Book Signing with Authors…Joshua Savage & Dani Nichols

Join us for our holiday event this season with adventure author Joshua Savage & children’s book author Dani Nichols.

We caught up with these two local writers recently and asked them to share some things about themselves and their books.

Here’s some of what they had to say… to learn more don’t miss their book signing at Desperado!

Joshua Savage
What brought you to Bend and when did you make it your home?

Joshua: We moved here 5 years ago after spending a year on the road with my family. My wife was a traveling nurse, so we’d spend 2-3 months in a community. When we landed in Bend we decided to stay.

What inspired you to write your book “100 Things to Do in Bend, Oregon Before You Die”?

Joshua: My family and I love to adventure and whenever we were in a city, I’d check out the “100 Things…” book series by Reedy Press, but when we came to Bend there wasn’t a book. I contacted the publisher, and they challenged me to write one!

What does it take to make the top 100 in your book?

Joshua: It must be memorable, something out of the ordinary, and something a lot of people enjoy! But don’t worry there are plenty of amazing adventures here in Central Oregon that I choose to keep a secret.

“100 Things to Do in Bend, Oregon Before You Die” is in its second edition released earlier this year. Joshua now resides in Bend with his wife and two daughters.

Children’s Book Author Dani Nichols recently published her debut book, “Buzz the Not-So-Brave” earlier this year. The book is about Dani’s not-very-brave Quarter Horse and the adventures the two of them share.

We asked Dani to share her thoughts & inspiration.

What inspired you to write your debut children’s book?

Dani: Well, the obvious answer is my horse, Buzz, and his tendency to see boogeymen around every corner. These irrational fears are normal for most horses, and a lot of us humans too.

When I had my daughter and started teaching her about horses at a young age, I realized that there were a lot of similarities between her fears of new experiences and the fears of my horse.

All this gave me inspiration and so far I have been blessed to hear from moms and dads who tell me their kids are using Buzz as inspiration to face fears.

One of the greatest compliments I can hear is from a child saying “I can be brave, just like Buzz!”

Portland-based artist (and fellow mom) Kristin McNess Moran illustrated “Buzz the Not-So-Brave.

Dani is a writer, cowgirl, and mom of three. Her work has won several writing contests and has been published in magazines & anthologies. Dani has called Bend home for the last 10 years and plans to never leave. When she is not writing or riding, she loves being a wife, mom, and cook.

Both authors will be at Desperado from 4-7 pm on Saturday, December 10th.

26th Anniversary Trunk Show with Jeweler Paula Carvalho!

As part of our commitment to support artisans and craftspeople from around the region, we are honored to showcase the work of west coast jeweler, Paula Carvalho, at our Bend boutique as part of our 26th Anniversary Celebration. We will be showcasing some of Paula’s unique and eclectic necklaces. We first fell in love with Paula’s work several years ago and have enjoyed how great it pairs with the boho style of our store. Paula creates one-of-a-kind pieces carefully curated from antique coins, pendants, precious and semi-precious stones and more. A specially curated Trunk Show will be on display starting Friday, September 23rd – Sunday, September 25th. Please stop by to check her work out, or if Central Oregon is not your home please see our Facebook & Instagram accounts to see this special collection. We are also always happy to text photos or shop with you via FaceTime. Simply call us to set up whatever works best for you…. 541-749-9980.

Summer Event with Silver.Stone.Boheme

Unleash your Boho Style this weekend with PNW Silversmith Amy Leistiko of Silver.Stone.Boheme!  Kickoff Party begins this Friday, July 1 during 1st Friday ArtWalk & Saturday from 11-4!!!  Don’t miss our best event of the Summer!

We caught up with Amy Leistiko recently and asked her to reflect on her work.  Amy shared this with us, “I’ve always had a love of creating. I’ve done a bit of everything on my way to discovering silversmithing. I started out sewing and doing beadwork as a kid and used to be a prolific knitter. But when I picked up my first “silly little much too small hand-held” torch, something about silversmithing just locked into place and it really felt almost like I’d done it before and I was immediately pulled towards it.  Amy learned her art by herself watching YouTube videos, reading forums, asking questions, and largely just following her gut instincts.

She shares that what also fuels her creative spirit is the energy she feels in the materials she uses!  “I love stones and the different healing energies they have. Similar to essential oils and plants. I actually didn’t start silversmithing with the intention of primarily working with turquoise, but I love its energy!”   Amy also loves the huge variety of different stones that come from the individual mines around North America and the fact that no two stones look the same.  Amy shares, “I only use American turquoise, because I love that it is near to us and that feels good to me. And I only buy from lapidary artists that I trust and know.”  She adds, “All my cabochons are natural stones because I prefer the way they feel and that they take on more character with time and age with their owner.”

Amy calls Oregon home and loves living in the Pacific Northwest.  “I’ve been creating and living with my little beagle in my bumper pull trailer that I am renovating into a tiny home on wheels. It is tucked up against the woods with a seasonal creek that runs behind me that I can hear from my workbench window when it is open. That is if my beagle isn’t snoring too loudly on the couch,” she adds with a laugh.
“When I’m not smithing or working, I hike. I hike a lot, and paddleboard in the summer. And cross country ski in the winter. I try to be outside as much as possible.”

Amy tells us she truly loves to create jewelry and if she hasn’t been to her workbench in a few days she misses it like an old friend. “I would say honestly what inspires me are the stones themselves. I can’t create pieces with stones I don’t like or feel drawn to. I’ve tried with special requests before and I just can’t do it. Most smithing mornings I sit with my stones and rummage thru them while I sip coffee. Then go on a hike with my beagle and think about what I want them to become.”

We think you’ll love Amy Leistiko as much as we do so please come down and say hello and see what beautiful work Amy has today!

Bend Artist Amy Brannan

Amy’s love for the outdoors is apparent in everything she does.  When she is not making her colorful natural stone bead and sterling silver jewelry you will often find Amy in the snowy backcountry helping the visually impaired cross-country ski as a volunteer for Ski for Light International.  We asked Amy to share some of what she loves about life in Central Oregon and here is what she told us!

Amy Brannan: For 45 years I have made jewelry for myself, friends, and family using sterling silver, gemstones, and pearls. My jewelry comes to life with inspiration from the outdoors as when I am not making jewelry you can find me XC skiing, mountain biking, gardening, or hiking with my dog Kitsu.

I love working with all gemstones and also started creating with my Grandmother’s antique buttons.  Many of these are Victorian Era metal and glass buttons that are over 100 years old.  The details are intricate and it’s fun to wear a little bit of history.

Along with gemstones and pearls I use sterling silver wire for hammered shapes and Silver Metal Clay for button and textured pieces. The metal clay is fired in a kiln for 2 hours at 1650 degrees resulting in 99.9% silver pieces.

I moved from Fort Collins, Colorado to Eugene where I lived for three years before moving to Bend.  And for the last 7 years I have been enjoying all that Central Oregon has to offer. I love exploring our trails, and skiing at Mt Bachelor’s Nordic Center and Virginia Meissner.

One fun fact about me – I have a Shiba Inu and she screams so loud when getting a bath I wear earplugs. She is actually quite a good girl and we get many comments on how much she looks like a red fox.

Super fun fact for me as a cross-country skier – this past week I made and gifted 8 pairs of “mini” Color of Snow earrings to our USA XC Women’s team that was here in Bend starting their training season. And not only did I see my earrings in use on 4 of the ladies, but I also talked briefly with two Olympians – Jessie Diggins and Rosie Brennan. Too Fun!

Come meet Bend Artist Amy Brannan of Rainbows by Amy at our June 3rd First Friday ArtWalk from 5-8 pm.

The Stokes Story

Desperado has proudly been carrying this incredible line of locally made top grain leather bags and totes… but it is our pleasure to be hosting our first Trunk Show with Matt Stokes.  We recently asked Matt to share his story with us.  Here it is in his own words…



Matt Stokes/Stokes Co. Leather

My parents moved us here when I was 2 years old in 1976, I have always been motivated by creating, art has always been a big part of who I am.

I love to fly fish and spend time on the river, but I don’t do very much anymore. Since starting my leather work I have given it almost everything I have. I feel like I am doing the thing I love more than anything, so my life is a vacation. I’d rather be in my shop than just about anywhere.

I have been doing leatherwork for about five years now. I began very organically, at the time I was a metal artist, and I wanted to learn how to sew so that I could patch my own clothing, and also make bags for safe transport of my artwork to and from shows. What started as a simple desire to sew turned into a passion once I started designing and building canvas bags. I fell in love with the process, never taking a lesson, nor watching a youtube video I learned the hardest possible way by trial and error. I knew at some point I would be able to see how other bags were made by simply looking at them so I really wanted to maintain my own artistic style before that day came. Once I decided to add some leather accents to my canvas bags, I realized that the leather was simply amazing to work with. It became my new medium. I designed several staple bags in my collection that are always available, however, my true heart still longs to create, design and build something totally original (even if it is just for me)!

You can meet Matt at Desperado this Friday, May 6th from 5-8 at ArtWalk!  This special collection of handbags will be at the store (while supplies last) through next Saturday.

10% off ALL sales at Desperado during the 5/6 ArtWalk from 5-8 will be donated to COVO.

the Central Oregon Veterans Outreach


Desperado’s Denim Fit Event!


Getting the perfect denim can be daunting!

So don’t miss our April Denim Event & let

Desperado’s Denim Diva Experts

help you find the perfect fitting jeans!!!

All year we have been curating the perfect spring line of On-Trend Denim. The Divas know perfect-fitting jeans can be hard to find! You want them snug in all the right places with enough breathing room to keep you moving throughout your day.
So give us a few minutes to help take the fear out of finding the perfect fit! Plus… 10% OFF all denim purchased during our event!
Pop into the store Friday, April 8th through Saturday, April 9th, or you can set up a personal fit appointment by emailing us at bend@godesperado.com

Secrets to Jean Care by Dear John Denim

Dear John care tags.While washing clothes is never fun… you won’t want to miss this entertaining article from one of our favorite denim lines… Dear John!   It’s worth the read and we promise it will add life to your jeans.

Love, the Desperado Divas


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!!!