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, December 17, 2015

Shara Lee Likes the Annalee's

Instagram is all abuzz lately with the "cute vs. Creepy" factor concerning Annalee dolls, Rubber faced Santa's and Kneehuggers.  I am on board with the Annalee dolls and I do love a good rubber faced Santa.  I will agree that some of those Santa's can look a bit crazy eyed.  But the ones I have are cute.  In my opinion.  I find the kneehuggers cute too.  I'm all about the cute.  

There are all sors of Annalee dolls, but I limit my collection to Santa and Mrs. Claus.  I have been gifted many of these thanks to Heidi and Chanelle.  The rest I have thrifted.  I bought the Santa in the middle of the shelf (holding a coffee cup) this year at an Open house at at Flea Market for $2.00.  I know the Santa wreath is a bit much in this area.  I had it in the booth, but someone dropped it and broke a bunch of the Santa's.  So, I brought it home and doctored it up.  I decided to keep it since most of those Santa's were from my collection anyway.  

My other favorite Annalee's are Christmas mice.  Word to the wise - I despise real actual mice.  Mice that enter my house of garage are NO BEUNO.  Cute Annalee mice in funny hats are A OKAY with me.  I added in my Santa boot collection - most have names and dates on the bottom which endear them to me even more.  Why did people always put their names on things?  I don't think I have written my name on anything since my Trapper Keeper.  *You have have noticed that I add bottle brush trees to everything.  I have always liked a good bottle brush tree, but this year they are my new obsession.  The old ones with the red bases are my particular favorite.  

The first Annalee's I ever found.  I have told this story before - but here it comes again.  I spotted them in a thrift store sitting on a couch and I have very clear precise memories of vaulting over another couch to get to them.  I know I am not capable of vaulting over a couch, but I really, really think I did it!  That's my memory and I am sticking to it.  The big Santa came from Goodwill a few years ago.  The boys dropped me off and went to get gas.  When they came back I was standing on the curb clutching a giant Santa.  It was July, by the way.  He was in a big cardboard chimney which I thought someone had made.  It was cumbersome and not my style, so I threw it out.  I recently found out that it was made that way.  I should have kept it!  Gah!

I have a couple of old rubber faced Santas, but this is my favorite.  He is huge - nearly four feet tall. He's honestly too big for me to keep and store, but I do because, well LOOK AT HIM WOULD YA? He also has the charming backstory of coming from a yard sale for $2.00.  That endears him to me even more.    

Are you tired?  Well, that's a shame.  Because.......there's more!

Kneehugger paradise.  I have been collecting these for a long time.  Long before that Elf on a Shelf nonsense.  (It's not nonsense - I would have fell for it hook line and sinker if he was popular when The Bean was little).  But, now everyone loves kneehuggers and they are super popular.  Therefore, they are hard to find.  I don't think I found any this year, but my girl Carol sent me a box chock full of bottle brush trees and kneehuggers for my birthday.  

Old truck full of kneehuggers.  It's a MUST HAVE.

I call these kneehuggers too - but I guess they are more elves than anything.  Hey - lookie there - another Annalee doll!  ebay sent me a $10.00 gift certificate on my anniversary, so I bought that doll. Gee, I am WILD aren't I?

And now - a not creepy, but thrifted item:  I thrifted this little oil painting last week.  Isn't it sweet? It's dated 1980, but it looks 1880 in style to me.  She could use a few more ornaments on that tree, couldn't she?  

This concludes the tour.......for now.  Oh yes, THERE'S MORE.

There's always more.  Also, I went to five thrifts today and all the Christmas was 50% off.  I actually found a good amount of vintage - all destined for the Junk Ranch next October.  But, I will try to get some photos before I box it all up.  

***My name really is Shara Lee.  


  1. I don't own a single Annalee doll, and that isn't by accident. I see them all the time but there are so many reproductions out there that I don't know what is true vintage and what came from Home Goods. I'll stick to my sweet knee huggers. At least I can tell if they are old, or some HL repro.

    Your house is looking so sweet!!


    1. If it's marked Annalee, it's an Annalee. But the vintage ones are made in NH and the newer ones are made in China. I prefer and try to only get the vintage ones. They are dated on the tag too - so that helps!

  2. I live about 10 minutes from the where the annalee dolls were made in the factory in the woods. Annalee and her husband where a very funky interesting couple after they died the kids dismantled the factory in the woods and now everything is made in China which makes me very sad. I have a couple of the larger ones that were made in Meredith NH.

    1. That's fun that they lived so close to you! The bulk of mine are vintage and made in Meredith. I will succumb to a newer one if the price is right or it's a gift. But, I prefer the older ones.

  3. Thanks ladies for the Annalee lesson.That's interesting and good to know.My Mom had a few when I was little. I always liked them but don't know what happened to them over time. She wasnt a keeper of things :(
    I have a couple myself now and just checked their labels,made in good ol NH. Woohoo!
    I'm enjoying your displays very much Shara! I keep going back to the Elves in the truck. They sure make me smile!

    1. Yay! Yours are vintage too! Good for you! That truck full of elves is one of my favorites too. That truck is usually full of something around here most days. Thanks for making ME smile!

  4. "Nobody doesn't like Shara Leeeeee" I know you are singing that to the correct tune, right? I am always looking for vintage AL but ones I find are all china made.

    1. That song TORMENTED my childhood - that's why I dropped the "Lee" off my name! ;(

  5. The real reason knee huggers are hard to find: your enthusiasm is contagious. Now everyone wants them : )

    And I spy an awesome plaid cooler behind one of your big Santas. Wazzup wit dat!

    1. I sweat that I always put that giant Santa on the old Skotch Kooler - but he won't fit this year so I took it out after that photo. You have a sharp eye! It's in the kitchen all year round with my Thermos collection.

  6. I always think of you when I see an Annalee doll. they don't call my name, but I do see that your vintage one's are cute. I'm a pixie girl myself.

  7. Loved the lesson on Annalee. I have never found one or didn't recognize it if it was in front of me! LOL! I will have to keep my eyes open. Now for the kneehuggers, I always snap them up. I would vault over a couch for bottle brush trees.

  8. Scary Ass Anna Lees...SAAL...you knew that was coming! As you know "they" follow me, so I will document it with texts to you for approval...and evidence in case I go missing.


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