View From Beastie Towers in the Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

New Year? Snow Way!

It’s the first BeastieBlog of 2021… Happy new year, everybody! And although this first week of January didn’t bring a whole lot of good news on the pandemic front, in some parts of the island of Ireland it did bring something a little unusual – SNOW!

And some of it fell in the back garden of a pair of familiar Beastie friends.
Paddy Spots the Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy was up nice and early, so he spotted it first. And of course, the very next thing he did was…

Paddy Wakes Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

… To go and wake up Plunkett.

Poor Plunkett. He was having a lovely dream about igneous rock formations.
Plunkett Wakes Up - Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“What IS it, Paddy?”
“SNOW! It’s been snowing, Plunkett! Get up get up get up!”

View From Beastie Towers in the Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Look at that!”

It really is rather lovely. And every window revealed a fresh, snow-dusted view.
Snow at Beastie Towers - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut just looking at the snow was never going to be enough for Paddy. I think it’s time to head outside and play in it, don’t you?

Paddy Builds a Snow Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIt looks like he already has a project in mind, too. Look at him go!

“Ta-daaaaah!”
Paddy's Snow Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“It’s a SnowBeastie, Plunkett! What do you think?”
“I think it’s not quite finished yet… Hang on a sec!”

And with a few finishing touches from Plunkett…
The Finished Snow Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesMuch better! It’s almost as cute as you are, boys.
“Almost!”

But even little woolly monsters start to feel the cold eventually. With their SnowBeastie finished, the lads decided it was time to head back indoors…
Warming up by the Stove - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… And get toasty again by the stove!

So, how have you all been spending the first few days of 2021? Did you get any snow? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

Also…

Don’t forget that a new year means a new Beastie Calendar! This link will take you to the listing in our store… Download once, print off as many copies as you like, and be monstrously organised all year!
Beastie Calendar 2021 - Cover - CrawCrafts Beasties

New Year, New Calendar!

Hurrah! 2020 has been a heckuva year, but we’re down to the last couple of days now AT LAST! So might it maybe be a good time to start looking to the future? I thought so, and that’s why I sat down today to comb through my Beastie photo archives and put together an all-new Beastie Calendar for 2021!

Beastie Calendar 2021 - Cover - CrawCrafts Beasties

Hello, new year!

Because I didn’t make a new calendar last year (some pretty good foresight there, I thought) I had two years of Beastie pics to use. Hopefully you’ll like my selection! I’ve also changed the fonts and layout a bit…
… While still preserving the useful key features (a Monday-Sunday week and note space at the bottom) that help keep me on track.

A year’s worth of monster mayhem will set you back a mere ONE Euro, and you can download your calendar instantly from the order confirmation page on the website, or pick it up in your email. Then print off as many copies as you like… I’ve already got one set aside for home, one for the studio and one to keep track of my knitting classes!

You can grab your copy of the 2021 downloadable calendar in the Beasties’ online store, here… And don’t forget to tell us all about the events you’re most looking forward to in the comments!

Paddy and Plunkett in Winter - CrawCrafts Beasties

We wish you a Merry Beastmas…

… And a monster new year!

Explorer Beastie at Christmas - CrawCrafts Beasties

Wow, it’s been a bit of a crazy one, hasn’t it? I’m sure many of us will be glad to file away our (barely-used) 2020 calendars, and get stuck into a fresh shiny year!

Here’s wishing you all a very happy holiday season, whatever you’re doing and wherever you end up spending the final week of 2020. And if you need a festive chuckle…
Paddy's Idea - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts Beasties… Paddy is, as ever, happy to oblige. Revisit his attempt to obtain gainful seasonal employment from a certain jolly Beastie in a red suit here!

Santa Beastie - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts Beasties

Merry Beastmas, everyone!

Beastie New Year 2019! CrawCrafts Beasties

Beastie New Year, Everybody!

Hey there Beastie friends! And a very happy new year to you from all of us here at Beastie Towers!
Beastie New Year 2019! CrawCrafts Beasties
2019 has barely begun, but we’re already super-excited at the prospect of a fresh shiny new year, all crammed with possibilities! And, looking back, 2018 was a pretty awesome twelve months.

For starters, it was my first full year of not having a part-time job to prop up my monster-making habit. And while that was occasionally terrifying (because I’m a sucker for luxuries like food and shelter), I was lucky enough to have a few alternative means of making ends meet thrown my way.

Top among these was starting to teach knitting classes in my local yarn emporium, The Constant Knitter. How cool is that? I’ve met some great people along the way… And watching them progress from learning the first steps to becoming the kind of hardcore knitting addicts who sit up half the night to finish a project has to be one of the best feelings in the world!
Knitter Barróg Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties

I also gave some new Beastie-based projects a go too… The biggest leap here was the framed Beastie family I made at the beginning of the summer.
A Beastie Family Portrait Frame - CrawCrafts BeastiesWow, talk about a learning curve! But totally worth it… And now that I’ve done one, I’m definitely up for taking on more projects like this!

Then, later in the year, the surprise hit of the Christmas market season – Kitty tree decorations!
Tree Ornaments in Box - Cat Tree Decorations - CrawCrafts BeasI made these to tempt the attendees of the Dublin Cat Fair back in November, and thanks to a shout-out from the organisers on Facebook before the event, they sold out! From then on, I could barely keep up with demand, even when I was frantically making more behind my table on market days! I’ll definitely be adding these to my festive lineup for 2019.

But I believe I promised you new Beasties in this post, so new Beasties you shall have! The pre-Christmas rush usually sees some fresh Beastie faces gracing my market stall, and they don’t always get the attention they deserve. So, without further ado…

Watermelon Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties
First up is Watermelon Beastie! I had noticed that Beasties tend to embrace the less-than-healthy end of the dietary spectrum, so Watermelon Beastie is here to help balance that out a little. And their pink and green colouring so nicely complements that slab of delicious juicy melon, don’t you think? Look out for more fruit’n’veg munching monsters in the new year!

But those of you with a sweet tooth can rest assured that Beasties are still happy to share your favourite treats with you. Cookie Beasties and Doughnut Beasties were as popular as ever in 2018!
Sweetie Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd my All-Irish Beasties were still happy to down a tipple or two… Tea, anyone? Or would you maybe prefer a pint of the Black Stuff?
Tae Beastie and Pint Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

Meanwhile, others decided that the most important thing was to stay toasty – cosy sweaters and tweed scarves ahoy!Cosy Irish Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesI also brought along a new Unicorn Beastie… It didn’t take them long to find a home!
Unicorn Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd finally… Some of you might recognise this woolly little monster face from Paddy’s Christmas tale last week. Yes, a Christmas market lineup wouldn’t be complete without…
Santa Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties… SANTA BEASTIE!

Phew! There were a few more there than I bargained for, so I suppose we’ll have to tackle the first of the Christmas commissions next week. In the meantime, thank you all SO MUCH for hanging out with us in 2018, and a very Beastie new year to you all!

Oh, and if your life isn’t Beastie-ful enough already, don’t forget that our 2019 downloadable Beastie calendar is available now!
Beastie 2019 Calendar title page - CrawCrafts BeastiesCatch you next Tuesday!

 

A Busy Beastie… And Her Best Friend!

Hello everybody, and welcome to the first proper BeastieBlog post of 2018! I hope you all got a bit of a break over the holidays – I know I certainly took advantage of the end-of-year lull to catch up on some sleep! But it’s great to be back, and right now is actually one of my favourite times of year. Yes, really! Because NOW I can finally start sharing my Christmas commissions with you all!

It was tricky to choose which of my latest Beasties I’d introduce you to first… But in the end, the honour has gone to this little monster lady!
Translator Beastie, with her Accessories - CrawCrafts Beasties
At a time of year when many of us are resolving to make changes in our lives or try new things, I thought that this multitalented Beastie might provide a little inspiration. She was created as a special companion for a lady who works as a translator, so she speaks a couple of languages…
Translator Beastie's French and German Dictionaries - CrawCrafts Beasties
…And she’s also interested in art history, so she never leaves home without a handy sketchpad and pen! You just don’t know when inspiration will strike.
Beastie-Size Sketchbook and Pen - CrawCrafts Beasties
Of course, she’d never get anything done if she had to carry all this stuff around in her paws. So I made her a cool satchel-style bag to put everything into!
Beastie Satchel Bag, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Perfect! She certainly looks happy… But what’s that I hear?
A Contented Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties
Aha! Beastie’s best friend… A sweet little felt pooch to keep her company while she works.
A Canine Companion for our Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties
Because this Beastie was going to live in Germany, I modelled her four-legged friend on traditional German breeds, like the German pinscher and Jagterrier. Hello there, pup!
Beastie Dog Closeup - CrawCrafts Beasties
I think it might be time for walkies… What do you reckon?
Beastie Walkies! CrawCrafts Beasties
And of course, there’s always time for hugs and treats!
Hugs From Beastiedog - CrawCrafts Beasties
This year certainly is off to a good start! How about you – any big plans for 2018? Let us know in the comments… and if one of your new year’s resolutions is to be more organised, don’t forget to download your FREE Beastie calendar pages from the store!
Calendar Page January - Paddy and Plunkett - Printable - CrawCrafts BeastiesJanuary is there now, and February will be added shortly!

We’ll be back next week, when I’ll be sharing snaps of my biggest ever custom order! See you then!

Paddy and Plunkett in Winter - CrawCrafts Beasties

A Monster New Year To You All!

Happy new year, everybody!

2017 was a pretty exciting year here at Beastie Towers – check out the review post I did a couple of weeks back, and you’ll see what I mean! I’m hoping there’s even more good stuff around the corner in 2018 for us, and for all of you out there too. It’s been great having you along for the ride over the past 12 months, and I can’t wait to see where the new year takes us all!

Oh, and if, like me, your life was teetering on the brink of complete chaos because I didn’t make a Beastie calendar this year, fear not! I’ve a new year’s gift for you all… Get thee to the Shop section of my website, where you’ll find a free downloadable calendar page to help you stay organised for the whole of January. To get yours, just add it to your cart… and don’t worry about filling out the whole “address details” form! You only need to enter your name and email address, then you’ll be able to download the page directly from the confirmation email you’ll receive shortly afterwards. After that, print it out… aaaand it’s up to you! Stick it on the wall, pop it on the fridge, tuck it into the pages of your bullet journal – wherever you like, really!
Calendar Page January - Paddy and Plunkett - Printable - CrawCrafts BeastiesBig thanks to both Tammie and Jan for suggesting this idea! I’m hoping that those of you who (like me) still find that nothing really gets sorted out unless pen and paper are involved will find this useful. And hey, let me know where yours ends up… especially if you find an unusual place to display it!

The BeastieBlog returns to normal next Tuesday (that’s the 9th of January), when I’ll be starting to share the first of the Christmas gift commissions now that all the presents have been opened and no surprises will be spoiled!

See you then, and all the best to all of you for 2018. Happy new year!

 

 

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  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!

Happy New Year!

Happy 2017, everybody! Thanks to everyone who visited us here on the BeastieBlog in 2016… Here’s wishing all of you a year filled with fun, laughter and lots of monster adventures!

We’ll be back with some fresh Beastie fun in a couple of weeks… In the meantime, what have you planned for the new year? Let us know in the comments!

Calendar Time! CrawCrafts Beasties

Theeeey’re Heeeeere!

2017 Beastie calendars, that is!
It's the 2017 Beastie Calendar! CrawCrafts BeastiesThis year’s calendar features all-new photos – for those of you who are proud owners of the 2016 version, there won’t be any repeats in the coming year! Explorer Beastie is hogging the limelight as usual…
Explorer Beastie Calendar Shoot - CrawCrafts Beasties…But I snuck in a few of my favourite Beastie friends from the last 12 months as well!
Beastie Calendar Models 2017 - CrawCrafts BeastiesI’ve chosen a slightly different layout this time, which I think looks clearer and allows more space to write in the details of your busy life. Now all you have to do is decide how to spend your year!
Plan Your Life the Monster Way - CrawCrafts BeastiesIf you’d like a Beastie calendar to call your very own, head to the Contact page and drop me a line, or PM me through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

The Science Bit…
A single calendar will set you back a mere €12, and postage anywhere on the island of Ireland is free! If you live elsewhere, P&P will be an extra €3 for one calendar… Or if you’d like a few, I’ll calculate the postage based on the total weight of the parcel. Ping me over payment by PayPal, and your calendar(s) will be in the post that same day (Post Office opening hours permitting, of course)!

Oh, and get your order in soon – I’m only doing one batch this year!

And while we’re on the subject of time management and busy lives, Silly Season is now officially in full swing! So much crafting to do… and since most of my latest Beasties are destined to spend a little time under the Christmas tree before meeting their new families, it’ll be New Year before I’m able to share their photos with you. With that in mind, the BeastieBlog will be scaling back to just Tuesday posts for the time being. Normal service will resume in 2017!

A Cheerful Start To The New Year…

Grim Reaper Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Yippeeeeee! It’s new Beastie time! And since I’m sure I’m not the only one who is still trying to get used to the transition from the old year to the new (anyone else out there steadfastly continuing to write 2015 dates on things? Because I am), who better to sweep away the clinging cobwebs of last year than…

GRIM REAPER BEASTIE!

Grim Reaper Beastie with Accessories, by CrawCrafts Beasties
With his sweet smile, woolly paws and little monster ears poking out through the hood of his robe, he is possibly the least grim Grim Reaper ever!Grim Reaper Beastie, Back View - CrawCrafts Beasties
He’ll use his felt scythe to clear away the clutter of the year that was, and make space for the new, better year that will be. Oh, and his felt hourglass will help him keep an eye on the time for us all, too.
Grim Reaper Beastie's Hourglass, by CrawCrafts Beasties
He can also embrace a more casual look, if it’s called for…
Grim Reaper Beastie's Casual Look - CrawCrafts Beasties
…But it’s getting colder outside, so he might be better off leaving his hood up, at least for the moment.

Before Grim Reaper Beastie headed off to his new home in Germany, I took him out for a walk in one of my favourite Dublin parks. Iveagh Gardens is right in the city centre, but with its high walls and hidden entrances, you really need to know where to look if you want to find it! The crumbling statues and stonework give it a real “Secret Garden” feel…
Grim Reaper Beastie in Iveagh Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesGrim Reaper Beastie's Secret Den - CrawCrafts Beasties

Grim Reaper Beastie with the Statues - CrawCrafts Beasties
…While the evergreen-shaded pathways make for some great spooky photos!
Grim Reaper Beastie Strikes a Spooky Pose - CrawCrafts Beasties
Grim Reaper Beastie on the Path - CrawCrafts Beasties
And what’s that down there?
Grim Reaper Beastie in the Maze - CrawCrafts Beasties
Yes, it’s a miniature hedge maze! The sundial at the centre is supposed to be very accurate – unfortunately a sundial in Ireland isn’t really the best way to keep time!
Grim Reaper Beastie Starts His Journey - CrawCrafts Beasties
As the winter daylight faded, it was time to head back to Beastie Towers, and ready Grim Reaper Beastie for his onward journey. Apparently he’s settling in well in his new home!

More new Beasties next week… until then I’m going to sit down and practice writing “2016” on everything. I’m sure I’ll get the message by February…

PS Drop in again on Friday for our first “Explorer Beastie’s Dublin” post! I’m not sure where we’re going yet, but he’s assured me he has a plan!