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.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

To Me, From Me, By Me

Lots of swapalishy fun going on around here. I've been making so many things for Valentine's day that I can't believe it's still two weeks away. I'm ready for chocolate bunnies and yellow chickies!

First a swap that I recieved from Stephanie. She doesn't have a blog, so I can't link her. She sent me this box of goodies.

I love the embellished box. Who doesn't enjoy a good polka dot here and there?

It's kind of funny, I used vintage sheet music and ric-rac on hers too. I found this vintage pink box last summer at a sale. It reminded me of a pressed tin ceiling tile. It was very hard for me to let it go. ;o) It arrived in a jumble but I reorganized it to see all the goods. I was sad when I realized that meant mine would arrive to her in a jumble. I dug through it, organized it and picked out my absolute favorites. (But, I loved everything.)

Love, love, love that ballerina cupcake topper. And the WISH tickets, and the cherries, the locket, crystals, soda caps, and everything else. I don't know what I will do with any of it, but that's the fun of it. Out of the blue something will hit me and I will have the perfect "thing" for it. (I still need to figure out how I can eat my big heart shaped lolly without the Bean noticing! ;o) I can't think of anyway to share a sucker.) Thank you for everything, Stephanie!
Here's what I sent her. I had lots of fun finding bits and bobs, odds and ends and little surprises here and there. I found that big red glittered key after Christmas and thought it was perfect for these Valentine boxes.

I made this as my end of the Hanging Hearts Swap at Sweet Goodness Swaps. I sent it to Jennifer. She is an Art Teacher which intimidates me. But, I hope she likes it. I really didn'tlike these collage things in the beginning, but now they are my new love. I am a hoarder of allt hings useful, tiny and cute. Now I can throw a bunch of "junk" together and "Wah-lah" - ART! I love the pompom fringe on this one. I scavenged that for 25¢ at the thrift and I still have yards left for other projects.
These are a part of the Valentine Swap at Mama and Jack. I think they turned out really cute but I'm worried about these too. From what I see, I think people are making more elaborate Valentines with sewing, quilting and the like. I just used letter punches, corrugated cardboard, glitter and my imagination. I had to make 14 identical cards, which was a first for me. I usually just whip one up when needed, or more likely, drive to the Dollar Tree and slap down 50¢ for a card. Mine are more card-like than decorative. I hope I haven't disappointed. (I always have crafting/swapping remorse).
Here's the box I sent Dee. I embellished yet another box that I had found last summer. This one was convered in big 1970's Mod flowers. I covered in in vintage sheet music and added the same image I used for the hanging Hearts Swap above. That image was part of the Craft Challenge at Beachy's Cape Cod Cupboard. She provided the image and we all did "our thing" with it. It is interesting to see the different ideas that are out there. I was already doing the swpa, so I thought, "Why not" join the Challenge too? That is a pair of old "pearl" earrings added for depth and texture.

And her goodies inside the box. You might recognize this as part of my current header. I really had fun making these boxes - inside and out. It was fun to turn "junk"into treasure. Hey, isn'twhat this blog is all about?????

~~~~I better go look out the window. The weatherman is forecasting everything from a dusting of snow to 12" of snow today. That is quite a range, there! School was cancelleed inp reparation (It was icy this morning) so we are having a bit of a snowday ourselves.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

This morning, the sky was an intense blue and there were big puffy clouds in the sky. The Bean and I jumped in the car and went cloud chasing. We are studying Weather right now. It was 11:15 when we left the house. I decided at the last minute that even though it was 66 degrees, maybe we should take our jackets. We chased clouds awhile, then I got the idea that we should go up on top of a local mountain and see the clouds. We got up there about 12:30 (after a quick detour at the Confederate Cemetary) and quickly watched the clouds go from white and puffy to gray all over. We also watched the temperature drop to 38 degres in a matter of minutes. Honestly. It went from warm to frigid almost immediately. Were we ever glad to have those jackets! From up on the mountain we could watch the clouds change and move out, the cold haze set in and the wether in general just go ka-put. We came down off the mountain and went back to our warm comfy house.

Yesterday we went out to the river and watched water currents and looked at the trees. I really don't know if he learns that much, but the truth is, he is smart and already knows a lot. Often I am all full of myself telling him how something works or why something is happening and he jumps in and tells me far more than I was going to tell him. We can only stay home with our nose in the books for so long - we need fresh air and a change of scenery. So, little daily field trips seem to do the trick.

I took the picture above by the river and I think it is my new favorite photo.

A fork in the river.

Water erosion.



Oh, yea. I've got this Homeschooling stuff down pat.

*Don't forget to sign up for the giveaway below. ;o)

Monday, January 28, 2008

It's Giveaway Time! (Closed 2/2/08)


And the winner is.......Liz! at In the Harvest. Check out her blog as she announced some BIG news on her latest post. Congratulations Liz on your win and your BIG news! ;o)

I had a ball seeing all the comments for this giveaway. I found some new blogs to read and foudn some interesting people out in blogville. Hope you will stop back by if you enjoyed my blog.


Welcome Carnival Guests and regular blog buddies!

Leave a comment below with a link to your blog (if not provided) or your email address so I can get back in touch with you when you when! Good luck!!! I am #511 on the list of participants, so I am hoping that a few people start at the bottom of the list and get to me!

If you are new to my blog - I am a die hard junker. Love thrift stores, yard sales, bargain hunting, couponing, free things and I have been known to dumpster dive and curb pick. I like to decorate my house and yard with my beloved junk, give people junk gifts and swap for even more junk.

So, here's what up for grabs:

*A monkey from monkeybox
*Vintage game pieces
*Flash cards
*Bingo Cards
*"TUITS" ("When you get a round TUIT - would you mow the lawn...)
for your crafting fun.

For your Valentine Fun:
*A pink silicone cupcake pan
*Red glass heart
*Valentine Day Charm Bracelet
*Pink Heart Keychain w/ bright flashlight
*Grow your own Magic Wand (For the Princess in your life)
Two vintage Valentine's Day picks
*Fun Valentine Dealy-Boppers for your head
*King Leo Soft Peppermint Sticks (My favorite candy)

Any good junker needs an arsenal of bags to tote, haul and drag your goodies home:
*Large red and white tote bag
*Medium travel toiletry bag
*Small wristlet to hold cellphone, keys, money, credit cards
(These are brand new with tags and retailed for $39.99. But, of course, I got them for FREE).
*Four piece terra cotta tile "L-O-V-E" (These are coasters, but you can use them decoratively too).

So, if you want to win the goods - Please leave a comment and you will be automatically entered into the drawing. All these goodies will arrive at your doorstep via a Flat Rate Priority Mail box so you will have time to enjoy your goodies before Valentine's Day.

If you like my blog, bookmark me and come on back!

*Deadline is Midnight, Friday night - with the winner to be announced and notified Saturday morning.

Good luck!
Shara @ monkeybox

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's Coming


Stay Tuned.

Monday, January 28th.

A giveaway.

It's coming......

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pssst..Hey Richardson's....I See You

In my Christmas Card letter this year, I mentioned that I had a blog. I didn't give the address or a link or anything. I just mentioned it. And, then about a month later, I checked my Guestbook over there to the left. My college buddy Cindy left a message, then my favorite Uncle Bobby left one and now my favorite cousin Tracy left one. My Dad talked to my Aunt Do-Do (not her real name) and she mentioned my blog. (She may have well as mentioned my schnorkenwedgell because he doesn't know what a blog is anyway). I am very pleased that there are other computer savvy people in my family. Yeah! So, if there are any others reading - leave a comment or sign my Guestbook! I will also refrain from telling any more embarrassing stories about my Dad since I know they are reading. (But, in case you missed this one, it's a good one.) Oh, and Happy Birthday to him today.


I'm working on rearranging my stuff, getting rid of things that I've decided have been around long enough and bringing in some of my treasures that I have acquired over the past year.

The Bean and I pick up heart shaped rocks when we go on our journeys. I picked up this old shadow box last summer. I painted it white and distressed it. The big heart rock fills up the one side and the little ones are scattered about. A couple are "pressing it" as far as being heart shaped, but we just have to find one when we go looking!
This is my collection of old spools and fishing net bobbers. An odd asortment, but I think they look interesting displayed this way. The blue glass on the right is a stained glass lamp that lights up and makes the fishing bobbers glow too.
This is outside on the porch as part of my blue and white winter decor. I got those blue glass suncatchers at an outlet store for 38¢ each, but never knew what to do with them. The porch was in dire need of a bit of color, so this idea popped into my head. (Yeah, I know, I should have moved the broom out of the photo!)
My big basket of marble eggs. I've had some of these for years. This is the time of year that I usually find more, so I am sure a new one will be added before too long. I prefer the natural stone colors, but The Bean likes the more garrish brightly colored ones. There is a fine line between everyday home decor and "the Easter Bunny is coming"!

This is the old window I used to display the Christmas Cards this year. I decided I liked the look of it, so I am displaying my newest collection of rusty stars on it. The two hanging in the panes are Christmas ornaments from the thrift for 50¢ each. The two medium ones were Christmas tree toppers scored at Target for 75% off. The big one came from that old store from a post a few days ago. It was $12.00. I like the display, but it needs a pop of color. Especially with the big new "Eh" couch which is similar in color. Eh.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday's Thrifted Goodies

The Bean and I headed out for a morning of thrifting. I am getting accustomed to having him here and us being on our own schedule. I still have pangs of guilt if we don't do a full day of Homeschooling. But, what isn't completed today can be completed tomorrow. It's not like we're not doing it, it's just that we're not doing it hours and hours and hours a day. A break is needed! (I have an intensive recycling lesson for him later. We are going to go to the Post Office and raid the trash cans for more FREE Chick-fil-A coupons that were mailed to the residents in town today. Save a tree and a cow!). We really do do school - it's just a drag to talk about, so I make light of it. (In the words of The Bean - I said, Do Do)

On to my nifty thrifty finds of the day. We went to the Super Cheap Thrift, the Attic (City Hospital thrift) and the Salvation Army. As usual, lots of goodies at the Super Cheap Thrift. Stay tuned for the end item and you will see why I had another urgent "I must go to the thrift" moment this morning. Kismet.

I'm not a big purse person. But, I have learned that at the Super Cheap Thrift you can often find cool vintage purses, Vera Bradley and even an occasioinal Enid Collins. So, I took a looksie. No big dollar finds, but the one on the left is from Longaberger - who knew they made purses? The one on the right is handmade and very "Vera". Not Vera, but "Vera-ish." It really isn't me, but for some reason, I like it. I will use it this spring to carry my water bottle, snack, camera and other things I think I need to take with me when I leave the house. They were 75¢ each.
This large basket has a row of corn cobs around the outside. Now, that's a new one. I think it will hold gourds and mini pumpkins this Fall. The ladies hemmed and hawed about a price as it wasn't marked. 75¢ was their final decision. "AN OUTRAGE" I should yell.. ha ha.
This is a big old oak splint basket with lots of age to it. It is also so big that the 21 pound cat can sit in it and only fill up half of it. It was $1.00. I overlooked it as it was full of cameras, but then I spotted it and saw it was priced. Buh-bye cameras.
Miscellaneous goodies - a package of yellow rick-rack*, a big of vintage buttons, a 1971 Pillsbury Doughboy and a vintage kity with a gold heart around his neck. $1.50 total for all four items. *(I am obsesed with ric-rac. I look for it everywhere. I use it in my crafting as of late. In the 7th grade I had to have a skirt made to wear in my Choir group at school. It was blue calico with yellow flowers - very Holly Hobbie. It was a three tier skirt and each tier had a row of thick bright yellow ric-rac on it. Oh, how I hated that skirt. I loathed it. And, I had to wear it once a week for the entire year. I never in my widlest dreams would have thought I would be loving ric-rac all these years later).

This little guy has been at the thrift for almost three months. I have admired him every week, but never bought him. He was $4.50 and really more than I pay for something so ridiculously silly and unnecesary. But, today, I knew his time was limited. Easter is on the way and someone was going to scoop him up. I had Empty Hands Syndrome anyway and needed to buy something. Now that he is home, I realize that $4.50 was a deal. (I mentioned "Empty Hands Syndrome" at the thrift and a lady laughed and said, "I never have that here!"

And, now for the Thrift Ksimet. About a year or so ago, at the Super Cheap Thrift, I bought this huge round heavy pewter tray shaped like cabbage leaves for $2.00. It literally weighs a ton. It has this little flat spot in the center of the tray, which I always found odd.

So, today at the very same thrift store, I spotted something similiar in color and form under a stack of Dollar Store bowls. I pulled it out and it was this:
It has seven bunnies in the center of the bowl - three of them sleeping. It has a flat disc on the bottom and fits perfectly in the center of the platter. Like this:

So, not only do I know they go together, I really honestly think it is a set that should have been together and got separated. I suspect someone donated the platter, then found the bowl in a box or cupboard and then donated it. I could be wrong. But, I rarely am. Ha! It just think it has been "Reunited" and I am sbsolutely thrilled. It is marked Arthur Court 1990 on the bottom. I'm going to look it up on ebay, but I will not be selling it. Love it! (Today's bowl was $1.00)

All Good Things Must Come To An End:

Out with the old.

The couch that is, not the boy.

(Thanks for pointing that out Ottermom!)
This would make a good Christmas Card photo.

In with the new.

The new couch. At first I hated it. Now I am down to Eh. It isn't what I wanted, but he old one was literally falling apart. It needed a handy man and I ain't got one of them here. The new one is pouff-ier than I wanted and more flaired on the ends, but it is comfy and not too bad. It's just Eh. (I think we need an area rug to tie it all together.) We want to do a whole remodel and renovation, so we are hoping that is it sort of a temporary sofa. But, I also don't know where we think we are going to get money to do all that, so we will probaly be sitting on this one 'til it falls apart too. I get attached to things and found it hard to replace the couch. I picked it out (the old one) the chairs, the carpet, the curtains and had a "look". Now I must start over. And, it is time. But, geez, I just hate to let things go. Luckily, someone took the old one so it now has a happy home somewhere else. Or it's firewood....

*P.S. Please ignore the crap, the clutter and the cat.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Field Trip Thrifty Finds

Friday after The Bean and I fit some halfway educational things into our day, we, of course, hit the thrifts. This was a town 20 miles away, so these were new thrifts for me. One was the Battered Woman's Thrift and it was a pretty good one. Very low prices and a bulletin board by the door with lots of Specials on it - 1/2 Price Jeans, Shirts, Jewelry, Vases and Record Albums that day. I'd hit it frequently if it were closer.
And now, on to the thrifting...

This is a hand painted 50th Wedding Anniversary Plate. I normally would have shyed away from something like this - but check out the wedding date - 1915! So, the plate is from 1965, which is an antique in itself (Hey! Wait a minute! I was born in 1966!)not to mention they were married in 1915. I thought it might sell, not sure though. It was only 75¢.

See? 1915!
And this fabulous glass bead necklace was $1.00. The beads are huge, as you can see from the penny in front. Not sure what I'll do with it, but it is pretty cool. It has a little gold tag with a name on it, but I can't quite make it out. Those darn 1966 eyeballs of mine.
These little charms were in a teacup in the glass jewelry counter. They were in groups of 10 on a keyring and the tag said "Charms 50¢ each". There were three rings of them - so 30 charms total. Jewelry was 1/2 off that day. So, I thought 30 x 50 = $15.00 - 50% = $7.50 (I should have had The Bean figure that out...). I didn't want to spend $7.50, so I was going to pick out about ten of them. I asked the lady if I could take them off the rings and she said, "They're 50¢ for the whole ring." Well, alrighty then. That's what I love about volunteer run Thrift Stores. One person prices it one way and someone else decides differently. So, I got all thirty charms - 50¢ x 3 divided by 2 for 75¢ total. Cha-ching. (Anybody need a charm?)

This crow was $2.00. Love the rusty star in his mouth. I have quite a bit of crows as that is The Bean's Cherokee name (Crow Walker) and I am on a bit or a star kick right now, plus who doesn't love rust?

I must be nuts for buying this. Ha ha. This handmade wooden box has glass on both sides and houses nuts of all sorts inside preserved for prosperity. I have no idea why anyone took the time to do this or really why I even bought it, but I did. It was 75¢ and now that I have it home, I really love it. It's just quirky. When I saw it, I put it back, but decided to get it since it was so cheap. I wonder if it was from someone's childhood home from all the trees or something - acorns, pecans, walnuts, almonds. Well, I guess I just answered my own question - I don't think I've ever seen an almond tree. Oh well, it's fun Folk Art.

I got excited when I found an entire aisle of craft items. None of the thrifts that I frequent really have a craft area. I love the pompom fringe - I've already used the white in my Sweet Goodness Hanging Heart Swap Project. The card of buttons, bag of red buttons (the price read "29 red buttons - 25¢"), all six doll faces and the pompom fringe were all 25¢ each. They had six packages of the doll faces, but I only bought one package. Of course, now that I'm home, I'm wishing I had bought them all as I now have an idea for them. Doh! The cowboy scrapbooking stickers were 50¢ and the roll of cupid ribbon was 25¢. The giant roll of Sasheen ribbon was 75¢. I recently learned that vintage Sasheen ribbon is all the rage. What luck to have found a roll.

I think there are 375,000 feet on the roll. Seriously, it's HUGE!

Today, on the not so thrifty front, we bought a new couch. New, new. Like from a retail store new. Of course, it was on sale and today they were paying the Sales Tax, but still - NEW! I never would have found a used one that I liked anyway, but there is just something about a used couch. Eeew. A girl's gotta have her limits. We'll be picking it up Wednesday, so I'll post a photo then. It's pretty blah - taupe and plain, but that's what we wanted. Man, the furniture today is so fanceee and big! We had a terrible time finding a plain old couch. I didn't want a lot of fancy material or 100 pillows on it. Just a couch. One that would fit into my old junky rusty chippy yard sale decor. You know what I mean, right?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday Field Trip

The Bean and I took out on a Friday Field Trip yesterday. Our first step was a Public Library about 25 miles away. I'm not sure how they got it, but somehow they snagged the model of Rexy from Night at the Museum. It's not the life sized model, but the model they used in the computer stuff. He's still pretty good sized - about 20 feet long or so.

I also taught him how to use the "Card Catalog". I use quotes becuase it really doesn't even exist anymore - it's all computerized. Sort of sad. I'd like to have one of those card catalog cabinets to suet the TV on.....Oh, what? Sorry. Miss Thrift took over. I can't believe they don't reach them how to use the Card Catalog anymore!

After we left the library, we passed this sign:

No big deal to most of you, but it's the only one in the STATE and we had never seen it before yesterday. Did we stop?

Oh, yea.
The guy behind the counter gave The Bean a quick rundown of how they make the donuts. Educational, no?

Next stop - an old railroad car. We read about and learned a bit about the Frisco Railroad and what they transported from this area. (Apples, if you are playing along at home).

Across the brick street from the railroad car was the "Dollar Saver". It is in an incredibly old falling down historical building and has been there forever. I hadn't been in there for over 20 years. I remember the back corner was the fabric corner - rows of wooden racks with bolts of material and a cabinet full of embroidery floss and buttons in the back corner. I could remember it like it was yesterday. It looked just like this:

Seriously, it had not changed one itty bity bit. I think it was the same material even! Time warp!

What's that? In the corner????? Could it be the real thing? And only $129.00!

Hey! How'd they get my wedding picture???????

(If I was rich, I would buy this).

On the way home, The Bean snapped photos of clouds for Monday's "Cloud Identity" lesson.

It was a good day.

And, yes, we went thrifitng. But, I'll save that for the next post.

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