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, December 20, 2013

One Last Thrift Run

The thrift stores around here are positively packed with Christmas merchandise - 99.999999999% of it being new-ish things like lights, trees, boxes of cards and decorations.  Stuff from malls, catalogs, the Dollar Tree, etc.  None of that appeals to me.  But, you have to look around and behind all that stuff in hopes of finding a vintage kneehugger peer out from behind a ceramic snowman or one old Shiny Brite indent in a tub of everyday average glass balls.  There is so much stuff at the thrifts, that I cannot possibly see how on earth they will sell it all.  Plus, I am guessing that every single retail store in town is packed to the gills with Christmas merchandise too.  (Can you believe I have not looked at an of the Christmas at Walmart, Target, Hobby Lobby or any other store this year?)  I have seen a few things on some blogs that made me think I should go look, but I have held strong.  (Case in point, one particularly adorable ornament of an Airstream trailer.) 

So, this week, I made a few last runs through the thrifts in search of anything vintage.  I found very little.  But, I heard SO many people talking about wanting vintage things - I think it is just way more popular now to find vintage things.  So, that is just more competition in the hunt.  I also found this Facebook Group: MerryKitchmas and have found even more vintage loving people than I ever knew existed.  They are all out at the thrifts looking for vintage kitsch.

Anyway, on to the finds:  Bad photos on this exceptionally bleak, misty foggy, rainy cold day.  It was 64 when I got up and an hour and a half later it was 40 degrees.  The temperature is still falling and now there is freezing rain hitting my window.  Happy first weekend of Winter, I suppose.

The whole enchilada.

Cute little bear family.  Not exactly the "vintage" I love, but old Homeco stuff always sells in the booth.

Christmas Tree in a box - it is a paper kit that makes a tree, ornaments and everything.  We had one of these a few years ago and I don't know what I did with it.  It all stores in the box and you can send it to someone, or take it traveling and still have your tree with you.  I'll probably use it in the booth or sell it in the booth next year.  Also, a Saint Lucia's Day Santa, big glass Christmas tree jar and a flocked deer.  I thought the glass tree would make a good snowglobe next year.  When I saw the big flocked deer, I knew exactly why I wanted it - to make a HUGE snowglobe.  

That is a one gallon jar.  I still need to either paint or glitter the lid so make it not look like a deer in a pickle jar, but I like it.  I really like it.  I bought two of the deer, so I can make another one to sell next year.  
A hand thrown pottery Santa mug.  For the booth.  He's kind of cute except that his rosy red cheeks and nose look a bit more like blood smears.  Aieeeee!

A big metal Hallmark tray and a handful of old ornaments.  Santa and Mrs. Claus are on a fake brick base.  That revolves.  And plays music.  I KNOW.  It is SO tacky.  It is fabulous!  Notice Mrs, Claus's really, freakishly loooong arms and overly dainty hands.  I love me some Kitsch.

This tin is my favorite Christmas find of the week.  I love keeping all my craft supplies in old tins.  Love the blue and silver on this one especially.  

On the non-Christmas front - A milkglass tumbler, a vintage Poland doll, a bottle of old glitter, a Candlewick Candlestick and a box of vintage hairpins.  I don't usually buy, or even like glass in general, but this candlestick was pretty and it only cost 25¢, so I knew I could sell it in the booth.  

I love these old wooden dolls from Poland and their big flat feet.  Also, I know to never, ever, ever leave behind glitter if you find it.  

Those hair pins - well, I don't have any idea what I will ever do with them, but there is one pound of them and they only cost 99¢.
Apparently a pound of hairpins is about a thousand hairpins.  I think I can use them as hangers on small items and I will think of other uses for them, I bet.  

My favorite non-Christmas item is this really well made Little Red Riding Hood Doll.  

Her face is painted on and really just too sweet.

I love her eyes.  (That big red bow is on the tray, not on her).

She's all handmade and really just quite sweet.  She'll probably have to stay with me for awhile.  Like all the best things seem to do.  

I made Christmas Candy out the wazoo today.  Tomorrow is unearth the kitchen table day.  Sunday I get to go to Lara's twins birthday party where I have promised NOT to shake my tail feather.  Monday is get up super early and buy groceries before everyone else hits the store.  Tuesday is Christmas Eve with my Dad.  Wednesday is Christmas at home and with my Mom and Step Dad in the afternoon.  Whew.  I am tired already!  I'll pop back by with a Merry Christmas somewhere in there.  Until then - have a happy and safe weekend.  


  1. I just started collecting old tins this year and am loving the one you found. It's awesome! I think I am done at the thrifts this year. We went out one last time the other day and came back with nothing. Like Pyrex, vintage Christmas has become super popular so the competition is fierce. I'm happy with what I have found this year so I am okay with taking a little thrifting hiatus.

    Happy Holiday to you and your family, Shara!


  2. Love love the flocked deer and love it even more in the pickle jar. Well done!!

  3. Hey, I'm having an "unearth the kitchen table day" too. Except mine is covered in wrapping and tissue papers, bows, empty store bags, etc.

  4. Is the kitchen table that thing the chairs are supposed to sit around? I think I have one of those under the mound of stuff here. I don't know whether to thank you for the tip on the facebook group or swear at you! I just spent wayyy too long looking at photos on there. I think I have found my people! Weird how there are so many out there and I thought there was just a few of us.

  5. I'm going to visit that FB group! I love vintage and you truly have the best stuff!!

  6. For some reason, that sweet Little Red Riding Hood doll makes me think of Judy Garland. Great find! We're on the road right now heading to your part of the world. Hope your holidays are lovely and bright!

  7. Ooh! Love the Christmas tin and the Red Riding Hood doll. Merry Christmas, Shara. I've truly enjoyed your blog and look forward to reading more about your great finds.

  8. I am glad you bought one pound of hairpins as I do crazy things like that too. When you finally find the perfect project for them you will realize that it was a brilliant move.

  9. Love that Christmas tin too! Such pretty colors and the bells in the middle remind me of some I have that are paper mache covered in foil. Love them and wish I could find more. The Red dolly is so pretty! My other faves are the milk glass tumbler and the beautiful glass candlestick.

  10. wonder if you can use the hair pins to hold "kitchmas" items on the wreaths you make? They make special pins that are similar for floral arrangements.

  11. I have been seeing your Kitchmas posts popping up on my newsfeed and have enjoyed them all. You have found kindred spirits! LOVE the blue on that tin and am madly in love with the Red Riding Hood doll. Where did you find that? You can whisper it in my ear if you don't want everyone in our neck of the woods knowing your best haunts. :-) In Chicago, I found vintage Christmas ornaments by the dozen (literally!) for cheap at estate sales, of all places. It was like that market was the last to catch on how valuable they could be. When I unpacked them this year, I was dying at some of the price tags that were still on them from when I found them at various thrift stores/estate sales...$1 on most of them. SOB. Those were the days.

  12. ALSO: you sent me that picture of the deer in the gallon jar and I didn't realize you had made it! It is SO BEAUTIFUL! Those would sell like hotcakes, I bet.

  13. I loved your finds and can't wait to see how you use the hairpins. I know that you will use them in some fabulous & unique way! Wishing you a Merry Christmas!


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