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Showing posts with label Florence antiques capital of Colorado. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Florence antiques capital of Colorado. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Colorado Life Magazine Featuring FLORENCE Now On Sale Loralie Antique Mall

Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, is featured in the May/June issue of Colorado Life magazine.

Copies of that issue are available at the usual venues, City Market, Safeway, Big D Supermarket, etc., but they are now also on sale at The Loralie Antique Mall at 109 W. Main St. in Florence.

I personally put the issues in the cute little tabletop display Colorado Life sent us. Why you ask? Because I can. And also I think many of us are going to want a copy. Many of our favorite places, shops, restaurants and people are mentioned in the article. And the 17th annual Florence Merchants Association Car Show is also mentioned. I anticipate many car folks and show attendees will want a copy for a souvenir.

I've been a longtime subscriber to Colorado Life--and blogging about it--way before an article for Florence was in the works. I'm enthusiastic about anything that promotes and highlights our beautiful state.

But I'm particularly thrilled about Florence getting featured because I see it as a fun marketing opportunity to share our great little town with the world. The article, penned by Colorado Life editor Matt Masich, does a superb job of contrasting the town's past, present and future.

Thanks again to Matt, photo editor Joshua Hardin, and all the talented people at the magazine. It was such a pleasure for us to share our town with everyone.

Now everyone--show some love for Florence and this quality magazine and get down to The Loralie Antique Mall and buy a copy or two or three and send them to your relatives, friends and people you want to know what is so special about Florence.

 No one's ever accused me of being subtle!

And if you are mentioned in that article, we just might have a special surprise for you when you come on down to The Loralie. Special, as in good.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Florence, Colorado: Featured In Current Issue Of Colorado Life Magazine

It's finally happened! Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, is featured in the May/June issue of Colorado Life magazine.

For a sneak peek of the Florence article:

To read the entire article, one has to get a paper copy. Those are available at Big D Supermarket and Dollar General in Florence, as well as Safeway and City Market in Canon City. Plans are also underway to have Colorado Life magazines available for sale in many of Florence's antiques shops and other businesses.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Florence, Colorado: Escape In Time To Steampunk And Wine Festival

Ya'll don't have to hit me over the noggin to realize that there is a lot of interest in the upcoming Steampunk Festival. I've seen the hits this week and last for posts I made last year about Florence's Escape In Time To Steampunk And Wine Festival.

But, alas, I've been naughty (and busy) and haven't posted about this year's festival yet. But seeing everyone reading the past posts made me get into gear. Pun intended.

Plans are still being made--but this year's Steampunk Festival has no entrance fee, as it did in year's past.

One reader, with an upcoming wedding, was curious if there was a steampunk wedding feature like last year. I am not sure--but I'll talk to the festival organizer and find out.

I do know that year's event (the 4th annual) promises to be bigger, better and even more fun than previous ones. I know it's hard to believe since the other festivals were big hits--but this time around the Salida Circus will be performing. And the Fonda Cash Band  featuring Johnny Cash's niece should rev the fun factor up.

Stay tuned! And make sure to check out the Steampunk Facebook page at:

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Florence, Colorado: Is A Hip Antiques Capital & That Ain't No PULP Fiction

I've always considered Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, a beacon of hippery. But I'm old enough to break a hip in a geriatric slip-and-fall and make up questionable words like hippery to amuse myself.

So, I was sitting on my aging keister today at my workplace--The Loralie Antiques Mall at 109 W. Main St. Now, I usually don't admit where I work publicly. NOT because I am ashamed of this fine business--but, alas, I am a bit of a loose canon and don't wish to reflect poorly on such a fine establishment.

Anyway, the manager of the Loralie and I were sitting, ahem, working, and talking about the upcoming car show in May (that is tripling in size from last year) a battle of the bands event coming to Florence and the Steampunk Festival. I was clacking my claws together and exclaiming that our fair burg is finally getting on the map for some pretty awesome events. Actually we were talking about even MORE awesome upcoming events, but I have to work tomorrow and don't have time to list them all.

We were talking about what a fantastic, hip place Florence is. We have great eateries. A new East Indian/Nepalese restaurant opening soon--and on and on. Two new shops just opened. And these events help get out-of-towners to see what we see every day.

And almost the moment we were done getting excited about all these interesting things--right on cue, three young people burst through our door. One had a video camera. They asked if it was OK if they taped. They were so enthused, I said yes, before I totally understood what was going on.

And what was going on was pretty tasty if you ask me. They asked if I had heard of PULP. Of course I have! As the person in the running for the nosiest, um, I mean most inquisitive person in Florence, I know about most media in southern Colorado. And Pulp is a weekly newsmagazine with an edge and objectivity that I've enjoyed every time I go to Pueblo.

Seems PULP is expanding its social media reach for the 18 to 30 crowd, through its Facebook page at: with a new feature entitled, TWIST.

And Florence was chosen as the first subject for, TWIST.

 From l to r: Shanice Penn(co-host); Jordan Cushman (co-host) and Keelan Bailey (cameraman/producer)

Co-hosts of the new PULP-sponsored, TWIST, Shanice Penn and Jordan Cushman; and cameraman Keelan Bailey explained the challenge was for the co-hosts to visit Florence and to find an unusual antique item (for under $25) and having NO idea what the item was. The person who found the most unusual I-don't-know-what-the-heck-it-is item, won. Won what, I have no idea. But I'm all for reverse scavenger hunts that thrill people. And I guess we'll all have to tune into the TWIST at the Facebook page (scheduled for March 6) and see what they won and see more about their adventure in Florence.

Well, I know in part what they won. One heck of a fun time. A customer came up to the counter after they left and said she'd seen them in another store and they were having a blast.

Shanice, Jordan and Keelan all said they were having a great time in Florence and had visited The Pour House Coffee Shop--and thought it was one of the most interesting places with its coffee roaster. True!

I hate to ruin the surprise since Shanice had me hide the tag in the bag for her purchase, since she couldn't know what it was at this time. It's a blow torch! Whew hoo! Great pick on Shanice's part , because all them were on fire, not only with enthusiasm for this new project, but with being true professionals so early in their careers.

And that dear readers is a case of serendipity. We happen to be sitting around the antiques mall saying that Florence is a beacon of hippery, chockful of really remarkable things, people, festivals, eateries, art and culture--and then these young folks show up unannounced and confirm we were correct.

You can learn more about PULP at:

Florence,Colorado: Slated For the May/June Issue Of Colorado Life Magazine

Most savvy antiques shoppers know Florence is the antiques capital of Colorado. But soon the town will be getting even more exposure with a story and photo spread, slated for the May/June issue of Colorado Life Magazine.

"For years now, we've heard the buzz about Florence being the Antiques Capital of Colorado, so we decided to see if that was the case. After visiting, I can confidently say that the rumors are true," said Matt Masich, editor of Colorado Life Magazine.

Colorado Life Magazine, with headquarters in Estes Park, has about 80,000 readers and while its main reach is in Colorado, the magazine also has subscribers all across the country and world. The magazine is available at Big D  Supermarket in Florence, as well as Safeway and City Market in Canon City.

Masich visited Florence in December of 2017 and other magazine staff members visited Florence last May.

    Matt Masich, editor of Colorado Life Magazine and Rena Pryor, manager of Loralie Antique Mall

"I travel Colorado for a living, and I've seen a lot of Main Streets in a lot of small towns. I've got to say that I was impressed with just how vibrant downtown Florence is," the editor said.

Colorado Life Magazine features world-class photography and writing, and judging by many of the magazine's Letters To The Editor, the magazine hits the goal of uncovering hidden treasures,experiences and history in Colorado, that surprise and delight even long-time Colorado residents. The magazine's website is:

Front row: Joshua Hardin,Colorado Life photo editor and photographer; Lisa Hutchins, Colorado Life writer; Elsie Ore, co-owner of Heartland Antiques and Heartland Boutique; Florence mayor Keith Ore and co-owner of the Heartland stores. Back row: Rena Pryor, manager of The Loralie Antique Mall and owner of Bizzy Bee Honey Farms: Peg Piltingsrud, former co-owner of Fox Den Of Antiquity and pioneer in Florence's Antiques Capital Of Colorado status.

Masich toured many of Florence's shops as he interviewed business owners and did some browsing. "I talked with a bunch of the antiques shop owners. At Oil City Merchants, I very nearly purchased an antique billy club for my 5-year-old son, Charlie. I sent my wife a text message about it first, though, and she nixed the idea." Masich said.

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.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Florence,Colorado: Scary Nightmare Fuel Antiques & Collectibles

Florence is the undisputed antiques capital of Colorado. We have more antique stores per capita than any other town in the state. And the town boasts stunning world-class antiques, collectibles and art. But sometimes it's fun to take a tour of the nightmare fuel items that could surely be used to decorate a set of a Stephen King movie.

This is a paper mache dog from the Victorian era. Someone got a little festive for the holidays and put some tinsel in his fur. But it still scared the beejeezus out of me (and many antiques browsers). It turns out he is rare and a child's toy--and not many of them survived. The dogs, not the children. I'm pretty sure most of the children survived their childhoods, since this was only a toy a rich family could afford. However, I won't speak to how they survived psychologically.

Now this imp also scares many browsers. I've heard rumors that Doctors Freud and Spock built their careers on attempting to undo the damage some of these toys had on previous generations.

Now this dude's tongue moves. So does mine, in a silent scream, whenever I take this out of the locked case and show him to customers. He's fashioned as a mask/hat--so you can wear him. New Year's masquerade ball anyone? Criminal disguise? Someone actually told me the other day they were sending their significant other to the store and hoped this item would be their Christmas gift. If someone gifted me with this beauty--well, it wouldn't be an amicable breakup...

Oh my. Vintage sombrero-wearing salt and pepper shakers. Besides how "attractive" they are--when you pop their hats off, the raised shakers rather look like brain matter. I think I'll purchase these as part of my weight loss program.

And if I really want to take off the pounds, I could purchase these clown salt and pepper shakers. The spices come through holes in their feet--which is extra appealing.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Florence,Colorado: Has The Town Gone To The Dogs?

Folks often come into the antiques mall where I work, in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado--and ask if the mall is dog friendly.

I always point to the water dish we keep and the box of biscuits (all natural of course) on the counter. And I usually reply,"We've never had problems with canines entering the mall...but now humans, that's an entirely different story!" And that is true. Ah, the stories I could tell. Wait, I do tell the stories.

Now I haven't done a poll about how pet friendly Florence is, but word on the streets is that all leashed dogs are welcome in the antique, gift and art stores--except one, where the aisles are a bit narrow. You know, those wagging tails...

Most dogs that take a tour of Florence's antiques are pretty amazed at all the ancient smells and are pretty subdued. And most owners carry their pooches through the stores, even though I tell them it's just fine to let them walk around. Ya shoulda seen the guy trying to carry his St. Bernard through the mall until I told him to put his dog on the floor...

Why even Florence's dentist, located on Main St. in the heart of the antiques district, has set out some water and Milk Bones. And a nice potted plant. Nice touch with the BITE wing x-rays offer.

Antiques and canines mix in Florence.

I'd say we are probably one of the most pet friendly towns in the state.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Paint The Town With Plenty Of Air

Most everyone knows about the Florence Arts Council, Paint The Town event.

It's also called the Plein Air Art Festival. And some of the most talented artists roam the streets of Florence and surrounding areas and paint under pressure with plenty of aire, as I like to say.

But what you might not know is that I heard a rumor today from one of the town's painters that he was coming back tomorrow to paint our front window at the antiques mall.

I wondered why. We always try to do an interesting window that either gives people a chuckle or a happy feeling. Why you ask? Because we can. And because we are naughty minxes that like to entertain ourselves.

The artist said he would paint from outside and not sit in the window to paint. Actually I would have enjoyed seeing that. We could act all French (like plein aire) and pretend the artist in the window was like one of those cool animated department store windows I saw when I was in Paris.

I still couldn't figure out why anyone would want to paint our front window. Then I remembered, with horror and shame, that I had slipped a sign in the window that I found in one of our dealer's booths.

Pictured below. Don't hate me. But come on, admit it, you'll want to go to the Bell Tower Cultural Center and see the artist's rendering of this little naughty minx travesty I committed so long ago that I forgot about it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Let's Raise Heck And The Roof At The Bell Tower Art & Antiques Auction

What's as big as a breadbox, but helped a worthy Florence non-profit and made my kitchen extra snazzy? Why a breadbox of course.

Yep, I scored this vintage beauty (for a great price) at the last Florence Arts Council Art & Antiques Auction.

I have it from a reliable source (one of the best antiques dealers in Florence) that the donations to the auction this year might surpass the quality and variety of past sales.

Not only can you score some treasures, but you'll be a part of helping "raise the roof" for the new roof fund at the Bell Tower Cultural Center--one of Florence's treasures. And you can raise a little heck by outbidding others for this great cause.

Now don't be telling me you'll even dream of missing the Sept. 30 auction.

Florence, Colorado: I Was Naked And Rolling Around In A Pile Of....

I was naked and rolling around in a pile of...

Get your mind out of the gutter. I was naked and rolling around in a pile of BOOKS!

I usually don't share my fantasies on this blog. I don't wish to shock school children and those with delicate sensibilities. But books to me are like what doughnuts are to law enforcement.

Did I mention that FREE doughnuts and BOOKS are the reason for me sharing my fantasy.

OK, Florence is a funky and strange and delightful burg. I already knew that when I moved here.

But I would have moved here even sooner if I would have known that people run ads like this in the Canon City Shopper: "This September 30th, 2017 at 511 West Main in Florence Colorado there will be a free book giveaway. Hundreds of books will be available--political, historical, literary essays. Come browse and take as many books as you want. There will be coffee, doughnuts and and cookies to drink and munch while you look and load up. (719) 431-9340"

What the fudge? I get fed as I get free books!

Died and went to heaven. It must have been something my parents did when I was really young. They twisted my psyche where I became an unabashed book whore. And a cheapskate (except with friends and family) who loves to munch. Munch while I load up books. Munch while I read books.

Well, there you have it. Unfortunately my questionable services are required at work in downtown Florence on Sept. 30th. You can stop by The Loralie Antique Mall and offer your condolences to me--or bring me a free book. Actually I'll send my spouse with a semi-truck to 511 West Main and see if he can bring enough books back for me to roll around naked in.

I only have one beef with folks who are having a FREE book event. Email me. I could have gotten this on the blog a lot sooner. But really, who is going to truly bust the chops of anyone giving away free books.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Florence,Colorado: Where's The Watch Party For Jane Fonda & Robert Redford Movie, Our Souls At Night?

Where the heck is the watch party for the new Jane Fonda and Robert Redford Netflix movie, Our Souls At Night?

We know the release date is Sept. 29 on Netflix, just a few weeks after the movie showed at the Venice Film Festival. Venice. Italy.

Just like Florence. But not Italy. Colorado. You know, the small burg where a good portion of the movie was filmed.

I happen to have Netflix and will be able to watch the highly anticipated movie quite easily, much as I watch Fonda and Tomlin's Frankie and Grace and many other good Netflix offerings.

But what about all the folks who are excited to see not only the movie, but to really watch and recognize scenes of their hometown, Florence?

A co-worker was interested to know that I had Netflix and got to mentioning that she did not. And to her knowledge, there was no watch party planned for Florence. Not at the Rialto Theater, which is raising money for renovations. And not at the Bell Tower Cultural Center, one of many locations in Florence where filming took place.

No where that either of us knew about--unless I volunteer my modest home. But what good would that do the town? Besides the fact a few folks could tour my house and see if I'm a hoarder or an antiques collector extraordinaire? I'll let you guess. The person who guesses most closely will either win a box of chenille pipe stems, glitter and other crap--or a fine antique.

No, I was shocked, shocked I say--that there is no watch party for Our Souls At Night in Florence.

Surely I am not the only local that recognizes that Redford and Fonda are strolling in front of Two Sisters, well known by about everyone in Fremont County and the scene of many a delicious, lip-smacking, down-home eating experiences pretty much only available in the recesses of smalltown America.

For heavens sake, Jane and Robert, (I guess I can get familiar with them and use first names) since they both spent a whole day decompressing and taking breaks in the antiques mall where I work. Unfortunately, I was scheduled to work that day, but someone wanted to switch with me at the last minute and I missed the stars. Not that my co-worker knew the stars would be showing up that specific day. But it probably was for the best that I missed them. I am not a star struck person, but I did hear that Jane had an adorable canine companion and it would have been embarrassing when I would have smothered her pooch with attention and ignored Jane.

Heck, I feel like I got to know some of the film's production staff in the course of selling antiques and collectibles for the sets. One of the staff and I actually hugged, because we got into a very touching conversation about the POWER of story and how it is told even through objects and the standards of excellence that Jane and Robert elicit.

This whole town pretty much had a stake in the movie. If people weren't extras, or helping the production crew--they simply will recognize all the scenes shot in Florence.

So, why should there not be a watch party? Not at my house though! In a public place, so Florence can celebrate, compare notes and enjoy this film as a community? And maybe even raise a dollar or two for the many historical restoration projects going on around Florence. A watch party would also be a boost to making people aware that Florence is the antiques capital of Colorado and one of the few places in Colorado where small town America is in full swing.

So, maybe there is a public watch party somewhere in Florence. I don't know about it. My co-workers don't know about it. So if there is--shoot me a message or leave a comment on this blog and I'll post the information here.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Our Souls at Night Trailer - Jane Fonda and Robert Redford reunite

The trailer for the Netflix movie, starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, is out.

While the trailer doesn't really draw me in, I'm looking forward to the movie since some of the movie was filmed in Florence, Colorado. I got to watch portions of the filming, from afar, and assist some of the crew in making purchases to decorate sets.

Florence is the antiques capital of Colorado, and I happen to work at The Loralie Antique Mall. So, not only will be anticipating the movie in general, but seeing all the antiques, collectibles and decor items that crossed our counters.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Finally, Someone Tells The Truth

Finally, someone tells the truth about Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado.

I spotted this sign today (Aug. 25) a day that will go down in infamy. COME IN AND DON'T GET LOST. INCREDIBLE HOARD! 1000's OF ITEMS! WOW!

Notice the innocent people pictured by the sign on Florence's Main Street, they are fleeing. They don't want to get lost in the incredible hoard.

I personally have always wanted to get lost in a hoard. A hoard of ice cream sundaes and delicious crunchy chips--but not a hoard of antiques, collectibles and junk.

But at least the truth is out about Florence. Some people call it collections, some call it hoards. But town is packed with more antiques and oddities than just about anyplace. Perhaps the crew of the TV show, Hoarders, should drop by and see if any assistance is needed.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Florence, Colorado: My Summer Vacation At Bass Pro Shops

Occasionally I like to go on a vacation and leave the quaint burg of Florence, Colorado. This year, time, so far, hasn't allowed a lengthy trip. So I decided on another fun Colorado day trip.

Too far to drive to the Natural History Museum in Denver? Haven't budgeted for the price of admission? No worries. Here's a cheapo and fun way to get a few hour vacation by trolling Bass Pro Shop in Colorado Springs. It's ALMOST like the Natural History Museum. And I'm pretty sure the security at Bass Pro Shops isn't quite as strict as the security at the Natural History Museum.

Join with me as I take a few hour retail vacation. Or if you're really smart, you'll leave this blog page as fast as humanly possible and get yourself to a real vacation.

Who needs to go on an expensive roller coaster to scream one's kiester off. Cheap thrills are free on my vacation. Unfortunately as I was posing for this picture, one bystander starting laughing so loudly that it almost broke my concentration. But we got the picture right before alarmed parents covered their children's eyeballs and whisked them away.

Now don't try this at home (or in the wild children) but I enjoy comparing my manicure to the bear's. I won.

Since I blew my vacation budget of $33.96 that I pulled out of my couch cushions on gas and some alligator bites at the restaurant at Bass Pro Shops, I decided to give myself a free pedicure in the alligator head at the fishy-themed bowling alley. I tried not to alarm any schoolchildren or nuns with my size nines, but someone passing by did suggest that I wouldn't need a paddle board to get across any water since my feet were paddle board-sized. OK, no one actually said that. Must have been the voices in my head or that snippy alligator.

I wasn't the only one having a good time at Bass Pro Shops. That's Uncle Buck. He has a restaurant at Bass Pro Shops. Quite lovely food there, I must say. I did tell him to put the mermaid down, that it was not his. But he didn't listen. I think he mumbled something about enjoying fresh sea food. But I could have misunderstood.

And that is how you have a fun and cheap day trip vacation in Colorado.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Florence,Colorado: Where The F*** Is Florence?

I often search all over for what people are writing about Florence, Colorado.

Local people. People around Colorado. And people around the world.

Why? I'm just curious to know what people think about a small town in the middle of somewhere. And in the middle of nowhere. And come to find out that many people don't even know Florence exists.

One of the problems is that Florence isn't exactly on the way to any major destinations. It's certainly an easy drive from Colorado Springs and Pueblo. It's not that far from Royal Gorge and Canon City. But it's not on a major highway.

I've noticed when I go to the Springs (where I lived for over 20 years and knew about Florence) that when store clerks ask me where I am from--I often get a blank look. I can tell by their eyeballs they are too polite to ask where it is. And some people would say,"Well, Florissant sure is a nice area!"

Florence, not Florissant!

I thought I was the only one who ran into this phenomenon. The Florence vortex.

When I lived in Denver for a short time, it was even more strange. I'd tell a new friend, a hair dresser or store clerk, who asked about my background, that I was from the Springs, but missed Manitou Springs, since I missed small FUNky towns like crazy. I'd get those same blank looks. Manitou? Never heard of it.

So, when I told a few friends and acquaintances in Denver we were moving to Florence, most would say: "Now exactly where is this place? In Colorado?"

I came across this great blog post over at the Florence Brewery Company. Yes, in Florence!

Excellent post that sums up the frustration about finding out most people in our great state don't know we exist.

But I think that is going to change fairly soon. We have a lot of people determined to put Florence on the map. Florence, NOT Florissant!

Just think about it. If people don't know where Florence is they won't be able to get a cold, artisan beer from the Florence Brewing Company easily--or experience all the other great things our fair burg offers in a friendly, small-town environment.

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?