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.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thrifting, Working, Thrifty Work

This weekend was filled with very little junking and lots of working. First the junking:

I spotted this sweet little vintage planter on the back of a flat bed trailer full of crap. The lady having the sale told me stuff was cheap when I walked up. But, when I picked up the planter, she gave me the "ebay" speech. "How much?" I asked? "Well now, that that little planter there is an antique. I looked it up on ebay and there is one selling for $29.00. Now, you could buy that and sell it and get $29.00 for it." I was about to set it down and walk off because a) I loathe the ebay speech and b) I assumed she was going to say $15.00 or so. But, she said, "You can have it or $2.00." So, I gave her two bucks and left before I got anymore speech's.

This old Scottie Dog brush holder came from a thrift. I couldn't read the price - it was either $1.00 or $7.00. I was leaning towards the $7.00 price, but my lady friend said, "$1.00, for you!" It's old and very adorable.
This frame is small, but insanely thick. Layers and levels of wood and plaster. I love it all banged up and chippy. I usually paint frames white, but this one is so old, I think I better leave it as it is. I found this at a sale at an old man's house with boxes of stinky shirts and stuffed carnival animals. Why I even stopped, I do not know. Oh, I know maybe it was to buy this frame for $1.00!

Now for the working part:

Actually, the working part starts with a little more fun. Thursday I made another trip to the casino. I went to meet my Dad for lunch there and I decided to spend part of my winnings from last time. The casino has been there for years and I have never been before and now I have been twice in two weeks. But, don't worry, this will not be a regular haunt for me. I appreciate my money too much to waste it away. I had fun on my two visits, but I am done for awhile....
I started with $65.00 and left with FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Woooooohoooooo! Now, I know that is not an earth shattering amount. But, it is big money to me and I was super excited. I decided on the spot to finally buy this family a new flat screen "welcome to the new millennium" TV with my new found money.
Hence the weekend of work -
We had been looking at new flat screen TV's forever. The main thing keeping us from getting one (besides the cost, of course) was trying to find a new entertainment center that didn't cost an arm and a leg and that didn't look new - but fit into my chippy, shabby look. Despite the fact that it wasn't going to fit into our current wall unit, I bought a 32" TV anyway. Apparently, our procrastination paid off - this TV was $750.00 a few months ago, but it had dropped to $448.00.
When I got home, I started looking at our current wall unit and thinking. I thought maybe I could deconstruct it and make it what I wanted instead of trying to buy something else.

Here's the way it was - totally crammed with my treasures. (It seriously looks way more packed in the photos than it ever did in my eyes.) I got out my trusty screwdriver and took off the top, then I removed the vertical divider and all the shelves until I had a big empty shell in the middle. The TV fit perfectly!

Then I went to Lowe's and had two long shelves cut and a new piece of wood paneling cut to fit the back. I have new black wrought iron pulls and hinges still to add. And, I need some moulding cut to put in front of the shelves to hide the raw edges. I''m happy with the overall look - it needs some tweaking, but that will come tomorrow - some shelf rearranging and moving of the DVD/VCR and cable box. I originally purchased the wall unit at a garage sale along with a set of old gym lockers for a total of $26.00. I sold the gym lockers the next day for $25.00. So, this was my $1.00 wall unit. See why I liked it? I spent about $50.00 for the wood, backing and hinges, so I still only have $51.00 invested. So, not too bad. And, the TV only cost me $65.00 of my money. That's being thrifty at it's best!

*On a completely unrelated side note - it is 52 degrees here in Arkansas on August 30th. It is completely bizarre! It should be hot as h*ll! I am not complaining -I LOVE IT!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Return to Sender

I love mail. I get all giddy when the mail runs. What sort of surprises lie in wait in the mailbox? Oh, sure sometimes there are bills (lately there are a lot of bills courtesy of the old gall bladder surgery) and lots of junk mail. But there might be a neat new magazine, or a free coupon or maybe even a note from a friend. I always save those to open last.

So today when I got the mail, I noticed a hand addressed envelope. I put it at the bottom of the pile to open last. When I was just about to rip it open, I flipped it over to have a look at the return address.

A lawyer. A layer in Virginia. Hmmmmmm........What is this all about?

That's when I glanced at the address. "My address" so to speak.

Hmmmmm....Let's see. This is not the Executive Secretary of the Department of Resolution Services for the Supreme Court of Virginia. This is not the Supreme Court of Virginia. This is not North Ninth Street. This is not Richmond, Virginia. Not even close.

The only "close" part is the "100 North" part. Other than that - no way. This is Arkansas for one thing. How on earth did this make it all the way from Norfolk, VA to my house in Arkansas (1,294 miles) when it should have gone a mere 98.8 miles to Richmond, VA?

At least now I understand why the price of stamps keeps going up. Gas money!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hidden Treasure

Last Friday The Bean and I headed out in search of three different Estate Sales. We headed about 40 miles away from home. A distance I never normally travel looking for yard sales. But, I just had a feeling there was a treasure waiting. We had trouble finding any signs that would lead up in the right direction and any directions we did have lead us nowhere. Just as we were about to give up, we found the hidden treasure.

Off to the side of the road we spotted something pretty. Better investigate!

The West Fork of the White River. So beautiful. I love cliffs and rock formations.

Can you see the rope swing? Would you dare?

Would I? No way, Jose.

The river was murky due to massve amounts of recent hard rain. But, it as still pretty.

Love the moss on the cliff. How on earth do those trees grow out of the rocks?

Do you think anyone ever sat in that opening? Cave men? Native Americans? Victorian ladies in their ankle length bathing suits?

Or just local kids on a hot summer day?

So pretty, so calm.

As much as I love an Estate sale, I would trade them all to find more hidden treasures like this one.
Okay, not all of them.
A girl still needs her JUNK!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Junked Out

Today I found myself completely "junked out". With all the auction stuff, the sorting, the deciding what to keep, what to toss, what to sell, what to donate - really, it was a big headache. Oh, I had fun. But, it was a job sorting it all out. But, it is sorted, tossed, on ebay and donated. I took the donations to The SCT today. I wasn't in the junking mood, but it would have been crazy not to go in and just look, right? I did find a couple good items. Photos of those at the end.I bid $1.00 on a box lot that contained the Scrabble game. I was happy to find the vintage checkers, vintage Dragon Dominoes and the wee deck of children's playing cards with the tax stamp intact in the box when I got home. Worth the dollar.

This what I kept in the huge Christmas pile I got for $1.00. A few old Shiny Brite picks, a Santa Claus light bulb, an old snow dome, a couple wooden Japan ornaments, a bunch of old plastic holly picks and a bunch of old Christmas light bulbs. (I want to make a Christmas light wreath this year). It is all sitting on a roll of 1960's Skiing Santa wrapping paper. Worth the dollar? Still not sure. The keepers were worth the buck, but it was a ton of work sorting through all the rest. Eh gads.

I kept this guy too. He is a card holder, I think. He has a big pocket on the front and back. He's not completely my style, but cute enough to keep for a bit.

Found this purse at the bottom of one box lot. The fruit is stuffed so it is three dimensional. Kind of cute. Etsy bound.
This linen tablecloth was still in it's original plastic bag with tags. I put it with my tablecloth collection, but it sort of sticks out. All my other ones are white with colorful graphics. This one is natural linen - so it has an organic look to it. I think I will list it rather than keeping it. It is very pretty - just not me.

I accidentally bought a big box of sheets and towels. Oops. As I was sorting them into "donate" and "toss", I found a couple keepers. Love that chicken cloth -all hand appliqued. The crochet work is really fine on that other cloth. That is a Betty Jane Flour Sack under it all.

I didn't really even realize that I had this until it was all sorted out. I threw it in the keep pile just because it was vintage and like new. I knew there was a "certain" market for hot water bottles. But, I had not ever delved into selling them before. Since this on is like new, still attached to the inside of the box and in really great condition, I listed it. One very similar to it recently sold for nearly $300.00. I don't expect to get anything near that. But, heck it would be nice!
The Christmas Carolers were in the Christmas pile. I threw them in the donate pile, but thought I would share a photo first. These are very old heavy Coca-Cola bottles (filled with sand (then slipped into a sock) and then decorated. Crafts of the past.......is this what The Bean will think of my vintage ornament encrusted wreaths in twenty years?????

My thrift finds for today:

A sweet vintage handbag with colorful tassels.
A sweet vintage pink handbag. These are really nice - like new.
That's it - just two things. And, both for sale. I'm so proud of myself!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

One Dollar Bid, Now Two, Now Two

Today I went to an Estate Auction. It has been several years since I went to one. Auctions are normally on Saturday, and I would rather go yard saling than bid against the pros. But, since today was Sunday and there wasn't much else to do in the junking world, we went to the Auction. It was in a small town with not much else to do, so I assumed it would be crowded. Sadly for the people having the auction, there weren't many of us there. Luckily for those of us that were there, we got some good deals. This was an auction at someones house - everything sold lock, stock and barrel - As Is. Did I mention that it was hot?

*I took this photo on the sly because I thought it was funny. When the auctioneer finally held it up for bids, the ladies made quite a scene over it. The auctioneer got sort of embarrassed at first, then he did a big old belly laugh. *And no, I did not buy this!

*See that aluminum pitcher in the back? It sold for $22.50. The old man beside me watched the ladies bidding on it. When the bidding ended he said, "Jeezus Christ. I got a whole damned cabinet of them damned things."

There were tables set up on top of a flat bed trailer. Everything was sold either by the piece or by the box. And, if something didn't sell, the Auctioneer just kept adding things to it until someone bid. You'd think that sounds like fun, right? Well, it is until you bid on one little box of vintage Christmas items and you find that you have just bought eight boxes of random Christmas Crap, a box of baskets, some old hats and a broken down old chair for your lowly bid of one dollar. And, there is a big sign saying, "IF YOU BOUGHT IT, IT MUST BE REMOVED FROM THE PROPERTY." Oh, nooooooooo. So, that is how the car got filled up to the brim with auction junk. I had also found a yard sale on the way and bought a couple old train sets, a bunch of old board games and a set of Highlights Which Way USA books for cheap. (The books are already on ebay - a set sold last week for $103.00!) The broken down old chair got broken down even more by The Breadman and The Bean so it would fit in various locations in the car.

Whenever I go to auctions, I tell myself what I will bid on something and then I stop. Every once in awhile, I will go up one more bid and the other person drops out. Since it's only another dollar, it is worth it to try if it is something I really want. Case in point. The reason I actually went to the auction was in the listing I saw PICNIC BASKET. Since my number one "want to find item" this year is a red Redman picnic basket, I thought this might be it. Well, it was a Redman basket, but more of an orangey color. I decided I would go as high as five dollars because I really didn't have to have it, but I do like them, so I would like to have it. I bid to $4.00, then a guy jumped in at $5.00. I was going to stop, but I went ahead and said, "$6.00" and the other guy dropped out. So, I got it for $6.00. Not bad!

When we first got there to do the walk through, I spotted a shoe box crammed full of old livestock ribbons from the 1950's and 1960's. There were a bunch of fancy Grand Champion Ribbons as well as a lot of first, second, third and fourth place ribbons. I told the Breadman not to faint, but I was going to go as high as $20.00 for the ribbons. I knew they were treasures. I leisurely pulled some of the less fancier ribbons to the top of the box as I was looking. (Trust me, everyone does it - try to make the box you want look less appealing to the rest of the crowd.)

The Auctioneer started in the house, then worked his way out into the garage. He worked his way down the driveway leading towards the box of ribbons. I had my number in my hand, trusty old number 68, itching to get to those ribbons. Down the line we went as he sold old pictures ("These are OLD - look at all the dust!"), small tables, boxes of books, boxes of old newspapers, a pair of old roller skates in an old metal skate case (sold to ME for $1.00 "Look for her skatin' down the street ta-morrow!"), some old toys and then........to............my.........ribbons. He said, "Now here's a box of ribbons for those of you who ain't worthy of winnin' any yourself!" I was thinking how badly I wanted the ribbons, but I had to watch myself to make sure I didn't get all wrapped up in the bidding and go over my $20.00 bid.

The Auctioneer picked up the box of ribbons and held them over his head....."TWO dollars, who will give me TWO DOLLARS?" I quickly bid the TWO DOLLARS and waited. And, waited. And do you know what? Not one single solitary person at that entire auction was even remotely interested in those ribbons. I got them all for TWO DOLLARS.

And, even though no one else even wanted them, I clutched them to my chest like I had a box of diamonds. I carted them around for most of the auction, thrilled with my purchase.

I am loving these Grand Champion prizes with their sweet purple and pink ribbons. This man worked hard to earn all these ribbons. I can't believe someone in the family didn't want them. But, I'm glad they didn't or I wouldn't have gotten them for TWO DOLLARS!
I love them, don't you?

I bid on a stack of old games - Scrabble, Dominoes, Playing Cards, Poker Chips, and the like. I bid $1.00 and I guess he was trying to up the bids, so he kept throwing more an more on the pile. I ended up winning (if you can say winning) the whole pile for my original $1.00 bid. Part of what he added on was a huge box full of linens. Well, linens are my thing, but these were mostly old sheets, old towels and old rags. And by saying OLD, I mean not vintage - just old yucky stuff. But, when I got it home, I decided to go through it a bit closer. I was happy to find several old flour sacks, a couple flour sack towels with appliques on them and a vintage (not old and yucky) linen tablecloth still in it's original package. So, even though I didn't bid on some things, I still won them. And, I ended up with something decent in each box.

When it was all said and done, I had spent $23.00, which was only $3.00 over what I had anticipated in paying for the ribbons alone. So, I did pretty good! I spent about an hour in the front yard sorting it all out. I have three boxes and a couple of bags going to the Super Cheap Thrift on Tuesday and two boxes out by the curb for scavengers or the trash men, whichever comes first.

The auctioneer told me that there was another sale in town next week with high end furniture and antiques. I will probably go - I love to see people with deep pockets bid on things - especially when I am not interested in buying whatever it is they are bidding on! And, sometimes, I get lucky and they turn up their noses to old boxes of Christmas ornaments and maybe even some more Grand Champion ribbons!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

...And Your Little Dog too!

There's a big Wizard of Oz party in blogland today. And, even though I'm not officially a part of it, I wanted to share my Wizard of Oz memories. I have many reasons to love the Wizard of Oz, two of which include being born in Kansas and surviving (albeit, in the womb) the 1966 Topeka tornado which was at the time, the most expensive tornado to date in US history.

My Mom has loved the Wizard of Oz since she was a little girl. We watched it every year. And only once a year. Because once upon a time, The Wizard of Oz was only on TV once a year. It was on the Friday after Thanksgiving at 7:00. Which also happened to be the exact time the roller skating rink opened. We went skating every single Friday night. With one exception. The Friday after Thanksgiving. I believe (and hope) that that was the only time in my life that I was a surly teenager. "Have to stay home so she can watch the Wizard of Oz. Puleeeeze. Like it isn't the same as it was last year! Hurumph!" But, I gave in and joined her in the "TV room" and we watched it and ate homemade caramel corn. Every year. And, even though I was a tad grumpy about missing skating, I did love the Wizard of Oz too.

This January I took Mumsie and The Bean to see the traveling Broadway production of The Wizard of Oz. It was a late birthday gift to her. As part of her gift on her actual birthday, I got her a pair of Ruby Red Slippers. They were mostly a conversation piece and a fun gift. But, I'll be darned if she didn't actually wear them! She wore them to the play and let me tell you, they did not go un-noticed! It might have been partly because most of the ruby slipper wearing ladies were still young enough that the needed booster seats in their theater seats! One little girl came walking by and Mumsie said, "You have Ruby slippers too!'' And her Mother said, "Oh, she spotted you from waaaay across the room!"' The whole time the little girl was looking at my Mother with much admiration in her eyes.

I've picked up a few Wizard of Oz collectibles along the way at yard sales and the thrifts.
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion Madame Alexander dolls from McDonald's. I picked all of these out of various toy boxes at yard sales or 10¢-25¢ each. Glenda the Good Witch and her not so good sister, The Wicked Witch of the West. "I'm melting, I'm melting!"
Lesser known characters - more from the book than the movie - a couple Munchkin girls.
This summer I bought a big box of Hallmark Christmas ornaments for a couple bucks. When I started sorting through them, I was happy to find these Wizard of Oz ornaments. Tin man, Dorothy, Mayor of Munchkinland, an unidentified Munchkin dude and three Lollipop Guild kids. "We represent the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild and in the name of the Lollipop Guild....Weeeeeeeeeeeeee'd like to welcome you to Munchkinland." (I love the Munchkins).
I won all fifteen characters out of the stuffed animal machine at Wal-Mart. I'm suprisingly good at winning in those machines. It usually only takes me one or two quarters to win. I have them all, but I could only reach these from the top of my storage bins in the garage. I am a bit of a Munchkin myself.

Then there are books of course. This big children's version has sweet illustrations.
This book was give to The Bean when he was far too young to be able to read it. Mumsie couldn't wait to share her favorite book with her Grandson.
I adore this old copy of the Wizard of Oz. It has the sweetest color plates and graphics. I also have an autographed copy of the The Silly Ozbul of Oz and Toto written by Frank Baum's Great Grandson. I seem to have put it somewhere "safe" and now I can't find the darn thing!
And, lastly, these fantabulous Ruby Red Slipper tags arrived in the mail one day via the Wizard of Oz Lovin' Heidi.
Aren't they fab? She was sweet enough to gift Mumsie with some as well. Mumsie has requested that these be put in her urn when she is gone. I think she likes them!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How To / How Not To

This means:"Disabled Parking Only"
*Taken at Neighborhood Market in Springdale, Arkansas by Shara
So, does this mean.....
"Parking only for people who have a goiter on their neck and are sitting in a rocking chair"?
*Taken at Taco Tico in Springdale, Arkansas by Shara
Such a bad paint job just had to be photographed. And blogged.
Heavens to Betsy!
*Edited to add where these were taken - and yes, I spotted them and took the photos. I didn't get any looks when I tootk the "bad" one. However, I had several people watching me and giggling when I took a photo of the "good" one. Go figure.
*edited to add again - the b*ner thought crossed my mind too!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday Thrift Round-Up

Yesterday I went to a new thrift in town. I had been there one other time and the prices were very reasonable, but the selection was small. Yesterday the selection was much better, however the prices were much, much higher. I spotted a nice pair of wind pants for The Bean and they were $10.00. That is steep at a thrift. To me, anyway. I only bought two things at that thrift. And, I probably won't be going back any time too soon. I did buy this old German book. I don't know why, but the cover, the German writing and the patina of the cover caught my eye. (*Remember that statement...) So, when I opened it, what did I find?
Various color plates of eyeballs. Insides of eyes, outsides of eyes, pupils, irises, the whole shebang. Eyeballs, eyeballs, eyeballs. The photos above are rather artistic and educational. The color plates of various eye diseases...not so much. I still really don't know why I actually purchased it. It was 50¢ and a conversation starter if nothing else. *It caught my eye - GET IT?

I rescued this old vintage bunny from the depths of the stuffed animal bin. He had been marked down and down and down to only 50¢. I had to rescue him for my Easter decor. Who else would want the poor guy? I think he's a cutie.

And, a birthday trip to the Super Cheap Thrift netted a few fun finds.
A small basket purse. Lined with fabric, painted with ladybugs on the top, a mirror inside and a sweet little girl to boot.
A teeny tiny reamer - silver and marked Austria. It is only big enough to do one half lemon or lime at a time, so I think it must be bar ware.
Neither my Mom nor The Bean knew what this item was - do you? It's for taking off your cowboy boots. I'm not sure if that is a brand in the middle or what. Things are so cheap at the Super Cheap Thrift, that I just grab it and pay, then figure it out later. After a bit of research, it will be for resale.
A small pottery jug for my pottery collection. More and more pastels are slipping into my pottery collection!

So, what do we think about this? It looks familiar to me - like something I have seen in a book or something. It is odd shaped - three indented sides. I really need to look into this one before I sell it. Just think - it could be Lalique.........or Tiffany..........or the Dollar Tree. (!)

No weekend is complete until I find an owl or a toadstool lately. This week was no exception with this owl planter. I actually like this guy though. He will go on Etsy. And if he doesn't sell, he will go in my Halloween decor.

I really, really love this old scarf. I am not a scarf collector, but I always dig in the bin looking for Vera for a Vera loving friend. This week I found this 1953 Calendar scarf. It has the year, months, birthstones, monthly flowers, images for every single holiday and much more. I think it is really neat. And, it is big. So big in fact, that I have decided in my own creative way that it is almost big enough to quailfy as a tablecloth. So, I can keep it! Because I collect tablecloths!

I swear, can talk my self into keeping anything.

I have a pet peeve in blogland. I hate photos of peoples feet! I think feet are ugly. Even with pedicures and cute shoes. (Sorry all you folks with cute feet out there). So, I was rather disgruntled with myself to end up with a photo of my feet.
I've had several comments and emails asking about my birthday cake this year. Since last years cake was named a CakeWrecks Favorite and is now in a book, I can see why people would be curious. (Not Curious George. Just plain old curious.)This year I had a beautiful pink cake with buttercream flowers. It was perfect and I loved it. Oh, sure it won't ever be in a book. But, that's okay. Because this one made me happy. I still have bad dreams about that other cake!

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