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.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shiny New Things

We got our income tax return back last week. We always stick most of it in savings, but there are a few things we go buy - new undies, socks and shoes for everyone. Buying those three things means going to actual stores where they sell new things. Bright, shiny, new things. Today it was shoe shopping day. I don't enjoy shoe shopping. My standard summer shoe is a pair of white Skechers. I don't wear flip flops or heels or sandals or any other kind of shoe. Just my Skechers. Purchasing Skechers means going to the dreaded Shoe Store. I loathe the shoe store. It reeks of leather and plastic. It is completely boring if you don't like shoes. There isn't anything else to look at once you are done buying your shoes when the boys are still looking. The only other thing to look at is socks. And, that is actually more boring than looking at shoes!

I did find my Skechers, then I left to go next door to the $1.00 Jewelry Galore store.  I figured jewelry had to be more fun to look at than shoes.  But, it was just rows upon rows of bright, shiny, new plastic baubles and beads.  I suppose it was was pretty enough, but it was all just too matchy-matchy, new bright and shiny. 

So, after a day of retail shopping and looking at aisle after aisle of new bright shiny things, I really, really, really needed some thrift therapy.  I needed to look at old junk.  Previously loved junk.  Rusty, crusty dusty junk.  (And, I really needed to find a treasure to sell to recoup some of that $150.00 we dropped on shoes!)

I walked up and down the aisles looking for just the right thing to apease my need for rust.  For crust.  For dust.  For junk.  Something chippy.  Something shabby.  Something well used and well loved.






Ah, that's better. 

So, are you a bright and shiny shopper or a rusty crusty shopper?

(If you have read this far, I think I know the answer!)

Friday, March 25, 2011

They're Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Yard sales - they are back!  And, I am a happy, happy gal.  Today I went to a neighborhood sale and went to about ten yard sales.  There are going to be more tomorrow, so I think the car might end up back out there again.  Darn that car!

I love it when I go yard saling and bring home a big fancy bag. Makes the neighbors think I've been out spending the Breadman's hard earned money!  All of my purchases, except for one, fit easily into this bag.  So, I didn't get a ton, but what I did get I love.  That is the theme for this year - only buy it if I love it or it can go straight on ebay. 
This big old wooden rake wouldn't fit in my Macy's bag.  But, for $1.00, that didn't matter.  It looks great mixed in with my Garden themed front porch.

At the first house, there was a big table full of stuff and things strewn about on the ground.  Nothing was priced.  As I picked up each item, the man standing beside me would mutter "50¢", "25¢", "50¢".  I wasn't 100% sure he was even the person having the sale until he said, "I didn't get the chance to price anything".  After he quoted me mostly 50¢ on each thing I picked up, I decided to make a pile.  I got this giant vintage planter and a total of 108 old advertising pens from the 1950's for a total of $1.50. 
My favorite sale of the day, and you will see why later in this post, netted me this pair of old porcelain bunnies for $1.00.
I left some sales empty handed.  At one sale, I only bought this sweet old rusty chair for 25¢.
Both of these pieces of pottery are from Canada - purchased from two different houses on the same block.  I couldn't pass up the old Dick and Jane Reader for 25¢.
My favorite sale had this vintage JAPAN Musical Bell  and vintage Santa Candy dish.
Three fun Silvestri tin rabbits for 25¢ each.  At the sale where I bought these, I also bought a set of vintage glasses for the booth.  I hope to sell the glasses for enough to pay for all the loot I brought home today. 
A handmade birch basket and a glass flower frog.  About three years ago, I had never heard of a flower frog.  Now, I think I have about twenty of them.  I wonder how many of them I missed in the past?

When I arrived at what I am calling my favorite sale, I wished that I had been there the minute the garage doors opened.  I imagine that I missed some treasures.  But, what I did get made me eternally happy.
Case in point - vintage, pipe cleaner, monkeys.  Need I say more?  25¢ for this little jewel which is now the official mascot of monkeybox.

Now, hold onto your hat.  'Cause it's a doozie.
 Bam!  Blue mercury glass!  Silver foil leaves!  Paper mache planter!  Bam!  I swear, my heart stopped when I saw this.  I never find cool old stuff quite like this.  But, I found this one! 
 And, this one!  Green!
And this one!  And this one!  Two blue, two green.  Ah, pure bliss.  Now, to doctor them up and incorporate them into the whole Christmas extravaganza I have going on.  (Not now, in December!)

Today got my blood going for yard sale season.  The thrill of  the hunt, seeing all new things (I think I know the thrift store rejects shelf by shelf by heart now), finding a treasure.......oh, it was FUN!

I believe on Monday I will finally put out my Easter stuff.  It has been a long wait since Valentine's Day!  I am ready to get some pops of color and cutie pie vintage things back into the house.  I am anxious to see all the eggs from last years swap again.  I received the first box of eggs today for this years swap.  Looking forward to seeing the rest!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Got a Light?

Today I heard my name being called....Shara......Shara....come to the Salvation Army.......  So, what could I do?  I went to the Salvation Army.  I had packages to deliver to the Post Office, books to donate at the Library and donations to take to a thrift, so why not donate to the SA?  (Although I hate donating there, no one helps you or thanks you, but as soon as you walk away they are on it like a pack of dogs rooting through it.  I do not care for the people that they have accepting donations, so they keeps me from donating there very often).

But, I digress.  When I hear my name being called to a certain thrift, I know I must go.  So, I went. 

I walked that store all around three times, but all I could find was this sweet tiny JAPAN bunny for 50¢.  Surely I did not just use $5.00 worth of gas to buy a 50¢ bunny??????

So, I walked the store one more time.  I took a second look into the locked "Vintage" cabinet.  I rarely look there because everything is so ding dang expensive.  Like a 1960's Barbie for $74.50 and a beat up tin for $15.00.  But, becasue I was still hearing my name, I went to look again.

And, then I saw something that was completely not my usual sort of find.  But, something I had just read about earlier in the month on this blog.

I was pretty sure it was like the one on the blog, but just in case I pulled out my cellphone and pretended to be texting, but I was really on ebay looking up the lantern.  I found one that had sold for $138.00, so I announced to The Bean I was buying it. 
That's when he said, "Which one?"
"Which one? I asked "What do you mean which one?"
"Which..........one?" he said as he motioned in the cabinet and I realized that there were TWO of the lanterns in there!  Paydirt!

There was a little sign in front of one that said "Lantern $29.50", but just today it was dated and reduced to $15.00.  I decided $30.00 for both of them was a great deal and a sure fire money maker, so I was going to get them.  I went to get the clerk to open the cabinet so I could get them.  She grabbed the little sign that went with it and carried it all to the register.  But, even though there was a $15.00 sticker on each lantern, she only charged me $15.00 total.  "It's for the set," she said.  Who am I to argue?  What a deal!

My stepfather is lantern crazy.  He loves lanterns and oil lamps.  He knows them frontwards and backwards.  I, on the other hand, am afraid that it will blow up the house if I attempt to light it.  So, I am going to ask him to help me make sure they are in good working order so I can sell them.  He cannot talk me out of them!  A good daughter would give them to him.  But a smart daughter will sell them for $$$.  :)

Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Booth

An update on the Booth.  I haven't talked about the Booth lately.  It does alright.  I wish it did more, and I think I could sell more if I had room to put some bigger pieces or a chair or a piece of furniture.  Right now, I have tons of smalls.  I always make rent and commission and get a check. My biggest check has been $125.00 after expenses. For me, that's enough to keep it going and have fun with it. It's a good way to sell things that aren't worth selling on ebay because they either aren't worth enough money to make it worth my while or they are too heavy or fragile or something like that.
Last week, I went in and pulled a bunch of stuff that had just been sitting there and put out a bunch of new stuff.  Well, new old stuff.  I made an Easter area and I have a lot more to take in when I figure out how to squeeeeze it in.  That big feathery wreath is fantabulous. 
That pink bunny is a 1970's Pepto Bismol Advertising Bunny.  But, I fugured he might have a chance at selling at Easter.  I had a ton of pottery at one time and it has all sold except for the green.  An now that I only have green, it has started selling too.  I sell about three or four pieces a month.  So, if I find pottery that isn't quite what I collect, I stick it in the booth.  Someone must have been looking at that Cake carrier because I see it is crooked.  They should have bought it - it's cool!

I think there is a set of those old plastic canisters in almost every booth in the flea market!  Mine are priced low enough, maybe they will be just right for someone's kitchen someday.  I have a shelf full of books - my library takes donates and resells them for 25¢-50¢ each.  I buy all the ones that are recently released and sell them for $5.00 each.  I have sold multiple copies of all those "The Girl With the..." Books. 

The basket if full of vintage linens.  It is always a mess when I go in - linens strewn about everywhere.  But, at least people are looking and I have sold a good amount of linen towels and tablecloths.  And, if you are looking, you DO see a Piddle, Putt & Poop Golf Set.  I cannot believe I have that in my booth!  MUST SELL!
That metal rack came from the thrift last week for $3.00.  I put all my baggies of cookie cutters and scrapbooking scissors in it.  It's a little messy looking, but people seem to love to dig in bins and baskets.  (I do too...)  Note the "manly" shelf with old Boy Scout Books, a horsehead tie rack and an old cigarette roller.  ha.

That big old religious print is really awesome.  I have a fat price on it, but I htink just the right person will HAVE to have it someday.  I keep all the small stuff (really small stuff) on the hanging white shelf.  it was a happy day when I decided to try and hang that on the wall - before I had it sitting on the floor.  I sell a lot of miniature china animals, so I always pick them up.

***Speaking of Flea Markets, if you haven't purchased Flea Market Style yet this year, I found a good deal on it. I do like the magazine, but I usually pay $3-5 per YEAR for Martha Stewart, O, Better Homes, Fresh Home, Ready Made, etc., so paying $9.99 for ONE issue is hard for me to do. Very hard. I decided to treat myself with the latest copy last week when I spotted it at Sam's Club. I was pleasantly surprised when it scanned at only $6.88. That's $3.00 less and I do love a bargain!  Don't YOU?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

There's Gold at the End of the Rainbow

...and pink and red and orange and lilac and yellow and gold and green and lime and blue and indigo and silver and brown and...and......and.....more on that later.

I went to a Rummage sale today.  A real honest to goodness RUMMAGE SALE!  It was advertised as a "Crafters Dream" in an old trucking company office packed to the gills, room after room of STUFF.  I'm there!

The first item I found was this fantastic chippy old cabinet. I lurve this thing. I should sell it. I should, really I should. But, I ain't a goin' to!!!!!!!!!!!!  It is about three feet tall and heavy as heck.
The boys already took the broken glass out of the door.  I hated it that the glass was broken, but had it not been broken, I doubt I would have scored this little jewel for the $12.00 I did pay.  Love it!  I am going to put a piece of screen in the window and fill it with all sorts of vintage goodness. 
This sweet birdie trellis was $2.00.  I have a wild grapevine planted there and it will take the trellis over before long.

This 1970's decoupaged purse caught my eye, but initially only because I really needed something to hold all the little stuff I was carrying around.  So, I grabbed it to use as a shopping basket.
 But, then I took a better look at it and decided it was pretty cute, so I bought it.  It will be sold somewhere, someway, someday. :D
An old bag of Easter Confetti, meant to be used in Cascarones, which are confetti filled Easter Eggs that are broken over people's heads (ouch), a vintage Chicky pencil sharpener and an old wooden Easter noisemaker.
A fun old German wooden puppet (I have three now...uh-oh...another collection...) resting on a bed of a few of the thirty handmade doilies that I bought for a total of $5.00.
There are some beautiful doilies and tons of pretty pieces of handmade lace in those thirty pieces.  When I asked how much they were, the lady quoted me $5.00 for the pile, so I didn't even look through them.  Once I got them home and sorted, they are some of the most well done pieces I have ever seen.  Also an old jar of buttons with a hand beaded jar lid and three bone folders.  I have been trying to find a bone folder forever.  Now, I have three!  :)

Okay, now here's where it gets a little crazy.  As the ad said, there were a ton of craft supplies - mostly scrapbooking supplies.  I bought a bunch of envelopes, blank cards, envelope templates, Dresden, stickers and some other things mixed in amongst all the punches, ink pads, embossing powders, etc.  I don't do scrapbooking, and nothing was priced, so I didn't ask about much of it.  But, that's when I spotted the........glitter.  Loads of glitter.
Freaking tons of beautiful glitter.  It is Art Glitter by Beverly Trombley.  I didn't know it was fancy pants glitter.  I just knew it was pretty and there was a metric ton of it.  Each of those containers holds 12oz. and they are all about half full.  I thought I would see how much they were and pick out a few if they weren't too expensive.  The girl shrugged and said, "I've been selling them for 50¢ a box."  Great Googley Moogley!  And then, I heard myself say, "How about if I bought it ALL?"  (Thinking in my head, "What am I going to do with all that glitter?")  So, she came around and counted it all up - there were 54 containers so that would be $27.00.  "How about $20.00 for it all?"  "I'll take it!" 
In the big empty truck depot, it did look like a lot of glitter, but when I got it in my house - holey mackeral, that is a lot of glitter!  I figured I could just glitter for the rest of my life on that $20.00 investment.   But, I decided to look it up and see how much it costs to order from the website.  I looked up the Opaque Black Superfine glitter and discovered that 4 oz. costs $34.50 and I have 8 oz.!  I have $69.00 worth of black glitter........times 54.  That is over three thousand dollars worth of glitter.  Which is completely absurb - who on earth owns three thousand dollars worth of glitter?  The answer, apparently, is me, me, me! 

I do not need three thousand dollars worth of glitter, so I will be putting it into one ounce bags and making groupings for Etsy.  My hands, my face and my house will be sparkly for weeks! 

"Glitter on the mattress,

Glitter on the highway,

Glitter on the front porch,

Glitter on the hallway......"

*Name that tune........(They actually had this album at the sale and I didn't buy it.  I realize now that was an Epic fail on my part considering all that fabulous glitter I drug home!)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday's Thrifty Finds

Today I went to the Flea Markets and "floofed the booth" as they say.  I moved almost every thing in the booth to a new location within the booth.  I pulled two big boxes of older things out and put out some new items and a whole bunch O' Easter items.  That booth is packed to the gills.  I hope someone buys something.  :) 

The best part about pulling merchandise out of the booth is that there is a thrift store directly across the street.  So, I pull it, drive over and donate it.  The booth is straightened up and the old stuff is gone - no taking it back home again.  And, you know, since I am already at the thrift store, I might as well take a spin around, right?
There were only two vintage finds - a big bag of old Alphabet Blocks and some old party hats. The blocks are destined to sell immediately on Etsy, (right Sue)? I kid. I am selling a big lot of blocks that I had already, but those are clean and crisp and new-ish looking whereas these are old and dingy and beat up and played with - and that's what I love.
Three fun vintage Crown party hats.  I may work some magic on them and sell them. 
Now this mushroom is a story.  I have looked at it once a week for almost two months.  I really liked it and it was only $1.79, but I hesitated.  Looking at it through others eyes, it is strangley phallic shaped and really sort of weird.  Would anyone else buy it?  I decided to leave it and see how low it would go and if I ended up buying it.  Today was my lucky day - it was 75% off, so I only paid about 45¢ for it. 
A local party/Home Goods store recently closed and they donated their merchandise to this Thrift.  There is a ton of new stuff  in there, which isn't really my thing.  But, I am looking at it all, because you just never know what you might find.  Like this set of Party Lights - old cars and Airstream Trailers.  Too cute!  Clearance priced  at the Party Store for $12.50 - thrift price - $1.25.
These blown glass eggs were priced $6.50 each, but I paid $2.49 for the whole lot of them.

A bunch of noisemakers for $1.29 (marked $2.50 each) and a container of wooden pick up sticks round out the days purchases.

The Party Store had a huge inventory of Beanie Babies.  I know, I know, Beanie Babies are so......ick.  But, these are brand new ones - regular sized and the larger ones - all for 75¢ each.  I recently put some of The Bean's doubles in the booth and they have all sold for $3.00 each.  I don't know if people are buying them for their kids or if they collect them or what.  But, I am thinking about hitting the thrift on Monday for half price day and buying a bunch of those new Beanie Babies.  They would only be 38¢ each and I can sell them for $3.00 each and probably $5.00 each for the bigger ones.  It would help pay my rent so I can pocket the profits from some of my cool old vintage things that I am selling.   I hate it when I see that I sold some big item and it pretty much covers the rent.  I'd like to cover the rent with junk and pocket the cash for he neat stuff. 

The garage sale ads are getting longer on Craigslist.  Garage Sale season is about to begin!  Yippee!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Do Not Collect Vintage Toys

If you asked me if I collect vintage toys, I would say, "No."  I really don't think I do collect them.  But, what I do collect is memories. I pick up cute  little things here and there, beloved little things from other people's childhood.  I pick up things left behind at sales, thrown in boxes of Happy Meals Toys and things not appreciated. A tiny bedraggled doll, an old toy car, a colring book, an old game - one tiny thing that someone used and loved.  I hate to see a random tiny thing lying in a heap or in a box and know it was once loved by someone.  So, I bring it home to be loved by me.  I have an old cabinet with screened doors where I stick all the teeny things I find. 
Lots of loveys from other people's childhood...and a few from my own.

Many tiny things I have brought home over the years.  The marbles were mine - when I was a kid, every time it rained, I could go out in our ditch and find marbles.  I filled up an entire jar full of found marbles back then.

I love that tiny worn dustpan in the middle - some little girl really used it - a lot!  The toaster with the rose was mine as are the little Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls.  The Steiff Ram on the edge was bought to sell, and I will someday.  The prices aren't what they used to be, so I will just love him a bit longer.
Two more Steiff - a lion and a Schnauzer - to be sold someday.  I think that pink poodle with the original tags is one of the very first vintage things I ever found - and fell in love with.

More things - many of these from the ebay stash.  Old kaleidoscope, tiny playing cards, wee ping pong paddles, marbles made from end of the day 7UP bottles (mine as a kid), blocks and a fun old giraffe, to name a few things.
All these bears and bunnies have arms and legs that snap off.  I found the white bunny first, then the other two bunnies in a free box along the way.  The three bears came as a group from Etsy. 
My sweet little toaster and dolls.
Some of my favorites.  A tiny little rabbit rattle, a nekkid baby in a stroller, a teeny doll in a teeny cup and another nekkid baby.  And, of course, that stinking dustpan. 
At that big digger sale I sent to last Fall, I bought a large amount of Fisher Price toys.  I have put most of them in the Flea Market booth and on ebay.  But, this "There was an Old Woman Who lived in a Shoe" has snuck into my heart.  I need to find some people to sit in the toe.

So, as you can plainly see, I do not collect vintage toys.  :)

It's just about time to put them away and bring out my beloved bunnies and chicks.  I ((heart)) my Easter stuff!

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