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, December 16, 2013

House Elves

Every time we watch Harry Potter, I am enamored with the idea of having my very own House Elf.  I don't know if you are a Harry Potter fan or not, but house elves are responsible for these fantastic feasts that occur as well as the eventual clean up afterwards, the hauling and unpacking of the school years supplies and keeping the house clean and stocked.  WHO wouldn't want a House Elf? Doby would be a welcome addition to my family and I would give him socks and clothes and whatever he wanted just so he would stay here and make me a turkey feast with giant chocolate cakes every night.  

Until I find a House Elf, I will have to be happy with my collection of kneehuggers.  :)

After Christmas 2011, I purchased this big cabinet that sits in the corner of my living room.  It is six feet tall and has two columns of drawers in all sorts of finishes.  I keep all (not all, but some) of my craft supplies in that cabinet.  Last year I decorated in a hurry and didn't take many photos.  So, when this year rolled around, I couldn't remember how I had decorated the top of the cabinet last year.  That was good because it let me use my goodies and be creative.  I tend to do the same thing year after year because it works and I have very, very limited places to decorate in my small house.  

I pulled out all my kneehuggers and elves, got up on a ladder and made myself my very own House Elf display.  

Everyone decorates with Coke crates and everyone decorates with an old red truck.  Why should I be any different?  :D  

I filled the red truck full of old bottle brush trees and threw in some elves.  In my mind, it's a parade float full of vintage goodness.  That fat little elf dude in the front is brand new and plucked for a bin at the thrift, but god golly he's cute.  

That bigger kneehugger on the left was a happy find this year.  Any excuse to use the old metal phone is a happy one for me.  I think they are monitoring phone calls to Santa from all those Elf on a Shelf guys all over the world. That Elf in the back int he chimney - he's a a squeaker.  I have two of them and I just love them.

Elves all neatly arranged in an old *Coke Crate.  

I had a tabletop metal tinsel tree (from Target) that put all my small elves on as well as a few of the smaller kneehuggers.  

Such cuteness I can barely stand it.

This is my favorite elf.  He has a big nose and big feet and sweet eyes.  Those blocks turn in different directions to say different things for Valentine's Day, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I got them when we first got married and they are really not my thing anymore.  I tried to donate them once and The Bean got very upset with me.  He remembers them from every holiday and it was always his job to make them say the proper thing.  So, I guess they are vintage to him, so they will be around forever.  

My Christmas decorations with their whimsy and fun colors make my house seem so much fun.  I really want to make my house seem more happy after Christmas this year.  Maybe some brighter colors or something fun.  Or maybe I will just leave my Christmas decorations up all year long!  

*When we moved to Arkansas, we sold almost everything we had and came here with barely anything.  My Dad just thought we should start fresh with all new things. When it came time to set up my room, my Dad went to the Coca-Cola Bottling Company and bought a bunch of brand new un-circulated wooden Coke crates.  They were bright red and said Fayetteville, Ark on them.  Those crates became my bookshelves on one wall in my room.  I still have them all - they've been in my college apartment, our first house and now in this house - plus I have many, many more that I bought whee I worked in the grocery store.  People would return their empty bottles in the old crates and get $1.00 in deposit money for the crate.  Then, the manager would let me buy them for $1.00.  I knew they were cool and would be popular one day.  And they are! Too bad I won't part with any of them yet. I think I have about forty of them.  


  1. Love the idea of decorating the tinsel tree with elves. May just have to try that next year.

    I would love to see your collection of crates! You have really good vintage intuition, huh?

    Happy Holidays!


  2. I have some Pepsi crates, will have to use them for my Christmas décor next year! I have about 20 orange crates in my basement, all stacked up, that I use for shelving, love them!

  3. Your Christmas display is wonderful! Wowza, 40 crates and good job recognizing you should rescue them.

  4. Love your Christmas elf display! I have a few coke cases I used to use for craft shows but 40 of them is a wonderful amount! We need to get going around here - don't even have my tree up yet!!

  5. 100 points for using a cool soda crate in your decorating, and 100 more for filling it with cute elves! I love it!!

  6. If you ever do find a house elf, you might ask him if he has a cousin that wants a job! I'm sure I could find plenty for him to do. (or her!)

  7. I do not care for elves, but I know how much joy they bring to you and therefore your elves make me smile.

  8. Love, love, love your elves and your Christmas display. It looks great.

  9. I LOVE your pixie collection. I have quite a few of them too and did my tree in them. If you want to see my collection they are here


    You have a great blog. It's wonderful to see others that appreciate and collect vintage.

    Happy Christmas!

  10. I think I have that same big nosed elf! I'll have to dig him out and take a photo of him. He's part of my Christmas stuff that I didn't feel like taking out since I'd just have to put them back in a few weeks. That whole "not wanting to put a ton of shit out" phase doesn't last long around here!


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