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.

Friday, July 03, 2015

For the Red, White and Blue

It's the 3rd of July which can only mean one thing......tomorrow is the 4th.  Duh.  :D  We are on the way to the local big town firework display and then tomorrow night our small town has a big display too.  Of course, The Bean has a bag of explosives on the front porch. I don't think it matters how old you are - you really never can handle your child lighting things up and watching them explode.  I hate them.  But luckily, he isn't too dangerous in what he buys.  So, it will be fine.  

I got all my Patriotic things out and I was putting it out and SO proud that I was getting it done and then I realized it was June 30th.  Whomp  Whomp.  So, I just put out my favorite things and most of the bigger stuff.

The Bean's famous newspaper photo  - always a favorite, the Confederate (Yes, I said Confederate) Headquarters House and Bill Clinton's Childhood home with a flag backdrop.

I thrifted that big flag because I didn't think it belonged in a thrift store.  The banner was in a bag with my Great Uncle's WWII Navy Uniform - I think it hung on the ship, but I'm not sure.  It's neat in any way.  Flashcard pinwheels, a set of Dennison boxes with an eagle and a big "4".


The  flag plays music and waves and the house lights up - certainly not vintage and borderline tacky, but I love them both.  



Vintage Patriotic matchbox boxes.  

The souvenir ashtray collection fit right in - most states are represented with DC front and center.  



Uncle Sam's and lots of red, white and blue.  



Cloche full of red and blue tickets and some STAR office supply boxes.  The silver star is made of cardboard and foil  - I found it in a box of old Christmas decorations.  


The white shelves....


Little bit of this.  Little bit of that.  


More of this and that.  If it is red, white, blue, has a star or looks patriotic - I throw it in there and it all just works.  Valley Forge Cherries?  YES!  Miss America Cherries?  YES!


More Uncle Sam stuff.  Sheet Music, a card game and the World Trade Center.  


George's spot.  


Lady Liberty.  I remember learning in school that they sent the Statue of Liberty over on a ship from France.  In my head, I saw ship, with a full size complete Statue of Liberty standing upright on it.  I swear to you I had that image in my head until my 20's when I finally realized that could certainly NOT have been the way it arrived.  *bubble burst*


The Presidents are here.  Some of them anyway.  George must not have gotten his Dress Code instructions.  


My oldest Uncle Sam.  He's so fun.


I hope you all have a safe and very happy 4th of July.  

And 5th and 6th and 7th and so on and so forth.  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Little Auction Action

Last Saturday I spotted an ad for an auction that sounded promising.  It started at 10:00 and I got there about noon.  I have learned that most household auctions around here start with the bigger pieces of furniture and the higher end items then they usually sell cars and guns about noon and then they start on the household junk - which is MY THANG.  When I got to this auction it wasn't a household auction.  It was the second of maybe ten or twelve auctions that they will be having at this location.  This old man and his brother liked to buy stuff.  And I mean anything - jars - so many jars - rope by the many dozen hanks, books and books and books.  And tools, electric cords, and on and on. Just so much stuff.  This was stuff out of a shop building, so it was more of the manly sort of junk.  I found out that there is a house, three sheds. FIVE school buses, three semi-trailers, four outbuildings and a chicken house FULL of things yet to go.  The old man, his brother and his children are all gone and the land and it's contents have gone on to a bunch of twenty something grandchildren who want no part of it.  Really can you blame them?  It is a lot.  But not nearly as much as my family will have when I am gone.  I KID!  Ha ha!  


The only things at this auction that interested me were old printers blocks.  Tray after tray piled upon pile.  They were scattered on every trailer and table.  I love these things.  I wanted some BAD.  There was only one other person there that bid on them.  No one else seemed to understand what they were or what they were worth.  But old #512 did.  MY NEMESIS.  He said out loud, "I will be getting all those blocks."  So, every time a tray or box of pile of blocks would come up, the auctioneer would say, "Where's my gal?" and then he would make eye contact with me and #512.  Bidding would start at $5.00 and then I would drop out at say, $20.00, so he would get them.  On and on and on.  I was hoping he would take PITY on me and let me have a couple of trays, but Noooooooooooo.  So, I decided if he was going to have them all - he was going to pay.  I would bid up to $95.00 and stop - he would pay $100.00.  Take that #512!  He had money - lots of money - I on the other hand, had only $30.00 to my name.  He bought SO much stuff, it was crazy.  And as for his number - 512 - I was one of the last people to get a number and I was #198 - so apparently he is always #512 at very auction.  So, if I am ever at an auction and I hear #512, craaaap!  *I totaled up and I bid over $1000.00 on printers blocks.  I don't have a thousand dollars.  Obviously.  In the end, I spent $2.00 on a box of manila paper and some envelopes.  Whomp  Whomp.  



Today my favorite local auctioneer was holding an auction at a small house not far up the highway from me, so I headed out there about noon.  This auctioneer holds up something  like say a Syrup server and says, "Hey look at that old syrup server - you don't see those every day" and then he starts the bid at $1.00.  He's like - this is old and neat and you might want it, but it's not worth a fortune, so let's not go crazy.  They make huge piles of things and sell boxes of wrapped up dishes and you really don't know what you are going to get sometimes.  I was the high bidder at $2.00 on a box of dishes and the other guy kept pulling things out, holding them up.  I was still the high bidder at $2.00 when he pulled out a Pyrex mixing bowl with yellow polka dots - well, dontcha know EVERYONE started bidding on that dang box.  I think it sold for $27.00 in the end.  I was bidding on a box of old jars when they suddenly discovered TWO old Tom's peanut jars in there.  I wanted them to stop digging and just sell the boxes!  But, it is fun to watch.  The lady that got the Pyrex bowl ended up clutching it to her chest with her right boob stuck into it the remainder of the day.  I think she liked it.  

There was a family there with a girl about ten.  I watched her go over to people that had been forced to buy random piles of stuff for one or two things and ask them if they had anything they didn't want. People were more than happy to give things to her rather than take them home.  They filled up an entire pickup truck with cast-offs which was actually quite genius.  WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT AND WHERE CAN I GET A CUTE TEN YEAR OLD?  (Lara - let's get your twins trained PRONTO.)  And, now that I think about it, the Pyrex Bowl Boob Lady gave away the contents of that box I was wanting.  DAGNABIT.

I bid on a box of old quilt blocks and feedsack squares and got it for $1.00 (I know, right??).  When I went to pick it up, the box was wet and falling apart.  The auctioneer scooped it up on a big piece of plastic and the other people all sucked in their breath - "THAT WASN'T INCLUDED" and he handed it to me to carry off.  I went over to put in on the ground and a lady came running over asking me the cutting mat was for sale.  I didn't even realize that it was a cutting mat - I thought it was just a piece of plastic.  Anyway, long story short except it's too late for THAT - I sold it to her for $2.00.  I ran (okay - I don't run, but I hurried my short legs) back to the trailer because there were two fabulous old ledgers I wanted.  When I got there - they had been sold. Boooooooo.  Later, after I paid for my purchases, we cut around the front of the house to leave.  I walked past a pile of things and there were the ledgers in a box full of really old automotive repair manuals.  The man sorting them was wearing a mechanics shirt, so decided he just might not be interested in those ledgers - so I asked if he wanted to sell them.  He looked at them - looked at me and said, "There's nothing in them???" and said, $2.00, which I just happened to have already pulled out and had in my hand (JEDI MINDTRICK). So, I got my ledgers for a great price and I didn't have to buy anything extra.  I never really thought about buying or selling from piles, but it is really a great deal for everyone.  

So, what did I buy you are DYING TO KNOW, RIGHT??????



I got the old metal cart for $2.00 because it had boxes of cleaning supplies and file folders on it. People see the junk and not the good sometimes.  The old metal suitcase was my splurge at $5.00, but I use them to hold things at shows, so I was happy to get another one.  The Sunbeam mixer with two white Glasbak bowls (it works too) was $2.00 in a "choice" lot.  I really bought it for the green milk crate and the mixer was a bonus.  The old jars were in a box lot of something I don't remember.  


The ledgers are on the cart - love them - I found a bank envelope in one when I got home and I about fainted.  It was empty.....:)  The wooden box that opens has all these nifty dividers and ABC markings.  The old sewing box was in with the fabric I bought and the old tool box is really great  it opens both ways and has cool drawers.  As The Breadman was loading up two gas cans that I bought with the toolbox  he said, "I'm sorry they threw in that old toolbox with those gas cans".  Uh - how well do you know me dude?  - I do not buy bright orange plastic gas cans!  I buy rusty old junk.  I saved some dishes and a few other things out of the box lots and sent the rest off to Goodwill.  



It was a fun day out and a cheap one to boot.  Plus - look at that stuff!  :)


Sunday, June 21, 2015

But, I Don't Even Smoke!

Years ago, when I was first getting the collecting bug, I spotted a photo in either Martha or Country Living.  It was a bowl or a basket on a coffee table and it was full of these specific bright and gaudy souvenir ashtrays.  I don't really know why - probably because they had a good amount of PINK on them - but that photo stuck in my head all these years and I wanted a collection of those ashtrays. BAD.  Finally, I found my first one and then the hunt was ON!  I found a few more here and there, but, then I didn't find any more.
I decided the collection wasn't meant to be.  I kept Washington DC for my Patriotic display and put the others that I had in the booth.  Down the line I found a couple more and the bug hit me again.  I pulled the ones that I had left  in my booth and brought them home.  Heidi got wind that I loved them and she too had seen the photo in that magazine, so she started collecting them too.  She sent me a few over the years - duplicates that she already had, I believe.  Then, after an Instagram post, my friend Chanelle started finding them in Chicago and sent them along to me.  Then, Laurie aka Magpie Ethel saw an Instagram post when I found one and she sent me a couple too.  And, then not too long ago, dear sweet Heidi sent me her complete collection to add to mine.  We are sharing it  - it just lives at my house.  :)


Here are all that I had after Heidi sent me her collection to add to mine.  They all fit neatly in this cool JUNK box.  I was quite happy with all of these - I finally had my tacky sparkly collection!



But, then Friday, I stopped at a Goodwill in a neighboring town and what did I find?  You guessed it. But, did you guess that I found TWELVE at once?  I couldn't leave them.  I just couldn't!  I had no one at home to call to tell me what I did have and didn't have.  They were $2.00 each and I had to think long and hard before I bought them.  But, I caved.  I had a bit of Junk Ranch money burning a hole in my pocket.  So, I bought them all!  l was thinking that any duplicates could be offered up on Instagram for sale.  But, in all those twelve along with the ones I already had -there was only ONE duplicate.  Now I have 36!  Notice, I didn't say 36 states.  I have six from Missouri and they are all different.  There are some from different tourist attractions.  And even one from Old Mexico which makes me wonder if they made them for other countries too.  Oh my!

Are you ready to see them all?  Here we go......

Nevada, Nevada, South Carolina and Ohio.  See - two different Nevada ones!

Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Alabama and Missouri (one of many Missouri).

Wyoming, Blue Hole Castalia Ohio, Oklahoma, Buffalo Ranch Oklahoma, Southeast Missouri Vacationland and The Great Smoky Mountains.  

South Carolina, Old Mexico, South Carolina and South Dakota.

Mississippi, North Dakota, Nebraska and Nevada.  Hmmm.  I think I put that same Nevada in there twice.  Whoops.  


West Virginia, Reno Nevada, North Dakota and Ohio.

California, Washington, Hawaii and California (they are different - look.)

Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri.  Again, with the Missouri! :)

The whole big bright, shiny tacky collection.  

They are silly and not anything I NEED.  But, they make me happy.  Everyone deserves a little silly happy in their life.  RIGHT?

Now, I just need to find an Arkansas one.  Come to Mama!


Monday, June 15, 2015

Are You Ready For This?

You know I am long winded - so here comes the Junk Ranch Recap.  This is a good place for me to document things so I can refer back to it for the next one.

Wednesday afternoon, The Junk Ranch girls were nice enough to let me run out a small load of tables and blowmolds and leave them in my spot until set up the next day.  I take a huge amount of things to sell, plus all my display items and tables, food, chairs, the cooler and on and on.  But, I do it all in two trips out in a Ford Escape.  I am a packer.

See?  Thursday morning I packed the rest of the merchandise into the car.  I use tote bags rather than tubs because they are flexible and I can fit a crazy amount of things in there.  That is all my merchandise, shelving, crates, the tent, chairs and God knows what else.  


Well, even The Big Guy.  Hee-hee. 

I got my display set up while The Bean did the tent.  Then I started loading the merchandise in.  I only set up part of it since we had Friday morning to spiff it up.  Gates don't open until 1:00, but I was there before 8:00 setting it up.  

I can't always use the banner in my set up, but The Bean saw that it would fit in between these two trees.  They are the only trees on the property and we are right under them.  This is important when it is one thousand and ten degrees like it was this weekend.  Holy Moses.  It was a scorcher.  

Friday morning we got there early and started loading in the items and making my vignettes.  I was plugging along, then I started hearing chatter.  

The line had reached around the corner to be right by our booths.  So we had an audience while we were working.  Note to self: Aim buttcrack towards the tent, not towards the crowd.  Check.  


I swiped these of Facebook.  Can you see the line that this car was in?  Cars behind them, and all the way around.  Crazy stuff.  They line up to go to Razorback games.  But for junk?  That's amazing. 

A few photos before the gates opened and the cattle were allowed in the venue.  THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER.  (Thundering of feet, not actual thunder.  That would wait until Saturday).  

Old metal suitcase full of Scrabble words and painted tiles.  I sold these all day long.  I think I probably sold about $300 or more in tiles and racks.  It is really silly, yet a good money maker.  I suggest you do it too - unless YOU are a Junk Ranch seller.  I spotted one of my original ideas being sold out there this time.  Not cool, dude.  But, whatev.  The little frames are individual milk caps on feedsack squares.  I sold a few of those.  

I always put all the ephemera and tins of things to paw through on the inside so they are safe from the wind and elements.  People love digging in stuff.  Myself included!  The flash card packets were in high demand.  I sold each packet for $4.00 each.  A lady would walk up and hand me three packets of flash cards, three Scrabble tiles and a couple of word packets - just a small handful.  I would tally it up to $28.00 and feel nearly guilty charging that much for what would fit in a paper popcorn sack. But she would happily pay it and go on about her way.  I did that all day long.  I felt bad but they were happy.  But, now I am happy that I made them happy!  


I had made bundles of flash cards - holidays, wedding, patriotic, vintage, Southern sayings, monthly and a few others.  I bought 1000 manila index dividers at Goodwill for $4.00, and a $4.00 ink cartridge and went to town printing.  I cut four to a page and rounded the corners.  I think I sold 40-50 sets.  I wasn't sure that sort of thing would go over there, but thankfully it did.  


My first sale of the day was two pinwheels so I thought they would move all day long.  I only sold one more after that.  But, I had to tuck them away from the elements so they weren't that visible.  I love them and will take them to the next JR.    



I sold a few clipboards  - I had to protect them once the wind, dirt and RAIN hit.  Hard to sell when it's under the table.  But, they will keep.  My Dad scored that stool out of a trash heap.  I sold it for $30.00.  

I sold quite a few aprons.  Including one off that rack in the back that belonged to the booth next to me.  WHOOPS.  An older lady on a rollerator (!) came in with a red gingham apron and asked how much.  Now, if it was any apron other than a gingham apron, I would have realized that it wasn't mine.  All my aprons were $5.00 each, so I sold it for $5.00.  Then I realized it had a different clothespin than mine.  Hmm.  So, I asked if it was Lara's - nope.  So I asked the lady next door,  Yes, it was hers.  It was her Grandmother's.  It was $10.00.  I told them what happened and they laughed and took the $5.00.  Thank goodness.  I had my linens there first, I thought it was weird they put theirs touching mine anyway.  It looked like one display.  I sold all that Niagara Starch for $3.00 a box.  

My feedsack pendants were well received.  Sold a lot of them until they had to be put inside too.  

Vintage items on the backside.  There's the globe.  The guy heckled it.  A few people asked for a better price.  I had $125.00 on it and I was sure that it was worth that and more.  A young lady walked in and handed me some ephemera stuff and said, "And, I want the globe, please."  No haggling, she knew.  She was pleased as punch.  I was pleased too.  I paid $18.00 for it.  


Vintage this and that.  Sold a bunch of this stuff.  


And lots of this stuff too.  


I love this old feed store rack.  It folds up flat and is easy to haul and set up.  But you know what? Nothing EVER sells off it.  I mean a few things, but it's like no one sees it.  Or they say OH I HAD THAT WHEN I WAS A KID, and they walk on by.  I think I will just find a use for that rack here at home where I can enjoy it.  


Weird little man area I set up.  Sold that 8 ft. flag for $10.00 because I could tell the man was going to treat it properly.  I felt odd selling it, but I had rescued it the same way.  Sold the cabinet on the ground and many of the things on the table.  I think every single booth out there had bowling pins. And pool balls.  It was a requirement.  

I really liked this set up and plan to do more like it in the future.  

The head in the box got some attention.  I will be sad when she sells.  I have more fun with her.  The terrarium sold but the lady very emphatically told me, "But you can keep the HEAD."  

When I was packing thing s up to take, I said that I would not consider myself a success until I sold that Rose Bud Beauty Queen trophy.  I have schlepped that to a couple Junk Ranch shows and both booths.  Normally, I would get rid of an item that didn't sell after all that.  But come on - a PINK Rose Bud Beauty Queen trophy?  Someone needed that.  Then along came Kelly and her daughter. She came in and swooped that up and came to pay.  I told her I was so happy she was buying it. Turned out, she had seen it earlier that day and had been retracing all the booths trying to find it since she couldn't get it out of her head.  She told me that she was going to hide it in her house and someday when she was dead her grandchildren would be SO impressed when they discovered Grandma's Beauty Pageant Trophy.  "Grandma was a Beauty Queen!" they will say.  That is my kind of lady!  She also spotted a pink handled cap gun that I had and announced that a Rose Bud Queen needed that too.  $16.00 later and she left in search of a crown.  She made my day.  


A young college age girl bought my French Artist easel.  When she picked it up, she caressed the case and then kissed it before she honest to goodness skipped off with it.  Her friend haggled for a better price on her behalf.  I think I could have charged an extra $20.00 and she would have bought it though.  She was in LOVE.  That made me happy too.  


Everyone looked at this tiny old chair.  Everyone loved it.  No one bought it though.  Isn't is cute???


Sold this fantastic gumball machine.  I love it, but I have a nice old one so it had to go.  It made a special guy very happy too.  Obligatory pool balls.  If you don't have pol balls in your booth, they toss you out of the Junk Ranch.  Kidding.  Everyone had them though.  I didn't sell any until almost the end of the second day and then a lady bought half of them.  
I had made magnetic clips to go on some of my book clipboards, but when I put them on the book cover, they didn't open wide enough to hold paper.  On a whim, I took them and put them on an old tin lid for $2.00 each.  I sold them all.  A happy accident.  I'll make more since it was an easy make and an easy sell.  


The grounds are too big for me to make a quick run through. I did manage a quick run out to take a photo of the barn.  See those clouds? Those clouds wouldn't be there - it would be all blue and sunny and HOT and then out of nowhere the clouds would roll in and it would sprinkle.  Everyone thought it would pass quickly and not amount to much.  Man,were they wrong.  twice within two hours, there was a full on storm with horrific rain and thunder.  I have walls on my tent. so we pulled them down and zipped ourselves up inside with two strange women who just stood there texting.  I mean, I knew I had to let them stay in there so they wouldn't get wet or get struck my lightening.  But, my STUFF was out there getting drenched.  When it let up, I went out to survey the damage (and make sure Lara was okay in her tent) and found mixing bowls with belt buckles floating in them and all sorts of waterlogged items.  But within seconds, the sun was out in full force and everything dried up perfectly.  The only thing that was wet on the trip home were my tablecloths so they went straight into the washer.  


Directions and selfie station.


Junk as far as the eye can see.  The boy in the hat - he's been helping his Mom at TJR just like The Bean since it started.  He made it all the way to the corner just to give me and Lara a hug.  We've made some bonds out there with people that we will never see any other place than in that field.  


And then, quick as that, it was like we were never there.  It is a lot of work getting ready, setting up is long and hard, tearing down and packing up is grueling.  The heat was a killer.  The rain was horrific.  But, you know what?  I am never quite as happy as I am peddling junk under my pink tent out in that field.  I feel happy and like I can be who I want to be. People are friendly and want to tell you why they are buying the things they do. I mean, let's face it, no one needs anything out there.  It is all fun and collecting and memories and impulse buys.  Any money we make is pure darn luck.  Seeing someone thrilled with something that I found interesting enough to buy, price and haul out there makes me feel like I just might know what I am doing.  Just a little bit anyway.  My heart is full tonight knowing people had fun at The Junk Ranch.  I am proud to be an original vendor and hope to be a part of it forever.  


That's another Junk Ranch for the books.  

(Photo courtesy of The Bean when I went looking for some quiet to use the phone.  I never did find quiet!)

**Tap tap.  You still there?  

:)

Click here to see a ton of fabulous photos of the Junk ranch and the people with their purchases.  
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