Secrets to Jean Care by Dear John Denim

Dear John care tags.

 

Dear John,

I’m terribly sorry I had to do this through a letter, but this felt better than talking to you in person because I am a wuss like that.  This note will be the last memory you’ll ever have of me.  I’m leaving you and I’m not looking back…This should come as no surprise to you since you’ve ruined every nice pair of denim I’ve every owned.  I have tried reminding you time and time again to stay out of my dirty laundry!  My jeans don’t need to be washed all the time, and when it’s time to wash them – machine wash cold with like colors! Also, wash denim inside out so that it may retain its color longer and doesn’t damage embellishments or embroidery.  And never use bleach!  Hang dry as lycra, which keeps me comfy, hates the dryer. And no short cuts John…denim hates the dry cleaners! But like the typical “Macho Man” that you think you are, you just don’t hear me…I know you listen John…But you never HEAR me and I’m sick of explaining the difference.  So I leave you now and my only hope for you is that you find someone new…and when you do, I hope you’ll be kinder to her denim than you have been with mine… Have a Nice Life!!!  

How to Tell if the Turquoise You’re Buying is Real by Sam Silva

Images of faux & real turquoise.

It’s no secret that people enjoy the finer things in life; but sometimes the finer things in life come at an all too high cost. High-end items like jewelry are commonly being copied and made from cheaper materials, yet sold at high-end prices. Unfortunately, without the right expertise, consumers can be tricked into buying stones and jewels different from what we intend.

Fake turquoise makes up about 90% of the turquoise market today. Real turquoise is a mineral found near deposits of copper. Turquoise also requires the presence of three other materials: aluminum, phosphorus, and water. The mix of these minerals make each piece of turquoise incredibly unique. Turquoise has a rare distribution of green and blue color that other mined stone simply can’t recreate. However, other stones, like howlite, can be easily manipulated and dyed to achieve an almost identical look to turquoise, at a cheaper cost.

Howlite is a borate mineral found in evaporite deposits. Like turquoise, howlite itself is a beautiful stone that can be sold in its natural state. Howlite can be found under the names of: white turquoise, white buffalo turquoise, or white buffalo stone. However it can also be altered to imitate other stones like turquoise. Because of its spongy texture, howlite is easily dyed and the dye then sinks into the pores of the mineral giving it a look very similar to real turquoise.

When consumers look at the beautiful turquoise stone, there are three things to keep in mind to be sure that the turquoise is the real thing:

  1. Appearance: Every piece of real turquoise will have its own, unique look. If stones are identical, they may not be real.
  2. Color stability: Natural turquoise will be colored throughout from its creation in the earth. The color will not rub off.
  3. Price: Real turquoise is going to be more expensive. If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Here are a couple tricks to find out if the turquoise is real.

  • The fingernail test. The fingernail test is simply running your fingernail along the surface of the stone. If your fingernail gets caught where the veins and splotches of the stone are, chances are the stone is real. If your fingernail can run smoothly along the stone, chances are you have manipulated howlite.
  • The scratch test: Howlite is a lot lighter and softer than turquoise. The scratch test will test the hardness of the stone. If the stone scratches easy, chances are you have piece of howlite. If the stone is difficult to scratch, odds are higher that it’s turquoise. Be careful when using this technique as it does involve scratching up your stone.

The only way to be certain that you are buying real turquoise is to know where it came from. There are many vendors who sell fake turquoise labeled as the real thing. You should always buy turquoise from a reputable source with expertise and knowledge of the stone’s source. Here at Desperado Boutique we highly encourage that when looking for your new jewelry you shop local and don’t be afraid to ask questions. We love to talk about where we get our products, as everything we sell comes with a story.

Sculptural Felting by Sundie & Brad Ruppert

Desperado carries a rotating collection of Sculptural Felt & Vintage Sculpture by Brad and Sundie Ruppert.  We are happy to share photos of our current exhibit.  Please contact us directly at the store for more details.

More now from Sundie & Brad…

We have built a career by challenging ourselves to utilize what most people “look” at as useless and “seeing” the potential of what it could become. Combining our passion of repurposing with our fascination of texture and the need to innovate in the genre has lead us to our most recent body of work, SCULPTURAL FELT.

Working with felted fur, the oldest textile still in use today, we rescue the remnants trimmed from the brims of high-quality cowboy hats. Brad has found the circular hat-makers felt to be the epitome of a challenge. Although each scrap of felt is small, it is mighty in suppleness, texture and strength. The willingness of the felt to be transformed, both in form and texture when it is layered and nailed to a carved wood substrate makes it a perfect medium for exploring our detailed nature-inspired portraits.

When combined with Sundie’s intricately painted layers of hand-cut metal, which truly bare the soul of each portrait, it is hard for the viewer not to reach out and touch to help the brain interpret what the eyes are seeing. Each portrait is then completed by combining it with a background setting Sundie creates of multiple overlays of vintage documents, acrylic paint, charcoal and graphite by building up levels, partially sanding them down, adding more and more depth with each step of the process. It is imperative that the face details and backgrounds have as much depth and dimension as the richly textural felt so the final piece is a cohesive and comprehensive representation of the subject matter.

Probably the question we are asked most is “how long does it take?”  The truth is that we don’t keep track of time. The way we create each piece is like a textural jazz fusion composition with each piece moving back and forth between each of us multiple times.  We work autonomously, by trusting each other in our areas of expertise which also provides us with wonderful elements of surprise along the way and prevents us from getting stuck.

Watch this video to see a time lapse of one of Brad & Sundie’s Sculptural Felt creations.

Image of Brad & Sundie Ruppert working on a flamingo piece.

Desperado carries a rotating exhibit of works by Brad and Sundie Ruppert.  We are happy to personally send photos of our current collection.  Please contact us direct at 541.749.9980.

Olivia Harms Performs @ La Piano in the Old Mill District

When Desperado’s own (we love to claim her!) Olivia Harms isn’t flying around the world performing her own style of Americana & Country music you can find her at our boutique helping woman with her amazing fashion flair.  Later this month, Central Oregon is in for a treat onThursday, March 28th when she performs at Va Piano’s tasting room in the Old Mill District.  Don’t miss an evening with Olivia!

Oregon Winterfest Wine Walk at Desperado

This Friday kicks off Winterfest with Wine Walk in the Old Mill District.  Desperado will be one of nine shops serving regional and international wines supplied by Elixir Wine Group.  We will be serving wine and snacks on Friday, Feb. 15th from 5-9pm at our boutique.  Please join us and come down to the Old Mill District all weekend long for live music, ice and fire pit sculptures and an array of amazing entertainment.  Tickets are available in the Old Mill’s Ticket Mill.  A ticket to Wine Walk gets you a complimentary wine glass and entry into Winterfest all weekend long!!!

 

Collage of images showing activities at this year's Oregon Winterfest Wine Walk and weekend events in the Old Mill District.

Dromedaris Footwear Trunk Show

Image of Rebecca Meade, blog author and Dromedaris logo.

Desperado is excited to host our first ever event with one of our leading shoe lines- Dromedaris! Dromedaris International is a Swiss company of amazing high fashion comfort shoes handmade in Portugal. Please join us Friday & Saturday, December 14-15, for an exclusive engagement and chance to own a pair of these shoes & boots.Images of Dromedaris boots and models wearing the footwear.

Shoe designers, Werner Wyrsch and Ana de Pina teamed up in 1992 to create a company that provides technical shoe manufacturing at the highest possible level of reliability on an international basis.  For 15 years, Dromedaris operated as a sourcing company, proud to have served some of the best know brands, such as Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Colombia Sports, L.A. Gear, Brasher, Chaco, Dansko, and many more.

In 2007, Dromedaris decided to launch its own brand. Named after a frigate ship that brought the first Europeans to South Africa in 1651. The Dromedaris team continues to bring their expertise in color, fashion and extraordinary engineering to this line of footwear.  Making use of their experience, Ana and Werner developed what they call 4-D technology that ensures each shoe has anti- shock, lateral stability and arch support, a soft cushion foot-bed and metatarsal support.

Graphic showing Dromedaris' low carbon footprint.

Dromedaris has also made it its mission to use highly ecological materials and manufacturing process in their shoes to create a low carbon footprint by producing footwear that is made with eco-friendly components sourced, produced, and assembled within a 120 mile radius!

Graphic explaining Dromedaris 4-D technology.
Images of Dromedaris footwear & outfits using Dromedaris shoes.

Dromedaris Footwear Trunk Show @desperado

Friday, Dec. 14 – Saturday, Dec. 15