There’s something about that slight cooling of the air, the change in the light and all those Autumn colours that gets me every time. It’s a time of year when I just have to get out, stroll around Dublin’s parks and soak it all up!
And the Beasties like to get in on the Fall fun too, of course.
This year, we’re extra excited to be able to celebrate the arrival of Autumn by… Going to a seasonal market!
We had a great time selling at the Richmond Barracks May Fair back at the beginning of the summer. It’s such a brilliant venue, and right on my doorstep too! I’ll be there for the whole weekend, and I’ll be joined by a gang of seasonal Beasties…. So expect to see plenty of monsters with food, drinks and cosy woollies.
And if you’re not local and can’t join us on the day, don’t despair! I’m sure some of those Fall-themed Beasties will be popping up on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds over the coming days 😉
Hello there everyone! It’s been another busy couple of weeks here in Beastie Towers… As I mentioned last time, the Beasties and I have been out hitting the market scene again, and it’s been such fun that I thought I would take a post to talk about it.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take ANY pictures of the first market at Dublin’s Richmond Barracks – yes, it turns out I was really out of practice with the whole “going to markets” thing! But if you’re interested, you can get a feel for this Dublin 8 gem from their website, here. And wow, what a great day! I’d only signed up for Sunday at the market (I was there as my alter-ego Knit With Helen to teach a workshop on the Saturday) but I’m not sure I would have had enough Beasties to go around if I’d been there for the whole weekend. And afterwards, that meant…
Frantic making of stock for the next one!
That leads to long queues at the Beastie Passport Office, plus a few late nights and early mornings for your friendly local monster maker.
But I managed to assemble an intrepid squad of Beasties juuuuust in time, and thanks to my buddy Deb at Deb’s Funky Sheepskins, who collected me from the train station, I was all set up by the time the doors opened on my second market in as many weeks.
And we had another knockout day! Again, a great venue, with an event hosted by the lovely folks at Greystones Community National School. I had some super chats with parents and kids alike, but there’s one story I particularly wanted to share with you all… And it involves this Beastie here:
Hey there, Artist Beastie!
Artist Beastie quickly caught the eye of an early visitor to my stall… A girl who came by regularly throughout the afternoon to check in on this painterly little monster. Unfortunately, the price tag for a Beastie like this one goes a bit beyond the average pocket money amount, and appeals for parental bridging loans early in the day had been unsuccessful.
But in the final hour, a lady who I recognised as the girl’s mum came over and said she’d like to buy Artist Beastie after all, as a special treat for her daughter. She said Cayla had until recently had very long hair… And the reason she was now sporting a short and super-trendy bob was because she’d volunteered to cut her ponytail and donate it to The Rapunzel Foundation. This organisation collects donated hair to make wigs for people living with alopecia, and because this condition affects children as well as adults, hair from younger donors is especially appreciated.
Better yet, before getting her hair cut, Cayla asked people to sponsor her, meaning her new ‘do also raised a hefty sum of money for the LauraLynn Children’s Hospice. Her mum was understandably incredibly proud, and it made me really happy to see Artist Beastie heading home with such a generous and thoughtful family.
And I think this is why I love doing markets. When you spend time making something, it’s really rewarding to step out of the studio, meet the people who get a kick out of your work, and hear their stories. Then you see how what you do fits into their world, and makes them happy. It’s a great feeling!
So, if you’ve stopped by my market stall recently and you have a Beastie tale of your own to share, don’t be shy! Leave a comment below, or use the Beastie contact form to drop me a line – I’d love to hear all about it!
Hey there everybody, and happy new year to you all! I hope you had a lovely Christmas/Beastmas/holiday season, and that you’re all ready to tackle 2020… We certainly are here at Beastie Towers!
So, it’s been a while – what have we been up to since we last sat down for a chat together? Well, the headline is MARKETS!
In 2019, I took a big leap and had a go at organising my own craft fair! I rounded up a group of my favourite local craftspeople, and met some awesome new makers as well.
It was A LOT of work, but I really enjoyed the challenge. Heck, I’d even consider doing it again in 2020!
I also had a few other market dates in the calendar as usual – the Beasties and I always love to get out and meet our public. Here we are at the Dublin Cat Fair!
And of course, there were a few commissions in the mix, just to keep me on my toes! I can’t wait to introduce you to all these new additions to the Beastie family over the next couple of weeks!
But before the Christmas madness set in, let’s not forget that Explorer Beastie and I skipped town for a couple of days to visit friends in London! He’s looking forward to sharing his holiday snaps with you all.
Finally, with everything else that was going on in the last few months of 2019, creating a 2020 Beastie calendar didn’t quite make it onto my to-do list. That said, I depend on mine so much that I ended up rejigging the dates from last year’s so that I could reuse it! I was just going to keep it all to myself… But I’ve decided to add it the Beastie Store as a free download if any of you want to grab a copy. Click here to go directly to the listing!
Well, hopefully that’s whetted your appetites for a fresh year of monster mayhem! Now I’m looking forward to catching up with all of your news… Be sure to say hi in the comments so that I remember to swing by your blog!
We’ll be back next week with more from June Beastie, who made a surprise visit to Paddy and Plunkett at Beastie Towers a couple of months ago. If you missed it, you can pick up the thread of the story here and here.
Hello there Beastie friends! Please excuse us for being a little late this week… more on that later in the post. First of all, I believe we have a travelling lady Beastie to catch up with!
If you’re not entirely sure who this is, you can find out in last week’s post! We’ll wait for you here.
Ready? Good, because Paddy and Plunkett are about to reveal the secret of their globetrotting success!
“The best way to get anywhere is to hitch a lift in human luggage. Right, Paddy?”
“Right! And it’s your lucky day, because this bag here…”
“… Belongs to a guy who’s travelling to Washington DC tomorrow!”
What perfect timing! But our guest has some reservations.
“Sounds great – but how do I get in?”
“Don’t worry, we’ll help. One, two, three… UP!”
“Not quite there…”
“Plunkett! A little help, please?”
“Sorry! Is that any better?”
Let’s hope this is worth it… Oh, look! She seems to have found a safe foothold!
And after a slightly inelegant scramble…
“Eeek! My rolling pin has got stuck!”
“Why does she have a rolling pin, Paddy?”
“Well, Plunkett, you never know when you might need to make a pie on the go. I might start carrying one myself… Should we help her out?”
“No need, boys! Success! USA, here I come!”
“Bon voyage! Now, Paddy, I think you said something about dessert?”
Well, look at that! I think the lads might have found their true calling in life… As travel agents!
And now, some news – yes, it’s that time of year again when things start to get CRAZY. I’m seeing glittery Santa Clauses in shop windows, and here in Dublin we seemed to have jumped very abruptly into winter! So I’ll be putting the BeastieBlog on hold for a couple of weeks while I frantically make market stock, get some custom Beasties together and, for the first time, organise my own market!
In the meantime, I’ll still be dropping in to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so please come on over and hang out with me and the Beasties there!
See you again soon, with tales of Beastie travels far and wide, plus some new monster friends to meet!
Hey there Beastie friends! It’s just a quick “hello!” from me today, because (and I might have mentioned this once or twice lately) we’re going full tilt here in Beastie Towers right now! But I really wanted to share some photos of the lovely market we went to this past weekend – a fun, festive affair in one of the beautiful Georgian houses that surround Merrion Square park in central Dublin.
Take the Beastie Tour!
I caught up with Woolly Jumper Beastie in the entrance hall…
Ooooh, look at that Christmas tree!
This building is home to the Irish Architectural Archive, and our Beastie friend took full advantage of their miniature Dublin skyline sculpture to do his best Godzilla impression!
Then I lost him for a moment – I could have sworn he was right next to this leaf and berry arrangement a second ago!
Aha! Found him. That’s some pretty good camouflage, though.
Now, upstairs to join your friends at the market!
We had a great time here, and many of the Beasties you see in the photo above headed off to new homes over the course of the day! We were also kept in good festive spirits by a kind gentleman who wandered the building for the duration of the market bearing a tray of complimentary mulled wine… How civilised!
I hope the Beasties behaved well enough for us to be invited back next year!
And speaking of markets…
I’ve a teeeeny favour to ask. A whole heap of Dublin markets have been made to close their doors this year, and the future of those that remain is looking a little wobbly.
The organisers of the Dublin Flea market are lobbying Dublin City Council to make some provision for market spaces in Dublin’s ongoing development plan. They want to ensure that markets and indie retailers aren’t squeezed out by the bigger players… And we want to support them! The Beasties and I love our markets, and we’d hate to see them become a thing of the past.
And even if you don’t live in Dublin, your signature still counts! Because you might want to visit at some stage, right? And wouldn’t it be nicer to travel to a city with its own unique identity?
Oh wow, I can’t believe we’re nearly at the end of 2017 already! It’s all been a bit of a blur – surely it was only just Hallowe’en? So I thought I would use this, the last “real” post of the year, to take a look back over the highlights of the last 12 months. If nothing else, it will help me figure out whether I’m right in thinking that I lost a month or two somewhere!
So, what did we get up to? Well, first of all, Explorer Beastie loved getting the chance to go a little further afield on his adventures! We started the year with a trip to Donegal…
… And then made it to Copenhagen in the spring…
…and Düsseldorf in early summer!
Paddy and Plunkett were also at large, dropping in on some ancient Irish wells…
…Punting down the Cam…
…And sampling some highly unusual cuisine in Croatia!
Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, Tammie‘s Beastie Finn McSpool has been keeping her readers entertained with his unique brand of “help”. With this guy around, it’s a miracle she gets any books written at all!
Finn’s adventures appear on Tammie’s blog every Saturday. I had a hard time picking a favourite to recommend to you all, but I think his underwater exploits in Hawaii back in September win out!
More recently, an old friend dropped us a line while on holidays in South Africa…
… And we welcomed a new face to the Beastie family!
The Beasties have been getting social with other blogging folk this year, too! Back in April, we were lucky enough to be featured on Melissa’s excellent fibre craft blog Knitting The Stash…
… While an appeal for handmade items for a craftivism event in Manchester from Jan at The Snail of Happiness gave me the opportunity to make these little critters!
I also worked out a pattern and tutorial for these felt bees, which is FREE if you’d like to have a go at making your own!
Oooh, and let’s not forget that the BeastieBlog got a facelift back in August…
… Which included not only a snazzy new look, but also the addition of my very own online shop! Admittedly, the virtual shelves are a little bare at the moment, but there will be fresh monster faces in there again in the new year!
The Beasties also found themselves in some real shops, including this intrepid mob who journeyed all the way over to Carrick Mór in New Jersey!
We also did a few markets… But I reckon you’ve probably heard enough about those recently! I’m still super-grateful to all the good people who organised those events, or who came to visit us in person while we were there – it was lovely to meet you all!
And that only leaves one bit of news to share, and it’s one that I’ve been holding onto since the end of the summer. Since I decided to quit regular 9-5 employment in favour of making monsters a couple of years back, I’ve always worked part-time on the side – it’s reassuring to know that I’m not going to end up out in the streets if I have a couple of commission-free months, or if a market turns out to be a bit of a dud. But back in August, I was let go from my job… And I thought, why not try being a maker of monsters full time for a couple of months, just to see how things go? I’d often wondered what I could do if I got the chance to focus exclusively on the Beasties, and with Christmas looming on the horizon, it seemed like a good time to give it a bash. So, that’s what I’ve been doing! And while it’s had its hairy moments – like me losing my voice for the entire of the biggest market in my calendar – it’s been quite the adventure, and I’m already looking forward to seeing how much more I can do in the coming year!
But of course, dear readers, none of this could have happened without your support – so thanks to all of you who regularly read, like, comment and send me photos of your own monster adventures! I realise that I’ve been a little less diligent in keeping up with you all over the last couple of months, as I tackled the challenge of my first self-employed Christmas season, but I’m so looking forward to getting caught up again in the new year, and seeing what delights 2018 holds for us!
So, that was my 2017 – no wonder I’m tired! How was yours? And what have you got planned for the coming year? Be sure to let me know in the comments!
I’m taking a break from frantic pre-market Beastie making to share a new Beastie with you… A rare thing at this time of the year, since so many of my pre-Christmas commissions are destined to be presents, and I wouldn’t want to spoil any surprises! But I received confirmation that this little monster lady had made it safely to her new home at the end of last week, and I reckoned it was high time I introduced her to the world.
Meet Weekes Beastie!
This was an extra special make, because she was requested by a fellow blogger! I always get a kick out of Ms Weekes’s witty posts – they’re a delicious cocktail of history, daily life and humour, and I’ve now lost count of the number of times I’ve nearly choked on my breakfast tea because I’m laughing so hard. So, if you haven’t already, make sure you add Daze & Weekes to your regular reading list. Go on, do it now! We’ll wait here for you.
All done? Good. Let’s continue with the tour, and take a closer look at that hoodie!
Weekes Beastie’s hoodie is modelled on her human counterpart’s favourite item of clothing – an official “Cats” zip-up sweater with – gasp – cat ears on the hood!
As you can see, this is a very useful addition for a Beastie. Her own pointy ears fit snugly in there, keeping them nice and toasty! Then I finished off the hoodie with an embroidered “Cats” logo, zip, and a drawstring for the hood.
She can also take the hood down, if she likes.
That way, you can get a better look at her makeup, piercings and classic Sinead O’Connor hairstyle!
But, most importantly, lets talk about what she’s got in her paw. Because Weekes is not just a blogger – she’s also a talented singer and musician, and her debut album Pocket Bible is out this week! So, it only seemed right and proper to pay tribute to this momentous occasion in felt and teeny sewing…
And, of course, there’s a special edition Beastie-sized record inside the sleeve!
Obviously, this version will only play on special Beastie stereos… But don’t worry! You can pick up a proper human copy for yourself when the full album is released this Friday – that’s the 8th of December 2017. All the info you need is on weekesmusic.com, plus you can also listen to the four singles, find links to curated Spotify playlists and learn a little bit about the stories behind the song lyrics!
Meanwhile, it looks like the two Weekeses have already been out adventuring together…
A post shared by xWG || #dazeandweekes (@dazeandweekes) on
What have you all been up to this week? Let us know in the comments! Oh, and don’t forget that the Beasties and I will be here later this week…
… So if you find yourself in or near Dublin, pop on down and say hello! We’d love to see you!
I’m just popping in for a very quick “Hello!” today, because I’ve done the sums and this is definitely the busiest, Beastie-est week of 2017! Last overseas postage dates are looming, and I’ve booked places at two of Dublin’s most popular Christmas markets, so that’s my entertainment taken care of for the next two weekends in a row. I’d better start on a programme of intense caffeination immediately, as ably demonstrated by Tae Beastie here.
I already had a chance to get out and road-test my new market display a couple of weeks back at RMDS’s Christmas Craft Fair, and I’m pretty pleased with how it looks! I’ve used lightweight fabric-covered boxes to add a little extra height…
… Made up some promotional postcards with a little bit about the Beasties on the back…
…Thrown a little light on the proceedings with a pair of spiffy spotlights, a Christmas gift from my brother last year…
… And Boyfriend picked up a Beastie-sized chalkboard for me to play around with use constructively for marketing purposes.
So, when do all these goodies get their next outing? Well, to kick things off, this Sunday I’ll be at Newmarket on Cork Street for their Christmas event. I’m looking forward to this one for a couple of reasons… It’s my first time going to this market (always exciting), and it’s in my neighbourhood too! Plus I thought I’d missed the application deadline, so it was doubly satisfying when my offer of a spot came through.
Then next week, it’s the biggie – The Dublin Christmas Flea! I had a blast at this market last year… hey, why not take a look around yourself? Plus, eagle-eyed viewers will spot me working away behind my stall at 1:12 in this video!
For the 2017 event, they’ve added an extra day (the market will run from Thursday to Sunday) and there’s going to be a special press-only early opening on one of the days as well. I’m optimistic that the Beasties will be on their best behaviour, but I’m expecting at least one of the major newspapers to carry the headline “Reporter Mauled by Publicity-Hungry Knitted Monsters” on Monday morning!
Of course, I realise that not all of you lovely readers are likely to make it to Dublin this December. But no matter how far afield you are, there’s still time to adopt a monster friend from our online store!
I’ll be able to send worldwide right up until the 7th of December. After that:
Last post for mainland Europe is the 13th
Great Britain the 18th
Northern Ireland the 19th
Republic of Ireland the 20th
of December 2017.
I’m also already taking pre-orders for the first quarter of 2018, so if you’d like to get your paws on a Bespoke Beastie anytime before March 31st, don’t be disappointed! Drop me a line and I’ll get your name into the order book nice and early.
Alrighty, time for me to get back to work! Next Tuesday, I’ll have a new Beastie to share with you all, so be sure to stop by… Have a great week!
We’ve a special guest Beastie on the blog today! It’s been a while since he last showed his fuzzy little face around here, but those of you who have been following the BeastieBlog long-term might well recognise him. Hey there, Garcia Beastie!
If you’ve met him before, you may remember that he is partial to a spot of skiiing…
… But this time he’s found himself up a mountain, and there’s no snow in sight! What’s going on?
Well, it’s not exactly ski season where he is, for starters. Summer is just around the corner in South Africa! Still, that means it’s a perfect time to enjoy the view from the top of Table Mountain…
But there’s so much else out there to see! And it wasn’t long before Garcia Beastie found himself back down at sea level… Even without the help of his trusty skis.
First port of call – The V&A Waterfront!
When I first saw the name, I assumed it was the “Victoria and Albert” Waterfront, but the “A” actually stands for Alfred. He was Queen Victoria’s second son, and his visit to Cape Town earned him such popularity with the colonial community that they named one of the basins of the newly-built Navy Yard after him… and the other after his mother, of course. This port on the Atlantic shore also happens to be South Africa’s oldest working harbour!
But that sea air really does work up an appetite… Snack time!
And of course, you can’t come to South Africa without sampling one of their most famous exports either…
…Everything in moderation, Garcia Beastie!
Fortunately, he was none the worse for his tumble… Just as well, because it was soon time to leave the city and head out on safari!
Across the border in Botswana, Garcia Beastie got acquainted with some of the local wildlife in the controlled environment of the game lodge’s natural history museum.
He also had fun recreating that scene from “Jurassic Park”…
But let’s get out there and see what we can see, shall we?
It felt like they were driving forever, but then…
Such excitement – so much so that he Beastiebombed the photo in his attempts to make sure everyone else in the car saw them too!
And by the end of the day, he’d really settled into the idea of life on the African plains…
…Even if the skiing isn’t up to much!
Thanks to Suzanne for sharing Garcia Beastie’s holiday snaps! And if any other Beasties out there have been off on an adventure lately, please do share your pics with us – all of us here at Beastie Towers would love to see what you’ve been up to!
We’ll be back next week with more monster shenanigans… In the meantime, don’t forget to check out my new Christmas Market page to keep up with the Beasties’ heady festive social schedule!
Wow, what a hectic week it’s been! We’re working flat out here at Beastie Towers, but of course we’re never too busy to stop in and have a chat with all you lovely readers on a Tuesday lunchtime. And today, we have some super exciting news… The Beasties have set foot on US soil!
Now, I am aware that a few intrepid monsters have already moved out there on their own – yes, Finn McSpool, I’m talking about you – but this is more of a migration, or a diplomatic mission. (Not an invasion, though… I want to be very clear about that. The Beasties come in peace!)
They’ve set themselves up in Glen Rock, NJ, in a place that feels very much like home – Carrick Mór Irish Store! The owners, Kristin and Michael, have been long-standing Beastie supporters, and it was brilliant to be able to send them over a small delegation of monsters to stand alongside their incredible range of Irish goodies.
So, who are these brave travellers? Well, I wanted to cram as much of the Beasties’ homeland into this precious parcel as possible, and I figured the best way to do that was to send a crew of 100% Irish wool Barróg Beasties. The first ones to hop in the box were a pair of Tae (not a typo!) Beasties, each clutching a mug of deeeelicious hot, strong tea!
Next up, a pair of Redhead Beasties, with matching fiery tresses and tweed scarves!
For the sports fans out there, a couple of Hurling Beasties joined the team – one in Dublin colours, and one who appears to hail from Kilkenny!
Now, we’re all used to hearing that winter is coming… And from what I hear, winter in New Jersey hits a lot harder than it does here in Ireland! At least these two Aran Beasties are wrapped up and ready for whatever the weather throws at them!
And for anyone who’d rather curl up by the fire with a good book…
Finally, I added a new face to these tried-and-true favourites – meet Luck O’the Irish Beastie, who set sail with a big bunch of shamrocks! It’s probably thanks to him that everyone made it across the Atlantic safely.
Oh, and I couldn’t resist cramming ALL the Beasties together in the teeny photo studio for some happy snappies before they left!
As you can see, Beasties are just like people – it’s impossible to get them all looking at the camera for a group picture.
So, if you find yourself in Glen Rock sometime soon, do swing by Carrick Mór and say hello to this happy band of explorers! And for anyone closer to our home here in Dublin…
I’ve been a regular at this market over the last few years, and I’m looking forward to joining them again this weekend! If you’re in the area, rock on up and say hello… We’d love to see you!
Right, I’d better get back to it… I have a houseful of Beasties clamouring for accessories, and only three days left to make them! Have a super week, everybody!