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, February 06, 2016

Mid-Winter Handmade Affair: The Wrap Up

Thursday night I did the Mid-Winter Handmade Affair.  It was in a neighboring town in the new Montessori School.  It was just a small pop-up market for three hours with only twelve Vendors. Most of them refer to themselves as Artisans.  I say I just make junk.  Not that what I make is junk.  I just mean that I make stuff.  I am not an Artisan.  I will always make different things and have too much of all of them.  I could never only have a stack of greeting cards and a few things.  The people that do that are lucky - they come in and are set up and ready for business in about twenty minutes.  I had done my usual mock up in the driveway and took only what I had made with a very few vintage things that I thought added charm.  I had my layout all figured out.

But, then I got there and I was against a huge bank of windows behind my table, a column to my right and surprise.....a huge old upright antique piano shoved to the left.  I had my table figured out, so that didn't change, but I had to do some reconfiguration to get the rest of it to work out.  

My new method of taking my merchandise in wooden crates and then using them as my display area has really worked out well.  I love the look of it and it saves my room in the car and time setting up. Easy peasy!  The crates work great on the table for shelving, plus you can use them for display on the floor like I did with the clipboard basket plus you can use them like boxes to hold things on the ground too.  And, if you get tired while you are setting up, well you can cop a squat on them too. Also, I got to use my new long banner for the first time.  

Oh yes, and you can put a crate backwards and hang things on them.  Oh, yes you can.  I made that wreath last week as a shiny fun pop for the booth.  It didn't sell, and I kind of figured it wouldn't. But, guess what - it's hanging in the living room so BOO YAH.  New wreath for me.  I took a bit of vintage, but tried to keep it in the Valentine spirit (no one else had a valentine theme although I thought that was part of the show?)  Anyway.  That's a chocolate tin, a book of poetry and an old chippy red chalkware elephant.  The marquee letters sold right away and no, the flower frogs aren't for sale.  Sorry to the fourteen people that asked.  I really do need to find a stash of those to sell.  But they are SO handy!

Everything I took I tried to put a Valentine spin on - key to my heart in the tin of keys, red and white party straws, word banners, those damned Scrabble words, prize ribbons, etc.  

The candy necklaces sold well.  I love it when I come with an idea, work it out and people like it.  I mean I have had some flops, trust me.  But these are fun and people like them.  

A man looked at those clipboards for the longest time.  Usually women look at them and reminisce about the titles on the children's books.  But he found one about a bulldozer and looked at it forever. I thought it was sweet.  But he didn't buy it.  Too much of a man, I suppose.   

I wanted some milk bottles to display the pinwheels in and was lucky enough to find those three at the thrift last week for 75 cents each.  They had been dipped in glue and rolled in red, silver and blue glitter, but I soaked them in hot water and was able to salvage them.  On the way to the market, I stopped at a thrift store and scored the little wire rack that holds them perfectly.  A lady wanted to buy it, but gosh, I had just put it all together and I like it.  So, it will go in my show display stash.

The big printer tray full of jewelry went off to the side.  I should have had a big banner on the front of it saying what they are - but it didn't cross my mind until now.  :)  It was supposed to go to the side where the column was so it would have blended in more over there. 

But what about that pesky piano?  Well, I say if there is a space to make pretty - DO IT. 

So, now I'm kind of hoping that I always have a piano in all my spots.  I had planned on keeping most of the honeycomb flat in a freezer basket and just opening a few for display.  But that piano just screamed for some color and happiness.  I had also taken vintage romantic sheet music.  KISMET, I tell ya.  The Bean figured out how to hang the banner without tape or nails (binder clips are your friends).

Sigh.  It's really lovely if I do say so myself.  And I did.  :D  However, not one thing sold off of here because most people thought it was part of the schools decorations. (There were no other decorations in the school, but I took that as a compliment).  

I tore down and loaded up in less than thirty minutes which was good.  I sold some, not a lot, but some.  It was worth the amount of time it took and it was a good experience learning to be adaptable and setting up and tearing down quickly.  Make the most of it, I say!

ONward and UPward!

**Thanks Myra and Kelly who came to see me and shop!  


  1. It all looks so cute! Glad you sold some stuff! You are getting good at the setting up!!

    1. Thanks Linda. You've been on my mind all day!

  2. You did a great job with your space, Shara. I love what you did with the piano.

    1. Thank you! I kind of want a piano now. :)

  3. It all looks beautiful. I adore the way you used the crates and such a great idea to multi-purpose.

  4. You do such a great job with your displays!!! Glad it was worth trip and at the very very least you are getting your name out there! I think the fancy people call that your "brand". You know, like Kim Kardashian and all them folks.

    BTW, I'd be trying to roll that piano out to my car :)

    1. Don't think that didn't enter my mind. But I didn't think I could have gotten it in the car! I told The Bean that I really went to "network" and pass out cards. Plus I made a little money. win-win.

  5. Oh your space looks great! Looking at it all makes me wonder why you didn't sell better, but those shows can be fickle. Love what you did with the piano. Sounds like you have the setup and display down pat. Fun share . :)

  6. Your setup is so nice! I would have loved to shop there! You always make so many neat things.

    xo Dianne

  7. Monkeybox has been included in our A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that we hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.


  8. I used to do shows like this, and home shows too - and it was so much fun. I met lots of really nice people and my creativity just spurred on. I miss those days really. Your display is perfect and fun - sooooo many great ideas. Love-LOVE- the piano! Your happiness just spilled out everywhere! I am so glad I stopped by this morning. Have a wonderful week!

  9. BRAVO!
    EVERYTHING looks wonderful ~ as always!!

  10. Looks wonderful! Hope you did well!

  11. It looks great. I love the banner with the glitter hearts (I think they are glitter)

  12. Wow, that all looks great but yes, that piano looks fabulous! You need a piano in your living room so you can recreate that in your house. No, don't tell me it won't fit, if theres a will theres a way! Ha! Glad you had a good experience, those small shows can be iffy.

  13. All of this is so cute. I am in love with everything you have shared here. Keep doing such creative work. I am a newbie hand crafter and learn great things from such posts. I will be attending a craft fest too at a local event venue NYC coming weekend and so excited for it!


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