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, May 17, 2008

We took a picnic lunch to the Tractor Pull today and I did not a) pack it in one of my 18 vintage picnic baskets or b) pack a vintage tablecloth. What sort of a picnic is that? I envisioned cold crusty fried chicken, freshly made potato salad and an assortment of freshly baked cookies all packed with loving care in pyrex bowls and stowed in a Redmon basket. Top it off with some graniteware dishes and a sweet vintage tablecloth, throw it in the back of my 1966 Cherried out Chevy truck and off we go. But, alas, turkey on white bread thrown in a Wal-Mart bag with a bag of Great Value chips was my gourmet tractor pull picnic. Maybe next year!

On the way there, we happened upon a sale at the Flea Market. This is a Flea Market with normally sort of pricey prices, but today all the booths were running discounts and (the best part) the vendors were outside selling their extras. I expected high prices outside, but I was pleasantly surprised at the first booth when I asked, "How much are the packages of rick rack?" And the guy said, "10¢ a pack."
He literally had hundreds of packages of old bias tape, but I rarely ever use that as I do not sew, but I love rick rack. I'm wondering if the Bais tape would have been a good Etsy buy. Oh well. I found all this rick rack, threw in a few Bais Tape for the old packaging and the sweet pink button card all for $1.50.
At the next booth, I spotted this fabulous old tin box. It has the Capital and the Cherry trees on the front. It is a Sunshine Biscuit tin and an exceptionally old and unique one at that. I almost didn't go look at it, because more often that not, when I see a really cool old tin like this, the people at the sale are using it as their money box. But, I ventured over to look at it. The price was $19.99 X'ed out, $15.99 X'ed out, $12.99 X'ed out and so on and so forth. I finally made out the lowest price on the tag. 25¢. Are you kidding me? I scooped it up and threw the lady a quarter. She is an expert too - I know her. Not sure why she was letting it go so incredibly cheap. I was stopped three times by different people asking to see the box. Me thinks I did good.

The next booth had lots of old tools and manly looking things, so I almost went to the next booth, but I decided to look around anyway. Sometimes men have cool rusty crap. That's when I spotted a box with an old embroidered pillowcase sticking out of it, so I dug in. I started pulling out vintage tablecloths. Gasp. I didn't really pull them out and check them out because I have noticed the more I look at things, the higher the price seems to be. So, I casually asked how mcuh the tablecloths were and he said, "A buck a piece." I found six in all and didn't even bother to unfold them at that price. I had some nice surprises when I got home and looked at them.

This is a sweet lightweight blue and white cloth. Perfect for that Tractor Pull picnic next year.

This one has a pink background with wirey baskets of blue flowers on it.

This fruit basket cloth has nice vivid colors of blues, grays and greens.

And, I was surprised to discover that this cloth is the same pattern as the cloth above, but in pinks, pale blues and grays. Cool!

Not the best photo - but this one has Roosters on it and who doesn't love a good rooster?

I saw the most awesome linoleum topped table and chairs today - yellow with roosters embroidered into the backs of each chair. The guy was selling it off piece by piece and I PRAY that no one bought one piece and not the whole set. It was da bomb.

And, lastly, this one has really bright vivid colors - greens, yellows and oranges.

I have a cabinet in the garage that I am itching to get into the house to hold my all-of-the-sudden fast-growing tablecloth collection. I did mostly have Christmas tablecloths, but I have been lucky this year and have quite a collection.

I'll be back tomorrow with pictures from our trip We saw bee-U-ti-ful things.


  1. All that food in Pyrex dishes in a big picnic basket?--you would have needed a forklift just to carry the basket! LOL But yeah, I see those (carefully orchestrated) spreads in magazines and dream of the same thing.

    Bias tape is my archnemesis. :D I just gave a huge bag of it (some vintage) to the garage sale this weekend. Someday I will probably live to regret that but I hate the darn stuff! And from the amount I find at thrifts, I think I may not be alone in my fear. LOL

  2. You and Heidi both had comments about bias tape and I thought "oh crap" b/c I bought a huge lot of pkgs. last weekend. I just looked and 98% of it is the lace seam binding. It can be used for more deco projects thankfully.

    p.s. the word verifications lately are driving me nuts. I think I have typed them AS SHOWN, but get kicked back to try again. ARGGGG. I know my eyesight isn't THAT bad.

  3. Love your finds...awesome tablecloths..espicially @ a buck a piece! The rick rack was a grat deal! I've collected old sewing stuff for years, and always fall for the old trimmings...ribbon & rickrack & buttons by the ton! Have a great Sunday! *elaine*

  4. Wow, love the tablecoths! You have inspired me, I think I'm going to start a collection of them myself. I love to change my table linens on a frequent basis, I hope I can find some as nice as you always seem to.

  5. You did good Shara!! Really good!
    I love it all!
    Every time I read your blog on the weekend when I DON'T go yardsaling, I always get the itch to go yardsaling...but by then they're all over! *sigh*
    I've just begun scouting for vintage tableclothes, but out here I'm afraid all these people use big plastic trash bags as tableclothes because there just are none!! Thanks for sharing!


  6. I love the roosters!!!

  7. squeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I never really check them over at that price either. What's the point really, we know I am going to buy them all? LOL

  8. A good rooster? No such thing! They are all bad bad bad. Especially if you have one that lives across the street.

  9. Anonymous7:41 PM

    such fun finds, love the table cloths! The trip looked really neeto!

  10. Wow, what a score on those tablecloths! Good advice about not spending too much time looking lest the price go up.


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