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, December 01, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like, well, you know.

It snowed last night. Not much, but enough to consider it snow in Arkansas. I took this photo as proof to The Bean that it has actually snowed. He's taken to sleeping late on Mondays. (If 8:00 can be considered late.) That's okay, it gives me time to get my morning chores done before we start school.After I took this photo, it snowed quite a bit more, but then it all melted again. It was just enough to make it cold and for it to be the perfect day at home, learning about the American Frontier and doing some more Christmas decorating.

Last night I made this wreath out of my less desirable Shiny Brites. By less desirable, I mean not figural or the ones with indents. With every squirt of hot glue, I fully expected each and every Shiny Brite to explode in my hand. But, luckily, that never happened.
I kept adding one here and one there to even it out and make it round, but I really think you could add ornies all day and make it as big as a tractor tire and it would never be completely symmetrical. Finally I pulled out a box of my treasured smaller Shiny Brites and filled in here and there and it came out pretty well. I took the photo at an angle, so it still looks a bit off on the right side, but it's basically round - ish.

I filled my big glass jar lamp up with the smaller Shiny Brites. Pardon that pile of roadkill Santi on the side there - it is all still very much a work in progress at my house. I was just happy to have enough little ornaments to fill up that big jar this year. The thrifting gods have smiled upon me this year and let me find plenty of little ornies.

I've had this old clock case for quite awhile. I usually have a carved rooster in it, but that had to go for Christmastime. This is one of my favorite Santas out of my humongous collection of Santas, so I decided to showcase him. He is hand-sculpted out of clay, hand-painted, his clothes are handmade, etc. He is really cool and I found him for only 50¢ at the thrift. The "Santa Collector" sign was a no brainer purchase at a thrift a few years ago.
My happiest finds this year and in the past few years has been vintage Christmas packaging. I love it when I find anything vintage still in the box. But, the truth is, I usually love the box with it's colorful graphics far more than whatever lies inside the box. Several times this past year, I have purchased items and handed the item inside back to be resold. Especially when there is some random item in a cool old box. That vintage gift wrap box was full of cut sewing patterns. I bought the box for 50¢ and handed them back the sewing patterns to be sold again.
This year I was determined to use the packaging, but I wasn't sure how to display them. When I saw this post on My Vintage Soul, I knew I had my answer. The Dime Store. I gathered up all my packaging and a few things that you could have bought at the Dime Store and put them all on my Holiday Shelves. There's Shiny Brite boxes of every size and style, various light bulb packaging, candles, tree stands, ornament hangers (a favorite of mine due to their size and graphics), a fruitcake tin with a cool old Santa, Santa themed cigarettes (yes, you read that right), a tabletop aluminum tree and a box of vintage tinsel garland to round it all out. I know my fellow blog buddies will like it, but not so sure if any real life people would "get it". You get it though. Right? I thought so.


  1. Get it? I love it! What a great way to show off your lovely vintage items! I love the wreath too. What a great way to use the plain, chipped or scratched up ornaments and still have a lovely vintage wreath!

    Love everything you have shown us.
    Yes even the road kill. LOL


  2. Anonymous5:55 AM

    The Dime Store display is the greatest thing ever. I love boxes but never know what to do with them. I'm in awe! Barbara

  3. Oh, I totally get it! It looks fabulous too!!

    Btw, my husband was in Arkansas yesterday with ol Dick Cheney! He told me they were calling for snow down there and I was so jealous! I mean how can it snow in Arkansas but not here in Maryland?! That is so not fair! But we've already had some snow this year so I guess it all evens out, right?!

  4. Oh, my gosh - I absolutely love that! Just minutes ago, I left a comment on the Tiki Ranch blog about wanting to do the very same type of thing! I just adore vintage packaging, too. I was so excited a few years ago when I found a vintage box from Rich's Department Store and used it to wrap the gift for my brother-in-law Rich. I didn't REALLY want to part with it - but, I mean, it had his name on it! I made them promise to take good care of that box afterward!

  5. Oh, I ADORE your dime store display! It's just perfect. Sigh. I think I'm going to have to save your photo and look at it every so often when I need a dose of happy. :)

    Love the lamp! And the wreath is fab--did you end up using hot melt or low melt glue? And what kind of wreath do you use for the base? I'm determined to make one of these...SOMEDAY...LOL

  6. Love the wreath! I have been considering doing that with my shiney brites, too, but was afraid of the explosion factor LOL.

    I can't believe you've had snow and there has been NONE here in New York City. :)


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