Where are We? H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Outstanding Blogger Award

Oh looky! We got an award!Blog Award Pedro L - CrawCrafts BeastiesThanks to Pedro at worldwidepedrol.com for nominating us!

Now, it’s been a while since I did an awards post, but I happen to know a pair of attention-hungry woolly monsters who would LOVE to tell you a little more about themselves.
A Snack for Paddy and Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

So, here are Pedro’s award questions – take it away, lads!

What would you say about yourself that can be surprising?
People are often surprised to find out how tall I am. They always think I look smaller in photos.
I think a lot of humans are amazed that we can travel by ourselves. They think Helen just picks us up and photographs us on her own travels, but that’s really not true.

Where do you live and what are your 3 favorite things about this place?
Plunkett: We live in Northern Ireland, and I think I like the beautiful countryside the best.
The Lads at Gleno Waterfall - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy: Yeah, and the beaches!
Paddy and Portbraddon - North Antrim Coast - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s also easy to travel around because it’s not very big.
Plunkett: Yes, that’s true. But somehow there’s still lots to see.
Paddy: I know! It must be some kind of magic!

If it wasn´t the pandemic and you could be abroad, where would you be at this moment and why?
Plunkett: The pandemic hasn’t really slowed us down that much. We’ve been some pretty interesting places these past couple of weeks.
Lockdown Tour Summary - Award - CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy: I think he means ACTUAL travel, Plunkett, not just photoshopping ourselves into pictures. I choose LA!
Plunkett: Hmmm… In that case, Iceland! Lots of interesting geology there. Or I’d even go back to the Giant’s Causeway. I enjoyed our trip there last year. Why do you want to go to Los Angeles?
Paddy: To work on my tan, obviously. And launch my film career.

Either on blogging or arts or maths, what are your biggest inspirations and how do they inspire you?
Plunkett: I love nice, green, mossy places. Somewhere quiet where I can relax and watch the world go by for a while. And gardening! It’s so satisfying to watch things grow.Plunkett Likes... Award Post - CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy: Action films! And fast cars!
Plunkett: You’re supposed to say why, Paddy.
Paddy: What’s to explain? Because they’re AWESOME!!

What are your tips to have a successful blog?
Paddy: Oh, tricky one! I think you should have loads of cool stuff, like high speed car chases and glamorous locations. We should definitely be doing more of that.
Plunkett: Or maybe just keeping it simple? Travel and banter with a buddy, for example?
Paddy: Hmmm… Yes, I suppose that’s good too!

What are your goals for this year and how do you imagine yourself in a decade?
Paddy: Be more famous. Then in ten years I will be SUPER FAMOUS, and a Formula One driver, and a film star with my own clothing line.
Plunkett: I’m pretty happy as I am, really. I’d like to see more of the world though, and perhaps add some more interesting specimens to my rock collection.

If you had the chance, what would you ask about me? (and I promise to answer in a future post! ahah)
Both: We heard you once visited Northern Ireland. Tell us more!

Outstanding Blogger Award, Part 2

Okay, now you know everything there is to know about Paddy and Plunkett! Next I need to pick out some nominees of my own. Here goes…

Handmade Habit


Tammie Painter


Simon’s Space


Daze and Weekes

Quiet Water Craft

For those of you who are up for participating, here are the rules: provide a link to the creator’s original award post; answer the questions provided; create 7 unique questions; nominate up to 10 bloggers; ensure that they are aware of their nomination.

Nominees, please don’t feel under pressure to take part! We all have a lot going on these days! But if you do want to share a little more about yourself, here are Paddy and Plunkett’s questions for you. They’ve cut the question list down to five as well, to make the whole process a little easier 😉

  1. Coffee or tea? (Or no hot beverages at all?)
  2. Where in the world would you most like to visit, and why?
  3. What is the most delicious meal you’ve ever eaten, and where did you have it?
  4. What have you made that you’re most proud of, and why?
  5. What’s your plan for today?

And Finally…

Where in the world were Paddy and Plunkett last week?
Perseverance Panorama - Paddy and PlunkettAnswer: Nowhere. Because they weren’t on this world at all! As spotted by some eagle-eyed readers, the boys have magicked themselves onto Mars. Overall, they enjoyed the experience, but Paddy says the nightlife isn’t really up to much.

Plunkett “borrowed” the pictures for this adventure from NASA’s website. This link will take you directly to the gallery of images from the 2020 Perseverance Rover mission – there’s some really cool artwork on here, as well as actual photos from the surface of the Red Planet! Enjoy!

We’ll be taking a break from blogging for a little while, to get caught up on some other bits and bobs. But don’t worry, we’ll be back to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with you in a couple of weeks! See you then!

Sunday Morning in the Park - CrawCrafts Beasties

Saturday Slip-Up #1


Oh, it’s been a busy old week here in Beastie Towers! In fact, it’s been a busy month… And yesterday I kinda ran out of hours in the day, and kinda didn’t have time to post anything.
Oooops! CrawCrafts BeastiesAh well, sometimes these things happen. And the upside of all this frenzied activity is that you can expect to see HEAPS of new Beasties over the coming weeks, as well as pictures of some of the fun stuff I’ve been doing over the last while. All that, and Paddy and Plunkett are still touring around Devon and Cornwall! So June on the BeastieBlog should be a party… As long as I can find the odd spare minute to write it all down!

And now that I’ve said my piece, I’m off to enjoy the last of today’s sunshine!
Explorer Beastie Chooses A Sunny Spot - CrawCrafts BeastiesEnjoy the rest of the weekend, wherever you are, and I’ll be back on Tuesday with more from Paddy and Plunkett!
(I promise)

Paddy and Plunkett Reach Beachy Head - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Friday Social #6 – Beastie Adventures From Near and Far!

Well hello there, Beastie people! And look, the weekend is very nearly here! So I thought it might be fun to catch up with some other members of the far-flung Beastie family… it appears that a couple of them have been taking advantage of the (vaguely) improving weather!

For starters, any of you who enjoyed meeting my Magical Unicorn Beastie on Tuesday will definitely get a kick out of reading about Finn McSpool’s recently-discovered “magic” powers on Tammie’s site…

Finn McSpool in the Garden - T Painter
Finn sees the future! Picture from tammiepainter.com

… Plus, if you happen to share my complete lack of horticultural skills, I bet you’ll really enjoy a virtual wander around a garden in which things actually grow!

Now, let’s hop over to the other side of the pond, and catch up with Sinéad Beastie, over on Daze & Weekes. She’s just back from Amsterdam, the lucky little monster!

Sinead Beastie, Jumping on the Bandwagon - dazeandweekes.com
Jump on that Bandwagon, Sinead Beastie! Photo from dazeandweekes.com

For your convenience, Sinéad has visited some of the highest-quality (ahem!) tourist traps that this great European city has to offer, and she can’t wait to share her findings with you all!

Aaaaand if all that has you counting down the days to your own summer break, I can help you get your planning started!
May Calendar Image - Free download from CrawCrafts BeastiesMay’s Beastie calendar page is in the store now!

As usual, it’s totally free… And you only need to fill out your name and email address in the order form, then the internet pixies will drop your copy directly into your inbox!

Get yours!

Alrighty, that’s all the news from Beastie Towers and beyond… And now I’m planning to spend the weekend working away on the next batch of Beasties! If you’ve got any monster plans, be sure to tell us all about them in the comments.

See you on Tuesday for more Beastie shenanigans!

Cathedral Closeups - CrawCrafts Beasties

Friday Social #2

Hello everybody, and happy Friday to you all!

It’s been all go here in Beastie Towers. Earlier in the week, I had a birthday… I was *cough* 29!
And I hope none of you are hungry, because I celebrated with THESE. Thanks, Boyfriend!

It’s hard to see in the photo, but the box and tissue paper lining are printed with pictures of monsters, too… Now I’m NEVER going to be able to put that in the recycling!

Also from the Twittersphere… Another completed colour-in calendar page! Thanks for sharing, Tammie!

I was delighted to get Beastie greetings from some monsters overseas as well! Climber Beastie dropped in from this rugged mountain range…
Climber Beastie Drops In - J Donaldson/CrawCrafts Beasties
…And here’s Sinéad Beastie. She brought a friend to the party!
Sinead and Puffer Fish - Daze+Weekes/CrawCrafts Beasties
You can see more of Sinéad’s adventures on Daze and Weekes, here!

Speaking of adventures, Paddy and Plunkett were at large again earlier in the week. And while Paddy’s reimagining of “A Knight’s Tale” got the most laughs…
Sir Paddy of Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
… There was also a murmur of interest in this traditional Irish river curragh, housed in the same museum.
Paddy, Plunkett and a Very Familiar Curragh - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
This is extra exciting for me, because my Dad made it! So, I thought I’d pop in a link to his curragh-building Facebook page today, in case any of you wanted to find out a little more about these awesome historical boats and how they’re constructed!

And finally, don’t forget it’s St Patrick’s Day this weekend! I’m starting the celebrations early with a spot of knitting (what else?) at St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Cathedral Closeups - CrawCrafts BeastiesYou see, for the last 6 weeks, my local yarn shop has been hosting free knitting, crochet and felting sessions, led by me and my fellow crafters Aoibhe Ní and Niki Collier. We’ve been helping people from the local community to get together and make little handmade gifts, which will be given away to visitors to the Cathedral over the festival weekend. So, if you’re in the area, pop along and say hello… and maybe learn a new skill!

Otherwise, swing by again on Tuesday to meet the latest addition to the Beastie family! See you then!

Friday Social #1

Ooooh, it’s been a while since I posted on a Friday! But after my lazy sick day post a couple of weeks ago, I thought I might give you all a more regular behind-the-scenes look at life in Beastie Towers, and share some of the antics that the rest of the global Beastie family have been getting up to as well. I’m so chuffed that some of the little monsters who’ve left home recently have started to take over their humans’ blogs from time to time, and I want to make sure that those good people get the recognition they so richly deserve!

So, here are some of the Beastie-related fun and games which have been making me smile lately. Enjoy… and if you’re letting your own monster friend loose on your blog or social media, give me a heads-up to be featured in a future Friday Social!

Without further ado, then… Regular readers of my blog will certainly recognise the cheery purple chappie on the left of this photo. It’s Finn McSpool, who moved over to Portland, Oregon a couple of years ago to distract and torment help fiction writer Tammie Painter while she works on her fantasy series The Osteria Chronicles.Barróg Beasties, by CrawCrafts Beasties
When Tammie takes a break, Finn often accompanies her as she explores her hometown and its surroundings… but last weekend, the trip didn’t exactly go according to plan. You can find the whole story on Tammie’s blog – as well as learning what happened when Mortimer Stump went to work for Danford Balch (gotta love those names)!

And speaking of interesting names, why not swing by and see what Slartibartfast has been up to?
All-New Explorer Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
This adventurous Explorer Beastie headed off to the UK just before Christmas, and now he’s hanging out on Planet Simon‘s new blog, Escribble. Before last week’s INSANE snowfall, Slartibartfast headed out into the countryside to enjoy the first signs of spring. See how he got on here!

And finally – check out Laura Beastie’s first appearance on her human’s blog, A Pict in PA!
Laura Beastie - Personalised Handmade Monster by CrawCrafts Beasties
There’s a picture of the two of them together at the end of the post… Let me know if you think I captured the likeness!

Oh, and there’s also been some fun on Instagram! Ivonne from Aurian’s Blog just joined up recently, and I was over the moon to see her own original monster buddy Katsching tackling the colouring challenge of my March calendar page!


I’ve been trying to do more on Instagram myself lately, and I thought that Joanne Hawker’s March Meet the Maker challenge might help light a fire under me! I’ll be posting daily, and following the prompts… mostly. I might have twisted yesterday’s suggestion of “Flatlay” just a smidgen…

It also seems like a really good way to share some of the day-to-day activities of my monster-making… and to have a nosey around some other crafters’ workspaces without getting arrested!

Speaking of which… I think I owe them a post! Enjoy the weekend, and hopefully I’ll see you all again on Tuesday, when I reckon Paddy and Plunkett might be stopping in for a visit!

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 Düsseldorf 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 🌿 @crawcraftsbeasties 💚

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

You can meet Sinéad 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 Mór in New Jersey!Barróg 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.  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!

Springtime Beastie Fun! CrawCrafts Beasties

Beastie Weekend Reads, Part 1

Well hello there, BeastieBuddies!

I did promise you a double dose of blogging this week, so here I am!

When I was celebrating welcoming my 500th victim follower into the fold a couple of weeks back, I really did underestimate the number of awesome bloggers I keep up with (or at least try to) on a regular basis. I started that post with the noble intention of namechecking all of my favourites. Can you believe my naivety? Halfway through, I realised that if I were to give them all their dues, I would be tapping away at the computer all day. And by the end of the list, no-one would still be reading anyway. So, in the name of delivering the best possible shout-outs, I’m dividing up my reading list into nice, bite-sized chunks, which I’ll be feeding to you every now and again on Fridays. I’m hoping you’ll find a spare minute over the weekend to dip in, and maybe stumble on a new must-read!

So, without further ado, here are my first three…

Knitting the Stash
Knitting the Stash - Beastie Reads - CrawCrafts Beasties
If you’re in any way craftily inclined, you’ll find so much to love on Melissa’s blog… Although her enthusiasm for all things woolly and yarny is really quite infectious, so even if you don’t know your knit from your purl, you might find yourself getting sucked in! What makes Melissa different from so many other craft bloggers out there is that she takes a look beyond her own works in progress, and taps into the growing community of people involved in producing the wool she knits and spins. This takes in everything from visiting farms (and getting involved in the sheep shearing!) to meeting indie dyers and pattern designers. One of my favourite recent posts was her interview with Kara Syvertsen of Second Cycle Yarn Co… It was so inspiring to learn how one woman is making a living (and saving heaps of usable high-quality fibre from ending up in landfill) by turning unwanted clothing back into beautifully presented skeins of yarn! Melissa has also been a huge supporter of me and the Beasties, so we’re happy to be able to return the favour at last!

And as if that wasn’t enough, Melissa is also responsible for producing one of my favourite podcasts. I have to admit that I’m usually more of a “reader” than a “watcher”, but I always try to make time for Knitting the Stash. The episodes are a good length (usually around the half-hour mark), and Melissa is a fun, interesting person to hang out with! Here’s the latest episode, if you’d like to meet her for yourself!

Handmade Habit
Handmade Habit - Beastie Reads - CrawCrafts BeastiesI love checking in with Shirley’s blog. I think it has a lot to do with the way she writes – her calm, warm voice just puts you at ease, and it’s like you’re meeting a good friend for coffee and a catchup. Shirley is another person who is all about handmade, and her posts are mostly about what she’s got on the go at the moment – she knits, weaves and is a super-talented illustrator. She also loves to read around her interests, and I’ve so enjoyed sharing in her library finds (or special orders)… Especially when she comes across something with a crafty theme! Lately, I’ve been avidly following her first foray into working with reclaimed yarn (the journey starts here, if you’re interested) and I also really enjoyed this post about why working slowly isn’t such a bad thing… Perfect reading for a chilled-out Saturday morning!

Daze + Weekes
Daze and Weekes - Beastie Reads - CrawCrafts BeastiesHistory was one of my least favourite subjects in school. For three years, we sifted through an apparently random selection of dry topics, in no particular order, and the classroom was always stupidly hot. I never regretted my decision to drop it at the very first opportunity – until I got hopelessly hooked on Daze + Weekes. This is history as it should be told, with high drama, tongue-in-cheek humour and frequent Game of Thrones references. It also helps that the subject matter is fascinating – there’s a strong focus on the interesting women of history here, and it really makes for great reading. I think Joan, Minx of Wales gets my vote for favourite recent feature, or if you will insist on remaining in the present day, why not join Weekes at that most hateful of modern inconveniences, The Group Interview? She will also, very considerately, provide the soundtrack for your weekend lounging – on her sister site, weekesmusic.com, you’ll find the first two luscious, dreamy tracks from her upcoming album, AND a link to a curated mixtape playlist on Spotify. That should keep you all out of mischief until my next post on Tuesday!

Have a great weekend, everybody!
Boozy Barfly Beasties - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Plan Your Life the Monster Way - CrawCrafts Beasties


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!

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 http://www.cnn.com
Instagram, How Could You?
Image from http://www.idigitaltimes.com

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’re  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!

Explorer Beastie on the Fence! CrawCrafts Beasties

Surprise! We’re on Holiday!

Explorer Beastie Relaxes in the Heather - CrawCrafts BeastiesAaaah, it’s not often that us monster makers get a chance to get away from it all… so when one popped up out of the blue, Explorer Beastie and I grabbed it with both hands/paws! Unfortunately we’re not 100% sure what the internet access will be like at our destination, so we’ll catch up with you all again when we get back on Friday. In the meantime, we might post the odd holiday snap on Twitter or Instagram to make you jealous!

See you soon, and have a great week 🙂