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.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Week in Crafts: Old Junk is New Junk

My preparations for The Junk Ranch are in full swing.  I have been gathering things, making things and thinking of new ideas for displays.  I want to take less display items and more FOR SALE items. That sounds logical, but I really need display shelves and tables for my smalls.  So, I am working on that as well as new ideas for things to sell.  I gave myself this week to make things out of old things to make them new things again.  Got that?

Project #1: I bought these old puzzles on Etsy from my friend Beth's shop.  I used the pieces and made magnets out of them.  They turned out super cute.  I have them displayed on an old magnetic ABC chalkboard.
Project #2: I scored a big bag full of novelty print feedsack scraps recently so I wanted to make a new batch of feedsack pendants.  I needed to order larger glass domes for these bigger prints.  I am sorely tempted to keep most a few of these, but I know I can always make myself more later. I did keep the pink rabbit at the top because, well - it's PINK and it's a BUNNY so, there's THAT.  My sweet friend Jennifer purchased a good amount of my feedsack necklaces to put in her Shoppe in Nappa Valley California.  I am beyond excited about that!  The money is nice, but the confidence in me and the fact that someone else appreciates what you do and wants to share it with others is SUCH a nice thing.  It's just the best.  :)

Project #3: A new batch of glittered cookie cutter ornaments.  I used glass German glitter this time.  I added a little vintage tingly bell and a piece of green ribbon to each one after I took this photo.  They really glisten with that good glitter on them.  

Project #4: Vintage Yearbook Photo Magnets.  I had more fun making these fun magnets.  Each cellophane pack has a couple larger magnet and a few smaller ones too.  I added names to the photos - but not the names that actually went to the correct photo.  I only used fun 1950's names like ELMER and EUNICE and MILDRED.  I think these are fun too. 

Project #5: I saw a photo on Pinterest of one Jello Mold spray painted orange to look like a pumpkin. I thought it was cute, but also thought it could be better.  I noticed that if you put two Jello molds together  it looks JUST LIKE A PUMPKIN!  I added a stick, green ribbon and gold wire with chandelier crystal leaves for added sparkle.  I wasn't quite happy with it, so I consulted my crafting guru Heidi who suggested glitter in some capacity.  I decided to just glitter the whole darn thing and that was the perfect solution.  

Project #6: Huge gallon jar snowglobes. Now these will either be a huge hit or no one will want them. I can't decide.  I think they are fun and would be great on a table or on the mantle.  I have two more in the works and then I will move on to my last project - teeny tiny snowglobes in those wee little jars that you get at Christmas with jelly in them.  
Here is one I made last year.  I am always on the hunt for these teeny jars.  I like the red gingham lids the best, but this plaid one worked perfectly for Christmas.  For some reason, they make me insanely happy.

My theory on all of these things is that I can put them in The Junk Ranch for two days and then I can put them in my booth. So, it's not like I am not going to sell them if they don't sell in those two days. 

In the midst of all this craziness, Lara sent me a message that she got a small space in a different flea market in town.  She was worried about filling it up and keeping it full, so heard myself say, "Hey!  I will split it with you!" and just like that - we had a new booth.  I've never even been to this flea market but it is relatively new, does a good business and it is close to the University.  I will have one or two shelves depending on how we decide to set it up - so it's not that much space to be worried about.  I am going to put in variety of my handmade things and some vintage things once I get a feel for what sells there.  The rent is super cheap plus we are splitting it, so I know we will both make some money.  I am so lucky to be in this ever growing world of junking and to have found friends like Lara and The Junk Ranch family.  I feel like I am finally fitting in and doing what I love.  Now, to just make a living at it.  Wouldn't that be nice?  


  1. I love all the things you made! I wish you were closer as I would shop your sale and booth! Good job.

  2. Dang! You've been busy. Don't forget to take breaks do get a bite to eat and rest. I like the yearbook magnets, especially! Welcome to the second booth club! yes, we're all a little nuts, but it's a fun place to be. Good luck with your sales.

  3. Wow! You have great ideas! Love that pumpkin & pendants! I wish I were closer, I'd be doing a bit of shopping!

  4. I have to say I always love the things you buy so cute and colorful and then I think to myself what is she going to do with them? You are so creative I too love the year book magnets and the puzzle pieces are just great I am up to eyes in puzzle pieces.

  5. I want more time to make cute stuff like you do, love them all!!! I need to REALLY retire soon!!!!

  6. Shara, I am super envious of the time you make for yourself to do all these cute crafty things! Maybe if I spent less time pining over a certain former N' Syncer, I'd have more time too...


  7. Busy girl! Your booth will look spectacular! Love the puzzle piece magnets.

  8. Wow -- you are a busy one. Pretty exciting to know your necklaces are selling in Napa. Congrats on that! What's the name of the shop? I hear you about the "more for sale, less for display" thing. I recall selling at one event where a jewelry seller brought all of her items packed in vintage suitcases and then used the suitcases as displays. When the show was over, she just closed her suitcases and went home. Why didn't I think of that? ;-)

  9. Love your feedsack necklaces. I have a bunch of scraps I got from my Mom's quilt room if your interested. Hugs!!


  10. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the feedsack pendants!!! Good luck with your sale!!!

  11. You are so creative, Shara. Love the jello mold pumpkin and the year book magnets! Congratulations on getting your items to Napa Valley! That's exciting.

  12. Anonymous8:57 AM

    I love the puzzle magnets and the yearbook magnets too! What great ideas. Thanks for sharing your creative crafts with us.

  13. Great ideas Shara and sure to be good sellers. Congrats on the additional selling space too.


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