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, October 31, 2011

That Time of the Year Again

I can hardly believe that is is almost November, almost December and almost Christmas.  This year has flown by!  It's the time of the year to start thinking about lots of things like gifts, baking, decorating and Christmas Cards.  It seems each we we receive less and less Christmas Cards, but I still send them out to everyone.  It is a tradition that I won't let go. 

Shutterfly has a variety of Greeting Cards for every occasion.  But of course this time of year it is all about Christmas Cards.

I love the Holiday Cards at Shutterfly.  They have so many wonderful Christmas Cards (and every other holiday too) available. They can be customized with any photos of your kids, your pets, your family, vacation photos - any sort of photo you want on your Holiday Cards this year. 

I love this Christmas Card with one solitary shot on it.  Such a sweet kiddo in that photo!

This is a great card if you have a nice family photo to use.  At our house, I am the photographer, so there are virtually NO family photos to be found and certainly none of me.  So, we usually just put The Bean on ours.  At what age do you no longer put your kid on the cards?  They aren't exactly adorable when they are 25! :)

I spent this morning going through all the Christmas Cards and Holiday Cards at Shutterfly.  I chose a card and designed it with several different photos on the front as well as some surprise photos on the back.  I can't wait to get them so I can show you what I made!

Check out the great selection of Calendars and Photo Gifts they offer at Shutterfly too.  I think personalized gifts mean the most to the recipient. 

Shutterfly was nice enough to give me 50 free cards and they want to give THREE of my readers 25 FREE cards too.  The cards will be FREE, but winner must pay shipping.  These are gorgeous high quality cards - I know you will be pleased with your Shutterfly Cards.

If you would like to win 25 FREE Holiday cards - please leave a comment and tell me which Shutterfly Card is your favorite.  Don't forget to leave an email address or a blog address so I can contact the winners.  Winner to be announced Monday, November 3rd.

Thank you Shutterfly!

***Are you a blogger? Want a chance at 25 free cards this holiday season? Register here !

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hazel Gets New Old Digs

I stopped in the thrift today, promising ONLY to look for some sort of shelving* and nothing else.  They were bringing out the Halloween merchandise in big tubs and everyone was digging in it like crazy people.  Something vintage-y caught my eye, so I swooped in under a bunch of college kids and snatched out this homemade Halloween outfit. 
I bought it with the intention to hang in on the wall.  But, when I got home, I tried it on Hazel and it FIT!  I like the fact that it is homemade and not really anything like a character. I guess it's a clown, but to me it just says Vintage Halloween.

It reminds me of this vintage costume from Country Living. 
I think Hazel looks adorable in it. 

Happy Halloween!

*I need shelving because I signed up for my second Flea Market booth this week.  A new store is opening in the tiny town over that is known for stellar antiques store and Flea Markets.  This store will feature only handmade, upcycled and vintage items and I am going to be one of the featured all vintage booths.  :)  I have a good sized booth and I cannot wait to get it set up.  It is in the town of the Super Cheap Thrift, so it will be so much easier for me to swing by and straighten it up than my other booth across the BIG town. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wishlist Item #2 FOUND

When the Thrift Store that you haven't been to in six months pops into your mind and say "COME TO ME NOW".  Do it.

You might scratch another item off your wishlist for the second time in five days.  The elusive tin metal basket is MINE....all mine. 

*When I spied it on the shelf, I clasped my hands in prayer and said, "Oh please, please let me be able to afford it since it is the first one I have ever seen anywhere EVER." 

The price?  $2.00.

I can afford THAT!

(This photo is a stock image from the internet but the exact one I found today.  The temperatures are dropping, it's all cloudy and dark and rainy so not a good day for photography.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I swear, it seems like Halloween has been coming forever this year. I dilly and dallied around and didn't think I would ever get my Halloween stuff out this year, now it's been out awhile and we still have a week to go.  Before we know it, it will be time to take it all down, muddle around for a few weeks and then Ba-ling out the house with Shiny Brites and Putz houses and PINK trees!  :D  But, until then, Halloween is still on the way.
Top of my favorite cabinet - Gurley candles in a cloche, silly things abound.  Love that Jack O' Lantern on a Pedestal.  I prefer vintage, but vintage inspired is okay too.
My Halloween Tree.  This is the first year I have had a Halloween tree and I love it!  I had miscellaneous things to put on it, but participating in Sarah's Halloween Swap really helped fill it up.  I like the white tree and think things "pop" on it better than a black tree.

One of my glittered party hats fits on top just perfect and adds a quirky bit of fun. 

Fun stuff.  Quirky stuff.  Old stuff.  New stuff.  Picture of Baby Bean in the Pumpkin Pile. 

I don't like the creepy scary side of Halloween, but this is my attempt at a "scary" display.  Ouja Board, old Poison Bottles, spiders, scary photos and happy fun noisemakers.  Well, I tried.  I just had to add some happy in there.

Goodies on the shelf.  Love those silhouettes - you can print your own here: Halloween Printables.
Little stuff on the old grate.  Photos of my Mom and her brothers trick or treating, gifts from friends.

Mish mash of leftovers when I was getting tired.  :) I found that mercury pumpkin and tall foil cat this summer.
I kind of always forget that the lamp is full of Christmas Ornaments, so that sort of blows the whole Halloween theme.  Oh well.  That pumpkin was white, but I glittered it last week.  I used a cutting board that is for crafting only, but it must have rubbed against the good cutting board, because I noticed that tonight our celery was glittery. 

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Box Lot Fun

Box lots are fun.  As long as you see one or two things in the box and you only bid what you are willing to pay for those items, you can't lose.  At one point, the auctioneer placed two boxes full of doilies, a box full of tablecloths and a plastic sack on the table and said we were going to bid for Choice.  Choice means you bid what you are willing to pay for whichever box or sack you want.  If you win the bid, you pick one, two three or all of them and you pay that amount for each box lot. 

The Auctioneer started the bidding at a dollar and it eeked it's way up to $8.00 and that was the winning bid. You know I was bidding for the tablecloths and I held my breath when the winning bidder stepped up and took the plastic sack and said, "Yahoo, I got my blender," she said. What the heck a blender was doing with doilies and tablecloths, I don't know. But, I was quite happy that she didn't take the tablecloth box. So, the auctioneer did choice again for the remaining three box lots and the winning bid was $10.00 that time. I held my breath again as the winner stepped up - but they took both the boxes of doilies. That left my precious box of tablecloths sitting alone. I honestly thought they would be the first things to go, but apparently no one else appreciated them like I do.

The auctioneer ended up throwing a bunch of those crap on top of the tablecloths and I won the bid for $6.00.  That was my highest bid of the day and there was a lot of extra stuff in those boxes - a lot of it ended up by the dumpster and being donated to Goodwill.  I did get these two gorgeous Startex tablecloths in bright springy colors and that was worth the $6.00 to me.
I got all of these things too.  A tablecloth, a watermelon potholder, cute camel potholder, a couple trivets made out of old bottle caps, a pot scrubber, embroidered flour sack and a potholder.  I'm keeping the watermelon, the grapes and the camel.  The rest will go to the Flea market. 

Other finds from box lots: An old Funeral fan, brushes, tins, old cars, a brooch, some can openers for old Beer brands, cigar boxes, an old bank bag, blocks and a wee nativity.  I'll probably have to keep those blocks since my name just popped out at me when I opened the box, but the rest will go to the Booth.

Two fun vintage Handkerchief boxes with the hankies still intact and some old children's books with stellar graphics.  I'll keep the box with the sweet images and sell the other one.

An old cooky press, two spoon holders, a neat old metal box and an old powder compact with mirror.  I'll keep the box and sell the rest.
Here is a good example of what I was actually bidding on and what I got. I got a huge box full of really gaudy ug-lee Christmas and Halloween decorations. Nothing cute, just ugly stuff. But, peeking out from the box was that blow mold with the cat, so I bid and won the whole ugly mess for $1.00. That blow mold was well worth the dollar, plus I got that old plastic pumpkin head on the right too. (I had found the other blow mold at a yard sale earlier in the day for 50¢.)

This box was part of the tablecloth lot.  I don't can green beans or make jam.  I don't need lids and jar rubbers (!) so I should just donate them.  But, you and I both know, I better have a look in that box just to make sure.

These things are old and interesting, so maybe I shouldn't donate them.  Some of those jar lids are priced at 2/19¢.  Maybe they will go to the booth too.

A box of Never-Pick ChikNbits (to keep chickens beaks shut) is a unique find.  I can always use a glass lid for one of my old jars and a brand new porcelain lined Zinc lid is always a happy find.

That matchbox is nice. It's very old, has good graphics and would look nice in my vintage packaging display.  It sounds empty, but I don't want old matches around for safety reasons, so I better look inside it to make sure it is really empty.

Just some old wax paper crumpled up in it and uhm, wait...is there something else in there?

OhMyGosh!  A wee bride and groom cake topper from the 1940's.  A-dorable.  Turns out, this surprise couple is my favorite find of the day and I didn't even know I was bidding on it. 

You just never know what you will find in a box lot!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday Estate Auction

Yesterday, The Breadman called and asked why I wasn't at the big auction out on the highway.  What?  Big auction? Our Highway?  Me?  There!  So, I headed out that way. 
(Tractor Seat: $35.00)
It has started at 10:00, but I didn't get there until about 1:00. I don't usually go to Estate Auctions very early anyway since they tend to sell the furniture, guns, cars and equipment first anyway.
Watering Cans; $5.00 each, Toys: Choice $8.00.
 By the time I got there, it was down to a trailer full of old tools and farm equipment, a shop building full of old junk and holiday decorations plus another trailer full of miscellaneous household items.  Oh, there was a mess of blowmolds in there!  A huge Santa, three Candles, a Church, a complete Nativity Set, JackOLanterns and some Angels.  I wanted that Santa that was about four feet tall.  But, they decided to auction them all of at once.  ALL OF THEM!  I couldn't have even got them all home, so I left the building.  ;(
Lanterns $40.0-$65.00 each, "Handful" of tools - $8.00-$12.00
The end of an auction is the best - the antique buyers have bought their antique furniture and glassware and china and headed home. What is left is in their eyes is "junk" but I know there are wonderful things amongst that junk.
I liked this old table - it was in chippy and very used shape, made by a farmer years ago and used in the shop.  There was a time, and I have about five of these to prove it, that I could pick something up like this for a few dollars at a sale or at an auction.  I bid on it to $5.00 then bowed out.  I was really surprised to hear it end for $45.00.  I know the lady that bought it owns a shop and will probably put at least twice that on the price tag. 
These auctioneers are locals and kind of friendly with my family.  They know us when they see us out and about in town, so they are nice to us at the auctions.  About halfway through the day, they start getting a little punch drunk and start to say funny things.  At one point, he said, "Oh, I got a nice roll of fencing here - good to keep your dog in....if he's not very big."  As he said that, he was holding up a little roll of cedar garden edging.  He also learns who is going to buy what sort of things and will look right at you when he knows that whatever he is holding is right up your alley.  Yesterday, I was bidder #123 and as he started making a box lot and then adding another to that and another to that - he knew he had me at a $1.00 bid. 
I bid on these old Fisher Price toys, even though they were filthy dirty.  I knew they were in good condition, they just needed to be cleaned up.  As I stood looking at them, a camera phone snuck up beside me and clicked a photo of them.  A minute later, a text message came through and the guy was bidding against me for them.  He was sending photos home, the girlfriend looked them up, then he would bid.  Really, a pretty ingenious plan for bidding strategically.  BUT NOT AGAINST ME. I must admit, it kind of irked me, so I bid about double what I was willing to pay for things, because I knew he was going to outbid me in the end.  Sorry, dude, I spent some of your money for you.  It worked out in the end, because he went to load his truck and I scored ten box lots (or better known as "piles") for a dollar each.
I sorted through all the boxlots, or piles, and put anything that I didn't want out by the dumpster beside the house so I didn't even have to take it home.  As I was throwing things out, I scored that giant basket, a big heavy vintage pitcher, some vintage Christmas ornaments and a big tin stuffed full of vintage embroidery thread by the dumpster that other people had thrown out.  One man's trash is another man's treasure,you know.  The back seat just held the overflow.
The back had the bulk of it.  If you attend an auction and buy lots of stuff, I highly recommend taking a 16 year old boy with you - he sorted, carried and packed the car while I kept on bidding.  Bless his heart.  I know you have noticed that dollhouse in there.  Funny story about that - I had been looking for one of those old metal dollhouses on Craigslist and on ebay recently.  As a matter of fact, I had been on ebay looking at dollhouses when The Breadman called to suggest I go to the auction.  It was the first thing I spotted when I walked up and the auctioneers were rapidly approaching it.  I went and got my bidding number, Lucky #123 and got in the area of the dollhouse.  The crowd was pretty thick and everyone was gathered around.  I was ready to go as high as $15.00 for it, but thought someone would outbid me.  When the auctioneer finished up the previous item, everyone looked down at the dollhouse and left.  Not one person stood there except me.  The auctioneer looked at me and said, "Ya give me $2.00 for it?" and I just nodded.  (I got that FP barn with it too).

It's not perfect, but it's good enough for me.  I have a box full of 1940's furniture that I got at a sale last year, so I am all ready to decorate it.  You may be wondering why on earth I need a metal dollhouse at my age.  I don't!  :D  I WANT it!  :)

As we were loading our things, there was a big pile of items on the flat bed trailer next to mine that I thought belonged to another bidder.  When I got home, I looked through my tickets and discovered that that stuff was part of one of my piles too.  Darn it.  I hate it that I left things and that I left a mess for them to clean up too.

Next time:  What I kept.
What other people think is great.
Why you should check every single thing you buy because there just might be a surprise in there.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Recent Thrifty Finds

I ventured out on my own today for about an hour to see what I could find in people's driveways.  I came across a neighborhood sale about four blocks from my house, so I was able to hit about eight sales in forty five minutes.  Not a bad day  out!  I spent a total of $5.00 and came home with 13 nice books - some older and some newer plus, four huge brand new rolls of clear contact paper, an ornament for The Bean of Santa riding a pig (he has a pig themed tree) and three vintage craft sets - all of which weren't especially photo worthy, but still good deals.

This,  however was photo worthy.
Not the best photo, but it is a very sweet baby quilt.  These seem to be my latest love.  I had paid for the craft kits, when I spotted a box with a blanket sticking out of it.  I have learned to dig in those boxes for vintage tablecloths and linens.  I spotted the old fabric and grabbed it so no one else would get it.  Of course, no one else was even looking at that box, but I felt I had a treasure and it was all miiiiiiine!  Then I had to ask the dreaded, "How much?" question.  Luckily the answer was only $1.00.  The lady took it from me and unfurled it to look at it then she said, "I don't even know where this came from.  It's really old, huh?"  Then she just tossed it at me, so I got out of there.  :D
The entire back is this sweet soft old faded fabric.  I never used to be a fabric person. But, I just love these old worn prints.  The love and time someone took to make this for a baby.  It's just too sweet.

I stopped at a thrift while I was out too.  I found this carved wooden roly poly Uncle Sam signed by James Haddon. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it. 

Especially since I had just bought this giant Uncle Sam signed by James Haddon at the very same thrift last week.  I wonder what I will find next week!

The Christmas items are starting to appear at the thrifts too.  I scored this box of Jewelbrite ornaments for 50¢ at Goodwill.  The Santa was at the thrift today.  I have a couple other Santa's like that one already, but this one has a little something extra.

A gold glittered shirt.  It's like Liberace Santa.  I had to have him.
I bought a quilted tote bag for 25¢ last weekend at a church sale. When I got home, I realized that the quilt square was hand sewn on very loosely, so I clipped the thread and rescued the quilt square.  More of those soft old fabrics again....

 I thought this was just a piece of fabric when I first spotted it in a box at a yard sale last weekend.  When I realized it was a tablecloth, I thought it was a new one from Wal-Mart because it had deep creases in it and looked brand new.
But, then I spotted the Simtex label and knew I had found a wonderful vintage tablecloth in pristine condition - and for only $1.00. 

I got this teeny bottle brush tree at the thrift today.  It's only about three inches tall and still has all it's glitter and snow on it.  (Nice photo there in front of my ten pound jug of jelly beans I bought at Sam's Club today, right?)

The Neighborhood Sale that I found today should have twice as many participants tomorrow, so I will most likely go back.  (Oh, you know I am going back, who am I trying to kid?) 

Hope YOU find something good this weekend!
(I posted the Renuzit winners on that post - go look!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Renuzit Holiday Fresh Accents

***Congrats to Linda @ AlaCarte, SvelteSTUFF and Annette!  Send your addy my way to: monkeybox@juno.com.  Thanks! :D

I am a member of the Purex Insiders.  From time to time, I receive products in the mail to try and to give my opinions here on my blog.  I recently received a box containing two new Renuzit Holiday Air Fresheners.  I received one Winter Berry Scent and one Festive Snow scent. 
Before I go on, I should say that I am very, very sensitive to scents.  Candles give me migraines, I don't like scents on my clothes from laundry products and I don't wear any sort of perfumes, body sprays or anything like that. But, I do enjoy certain scents in small amounts. I especially like vanilla and mild scents like that. I was nervous about these air fresheners because of my sensitivity.

I opened the Winter Berry first and it wasn't a bit strong at all and it has been quite enjoyable. We have it near our litter box where our three cats......well, you know. It can get a bit whiffery in there sometimes. The Renuzit Holiday Air Fresheners have kept that area smelling fresh and not overbearing at all.

*Renuzit Fresh Accents feature a two sided design in a festive holiday motif. 
*They offer 30 days of continuous fragrance odor elimination. 
*No plugs, batteries or flames are needed. 

I have three FREE Renuzit Fresh Accent Air Freshener Coupons to share with my readers.  I will send you one coupon for you very own free Renuzit.  Just leave me a comment saying where you would put your Air Freshener in your house. 

Winner will be chosen on Friday 10-21 and announced Saturday.

Good luck!  And, thanks Purex Insiders and Renuzit!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Paid Posts and G i v e a w ay s

Hi.  I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that in the next few weeks, I am going to do some posts about products and having some freebies for you too.  I try to do these sparingly as I want my blog to be about me and my junk and journies.  But, I have had a lot of offers to do posts that I just can't quite pass up this time.  Offers that will allow our family to have a better Christmas this year.  I would NEVER do a paid post for anything that I didn't think was a good product or worth your time. I have four lined up right now.

So, if you see a post like that, read it and you might win something good.  Or wait until the next post when I show my lates junk or journey. 

Thanks guys!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Christmas in October

Yesterday I went out to the Golf Course where all the big fancy NEW homes were having Yard Sales.  Big fancy new homes usually only have new fancy stuff, which isn't my cup of tea, but we usually do find DVDs, CD's and Video Games, so it is worth a trip out just to look around. 

I drove past the first six sales as they looked meager and they were beginning to box stuff up too.  The first house I stopped at was one I go to every year.  It is an older couple that moved here from Louisiana.  They have a three car garage and an attic full of things that used to be in their "Shop".  They put out a mixture of old and new stuff at their sale each year and I can usually find a couple of things.  One thing that she has is a collection of pristine gingham aprons in every color of the rainbow.  She hangs them out at every sale, but they never sell.  It could be the $12.00 each price tag she started at a few years ago.  Yesterday the aprons were down to $5.00 each, but I still don't think she has sold any.  Maybe next year they will be less.

I gathered up a few owl related items and a few other things and my total came to 65¢.  Apparently, she has decided to come down on her prices, because I bought several things for 10¢ each.  As she was wrapping up my purchases, I noticed a box of old tins so I dug through that looking for old tins.  The lady told me if I saw anything I liked to just take it, so I pulled out this old Santa Boot from under the tins.

It's vintage and it was free, so why not?

As I was putting it in my bag, I noticed a paper bag with some old Shiny Brite boxes sticking out of it.  The bag was in the back of the garage and peeking out from under a blanket and a few other things.  I don't usually ask, but why not?  I asked if those ornaments were for sale and she said, "Those are the old glass ones.  I didn't put them out because I didn't know if anyone liked those anymore."  I said, "I do!"  She went and got them and asked if $5.00 was okay.  I took a chance and bought them.  That one little box is a really great box.
The bag was crammed full of old Easter Grass, so I had to carefully go through it all looking for treasures.  All those miniature ornaments in the bowl where gnarled up in the Easter Grass, but were a happy surprise to find.  Love that old paper garland too. I had one ornament fatality shooting the photo, but I found a replacement in the bag.  So, I still ended up with four complete boxes.  Whew.

I told the lady that I just loved old Christmas things and it made my day to find these.  She looked me in the eye and said, "How old?"  I told her that I loved things from the 1940's and 1950's.  She waited a minute then said, "I have one of those old aluminum trees around here too."  Then she hollered at her elderly husband to come find it.  Luckily, he knew where it was, so he found it quickly. 

It was in the box and complete. 

The shipping label was even to where I live.  Perfection! Of course, I got excited, but then I told her, "I better not get too excited until you tell me how much it is." Because you just never know what kind of price someone is going to say, right? 
(Really crappy photo of my junky living room - but it was late last night and taken quickly...)

She told me $30.00 and that is more than I wanted to pay (I'm cheap, ya know?) but I knew it was a good one and a money maker. 

So, I was thinking and considering it. 

That's when she looked at me and said,

Wait for it..............

"I have a PINK one in the attic."


I didn't say anything, but I must have had big wide eyes and slobbers because she sent her husband up into the attic to get it.  (The Bean later tells me that when he say a glint of pink coming down the steps, he knew I was buying it.  No matter what it was or what it cost.)

She told me that she would take $40.00 for both of the trees.  I wrote a check, which I think is a first at a yard sale for me, but she took it no problem.  It is missing it's stand, but I have an extra one from another Aluminum Tree, so that is okay by me.  I also have a revolving stand, so it could go in there too.  Pink trees command a high price on ebay - some of the six foot tall ones can go for $600.00 or more.  Crazy, huh?  This one is only four feet tall, but that makes it easier for most people to use on a tabletop or in  a smaller area.  So, it might be worth that much too.  I like $600.00 a lot.  But, I like that pretty pink tree a lot too.  My plan right now is to sell the aluminum one and recoup my $40.00, plus a nifty profit (hopefully) and use the PINK one myself. 

As far as the Breadman knows, it's not worth a dime.  So, let's keep that between us, mmmmkay?

So, Garage Sale Gods, I am sorry that I bemoaned all year.  You made my day, my week, my month and my year by bringing this Christmas Glittery wonder into my life.  I will not complain any more.  Pinky swear!

**Sorry to the Facebook friends and YSQ members that already had to endure my Pink Christmas Tree Chatter.  :D

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