A Pint of Plain is Your Only Man!

A New Barróg Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Well, I promised you a new Beastie today, and here he is – another Barróg (that’s the Irish word for “hug”, if you haven’t seen it before) Beastie, proudly holding a pint of the very finest felt porter!

Some of you might be thinking, “Big deal! We’ve seen Pint Beasties before!”… But let’s take a closer look at that pint, shall we?
Pint Barróg Beastie by CrawCrafts BeastiesHere at Beastie Towers, we’re always on the lookout for new ways to make some of the Beasties’ favourite accessories! So I decided to put my recent obsession with needle felting to good use, and rework my existing pint design. You can see one of the old-style ones in this photo…
Groom Beastie's Pint - CrawCrafts Beasties
The stitched head on the pint has a tendency to pop up a little bit once everything is sewn together – fine for Eastern European lagers or some Belgian-style ales, but if your pint of Guinness looks like that when it’s served, you should probably send it back. Being something of a perfectionist/masochist/certifiable basket case, especially when it comes to the accurate portrayal of fine ales, I’ve been working on seeking out the perfect Beastie-sized pint. And that’s where the needle felting came in.
Pint Collage - CrawCrafts Beasties
Behold! Smoother sides! A flatter top! And a texture that more closely resembles the creamy surface of a freshly-poured pint of the black stuff!

All that adds up to a better pint – and a happier Barróg Beastie! Cheers!
I'll drink to that! Happy Barróg Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
In fact, he’s so delighted that he’d like to share one of his favourite books with you… Now you’ll see where we got the title of this post from!
Pint Beastie Meets Flann OBrien - CrawCrafts Beasties
As for me, I’m looking forward to brewing some more reworked Beastie pints soon – I might try a nice red ale next, or perhaps a summery Weissbier. Any requests? Let me know in the comments!


Hooray! New Beasties!

Brand New Barróg Beasties by CrawCrafts BeastiesWe’re taking a leap forward in time on the BeastieBlog this week – after meeting a prehistoric proto-Beastie in the last post, you’re probably ready for something new and exciting! So here they are… the first two Barróg Beasties of 2016!

For anyone who doesn’t yet have a working knowledge of the various species of Beastie out there, Barróg Beasties are a subspecies native to the island of Ireland. Their skin is made from 100% Irish wool, and they can be recognised by their slightly smaller size (we Celts are generally a diminutive people) and their typically Irish accessories… Like Irish humans, they’re prepared to travel pretty much anywhere, but they always like to bring a piece of home with them. And that word “Barróg”? That’s Irish for hug, which seemed to sum these friendly little monsters up perfectly!

So, first up from this pair is Aran Beastie!
Aran Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesRemind you of anyone?
A Familiar Beastie Face - CrawCrafts BeastiesI’ve noticed that a lot of Irish knitwear companies have started to think outside the woolly box lately, and make traditional-style Aran sweaters in colours other than cream! So I thought I would hop on the bandwagon myself, and give this Beastie a jumper in fresh spring green…
Aran Beastie's Aran Jumper - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd as for his friend…
Leabhar (Book) Barrog Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesMeet Leabhar Beastie! “Leabhar” is the Irish word for “book”, and this literary little monster has taken on quite the reading challenge…
Leabhar Beastie's Book - CrawCrafts BeastiesYes, that is a hand-embroidered copy of the rambling Beastie yarn “Spin-egans Wake”… This monstrously convoluted, near-impenetrable book is loosely based on James Joyce’s novel “Finnegans Wake”, often cited as one of the most difficult, complex pieces of fiction ever written. In fact, there’s a book group in Cambridge, Massachusetts who have been reading “Finnegans Wake” for the last 18 years! They’re currently on their second read-through, which began in 2010… Their first reading took 13 years. I wonder if we’ll have to set up a book club here to help Leabhar Beastie tackle his own literary adventure?Leabhar Beastie Closeup - CrawCrafts BeastiesHe seems to be getting on fine so far though – just look at that contented smile.

There will be more new Beasties joining these two soon… And tune in next week to see another hidden Dublin treasure with Explorer Beastie! See you then…

Been a while…

New Big BeastieHoly moly! Where has the last month gone?!

Well, for starters, I’ve been taking a few steps towards making my largely sofa-based cottage (or, more accurately, apartment) industry into a more business-shaped concern. I’ve started keeping proper accounts, declared myself to the taxman and put together a Beastie information leaflet, so I can share their stories with even more people without having to leave the house!

Unfortunately, while these things are significant, they don’t make for particularly interesting reading. I’m also reasonably confident that my readers would soon tire of photos of me sitting in front of my computer. So, that takes care of the first couple of weeks of my absence.

The OTHER reason I’ve been away is…
Creative Collective Shop…We have a new shop!

This beautiful, quirky little gallery space in Dalkey, South Dublin was offered to Creative Collective Ireland in the middle of this month. They very kindly invited the Beasties to take up residence there, alongside an all-star cast of gorgeous jewellery, fashion and homewares. Of course, we all jumped at the opportunity! After a  hectic few days of painting, furniture moving and shelf installation, we opened our doors to the public at the weekend. And the best part is that we’re here for the summer! The shop will be open every weekend (Friday-Sunday) until the end of August. So if you happen to find yourself in Dublin, drop in and pay us a visit! Even if you can’t make it, you can still find out more about Creative Collective and the shop on our Facebook page.

Of course, a new shop means new Beasties! I decided to put together a couple more All-Irish Beasties to get the ball rolling…
All-Irish Beastie - PintPint Beastie Close-Up

I couldn’t resist making one with a pint! And I also took the opportunity to break out some classic book-based puns…
All-Irish Beastie - Wool-lyssesWool-lysses Close-Up
All-Irish Beastie - Woolly-ver's TravelsWoolly-ver's Travels Close-Up

I also brought along one of my super-cuddly Big Beasties, just to look after the smaller ones…
Big Beastie

I’ll be sending more Beasties down to Dalkey to join these guys soon! Stay tuned for pictures…