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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Florence Consignment Corner: Another Reason To Visit Antiques Capital Of Colorado

There are dozens of reasons to visit Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado. Tons of antiques, art and gift stores. Peaceful walking-friendly streets. Friendly people. Great eateries. Fantastic outdoor art. Fascinating architecture. History and more!

Well, here's yet another reason: Florence Consignment Corner. The new business is located at 202 E. Main St. For locals, that location formerly housed the Napa Auto store. Now the space has been transformed into a venue for antiques, art, jewelry, bargains and much more.


According to FCC's Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/findalmostanything/ the business will host an open house from April 1 to 7. Many spaces have already been rented out, but there are a few more available. Who knows what treasures will be found?

April 1 is a great day to get one's walking and shopping shoes on, because in addition to the FCC open house--there will be a citywide Very Foolish Sale and a citywide yard sale in honor of April Fool's Day. Those sales are slated for March 31, as well as April 1.

The Florence Consignment Corner will be open seven days a week from 10 to 6. Phone number is 719-671-6746.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Florence,Colorado: RECLAIMED WOODWORKS Making Used Wood Into...

Chances are if you drop a business card, a flyer, a poster or brochure at one of Florence's antiques malls, I will find it and you might end up on this blog, getting a little free publicity.

Free publicity? Why, you ask? Just because I can--and it always a pleasure to unearth yet another talent in Fremont County.

As we all know, Florence is the antiques capital of Colorado. But there are also many talented artists and artisans.

I came across the business card of Tiffany Dennison of Reclaimed Woodworks. Her business is located at 430 E. 3rd St. in Florence and the phone number is 719-429-6916.



I found this picture of some of Tiffany's signs at the Reclaimed Woodworks Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/tiffdenn35/

Pretty nifty signs. And there are several more pictures of her handiwork on her page, to feast your eyes on.

According to the Facebook page, Reclaimed Woodwork's motto is: We make used wood into something great!

I would say so!

I really liked this functional kitchen island made from reclaimed antique wood and salvage from an old butler's pantry.


And here's the other view of this great Reclaimed Woodworks creation.


Yet another example of all the hidden talent in Florence and Fremont County!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Armed Forces Art Exhibit

Mays is a wonderful month, and even more wonderful because Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day are celebrated. In Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado--celebrating the accomplishments of our active and retired military is a year-round source of pride. But this year, the Florence Merchants Association is putting the spotlight on the artist talents of our veterans by hosting an art exhibit.


The Florence Merchants association is calling all active duty veterans and retired military personnel to exhibit their artwork, in an media form with most any subject matter, for inclusion in a show that will start with a reception on May 13 and run through Memorial Day, May 29. The artwork will be displayed in the storefronts of participating Florence businesses.

The show is non-juried, but the committee will insure the artwork is suitable viewing for all age groups. Artwork does not have to be for sale, but artwork for sale is also welcomed.

Artwork will be received on Saturday May 6 and Sunday, the 7th, from 10 to 4 both days at A Florence Gallery at 108 E. Main St. The art committee requests that all interested artists call either 719-372-1016 or 3030717-1977 to register for the show or to get more information.

What a nice idea to honor our military personnel and enrich the community with the talents of our veterans on display for all to see!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Will You Find Us Florence, Colorado Ladies Roaming Southern Colorado?

Will you find us wild Florence, Colorado ladies roaming southern Colorado?

Of course you will.

As most know, Florence has a promotional theme, Find It In Florence. That theme is used in advertising.

And even though I have no formal ties to those hardworking folks and their promotions--I sometimes do a feature on this blog where I ask people what they found in Florence and ask them to share what they are doing with their Florence purchases. I call it: We Found YOU in Florence.

So, I got to thinking. I know, that can be dangerous. But I got to thinking. We have people spreading the word about Find It In Florence. I ask random visitors to Florence what THEY found in Florence. All bases covered.

Not so fast. This blog is mostly about what a FUNky and wonderful place Florence is to visit, live in and shop and eat in and experience extraordinary cultural and entertaining events . It's about what you can find in Florence--both materially and even emotionally.

This town is fun. Most people I run into are having fun. I am having fun.

So, I thought: What's another way to have fun with Florence, even when I am not in Florence?

I like to roam southern Colorado. And I like to promote all of southern Colorado. Not that the north is that bad. I lived up north for awhile. But it turned out my heart was in Florence.

So, again my noggin went into overdrive and I thought: Aha! I can write about other places in Colorado I visit, without being a traitor to Florence, by roaming this great state whilst wearing something I or a friend found in Florence.

So, now not only will I ask random people what they found in Florence. I will ask people around southern Colorado (poor unsuspecting folks) if we will show up in their neck of the woods and find them. You bet we will!

This time it turned out it wasn't ME that was wearing things found in Florence in another town.

It was another fun-loving Florencian.


Notice the nice corset and that flouncy skirt and blouse. All purchased in Florence. The hat--well made in Florence by me and my husband.

The outfit was purchased at Spirit Riders Western Emporium at 111 W. Main St. in Florence.

And why was my friend and wild Florence lady dressed up like this? We decided to go to Cripple Creek on March 4 for the 19th annual Pearl's Follies.

What's that you ask?

Well, besides an opportunity to wear what was FOUND in Florence out of town, it was a chance to support a fundraiser for the Old Homestead House Museum.

For those not familiar with the museum, it's one of the best in the country. Yes, folks I have been to the Smithsonian, the Museum of Natural History in Denver and other mind-blowing museums. But so far my two favorites are the Prison Museum in Canon City and the Old Homestead House Museum in Cripple Creek.

The Homestead was operated as a brothel in the late 1890s by Pearl De Vere.

No worries, someday I'll wear something I found in Florence and take you on a tour of the museum.

But for now, we Florence ladies were just supporting history and fun in another town.

Pearl's Follies (our first time to the event) was a rollicking event with horrible prostitution jokes, local fireman stripping and dancing for dollar bills and food that was unusual--deep fried mac and cheese squares,etc.

Pearl would have loved it!

Pearl was one of the most famous "soiled doves" in Colorado history.

As I and my Florence friend entered the fundraiser, we were greeted by a young lady whose vintage saloon girl-style dress left little to the imagination. She asked if we needed an escort and winked lasciviously.

Us unsoiled doves timidly followed her to our table and I noticed she had a dove tattoo on her back. I asked her if she got the dove tattoo as part of her identity for her role as a soiled dove to promote the museum fundraiser.

She said no. That it was a design she had drawn and had put on many years ago--way before she became involved in assisting the Old Homestead House Museum. She said she had never made the connection until I brought it up, that it was interesting a "soiled dove" role player would have had a dove tattoo.

We proceeded to enjoy the fundraiser and got to talking with some of the people in Cripple Creek who not only work at or volunteer at the museum, but at other museums in the area. They all were as committed to preserving the history of their area as folks are in Florence.

And there was a silent auction. And it was nice to see one of the popular items getting bids was donated by the Royal Gorge Bridge And Park. And nice to see Fremont County supporting history and fun in Cripple Creek.



Yes, that's Pearl De Vere's headstone. Her legacy of not only contributing to the history of Colorado, but also her philanthropy, lives.

More information about one of the best museums anywhere is at: www.oldhomestead.com

And more information about where you can go to purchase fashions for events such as Florence's steampunk festival, Pearl's Follies or other old timey events is at: https://www.facebook.com/Spirit-Riders-Western-Emporium-569777309810686/

Spirit Rider's co-owner Barb Brierley loves to help people find just the right spicy or vintage-style outfit for any occasion.


Steampunk hats and goggles. No problem. Saucy soiled dove outfits. No problem. Pictured above is just a smidgen of the goodies to be found at Spirit Riders.

So, where will you find a couple of wild Florence ladies roaming in southern Colorado next, wearing something we found right in our hometown? That's for us to know--and you to find out.

Is it really so wrong to have this much fun exploring southern Colorado wearing our FUNky Florence fashions? I think not!

We Found YOU In Florence, Colorado: Tom Flower of Westcliffe, Chuckwagon Restorer Extraordinaire

Some of the most interesting people shop in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado.

Every so often I jump out like a crazed jack-in-the-box from behind the counter of an antiques mall I occasionally work at and ask people why they are buying an item or items. Then I snap their picture--with their permission.

As you can see from the below picture, I don't scare people too badly and they are usually quite happy to share their Florence finds with the world.

This time I found Tom Flower of Westcliffe shopping in Florence.


The picture just shows a little of what Tom was buying. Lots of grey enamelware, old timey kitchen items and a few vintage tools.

Tom told me he was an agricultural teacher for 22 years and retired in 2011. But shortly before his retirement he embarked on a new passion--restoring chuckwagons.

And this chuckwagon restorer extraordinaire found quite a few items in Florence that were just right for his latest project.


Tom shared this picture with me of a chuckwagon he's working on at his Westcliffe property.

Honestly, after looking at his beautiful picture--I thought: This is what Colorado is about. This picture exemplifies not only the breathtaking beauty of southern Colorado, but the spirit and ingenuity of people working to preserve the past in ways that are more than relevant today.

Hopefully someday we'll get to see a picture of Tom's finished project, outfitted with some of his Florence finds.

We found Tom Flower this time in Florence. But will we find YOU in Florence?

You'll never know when and where--but I might just find you in Florence and ask you to share what you found and what you plan to do with what you found.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Florence, Colorado: FIND IT IN FLORENCE, A Forever Home & Friendly Community

 Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado has a promotional theme entitled: Find It In Florence.

The idea is to let the world (and the inhabitants of our fair burg) know all the wonderful things they can find in Florence.

With all our world-class art galleries, gift shops and famous antiques stores and delicious eateries--we know what we have a great chance of finding wonderful material things here.

But I found this post (below) most interesting. It's about something else someone found in Florence. A sense of community and a forever home.

The post comes from the Find It In Florence Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/FlorenceGrassrootsProject/

Moved to Florence Colorado on June the 1st 2015 Just my husband and I, Friendly little town with many Antique shops!! We have learned that Florence is also known as the Antique Capital of Colorado. The fist time ventured out to take a slow walk through the very Quint little town, we were met with a warm welcome. Also sitting outside a beautiful store filled with many collectable from times past was our very Friendly Mayor and wife we shook hands and was also met by another group of people taking a stroll In the cool night air..Much to my surprise within the group of chatty wondrous people a man and wife who very kindly invited us up to there renovated Hotel was like taking a step back in time. The feeling of community still exists here in this safe and peaceful town. Even our police officer waves his hand and honks his horn with a friendly smile. YES!Dave and I have found the place where we feel very comfortable, fortunate , contented and happy to put down our roots and call this our FOREVER HOME!

I have never met the writer of this post--but I can attest to the fact, that is exactly what many find in Florence. A forever home. A sense of community. And some of the most interesting and friendly people anywhere.

And while Florence might not turn into a forever home for most, I can also attest to the fact that I have met literally hundreds of people who have told me they come from all over Colorado (but mostly Pueblo and Colorado Springs) to experience "that feeling" even for a few hours.

Sure, most are browsing or shopping for a vintage treasure or some artwork or accessories for their homes or for gifts--but they come for something else. And they usually find it, in Florence.


My favorite  opinion of Florence was one I overheard. I was standing outside ye olde antiques shop, where I occasionally work, and heard a young man say,"See, this is EXACTLY what I was talking about. This is EXACTLY what I want and need."

Naturally I turned around, and saw a young man walking with his wife and their child in a stroller.

He continued to enthuse to his wife," A place I can unwind with you both. Feel safe and walk. Just wonderful!"

I've had people tell me that to my face many a time. But what thrilled me was this time I was overhearing it, and it was coming from a young family man. Usually women are the ones saying they've found that sense of peace and relaxation wandering the friendly streets of Florence.

Apparently Florence has something for everyone. Sure, you'll find many treasures you won't find anywhere else. But so many people also find something else in Florence they weren't expecting that is an unexpected treasure.

And I can tell you, what I've found in Florence is a great joy overhearing or directly hearing so many people finding that special "something" that might not even be material in Florence.

I highly recommend people check out the Find It Florence Facebook page. It gives a glimpse into what makes the community tick--and also boasts one of the best line-ups of all the fun events happening here.



Florence,Colorado: Sandy Dale's The Gnarlies Have A Party

Sandy Dale is one of Florence's most cherished artists with her magical creations, The Gnarlies.

So I was delighted to be cantering down Main St. and see a whole window display of the adorable creatures.

For those who don't know about Sandy Dale and The Gnarlies, my sympathies, but you can get up to speed by reading this previous blog post: http://truestoryclub.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-magical-world-of-artist-sandy-dale.html

Sandy has her own studio at 220-A W. Main St. in Florence, which is open by appointment or chance.

But recently a group of The Gnarlies decided to have a party in the window at Florence Antiques, at 103 W. Main St., which is open seven days a week.


You all know how hard it is to take a picture of a window display through glass--so please excuse all the glare and car reflections in the background.

Isn't this little dude winsome? He makes me want to break out into a hula. But that might start an earthquake in Florence, so I'll just sing Tiny Bubbles quietly.


Now this Gnarlie with his cloven hooves is totally adorable. And he's ready to make music at the party too. Between him and furry fellow with his ukulele or guitar....we've got a jam happening.


This Gnarlie is riding a wonderful vintage style horse. Apparently he's riding--and on his way to the Gnarlie party.

When I asked the owner of Florence Antiques (Larry Nelson) if these were the beloved Gnarlies I spied in his window he said yes.

Now, I couldn't get pictures of all of them due to the window glare. And it would have taken too much heavy lifting to get in the back of the window to take pictures. But trust me--it's a Gnarlie delight and party you won't want to miss.

Larry also told me he had put a few steampunk accessories and hats(not pictured) on the Gnarlies (in anticipation of Florence's steampunk festival in April). He said he wasn't sure how the artist would react.

I promised not to say a word. Tee hee! But I never said I wouldn't write a word or two. He suggested that she'd find out soon enough.

I think it's quite obvious that it was not Larry Nelson that steampunked The Gnarlies up a little, but they did it themselves, when no one was looking. We've got to love those impish Gnarlies.

And these Gnarlies are available for purchase of course.

If you want to see even more Gnarlie delights, check out their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/TheGnarlies-148314498558258/

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Fremont County, Colorado: Helping Children Under Stress

I found this gem while perusing the classifieds in the Canon City Shopper. It's a great way to comfort children in stressful situations.

And it's something most anyone can do, even those on a budget.

Police, sheriff, fire and ambulance services in Fremont County carry a supply of stuffed animals to give to children during calls. And stuffed animals are also given to children at Christmas.

One can donate either new stuffed animals or ones in good used condition at the Burger King in Canon City or at the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Or pickup arrangements may be made by calling either 269-1697 or 671-2902.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Florence,Colorado: SQUEE! I Am So Excited Again About The Antiques Capital Of Colorado

Be still my heart! I am SO darn excited! And most people who know me, know I don't excite that easily. But it's finally happening, right here in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado.

Most of us in Florence know our town is one of the best kept secrets in Colorado. In fact, I've even seen advertising saying that.

I've only been living in Florence about four years--and blogging about this fair burg for about two. And in these scant few years I've been amazed at all the talent hiding out in Florence.

I've often thought to myself, that all this talent should NOT be a secret. So, I've just shared with the world some of the quirky and fun things in this town. And occasionally some of the more serious aspects of things in our town and county.

I write this blog semi-anonymously.  I don't mention my name. And about 90 percent of the time, most people don't know I am writing about them or the town. When I do tell them WHY I am snapping pictures or asking questions for my blog--NOT one person has ever refused or even asked if I can be trusted to use their information. AND that shows me the character of Florence --friendly people who are happy to talk about Florence or what they found in Florence with no reservations or suspicions.

I have no ties to the chamber or any merchants groups. I just want to share this neat town with others.


Our historical buildings. Our eateries. Our world-class art galleries. And our wonderful antique shops. But most of all--I want to share stories. Art, antiques, culinary creativity and more would mean nothing unless we knew the story behind it.

I've told a few people, that while I do love antiques and have a general knowledge of them--it's the story behind it that illuminates me. The history behind an object. Or more importantly, the story behind what moves people to want an antique or art object.

And why am SO excited today?

I am horrible about checking my emails. But I got an email weeks ago (that I just read today) that Florence is going to be possibly covered by a magazine. SQUEE!

I won't mention the name of the magazine yet. But I subscribe to the magazine and it is a wonderful publication.

For years I've read this magazine and thought: Florence would be great for an article in this magazine. I've even mentioned it to a friend or two in private. But I'm fairly shy--even though you'd never know it--and never summoned the courage to contact this magazine and ask if they would feature Florence.

Well, a writer from that magazine contacted me!

And I can't tell you how excited I am for the town of Florence. Oh, I guess I can tell you. Because I just did.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Florence,Colorado: April Fool's Sale, Touch My Junk & Wash A Lion

Florence Colorado is the FUNkytown of Fremont County. Everyone knows it. OK, I am one of the very few that knows it. And even if it was not the FUNkytown in southern Colorado--I'd turn it into one just for my own amusement.

But April Fool's Day is coming up--and any excuse to prove my point in appreciated.

Florence loves to celebrate anything and everyone. That's just the way we are around here. Sure, we are the antiques capital of Colorado--but that's just part of the celebration.

Last year we had the first annual A Very Foolish Sale in honor of April Fool's Day.

So of course now it's almost time for the second annual A Very Foolish Sale.

So what does that mean for you, the unsuspecting, um, I mean, savvy consumer?

It means bargains and junk galore.




No, there is no Touch My Junk antiques store in Florence. But there should be. But ya can't always get what you want.

But there will be plenty of junk to touch and buy. And lots of treasures.

According to a flyer circulating around our fair burg:" It's time to clean out our shops with very foolish prices on selected merchandise. Prices will start at a dollar or less. If the weather is good we will have sidewalk sales, if not we'll have tables just inside the doors."

Yikes! One dollar or less!

A Very Foolish Sale will be held Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Naturally I do LOTS of expert research for my blog posts and I wondered how the heck April Fool's Day even got started. It started sometime in the 1300's because it was mentioned in the Canterbury Tales.

It eventually devolved, oops, I mean evolved into a tradition of hoaxes, pranks and fake news. Well, howdy doo. I never realized all the fake news of late was leading us up to our April Fool's tradition.

It seems there have been jokesters and pranksters in every century. One of my favorites is this lion washing ticket that was circulated in 1837 for a fake Tower of London event.



I personally would pay a fortune to attend a lion washing ceremony.

My April Fools's advice to the city of Florence, and other fine towns celebrating April Fool's Day, is to have a lion washing ceremony. It certainly would draw many people and there would be no need to ever hold another event or sale. Think of all the time and effort saved.

OK, fake lion washings are one of many great April Fool's jokes in world history.

But I am not joking when I say that A Very Foolish Sale is a real thing and we hope to see you in Florence on March 31 or April Fool's Day to touch and purchase our junk. And please feel free to bring your lions and some soap.