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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

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Florence, Colorado: The American Pickers TV Show Coming To Florence

Ah, dreams do come true! I was hoping the American Pickers TV show, with plans to film in Colorado, would make a stop in Florence.

According the Facebook page of the Florence Consignment Center, the pickers will be at their store filming.

Danielle Colby, American Pickers. Mike and Frank from American Pickersare coming to Florence, Colorado and to Florence Consignment Corner in July. They will be shooting an episode of Frank Fritz from American Pickersand Mike Wolfe American Picker. We will be ready and we will have some special things for them to take home when they shop at FCC.

Hats off to the folks at Florence Consignment Center! I'm a semi-regular shopper at FCC, so I know they will do Florence proud--as would any of the other stores in the antiques capital of Colorado.

I don''t think it's too late to send leads on to the American Pickers.


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!



https://www.florencebrewing.com/single-post/2017/06/01/Where-The-F-is-Florence-Colorado

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: THE PLACE TO BE FOR THE 4TH OF JULY!

Florence, Colorado is the place to be for the 4th of July. It's all about red, white and YOU!

Actually Florence is a fun place to be any day of the year, but the town pulls out all the stops to celebrate Independence Day with the Florence 4th of July Festival.

Instead of listing all the fun things to experience, celebrate, see, eat and enjoy--it would be quicker to say there pretty much will be EVERYTHING there to make sure the whole family and friends have a great time.


Florence isn't celebrating on just the 4th. Oh, no! This celebration is so big it has to be packed into four days.

It's worth the drive. If you haven't ever visited Florence, you've been missing a friendly welcome, walkable streets, free parking and the best of small town living.

I know you want to know more, so go to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Florence-4th-of-July-Festival-presented-by-Rocky-Mountain-Bank-Trust-800529186748671/

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!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Who The Heck Is Beatrice Bloggaire And Scruffy?

Who the heck is Beatrice Bloggaire and Scruffy?

Beatrice Bloggaire And Her Dog, Scruffy

Beatrice Bloggaire, as the cartoon shows, has grabbed her notebook and pen and is ready to see what she can find in Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado. Beatrice is my alter ego. But the name of her/my dog is really, Scruffy. They do say dogs and their owners look alike. Yes, we are both a bit plump and scruffy.

                                                               A Picture Of The Real Scruffy


Someone came up with the brilliant idea of creating alter ego cartoons for this blog. It makes it easier to go about Florence and Fremont County and other parts of southern Colorado and see what is happening in semi-anonymity. 

Now, some people do know who I am. I'm not that good at keeping secrets! But when a blog goes worldwide, one likes to protect one's identity. 

Awhile back I was having a conversation with an artist and business owner in Florence. We were talking about how I could assist the town, free of charge, in promoting all the exciting people and events and things in our fair burg.

I asked the artist, if television or media people came to Florence, who would be the best on-camera spokesperson for the town. I readily admitted it would never be me. I don't do well in front of cameras or on the radio.

The person said they would never do it. My estimation of the person was they would be well-spoken and suited to the task. They explained why they never would. It turned out that the person was chosen as the artist of the month on a well-known worldwide online selling venue--complete with a picture and story.

The artist was in another town and just browsing in a store when a stranger screamed and rushed the artist and said they recognized them from the online site. Just that minor brush with celebrity was enough for that Florence artist to keep a low profile.

Plus, when people know who you are--the focus often moves from the art, antiques, culture or town you are attempting to focus on.

Some of us thrive on being known. And that's fine. And some of us thrive on having only our work known. And that's fine. And some of us thrive on having the work of others or of a town known. And that's fine. I'm in the latter category. I want to stories of the people and things in Florence, and the stories of people who visit Florence, in the spotlight--not me.

So, Beatrice Bloggaire, happily stepped up to the task and will do it. Nice thing about Beatrice, no one will ever recognize her in a store and rush her! And Scruffy is often wearing his Halloween devil outfit and is incognito anyway.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Florence, Colorado: I'm Hoping The AMERICAN PICKERS Come To Florence

I'm just going to come out and say it: I hope the American Pickers come to Florence.

After all, we are the antiques capital of Colorado. And the American Pickers TV show is set to film in Colorado throughout July.

Perfect!

I was lurking (oops, I mean working) around ye olde antiques mall recently and heard a phone message left by the casting director for the popular History Channel TV show. So, naturally I thought we (oops, I mean me) should see what we can do about this.

                               Mike, Danielle and Frank from The American Pickers TV show

No, I didn't lift this picture from the internet. I actually got it from the casting folks.

I mean who wouldn't want these guys to show up? Can't you even see Danielle coming along and hanging out at the Pour House (the beacon of hippery) and comparing tats?

For gosh sakes, Florence is the FUNkytown of Fremont County and these folks are as FUNky as they get.

And they love to preserve history. And that is what Florence is all about.

Plus, rumor has it when folks (celebs and non-celebs alike) come to Florence we often treat them to breakfast, lunch and/or dinner and give them jars of free Florence-produced honey. Actually that's not a rumor, it happened and you'll have to read other blog posts to find out.

I mean, come on, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford were pretty darn happy with the welcome mat Florence unfurled.

OK, I decided to see what "leads" I could dig up for these fine folks at American Pickers. I asked a dealer who has booth space where I work and also owns an antiques shop in Canon City if he'd let the pickers in. "Nope! They can't come in my garage," he replied," But I did hear Mike and Frank were in Westcliffe the other day eating pizza."

Remember, the title of this blog is, True Story Club, and I only occasionally wax poetic, but don't make things up.

On to the next. I ask another acquaintance who is liquidating some antiques. That person thought their stuff wouldn't be good enough. And also wasn't thrilled with being on camera. That part I understand. I'd freeze with an idiotic expression on my face if a camera was pointed at me. Wait, that really happened one day when I was leaving my house and Channel 13 (in Colorado Springs) happened to be on the sidewalk and asked me what I thought about fraud and scams. "Well," I choked," I'm against fraud and scams..." When I saw myself on TV, I looked like I was sucking on a sour pickle, but in real life I look like I'm perpetually sucking on a sweet Popsicle. Or so I've been told.

I might freeze when TV cameras get near me, but I am determined to sneak around Florence and attempt to get other people to do it. And then write about it.

Next I attempted to get permission for the American Pickers to penetrate the infamous HOBO JUNGLE. Yes, that really is the nickname given by the owners. Still working on that one.

But the glitch besides people being hesitant before cameras, is people often thinking their stuff isn't good enough. It reminds me of my mother cleaning our motel room BEFORE the motel maid showed up so the maid wouldn't think we were slobs.

Well, then someone else uncovered a lead for me. It seems someone has many of the original movie props from the Gene Wilder version of the movie, Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory. I made a phone call and it turns out that many of those movie props are indeed in Florence and the owner does want those items to see the light of day so others can enjoy them and while a sale is still unsure, agreed to let me give the contact information to the American Pickers.

But let's see what other leads we can come up with for Florence. Not only would it be fun to see the crew of The American Pickers, it would be fun to see Florence and all its treasures (people and items) get some exposure.

Tune in to future blog posts to see how you can submit a lead to American Pickers.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Florence,Colorado: 50 Shades Of Grey Or 50 Shades Of Orange?

Florence is the antiques capital of Colorado. But the question is: Do we do 50 Shades Of Grey or 50 Shades Of Orange more?

I'll end the suspense quickly, because that's just the kind of person I am.


If you want to know more about this ORANGE madness, just walk by The Loralie Antique Mall at 109 W. Main St.

So far I've seen people walking by shell shocked. I've seen people whip out their phone cameras and snap pictures. And I've heard people say this window surely is about the Broncos.

My, my, my! I won't tell all. But it's about whatever you want it to be!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

#IFoundYOUInFlorenceColorado

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

Florence, Colorado: ORANGE Is The New Black & The New FUN In Antiques and Collectibles

In Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, we like to have a little fun with antiques and collectibles.

Occasionally I like to get all Burma Shave sign-happy with the window display at The Loralie Antique Mall at 109 W. Main St.


Now I usually do this when no one is looking. Then I enjoy the slightly befuddled looks on folks faces when they walk by.


Come on, wouldn't you do the same thing?

One person did groan over the sign pictured above. I looked angelic as I said," Too corny?"

"The cornier the better. YOU KNOW THAT!" the person replied.

OK, let's take a peek at the window now. There must be a few orange things in this window display to elicit such ORANGE corniness.


Where else can you find a troll doll in a poodle skirt with ORANGE hair along with an ORANGE tobacco tin? Nowhere I say!


ORANGE bingo cards? Sure, they will go perfect when you go to the Elks Lodge to play bingo and match your troll doll's hair. Yes. Yes. Yes. Everyone should bring their troll doll to a bingo game for good luck.


Now you know WHY the answer to, "ORANGE You Glad You're In Florence The Antiques Capital of Colorado", is a resounding YES!


This lady has absolutely NOTHING to do with antiques, window displays or Florence. But she has ORANGE hair and that's good enough for me.


Bet you didn't know ORANGE is the new antique. It's probably not, but it's my blog and I can write whatever I want.


Oh, my. ORANGE is beautiful. Someone passing by the window said they thought I had actual food or jello in the bowls. Well, I could have done that. But I would have ended up eating it and endlessly making new ORANGE jello to replace it.


ORANGE? We have just about anything you could imagine in ORANGE. See that ORANGE potholder? It's from Loralie Designs. You can purchase ready-made items, or purchase the fabric to make your own. ORANGE Tupperware, Pyrex? No problem.


Yes, we actually have an ORANGE radio!


Now, I challenge you: Just try to find this ORANGE doll in Wal-Mart or anywhere else.


And now we know WHY we ask: ORANGE You Glad You Found Yourself In Florence?

Of course you are!


#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 ?

#FindItInFlorence

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: http://truestoryclub.blogspot.com/2015/08/florence-colorado-svetlana-gunnar.html

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 A Colorado Life Magazine Writer And Photographer In Florence, The Antiques Capital Of Colorado

Today I found Colorado Life magazine staff writer, Lisa Hutchins and Joshua Hardin, the magazine's photo editor, in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado.

Every day is a good day in our fun burg, but today was one of the best days ever.


Front row: Joshua Hardin, photo editor and photographer; Lisa Hutchins, staff 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, co-owner of Fox Den Of Antiquity and pioneer in Florence's Antiques Capital Of Colorado status.

I've been a subscriber and admirer of Colorado Life magazine for many years. Refer to my March 2016 blog post about this remarkable magazine--written way before I knew the magazine was honoring Florence with a photo spread and story. http://truestoryclub.blogspot.com/2016/03/colorado-life-magazine.html

In that 2016 blog post, I mention the world-class writing and photography and commitment to digging deep into the real Colorado. After spending an afternoon with these friendly and professional magazine folks, I can say what I wrote over a year ago, is even more deeply felt today.

For those readers who don't live in Colorado, it might be hard to imagine that a state with so many wildernesses, geographical divides and diversity of people and scenery are tight-knit. It's true. As we were all chatting around a table at Florence's Aspen Leaf cafe, what came to the forefront is that all of us love the towns we live in, but love Colorado as a whole and it binds us together.

It's the love of Colorado that Colorado Life magazine captures perfectly in each and every issue.


Check out the magazine's website at: www.coloradolifemagazine.com


You heard it here first: What happens in Florence--doesn't stay in Florence.

We rarely let anyone leave Florence without a parting gift, even if it's simply the memory of a fun and friendly welcome they can take home with them. But Joshua and Lisa were treated to some jars of Bizzy Bee Honey Farms raw honey, compliments of Rena Pryor.


We took a leisurely tour of Florence's many shops and galleries and also at the 1923 Rialto Theater on Florence's Main St. Pictured above is,  Keith Ore, Peg Piltingsrud and Joshua Hardin discussing the fact that the partially-restored Rialto is one of Colorado's few existing theaters that have the original fly towers intact.

I know a fair amount about Florence's history and attributes, but today I learned almost as much about the town in a few hours than I've picked up in the last five years since I've chosen this town as home.

I'm not sure when the Florence story will appear, but when I know, I'll post it. In the meantime, those wishing to experience Colorado Life magazine, information on subscribing is at its website, or single issues are available at the check stands at the Big D Supermarket in Florence.


And I know when Colorado Life's Florence story hits the stands, I'll learn even more about our town. Best day ever!

So, will we find YOU in Florence next?


#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: http://www.kcwomensclub.com/


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fremont County: 18th Annual Great U.S. 50 Yard Sale, May 20 & 21

Junkers and bargain hunters unite! The 18th annual Great U.S. 50 Yard Sale is almost here and Fremont County has a whooping good time scouring every hill and dale for treasures.

This event is also called: The Nation's Yard Sale. I personally call it: The Greatest Show On Earth.

I'm still tingling over the gorgeous handcrafted twig end table I got for just $5 a few years ago at the sale. You know, the kind that usually sell for about $100 in those woodsy, lodge-type stores. But none of that around here on May 20 and 21. It's the time to NOT pay full retail, get some exercise and visit with folks.


Canon City has a huge yard sale at the Depot Park that is not to be missed. I've scored plenty a bargain there. But people set up all over the county from Penrose to Florence and beyond.

And word on the street is that there will be a big yard sale at 1009 E. Main St., across from the Big D Supermarket in Florence.

And here's an interesting story about the history of this fantastic yard sale that has become a traditon for many across our great nation: http://953wiki.com/local-article/eighteenth-annual-great-u-s-50-yard-sale-nations-yard-sale/

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: FlorenceColorado@yahoo.com

So, will we find YOU in Florence next?




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Fremont Victory Quilters: Sewn With Love For Our Veterans

Most of us can agree that there is hardly a greater love and courage when a person is willing to lay down their life for their country.

And many quilters in Fremont County are showing a great love for our veterans.


Twice each month, quilters from Fremont County meet at the Elks Lodge in Florence to construct quilts for veterans, as part of the national Quilts Of Valor outreach, which also reaches out in Colorado. More information on that non-profit group is at: www.qovf.org

Every time a quilt is sent to a veteran, the Fremont Victory Quilters send a letter to their vet. The veteran is unknown to them, but is invited to drop a note (if they wish) and tell the group a bit about themselves.

The part of the Fremont Victory Quilter letters that literally brought tears to my eyes is: "All of are of different faiths, have varied political beliefs and have strongly differing views on this war, but we united in agreement that our Service men and women should be treated with dignity and kindness. It is with this goal in mind that your quilt was created."

And these quilts are not just any quilts. They are practical and comforting--but also works of art as you can tell from the picture.

More information on the Fremont Victory Quilters is at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Fremont-Victory-Quilters-1418383188481606/?hc_ref=SEARCH

If you want to see just a few of these lovely quilts, that will eventually be gifted to veterans, take a stroll to 109 W. Main St. in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado. There is a window display dedicated to these quilters and the veterans in honor of Armed Forces Day.

The Loralie Antique Mall and Boutique is a sponsor of the Fremont Victory Quilters. Loralie Harris, owner of the antique mall and boutique is a well-known textile designer and donates fabric.


And the mall has set up a donation jar at the mall. So feel free to donate some pocket change (or even a more significant cash gift) to the quilters, so they can keep on giving back to the veterans.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Florence, Colorado: What's Worth More? Bakelite Bracelet or Littonware Microvave Casserole..

Such fun. One can opine and guess what the trends in antiques and collectibles are. I work in an antiques mall, so I can see in real time what some of the trends are.

But it's much more entertaining to me to see what actually sells for more online to see what the trends really are.

So, what's worth more? A tested bakelite bangle bracelet with hand-painted flowers OR a four-quart Littonware microwave casserole? Huh? OK, I didn't even know what a Littonware microwave casserole was until I started digging deep to see what the current trends are. I was raised in the era where microwaves were some new-fangled things that were a Death Star in disguise. Sure, I use them--but with extreme caution and suspicion. And I never suspected older microwave cooking vessels were something that great.

So, let's start with the bracelet.



Pretty. Real bakelite. Hand painted flowers.

And now, the contender.


A four-quart Littonware mictowave casserole. I know nothing about microwave casseroles and even less about Littonware. But I'm guessing Littonware is circa 1970s or 80s. This puppy has a chip in it. The bracelet does not.

And which item is worth more?

The casserole of course. It sold for $45.

The bracelet, a mere $29.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Florence, Colorado: What's Worth More? Rubbermaid or 1900s Tin...

In the time of rapidly changing antiques and collectibles markets I thought it would be fun to do a, What's Worth More?, feature here.

As we all know, any object from the Mona Lisa to granny's linens are only worth monetarily what someone will pay for them.

OK, which of these two following items is worth more in today's current online market? Eventually I'll go into the brick and mortar stores and do comparatives on what's worth more.





This is a George W. Horner and Company Blue Boy, circa 1900, carriage ride tin. Obviously it is a true antique and over 100 years old. Is this nice antique item a winner? Or is it this item?




Yikes! What are they? Kinda blurry. It's set of vintage 1980s Rubbermaid slate blue ice cube trays. Back in the old days vintage was defined as 50 years or more old. Today it seems it is about 20 or so years. So is this set of flexible twisty ice cube trays the winner?

So--will an antique or a 1980s item win and be worth more?

Drum roll. And the winner is: The Rubbermaid ice cube trays sold for $14 for the set.

The 1900s tin sold for $12,50.

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.