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, 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?  



  1. Sounds like FUN!, and that you did pretty decent ~ I'm really Happy it went well!

  2. Looks like it was a blast! I'm really loving those clipboards too! :)

  3. Wow, I can't get over the before and during pictures of the street. Amazing turn out and I can see how it would get hard to shop as you are just swept along. Happy to hear you had a good sale!

  4. I can't believe those crowds! Glad you sold some stuff. I knew those toadstools would be gone!


  5. Wow! What a day! That crowd is wild! You keep saying you're in a small town but that was like a jillion people! Glad you had fun. Take a break and recover, but not too long. It's almost June 12!

  6. I loved this post. I felt like I was right there with you. Wow the crowds were huge!! I am glad you sold some stuff. You make such cute things. I am loving the book cover clipboards.

    Have a great week!! Dianne

  7. Since you like to stand, maybe keep an eye out for those mats that hairdressers use...they are supposed to help. Congrats on a job well done! (next year...bring someone that has an RV, park it closer, good nap, lunch and potty place!).

  8. So proud of you for stepping out of your "box". You are correct that you will learn with each show. You can do the same show next year and it will still be different than this one. Keep learning and growing.

  9. The first time at an even is always a learning experience. Sounds like you had fun and made some sales so all in all, worth it! Oh those yucky porta potties are something I've HAD to do on the Longest Yard Sale and let's say they are even worse int he heat of August. Ugh!

  10. That is one big crowd! Glad it was a success and I agree that each show is a learning experience. Gets easier and easier as you do them. Time for a little rest now..you deserve it.

  11. You sweet thing. :) I am so glad that it went well for you. I can't believe that picture of that little narrow street just PACKED with people! Yipes. I get you on the whole stuff on the ground becomes invisible thing. I had that same problem at my Christmas show and I know it cost me sales. It's hard to figure out a way around--just not enough table space. Ever, really. But those little toadstools are just SO darling and eyecatching that they sold anyway, not surprising! I bet they'll be a total hit at the barn sale!

  12. Thanks for the report - really glad you had good weather and many people! As everyone else said each show is different but as you do them you figure out what works for you!

    At the drag queen bingo us gals went to in Florida if the caller called O 69 you could get a free shot. We didn't know what was in the plastic shot glasses though, so we didn't take them up on their offer!

  13. Sounds like a lot of fun! and OH MY GOSH those mushrooms are to cute for words! Glad it was a good day of selling!

  14. Just caught up on your blog. Your items look great - love the toadstools and the book clipboards. And yes, it all looks so professional. I am impressed. Glad it went well despite your setup not being ideal.

  15. That looked like a fun but tiring day! I wish I could've seen those toadstools up close.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  16. Shara, your table looked great! I love your displays, especially the toadstools and the pink cart. Not a professional??? Girl, you got talent!
    love, rosie

  17. OMG! Pervy 70-year-olds! You attract all kinds, Shara! So glad it went well -- your booth looked SO CUTE. I don't know why you're worried about "getting ready" for the Junk Ranch --you've clearly got it down to a fine science!

  18. Congrats on your successful block party. It looks like the turn out was great! Love your clipboard book cover things. I may try to either sell at or attend the Junk Ranch Barn show. Did you do it last year? How was it?

  19. Late to the party, just catching up on my favorite blogs after a quick trip. That is an astounding amount of people and your set-up was wonderful. Glad you did well! By the way, I especially liked your doggie booth companion in the previous post - we have a rescue Min Pin who looks a lot like this little sweetheart.


I love my comments. I'd love to respond to everyone, but if you don't have an email address tied to your ID, please sign your name so I will know who you are! It makes it nice to know who is saying what. Now, leave a comment! Please? ;o)

I Can See You!

Look at my Visitors!

Fellow Junk Followers