Monthly Archives: July 2014

All the Way Home

Whew, that was a whirlwind of a trip.  Over 4400 miles, 15 1/2 days and uncounted numbers of antique stores, thrift shops and flea markets.  In addition to all the Breyerfest activities: selling, shopping and socializing!  I have tons more pictures and stories to share, but here is the last for now.

Breyerfest 2014 July 17 Thursday

Our final big shopping day was Thursday; from Colby Kansas to Denver Colorado.  Not a lot of shops on this stretch of I70, we mainly drove from early morning to afternoon.  Luckily Denver is always good to us.  We found a wonderful store on Colfax Avenue that had lots of fun things at amazing prices.  If the car wasn’t full we could have filled it here!  Did I already have a favorite antiquing town?  If not, Denver is high in the running.  This picture is another wonderful Mid-Mod store, and Denver is full of them.  This one has excellent merchandise, but prices to match.  That is in the front display room, however.  Go into the back areas and you will find bargains galore.  They usually require some elbow grease, but I have bought and resold lots of things from this room for good profits.

Breyerfest 2014 July 17 Thursday hiding

Next up was our final Brass Armadillo.  (sniffle)  We had plenty of time, which was fortunate as we had been shopping so hard we forgot to eat dinner!  Luckily there was a fast-food joint down the street that gave us the energy to finish with enthusiasm.  These malls, as most malls, has a mish-mash of dealers.  True antiques in pleasant settings to what looks like essentially a ‘stuff’ storage unit.  This is a photo of one corner of a packed showcase.  I show you this so you can see how hard it can be to shop sometimes.  There is a truly fabulous find in this picture.  Likely it is in the top 2-3 of the trip.  Play a bit of Where’s Waldo and see if you can find it.  Answer is at the bottom of the post.

Breyerfest 2014 July 17 Thursday man stuff

This booth was in a store in the Ft. Collins-Loveland strip.  It had wonderful guy-stuff and this booth was a show-stopper.  It is right as you descend a short ramp so you can admire as you walk towards it.  Those antlers were a good 12 feet above the shop floor, so I don’t know how you would go about getting them down, but everything was for sale!

Breyerfest 2014 July 17 Thursday my finds

Here is a photo of my finds from this shopping day.  The water hose sprinklers were on request from a customer, the HR horses were just silly-cheap and the HR mini boxer is an early relatively rare piece.  The two elephants are Freeman McFarlin pieces.  They show a hint of color as they were cast in gloss white over a darker slip.  They were also issued by Hagen Renaker in white, and I am not 100% sure but I believe the eyes will be different colors between the two companies.  The foxes and mice I have seen issued by Hagen Renaker have more nicely-detailed eyes, while the Freeman McFarlin are a bit sloppier and more yellow.  These are unmarked so you just have to know what they are as it is almost impossible to look up ‘pottery elephant’ and find the relevant information.  In the middle bottom of the picture you see the fabulous find from the second picture of this post.  It is a Kay Finch elephant.  It is etched under one foot “Kay Finch” but pretty lightly and you have to know what you are looking at to decipher it.  It is definitely not her trademarked cute colors with curlicue decorations, so again knowledge is power.

Breyerfest 2014 July 17 Thursday moms finds

Finally, here are mine and mom’s joint finds.  The two hearts at lower left are Holt Howard candleholders with the HH gold foil sticker on the base.  The metal shelf is very popular and we can hardly keep these cute decorations in the booth as they get sold so quickly.  The teapot is from one of the English potteries, and there is a trend among brides to have tea parties as bridal showers so these sell quickly as well.  The two pineapples are the rarer of the Hazel Atlas fruit jam jars.  They were a Kix cereal promo from the 1930s.  You can’t really see the glasses, but they are etched with 1960-70 muscle cars.  We have an event in Reno called Hot August Nights, a celebration of vintage cars with thousands of participants and attendees.  Car glasses and other items from this era are big sellers for us at this time.

Well, that’s all for now.  If not sooner, hope to see you at Breyerfest 2015!


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Kansas and cold!

Fun searching day, not many finds, but the weather is amazing!  We drove from Junction City to Colby Kansas today and shopped at about 12 stores today.  My new favorite town is Abeline.  Lots of great stores with lots to look at.  We only bought a little but our time is precious, if we had spent a day or so we could have made out much better.  Finished in 58 degree weather with wind and rain!  In July!

Breyerfest 2014 July 16 Wednesday mall

I am just fascinated by all the old buildings in old downtowns.  This store was sheathed in siding of some sort with no decorative elements on the outside, but on the inside you could still see the many large windows the building originally had.  There were some original touches still inside with pressed tin ceilings and large floor-to-ceiling (2 story!) wooden shelving lining the first floor.  I need to do some research about older shops as I am vexed by the interior design.  You can see what looks to be an original mezzanine around the perimeter of this floor.  The wood is old and solid and shows no signs of being cobbled together after the shop changed purposes.  What may not be apparent is the height of the ceiling.  From the floor I am on to the bottom of the mezzanine can’t be more than six feet, and the same for the next level.  When you walk on the mezzanine level I can bump my head on the doorways between rooms.  This seems quite odd, especially as the levels split the huge windows in half as well.  I see this design a lot in old buildings and am curious about why they build these grand 14 foot tall rooms then split them in half.

Breyerfest 2014 July 16 Wednesday shark

This made me giggle.  Perhaps this antique store jumped the shark?  You really have to look at everything in an antique store.  There is no rhyme nor reason to the layout or item placement.  Many dealers group like items together, but then must get tired of arranging and just throw the rest of the box of stuff out in the booth.  Perhaps this dealer wanted to see if customers are actually paying attention to the wares instead of just wandering about?

Breyerfest 2014 July 16 Wednesday greeters

Here is our favorite greeting committee.  We have stopped at this shop for years and seen the owners older dogs pass away and newer puppies come into the family.  I stooped to pet one and was mobbed by the others.  They are very well behaved and the owner covers the furniture they like to lay on to keep it clean if someone is interested.  I think if you shop here you probably like dogs and have a few at home, so the furniture can just be considered pre-approved by the usual users.

Breyerfest 2014 July 16 Wednesday box

Well, the car is full.  There is a narrow gap to see out the back, but other than that every nook and cranny is full.  So what do we find but a set of 8 mid-mod aqua and gold amoeba glasses and a pitcher for a very good price.  Sigh.  The dealer kindly had a box and so this now sits on top of my suitcase.  Makes it a bit harder to unpack each night into the hotel, but that is the price of a 2-week shopping roadtrip.  In past years we have emptied the cooler and used that for our purchases right at the end of the trip.  We will see how we fare this year.

Fun times, only 2 more days then back to the real world!

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Missouri part 2

An absolutely beautiful and fun day today.  Great weather, great shopping, great food.

Breyerfest 2014 July 15 Tuesday basement

Our first stop was the ‘largest antique store in the area’.  Notice the lack of the terms best, good merchandise or good shopping.   The place was a mess, huge and totally disorganized.  The aisles ran one way for 2-3 rows, then switched to perpendicular, then just went random.  We did buy a lot, but we have to remember the bane of the reseller, sticky price tags.  I lost both thumbnails tonight trying to get price tags off.  This is in the basement, with a beautiful red metal ’50s table hodge-podge next to junk and the boiler.  I did find a black coral Hawaii lady head down here, but took more pictures than stuff away.

Breyerfest 2014 July 15 Tuesday fun mall


Next up is my new all-time favorite antique store.  It was downtown Kansas City, 4 floors of vintage fun goodness.  Mostly all 1940s to 1980s each booth was amazing.  The customer service people were awesome and you could tell they loved working here.  There was stuff hanging from the rafters, bowls of smalls, just everything you could want in a groovy vintage shop.  Prices were retail, but I could have bought a ton if there was room in the car as everything was so neat and interesting.  Very little nondescript pieces, there were car hoods from old Volkswagens, lots of nice paint by numbers, colorful green refrigerators and more.  I’d pay admission to enjoy this place!

Breyerfest 2014 July 15 Tuesday bar

We finished up at another nice mall in southwest Kansas City.  We really enjoy this mall, it has nice displays, and a pleasant atmosphere.  I was amazed at this bar, it was on sale, but I don’t think I could fit it into our Pilot.  The description said it was created 50-60 years ago from older bits and pieces, so some of the relief carving was very antique but the plumbing was modern.  The best of both worlds in my opinion.

Breyerfest 2014 July 15 Tuesday horses

Finally, some actual purchases!  This was my haul for the last few days.  A Hartland small champ with saddle and bridle, one HR mini lying foal, some lawn watering heads for a friend, a lamp base, and 2 Breyers were the small stuff.  That white horse on the upper left was my prize find of the trip.  A Rosenthal rearing horse, sculpted by Theodor Karner in 1956.  It is an amazing piece and I was lucky to find it.

Breyerfest 2014 July 15 Tuesday moms purchases

Next up we see a bit of moms haul.  The glasses at the top are a set of fun cartoony bowling glasses.  Reno has the National Bowling Stadium so bowling merchandise is always popular.  There are Thelwell pony glasses from England, lots of poodles, a Kay Finch duck, Virginia City salt and pepper shakers, purse, flower shelf and more.  The birds are from England, one is Royal Worcester the other Royal Adderly.  The long packaged item at the lower right is a ‘Beatnick cigarette holder’ novelty item.  We haven’t heard that term in quite some time.  The black small lady head at the bottom center is from Hawaii, carved from black coral.  These items are pretty rare as the coral cannot be harvested any more and now is very scarce.

Whew, a whirlwind day.  It is now after midnight and we still have four days on the road!  See you tomorrow!



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Missouri Part 1

We hit 6 antique stores today, and they were all on the larger size so we did a lot of walking.  I am not quite sure how this is happening, but it appears that we have time to be a bit leisurely shopping on our way home.  We rushed through the outward bound trip, and now the extra day on the way home really makes it feel like we can take our time.

Breyerfest 2014 July 14 Monday Open

That doesn’t mean we don’t take advantage of every minute we can!  Here we are opening a store in Illinois.  Why stores open so late, I don’t know.  There was another customer in the parking lot waiting for the store to open with us, and another 2 customers appeared right after opening.  Antiquing is quite popular!

Breyerfest 2014 July 14 Monday red hat

When shopping larger stores you have to be creative about carrying merchandise.  At least once today my arms were so full of small china figurines that I had a problem teaching the customer service agent how to carry them without clinking them together.  I have put jewelry on when I have a bunch, but then you have to remember to take it off to pay.  Since I never wear hats it is safe for me to wear the one I pick to buy around the store to keep hands free for more shopping and not damage it.  We buy lots of red hats, those ladies love to have a large selection to buy from and wear!

Breyerfest 2014 July 14 Monday booth

Large, nice displays look good and draw you in, but the merchandise inside the booth has to have good prices to encourage purchases.  We have been at stores today that were junkier than a 50 year old garage with full dealer prices, and a wonderful, elegant store with more reasonable prices.  We will buy anywhere, but most customers shop where it is comfortable and nice to do so.  The elegant store had an interior designer escorting customers around to find the perfect items for their home.  Those customers bought high-priced furniture and accessories without issues as it was fitting in that store.  I have overheard customers in the smaller stores complaining they are overwhelmed when we can breeze through them in less than a half an hour.  I have always wanted to open an antique collective where like was displayed with like instead of individual dealer booths as that is how most customers are accustomed to shopping.

Breyerfest 2014 July 14 Monday necklace

This was a most interesting piece.  I did not take the time to ask for the case to be opened and check it out closely, but I suspect it is a modern-created necklace of vintage bits and bobs.  It can be so hard to tell nowadays what is vintage and what is newly created.  People take old, unwanted stuff and make new, awesome art with it, but it can make it harder on dealers and customers to keep track of the age not only of the components but of the overall item.  Furniture buyers have had to deal with ‘married’ pieces for a long time (base and top that weren’t originally made to go together), but the current popularity of crafting with old small stuff will make future collectors pull out their hair.

Breyerfest 2014 July 14 Monday Algora

We dawdled a bit, and then found a mall that had tripled its size in the last two years and we had only allowed ½ hour shopping it!  We had to walk quickly, and I made it through the entire place, but I couldn’t stop for more than a few seconds.  50,000 square feet is a lot of space to fill and see!  This horse and rider had to come home with me, but it is a most unusual figure.  Such odd proportions and detailing!  The eye on the horse is unsettling.  I found a bull figure on ebay that I think was meant to go with this piece as a set.  It is made by Algora, a Spanish pottery and it appears they mostly do human figures.  I love finding new to me items and discovering new information.

Well, not much of interest today, hope tomorrow there are more fabulous finds to share!


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On the Road Again, Again

Whew, that was one heckuva Breyerfest!  Saturday was so epically busy I didn’t get to bed until 2 AM and then back up at 6 AM Sunday morning.  Breyer did a wonderful job this year of adding in fun things to do and horses to buy, it really was a great 25th birthday party.

Breyerfest 2014 July 13 Sunday Fijord

We got to the Horse Park in the early afternoon and just wandered around taking pictures, visiting with friends and trying to stay cool.  Shopping the concourse was very busy so we stayed outside with the horses and other events.  All the horse owners were wonderful, taking time with the kids so they could pet a horse and chatting with their fans.  This is really one of the highlights for me, getting to see the wonderful horses up close and talk to their owners and riders.

Breyerfest 2014 July 13 Sunday Novelista

The afternoon auction was packed as always and I took advantage of the crowd on the arena floor to go through the Breyer Store.  Nothing really jumped at me, they had great bargains on T-shirts and there were plenty of the Champagne Wishes the Connoisseur-level horse, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger and buy anything.  The staff was busily setting out horses for Sunday morning, and there were plenty of crates of horses left to be put out.

Breyerfest 2014 July 12 Saturday Tommie Turvey

Breyer put on a great show out at the Alltech arena Saturday night, the Celebration of Horses, a cornucopia of all the great horses that came in for the event performing together.  The lines to get in were long, but the line for food was longer!  I really enjoyed the show, especially the Andalusian and Flamenco dancer duo.  I wish I could have gotten better pictures, but the arena was quite dark and I don’t have the best camera.  Tommie Turvey did several acts, there were Lipizzaners performing airs above the ground and a very fun group of Icelandic Horses performing their signature gait the Tolt.

Breyerfest 2014 July 12 Saturday mini whinnie

We beat the crowd back to the host hotel and decided to shop ‘till we dropped.  We started in the 300s, went up to the 200s, and made it most of the way through the 5-600s before mom started dragging.  We saw just about everything from tack, resins, plastic and china models, to the new genetics book Equine Tapestry by Lesli Kathman (Awesome!!!).  Among the models I admired were a HR Bedouin, a Franklin Mint San Domingo, a Breyer Fury Prancer lamp, and a few Royal Worcesters.  My big purchase of the night?  About 10 Mini Whinnie surprise packages.  I will open 1-2 a day on the way home and keep my fingers crossed to find one of those darn gold Florentine draft mares.  We made it back to the 100s to chat with friends until midnight, then had to pack everything for check-out early in the morning.

Breyerfest 2014 July 13 Sunday packing

Early Sunday morning I had to reverse the process from Tuesday night: wrap, pack, box and stack then get everything outside and into the car in an orderly fashion.  I was challenged because all the luggage carts were in use, so it was hand-carry every box from the room to outside.  I had a 10 AM special run ticket (what a bad time, that is check-out at the hotel!), and had a good number, so a matte palomino pinto Nokota came home with me.  The heat and humidity were brutal today, so I said goodbye to friends and mom and I got back on the road.


Breyerfest 2014 July 13 Sunday Kay Finch

We are back in shopping mode, so stopped at an antique shop in Lexington.  Glad we did!  We found a large Kay Finch Santa planter!  Also in that booth were a great Couroc dancing frog tray (unfortunately chipped) and a HR Specialty Dancing Frog (glued into a glass display) although neither came home with us.  Our other fabulous find was a pottery Hawaiian lady head with flower in her hair.  These are very popular and hard to come by so she will be priced and in the booth when we get back.

We shut down early tonight to recuperate from the lack of sleep, and also be able to hit the antique store next door when it opens!  More to come…

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Celebrate Breyerfest

I can’t believe it is the 25th anniversary of Breyerfest  already.  We first attended in 1993 and it seems like just yesterday we were overwhelmed at our first time here.  It is so much bigger now, with more to do than can be seen in one weekend.  Printing out the program ahead of time is a must for planning.

Breyerfest 2014 July 11 Friday cars

This was the view from about a mile away from the horse park Friday morning!  I had heard they sold out of tickets, and evidently all of Lexington decided to come to the celebration that morning.  It took close to an hour to make it in to the horse park, there were some that chose to get out and walk as it was faster!  I spent the morning teaching a jewelry-making class, so I didn’t get out to the rest of the horse park until afternoon.

Breyerfest 2014 July 11 Friday Club

Breyer has a nice new area for Collector Club members with drinks, tables to sit at and a display of membership pieces for this year.  They also have a daily raffle for members, and you sign up on a tablet instead of writing out paper cards – nice!

Breyerfest 2014 Juy 11 Friday line

You can’t escape Breyerfest without standing in at least one line.  Luckily the day was nice and in the shade with a bit of a breeze it wasn’t bad at all.  I had great conversations with people from all over – I met at least two families from Canada and one from England.  We had fun with the workers who come every year and are always cheerful and make the whole event more enjoyable.  The lines moved pretty fast, and I parted with my money quicker than ever.  Another fun thing to do is standing outside the checkout line to see everyone opening their packages and hopefully a wide smile at their new horses.  Gossip was rampant as always.  I heard that they made more glossies than matte, less appaloosa Nokotas than pinto and that there were silver charm on every model every hour.  The hour I stood there I saw 5 appalossa matte Nokotas opened and one bay, so who knows!

Breyerfest 2014 July 11 Friday Celebration horse

Of course you have to go visit the real horses as well as enjoying the plastic!  This year was a big education as the Celebration model horse was Gooitzen fan Teakesyl, an award-winning Friesian.  Also featured this year were the Knights of Iceland, and the Gudmar Petursson is the only name I can even attempt.  Then comes the Fijord GVF Sjokolade.  If you can pronounce the names and breeds of all the riders and all the horses at this event you will be a real world-class collector.

Breyerfest 2014 July 11 Friday Guy Stuff

After all that it is back to the room for (a nap) and room sales.  It was actually slower Friday night than Thursday this year, but I did well.  We set up an area on the windowsill with guy stuff.  Mom sold one milk bottle and the menfolk accompanying their horse-crazy family appreciated it.  I have seen rooms with a chair outside and a sign ‘guy parking’.  We handed out many, many hotel maps, and met many lovely families.
How fast time flies, I am already thinking about packing and the drive home.  It seems like we just got here.  More fun yet to come.


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The calm before the storm?

I am finally sitting down to write this at 1 AM, the average settling-in time for this week.  There are still people roaming the halls, and until about 15 minutes ago I had friends sitting and laughing at fun stories in the room and a few customers.  Since I have to be up early to teach a class in the morning you will get some stream of conciousness tonight.

Breyerfest 2014 July 10 Thursday hotel

Since our room is actually in the lobby we get many, many, many newbies for whom this is their first Breyerfest.  Not only that but ours is the first room they come to.  They are so excited, it is wonderful to see.   We get a stack of maps from the front desk to hand out, since this hotel was designed by M.C. Escher’s drunk cousin and requires a Mauraders Map to get around.  This is my spiel:  We are here, in the lobby of the hotel.  If you choose to go out of this room and turn right, you will head down the hallway and up the stairs to get to the 300s.  Walk to the end and up the stairs to the 400s.  Walk back along that hallway, down two sets of stairs, turn right and up a flight to the 200s.  If you choose to go out of this room and turn left, at the end of the hallway hang a left and go down a set of stairs and you will be in the ballroom area where the Artisans Showcase and Swap Meet will be.  You will see a door in front of you, go through the door and then another and you will be in the 500s.  At the end of the hall you aren’t at the end, you must turn right, then left, go down a set of stairs, turn right, go down another set and you are still in the 500s.  At the end of this hall go up the stairs and you are in the 600s.  Retrace your route and go down the stairs to return to the ballroom.  The 800s are only accessible by Tardis.

Breyerfest 2014 July 10 Thursday 25

Here we see the wonderful 25th anniversary party.  I don’t know how wonderful it was as I was in my room selling!  I heard there was cake and mom brought back ice cream.

Breyerfest 2014 July 10 Thursday Tshirts

This was my favorite set of custom Tshirts I saw tonight.  Hand made and worn with pride!

Breyerfest 2014 July 10 Thursday body box

This is a body box.  If you hear me say I am going to toss something into a body box now you know what I mean.  If out shopping do take a look, there are treasures to be had in these boxes!  Not everyone can know everything and valuable pieces have been tossed in these because the owner didn’t know.  We have our own lingo in this hobby, and the Ninja Pit of Death is coming up tomorrow.

Breyerfest 2014 July 10 Thursday HR deer

Finally, dumpster diving can be a treasure hunt.  This Hagen Renaker buck, along with matching doe and fawn were found feet-up in a garbage can.  The intrepid collector upended the can and went through the contents to find the missing legs.  Well worth the effort in my opinion!

Hope this will tide you over to tomorrow night.  I can’t promise it will have more content, but I will get more pictures to enjoy!

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