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 30, 2009

2009 - A Year in Review

It's that time of the year when I look back to the Year that Was...2009. Honestly, this year hasn't one of the best. It hasn't been all bad, mind you. but, it hasn't been all good either.

January started the year off with a BANG or rather a POP when the Ice Storm hit and the power went out for three days. No heat, no hot water, no cooking, no lights, a whole lotta nothing. No leaving the house, no clean clothes, no hot food, no coffee. Nadda. Zich. A whole lotta nuttin'.

Nearly a year later, there is still destruction in the woods, along the roadways and in the pastures. Not a day goes by that someone doesn't mention the "Ice Storm".

February brought job changes for The Breadman. Lots more travelling, more hours and less money. Boo! Hiss!

April brought the shocking news that the once-little boy that I had babysat for twelve years had died. He was 30, but he will always be a little boy in my mind. The last time I saw him was at his sister's wedding. He was drinking a beer and I scolded him for drinking when he was only a littler boy! He said, "Shara, I am a full grown man now!" He said it so funny. I will always remember his saying it just that way.

May took our little family on a trip to Branson. Not far away from home but a world away in term of things to do and things to see.

Hey! Finally some Good Stuff! Maybe the year is looking up. Oh no, I'm sorry - the best is yet to come!

June brought me a two night private getaway in a swanky $15,000.00 a night room here. My first stay in the hospital (except giving birth, of course). My first surgery. My second surgery. The Bean's first night at home with Mom being there. Lots of firsts. One Gall Bladder Gone and $15,000.00 in debt. (That's a George Strait tune, I think.....)

In July, our favorite local Chinese restaurant closed it's doors due to the sucky economy. I am extremely picky about my food and this was one of the very few places where I loved the food. And, now it is only a faint memory. Oh, Pan Fried Chicken and Crab Rangoon, how I miss thee......

August only means one thing - my birthday. 43. Yeech.

September only means one thing. The Bean turned 14 which is practically going off to college age. *Sigh*. I'll be a Grandma before I know it!

December meant I got to bring out all my wonderful Christmas goodies, only to have to box them all up again in the very same month.

So, that brings us to New Year's Eve. The end of another year. The beginning of a New Year. Maybe this will be a good year. Don'

Don't get me wrong - this year wasn't all that bad. There was just enough crappy stuff thrown in to make it seem like a bummer of a year. But, everyone I know and love is happy and relatively healthy, so I am very happy for that!

Tomorrow - the Thrifting Year in Review! Yippeee!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thrift SCORE!

WHO? Me!
BRAND NEW 7 Ft. Slim Tall Pre-lit Christmas Tree
(Remember - like I hunted for BEFORE Christmas???????)
Saturday, December 26th, 2009
(A day late - but still good for next year!)
Salvation Army
(Where I never, ever, ever, EVER get a bargain. Ever!)
Are you ready?
Are you sure?
Okay, here goes:
Merry Christmas to me!

Friday, December 25, 2009

2009 - A Thrifting Review

As much as I love "junk", it is the story and the history that reels me in the most. Here are some of my favorite finds of the year and the stories behind them.

The "R" family quilt top - unearthed from the depths of a trash bag at a huge mess of a sale for $2.00. each "R" square is signed by the maker - Gertrude, Grandma. It's a treasure.
Wonderful 1950's Livestock ribbons in pink and purple. Spotted at the one and only auction I attended this year. I planned on a fierce bidding war - allowing myself to go as high as $20.00 for the box. Opening bid was $2.00 and no one else bid but me. No one even looked at them or cared about them. I clutched them to my chest and carried them around like a newborn baby the remainder of the auction. They don't realize what they missed!

A pile of old journals chronicling one family's purchases beginning in 1927, including the purchase of two rolls of TP for 5¢ and "Baby- Marge" for $25.00. I love picking one up and reading it like a novel. They really tell the story of frugality, charity and life of yesteryear.
I scored all this, including the cabinet on one Saturday with The Bean and The Breadman in tow. The cabinet was $5.00 and was one of my favorite finds of the year.
This giant Santa lived at the house behind me. For years, I saw it on their porch at Christmas time and coveted him. Two summers ago they had him in their yard sale for $25.00. Too rich for my blood. I was happy to see him back on their porch the following Christmas - apparently no one bought him at the sale. So, this summer, I stopped at their yard sale again when I saw Santa under the tree. He didn't have a tag this time, so I asked how much. "My husband says he has to go...how about $5.00?" SOLD. He lives at my dad's house now. And he loves him!

Then there are the Christmas items that I find all year long.
A delicious dish of Christmas delights. All scored at an Estate Sale for about $5.00.
Another dish of delightful Christmas-y goodies. My first tree topper!
A fabulous old, old working Ford Gumball machine for $10.00. It occurred to me on Christmas day that this would have been a fabulous way to display some of my miniature Shiny Brites. Remind me next year to do that, okay? Thanks!

Nice big lot of huge printer's blocks - $10.00 for them all. I'm having fun using these in vignettes and my holiday decor.

Giant jar chock full of vintage cake and cupcake toppers. Another items I swooped in on fearing a fist fight, but no one else gave it a second look. 50¢ total for all that fun.

*Swoon* $25.00 at a late in the year November sale. I've searched for an old cabinet for years, but they are always pricey. This one will be my Spring Project - painted white with some sort of interesting lining inside - old book pages? Sheet music? I can't decide. But, it will come to me.
Here's to a GREAT 2010! I hope everyone has a fabulous year of thrifting, junking and saling. May there be treasures on every corner for you and yours. (And, Laurie, those bags of cash sound real good too!)

Wii Wish You a Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wii are having a good Christmas - hope you are TOO!

This was the scene outside out front door last night. Sleet and drizzle followed by snow. We decided to postpone Christmas Eve with my Mom and Step-Dad until this weekend due to hazardous driving. The three of us had a quiet little Christmas Eve of a few gifts and some good food and sweet treats. I was feeling rather sad about the change of events - snow, ice, no family, etc. But, then I heard The Bean sort of sigh as he looked out the window and said, "I've never had a White Christmas before" and BAM that knocked me back to reality. He was happy - he was making a memory. For the first Christmas in his entire life he gets to stay home, play that new Wii all day and be with his family and his cats in his own house. He is happy as a clam making a memory he will always remember He loves our normal Christmas festivities, but I know he will always remember this one because it was a little different. I am happy that at the age of 14 he is still happy to be here and enjoy us and his first White Christmas.

Until we can see the street again - we'll be inside our warm cozy house bowling and playing tennis and golf. Wii are going to have a fun day!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Glittery, Sparkly Goodness

I wanted to thank everyone for the Shadowbox love last week. I don't do a lot of Christmas Crafting due to time restraints and the mass amount of cool vintage things that I already own. But, a little vintage inspired crafting fits in, I suppose.

Since this one was already gifted, I decided I should make myself one too.

Even this one looks smaller , it is actually quite a bit bigger than the original shadowbox. The first one was about 6" square, this one is about 11" x 13". The Santa and sleigh are quite big, but they look like they are high in the sky leaping out of the frame, so I think it works.
For the Sparkling Winter White Swap I was partnered with Mary at Vintage Patina. Since the entire swap theme was my idea, I really stuck to the Sparkling Winter White theme and colors of white, silver and clear. Above you can see the packages that I sent.I also made this glittery snowy house for Mary. It was a pre-fab cardboard house that I gussied up with lots of glitter and shine. I covered a wooden base with old Sheet Music, then applied Modge-Podge and iridescent glitter to cover it. When it all dried, it looked like the sheet music was under glass. Mary seemed happy with it, so that so the best part.

I also made this little vintage inspired paperweight for her. These are fun to make - it's like a mini collage under glass.

I also sent her these vintage white pottery angels. I am having a wee bit of remose for letting them go, but I think they will it in Mary's house perfectly.

Mary sent me this fabulous vintage tablecloth. She said she was hesitant to send it since it didn't fit the theme. Well - I adore it, so I am soooooo happy that she sent it.

She also included a sweet white bottle brush in a vintage mold, a glittery bird on a glittery spool, a fabulous brooch, a felted brooch, vintage letter tile art, lots of sparkly glittery ornaments and a pair of sweet vintage Caroling Candle holders. She also sent me a lovely angel for the top of my tree that I failed to photograph. Thank you Mary!

My friend Sue sent me a lovely piece of sea glass that she found on the beach - she soldered it and made it into an ornament for me. I plan on wearing it though - I think it is just lovely! Thank you Sue!

The Christmas festivities start here tomorrow afternoon and will go into Friday afternoon. We have snow forecasted,which isn't fun for travelling. Hopefully, it won't get too slick. If it does - we will alter our plans a bit. It doesn't matter when we have our Christmas - as long as we are all together and safe.

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Thanks for all the friendships I have made this year and have kept over the years through this old blog. I never would have thought I would meet so many people and have such good friends out there. Friends I have never even met, but know me better than my own family! Merry Christmas to you and you and you and you and .......

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thrifting...or Shoplifting?

Whenever I go to the Super Cheap Thrift or The Attic Thrift Store, I always take one of my big reusable totes from Target. I unfold it when I walk in and hang it off my shouder. When I see things I want to buy - in the bag it goes. Every volunteer at both of these thrifts know I always bring in my bag. They always comment on what a good idea it is and how they wish more people would do it too.

Pair of California Art Pottery floral candleholders for $1.00.

So, today I walk into the Super Cheap Thrift, open my bag and begin perusing the Christmas items. As I walk across the store to the housewares section, I spot an old felt stocking that I pick up and place in my bag. As my eyes glance from one aisle to the next, I notice a lady in slow motion putting her finger up to point saying, "That's wrong!" Then her husband says, "Don't worry about it."

Four ladies floral hankies for 50¢.

I continue to shop, finding a few more things along the way that I place into my bag. As I look at the kitchen gadgets and dishes, that lady saying, "That's wrong" keeps popping up in my head. I keep trying to figure out what she saw that was so wrong. Hmmm..think, think, think. What did she see? Hey - wait she saw me putting things in my bag. Surely she didn't think I was stealing, did she?

Sweet vintage tablecloth for $1.00.

When I go up to get in line, the "that's wrong" lady was directly in front of me. She kept turning around and giving me the stink eye while I was standing behind her. My shopping bag was completely stuffed at this point so I had it sitting on the floor, pushing it along with my foot as we moved along in line. After she paid, she turned one more time to give me a up and down look. Hurumph!

Made in Sweden by Heidi Lange. Cute, huh?

When I stepped up to the counter to lay out my purchases, the lady said, "Oh! You brought in your own bag - now that is a good idea!" I said, "I don't know about that, I think a lady thought I was shoplifiting today!" I laughed and she said, "Oh, surely NOT!" That's when the other lady that bags things said, "Yea, she came and told me a lady was stealing, so I went to look. When I saw it as you , I told her that you are one of our very best customers and you were just shopping."

Suh-weet Remington Ten Forty Typewriter for $5.00. In Turquoise!
I hope that if some terrible, horrible, awful person ever actually is caught stealing from the Super Cheap Thrift that they will get spotted and reported. But, wasn't me! Scouts honor!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Vintage Christmas Monday - Leftovers

Today is the last Vintage Christmas Monday over at Anything Goes Here. It has been fun seeing my love of vintage spread over blogland. Thanks for hosting, Joan!

I have a whole lot of little stuff to show today.

This is my Raggedy and and Andy. I got them when we moved to Arkansas in 1972. They have been near the top of the tree every single year since. And, they always will be!

I've seen these funny snowmen of a few other thrifty blogs this summer and thought they were terribly cute. Imagine my surprise when I found one in my very own stuff this year! It has a price tag from the Super Cheap Thrift - so I must have bought it and not fully appreciated it sometime in the past. He is appreciated now, I assure you!
I love this lamp so much that I leave it out all year. I almost forget that it is full of vintage miniature Shiny Brites because I see it everyday. I filled it up a couple of Christmases ago and decided it need to stay out. A little touch of Christmas every day!

This lovely vintage Shiny Brite box landed on my doorstep as a gift from a sweet reader. She said her husband asked her why on earth she was sending someone an empty box. She laughed, knowing I would adore it. She was correct!
This old stocking bearing the name, "Frank" is one of my favorites. I love the badly mismatched and unevenly glued sequins and odd felt cutouts. As much as I love FRANK -
I adore "Gertie". Honestly - how cute is the name Gertie?
This vintage Knickerbocker Gingerbread Man plays music while his head and arms move slowly. The Gingerbread Man book was mine when I was little.

I am forever picking up one old figural bulb or an ornament or a light reflector. Not enough to really display or make a project with - bits and pieces. Odds and Ends. As I came to each piece while I was decorating, I tossed them in a big bowl on the coffee table. Only when I went to dump it all out did I realize that I had actually made a pretty cool centerpiece.
I tweaked it a bit, added a few more things and wah-lah, it was done. I refer to it as "The Leftovers". It is actually one of my favorite things this year.

Merry Christmas to all the Vintage Christmas Monday readers that have stopped by the past few weeks. It was fun!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thrifty Finds - Christmas and Otherwise

I've been trying to hit the thrifts this week. I have so much vintage Christmas, but I want more. And there is only a small window of opportunity for finding Christmas items at the thrifts - so I have to hit while the iron is hot. I always peruse the Christmas first, then I attempt to clear my head and go through the rest of the store as normal. But, honestly, I can't get the Christmas stuff of my brain to even look at the rest. I did manage to clear my brain long enough to find a sweet vintage floral tablecloth and a gingham tablecloth with chicken scratch embroidery on it. The gingham one isn't my usual type of tablecloth, but it was sweet, it was a quarter and I have a prety big collection of gingham aprons......so I had to pick it up.

Also, not on the Christmas front, although they could be used for Christmas - two old metal star tie rods for 50¢ each.

And, now.....on to the vintage Christmas finds.

This JAPAN angel was at the Salvation Army for $3.00, but everything was half price. I'm planning on listing a lot of Christmas on Etsy all year long, so I am picking up things when I find them now. Oh yes, she is a musical too.

Miscellaneous ornaments all for 12¢ each - half of 25¢. I am starting to be sucked in by the cuteness of all the wooden ornaments from the 1960's-70's. I so do not need another thing to buy!

This funny elf/gnome on a toadstool was a particularly happy find.

Yesterday I talked about my love of Holt Howard. Apparently the thrift gods were listening because the very first thing I found today were these set of Holt Howard dishes. Actually, I think they are ashtrays, but I will pretend they are wee teeny bonbon trays.

See? Holt Howard. 1959. Great markings and the original sticker. Each one was priced $2.50, but I took a chance and asked if that was for each or for the set and the lady said, "Oh, it must be for the set, don't you think?" This was at the habitat for Humanity Thrift Store which I rarely frequent so I I really don't know what their pricing structure is - I think they might have been $2.50 each based on the other items I saw. But, I agreed, because I wanted them. But, I would not have paid $10.00 for them!

Now, for a few thrifty finds, but not from the thrift. I actually bought these on ebay. I never buy on ebay or Etsy, I just buy what I find that I can afford around here. But, every once in awhile, I do a search for "Annalee lot" just to see what pops up. I got lucky earlier this week when I spotted a Buy It Now for four Annalee's for only $9.99. I Bought it NOW!
A sweet mouse in a Santa suit.

A funny guy in a nightshirt and slippers. Lovin' that huge candle!

And, Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Merry Christmas to Me, Love Me!

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