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.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

'Tis The Season

"It's the most wonderful time of the year
 With the kids jingle belling

And everyone telling you "Be of good cheer"

 It's the most wonderful time of the year

It's the hap-happiest season of all

 With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings

When friends come to call

It's the hap- happiest season of all"

***I love this time of year!  The thrifts are digging out the Christmas stuff and the yard sales are full of it too.  Purchased today, Huge tacky plastic Nativity (Coming to Etsy soon), a sweet flocked deer, a fun plastic flocked Santa and Sleigh and a fabulous JAPAN wooden Santa Pencil Sharpener. 

And, just to prove that I didn't just buy all Christmas.........Get Ready......It's a good one.....

Vintage.  Aqua.  Pottery.  Birdie.  Frog.  Planter. 
How could it get any better???? 
Oh yes. 
Wait for it. 
I know!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

One More H-OWL-oween Display

I have one more Halloween display to share.  I'm not really an Owl fan (they are still a bit to 1970's for my tastes)  but, a few have crept into the house and into my Halloween decor this year.

I was donating a bunch of junk to the thrift one day and my hands were full.  I had this big glass hurricane in one hand and the old clock face in the other hand.  I sat them down on top of each other and realized that I had just made a cool cloche.  A keeper!  For Halloween, I put in a set of Owl nesting dolls, a hand carved wooden owl and the fabulous wooden owl whistle I found earlier this year. 
I threw in some aged sunflowers that Aimee-Suzanne sent me in the banner swap and some old Anagram letters.   (It's hard to take a good photo under a cloche - so  here it is neekid.)   The owl from last weekend found it's way to the background too.
Over to the side, I have a teeny cloche with a fat brass owl and a tiny little ceramic owl beside it.  Of course, there's my seasonally inappropriate lamp full of miniature Shiny Brites in the background.  I filled that lamp up for Christmas about eight years ago and never took them out.  They just make me too happy!

Come on over to Trick or Treat - we are giving out Ding Dongs and Twinkies.  We often get repeat Trick or Treaters because we give out the good stuff!

Monday, October 25, 2010


By now, I *hope* everyone has received the Halloween Letter Banner.  If not, look away

I think the banner turned out really fun.  I knew we had a diverse group of ladies signed up, so I knew the banner would have a unique look.  I was right!

H =  Wendy  A silver glittered spider!  Perfect!

A = Shara  Like you couldn't tell with all that festooning......This was the second letter I did and I couldn't think of another idea...

L = Laura in Texas.  She made every letter completely different.  Each one was fabulous and I had a really hard time deciding which one to keep!
L = Diane
It's a lower case "l" in the center which helped make the banner have character. 

O = Shara
A vintage O Dictionary page, and assorted "O" themed game pieces.
W= Aimee Suzanne at Monte-Verdi Lampwork beads. 
I am seriously fighting the urge to put this on a chain and wear it around my neck!  It is bejeweled and bedazzling!
E = Michele.  Love the Spooky Jingle Bell and the Hologram photo.

E = Lynn. 
She made her "E" into a tree!  So clever!
N = Dorothy (My Aunt!) 
 I loved that the two letters with glittery spiders on them were at each end - it worked out perfectly! 

I hope everyone liked their banner and had fun doing it.  I know I did!

Thank you too for the special fun treats everyone included for the other participants and for me and The Bean.

So, what shall we make next? 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekend Finds

I had lots of plans this weekend....Yard sales, the Super Cheap Thrift, the Haunted Battlefield Tour at the Civil War Battlefield and a few other things.  But, rain moved in Friday and all day Saturday, forcing me to stay in my own cozy house and make Red Hot Cinnamon Apples and all PINK Shiny Brite Wreath.  Sometimes, a change in plans isn't such a bad thing after all.

I did manage to find one yard sale on Friday before the rain started.
I think this picture is funny - I am not a fan of gold, but all my purchases were gold.  Two small gold wooden frames (to be painted white), a gold tree topper, a gold owl bookend and a nice old book full of gold accents and photos.  Each item was 50¢.  I find that owls sell well on Etsy, so I generally pick them up when I find them cheap.  I don't think the tree topper is old, but I still like it.

At this particular yard sale, they had shelves full of Christmas items, but it all appeared to be newer things.  Lots of Hallmark items, light strands and those cheesy singing Christmas animals.  I did spy a plastic baggie full of miniatures for 50¢, so I decided to grab it without even looking at it.  There had to be something in there worth 50¢, right?

I ended up with this cute little vintage wooden village - eighteen buildings and three cobblestone streets. The houses are only about an inch square and all hand painted.  There are also a few teeny bottle brush trees lurking in the background too.

On the bottom of each house, it says, "Made in GBD".  I think.  It's hard to read.  I'd love to learn more about them.  I wonder if they were for a Christmas Village or a train set or just toys.  It really doesn't matter what their original use was, I think they are adorable. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Accidental Collection: Leo Ward Birds

Nearly every blog I read, somewhere along the line, they find a Leo Ward Bluebird when they are out thrifting.  They are sweet little bluebird, made of a beautiful deep blue glass.  If you have ever gotten a swap, gift or won anything from me......you have probably received a Bluebird in your box.

The company is actually located right here in my neck of the woods - Terra Studios.  Although most people think if it isn't signed Leo ward, it's a fake.  But, that's not true.  He designed and developed the bluebirds.   And then he taught fellow artisans, including his wife and children, to make them bluebirds.  You may find Leo Ward and his wife Rita Ward as well as a host of other signatures on the bottom of the bluebirds.  They are all what people refer to as "Leo ward" birds.  They are all, in fact, Terra Studio Bluebirds of Happiness. 

When I say they are plentiful in my area, I am not kidding.  There is usually one at every thrift and yard sale.  maybe more than one.  I had picked up a couple to place in a windowsill along the way.  When we cleaned out The Breadman's parents house after they died, we found those bluebirds everywhere.  We knew she had a few in her windows, but when we started packing things up, we found one here, one there, one int he bathroom, three in the laundry room and so on and so on.  We even found one behind the stove when we moved that out! 

The Bean has always had an eye for colored glass so he likes these birds.  We decided that the birds from that house would make a nice memory for him to have when he was older.  Now we pick them up at yard sales when we see them, but we try not to pay more than 50¢ for any of them unless they are a different color or unique.  We only buy the single birds since the doubles take up too much room.  We do have a few of the smaller ones, but those came from the in-law's house.  When I heard there was going to be a special edition pink bird for Breast cancer, I wondered if I would ever find one.  I was surprised when I found one about two months later at the thrift for 25¢.
I do have them all in a glass case.  I don't really like them all crowded in there,  but they stay organized and clean.  That's a big one - clean and dust free!  Taking photos of them is not easy with the glass background.
We have about fifteen of them that have broken tail feathers. They were still too pretty to toss.
 So, I put those out side on the window ledge of our bay window for the sun to sparkle through.  They look pretty all lined up.

In addition to the famous blue birds, there are also clear, cobalt, amber, red and pink.  We have some of all of them.   They also make other animals in addition to the birds.  We also have ducks, frogs, elephants ans a few other animals on a different shelf.

They range in size from a bit bigger than your thumbnail to palm sized and every size in between.  I have a special love of the tiny ones, so I nearly always pick them up to add to out collection.
As we cleaned out my Grandmother's house, we found a box full of them there too.  So, home they came.  I recently saw a photo of The Breadman's Grandma's house and noticed a collection of them there too.  I don't know what will happen to her collection, but I wish some of them could come to The Bean.  It makes a nice collection and a nice way to remember his three Grandparents.  I have a feeling that The Bean might be able to open his own "Leo Ward" museum someday!

***This post seems to be popular for those of you looking for values on Leo Ward birds.  Please visit Terra Studios for information.  I will say that most Leo Ward birds are lovely, but not particularly valuable.  I'd guess the $10-20 range.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween Decor - Vintage and Otherwise

When I bought milk last week, I noticed that the expiration date was November 1st. Holy crap - how did it get to be almost November already?  It has still been pretty warm here - in the 80's most days.  And, the leaves are just starting to turn colors.  I can't believe it is almost Halloween.  I've been pretty busy lately, but I decided that if I didn't get some Halloween decorations up NOW, there wouldn't be any this year.  And that wouldn't be right.  Not at all.
My rusty old grid is covered in vintage graphics.  I love those bright colors.
Not my usual vintage decor - but I do like this vignette.  A mortuary business card, photo of the hearse we owned when I was a kid (Were we Funeral Directors?  No.  We were morticians?  No.  Did my Dad buy any car that was cheap and unusual?  Yes.  Did he ever pick me up from school in it.  Yes.  Did he do it a second time?  No!)  Where was I?  Oh yes, a black glittery skeleton, old poison bottles, medicine bottles, a vintage party game book and some other black, orange and creepy themed things round it out.
A mish mash on my picnic baskets.  The ceramic pumpkin was the very first Halloween decoration I ever bought on my own.   He has a big crack down the back of his head and every year I am afraid he will break in two.  But, KNOCK WOOD, he has survived another year.
I got these hologram photos at the Dollar Tree.  They were really tacky and in these hideous plastic frames. But they had potential.  I cut them out of the bad frames and put them in black cardboard photo holders.  They look like normal photos one direction, but evil corpse blood sucking zombies from the other direction.  Niiiice. 
All my favorite vintage inspired little cuties. 
That giant rocking cat was one of my very first 90% off scores at Target a few years ago.  I just love him so much.  I think he still cost about $5.00, which means he was $50.00 originally.  *It took me forever to get all those little cobwebs strategically spread out on my popcorn ceiling.  Ha! 
I bought these two vintage costumes on Etsy last year in Beth's Shop, Dime Store Decor.  I wished I would find a few more this year.
And, then at the big sale two weekends ago - I scored five more and a bunch of vintage masks too.  I only put out three of them this year.  Notice the vampire'd up photo of The Bean.  I framed a photo of him a few years ago and let him decorate it.  Bloody teeth, a scar, and some googly eyes are what he chose to creep it up. 
A big orange Pyrex bowl (my one and only piece of Pyrex) full of tiny tick or treat pails, a vintage blowmold pumpkin and a few other favorites.
The whole shelf all at once.  I want to find an awesome corner shelf to replace this prefab shelf someday.  It was in my apartment in college and I am so over that fake wood.  But, it works to hold my junk and I am happy to have it.  I just wish the Junk Gods would send me a big fabulous chippy white shelf.  For $1.99.  :o)
I love these silhouettes that I made last year.  They are super simple.  Go ** here, print them out, frame them and you are done.  I have been lucky to find two great old Halloween noisemakers for 25¢ each to add into the mix. 
I got this funny guy last weekend.  I know he's not a Gurley, but he's vintage and he's cute.  What more could you want?  (Besides a Gurley, of course!)
I found this fun pumpkin today at the Salvation Army under a pile of random Halloween dollar store crap.  Can you tell what he is?  He is a coconut.  I love him!

Here are a few of my favorite vintage items:

 This little devil figurine is a cutie.  I've never known if he should go in my Valentine or my Halloween decorations.  I think I like him in the Halloween best.
She's not vintage - but she's made of all vintage items. 

I was very pleased to have found an Ouija Board this summer.  I remember having one when I was a kid and doing it with my Mom.  It always answered the questions!

A box of old Jack O' Lantern Candles.  I found these at a pathetically junky sale where the promise of finding anything looked quite bleak.  I grabbed them, paid my 10¢ and left smiling ear to ear!
Lastly, my 1950's Buster Brown mannequin dressed in her Halloween outfit.  She's all ready to go trick or treating with her pail.  It just occurred to me today that I should actually get her a costume to wear. 
Be sure to go visit Joan at Anything Goes Here for the Vintage Halloween Blog Party!

***The silhouettes are on the Value Village page.  That link is last year's ideas.  Here are this year's ideas.  I've never even been to a Value Village, but I love their site.  They have ideas for every season and every holiday and they are all thrift store based.  Thrifting, crafting and decorating?  Yes!  Please!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend Finds & Sweet Gifts

My Dad, Dorothy, Jeannie and Cheryl

This weekend, I had family in town from Kansas. They are junkers and they read my blog (Hi Dorothy, Jeannie and Cheryl!), so of course, we had to go junkin'!  We only made it to one yard sale, one thrift store and the Flea Market.  But, we had fun and everyone found some junk. 
I got this really great old matte white pitcher for 50¢.  The day before I bought this, I had culled out 18 pieces of my Matte White Pottery when I packed it up for the Fall/Winter.  So, I suppose it was inevitable that I find a piece the very next day.
The thrift has a 50¢ area where all the items that have been in the store for two months go - no matter what it was priced then, it is 50¢ now.  I bought a big bag full of this old rough cut wooden animals. 
The duck is a bit abnormally large, but I think they are interesting bits of folk art.  I'm surprised they were still there after all that time.
Another glittery foil Christmas tin.  I have a love of this certain fruit cake tin.  I have gifted a few and I have several in different sizes.  This particular one is only about an inch thick. 
A red sewing basket.  I have eight sewing baskets in my Booth - not sure why I had to buy another one.  But, the price was right and I liked it.  So, there you have it.

My Aunt Dorothy has been buying me things at yard sales for about the past year.  If it looked like something I would like, she bought it.  How would you pack lots of vintage goodies for a car trip to Arkansas?  In sacks?  No.  In tubs?  No.  How about........
....in TWO Redman picnic baskets?  Two, baby!  That's the way to haul junk in style, my friend.  Take particular note of the one on top.

A RED Redman picnic basket.  The object of my desire for a few years now.   A gift from my sweet Aunt Dorothy.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And what was inside those delicious picnic baskets?
Shiny Brites.  Yes, please!  Hot pink Ornies in their original Woolworth box?  Squeal!
Red doilies, teeny lacy shoes, a wee bird, six tiny pottery bowls, piles of vintage cookbooks and one wee little leather glove.

Check this out - a folding yardstick!  Whodathunkit?  Love it!

So, thank you to Dorothy for the goodies and thank you to all three of you for good company and fun.  My Dad really enjoyed himself too. 

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