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, November 26, 2007

Nifty Thrifty Christmas Decor

We drug in all the Christmas stuff yesterday. I love, love, love my Christmas decorations. But, only when they are all up and looking good. When it's in tubs all over the living room I get a little overwyhelmed. It takes me over a week to do the inside and I really only decorate the living room and the bathroom. Sad, eh? I take it one shelf at a time, one small area at a time and then it's not so overwhelming.

Today I did the top shelf of the wall unit, the top shelf of the bookshelf and the table by the front door. Not much, but enough to make me start to be happy to see my new old treasures again. I have been very fortunate to find a lot of fantastic vintage Christmas treasures in the past few years. Before, my decorations consisted of new items from Wal-mart. Then I discovered the clearance sales at Target and got a lot of new things there. B, now I am totally into the vintage look and have been lucky enough to find plenty of good old vintage things at good prices plus a few new pieces that appear vintage. I got two cloche (cloches doesn't sound right??)after Christmas at Wal-Mart last year. I had hoped and dreamt of finding an old one, so I was pretty darn pleased to find a new one that looked old. All year, I have changed out the cloche from season to season and I'm happy to have it back to a Christmas theme.
Here's the top of the bookshelf. I have a massive Santa collection, but I manage to squeeze it all on a four shelf bookcase. It takes hours and every one has to be in just the right spot or they won't fit. It took me over an hour to do just the top shelf today. These are my woodland Santas. I love them all, but the fat gourd guy in front really takes the cake. I have a lot of Santas made from other things - crushed can, okra pod, acorn, stick, rock, gourds, paint brush, spool, fishing bobber, etc. I'm always looking for a new one each year. This summer If ound two Santas painted on tree bark.

This is the little cabinet by the front door. After I put it all together, I realized that every single item was thrifted throughout the last year or so. (Well, the basket was a wedding gift, but that started my whole oak splint basket collection that I have thrifted over time). All the vintage Shiny Brite ornaments in the basket came from a sale this summer -five dozen for 25¢ total. The vintage Christmas postcard was from a yard sale for 10¢. (I have about a dozen of them and they are in a tree shaped Christmas Card holder that was a display in an store. I haven't gotten a photo of that yet.) The pink bottle brush tree was at the thrift last Christmas for 50¢ and the composition faced Santa was a truly remarkable find at $1.00. The little celluloid Santa and boots are old candy containers - thrifted for 25¢ each.

I bought the lamp this summer and hadn't really found a home for it yet. It was $5.00 at a yard sale on a very, very hot Saturday afternoon. It is made out of a cool old jar with a wooden handle. I have picked up all othe old miniature Shiny Brites at thrifs, yard sales and anywhere I could over the years. Since I have always had small places to live, I have collected small ornaments. Love, love, love the lamp full of ornaments. The Shiny Brite pick on the lampshade was from a yard sale this summer - 25¢ for a gallon sized ziploc bag full of new old stock Shiny Brite pics.

Last year I participated in a vintage Christmas swap - all sorts of decorations and vintage goodies. I had more fun gathering up that swap and opening the treasures I received. I looked for a similar swap this year, but never found one. So, is anyone interested in a swap????? Vintage Christmas anything. I'm just looking for one person to swap with me - not a whole swap with lots of people. Although, if others are interested, I'll see what I can do.....

PS to Ottermom - Thanks for saying I sound like my old self. I feel like my old self again. That was nice to read. Thanks! ;o)


  1. Everything is looking a lot like Christmas at Shara's house :) Love the gourd as well-that is unique!

    I would swap but I've been in a thrifting funk lately and haven't found much that anyone would really want, so I'll have to live vicariously through my friends that have more thrifty mojo than myself :)

    Glad your are starting to feel a bit more like yourself!

  2. Oh I just love the Santas! I have my Santa collection posted on my blog! Pop over and take a peek if you get a sec!!
    Your vintage decorations are wonderful! You've found alot of great things! Can't wait to see the rest.


  3. Count me in for a swap!!! I'm always up for a good swap that doesn't require me to 'craft/sew' something!!!!
    GLAD you're back Shara!

  4. I'm with Ottermom--you do sound more like yourself, which I'm so glad to hear. Not that I don't think you should still be mad as hell, but I could definitely feel the heartache in your words and it hurt my heart for you.

    I love how that lamp looks! I might be tempted to leave it like that all year round because it's so pretty. I never did see the cloches from last year and that card holder sounds really neat too--show us photos!

  5. Anonymous1:50 PM

    Oh gosh, you are ambitious too! Between you and Monimania(.blogspot.com) I am feeling like a lazy slug. Who am I kidding, I am a lazy slug, lol. Everything looks fabulous! I am sure I see some things we had when I was little.

  6. How do you keep your kitties out of your pretties?

    My cat thinks the pretty balls are toys and I have caught her sleeping in the middle of the tree.

    I love the way you work out your displays. I would have a hard time taking it all down if I worked that long.

  7. I agree with Oliveoyl, it would be so hard to take it all down after all that work! I absolutely love the lamp with the ornaments in it, I think that my next treasure waiting to be found is a lamp (or a bottle to make one out of!)

    I haven't even thought about Christmas decorating yet, although I'm beginning to get in the mood. However, I don't even want to think about the dogs discovering the tree! What do the kitties think about yours?

  8. Anonymous6:52 PM

    I too get overwhelmed when I get down all of the decorations. I finished putting them out today but I didn't put out as much as I usually do. I do love certain pieces that I have had for many years...isn't it neat how we look so forward to putting out certain decorations each year?!

    Yours look great. Keep putting pictures on for us to see.



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