Thursday, December 30, 2010

argyle sightings

this year's been crazy with argyle sightings, i'm seeing it everywhere i go on adults and kids, sweaters and backpacks. today i was walking past a coworker's office and her water bottle had argyle all over it! a few weeks ago at the detroit urban craft fair i asked dennis of perfect laughter if i could snap his photo in his green argyle to throw on my blog later. well, here it is! thanks for being a good sport! their etsy shop is stocked with some super sweet screen prints, i still need to get that type tree!
i also recently ran across a pug friendly shop on etsy, african gray, and this little paper doll has on the cutest argyle sweater and jeans.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

my christmas moves rid the world of evil

Tis the season! For snow and hot cocoa and loved ones. I’ll admit, part of me is a scrooge during the holidays. The malls- ACK! The wrapping paper- ACK! But there is definitely plenty to love about this time of year. To help get through the blur that are the holidays, there are few standbys to keep me in spirit. Fa la la la la!

Favorite Christmas CDs:

A Very Special Christmas, Compilation (Fave track: Christmas in Hollis, by Run DMC)

The Magical Magic of Christmas, by Harry and the Potters (Fave track: Drop the Needle, It’s Christmas. You may think “WHAT?!’” but hellz yeah, this is a great album.)

Christmas, by Low (Fave track: Little Drummer Boy. You know, from that Gap commercial ten years ago.)

A Christmas Together, by John Denver & The Muppets (Fave track: Twelve Days of Christmas. The Muppets- Need I say more? Just don’t mention the “piggy pudding.”)

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, by Elmo & Patsy (Fave track: Percy, The Puny Poinsettia. I don’t LOVE this album, but it was a staple of mid to late 1980s Christmases so I felt pressure to include it in my minimal list, and I dedicate this selection to my sister.)

Jingle Bells, by Barbra Streisand (A song from A Christmas Album. This song is not your typical version. I don’t like Barbra, but I LOVE this super fast version of Jingle Bells.)

Peace on Earth/ Little Drummer Boy, by David Bowie & Bing Crosby. DUH!


Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Animated, NO Jim Carrey) are the only ones I REALLY need to see annually. But I do like Scrooged, It’s a Wonderful Life- when I want a good cry, I do LOVE A Muppet Family Christmas, and Ernest Saves Christmas is a classic in my book as well.

dang happy holiday media days to you!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

DIYpsi round-up

while i was frantically sewing up finishing touches on items for DIYpsi last week, i watched a movied called bang the drum slowly, a 1970s baseball movie starring robert de niro. he ends up falling ill and then out of baseball. at one point when the illness is taking its toll he is wobbling across the street and says "i'm dipsy." YES. DIYPSI. i thought i was hearing things, the he said it again! he was feeling dipsy. i had to chuckle. oh the crafty madness of craftin' it up on little sleep. (also, upon googling i was reminded that there is a teletubby named dipsy. oh noez.)

DIYpsi: a handmade holiday craft fair was a first year show put on by sherri, marcy and cre (AKA: sparklepants industries, all things grow and tin angry men). 2.5 weeks before the show the venue it was to be held at shut down! without warning. so it was scramble time for them to find a new venue and make it work, so that the show would go on.

and go on it did! it was held at woodruff's in depot town and another small space across the street. the cozy bar i was in was busy all day, i laughed with some of my crafty peeps, saw many familiar faces since it was in my neck of the woods, sold some dang stuff, and enjoyed some chickpea sammiches from local caterers EAT. little DIYPsi was a success! well done, pals.

fun fact: across the street from the venue was tats for toys. which was essentially folks lined up around the block waiting to donate a toy in order to get a free tattoo. needless to say, the long line was a topic of conversation.

DIYpsi was the last show for dang argyle this year! i did eight craft fairs in 2010, which is the most we've done in one year. when we started doing shows in 2006 we did maybe three a year on average. i keep doing more! i don't know if i wish to continue to do so. it seems like there are so many more shows being organized each year, and doing fairs is addicting, so it's hard not to want to do them. i'll see where 2011 leads us.

finally, a big thank you goes out to all those who visit indie craft fairs and support local artists and handmade!

PS there was a mini shop update today! wristlets + michigan mittens gift tags

Friday, December 10, 2010

stuff i bought in detroit @ DUCF

1. 5th detroit urban craft fair t-shirt, handmade detroit, design by detroit GT
2. aqua tulips wall hanging, by all things grow
3. poor man's wine cover, by my vintage kitschen
4. mustard ruffle necklace, by pretty things by meg

5. enjoy irony & sewing is believing buttons, by sweetie pie press
6. robot ornament, by deets
7. knitted mustache brooch, by mittenmade

the list of things from other crafters that i wanted and didn't buy is way long! i hope to hit up their shops to do some more purchasing. it's so fun finding fun things at craft fairs!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

a waxing nostalgia DUCF wrap-up

warning: long, rambling, emotional crafter post to follow.

this past weekend was the 5th annual detroit urban craft fair in detroit, and i was overly proud and excited to be among the 70+ vendors. the fillmore theater is a gorgeous space and it added even more magic to an already magical event. when i walked into the theater that morning and was getting ready to sign in i got tears in my eyes thinking about how far the whole “craft movement” has come, and how i’ve been able to witness it all and to also have my own business evolve along with it.

the very first DUCF in 2006 was the first craft fair dang argyle did, and it was an amazing introduction to the craft community. that august day in 2006 cortney (le bizz partner) and i met some great people and we were in awe at how friendly and fabulous our fellow crafters were. we were blown away that we could make purses, that people would buy them, and we could have so much fun doing it. over the past four years i’ve continued to form connections with fellow crafters in the community as new events and crafters pop up all the time. handmade detroit has played a huge part in this, acting as a catalyst, and a hub of all things crafty. those 5 gals have done wonders in SE michigan, and i am deeply thankful for all their crafty efforts in helping spur on the craft community.

every DUCF is magic, awesome, amazing, and fun, and i love participating- it’s like christmas morning, disney land and a family reunion all in the same day. but this 5th anniversary DUCF... from the moment i got the “you’ve been accepted as a vendor” email i’ve felt it all a bit more as i’ve been reflecting on dang argyle and the craft world at large, and i’ve been a bit overwhelmed at how it’s all made me feel when looking back. to be involved in such a great crafty circle of the nicest people. it’s great to chat about getting no sleep before fairs, about our tents blowing away in the wind, about where to order business cards, about what shows to do, etc. at the DUCF after party on sunday, in addition to toasting a super weekend, we compared crafting to sports. a craft fair is like a marathon. it’s crazy preparing to get there, and then when it’s all over you are high on the buzz it leaves, and you breathe a sigh of relief, and then immediately start thinking about the next one.
the short of it: it was a great DUCF weekend that was busy both days, despite a lions game and high priced parking. i had a ton of fun. my table was next to courtney fischer (again!), so we had a blast. i had a ball carpooling with nicole from sloe gin fizz. i met some fabulous new people. i got to see the pony boy necklace in person. i marvelled over ethan's trumbullplex zine library. (really, truly, i drooled way too much over that necklace and that card catalog.)

this week i’ll be preparing for DIYpsi, which is in ypsilanti at woodruff’s in depot town. 29 sweet vendors with their handmade wares. i’ll have library card pouches, if you missed out on one! snag ‘em while you can, i don’t know if i’ll have them on etsy again before the holidays.

next up: what I bought at DUCF!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

it's a keeper

i am a sucker for interesting linens. normally i scour for them and cut them up to make things out of, but not with this one. i found a rectangle table cloth with brown and aqua and little birds on it, and i am not cutting it up! it's all mine. i used it for thanksgiving and not a drop of cranberry sauce stained it.

[i totally backdated this post! it's been busy.]

Monday, November 22, 2010

DUCF preview #2: pardon my pleats

preparation for the detroit urban craft fair, which is less than TWO WEEKS away (dec. 4-5 at the fillmore), it is in full swing around here. every room in my house is scattered with fabric and bits of thread are stuck to everything it can get a grip on. i love this point of preparing for a big event where a lot needs done beforehand and many lists need made to keep it all straight. a sort of craft-insanity takes place as you're making coffee at midnight and dancing around in your PJs as you cut out interfacing and talk to yourself while planning a crafty hibernation to make it all happen in time. it makes me quite happy and insane to do so. after spending the entire weekend hitting "that crazy spot" i am pleased with where things are headed. here's a glimpse of a bit of what you'll find there:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

argyle sighting: michigan notecards!

these fabulous michigan geography map papercut notecards, by paper artist ashley pahl, knocked me off my feet this morning! they have dang argyle written all over them. i was checking out recent treasuries that dang argyle has been included in, and i saw a midwest is best one that includes our michigan mittens notecards and these lovely argyle michigan cards. well done, i LOVE them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

DUCF preview #1

only 3 weeks until DUCF! (i.e. the biggest, funnest craft fair 5th anniversary party ever.) it's our first show of the holiday season, and we are busy up in here- prepping up some lovelies to bring to the fillmore. here is a peak at a new design; a pencil case pouch. these ones feature outcast screen prints by the ever-talented marcy of all things grow.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

polenta rancheros

november is the vegan month of food, known as Vegan MoFo. it was started on PPK, to coincide with NaNoWriMO. so you can cook and write! namely, vegan food bloggers sign up and blog about vegan food. there are over 700 bloggers signed up! that's a lot of recipes! so if you're looking for some new things to try out... check it out. you can also RSS the posts for ease and pleasure.
i am not participating in Vegan MoFo (or NaNoWriMO), and this is not an entry. yesterday i made vegan brunch's polenta rancheros for the second time, and it is so so good, so i had to share. you know how sometimes when you're eating something you say mmmm mmmm mmm and your eyes roll back with every bite because it's so good? that's this recipe for me. i was alone in the office during lunch while eating it today so i had the chance to be vocal.


for ranchero sauce
2 t cumin seeds
2 t coriander seeds
2 T oil
1 large yellow onion diced
2 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
4 garlic cloves chopped
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 t salt
1 t maple syrup
2 15 oz cans black beans

for soft polenta5 C vegetable broth
1/2 t salt
1 C polenta cornmeal
2 T olive oil

chopped green onions
avocado diced
cherry tomatoes

dry toast seeds in iron skillet on medium heat for 2 minutes, add oil, then onion, peppers and garlic and saute until onion browns- about 10 minutes. add tomato sauce, salt, and syrup and cook for 5 minutes. transfer mixture to blender and blend till smooth, return to pan and add beans and heat. do this concurrent with making polenta- polenta takes longer!

for polenta, bring broth to boil and salt. add polenta slowly while whisking in. add olive oil and lower heat to simmer for 12 minutes, stirring often. remove from heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

put ranchero beans in a bowl, top with polenta and garnish- such as sour cream, guacamole, red onions, or chopped tomatoes.

voila! ENJOY!

* i made it w/o any peppers, and used a dash of crushed red pepper.
* an immersion blender works great for blending the tomato sauce, etc.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

wintery michigan craft fairs for you

well, i guess we can say it's *almost* holiday shopping season? the craft shows start in a week and are every weekend until christmas!

there are a variety of craft fairs happening in the next few months in SE michigan. shopping handmade for the holidays is the way to go, why not do it local. make a connection, meet the person who made the cool gift you're buying! here you go:

nov. 13: art in the park, ypsi senior center, ypsilanti, mi

dec. 4-5: detroit urban craft fair, the fillmore theater, detroit, mi ****

dec. 4-5: youtique, detroit, mi

dec. 5: whip stitch art & craft fair, corner brewery, ypsilanti, mi

dec. 11: DIYpsi handmade holiday Fair, woodruff's, ypsilanti, mi ****

dec. 11: tiny expo, braun circle, ann arbor, mi

dec. 17: baar bazaar, majestic theater, detroit, mi

dec. 17-18: winter mittenMADE, blue house, ann arbor, mi

this is just a list i've gathered and wanted to mention. it's not all inclusive, and it doesn't mean vendor apps are still live, or that they have been live yet. for some the vendors have been chosen already and the vendor lists are up! check it out, and stay tuned to their websites for details and updates!

**** dang argyle will be vending at DUCF and DIYpsi. hooray!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

happy halloween!

here are a couple random pumpkins to make you feel a little halloweenier. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ann arbor featured in design*sponge

design sponge's city guides are usually pretty great. i enjoy looking at them even if i don't plan on visiting particular cities. well, the most recent city guide is for ann arbor! how cool! i met the author jaimi at blue house, and knew it was in the works, and i chatted with nicole at blue house as she was making sketches for the article. so it was lovely to see it finally happen. the article points out some great local establishments and name drops some great local artists. truly wonderful.

art by nicole ray.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

tempeh- quinoa- sweet potato burgers

i found this recipe online while looking for a sweet potato something or other. i really don't know how i find things sometimes, the internet is magic and things just appear, and i am very glad this recipe appeared. i am also glad that the burger is baked and not pan fried. it is super tasty, and it is even good before you bake the burgers- for those of you who need a taste while you're cooking.

i pretty much followed it to a T, but didn't omit certain things, so i'll post what the author wrote, with my notes not quoted. the recipe is vegan.

tempeh-quinoa-sweet potato burgers
from the golden yolk who adapted it from the moosewood restaurant's cooking for health

1/2 cup quinoa
2 cups thinly sliced peeled sweet potatoes (
about 2/3 of a large sweet potato)
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onions
1 cup minced bell peppers (
i used green)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
8 oz tempeh, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste, ketchup, or tomato salsa (
i used ketchup)
1 tbsp dark sesame oil (optional)
(i recommend it)
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup sesame seeds
Preheat the Oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse the quinoa in a fine strainer and combine with the water and sweet potatoes in a sauce pan. Add 1/4 tsp of the salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until the quinoa is soft and the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

While the quinoa and sweet potatoes cook, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, the rest of the salt, and cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bell peppers and garlic, cover, and cook for another 3 mintues. Add the tempeh, oregano, black pepper, and soy sauce, cover, and cook for 7-8 minutes stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

When the sweet potatoes and quinoa are finished, mash them in the saucepan and then add to the bowl with the vegetables (Note: The quinoa/sweet potato mashed together is delicious on its own. I plan to make this as a side for another meal someday). Mix in the ketchup, sesame oil, mustard, and cilantro and refrigerate until cool enough to handle. Then shape the mixture into burgers (1/2 cup each) and sprinkle each side with sesame seeds. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake until firm and golden, about 35 minutes.
makes 8 patties.
i served it with a side of roasted butternut squash and sweet potato (leftover from this recipe), and a salad. i've also had it in a lettuce wrap with a dollop of ketchup, and also in a pita wrap with kale. the author recommends it on a pita, or served with guacamole or avocado. mmmmm.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

you know you wanted to see more

i know i did. the internet is rampant with lovely images of yarn graffiti done across the world. i know you googled the heck out of yarn bombing after my last post (you know, the few of you who haven't been yarn bombing yourself the past year), but just in case you didn't, here's some eye candy. :)

i want to have a yarn bike and live in a yarn house surrounded by yarn trees. i think my favorite are the statues wearing apparel. all this reminds me that i don't think i ever posted a blog about the lisa anne auerbach exhibit i saw at the UMMA in ann arbor last fall. hmm.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

i don’t knit or crochet, i look at books

i did take a knitting class in the spring at blue house, taught by nicole of sloe gin fizz, but sadly, i retained very little and cannot get the yarn onto the other needle. even though i can’t knit or crochet, i LOVE to check out books on the matter to see what fabulous things other folks are making. here are the latest two i grabbed and totally dig:

i love this book. i have a hidden passion for graffiti, and being a lover of craft, i find yarn bombing totally intriguing. yarn bombing = leaving a knitted or crocheted work in a public space. this is usually done in a stealth manner. yarn bombing can be political, it can be heart-warming, and it can be funny. this particular book is truly mesmerizing, and is a definitive guide to act of yarn graffiti. since summer i’ve seen some yarn tagging around ypsilanti and ann arbor and it makes me happy whenver i see it. this book is chock full if images of yarn graffiti, the story behind some taggers and some groups, the reason, the why, and it has patterns and ideas for you! tag a telephone pole, a tree, a rock, a wall, a bike, a fence, the list is endless. check out the fabulous author blog at, which has a lot of images, to see what's inside the book. do it.

crobots: 20 amigurumi robots to make, by nelly pailloux

one word: ROBOTS. more words: they are tiny and crocheted japanese style and are SO CUTE. i would like to make these little robots. but in reality, due to lack of skill, i would like someone skilled in the art of crochet to make one (or many) for me. robots are just awesome, hands down. in this book you will find images of the finished crocheted bots and the patterns to make them. you can make a dogbot, ninjabot, zombiebot, retrobot, mechanobot, or even a space mouse. one of my favorite things about the book is the little story each robot has to go with it.

bouncebot: round and energetic, bouncebot has gleaming, multifaceted eyes, a rich assortment of controls, and a rolling, bouncy walk. despite his slightly bland expression, he radiates a cheerful, positive air- use him to brighten up the "to do" pile on your desk, or sit him on a corner of the kitchen counter so that he can keep an eye on who is coming and going around the house.

as with most amigurumi dolls, these are way cute. don't say i didn't warn you.

Friday, October 01, 2010

local artist feature: all things grow

ypsilanti resident marcy davy, of all things grow, creates original screen prints on canvas that are stretched, framed, and turned into ready to hang wall art. her nature inspired designs are so pleasing to the eye, and i love the colors she uses.

after a brief hiatus, her shop opens up again TODAY, with new things, a sale, and a giveaway!

seed. mesas. log slice. water table. are some of her fabulous prints.

she recently gave me a stack of some not-so-perfect printed fabric to see what i could come up with. there are a few things in the dang shop now. and i have more in the works! here is the beginning.

PS this blog was posted at 10:10am on 10-1-10 on purpose :)