Plunkett Discovers Some Greenery in Sligo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Happy St Patrick’s Day, Everyone!

Hey there Beastie friends! Yes, it’s that time again… Can you believe that it’s St Patrick’s Day already?

This year, it’s going to be a pretty quiet Paddy’s Day in Dublin. But the Beasties have had me look out some old photos of past festivities, to give you all a feel for what would normally be going on in the city. Aren’t they thoughtful?

First of all, the big St Patrick’s Day parade! Many years ago, I lived in an apartment that overlooked part of the parade route… And that meant we got a privileged view of the performers in the closing stages of their journey from the other side of the river Liffey.

In my first year of Beastie-making, a little green monster joined me to watch the fun!
St Patrick's Day ParadeYou can see more pictures from this parade in the original post, here.

And if parades aren’t really your thing, how about a quiet stroll around St Patrick’s Park instead?
Explorer Beastie at the Fountain - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis pretty city centre park is the perfect place for a springtime stroll… And you can admire St Patrick’s Cathedral as you wander! It’s right next door.
Explorer Beastie Goes for a Closer Look - CrawCrafts BeastiesOf course, a St Patrick’s Day party is probably on the cards for a lot of people. Paddy Beastie will certainly be celebrating…
Paddy Samples some Buckfast - CrawCrafts Beasties(Please enjoy your Paddy’s Day drinkies responsibly)

And look, Plunkett has found some nice seasonal shamrocks for us all to enjoy!
Plunkett's Moss Photo - Sligo Staycation - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesYou’re also all invited to the annual monster celebration at Beastie Towers – remember last year’s festivities?

That party started out fairly sedately…
St Patrick's Day Beastie Takeover - CrawCrafts Beasties… But went off the rails shortly afterwards.
Beastie Party - CrawCrafts BeastiesSo, will you be raising a glass to St Patrick today too? Be sure to share your party plans with us in the comments!

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Cheers! St Patrick's Day 2020 - CrawCrafts Beasties

Beastie St Patrick’s Day!

Well, it’s a bit of a weird St Patrick’s Day in Dublin this year. Because of the ongoing Covid-19 containment measures, there’s no parade or St Patrick’s Festival, and the guidelines are to stay in and work from home if we possibly can. So, over the weekend, I brought some stuff home from my studio, and set up a nice work station for myself beside the window. I was quite looking forward to getting stuck in this morning!

However, I forgot that the dreaded virus doesn’t affect Beasties at all. And it turns out that they had other ideas about what we’d be doing today, as you can see.St Patrick's Day Beastie Takeover - CrawCrafts BeastiesBake Off Beastie had prepared treats…
Beastie Treats - CrawCrafts Beasties

And in case there wasn’t enough cake to go around, some of the others had thoughtfully liberated my stash of Easter eggs.
Beaster Eggs on St Patrick's Day - CrawCrafts BeastiesAny chance I can use my scissors, lads?
Cheers! St Patrick's Day 2020 - CrawCrafts Beasties“No, sorry. This is the bar now. Sláinte!”

Then DJ Winter Beastie took to the decks… And cranked the volume up to 11.
St Patrick's Day Tunes - CrawCrafts BeastiesTurns out my cutting mat makes a pretty nifty dancefloor… And oh great, they’re dancing on the tables now too.
St Patrick's Day Dance Party - CrawCrafts BeastiesWhat’s this? MORE BEASTIES?!
Party Reinforcements - CrawCrafts BeastiesOh, come on! Some of you are aren’t even finished yet! And hey, get down from there!
Party Hard, Beasties! CrawCrafts BeastiesUh-oh. This can only go one way.

Beastie St Patrick's Day Mayhem - CrawCrafts Beasties

Right, that’s enough! How am I ever going to get anything done today? What do you have to say for yourselves?

Gift Beastie nudges a path through to the front of the assembled Beastie crowd.A St Patrick's Day Gift - CrawCrafts Beasties“Um, we got you a present?”

Awww, you just can’t stay mad at them, can you?

Happy St Patrick’s Day, everybody!

Also, I should mention that some of these Beasties are on the lookout for a new home. Please don’t let this post put you off! They’re usually very well behaved. You can find their profiles here if you fancy your chances as a Beastie wrangler.

Felt Gems by Niki Collier at St Patrick's Cathedral - CrawCrafts Beasties

Friday Social #3 – Community Crafting!

Hey there Beastie peeps! The weekend is very nearly here, so that means it’s time for another peek behind the scenes here at Beastie Towers… And this week, it’s all about community!
Brand New Barróg Beasties by CrawCrafts Beasties
As some of you may already know, I recently started teaching knitting classes at my local yarn store, The Constant Knitter. It’s a lovely yarny haven… That’s located a dangerously short toddle away from my home.The Constant Knitter, Francis Street - CrawCrafts Beasties
The shop is just one street over from St Patrick’s Cathedral, and as I mentioned in last week’s post, they got in touch to see if we’d like to host some free social crafting sessions in the weeks running up to the biggest event in their annual calendar… The St Patrick’s Day festival!

The idea was to make simple knitted, crocheted or wet-felted items that could be displayed at the Cathedral, and then given to visitors to take home as a memento of their visit. Oh, and it gave local people the chance to stop in and try out some new crafty skills… Or indulge in old favourites while drinking tea!

So, last week was the grand finale… The great giveaway! Unfortunately, by the time I arrived for my stint in the afternoon, quite a lot of the pieces had already been given away…
Giving Away Knitted Gifts for St Patrick's Day - CrawCrafts Beasties
… But thanks to one of the other hard-working knitting groups, there were still plenty of little spring chickens to add to the lineup!
Little Spring Chickens at St Patrick's Cathedral - CrawCrafts Beasties
There were some bigger pieces to enjoy too, like these knitted landmarks of Dublin 8. This masterpiece included the gate of the old women’s hospital at The Coombe, the now-demolished Fatima Mansions flats and even a woolly Luas tram!
Knitted Dublin at tSt Patrick's Cathedral - CrawCrafts Beasties
Local fibre artist Niki Collier also moved some pieces from her latest exhibition over to the Cathedral for the festival…
Felt Gems by Niki Collier at St Patrick's Cathedral - CrawCrafts Beasties
…Oh, and of course there was a little bit of last-minute knitting and crochet going on!
Knitters and Crocheters Take Over St Patrick's Cathedral! CrawCrafts Beasties
A few of these good people were even brave enough to try out this squiggly snake pattern, which I put together for the event!
Knitted Snakes by CrawCrafts Beasties
And after we wrapped up, I took the opportunity to have a quick look around the Cathedral on my way out.
Inside the Cathedral - St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin - CrawCrafts Beasties
I can’t believe I lived across the road from this place for years and never went inside! It’s beautiful!

Hopefully we’ll get to do it all again next year… And if you’ve been involved in any crafty happenings lately, be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

Have a super weekend, everybody! We’ll be back on Tuesday with another monster adventure to share!

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!

Paddy and Plunkett have a Picnic - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Everyone’s Irish today… Or so I hear! And I thought this might be a nice excuse to revisit some of my favourite Barróg Beastie* pics from the past year. But, for a little bit of Paddy’s Day fun, it’s up to you to decide who is the most Irish Irish Beastie of them all – let me know in the comments!

*For those of you who are new to Beastie-spotting, a Barróg Beastie is one knitted from 100% Irish wool. They can be identified by their slightly smaller stature, and more typically Irish accessories! Oh, and that word “barróg”? That’s Irish for “hug”!
Beastie at the Breakfast Table - CrawCrafts BeastiesFry-Up Beastie can’t wait to tuck into his full Irish breakfast. I’m not surprised – YUM!

Red Ale Beastie's Pint, by CrawCrafts BeastiesSláinte! Toast this most festive of days with Red Ale Beastie – I’ll drink to that!

Redhead Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesEnjoy the sunny spring weather with Redhead Beastie…

Leabhar (Book) Barrog Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties… Or relax with a good book, like Finn McSpool here!

And if you just can’t decide, your last option is a two-for-one deal… Adventurous duo Paddy and Plunkett!
Beach Beasties Frame 3 - CrawCrafts BeastiesWherever you are, however you’re celebrating, have a very happy St Patrick’s Day! Cheers!

Spring Has Sprung in Dublin…

Explorer Beastie With Baby Daffodils - CrawCrafts Beasties…So Explorer Beastie and I could hardly wait to get outside and enjoy some unexpected sun yesterday afternoon! And with St Patrick’s Day coming up next week, where better to hang out than in St Patrick’s Park? The park is right beside St Patrick’s Cathedral, so you really can’t miss it… The Cathedral’s tall spire dominates the skyline for miles around!
St Patrick's Cathedral - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd once you get up close, it’s really striking.
The Front of St Patrick's Cathedral - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe site of the Cathedral was chosen because St Patrick is said to have baptised people into Christianity here, back in 450AD. There has been a church dedicated to him in this area for more than a thousand years – its first documented mention was in 890! Although it has grown and changed a lot since then, most of what you see here today was built between 1220-60. The exterior is covered in interesting little details, for anyone with the time to take a closer look…
Cathedral Closeups - CrawCrafts Beasties…Although only one of us was small enough to be able to sneak in for a full investigation!Explorer Beastie Goes for a Closer Look - CrawCrafts BeastiesOnce I’d managed to persuade Explorer Beastie to rejoin me on the right side of the fence, he had a great time tearing around the park. There were trees to climb…
Explorer Beastie Climbing Trees - CrawCrafts Beasties… Steps to scale…
Explorer Beastie on the Steps - CrawCrafts Beasties…And of course, he had to take a look at the fountain in the centre of the park!
Explorer Beastie at the Fountain - CrawCrafts BeastiesThey’ve also been busy filling the flowerbeds with brightly-coloured plants for Spring, as you can see.

“Check these out – they’re the same colours as me!”
Explorer Beastie Enjoys the Spring Flowers - CrawCrafts BeastiesAll this left him pretty tuckered out, so we sat on one of the benches for a while and watched the world go by…
Explorer Beastie Takes a Weight Off - CrawCrafts Beasties…Before heading off into the sunset!
Explorer Beastie Heads for Home - CrawCrafts BeastiesIf you should find yourself in Dublin, St Patrick’s Cathedral and Park are open year-round (although the park does close earlier in the winter). A visit to the Cathedral will set you back €6 (€5 for OAPs and students)… but access to the park is totally free! Although it’s a popular tourist spot, many locals also use the park as a place to relax, walk their dogs or enjoy a bit of greenery on their way to work.

And once you’re there, you’re well on your way to exploring the lesser-travelled paths of Dublin 8… But we’ll save that for another day!

Do any of you have a favourite local park? Let us know in the comments!

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

St Patrick's Day Parade

I woke up this morning to find my street closed to traffic and overrun with people in leprechaun costumes.  Must be St Patrick’s Day, then!  My building is actually on the parade route, so the Beasties and I had front-row seats for the whole show.  Since Explorer Beastie still isn’t back, I thought I’d let Green Sweetheart Beastie take the lead on this one… Enjoy!Viking Float

"The Wheels of Time" Float

LSU Marching Band

"Celtic Tiger" Float

"History of Love" Float

Beastie Close-Up

Thanks for dropping by… have a great St Patrick’s Day, wherever you are!