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.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Week in Junk: No Tablecloths for You Edition

This week I went to four thrift stores on a hunt for vintage Christmas.  Monday I went a couple of big towns over to the Flu Clinic to get my flu shot.  I popped into my favorite Little Old Lady thrift, but I left empty handed.  I rarely go there and since I had just been there about a week ago, I guess I depleted anything good then.  

Next I stopped into a thrift that I have only been to only one other time.  It is actually a thrift that has been in four different locations over the past twenty years.  It is ridiculously overpriced.  I don't know how on earth they decide their prices.  They are at least four times higher than any thrift around. And, the sad part is that they actually have some great things in there like a ton of old quilts.  But, they are displayed way up high so you can't touch them and they have big tags with these outrageous prices on them.  It's so disheartening.  

As you know, my holy grail in thrifting is the elusive vintage tablecloth.  That is what I am looking for at every single yard sale and thrift I go to - vintage tablecloths.  I am not really sure I have found one this entire YEAR!  

So, when I turned the corner in this thrift and spotted an entire rack of vintage tablecloths - I got VERY excited and then, just as quickly, I got very sad because I was sure they would be out of my price range.  And they were.  *sniff*  They were $8.00 each and although the colors were bright and clear, each one had some pretty bad stains on them.  I can overlook small stains and I can treat big stains if the price is right.  But, the price was NOT right.  

When I spotted a piece of vintage Christmas fabric peeking out of one rack, I was not optimistic.  It was three curtain panels.  I've never seen Christmas curtains, so that was fun.  They were only $2.00 so I grabbed them.  I am going to use the fabric from one panel to make pendants and maybe use the other two in the kitchen.  

This is this week's meager finds.  :(  

The gold reindeer are on a barrette, but they look old to me.  I will find a use for it since I am not a barrette kinda gal.  The nesting doll Santa's were 99 cents and my only purchase at one thrift.  The tiny mixing bowl was $1.00 and was my only find at yet another thrift.  Man, I hope to find more that one thing at each thrift in the future!  That's a lot of time and gas for just a few things.  

So, are you finding any vintage Christmas?  Maybe I am just expecting too much too early.  People are just now digging out their bins to decorate.  Maybe my luck will get better.  And yours too!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you are all having a wonderful Thanksgiving!  It is just the three of us here today.  I will make Mexican Chicken Casserole and pecan pie because we are weird.  Sunday I host the whole family (all six of us) for a real sit down Thanksgiving Turkey dinner.  Today I will work on my Christmas decorations and listen to The Breadman yell at the STUPID REF on TV.  

 I leave you with this photo of my Mom with a turkey.  I love it!

I am thankful for all you nice people that come here to visit!

Thank you!  

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Week in a Nutshell - Because I am a NUT

Raise your and if you are tired.  *HAND UP HIGH*  I don't know what is wrong with me, but I am just BONE tired.  It just seems like I always have one more big thing to do and I just don't think I can do one more thing.  Except the next thing on my list is to drag in the Christmas stuff and I will do tha no mater what.  Even though The Breadman thinks it is a "waste" of time.  See, that shows how well he knows me - the vintage Christmas that I find and hoard all year long - that is my favorite thing in the world to rediscover this time of year.  I have sold SO much vintage Christmas between the Junk Ranch and both of the booths.  I keep seeing all those cute things go and I am starting to get remorseful about letting them go.  So, I need to see my magnificent pretties to realize that I kept all the  good stuff!  When I decorate, I strip the house down to furniture only and then I Christmas it UP. It is a huge job, but I am really looking forward to seeing my pretties!   My vintage stuff in our house means Christmas to The Bean   - so it will be done.  Silly Breadman anyway.

Today we went to see Mockingjay.  It was very good if it is on your list to see.  I haven't read that book yet, so I didn't know what to expect at all.  We have no plans to see Dumb and Dumber To.  
Tonight we went to the lighting of the Lights of The Ozarks and the Christmas parade.  It was early this year due to in town Razorback games.  The highlight of the parade was Lara's cute twins carrying little signs as they walked to support their local alderwoman in an upcoming run off election.  They were SO proud carrying their little signs.  (Just so you aren't alarmed their Daddy was with them. They weren't out politicking alone.)

Oh, and the lights were pretty darn spectacular too!

I have been hitting a few thrifts when I can on the hunt for vintage Christmas.  I have found some things that made me happy and a couple things to sell.  I bought a Kitty Cucumber Christmas Musical for $1.99 and sold it in less than 24 hours for $52.99.  I love sales like that!  
When I was at the thrift, the D*ggars and the 19 K*ds and Counting film crew where there.  The girls were shopping and the crew was filming them shop.  I tried to stay focused and look for vintage Christmas since I was there for that purpose.  But, several times I was looking on the shelves in my own world and I would look up and the camera was pointed straight at me.  So, I might be on another show without meaning to be!  I actually spotted that Kitty Cucumber after I spoke to Michelle while we were waiting in line.  
As we were leaving, the youngest daughter there in the center gave The Bean a big smile. Which is funny because I am always telling him that he needs to marry her!  He needs a big family since there are only the three of us.  

Recent thrifted finds:
Sweet angel tree topper and a Santa mug.  The mug was a set of NOEL mugs, but ironically enough, there was NO L.  I bought the O since it looked normal on it's own.  

There is one thrift that I have had good luck at finding the good old Reader's Digest books but it is several towns away, so I don't go there as often as I should.  I went last week and I was rewarded with 48 beautiful old covers.  I was prepared to spend $12.00 since RD books are 4/$1.00, but *surprise* books were half off, so I only paid $6.00 for 48 books!  I haven't cut these apart yet since I am looking for different things to do with them other than making my clipboards.  

Everything here cost $3.00 at the Super Cheap Thrift.  That glass jar had the ugliest arrangement of 1970's cat tails and dried flowers and colored corn in it.  It was awful.  But now that it is empty - that;s a super cool jar!  

Sunday I make a milk run as it started to snow.  I made a quick stop at Goodwill (it is right next door to the store!)  and found this great little gnome.

All these ornaments came from differnt thrifts after one big day of thrifting.  One here, one there - it made me happy.  Those spun head gnomes riding on those satin balls - OH MY GOD.  My favorite!

Sorry for the rambling and random post.  My life is pretty darn ordinary and boring, so I don't know why any of you read this stuff!  But, I am SO HAPPY that you do!  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Swap is Closed

I will be emailing the swap partners today.  I won't clutter up the blog with the details since there are only a few of us participating.  I need an email for you Gayden, please.  Jenn - I'm sorry that I couldn't contact you before now - there isn't an email associated with your account.  Since there only a handful of us in this swap, I think we will have to keep it in the US.  I am SO sorry!!!!  I hope you can find a swap partner in your area.  Maybe next time?  Thanks for understanding!

Participants are:


I will email you guys, but if you need me  - monkeybox at juno.com

Now, start gathering!  Yea!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Vintage Christmas Swap

Would anyone be interested in a Vintage Christmas swap?  I haven't really "hosted" a swap in awhile, but I do love my vintage Christmas. I don't believe in dollar amount limits or rules.  Just fill up a nice size box full of vintage Christmas things that you would be proud to receive yourself (no junk or broken things or stinky things or non-vintage-y things) and send it to your partner.  It will give you an excuse to buy MORE at the thrifts.  Yea!  Who wouldn't want to do that????  You can always include a sweet treat or a surprise.  But, mostly, just full up a box (maybe like shoe box size for an idea) and have FUN with it!  

 I am participating in another swap and instead of two people swapping, it is A sends to B and B sends to C and C sends to D and so on.  Which way do you prefer?  I'll figure that out after sign ups too.  Tell me which one sounds the best. (I prefer two swapping with each other, but am open to the other way too),
If you are interested, leave a comment or email me at monkeybox at juno.com (I am told that leaving a comment on here is problematic at times which I DO NOT understand and I do apologize for it.)

I'll set up the specifics after I see if anyone is interested (although I suspect they will be...) like the date to mail and such.  I would think we should mail about December 5th so we can have time to hunt and gather and also have time to enjoy it when we get it.  

So, are you IN?  I hope so!  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Booth: Santa is in the HOUSE

I took all my vintage Christmas stuff to the big booth last week and today I took more to the small booth.  The big booth is VERY FULL.  I started at the upper outside of the booth and worked my way down each shelf and onto the next area and pulled a ton of stuff that had been there a long time and things that I was just sick of seeing.  I pulled about seven big totes FULL of merchandise.  Then I brought in a bunch of new old stuff and then I put the Christmas goodies out.  I had a lot.  And I am on the hunt for even more - you know me!  

Here are the results.  As usual, I have a huge bright florescent light in my booth which makes it the best well lit booth in the whole store, but makes it impossible to photograph.  I'll take the light over not being easily photographed.  

That tall white shelf hold all the ephemera - flash cards of all sorts, old dictionary page bundles, sheet music bundles, kid card packs, Button cards, mini flash cards, big flash cards, BINGO card packs, Scrabble word packs, Book Cover clipboards and much, much more.  Beside that is this great old cubby I found years ago (for 50¢!) that holds a lot of little things including cups and small figurines and such.  Below that is an old wooden crate full of vintage toys.  
My ornament wreaths hang on the outside of the shelf.  I want something different to go there instead of that while particle board shelf, but I just haven't found it yet.  But, I will.  Someday!  Below the wreaths is a light up fake fireplace insert with the sparkler inside.  

 Opposite side holds the blowmolds this time of year and some vintage stockings.  This is the only area I have for something "big" and even these are not really "big".
I meant to pull those frames!  Whoops!  The old coke crate holds spice tins and salt and pepper shakers.  Bundt pan wreaths and vintage puzzle magnets are on the edge of the black shelf.  

This is mostly all kitchen related stuff - Pyrex, aluminum tumblers, glasses, utensils, cookbooks, breadboxes, linens, aprons, scales, cookie cutters and on an on.  Just about anything I can find vintage and kitcheny goes there.  

The big shelf in the back usually holds all vintage things and more ephemera.  Now, except for the bottom shelf  it is all Christmas.  The bottom shelf holds vintage games and puzzles.  The four blue baskets are my Ben Franklin baskets full of grab bags of vintage ornaments.  I wish they were out so shoppers can see them better.  At the Junk Ranch I had them all in an old Bassinet and people could rummage through them.  Hopefully people will dig in these baskets too.  I made a bunch of holiday themed flash card packs this year.  I liked the look of them, so I made signs for all my "departments" that look like vintage flashcards.  I like it and think it makes it all look cohesive instead of handwritten signs.  

Saturday during our Anniversary sale I had the pleasure of meeting Melissa from Andromeda Vintage.  She lives in CO and had been in Branson, so she took a junking loop through my neck of the woods and managed to find Lara's booth and mine way out in our little flea market town!  It was so fun to meet someone from faraway that I felt like I already knew.  She is braver than me to drive from Branson to here and back to Colorado alone with only a GPS to guide her.  

Today I took even more vintage Christmas to our small booth.  Lara had put in a bunch of great handmade signs and scrap wood trees.  She is SO talented!  Her stuff is just so VERY clever.  The thing about the two of us is that we are terrible business people.  By that I mean we are great to each other and do not worry about ourselves. Lara will take in her things, rework the booth and shove all her stuff to the back and highlight mine.  Then, a few days later, I go in and rework it and try to make her stuff shine and hide my stuff.  It actually works because our area looks different about twice a week to keep it interesting.  I think we have a good mix this time - her large prints and signs and my smalls.  Plus I took a big folk art Santa, a tree and some other bigger-ish things.  

That Santa is all handmade from his knit sweater and leather moccasins to his willow chair.  But he was mounted on this huge board and he had three teddy bears, a books, handmade toys at his feet and a tree in the back. It was SO busy and just a hot mess.  I took it all apart and reworked just the Santa in the chair.  I gave him a pine cone to hold and put another small pine cone on his hat.  He is simple and really nice now.  I am glad I gave him another chance at life.  If he doesn't sell, that is okay with me.  (But, I hope he does).  His moccasins are awesome! 

The hallway in our area is about two feet wide so again, good photos are nearly impossible.  We do have a good mix of holiday, handmade and gift-y things.  

I bet that HO HO HO ya'll is already gone.  It's GREAT!  

So, now that is all done it is time to GET BUSY here at the house and get ready for Christmas.  I didn't put out any Halloween, Fall or Thanksgiving this year, so I am behind on my clearing out and making room to get ready.  Since I didn't decorate for those things, I am ready for glitter and mercury glass and shiny brites and Annalee's and Santas and my grocery store village and all that good Christmas stuff.  


Friday, November 07, 2014

The Week in Junk: Slim Pickin's

Thursday I had to go put a few things out at Lara's and mine's tiny booth.  Since I managed to leave the house sans the menfolk, I also managed to hit FOUR thrifts all by myself in addition to working the booth.  My vintage Christmas radar is in high gear.  I am panicked because I have the big booth chock full, but once the big blowmolds and stuff sells, I don't have anything to fill those spaces.  I don't really have anything Christmas to take to the tiny booth because it will surely sell at the big booth and it may or may not sell in the tiny booth.  I don't want to take things to the tiny booth just for the sale of taking them and have them NOT sell.  We are still learning the ropes at that tiny booth. Lara was pleased with our first full month's check.  I think she made about twice what I did. But her items are more pricey (as they should be for her awesome handmade signs), so that makes sense.  I am still missing several things that have either been shoplifted or misplaced in that giant store.  It's a crapshoot if I will ever see them again.  I like selling and making money, but I really don't like not selling and not making money even more.  But, it is a small spot, easy to get to in town and hardly any work at all.  So, the extra money is good, right?

So, I went a little off track there, didn't I?  

I spotted this Jadeite cup and saucer on the shelf at Goodwill and dove on it.  I have never, ever seen Jadeite at a thrift.  Ever.  But, now I find out that it is a reproduction and not a cool old piece.  But sometimes people like repro's so they can actually use them and not be worried about breaking them. It 's going to the booth in the Christmas area with a nice red Shiny Brite plunked in it.  

The thrifts are putting out the Christmas.  So far, the Salvation Army has the most out, so I need to go there OFTEN.  All of these things came from there.  A box of not so old but not so new Shiny Brites. I bought it for that one missing ornament.  I will replace it with one I have at home and put it in the booth.  The pink mercury glass grapes are mine forever and ever.  Love those things.  The Waechtersbach plate might go on ebay - it should sell for $25.00 or so, but the fear of breakage makes me think I might put it in the booth for $12.00 and call it good.  (Speaking of ebay - the Blythe ended at $515.00 if you weren't watching. What a fun little find that turned out to be!)

Here's the ornament I kept - a red toadstool Shiny Brite.  
I mean, COME ON, how cute is that?

Here is something I bought for the tiny college town booth - an owl plaque.  This one is made out of pressed Coors Light cans.  You can only see the Coors logo if you peek at the back of the tin.  

And another owl plaque - this one made out of nails.  After I paid for these and was waking out of Goodwill, I heard the cashier and the people behind me talking about how the whole "owl trend" is over.  I think (and hope) they were talking about the 1970's Owl trend, because I still seem to sell them okay.  But, I could be wrong.  Trends seem to come and go lately.  I used to make my booth rent on those silly Scrabble word packets I made up.  But, I don't think I have sold one in a couple of months.  

This little folk art thing is neat.  It's two dogs and they have a chain in between there teeth.  It hangs on a wall or sits on a shelf and you can hang a towel or something on the chain.  One of the dogs legs is damaged, but it was only $1.00 and I can see past that imperfection.  

That little depression glass set is a) plastic and b) a toy.  I can just see a tiny tot in her dress and heels taking Daddy a bourbon after work.  So sweet.  :D  The little mirrored tray says SLAT and PEPPER on it.  I think I have a red set  that will fit on it just right for the booth.

And, my last and most fun find - this sheet of old iron on appliques.  "Guaranteed to beautify your household linens".   I scanned them into my computer so I can use them in crafts somehow.  Love that silly pea!  And the tomato with the "pea"rls!  

Tomorrow is our anniversary at the big booth store - I have had my booth in there for three years. We are having cake and treats, door prizes and sales.  I will be working in the afternoon and slipping some more vintage Christmas into my booth when I can get in there.  Hopefully it will be a busy day!  

Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Week in Junk: Colorful Finds

I went to a couple of thrifts on Friday and to several yard sales today.  I know that the days of yard sales are coming to an end with the cold weather coming this soon.  (It was 31 this morning  - in Arkansas!) So, I am trying to hit as many as I can while they are still out there.  

This is a bunch of odd stuff, but the colors all looked great together.  A nice wooden crate for booth display, a turquoise play phone, handful of old metal cookie cutters ( I seem to be on a roll of finding those lately), a vintage Sleeping beauty book with nice color plates for framing, a set of six stacking mugs, a set of 1972 Wilton fondant cutters and a dozen play store eggs that I put in a vintage egg carton I had.  There are two different shades of yarn from two different dress kits from the 1960's. There are six skeins of one and five skeins of another.  The medal is a teaching award from the 1960's.  I bought a whole handful of Native American sterling rings, that medal, dog tags, little keys and some other things for 25¢.
The blues had their turn  now for some red's:  A vintage Red Riding Hood book, a candle blowmold just like the one I got last week, a great old biscuit tin with the Mayflower on it and a Red Cross Storybook doll - she is a three in one doll and really sweet.  The yo yo doll I actually saw at a yard sale last weekend for $10.00 (that's very old, etc.).  I bought it at the Super Cheap Thrift today for 50¢.  

The Cooky Book is another cook book I always buy and it always sells.  I found four different baggies of cookie cutters today at four sales.  'Tis the season!

I bought a gallon size baggie full of keys for $5.00.  The lady gave me the storybook doll since I bought the keys.  I always have a tin of keys at The Junk Ranch for 50¢ each and you wouldn't believe how many I sell.  Men and kids just love to paw through them.  

That buggy thing isn't something I would normally even buy, but it was 50¢, so I grabbed it.  Maybe I can stick a vintage doll in it or something and put it in the booth.  I love old tins for storage and this one has NUTS all over it and I am NUTS, so there you go!  :)  The wooden thing is a very old tripod that folds up and closes with a leather band.  It's really neat.  I just wish I would have paid more attention to it before I folded it up.  Help!  

I pulled all this gingham out of a bag of crappy polyester fabrics.  I love it that there is chicken scratch started on the black.  I love gingham, but I don't have a speck of it in my house.

These little vintage dolls have on their socks and shoes but are otherwise nekkid.  

I buy Bundt pans for making wreaths and that is why I picked this one up.  But then I came to my senses when I realized that it is THE perfect PINK color.  I saw a blog once where they had tons of bundt pans all in different colors all around their kitchen.  It was so lovely!  This one will have to hang near my birthday cake collection.  

I hit some good vintage stuff at the Salvation Army yesterday which rarely ever happens.  Some German wooden ornaments, a glass Santa and an old blown glass Santa ornament.  The Irmi lamp was at another Little Old Lady thrift for ONE DOLLAR.  :)  

In the center is this party Valentine party favor.  He is from the 1930's or 1940's, I think,  His legs are candy wrapped in cellophane.  The candy is still in there!  Cool!  And, also Yuck!  I just love him so much.  He will go in my party collection too.  

A good weekend in junk - a lot to sell, some projects and a couple things for me.  


I hope your weekend was perfection too!

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