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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 - The Thrifting was Great!

2008 has been a productive thrifting year. I tried my best to only bring things home that truly spoke to me and that I had a place for or those that I knew could go to someone or be sold. I didn't do so good on the selling part, but I really, really plan to start up an Etsy Shop and get things listed on ebay this coming year. Really!

So, here is my Annual Thrifting Review. I am only showing things that I bought and still love now.

January brought me this crow. I still love this primitive crow with the rusty star in his beak. I love stars and all things crow. He was $1.00.

February brought me this fantastic old Royal typewriter complete with glass keys for $10.00. The Bean actually found it at the thrift and I was very happy that he did!

March brought this wonderful miniature splint basket my way. I had spied it behind the counter at the thrift one week, being used to hold paper clips. It was still there the next week and by the third week I had sweet talked the lady behind the counter into selling it to me for 50¢. It is scrumptious!

This collection of vintage Thermos Bottles came to me at my Alma Mater's Football Team Fundraiser for $2.00. You may remember them from my long standing header.

This sweet little clothespin bag came to me in April. I found it in the bottom of a box of old towels and pillowcases at a sale where the lady is a pro at selling vintage items. She was suprised when I pulled this out, but she was nice and let me pay 25¢ for it anyway.

This was part of this years Spring Clean Up finds. each Spring, everyone puts their junk by the street for trash pick up, but all us junkers and scrap metal hunters drive around and pick up the goodies. People lay it all out like a sale, so they want you to take it. I painted this box white and I use it to store my weekly ads, coupons, scissors and coupon folder.

I spotted this cool old wooden stool at a sale in the back of a garage in the NOT FOR SALE area. I never ask about things labeled as such, but this time I did and I scored it for a princely sum of $2.00.

This very large, very old Sunshine Biscuit tin is one of my favorite tins. I bought it from the same lady as the clothespin bag, but at a different sale. She only had it priced 25¢ and I still don't know why she would let it go so cheap. But, I am glad she did!

Here's the metal box all gussied up with a new coat of paint. Looks good, right? (The way Blogger switches and reverses photos, I am just too lazy to put it up by the other photo!)

I found this headvase at a sale that occurs every weekend all summer. I only go a few times each summer because I don't like weekly sales and the place reeks of smoke. I cannot even breathe in that place. It is usually all newer stuff purchased at storage auctions, so I was pleasantly surprised to find this sweet headvase there. I was even more surprise when the lady took the ciggarette out of her mouth and quoted me a price of 25¢. *No offense to any smokers out there - but I am highly allergic to cigarette and wood smoke, so it is not a fun place for me.

Something form the Sale of Sales. The big sale that I hit once a year where everything is very vintage, very plentiful and very cheap. $1.00 will net you an apple box full of goodness. These two old games were such a fun find with their sweet graphics. I think I paid a total of $2.00 for them both.

My wonderful white shelf that I spotted at a sale loaded with books and other crap. I could see it's chippiness and it spoke to me. I asked if it was for sale but the good chippy things rarely are, especially when loaded with books. Much to my suprise the answer was, "Yes, how about $5.00?" I had to call in reinforcements to get it home, but I did get it there.

The Quilt. How could we forget the quit. I looked at it at a yard sale for $10.00, but left it behind. That night I dreamt of it so I went back to the sale the next day. I didn't see it so I asked about it. The lady pulled it out from under a table and said it was waiting for me. I paid the $10.00 and was on my way. The lady even gave me a bunch of other old linens she had as a thank you for coming back. No, thank you lady, thank YOU! (The green chair was another good find this year for only $1.00).

The $5.00 Mantle. It graces the backyard for lack of anywhere in the house to put it. I still love it and think it was worth the $5.00 even if it stays in the yard forever.
An Annalee Santa for $1.00 - scored at a thrift I go to due to lack of merchandise and high prices. I pulled in for some reason, and spotted this right inside the door. It was meant to be!

A quilted tablecloth. Not usually my sort of vintage tablecloth. I really don't even remember where I found this - at a yard sale I think. I do remember I paid $3.00 for it because I wasn't sure if I really should have bought it. But, once I posted about it on the old bloggity blog, everyone was wild for it. Now I know I have a treasure!
This year I was very lucky to add numerous tablecloths to my collection. In fact, it was only this year that I decided to actively start collecting them. I think I have found at least thirty this yer - not one for more than $2.00 each except the quilted one above. The Matte White Pottery was just not out there this year. I think I may have only added three or four pieces to my collection. But, that's okay because I have plenty and I knew it would dry eventually. I was lucky to find the 72 pieces (yes, 72) that I have for no more than $1.00 each - most only 10¢-25¢ each.
My thrifting habits have changed this year - I only brought home what I knew I had spot for or that I could use down the line such as vintage holiday items and such. I have brought many things home this year, but I have let much, much more go. I have donated, Freecycled and sold on Craigslist. I have made my New Year's Resolution concerning buying, storing and selling. I will discuss that tomorrow. Until then, Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday Thrift Therapy

This morning I got up and got dressed, ready to attack the Super Cheap Thrift alone. I am never alone. The Bean is always with me. I love The Bean more than words can say, but sometimes, I just want to prowl the thrift without worrying where anyone is or what they are doing or if they are bored or ready to go. The Breadman was off today since it is a holiday week and his schedule is all screwed up. A perfect day for a little male bonding while Mom went thrifting. So, I got up and was thisclose to walking out the door, when two pouty faced boys said, "Why can't we go too?" Crap. So, I gave them fifteen minutes to get ready top to bottom, teeth and hair included or I was leaving. It was 10:30 and the thrift closes at noon, so I really did only have about fifteen minutes to spare. They hurried around and we left about 20 minutes later. That extra five minutes was me turning off the lights and doing things that I wouldn't have had to do if I was leaving alone. Like I wanted to do in the first place!

I thought the Christmas items would still be out and be half price, but it was all gone. I figured they might still be getting some donations and trying to clear it out. (Little did they know I left three big boxes of Christmas Decorations on the back stoop before I went it to prowl.) Someone (Lowe's, I think) had donated a large amount of new lamps and lampshades that were where the Christmas had been last time. The lamps were priced $15.00-$25.00. The retail price was $80.00 to $100.00, but I just couldn't get over the sticker shock of $20.00 at The Super Cheap Thrift!

The pickings were thin, but I managed to find a few goodies.

This vintage cookie jar was only $1.50. It is in perfect condition, which is rare for an older cookie jar. It is marked JAPAN on the bottom. It will be sold, it will be sold......(I don't want it, I just have to actually get the darn thing listed!)
This fun set of Salt Pepper Shakers was 45¢ x 2. They mark everything individually, but at least it's still affordable. I love "I Love Lucy", but not sure if this is a keeper a seller or a gift.

This little 45¢ FireKing berry bowl was the only one on the shelf. The Bean has requested a set of these lustry orange dishes for his first house. How many kids do you know that want vintage FireKing dishes when they "grow up?"
I wish there would have been at least four of these dishes. I love the bumpy surface. The Bean likes LOUD orange, so I am happy that he likes this pretty orange too.

I found this old quilt for $3.00 and decided to buy it without unfolding it or really checking it out. It is a twin size, machine sewn and hand tied. It isn't anything overly special, but it is really heavy and well made. Just perfect for throwing on a bed when the temperature is 65 degrees (right now, 10:00 pm) and will be 20 degrees in the morning.
A lady behind me in line admired the quilt. She said it didn't really matter to her what a quilt looked like, because getting under one was just like getting a hug from Grandma. I don't have the quilting type of Grandma, but I still understood what she meant.
We went to Target and Hobby Lobby today to see what is happening with the Christmas markdowns. Target was 75% off. We mainly perused the aisles looking for unmarked items that were scanning at 75% off. We found plastic cutlery, candles, cleaning products and Kleenex all on the regular shelves, but scanning at a discount. I didn't buy any of it today. I will go back when it is 90% and if it is still there, so be it. Otherwise, it wasn't meant to be for me. I never hide things or do anything dirty like some people - I just leave it where it is and if it's still there late, it's mine. Sometimes, I move things around and find things that other people have hidden waiting for it to go to 90% off. I think that is sooooo wrong. So, either I buy it or I move it. I just don't think it is right to screw a store out of more money by hiding things.
I did buy a variety of all things minty in the candy aisle. We love minty things around here, so why not buy it for 62¢ a package, freeze it and enjoy it all year long than buy it for full price throughout the year? We finally tried those fancy schmancy new M&M's that cost nearly $5.00 a box. Oh, My. Yummy! But, I would never spend $5.00 for M&M's!
Hobby Lobby was 66% off today. I am no mathematician, but I can figure 50% off, 75% off and 90% off to the penny. But 66% off absolutely mystifies me. I was trying to figure it out when another lady said, "I figure it's just half price with a bonus." Works for me! I did buy a few things that are red and white that I can use for Valentine's crafting and for some Valentine's Swaps. I also bought some items to make a Christmas craft that I saw on a blog this year. If I don't make it now, I will forget! So, it will be a real surprise next year when I uncork it out of it's tub!
My best find at Hobby Lobby were the acid free archival photo boxes for only $1.20 or so. They are usually nearly $10.00 each, but the Christmas printed ones were only $3.99 before discount. I bought four, then as I was loading them into the car, I realized what a good deal they were, so I went back in and bought eight more. I have shelves above the washer and dryer that I am in the process of organizing. I don't care if the boxes look Christmas-y, no one will ever see them but me. They will hold cancelled checks, bills, receipts, photos, negatives (remember negatives?), emergency candles, swappy items, gifts in progress, birthday decorations, gift bags, bows and ribbons and lots of other miscellaneous items. Time to break out the label maker!
I'll be back tomorrow for my "Year in Thrift" post. I know, I know, how exciting. ;o)

Friday, December 26, 2008

'Twas The Night After Christmas

Well, Christmas is over. Been there, done that. Guess how many people participated in this gift exchange at my house? 20? 30? No, only five of us. (We bring the presents in about five minutes before we open them so it is a big surprise to see them all)
The Breadman came from a house with little means and two parents that never made holidays special. On his birthday, he would get a Wal-Mart bag with a card in it and one gift. Something like a pair of shorts or a T-shirt. It was never wrapped either - just in the bag with the receipt because it didn't matter what size he needed, they just bought it and he had to deal with it. That was when he was old enough to do exchanges. Before that he pretty much got a football every year. Santa never visited, he never had a stocking, the Easter Bunny never came and left an Easter Basket. Instead, he could pick out one of those pre-made baskets at the store (you know the ones that look stuffed with goodies but it really only has a coloring book, some crayons and about three pieces of candy in it?). I always felt sorry for him for not having fun holiday memories. But, then again, he never knew he was missing anything, so he was a happy guy. I have a photo of him when he was not even three and he is all happy and smiling and running in his yard. It makes my Mom cry because he just looked so damn happy and he didn't know he had a sad poor life.

So, the point of that depressing little story is that I make holidays a BIG DAMN DEAL. I don't care if The Bean ever remembers any of his presents, but I know he will remember the pile of presents, everyone coming together, our meals, making candy, baking cookies, decorating our Gingerbread house (that we buy after Christmas and decorate for Valentine's Day), etc. etc., etc. It took The Breadman a few years to get the hang of it, but he gets it all now. He pretty much only buys for me, I buy for everyone else. But, he does a good job. I get more than one thing, And he wraps them! Yea, Breadman!

So, what did he buy this year?
A new grocery store for the Grocery Store Village. One point for The Breadman for finding a new Grocery Store this year.
A Santa for my Santa collection. Actually, The Bean picked this one out. And, even though it killed me to find out he bought this the day before Christmas at full price and today it would have been half price, I still like him. I was told that this Santa was chosen because he is holding a rusty lantern and he looks old. One point for the rust factor.

The Mac Daddy Martha Stewart Glitter Pack. Eighteen bottles of super fine wonderfully colored glitter for all my glittering needs. I had admired this at the store one day, but never thought he would a) hear me or b) remember it five minutes from then or c) actually buy it. But, he did all three. This is especially interesting as I rarely ever do anything crafty when he is around nor do I show him my crafty things I make. Three points for glitter!

He also bought a professional candy thermometer which I had mentioned outloud a few times, a Calaphon Dutch Oven (which I will try to think of as thoughtful, but jeez..a pan????) and a $30.00 Gift Card for El Yum-O Chick-fil-A. Two points for the thermometer, three points for the Chick filA gift card and minus one point for the pan. So, how did he do in all? Ten points! Yeah! (I do appreciate the pan, it's just that I bought an entire new set of Farberware pans not too long ago.) *Edited to add that he was the recipient of many, many goodies, almost all bearing a Razorback insignia of sorts. He is difficult to buy for, so anything Razorback usually fits the bill.
The Bean is having tummy trouble - I hear a stomach bug is making the rounds. No throwing up or anything, just general yuckiness. He has to feel better soon as he has a slew of new board games, electronic games, DS games, DVD's, books, a bright orange IPOD Nano and a, dare I say it, an Electric Guitar waiting to be played, watched, read, loaded and fired up.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I know it's not about the gifts or any of that - it's about family and memories. And, I hope you have lots of those to get you through until next year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the night Before Christmas


by Clement Clarke Moore
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!
"As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas Frank, Gertie & The Bean

A few more Christmas favorites before every one's sick of it all.....
I picked these vintage stockings up several years ago. I really only bought them because I felt sorry for them. Leave it to me to feel sorry for inanimate objects, but I do. I knew they would never sell and probably just end up in the dumpster. They are handmade (obviously) and the sequins are glued on helter skelter.

I also wondered why Frank got the bigger stocking, thus meaning she received more loot than Gertie. Why were they mean to Gertie giving her the smaller stocking? What did poor little Gertie ever do? And, why oh why, did they have to name her Gertie? These stocking have been at the bottom of one of my Christmas tubs all this time. Each year I get them out and smile at them, then I repack them. This year, with my all vintage decor, I decided to hang them up and enjoy them. And, I love them! Merry Christmas Frank and Gertie.

One of my other favorite things is Emily. Emily is a funny little handmade doll that my M om gave me years ago. She always sits in her cherry red $1.00 yard sale rocking chair in my living room.
At Christmastime she wears this cute little elf outfit. It says "Santa's Little Helper" on the front. It is a size 0-3 month and it fits her perfectly.

But, the main reason I love Emily so much this time of year is because of this:

That "Santa's Little Helper" Elf outfit once fit a wee three month old Baby Bean. He was so cute dressed up on Christmas Day in his little elf suit. It honestly seems like yesterday. Merry Christmas Bean.
And, Merry Christmas to each and every one of YOU!

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Few Santas

I know Blogland is absolutely full of Christmas photos right now. And, people might be getting tired of them. But, I'm still enjoying visiting the different blogs and seeing all the vintage goodies that are out there. It gives me an opportunity to make a "Look for that next year while I am out saling and thrifting" list. I certainly am a greedy gal when it comes to Vintage Christmas. I want, I want, I want. Gimmee, Gimmee, Gimmee.

I have a lot of Santa's, and this year I culled out a lot of them. I have a definite style and taste now so I only want those sort of items in my midst. The ones I no longer want were donated to the thrift immediately before I changed my mind. Here are three Santa's that will never, ever be donated. Ever. This old rubber faced Santa is huge. Really, too big for my small house, but By George, I make room for him every year and he has a special place in the garage for storage so he WILL remain mine forever.

He stands nearly four feet tall. I found him in my favorite yardsaling town where all the houses are houses are tiny, crammed full of vintage goodies and the people selling their items have no idea what they actually have strewn out on the lawn. I spotted the big Santa thrown out on a tarp and ran to rescue him. He was only $2.00 for all that vintage Santa-ness! A keeper, for sure!
I found this Vintage Santa drawing by the Bean in a box the other day. I decided to frame it and make it part of the Annual Christmas Decor. He was in Kindergarten when he drew this. His initials are C.S. (Looks like a "J" there though). S.C. is Santa Claus. I remember when he brought it home he was frustrated that Santa's Beard was half red. I sat him down and showed him how to color it in so Santa would have a white beard. "OH!" he said as he "got it."
And, my very favorite Santa of all....The Bean. This was taken on Christmas Eve several years ago (He was 7) as we were waiting on my Mom and Stepfather to arrive for Christmas Eve festivities. That is a vintage Santa Suit he is wearing. He looked so darn cute sitting out on our bench wearing that Santa suit. He's still cute, but I sure do miss that little guy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Vintage Christmas Heaven

I ran to the Super Cheap Thrift this morning. My only real fabulous, but worth the trip find was a long, long, long, strand of glass beads in a pale green. My first glass beads! And for only 35¢!They were a tangled mess, but I untangled them and proceeded to wear them for a couple of hours for fear of laying them down and having them retangle themselves. I felt rather festive. And a bit foolish.
I also found, in the kitchen section of all places, a bag full of metal fence pieces and some red wooden post looking things.
I thought I might be able to fashion it into a fence to put under my Feather trees, so I bought it for $1.00. I got it home and started trying to make something out of it, and discovered it really is a fence for Feather Trees!

I think anyway. It will work. There are enough pieces to make two sets.

(My photos are seriously sad in this post!)

A 35¢ melted popcorn "Merry Christmas". Not my kind of thing - but to be saved until next year and sold. It's actually kind of hard to read in person, but you can read it okay in the photo. Hmm.Two nice big handcrafted copper cookie cutters for 25¢ each. Just in time because the husband announced last night that it would be "nice" if I baked up 6 or 8 dozen coookies to take in to his work. Eh gads. Let me just whip those up honey.

Here is the blog I promised Welcome to Smirleyworld. You will absolutely not believe her vintage Christmas Collection. Actually, her vintage Stuff Collection. I am in awe.

Here is the post showing her Vintage Christmas collection. For those of us who think we have a lot of Christmas stuff. We do not. We are lightweight collectors. I am talking amazing amounts of the most fabulous cool old stuff. Wow. Wow. Wow.....

Get a cup of coffee or cocoa and take time to look at each and every picture. Be sure to click on each photo so you can drink it all in. Wow!


****A note to Robin & Melissa in Kansas who left a message on my Guestbook: You are sweet to think of me! I don't have a way to contact you, so feel free to email me at monkeybox at juno dot com. I'd love to visit with you.****

I Can See You!

Look at my Visitors!

Fellow Junk Followers