What is a monkeybox? When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.
*Those are my Great Grandparents up there. My Great Grandma was the original Martha Stewart. She threw a great party and decorated for every holiday. I want to be her when I grow up. Oh wait! I am!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Weekend in Junk: 'Round the Block

I only found a few things this weekend.  But, I only went around the block twice and I was only gone fifteen minutes, so that's not bad!  This morning I scored a glass candy dish and an old Ball jar with a different type of glass lid, but I didn't get those photographed.  Besides, clear glass isn't the easiest to photograph, now is it?

Yesterday I happened on a little scrawly handwritten Yard Sale sign around the corner.  It took me a not a Little Old Lady Sale, but a Little Old MAN Sale.  That was a first.  When I saw the sort of things I was just sick that I hadn't made it there earlier in the day.  I bet I missed a slew of old stuff.  *sniff*  :D

The first thing I found were the old glasses and he told those were 50¢ for all five.  That's when I knew I had to dig in all the boxes and look for anything I could find because it was going to be CHEAP.  And, it was.  The old plastic lunchbox wasn't much, but that great old plaid Thermos was lurking inside.  The roadrunner is hand-carved and kind of neat.


The pottery is just ghastly, I KNOW.  I don't even know what those things are - teddy bears?  I don't know.  But, it's old and marked JAPAN, so maybe it will sell.  It's not my thing, that's for sure.  

This clock is old and marked JAPAN too.  That purple thing is a ball of yarn.  Hopefully it will appeal to someone too.  

This is the thing that made me wonder what I had missed.  It is a full sized fully embroidered coverlet.  It is just beautiful.  It has a pink fabric edging and embroidery all along the sides and edges.  He only charged me 50¢ for it.  It is fantastic.  It has a few rusty stains that I think I can soak out.  *fingers crossed*  I don't have a bed for it, but I really like it.  Such artistry.

Tomorrow is "Mock Set-Up Day:" in the driveway for the Junk Ranch.  Otherwise known as the day the neighbors think I am cray-cray.  I'm excited to drag it all out and see just what I do and don't have.  I have been hunting, gathering pricing and making for a month.  When I finish a project, I squirrel it out in the garage and kind of forget about it.  I might be in for some surprises!  :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Week in Junk & A New Booth

Lara and I set up the new booth this morning.  It's really just wall shelves, so we are limited in what we can bring in and display.  But, that's okay with me - you have to go up a little flight of stairs, inside down some more steps, walk waaay down the building, turn left then go to the end of the wall, then turn right and you are there.  Easy peasy, right?  :)  There's even an upstairs that I didn't go into today.  I can't imagine schleping furniture upstairs or downstairs.  So, I'm happy taking in only things that I can carry in a bag.

It's a tight spot, so taking photos is tricky.  But, here's the jest of it.  Lara makes such sweet adorable signs and prints!  I took a lot of vintage Razorback stuff since this booth is blocks from campus and the football stadium.  The Razorbacks are in a winning streak, so I thought this would be the best time to SELL THAT STUFF.   

  It's funny, we didn't really know how much space we had or what would fit, but when we put it in  - it all went together and it all fit without being crowded or junky.
HEY there's Lara's big roll 'o string.  I saw it and pulled it at the last minute.  I'd be the first person wanting to buy that!  I brought Bert and Ernie - do you think they will sell to some nostalgic twenty something?  I hope!  Lara went back about an hour after we left and there was a lady in our spot looking at every single thing.  So, obviously, we have declared ourselves an OVERNIGHT SENSATION!  :)

So, this weekend, I went to a handful of sales - I went to one sale three times.  It was right around the corner from me and they were dirt cheap, very nice people and bring more things out over the two days.  I stopped at a couple more and a couple thrifts too.  I honestly don't remember where I got a lot of these things at this point.  :)

I got all these little pumpkins at the sale around the corner (SATC).  They are new, but they look like little vintage blowmold pumpkins.  I got a bag of 51 of them in a big bag for a quarter.  I told you they were cheap!  I think I might give them to kids at the Junk Ranch.  I really like this photo though.  I think I will use it on my next round of postcards.

This is from Goodwill.  It's kind of weird and kind of cool.  Someone on Instagram suggested adding hooks to hold a leash and that is a great idea!

I got this painting at the SATC. I bought it, four books, two bottles of glitter and a couple other things and they charged me a dollar.  Then, they came out to the car as I was loading up and tried to give me back a quarter for overcharging me.  Crazy nice people.  This painting has a thick raised relief.  I thought it was a fake Mexican print but I bought it for the frame.  But, I did a little research and found out that the artist was a pharmacist that loved to paint.  He invented this new kind of paint that make the thick raised design.  Cool, huh?  It's on ebay, so we will see.  

I found new clippers for the porch!  The orange ones on the far right.  I love this collection all neat and organized - and out of the house!  

This was my happiest find of the weekend - two great old wooden ladders.  $5.00 for the tall one, $3.00 for the small one.  I'm going to use these at the Junk Ranch with shelves to hold all the vintage Christmas.  It is going to be awesome!  

A sweet vintage puzzle, a Miles Bornes Game (they always sell in my booth), a board game called "Land of Cotton": which I mistakenly thought would be Americana (Oh I wish I was in the Land of Cotton...) But it is really and truly, a board game for budding young Cotton Growers. Whatev.  The owl is a new phone case to use with my PayPal reader.  It won't fit in my phone with the Otterbox on it.  

A nice stack of old books for ephemera packets, yearbooks for yearbook magnets and an old music book for sheet music rolls.  Please take note of the book on top.  :)

On old oak desk tray, one tulip bookend, the heaviest Bundt pan EVER, a piece of purple pottery (only my second ever) and a bag of money.  Because, well, its a BAG OF MONEY.  

I wonder why purple is so hard to find?  Or rather, lilac or lavender, I guess.  Anyway, I am not a purple person per say, but I love this color in pottery.  It really *pops* in the old collection.  (I thought this would be the piece that brought the shelves down, but fingers crossed, it's still good!).

Old apple peeler, a tea ball in the original package, old loaf pan and.......
......an alligator head.  OH MY GOD.  This is SO not like me to buy.  It's creepy, but I thought The Bean might like it.  He didn't so , it's on ebay too.  I gotta get it out of the house.  :(

A couple of single shakers and a couple old icing tools.  I have a hoard of those darn things, but I just cannot leave them.  I know I will think of a use for them someday.  Just like the Jello molds I was hoarding!  

And lastly, an apron made out of an old feedsack.  Not the pretty flowery feedsacks, but an actual feed sack.  Not everything can me adorable, can it? 

In case you are wondering, the pottery, the single shakers, the loaf pan, the icing tools,the clippers and the ladders are all I am keeping.   Everything else is for one of the many places I sell JUNK.  

The countdown is on for The Junk Ranch, but I am almost ready.  I will take time out to attend Bikes, Blues and BBQ this weekend because I am ALL about motorcycles and meat.  (Not - but it's fun anyway!)  Hope you have a good junk hunting week.  Thanks for hanging on til the end - I do seem to ramble on here.  Would you be surprised to know that I am not really a big talker?  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Journey: It's About Time

It seems my  life lately is consumed with junk.  Looking for junk out and about, looking for junk in my own house, sorting junk (Booth #1, Booth #2, Junk Ranch) pricing junk (Booth#1, Booth #2, Junk Ranch), photographing junk (ebay, Instagram, Facebook page) and storing junk.  I asked for this life of junk and I love it.  But I needed a break this weekend.  (That doesn't mean I didn't go to several sales including three trips to the same sale in two days.....)  Also, I have a new Facebook page just for my vintage market sales if you are inclined to have a look: monkeybox Vintage Junk 

Yesterday there was a Razorback Game up the street to the left, so we went right and headed out to the tiny community of Canehill, Arkansas for the Cane Hill Festival.  In 1834 a college was built there.  It was burned to the ground and rebuilt in 1886 and that building remains.  This is also where the old landlocked waterwheel is located that we like to visit.  

We went to see it yesterday, but the Wildlife Officers were there, so we didn't stop.  I don't know why they were there - I've never really see a Wildlife Officer!  

The purpose of the Canehill Festival is to make Sorghum.  Sorghum is Molasses.  

They cut the cane and then it is processed somehow by donkeys that walk around and around in a circle which generates the power to process the cane.  There weren't any donkey's hooked up yesterday.  I don't understand how they do it.  They just do.

I really need this sign.

They make this huge fire and the cane goes in and they boil the beejeezus out of it and add water and I don't know what else.  It is SO hot in there and it stinks to high heaven.  (I am allergic to wood smoke).  People line up in a long line waiting for a fresh HOT jar of sorghum.  The first year we went we got in line to buy some.  They had a jar out with toothpicks so you could taste it.  The Bean and I tasted it.  Then we just slowly backed out of line.  It was terrible!  But, all those old farmers were about to slobber to death waiting for that sorghum.  They can have it! (The Breadman loves the slop).

This is cane - they make the sorghum out of this part - is it a seed?  Or a pod?  Or a berry?  I dunno.

Everyone dresses in old timey attire and there is old fashion music and food.  It's not fake like Silver Dollar City - this is how these people live for the most part.  It's authentic.  

Except for the camels.  This was new this year.  Camel rides.  
I didn't take a ride.  

I was too busy thanking the lord for not giving me teeth like a camel. 

What day is it?
Sunday.  
Oh.

Really loud hillbilly music.  I am not into this music scene at all.  I know it is time to leave when I see my toe tapping.  They got me yesterday with some fiddle music.  That's when we left.  Interesting tidbit -  the fiddle player is my Mom's mailman.  I'm kind of playing it loose with the term "interesting".  BIG CROWD, huh?

The old school bell.  Right after I took this photo they rang the bell.  They had to pause the hillbilly music while it rang.  The musicians were not pleased.  I was.



Around the dirt by the bell tower and along the edges of the property I can always find bits of old pottery and glass.  It's my landlocked seaglass.  The Bean found the piece of the milk bottle.  I was really surprised to find the cobalt blue piece.  When I washed it and it said "OFFICE" on it, I was really tickled.  The pottery is old ironstone dishware.  I could look for this kind of stuff for DAYS.  If I am ever lucky enough to go seaglass hunting, I know I will be addicted.  


Inside the old college there was a quilt show.  

Gorgeous old quilts hanging on the walls.  

This one was over the window and was so pretty.  They had just put it there for the afternoon, so don't get in a tizzy thinking it will fade.  (I did).

The ladies were working on a quilt.  The Breadman's grandmother had a quilting frame up over her bed that she could let down with a pulley.  I always thought that was neat.

This one was pretty.  Loved all the old feedsack materials.  

We trudged upstairs to the museum.  I stopped to take a photo of the old playground equipment out the window.  At least, that was my excuse.  I had to rest a minute from the steep steps, a bad knee and the 125 degree day dripping with humidity.  It was unholy.  

At the top of the stairs is the old Post Office.  


A lady watched me take a photo of this and rolled her eyes.  But, I had to do it for you people.  You get it RIGHT?  So gorgeous!


 I loved all of these names of the graduates.  That's one whole graduating class thee - Gertrude, Marguerette, Dorothy, Josephine, Geraldine, Lucille and Opal.  All such great old lady names.  (Except Dorothy - that's the name of a hip junk hunter Aunt - Hi Aunt Dorothy!)  

It was nice to get out and go on a bit of a journey.  A journey back in time, in fact!  Now today, it is back to the JUNK.  I need to get photos of this weeks finds, but today is a rainy day so it will have to wait.  I know you are SO disappointed.  :D 

Monday, September 15, 2014

What I Didn't Do This Weekend

This weekend was my high school reunion.  And I didn't go.  I was okay with that - it was my decision.  I had helped plan a few of them and it was hard hard work and someone was never happy about one thing or another.  Then, at the actual function, I would find myself just sitting there kind of by myself because since I was in a room full of people I knew in high school  - I turned into INTROVERT Shara.  Quiet, on the sidelines, no dates, no dances, no parties - just hard work, studying, putting that school newspaper to print every week, crushing HARD on a certain boy that would just be my "friend" and keeping in my tight circle of very close friends that were all a year behind me in school so therefore would not be at the reunion.  After I got married, The Breadman went to a couple of my reunions and EVERYONE knew HIM because he went to the same school district, but he moved away once he started high school.  But they all remembered HIM and visited with HIM and one "boy" that I had gone to school with since THIRD grade said to The Breadman, "Oh, is this your wife?" and then introduced himself to ME.  HIS CLASSMATE.  Hrumph.  

I have my Senior Picture on Facebook right now.  One boy from high school commented - "Well, Hello there!": then sent me a PM asking me why he didn't notice me in high school.  Pretty much the same reason no other boy noticed me - I was either their friend or other people thought that I was dating those friends.  (Despite my grumbling - I had a great time at that age - I loved being the Newspaper Editor.  I skated thousands of miles at the Roller Rink.  I had all the different colored DeeCee shirts and painters paints.  I had every color of pompom for my skates.  I saw ALL the movies. I went to the Drive-In every Saturday night.  I had the best friends in the world.  I laughed SO much.  I wrote twenty page notes to my best friend.  I had sleepovers with boys and girls on my birthday. I had a lot of fun times and so many very happy memories.)

Anyway - I made the decision to not go based on who I could see that had signed up to attend- mostly people that I knew in school, but only because we had a class together.  The kind of people you see at the grocery store now and say, "Oh, hi, how are you?  How have you been?" but neither of you really slow down or actually stop to talk.  You just keep on moving as you visit with a "nice to see you" as you grab your milk and skeedaddle.  I could see me making the rounds and saying a quick hello to everyone and then having four hours to kill in the corner.  I also am not really in  a place I want to be right now in my personal. life.  So many life changes happening - the kid growing up, job changes, life changes.  I just didn't want to go into all that.  So, I decided not to go.  And, I was very much okay with that.

But then.  On Sunday, the photos started showing up on Facebook.  All the people I knew were coming.  But then SO many faces from my past - seven people from my first grade class.  Friends from Junior High and High School.  People I hadn't seen in years. I was suddenly very, very sad that I didn't go.  But, there isn't much I can do about it now.  I am looking at all the photos and enjoying seeing how much some people have changed and how some people have not changed at all.  Man, I wish I would have gone.  

I tell you this story because if you have a high school reunion coming up and you are thinking about not going - GO.  I think it would be better to think you wasted your time after it if it was a bomb, than wish you had gone after it is too late.  

*The 19 Kids and Counting film crew was there, so I will be looking forward to that episode when it airs.  I could have been o TV AGAIN!  :D

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Week in Crafts: Old Junk is New Junk

My preparations for The Junk Ranch are in full swing.  I have been gathering things, making things and thinking of new ideas for displays.  I want to take less display items and more FOR SALE items. That sounds logical, but I really need display shelves and tables for my smalls.  So, I am working on that as well as new ideas for things to sell.  I gave myself this week to make things out of old things to make them new things again.  Got that?

Project #1: I bought these old puzzles on Etsy from my friend Beth's shop.  I used the pieces and made magnets out of them.  They turned out super cute.  I have them displayed on an old magnetic ABC chalkboard.
Project #2: I scored a big bag full of novelty print feedsack scraps recently so I wanted to make a new batch of feedsack pendants.  I needed to order larger glass domes for these bigger prints.  I am sorely tempted to keep most a few of these, but I know I can always make myself more later. I did keep the pink rabbit at the top because, well - it's PINK and it's a BUNNY so, there's THAT.  My sweet friend Jennifer purchased a good amount of my feedsack necklaces to put in her Shoppe in Nappa Valley California.  I am beyond excited about that!  The money is nice, but the confidence in me and the fact that someone else appreciates what you do and wants to share it with others is SUCH a nice thing.  It's just the best.  :)

Project #3: A new batch of glittered cookie cutter ornaments.  I used glass German glitter this time.  I added a little vintage tingly bell and a piece of green ribbon to each one after I took this photo.  They really glisten with that good glitter on them.  

Project #4: Vintage Yearbook Photo Magnets.  I had more fun making these fun magnets.  Each cellophane pack has a couple larger magnet and a few smaller ones too.  I added names to the photos - but not the names that actually went to the correct photo.  I only used fun 1950's names like ELMER and EUNICE and MILDRED.  I think these are fun too. 

Project #5: I saw a photo on Pinterest of one Jello Mold spray painted orange to look like a pumpkin. I thought it was cute, but also thought it could be better.  I noticed that if you put two Jello molds together  it looks JUST LIKE A PUMPKIN!  I added a stick, green ribbon and gold wire with chandelier crystal leaves for added sparkle.  I wasn't quite happy with it, so I consulted my crafting guru Heidi who suggested glitter in some capacity.  I decided to just glitter the whole darn thing and that was the perfect solution.  

Project #6: Huge gallon jar snowglobes. Now these will either be a huge hit or no one will want them. I can't decide.  I think they are fun and would be great on a table or on the mantle.  I have two more in the works and then I will move on to my last project - teeny tiny snowglobes in those wee little jars that you get at Christmas with jelly in them.  
Here is one I made last year.  I am always on the hunt for these teeny jars.  I like the red gingham lids the best, but this plaid one worked perfectly for Christmas.  For some reason, they make me insanely happy.

My theory on all of these things is that I can put them in The Junk Ranch for two days and then I can put them in my booth. So, it's not like I am not going to sell them if they don't sell in those two days. 

In the midst of all this craziness, Lara sent me a message that she got a small space in a different flea market in town.  She was worried about filling it up and keeping it full, so heard myself say, "Hey!  I will split it with you!" and just like that - we had a new booth.  I've never even been to this flea market but it is relatively new, does a good business and it is close to the University.  I will have one or two shelves depending on how we decide to set it up - so it's not that much space to be worried about.  I am going to put in variety of my handmade things and some vintage things once I get a feel for what sells there.  The rent is super cheap plus we are splitting it, so I know we will both make some money.  I am so lucky to be in this ever growing world of junking and to have found friends like Lara and The Junk Ranch family.  I feel like I am finally fitting in and doing what I love.  Now, to just make a living at it.  Wouldn't that be nice?  

Monday, September 08, 2014

The Week in Junk: A Curbside Find & More

Thanks for all the b-day wishes for The Bean.  We had a nice few days celebrating - our rule is that if there is still cake in the house - it's still your birthday.  The good news is we still have cake  - so PARTY ON!  

When it was my birthday, all I asked for was a day of thrifting at a few different thrift stores.  Today was the day I got my day out.  There is one thrift that is a good long drive and way out where there is nothing else, so you purposely have to go to it.  Today we went to it and it had a big CLOSED sign on the door.  I thought it was just closed today, but then we could see in and the store was EMPTY.  Insert really sad face ----->here.  :(  So, we drove all the way back across to town to a huge thrift store that is in a MALL.  Weird, right?  When I was checking out, I asked if they knew what had happened to the other thrift and they told me that it had moved, but they didn't know where to exactly.  A customer piped up and said, "Oh, it's just right up the road form the old store.  You can't miss it!"  I thanked her and decided to go all the way back there since it was the reason I had come to that town in the first place.  So, back we drove - across town, over the tracks, down the road, past the old thrift, on and on and on, past a horse field, across the tracks and on and on.  Hey guess what? Apparently you CAN MISS IT LADY.  I gave up, circled back and headed back out of town.  About five streets over and five miles up the road I see a sigh that says THRIFT, so I pull in because I am excited to find a new to me thrift.  When I get in and read the sign  - it is the thrift I was looking for all day long.  I don't know WHAT that lady was talking about.  Anyway, in the end, the new thrift isn't anything like the old one, so I guess I won't be worried about hitting it anymore.  :(  I hate it when a good little old lady thrift is no more.  


I hit three thrifts in all and this was my haul.  Not much greatness there, huh?  I even questioned myself when I picked up that scary-ass Santa.  Aiiiieeee!  Everything is for the booth or The Junk ranch except the crafting stuffing beads, the big nesting doll (she's empty, but I have some that will fit in her) and the pile of magnets in the front.  Those are good quality heavy duty magnets.  I have been buying  a lot of magnets at Hobby Lobby lately, so to find a nice big bag of good magnets to repurpose for 50¢ made me happy.  I am amassing a huge hoard of those old wooden embroidery hoops.  I know I will think of a good re-use for them soon.  They are getting hard to find.  Mostly because they are all at my house.  HAHAHAHAHA!

Saturday we popped into Goodwill after The Beans birthday dinner at the restaurant next door.  I got two huge boxes of manila folders to use to make flash cards and this piece of porcelain.  It's totally not me.  TOTALLY.  But, there was just something about it, compiled with at magical $1.00 tag, that made me buy it.  


Going backwards here - on the way out to run errands on Wednesday, I spotted this old work table sitting curbside up the street.  I hit the brakes and The Bean and The Breadman rolled out of the car on cue and loaded it up.  A quick drop-off back at home and we were on the way again!  I want to paint it white, make the top chalkboard, and make a skirt out of vintage fabric around the edge of it to hide the underneath.  I think it would make a great checkout table for my Vintage Markets.  Until then, it makes a handy worktable in the driveway when I pull out all my Vintage Christmas to sort it in the 85 degree sun.  Not that I did that.......or did I?

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