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, January 30, 2012

My First Career

When I was little, I was a model.  Not a paid for model.  But, my Grandmother owned a portrait studio and she always took a couple of photos of me each year for my parents.  But, sometimes she needed a model to pose for her so she could tryout new lights and lenses and backdrops.  Sometime she would take 100 or more photos of me.  I know that doesn't sound like much now in the days of Digital cameras - heck I can take 100 pictures of trees in the park (and I have) nowadays.  But, back then, the lights had to be reset and different lenses added and removed from the camera and different backdrops had to be raised and lowered.  Oh, and heaven forbid I sore the same clothes in more than a handful of photos - I had to change clothes and redo my hair with coordinating headbands and Yarn Doodles.  If you don't know what a hair doodle is, well, then you are too young to be reading my blog Missy.  :)  

When I was five years old, we moved to Arkansas which meant the photo shoots became rarer only when I visited Kansas.  But, when my Grandmother came to visit us -- well that was a great excuse for an OUTDOOR photo shoot.  In the heat!  In the sun!  In the woods!  In the rocks!  On a hill!  On a cliff!  Near some snakes!  Ack!  It's really no secret why there are no photos of me since 1988.  I had a camera in my face for the first fifteen years of my life.  

This photo was taken in Arkansas, right down the road from our house on a part of the highway that overlooked the lake.  It became a family favorite.  One of my Uncle's recently told me that this still his favorite photo of me.  This was the first photo we took that day but we progressed to the woods and to the lake and to other hot and dirty places before the day was over.  

I particularly remember my Mom's face when my Grandmother suggested I jump out of our VW Bus (oh yes we did....) and climb into the Shale Pit in my white tights and new dress.  But, we both knew not to argue, just get it done.  So, into the Shale Pit I went.  **That is not a Yarn Doodle in my hair - that is just an ordinary piece of white yarn.  I remember my knees and hand were black with Shale soot.
I still have that dress.  It hangs on my office door with a photo of me in it clipped to it.  I love seeing it everyday.  It recently occurred to me how very 1970's it is and how current it also looks.  I think if I had a little girl, she would be wearing it!  

(Hmmmm...I wonder if it would fit Hazel?)

Friday, January 27, 2012

It Was Worth A Shot

Today I saw TWO yard sales in my area so I hopped in the car and went looking.  I never did find the first one.  Damn little teeny signs with bad directions.  I knew where the second sale was and I thought it had promise since the ad read:  Large Indoor Sale with a lot of everything.  HA!  Wrong-O.  The sale was outside a building and there were three tables of junk, and I do mean junk and one rack of stinky clothes.  Sigh.  I know it's Winter and no one is having sales yet, but I got really excited when I saw there was a yard sale.  Patooie.  I did buy an old metal tool box that is the loveliest metallic blue color.  I will use it in the booth to hold sheet music.  I'm glad to have it, but it really wasn't worth the makeup and the gas it took to get there.  :(

After those disappointments, I stopped in at a thrift that I have only been to once.  I used to go there a lot, but then they moved to a smaller location and it wasn't worth going to anymore.  But, I found myself in the area so I stopped in - once again, it wasn't really worth stopping.  I did find three weird things to buy.  When I checked out, the guy said, "Boy, you really needed those three things.  I bet you couldn't have lived another day without those three things!"  He said it nice and he was only joking, but he should be happy that I came in and bought the three weird things in his store!  No one else would have bought them, I betcha.

Here's the blue toolbox and the three weird things - a teak nose (I told you they were weird!), a ginormous paper clip and an old receipt spike.  Those little craft cups came from Goodwill later in the day.  I think I have six of those receipt spikes now.  I just throw them in a drawer for now.  I consider it my moral obligation to remove them from the thrift stores so a kid won't poke his eye out with one.  

On to Goodwill to drop off some donations and have a look around.  I'd be better off if I only donated, but you know you just have to take a peek.  So, I peeked.   

I didn't find much of anything, so I decided to take a chance on this big cardboard box that seemed to have gift bags and wrapping paper in it.  I figured for $5.00 I would take a chance on it.  After all, all my other Spidey senses had rocked for the day, right? 

I found a few big new gift bags that I can use.
Over thirty packages of older wrapping paper - most still wrapped and including a couple pretty sweet ones.
A ribbon - lots or vintage ribbon.  Velvet ribbon, Sasheen ribbon, lace ribbon and some ungodly bright orange yarn that is screaming to be used on The Bean's next birthday.  There's also a bow maker in there along with bow pins and instructions as well as a snowflake ornamen kit.  (Hey!  How'd that nose get in there???)

As I sorted the ribbons, I spotted a hidden surprise.  Do you see it?
A vintage spun head Bride and Groom!  Eek!  That tiny little find made the day out  completely worth it.  Maybe my Spidey senses aren't entirely whacked after all.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's in THAT basket?

(I thought of something to talk about!  My junk!  Woo-hoo.)

Sitting beside my refrigerator, I have an old freezer basket chock full of kitchen-y goodness.  I don't think anyone, including me, knows how much stuff is in this basket.  Let's delve in and have a look, okay?
Here's the basket.  Forgive some of these photos - I took them with my iphone and I am still learning how to use that contraption.  (But, oh Lord, I love that thing...)

First and foremost, the infamous crocheted watermelon potholders.  I never set out to collect them.  I rescued them one by one from yard sales and thrift stores.  Some have even come my way from blog friends.  Tonight I counted and I have 51 of them.  Crazy, I know.  

Along with watermelon potholders, I love and appreciate anything utilitarian that someone put their hard work and time into creating.  Doilies and potholders are another weakness.  The SCT often puts a bundle of three or four out for 25¢ and I always snap them up.

I like red ones the very best.  Each one is different hand has a different use.  That ruffly one on the top is a pot scrubber.  Can you imagine scrubbing a crusty old pot with that beauty?
I have a few in orange.
A few more in yellow.  
This doiley is huge - it goes in the center of a table with all the Daffodils around it.  It is fantastic.  And a favorite of my Mom's. :)
Of course, you have to have green.  That lily pad potholder is divine.
And you really must have blue too.
Maybe even a purple or two.....or three.  The tiny one is a wee little coin purse.
Then there are some in all different color schemes.  I love the two pansy doilies in the corner.  I've never figured out how they made that swirly one in the bottom corner either.  So sweet.
 Wait!  Did I mention pink?  You have to have PINK!
These trivets are made out of bottle caps - each one carefully crocheted with tiny little loops around each bottle cap.  A couple of the grape clusters have gotten too close to the hot burner over the years, but that doesn't bother me - I still like them.

You would think that was close to the end of the basket, but you would be WRONG.
Hey - how did those wooden ones get in that basket?
A few more colorful items.  The red, white and blue one is a dishcloth.  Like I could ever use that beaut!
There are dresses and undies.  :)
And lots of potholders too.  
Feedsack potholders, kiwis from Australia, sweet embroidered apple faces and rug hooked houses.

 And the final addition arrived in the mail today:
Eight tiny aprons meant to be "worn" on a Soda Bottle with the straw tucked neatly in the pocket.  The 1950's version of Wine Charms.  I saw them in Beth's Etsy Shop last week and I tried to resist them.  They were still there three days later so I decided fate wanted them to be mine!  And now they are. Love!

Do you think I can put anything else in that basket?

I think I can!  I know I can!  I know I will!

Do you have any secret stashes?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Zilch. Zero. Nadda.

I really feel like I should blog.  


I got nuthin'.

I haven't thrifted anything.

I haven't been anywhere.

I really haven't done a thing.

What about you?

Have you thrifted anything good?

Or been anywhere fun?

Or done anything at all?

'Cause.  I got Nuthin'.

*Because all posts need a photo - Photo of a bright orange formal at the thrift.  
Perfect for The Bean's future wedding.  He lurves orange.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thrifting with The Mutes

The Breadman is off on Wednesdays so we always go somewhere and do something.  Some days are planned out - a museum, the walking trail, a picnic.  Other days are for errands - groceries, Sam's, gas up the car, etc.  Other days are like today - nothing planned and we didn't need anything, so we were free and clear.  We decided that we would go eat Chinese food later in the day, but until then, who knew?

Have I ever mentioned the fact that The Breadman doesn't talk much?  He just sits there.  We could get in the car and drive for twenty hours straight and he would just sit and not say one single word.  Meanwhile, I would be all up inside my head..."Why doesn't he talk?  What is wrong with him?  Did I do something wrong? No, I know I didn't do anything.  It must be HIM.  He must have  stick up his rear end about something.  I wish he would just SAY what is wrong and move on.....and on and on" So, twenty hours into this hypothetical car ride I would say "WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?" and he would say, "Nothing. I am just sitting here."  He's quiet and happy as a clam.  Meanwhile, I could use some high blood pressure medication.  

The Bean is a lot like him in that respect.  He talks to me when we have a conversation, but he doesn't start up the conversation.  So, he sits in the front seat and The Breadman sits in the backseat and I drive along saying, "What do you want to do?' and no one makes a peep.  Crickets chirping, I swear to you.  "Anywhere you want to go?"  *Chirp* "Anything you want to do?"  *Chirp*   So, my mind starts going again...."What is THEIR problem??????"  Finally I just get perturbed and go where I want to go and do what I want to do.  And you know what - they are okay with that.  They don't mind.  Jeez.  

Okay, so back to today.  No one said if they wanted to do anything or what they wished we could do, so I just started puling into Thrift Stores.  Ha. That will teach them.  (Not).  I had heard that one of the huge Mega Churches in the area had opened a new thrift store in the neighboring town, so I drove up to check it out.  It was pretty big and they had a good selection, but not a ton.  I did find a really neat old wooden display rack for magazines or brochures that I was contemplating, but I decided to look around the rest of the store before I committed to it.  When I decided to go back and get it (you know where this is going, right?), someone was looking at it.  Even worse - when he turned around - it was one of my FRIENDS.  Ack.  Actually, I'm glad that if I didn't get it, someone I knew was getting it.  Lesson learned - take it with you and make decisions while it is in your possession.  

So, here's what I bought today and one thing from yesterday.

I found this giant old Dictionary at Goodwill.  It wasn't priced, but it had about nineteen of their color coded blue tags on it.  According to the price list, it should have been $2.00, but since it had nineteen stickers on it, I feared that it was some sort of new pricing structure - 19 x 2 = TOO MUCH!  I also had a little kids book that I thought would be 50¢.  When I got to the register, the Dictionary (which caused quite a stir from the other shoppers) went right through the register at $2.00 without an eye blinked.  The kid's book, however, didn't have a sticker and four GW employees decided that it would have to go back in the pricing bin since it didn't have a tag and it was an "antique" and dated 1947.  As Cher in Clueless would say, "What ev"  I really only wanted that Dictionary, so that was fine by me.  So, now I am the proud owner of a twenty seven pound Dictionary and I have no idea what in the heck to do with it.  :)
Things from the new thrift today:  a vintage Christmas plaque, a bag of wooden Drapery rings and a set of celluloid S&P's from a Chicken Breeder from the very town I was in (A town famous world over for Chickens and the home of Tyson Chicken).  I always buy the wooden drapery rings when I find them - I have a project in mind for them and a stack of vintage sewing supply labels I have.  

I thought this was neat - a vintage Boy Scout Thermometer.  I'm hoping it will do well on ebay.

Also, this old Boy Scout Trophy.  It weighs a ton.  Another ebay item.

After the visit to the new thrift, I went to one of my old favorites that I rarely ever get to visit.  It is run by the Hospital Auxiliary and the women that run it are near the end of their lives and they remember when everything cost a nickle.  I love the masking tape stickers with shaky 85¢ written on it.  I got all these vintage knitting books for 10¢ each.  They will go to the booth.
This particular thrift always has a plethora of vintage crafting booklets in mass quantities.  In the past they were 25¢ each, but today they had been reduced to 10¢ each.  I picked out multiples of all of these - I have purchased "Creating with Corncobs" in the past.  It just cracks me up.  I gathered up all I wanted and didn't not bother counting them.  The lady at the register counted with her shaky hands and said, "I counted 18, is that right?"  I said that I hadn't counted them as I was picking what I wanted, but that was fine.  When I got home, I actually had 27.  I can see her miscounting one or two - but nine??????  I owe them 90¢ now.

This wee little Samsonite suitcase was waaaaaay under a big wooden shelf and could not be reached.  The Breadman and The Bean wrangled it out for me with a combination of a fireplace poker, a golf club and some belly scooching.  They may not care what we do or where we go, but at least they participate once we get there!

*Like the Booth Chatter isn't enough (thanks for telling me it is okay.....), now I have ebay chatter!  I have a few things on ebay this week (this is not a ploy to get you to bid or buy things, I promise).  But, if you are interested - take a look.  I have bids on everything so far and they had five-six days left to go.  I love ebay when it is HOT!  Shara's junk

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Week in Junk & Booth Chatter

As usual, I hit a good amount of thrifts this week.  Let's see - I went to Goodwill Wednesday and  Friday, Potter's House on Wednesday and the Super Cheap Thrift today.  I guess that's only four trips.

99¢ was the magic price for this brand new make it your self Rubber Stamp Kit.  I think I will make my own tags for my booth that have my booth number, name of my booth and a $ sign on them.  Then I can just fill it out, punch a hole and tie it on.  Cheaper than those stupid string tags we are supposed to use.  

I got this basket hanger at the SCT today for $2.00.  I've been looking for a way to display some of my baskets in my booth, so this is the perfect answer.  I have a knack for finding vintage handmade baskets and I have been having good luck at selling them, so the hunt is on for MORE!

An assortment of old board games.  The hockey game and the Concentration Game will be sold.  I like old games like the "Squares" game and we have been on the hint for an old metal Chinese Checkers game.  The Scrabble Tiles were added to my growing collection in my craft supplies.  
These four old books were only 10¢ each at the SCT today.    For some reason, the bindings and half the covers were covered in making tape.  I thought that I could still sell them to someone for nostalgia, so I bought them despite the making tape.  But, when I looked a little closer, the tape peeled right off and the books are in really good condition.  Whey would someone cover them in masking tape?  Your guess is as good as mine.  To the booth they will go now.

Although this is a Golden Book, it is very adult like in it's content on Native Americans.  It has detailed instructions to make actual powwow regalia and real teepee's.  It's a keeper.
I am loving these Dick and Jane readers.  I bought the one on the right a couple of weeks ago and found the one on the left yesterday.  The are keepers too.  

A few odds and ends.  An old hand painted cutting board, vintage address book, sweet pink and black bowl and a crepe scarf with Marjorie embroidered on it.  All for the booths.

A hand-painted Nativity to be put away until next year.  It was only $1.00 and someone put an awful lot of time into painting it.

This tin was an ebay purchase.  I rarely ever buy anything on ebay anymore simply because I don't need a darn thing but I love the hunt too much.  I had some ebay bucks to spend, so I bought this sweet little tin for a couple of dollars.  My maiden name was Richardson, so that was a no brainer.  I think it will look great full of flags in my 4th of July decorations.

Lastly, two things that I paid RETAIL for - I know - sit down before you fall down!  :D  I got an Amazon Gift card for Christmas so I decided to buy somethings to make me happy - two huge rolls of Baker's Twine and a box of paper straws did the trick.  I've already made a few things out of the straws.  I also wound a bunch of twine on old clothespins and threw them in a basket in one of my booths.  I think they will sell - I would have bought one!  There are people in the world that only need 100 feet of Baker's Twine and not 4600 feet like me.  

Forgive me for all the booth chatter.  I don't want to become one of those blogs that is ALL ABOUT THE BOOTH.  Having one booth has been a learning curve for me and now having a second one is really teaching me a thing or two.  The first booth - the Trading Post Booth - I mostly sell things from the 1960's and 1970's since this is in a college town and it is frequented by college kids and a hipper crowd.  It is located next to a Pawn Shop and across the street from a HUGE Thrift Store.  People go to that area and visit all three stores and save their money until they find something they want to buy. Owls, mushrooms, avocado green and orange are good sellers in this booth.  At this booth, I always make my rent, commission and make about $100.00 on top of that.  Not a lot, but it gives me a little bit of a hobby and some pocket money.  I have been int his booth for a year and a half. I straighten it once a week and take in new stock about every two weeks.

 The new booth - The Locals booth - is on a busy street in a small town that has antique stores and flea markets from one end of the street to the other.  People come there strictly to shop and to buy things.  Here I sell all things vintage, but mostly from the 1940's and 1950's.  I wanted things to sell in this booth, so I started off pricing things really inexpensive.  And the stuff sold - Fast!  So, I started pricing things a bit higher and....they still sold...Fast!  Not only do I sell a lot of vintage things, I am having a good luck with vintage supplies - old Probe cards made into words and banners, marquee letter packets, letterpress letters, new old stock food labels and lots of other fun things.  I'm delving into making and selling a few things and having good luck with that too.  I have been in this booth since November 10th, with the store having limited hours, no advertising and a Grand Opening only two weeks before Christmas, yet I sold quadruple the amount of my other booth in this new store.  I have to straighten this booth twice a week and take out new stock once a week.  

Today I took in three huge shopping bags full of stuff and these two ladies pounced on it before I even had a chance to put it out.  One lady bought over $50.00 worth of things and I didn't even have to work it in.  Awesome.  :)  They loved everything I had and they were gushing about it all - even things that weren't their style - they still appreciated it. That was a fun time for me to actually see customers in there all excited grabbing things up.  

The best part is saying I HAVE to go thrifting to find things for my booths!  Ha. (Which is a big old lie because I have a crapload of stuff here in my very own house to sell.  But, hey, any excuse, right?)  I can't wait for yard sales and finding heaps of good stuff to put in my booths.  And now, I am off to bed to dream of driveways full of old chippy old chairs, and picnic baskets and mountains of vintage holiday stuff........Sweet Dreams.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Tisket, A Tasket

I'm sorting through my Picnic Baskets.
I store all my craft supplies in my picnic baskets.  Right now, each basket is just crammed full of various things - millinery flowers, beads, felt, doll heads, you name it - tons and tons of craft supplies.  My New Year's resolution is to clean out the picnic baskets, get the craft supplies organized and, perhaps the scariest of all.......sell some of the baskets.  There's thirteen baskets in this photo - two in the room you can't see, three in the kitchen and five in the garage.  It's a bit of a sickness. 

The baskets with the heart on them are keepers - they are all Redman Baskets.  The red "X" baskets will are going to be sold or donated. Now that I know which baskets are staying and going, I am sorting through them and pulling out what craft supplies I no longer want or need.  A good amount of the items could be sold on Etsy or even in my booths, but I want them GONE, so off to Goodwill they will go.  I filled one big trash bag today with stuff to donate and started organizing what was left.  I have only gone through about five of the baskets to start.

I bought that new cabinet behind the baskets a week ago at Hobby Lobby.  I knew it was big in the store, but it is really BIG in my house.  I can't even see in those top two drawers.  The Breadman nearly choked at the thought of me paying retail for something and especially at the $200.00 price on the tag.  But, I paid for it with my very own money from my booth - so ha on him.  I love it.  It has twenty drawers to hold the bulk of my crafting supplies.  Now when I want to make something, all I have to do is pull out the drawer and use out of it instead of digging in multiple baskets.  

So far, I have only filled a few drawers - my beading supplies take up two and my paper punches and rubber stamps take up two.  Somethings will have to remain in the baskets, like felt and stuffing since they are too bulky to cram in drawers.  

Just to prove I really am trying - here is a basket all sorted out, cleaned up and priced for the booth.  See?  I can DO IT! (Do not tell me how perfect it would be for the 4th of July, because I know that already and am really trying to resist keeping it for that........)

In other matters of the living room.....

I found this shelf (The photo is crooked, not the shelf......) at the Flea Market last week and it is nearly identical to the other one in the living room, so it is practically a matched set.  I put my pastel pottery on it and so far KNOCK WOOD, it hasn't fallen and cracked the Breadman in the noggin.  It hangs right above his end of the couch.
This summer we went to The Breadman's Grandmothers old house and ransacked the shed for treasure.  I brought home these old vinegar bottles - two gallon bottles and one half gallon bottle.  They were absolutely filthy when we brought them home and one of them had kerosene stored in it for about forty years.  I rinsed them out, filled them about half full of hot water, a squirt of dish soap, two Denture Cleaning Tablets (from the Dollar Tree) and a half of cup of rice, then I shook the bejeezus out of them until they were sparkling clean.  I kind of like the simplicity of them as they are, but I think they might look good full of something, I just don't know what yet. Grandma was famous for her pickles, so having some of her vinegar bottles seemed like a good memory to keep.

I'm ready for a change and I want some of my cool old stuff to take center stage.  Until then, the whole living room is in disrepair while I change it up and decide what stays and what goes.  Are you switching things up too?

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