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.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

The Weekend in Junk: The Bubba, Bluebird and Birthday Edition

Thursday is part of the weekend, isn't it?  Most really good sales start here on Thursday.  If you have a three day sale that usually means you have a LOT of junk to sell.  I like sales with lots of junk.  As does any good junker, right?  Thursday I was on the way to my Mom's house when I spotted a sign that I recognized as "my lady's" sale.  The car turned on two wheels and headed in the direction of that sign.  She has sales around town at different houses throughout the summer.  She is a big collector and has several booths around town and even up in Missouri.  She goes to lots of auctions and buys lots of box lots of things.  She fishes out what she can sell in her booths and sells the rest at her garage sales.  My favorite thing that she does is fill up gallon sized Ziploc bags with random odd things and price them 25¢ to $1.00.  More often than not, they are a quarter.  She usually puts all kitchen things in a bag, or notions, or hardware, etc.  But, sometimes there are just random bags full of stuff.  I like those.  If I see one thing in a 25¢ bag that I can sell for $2.00, I buy the bag.  It takes me most of the evening to sort through the bags and decide what goes in the trash, what goes to Goodwill, what goes to the booth and what I will keep.  I only photographed what I kept either to keep or go to the booth.  I also didn't photograph the copious amounts of lace, rickrack, seam binding, plastic animal eyes, flocked birds, colored jingle bells and buttons that I already put in the craft bins.  

I took everything out to my photo taking area and started with a quilt that I bought for $3.00.  I was snapping away and decided to check my photos.  I am glad I did - it was so humid that the lens was fogged over.  I wouldn't have had any good photos for all my hard work.  

Foggy humid photo.

Clear but still hot and humid photo.  
Notice the toadstool that says BUBBA with a birth date of 1935.

It's a well made Mother's Day quilt with all of the family members names and birth dates on each square.  

Crappy getting foggy again photo of quilt.  Not sure if this will  go on ebay or to the booth.  It's very sweet and well made with lots of graphics representative of the 1970's.  I removed all the yarn ties since it was completely machine stitched.

On to the less foggy good stuff.  

 A vintage Sperti Sunlamp.  (I actually remember when these were attached to hotel beds.  Those and the vibrating machines you put 25¢ in - now one of those, I would like to find!  What?  Don't judge.  It feels good on your back!)  Enjoy the health benefits of Ultraviolet light and sunshine.  Added Vitamin D!  Yikes.  Melanoma anyone?  It's still a cool looking contraption though.  It's on a vintage Oregon souvenir scarf.

An adorable doll outfit, plastic cake decorator, neat old metal cake decorator and a Sear's  pull out clothesline.  The black box is the clothesline.  

Salesman sample of a Youngstown Dishwasher.  "The greatest household aid your wife will ever enjoy."  It's missing the lid, but I'm thinking I can use it as a planter or something.  The old checkers have already been modified into necklaces.  

A rooster spoon holder and three old metal Graniteware lids for the wind chimes I keep thinking I will make.  I keep buying metal stuff to make windchimes, but the TO DO list is a bit overwhelming at this point.  

Four glass Easter Eggs, an old WOODEN curling iron with a great green handle, another metal lid (yes, yes, I know...) and a watermelon potholder salvaged from the FREE bin.  That little statue is of a little boy reading a book.  I don't like things like this as a general rule, but he has just the sweetest little cherubic face and he reminds me of The Bean.  He has always had a book in his lap.  I suppose for 25¢ I can keep him without too much guilt. 

This photo is of all of my favorite finds and the keepers.   Four boxes of vintage birthday candles for my collection. An old BLUEBIRD Oil Stove Wick in the box.  I adore the graphics on the box and the fact that it says BLUEBIRD on the wick is an added bonus.  And, a hamster.  

Not just any hamster.  A STEIFF hamster.  In a 25¢ bag full of random junk.  His little head goes all the way around.  Wheeee!  I knew when I saw him in the bag that he was a Steiff.  I wish he had his button in his ear.  But I guess I can overlook that.   He's just too stinking cute.

Closeup of the Bluebird Oil Stove Wick.  Cute, right?

Okay, hold on to your chair.  Ready?

Ack!  Head-less dolls!  Doll-less heads! Ack!  Actually the heads and the dolls do go together.  I have had good luck in the past restringing them with rubber bands, so I will give it a go.  The little Charlie Chaplin look alike guy is the main one I hope I can fix.  Also, a plethora of colorful children's records.  I have plans to make clocks out of them.  But, will I?  To do, to do.....

Old letterman jacket letters, fifty pairs of vintage chopsticks, old sewing notions including lots of old needle packs with fun graphics.  

Old costume jewelry beads,  baby shoe planter and a pile of old photographs.  
That's Jack up there in the big photo.  
Say hello, Jack!

It's all laying on a nice big piece of pillowcase edging fabric.

Two old cutter tea towels with a Mexican theme and a big stack of old military pouches.  I have no idea what to do with them, but they just screamed BUY ME and MAKE ME into something.  To do, to do....  I think any respectable junker would like one sewn onto an apron to make a junking pouch.  I will either do something with them or throw then out at the Barn Sale and see what ideas people think of to do with them.  My Step Father - aka Mister Military couldn't figure out what they were originally.  The M-391-A is upside down when the pocket is on the top.  Oh well, fun stuff anyway.

The last couple of photos are from the Super Cheap Thrift run I made on Saturday.  Not pictured is a big stack of old wooden frames that were in a 25¢ box by the front door when I walked in.  But, by the time I left, they had been demoted to the FREE box, so I got them all for FREE.  They have already been spray painted and sent to the booth.  One was a bad dark wood frame with a 1980's etched mirror in it.  And on that mirror?  A UNICORN.  I flipped the mirror over and put a coat of chalkboard paint on it, painted the frame bright red and now it has been transformed.   It hangs on the diagonal, so it's kind of unique.  From FREE to $10.00 - BOOM!

An A&W RootBear, a crocheted chicken potholder, a silk scarf box and the scariest crocheted potholder ever in the history of crocheted potholders EVER.  I am in love with him.  I want him to be the new official mascot of the monkeybox blog.  Look for him to pop up in new and exciting places.  Kind of my version of Flat Stanley.  Potholder Patty?  

Nursery room cutouts of POOH characters.  The Bean loved his Pooh, so I still have a soft spot for Pooh.  It will go to the booth.  But, it's cute.  

Too much for his room now I suppose?

So, what did YOU find this weekend?


  1. My weekend was a big ole junk bust! Love the quilt. It's too sweet. I'll pass on the melanoma lamp. I've had my fill of the melanoma.

  2. didn't even get out and about this weekend. Lots of goodies.

  3. all the good stuff must have migrated up your way, b/c it surely isn't down here. 3 weekends with big fat nothing! This will be my last Fri for sales since school starts back for teachers next week. I love going to Fri sales, not as much traffic.

  4. I love the idea of making those military pouches into aprons! Good thinkin' :-)


  5. Oh wow! You had quite the junk haul my friend. Love the Winnie the Pooh (I have a soft spot for him also) and so many cool things I can't begin to choose my favs! I bought nothing over the weekend but did find a couple of things last week.


  6. Wow, quite a haul!! I would have loved to see all the sewing notions, too. I can never get over the prices in your area. I rarely see anything less than a dollar around here.

  7. Your sale start on Thursday? Wow, we have very few that start even on Friday.
    Great haul...you never get too old for Pooh. My daughter still collects Pooh and I am always on the lookout for a new Pooh plush for birthdays or Christmas.
    Keep up the good digging

  8. I thought I had a good day today at the thrift but then I had to read what you found. Good Golly, that's a lot of good stuff! Love the hamster and the pillowcase fabric!

    I found 3 vtg twin sheets; Raggedy Ann, Muppets and Care Bears. Package of polaroid instant film, Garfield post-it notes from 1978 and 5 cross stitch 5x7 kits in a bag for 60 cents!

  9. That's some serious junk - and you are WAY.TOO.MOTIVATED! That pile even overwhelms ME!!! You GO GIRL! Show us a picture of the chalkboard w/ red frame - that sounds cool!

  10. Your finds are lovely. I think I can help you with the military pouch. I think it's a part of a radio set. Below is a link.

    Scroll down until you get to the part: "The components of the Radio Set SCR-300." It also shows a picture. Sorry the page is in French for some reason. Scroll down further (almost to the bottom) and it shows close-ups of the M-391-A and it states it's a pad for the battery.


    Hope that helps.
    (a faithful follower of your blog who very rarely comments)

  11. SUperb finds. Can you use the military pouch at the barn sale for your money? How hip you would be!

  12. Shara, I love your blog and think you live in a great part of the country to find the coolest stuff. I am super interested in your "J" letterman jacket letter if you would consider selling one. My email address is garrettl@mcnairy.org .



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