Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hot Off The Press: Cochran's 2014 Collector's Guide

When Sue Keith at Susantiques in Aloha, OR got her boxes of the new Collector's Guide, she went right to her computer and made a color-coordinated sign to place on her counter. She's been doing this every year since she started advertising in the Guide. Everyone who walks into her shop leaves with a Guide.

We love you, Sue! Thanks for helping us celebrate our Silver Anniversary!

Books should be reaching the southernmost point, Arizona, by the middle of next week. Happy antiquing!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The 2014 edition of Cochran's Collector's Guide is printed and ready to be shipped, beginning next week. AND there's a version of the entire book uploaded and is ready for downloading as a PDF on your mobile devices, such as your smartphone or tablet.

We are still encountering some bugs in the Internet version, in particular links to pages, and links within store listings to their websites, etc. We expect to have those pesky issues dealt with soon.

Some new communities are in the new book, including quite a few in Northern California. Take a look!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Coming up this Sunday the 29th: The biannual Antique and Collectibles Fair in Old Town Clovis, CA. More than 80 dealers will bring their finest finds for your selection. Wanda Leon, for instance, has just gotten back from an exhaustive summer-long buying trip along the World's Longest Yard Sale and who knows what she's brought home. Also, you can bring something for a free appraisal by Kathy Osterberg. Admission and parking are free.


Old Town Clovis is one of those lovingly restored downtown districts that take you back, so that a stroll through the streets feels like you've been transported in time. They've set a wonderful example for any American community looking to revive their heritage.

You can check out ongoing events in town on a blog, and there's a virtual tour you can take on the Old Town Clovis website. Antique Fairs are held in March and September, sponsored by Business Organization of Old Town.

If you go to Clovis, meander through the many antique shops in Old Town. You can refer to a map of shops in Cochran's Guide, just select Contents and then click on Clovis.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Take Hubby Shopping for Mantiques

Men have been deeply involved in antiques since the first caveman started collecting old bones, but still when a lot of guys think of antiques they picture spindly gilded furniture and pretty dishes, not really their cup of tea (hope that remark doesn't sound sexist). They get that glassy-eyed look when you want them to go with you shopping in antique stores. But now there are stores that boldly offer "mantiques," "architectural," "industrial" items that definitely spark a man's interest.

One we just came across this morning is called Acme Garage, in Medford, Oregon. They describe their store as follows: "At over 6600 sq ft, our co-op is packed with high-octane vintage items." When you go there, you might want to bring a truck!

Guys! Imagine this "settee" in your man cave!

Check out their Facebook page for a preview. It's a guy kinda thing, from the banner featuring four pin-up girls reminiscent of mechanics' calendars, on down...a miner's carbide lamp, advertising signs for once-popular petroleum products, metal lockers like you had in high school, stuff from dismantled post offices and bowling alleys, giant sign letters, 1950s billboards, neon signs, repurposed furniture and all the elements a fella needs to do some repurposing on his own...Well, you get the idea. Lots of photos for inspiration.

 They've got a sign out front that says "Drop him off at Acme Garage...Free Mansitting." So next time you're in Medford stop at 2784 West Main St, bring the hubby and don't be surprised if he has the time of his life.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Paradise, California is a town named for a pun, according to local lore: someone came up with "Pair-O-Dice" and it evolved into Paradise. The main drag through Paradise is Skyway Blvd. where you'll see a string of antique and vintage stores, definitely worth the detour off Highway 99 to spend an afternoon exploring. And thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you can do a preview visit to these two stores: Skyway Antique Mall, and Bainbridge Antiques.

Skyway Antique Mall has its own website, a simple straightforward collection of lots of photos. You get an impression of a very large store, with a big selection that includes fine wood furniture.

Bainbridge Antiques has a page on Facebook, where they post excellent photos of the store and newly-arrived items. Here's a homey display of colorful kitchen pottery and glassware, like Fiestaware, Fire King, Russell Wright and Hull plus old crocks, etc. You can also find items from Bainbridge Antiques on eBay.

Paradise is off Hwy. 5 east of Chico. Other stores you'll see along the highway are Jeannie's Consignment, Skyway Blue and Aunt Mabel's General Store. On the way you'll pass veggie stands featuring the area's trademark olives and other locally-grown produce, and amazing red buttes that reminded me of a miniature Grand Canyon. Beautiful country!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Even the stars like old stuff and bargains

You never know what famous faces you might see at an RG Canning Attractions antique and vintage show. Apparently celebrities can be making millions and still enjoy escaping for a little funky retail therapy at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, the Ventura Flea Market, the San Bernardino Market Place,  the Beaumont Outdoor Market or the Beaumont Garage Sale. Wear your dark sunglasses so you can ogle while remaining cool!

Designer Michael Ostrow takes actress Heidi Klum on a tour of the Canning Rose Bowl Flea Market

San Bernardino's next event is Sunday, Sept. 1. This show has been going for over 40 years and attracts 8,000-10,000 browsers to their 800 booths every Sunday. Parking and admission is free.

If you can't make it Sunday, there's still the giant Beaumont Garage Sale Sept. 6, or the Rose Bowl Sept. 8, or the Ventura Flea Market Sept. 29.

And watch on ABC-TV for the new pilot, The Great Big American Auction which will feature Canning events. It's enough to make you want to make a road trip!

Monday, August 5, 2013

An inspiration to us all

We often make the commitment to put something on our Facebook page every day, aware that daily posting increases following. But speaking for myself, I usually miss a day, then three days, then a month...blame it on those real world distractions.

But at Snohomish Antique Gallery Mall in Snohomish, WA, new owner Bruce Toscono is promising to post daily, complete with photos, and so far he's doing great. An inspiration to us all.

Today's post included this photo of a c. 1942 German soldier's helmet, an item that "redefines the word soldier," Bruce commented. It's one of their collection of militaria. You'll see something interesting, cool, curious, spooky or irresistible every day on their Facebook page, so go check it out! Everything you see there can be found in the store...unless someone else gets it first! They're at 117 Glen Ave, Snohomish, phone number (360) 568-7644.

P.S. they'll have a new website up soon, and we'll let you know when it's ready for prime time.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hot August Night!

Antique Warehouse in Salida (just north of Modesto) is having their first Saturday of the month Parking Lot Sale today, and also their annual Hot August Nights vintage car show. Wow! do they have some choice vehicles on display! It's their biggest event of the year, and there'll be giveaways, live music and surprises. Well worth the trip if you live anywhere in California's Central Valley! Start by visiting their website. The Parking Lot Sale ends at 3pm, but the store will be open for their regular hours.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Saturday Night in Miniature

For those who love dollhouses and miniatures, this unique automaton case with miniature figures is something very special. Richard Wilson, who was known in the Sacramento, CA area as the Master of Miniatures, created this saloon scene called "Saturday Night", possibly in the 1980s, and it has now become an acquisition of Ron Curtis at Antique and Collectibles Marketplace. Ron sent us this description:
The "wood shadow box" is 33 inches wide, 25 inches height and 20 inches deep with a lift up glass front.  Towards the back left corner is an enclosure for the motor, a tape recorder and speaker outlet that measures 13 x 5 inches. 

You plug it in and throw the switch. It will initially play saloon type dancing music from a tape player with 30 minutes of music.  Push another button and the three dancers on the stage begin doing the Can-Can, the piano player begins playing the piano, and the bartender begins raising a bottle. Five wall lights interspersed, along with five lights over the dancers on stage light up the case.

Buried on the second floor balcony to the left of the lady in the green dress is a lighted bathroom with wash basin, mirror and dry sink. At the tables you see a "show girl" on a man's lap, a poker game in progress and four men surrounding the bar.  I believe the Madame is guarding the lower level door to the right. Also, of note is the exquisite balcony and railing to the second floor as well as wood doors.   And, finally added to the attractions is the reclining nude print behind the bartender.

You are probably looking at a one of a kind "house" with miniature dolls and mechanical features by a gentlemen who has since passed away. He was truly a "master."

Everything on sale!

What could be more fun than going to an antique shop where everything is on sale? That's what's happening at AJ's Attic in Castro Valley, CA this weekend, and it's only once a year. Arnie loves jukeboxes and game machines so there's a huge selection of those, but you'll see all kinds of other fun items too, with surprises everywhere you look. It's a great place for "guy stuff" — he could outfit his whole man-cave at AJ's! So take your spouse!

AJ's Attic is at 2540 San Carlos Avenue in Castro Valley and they're open 10am to 5pm or by appointment (call 510-853-8833). Visit the website at

Monday, July 15, 2013

It may be hot, but The Antique Warehouse is cool

July is scorching hot outdoors where I live, so I've been staying close to the air conditioner, making indoor expeditions,  exploring antique-related websites. One of the most professional-looking website presentations I've seen lately is for The Antique Warehouse in Salida, near Modesto, CA. Their abundance of bright photos, smart use of space and color are attractive and easy on the eye.

The chatty blog is updated frequently (find the blog button next to their Facebook logo, in the upper right side of the page). Latest news flash: "Mid-Century Modern items are flying out the doors!"

I was also impressed with their glass selection: everything from souvenir glass and carnival glass to fine crystal. And the vintage fashions grabbed me with great photos of beautiful hats and cool leather jackets.

Enticing selection of colorful and sleek Mid-Century cookware and serveware at The Antique Warehouse in Salida, CA. (Below) Swag lamp and tableware from the 50s
The Antique Warehouse makes the most of their huge parking lot with monthly Peddlers' Parking Lot Sales through the spring and summer, with the next one scheduled the first Saturday in August, and dealer spaces are available for a small fee  (call  209-545-9460 for details). Look for The Antique Warehouse at 5351 Pirrone Rd, off Hwy 99 north of Modesto.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Consignment Shop Holds Firefighter Benefit

Repurposed headboard made into a charming bench, at Consign n Design

When 19 elite firefighters died in a firestorm in Yarnell, AZ (near Prescott), June 30, many of them left behind young families in need of support. With that in mind, Pearls and Consign in Design in Phoenix is having a benefit drive from today (July 4) through July 7, accepting donations to go to the families and also donating 10% of their sales all week and through the weekend to the fund.

Just an example of the bargains to be found: buy one piece of jewelry in Pearls' dazzling display, get a second piece for half-off.

Pearls has established a reputation in Phoenix as the place to go for accessories such as costume jewelry. In May, they moved in with Consign n Design to create an awesome new shopping mecca 

Consign n Design and Pearls Accessory Spot is at 11649 N Cave Creek Rd in Phoenix. They're open today for the holiday 10-4, Friday and Saturday 10-5 and Sunday noon-5. Come shop for a good cause! Visit Pearls' Facebook page at and Consign n Design's website and Facebook page.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Freedom to Celebrate YOUR Way

Barbecues and fireworks are all very well, but how about, for a change, observing the Fourth of July in a bodacious antique store in Mesa, AZ? Munching hot dogs and slurping lemonade while losing yourself in the aisles of the Antique Plaza—now that's a way to celebrate freedom! Head over to 114 W Main St in Mesa to explore the oldest antique mall in Mesa, with more than 150 dealers in everything from furniture to ephemera, vintage fashion to art and kitsch.

But if you're not in the Mesa area, you can still visit Antique Plaza's website, where you'll find that the concept of repurposing has reached new heights. Erica and Kat, two of the dealers at the Plaza, write a regular blog detailing their explorations into repurposing and sharing their ideas. So, there is a useful future for that old army cot you couldn't resist snapping up years ago, or those old bus tokens that were such a deal but you can't think what to do with them. This blog is full of solutions and notions that can spark your own creativity.

Antique Plaza is one of a group of 26 antique stores and services in the Phoenix Metro region known as Valley of the Sun Antique Dealers' Association, which has a website with a map to all their member stores.
Patriotic display at Antique Plaza in Mesa

Friday, May 3, 2013

Where Nothing New's a Good Thing

Two Susans Antiques in Paso Robles, CA is had its start when two best friends decided to share their passion for precious old objects. These two Susans make periodic trips East Coast and the Midwest to bring back lovely antique household items for their charming shop. You'll see fine glassware, advertising, kitchen wares, lighting and furniture handpicked for quality and uniqueness. For example: the gorgeous garnet cruet set shown here.

Their motto is, "Where Nothing New is a Good Thing."

For a bit of a preview, visit their website. And when you're visiting the Central Coast, stop in at 1320 A Pine St for a fun browse. They're open daily, 10 am.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Best Antique Store in San Gabriel Valley!

The big news in the antique community of the San Gabriel Valley in California is that King Richard's Antique-Vintage Center in Whittier won Best Antique Store for 2013. The poll queried readers of the Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Whittier Daily News.

King Richard's is housed in an historic building, once a citrus packing house in the early 1900s, and listed in the local Register of Historic Resources. Thirty years ago the building began its life as an antique mecca under the ownership of Richard Bowlin (hence the name King Richard's) and Jim Slavcove. The present owners are Chuck and Martha Garcera. Not only does the 57,000 sq. ft., four-story store boast 302 dealer spaces, but there's also a certified antiques appraisal college which is holding an Appraisal Clinic noon-4pm at the store. In addition Sulflow Auctions will hold an auction in the building on May 18, with the preview May 17.

Visit King Richard's website and explore their Google Virtual Store (a very cool tour of the various levels to give you an idea of the spaciousness of the store and the wide selection—see example below!). Read their latest news and see dozens of photos of enticing antiques.  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Post-Deadline, More Stores Added to the Guide

The 2013 Cochran's Collector's Guide was published last November in hardcopy, and is now in the hands of thousands of antique shoppers who picked them up in our advertisers' stores. It's our 24th annual edition!

The online version took a little longer. Software we had used for years to reproduce the annual Guide for online use was suddenly made obsolete, and new software had to be acquired and learned (those learning curves are pretty steep sometimes!) And then, to complicate matters further, the software we needed to convert the online version for use on mobile devices also needed to be replaced. Another learning curve. Our Webmaster was at it for weeks! But now we have both, up to date.

As happens every year, we heard from some stores after we went to press last fall: "When's the next edition come out? I want to be included!" But the Guide is an annual publication—once it's gone to the press we don't produce another one until the following fall. However, the online version is infinitely updatable, one of the things we love about the Internet. So we have been able to add the following advertisers to the 2013 Guide:

• CALM Antique Show & Sale, Santa Barbara, CA, pg. 10 (view their website at They have three shows a year and the next one is coming up on May 17-19, so check it out pronto!

• The Pennyfarthing, Sacramento, CA, pg. 61 (view their web page at:

• Magpie Antiques and All Things Inspiring, Ripon, CA, pg. 73 (see their web page at: 

• King Richard's Antiques, Whittier, CA pg.  (See their website at

• Tons of Treasures, Laguna Niguel, CA, pg. 123 (See their web page at