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.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Folk Art Collection

When I am out thrifting, junking, looking for treasures, whatever you may call it, I have an affinity for little handmade things.  Things that someone made out of nothing. People make such elaborate things now with jigsaws and sewing machines.  People used to make things with their hands out of a chunk of wood or old clothing scraps.  I gathered up all my finds and made a little display of folk art items.  

There's not much color, but most of the items were just made out of a piece of wood and left that way.

Most of the items on this shelf are whistles.  The big owl in the center is one of my favorite pieces - it sounds just like a Hoot Owl when you blow into it's head.  I never found a whistle until I found that owl, now I find them often.  I had to learn what I was looking for to see them. Odd holes at the bottom or on the side.  Maybe you will find one now.  

There are seven whistles in this photo.  The Chess pieces are not - they are hand carved though.  The little carved toadstool is not a whistle.  That little thing in front of the toadstool is a carved peach pit that a friend made - it is a monkey.  

More whistles.  Love that clay hillbilly guy at the end too.  

All of these little carved shoes where my Grandmother's.  Each year she would come to Arkansas to this huge craft fair.  She collected these shoes and she and I would pick out a new one each year.  That's one of the few good memories I have of her - so I kept the shoes.  The carved woodsman was a good find one day too.

Then there's animals, of course.  Probably the most found item of all.

A carved dog puzzle, carved dog and a very, very old carved horse.  Small carved animals of all sorts at the bottom.

The dog, duck and bunny are signed by the same man.  They are very crudely done, but I still like them.

The big "X" is a carved string holder.  I love how all of these things came to be out of a chunk of wood.  Someone sat on the porch with a pocket knife and a scrap of wood and ended up with a little piece of art.  I think it's art.  


  1. I have recently started picking up caved items two I only have a couple but really like them. It is something I could never do I also pick up paintings that I like.
    great group of goodie.

  2. Shara I am so glad you gathered these up and shared them with us. What a cool collection. I think handmade like this is amazing and the variety you have is wonderful....you know what I think of the whistles! :) hugs, Linda

  3. I have never seen wooden carved shoes before! How FUN! I always hear an uh-oh in my head when you share new collections, because it seems those items start showing up at sales I go to...I've gotten hooked on thermoses and watermelon hot pads already, I can't get hooked on anything else!! ;)

  4. Definitely art. I am so glad that you shared this and so glad that these items have found their way into your home where they'll be loved and cared for. I love the owl and the baying dog is just awesome!


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