Get Your Beastie Calendars! CrawCrafts Beasties

Decisions, Decisions… Can you help?

Beastie Biscuits - CrawCrafts BeastiesA few of my fellow bloggers have had great success lately with solving their various conundrums (or should that be conundra?) through applying the good old principles of democratic voting.

(Thanks, Tammie – I’m totally stealing your idea!)

What’s my dilemma? Well, I was going to skip doing a Beastie calendar this year. And I was dead set on the idea, until a couple of people asked me if I was planning to make one… putting me squarely back on the fence about the whole thing!
Plan Your Life the Monster Way - CrawCrafts Beasties
So, why the no-show?

At the top of the list – AAAAARGH! They’ve always been a bit of a logistical nightmare. As you all know, the Beasties and I live on the beautiful island of Ireland. Unfortunately for us, pretty much every big online printing company is based in the UK. So we start off our order with hefty shipping charges and a non-market Sterling conversion rate… Then there’s the inevitable missed courier delivery, the 20 minutes on hold on their “helpline” only to find that they actually can’t help you, and the eventual arrival of the parcel which looks like it’s been trodden on by a particularly hefty horse. Last year I got additionally burned by a long lead time, non-delivery of the envelopes I requested and paid for (they showed up 2 months later, but only after I sent a stinker of an email to the printer’s customer service department) and two calendars which were damaged when I opened the box. So you can maybe see why I’m a little reluctant to join the line for THAT merry-go-round again!
Oooops! CrawCrafts Beasties
By giving the 2018 calendar a miss, I was hoping to spend some quality time tracking down a good, local supplier for my 2019 relaunch. I’d love to work with someone a little closer to home, who can put a more “Beastie” stamp on the calendars, rather than having to plop for the best out-of-the-box template from a host of super-cheesy options. Plus it would give me a whole year to take twelve awesome, season-appropriate photos! NICE!

Of course, I am also troubled by the bigger question of whether people actually still USE calendars. I know I do, but I’m the kind of throwback who likes nothing better than popping a cassette into my tape deck and settling down to read a good, old-fashioned, made-out-of-paper book. Perhaps the rest of the world has moved on, and I should be focusing my attention on making a Beastie app instead? This is why I need your help, people!

Now, the case for the defence. I know that I have regulars out there who, once the leaves start to turn and Christmas music is blaring from every shop door, come looking for Beastie calendars. And yes, I am worried that they’ll be disappointed by my (albeit brief) hiatus from distributing timekeeping materials.

I also like the fact that the calendar is a more affordable Beastie product – think about it, you get 12 Beasties for under €15! You wouldn’t even have got a bargain like that at my first market, when I had no clue about pricing! Plus, there’s a bit of a warm fuzzy aspect to them as well – I send these pictures out into the world, where they end up in homes all over the globe. How cool is that? And people use them to make plans, organise their activities and keep track of the big days in their own lives, plus those of their families and friends, for a whole year! I also like to imagine that at least a few of these good folks look forward to turning the page at the beginning of the month to see which Beastie is there waiting to greet them.
Calendar Time! CrawCrafts Beasties
So, there you have it… And now it’s your call! What should I do next? Your polling card is here:
[socialpoll id=”2460776″]

(If you’re viewing this post in Reader, you may need to switch to the full website to see it)

Now, do your worst! And please feel free to share any other thoughts or suggestions you have in the comments! Thank you in advance… the polls close at midnight GMT this Sunday night (that’s the 17th) and the results will be announced in next week’s post. 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!

Galway All The Way!

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!
Galway Hurling Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesMeet 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!
County Colours - CrawCrafts BeastiesGalway 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!
Personalised Hurling Shirt, by CrawCrafts BeastiesNext, how about some nice red hair? Well, he is an Irish Beastie, after all!
A Redhead Beastie! CrawCrafts BeastiesHe’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!
Brown-Eyed Beastie! CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd of course, to complete his kit, he gets his own Beastie-sized hurley and sliotar!
Beastie-Size Hurley and Sliotar - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnyone 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!

Beer Drinkin' Barcelona Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Bon Voyage, Beastie!

Hooray! It’s new Beastie time again… Although today I will be taking a surprise break from the Famous Monsters theme of the last couple of weeks. I’ve been struck down by one of the delightful plagues that’s been doing the rounds lately, so I’ve spent the last few days binge-watching “The Killing” on Netflix and… um… precious little else. Fortunately I got this little monster completed before I buried myself under a heap of blankets on the sofa! He also headed off to his new home in sunny Barcelona this morning (lucky thing!) so what better time to introduce him to you all?
Beer Drinkin' Barcelona Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesWhy hello there!

A friend of mine, who has been living in Dublin these last couple of years, decided recently that it was time to head back home to Spain… Well, who can blame him? I’m sure most of us would choose sipping Sangria by the beach over battling through the wind and rain on a dark November morning! But he did want to take home a reminder of his time in Ireland, and so he requested a special little monster Mini-Me!

So, this guy is made from 100% Irish wool… and of course, he had to be green!
A Green Irish Monster - Obviously! CrawCrafts BeastiesHis lustrous locks are made from a different yarn, though… a wool and alpaca blend, so they’re super-soft!

My friend also discovered the joys of a good IPA while he was living here, so his Beastie buddy was obviously going to get one of those, too!
Beastie IPA, by CrawCrafts BeastiesYUM!

Then to complete his look, I kitted this little woolly monster out in the style of his new human friend – a sharp-looking shirt, hoodie and jacket combo!
Looking Good, Beastie! CrawCrafts BeastiesLook, he can even wear his hood up… Although I’m sure he won’t need that so much where he’s going!

I can’t wait to see how he gets on in his new home in Barcelona! Good luck, Beastie!
Cheers! CrawCrafts Beasties“Cheers!”

And it’s a surprisingly good time for Beastie travel at the moment – drop back in on Friday, when we’ll have an update from a Beastie abroad! See you then!