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.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Week In Junk: Christmas in July

*Alternate blog post title:  Week in Junk - White Elephant Edition.  

Thursday morning I spotted a Craigslist ad for a sale at the house across the street from the house directly behind me.  Now, there can't be a sale within walking distance that I don't go to - so off I went.  It was advertised as a HUGE sale.  HUGE flop, is what it should have said.  Pile of clothes on a tarp, misc. crap on a tarp and some baby stuff in the garage.  Boo Hiss.  I did buy a new expanding cutlery tray for my kitchen that was still wrapped in plastic - but what a B-O-R-I-N-G purchase!

Since I was already out, I decided to make a drive to the end of the town both directions.  I'm not sure if I have mentioned that I live in a itty bitty town.  It is 1.8 miles from one city limit sign to the other.  So, it doesn't take long to drive through the whole city.  Luckily, at the stoplight (yes we even have three stoplights!) I spotted a bright yellow YARD SALE sign with an arrow on it.  When I got there, there were two ladies carrying out tubs and I was the only customer.  I asked it they were ope and they said that they were setting up, but come on in and look.   It was noon, by the way, so I wasn't exactly an early bird.  

They had a lot of items, but only four categories of items.  

Category #1:  Clothes - Adult and baby.  No thank you.  

Category #2:  Porcelain mask collection.  You know the ones - white with black decor, maybe a jewel or a feather on it.  Not for me.  

Category #3:  Blowmolds.  Lots of blowmolds.  Yeeeeeees.  I started looking through them deciding which ones I was buying no matter what.  Which ones I would buy if they were not as much as I thought they might be and which ones I would buy if they were cheap.  

I pulled out the Santa and the two snowmen to buy no matter what and asked the price.  "Oh, just give us what you think they are worth." she said.  Ack.  I hate that.  I said, "I'd really rather you tell me what you want for them," I said.  "Oh, ok.  How about 50¢ each?"  So, you can see that I was greedy and took them ALL!  Nine blowmolds for $4.50.  I'm keeping the three I had picked out and will be selling the rest.  Although The Bean keeps telling me that the candles are "cool".  I told him that if I can work them into my outside decor without it crossing the line of vintage kitschy cute to "Holy Hell look at that house with all the Christmas Crap" we can keep them.  We are seriously riding that line now.  Gotta be careful!

I left behind a big Santa in a sleigh like this one but it had three reindeer.  I was buying so many, and they were big, so I thought they would cost more, so I just left them.  But, all night long, I kept thinking about them.  Even though I just bought nine that very day and they are siting on the porch and I look like a complete lunatic on this 109 degree July day.  So, I decided it would be crazy to go back for them.  I had enough.  Nine blowmolds is enough for anyone.

HA-HA-HA Of course, I went back for them.  What am I crazy?????  Paid $5.00 for the Santa in the sleigh plus the three reindeer.  Tomorrow I have to attempt to shove them in the storage building.  Those things do not condense well.  :)

Remember the categories?  Clothes, masks, blowmolds and Category #4: Elephants.

The ladies told me that their "Daddy" started collecting elephants in the 1950's and he got them from everyone for every holiday from then until he died in 2003.  They had boxed them up because "Mama never liked those elephants" and they hadn't been unearthed for nine years.  They said he had over 5,000 at one time, but the family had taken some and they had donated the big ones.  So, they had five of the BIG totes chock full of elephants.  I love collections like that because even though I don't collect elephants nor do I know anyone that collects them, I still knew I could find a treasure in all those elephants.

Like this sweet vintage Relpo planter.

This funny old FUN FARM straw stuffed elephant.
This mid century S&P set, sugar and creamer set.
Elephants of the PINK variety.

A big vintage JAPAN elephant.

White pottery elephant.
 Vintage glass elephant pin cushion to keep.  I have a cat just like it.  
(Oh no, that is two....you know that three makes a collection.....)
 Sweet vintage baby elephant squeaker toy to keep.
A vintage plastic carnival toy elephant to keep.
(Have I ever mentioned I collect these?)

Elephants made of glass.  The clear one looks like it could be something good.  Something to research.

So, I have elephants for the booth, elephants for ebay and a couple to keep.  

I really need to put those blowmolds in the storage building tomorrow.  I really need to research those elephants.  I really need to price the rest for the flea market.  

But, there's this one block over:

It's Christmas in July! Lots of Christmas items, toaster, household items. Vintage Canning Jars, 2 Vintage Quilts, Vintage Sewing Machine in Cabinet, Mahogany Twin Sleigh Bed with Serta Majesty Pillow top mattress.  

And a sale at the grocery store parking lot.  

And a fundraiser at the garden shop.  

So, you know what will happen.  I can always do that other stuff on Sunday!


  1. I'm pretty much beside myself with awe at your finds. Good thing I don't live near you or I'd have been absconding with those deer blowmolds like a thief in the night.

  2. I got so excited when I spotted the blowmolds!!! I keep running across those candles and I keep fighting the urge to buy them. We had them on our porch when I was growing up, and we got rid of them when we sold my Mom's house, so I feel silly buying something that I could have just taken for free. They are cute and just scream Christmas though!

    I'm on my way out to some sales right now. Hope I find something fun, because it's been a slow garage sale season around here!

  3. You hit the jackpot on those blow molds! Love them all! I must say you found some nice elephants! So now what did today bring??? hugs, Linda

  4. LOVE all of your finds!!! I would have went back for the blow molds too!!

  5. I only have two blow molds, if I had been in your neck of thee woods, I would definitely have been buying too!! Great day for you!!!

  6. Blow mold bonanza this weekend! Did you see the blow mold lamb I found? What fun to dig through five totes of elephants - love the squeaky one!

  7. I love everything you bought. I will admit I am a little jealous. The elephants are so adorable. I don't think I could part with any.

  8. Fifty cents each! Awesome!

  9. Dang! I have two ceramic elephants, mint green and yellow. Wish I would have known you were going to hit the mother load of elephants I would have had you look for a third to get me a complete "collection". ;) Next time, eh? ;) They are lovely. I also have multiple porcelain animals for holding jewelry. I have the Kangaroo from my dad that has the wallet holder, ring holder and then a place for change as well as a boxer dog for this same thing. Keep me in mind if you run across those treasures. ;) I have to come to your state to hunt for treasure someday.


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