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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Junk In My Trunk

I've always liked junk. I've saved picks from cupcakes, napkins from weddings, newspaper clippings and various other bits and bobs my entire life. At one point in my childhood I acquired a cashbox. A real metal lock with a key, cash box. And, I started putting tresures in it. Little things. Things that I loved or that had a special meaning to them. And, even though many of those things are really just junk, they were special to me. I unearthed my cashbox from the depths of my cedar chest yesterday. It brought back a lot of memories.
Look at all that stuff! I was a bonafide gumball machine addict. I loved those little plastic bubbles with a trinket in them. Who am I kidding? I still do!

Remember candy lipstick? Rain bonnets in a box? Plastic cowboys? Furry footshaped rugs?

See that plastic thumb? I got that in my "Magician of the Month Club" when I was about eight. I was quite the aspiring Magician. There is another plastic thumb inside the one you see pictured. You put the smaller one on your thumb and thelarger one inside your left hand. Tuck a ribbon into your palm then stickt he larger plastic thumb on top of the smaller thumbh and "TA-DA" the ribbon has vansished. I entertained many poor, poor visitors to our home with that trick. Over and over and over again. It's the only "Trick of the Month" that I ever mastered.
See the gold egg? That's not just any gold egg. That is a "GOLDEN EGG" from the Lucky Chicken. Gawd, how I loved the Lucky Chicken. It was a plastic chicken in a glass box with eggs surrounding the chicken. You put a quarter in it and the chicken turned around and around while saying, "Baaaaawk, bawk, bawk, bawk. Baaaawk, bawk, bawk, bawk" and then an egg would roll down the cute. There was always one lonely Golden Egg in there and I wanted one sooooooo badly. As you see, I GOT ONE! I would love to find a Lucky Chicken machine! *******

A few of my favorites. A cupcake pick from elementary school. A Pebbles pencil topper. Little squirt guns. Mickey Mouse ring. Donald Duck ring. Rubber lips. A red plastic poodle. A roller skate shoe. A peeled banana. An apple core.

*****I Googled a Lucky Chicken Machine!
Oh, how I loved the Lucky Chicken!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday Finds - Redwork, Hangers and Old Photos

Friday morning I tried to hit a few sales before the really bad heat set in and made me completely miserable. I only ended up going to two sales because the heat was just about to melt me. The Bean, who is quite easy going and up for anything, sat in the car in front of the A/C and wouldn't even get out of the car at the second sale. I actually found that quite funny because he usually follows me and take things from me and tries to help me. But, it was just to hot for him. (He got a haircut later that day and that is helping him stay cooler now.)

The first sale netted a HUGE glass topped patio table for a mere $5.00. Our current patio set is tiny, so this one will be great. It has six sides, so my six white motel chairs will fit it perfectly. The Breadman and The Bean had to go pick it up later that evening, but luckily, The B.M. didn't mind. He's pretty good about my bargains. We saw a table yesterday at Big Lots for $150.00 that wasn't as big as my yard sale find. (I went in search of Martha Stewart $2.00 stuff at Big Lots and SCORED. Yeah!)

I went to the thrift and the two sales about ended up buying a only few things things - but in bulk!

A group of really cool old photos for 50¢ each. The one on the upper left is a military photo - I need to research it - it is in the original folder with an insignia on it. I believe it is from the Civil War.
Some great old wooden hangers. 25¢ each - I like to hang my vintage clothes, aprons and tablecloths on these when I take photos for ebay. One of them is a hotel hanger from the Flamingo in Las Vegas - so that one will go on ebay.

I'm not really sure what this is - it is backed with a vintage floral fabric and says VEILS on the front in Redwork. I think it might have been use to cover up boxes or a pile of veils - I really don't know. Any ideas? Deep down I have a fear that it is from a funeral home. Oh, no, pleeeease, no.
As I was digging in the linens looking for tablecloths, I came across several pieces of Redwork embroidery. A lady working at the thrift brought out a cart full of old embroidery pieces and told me that one lady had made them all. Everything was priced either $1.00 or 50¢. She told me that there was so much (five trash bags full) that they were throwing it in the 3/$1.00 bin. So, I hightailed it to the bin!
These are pillow covers - I think. I seem to have bought a lot of stuff that I don't really know what it is, didn't I? Each piece of Redwork is on a flat piece of starched white material - some have ruffled edges. I think they were placed on top of the pillows.
I think this one is funny because the "G" looks like a "C" - "Cood Morning!" I was just excited to find a lot of Redwork in one place.
This is a Redwork table runner. The same motif is on each end.
I found this little vintage baby outfit mixed in with the Redwork in the bin. I had to rescue it - isn't it sweet?????
And, my favorite finds - one in the bin and one on the shelf for $1.00. Two card table tablecloths.
I'd never seen card table tablecloths before. And, if it wouldn't have had the embroidered card motif, I don't think I would have known what they were for sure. Love that little Gypsy looking girl playing cards.
The second one had the Ace's on each corner. It has a stain, so it made it to the bin. The red ties are to tie it to the corner of the table legs.
This is the edging on the Gypsy girl cloth. I don't have a clue how to play Bridge, but I am thinking a Bridge party might be in order!
I'll supply the sandwiches - you bring dessert!

*To see more Thrifty Treasures - Click here to visit Southern Hospitality and see Today's Thrifty Treasures.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm in a book! But, Don't Get too Excited.

It's been my dream to see my name in print.
And, that dream has come true.
Sort of.

Check out the new Cake Wrecks book available at Amazon.com.

Click on LOOK INSIDE and then type MONKEY in the search bar. There it is in all it's glory - THE monkey cake. MY monkey cake. "Happy Birthday, Shara." At least they got my name right, I guess. In case you are new here, read about my Wrecktastic Cupcake Birthday cake here. I never thought my name would be in print - with that hideous cake with it. Sigh.
Oh well, maybe I can still see my name in print someday. Like a book that I wrote. Not for my very bad awful monkey cake. *Sigh.*

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday's Yard Sale Treasures

This morning it got hot, fast. I went to a few sales and came home absolutely drenched in sweat. TMI, right? I really didn't plan on staying out in the heat, but I kept finding good junk!

I called today my "Book Day". I try to steer clear of books because they are bulky and heavy. But, today the books were brand new, cheap and my style...so, home they came.

I'm really not a cookbook kind of gal, but I like to look through them and see if anything strikes my fancy. The Bean likes to cook and find new recipes, so he is going through them too. I hadn't looked through a Kovel's in a while and I thought the Pottery mark book might come in handy.

On to the vintage cuteness: An oh, so cute vintage Rooster planter. I think he might be wearing pants!

A nice old glass cake stand for $1.00. Perfect for my pink iced cake with my mini toasting glasses!

I love these letter cards from an old PROBE game. The game is complete and we may play it, but I rally like those cards. It was only 25¢, so it was the Deal of the Day. No, wait, I have a better one coming....
A nice piece of matte white pottery with a lovely cornflower blue inside. I used to only like the white pottery, but I have discovered a *pop* of color looks good with all the white.
A wild assortment of vintage Christmas ornaments - a couple vintage Shiny Brites with indents (in pink, my favorite)and some bejeweled and bedazzled homemade ornaments.

I will be selling this shotglass set. Is it a liqueur set? I don't know. I got this at a sale where nothing was marked. "how much is yadda, yadda?" I asked, "I don't care," the lady said. "I just don't want it." So, I made a pile consisting of all the cookbooks above, the glass set, the vintage ornaments (more to come) and several other items and once again I asked, "How much?" She told me she didn't care, just give her something. Well, I just did not want to do that so I asked her to pleeeease make a price. I was wishing for $5.00 and she said $6.00, that worked for me. She could have said $20.00, and then what would I have done?
Oh yes, the Deal of the Day. or maybe it is just my favorite find. A gorgeous tablecloth is fabulous red and aqua. So pretty! (Hey Sue, I just realized - I had a trifecta day - matte white pottery, vintage tablecloth and vintage Christmas. Woohooo!) This tablecloth was pristine, washed, freshly ironed and only 50¢. "Oh, you are buying Grandma's tablecloth" the girls all said in a sad voice. Well, if they are so sad about it, why didn't they keep Grandma's dadgum tablecloth????? It has a good home now, Grandma!
A fun piece of Folk Art - a carved gnome face. Isn't he cute?

More vintage Christmas - although not from the era I collect. These will be resold or swapped or ???? I did get a kick out of the man in the center with the kid on his shoulders. The kid has a crutch, so I think it is from A Christmas Carol."

Two small pieces of pottery for my miniature pottery collection. I like little artist pieces like this when I can find them. Each one is only about 1 1/2" tall.

And lastly, some more vintage Christmas items - more in my style. I'm always happy to add a knee hugger to my entourage. When I was paying, the lady said, "Oh, this box is empty," and threw it in her trash box. I retrieved it and said, "That's okay, I just want the empty box," I said. She honest to goodness looked at me like I fell off the turnip truck. *Bounce*

In other news: I am in shock over Michael Jackson. I always like him and loved his music. He was very much a part of my teen years. The passing of Farrah is sad too. I always said her name when I was trying to let people know how to say my name - Farrah/Shara. I always wanted Ed McMahon to show up at my door with that big old Publishers Clearinghouse Check. Jon and Kate have my stomach in a knot too. Wow. What a week!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thrifty Finds......FINALLY!

I had to have my stitches taken out today, so I put on my best pouty face and wah-lah, The Breadman took me thrifting beforehand. Yea! The stitches weren't bad - the ones in my belly button hurt, but not too bad. He told me I looked good and didn't need to come back. He asked if I needed more pain pills and I told him I hadn't taken a pill yet. He said I was TOUGH! It never really hurt anyway, I was just sore. I still can't lift and have to take it easy a few more weeks. But, I feel really good.
Okay, that is the end of the surgery talk! I promise. On to the thrifting.....

A bowlful of Mary Englebreit cherries. They look so real! These will go in an old blue Mason jar.(I have turned this photo a hundred times and it will not stay sideways. Grrr!)

This big old handmade Hillbilly doll was a quarter. I just couldn't leave him. He has a patch on his back pocket that says "BUBBA" so now Bubba is a part of our family. As I carried him around, Bubba got a lot of attention. Everybody likes Bubba!
This is hard to get good photo - it is an acrylic box with eight acrylic plates in it. I imagine it was for bridge parties, or cocktail parties. I can see it on the buffet with cake, petite fours, buttermints and peanuts for a bridal shower. It is pristine and I don't believe it has ever been used. I'm going to sell it. In doing a bit of research, I saw a lot of acrylic items, but they were all touted as being "Mid-Centruy". I don't think this looks Mid-Century at all. I just hope I can list it so the right person finds it.
Here's another fun party-ish item. A new in the box vintage Cake Set complete with server and six forks. Those forks look wicked. I'm not sure I would trust a bunch of chit-chatty ladies to eat safely with those things!
A boxed set of Congress Playing Cards. I have several of these old Congress sets that I really need to get listed. Most of mine are one deck and two deck sets. But, this is the first three deck set I have found. I love the old velvety boxes that package these old Congress Cards. There was a write up in Country Living last year about Congress Playing cards, so I started picking them up. I hope I haven't waited until the fad passed! I'm not really sure that this wooden scoop is for - butter, ice cream, ???? It is all hand-turned and hand-carved. It was $1.00.

I think it would make the impression of a bird head, beak and all. When I paid, the lady sighed and said, "You always find the neatest stuff." She said that she gets overwhelmed with it all. I just scan it all and see what I find.
This poor sad trivet has seen better days. Somebody set fire to the poor thing at one time or another. Each little grape is a crocheted Coca-Cola lid. I can't imagine that people actually did things like this - crocheting Soda caps. But, they did. It was only a quarter, so I decided to rescue it. I don't now if I will keep it as it, or take it apart and reuse it. I have soaked it an quite a bit of the brown came off.
I have been searching for an old hanger like this for a few months. I have found several old pant hangers, but I thought I might find a better one down the line. Today was my lucky day. This is very old and very cool. And only 25¢! Have you seen these used as impromptu clipboards for grocery lists and such? They look really cool for holding up and old print or photo too. I'm hoping to keep finding them - I have a project in mind.
There are two Thursday sales in the paper, so I will probably hit them pretty early. It was 100 degrees today, so I don't relish the thought of being outside much past early morning. I love junk, but once it gets really, really hot, it truly looks like JUNK. The crappy kind of junk.
Hope there's some junking in your weekend ahead!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Red, White & Blue

I'm baaaaaaack!

Hey everybody! I'm baaaaaaaack. I'm feeling pretty good. I get tired and have to do things sort of slower than I'd like and I have to ask for help more than I am used to doing, but I am getting back to my old self. I couldn't drive for 4-5 days and the five days ended about 8:30 last night so The Bean and I jumped in the car and took a neighborhood drive. I was hoping for a good trash night find, but we came home empty handed. But, it was good to be out of the house and driving once again. Wednesday I get the stitches out, and not a moment too soon. They are driving me batty. But, enough about that.

I signed up for two swaps centered around the 4th of July this year. One was with Sweet Goodness Swaps (which I am now one of The Goodness Girls). My partner was the lovely Ali at Wila's Way. She lives near Washington, DC., the most patriotic place on earth!

Here are all the goodies that Ali sent me - lots of sweets to wrestle The Bean over, a patriotic notepad and a glittery pen (Ali is a huge fan of making lists and I am too), a dip bowl with star-topped spreader, summer-y napkins, two fun metal buckets, a star shaped clip from Washington, DC and a wonderful piece of art.

Here's the art - an artist's view of the FDR monument in Washington, DC. Don't you love it? I do!
I adore this bag - a reusable shopping tote from Trader Joe's. I've always wanted to visit a Trader Joe's, but there have never been anywhere that I have ever visited. (It might help if I ever left my 300 mile comfort zone). I love grocery stores, it runs in my family. So, this is a great gift and a way cool bag! Thank you so much Ali!
I also participated in A Very Vintage Fourth-of-July Swap at Foxgloves, Fabric and Folly. My partner was Allison at Sew Many Girls. She has five daughters and I have no idea how she managed to put together so many fabulous hand made items.

First, she sent a Sunflower tin because she read that I am from Kansas, and that is the land of Sunflowers. Inside the tin, appropriately so, she put two packages of Sunflower Seeds. Not only was that clever, but it meant she read waaaaaaay back in my blog to read that I am a Sunflower Seed addict!

Look how talented Allison is! The pinwheels are sewn and have rustic stick handles, the coasters are awesome and let's talk about that Raggedy Annie Doll. OH MY GOODNESS. She is adorable! I already had that little stick chair and she fit in it perfectly.

Look at her! Seriously cute! I had seen a doll on her blog that she had made and thought it was so sweet, so to get my own was quite a treat!

The pinwheels with jingly bell centers - aren't they a great idea?
I spend a lot of time reading blogs, surfing ebay and looking at things on Etsy. But, I never buy anything, because I truly do not need anything else. But, sometimes you see something that you just want, right? My items of lust recently has been a string of fabric pennants to put above the bay window in the living room. I love the pennants that everyone is making (except me since I am so not a sewing kind of gal) and really, really, really want some!
So, what did Allison send me even though she had absolutely no idea that I was wanting some? My very own pennants. And, they fit above the bay window like they were custom made for me! I love them so much! Thank you Allison!
So, thank you Alison and Allison! (Yes, I swapped with Alison with one "L" and Allison with two "LL"'s and that was very confusing!) I had such great partners!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gall (Bladder) Darn It

Thank you for all the very, very nice comments about my big hospital stay. No one except my family knows this all happened, so to have so many nice people say such nice things to me, really made my week. I appreciate it all so much!
Seasons of Cannon Falls bird from the $1.00 a bag Church Sale last Saturday.

I'd never had surgery before. It went well, and I am recovering quickly. But, I can't keep thinking about the fact that a piece of me is gone. I still have my first pair of baby shoes, my favorite doll, my toy toaster, my 7th grade report on monkeys, my high school newspapers, the keys to my first three cars, the key to my apartment and our first house as a married couple but, I lost an ORGAN. And where is it? where did it go? It is weird. Really weird.

Made in Japan Birthday Cake topper for a 4th birthday.

I am in love with this and now will be on the hunt for a set. Seriously!

Luckily, it is an organ that is easy to get by without. There a few expendable organs like oh, your heart and you liver than you need and then there are those extra organs like the gall bladder and appendix that are just extras. Maybe you need them, maybe you don't. Who knows. I'm just glad it was my gall bladder and not my heart!
A sweet little dress - I think for a bottle of dishwashing detergent.
Not that I have plans to dress my detergent. But, it's sweet.

I wanted to be sure to say that The Breadman stepped up, took over took care of everything including me and The Bean. He took two days off from work, which is simply unheard of where he works. He stayed at the hospital late and got there early in the morning. He cried and worried over me and about me. When we got home, he changed the litterboxes, did the laundry, washed the dishes, vacuumed, made the beds and everything else that needed to be done. I learned that he doesn't see the things that I see - he doesn't see the messy floors that need to be vacuumed. But, if I say, "Would you mind vacuuming?" he jumps up and vaccuums. I hate to be told what to do, he prefers it. He also has no idea about menu planning. When I was sick a few years ago, he ate a slice of bread and a Pop Tart for dinner. What the heck? So, I learned to suggest items to prepare, and between him and The Bean, they did it.

The Bean knows how I do things and to him, that is the right way to do it. He stood behind his Daddy and watched him make Ramen Noodles (We call them Big Noodles at our house) on Sunday before we even left for the hospital. Daddy measured the water careful to which The Bean rubbed his furrowed brow like "Come on just do it already!" I don't have to measure because I have made about a million Big Noodles in the same pot over the past few years. The point it, he helped me and most importantly, he apologized for not taking me seriously on Saturday when I said I was hurting. He thought it was just bout of indigestion. Not.

Small artisan hand-carved duck. I'm not a duck gal, but I love little bits of Folk Art.

The photo I took a few weeks ago - and where it all happened ths week.

And now, some humor from my stay. I never lose my sense of humor. Well, not for long anyway. I was pretty darn cranky on Monday. Sorry Mumsie, The Breadman and The Bean.

When they to me down for surgery, they took away my glasses. I am a -9.50, so I am blind as a bat. I couldn't see a thing, and I'm not sure if that made it worse or better. One lady came in and sat down, picked up this big blue folder with my information in it, clicked her tongue, looked at me and said, "You're not an 82 year old man" and left the room. Holy crap. I could have had my prostate removed!

After the initial surgery, they wheeled me in the room, apparently quite a bit later than promised, and my Mom said, "Where have you been?" And, according to her, I leaned over the bed and said in a very-high pitched loud voice, "I HAVE BEEN VERY BUSY!" Ah, gotta love that anesthesia. Lord knows what I talked bout while I was under. "Chippy old chair, white pottery, SHINY BRITES, Gurley candles, Tablecloths......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz." I bet they couldn't wait to cram that tube down my throat. I do remember as I was going under the anesthesia they asked what my husband does for his job. When I replied he drives a Wonder Bread truck, they all started talking about bread and cake and things to eat and I was like, "Woo-hoo - what about meeeeeeee?"

Late one night I had Cake Boss on the TV. My Swedish nurse came in and exclaimed, "Dat cakes luks Gooot!"

Another nurse came in and exclaimed, "Whew! What a day!" and flopped down in my recliner to a siesta. Then she said, "Oh yea, you didn't want to get cleaned up, did you?" Me thinks she was not Nurse of the Month.

As a girl wheeled me to surgery she said something to me, but since she was wheeling me rapidly on a hard floor from behind, I couldn't hear her. She repeated it four times and finally said, "ARE YOU WEARING YOUR PANTIES?" Well, sheesh, you didn't have to yell that!

My last day there I had a male nurse from England. He walked in, introduced himself and asked my to raise my gown. Excuse me. I usually like to get a cocktail first, thank you. Then he asked me if I was gassy. Well, that killed the mood, you know. Apparently when you have surgery they fill your abdomen with air and that air has to come out. He told me in his thick English accent to "faht no mahtt'r whose in the room." Righty-O Chap! I'll get right on that.

I'm feeling better and will be back to my old self, maybe even my better than old self any old day now. I will have to go out and find priceless treasures to sell on ebay because I have a $10,000 deductible on my insurance. Oye!

*I had eight pictures on my camera. These four Church Sale finds. And the stitches inside my belly button. Lucky you, I chose to post the Church Sale Finds!

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