May Artist Spotlight… Handy Crafted Goods!

Our monthly “Artist Spotlight” takes us to the small town of Eagle Creek, Oregon where jewelry artists Hannah & Andy park their tiny home on wheels.  We recently met Hannah & Andy when they popped into our store on one of their road trip adventures.  We immediately fell in love with their vintage leather ‘upcycled’ jewelry.   The jewelry is lightweight, very affordable, and comes in a wide variety of styles from playful cactus and sasquatch designs to geometric shapes made from old tooled leather belts and handbags.

When not making jewelry, this Oregon couple spends their time adventuring in the woods, fishing, and looking for materials to use in their art.  They also scour thrift stores for vintage leather goods to create their amazing and unique jewelry line.  But that’s not all that makes Hannah & Andy special.  The two have also been traveling to places ravaged by natural disasters and volunteering their time to help these communities rebuild.

During the 2018-2019 hurricane season in the Gulf states of Florida, Alabama, and Georgia the two volunteered for 7 months on the front line.  Hannah says, “On many occasions, we were overwhelmed by the devastation, but more often we were overwhelmed by the generosity, kindness, and fellow feeling displayed by both the volunteers and the victims of Hurricane Michael.”   Hannah has been deeply and profoundly moved by their experiences as volunteers and calls it “love in action”.  She adds, “There is truly more happiness in giving than receiving!”

We think their work reflects that happiness!  Please stop by our shop or check out the ‘Jewelry’ tab under ‘Accessories’ on our website for a look at our special collection of Handy Crafted Goods!

Santa Sightings at Desperado…

Desperado Diva & artist, Mikki Krohn, has turned her talent for portrait painting to Santa!  Yes Santa!  When Mikki isn’t working at Desperado you’ll often find her with a paintbrush in hand. Mikki discovered her love of painting Santas after using a Mall Santa photo for inspiration. “I have always enjoyed painting portraits and I stumbled onto the idea of painting “Santa” last year when I created my own holiday cards,” reflects Mikki.

Mikki used an old Santa Clause costume she had and started talking men into posing for her wearing Santa’s suit.  “I discovered that no amount of wigs, beards, or hats could cover up the true personality of who was wearing them,” laughs Mikki.  She adds, “Putting men in Santa suits really brings out a twinkle in their eyes!” Mikki has created more than a dozen Santa portraits for family and friends and is now working on commission pieces for others.  “Everyone has someone in their lives who bring out the true spirit of Christmas, my Santa portraits just help that along.”

Olivia’s second single – Gypsy…give it a listen!

Click here to listen to Olivia’s new song…‘Gypsy’

Our very own Desperado Diva, Olivia Harms, just released her second single from her new album ‘Rhinestone Cowgirl’ and we are excited to share it with you!  This song written and performed by Olivia is called “Gypsy” and is about life on the road.  The first single titled “Hey There Cowboy”, blurs the lines between country and western music, including a hint of Bakersfield to make any honky-tonk proud.  Find the link to listen to her first song at the bottom of this story!

Olivia, an Oregon native has been working part time at Desperado for the past 3 years. She moved to central Oregon shortly after graduating from Oregon State University with her bachelor’s degree in agriculture business. After college she decided to pursue her true passion of music. Working here at Desperado allowed her to travel back and forth to Nashville and offered a flexible schedule for her to play music around the country.

After commuting back and forth to Nashville for the past 3 years, Olivia decided it was time to record. After all the writing Olivia had done during that time, she had plenty of songs to choose from. She narrowed it down to the 10 songs she connected to most, she cut the demos and set a date for the master recording. Olivia had planned to spend 10 days in March tracking instruments and recording the master vocals. Unfortunately, a little thing called Covid-19 got in her way.

Olivia thought it was just a small setback at the time. Not realizing how much covid would affect her recording process. After rescheduling twice and no sign of change in the world, Olivia decided to go back to Nashville in May and record. “It was an interesting experience traveling during covid. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t want to put anyone in danger, but life also had to go on. All I knew was covid wasn’t getting any better, who knew how long it would last, and I didn’t have the patience or will power to sit around and wait till it was over to share my new music.”

Olivia recorded all 10 songs while she was in Nashville in May. “Such an exciting feeling to hear a song that you wrote, come to life with all the right instruments” she says. After returning home from a successful trip Olivia made a plan for her release. With less live concerts and places to play, she decided to release her music one song at a time throughout the Fall.

‘Hey there Cowboy’ was her first release from the project on September 25th. The song debuted with over 20k views on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. In an interview with Y-102 Gorge Country Olivia jokes that the song was written on accident. She said she was driving home from a long day of writing session on a trip to Nashville in January and had been thinking about all of the extra confident cowboys that she had met at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas just a few weeks prior in December. As she was driving, she thought, “what would I say if I were trying to introduce myself to a handsome stranger. What kind of things would we talk about?” Then before she knew it, she had a voice memo with a rough draft of Hey There Cowboy, and she was 20 miles past her exit. It may have cost her a little time to get turned around, but she ended up with a great song.

Music has always been Olivia passion, she grew up playing and performing with her mom, Joni harms, who will be inducted into the western music hall of fame this year. Olivia says “music is a way for us to connect with strangers, sometimes it gives us confidence, other times it helps us heal. In my experience music has always been there for me, and I hope that my listeners will feel that I will always be there for them. I play music to share my stories, make people laugh, cry, happy, and sad. The idea that not just someone, but hundreds of people, can relate to a little song I wrote driving down the freeway blows my mind. I’m forever grateful for anyone that lends an ear and takes a chance on listening to my music.”

You can listen to Olivia’s new release using the link or find it on any streaming platform. Be sure to catch her local performances by checking www.oliviaharms.com and mark your calendars for her second release “Gypsy” in November 5th.

Follow this link to YouTube to hear ‘Hey There Cowboy’ now and please listen, like, and share!

Meet PNW Stylist Jerrod Alcaida of The Goat Fashion Group

Jerrod will be joining us Friday, May 15th for our Live Virtual Event on FB & IG!

We caught up with him recently and asked him these questions…

#1) Desperado’s mission is ‘helping women define who they are by what they wear’ – how do you think fashion can help define us and why is it important to create a look that truly works for the individual?
I think fashion can define us just like art except for the fact that you wear it rather than it hanging on the wall. So with that said, each person has their own identity and what they think is Fashionable. Which makes the fashion industry one of the most unique and diverse. 

 

#2) What got you into the fashion industry and what do you think is key to styling women?
Making women feel feminine and beautiful with their own body and look is key. Each woman is beautiful in her own way. 

 

#3) Tell us about the fashion lines you carry and how they translate to today’s fashion trends and lifestyle? Caite, Kyla Seo, and Love Kyla are the lines I represent and are beautiful current looks for today’s woman. 

 

#4) What key fashion elements should no woman be without? A Caite, Kyla Seo, Love Kyle garment;) 

 

#5) How do you see this pandemic changing or influencing fashion? I feel that the pandemic is going to change fashion to a more leisure look. 

 

#6) Please tell us about your passion for goats and why you named your company the Goat Fashion Group? I raise and show Pygmy goats 🐐 and when coming up with the name of the company it was just there lol and all the people that know me were like it’s the perfect fit. 

 

#7) Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers so they can learn a little more about what you do in the fashion industry?  I’m have been in the fashion industry for most of my life and truly love it. I remember going to my first magic trade show and thinking I can’t wait to be a merchandiser or sales rep. 

 

See you all this Friday @5:00!
Jerrod Alcaida

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!!!  

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.

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

An Interview with Amy Leistiko

Image of Sam Silva with title "Jewelry that Speaks to You"

Amy Leistiko is a Pacific Northwest Native and resides in the small town of Bonneville, Washington.  Living in the Columbia River Gorge has allowed Amy and her husband to live the adventurous lifestyle she grew up with. The hiking trails and breath taking views have inspired a lot of Amy’s work.  A talented silversmith, Amy is self-taught and designs and creates all her own work. She has manifested a beautiful business that focuses on her customers and she hopes every person who wears her jewelry feels excited and special.

Images of Amy Leistiko and her jewelry.

Each piece of handcrafted silver is intricately designed to highlight the sincerity of the stone. With the integrity of the stone in mind, Amy manipulates the silver with tanks of flammable gases to create her radiating designs. Amy says, “When a person is drawn toward a particular piece it speaks to the energy of that person.” She adds, “It’s more than jewelry or a statement piece; to me it’s about connecting to a piece that you want to wear everyday. They’re livable.”

Amy believes crystals and stones vibrate at a much higher rate than humans do. She says, “When around certain stones, a person’s vibrational rate is effected.” Amy says this is what causes the pleasant, peaceful reaction people experience when looking at stones; and why people are drawn to a particular stone. This is what Amy regards as her main inspiration when it comes to making jewelry. She sees the connection when someone is drawn to a certain piece.

Images of Amy with Laura Savage and photos of her jewelry.

Amy gets her stones from all over; always being sure to get the best there is. Like us, Amy supports local businesses and sellers that keep a small, old time feel. At Desperado Boutique Amy will be showcasing stones from one of the longest running turquoise mine fields.

Although most of her work involves rings, recently Amy has dipped into creating earrings. At her upcoming Trunk Show at Desperado Amy will be debuting some of her first earrings as well as pendants.

Silversmith, Amy Leistiko, will be joining us at Desperado for our exclusive

Johnny Was Event November 3-4

Stop by for her debut Trunk Show and see her amazingly unique jewelry, including rings, earrings, and pendants.