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.

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!


  1. That is a very interesting collection. I especially love the old pricing stamps! Love the old stencils also.

  2. GREAT Stuff... as always!! I probably just overlooked it, but What Was that OWL?! It Was a Bong wasn't it?!...and that is how you have been surviving this whole grandmaw thing... Alway knew you had a 'special' eye for things! ;-)

  3. That's just a very cool collection. I want a big revolving number stamp like yours. Thank you from my spelling-bee winner's heart for spelling "stationery" correctly. You get an A for Admirable.

  4. OK, now you've brought back some unpleasant memories. Back before there were copy machines we had carbon paper. And no matter how great a typist you were, just knowing that you couldn't make a typo while using carbon paper ALWAYS made you hit a wrong key. And then to compound the misery, you had typewriter ribbon that could be used only once. Put on the spool on the left side, wind the ribbon through the middle slots without getting ink on your fingers (ha!) and then put on the second spool. Half the time I was in such a hurry that I wouldn't thread it right and you'd start typing and nothing would get typed. Except if you were using carbon paper--then the sheet behind it would show what you'd typed, rendering it useless. Thank god for the inventions of (1) the copy machine and (2) the computer!!!

  5. I'm always rummaging thru the contents of old desk drawers at sales looking for boxes of chalk for my collection. You could open a stationary supply store with all you stuff

  6. I love your stationery store collection! When I was little I loved to play "office" and would have swooned over this stuff. I also love your idea of having a rotating display of collections. You've given me an idea of what to do with all the stuff I have packed away in boxes.

  7. Shara, You have outdone yourself. The office supplies display is my favorite to date. I remember some of those things! As a kid I would play "office" with friends and I'm pretty sure some of your display was what we used! Thanks for sharing

  8. I just love your collections! I would never give all those items much thought one at a time. But put them together and you have such a wonderful look!

  9. Anonymous5:15 PM

    I love how you switch out collections for displays. I'm going to start doing the same!

  10. Anonymous5:24 PM

    Okay, I'm a lurker and after reading noticed you liked people to say hi. So hi :).

    Love your blog. I love to see all of your vintage finds. I'm nearing 50 and its neat to see some of the things you post, reminds me of things from childhood. They just don't make things as cute as they use to!

    Thanks for sharing!


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  12. So, so sick of stupid SPAM comments for SEX SITES. ARrrrrrrrgh!


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