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!


  1. I still see lots of miniatures, so I would think that they are still collectible. I don't know a lot about pottery, but you do and I have learned a little about it from reading here. As far as what I would buy, I am very crafty and make a lot of things so I don't generally buy a lot of handmade items although if it's crocheted and very cheap I might buy it even though I could make it myself. I am seeing a lot more things like baskets, but they seem to be getting more expensive. I love the feed sack jewelry you make.

  2. I am currently hunting fabric pretty hard. I am obsessed.

    I noticed at the big antique market last week that the most popular booths definitely had a cultivated *look*. Like everything was white, or everything was industrial, or everything was rusty. I find that boring myself, but it obviously works.

  3. Shara, I am a searcher for vintage table cloths, globes, hankies, vintage holiday and dishes. I have several dish patterns that I am adding pieces to. I have been seeing lots of pyrex, little golden books, jewelry, games and MCM pieces at the fleas and shows I have been to. Good luck.

  4. Anonymous8:08 AM

    I always look for vintage holiday items, especially Christmas. I am a holiday hoarder.

  5. Shara, based on the goodies you show us here on your blog I feel you already have a good eye for things buyers would like. I'm not well endowed with thinking up fresh ideas so when I shop I like to be inspired and surprised. Your way of using vintage in new home dec ways always makes me smile. I also like vintage holiday things like another commentor said. I think many of us like what you like but don't have or take the time to search it out so a visit to your booth would be like having a personal shopper! Don't over think this and trust your own taste and eye for things.

  6. Anonymous1:41 PM

    I am also obsessed with fabric, from the 30s and 40s and quilt tops from the same era. I don't need more of either, but can't resist the feel of that fabric in my hands. And tablecloths of course with the bright reds and blues, others I will buy to resell if I can get them for $3 or less. Old Barbies and other small hard plastic dolls. Haven't run across any of those for quite a while (not that I need any more!).
    Pat G from the yardsale board

  7. Anonymous3:23 PM

    New poster here! Love your blog! When I had a booth---before the internet---I always liked to group colors together, I thought it would catch a shopper's eye. I still like the hunt, love tablecloths and dish towels, 50s kitchen stuff, pyrex, and love to see some vintage Christmas any time of the year. You should do well, you are so enthusiastic and that rubs off!

  8. I am not help as I hunt for anything unusual. Holiday of course. I like things that I won't see in the next booth...vintage graphics are a plus for me.

  9. I always hunt for vintage Pyrex, old Fiesta vintage tablecloths, hankies, half aprons, quilts, chenille bedspreads with bright colors, and anything that I never knew existed until that moment and it's too cool to walk away from! My trifecta would be a bright vintage tablecloth, something 50's kitcheny and a vintage Fiesta mixing bowl. Good luck! You'll do great-your displays always make me wish I lived closer so I could shop your stuff!!!

  10. I'm enough of an odd duck that my answers aren't going to help you in the least: an old chalkware Sacred Heart of Jesus statue, a vintage Wonder Woman comic book, and a Mego Batman action figure. Remember, you did ask. The vintage markets aren't quite my bag, but I know that you are going to do fine. You have a good eye, a creative spark, and a love for these items. (And you know how to use them!) Happy thoughts for your crunch time!

  11. Anonymous6:37 AM

    Easter chalkware, Christmas carol booklets and WW2 rationing cookbooks are faves of mine. Damascene costume jewelry from Spain is also on my wish list. I have to admit that I have an collection of collapsible drinking cups, too! Sandy in PA

  12. Anonymous7:22 PM

    Vintage tablecloths, poodle related items (the realistic type, not the googly eyed ceramic type), Western items, green Depression glass, brown Hull dishes, fabric, white pitchers and baskets. The last two items are more of an addiction and not things I seek out...they just seem to call me from afar at the shops!

  13. every sale is different. I say go with what you know and are comfortable selling. You know what moves out of your booth so have some of that and try an assortment of other fun goodies. The last sale was so eclectic, this one the ladies will be coming with the purpose of finding "junk".

  14. I've been thinking about that sale we went to, and how much time, trouble, and gas it must have taken to get those elaborate booths in place. I'm not at all sure it was worth it. I mean, we would need to get those folks to tell us exactly how much they made to know for sure, but I just can't see how it was. BUT it does get a crowd into your booth. But are they buying enough to make it worth it? I've just been kind of going around and around with these questions. So I'm not helping any. I also think your philosophy of anything in your booth being for sale is a smart one. I think if it's in there, it should be priced. Otherwise you're taking up valuable space with a non-moneymaker. I guess what I'm trying to say is that at the sale last year I thought your booth was incredibly inviting and interesting and you did not have to rent a truck and haul an entire store into it to get it looking that way!

  15. I agree with Lara, I did a junk show last year where they made all these elaborate walls, props etc, but then had very few items for sale. Its great to look good, but the bottom line is people are there to find goodies. My favorite kind of booths are the cluttered, all kinds of treasures, go digging booth. Who knows what you will find! I am not sure if I am selling at Junk Ranch or not. No indoor booths left and I dont trust Mother Nature when I am in the middle of a field! Still deciding though.

  16. I look for miniatures that would be scaled for 18 inch dolls like American Girl. If you have anything that would fit that scale, it would be great to advertise it as such, "Works great with 18-inch dolls" I look for cups, small toys, little baskets, picture frames, miniature food, etc.


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