Explorer Beastie in London - 2020 Update - CrawCrafts Beasties

Bringin’ Beastie Back for 2020!

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!
Christmas Market 2019 - CrawCrafts BeastiesIn 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.
Christmas Market - 2020 Update - CrawCrafts Beasties

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!

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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!
Beasties of 2019 - 2020 Update - CrawCrafts Beasties

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.
Explorer Beastie in London - 2020 Update - CrawCrafts Beasties
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!
2020 Calendar Cover Page - CrawCrafts Beasties

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.

Plunkett Joins In - Travelling Beasties - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Travelling the World – The Beastie Way!

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!
June Beastie at the Door - Visitor - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIf 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…”
Travelling, Beastie-Style! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“… 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!”
Paddy Lends a Hand - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Not quite there…”
“Plunkett! A little help, please?”
Plunkett Joins In - Travelling Beasties - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Sorry! Is that any better?”

Let’s hope this is worth it… Oh, look! She seems to have found a safe foothold!
Nearly there! Travelling Beasties - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd after a slightly inelegant scramble…
Pitfalls of Beastie Travelling - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“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!”
One Beastie, Ready for Departure! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
“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!

Godzilla Beastie! CrawCrafts Beasties

A Festive Beastie Weekend!

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…
Festive Christmas Tree at the Irish Architectural Archive - CrawCrafts BeastiesOoooh, 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!
Godzilla Beastie! CrawCrafts BeastiesThen I lost him for a moment – I could have sworn he was right next to this leaf and berry arrangement a second ago!
Festive Beastie Berries! CrawCrafts BeastiesAha! Found him. That’s some pretty good camouflage, though.

Now, upstairs to join your friends at the market!
Stone Stairs at the Irish Architectural Archive - CrawCrafts BeastiesThat’s better!
Christmas on the Square Stall - CrawCrafts Beasties

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?

So, please take a sec to click through and sign their online petition here.

Alrighty, back to my crafting table I go! We’ll be back next Tuesday with a quick reminder about our last market of the festive season. See you then, and have a great week!

 

2017 – A Year of Monster Adventures!

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
Explorer Beastie on Five Finger Strand - CrawCrafts Beasties
… And then made it to Copenhagen in the spring…
City Spires - CrawCrafts Beasties
…and D眉sseldorf in early summer!
Explorer Beastie in Dusseldorf - CrawCrafts Beasties
Paddy and Plunkett were also at large, dropping in on some ancient Irish wells…
Paddy Examines the Holy Well - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
Punting down the Cam…
Paddy and Plunkett Set Sail - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
…And sampling some highly unusual cuisine in Croatia!
Yum! Smallpox! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
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!
Your host, Finn McSpool! T Painter/CrawCrafts Beasties
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
Garcia Beastie on Table Mountain - S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
… And we welcomed a new face to the Beastie family!

Beastie’s first outing in England 馃尶 @crawcraftsbeasties 馃挌

A post shared by xWG || #dazeandweekes (@dazeandweekes) on

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You can meet Sin茅ad the pro-cat activist on Daze and Weekes, and find out more about her mission to improve Beastie-feline relations!

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
We're on Knitting the Stash! M Littlefield/CrawCrafts Beasties
… 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!
A Little Felt Bee - CrawCrafts Beasties
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…
New BeastieBlog Homepage - CrawCrafts Beasties
… 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 M贸r in New Jersey!Barr贸g Beastie Group Photo - CrawCrafts Beasties
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.聽 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聽 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!

Beastie-sized Vinyl, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Making Sweet Monster Music!

Hey there everybody!

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!
Weekes Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
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 Hoodie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
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.
Weekes Beastie Hoodie Details - CrawCrafts Beasties
She can also take the hood down, if she likes.
Weekes Beastie Back View - CrawCrafts Beasties
That way, you can get a better look at her makeup, piercings and classic Sinead O’Connor hairstyle!
Weekes Beastie Makeup - CrawCrafts Beasties
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…
Pocket Bible Record Sleeve in Felt and Embroidery - CrawCrafts Beasties
And, of course, there’s a special edition Beastie-sized record inside the sleeve!
Beastie-sized Vinyl, by CrawCrafts Beasties
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…

Beastie’s first outing in England 馃尶 @crawcraftsbeasties 馃挌

A post shared by xWG || #dazeandweekes (@dazeandweekes) on

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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…Dublin Christmas Flea
… So if you find yourself in or near Dublin, pop on down and say hello! We’d love to see you!

Teeny Chalkboard! CrawCrafts Beasties

It’s The Most Beastie-ful Time Of The Year…

Hey everybody!

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.Tae Beastie Loads up on Caffeine - CrawCrafts Beasties
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…
New Beastie Market Display - CrawCrafts Beasties
… Made up some promotional postcards with a little bit about the Beasties on the back…
Shiny New Promotional Postcards - CrawCrafts Beasties
…Thrown a little light on the proceedings with a pair of spiffy spotlights, a Christmas gift from my brother last year…
New Spotlights for the Stall! CrawCrafts Beasties
… And Boyfriend picked up a Beastie-sized chalkboard for me to play around with use constructively for marketing purposes.
Teeny Chalkboard! CrawCrafts Beasties
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!

Dublin Flea Christmas Market 2017 from dublin flea on Vimeo.

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!
Cosy Scarf Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
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!

The View From Table Mountain - S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties

Beasties on Safari!

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!
Garcia Beastie on Table Mountain - S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
If you’ve met him before, you may remember that he is partial to a spot of skiiing…Beastie-Size Skis! S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
… 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…
The View From Table Mountain - S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
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!
V and A Waterfront, Cape Town - S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
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!
Time for a quick snack, Garcia Beastie! S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
And of course, you can’t come to South Africa without sampling one of their most famous exports either…
Wine! S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
…Everything in moderation, Garcia Beastie!
Too much wine, Garcia Beastie! S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
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.
A Macacbre Interlude in Botswana - S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
Garcia Beastie at the Natural History Museum - S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
He also had fun recreating that scene from “Jurassic Park”…
That is one big pile of... S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
But let’s get out there and see what we can see, shall we?

It felt like they were driving forever, but then…
“LOOKLOOKLOOKLOOKLOOK! Elephants!”
Elephants! And a photobombing Beastie - S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
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…
Sunset on the African Plains - S Allen/CrawCrafts Beasties
…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!

 

All the Barr贸g Beasties - CrawCrafts Beasties

Beasties, Beasties, EVERYWHERE!

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 M贸r 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 Barr贸g 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!
Tae (Tea) Beasties, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Next up, a pair of Redhead Beasties, with matching fiery tresses and tweed scarves!
Redhead Beasties, by CrawCrafts BeastiesFor 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!
Hurling Beasties, by CrawCrafts Beasties
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!
Aran Beasties, by CrawCrafts Beasties
And for anyone who’d rather curl up by the fire with a good book…
Leabhar (Book) Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
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.
Luck O'the Irish Beastie, with Shamrocks - CrawCrafts Beasties
Oh, and I couldn’t resist cramming ALL the Beasties together in the teeny photo studio for some happy snappies before they left!
Barr贸g Beastie Group Photo - CrawCrafts Beasties
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 M贸r and say hello to this happy band of explorers! And for anyone closer to our home here in Dublin…
RMDS_Craft Fair Ranelagh Dublin November 2017
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!

Beasties at Hallowe'en - CrawCrafts Beasties

Happy Hallowe’en!

Ah, it’s that time of year again! The clocks have gone back, and although I’m already bemoaning the early disappearance of the daylight that I need to do teeny sewing, I’m really enjoying the cooler days and rich autumn colours! While any weather is crafting weather in my book, there’s something extra special about snuggling up with some needles and yarn on a dark, chilly evening. And also, Hallowe’en has always been my favourite festival of the year – I wonder why?
Dracula Beastie's Library - CrawCrafts Beasties
If you follow the Beasties’ antics on social media (you’ll find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), you’ll know that I’ve been revisiting some of my spookiest Beastie creations for my weekly Flashback Friday feature this past month! If you don’t, well, here’s your chance to play catchup!
Who sewed this guy together? CrawCrafts BeastiesI’d hate for anyone to miss out on Frankenstein’s Monster Beastie, for starters! I have to admit that I kind of love the bolts in his neck and the random lines of stitching holding his sweet green face together.
Same Beastie, Different Background! CrawCrafts Beasties
Then there’s the ethereal wispiness of Ghostie Beastie. I really like the floaty effect of the layers of net – I’ll have to remember to steal this trick for my costume next year!

Some of the very first Hallowe’en Beasties I made had simple seasonal accessories – but that’s fine too, right? Here’s a (very) rough sketch of an idea for a Jack O’Lantern Beastie from an early knitting notebook!
Jack O'Lantern Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd yes, I still make these!
Skull Beastie and Jack O'Lantern Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Skulls make great Hallowe’en accessories, too!

And of course, there’s nothing better than getting all dressed up and going trick or treating with good friends!
Beasties at Hallowe'en - CrawCrafts Beasties(Black cat optional)
Gizmo the Gatecrasher - CrawCrafts Beasties
Hallowe’en isn’t just All Hallows Eve, though. It’s also the gateway to the busiest, Beastiest time of the year! This time around, I’m hoping to get to even more markets than usual in the runup to the festive season, and I’ve taken on more commissions too – Beastie Towers is flippin’ hectic just now! So please excuse me if I’m a little less chatty than usual in my regular online hangouts – I’m going to try to keep up with you all as much as possible, and of course there will still be weekly blog posts and occasional social media-ing. I promise normal service will resume when the madness is over!

And hey, if you’re local, why not rock up and say hello in person? I’ve added a new page to the website today, which I’ll be keeping updated with all my upcoming market events. Hopefully I’ll catch up with a few of you there!

And on that note, I probably should get back to the Beastiemaking. But chances are I’ll be celebrating in traditional style (consuming a variety of squash-based foodstuffs, washing them down with a pumpkin ale, then maybe SPARKLERS) come nightfall! What have you all got planned? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Hallowe’en, everybody!

 

Plan Your Life the Monster Way - CrawCrafts Beasties

Ch-Ch-Changes!

Out and About With Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesHey there everybody! It’s great to be back!

We hope you all enjoyed the holiday season and that 2017 is treating you nicely so far. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’m ready for another year as eventful as 2016 was!

Anyway, after rather a lot of this…
Relaxing Times! CrawCrafts Beasties… We’re excited to get back to reality!

But, as you might have guessed from the title of this post, some things are gonna change around here, and I’ve spent the last couple of weeks having a big ol’ think about the past year and where to go next. Overall, I reckon 2016 was generally Beastie-friendly – for starters, I’m still reeling from our success at the Dublin Christmas Flea!
Crawcrafts Beasties at the Dublin Christmas FleaIn 2016, I also enjoyed meeting and collaborating with other craftspeople…
New Friends - S Twist Yarn and Niki Collier - CrawCrafts Beasties…Seeing the world through the eyes of Beasties who had left home…
Beasties Abroad - CrawCrafts BeastiesFinn doing his best David Attenborough impression.…And getting to write for the Olann And Blog!

My Featured Craftspeople! CrawCrafts Beasties
My Featured Crafters! Clockwise from left: Dinah’s Dolls, Guadalupe Creations, Niki Collier Design.

And outside of my Beastie-making activities, I also landed a new job – one which I’m really enjoying, and which I hope will better complement my hectic monster manufacturing schedule!

So, if everything’s so rosy, what am I going to be changing? Well, I felt I spent most of last year lurching from one panic to the next – it seemed like there was always a deadline looming, and time just zipped by! I’m still trying to figure out what happened to April, July and September… Oh, and then the last quarter of the year hit, and somehow I found myself with hardly any market stock, and several commissions whose trickiest elements I had sensibly decided to leave until the darkest days of the year. GAAAAAAH! By Christmas Eve I was totally frazzled, and badly in need of a few days R&R&MW (rest and relaxation and mulled wine) with my family.
Explorer Beastie at Christmas - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut with that (and a few healthy portions of Christmas dinner) under my belt, I was ready to start scheming for the year ahead. It’s the first time I’ve really taken the time to sit down and plan what I want to do and how I might get there, and I was surprised by how much it felt like time well spent! So, without further ado, here’s what I’ll be doing differently in 2017.

  1. Make more, more often! Last year it seemed like I spent more time talking about making than I did actually making. This year I want to get back to what I love most – making monsters!
  2. Prepare for Christmas, starting NOW. I’m planning to start assembling a crack squad of Beasties throughout the year, so we can take the Christmas markets by storm, AND save more of those precious December daylight hours for creating special bespoke monsters for anyone looking for a seasonal commission.
  3. Set a stricter timeframe for commissions. I’ll be making myself stick to a 4-week turnaround time from first sketching to completed monster masterpiece! I’m also going to be learning some new skills to help speed up some of the parts of the process that I find trickiest… more on that soon!

And finally, this might raise a few eyebrows – but I’ve decided to cut back my posting on the BeastieBlog聽 to Tuesdays only, at least for the foreseeable future. I’m hoping this will free up more time to actually keep up with all YOUR blogs, and feed my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts more frequently!

How about you? Are you doing anything differently this year? Tell us all about it in the comments!