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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 - The Year in Review

It's that time of year again - time for my YEAR IN REVIEW.  I do this more for myself, so it might not be that interesting to anyone else.  But, here we go!
January brought the lake to record high levels and things were floating up from the bottom.  On my Dad's birthday we went scavenging along the shores to see what we could find.  Little did we ever imagine we would find a SAFE!
And in it - MONEY!  A junkers DREAM!  Of course, we handed it all over to the proper authorities.  But, still!  We found a safe and money! 
February:  My Grandmothers health started to decline in February and she was rushed to the hospital with a bleeding ulcer.  She spent three days in the hospital and then two months in a Rehab hospital before retuning back home to round the clock care.  It was because of this that my entire year was consumed by taking care of, shopping for, cleaning up after and stressing about my Grandmother.
March brought a baby shower for the little girl that I used to babysit.  I was only twelve years old when I started taking care of her and her sweet brother.  Her Baby Shower was a beautiful Spring day and everyone wore skirts and sandals.
Two days alter we had 17" of snow!  It came and went within about 36 hours, but it was fun while it lasted.

April was my first Swap Meet.  We saw and bought a lot of cool junk. 
May took us to a Minor League Baseball game with every.single. Elementary School child in a fifty mile radius.  A huge storm blew in and we were all forced to take cover under the awnings.  It was the loudest place I have ever been and I have been to a Molly Hatchet concert and to the front lines at a National Guard Bombing Maneuver.   L-O-U-D, I tell you.  Loud.
May also brought a family member in from Arizona for a visit.  We took him up on the mountains to see Greenery.  A rare treat after living in the Desert for all these years.

June we visited the famous Dickson Street bookstore.  The Bean fell in love with the place.  There is nothing in the world that he loves more than books.  ('Cept maybe his Mama).
July brought RAIN.  A lot of rain in only a few hours.  It was a little cloudy when we left to go to the Grocery Store.  By the time we were checking out, The Breadman was calling to say that the roads were closed and to stay off the highway.  We waited it out, then drove home two miles in traffic that took nearly an hour to navigate.  This photo is the City Park at the end of the street.  The creek is normally about 6 feet wide at this point.
August brought family members from Kansas in to see my Grandmother.  They were here one weekend, bringing her fried chicken from KFC (her favorite) and showing her photos of the grandkids.  No one would have guessed that she would die the very next weekend.  Or that The Breadman's Grandmother would die five days after that.  Both of their obituaries were in the same newspaper.  Now, that was hard to handle.

In September, the Godyear Blimp hovered over our house.  We followed it to the Airport to see it up close. 
In October we went to see the Historic Monte Ne Hotel that was all the rage back in the early 1900's.  It's been overtaken my Graffiti and trash, but still has a unique feel to it.
November brought my bee-u-ti-full Kitchen Aid mixer into my life for a mere $18.00.  Thank you Lowe's and Facebook!
December took us to the Civil War Re-Enactment on a very windy and cold, cold day.

2009 brought the huge ice storm to NW Arkansas that still effects the beauty of our area.  Also, an emergency surgery for me in June.  I bid 2009 farewell and said 2010 had to be better.

2010 laughed in my face:  My Grandmother died, The Breadman's Grandmother died five days later and I lost two special Aunts too.  Money was tight, the economy sucked. 

So, I will NOT tempt fate!  I will ask that 2011 be kind.  Thank you.
Happier days and good junk to all!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Year in Junk - 2010

Here is my annual "Best of Show" year in review for my Junk.  I bought a lot less this year and what I actually kept was even less. I only kept what I truly loved - as you can see from the photos. I think I made some good choices!

Wonderful old porcelain topped table - $5.00. 

Sweet little wooden German girls with flowers - 50¢.

Fabulous vintage child's hanger - nabbed from the FREE bin at the Super Cheap Thrift.

Rushton doll - 50¢.

Adorable hanging lamp - $10.00.

Perfect aqua planter - 25¢.

TWO Redman picnic baskets - FREE via my wonderful Aunt Dorothy. 

Sweet vintage embroidered baby bib - 25¢.

Three vintage packages of Mica Flakes - $5.00.

The junking highlight of my year.  I drove past a yard full of "stuff" and discovered that it was a garage sale at a house that had been shut up since 1995.  The entire contents dated from the 1960's.  The house was packed.  I filled my car to the brim twice for $25.00 each.  I spent $50.00 and have sold a very small part of those items for about $150.00.  It was the single best sale of my life and I am still kicking myself for not buying more - and really for not just offering something for the whole lot.  They were throwing more things into the dumpster more that they were selling.  It made my stomach hurt to see huge boxes of old postcards, books and papers hit the dumpster.  I got a lot of really cool old stuff, but the memory of that sale will hold me for a long time. 

So, here's to 2011.  Better junk for us all! 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

The Merriest of Christmas wishes from ME to YOU!
For the third year in a row, the Goodness Girls have exchanged handmade Christmas ornaments. 

Rebecca sent this fun miniature dress form all decked out in a Christmas dress.  Very cute!

Leigh Ann (formerly the Pink Kitchen Blog) sent this red cowbell all decked out Pioneer Woman Style. 

Heidi sent this fabulous glitter encrusted vintage cookie cutter - blinged out with vintage Mercury glass beads and a crystal.   It's sparkley!

Jodi made this Victorian inspired ornament complete with glitter that made it look icy. 

I made these toadstools.  I devised a pattern and cut out all the pieces.  After I hand sewed them together, I dipped a pencil eraser into white paint and applied the spots.  While the spots were still wet, I sprinkled silver glitter on them.  I also included some candy toadstools that I made out of cherry fruit slices and white spice drops. 

A few days after I finished my ornaments and mailed them - I saw this post on Allsorts and was amazed at how much my toadstools looked like hers!  I adore her toadstool tree and might have to make one to get me through gloomy old January.

*You may have noticed that my blog looks different.  I tried to widen my columns and everything went kaplooey.  I will fix it, but it will take me some time and brain power that I am in short supply of these days.  It will be time to take off the "Shara & the Christmas Booze" header soon.  Maybe I can fix it then. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

WARNING: Not Suitable For Children

While digging in a bin of Christmas ornaments, I came across this guy. 

(Children out of the room, please.....)

 A monk with a well, with a......uh.......uh...........Uhhhhhhh...... 

{{crickets chirping}}

What the ?

I continued to dig in the box and then I pulled out this guy:
A monk with a Hymnal. 

The first one is missing his Hymnal. 

Makes a HUGE (pardon the pun - ba dum-dum!) difference, huh?


I thought I had found a whole new category of vintage collecting!

**I actually found the other Hymnal.  But, it is so much more amusing without it. 

You can bring your kids back now.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

One More Tour

Oh, hello!  Are you back for more? 
Come on in!
Oh, but wait....Did you see the Santa Blowmolds on the porch?  I seem to find those tabletop ones quite often.  But, it is always the same one with the black sack.  I think it is odd that there are so many of that particular one and no others. 

Okay, so come on in.  I only have a few things to show you today.

I bought this old clock cabinet, as is, for $1.00.  The lady apologized that it was in awful condition and even gave me the clock that went inside for free.  Little did she realize how incredibly perfect the old cabinet was in my house.  I love it and use it to showcase one special piece of pottery normally or one special holiday item.  My Gurley candles and an old silver "Merry Christmas" tray fit perfectly up on top of it.

Here we have priceless art done by an upcoming artist back in 2002.  I love the S.C for Santa Claus and the C.S. for his name.  SC + CS like they are old buddies.

My favorite vintage tin.  Love the graphics on it.  And, to top it off, it is a Martha Washington Candy tin.  Cute!

On top of the Entertainment Center is the village.  It looks blurry without a flash.

 But, it's not nearly as charming with the flash.   Although I do have a few churches in the village, for the most part, it is an all Grocery Store Village.  The Breadman and I met working in a Grocery Store, so for our first Christmas we bought a grocery store to start a village.  Then, each year we were going to add something new, but we kept finding different Grocery Stores.  The years we couldn't find a Grocery Store, we added in a bakery, since Grocery Stores have bakeries and he is The Breadman now.  Luckily, Wal-Mart started making stores too, so we were able to add those in as well.  I haven't found a new one yet this year, and I might not.  It's getting kind of crowded up there.

So, that's the tour for today.  And for this year, actually.  I love all my Christmas things so thank you for coming by to see it all.  (I had a lady stop by yesterday and when she walked in, she said, "Wow, Christmas everywhere".  But then she never looked at anything or asked about it or even commented on it.  I would have gone nuts looking at it all and soaking it all in.)

I'll be back with an ornament swap and a few other recently found goodies.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

You Want More? I'll Show You More!

So, you still like me after seeing my Christmas in it's entirety?  Yeah!  I did enjoy the comment from Barbara about it being in a non-functioning living room.  This is our only living space - still plenty of room for the couch, two chairs, three cats, TV watching, crafting, snoozing on the couch *cough*Breadman*cough* and other things.  Everything is neatly displayed and the room is completely livable.  I enjoy being in there and just looking at my treasures. 

Well, what shall we see today???  Kneehuggers?  I have those.

I actually donated quite a few of these this year - they were not truly vintage, but more 1980's versions.  I think discovered that the little group I did donate would have sold for about $30.00 on ebay.  Dadgumit.  Oh well, live and learn!

What else, what else?
How about this cute guy?  I think he was seven years old.  He is wearing a vintage Santa Suit.  I love this photo so much! 
I made these Pinecone Elves last year and I hung them on this little ladder (which is actually an old crib slat) and they have hung there ever since.  I just hated to pack them away after I made them.  I've already made a pink hat, mittens, shoes and scarf - I just need to find the perfect pinecone to complete it.

This is Emily.  She is a funny little handmade doll that my Mom bought me quite a few years ago.  She is wearing The Bean's 1st Christmas outfit.  Between Emily and Hazel, I am always buying little girl clothes.  (I think I might be a teeny bit nuts.  I imagine some day I will get one of those little dogs and dress it in pink and carry it around in my purse.  I am destined to be a weird old lady).

I think that is enough for today - I'll be back with even more tomorrow!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Where Do You Keep It All?

I suppose it is about time to tour the decorations at my house.  When I decorate for Christmas, I take every single thing out of the living room except for the furniture.  And, actually, some of the furniture goes too.  I cover every single square inch of the living room with all of my Christmas decor.  In fact, I don't decorate any other room in the house - just the living room.  And since I have so much vintage Christmas, it ends up looking like the Christmas Store at the Mall.  Albeit, the Vintage Mall.  But, still.  I love it like this - all or nothing - Go Big or Go home and and all that stuff.  When you walk into my living room, there is no denying that it is Christmas.


Are you sure?
Here is the bay window area.  I warned you.  There's a lot!  A new addition this year include the Sock Monkey Santa, which I could not resist.  I love the giant Rubber faced Santa in the window on the left.  I bought him for $2.00 in a backyard sale years ago.  He is big and bulky and kind of a pain to store, but I adore him. 
The Dime Store Decor Area.  Lots and lots of vintage packaging, vintage items and general Kitsch.  If it was for sale at Woolsworth or Ben Franklin, it's for me!  This is my favorite collection because I can always add to it and try to find something unique to squeeeeze in there.  I got that Mica Snow in there, didn't I?
The Annalee area.  I know that some people don't like Annalee dolls.  But, I think they are super cute.  Having said that, I only like them with my holiday decor - I don't have any that stay out year round.  I've been lucky to find most of these at the thrift store and my sweet friend sends them to me from time to time too.
This little boy should be holding a candle, I think.  But, I put a glass ornament in his hand.  He looks right at home in the wreath I made last year.
The Nutcrackers.  Oh, my Lord.  The damn Nutcrackers.  Three short years ago The Bean found a Nutcracker at the thrift and decided he liked it.  Then he found another and another and another.  And, he found them after the holidays and at yard sales and on and on.  The Nutcrackers are not my favorite (and I did not display them) but he loves them.  This will be his collection to share with his own family someday.  (Excuse me a second.  Boo Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoo.)  Okay, I am back.  Darn Nutcrackers anyway!
On to the Santa's.  There's a lot of them too.  I didn't even put them all out this year.  Santa's were my first Christmas collection, so even though some of them don't fit into my vintage collection  - I still am attached to them.  So, I had to keep them.
I warned you!  Lots of Santa's.

The Woodland Santa's.  I got that tree this year for $1.00 and it really fits in perfectly.
Santa's!  Most of them are either vintage or vintage inspired.  I got that Santa Mouse in the back when I was six years old.  So, he actually is vintage!  ha  There are a few newer one that give me a chuckle, like the Outhouse that opens to find Santa, well, you know.  There's nesting dolls and glassware and rubber faced Santas and Santa cups and, and, and....
 More and more Santas.  If I see one I like and I can afford it (read, CHEAP), I buy it.  Now that I know more about things, I see that I actually own a few German smokers and some other ones that I know what they are now.  (Yes, that is a crab painted to look like a Santa  Yes, I know it is slightly tacky.  I have a collection within the Santa Collection - things painted like Santa - an acorn, a walnut, a Coke bottle, a crab, a stick, a cinnamon stick, a gourd, a fishing bobber, a rock, an okra pod, a thimble...you get the drift).
Even more Santas!  And tablecloths.  I swore off Christmas tablecloths last year.  But, I accidentally bought one a week or so ago.  I just love them all stacked up like that.  My Egg Nog punchbowl set is sort of buried under all those Santa face mugs.  I bought it for $1.00 at a yard sale about ten years ago, thinking I would sell it.  One day it occurred to me that it was completely awesome and it only cost one dollar, so I needed to keep it! 

I guess that is enough for tonight.  Wouldn't want to overdo it.  Not me!  I'll save the village, the vintage tree, the actual tree, the kneehuggers, the pink area, the cute stuff, the things that make me happy, the things I made, the Christmas tins and the miscellaneous for another day.  Whew!

*The answer to the title is in the garage.  Neatly packed in tubs.  Lots of tubs.

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