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.

Monday, January 28, 2019

January Recap and SOME JUNK!

Not long after my last post, my Mom ended up in the hospital.  She was there the week of Christmas, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I stayed with her the whole time, so we really never had Christmas.  I came home on Christmas day and had a meal and opened gifts.  We only get each other a few things, so it was quick.  The boys pooled their money and bought me a fancy Cannon camera with lenses and tools and a tripod and all sorts of things that I have NO IDEA how to use.  I haven't really even looked at it to be honest.  But, I will. 

I had called my Mom on a Saturday morning and she started off talking okay, then it turned into gibberish.  I manged to get her to hand the phone to my step-dad.  He thought it was her blood sugar and he was giving her peanut butter and juice. He thought she was getting better, but it really scared me, so I suggested that he call an ambulance.  Once it got there, they thought it was a stroke, so they took her to the hospital.  After a blood test, they discovered that she only had four units of blood in her body - normally you have 14-15.  Over the next two days she had six units of blood and two IV's of straight iron.  Man, that iron had her PUMPED UP.  She wanted to do trivia at 1:00 am, watch a movie and talk about food.  It was funny to see her go from talking gibberish (that was not funny - that was terrifying) to being all fired up and wanting to go-go-go!  Apparently, one of her medications has been taking her iron and just flushing it straight through her body instead of using it to make and maintain her blood cells.  She went home on the 26th and promptly got bronchitis and a sinus infection.  GOOD GOD.  Actually, that was about two weeks later - I got those things two days after being home.  She is finally feeling better from that.  She is still weak, but the doctor said that she would be weak from the blood loss for a few months - throw in being sick, and well, yes. 

So, that's my life so far this month.  I am feeling better and have had the junk fever lately.  But, there isn't much good junk out there.  I was hoping that 'Spark Joy" thing would fill up the thrifts.  I think it is- but mostly clothes, books and kitchen stuff.  Not the sort of things I want to find.  Besides, who in their right mind would open a box of vintage Christmas and have it NOT SPARK JOY????

I went to an Estate Sale this weekend.  Twice, in fact.  Thursday I bought a few things and when I left the lady told me it will be REALLY CHEAP on Saturday afternoon.  Well, I'm no fool,  I went back on Saturday afternoon.

I bought this old metal doll crib on Thursday.  There was a huge walk-in closet stuffed full of dolls, barbies, doll clothes and baby clothes.  The crib was in the back full of junk.  I asked how much and it was $20.  Then someone said the dolls were half off, then someone else said the whole closet was half off.  Finally we all agreed that the crib would be $10, so I swooped.  I wish I could keep it, but it will go to the Junk Ranch.  It's a minty green and very sweet.

.I also bought this beautiful California Hand Prints tablecloth on Thursday.  It was the second week of the sale and late in the day, so I cannot imagine how it was still there!  It was $6, but 25% off so that was a no brainer.  It's a keeper!  Everything was 25% off and the dolls were 50% off - when I tallied it up at home, my purchases totaled $52, but I was only charged $20.00.  So, not sure what kind of math that was - but I liked it.  :)

I spotted that huge 5 lb. Louis Sherry Chocolate tin on Thursday, but it was $25.00.   When I left on Saturday, I held it up and the lady flashed five fingers at me.  SOLD.  Also a keeper as I already had the two smaller ones.  

So, Saturday I was in the doll closet looking and the lady stopped by to say "I will make you a good deal on anything in here - we have to get rid of it!"  So, I said, "How about all of it?"  Well, her eyes light up like "YES!".  She thought and said, "$40?" and I said, "SOLD"?  There was a lot of stuff - ten trash bags FULL and boxes and tote bags and baskets and a hamper and on and on.  I got it all organized and a man helped me load it all.  I couldn't even see out the windows!  That;s when I decided I was crazy.  Lol  

Sunday I spent the whole day sorting it.  I have four trash bags going to Goodwill, things for a friend, an ebay pile, a Junk Ranch pile, a booth pile and a things to still research.  There are five Ziplocs full of Barbie clothes and one gallon Ziploc full of nothing but Barbie SHOES.   I mean, that is a LOT of shoes.  

Effenbee baby doll headed to ebay.

Strawberry Shortcake dolls for ebay.

My favorite things to list and sell - smalls.  They are all in that big chocolate tin, so I can paw through them and decide what to do with each item.  Do you see those TEENY CAT EYE GLASSES?  I mean, seriously!  

Santa will stay at my house.  Because, duh - SANTA.

Here's probably part of the reason that stuff wasn't moving out of the doll closet.  It's a doll size or children's sized set of silverware.  Completely cute and all - but $35.00?  Of course, I got it in the "all for $40.00" haul, so it was a great deal.  I love them and will hang on to them for awhile.  

Buying an entire close like that is a huge amount of work from packing, loading, unloading, sorting, hauling away, selling, pricing, etc.  It takes a lot of time.  But, I think I will probably make $800-$1000 when I am said and done.  So, time is money and money is time.  

Friday night The Bean and I went to a concert and I booked us a motel room for the night.  We were only about 45 minutes away, but it was spitting snow and I knew we wouldn't be headed home until after 1:00 am, so why not play it safe and get a room?  But, when we got there - the SKEEVE factor hit big time.  The rooms were in the process of being renovated, but the tile wasn't complete, the grout was dirty, there was no hot water, there was a quote from the movie "Saw" scribbled inside the bathroom door "Let the games begin..."  There was a small window IN the shower, but no covering.  Oh, I could go on and on.  We complained about the water and were moved to another room.  It was actually renovated and not too bad.  But, I still had the ick factor.  When we got back after the concert, there were 12 men in the parking lot and six went into the room on the left of us and six went into the room on the right of us and I was like, "Oh, HELL NO. I am not staying here!"  So, we grabbed our stuff and hightailed it home.  I think the $62.00 loss on a non-used room was a fair price to pay for not getting robbed and/or murdered.  We had been at the casino and although no one knows if you have won or lost- why not try to rob them anyway - just in case?????  Anyway, the concert was great, I did win a little and we will always remember that motel adventure!  

So, what's going on in your world?

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Holly Jolly Junk Ranch Recap

I survived the Holly Jolly Junk Ranch.  


(That is called Foreshadowing)

On Tuesday on the week of The Junk Ranch, I took my personal blowmold collection out to the property and built a photo op area right inside the front gate.  

The sled and chair belong to The Junk Ranch, but the rest is mine.  

The old bike was sitting there too, so I added a snowman family taking a ride.  It was very cute and it was a hit with the customers on Friday as they came in the gate.  

Since I was on the property Tuesday, I was able to set up my tent and tables, then make trips with merchandise on Wednesday and Thursday in my car - so no van rental this time. The van is handy - but costly to keep the entire five days.  So, it was nice to be able to do it in stages.  The Breadman had offered to bring the giant box truck out on Saturday night so we could just load up will-nilly and be done quickly.  It wasn't to be over until 7:00, so in the dark and cold loading needed to be FAST.  So, he agreed to help, even though he had decided in the Spring that he didn't want to do that anymore.  Don't ask - I have no idea.  

Friday the gates opened at 10:00 for early shopping, then general admission at noon.  There was a line at 10:00 - not the usual long, long line like in the Spring and Fall, but still a good amount of people.  As I was in my booth finishing up, I could hear them talking in line and I heard my name.  A lot.  Like a REAL lot.  When the air horn sounded that the gates were open, the people came in like cattle.  Straight to MY booth.  It was insane!  I had people grabbing things they had spotted on FB and IG that they came specifically hoping to buy.  The line to pay was out of my tent plus people were still shopping.  When it finally slowed down - I looked at the time and it had only been 55 minutes!   I don't normally count money, but I did a quick count and I had sold over $700 in that first 55 minutes.  

This is the backside of the booth.  
The Bean snapped a few right before we opened but I never did get any of the inside.  

I shopped carefully for this hot cocoa, plaid throw display.  I thought it turned out great.  That sign was just for sale - I put the Breakfast with Santa on it to give it personality.  I can't tell you how many people asked where the Breakfast with Santa was going to be. I mean, the field is full of painted signs that say BAKERY and FLORIST.  Are people asking them for doughnuts and flowers?  I don't get it.  I ended up stripping it off and putting a clever "THIS SIGN FOR SALE" on it.  

The side customers saw when they came in the gate.  This was Thursday before my neighbors had set up their booth.  

All the vintage.  SO MUCH!

My first customer was Kelly, aka The Rosebud Queen, who bought an armload of stuff but came hoping to get this upcycled pink painting that I had done.  She's so silly - she made me sign the back. Like I'm an artist or something.  

These ladies bought my ornament encrusted wreath.  
They loved it.  I loved them for loving it!

The pink truck full of vintage pink goodies sold later in the day to this nice lady.  It's funny that I ask to take photos of people, but I refuse to have my own taken.  :D

It was a record first day for me.  In fact, I surpassed the entire Fall Show in that one day.  I was pumped.  Saturday was a huge day in town with a Civil War reenactment plus Santa was coming and people were going to be shopping like crazy.  It was going to be a great day.  

The ladies of the Junk Ranch had worked so hard to decorate the property.  The old farmhouse was so cute all lit up.  

The blowmold Santas were fun lit up at night.  

We were supposed to stay open until 7:00, but there was rain and possible storms in the forecast.  We all started moving things in under our tents about 5:30 just in case it rained.  About 6:00, lightening started getting very close, we all shut down and got in our cars to leave.  My tent is always staked to the ground, plus we have weights on each leg and they are staked to the ground.  We added rope from the grommets on the canopy down to more stakes to the ground.  I have walls that come down to the ground, so we put everything under the tent, zipped up the walls and went home.  It was all very tight and secure.  

I was literally running to the car (I don't run) when I tried to get a photo of the old barn, truck and camper.  It was dark and the lightening was really hitting close.  It was scary.  

It rained hard on the way home, but then it stopped.  I watched the weather and the bad storm activity was going South and was missing us.  I took a shower and got in bed about 11:00, but when I checked the weather one more time - a new storm was headed straight for us.  It rained.  Lord, it rained.  Then the winds came.  I have never heard wind so strong and loud.  I was thinking so hard about my tent and my merchandise, that it occurred to me that the house could very well go so I better pay attention to what was happening.  The wind continued for hours.  It was so scary and so upsetting.  I never did go to sleep - I stayed up watching the weather and checking Facebook to see if there was any word on The Junk Ranch.  
About 3:30, there was a Facebook post - "Vendors we are on the grounds doing our best.  If you have an outside canopy - it is mostly likely gone or heavily damaged.  Come as soon as you can"  My heart sank.  I jumped up, put in my contacts, threw on some clothes and I was out there a little after 4:00.  I was envisioning it all gone like you see on TV after a tornado.  Wiped clean.  Just as I was almost there, Amy from the JR texted that my canopy as partially off and to come as soon as I could.  I texted that I was almost there.  I couldn't imagine was I was going to find or see.  I wasn't ready for what I did see.  

My tent.  
All my things I had worked so hard to find and to create.  

It all looked like trash.  There was stuff on the ground.  It was wet or muddy or had grass all over it or all three.  It was so upsetting.  But, what could I do other than just tackle it?  Amy came to my tent and she was so overcome with emotions that she couldn't even speak.  I was upset and sad.  But, no one was hurt.  People could have been killed if it happened during the day.  It could have taken out our homes and our families.  We were all okay.  My tent was the only one that held.  But, the rain soaked the ground which made one stake pull out in the wind, which took the canopy partially off.  A Ranch Hand named Chris had tarped my booth immediately when they found it to save what we could.  I owe a lot to him, Amy and Julie! One leg on my tent has a crease in it, so I am hoping I can get that fixed. Thanks to The Bean, it held.  I am still amazed.  

Most people had lost their tents - like blown a hundred feet away  - furniture was tossed around, the porta potties had all flipped over, the glass nut roaster counters flipped and broke - there was so much damage.  But, oddly enough?  The Santa blowmolds were all perfectly in their spots - not one had moved an inch.  The Bean had screwed and ziptied them to the house, but the wind must have gone the other direction and saved them.  Honesty, if I would have lost them, I would have been sick.  

I threw away a lot.  Mostly vintage Christmas.  I tried to salvage as much as possible.  

I discovered that when Shiny Brites get wet, the color comes off of them.  That color runs off in the water and that colored water stains.  EVERYTHING.  So, the ornaments had to go, the vintage boxes, the stuff the color ran on to - all of it.  I had a bunch of Hershey's tins that were holding water.  I knew they would rust and/or get mold - so they all went.  The dress form was made of hundreds of layers of newpaper - it swelled up and was a mess.  So, it had to go.  Some of it I might had been able to salvage, but it was a wet rainy day and I didn't have anywhere to spread a thousand things out to dry.  I didn't want mold in the garage, so I just tossed it.  Luckily, most of my handmade stuff had sold the day before and what was left, somehow was perfectly fine.  I didn't have that van and the truck was being used to deliver bread, so we had to load up and make multiple trips home.  But, we got it all done. 

When it was all cleaned up and in the car, I took a look and saved all these little pieces off the ground.  It's all very me and very Holly Jolly Junk Ranch.  

Here are the blowmolds safe and sound on my own porch again.  I keep waiting for them to get stolen or blown away because wouldn't that just be ironic?

As I was pulling off the property Saturday, a couple came in the gate.  I could tell they were confused - no one was taking money (there was a sign that said Event Cancelled, but it had fallen over) and there was a lack of tents and people.  She walked over to me and said, "What's the deal?"  I said that the event had been cancelled due to the weather.  She started shaking and threw her hands up and said, "Well, isn't that JUST terrific?  We drove alllll the way from Fayetteville for NOTHING?????"  (Fayetteville is like ten minutes away, by the way)  I said, "The vendors lost their tents.  Some lost some merchandise.  Some lost everything.  Some are out of business now.  People could have been killed."  She was having none of that.  Never mind that I had been up for 30 straight hours at that point or that I had thrown away a third of my inventory and half of what I had saved was soggy.  SHE had been inconvenienced.  And she was pissed.  PISSED.  I was tired and on the verge of tears.  She just stood there berating me personally and I so badly wanted to push her.  Push her hard right into that mud trench that I had made walking back and forth to my car over and over loading all that wet stuff.  She had on white pants.  It would have been epic.  (Also, who wears WHITE pants to a grassy field after a HUGE rainstorm???)

I didn't push her. Instead, I got in my car and as I looked in the backseat and the muddy, grass covered tables, wet tablecloths and a mud soaked Santa head - It suddenly struck me funny - her rudeness, her lack of caring and that she was being so selfish.  I laughed until I cried.  It was cathartic, I tell you.  Laughter is the best medicine. 

I was home by noon, but I am told that people in town came out to lend a hand with tear down and clean-up.  There are a lot of wonderful caring people in the community.  Thank goodness.  My doorbell rang shortly after I got home and it was a Domino's delivery from Lara.  She had sent us food to feed our tired minds.  Such a sweet thing to do.  <3 nbsp="" p="">

So, the event didn't go as planned.  For me, it was still a success.  I had a great day of sales.  People were so fun and so friendly.  I did lose things, but nothing that I can't find again or make again.  Vintage Christmas is my favorite thing to shop for and to create with so this venue was totally my wheelhouse.  I think we'll try it again.  I mean, it usually doesn't storm like that in December, so why not give it another go?  

Monday, November 12, 2018

Thought I "Butter" Blog

When I signed up for the Holly Jolly Junk Ranch - I was SO over the heat I thought being outside the first weekend in December sounded so refreshing.  Now, today it is November 12th and it is 20 degrees outside AND we had our first snow of the year!  Actually the first snow of about the last three years.  So, now the idea of a show outside in three weeks is completely FREAKING ME OUT.  What will we do if it is 20 degrees or snowing or there is ice?  Holy guacamole.  

This is such a busy, crazy time with Junk Ranch prep, Thanksgiving prep, decorating for Christmas plus just all the usual daily chores and commitments.  I'm really about organized for The Junk Ranch except for a few last minute things plus hitting the thrifts in hopes of finding some more vintage.  I'm going to decorate next week -which is the earliest I have ever decorate -but I am ready, so why not.  It seems to me that everyone is ready for Christmas to happen this year.  I think this world we live in is so tumultuous that we just want to be home safe with the family, hot cocoa in your favorite cup, Elf on the TV, the tree glistening and just be safe and happy.  I know that's what I want - for all the busyness to end and to just be and enjoy.  And eat fudge.  :)

I've been hitting the thrifts in search of vintage Christmas and had very little luck.  I even resorted to going to a few flea market and vintage shops in search of vintage Christmas.  I found a few old Santa's and a nice big jar of old mercury glass garland, so that was good.  I paid $15.00 for the garland - which seemed like a complete FORTUNE to me.  But, there ended up being 16 strands in the jar so it was actually a pretty good deal.

Yesterday I stopped at a new to me shop on the hunt.  I didn't find any Christmas, but I did pick up FIFTY vintage butter boxes.  They have a great look to them and they will be great fodder for the Junk Ranch at a couple bucks a box.  They look great mixed in with vintage Thanksgiving turkeys.

Speaking of Thanksgiving - I put all my turkeys on the corner cabinet that usually houses my mammoth pottery collection.  About a month ago, the outside faucet decided not to turn off (hang with me - it'll make sense!) so I had to have a plumber some out the next morning. I showed him the outside faucet and then I came inside while he fixed it.  Imagine my surprise when he knocked on the door and told me that he would need to cut a hole in the wall right behind the shelf of pottery!  Yikes!  So, I had to box up the pottery and move the shelf immediately with no planning.  It was a hassle, but it actually put me ahead of schedule for getting ready to decorate for Christmas.  So, it worked out in the end.  Plus, it gave me a great place for the turkey collection!

I love the old Pepsi crate full of chalk turkeys.  I had to add the two wire baskets to fill up the space because one by one, the cats were laying on the shelves.  That was not super helpful.  

Well, this is a totally random post, but it's all I have for now.  I'll be back with a Holly Jolly Junk Ranch recap and HOPEULLY some vintage Christmas finds.  

Happy Thanksgiving friends!  

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Junk Ranch 2018 Fall Edition

Ah, Fall Junk Ranch - pumpkins, mums, vintage Christmas, wool throws, camping gear - temperatures in the mid 90's...  What, the what?  It was another blazer last week.  Thursday I was out on the field all day doing my set-up.  By 4:00, I was feeling really bad.  I had a bout of heat exhaustion a few weeks ago and I seem to be bothered by the heat even quicker since then.  Everyone was complaining about the heat though.  It was rough.  And now, oddly enough - one week to the day later it is 50 degrees outside.  It's a clear crisp sunny day and the shoppers would have been loading UP!  They were shopping - I sold a lot.  It was a good weekend.  But, I think fall temps would have made it even better.  But, this is Arkansas so who knows what the weather will bring. 

I decided to make some vintage Christmas crafts and try them out at The Junk Ranch.  It was a long hot summer, so I stayed in the A/C and made Christmas crafts.  

I bought this PINK Tonka truck from an IG friend and stuffed it with all the PINK vintage it would hold.  It was admired a lot on Instagram and lots of people liked it, but it didn't sell.  I did have it kind of hidden to protect it from little hands and the sun, so that may be part of it.  

This fun spice tin sold, plus several others I made but forgot to photograph.

I had a bunch of old Shiny Brites that were either broken or not in great condition, so I put them in a big glass jar with a Superball and smashed them into homemade glass glitter.  I loved the look of these trees in the sun - they sparkled!!

I had the idea for these old spools of threads and I got a little carried away making them. But, a lot of them sold at $5 each, so that made me happy.

I found these little campers at Dollar General in the Spring, so I ordered a couple cases of them to decorate.  I sold all but about eight out of 24, I think.  

With the heat, I was nervous about selling vintage Christmas, because that was about 80% of what took to sell!  But, everyone seemed to love it and buy a lot.  WHEW!

I like to build nice high displays with lots of little vignettes in each area. People just stand there for the longest time, looking at it all.  I love that.  

I sold that cute snowman.  He sat on my dryer for almost a year and now I sort of miss his smiling face.  

Santa mugs.  I bought that drying rack just for the Santa mug display.  I thought it looked pretty cute.  

My ode to Winter and coziness.  I ended up moving it on Saturday and putting Halloween there.  No one wanted to haul a wool throw around.  

I had a Farmhouse/Harvest/Thanksgiving area.  Ironstone, turkey platters, baking stuff.  

I pile it up and pile it on.

It just seems more fun than a sparse booth.  

Chickens always sell.

More Christmas.  Everyone picked up those punch cups and asked how much.  When I told them it was a set with the punch bowl, they would put them back. I was so scared one would break.  Now, 99.9% of the people are SO nice and having FUN and love looking at things.  But, I had one lady come through that was SO rude.  First, she flicked my vintage ornament boxes one by one and said quite LOUDLY, "I like the pretty ones at Dillard's.  Not these OLD things." Uh, then why are you at the JUNK RANCH and not at the MALL???  Then she picked up the punch cup and asked how much.  I told her it was a set and she said, "It is NOT a set - it does NOT MATCH.  I wouldn't want anything like that anyway!" and then she slammed the cup down on the table on top of my GLASS snowglobe necklaces.  Nothing broke, but I seriously wanted to ask her to leave my booth.  I wonder if that's allowed?  Every year, I have one memory of a rude person and a million memories of great people.  Great stories are to follow below.  

Here are the snowglobe necklaces.  I sold quite a few of them which made me so happy.  Selling things you thought of and made is doubly exciting.  

These photos are dark because there was much needed shade under the canopy.

Homemade flashcards.  I really got carried away and made a ton of these for every holiday.  I sold out of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is good.  

More things I made - the xylophone is hard so see - it had a Santa and vintage goodies on it - it sold the first ten minutes.  

Scrabble tiles have run their run, I think.  They were so popular a few shows ago.  I think I sold $5 worth this time.  That's okay - they are a pain to keep organized.  There were globes in every booth this year.  I think I will add a Santa and sleigh on top of this one.  


My new Instagram friend, Tara came and bought this Mercedes with Santa and an elf in it.  I love it when customers let me take their photos with their purchases.  Evie bought a squeak duck too.  I love kid customers.  

Speaking of which - this little nugget had $60 to spend and decided on this dollhouse and some furniture for it.  She spent about an hour sitting in the grass, carefully choosing which furniture she wanted for the dollhouse.  Everyone enjoyed watching her shop and her smile was the BEST.  After the sale was completely finished, I found out that I knew her Aunt and Uncle, but I had no idea who she was as I took this photo.  She really made my day. 

Every year, I look for a Christmas show to sell my wares.  I tried one  last year, which was run by a competitor of The Junk Ranch - I knew better, but I had SO much inventory and there wasn't a Junk Ranch Christmas option, so I did what I thought I needed to do. The show was badly run, too small and not enough "vintage" even though the work "vintage" was right in the title of the show.  This year, I have lots of leftover inventory, more craft supplies to make more creations and ideas a'plenty, so what will I do????

I'll tell you what I will do - I will be selling at the 1st ever HOLLY JOLLY JUNK RANCH!!!!  Whoop!  It's Nov. 30-Dec. 1st, which can be dicey in Arkansas.  You could literally need to wear anything from shorts to a parka.  It will be held during the Civil War Re-enactment weekend, which is a bustling weekend full of people in uniform walking the streets of downtown and at the Battlefield Park.  It should be great fun.  I will be taking my personal Santa blowmold collection to display for a photo op area on the old farmhouse.  There will be lights and decorations and we will be open in the day and night time, so I am on the hunt for ideas for lighting.  I literally had three days off from one Junk Ranch, and I am jumping in for another.  I don't think I will ever see my Halloween decorations this year.  It seems odd to put pumpkins out when I am in full blown Christmas spirit!  

I appreciate the emails and texts worried about me since it has been so long since I blogged.  I have just been really busy with shopping, making and selling.  I will never stop blogging - it just might be a time in between posts.  I do love to write and I do love this blog and I do love those of you that still come around to see what I have written.  <3 nbsp="" p="">

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