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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Weekend in Junk: Labor Day Edition

As I write this, there are 80,000 people up the street at the Arkansas Razorback Football game.  There are 100,000 or so people attending the Clothesline Fair up the street the other direction.  The Flea Markets are jammed.  There are yard sales in every yard, on every corner and in almost every parking lot.  The traffic is crazy going towards the Clothesline Fair and non existent going towards the football game. If you drove out North of me, you would come to the County Fair.  I won't even mention the Farmer's market this morning. There is just so much to do this weekend.  Which one did I do?   Huh?  Can you guess?  Huh?  Can you?

I stayed home.  

Did I mention it's 101 degrees right now?  

I don't do hot.  

Besides, everyone throws out anything they think is yard sale worthy and there is too much competition and they price stuff twice as high because so many people are out.  

I did go to one sale yesterday at a Historic Home - gorgeous place.  It was a fundraiser for the Animal Shelter.  But they also had high priced things mixed in so it was a crap shoot when you picked up something.  For instance, I picked up a little piece of pottery and it was 25¢.  Then an old metal recipe box for 10¢.  Then I saw an Irmi lamp and I jumped over a table to get to it.  (Liar)  It was priced $18.00.  Zoinks.  So, you had to be on your toes and not get too excited when you saw something because it could be a nickel, or it could be twenty dollars.  I personally prefer nickel prices.  Thank you very much.

Here's what I did buy:  A huge Raffiaware tray and matching bowl.  
 Blue pottery turkey planter, old cup with an old plane on it, silverplate napkin holder, smiley face box, Brownie Camera, S&P shaker (one piece), vintage New Orleans plate, Welch Jelly glass that I put in my hand so I could look at something else behind it and forgot to set back down so it goes to Goodwill (breathe!), Linus cookie cutter, swanky swig with stars, two handled cocoa cup and two restaurant saucers.
 This funny older Roller Skating Bear Santa.  
 Digging on his skates.  I kind of hoped he wouldn't work so I could lop off his roller skates and throw him out.  But, he does work.  When you turn him on, this really LOUD Christmas music starts and he skates about two inches during the course of one entire song.  Quick as lightning, he ain't.
A huge old Texasware tray, an old soda glass, a aqua and gray restaurant plate that I think is completely neat-o, a couple pieces of miniature pottery, a restaurant dish of some sort (upside down on the right), a vintage Valentine planter, a souvenir cup from Kansas in 1912 and a metal tablespoon with cherries on it.

Now, none of that stuff is really that great or worth a fortune or anything like that.  but, I was able to cram all of that stuff in both pictures into one box and only paid ONE DOLLAR for it.  See, suddenly it all looks better.  Right?  The stuff in the top photo will be sold somehow for a couple bucks each.  The things in the bottom photo will be kept or re-purposed.  Love the vintage Valentine planter as I find vintage Valentine stuff the very hardest to find (other than cards, of course).  I have a lot of Texasware that we love to use and it's all red and blue, so now with the big white tray, I can rock the next 4th of July BBQ.  

Since it was so cheap for that big box, I took another stroll around and found a few more things.  

 Have a Sweet Cigar box, an old rook game and a metal recipe box.  
$1.60 for all three.
An American Home Menu Starter chock full of old recipes.  

Mmmmmm Zabaione.  
Whatever that is.  
(Bet by the third comment I have someone that LOVES Zabione.)
This will go to the Barn Sale.

As I was waiting inline to pay, I decided to look in the locked glass case at the jewelry.  I didn't see anything, so I scanned the necklaces.  The sun was shining really strong on them at that moment and I noticed that in the middle of all the plastic Mardi Gras beads, a few strand shone a bit brighter and looked a bit more like me.  

The tag said, "Really old Mardi Gras Beads $1.00".  But, I knew better.  I'd hate to go to a parade where they threw glass beads.  Now, that would be dangerous.  (And this comes from someone that took a Blow Pop to the head one night at our Christmas Parade.  Oowie.)

So, the $1.00 box satisfied my need for bulk junking and the Mercury Glass Beads satisfied my need for a GOOD FIX.  Thank you Yard Sale gods.  I'll let you have the rest of the weekend off.  

But, next weekend?  I'ts ON!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Why yes, I will

Why yes, I will take all those old Mardi Gras beads for $1.00, thank you.
*Old Mardi Gras beads are actually six long beautiful strands of Mercury Glass beaded garland. Hands down, one of my favorite things to find.  Made one very hot very sweaty rummage sale very worth it. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

You Can Find the Best Things at Thrift Stores

Today when we were having lunch, I said, "I'm going to ask to go somewhere I haven't asked to go to all year."  Then I named off a certain thrift in town.  It used to be one of my very favorites, but they had to move to a new location after the hospital they were tied to closed down.  Over the past several years, I had became friends with a lady named Evelyn  that worked there.  As soon as she saw me come in she would have things to ask me values on or would the boy mind moving a couch or something.  I put a lot of things on Craigslist for her including one item that sold for $2,000.00!  We mostly went to see her and to see if she needed anything. I nearly always found a little something which, more often than not, she either pushed to me across the counter or charged me a fraction of what it was priced.  She was a very nice lady - she was a house Mother at the University for a Sorority, a former Ms. Senior Arkansas that can still do a high kick in her 70's and just an overall nice, nice lady.  (In fact, she used to be in the opening to Antiques Roadshow doing that famous high kick of hers!)

Well, when the thrift had to move to a new location, she tried to find places.  She was over the whole Auxiliary and the decisions were hers to me made.  But, as she would find a new location, the other volunteers would give her grief about it and start causing problems.  I hated that for her.  You would think that when you are volunteering and in your 70's and 80's you would have all learned to get along and there wouldn't be "office politics".  But there were.  Lots of it.  She finally go so fed up, that she resigned her post.  I went to see her on her last day there which was the last day that the thrift was going to be in the prior location.  I had been going there since I was in college, so I was a bit nostalgic.  I gave her a big hug and told her that I would really miss her smiling face.

After they moved to the new location, I went one day just to see it.  I wasn't happy with the overall atmosphere, the parking, the new pricing structure or the women working.  So, I know I wouldn't be going back much at all.  The Bean and I stopped one day so he could see the new location and we agreed that it wasn't a place we cared to go to anymore.  And I hadn't been back since.  

So, at lunch, for some reason, the idea popped into my head that I wanted to go there.  Third time is the charm which either meant that today was the day that something good would be there or I would make the final decision to not ever go again.  When we got there and walked in the door, a voice said, "THERE YOU ARE!"  I was my Evelyn!  It's one thing when you are happy to see someone, but when they are just as happy to see you, well, that's just a really nice feeling.

She had decided to come back just as a volunteer to work one day a week because she missed everyone.  She came around the corner and gave me a big bear hug.  She rubbed on The Bean's arm and patted The Breadman's arm.  "It's just so good to see you all!" she kept saying.  Now, how often do you get that kind of reception at the thrift store?

In usual Evelyn custom, my total for my finds today was less than they should have been.  I don't just love her because of this, I promise.  :)

A matte white pottery vase.  Which I didn't need.  But, I hardly ever find them anymore.  So, I bought it.

A 1949 book entitled "Handcar Joe".  

And a super sweet pink woven baby cradle.

With the cutest lining.  
Bunnies taking care of babies.  Is that not adorable?

Love that old baby toy on the bottom.  

Are you seeing this?  That bunny is powdering that babies naked bum!

It matches my Hawkeye and Redmon Baskets.  Very cute.

Evelyn came up with a price of $4.50 for all three items.  After she rang it up and tried to get my 50¢ change, the register said she owed me $4,505.00 in change. When I said that would mess up the sales for the day, she just laughed and said, "Oh well, it's not my problem anymore!'  There is something to say for not being in charge anymore.  

So, it looks like I have one more thrift store to put back in the loop and a friend back in my life.  You can never have too many of either!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Another Quirky Collection

I don't have an actual laundry room. But, if I did, I would have it decorated with vintage baby clothes and doll dresses and toy irons and ironing boards and toy mops and brooms and other sweet adorable vintage household chore toys.  What I do have is a washer and a dryer in a closet in my hallway.  It has bi-fold doors and opens up into the hallway.  I have shelves above the washer and dryer for storage that hold boxes of STUFF - Greeting cards, tissue paper, wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbons, cookie cutters, my surplus laundry detergent and extra bottles of dish soap, emergency candles, scented candles, flashlights, lanterns, batteries - all the things a family needs to have, but never has a place to put it.  I would be lost without this storage area, so I am happy to have it.  (But, I do dream of that cute laundry room full of vintage goodness.)  But, I do wish it had some character and more appeal that boxes of stuff.  

I do have a few quirky things in this area to look at and amuse me while I do my mundane chores.  Like a Viagra clock.  I don't even need a clock in that little area - but the site of that blue Viagra going around and around on the second hand just cracks me up.  Right now I have a stash of old lampshade skeletons and baskets hung up across the top until I have a use for them.  

As for the "collection" per say - I have picked up several quirky wall plaques over the years with silly sayings on them.  I decided to put them on one wall by the washer for me to enjoy.

Not exactly the crowning jewel of my collections.  But fun nonetheless.  
You know it!

I don't feel this way.  In fact, quite the opposite.  


I do kind of feel like this one sometimes. 
At least around some people.  

This one is true.  I am usually responsible.

You should always be happy to come home, I think.  

I had a big collection of plates too, but I released them to the booth.  I kept the camper one though.  
Maybe I'll have a camper someday and I will hang it by the door.

A personal favorite.  I'm always behinder.
Can you read that one?  "Anything that takes me two hours to cook should take you more than two minutes to eat."  The Breadman used to practically inhale his food.  That took me ALL DAY to make!  
"SLOW down!" I would say.



I never look for these plaques, but if a particularly good one crosses my path, it will probably go up on my wall.  

*A quick search on ebay lead me to all these great plaques
 No, I'm not bidding - but there are some good ones in there!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Oh, Baby.

Monday was the first day of school in the area.  Since we home school and don't start until after Labor Day, we have a tradition of going somewhere and doing something fun while all the other "suckers" go to school. We couldn't think of anything really different to do, so we decided to visit a new HUGE Goodwill about 25 miles away.  It is in a really swanky part of town and there is LOTS of money and big houses and people with money in the area.  So, I was hoping to score a ton of good stuff.  but, you know what?  Rich folks donated the same crap as regular folks.  This store had a huge clothing area, and I suspect that thee were deals to be found,  But, I don't ever look at the clothes.   I searched that store top to bottom, looked on every single shelf, dug under things and in bins and in the end I only found ONE thing to buy.  

A vintage baby planter for $1.00.

I learned a long time ago that these vintage planters really never sell, so I never buy them.  But there is a strange thing with these big eyed ones in Japan.  A few have sold for hundreds of dollars on ebay.  I'm not saying that this is one of them, (but I wish it would be!) but it does have BIG EYES, so maybe....

After we left that thrift, we drove through the historical part of town and then stopped at a thrift that I really like, but since is is about 30 miles from me, I rarely get there.  They always have a good selection of items and they have good prices.  It's kind of hidden away on a side street so the locals know about it, but it's not a place that just anyone would drive by and stop.  Since my last visit, they had rearranged, opened a new room and the prices had gone up a bit.  But, overall, it's still a great thrift store.  Having said, that, I only found two things this time.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I found a vintage counter top candy bar rack where they had five rolls of 25¢ Walmart Christmas ribbon displayed.  It didn't have a price tag on it, but it also did not have a NFS tag on it.  I looked at it about a million times and tried to get the attention of some of the "helpers" as they call them, but no one ever noticed me.  Finally I took a photo of it and asked the lady at the check out if if was for sale.  "Oh, well, I don't think so - we are using it to hold RIBBON."  I would have paid more for that rack than they will make stuffing it full of ribbon.  Oh well.  I will remember it fondly.  *Sniff*

Okay, so where was I?

Oh yes, remember when I said I never buy baby planters?  Remember?  All the way back up there^?

Yea, well, I bought one there too.  Not one in years and then two in one day.  But, golly, this one is PINK and it has a vintage scale on it and a BASKET.  A PINK BASKET.  Seriously!  And, it was only 75¢.  You can't go wrong with anything that has all that going for it!
 They are both really sweet and a bit different that the usual baby planter I see.  Besides, I had a really bad case of Empty Hand Syndrome and had to find something to buy.

The only other thing I found made me so very happy.  A lovely vintage tablecloth.  Still my number one mostest favoritest thing to find when I am thrifting.
This particular one is gorgeous.  

Bright vivid colors.

 Red and yellow flowers.  
And only $3.00.  

Not a bad five dollar thrifting day.  


(Not you guys, those kids in school already)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


It's taking over my life.
At this point, I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  

You might remember the chalkboard I nabbed from the curb this summer.  It had good bones, but was pretty worn out other wise.  I painted the whole thing white and then painted the chalkboard and the white board with black chalkboard paint.  It' isn't perfect, but it's usable now.  

And my porch.
(Click on that photo if you want to see the back story on each item.  I forgot to say the big white thing on the right is an oil drip sheet.  That is going to be a magnet board SOMEDAY.

Projects in various states of needing to be painted, in the process of being painted and already painted.  My driveway is a mixture of spray paint over spray and chalkboard drips.  The pink tray was green.  The green clipboard was brown, now it's green, but I am going to paint it with chalkboard paint now.  I'm undecided on the box, but now I am thinking the front might be good with chalkboard paint.  Then you could write CRAYONS or BREAD on it.

*I swore I would never, ever, ever make anything with chalkboard paint.  Ever.  

And my backyard.  

I started rounding up the junk for the Barn Sale.  I want to have an even mixture of vintage, handmade and actual junk.  Here you see the junk.  Everything in the photo is for the sale.  Except for the red wagon.  That was The Bean's and will be repurposed into a tray one of these days.  Some of it is for display, but most of it is for sale.  

Why is junk so addicting?  I get sick of it and want it GONE and before I know it, I am on Craigslist looking for a yard sale.  I think I need an intervention!  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Weekend in Junk: Feeling Blue

First of all - Thank you for all the birthday wishes and collection love! I had a good day with all my family. We had a cookout and then had cake.
My cake was not Cake Wrecks worthy this year, thank goodness!  I got a huge pile of all things pink - pink towels, pink sheets, pink shirts, etc. I washed it all at once and had the most fabulous pink lint in the dryer.
The lint was so pretty that I had to  make a pink doll sized cotton candy out of it.  
I really have no life, I swear.  

I hit a couple thrifts since my birthday.  Drove by a lot of yard sales, but they all looked like nothing but clothes, which is a common site the weekend before school starts.  

Last weeks finds included a lot of pinks.  This week's finds were mostly all blue. 
 It's weird when that happens.  

Large blue thermos, vintage blue magnet board, Audubon Nature Set with rock samples, bird books, etc, an owl lantern (I painted it blue, so that is sort of a cheat). a blue pottery bird and two pieces of miniature pottery for my collection.  

The other side of the magnet board is a great chalkboard.  Two small glass jars with tight fitting lids, a frame that held a cheesy Victorian photo in it and a gaudy beaded plant hanger.  More on that in a bit.  The frame was gold, so I painted it white.  When I went to get it after it dried, it had bled through and turned pink.  Why would gold turn white pink?  A dded another coat and it bled through again.  So, HA ON YOU PHOTO FRAME I painted it pink.  I figured it would bled through purple or something, but they pink did the trick.  HA!

When the cashier picked up the beaded plant hanger, she said, "That's a nice necklace." 
Um, okay?  

I checked back at the SCT for more of that wonderful cat gift wrap, but it was gone.  
I did find a couple more packages with the same designers name on them from Belgium and Germany.

And two big pieces of this pretty gift wrap by Gordon Fraser.  This is one full sheet of it - I cannot imagine wrapping a gift in it.  It would just be ruined.  

School starts tomorrow and Mom's will start to take back over their houses and do some cleaning and decluttering.  The really good sales should start up in a couple of weeks.  The very best weekend of the year in my area is the first weekend in Spetempber when there is a big craft fair and a hundred thousand people drive past my house on the way there.  Yard sales everywhere!  And, it is the best weekend of the year for the booth.  

Bring it ON!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 15th

There comes a time in your life when you have to get over "the number".  
Being two was fun.
Being ten times that plus ten times two again plus even MORE is not so fun.
But, nonetheless, it is still a reason to decorate.
Throw together a wreath.
Drag out the birthday decorations.
I do it mostly because it is one of my favorite collections.  
And, The Bean's birthday is just around the corner.  
So, we share decorations and make it last a month.  
There's an awful lot of PINK and a lot of cuteness in there.
Probably too much to pretend that it is in any way for a teen aged Senior in High School boy.  
Mmmmmm.  Frosting.  
Sorry.  I got sidetracked.
The See's truck doesn't really belong, but then again, if a truck full of See's candy showed up in the driveway today, I wouldn't make it leave.  
I guess you can't do anything about your age.  
Or the fact that your kid is growing up.
And about to become legal.
And be able to vote.
And be drafted.
God Forbid.
And those AARP brochures keep showing up in the mailbox.  
(For the record, I am NOT yet old enough for AARP.)
(Illustration taken from a book.  Isn't it adorable?  Framed in a very nice 50¢ frame I picked up last weekend.)

So, what the hell.
Here's a toast from me to you.

Even though it's MY Birthday today.  
YOU should have some cake, buy some junk.  

Happy Birthday to me!

(Love all you guys!)

I Can See You!

Look at my Visitors!

Fellow Junk Followers