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, October 06, 2014

The Junk Ranch: 2014 Fall Show

Done and Done.  I'm always kind of sad when The Junk Ranch is over.  I work hard to get ready, but I have something to look forward to - now it's OVER.  

Thursday it rained and hailed and blew like crazy so I decided to just get up at dark-thirty and head out on Friday morning to do it all before opening time.  We got there at 7:00 (that's when the gates opened), dropped off a load then headed home for the rest of it.  We were back and setting up at 8:30 which included waiting in line to get in to drop off the load, driving home, loading up the car, stopping at McDonald's to replace Lara's Diet Coke that she dumped (a yearly tradition), having a lady direct me through a super narrow opening between her truck and a fence - "You're good - you got an inch or two!" she would yell.  Eh gads - an inch between me and a barbed wire fence.  Ack!) and unloading the car.  Whew!  What a morning!  Luckily, I had done my pre-set up so I knew just how to do it.  The Bean set the tent up beside our spot then we just moved it into place while I was setting up merchandise.  (He helps me SO much and I pay him a pittance for doing it). 

As we were all setting up on what was supposed to be a beautiful clear day - these HUGE clouds rolled in and the wind picked up.  You could hear crashes and thumps all over the property.  A couple of spots down, we saw a tent go flying away.  Yikes.  The ladies in the spot next to me were so concerned about their tent that they just got rid of it and put it back in the truck.  These are the same ladies that spent the entire time holding their tent down in the Spring Show.  Here's an idea- use some tent stakes!  My tent is weighed down and staked with huge stakes and it isn't going anywhere. At night, I put up walls and everything is tight and safe. I noticed that they were in much better moods once they didn't' have to worry about their tent.  

My, this is going to be along post.

Just as we all finished setting up we noticed the line forming. A long, long line of shoppers. The picture only shows half of the line.  Yeah! And with that, the clouds blew away and the sky turned blue. It was glorious!  Later in the day, the winds came back and the temperatures dropped dramatically, but we prevailed.  I wore shorts and a t-shirt so I was kind of cold at the end of the day. Make that really cold.  

*That cast iron stove sold to a man from New York City who was going to take it the plane in his carry-on.  It weighs a ton.  

 I set up my displays just like last time because it worked.  People come in, go around the back out the front and back around so I get them in my area four times.  I'm hoping to buy some wooden crates to use instead of milk crates.  It would look a little nicer, I think.
I have taken that costume jewelry to the last two sales and it was not only in my booth , but it was actually stolen and in police lockup for about three months.  I sold almost all of it this time.  Weird!

 The first lady in my booth spent $24.00 on a handful of pool balls, so I knew it was going to be a good day. And it was. I love seeing these photos and remembering what all sold.  I always swear I will write down all the things I sell, but I get busy and forget to write it down. 

 There was either a croquet set, mallets of just the balls in every.single.booth.  Mine did not sell.

 Saturday was gorgeous.  Awesome temperatures, clear blue skies and NO WIND. The atmosphere at The Junk Ranch is so much fun. Live music all day, food trucks, people walking around carrying junk and so happy  to have found it. The best part to me is that these people all WANT to be there. They got up to go there, they brought their little cats and bags, they went and got an envelope of cash to spend  and they are there to SHOP.  BRING IT.  edited*they brought CARTS.  Not cats.  But that would have been fun!  Thanks Pam!
I sold a lot of things on here, but they are all very small and very cheap.  

Halloween stuff did not sell except for a couple packages of straws and the giant pumpkin blowmold. I did sell quite a few packages of my homemade flash cards with Halloween words.   There is a tin full of keys on that table.  Everyone dug in there, lots of people bought them (for 50¢) and kids love them.  I don't know why, but I always buy keys to add to the tin.  

Santa didn't sell, but a ton of baggies sold.  

I had been worried about my idea of bringing SO much vintage Christmas.  Would it sell?  Or would I be sorry.  Well. it was a HIT.  People loved it.  I had gathered up all my ornaments and made baggies full of like ornaments or themes and just some random bags.  I think I sold about half of them and the rest will go to the booth, so it was a good idea.  The bassinet works great for things like this.  My Mom came to visit and said, "Oh, I hope you sell that bassinet!" and I had to tell her it wasn't for sale!  It works too good to hold all sorts of things.  
I set up my Christmas as well as I could to withstand the wind on Friday.  I bought the two old ladders last weekend for $8.00 total and found the boards in the shed!  A great display for practically nothing!  ***Lookie at Lara getting her booth all cute!

Here's how the display looked on Saturday when the winds calmed down.  

People admired the wreaths, but they didn't sell.  To the booth!

In the middle of night Friday night I had the idea to take a bunch of the old Ben Franklin baskets and put the stuff in them so people could dig and the wind wouldn't be an issue.  I only ended up using a few, but they did keep things in place and out of danger.  One lady came in and bought all the Shiny Brites that I had in packages - really good and hard to find ones.  She was so happy - she had inherited her Grandmothers Aluminum tree and she was hoping to find a few ornaments for it.  I hooked her up!  

Hey - Santa kept moving around!  

A man bought the candles for his daughter.  They had a set growing up and he gave them to his daughter.  Well, the other daughter was.not.happy about that.  So, he was excited to be able to find a pair for her.  Family unity!

The feedack pendant area.  I also had some vintage Christmas image necklaces in the printers tray.  Little girls love those things.  

I loved the packages all dumped in my dough bowl like a bunch of candies.  Most people don't really "get" the concept of the feedsack material.  But the ones that do get it - man they get excited!  One lady bought five because she couldn't decide.   I'm in the works with the owner of a shop in Conway for another bulk order.  Look out QVC, here I COME.  Ha.

Halloween area.  It looked cute I thought.  I made packets of homemade flashcards and they sold really well.  I gave away the ones that said Junk Ranch.  

Saturday was busy all day long.  I don't think I ever had a second where there wasn't someone standing in the booth.  Lara and I have our booths side by side, but we set up a checkout table in between both booths so people usually shop mine or hers first, then go to the other then come pay.  It works out pretty good, plus we share bags and paper and such.  One thing about the check out table that I want to remember is that it was windy, so I placed this board I had painted with chalkboard paint on it so the tablecloth wouldn't blow away.  In the end, I used chalk on that chalkboard to add up sales and people commented that it was like an old time store and I LOVED that!  I have used that chalkboard board as a table top, a sign, a wall and now a checkout counter.  

And with that, another Junk Ranch is behind us.  I'm so happy to have been in this from the beginning.  It really just keeps growing and getting bigger and better every time.  It's bringing in shoppers and vendors from all over.  In fact, one of my readers came to sell and I got to meet her - Hello Marci and thank you for the Cherry box.  It was SO nice to have met you!  

Be sure to read Lara's post - her photos are SO amazing!  She makes my junk look like treasures.  And her things ARE treasures!  
Lara's Junk Ranch post  And Marci's!  (That photo of me though - ACK.  Wind whipped, tired and in a rush!  :)

Now, today, I signed up to do a Fall Harvest Festival on October 18th.  It's free to set up and only for one day - so why not?  I'll just take the jewelry, my book cover things, flash cards and the Halloween and Christmas handmade stuff.  I like to have a project - so here we go again!  


  1. Your display looks amazing! I was looking forward to your recap. Glad that the sale went so well! And thanks for sharing it with all of us!

  2. Sounds like you had a great sale! worth all the effort.

  3. You had such a nice variety of items to sell and the best part was that you enjoyed yourself. Sheryl

  4. Dang it Shara! Why do I have to live so far away from all this fabulousness?


  5. Looks like it was a lot of fun! I love doing shows - but man they're a lot of work!

  6. Glad you had a good sale. I saw about 49,000 in those photos I would have grabbed up!

    Now it's early here and I'ma little punch drunk from not getting enough sleep, but where you wrote "brought their little cats and bags" cracks me up! I'm picturing people flooding through the gates with their cats tucked under their arms :) I love a good typo!

  7. Wow, so glad the weather cleared up for you! Thanks for the recap - your booth looks wonderful! So much great stuff!

  8. Oh my what a wonderful booth! I would have shopped!!! Love that you did well and had fun! I think the Halloween items looked GREAT! Of course the Christmas sold...silly girl.
    Big Hugs,

  9. So glad to hear it turned out well. All of the effort you put in to preparing paid off - yay!!!

  10. As always, your adventure was fun to be part of, even miles away.

  11. Anonymous8:09 PM

    If it is like when a friend and I have had yard sales, you never sleep so soundly all year long as you do the evening of a sale like this! Looks like lots of fun for customers and sellers.

  12. Congratulations on a successful weekend. I had so much fun looking through all your fabulous displays. I blew up every picture so that I could see every single thing. Well done!

  13. I've been so anxious to hear how it all went! I'm so glad that lots of your Christmas stuff sold! It sounds like things went pretty well, all things considered. You're getting to be an old pro!

  14. I'm a new reader - started dropping by last year I think - love your blog! Thanks for sharing your Junk Ranch experience. I love it all - the commentary, the pix, even the weather report. I guess I'll have to read all the posts so I can find out where you are and come out and hang out with you - it sounds like so much fun! Kidding - I'm too busy to be a stalker LOL! I love that you collect all different kinds of things because now I don't feel like such a freak. Can't wait to hear about your next show! PS - dont know if this is just a coincidence or if it's a subconscious thing, but I started calling my dear dog Monkey (Her name is Lishu). Now all my dogs have nicknames, but all I can say is . . . . weird.

  15. Wow! Your booth looked awesome and I'm so glad to read you did well after all your hard work. Congratulations!


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