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.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Week in Junk: Labor Day Edition

Labor Day weekend is the biggest weekend for yard sales in the small town where I like to do most of my yard saling.  There is a huge craft fair in town this weekend that attracts nearly 100,000 people to this town of less than 8,000.  Everyone throws junk in the yard and has a yard sale.  Many people wait all year just for this weekend to have a big sale.  And it's not the baby clothes and household goods kind of junk.  It's good junk like I like.  Boxes of stuff, holiday, vintage, old glassware, jars and random junk.  PLUS, this is where my flea market it as well as nearly fifteen others.  This tiny town is a mecca for junk this weekend!

We normally go to the craft fair, but the last few years it has kind of been the same old, same old.   One year I even walked loops around the whole place trying to get a certain baby to COME OUT.  Anyway, everything has to be a craft - handmade.  People (and me in particular) are more into up-cycled and re-crafted than strictly leather belts, crocheted towels, pottery and wooden birdhouses.  We might end up going on Monday if it's not beastly hot out there.  

Friday I took a bunch of stuff out to the flea market and loaded the booth up even more than it already is(!) and I put all my feedsack pendants on the display case by the register.  Along the way I stopped at a few sales, but then it started raining, so I had to quit.  Saturday morning it was raining, but it cleared up by noon, so I headed out to hit some more.  Honestly, a rainy morning that stops sales from starting early is the BEST.

I went to the Animal Shelter Fundraiser on Friday and Saturday.  It didn't start until Saturday, but they were out setting things up and annoying people like ME stopped to shop.  They had the money box out and were ready for customers or I wouldn't have stopped.  

This funny wiener dog ashtray was only 50¢.  The bottom of the ashtray is broken, but I think I can stick a little flower pot in there.  He still has an awful lot of cuteness left in there.  

I know how some of you *EDDIE* feel about old dolls.  And I might have to agree on these - but I always sell them in the booth, so why leave them behind at 25¢ each?  That oak basket is a nice handmade one. When I bought it, it was full of those horrible cinnamon scented pinecones that make my allergies go into overtime.  I considered dumping the pinecones under a pine tree until I realized they were glitttered.  Someone would think they had a very special tree if they discovered those under it!  

Funny vintage skunk bride salt or pepper.  I have a fondness for single shakers like this.  

I don't know if these glasses are new or old or sort of in-between, but I like them.  I was kind of nervous about what they would cost, because at this sale they have expensive antiques, vintage things and regular yard sale junk.  And I wasn't sure which category these were - but in the end, I think they were 10¢ each.  I paid $3.00 for the glasses, that nice oak basket and the skunk.   I think I will keep the glasses and actually use them.

When I stopped on Friday this was my purchase - a jewel eyed Santa mug - LOVE - and a wee tiny stork all for the magic price of 15¢.

A different sale in the rain on Friday brought this little silver tree to me.  It's not old, but it looks old and sometimes that's good enough for me.  That way I can use it for display when I am selling and sell it if anyone asks about it.

As well as this sweet piece of vintage pottery.  This is a keeper for sure.

I can't remember where I picked up this little Uneeda doll, but she gave me a chuckle with her funny hairdo.  

I was super excited to have finally found a BIG HUG MUG.  Too bad it's not worth the $125.00 they were six months ago.  Now it's worth about $15.00.  But to have actually found one made me happy!

Gee my memory is getting bad - I don't remember where I got these either!  Sweet apron with a different type of print than usual and a cast iron trivet clock.  

A popup sale by the road in a parking lot brought me the USA puzzle which will be sold on Instagram by the piece.  (People collect certain states!) A box of old cardboard thread spools, a wee box of playing cards and a tiny old telephone someone made.  It has thumbtacks and pushpins  - can you see it?

 My most expensive purchase was at this sale - these two boxes of old letters and numbers.  They are on an old type of plastic and the letters are carved into them.  There are two types and upper and lower case of each with multiples of some letters.  I paid $10.00 for them which is like a hundred to this cheapskate.  But, I thought they were interesting and have possibilities.
Cool, right?

Are you tired of me yet?  Two more sales to go.....

I went to a sale a couple of weeks ago where they had SO MUCH STUFF - sheds, garages, a yard full of stuff.  Nothing was priced, so you just rounded it up and they made a price.  I like sales like that and I don't like sales like that - you just never know what to will happen.  It seems it's either really cheap or really expensive.  I dug around and found these old letters and numbers lying around in different places.  They were about eight inches tall and pretty neat.  It took me about an hour to find them all and then when I asked for a price - it was $60.00.  Yikes.  I din't have that kind of money on me and I wasn't expecting that much either. So, I respectfully declined.  The guy asked me to make an offer, but you can't counter offer $15.00 when he just said $60.00!  

I did get a big box of old jars and bottles for $3.00, all was not lost.  They will go to the Junk Ranch.  

Anyway, he was having the sale again this weekend, so I stopped.  I asked about the letters and he told me that they had sold.  Then he said, "I liked you,  We should have dealt on those more.  You liked them." Dangit.  Oh well.  
I got these ceramic number balls for 50¢.  Remember when they were the rage a few years ago?  I still want to find an alphabet set.  And maybe a "4" now that I look at that photo....
This old red berry basket was 25¢.  And inside it?

All these old carnival prizes!  I remember picking these up in the claw machine.  I have a small collection of these in a jar - this quadrupled it!  (They will go to the Junk Ranch too).

And, are you ready??????
PINK. COLEMAN.  That is all. :)
No wait - FIFTY CENTS!
THAT is all!


This is the guy I wrote about that works for the local auction company  - he buys the leftovers and sells them cheap.  I love his sales - there's never anything really valuable  - but you can make a pile and it's super cheap.  

An old BINGO game, metal cookie cutters, an old dovetail GLASS box and a Levi Strauss tray.
A wonderful old horse scarf slide.

Really big jingle bells, a watch doo-hickey, medical symbol pin and a couple Kewpies.

Super sweet vintage baby dress.

And even sweeter vintage baby shoes.

Also, this awesome old yellow metal leaf rake that is screaming to be used in my Fall Display.  All that, plus a shovel and a handful of things The Bean deemed "cool" for $3.00.  

Time to put it all away and get organized until next weeks sales.  I love Fall sales the most!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

When I Win The Lottery

Those are words that my parents often spoke and words I still speak.    Everyone talks of new cars, a big house, trips around the world, diamonds and other BIG THINGS.  But, so far I have only thought of two things I want for sure when I win the lottery.

1.  I will eat all my food of brightly colored party plates from the party store.  I will use fun patterned two ply dinner napkins and dine with colored plastic forks that match.  Everything just seems more special on a party plate!

2.  I will have a glass door freezer installed in my house like the ones at the supermarket and my house will be on the Blue Bell Ice Cream route.  The guy in the white suit will come and stock my freezer with all the different varieties of Blue Bell ice cream.  No more deciding which flavor to buy.

Oh, don't you worry - I will most likely also buy THE BIGGEST HOUSE EVER and a cute vintage camper and a 1960's aqua pick up truck to pull it and I will pay someone to clean my house and do my laundry and I will hire a chef and a driver to take me to yard sales ('cause, HELLO, I'm never NOT going to go to yard sales) and I will have 60" plasma big screens in every room and I will pay Justin Timberlake to come perform at my house JUST FOR ME.

What would you do if you won the Lottery?  Something silly or something grandiose?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

And the Verdict Is........

Wow- thanks for all the input on the Junk Ranch and my Christmas idea.  I am going to DO IT!  My original plan was to have half the booth in vintage Christmas and the other half in vintage goodness and all my ephemera.  Last time I set two tables up back to back and built shelves in the center.  

Vintage housewares, toys and general vintageness on this side.

Ephemera, flash cards, keys, milk caps framed prints, old ads, Scrabble words and all that weird little stuff I like to find and package up on this side.

Since I'm renting a 10 x 10 by myself this time, that still give me half the booth to fill up with Vintage Christmas.  I have so much and I know people like it and will come in to see it.  PLUS, what is left will be already to go to the booth for the holiday season.  I will have it done and over so I can decorate my house which is what I really want to do at Christmas anyway.  

Yep.  That's what I am going to do.  Thank you to all of you and welcome to all the new people that took the time to leave a comment.  I really appreciate it.  I wish you could all come to The Junk Ranch!

Now, it's time to get CRACKING!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Junk Ranch - Opinions, Please

I recently just had a mini panic attack when I realized how close we are to the next Junk Ranch.  I have been working on my displays and thinking about what to sell and I just realized I haven't even sent in my application yet.  WHOOPSIE.  Thankfully, I am fairly certain that I can still get in - (AMY?)  I will be sending in my application this week.

I didn't want to take the same old, same old.  I mean, I always sell kind of the same sort of stuff, but I don't want to take the EXACT same stuff that I had at the last sale.  I have seen someone that sold at the last sale at two events since and it was the exact same stuff.  The exact same stuff.  Where's the fun in THAT?

Last night I was thinking of things to sell and a sort of theme - like Fall and Winter-y stuff when I had an epiphany. Vintage Christmas.  Like a LOT of vintage Christmas.  Aluminum trees, color wheel, fake fireplace, vintage Christmas tablecloths, vintage ornaments, blowmolds, stockings - THE WHOLE SHE-BANG.

What do you think?  I think I might have the "in" on vintage Christmas at this event.  There might be a sprinkling here and there.  But, I would have a LOT, like a LOT, LOT, LOT.  This is the first weekend in October.  Do you think it is too early?  Or just right?  I think if you like vintage in general you MUST love vintage Christmas.  Right?  RIGHT?  So if you are out at a VINTAGE MARKET and you see VINTAGE CHRISTMAS you are going to be all "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"


This is from the HORRIBLE Holiday Bazaar that Lara and I did last Christmas.  Bad venue, no advertising and the wrong type of event in the first place. But, looking at these photos I see that I can do vintage Christmas, vintage Christmas crafting AND vintage all at once and have it look cohesive.  I think.  *Ignore that high school art project poster on the wall and THEN it all looks cohesive.

So, do you think I should mostly sell Vintage Christmas or is it too soon?  I will take other Vintage items like chenille spreads, wool throws, baskets, housewares and kitchen wares, plus all my ephemera stuff AND the feedsack pendants and book cover clipboards in addition to the Christmas.  

I'm excited!  Should I be?  :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Junking With My Dad: New Payment Options

Saturday I went to my Dad's house for a late birthday celebration.  My idea of a celebration is JUNKing, so we went to an auction down the street from his house.  It had started a couple hours earlier but from what I could see it all looked like man junk - tools, lawn stuff and most of it seemed fairly new.  I went out to the backyard where I heard them say they were unloading a shed full of Christmas and linens (Okay, I ran out there!)  but it was old bedspreads, newer Christmas greenery and a bunch of lights.  I didn't see a single thing that interested me, so we left without a bid on one thing.  *insert pouty face* (I also found out that everything was being sold because the man went to prison for molesting his Foster Daughter, so suddenly everything skeeved me out and made me uncomfortable.)

Right up the street there is a lady that has a perpetual yard sale every single weekend.  I would normally steer clear of it, but since I had never been, we stopped.  My Dad knows her (and I actually rode the school bus with her when I was a kid) and he often stops down just to visit with her.  He's always finding something from her and she says, "Just take it and bring me a beer someday."  He's gotten quite a bit of good stuff with that payment plan.  :)

I dug around for quite a bit while they visited and I made a pile of stuff.  I got a nice pile of old fabric, three old dictionaries, a pile of sheet music books and a few other ephemera type items that I didn't bother to photograph.  I had a vintage pink plastic birthday cake pedestal that winds up and plays "Happy Birthday" in my hands, but somehow I didn't get home with it.  My Dad is going to go see if she has it this weekend.  *fingers crossed*

I spotted this huge old wooden crate with this giant glass bottle in it under a shelf.  I pulled it out and saw that the top of the bottle is broken.  But, as I looked it all over - I decided it was super cool and I really needed to save this thing.  It is marked 1884 from France and it is a Burgundy wine bottle.  The bottle is old, heavy and really just lovely.  I want to see if the local glass guy can grind it so it isn't a death trap or cap it off or something.  If there's any chance of harming it, I will just leave it as is. I want to add ball feet and a table top to it to make it a side table of some sort.  I found a crate with an unbroken bottle that sold on ebay for $695.00, so I am really happy that I decided to buy it - broken even.  I paid $2.00 for it - so not bad, not bad at ALL.  

I paid $2.00 for this old horse wooden horse shelf.  I can't decide if I should paint it or leave it as is.  I think horse trophies, ribbons and some old books would really look great on it in a girl's room.  These photos are all as I bought stuff - dirty and grubby.

I saw these big metal suitcases lined up in the driveway as we were leaving.  The bright colors appealed to me.  I asked my Dad to see how much they were and he got the old, "Take them and bring me a beer" line, so we grabbed them and loaded them up.  They have cleaned up pretty good and look great all in a colorful stack.  I was hoping to get the big stickers off the tops, but they seem pretty well adhered.  They held presentation materials for something.  They are as big as a suitcase.  They will be headed to the next Junk Ranch.  

So, a few new projects and some junk for the Junk Ranch - a good weekend in my book!  Hope yours was good as well!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Today is......

Joe Jonas's birthday.  
He is 25 years old.

 Happy Birthday Joe!

Today is Jennifer Lawrence's birthday.  
She is 24 years old.
 Happy Birthday Jennifer!

Today is Julia Child's Birthday.

She is...well, she's dead.  
But, Happy Birthday anyway, Julia!

Today is Ben Affleck's birthday;
He is 42 years old.

 Happy Birthday Ben!

Today is MY birthday!
I am, well, somewhere between Ben Affleck and Julia Childs.  
(A lot closer to Ben than Julia, THANKYOUVERYMUCH!)

And, just in case you are worried - here's this years BEAUTIFUL cake!  
No Cake Wreck this year! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Week in Junk: My Heart is Happy

Despite not going to any yard sales this weekend, I still managed to acquire a good amount of junk.  And by "junk" I mean wonderful lovely vintage goodness that I cannot even believe that I now own.

Early last week the mail lady knocked on the door with a hugely gigantic box.  "It's a big one!" she said.
Inside the box was the green basket weave tin picnic basket that I have been lusting after for YEARS. When I picked it up, it rattled so I opened it and the other green basket was inside IT!  I was gobsmacked!  Add in a couple of German paper eggs, a slew of pricey Flea market-y magazines and a a few other items that didn't make it in the photo and you have yourself one HELL of a box of HAPPY MAIL.  All of this goodness came from Chicago from Chanelle a long time blog reader and Instagram follower.  I mean, seriously, how nice was that?  And generous.  And thoughtful.  Oh my.  How very thoughtful.  Thank you Chanelle.  

I still had the goosebumps from kindness about that box when I had a message on IG from Amy the Junk Ranch founder to come out to a sale she was having and pick up some things "I think you might like".  Now Amy runs the Junk Ranch and has lots of avenues for selling, so I don't know why she decided to just GIVE me these things, but she did.  (I have persuaded her to take a bread rack for her supplies, so that makes me feel a bit less greedy and overwhelmed.) 

I know you can't see all the goodness in this photo, but there are vintage chocolate tins, an old metal toy drum, a sweet old bunny, a wonderful print, baby toys, old cards and ephemera, baby hangers and a bunch of other wonderful old vintage sweetness.  It is all in this amazing old wooden rolling play pen that has the sweetest graphics and it even chimes when you pull it.  I think I am going to devise a way to hang it and use it as a display shelf.  It is just way to sweet for it's own good.  Thank you so much Amy.  

I haven't figured out why people are so good to me.  I do try to pay it forward and be a good person.  But, I am always just amazed at how very nice people can be in this world.  The stuff, the things - it's all great - but really - it's the nice-ness and the love that really gets to me.  It really makes my heart happy.  :) 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bread Racks and Metal Scraps

*I did a little changing up on the old blogaroo- bigger type, wider side aisles.  LOOK AT ALL THE ROOM!  Is it easier to read?  I read another blog and it has the tiniest faintest print.  I want to read it SO badly but I can hardly make it out.  So, I wondered if my blog was hard to read.  I don't think it really was, but hey a little bit bigger for those aging eyes (Who are you looking at?) and wider sides for bigger pictures.  What can be wrong with that?????

So, the bread company that The Breadman is working for right now is in the process of changing over from using rolling metal racks to using flat trays that stack up and roll on a wheeled base.  Over the past few weeks, TBM has driven around to all the stores in the area and picked up these racks and.....I dare not even speak it... taken them to the SCRAP YARD. They pay $180.00 a ton and he has personally scrapped over $2,500.00 worth of these racks.  Such a waste.  I asked if there was any way that he could buy one at scrap value to use in my booth or for storage, so he asked and was told, "Take all you want."  Oh my!  In the end, he brought home eight racks and the twelve trays each one takes.  You could open a bakery in my backyard!  I did sell one on Craigslist, so we have seven left.  

They have these sliding trays that are adjustable.  You could store your craft supplies, inventory or just about anything on them.  Since they are all being DESTROYED, they are the antiques of the future.  In my opinion. 

I had 'pinned' this on Pinterest a long time ago.  This is a better quality rack, but look at all the things you could put on it at a show or in a booth.  Crazy good!  I love the added use of the little bread pans to hold smalls.  I think I am going to try this at the next Junk Ranch in October.  And take a few to sell.  I think the other vendors would LOVE them.

Every day when TBM would come home he would INSIST on telling me HORROR stories of what he saw go in the chipper at the Salvage Yard that day.   "Today a man had a couple boxes of old rusty railroad spikes."     "Today a lady drove up and had all these metal cubbies from a hard ware store.  They paid her $80.00 and then they chipped them up."  
I showed him this picture and he said, "Yea, just like that."

Is he trying to kill me?

Lara and I are trying to thrift ourselves some official looking Security or Inspector uniforms and then we are going to stand out on the highway and "inspect" these loads before they go in the Scrap Yard.  Things we like we will deem "unscrapable" and then offer to buy them.  Seriously, someone should be out there paying the Scrap yard a price a bit above the Scrap price and saving all these great old things from being destroyed. I have seen trailer loads of old motel chairs and ringer washers headed to the scrap yard.  It just makes me SICK.  

But, I can't save ALL THE JUNK.  So, I will have to be happy that I saved a few bread racks.  

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Week in Junk: Buying in Bulk

I haven't blogged in a week - that is unlike me!  Ever since I hurt my leg, whenever I sit in my office chair  - it THROBS.  So, I quit coming in there and sitting in my chair.  But, by golly, I need to blog, so here I sit.  And, luckily, my leg is some better, so that's a perk.  Oddly enough, when I am on my feet walking - my leg hurts only slightly.  So, I can still get out and go junking.  WHEW.  Had you worried there for a minute, didn't I?  Oh, I really think I could be on life support and still hit thrifts.  Do you ever see like a really, really OLD lady at the thrift - the one that has her oxygen machine in the cart pushing it along?  Yea, that will be me.  

So, Friday I went to a couple sales and I found not much at all.  I have left empty handed at so many sales this year. There is the fact that I don't drive very far away and I don't search out sales to go to so what I find is limited and I under stand that.  But, I don't want to tally up gas and mileage and what I paid to make a profit.  I am small potatoes, folks.  

The first sale I went to on Friday was the sale that Lara just blogged about.  It was up on a long, long windy dirt driveway that you had to get to down a long, long dirt road waaay out in the middle of NOWHERE.  I second guessed myself as I kept driving and driving.  I really wasn't far from my house at all - I think about 8 miles is all - but it was in the middle of NOWHERE and then, just as I began the ascent UP the driveway DING DING DING the low tire pressure light came on.  Craaaaaaap.  I half expected a flat when I left, but it was good.  (I am a bit anal about car issues).  

When I got inside the garage, two women were working there and they both looked up at me and said, "Oh, HI!" which meant they knew me.  I couldn't quite place them, so I asked them and we all agreed that we just knew each other from around town and at yard sales.  (Small town living...)  I bought a pile of stuff and they gave me a discount price of $7.00 since they "knew me".  (Small town living pays off....).  

The best thing I found was this tablecloth.  it was folded up inside out and had some dirt on it so I was told it was a quarter.  I washed it and now it is perfectly folded up in my collection.  I was just feeling sorry for myself for not having found a tablecloth in a very long time.  POOR PITIFUL ME.  :)

I also got this little handheld puzzle for 25¢.  This was one of my very favorite things when I was a kid.  I could solve it in NO time.  I have several of these, but I always pick them up when I find a good old one.  For the record, this one was scrambled when I found it.  I can still do them like a BOSS.
The second sale I went to was a big sale for a Non-Profit.  The Sheriff's Prisoner Transport van was sitting at the sale and I wondered why.  I wondered no longer when I walked into the warehouse and there were FIVE Deputies all in their uniforms, with their hands on their guns (in the holsters) and about twelve "prisoners" were helping with the sale.  It turned out that "prisoners" were hot check writers and no insurance drivers, so they weren't exactly "hard core" criminals.  If you are in jail and you volunteer to work somewhere, you get a day credit off your time.  NOT THAT I KNOW from experience, thank you very much.  Anyway, it was kind of a weird vibe, so I didn't stay long.  I did buy a couple things there.  
Terrible awful photo - sorry.  I bought twelve stainless steel restaurant creamers and nine clipboards at the "prisoner" sale for $6.00 total.  I love old book pages on old clipboards so I will take those to the booth and the next Junk Ranch.  I might make some pincushions out of the creamers.  Or a wind chime.  Or just sell them as creamers.  Who the hell knows.  I just buy stuff sometimes and figure it out later.  The old children's books and a handful of doilies all came from the first sale

Saturday I went out to the SCT and hit a couple more sales.

This Christmas tablecloth was marked as being ROUND, which it clearly is NOT.  Two tablecloths in as many days.  I'm back BABY!  I know I bought a few more things, but I have no memory of them - they all went to the booth whatever they were.  Hmmmm.

On the way back home, I stopped at one more sale where everything had been drastically marked down at noon and then half of that at 1:00.  I bought a toleware lamp that needs a new hurricane globe and all these trophies.

WHY DID I BUY THESE?  Bulk buying seemed to be the theme of my weekend.  I brought them all home and dismantled them into loose parts.  I have seen various things made out of the parts like wine stoppers with the cars on them.  Whatever becomes of them - they will be at the Junk Ranch in October.  

Today I made a quick stop at the thrift and scored a dozen of these vintage Baby Jesus jigsaw puzzles.  Some of the pieces are shaped like doves and hearts.  They are from the 1950's and probably for a Sunday School class.  I don't usually buy religious things, but these were just sweet enough to meet my requirements. 

So, that is a dozen trophies, a dozen creamers, a dozen puzzles, eight books, eight clipboards, six doilies and two tablecloths.  Yes, I buying in bulk is just the thing that I DO NOT need to start.  :O

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