Seasonal Market Set-Up - CrawCrafts Beasties

Jumping on the Festive Bandwagon!

Uh-oh! Try as you might to ignore it, there’s no denying that it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! And while I’m already preparing to be haunted by my least favourite seasonal song (“Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time”) as I wander around Dublin’s city centre over the next couple of months, the ever-earlier arrival of the festive season has its advantages too… Top of the list being CHRISTMAS MARKETS!
Seasonal Market Set-Up - CrawCrafts BeastiesI do enjoy going to markets – obviously there’s a Beastie adoption motive underpinning every one I attend, but I also really like the buzz of market day. Not only is it a super way to catch up with other craftspeople (and probably, let’s face it, leave a substantial chunk of your earnings at their stalls), I also love meeting my own customers face to face! For a crafter, markets are a great (and non-creepy) way to get to know the people who admire your work, and to see which aspects of what you do appeal to them most.

This past weekend, I spent Saturday and Sunday at my first Christmas market of 2016 – the Creative Collective Ireland Craft Fair, which is held annually in the Multidenominational School in Ranelagh, one of Dublin’s most charming suburbs.
Ranelagh Craft Fair - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe Ranelagh Fair is always a special one for me… BeastieBlog veterans may dimly remember my first market update back in 2013, when I launched my Beastie-making career at this very market! And although my stock and setup have changed a bit since then, it was nice to see to see some familiar faces, both behind the stalls and among the punters!

I also thought it was time to crack out the party season finery for my stall… My spooky Hallowe’en setup has made way for bright red felt and cheerful fairy lights on my (only slightly Scrooge-y) black Christmas tree!
Feelin' Festive! CrawCrafts BeastiesThere were a couple of festive special guests at the table too, of course…
Christmas Beasties and Jingle Beans - CrawCrafts Beasties… And on day 2, I managed to get my banner up behind the stall as well!
Beastie Banner - CrawCrafts BeastiesBy the end of the weekend, we’d found new homes for some Beasties… And a whole lot of cuddly beans!
Au Revoir, Beasties! CrawCrafts BeastiesHopefully they’ll stay in touch, and share their adventures with us in the new year!

We’ll be doing more markets as Christmas draws closer… Be sure to follow us on Facebook to see where we’ll be popping up next! And don’t forget to call back on Friday, when we’ll be doing some wintry countryside rambling with Explorer Beastie. See you then!

Hooray! New Passports! CrawCrafts Beasties

New Horizons for Beastie Passports!

There’s been work afoot behind the scenes here at Beastie Towers, and today I’m excited to be able to tell you about it at last!

As many of you probably already know, all Beasties are issued with a special passport before they leave for their new homes. This passport contains everything an adventurous little monster (and their new family) needs to know about themselves – who they are, their code number and how to keep in touch with the crew back at Beastie Towers.

Here’s how they looked when I first started making them…
Original Beastie Passports, by CrawCrafts BeastiesFull credit for this idea goes to Boyfriend, and for the last couple of years, it’s been amazing for helping me to keep track of all the Beasties I’ve made. It’s also a handy way to show people that their Beastie is unique! I cut a template to help keep the shields on the front cover consistent, and constant practice has meant that I’ve actually got quite speedy at cutting them out, folding them and filling out the features on each one.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m still making every single one by hand! And as the Beasties have started to reach out and colonise new social networks, I’ve had to cram ever more information onto these teeny 5x6mm cards. The end result is…
Save me from drawing teeny social network icons! CrawCrafts BeastiesYikes! Look at all that! The last straw came when I was preparing for a market in the middle of last month, and I realised that two of the social networks I use – Twitter and Instagram – had done the unforgivable and changed their logos… to something undrawable!

A BIRD? How am I going to draw THAT?
Image from
Instagram, How Could You?
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A bird? And white lines on a multicoloured background? How am I supposed to draw those over and over without going cross-eyed?! Something had to give… So I bit the bullet and tackled something I’ve been meaning to do for ages. It’s time to let print technology do the work for me!

Aaaand since my expertise in designing for print is pretty much non-existent, I figured it would be a good idea to get a pro on board. Fortunately, I know one! I reached out to Julie from Juleco… I’d already seen work she’d done for other clients, and I knew she’d do a great job.

I got my samples back from the printers last week. So now, without further ado, I’m delighted to share her design with you… Behold!
New Passports Have Landed! CrawCrafts BeastiesBecause I no longer have to draw the crest on the front by hand, I was keen to add in a couple more elements – look, there’s a Beastie on there now! And a couple of nods to their Irish heritage, too.
New Beastie Passport Front Cover - CrawCrafts BeastiesInside, there’s space for me to write what type of Beastie they are and their code number. The new “tribe” line will allow me to share their genetic origins – all my Beasties are made from natural fibre yarns, and I want to make more of a big deal about this! I’ll still be drawing the “photos”, of course, but having a space to stick them into, instead of drawing directly onto the passport, will mean I can use proper drawing paper. Plus I’ll be less afraid of making mistakes!
Inside the New Passports - CrawCrafts BeastiesAs for the back… I’m especially pleased that the social media logos no longer look like they were drawn by a 3 year old, but it’s great that I can include info about my Etsy store for the first time, too. I’m also relieved to have somewhere to put my health and safety disclaimer at last – not the most glamorous thing, perhaps, but certainly important!

Massive thanks to Julie for making this project a walk in the park – it was a real pleasure! And if you’reĀ  a small business owner looking for help with your brand identity, I’d definitely recommend you get in touch with her… Or at least take a peek in her Etsy shop!

So, what’s the verdict? Are we fans of the new-look passports? Let me know in the comments!