Wednesday, October 21, 2009

That Time of The Year

How the year is flying by . . . just when I'm in the part of the year I enjoy the most! Autumn is my season to evaluate my progress for the year, walk outdoors and observe the color changes, remind myself to say more prayers of thanksgiving and take a deep breath and appreciate how blessed I am.
This change in our daylight and leaf color slow me down and cause me to take notice of where I am, both physically and spiritually. There is a subtle change in my thought process and energy level and a renewed desire to cook and to feather my nest. I always experience an urge to be out with the old and in with the new . . . like you feel when you know it's time for spring cleaning and throwing open the windows. No doubt this is built into us, and has to do with the importance of harvesting and canning and stockpiling firewood, and storing up for winter. These preparations were required for our ancestors who did not have the convenience of living within walking distance of King Soopers or the bus stop. Nearly everything is accessible to me, year 'round, and still I experience a 'gathering and stockpiling' sort of mood.
I awoke this morning to frosty windows and a beautiful covering of snow on the ground, accompanied by that peaceful quiet we get in Colorado when it snows. A sort of insulation from the usual morning sounds. The birds are already hunkered down in their properly insulated nests and the squirrels have their acorns cupboards stocked. I suspect that some of my neighbors managed to find a reason not to leave their houses this morning . . . staying in their p.j.'s with an extra cup of coffee and a good book . . . just to celebrate the change of weather.
I have no doubt there will be another warm, sunny, Indian summer sort of spell, following this cold snap . . . . because that's Colorado, after all . . . .
but for now, I'm content to take a day off, watch a few home decorating programs and sort out my paperwork in my home office. I'm simmering some homemade soup on the stove and thinking about Patina's "Christmas Open House", the first weekend of November.
There is much that must be accomplished to be out with the autumn decor and have Christmas ready for our retail customers to peruse. Ah . . . another new beginning to contemplate!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hello Again

Yes, I AM still on the planet . . . or maybe hovering just above in the stratosphere . . .
My two little adopted grandchildren from Ethiopia are settled in, and my four year old grandson has proudly received them as his very own "brodder" and sister! They are learning English and adapting to our foreign culture quite nicely! Family is a wonderful thing . . .
Autumn is in the air, and my mind wanders to Thanksgiving, and what it will be like to celebrate such a holiday with these three little ones gathered around me. God is good! They will be experiencing "firsts" for some time to come . . . and this Thanksgiving will be a very special "first" for them. What will they think of Halloween???? Oh My!!!!
The Pumpkin Patch visit will be upon us any day now!

Business is bustling, and I'm just back from a fruitful road trip with a truckload of antiques.

Alice and I hitched up the trailer and set our sights on the Amana Colonies of Iowa . . . where we wandered through beautiful countryside to "Simply Iowa". Barb's show was fabulous - and the consistent rain, coupled with fog and temps hovering around 40 degrees were a moody backdrop for some of the most enjoyable days of treasure hunting! Candles provided a warm glow in her outbuildings, tents and fabulous shop. Barb is one of those wonderfully charismatic, kindred souls that I clicked with immediately. Arriving at her shop was like coming home to a familiar and happy place. Barb sent us on to a wonderful set of shops named Bloom and Sisters. They were just my cup of tea!

We headed to What Cheer the following day, already content with the booty we had stashed away . . . and encountered mud, mud and more mud, rain and cold and ummmm what treasures! I always laugh to myself when customers comment on what a perfect and lovely life I have - buying and selling antiques . . . . and visions of these days pop into my head . . . .

rain, mud, cold, fog, or on some trips, days so hot I melt into a puddle . . . mosquito bites, humidity, broken down vehicles, my trailer with a broken axle, and other assorted hassles, headaches and heartbreaks . . .

but, truth be told, I wouldn't trade it for any other lifestyle! There is something so exciting about the hunt, the find, the negotiation, the purchase, the ownership, (even tho' it's temporary), the travel, the unpacking and cleaning and pricing and inventorying and display and finally, the sale! It's not even the sale, as much as the delight of the person who purchases my finds!

The stay was sweet, and we were hosted by Alice's delightful daughter & son in law,
Susie & Mike. Susie is the best at locating the perfect haunts for great finds.

I have unpacked many of the wonderful things, and they're already being seen today at PATINA.

We're basking in the warm glow of being named



Antiques Shop,

by Channel 7's A-List.

We won the spot through the loyalty and support of our

incredible customers

and the community of dealers and buyers and friends who cast their votes for us.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! We love you all, so much!

Come see the wonderful treasures we've found for you . . . .


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We're Number One!

Patina Antiques and Home is in the running for the
"Best Antique Shop in Denver",
in the Denver 'A List 'competition!
We're proud to see the incredible reviews and the
our customers have given us!
You can imagine our excitement, and the top notch exposure this creates for our little shop. We have been lauded by 5280 Magazine, and long to be voted best antiques shop by them, later this year.
Their vote of confidence was possibly the biggest publicity item we've seen, and the results have been phenomenal for business. Being rated the best by the 'A List' will improve our status with 5280 Magazine, and one thing leads to another . . . .
You can vote for Patina at
A List Denver (Channel Seven's Website).
Type in: Patina Antiques and Home,
then click on VOTE.
Thanks for your support in our quest for excellence!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer delights

Such a beautiful time of the year! I have been revelling in the fruits and veggies of summer, savoring each one with delight.
When I was a child, my maternal grandmother, "Mamom", taught me the delights of simple meals which celebrated the advent of the harvests of her garden. Some evenings we feasted on a hearty salad of whatever we picked from the 'salad garden', and some mornings I awoke to the breakfast treat of an enormous homemade biscuit covered with fresh strawberries. There were meals that consisted entirely of freshly picked corn on the cob, and tomatoes plucked right from the vine.
Mamom generally believed that a proper supper consisted of meat and potatoes and several veggies and a salad and all the trimmings. Oh, but these harvest suppers were special . . . . a celebration of whatever was ripe and ready to picked and enjoyed to the fullest.
Our own yard was surrounded by an unusual hedge of cherry bushes. I have never seen anything like these since my childhood, and no one seems to remember where they came from, or what their proper name is! They flowered in the late spring and produced a wild cherry, shaped like a tiny pumpkin. There were three distinct flavors and colors among these cherries -
a purpley-black, an orangey gold, and a dark red, each one temptingly juicy and sweet.
We grew huge avocados . . . . football size, I tell you!
The seed alone in our avocados was larger than an entire California avocado is. People think I exaggerate when I tell of these avocados - but they are incredible.
Our neighbors and friends at church grew oranges and tangerines and lemons and limes . . . . and grandmas on both sides of the family had prolific banana trees in their back yards. It seems now, that I grew up in a veritable Garden of Eden
My father's parents, "Granny" and "Grandaddy", made an annual pilgrimage from where we lived, back to where they grew up, (we're talking deep south, here), each summer, to see their relatives. I eagerly awaited their return from this journey, knowing they carried treasure home with them. The entire back seat of that old car was packed with such wonderful things! There were brown sacks filled with the world's sweetest peaches, and huge heavy burlap bags of pecans. I can taste those peaches, right now!
I miss those grandparents. It makes me want to focus more on what I'm doing with
my own grandchildren. I guess a trip to the Farmer's Market is in order!
Happy summer tasting!

Friday, July 10, 2009


This beautiful July day began with an early morning walk through my neighborhood. I try to walk 3 or more mornings a week, and the earlier I get my day started, the happier I am. There is little traffic at 5:30 in the morning, and there are few distractions from my hour of meditation and prayer, and communion with my creator.
I am always delighted to see the wildlife and the dewy grasses and blossoms, and to breathe in fresh air . . . . and feel the soft, rising sunshine warming my skin. I have time to focus on what's truly important in life, before the schedule of the day takes over.
This is one of those days that I feel the presence of God, and am happy to give thanks for those precious little moments when I can spend time enjoying Him.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July Celebrations

We have arrived at the halfway point of 2009, and that gives me pause, encouraging me to think about my goals for this year. I feel good about several accomplishments, and at the same time,
I realize there are several projects I have yet to begin.
Reasonable women know that it is important not to be overly self critical.
(There are enough people out there to be critical of us as it is.)
Self employed women know that we set impossibly high standards for ourselves,
and truly believe that each year we will work "smarter and harder".
There is no way we can run our business, be all we wish to our family, deepen our friendships, enhance our love life, grow spiritually, get in better physical shape, learn new skills, dedicate ourselves to our favorite charity, life coach, renew our artistic endeavors, organize our paperwork, our cars and our workshops . . . . and so on.
and that's important.
At this mid-point, I will rededicate myself to the goals I set for the New Year of 2009!
This is one of my favorite months of the year . . . and my birth month!
I was born very close to the Fourth of July, and for many of my early years,
I recall my mother saying,
"we're going to see fireworks tonight".
(In my childish mind, I supposed that those fireworks were just in my honor, for my birthday.)
I anticipated that evening all week . . . . having a special outfit, the packing of blankets, picnic basket and lemonade, even taking an afternoon nap, all in preparation for the evening's wonderment.
There would be sparklers - those firey fairy lights that one could dance around in the dark with, swirling and leaping, to create trailing arcs of magic.
It was the kickoff of my birth month!
No slacker - I needed more than a birth DAAAAAY . . . .
A whole
month of celebration
was more in my plan.
I was priviledged to be able to choose my birthday cake flavor.
For many years it remained angel food cake with chocolate frosting.
I was probably as delighted with the name of that cake -
"angel food"
as I was with the taste.
I was thrilled by the spectacle of red, white and blue "stars", bursting in the air,
the excitement of the crowds celebrating, flags waving, dads taking the dayoff, burgers grilling, ice cold watermelon, often a daytrip to the beach!
Even after I came to the realization that there was a bigger celebration than my little birthday,
I continued to be thrilled by the festivities and fireworks,
and am to this day.
What a lucky girl I am!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Show Favorites

Hello again, I am remiss . . . and being chided for not reporting sooner on the Old Glory show!
So much to do . . . .and how I admire those bloggers who can race home and download their photos and write about their adventures the same night!
I'm going to grow up to be like those girls, one day.
What a weekend! I'm finally getting around to writing again, after recovering from the excitement, restocking the shop and going back to work. I'm just not as young and resilient as I used to be!
The show was delightful, as it is every year . . . . and as always, I came home inspired. It was hot and sunny on Friday, and cloudy and cooler on Saturday. We were a little tentative about the rain clouds that seemed to be moving ever closer, and we continuously condensed our displays as things sold, moving more and more under the tent. The weather held, and we even got the show torn down and packed before the sprinkle ensued. All in all, you couldn't have asked for a nicer 2 days, during our notoriously tumultuous June weather
There were shop keepers and designers and tons of customers, and pretty much like most shows, the serious ones made an impact during the first 4 hours on Friday. Saturday had steady traffic and sales, until about 2pm. I had a delightful show, with smalls being most popular. I made several wonderful early buys, and resold the items during the show . . . .
always a coup in my book!
I had the pleasure of meeting Jo Packham, editor of the magazine,
"Where Women Create",
and her super photographer, Dana, took pics of our booth.
Jo may return soon, and do some photos of our shop!!!!!!
The camaraderie of the dealers was magnificent - many returning from previous years. I was treated each morning to coffee & donuts, and a breakfast burrito on Saturday,
by sweet Amy, of The Pink Attic Cat, (downtown Littleton).
I bought a folk art angel from Claire Roberts, of Coming Home,
and a number of items from Cordie Webb.
I think the friendship among dealers is as much the reason we stay in the business
as the income.
(Although we all know that the addiction is the true reason we stick to it!)
Thanks to Holly Kuhn, and her husband, the ever calm and smiling Brian,
we all had a smooth and easy show.
Those two are the best!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Well dear ones, tomorrow is the big day - the opening of the
Old Glory Antiques Show,
at Clement Park.
This lovely park is at Bowles and Pierce, in the Columbine neighborhood.
The show is all set up, and looking more amazing than ever!
There are dealers from a variety of states, along with the best of the Front Range.
I'm showing you just a little sneak peak, to whet your appetite, and to entice you to be there, bright and early. There are so many things I want!
Dealers are showing the best of the best in primitives and rustic Americana, along with
delightful folkart.
Bring a friend and enjoy this wonderful kickoff of summer.
You'll have a blast!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Last Minute Details

If I allowed you to peek into my normally tidy house right now, you'd believe
a crazy lady lived here!
I am sitting in a maze of packing boxes, stacks of ironstone, tissue and bubble wrap, scraps of this and that, price tags, glue, string, plants, potting soil, baskets . . . . and that's only the living room . . .
But it's all going away as I pack several trucks for the show.
Add to that list my tool box, furniture wax, rags . . . you see, I
bought this wonderful old dresser yesterday - and it will look even nicer after a little TLC - and you understand that I could not go to sleep without seeing how much I could restore it with a little elbow grease! Like I needed another project to add to the short list. With any luck, you'll see it at the shop tomorrow!
It has hardware now, and the mirror affixed - come see the transformation!
I'm busy today, beginning to pack for Old Glory my fav antiques show! I'm potting plants in vintage containers, framing antique flashcards, making pretty price tags, and wishing I had a little more time. (Isn't that the perpetual desire . . . ???) I must drive into town and get the shop open in a couple of hours, so I'm cutting this short and heading back to my tasks. There is much still to be done, but only I will know what I didn't complete. I have two incredible accomplices who are helping behind the scenes - veterans in the business. Lisa Morris and Barb McGregor are tying up loose ends, and helping to keep me sane. Hello to Alice, who, with broken foot is unable to attend. Good luck to Barb, of 'Simply Iowa', who is on her way to the Walnut show to sell her incredible antiques. That girl finds some wonderful things! Too bad these two shows are always the same weekend. Prayers for good weather and a huge crowd, and Happy Hunting!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

French Soap

Many years ago, I was introduced to an incredible soap from France.
Incredible because it has it all. This soap was purported to be the reason French women have such beautiful skin.
I tried it immediately.
I loved it!
One day I was sharing my "find" with an old friend, and she claimed this was the soap her mother swore by, for removing stubborn laundry stains from delicate fabrics.
I tried that immediately.
I loved it!
I began searching for the wholesale source for these soaps, with no luck. I purchased as many at retail as I could afford, and put them in my shop.
(They sold for an unheard of price, I'm ashamed to admit.)
Women liked them so much that they came back for more . . . .
and more . . . .
Finally, I found the French source connection, and began buying wholesale.
For the past 12 years or so, I have carried these delightful French soaps at a
reasonable price.
They are chunky and natural, and loaded with lanolin
and embossed with
(how much better does it get than that???)
Recently these soaps became unavailable, and now they're back!
I should say, they're being shipped.
From France.
I recommend them. They make wonderful gifts, too!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Significant Virtues

Happy Saturday! My trip out to Kansas was pleasant, and I returned with several delightful items for the Old Glory Antiques Show!
You'll have to wait to see them, though . . . .
here are a few hints . . . .
I have a habit of collecting onesies.
I tend to pick up odd jars, chairs, pillowcases, picture frames . . .
where most sensible people choose to have matching items, or sets of things.
I like the odd plate or cup, unmatched glasses and silverware . . . the survivors.
This rough woven country curtain intrigues me.
is lovely, but more than that,
for me, the essence of simple, unpretentious things has a decided charm.
I like to believe that this curtain was once used for some other purpose,
and now is in it's second
or third
There is an honesty and vulnerability of self which we hide from others, possibly fearing that we will be laughed at, or judged to be too naive and unsophisticated. The nature of my decor may reveal much more about me than I would ever like to think.
I am, truly, a simple, unsophisticated person, at heart.
While my forebears may have had to use mismatched dishes out of necessity, and recycle dresses into aprons and quilt scraps, I choose to do so.
I love these pillows and tote bags, from a French firm, using old flour/grain/coffee sacks!
They are the ultimate in recycling and repurposing what one has.
They are also the essence of the simple life and some

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


May 28th - 30th in Goodland Kansas 
off Highway 27.
Head 7 miles south of Goodland on Hwy 27.
Turn East on Rd 57  . . . . 4 miles to Rd 23.
Signs will be visible!
9am - 7pm
Rain or Shine, in big metal barn.
Not an auction - all antiques and other merch is priced to sell,
 and no reasonable offers will be refused!
Pottery, glassware, china, pictures, prints, oil lamps, teapots, cookie jars, primitives, kitchen collectibles, medical, ephemera, toys, dolls, games, cameras, clocks, lamps, chandeliers, display cases, silverplate, perfumes, diecast and Tonka trucks, jewelry, furniture, showcases  . . . .
boxes are still being unpacked!
This info through a friend of mine - and I've been assured that I won't be disappointed!
Come join me as I plow my way through the goodies and seek the very best, to haul back to Denver!
Please come and enjoy, and find some wonderful bargains!
Photo by Jeff March

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Taking Care of Our Things

Hello friends,
Happy Saturday and happy Memorial Day!
Did you make any New Year's resolutions? As I told you earlier mine was to be more organized.
This week I decided to rearrange some of my favorite things around the house. After throwing open the windows to air the place out, I dusted and vacuumed, and stacked things in the middle of the floor, and sorted through the contents of vintage suitcases and baskets. I unearthed some old favorite pieces, and packed up others. Several boxes of goodies went to a thrift shop, and a few to a friend's yard sale. Clothing was passed along to a young friend, and papers were shredded and disposed of. It's cathartic to eliminate the extraneous things in life.
(The things that clutter, confuse and hamper our lives.)
Probably a little late to begin spring cleaning, but better late than never!
I waxed a few tables, doors and blanket chests, and polished some silver, and am feeling quite industrious and satisfied! There is never enough time in my life to keep up with the cleaning and socializing and filing and blogging and socializing and shop tending and buying and reading and socializing. The cleaning and organizing usually suffers I'm afraid. Then I lit a Votivo candle, and sank into a chair to enjoy the fragrance and the overall beauty.
When I do organize and clean, I tend to get bogged down in the small details, such as making sure that every little item in one basket is minutely straight and orderly, thereby leaving much of the bigger picture totally untouched. I run out of time, and have to throw all the rest of the room back together in a hurry.
But, let me tell you that that one part of the project is perfect!
Time flies when I'm having fun. I love the finished effect of cleaning and organizing.
(It's too bad the bug only bites occasionally, and for a short time.)
To make myself stay on task, I allow myself treats at certain intervals.
"As soon as I finish this box of papers, I will have a glass of iced tea."
"At 6pm I will stop and have a nice bowl of home made soup."
"When I finish dusting this room, I will indulge in a chocolate truffle."
It works for me!
It's healthy to take care of ourselves,
the physical, the emotional, the spiritual and the environment in which we live. Do something wonderful for yourself today - sort through one little stack of papers or one closet, and rid yourself of everything you don't need.
You'll love it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I've been on a steady and determined pathway to becoming more organized in life. Those of you who buy for your antiques shops will laugh at this, because you all know the futility of trying to be neat and orderly when the very nature of our business is junque, junque-ing and accumulating more junque. There is a native wisdom that says, "never throw anything away, because you'll need it one of these days". We live by this adage! We collect old hardware, knobs, rusty nails, spigot handles, drawer pulls, buttons, pieces of wire and small chips of wood that we just KNOW came off of something we'll be repairing next week . . . Then there are the receipts . . . millions of tiny little receipts, and the notes to self about the things we purchased without receipts, at flea markets and yard sales, and traded from one another. (Or the things we scoffed from the junk pile, or out of the dumpster.) There are the maps and business cards and brochures and usually 4 or 5 napkins with undecipherable reminders about resources and estate sales and barn sales and seat caners and formulas for the best homemade wood restorers . I keep a great big envelope for paint colors I like, but I can never find it to add my latest 50 paint chips.
My motto has become:
We save phone numbers with no names and names with no phone numbers, and email addresses and blog spot addresses and info on antique mall dealers who have been out of business for 3 years.
Best of all,
(you know you do this . . . ),
we save magazines and magazine pages and photos clipped from magazine pages, for inspiration. We accumulate the nicest journals and photo albums in which to paste these magazine clippings. (If we could ever find the time, or the photo albums when we want them.) That's just the first layer. Then there are the sugar bowl lids missing sugar bowls, and the butter dishes for which we expect to locate lids, and the single pillowcases of which we're positive we bought a matched pair. There are glue guns without glue sticks, and the large cache of glue sticks which do not fit the glue gun we have in hand. (They no doubt fit the other glue gun - the one we thought was right in the tool drawer, but is missing at the moment . . . ) I DO attempt to organize in a cute way - just in case some antiques dealer friend might stop by and see my accumulation of important stuff. Tools of the trade, you know . . . There are antique show fliers that we keep, so we don't miss next year's show - and company names torn from product packaging so we can order from them, only we've no longer any idea why we wanted the product to begin with. There are books and how to manuals. Usually a hundred or so, mostly out of date and irrelevant at this point. There is a huge assortment of cute price tags and business cards we keep for inspiration. And trust me -they were a wonderful inspiration when we first saw them, and no doubt will be again, if we can put our hands on them. There is string and raffia and glue, (usually 5 different types of specialty glue), and felt pads and sliders to move big pieces of furniture. There are numerous types of gloves, each specific to some task. I save every piece of antique looking paper . . . . sheet music . . . . ledger paper . . . . etc.
I might need it some day - you know I might!
I'm into clock parts. Faces, gears, hands. They must be sorted and stored in antique blue Mason jars, according to size and type. I'm into buttons. They take hours to sort through. Especially when you buy in bulk. Brother Dearest once travelled with me on a buying trip, and helped me count out 5,000 white and cream and ivory antique buttons, from a whiskey barrel full of all different colored buttons. These were eventually washed, dried and sorted by age, packaged and labeled and priced. These things are important and take time. They also take up space for weeks, all over the little house, while they're being prepared for the shop. Honestly, no matter how hard I work at it, there will never be a truly organized system of running this type business from a small house. The important, (and easier thing), is to
only have friends who are also in the business,
so they will understand when they see your overabundance of important things and your particular style of disorganization, and not have you committed.
If you do choose to have friends who have never been addicted antiques dealers for 20 or 30 years, don't invite them over. Just take them
out to dinner,
and claim your house is being fumigated . . . or painted.
We know
that we're incredibly creative and busy people
who have more important things to do than fuss over
every little thing being in it's proper place.
We'd rather shop!


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