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Showing posts with label #FindItInFlorence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #FindItInFlorence. Show all posts

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Does Your Town Have An Unofficial Canine Mascot?

Does your town have an unofficial canine town mascot?

Well it should. In Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, having our mascot, Molly, is rather like having a town therapy dog.

Almost every day, Molly comes into all the antiques shops (about 20) and other businesses, just to say hello.

People stop her on the street, too, and give her lots of love.

That's Molly, a six-year-old, Lab mix, getting a petting.

I usually give Molly some wicked good belly rubs. But what she really likes when she comes in the antiques mall where I work is seaweed. Yes, organic roasted seaweed. 

I love watching her face when she recognizes the "seaweed" lady and dashes to get her treat. You'd think all dogs would love seaweed, but mine does not.

But this is my dog, Phineas. Yes, in real life. That's not a stock picture. It's him dressed as a devil. He's so finicky that seaweed is beneath him. And he makes me go to Costco to get his favorite brand of dog biscuits, since nothing else will do.

Molly will eat anything (healthy of course) and is always grateful.

And don't tell anyone, but I feed all the dogs (after getting their owner's permission) that come into the antiques mall.

You can imagine Phineas' face when I come home from work and he finds out I've been "cheating" on him all day at work.

#FindItInFlorence: Colorado Life Magazine Editor Matt Masich & Rena Pryor

One of my hobbies is roaming the streets of Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado, with my $19 un-smart phone clutched in my sweaty paw and snapping pictures of what is going on in our fair burg.

Someone came up with the hashtag: #FindItInFlorence. The idea was to showcase all the interesting things to be found in Florence, such as antiques, art , eateries and history.

But I enjoy stalking, um, I mean finding people in Florence and finding out what they are doing in town and/or what they plan to do with their purchases.

Well on Dec. 22, I found the editor of Colorado Life magazine in Florence.

That's editor Matt Masich with Rena Pryor. Rena is the manager of The Loralie Antiques Mall and a tireless volunteer at the Bell Tower Cultural Center. She is also enthusiastic about the future of Florence's antiques, art and cultural scenes. Can't you tell by the picture?

I telepathically communicated to her that I promised I would NOT hide a Whoopee Cushion on her chair in the antiques mall, if she'd smile for the camera.

Then I snapped this picture. Ah,that's better, Rena.

And here's Matt with Mayor Keith Ore, at the Aspen Leaf Bakery and Cafe, chatting about Florence.

We enjoyed visiting with Matt and welcoming him to our quirky little town.

I've been a fan and subscriber of Colorado Life magazine long before Florence was privileged to have two visits from the magazine's staff.  You can read a previous blog post about the magazine here:

And you can read about the visit we enjoyed last May from Colorado Life magazine staff here:

Florence, Colorado: Good Place To Buy A Gift For Your Friend With A Castle

I have nothing against big box stores, but there are things that happen in small, independent stores (especially antiques stores) that just won't happen anywhere else.

We're always chatting with our customers at the old antiques mall in Florence, because all the unusual things people buy just beg inquiries as to why they are buying it.

Today Dan Williams of Cripple Creek was thrilled to find this iron hanging candle fixture. He said it will look perfect in his friend's castle.

Castle? Ohhh, I love castles.

Dan said his friend built a castle outside of Cripple Creek and when the friend was asked why he chose a castle instead of a log cabin or other style, the friend replied,"Because I can."

I asked if this was a Christmas gift for the friend with the castle.

Dan said it was and the friend already told him that he had found Dan a special Christmas gift. Dan said he replied to his friend,"Then you must have come to Florence."

That's what we like to hear, the immediate assumption that if someone found a special treasure, they must have found it in Florence, and friends each coming to Florence to find those extraordinarily unusual gifts.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Florence, Colorado; Crimes of Stolen Vehicles & Law Enforcement Gear

Remember the vehicle thefts reported by southern Colorado media that took place in Florence on Sept. 15?

There were two work trucks stolen from Langston Concrete and a dark grey Honda mini-van stolen in my neighborhood. There were also items stolen from vehicles in Florence, in my neighborhood and from vehicles a few blocks away.

Now some of the information surrounding that story was a bit murky to me, and apparently others who either commented in online venues or in person to me. Some reports made it sound like the protective gear belonging to the Fremont County Sheriff's Office was found in the grey Honda. That may have been, but somehow it got from its rightful place to that mini-van.

Anyway, I have scoured media reports today and see no updates to that story. Not if the law enforcement gear was found or if any of the vehicles were recovered.

Rather odd, since I saw one of the vehicles today--right where it should be. So apparently at least one was recovered. So why no reports in the media?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Florence,Colorado: Getting Interviewed By KKTV News In Your Underwear?

Usually it's peaceful in Florence, Colorado--just the way I like it. But today a bit of a crime wave hit our fair burg.

This morning my husband was up early doing yard work and came in to inform me that he found a woman's Bible (in a pretty padded zip-up cover) and a tote filled with items that looked like they belonged to a woman. The items were thrown in our backyard.

My husband's first inclination was a neighbor got upset at someone and threw them over our fence. Since we know or at least are  acquainted  of all our neighbors, that didn't seem to fit. All the neighbors are quiet and calm. We're probably (OK, just me) the most rowdy people in the neighborhood.

My mind works a little more cynically. I suggested someone had been abducted or perhaps murdered. Yes, I read too many books. I told my husband to not touch the items anymore due to fingerprints in case these were crime items.

Turns out they were crime items, but thankfully not in the way I originally speculated.

We were on our way to Colorado Springs, but my husband wanted to stop by the police station to turn the items in. But as we were getting ready to leave I noticed a Florence Police car at the neighbors and told my husband I'd just run out and tell the officer we found some things in our backyard.

Apparently our neighbor had their min-van stolen. After I expressed my heartfelt sorrow for this loss I told the officer we had some items we were going to drop off and he saved us a trip. He asked what they were. I said we didn't look too closely due to fingerprints, but a Bible was among the items.

He said the lady who they were stolen from was going to be very happy about the Bible being found. Apparently the items were stolen from her car, a few blocks from our house. We were also told a helmet and a Kevlar vest was stolen from a Fremont County deputy sheriff's cruiser, not far from our house.

The items we recovered were spread out on a Florence Police cruiser and we waved at our neighbors and the Florence Police chief who had just arrived and drove onto the Springs.

We had no idea the crime wave extended past our street and a neighboring street. We were troubled by this local crime, literally in our backyard.

You see, Florence has a fairly low crime rate. I checked it out extensively before we moved here--coming from living decades in the Springs and then in Denver for a short time. Florence has virtually no violent crimes. Murders are rare. Years go by where there are no murders. Rapes, same thing. Assaults, also rare. Petty theft and such is more of a problem according to stats, but still fairly low. Illegal drugs and domestic assaults are problems, as they are most everywhere--but most people like me who check crime stats know that if you don't hang out in certain circles, that type of crime most likely won't affect one personally.

Florence is a Mayberry-type town. The kind of place where people leave their doors and cars unlocked sometimes.  But I've lived in high-crime areas in my adult years and was raised on the mean streets of New York.

Even with my more cynical mindset, I never expected to be on the edges of a crime wave in Florence.

So, on our drive today to the Springs we talked about getting an alarm system and securing our property even more. Even though we didn't have anything missing. Both our cars were unlocked, but nothing was missing. Of course, I had crap in my car that was destined for thrift store donation.

We just arrived back from the Springs, with this incident fresh on our minds, but more hungry and tired from our shopping trip. I was cutting some meat for dinner with some kitchen shears and I saw a man from the kitchen window who was walking up our driveway waving and smiling. At first I thought he was a religious person (wouldn't have minded) by the way he was dressed. But he had nothing in his hands. So I thought: Police detective.

No, reporter from KKTV, Channel 11 in Colorado Springs. He wanted to know what we knew about the car thefts. I came outside still with my kitchen shears in hand and told him what the police had told us and the stolen property in our backyard. He asked if we knew that two other people on our block had things stolen out of their cars. No, we didn't know that.

                                         My Husband And Spencer From KKTV Channel 11

He ran across the street to talk to another neighbor briefly and came back, so I invited him in the house to talk about the stolen property found in our backyard. My husband was cooking. Spencer Wilson, the reporter, asked if he could get an interview and I said sure, but let my husband do it since he's the one who found the items.

I looked at my husband to see if that was acceptable and he replied,"Well, I'll do it. But I'd at least like to put my pants on!"

Thankfully he was standing at the kitchen island and only I could see he was in his undies with a tank top. Spencer ran to get his camera and hubby ran to get his pants.

I think the interview would have been more entertaining in undies.

Spencer told us two vehicles had been taken from a construction site, but it probably wasn't related to what happened on our street and to another car and the deputy's cruiser a few blocks from us. We hadn't heard about the stolen construction vehicles, but were shocked so much crime happened in a few hours in a sleepy town that more concerns itself with antiques, festivals and parades and enjoying small town America.

We didn't get to talk to Spencer for too long since he was under deadline to get his story in tonight. I told him I understood, because years ago I volunteered to type closed captioning (for a competing news station in Colorado Springs) and sat right next to the editing station and saw the stress of editing stories under deadline. I also used to be under deadlines myself in print journalism, so I felt very sympathetic, but not so much that I didn't ask the extremely cordial Spencer if he'd pose for a blog picture.

What a good sport. Spencer is a true professional. He wasn't phased I came outside waving kitchen shears, or my husband cooked in his underwear and even took note that my husband was making a tomato, cucumber and onion salad that looked exactly like the one he made at home.

Spencer told us this was only his second day on the job. Of course, I cheered him on, even though it is not his first job in journalism. Basically I indicated encouragement and the knowledge he was going to go far in his career, without saying it outright since he was in a hurry. His last cheerful words as he zipped back to the studio were,"You have somebody at 11!"

Community journalism at its best.

And as a community of journalists, citizens and law enforcement--let's do our damnedest to find these criminals who think they can steal not only vehicles and things from vehicles, but our peace of mind.

Here's a link to the initial information when this story was just breaking from KKTV:

This was when the information was vague. Tonight at 10 there will be more. Other TV stations had similar vague information, but was calling on the community to help find these criminals.

A stock photo of some of the items stolen from the deputy's cruiser was posted. It didn't occur to us, until Spencer posed the question that someone could use those items to impersonate law enforcement.

There are other details about this crime wave that will probably come out soon enough (from law enforcement and journalists) and the lesson will be we all need to be more vigilant in protecting ourselves from crime.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Florence, Colorado: #IFoundYouInFlorenceColorado Artisian Marsha Bell of Canon City

Who did I find in Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, this time? Florence has a campaign, #FindItInFlorence, designed to showcase all the things one can find in Florence. On this blog, I also highlight who I  find in Florence and what they are doing with the things they find in Florence. I think you'll agree, many people who come to Florence have interesting dreams, goals, hobbies and memories they seek to celebrate with objects found in Florence.

                                                         Marsha Bell Of Canon City

This time I found Marsha Bell of Canon City in Florence. She's holding a miniature cowboy hat and a pair of cowboy boots.

Of course, we couldn't resist asking her what she planned on doing with her purchase.

Marsha said she's been fascinated with miniatures since childhood. But this Canon City artisan isn't just content with arranging and collecting miniatures in an ordinary fashion.

"I arrange antique miniatures in unique antique containers," she said.

She uses antique radios, televisions, refrigerators and other vintage items as the showcase or framework for works of art.

                                                         Photo courtesy of Marsha Bell

Marsha gave a vintage TV (pictured above) new life by creating a magical scene of a North Pole bakery.

"I purchase many of the items I use, in Florence," Marsha said.

Also a registered nurse at St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, and an instructor at CNA classes in Florence, Marsha estimates she puts at least 50 plus hours into each creation.

Her nostalgic vignettes aren't for sale, but Marsha has been entering her work at the Pueblo State Fair for about five years. She's won several Best Of Show ribbons and earned three first place ribbons.

                                                        Photo courtesy of Marsha Bell

The scene of a Victorian Christmas, framed by part of an antique icebox, won Marsha a Best of Show award at the fair.

Marsha is inspired by a variety of themes for her art work, but primarily concentrates on Christmas scenes. "This all started from a memory of me as a child looking down a banister at Christmas..."she recalled.

The magical memories of her childhood Christmases are celebrated and honored every time she goes on a search for new miniatures and antique backdrops.

I'm just glad, even though Marsha doesn't sell her work, that she chooses to share her love of good memories, antiques and miniatures with everyone by displaying at the fair, and readily sharing her story with us in Florence.

What is Marsha's newest project that she was in Florence hunting for miniatures last week?

She'll be working on a barn scene (complete with that cute hat and cowboy boots) set in an antique school desk.

I'm hoping when the antique school desk is completed we'll get a picture to share on the blog. We always love seeing all the fascinating things fascinating people do with the treasures they find in Florence!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


I am not a stalker. But the question is: Will I find YOU in Florence, Colorado?

Not that long ago, I started asking people what they were doing in Florence and what they were intending to do with what they purchased in our fair burg.

Every one has a true story, but I didn't expect to find people from all over the state, country and world hanging out here buying really unusual things or planning to do interesting things with semi-common items.

But what I also didn't expect was the find that NOT one person refused to get photographed and asked a few questions for this blog. I do this blog semi-anonymously. I don't have anything printed up directing people to the blog. Nor do I publicize this blog much. I just do it for fun.

This all started as a slight twist on the marketing campaign in Florence: #FindItInFlorence.
I have nothing to do with that fine campaign, but think it's very clever and was happy to see Find It In Florence signs go up all over town recently.

So far I've met the most interesting people by asking people what they are doing in Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado.

You wouldn't think there would be a common thread among dozens of people picked randomly over a year or so period. But there is. Every single one of them was fulfilling an unique dream, hobby, community service or intent on preserving history.

So, since this little venture has proven so fun to me (and I hope you) I do believe I'll continue this feature.

You never know when I'll pop up and ask you what you found in Florence. #IFoundYOUInFlorenceColorado. But will I find, YOU next as you visit the antiques capital of Colorado?

Friday, May 26, 2017

#FindItInFlorence I Found Tractor Restorer Emery Ball of Kismet, KS In The Antiques Capital Of Colorado

Who did I find in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado--this time?

I found a man on a mission to preserve the history of tractors and the memories of growing up with his granddad and dad who farmed in Kansas.

                                                        Emery Ball of Kismet, Kansas

At first Emery asked me for a screwdriver to pop the lid on that can of Keystone Grease he purchased. He wanted to see how much grease was in the can. Most people buy such relics of the past for the antique or collectible value of the tin--but Emery said the old stuff works better on water pumps and stops leaks better than anything new out there.

Then we got to talking about how Emery restores tractors. But the tractors aren't for sale--they are only to preserve a part of his personal history and the history of friends, family and neighbors who worked the Kansas farmlands for decades.

People often find out about what Emery does--for the love of it and not the money--and donate antique tractors with the provision that they won't be sold. Emery also participates in tractor pulls.

Emery and his wife, Laura, were on vacation in Colorado--and often like to stop in Florence where they know they will find items perfect for restorations and other projects.

So far, Emery has 22 restored tractors on his land. Emery is a salesman by trade, but still lives on the land farmed by his family and has fond memories of working the land with his granddad and father.

Getting his father to finally retire, involved promising him they would always keep him supplied with tractors to restore. Emery said his father is now 87 and almost every day, works on restoring tractors.

Several of the tractors date to the 1920s and Emery is always on the hunt for parts--and Florence often produces just the right item.

Emery and his family live in Kismet, a town smaller than Florence, not far from Liberal, Kansas.

I am always running across interesting people living out their talents and dreams, and preserving legacies and history--who stop in Florence.The town of Florence often helps people find the tangible items needed to carry out those dreams.

This time we found Emery Ball, in Florence, carrying out his dreams and helping his father preserve a family legacy.

Will you be the next person I find in Florence ?


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Florence,Colorado: Build It, And They Will Come

Today a nice antiques store browser told me that I should contact HGTV (Home & Garden TV) about Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado.

The browser told me this spontaneously, as she was happily treasure hunting, having no idea--I just might take an interest in her idea.

Actually HGTV did visit Florence about two years ago for an edition of House Hunters that featured Svetlana and Gunnar Piltingsrud and their historic Victorian house. You can read a previous blog post about it here:

But this visitor today was saying that Joanna and Chip Gaines of the HGTV hit show, Fixer Upper, should be fascinated with Florence since there are so many antiques and collectibles that fit with their renovations.

I'd actually never thought of that--but excellent idea. I know the town will welcome them (or anyone) with open arms. It sounds rather fantastical--but it's not really. As I've noted on this blog, people come to Florence from all over the world. Not that many--but enough to surprise me.

And we have many people who own shops all over Colorado and come to Florence, because the variety is stupendous and the prices are usually lower than in other parts of the state.

A Denver-area customer told me the other day that shopping in Denver's antiques district is pleasant, but the prices and selection aren't as good as Florence.

Florence has built it and they will come. They've already come. But more and more visitors to Florence are expressing opinions that there is something special about Florence and think more people need to know.

I agree!

As blog readers know, Colorado Life magazine people were in town last week and a story and photo spread is in the works.

We also know the Netflix movie, Our Souls At Night, starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, was partially filmed in Florence last fall. Millions of people will be likely watching the movie and wondering where it was shot. And yes, many of the props were purchased right in Florence's antiques district.

Yes, many people are working tirelessly to get Florence the recognition it deserves.

Florence is one of the most quirky and interesting towns in Colorado. For years, its been a slight secret, but word is getting out.

And Florence isn't just about antiques. The picture above is just a sampling of all the outdoor art visitors can experience for free, just by strolling residential areas or taking a short drive.

You can tell the townspeople care about art and beauty. One would be happily surprised at all the homeowners turning stumps into works of art with the help of Fremont County artist, Sheldon Roberts.

Art and whimsy is in almost nook and cranny of our fair burg. I love this delight in front of the Blue Frog Gallery on Florence's Main St.

Some day I'll have a "tour" on the blog of all the outdoor art there is in Florence.

And some day we'll get the word out, even more, about all the delights in Florence, to more print media and television.

But in the meantime--remember, people have built it in Florence and they will come.

Will we find YOU next in Florence, walking the streets filled with art, antiques, eateries and friendly people?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

#FindItInFlorence -- I Found The Kissing Camel Women's Club In The Antiques Capital Of Colorado

So who did I find wandering the quaint streets of Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado, this time?

I saw a Grayline tour bus park on Main St. We don't often see tour buses in our fair burg, so it piqued our interest.

There was a sign on the side of the bus that read: Kissing Camel Women's Club. Kissing Camel is a community in Colorado Springs located close to the stunning red rocks and scenery of Garden of the Gods.

Naturally I was wondering about the club and why they stopped in Florence, when Ginger Hanson, the club's outgoing president, dropped into ye olde antiques mall, after a delicious lunch at the Aspen Leaf.

She said the club is simply a group of neighbors devoted to friendship, education and culture. The club was formed in 2009 to share community, friendship and fun and now has over 150 members.

 The club recently decided to enjoy short day trips to Colorado destinations and chose Florence and Canon City as one of their first adventures.

Hanson and fellow club member, Nancy Vessel, took a trip down memory lane in many of Florence's antiques stores--before heading off to tour the Abbey Winery in Canon City.

                                       Nancy Vessel and Ginger Hanson: Browsing In Florence

We're thrilled that some of the neighbors and friends that form the club decided to visit their neighbors to the south in Florence.

More information on the women's club can be located at:

Friday, May 12, 2017

#FindItInFlorence: We Found YOU In Florence, Colorado--Gary & Pam Holder of Pueblo

Florence is the antiques capital of Colorado. The town has the slogan: #FindItInFlorence.

I like to do a little twist on that and see if I can find YOU in Florence. You never know when or how I will pop up with my high-tech $29 cell-phone camera and a piece of scratch paper and ask you what YOU found in Florence and what you are going to do with what you found.

This time I was fortunate to find a lovely couple, Gary and Pam Holder of Pueblo shopping in Florence.

The Holders purchased a porcelain knob with SUNDRIES painted on it with a patent date of 1890. They told me they were planning on putting on their pantry door for a unique vintage touch.

Within about 10 minutes of leaving the store (in their car on the way home) they called ye olde antiques mall and asked if I could ask the antiques dealer who owned the other porcelain knobs to give them a deal if they purchased them all.

No problem. Everyone in Florence works to make visitors to our fair burg happy.

The Holders returned today and purchased the rest of the knobs to use on their kitchen cabinets.

The antiques hunters thought this would be the perfect conversation piece in their open concept home, where the kitchen can be see from many other rooms.

Now we don't kiss and tell on this blog. But the price of these antique knobs was fairly reasonable. Besides the great price and the wow factor--there was yet another reason the Holders wanted this unique find. "You simply can't find them!" Gary said.

They searched the web and a few had surfaced, but already sold and none others were available or the knobs had writing on them that wasn't as compatible with a kitchen.

I asked what the availability and prices were on reproduction knobs? Yikes! I don't condone reproductions, but I was just asking.

 OK, I was fishing around to see if Florence has the real deal for less than reproductions.

According to Gary the price for the real deal in Florence was significantly cheaper than reproduction knobs.

And these knobs are genuine apothecary knobs. Pretty cool.

Yet another example of the creative and knowledgeable shoppers we meet in Florence all the time--and yet another example of how if you #FindItInFlorence the price and uniqueness of many items here beat what's in the online venues.

And I always offer all the folks featured in We Found YOU In Florence, Colorado, the opportunity to send a picture of their completed project done from items found here. And then I'll post it on the blog so all can see the clever ways folks come up with make antiques and collectibles a part of their home and life story. And even if I didn't find YOU in Florence and you want to share what you did with an an item found in Florence, fell free to send a few pictures and a brief description for possible inclusion on this blog to:

So, will we find YOU in Florence next?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Current Antiques & Collectibles Trends

In the last blog post we covered a little of what Japanese antiques dealers are taking back to Japan and the trends that seem popular with them.

Anyone who can predict antiques and collectibles trends with amazing accuracy is someone I admire. Because it is difficult. As we joke around the antiques store, when someone knows what the trend is, it will change.

So, here's my observations on trends--not based on any expertise, but simply observing what dealers from Colorado and around the country are buying for their stores--and watching what customers are buying for their own homes and gifts. And occasionally sneaking a peek of what people are buying on the internet.

First, the general trend among customers that are buying for themselves is usually they are buying something that supports one of their passions. You can see that trend in my Will We Find YOU in Florence posts that highlight what people are buying in Florence and what they plan to do with it. We've had people who are buying old tools and supplies to go off the grid. People are buying practical items that can be used. Maybe the items won't be used for their original purposes, but they will be used--not just collected

I've noticed most antiques stores (at least in Florence) sell a significant amount of old windows and doors.

Photographers use them for picture frames and do-it-yourselfers cover the frames with chicken wire and hang kitchen utensils.

Primitives has been strong and are continuing. But not some primitives. Things like glass butter churns, sifters and pre-1940s kitchen utensils have been decreasing in popularity. Of course there are exceptions. When I mention trends, I am talking about the low to mid-grade areas of collecting and purchasing. Things like fairly common canning jars, etc. are a slow sell. But a rare fruit jar--that's another story.

Example: The flour sifters with the formerly popular red and green handles are lagging. Selling online or even in brick and mortar stores for about $8 to $15 and slowly. Very slowly. But a 1950s flour sifter with a picture of a woman in her kitchen on it--selling briskly for $30 to $50 each.

The typical pioneer type kitchen things are a little less popular right now--at least here.

But here's what's hot. Dough bowls. And we have several in Florence. With stands. And we've sold a lot recently. The pictures of antiques and collectibles I'm showing are not of specific ones in Florence, but similar. Stock changes quickly.

And hay trolleys. I honestly didn't know what a hay trolley was until I came to work in Florence's antiques district. Trolleys are hot, because customers are telling me they are turning them into lighting fixtures. Pinterest has a lot to do with driving trends. Customers see it on Pinterest and then want to make their own decorating statement. And customers are also telling me that the prices in Florence on items such as hay trolleys and huge dough bowls (even without the shipping) is way lower in Florence.

I have a personal like (and collection) of Victorian items. Long live the Queen! But that isn't the hottest trend right now--at least among lower end collectors like me and my friend. We chuckle and say there is more left over for us--at great prices.

But at least in the mall I work in, there is an exception. Victorian era silverware and utensils.

But we have at least one dealer in Florence that has a steady supply of silverplate beauties at very nice prices.

Advertising items and signs in the lower price ranges sell well--but not as well as in years past.

And anything to do with fishing and cars. Well!

Whenever we get the 1958 Colorado license plates in--they ski right out the door. As well as a lot of our matched plates from the 20s and 30s.

Now, let's get to the trends that are surprising me. I talk to a lot of local dealers and ones from across the country. But let me make it clear, we are not talking about Stickley furniture or rare Van Briggle. The market for those items I imagine will always remain strong. We have all noted that American oak furniture and pottery such as Hall, McCoy and Roseville have generally decreased in price. It sells, but very slowly and at prices sometimes half of what they sold for a decade or so ago. Depression glass, Jewel Tea collecibles, etc. same story. Again--there are always exceptions.

People often bring items to the stores to sell directly to dealers and when people are told that grandma's china, clear glass pieces or Depression ware are not worth much--they are surprised.

I've had a longtime doll dealer tell me there is always a market for the rarest of the rare--but antique dolls that would have sold in the mid-range years ago--barely register interest now.

I've always had a passion for old bowls. But I've noticed that the really old bowls aren't raising much interest. Pyrex bowls and containers are in. Melmac and Melamine bowls generally command higher prices than Jewel Tea bowls and such.

The trend towards the 1960s and even 1970s and 80s kitchens are starting to really trend.

I'm not exactly sure why the Depression era and pioneer era kitchen items are lagging and things as new as the 1980s are just starting. I have a theory that people are attempting to outfit their kitchens in a way that reminds them of their childhoods. And almost no one is around that remembers being in the kitchen with mom during the pioneer times.

I was talking to one customer about the fact most women love bowls because it reminds them of licking the bowl or whipping up some from-scratch dessert with mom. And even in the less hectic 1960s and 70s and 80s when most of us where kids--we remember that was the one time when we chatted and had fun with our mothers without the distractions of TVs in the kitchen or cell phones ringing.

Yes, Pyrex is in. And vintage Tupperware. But the real surprise, to me at least, is that vintage Rubbernaid is even hotter right now than Tupperware.

Now this pictures is actually mine--from my own stash. Yes, these Rubbermaid measuring cups are popular.

In 1996 I was coming back from a road trip to Nebraska to visit my father. I stopped at a yard sale on a whim and for a few dollars I picked up several pieces of vintage Guardian Ware pots. I sold them at such a huge profit I was able to pay for our entire trip.

Still pretty and unique. But it sells for a fraction of what it did 20 years ago with the exception of a few pieces.

What's hot now is another type of aluminum ware.

Something like this aluminum pot will now pay for some of a road trip where Guardian Ware would only pay for an inexpensive lunch. Hot! Hot! Hot!

And bread boxes.

I've been cluing my husband into some of these trends because he likes to shop more than I do. I like to shop, but I'd rather talk to customers or write about antiques and collectibles.

I asked him today what he thought a NEW 1950s PINK and copper bread box would go for.

He answered," $150."

I complimented him on his guess as I snorted, "Try $450 sucka!!!"

You want to see the bread box that went for $450. Sure you do. And it's not mine. I guess I won't be going on any road trips to Nebraska or anywhere else for awhile since I have NO pink bread boxes.

Pink, Turquoise. Orange. Red. Trending my friends!

And avocado green (ick) and harvest gold and that slate blue from the 1980s is coming up. I'm sorry, but someone had to break it to people gently.

As I have always told people,"What you think is worth money probably isn't. And what you don't even think of--is probably worth money."  Hmmm. I usually just take a shot in the dark, but that time it turned out I was correct.

Maybe someday we'll do a feature on the blog called: What's Worth More? Yes, I think I'll do that. I like to shock the crud out of myself.

Did You Know Florence, Colorado Is Getting Popular With Japanese Antiques Dealers?

Did you this blog relishes the idea of digging up obscure happenings going on in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado? Well, you know it now. So no excuses in not knowing a little of what is going on.

Did you know that Florence is gaining a bit of popularity with antiques dealers from Japan?

About a year ago a nice young Japanese man came into the antiques mall that I work at. He stood out because he was wearing a bathrobe. Oh, no--don't worry. He was wearing shoes and pants and a T-shirt also. His bathrobe was one of those cool ones--sort of plaid that was reminiscent of the 40s and 50s.

He had me open every locked case that had eyeglasses. He only knew a few words of English, which is great because my Japanese vocabulary is limited to sushi and a few other words that have nothing to do with antiques shopping.

But through patient slow speech on both our parts I understood that vintage eyeglasses were a hot commodity in Japan. I'm not talking cat eye glasses--I'm talking the Civil War era and turn-of-the century ones.

He had a shop in Tokyo, I believe. He said he did not really understand how American money worked, so I was glad he ended up in Florence where everyone was going to assist him honorably in that.

I asked him how he ended up in Florence. He said something about being in Denver and at the last minute realizing there was an antiques town he had to come to. He seemed to the thrilled and was literally running through the store scooping up eyeglass treasures.

I didn't think much of, except how nice and hip he was and how I had no idea Japanese antiques store owners would get so excited about a town they stumbled across.

I didn't think there was a trend brewing.

Fast forward to the present. I don't work that many days at the antiques mall, but I see a Japanese man in a bathrobe running through the store. Almost a year has passed since I had seen him. This time he understood American currency and knew a lot more English. He snapped up more eyeglasses and ran out of the store. We didn't get much time to talk, because anyone who has ever been to Florence knows it takes one to two full days to totally go through all the stores.

Again, I didn't think there was a trend until the other day when another Japanese man came in. His English was quite good and it turned out that he had an antiques stores in another major Japanese city. I told him another fellow antiques dealer and countryman had been in a few weeks earlier.

I noticed this man shopped the exact same way. With a mission. Walking briskly and almost running and knowing exactly what he wanted. And no haggling on prices. I love ALL our customers, but the gracious yet purposeful and fast shopping is so different than most dealers that come from many parts of the USA. The attitude conveyed by body language was that they were delighted to be here finding treasures at a fast clip and at prices that didn't merit dickering.

Now this Japanese antiques store owner was going a different route. I didn't take pictures of his actual purchases because I know when people from out of the country are wanting to cover all the ground they can quickly.

But here's some pictures from the Internet similar to what he was purchasing.

Yes, a Buddy Lee advertising doll.

And quite a few pieces of pottery banks and such that were not name brands, but had a sense of humor or whimsy.

And I got the impression the prices in Florence were very reasonable.

I had no idea of what the trends are in Japan. But I am learning from my customers.

And from other brief research I did, it seems many Japanese purchasers of antiques and vintage items are fascinated with Western themes and kitschy or whimsical items that are American made.

Well, all that and more is to be found in Florence. And who knew that Japanese antiques and collectible dealers are discovering Florence. Now we know.

So, what the trend from dealers from all over Colorado and other parts of the country? I'm not an authority on antiques trends--but in the next blog post I'll share what I observe through transactions with hundreds of customers.

Monday, May 1, 2017

#FindItInFlorence We Found Rocky Mountain Lace Guild Members In Florence, Colorado

Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado has rolled out its marketing campaign: #FindItInFlorence.

Though I have no connection to any organizations in Florence, I like to see who I can find in Florence and what THEY found in Florence.

Most blog readers know I like to pop out of nowhere and ask people what they found in Florence and what they plan to do with it. So far we've found extraordinary people from all over the state and world, shopping in our fair burg.

This time I found three members of the Rocky Mountain Lace Guild in Florence. They immediately honed in on a sterling silver tatting shuttle monogrammed with the letter M. They noted their might be a "fight" over the shuttle since both their last names started with M. I suggested that even though they had the upper arm strength with all that lace making, to arm wrestle for it that they might share it six months out of each year.

See the interesting things one can find in Florence? I didn't even know there were any antique tatting shuttles in the whole town, much less a sterling one. That ought to teach me--one can find almost ANYTHING in Florence.

I discovered these lace artists had stopped in Florence because they were in town for a lace retreat at the Abbey Events Complex in Canon City.

Members of the Rocky Mountain Lace Guild. Holding the shuttle is Laurie Masten. In the middle is Mary and on the left is Sandra Mapp.

More information about the guild is available at:

So we found these talented ladies discovering a treasure in Florence. Will we find YOU in Florence next? Tune in for future blog posts for more people we found in Florence. The next entry of We Found YOU in Florence will feature a mishap with a sharp dental instrument and a heartwarming story of folks working to rescue our furry friends.