Trends in Writing, The Arts, Regional Events, and High Desert Living

Posts in category Upcycling

Places to Go in the High Desert

Word-of-mouth advertising still works in the High Desert. Either you like a place and want to tell all your friends about it, or you dislike a place and tell all your friends not to go there. Local online communities such as Yelp, Citysearch, and Angie’s List are popular places to write and read reviews of local businesses. Some online communities are free, and others charge a fee. Read individual blogs and blog networks, also, to learn about local entrepreneurs, network marketing opportunities, and brick and mortar businesses.

Hospitality is important to any business. Awhile back a certain business owner and I were discussing the hospitality (or lack of) scenarios that customers experience. A negative opinion had been voiced to her about a particular business. The customer had walked in and instead of receiving a welcome, was ignored by the young person that was working. The youth was busy texting and watching a movie on a laptop. A similar experience happened to me since then. I walked into a small shop and observed a lady carrying her items to the checkout counter. Two young people, probably in their late teens or early twenties, were working. In a way it was comical to me because the lady was treating them like customers should be treated. She kept saying positive things about the store and asking the youths’ names, commenting on how she liked the names. She even mentioned that the store was a place you could meander around, that there was so much to see, and that she would like to bring her friend back with her. The young people gave somewhat of a little laugh as though they weren’t sure how to answer her. The lady left, and I looked around for a bit. Before I walked out, the young guy and girl were watching a movie at the counter. I’ve visited the place before, but this time I left with a feeling of not wanting to go back.

Let me tell you about two businesses in the High Desert where you’ll be welcomed with great hospitality.  A few people  I know from the High Desert had suggested to me that I visit the Hi Desert Oasis Book Store on Jacaranda Road in Hesperia and the Vintage Gypsies on Highway 18 in Apple Valley.

First, I visited Hi Desert Oasis Book Store. You walk in and are immediately greeted with a welcome and offer of coffee, hot chocolate, or tea. You don’t have to wonder which direction to take to find your favorite book niche either. There’s even a patio for those who favor the outdoors. It’s a top-notch bookstore where you’ll find great customer service.

The Penman family became new owners of the bookstore in June 2012. It’s close to Victor Valley College but isn’t a textbook bookstore, though textbooks might occasionally be available there. The Penmans plan expansion in the near future which will make a great place for bloggers (and yes, there’s WiFi, bloggers, so you’ll be able to bring your laptops), authors’ groups, or anyone who loves books and loves to write. Mark your calendars, seniors, for their two-hour “Happy Hour” starting February 26th, at 10:00 a.m.

The Vintage Gypsies “where everything old is new again” is a vintage store at the Historic Apple Valley Inn. This was another place of warm hospitality and welcome.

Vintage Gypsies, Beckie and Kathy, have been friends for over 20 years and welcome their customers as they walk in. They encourage you to browse through the lovely vintage store and are there to offer assistance should you have questions. If you love antiques and vintage things that have been upcycled, you’ll love it here. I purchased a birthday gift, the cutest little drawstring bag and soap made by vendors.

Vintage Gypsies Beckie and Kathy

Handkerchief Drawstring Bag and Soap, Vintage Gypsies

Drawstring Bag, Vintage Gypsies

Drawstring Bag from Vintage Gypsies shop









The Vintage Gypsies invite you to their outdoor vintage sale scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2013 from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. Spaces are available for only $10.00. The store is located in the Historic Apple Valley Inn, 20601 Highway 18, Cottage 302, Apple Valley, CA. If you have questions, call (760) 221-4600.

You are also invited to attend the anti-aging NeriumAD discovery Real Results party on the porch at the Vintage Gypsies shop on the day of the outdoor vintage sale, Saturday, March 2nd. People, including me, are having amazing results since finding out about this anti-aging discovery.



How to Generate Cash Flow in 30 Days, Day 2

Up-Cycled Wine Bottle Cork Peg Board

How does one generate extra cash flow in addition to working a full-time day job? It’s not easy.Whether you work a day job, got laid off and are on unemployment, or you’re a stay-at-home mom needing extra funds to pay the bills, you can come up with something to bring in extra cash. It just takes determination. If one thing falls through, try another. Don’t give up.

One way my husband and I have generated cash flow is to open a booth at an antiques, collectibles, and vintage shop. We like to make up-cycled vintage creations, and we opened the booth for the up-cycled, rustic, country and vintage treasures and items we make. Eclectic decor style has become the in thing and has hit the magazine racks in popular home and garden decor.

Eclectic may not be your thing, so find out what is your style. Do some research, and find out what you like to collect. If you don’t collect anything, find something to collect. Go to the library to get ideas, or research online. People will then come to you when they want to sell what it is you collect. Or, they may come to you to buy it because they saw your collectibles booth.

Every antiques shop has a different set of guidelines for renting booths to vendors. Ask around, and find out which one works best for you. Meet the vendors.

Maybe you don’t want to sell antiques, but you’d like to set up a booth for your art or jewelry that you make. There are numerous consignment shops around that will let you set up a booth like an antiques store does. You might be given a booth or a display area. Starting with a small display area works well, too. It’s an opportunity for you to grow your cash flow.

High Desert Blogging News

Today is a busy blogging day.

First I met a blogging client for a one-hour blog coaching session. Then I blogged. And blogged. Then blogged some more. The neat thing about blogging in the 21st century is that you don’t have to write complete sentences. Well for some it’s a neat thing, maybe not for English majors. But for 21st century busy schedules and the texting era, short, incomplete sentences fit right in.

What kind of blogger are you? Anyone who wants to blog can blog. The more positive the blog, the more informative the blog, the more blog readers will want to read your blog. I’d like to introduce to you one of our bloggers at High Desert Blogging – just in case you haven’t met him yet.

Meet HDG. He’s the blogger of honor today. Today is his birthday. Not only that. He’s my other half, the guy I fell in love with way back when and married 33 years ago. In one of my other blogs I refer to him as Mr. Fun. I love to read his blog posts. For instance, he wrote one about a sifter he upcycled that makes you want to take the sifter off of the page and hang it on your wall.

Upcycled by HDG











Isn’t that the coolest sifter art you ever saw? I think so, too. But it belongs to HDG and me. I happen to love it because it matches my rustic cottage kitchen. However, if you would love to purchase one to match your kitchen, we do take orders. Email HDG or Angie at for sifter art colors to choose from.

Thank you for reading High Desert Blogging News!


High Desert upcycling your old grader

How to upcycle a grader

Many of us always wondered how do you upcycle a grader.  I’m sure there are volumes of books written on this subject, but I in my most humble way will try to help. First you must have a grader. Make sure it’s clean by using soap or, what I use, is compound – the kind you use on cars.

old antique grader

Next you’ll need a base and any type of material will do. You can use iron,wood, cement, anything that you have that you think will do.I decided upon a wooden platform. Because the wood looked unantiquish, (that is a word because I just made it up), so I took a sledge hammer, hack saw, chisel, and small hammer and beat the tar out of it. Now it looks old!

old beat up wooden platform

At first I put wood stain on the platform but I really didn’t like it, so I painted it red. Then I took the grader and drilled two holes in the handle. I also cut a little piece of aged weather beaten wood to put in the bottom of the grader.

tools of destruction

piece of old wood in the bottom of grader

After the paint dries, take the grader and flip it upside down and screw it into the platform. Now you have a planter or a container to hold your kitchen utensils, grader piggy bank. I also drilled a hole in the back so if you want to hang it on the wall inside or outside then you can. And if you want to change the color to better match your decor just push the bottom wooden piece out, unscrew the wood screws, take the grader off and paint.

upcycled grader

I’m sure the real professionals can do a better job , but this is the best I can do today. Look around at what can you see that you can upcycle at home. Have fun!!

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