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

Posts tagged Arts and Crafts

Children’s Craft Mother’s Day Card

A Mother’s Day Gift

flowers in a vase

Mother’s Day Vase of Flowers

School teachers, Sunday School teachers, and daycare teachers have something in common. They plan crafts ahead of time. Teachers have the opportunity to make a huge difference in children’s lives. READ MORE »

More Crafters Find New Customers at Santa Fe’s Craft Day

Newest vendor — Ursula McGrue

lthough the craft days with Santa Fe Trading Co. is over due to the excessive heat, crafters are always looking for new venues, shows, and cool places.


Garden of April Handmade soaps & Lotions

Garden of April Handmade soaps & Lotions

At the last event there, April Bracy showed her handmade soaps and lotions and creams. This health trend is growing and “Garden of April” is producing and marketing with her booth at different locations this summer.

Presentation of products is important

Presentation of products is important

Her line of products have been carefully researched and tested prior to selling to the public. If you’d like to contact her about the products she makes go to or call (760) 963.4793.



Lizzie Designs offers bulk gems and crystals to crafters

Lizzie Designs offers bulk gems and crystals to crafters

A regular vendor of quartz, crystal, gems, and unique stones are Janet and Mary Lou Flecher under the name of Lizzie Designs. Each time I run into them at Western events or craft fairs, their collection of gems are always fascinating. They carry the cabochons and beading findings for other crafters as well as large pendant crystals popular in statement jewelry.

Mary Lou’s artistry is featured in their necklaces and bracelets. You can find more about them at Email to Janet at Mary Lou can be reached at Give them a call at (760) 985.5432.



When I checked the products offered by Ursula McGrue, I found that she loves pink and black combinations in her jewelry creations.


Newest vendor -- Ursula McGrue

Newest vendor — Ursula McGrue

Although just getting started in crafting and selling to the public, she is a military wife and always on the move. This is her way to make a few new friends and some extra money while stationed in the High Desert.

She always has her Facebook page at to bridge the miles between customers. Contact her by phone at (913) 702.4986.


Variety of Styles

Variety of Styles









A wife and husband team, Candee and Bob Paredes, find that each can provide what’s needed to take a raw mineral specimen, grind, cut, or polish it to make it ready. That’s what Bob does.

Plumdragon Products with beaded jewelry

Plumdragon Products with beaded jewelry

And Candee takes it to the next level creating some awe-inspiring stones mixed with beading and weaving. With their unique artisan designs and creative concepts, Plumdragon attracts many admiring customers.

Another of their products is the highly praised wire-wrapping of fossils pieces into a variety of bracelets, brooches, necklaces, and earrings. Called amolite, these can be used in a variety of ways to show off their color and shape.

I asked where the idea of “Plumdragon” came from. Candee said it was her favorite color — plum — and collectible — dragons. I should have guessed. You can reach them by phone at (760) 617.7051 or by email


Vintage Designs by Angel

Vintage Designs by Angel

It seems that every crafter using gem rocks, crystals, and beads can develop their own unique design ideas. One that stands out is Liz Dyson who offers natural cut glass and naturally ground glass art pieces tumbled from the sea. She likes to collect glass that she can work into statement pieces with striking light and color.

Her designs caught the eye of other fine art artisans who recently asked her to join their guild. With recruitment like that you may see some of her designs in more shows in the future. Liz also likes to embellish wine bottles with woven bead overlays that really make a statement as a gift to a wine lover.  Making unusual designs is her forte. She can be reached by email at or by phone (909) 660.9128.

If you visited any of these vendors recently, let them know you liked what you saw by commenting here or contact them directly.

Rusty LaGrange


Children Craft Mother’s Day Cards from the Heart

Mothers Day Card group_05A Simple Mother’s Day Gift

Mother’s Day whirled by last weekend, but for some who don’t have the same day available to share with their Mothers, you can still send a Mother’s Day gift from the heart.



Craft a card with a flair just for her. Moms love getting something that is infused with love. Many web sites are devoted to crafts for paper flowers and 3-D creations. Just like these.
Mothers Day Card
crafted cards
My daughter hosts a craft class for children at our local museum each month. This session included a 3-D constructed woven flower as an embellishment for a “hand-made” card for me. All the children crafted their own cards for their Moms.


It’s a complicated and intricate-looking design but one that is easy for grade school kids to manage.

Rusty LaGrange

Breakfast & Vintage Hunting on Route 66 – a Southern California Bloggers Day Trip

Enjoying a high desert sunrise

Get up with the sunrise and enjoy nature










High Desert bloggers who enjoy vintage hunting,

blogging about fascinating finds, and eating breakfast

will not want to miss Breakfast & Vintage Hunting on

Route 66.

Enjoy a get-away-from-the-computer morning event planned by
Event schedule:

  • Saturday, February 22, 2014
  • Begin at 8:45 am at Molly Brown’s Country Cafe, 24949 National Trails Hwy, Helendale, CA
  • Visit nearby Bottle Tree Ranch
  • Visit nearby Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures
  • End at 12:00 Noon at Antique Station
Route 66 Bottle Tree Ranch

Get inspired for blogging a the Bottle Tree Ranch













Vintage Shopping at Linda Marie's Enchanted Treasures

Find a vintage treasure at Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures, Oro Grande, CA










You’ve heard those stories from people who live close to famous places but never visit them? If you live close enough to Southern California’s Mojave high desert area and haven’t been to the places mentioned above, now is your chance to check them out.

Visiting Southern California from Afar?

Off-the-beaten-path and Route 66 sites are often interesting to travelers. Shopping at locally owned venues, markets, and businesses adds to the excitement of travel and adventure. Meet these friendly shop and arts and craft owners. You’ll go back home with one-of-a-kind artsy and vintage finds with unique stories to tell your friends.

Get Out and Do Something

What does getting away from the computer have to do with breakfast and vintage hunting? Ever sit too long and get a blood clot? Or stare at your computer with blog-block? You know, like writers block. You know you need to blog but can’t think of a thing to blog about. That’s when you know you need to get out and do something. Enjoy nature. Meet new people face to face. Interview them. Learn how they began their arts and crafts business. Find out what inspires them to operate a vintage business, a restaurant, a bottle tree ranch.

A couple of family members dear to me got blood clots. One passed away. One is still living and doing great. My experience has taught me that sitting immobile for too long without moving around, exercising, enjoying the outdoors, etc. is bad for my legs. Furthermore, my dear ones’ blood clot issues encouraged me to include more breaks away from blogging. I want to share opportunities with other bloggers to enjoy activities that they can also blog about. In fact, since the beginning of 2014 fellow boggers and I have been planning events to inspire bloggers and encourage them to stay active.

Join us for an early breakfast and vintage hunting on the famous Route 66 for the Southern California day trip scheduled for Saturday, February 22, 2014. Bloggers and traveling guests who are not from this high desert region can also enjoy the event activities. One of the advantages to arising early for breakfast is enjoying pink, orange, and yellow sunrises like the photo above. Such beauty only last for moments. The beauty can last in our memories, but it does help to keep a camera handy for such occasions. Email me at for more information or if you want to join us for breakfast at Molly Brown’s Country Cafe as we begin the morning event.

Enter our February poetry contest for a chance to win a prize during this sweetheart month of celebrations.

Visit Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound blog today for more inspiration! 

Add Blogging to Your Writing Craft

High Desert Bloggers, Bodacious Bundts, Hesperia

High Desert Bloggers, Bodacious Bundts, Hesperia









The craft of writing covers several genres. Is blogging considered one of those genres?

Genre Styles

Each genre includes multifaceted styles. Take poetry for instance. Listening to Poet Mary Langer Thompson speak to High Desert California Writers Club in Apple Valley, CA yesterday made me aware of a particular fact about types of poetry and the people who create the craft. One style rhymes. Another doesn’t. Some poets create lines quickly. Other poets fall into the gotta-think-it-out category (I’m one of those).

After Mary talked about renowned artists and their histories, she distributed art cards with various paintings to the group of writers. Several (the quick group) read poems they had written in yesterday’s class. I was impressed by the quick group at how they could craft such poetry that portrayed specific messages from the poets to the audience.


Perception is interesting. When you first observe a painting, you see one thing. Wait a day or two or until an object catches your eye, and your perception will change.

Purple Iris

Purple Iris from My Spring Garden











What I saw on the art card that was handed to me while Mary was teaching our writers’ group was a field of many blue irises, one white iris, green stems, a fiery bed of desert dirt – and gold California poppies. Anyone else might have seen gold irises. But in my own garden I recently pulled up a bed of blue irises because the aphids (and probably cats walking through) destroyed them. They had turned ugly, and I wanted to be rid of them. On the other side of the garden now there is a large patch of vibrant California poppies.

California Poppies with Raindrops

California Poppies with Raindrops










While I’m typing this blog post at a Starbucks, I’m looking outside at a bunch of gold irises in a rock bed. Ah! The art card. Blue irises. A single white iris. GOLD IRISES. Why couldn’t I see that yesterday? Two reasons. One, the gold irises were in the back of the iris field. Two, the gold flowers looked smaller than the blue and white irises. Mostly, though, I could envision those gorgeous California poppies. Later I looked on the back of the little card. Irises. Yes, the gold ones were irises. Reality has a way of changing how we perceive things.

The Craft of Blogging

Is blogging considered a genre in the craft of writing? Absolutely! Like poetry, there are different blogging styles. Let’s name a few.

  • Conversational
  • Informative
  • Political
  • Art blogs
  • Music blogs
  • Lifestyle blogging
  • Brand blogging
  • Review blogging

Which style of blogging do you prefer? I invite your comments. You may think of another blogging style not mentioned in the above list.

If you are a writer, incorporate the craft of blogging into your genres. The art of writing has been accomplished with pencils, pens, manual and electric typewriters, wordprocessors, computers, and digital writing devices. Can’t part with your old manual typewriter or feather pen and quill? That’s okay. There’s an art to them as well. Keep the old, but learn the new. Connect the dots from old to new. Blog about your talents of typing 50 words a minute on your old-faithful manual typewriter. Add another blog post on feather pen and quill history of writing.

Writing is a craft that never gets old.

Young Lucerne Valley Artists Win Museum Contest


Chelsea LaGrange, Rylee Giles (on lap) craft paper fans with Darlene Ralson at Museum Open House

Crafts & Games Draw Visitors to Museum’s Open House

Young Art Winners

Elementary school students, Mia Feucht won First Place and Kristen Cummings won runner-up in a Lucerne Valley art contest sponsored by Lucerne Valley Museum Association.

Recently, 47 artists’ entries were received for the First Annual Art Contest celebrating “National May Is Museum Month — Support Your Local Museum.” Artists from LV Elementary School’s third, fourth, and fifth grade classes, were encouraged to draw “Icons of the West.”

“On behalf of the LV Museum Association’s Board of Directors, congratulations go to Mia Feucht, age 8, from Mrs. Byrd’s third grade class,” announced Barbara LaGrange, president of the board. “She wins $25 cash and a one-year family membership, valued at $20 to LV Museum Association. The runner up is Kristen Cummings, age 11, from Mr. Deisler’s fifth grade class. She and her family receive a one-year family membership, valued at $20 to LV Museum Association.”

Lucerne Valley is 15 miles east of Apple Valley in the High Desert of southern California. Summer hours for the Outdoor Museum is by appointment only. Call Rusty at 760-248-6777 or CSA 29 office 760-248-7048.


photo credits: Rusty LaGrange


Rusty LaGrange

Improv Class at Desert Center for the Arts in Victorville, So Cal

By Guest Blogger, Andrew Block

Darwin's A Team Improv Comedy Group

Hey there! It’s been another week and another exciting improv class at the High Desert Center for the Arts in Victorville. The last couple of weeks we’ve been using and studying the guidelines in READ MORE »

Shop Vintage on Route 66 at The Chic Boutique Recommended by High Desert Blogging

The Chic Boutique Vintage Shop in the High Desert's Old Town Victorville

Love vintage? Add The Chic Boutique on your vintage shopping list for your day trip to Route 66 in Old Town Victorville of So Cal. It’s filled with antiques, handcrafted furniture, and vintage accessories. Displayed in the storefront window is the gorgeous tree made out of coffee filters personally handcrafted by owner Mechelle.

Coffee Filter Tree at The Chic Boutique

The Chic Boutique has pretty book page roses available. You can even make your own. Sign up for one of Mechelle’s classes. This month’s class feature is the book page rose. The class only costs $25.00 and is offered for a limited time. There’s also limited seating, so hurry and sign up today.

Currently, this shop has very unique antique bedroom dresser and table set. The nightstand or table (first row, third photo; second row, first photo) has a door that opens to a little divided section (first row, fourth photo). According to owner Mechelle’s expertise on furniture, this unique antique set is very old. However old it is, I do know that it’s the most unique and beautiful set I’ve ever seen.

Also displayed in the photo collage below is the handcrafted mantle and fireplace beauty and the lovely baby buggy. A doll lover would have the feeling of walking into doll heaven with those precious antique dolls (second row, second photo).

This photo collage and other pictures you see here cover only a few of the wonderful treasures in The Chic Boutique. You’ll have to stop in to see the pretties there. Tell them you heard about them at High Desert Blogging.

The Chic Boutique, Victorville, CA

For more information on classes, contact Mechelle at The Chic Boutique Antiques, Vintage & Shabby Chic, 15492 7th St., Victorville, CA 92395, (760) 508-3173 or visit her Facebook page.

Thank you for visiting High Desert Blogging to see what’s new at The Chic Boutique.



John Margotta Ferrara ROCKS!!

John Margotta Ferrara's Photography

Welcome High Desert enthusiast! What a wonderful treat to have such a great talented professional photographer in our High Desert midst, John Margotta Ferrara. Photographer for 60 years is displaying some of his works at the Eclipse Art Gallery. I call it his photo art because it reminds me of the art work of the great artist Salvador Dali. Mr. Dali’s art style became known as surrealism but based on dreams. Dali drew everyday items but changed them in odd ways. So the same is said about John Ferrara photo art. He would take a simple pickup truck and place it in the middle of a lake. And to think Mr. Ferrara was doing this type of work way before digital cameras were developed.

I own a Nikon Coolpix 5200 point-and-shoot camera, paid 500 bucks for it before I went to Iraq for a year and a half. My pocket-size camera does it all, landscape, sports, night portrait, and so on – you get the picture. Whatever I can’t do I have Photoshop which can do anything and everything, yet John Ferrara was doing the same things but only using 35 mm film and a dark room. He also photographed portraits, landscapes, and big 18-wheelers.

Tomorrow, January 21, 6 pm to 8 pm, John Ferrara is scheduled to be at the Eclipse Art Gallery, 18361 Bear Valley Rd., Apple Valley, right across the road from Victor Valley College to have a “conversation with the artist” time. All you High Desert folks, after you chase coyotes away from your pets, go clean up some and spend some time with a great professional photographer, John Margotta Ferrara.

Consistent Blogging

One of the things a successful blogger does is blog consistently – even on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The nice thing is that you can schedule your blog posts to publish the next day or the next week. Did I schedule this one early? No, I started it late on Christmas Eve and am completing the post on Christmas Day though I do schedule posts for later. I was explaining to a friend at a holiday gathering this evening how that this blog is about people that have businesses in the High Desert. When you think about the approximately 800,000 people in the greater High Desert area, word of mouth only would take a long time to get around. But word of mouth travels much faster through a blogging network.

My friend mentioned how people could learn how to do things they’ve wanted to know how to do but never knew anyone who could teach them. Like gardening for instance. Or like milking a cow, churning butter, drinking chilled raw milk, or like using a spinning wheel to make yarn for knitting. For example, you could look up spinning wheel on the Internet and order one. However, do you know anyone who has a spinning wheel in your community, someone who teaches you how to use the spinning wheel?

Get the word out about crafts that you know about and could teach. Blog about it so people in your area can connect with you and take a class on the craft that you teach. Have questions on blogging? Ask us about our blogging workshops coming up in 2012.

Merry Christmas!

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