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.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Week in Junk

I haven't had a junk post in a long time!  Part of the reason is that I have been sending more junk OUT to the booths and donating junk to the thrifts than I have been out looking for junk.  I sent a huge truckload of stuff to the thrift with the Breadman the other day.  He works in the next town over, so I send him my donations to take to a far away thrift store.  I do not like going thrifting and seeing my rejects on the shelves.  Sometimes I make decisions to let things go, but then I see them.  Just sitting there on the shelf all sad and I feel bad for them.  Yes, I know.  This is a bit of insanity on my part.  But, the struggle is real.  Also, I don't like to donate my things and then see it show up in the booth next to mine.  It has happened - I promise you.  ANYWAY.  For some reason that I cannot comprehend since he knows my RULE, he took it to the Goodwill that is right up the street from MY HOUSE.  WTH was he thinking?  I stopped in the other day and there was my stuff and more over there and that was mine and that and that and on and on and on.  It was AWFUL.  So, I can't go to Goodwill for the next month or so since I don't want to see it.

So the point of this post was junk, am I right?  Let's see what I can scrounge up.

I bought this at the last yard sale I went to - probably the last one this year.  I loved the patriotic feel to it.  I posted it on Instagram and one of my followers told me that her brother designed it.  Isn't that weird?  And wonderful?

I found this large old JAPAN Nativity set at the Super Cheap Thrift.  They are larger than the usual ones I find  - the largest one is 8" tall - they all have a 29¢ price on the bottoms.  

These camels were with them.  They are made of a different material, but have the same 29¢ price on them.  

I bought this old tree topper at my friend Paula's booth.  It has five little paper mache angles flying around the edges.  It is fabulous.  

This huge old oil painting will go to Lara for one of her gallery walls.  It is a great old painting.  I know a coat of chalk paint will really make it pop.  And, it was only TWO DOLLARS.  

A bad photo taken too late at night.  But then again it's "night" at 5:00!  The two candle blowmolds were from one thrift and all the rest was from the Super Cheap Thrift.  I saw the chairs in a cart beign carried out so I tailed the lady until she put them on the shelf.  The smaller green one isn't much, but the taller black one is pretty sweet.  They were 25¢ each!  I have been on the hunt for an Elf on the Shelf book since they came out.  I don't want a new elf - just the book to put back.  I've seen them at thrifts, but always in the special section priced $6 or so  I knew I would find one - and I did!  And for only 50¢!  The bells came out of Bunco sets.  The SCT sells all games for 25¢ so I love finding games I can part out.  Bunco comes with a bunch of PINK dice, which is cool.  Plus, each game has one of those cool bells in it.  I sell the bells for $5.00 in the booth.  

My very best find are these great old biology lab stools.

And, I did not "find" these at all.  Lara GAVE them to me.  She recently bought 35, yes, thirty five. of them and has had them in both of her booths.  I went on and on about how wonderful they were and she gave me two of them.   I said, "No!" as she carried them down the driveway.  And, "You mustn't" as she loaded them into my car.   If you ever meet Lara in person, NEVER comment that you like something or she will give it to you.  Act like you hate her stuff.  (It will be hard, but remain strong. You hate it.  ICK. Got it?)  She has given me so many things, it's pitiful. She's just the nicest person. EVER.

That's not much junk, is it?  Or even that great of stuff (except for those swoon-worthy stools).  But, that's all I have found.  I have been to my local Goodwill three times in a week and left empty handed every darn time.  What's up with that?  They have about twenty Christmas items on any given day. Where is all the Christmas, I ask you?  I have found very little vintage Christmas this year and I am selling a ton of it at the Fall Junk Ranch.  So, I NEED to find more or I will be forced to start selling off my collections!


Not.  Happening.

So, have you found any good junk lately? 

PS PrincessShezzy - I left you a message on your last comment.  You made my day, girl!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Gurley's

Have you seen the SC Johnson commercial for Thanksgiving?

I love it.  It is sweet.  I imagine you can guess my favorite part.

The Gurley Candles!

Any true vintage lover has a pair of these in their Thanksgiving stash.  (Or maybe a dozen or more pairs......)  Here is one of my pairs.  (I didn't even get my Thanksgiving stuff out this year - I missed it!)

Here are my Great Grandparents celebrating Thanksgiving in about 1960.  

See waaaay over there on the far right?  On the credenza?  Gurley Pilgrim candles!  

Ode to a Gurley.

I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving no matter how you are celebrating.  It's just the three of us tomorrow, then a small dinner for my three parents and us on Saturday.  I get to cook twice.  Yay?  I don't mind - Turkey is my favorite.  Enjoy your meal and your day!  

PS The Christmas totes are in the house.  BRING IT!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Winner, Winner, Winner

I have been on a bit of a bit of a good luck kick winning things lately.  At night, before I go to bed, I enter a few online sweepstakes.  I like instant win contests like this one:  Mars Candy  Last week I won three candy bars, a $5.00 debit card, a $10.00 debit card and a $15.00 debit card.  Hey, that's $40.00 plus some candy!  Not bad!

Then I also entered this sweepstakes:  Thanksgathering You can win a $1,000.00 VISA card to be used to go home for the holidays (you can use it for anything, but that is the point of the sweepstakes) or you can win a $250.00 VISA to help you host the holidays.  It is an instant win contest, so you know right then if you have won or not.  And GUESS WHAT?  I won the $1,000.00 VISA card.  In the words of Gomer Pyle "SHAZAM!"  When the confirmation screen popped up that said, "WINNER" I just stared at it for about ten minutes like "Whut?"  I got the email and faxed in my affidavit and the VISA should be here in the next day or so. You guys really need to play!  I know many people online that have won - it is possible!!!

BUT WAIT, there's more!  

Friday I went out to all the Holiday Open House events out on the street where I have my booth. About a dozen shops were having an Open House with refreshments and drawings.  I, of course, signed up for those drawings.  I'm no dummy.  :)  I never pay attention to what the prizes are - I just sign my name, fold it up accordion style (more edges to grab when they reach in the bowl) and go on about my way.

Sunday I had a text with the photo of my entry on it saying, "You won!"  I texted back a big thank you and said, "What did I win?"

That's when they sent me a photo and a message that said, "A lot!" Apparently everyone in each booth had donated something and I WON THEM ALL!!!  Eighteen handmade and very nice things.  

This wooden sign is big - 3 feet across.  It's heavy and well made, but needs a bit of pizzazz.  I might have my buddy Lara fix it up somehow.  The French sign is on canvas.  

This is a gallon size vessel - super heavy - full of what looks like glass glitter with a Mercury Glass Candle holder inside.  It is incredibly fancy and really pretty.  

A very big handmade Santa doll, a set of fancy cheese serving tools, a fun coffee mug, a neat divided box, six primitive candles and a Joyeux Noel sign.  

A giant metal angel - I mean it's BIG, a nice handmade book page wreath, a pink vase, handmade brooch made just for the raffle, a barn board rack with bird hooks and a couple packages of hand-painted clothespins.

When I picked it up, they told me that the vendors had thought that each item would be given to a different person, so they were all generous in their prizes.  I think if they had KNOWN it was all going to one person it would have been a lot more smaller things.  And, it really should have been!  I mean, that is a LOT of stuff!  And, not to sound ungrateful or anything - but most of it is not my taste really.  But, it was a heck of a nice thing to win!  I'm keeping the divided box, the clothespins, the Joyeux Noel sign, the cheese knives and maybe the barnwood hook sign.  The other things I will give as gifts or they will make it to the booth in town.  I hope that isn't tacky.  I mean, it is mine now, right?

Anyway, I have to go buy some Powerball tickets.  IT COULD HAPPEN!!!!! 

*Thank you for all your nice words about our boy, Tiger.  He is surely missed.  I know everyone has gone through it and understands what it is like to lose a pet.  I can always count on you guys for a virtual hug.  :)

Saturday, November 14, 2015


This morning we said good bye to our cat, Tiger.  He came to us with that name ten years ago.  Such an un-clever name for a big yellow cat.  But since he weighed almost 20 pounds, it seemed fitting. Plus, he was eleven years old, so that name was his.  We called him Mr. Big Boy, Yellow and Tiger Boy among other things.  The people that lived next door moved and said they weren't taking him with them.  I had a sneaking suspicion that they would dump him somewhere, so I brought him in our house one night before they moved.  They never even asked if we had seen him.  

He was The Bean's best friend growing up.  He still was his boy.  Always his companion on the couch and in bed at night. He begged from his plate at meal times.  The Bean is taking this hard - he was only nine when he came into our lives.  

Tiger, you were the best.  We laughed when you would RUN out of the litter box, trying to escape your own stink as fast as possible.  You would come running down the hall and then 1, 2, 3, the smell would blast us.  We laughed and thought it was funny.  Pets and babies making a stink is funny.  I don't know why.  You would take a bath and contort yourself into the funniest positions and then just stop and look at us like, "Whut?"  

You loved your food.  Even as you dwindled in weight over the years and especially in these last few days.  Yesterday you ate the better part of a can of tuna, some cheese and some turkey along with your meals.  The garage door opening after I took out the trash was your cue to come into the kitchen and demand a treat out of the jar.  And, you always got it.  (I found this photo on my phone one day - he has stepped on the button and took a selfie.) 

I can't believe you are gone, Mr. Big Boy.  You have just always been.  And now you are not.  Today was hard.  I had a hard hard day making hard decisions for you.  But, this one very hard day pales in comparison to all the joy and laughter you brought us these years.

Always in our hearts - we love you,Yellow.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Booth - Christmas 2015

I think I started sorting and pricing Christmas things in July getting ready for The Junk Ranch in October.  Then, I had to repackage and re-tag some of those things in order to take them to the booth(s).  Then, of course, I started thrifting more things which had to be cleaned, tagged and bagged. And on top of that, I started MAKING things.  Oy.  I am SO happy to finally have all this stuff out of my house and into the booth.  I'm actually pretty proud of myself - I did a major clean-out and got rid of a ton of old stuff that had been kicking around forever and stuff that just wasn't true to my booth. I sent a truck load off to the Thrift today.  I worked for six hours reworking every thing and them back again to day to tweak a few things.  

The whole shebang.  
I think it turned out pretty well.  In fact, this is the happiest I have been with the look of it in awhile. I have been less than enthusiastic about it.  But, at least in the way it looks, I am happy.  Now let's see how the sales go.   

Ephemera doesn't sell as well as it once did, but I still hang on to it. It does sell, just not crazy amounts.  There were months that I was selling 25-30 rolls of old sheet music pages and dictionary pages at $2.00 a bundle.  Considering that I was buying one old hymnal or dictionary for 50¢ and making $50-60 on it, that was some nice easy money.  I think that deer print is cute - it's simple and not sweet like Lara's great prints.  But, it's what my skills can handle.  

I scanned in some old Christmas packaging to make the Domino pendants.  Then I figured out I could blow them up and frame them too.  I also modge-podged some onto glass candles.  I went a little overboard.  :)  

I'll always have kitchen-y stuff.  I don't know why - I guess that is what I remember being at most flea markets when I first started going to them.  I try to avoid glassware and Pyrex.  Yes, yes, I KNOW.  Some of you LOVE Pyrex - so I leave it for you to find!  That old bred box is a lovely shade of green, but the roll down drawer is cracked.  So  I threw the cookie cutters in there for a display.   

More kitchen stuff.  I like to find old glasses - not sets, but just random vintage glasses.  

And now...The Christmas.  There's those wreaths again.  They just follow me around.  I hung them high to keep them safe.  On the way to the booth yesterday I stopped at one sale and found the folded book page Santa and Mrs. Claus.  They are big on their own rite, but the when I paid for them, the man said, "I have their boxes too".  He put each on in these giant basket weave looking cardboard boxes.  I schlepped them back to the car and I could just barely squeeze them in the front seat!  I priced them as soon as I got to the booth and chunked the boxes in the dumpster.  I wish all my junk could go straight to the booth and never make it to the house.  

More Christmas.  Yes, the Doughboy isn't Christmas, but that is the only shelf where he fits.  So HEE-HEE-HEE he will stay.  

Vintage toys and games on the bottom shelf.  Baskets of vintage ornaments on the floor.  I watched a lady carry that big Mickey Mouse around the entire store today.  But then she put it back.  WHY. LADY WHY?

Hillbillies in a truck because ARKANSAS.

Vintage mesh stockings full of vintage ornaments.  

Santa and a row of vintage brooches.  I have more blowmolds, but room is tight in there.  

You might remember this dollhouse I thrifted about a year ago.  I have had it on my porch all this time.  I love it, but the weather is about to start damaging it.  It needs a bit of work as is, so I don't want it to get completely ruined.  Of course, if it doesn't sell, it will go back on the porch.  But, I am trying to give it a good life.  

So, there you have it.  

Merry Christmas, falalalala and all that crap.  

I KID!  It's the most wonderful time of the year!!!!!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Holiday Bazaar Edition 2015

Also known as the last time I do this show.  It's not that it's a bad show, it just isn't the right fit for my things, apparently.  And, poor sweet patient Lara who makes the most divine cutest prints EVER - only sold one thing for a grand total of $9.00.  I mean, what the heck?  She did recently score a mess of old biology lab stools which are THE BEST and she made a deal for three of those to be sold this week - so that is good.  But, golly all the work she did and bringing things in.....I just feel AWFUL about it.  She told me not to feel awful.  BUT I DO.  The really weird thing is that The Junk Ranch and both of our booths are only eight miles over in the next town where things fly off the shelves and tables.  This little town - my little town - is full of lines of newer homes and Moms with rhinestone butt jeans and oversized flannel shirts (When did those become THE THING?), knee boots and big jewelry - the all want the same thing on their doors - either those HUGE mesh and burlap wreaths or a wooden cutout of a ball jar that says WELCOME YA'LL.  I mean, let's show some creativity folks and be a little different, m'kay?  (My apologizes to any blog readers that may be wearing rhinestone butt jeans and a flannel shirt.  If you are reading this you are obviously part of the COOL CROWD ans not one of those people.)

The lady that did the promo for the show really did do a good job - there were 61 vendors and lots of things to buy.  Some less than desirable than others - I don't mean our stuff - I mean some severely tacky stuff.  There is one thing that I see at different shows and they are SO TACKY and the sell like tacky little hotcakes.  WHY OH WHY?  It is Razorback themed and just so not cool, but everyone walks by with one.  WHY OH WHY?  There were lots of sales people - Plexis, Advocare, different jewelry companies, Thirty one bags, Avon, Scentsy, a chocolate bar company.  I don't know -  none of those things appeal to me.  Except the chocolate, of course.  But, it was $7.50 a bar.  Uh, I just bought a six pound sack of Halloween candy for $5.00, so no thank you.

Yes, yes, I know - these business are great ways for Moms to make extra money.  And lots of people LOVE these things.  And people were buying these things.  They just aren't me.  (Apologizes to any of you if you are into these things - you are still cool - even if you drink Plexis and wear rhinestone butt jeans and carry a thirty one bag).  

At one point, we were sitting there and the room was abuzz with customers and our spot was void of anyone.  Just then, we noticed coming from the ceiling to one of our tables - a spider - making a web. I mean, if a spider can weave a web in your booth - you might as well call it a day.  This shall be our gauge for all future shows.  "Well, at least a spider didn't weave a web today!"  

So, I sold about $130.00  - nothing to write home about, but at least I did make some money.  I knew it was a crap shoot at best.  It was all left over from the Junk Ranch and it is all going to the booth - so it's like I just had a little yard sale along the way and made $130.00.  Plus, I had photos on Instagram and ended up selling some more things on there afterwards.  I had fun people watching and counting flannel shirt wearers.  Lara was there and that is always fun.  Yay! Lara.  Thank God she still likes me after our second debacle at this same location.  

Here's my side of the booth so you can see it.  I had fun setting up an all Christmas and Christmas colored themed booth.  I hadn't really done that before.  I had lots of looky loo's - and some shoppers. My biggest sale was on the load out when someone offered to buy the Santa blowmold.  I had $50.00 on it, they offered $25 and I took it.  She handed me $15 and said she would get the rest from her husband. When she handed me the rest, I stuck it in my pocket.  When I got home, I saw that it was a $20.00. So I got $35.00 for it.  She was too tired to realize she handed me too much and I was too tired to realize it too.  I feel better about getting $35.00 for it anyway.  Plus, trust me on this.  She can afford it.  TRUST ME.  (Don't hate me for being tacky there....)

I am rather enamored of this funny little elf driving this big Roadster.  I thrifted the car and added the tree, wreath and elf.   

I tell you - buying all those crates was one of my better ideas.  I like the cohesive look that it makes - plus they stack up great in the garage and in the car PLUS I keep all the crap in them in storage and on the way to the shows.  They are truly perfect.  Plus junk in crates just looks cool.

Some of this, and some of that.

There in the center you see the Scrabble words.  I didn't sell any of them and I really only sell them at the College booth with University words.  So, I think that ship has sailed and I am kind of glad.  I have made SO much money making those words - but onward and upward to better things.  

Being inside versus being outside in the middle of a field has it's advantages.  And only having one table to display things on isn't a problem when you can go up and up and UP!  Those wreaths were low enough you could see them, but high enough they couldn't be manhandled.  They are pretty sturdy, but I still hate to see people poke at them. 

Tiered basket full of cookie cutters and Christmas miscellaneous.  

Milk cap magnets and clips.  I want to put these int he booth, but I can't figure out how to price them since they are small and my tags are big - we can't put things in without a tag on them.  

I sold quite a few of my pendants.  I am always happy when people like the things that I make and "get" them.  Now, I am NOT trying to sell to you nice folks. BUT, if you like these pendants  - there are a few on etsy or you can leave a comment.  They are $10.00 each shipped - I scanned in old boxes and Christmas cards for most of the graphics.  A dash of glitter on some too!  (No pressure!)

All in all even though I sound like a terrible grump about it - I did enjoy myself selling some things and seeing lots of people from the school and around town that I know plus a few Instagram followers stopped in to say hi.  So, that was fun.  Being with Lara is always fun too.  I could have been happier selling more and not having a chair war with the lady in the booth behind us (I'm keeping that story to myself - but OH MY God - she was awful, awful, awful.).  

So, onward and upward and all that jazz!  Everything will be in the booth by Thursday and out of my garage.  Yay!  It's all gooooood!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

The Week in Junk: Christmas Thrifting & Crafting

Friday, before and after the Flu Shot Clinic, I managed to hit five thrift stores.  I decided to bypass the ALL CHRISTMAS thrift (which is a like a crack house to me), plus it's the wrong way to be going close to five o'clock traffic.  Traffic here in my little corner of NW Arkansas is comparable to HUGE cities - and worse - standstills for nearly an hour.  It is nuts and I avoid the Interstate whenever possible.  Wal-mart General Offices are here and thousands and thousands of people commute.   

I decided to hit five other thrifts and see if the Christmas is starting to eek out.  


Mostly Christmas with a few other vintage items added in for good measure.  

These photos aren't very good -  I haven't figured out how to open my photos and edit them.  Due to the magic of THE CLOUD, I take a photo on my phone and WA-LAH it shows up on the computer. So, if you have THE CLOUD and you share a computer in your house - don't take any nekkid selfies. OKAY?  I mean, I wouldn't do that, cause "EW" but, just so you know.  

So, the lure of the giant bag of crap got me.  I bought one bag to rescue a dainty tree topper and those stenciled Shiny Brites.  The darned tree topper crushed on the way home which crushed me.   But, I was rewarded in all those other ornaments that were in the bag  - I didn't really notice that they were all Poland PINK ornaments.  

Then there was also a bunch of wee Shiny Brite indents - about the size of a ping pong ball.  


I've seen these on so many other blogs- but I have NEVER found a mica bird.  I spotted the blue one and the white one in a bag, so I grabbed it.  On the second walk through, I saw another bag of crap with one more in it.  When I got home - there were TWO in there!  Hurrah!  You just know they were all from the same storage box for all those years.  I hated to see them separated.  'Cause they have feelings, YOU KNOW.

Two funny snowmen mugs.

A brighter shot of those mini indents and a bunch of gold candle clips.  I added the clips to my newest wreaths.  A vintage Christmas book, a Santa dish and a box of red ornaments.

Fun old candy tin.  I love old candy tins - I think they are dreamy.

A vintage Santa with a big schnoz.  A huge bundle of vintage garland for my wreath making.  

A vintage Humpty Dumpty that chimes - so sweet and an old Nylint Blazer.   You know you will see a big honking Christmas tree tied to that Blazer before long.  'Cause.  Why not?  A better shot of the ornaments.

An old Carnival dog.  I have bought several of these lately.  I remember wanting to win one SO BAD when I was a kid.  So, I pick them up when I see them.  Hopefully someone else will feel the twinge when they see them.  Yes, his eyes are wonky.  

A couple deer from the depths of the  bags o' crap.  I got rid of the red ribbons and they are darn cute.

And a rosy candy tin.  Dreamy!

The remnants of the poor tree topper.  *Sniff*.   What's that?  Another candy tin?  Aren't those forbidden, Shara?  Yes.  Yes, they are.  

The bags o' crap held a lot of treasures compiled with my box o' crap at home so I was able to make two more wreaths.  

"Vintage Gold" - not my color scheme - but I like it.  
I have a weird feeling this one will the the first to sell since it's different.  

And, my new favorite:

"Red, White & Blue and Soldiers Too"

I had a nice amount of soldiers and police, so I pulled out all the red, white and blue I could find.  It's also a different color scheme, but I think it's kind of swell.  

I'm low on ornaments, so that means no more wreath making OR a lot of trips to the thrift.

I'll let YOU figure out which one will be GOING DOWN.  


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