Sunday, December 4, 2011


As is our usual first of the month ritual, Lyn and I were kicking around Utah County today, dropping off the latest issue of the New Century Collector, visiting with antiques dealers, and feeding our shopping habit (Lyn picked up a “Zen” item or two as we bounced along from shop to shop), when things turned just a little unusual. Our last stop was American Fork, where we dropped in to check out Auntie Bling Bling’s, the town’s newest vintage shop.

The new shop, which occupies an old home on 1st east & 35 south, is dripping with charm, filled with vintage clothing, jewelry, and the kind of trendy d├ęcor items everyone seems to be chasing these days.  Owner Helen Francom, Auntie Bling Bling’s herself, infuses the shop with enthusiasm, and it seems to buzz with a sense of fun and excitement.

I talked, and Lyn shopped.  When we were finished, we paid for an etched glass bowl that seemed to have our name on it, and headed for the door.  However, we didn’t get far, as our path to the door was blocked by our new favorite “aunt”, who informed us that we couldn’t just leave, with out a little bling. I was relieved, that she only seemed to be looking at Lyn.  

And the ritual “blinging” was on.

For my money, shopping and collecting shouldn’t be a chore.  The best motto is “if it’s not fun, don’t do it”, and Auntie Bling Bling’s provided just the right dose of exuberance.  So if you’re out hitting the shops and gathering up the goodies, don’t walk around with a naked face.  Be sure to stop in and get a little bling at Auntie’s place.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Who wants the freakin' worm?

I know the old adage tells us that the early bird gets the worm, but come on now, nobody wants a freakin' worm.  What we really want is an early look at the December issue of the New Century Collector.  So, here it is in all of it's holiday season glory. Go ahead, click the link below and take an early look. Who say's there's no Santa Claus.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


When it comes to collecting, my only real passion is for old rock & roll albums, So, in most issues of the New Century Collector I write a column called "For the Record".  Here, I can give my totally unsolicited opinion about music from the 1960's.  The exercise amuses me, and if I can get one or two 20 or 30 somethings to give Pink Floyd a listen, their life will be enriched, there will be slightly more order to a somewhat befuddled universe, and my time will have been better spent than watching game shows. 

For the December issue, I had decided to write about "For what it's worth", a Buffalo Springfield protest song released in 1967.  I thought it might be fun to juxtapose what was going in in the Vietnam war protest movement, with the current occupy wall street bunch.  So, I went down to Pioneer park and snooped around a little, then began looking through the photographic record from the 1960's & early 70's, along with all the newly posted coverage of the occupy movement. The fun soon waned.  As I began obsessing about old thoughts and feelings, I discovered a new found empathy with what has now become an international movement for economic equality. 

Paul Simon was right, "after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same".  As I fumbled through images, the interceding 40 years melted away, and I began to feel a kinship between the two social movements.  I never did get the article started, but I was inspired into a poor mans Robert Rauschenberg impression.  If any of this piques your interest, here is a link to the music:

and here is the Collage:
AMERICA REAWAKENS: between 1967 and 2011,
little changed in America.  The rich got richer, and the rest of us are still mowing their lawns & fighting their wars.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Make your mamma proud, earn your friends esteem, and be more attractive to the opposite sex!


Our New issue won't be in shops for a few days, but you don't need to wait for no stinkin' printing press.  Here it is, what you wait all month for.  A preview look at the November issue of the New Century Collector.

Hey, I'm an antiques dealer........ sweet!

We all love to shop.  We scavenge antiques shops, vintage shops, flea markets and yard sales, filling our homes and lives with the proceeds of our efforts.  But, if you're still hanging around the shops even after you have deposited the requisite amount of crafts, kitsch & collectibles on your walls, counters and shelves,  you need a new hobby.  And, if you could work all that shopping into a hobby, now that would be sweet.  

If you want to shop, you need to sell.  Selling is a good thing, It provides more money to shop.  It's the real "circle of life".  But, if you're like me, you don't want the selling to interfere with the shopping, or football games, or Oprah or anything else. What we need is a "cake and eat it too" kind of thing. And that, is easy. Think antiques & vintage mall.  The concept has it all.  Shop, sell, shop.  Let someone else mind the store and keep the books.  All we really want is to drop of the stuff, and pick up the check. If you think it all sound just a little too good to be true, then as your mamma would have told you, "you've got another think coming". There are hundreds of overserved collectors just like you, making a buck and letting someone else do the dirty work.  If you need to support your shopping habit, all you've go to do, is think Antiques & Vintage Mall.  

That brings me to what just might be the best new thing around.  The Smithfield Shoppes, about to open, just up the street from Logan. 

Smithfield Shoppes are a series of retail spaces along Main Street, in Smithfield Ut.  They have space available for antiques, collectibles, vintage-retro, kitsch, crafts and artisans, and they'll help you set up in your own business for a paltry hundred bucks a month.  All you've got to do is drop off a load of stuff, give the display your special touch, and let the folks at Smithfield do the grunt work.  Oh yeah, you might want to drop of another load when you pick up a check. 

Smithfield Shoppes is how you get into, or expand your antiques business. Those big green numbers above is how you call them.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I've landed in OZ, but at least there are only good witches!

I know this Gardner Village witch thing has been going on a long time.  I remember my kids grandmother taking them there for Halloween festivities, but this is the first time I've faced the crowd and gone myself.  I have to admit, that the whole thing struck me as just a little weird.  Halloween - kids, kids - Halloween, Not here.  It all seemed to be about hundreds of twenty & thirty something moms, all in full witch regalia, each with 3 or 4 kids in tow.  I don't know if they were mesmerized or terrorized, but each brood seemed entranced,  mouths agape at the sight of it all.  Even stranger, it seemed that every blonde witch throughout witchdom had descended on Midvale just for the celebration.  I have to admit though, the practitioners of the dark arts seemed to be having a ball.

Terrorized myself by the goings on, I diverted my eyes from the madcap surroundings , and went about the reason I was there, to visit my friend Denise Dubek, who owns Aunt Elsie's , Gardner Village's vintage shop.

 When is the last time you saw an antiques shop mobbed by customers!

Even here, most of the shoppers seemed far from Kansas, but the local witches seemed to be falling under Aunt Elsie's spell.  Denise, whose motto is recycle, re-purpose & re-love, mixes her own brew of antiques, collectibles and vintage goods, "witch" is hard to resist.  

My wife Lyn continues her trek towards Nirvana

Selecting religious artifacts takes time and practice.

All in all, we had a great time. It's always nice to stop by and see Denise and her staff. I got an eyeful of witch world, and Lyn was herself bewitched by Aunt Elsie's.  She didn't leave empty handed, but, there's still plenty stuff for the next religious fanatic.  By the way, the witches will be back tonight,  so, it's a good opportunity to see if you can scare up a treasure of two at Aunt Elsie's!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Into each life a little rain must fall


If you went to the "Flea-ette" sale in Pleasant Grove today, you probably found yourself standing all alone in the rain.

Well, grab a towel, dry your tears, and get ready to go back.  The sale has been rescheduled for next Saturday,  October 15th.  Same flea time, same flea location.  

Since your out anyway, why not head to your favorite antiques shop.  Most have roofs to protect the goodies, and you don't want to go home empty handed.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I walked into the house with a little "green" on my shoe!

Antiques, Our Green Obsession
by Dennis Barker 

We were out kicking around a few sales with our grand daughter last weekend, when she encountered something she could not quite figure out.  There was much about this object to pique her interest.  The bright red color, the numbered dial which when turned made the curious clicking sound.  It seemed at the same time, familiar and foreign.  Her examination of the old telephone soon brought the expected inquiry.  “What’s this for grandpa”?   

This “retro” 1960’s plastic western electric desk phone now resides in my basement.  Admittedly, waiting to be hooked up, but saved from the local dump, where it would take over 400 years to decompose.   

If it were not for the antiques collector’s obsession with all things old, we would find our landfills to be far more cluttered places.  Our love of these old objects drives us to preserve, restore & reuse as many items from our past as we can collectively get our hands on.  We incorporate these treasures into our lives for their esthetic, decorative or utilitarian uses, enriching our lifestyles and saving the energy and natural resources that would be expended, had we discarded these historic items in favor of newly manufactured goods.   We are truly among America’s ecological good guys.

Each time we drag home an old oak dresser, desk or bookcase, not only do we save a tree, we are additionally rewarded with increased beauty in our surroundings and a sense of continuity with our past.  We remind ourselves that “made of wood” does not really mean sawdust and resin, and that “built to last “,  at one time,  meant just that. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Please don't let the Gypsy's eat me mommy!

Into each life, a little rain must fall.  So, Brenda at Just a Bed of Roses has postponed her scheduled Oct 6th Gypsy MOON-scare at the fair" Open House,  and will instead hold the open house over the weekend, Sat: Oct. 8th  10:30-6:00 and Monday Oct. 8th (Columbus day) 10:30-6:00.  You can "stroll the midway", consult a psychic/taro card reader, or browse the sales tables.  

Grab a spoon with a discount card attached to see if the Gypsy's are going to be generous.

This is all way past my pay grade. I haven't a clue what it all means, but my crystal ball predicts fun.

Those doggone flea's are givin' me the itch............ to shop that is!

Looks like Paula Perkin's and her flea friends will be "bugging" out of Payson for a sale at Simply Splendid, a Pleasant Grove Boutique & Bistro. 

This downsized Flea-o-logy sale (dubbed Flea-ette) will feature fewer dealers, but apparently more food.  Shop, eat, shop, eat, eat, eat, shop....  I don't know what to do first, I guess that's why god gave us two hands. The fun starts October 8th, 9:00 am until 3:00 pm, on the grounds of Simply splendid, 67 South Main Street in Pleasant Grove.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I can just see this guy twisting his mustache!

There aren't many things about the antique's business that I don't find amusing on one level or another.   An antiques shop closing after more than 25 years in business, so a building can be used for what the owner mistakenly perceives as a more "gentrified" or  "upscale" use is definitely one of them.

That's what's happening to long time friend and antiques dealer Belinda Heise, who along with her Mother Gloria Chappell, own COBWEBS ANTIQUES.  After almost 25 years, her landlord has given Belinda a rather villainous 30 day's notice to close her business, so he can turn the space into an "art gallery".  Most likely, stucco and schlock art, which passes for "upscale" these days. 

Enough of a rant.  Anyway, as in most calamities, one persons loss becomes another's gain. The situation is forcing Belinda & Gloria to liquidate the contents of their shop, with a whopping 50% off sale.  If you haven't been to Cobwebs, take a look. Here's their page from the New Century collector website "inside information" section.

As you can see, the joint is stuffed with vintage jewelry, glassware and goodies.  And of course they have plenty of their trademark "star wars" collectibles.  Sale starts on Thursday October 6th, and will continue until they have to pack up and get out.  Lets all go down and help Belinda clear the shelves.  

Friday, September 30, 2011

I fell down the rabbit hole, and woke up in a sea of pink flamingo's

I spent the day in Salt Lake Shops, dropping off the latest issue of the New Century Collector,  and snapping a pic here and there,  but nothing really caught my attention until I stopped by The Old Flamingo, one of the Valley's newest shops, located in East Millcreek.  It was grand opening day for the stylish co-op, and event organizers Missy & Peter Coombs know how to put on a party.   Working my way through a sea of pink yard flamingos to the entrance, I found myself  feeling a bit like Odysseus, steeling myself against the Sirens, diverting my eyes from the impressive array of goodies and refreshments, Safely inside, I discovered that the festivity's were less egocentric than most of these affairs.  While the co-op members were proudly showing their wares and enticing customers with a sale,  it was clear that highlighting local artists and raising money to support the Tracy Aviary was more than an afterthought.  

Strewn throughout the shop were plastic pink yard flamingo's which had been decorated and embellished by  artists from  Millcreek Artspace.  I had intended to share them here, but when I later unloaded the camera, I discovered that I had bumped the settings nob,  and what I had was something resembling the way I remember the 1960's.

Nonetheless, the flamingo's were fabulous,  and were sold by silent auction, with the proceeds, along with a percentage of each sale at the co-op going to the Aviary.  The day ended with a  children's parade which marched through the next door Millcreek growers market. Kudos to Missy, Peter, and the other vendors at The Old Flamingo.  

You'll want to visit this fun shop filled with trendy restored, re-purposed and interesting vintage furnishings.  Good stuff and good people. Located in East Millcreek at: 3474 so. 2300 E., they open Monday through Saturday 11:00 to 7:00, and until (:00 on Thursdays.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Even cooler than hot of the press!  Be the first to improve your life by reading the latest issue of the New Century Collector. It will be in shops by Friday, but if you'd like an early look, you can check it out on our website:  Word has it that early readers get the worm.

 The Collector will help you get to where you need to be all month long.  Find out what's going on in shops or antiques events all over Utah.  Check this out:  

Gypsy's have been reported foraging around Farmington!  I hear they're camped at Just a Bed of Roses, who have apparently been leaving food out at night. I hope Brenda knows what she's doing. 

Well, what can I say about Gypsy funk, the cryptic fall promotion at Bed of Roses in Farmington. Intriguing. October features their Gypsy camp carnival, an open house subtitled “scare at the fair”, featuring potions, elixirs, psychic readings and I presume just plain fun. You couldn’t keep me away.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is there something in the water in Logan?

Antiques and amore' seem to go hand in hand up in Logan.  About a month ago, I was in the Browse Around Antiques Mall, and there was a lovestruck customer inquiring about video taping a proposal to his prospective bride.  It seems they had met at Browse Around, and now spent much of their time hanging out there (presumably in the darker nooks & cranny's). 

Now, Greg & Bettie Marble of Browse Around and Connie Tibbits of About Time Antiques Mall are having a joint promotion in October, called "Friday date night".

The promotion is simple; using the tag "life is sweeter with 2 straws", every Friday night during October, the shops will set the mood with a little romantic music, and some refreshments, and each couple that makes a purchase will get 2 straws, and a gift certificate for a malt at a local ice cream establishment.  Sounds perfectly love-ly to me. I know 3 things, I can get a date, I'll have no trouble finding an antique I want to buy, and Lyn and I can kill a malt with 2 straws without breaking a sweat.

Looks like I'll be heading up to Logan one Friday in October, see you there.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Whose gonna spring for this?

I don't know about you, but it seems to me that there should always be somewhere to get your daily antiques fix.  Especially on Sunday, as many view antiquing as more of a religion than hobby.  Included in the first group,  I found myself nosing around Expressive Bungalows Sunday outdoor market.  It was a great day for shopping, pleasantly warm and sunny, it seemed more like spring than fall.

What makes Expressive Bungalow owner Nancy Blaney's market a bit different, are the extras.  The mood is festive, and you can not only feed your soul with a little shopping, but also feed your mind & body with some terrific food & music.

Since she had spent the night, we decided to take my grand daughter Sarah Lyn to the sale with us.   Named for my wife,  it didn't take long to discover that she would be following in her grandmothers footsteps.  Lyn,  working her way towards Nirvana, meandered from booth to booth looking for religious artifacts,  and,  I noticed Sarah Lyn following along, working the sale like an expert. I'm sure that one of these days, this pair  is going to be more than I can handle.

Here's Lyn giving my grand daughter a few tips on how to make the deal.

And here's my favorite shot of the day.   Lyn discovering  that there are consequences to taking someone shopping.  She looked at me, but I shrugged it off, and went for something to eat.

All in all,  a great morning.  Food, music and shopping,  all on my wife's dime.  Now, I'm in Nirvana!  The best news is that Nancy's planning another outdoor market on Saturday October 22.  Drop by and join the fun!

Monday, September 19, 2011


There must be something in the air in Northern Utah.  It seems every time you hear about a new shop, chances are it's up in the Ogden to Logan area.  The latest news is from Lance Lewis shop, The Estate Sale. 

Already the biggest place to shop for antiques in Ogden, this shop which has only been open for a few months is already growing.  Lance will be adding another 2000 square feet and several new dealers by the first of October.  Here's a taste of what's inside.

There's not too much warm weather left in our futures, so you might want to head up to Ogden on Saturday October 8th and bask in the good weather and antiques at The Estate Sale's Outdoor market.  If you want a space to sell at this event, it can be had for a miserly $10 bucks.  Can't beat that! Give Lance a call @ 801.940.4075 Hope everyone has fun, I won't make this one, Lyn tells me it's our 42nd anniversary, and I better have other plans. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I stopped by Nancy Blaney's Sugarhouse shop Expressive Bungalow, this afternoon, to get a few new pic's for the Collector. It's not hard to find something to shoot in this upscale consignment shop.  As usual, the place was packed with goodies.  Take a look at what I found. 

That over sized Cowhide & leather arm chair could be that unusual piece you've been looking for.  

On another note, you won't want to miss Expressive Bungalow's open air market on Sunday, Sept. 25th.  The parking lot will be filled with antiques, collectibles & stuff, and, you can even grab a bite to eat.  I can smell the hot dogs & bargains from here.  Nancy tells me she still have space for a few vendors,  If you want to spend Sunday afternoon outside in the sun, and make a couple of bucks, call Nancy @ 801.487.7600 and reserve a spot.  Things should be hopping at here great Highland Drive Location (2903 So.).

You can check out Nancy's shop @

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hey, is that really half off!

This past Saturday, I stopped by Treasures Antiques Mall in Springville, to snoop around their semi-annual parking lot sale.  As always, vendors had shown up with the good, the bad and the ugly.  So, the hunt was on;  We couldn’t ask for a more beautiful morning for shopping,  so Lyn and I  walked around and uncovered a treasure or two.  We later discovered that there was a big bonus that came along with the outside market.  When the Antiques Mall opened for business, we found every booth was offering their wares at 20 to 50 % off.  One step closer to Nirvana. 

That's my Friend Rosemary Mcaffee, who has space inside Treasures, hocking some of her goods outside in the sun, and above is my wife Lyn, having a religious experience.