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.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

TWO WEEKS. Panic time.

The Farm Fresh at The Junk Ranch sale (aka The Barn Sale) is in TWO WEEKS.  Time to PANIC!

I actually have a lot of things ready.  But, there are more things that I am working on making, then there's the things I want to make if I have time and the things I would like to take but I don't know if I can get them in the car and the things that need sprucing up before I can sell it...yadda, yadda, yadda.  All I can really do it just make, hunt, gather and price until the BIG DAY and then just DO IT.

Going to that big vintage marketplace last weekend really made me see that you have to have a definite look to your booth.  I think my booth has a look, but not like a shop.  That is hard to do when all you have is a tent and some tables.  You have to bring in a lot of character and materials to make your booth look great, THEN you have to start loading in the stuff you want to sell.  Most of the things I saw that I wanted to buy were being used for their displays and weren't really ever for sale.  I pretty much sell anything that is in my booth with only a few exceptions like my tablecloths and a few display pieces.

So, here's what I want to know - when YOU go to a flea market, antiques store or vintage market - what do you look for and what do you want to buy - for yourself to keep and treasure or to make and create with - not to resell or make money on.  Wow, that was a long question, right?

For instance - I find my self drawn to all vintage tablecloths.  I only saw three at the entire event last weekend which makes me wonder if they aren't desirable anymore OR if they are so desirable that the had all sold out.  I'm hoping it's the latter since I have a whole pile of tablecloths going with me to sell.  I also love any and all vintage holiday decor, which I saw very little of at that event either.

I'm just rambling.  I need ideas of what sort of vintage things I need to take.  So, leave a comment and tell me what you would buy if you saw it in my booth, please?  What would be your perfect trifecta in the world of junk?  Mine would be a vintage tablecloth, a piece of miniature pottery and a nice handmade old basket (or picnic basket).

Thank you! You guys are really just the BEST!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Weekend in Junk: Holiday Edition

Friday I headed to the booth to get it straightened up for the holiday weekend.

Along the way, I found a few garage sales.  So many that I never made it to the booth.  Whoopsie!

One sign that I saw was pointing down the street where I got all these blow molds for 50¢ each last year. Now, the signs was just pointing to that same street, but I remembered all those blowmolds, crossed my fingers and drove up the street.  It was the same house!  Woohoo!  The lady having these sales is cleaning out her Mother's house and she sells things for cheap.  She has massive amounts of junk - baby clothes, old musty not cool vintage clothes, sheets, towels and the usual household junk.  Oh, and collections.  Last time it was the ceramic mask collection (THE HORRORS) and the ELEPHANT collection (I found some cool elephants that I sold).  This time it was the Home Interiors collection (THE HORRORS), Made in China frogs (THE HORROR) and the rest of the ceramic masks. (THE HORRORS).  

But, in the midst of the junk, if you really look you will find some good old junk.  And cheap.

All this for $4.00.  
Service for four of these Federal dishes.  They have a silver edge with the silver swirly thing going on.  I NEVER ever, ever buy dishes, but these were kind of pretty and I think they will sell.  Two bucks for the set.
A Japanese Saki bowl that I will plant something in, a GINGHAM tray (might become a magnet board), a big Boy Scout kerchief, a doily, a 7UP Uncola glass and a red Lustreware silverware tray.  I seem to be a magnet for those plastic silverware trays. 

I adore these stacking cups.  Aren't they just the prettiest pastel colors?  I just might have to keep these  - they were ten cents each.  The little PINS, NEEDLES and BUTTONS drawer is missing a knob, but I will fix it somehow.  

Oh yes, I got this.  
No comment.
Two large embroidered table runners with butterfilies on each end.  Someone spilled nail polish on them, so they aren't usable as table runners anymore - but does anyone really use a table runner anymore?  I think I will frame the embroidered butterflies - they are quite pretty.  
I also got all these old crafting booklets from this sale.  I sorted through the stack of magazines and found all these good old ones and set them to the side to buy.  But, when she boxed them up, she gave me ALL the magazines, so I had to sort them again when I got home.  I ended up with 40 good old ones. 

There some with adorable dolly graphics.  

These are my favorites.  I just might have to learn to crochet so I can made some of those.  See that Scotty dog?  Eek.  I was hoping there would be instructions for the watermelon potholder so I could frame it and hang it above my collection, but no such luck.  

This booklet is interesting.  "Knit for Defense."

Apparently during WWII everything was in short supply for the soldiers.  In order to help out, a lady could buy this booklet, knit something according to the dress code of the military and then send it in to be given to a soldier.  Isn't that neat?  There are some awesome photos of soldiers in this booklet.  

Saturday I actually did make it to the booth, but managed to squeeze in a Moving Sale along the way.  

A cash register till for $2.00.  I think I will use it to hold milk caps, dice, keys and junk at the Farm Fresh Sale.  I can clip the signs on the money clip things.  Cool, right?

The metal thing on top is an old receipt book folder from a delivery driver - like a milk man or ice cream man.  Under that is a great old letter organizer.  It's heavy and very Mad Man-esq.
I spotted this old POST box in a 25¢ box.  I didn't even open it, because I thought the box was interesting and whatever was in it would just be a bonus.  

And what a BONUS it was!  A very old drafting compass set.  Thy are all solid brass and they nestle in their own little divets in that luscious velvet.  I think they might be worth something. but my research disagrees. They are just so nice!

I picked up this milk bottle for 25¢.  I happen to know that you can return it to the store for the grocery store $2.50 deposit refund.  Hey, why not?
I also found this tiny handmade basket which is one of my favorite things in the world.  It fits in the palm of my hand and cost twenty five whole cents.  

The stagecoach toy came from a yard sale with the beaded necklace.  The Miller Studios Chalkware Duck thermometer was found at Goodwill and the box of Christmas light bulbs was from the Vintage Market Days of NWA that Lara and I went to on Saturday.  It was an upscale Vintage Venue with lots of wonderful displays.  I got lots of ideas for future projects and set ups at any venues I do in the future.  There was SO much good stuff there.  I think Lara will blog about it - I only took a couple photos while we were there.  

The farm Fresh Sale is June 13 so it is CRUNCH TIME and I have done NOTHING so far.  Time to round up the junk and figure out the set up.  Junk, junk, junk!

Hope you all have a lovely Memorial Day and BE SAFE out there!  

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Block Street Party - The Whole Story

I got up at 6:30 Sunday morning which is just an ungodly hour to me.  I had one half of a cup of coffee because I knew the bathroom arrangements at a Street Fair would be a little, eh - gross.  I met my booth partners at the Wal-Mart parking lot at 8:10 and we were off to set up.  We got there about 8:30 and were still able to drive down to our spots.  As luck would have it, our spot was at the end of a driveway to a a vacant house, so we were able to pull in to the driveway and park right there.  There had been the possibility of having to park blocks away and carry things trip upon trip and I was really, really not looking forward to that part.  To say the least.  So having the car right there was wonderful for unloading, for not having to unload the cooler, for an emergency phone charge (or two) and for an occasional "I need to go to the car for something" lie to get away from cigarette smoke.  A side note to the cooler - I ate a banana in the morning and couldn't find a trash can, so I laid in on the back bumper of the car.  Flash forward to 2:00 this afternoon when I notice that banana peel still on the bumper after a ten mile drive, stoplights and a drive thru Popeye's run.  I'm sure we gave people a laugh at my banana peel.  

From the back looking in.

There were to be five of us setting up, but one had a son graduating and was so busy that she just never got her stuff gathered up, so she was out.  Another lost her car keys and couldn't drive (oh my) so she was out.  So, that just left three of us.  We designed our layout so that people needed to step in and I know now that was a mistake.  It got so crowded that people could only walk past.  They would stop, but they couldn't really come in and circle back out because of the crowds.  Nest year we will set it up across the front of the tent and out into the sides more. 
Luckily, my things were on the side that people could see so I did make a lot of sales.  A lot of sales doesn't necessarily mean a lot of money when most of my things are under $10.00.  I was pretty happy with the amount of things I got into my small card table area, but it still didn't' seem too crowded.  Somehow we turned the table the wrong way and I didn't notice it until I was done so the tablecloth isn't long enough, but that's just something I noticed.  

This is how it looked when you walked past.   I didn't really know my booth companions very well before yesterday, but we had SO much fun.  We all enjoyed people watching and man, were there people to watch!  

One of the ladies only brought a few things and she sold about three things, but she was super happy about it and ready to do it again.
Here's the street early in the day.

And later...

I sold a lot of the upcycled Book Cover Clipboards.  Several people wanted to know where I got the book covers and how I rounded the corners and where I got the milk cps and BingO pieces I added to them.  I assumed they were going to try and make one, but they ended up buying them.  Two young girls told me that they were Nurse's and they needed clipboards to fit into their scrubs pocket to keep track of things.  One said her Grammy played Bingo and that she would alwsys think of her when she saw that BINGO marker.  Oh that reminds me of a story!  This older couple came in and they saw the BingO hair pins.  They looked through them, but didn't pick one up,  When I went to talk to them, they asked me if I happened to have any  with "O69" on them.  I looked through them and I didn't.  Then the man  - who was in his late 70's told me that they play Bingo and O69 is a "private joke" with the Bingo Caller.  Uh, I don't think anything concerning "69" is a "private joke".  They ended up buying some anyway.  

I sold almost all of the toadstools.  I think I could have sold a lot more than I even made.  But since they were on the ground, once it got SO crowded, no one could really see them.  I need to make more for the Farm Fresh Junk Sale which is June 12th and will be here before I know it.  PANIC!

I know now that if I would have put my jewelry more outside the tent and in the sun that it would have gotten more attention because people could have seen it when they passed.  I did sell some and that made me happy.  Some were to little girls that "like the pretty colors" and didn't care that it was 80 year old vintage feedsack material.  *sniff*  But, at least they liked them.  

All in all, it was a fun day, I made some money, learned some things and had a lot of fun.  It's all a learning curve and every venue is different.  I really had no idea how HUGE this event would be or the crowds that would flock down that street.  I also learned that standing on concrete for eleven straight hours will wreck your knees for a day or so.  I am bad about not sitting down -  I like to stand and talk to people.  For the junk sale, I will take a stool so I can perch some times and take the proverbial "load off".  

I wanted to thank everyone for all the nice comments and the well wishes.  Doing these events is really way outside my comfort zone since I am actually kind of an introvert and not too confident in the things I make and do.  I don't know how to handle compliments (or criticism for that matter).  Some people have husbands out of the country for most of the year and have three kids to wrangle and LOTS on her own plate, yet she texted me "Good luck and I'm thinking of you" the day of the event.  Other people actually came to see me and my set up AND brought me a delicious Cherry Limeade* from Sonic.  She also brought her delicious little ones who saw me, shouted out my name and excitedly grabbed my hands (which I have been waiting for them to do!) and then yelled "Let's go to the BOUNCEY HOUSE, Shara!"  I hated it that I couldn't go with them.  Some day soon I am going to hold those tiny hands and have some fun with them!

One of my booth partners manages a Spa on Block Street so we had the key to an actual restroom.  Yea!  But, it was about two blocks away, around a parking lot, and up a flight of stairs.  Too much work!  So the yucko porta potty it was......TMI?  


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Block Street Party Teaser

My brain is tired and my feet and back are very tired, so I will do a quick post tonight.  The Block Street party went well.  It was SUCH a fun day.  If you like to "people watch" and I love to people watch - well, this is the place to do it.  College town, hippies with dreads, socialite college girls in heels and pearls, punk looking kids, goth - you name it and I saw it.  I saw orange, bright green, yellow, pink and blue HAIR today. 
I saw this girl and a few others that made my jaw gape.  "Hmmm, I think I will wear my fifty pound KISS boots today, yes, I think I will....."

I figure that I can set up, people watch all day long, make some money to boot and not spend any walking up and down the street hitting all the vendors myself.  It's a win-win situation.  

Also, there was a crochet booth.  I don't mean they had cute little crocheted hats and afghans.  The booth was literally crocheted.  

The top of the tent, the sides of the tent, the floors.....

A sectional(!), table, pillows, rugs.....

They dressed the part.  The man in the half shirt (oye vey!) changed into one hideous get up after another all day long.  He walked up and down the street posing with people.  It was a show stopper, that's for sure.  

Everyone talked about how much they had crocheted and how long it must take them.  But when is potted all those old potholders, I knew that they were crocheting a lot of it, but probably out at the thrifts scavenging for anything crocheted.  

Crocheted table, seating and food anyone?  

I'll be back tomorrow with a rundown of the set up, the show, a pop in appearance by Lara complete with  the twins and a big sonic Limeade for me, and some more photos.  Until then, I leave you with one of my booth partners.

Does it not look like she is grinning ear to ear?  

Good Night!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Some Friday Junk

I really haven't been thrifting much at all as of late.  I did go to that auction last week and to the Largest Yard Sale the weekend before, but I haven't been to any thrift stores or regular yard sales in a long time.  Today I needed to run out to the booth and straighten up plus pull a few tings to take with me on Sunday.  Once again today turned out to be cool in the high 50's and a sprinkle of rain every so often.  The Seniors graduated last night and they had to wear coats.  Really weird weather for around here in May, that's for sure.  MIND YOU I am not complaining! I like it cool....

So, I left my house at the early, early hour of 12:30 and headed to the booth.  I managed to go to seven yard sales along the way.  Two were busts that left me empty handed. One netted me a microwave steamer like I already own and LOVE and have always wanted a second one for veggies when I make rice.  BORING, I know.  But I was happy to find it and only pay one buck for it plus it was NEW and unused.  Hola!  

I found some good stuff at the other sales.  
(That old mailbox is always there - not a purchase.)

At one sale I spotted all these old Wilton Cake Decorating Yearbooks in a box under the table.  I asked how much and was told ten cents each, so I didn't bother sorting, I just grabbed them all.  They are fun to look through and them I will put them on ebay.  I really want to get a bite of  that pink one on top.  Delish!

As I was leaving that sale, I spotted a box of clothes at the end of the driveway and I dug in them.  I never look at or buy clothes at yard sales, but I saw a vintage baby outfit, so I went digging.  
Adorable little baby bunnies hopping out of a hat.  Had to have!

Then I dug some more and found an old housecoat/smock, a red patchwork apron, an embroidered tea towel (there's an anthropomorphic teacup on the other side) and the longest biggest apron I have ever seen. I think the big apron is like they wore on Little House on the Prairie - down to the bottom of their dress and all the way around to keep them clean.  

As I dug, I spotted GINGHAM. 

I pulled out three GINGHAM aprons - all with Chicken Scratch embroidery which fits into my specific apron collecting rules so I GET TO KEEP THEM.  They need a good soak first.  The lavender one has flowers printed on the gingham, which I have never seen.  So, I trudged back in to the garage to see how much these eight items were going to cost and she said, "Eh, looks like about fifty cents worth to me."  I gave her a dollar because I am generous like that.  ;)

As I was leaving the sale, a truck drove past and HONK HONK HONKED at me.  I figure I looked like a crazy yard sale lady with my giant pile of books and big bag of clothes.  In my defense, I spent a grand total of $4.20 to everything I bought.  It ended up being Amy that runs the Barn Sale.  She would never call me a crazy Yard Sale lady behind my back - she would say it to my face and pat me on the back like a proud Mama Bear!  

At a different sale, I spotted this vest hanging on a rack.  The material is so adorable.  The lady at the sale told me that she paid WAY TOO MUCH for it at a Librarian convention.  She was the Librarian for K-2 for 35 years.  She was so happy that I bought the vest.  I did not have the heart to tell her that I would be cutting it up and using it as a mat in a frame.  She would have ripped it out of my hands!  But really, isn't it CUTE?

I got this old silhouette at the sale with the cheap clothes and cake books.  It's really sweet, but I think the silvering is really just aluminum foil.  It needs to be taken apart and maybe just replaced with white paper. It's the first one I've ever found, so I won't complain about it's condition.  Oh, and those vintage glitter speckled PINK candles?  Well, now, those are JUST TOO FREAKING WONDERFUL.  

From the cake decorating sale - Vintage Indian cake set.  

Vintage birthday candles, some cake picks, a basketball cake set and some vintage stripey candles round out the cake decorations for the day.  I love vintage cake things, so I was happy to find all that I did and for the grand total of one dime.  The giant bright pink ball of yarn was also ten cents.  It was in skein form, but I turned it into a ball.  The tin is from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  I have a tin form the coronation and one from the Silver Jubilee, so I had been wishing I could find one from the Diamond - and - I did!  I'm not a Royalty type person, but I do kind of dig the Queen and her sensible shoes and giant patent leather handbag.

The little cubby thing looked like a project and something that I could use.  Like I need another project!  Gah!  The little red stool is great for displays and props.  A wee embroidery hoop (I have been using those for a project too...), a miniature tackle box, a miniature Tupperwear pie carrier and an old tin baby cup.  

The Baby cup has different circus images around it - a horse and carriage. 
A drumming clown.

A funny fat elephant.

One of my blog readers (Hey Buckaroo) recently sent me a photo of a collection of baby cups.  I told her I had a couple but not a collection.  So, I thought it was funny when I found this one today.  The non-collection grows!

As for the ten cent cake decorations - they had to go in the BIG JAR where I keep them.  It sits on the floor in the corner of the kitchen.  Sometimes The Breadman vacuums for me and every.single time he BANGS the vacuum into that jar and says, "sorry" and keeps on going.  Those BANGS had lead to a huge hairline crack in the jar.  
Today when I went to add the newest ones to the jar, it exploded!  Not from too many cute cake decorations, but from all the vacuum BANGING. So, my ten cent addition will cost me $20.00 for a new jar.  Hey! Maybe I'll find one at a yard sale!  WOOT!

I'll be back with a rundown of the Block Street Party  - thanks for all your NICE words!  You all make me feel like I CAN DO THIS!  

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