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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Year in Thriftview

I always think it is fun to look back over the year and see what I bought, what I sold and what I kept. Thanks to The Junk Ranch and the two booths, I sold more than I brought home this year.  Well, I had to bring all that home, but at least it didn't stay here.  So, that's good.  I just need both of the booths to keep on going and to do even better this year - plus there's another Junk Ranch in June!  Yippeee!

So, what did come home with me?  What stayed and what sold? I bet you are so excited to read this! (Ha)
Ah, the PINK tree.  Scored at Goodwill in January for $2.00.  It is such a lovely pink color.  It's not vintage, but it will do for me.  I used it last Valentine's Day and I meant to use it as a Birthday tree for our birthday month in Aug-Sept.  I need to remember to do that this year!  Ya'll remind me, okay?

Found these sweet hugging Kewpie babies on the back of a thrift store shelf for 99¢.They have a home on my shelf with my other babies.  

I bought this at a yard sale in front of a flea market that was going out of business.  It had this weird black moldy stuff on it and I was afraid that I just thrown away $2.00.  But, with some elbow grease and a Magic Eraser it cleaned up beautifully.  I have far too much pottery, but this soft buttery piece had to join the rest of my hoard.

This rubber baby was an Etsy purchase, which I don't usually do.  But it was only a few dollars and made me smile.  Sometimes you just need a smile when it's winter and there are no yard sales or decent thrift store finds!  That belly!

This great old cabinet was at the thrift for $19.99.  It's still in my backyard under a tarp, which is not good.  I need to work on it and sell it at the Spring Junk Ranch.  I really love it though. 

These spinner racks made me SO happy - vintage racks that where perfect for my feedsack jewelry pendants and mini-banners.  There were holding crap jewelry at a crap sale, but I ask about the racks and they decided I could have them for $1.00 each. SO HAPPY!  I just left one at the small booth with things on it and I feel like I left my child there.  I hope it is safe.  :(

A hot summer day auction brought me this tiny chair which I grossly overpaid for in the heat of a bid ($15.00!).  But, I was rewarded with the awesome vintage blowmold pumpkin that I plucked off the trash heap as I was leaving.  I always look in the trash at auctions because people will toss "junk" they don't want and as WE ALL KNOW - I like that sort of junk!

A day of thrifting with my Dad to some new to me places brought me this sweet vase for $2.00.  I usually only like matte single colored pottery, but now I seem to be drawn to the shiny cute stuff.  

This Rushton Lion which is somewhere in between my "sell" and "keep" pile.  The prices aren't what they  used to be on Rushton.  When I see the price go up a bit, I will sell him.  I paid $10.00.  The check out girl could see my excitement about him as I held him and said, "Ten dollars" in question form when I asked "How much?" I should have acted cool about it or offered less or picked up some of the junky stuffed animals and made a pile.  But, I showed my excitement and it cost me.  Lesson learned.  I still think I paid an okay price though.  

A hot summer day yard sale led me to a box under a table with some old holiday things in it.   I bought a lot more there that day, but the holiday and crafty stuff always wins my heart.   Everything pictured was $3.00 plus I sold the black cat for $28.00 and the wooden horse brooch for $23.00.  

This honeycomb Uncle Sam hat was deemed to be NOT FOR SALE by the Salvation Army clerks. Fast forward to July 3rd, late in the day when I asked ONE MORE TIME and I was told - yea you can have that for $1.00 since we need to get rid of it.  Thriftlogic.  Crazy,  

Found a garage sale on the 4th of July - it was late in the afternoon, but I stopped anyway.  I found all this wonderful vintage Christmas stuff.  I got all this for less than $5.00.  It was a happy, happy 4th of July.  I sold the NOMA Star for $18.00, the ornaments for $28.00 and several other small things at the Junk Ranch and at the booth for much more than the $5.00.  

I don't remember where I got these things, but I DO remember that I paid 10¢ for the cup and 5¢ for the tiny stork.  Love that mug.  You KNOW that went straight into my collection.  

When I bought this old Coleman jug, it was pretty dirty, but the 50¢ price tag made me buy it anyway.  I really and truly thought it was a really faded red one.  But, after I cleaned it up I realized it was PINK!  It's pretty worn, but I think it's pretty cool.  It will go to the Spring Junk Ranch.  (I love pink, but there's not much room for it in my house of men).  

This giant French water jug in the crate came from a permanent yard sale out by my Dad's.  Because of the broken top, I only paid $2.00 for it.  I still have plans to make it into some sort of an end table and sell it.  The To-Do list is ever growing, it seems.  

Bad picture, but great ladders.  I had my eyes peeled for old ladders for a few months, but I never found any.  Then, one day, I found both of these just around the corner from my very own house. Eight dollars for both of them and they were mine.  I used them at The Junk Ranch for my vintage Christmas display and it worked great.  (Who came up with that expression "I had my eyes peeled?"  Oowie.)

Speaking of right near the house - I spotted this on the curb one day on our way to lunch. Screeeeeech.  The boys jumped out and loaded it without any question.  Now I use this to take almost all my junk photos in the driveway.  I want to make it a check out area for my junk shows.  

Then there's THIS.  The BLYTHE doll I found for $3.00 and actually hesitated to buy because she was a torso without any legs and her hair was a hot mess.  But, I thought maybe she might still sell for about $50.00, so I sprung for her. 

These elves were my purchase from the Fall Junk Ranch.  I paid $20.00 for the elves, which is a lot for me, but I had "found money" in my pocket from selling things, so I treated myself to these cuties. There was one more (not pictured) so each one was only $3.33, so that's not so bad.  ;)

And just before the year was about to come to an end - this awesome dollhouse found it's way to me for $2.00.  I'm enjoying it through the holidays, but then I might sell it.  I need to sell it.  I should sell it.  We'll see about that.....

Happy New Year to all of you wonderful people that take the time to read this silly old blog.  I read all my comments and I am sorry if I can't respond to you if there isn't an email attached.  But, please know that I DO read them and I am forever grateful for all of you.  I've met some of you this year in real life and I hope that keeps going this year too.  Happy New Year to you!  

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Name - Finally!

Long time readers might remember when I scored my KitchenAid Mixer from an on-line Black Friday sale through Lowe's for $18.00 in 2010.  Yes, you read that right - EIGHTEEN DOLLARS. There was some sort of a Facebook promotion and you signed up and then deals went "live" every night at a certain time.  The first so many people to go to the Lowe's site, put the item in their cart and completed check out got that item at that price.  One night it was a Kitchen-Aid Mixer  - the first 100 people got it for 90% off - only $18.00!  I sat by the computer and waited and waited for the deal to go "live" and suddenly - there it was!  I went to the Lowe's website and choose to shop through my local store instead of through the main online site.  I think that was the magic touch because even though it took a very long time and a great many times of refreshing to get the order to go through, IT DID!  I had an email confirmation in my inbox that my credit card had been charged $18.00.  I still couldn't really believe it could be true, but the next morning, I had an email telling me that my order was ready to be picked up at the local Lowe's.  

I didn't waste a minute getting there - it's only about one mile from my house.  When I got there, I said I was there to pick up an order of a Kitchen Aid Mixer.  The clerk looked at me and said, "Oh yes, I know about that one..." and went off to get it.  As she passed several employees, she pointed back at me and said, "SHE's the one that got the Kitchen-Aid!"  Anyway, long story short, if it's possible after all THAT ^..... :), They had called corporate to verify the price and they were told that it was a legitimate deal.  All of the employees kind of gathered around and were really happy for me. It was a fun experience.  All for a mixer.   

So, my family is known for naming their cars, their appliances, the things that they love  We drive Mr. Harris currently (any "The New Adventures of Old Christine" fans here?) and used to drive Stu the Vue and before that Stan the Van.  :)  When my new mixer came into my life, I knew it needed a name.  I toyed with "Martha" for either Martha Stewart or Martha White (baking mixes) and then I toyed with "Betty" for an Aunt of mine or Betty White (the mixer is white).  Martha and Betty were okay names, but none of them really FIT.  This mixer is strong, it works hard, it's beautiful and it makes my life easier.  Hmmmm.........a name would come to me one day.  

And, last week on Christmas Eve, a photo appeared on Instagram and I KNEW what the Kitchen-Aid Mixer's name would be,


It's gorgeous.

It's strong.

It works hard.

It makes me happy.

Justin it is.  


(That Justin could lose the stocking cap and beard though.....)

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Day After

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  It's funny to me that we do all the decorating, baking, cooking, shopping, wrapping and set up and then BAM it's all over in one day.  We kind of like to lay low and enjoy the house and decorations through New Year's Day.  Then I start packing it up and putting my regular old BORING not shiny, non glittery stuff back in the house.  

Christmas Eve we went to my Dad's house for the afternoon.  We SWORE no presents to each other  - but I had some old photos enlarged and framed for him and had him a custom photo calendar made plus I had an emergency gift card in my purse just in case he flaked on the deal.  And, he did - he had three big gift bags full of things for us.  Thank goodness for that emergency gift card!  :)  He always buys us groceries - fun things to eat up through the New Year - fancy cheese, carbonated grape juice, chocolates, fruit, Poppycock and stuff like that  - it's always fun to see what he finds.  This year included Spicy Pickled Peaches and Hot Pickled Okra.  So, we will have to try those.....

Christmas afternoon my Mom and Step Dad came over for dinner.  Our kitchen table is a) small, b) in the small-ish kitchen and c) covered up in my flea market crap right now, so I set up a table in the living room for us.  I only do this on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.  It makes me almost giddy to pick out what tablecloth I am going to use and then set the table.  I really need to get the kitchen where I can use my tablecloths all the time.  They make me so dad gum happy!  
This is the large tablecloth that Kim sent me in a swap.  It's long so it fit the long banquet table I used. I used the white dishes and gold silverware and then added in those fun red designed glasses I thrifted for 10¢ each this summer.  I added a paper straw because well, PAPER STRAWS ARE FUN. I normally make a favor or a treat bag for each setting, but I ran out of time, so one sad little peppermint was all they got.   I had all my aluminum pitchers at the Flea market until one day I realized that I could actually USE them, so I brought home the gold, green and red thinking those would get me through all the holidays.  

The centerpiece was an old red doughbowl filled with red and green ornaments and some gold glass garland.  

Yes, that is a minion in the center.  Kevin is our holiday mascot - our Elf on a Shelf.  He gets into all sorts of places and things.  He's onery.

Anyway, my table isn't that spectacular, but I had fun using my stuff.  After dinner we took it all down and opened presents.  We had decided to make it a small gift holiday - not too much and not too expensive.  All was going pretty good until we all got envelopes of CASH and then the Bean got a 32" TV.  Uh, here's a candle?  A book?  Whomp Whomp.  But, who am I to say you can't buy your grandson a giant TV?  Not me!

Well, there's dishes to do and things to put up and food to eat, so I better get busy on that.  Think I'll start with the leftovers!  :D  That cash is burning a hole in our pocket, so I wouldn't be surprised to see us out and about in a bit too.  Oh, well, it's Christmas - dishes can wait!  

Happy Day After!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Santa Is On His Way

But, first.........


Are you ready?  I am done with everything and wracking my brain for more "Christmas-y" things to do until THE BIG DAY.  I have shopped, wrapped, sent out cards, baked, make candy, decorated, and watched movies. We have watched a different Christmas movie the last three nights which I have really enjoyed.  I don't normally get much say in what we watch on TV but I always want to watch Christmas movies.  We watched "Elf", "Santa Claus 2" and "Four Christmases."  Tomorrow night is "Christmas with the Kranks" which is my very favorite.  Not sure what will make the cut tonight.  HO HO HO.  The Bean still likes "Jingle All The Way" from his childhood.  Oh we did watch "Christmas Vacation" last week too.  "Where'w the Tylenol?"  My favorite line.  

What movies are on you MUST WATCH list?  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Swap or Three and Lots of Happy Mail

The Breadman and I quit buying presents for each other a long time ago.  Well, that's not completely true, I usually get him a Razorback T-shirt or a package of socks (I AM SO THOUGHTFUL!) because I feel bad if he doesn't get something.  Not getting presents from him doesn't really bother me because he says he doesn't  have a clue what to get me.  Which is pretty funny that after 26 years of knowing each other he truly doesn't have a clue what I like or what to get me. But, it is sadly very true.   I also don't mind any gifts from him because almost every single day for the past week I have received the most incredible boxes of Happy Mail and a few swaps that have just delighted me beyond words.  It's almost bordering on ridiculous the amount of love and fuzzy feelings I have had this past week.

I joined in on a Vintage Christmas Swap on Instagram.  It was different because we weren't allowed to make contact with the person we were sending our package to plus we would be receiving a package from a completely different person.  I didn't have the highest hopes for this swap since it was kind of an unknown thing - but it turned out great!

I got a set of bubble lights, two great vintage pine cone themed trays and that AWESOME Santa candy container.  I thought it was funny that he had tennis rackets on his feet.  HA.  They are snowshoes - but I really DID think they were tennis rackets!  Can you tell I am not accustom to much snow?  The person I sent to seemed really pleased with what I sent her, so that made me happy too.

A few blog entries back I showed a set of Christmas curtains that I had thrifted and Kim commented that she loved them.  Since I had no real plans for them, I suggested a little swap between us.  I sent her the curtains, a necklace that I made and something else - so I was just expecting a tiny bit of a swap.  

But, instead, this big box chock full of vintage goodness arrived and I was stunned!  Hand made goodies, vintage Christmas and the HOLY GRAIL - a tablecloth!  So many sweet thoughtful things. Thank you Kim!  

Last week a box arrived from my friend Sue.  We have been friends forever and she is always sending me sweet things.  She rescued a couple watermelon potholders and sent them to a GOOD HOME.  There was also CHOCOLATE, a lovely necklace, a sweet little Santa and a vintage Christmas apron which I quickly added to my collection.  Thank you Sue!

Okay are you still with me on this?

Yesterday a big heavy box arrived from my friend Chanelle who reads this blog and is active on IG. 

She knows all the things I love and collect and is always on the lookout at the thrifts in  the Chicago area for me.  She shares all her flea market-y magazines with me and then I pass them on to Lara (who actually KNOWS Chanelle from Chicago).  She found several of the souvenir ashtrays I love so much, vintage birthday party napkins, vintage Santa sleigh cake decorations, a tiny card holder with clothespins, a funny Santa and..............

Nine......NINE...strands of glass garland.  Yards and yards of it.  I have never seen so much of it at once in my life!  She told me to try to sell it at one of my shows.  Uh.  No thank you.  I shall keep it forever and ever and ever.  :)  Thank you Chanelle!

Hang on, I'm almost done, except this one is a BEAUT.  

I asked on here if anyone wanted to do a Vintage Christmas Swap and a few signed up.  I tossed the names in a hat and wound up swapping with Marci.  Marci came and sold at the last Junk Ranch so I had the opportunity to actually meet her.  She is great and we have a great love of junk and the same sort of collections.  Her house is fantastic!

My mouth was agape at the HUGE box that arrived and the gorgeous contents that spilled out.  

I am a total sucker for packaging and making each little thing look like a jewel on it's own.  Marci is an EXCELLENT wrapper uppper.  Everything was gorgeous!  

She recently blogged about buying "Kick Ass Boots" on Black Friday  - so she sent me stuff IN her Kick ass boots box  I got a chuckle out of that.  :D

She made me my very own stocking!  Out of chenille!  I love it!!!!!

And, inside the stocking - a huge Christmas-y plaid Thermos.  

She sent me an Annalee cat as a reminder of my sweet Little Lady we recently lost.  I was oohing and ahhing over my vintage stuff and then I was bawling like a baby.  So sweet.  Lord, I miss that baby girl.

A vintage Christmas light box.  This has been the ONE vintage package that has eluded me all these years.  I have NEVER found a Light box.  And, then BAM - her one is in my hand.  Love those lights too  - the red beads are a nice touch.  

So, you are thinking - "Wow! That's a lot - how nice of her!"  Well, silly, you have only seen the TIP of the iceberg!


Candy containers, spun heads, a kneehugger, a coloring book, a bottle brush tree, a vintage tin and on and on and on.  

And on and on and on.  

Old Spun Glass Angel Hair  - are you KIDDING ME?

That elf in a SHOE?  Come ON!

And a tiny box full of wee spun heads and glittered boots and teeny jingle bells and a CORSAGE and so much other fun, fun stuff.  I was really just amazed at all the goodness in that box.  *Also there were a bunch of Sea Salt Caramels and Candy Canes that I have hidden and will NOT be sharing with anyone.....'cause - CARAMELS!  Thank you so, so much Marci!

So, see?  I feel like I have already had the BEST Christmas EVER.  What is better than vintage Christmas and the love from friends, blog friends and new friends?  Nothing, that's what.  

(((Hugs))) to all of YOU!

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Week in Junk: Freestyling

About an hour ago, I started feeling like I could hurl at any minute.  There must be a bug going around.  Wheeee.  Merry Christmas to me.  Let's see if I can get through this....

These are my finds from the weekend at that one yard sale and at my Super Cheap Thrift.   That's where I also got the doll house.  Let's see it one more time.

Oh, yea.....$2.00.  

*Happy Dance*
At the sale where everything was FREE:  I grabbed a box full of Christmas ornaments just because of the Santa mug on top.  I also found the slightly scary mni mug in there as well as the wooden ornaments.  The chunky wooden bangle is kind of fun and those measuring spoons?  I just saw a set of those in a catalog for $19.99!  They are for a "dash, pinch and smidgen".  Adorbs.  That blue Bundt pan made me decide to start collecting colorful Bundt pans BECAUSE I NEED ANOTHER COLLECTION.  *cough*  I do not need another collection, but I found that PINK one not long ago so now I see they come in all colors and I think they would look interesting along the soffit in the kitchen.  So, SEE?  I DO need them!  

This little clothespin dude was deemed a keeper.  I usually see figures made out of the old school peg clothespins.  He's pretty darned cute.  

This hand carved wooden spoon is just lovely.  I cannot imagine actually using it for anything though.  It reminds me of a Black Forrest Cuckoo clock, so I need to do a bit of research on it.  

See the acorns and leaves?  Isn't it kind of fabulous?

More free stuff:  Two nice lovely heavy old platters.  A dogwood vase and dogwood napkin rings, a small vase, tiny restaurantware bowl, fruit chalkware and a awesome blue deer pottery planter.  That I dropped and smashed into a hundred pieces as soon as I took this photo.  Wah.  It *was* adorable.   

This little Happy Birthday girl has a flaw on the other side of her book, but I think I can fix it somehow.  Isn't she just the cutest, though?  

Two big chalkware swans.  I hate these things.  I see them a lot and I NEVER buy them.  But, free is free and I BET they will sell in the booth.  They remind me of my husband's Mother which is just a bad memory within itself, plus I don't get the whole swan/goose thing.  (Except your cool sweet swan things, Laurie).  

All that stuff for free (I gave her $2.00 though) was a pretty good deal.  

On to the super cheap thrift where I got that dollhouse.

Let's see it again.


Had you going there.  

Wooden train, silly 1980's doll, a talking View Master (which is new to me) and a funny little old lady in a red car.  Not sure what her story is - but she's comical to me.

These seashell "HIS and "HERS" towel hangers are very very ugly and quite HUGE.  But, the price was right, so to the booth they will GO.  

A quartet of vintage snowmen, a couple of which I *think* have been in the eggnog. (I'm talking to you two middle guys...)  The middle two are keepers, the first one will most likely stay for this season and the last one will be packed until next year to be sold.  

Vintage corn S&P's for the booth and a great old wire letter basket.  I hoard those letter baskets like a crazy lady.  I can see nine of them right here in my office.  I do actually use them in here and in the booth and at shows to papers.  SO THERE!  

A vintage box of candles, two Starbucks mugs ( I sell Starbucks very quickly.  They go against my "I sell only vintage things" rule, but heck money is money!)  I was very excited to find the four Mercury Glass tapers and the lone gold glass taper.  The funny thing is, I already have four of them and I have never used them. But, every year I pull them out and adore them, then I pack them right back up. But, SOMEDAY, I will think of a genius way to use them.  Most likely in my MANSION.  Yes, that's it. My MANSION.  

Ok, I just had to throw in in here ONE MORE TIME.

Well, I think I might go throw up now.  

See you all another day.  

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