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, February 28, 2010


Some very sad news in Blogland - our fellow junker and blogger Elaine at Love2Junk lost her husband of 35 years yesterday.  He was in a terrible car accident a week ago and passed away a week later.  I know we cannot completely comfort her, but please leave her a comment. She is in my thoughts and prayers. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

How Shara Got Her Groove Back

Self esteem has never been one of my vices.  I have pretty low opinion of myself.  I know I'm not beautiful or anything like that.  I never thought a "boy" would like me.  I never thought I would get married.  I never had much experience dating.  I was always the "friend", never the "girlfriend".  I've never had grand illusions that I was anything outside of quite ordinary.  Compliments have never been thrown at me by The Breadman.  In fact, when he saw me in my wedding dress, his exact words were, "Huh".  (I should have run right then!)

Having been married for 19 years and having a 14 year old son, I'm pretty much a house frou.  I don't expect any man to give me a second look.  I don't expect any attention.  I just go about my business and that's that.

But, that all changed yesterday.

At the Nursing Home.

You see, there are a bunch of young men there remodeling the bathrooms and painting the hallways.  They have three or four elderly people in their wheelchairs sitting thisclose watching their every move.  Asking in depth questions like, "Did you eat yet?" Followed immediately by "I gotta pee".  As they move their painting supplies down three feet, they have to reposition all the wheelchairs out of the way so they can do their work.  They sigh as they look at all the elderly faces in the dayroom  - eyes transfixed on "Wizards of Waverly Place". 

Enter me.

Me with no self esteem.

The guys rush to the door to open it for me. 

I am greeted with a "How YOU doin'?" that would make Joey Tribbiani proud. 

They offer to help me carry things in.  They give me big toothy smiles every time I step into the hallway.

I am suddenly overcome with a realization.

I am a hot chick.

In the old folks home anyway.

I plan on spending a lot of time there.

How YOU doin'?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Recent Thrifty Finds

I've been thrifting a bit lately, but I only find on or two thing each trip. So, I've been waiting until I had enough to post.
This cool old metal bin was only $2.25.  That is my GIANT Flubbalicious cat in it and he still has room.  It is huge!  Not sure what I will do with it yet.  But, for $2.25, it was a steal!
Sweet little birdie for 10¢ at on thrift.
Sweet little birdie at another thrift for 25¢.
A cute couple, don't you think?
Another picnic basket - this one smaller - big enough for a little lunch.  It was $2.50 and houses my crepe paper and crepe streamers.
Another handmade whistle for my collection - a hillbilly man. 
You blow into the top of his head to make the whistle work
Three real eggs with the design painted on to them for 10¢ each.
A HUGE beautiful tablecloth for $4.00.  It is big enough for a banquet table.  Absolutely huge and beautiful. 
A Wilton three dimensional Cake Pan.  I'd like to think I have the baking abilities to actually use it, but it will most likely go in my Etsy Shop instead.

I also bought an old wooden spinning wheel lamp and a very, very heavy solid brass desk lamp - each bound for my Etsy shop.

So, not much, but it's something. 

What have you found lately?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eggstra Fun Swap



Who's up for a Spring-y Easter swap?  As I have said before, I have participated in Sarah's Heart to Heart Swap for three years.  There are 12-14 participants and each one makes 12-14 Valentine's, box them up, ship the to Sarah, she re boxes them and sends them back to us so that we each get one that everyone else made.  It is so fun and such a wonderful way to get little snippets of each person's craftiness.

So, since Spring and Easter are coming, (They are.......I promise) how about an Eggstra Fun Swap?

Here's the skinny.....
*Make 14 egg themed crafts.  (Actually, make 15 so you have one of your own too)
*Mail them to me by March  17th.
*Send $3.00 to help with shipping.
*Sit back and wait your your "basket" of eggs to arrive!

You can decorate an actual egg (but pack them carefully), a paper mache egg, a plastic egg, you can felt an egg or make one out of material, you can make a bunny holding an egg, a chick coming out of an egg, crochet and egg, glitter an egg...basically anything with an egg theme to it.  Anything craft form is welcome.  Just make sure there is an "egg" in there somewhere.

Limited to the first 14 people that sign up.  Send me an email with SWAP in the title along with your name, address and blog name (if you have one).  I'll get the important info out to everyone once the limit of participants has been reached.

To get your creative juices going, visit the Eggstra Fun Swap Gallery on flickr for some creative ideas.  I found this fabulous old pin bead egg last year - that would be a fun idea!

I know this will be a FUN Swap.  Join in won't you?????

Monday, February 15, 2010

The "E" in Stationery Stands for Envelope

With the Valentine's decorations put away and a bit too many weeks left before it's time for Easter decorating, I have a few weeks to make a display of "Things I Collect."  Before Halloween last year, I decorated with my vintage games.  It's fun to hunt and gather around the house and find all the different things I have bought through the years to make a display.  I honestly didn't even realize that I had so many vintage Stationery Supplies!
This display is "The Vintage Stationery Store".  I love old graphics, so whenever I see any package with neat graphics on it, I pick it up if the price is right.  My magic price is 25¢, so I suspect most of these things cost me about that.  You can't see my old Underwood Glass topped key typewriter under the grid. 
Fabulous vintage Midnight Carbon paper package, two old business ledgers, old Scotch Cellophane tape tin and two fun old boxes of white Chalk.
More chalk, Staples, Dennison Paper Clips, typewriter ribbon tins, HUGE Rubber Stamp Pad and three old number and pricing stamps. 
Crayons, more Typewriter Ribbon tins, Dennison Gummed Reinforcements, a sweet old "Blue Jay" eraser, Two old packages of linen stationery with super cool labels, a box of stencils, an old Orlow pencil box and a box of replacement Rubber Typewriter Keys.
I have  bunch of these old rusty wire grids and I have never known exactly how to use them because they had curved metal ends that made them ugly and dangerous.  Today I took the pliers to them and curled the ends up so they aren't sharp any more.  I put old binder clips on the different sections so I can hang things on them. Right now I have old "1-2-3" stencils on them for this display.  But, I plan on using it for post cards, photographs and whatever else suits my fancy.  I like it so much, that I will probably have to make a few more for the Office and the Kitchen.
I have several old yardsticks.  I love these pastel colored ones.  I was particularly happy to find the pink one.  A pink yardstick!  My original plan was to use them as frame moulding or trim on a book shelf.  But, I really hate to cut them up.
An industrial sized box of Chalkboard Chalk.  Oh excuse me, Blackboard Crayons.  This thing is full of chalk.  More chalk than I can ever use. 
These old pricing markers are my favorites.  The green handled Garvey on the right was used to price items.  If you ever see an old purple price stamped on an old jar lid - usually in cents like 129¢ since there was no $ symbol - this is what was used to mark it.  When I was a kid, I remember visiting my Dad at the grocery store and hearing the canned goods being priced with these - "Ka-chunk, Ka-chunk, Ka-chunk".

What I love about this display is that most of these things were trash. None of it was meant to last or to be retained. Each package has such character.  I'm so happy that no one ever threw any of these great old things away.  And, I'm happy that I have been lucky enough to find them!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

Pop on over to Joan's at Anything Goes for her Vintage Valentine Card Party.

To see the rest of my vintage Valentine Decor look here.

I prefer kid Valentine's like we exchanged at school when I was a kid. 

Remember decorating your box? 
Getting a card for that boy?  Swoon
Getting a card from that other boy?  Hurl
Going home with a Fruit Punch mustache?
Red sugar on your blouse?
Saving your Valentine themed napkin?
Wearing your red and white yarn doodles?

I have a bunch of vintage Valentine Cards that I bought at a yard sale (The "Sale of Sale" for those of you long time readers) for 25¢.  They had belonged to a teacher and was all the extras she did not use for her class plus all the "To Teacher" cards, because she didn't have a use for those since she was Teacher.

Here are a few of my Favorites:

"Oh Daddio!  We'll raise a Hullaballo!" 
Whatever that means!
Love those kids! 
"Snow Kidding!"  This one is cute!
"Say You'll Never Wash me out!"
He is one "Hep Cat!"
I have a bunch of old Disney Cards. 
And, these are Dam Trolls from the 1960's. 
Love this sweet 1940's card, a gift from my friend Heidi.
An an old "To My Wife" Card complete with glitter and roses.
To: Margaret. 
All My Love, Harold.

So, to Harold and Margaret and all of you I say,

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thrift Therapy - It Will Cure What Ails You

This week has been so long.  So difficult.  So tiring.  The hospital, the Rehab Hospital, snow, ice, blah, blah.  I am just so sick of it all.  I was in dire need of some normalcy.  Today, I got it.

The Bean and I (Remember him?  Me, too.  Just barely) had tickets to a play at the Arts Center today for a Murder Mystery called "Laura".  It was set in the 1940's and the clothes and the set were wonderful.  This weekend are the actual dinner theater productions, but today was sort of a dress rehearsal with an audience.  The paper said it was appropriate for Grades 7-9, which I found interesting for a "Murder Mystery" in the first place.  Since it took place in the 1940's, everyone hit the Scotch pretty hard, they said "Damn" a few times and the leading lady said, "You must find me to be a bitch" one.  None of this bothered me, but when I was in the restroom at then end, some of the Mom's were hitting the fans at the "foul" language.  Frankly, I've heard worse on reruns of Friends, so it didn't bother me.  The Bean reads on a very high level and understands thing far beyond his age, so he enjoyed it.  And, I highly doubt he'll be throwing the "B" word in my direction any time soon.  Or hitting the Scotch!

After the play we went to the old timey Hospital Auxiliary Thrift store to do some thrifting.  Just what I needed!
I found a vintage PROBE game - I love these old letter cards.

Multiple copies of a bunch of old circa 1960 craft booklets featuring Ribbon Straw, Fun with Marbles, Flower Making, Chenille Stem Fun and lots of other fabulous 1960's crafts.  The Chenille Stem Booklet features how-to's for lots of chenille stem/spun head creations.  Hello?  I am all over that!  Most of these booklets are bound for my Etsy Shop.

A big vintage children's Book all about Hong Kong for 50¢.
A thick vintage book about all sorts of animals for 50¢
As I paid, the lady told me that books were Buy two, Get One Free, so I went back for another sweet vintage kids book.

I couldn't find one, so I chose this 1936 book about Syphilis.  The weird part about it is that it has a million handwritten notes in it and areas are underlined in red.  Someone had an overt interest in Syphilis!

A giant Ziploc bag revealed these two old molds and the two metal creme horn/ice cream cone forms.  The big cone maker is hand forged with really great patina.  I try to stay away from kitchen collectibles, but  am a sucker for the old hand made things.

Next we went to the new Goodwill.  It is gigantic.  Big as the local grocery store.  It was packed to the gills with stuff.  But, frankly, I was appalled at the prices.  I saw a set of four toadstool shaped napkin rings - not even old - just cute - picked them up, saw "Set of 4 - $10.00" and about died.  THAT'S TOO MUCH!  Even though it was full, I found hardly anything that appealed to me or that I was willing to buy. 

But, then I walked to the furniture area and sitting on top of a table was this:

*Pay no attention to my little helper*
A huge Redman Picnic Basket - the biggest I have ever seen.  You could pack a turkey dinner in that sucker.  It's BIG!  It still has the divider inside, which I always take out, but it's good to get it with it.  Now, I paid way more for this one than I have ever paid for any of my others.  I paid $15.00 for it.  I have been in such thrift withdrawl and had such a bad week that I decided I deserved it.  Poor me, poor  me.  I really do love it and it came to a good home.

Forget the Bean's video games in the background.  Here are my Redman baskets - all stacked neatly in the corner of the living room holding my craft supplies.  I'm still holding out for my holy grail - a Red Redman.  It will come to me one day.  I know it.  The top one looks red in the photo, but it's more of an orange-y brown.

One other item of interest at Goodwill was this box of Giant Sized Number Flash Cards.
Each flash card measures 11" x 14".  They really are Giant!  Wouldn't they be fun for altered art of hanging in a child's room?  There are four sets in the box.  I'll likely keep one set and sell the others in my Etsy Shop.

Getting back in real life - seeing a play, doing a little thrifting  - it was just what I needed.  (I won't let the fact that I discovered my beloved Taco Tico closed after 30 years, my favorite $1.00 Store went out of business and I had a dead car battery at the Rehab Hospital today get me down.) Today was a pretty good day in all.

Tomorrow is the Mardi Gras Parade.  Pretty much one of the best days of the entire year.  Yea, FUN!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine Decorations

I decorated for Valentine's Day far too early this year and I am about sick of it. But, I am glad that I got it all out. I am looking forward to receiving my Heart to Heart swap from Sarah.  It is my favorite swap all year long!  The little girls I made for the swap are in my header. I forgot to make myself one, so I need to whip a little Valentine cutie up to keep too.

Everything crammed in the corner where I do all my holiday decorating.

This is the first time to use my white feather tree (I swapped Sarah for this too).  In the past, I used my skinny tall Christmas tree, but I wanted a lighter look this year.  I missed the lights of the big one, but I like this one too.
I decorate with hearts, of course, but also candy, cupcakes, cake, pies and sweets of all sorts.  I have "X's" and "O's" and other hidden surprises on the tree this year.
I have a lot of old kiddie Valentine's, but I never knew a good way to display them.  Finally, I took a cork board and just stapled them all over it in layers.  I tried to put the politically incorrect ones on top  like "Honest Injun" with a Native American.  So, not cool anymore.
My infamous shelf that I use for every holiday.  I can pack that sucker full.  Things I look for when thrifting:  Vintage heart shaped candy boxes (I had several and sent them in swaps, now I wish I had them back), old chocolate covered cherry boxes, vintage cards, anything with "14 on it", candy boxes and hankies.  You can see a lot of my prior Heart to Heart swap items mixed in here and there.  I made that little cone for last years swap.
Chocolate covered Cherry boxes, my I Love Lucy Salt and Pepper shakers (they don't fit into my house at all, so I made them fit in with the Valentine stuff, just so I could keep them!), a bucket full of sparkly hearts and a vintage Valentine vase that was last year's one and only vintage Valentine find 9at a thrift I hit three times a year, but am going to tomorrow!).

Kind ofold candy tins, a Dollar Tree wooden LOVE plaque and a funny fat spun head girl I made last year.
The vintage heart box, really isn't vintage at all.  I found a box that was sticky and ruined, so I salvaged off the ruffles and roses and put them on a Dollar Tree Heart box.  I just noticed I used a 4 of Diamonds, that should be a four of hearts, der.....
My apothecary cabinet that I lurve.  HTH items on the knobs.

Child's typewriter and flower frogs with vintage Valentine's and more HTH swap items.

This funny monkey gal was 25¢ at the Super Cheap Thrift.  Had to have her!  Had to!

Happy Valentine's Day...almost!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Things You May or May Not Want To Know

Or maybe not.

1.  It snowed again.  More coming on Friday.   Nothing like The East Coast.  But, we have set snowfall record for the most EVER. 

It looked like Powdered Sugar.

2.  My Grandmother got discharged from the hospital today.  They called to say they were discharging her and I said YOU ARE DOING WHAT?  We just freaking got her there.  Saturday night they said she could die, today they send her home? What the hell.  Begged, pleaded and cried a little bit and they decided to send her to Rehab (they initially said she could go home and "we" would need to stay with her 24 hours a day.  Oh no, oh hell no.)

3.  Took her to the Rehab Hospital.  They asked all these questions which led us to believe that most people "check in, but they don't check out".  If you know what I mean.  She is stronger and can take care of herself waaaaaaaay better than most people there that I saw.  So, maybe her stay will be short.  She has it in her head that she will be home by the weekend.  Oh no, oh hell no.

Duck that lives in the landscaping at the hospital.

4. They charge $140.00 per day per room with a room mate, so that is $280.00 a day), but you have to provide the TV, a phone, a cup, a blanket, a table and a chair.  I think we should have put her in the Holiday Inn instead.  I know she is getting care, getting medical treatment, getting therapy, meals, etc.  But, not even a phone or a  TV? Sheesh.

See?  A duck!
5.  I am really tired.  Tired to the bone. 

6.  I need to do some junking.  Some thrift therapy.  Something to clear my mind.

7.  Or maybe just get drunk.  I can't decide.

*I don't drink.  But, I might start.

**I kid.

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