… Hello there!
Birthday Beastie - New Commission - CrawCrafts BeastiesLook at this… A Beastie lady with THE MOST amazing hair. I had so much fun styling this – I think we’d better take a closer look!
Beastie Hair - New Commissions - CrawCrafts BeastiesI used two shades of pink yarn to give the hairstyle some depth, and added in some soft silvery yarn in the back to mimic her human counterpart’s ‘do.

And this human counterpart – she’s a busy lady! So this Beastie has heaps of accessories. But before we get into those, let’s start with a quick costume change.
Beastie-Sized Cardi and Scarf - New Work - CrawCrafts BeastiesHer scarf and sweet handknitted pink cardi are both removable, as you can see. And, because various lockdowns have forced me to improvise with my existing fabric stash rather than hitting the shops to find what I need, I ended up dyeing the scarf myself! Let’s just say I’m very glad my customer went for a nice neutral grey, rather than something more difficult to match.

Anyway, that leaves Mrs Beastie free to model this pretty floral print top.
New Beastie Outfit - Floral Top - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd now that she’s not wearing long sleeves, it might be a good time to get on with a spot of baking. Her magic magnetic paws will help her to hold everything.
Magic Magnet Paws - New Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

Ready! Cupcake, anyone?
Beastie Cupcakes - Commissions - CrawCrafts BeastiesThanks, don’t mind if I do! They look delicious.
Cupcakes close up - New Commission by CrawCrafts BeastiesRegular readers of this blog will be reassured to learn that, as usual, these delectable treats are free from sugar, fat, gluten, dairy products and palm oil. They’re also high in fibre – wool fibre, of course!

And while we’re on the topic of wool…
Beastie Knitting by CrawCrafts BeastiesThis Beastie’s new human friend is a fellow knitter, so I couldn’t send her little woolly monster out the door without a set of needles and a ball of yarn. As you can see, these ones a bit small for me to use anyway.

Finally, did you spot the bag she was carrying earlier?
Beastie Bag with Rosette - New Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesHer new human family has a strong connection with horses, and I wanted to include a big shiny felt rosette somewhere as a nod to that. Beasties have no time for modesty, so it’s a proudly-displayed “Best in Show”!

Hey, is there anything in the bag?

Oh yes.

First Aid Kit for beasties - CrawCrafts Beasties

It’s a miniature first aid kit, to celebrate the fact that this Beastie’s new human minder recently briefly retired from a career in nursing. I say briefly, because when the call went out for Covid-19 vaccinators, she was back in there like a shot (no pun intended)! Definitely worthy of being celebrated with felt and teeny stitches, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Alrighty, I think that’s everything. Time to pack up and ship out!
Time to Go! New Beasties by CrawCrafts BeastiesThanks to Suzi for requesting this awesome Beastie as a special birthday gift for her mum!

And, all being well, we’ll be back next week for another round of “Where in the World are Paddy and Plunkett?”. Be sure to join us then!