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, June 30, 2016

Phone Dump, The Week in Junk and Other News

You can tell when I do the old Phone Dump Post that I am struggling to think of anything to blog about.  But, usually I start yapping about the photos and BAM - a blog post.  These are all random and in no order at all.

I found this doll at Goodwill.  She has a huge head and big bare feet.  She is on ebay as we speak.  

Spotted at a yard sale.

A few Goodwill finds one day.  I have a collection of those black and yellow trivets in my laundry room.  I prefer the snarky ones like "This kitchen is closed on account of illness.  I'm sick of cooking."  WORD.

Sign on the door at the Super Cheap Thrift.  Drinking glasses are normally 25¢ so it is ABOUT TIME they made them more affordable.  :)

One Saturday morning finds.  Love the turkey.  The printers box is headed to the booth.

Another Goodwill find - it is for helping people with Dyslexia earn more effectively.  It sells for decent money, but it is a slow seller.  I have it on ebay and will just keep relisting until it sells.   

A giant tea tin.  It held 200 tea bags!  When I looked this up, I learned that Twinings Tea Tins can be worth a lot of money.  (Not this one though....)

My only purchase at the Junk Ranch this year.   I buy a different "11" each year.

EDDIE LOOK AWAY!  Dolls.  So many dolls at the thrift.  This was only about 1/4 of them! 

We went to the Rodeo parade.  It is really, really, really close to the airport.  
Could you tell?

I found SEVEN winking jewel eye Santa cups - but man!  Someone either soaked them or ran them through the dishwasher.  I am going to try to soak the rest of the red off so they are at least all white with the jewel eye.  I think they will sell at the Junk Ranch once I spruce them up.  

I love these old Windmill Pyramids.  I have several but I am lacking on display space so we generally just choose one to put out each year.  Now we have another choice!

This is a tiny suitcase.  It;s dirty and worn, but it stole my heart.  Why?

Matt's Magic Show

"Don't touch!  Secrets Within!"

I will use it for storage.  It was just too fun to leave behind.

Gleaned from a warehouse sale of newer junk.  I have a fear of breaking things while I get it to the booth or the JR, so I plopped it on my shelf.  It is just the sweetest.  

I bought a big box of these old circuit boards at the same warehouse sale.  I think they would be cool framed - the college kids will like them, I think.  They told me there were from airplanes, but who knows.

We smelled smoke one day last week and could see if from the backyard.  We got in the car to go see where the fire was and discovered it was just on the other side of the main highway.  There was a huge police presence, ambulances, fire trucks and rescue vehicles.  We circled around the block to come home the back way and there were even more officials on that end of the block which we found to be strange.  Plus, the black smoke was billowing strong and there was no sign of water anywhere.  

We went back home in time for the news and found out that a man had actually doused the shed, garage, truck and the house with lighter fluid then torched the place.  When the police department got there, he had a gun and he was threatening to shoot them or to shoot himself. The fire fighters couldn't come in to fight the fire while he was there with a gun and the fire was quickly spreading to the trees and the neighboring houses.  He took a shot at one of the police officers and they were forced to shoot back.  He went to the hospital, but died later.  I don't know who he was or what happened on that particular day to make him do these things.  His neighbors spoke highly of him and were very saddened that it all happened.  I do know that I live in a very small town (less than five square miles in total), so for that to happen in my tiny town was unbelievable, not to mention that it was only a couple blocks from my house. You just never know what is going to happen anymore.  

Well, I hate to end on that story, but that is all I have today.  I hope you have had a safe week and found some junk along the way.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Garage Fail

Saturday Lara and I along with another vintage loving friend had our Garage Sale.  As you might have already guessed from my title - it was a big old FAIL.   

We did everything right.  Clean items?  Check!  Useful items? Check?  Clothes hung up? Check? Items Priced?  Check!  (You knew that though) Ads in the newspaper and Craigslist?  Check!  Signs on the corners?  Check!  Customers? Nope.  I can only guess that it was the crushing heat and humidity that was once again on the docket.  By 6:30 am, I was a wringing wet mess as we were setting up.  We had our first customer at 6:20 (our opening time was 7:00 and I do not like early birds, but we were nice and let them shop) so we thought we were off to a good start. But, the customers just trickled in all day, there was no rush or crowd ever.

This sale on the hill has always been known as the "Hilltop Sale" and for as long as I can remember, people have flocked to the Hilltop Sale in droves to shop.  In the past there were fifty sales or more up there.  Yesterday I took a drive around and only found four other sales in addition to ours and Lara's neighbors.  Who (good for them) all but sold out and shut down about noon.  We had decided to stay out for the afternoon "rush", but in never came, so we all sorted out donations and things to keep and then loaded up the cars.  

We did sell things - just not the mad rush we were expecting.  I honestly thought I would have one box to pack up to take to Goodwill.  I ended up with four suitcases full plus a couple boxes.  I did keep about three tote bags full of things that are still booth worthy (Pyrex and some vintage stuff) and the vintage Bassinette.  

Photo time!

Lara put out so many cute things.  And at really, really great prices.  Like CHEAP.  That frame held a tiny dress with wee little kitties embroidered on it.  SO CUTE.  A girl bought it, thank goodness, or I would have had to have rescued it.  Darling.  

Oh, the dickering.  I hate the dickering.  That wicker hamper was $2.00.  Dude offers $1.00.  Lara says she's set on the $2.00 (this was after far too many low ball offers).  The guitar was $3.00.  A guy offered $2.00.  Really people?  I had an old primitive stool priced $15.00 because I expected a little dickering (Would you take $10?  How about $12?  Deal and then we would hug and jump up and down in circles while they shouted in glee over their new fabulous primitive stool) but not the $5.00 offer thirty minutes before we were even scheduled to be open.  (Grumps).

I loved all these old wooden crates and boxes.  I think she ended up keeping them for the Junk Ranch. In case you haven't heard - about a week before the Junk Ranch, Lara and her little family came home and found a SNAKE barreling at them in the house.  IN THE HOUSE.  Since then, she has vowed to practically live in an empty house to keep the snakes away.  A pest guy told her that the snake probably came in looking for mice so that really drove home the whole - GET RID OF ALL THE THINGS idea.  Which, is really quite understandable if you think about it.  

The tin dollhouse wass mine.  I brought it back home, set it on a table in the front yard and put birdseed in the rooms.  I have been entertained all day watching the birds in there.  So, good thing it didn't sell. (That's what she tells herself, anyway).  I may have sequestered that Irmi lamp and a few other cute things at the sale.

Miscellaneous stuff from each of us.  Those safety pin baskets are the thorn in my side.  I will sell those things,  DAMMIT.

Cute view from the street.

Everything here went to Goodwill, I think?

I sold a good amount of vintage linens to one lady that was thrilled to find them.  That was a bright spot.  I had them priced stupid cheap though.

Lara's twins spotted their bicycles at the curb from inside the house and, boy, they were NOT HAPPY about it.  Lucky for them they didn't sell.  But, I think they might have gone to Goodwill.  Shhhhh.

In sales, we flopped.  But it's always a nice day spending time with Lara and hanging out with her kiddos.  One of our favorite IG friends came to visit and shop so that was a fun part of the day.  We also escaped to a few sales on our own and together where I found some pretty good stuff. I did make some money and I cleared out a good amount of junk.  So it wasn't a total fail.  But, DUDE.  That heat.  UGH.  

I have vowed not to break a sweat for the next three days.  I have been sweating for three weeks and I am OVER IT.  Plus, I am still sick so that has not been fun.  Tomorrow has been declared an INSIDE Air Conditioning day with lots of cough syrup and maybe some cookie baking. Just what the doctor ordered.  

Dr. Shara, that is!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

It's All Coming Back to Me

I am remembering a few more Junk Ranch stories.  I think the fog is finally lifting from my brain! Whee!

I sold those lucite S & P shakers to a newlywed couple - Samantha and Paul.  
S &P.  
How cute is THAT?

Also - that old jar full of red BINGO markers?  A lady came up with that and I told her that those were old BINGO markers.  "Don't care.  I'll throw those out.  I just want the jar."  It was priced $12 but I said she could have the jar for $8 and I would keep the BINGO markers.  Deal, she said.

A lady bought those old confetti cafeteria trays to feed her grand kids lunch.  She keeps them some days and the girls call it "jail".  "Now they'll have the trays to make it complete", she said,

A lady read my "Bits & Bobs" sign and said, "What on EARTH are Bits and BOOBS?????"

Saturday I put out about three tubs worth of new stuff and I forgot to take photos of the booth once I reworked it.  In those tubs was an old pottery monkey head bottle.  A lady bought it and said, completely out of the blue - "I am going to pour my rum in it and stick a cork in his head" and then she walked away.  

I was helping a shopper carry things to the gate and I left The Bean alone at the table.  A lady came and bought two pinwheels, three little milk bottles and a squeak toy.  She told my twenty year old son, "You sell the CUTEST stuff!"  He said, "Thanks??"  Poor guy, selling squeaky toys in a field by himself. 

Those weren't the greatest stories, but at least I am thinking of some!  I think this particular junk ranch is just like Pam at House of Hawthornes said - It's like childbirth - you forget the bad part after awhile!  I have forgotten the heat and now I am in thinking mode for the October show!  

Hey - be sure to read Lara's rundown of the Junk Ranch too.  Her photography is just THE BEST.

Speaking of Lara, she was nice enough to invite me to bring some junk to her house for a yard sale on Saturday.  We sure do like slinging junk together!  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Junk Ranch - Spring 2016 Recap

Okay folks  - I'm here with all the deets.  I am still not feeling like myself, but I realized that my chest hurts and my sinuses are giving me problems, so that must be part of it.  I think the dust just settled in my chest and is sitting there.  I've started Muscinex which is like the THE INVENTION EVER, so that will help.  I'm still tired, but I rarely get a full 8 hours of good sleep.  WHINE WHINE WHINE COMPLAIN COMPLAIN COMPLAIN!  :)

Wednesday I loaded the car with the tables, my crates and as much merchandise as I could squeeze in there.  Thursday morning I loaded the truck with the big stuff and the rest of my tables and set up stuff.  About 10:30, The Bean and I headed out to set up the tent, tables and staging areas.  The Breadman came out about 1:30 to bring us the truck items.  He started unloading things in his random here, there and everywhere method and I suddenly got VERY testy about that.  I like to put things where they go on the first touch of an item.  Does that make sense?  Why set it here, then move it there, then put it over there until you can put it where it goes???  I say put it close to where it goes the first time.  I know things will get shuffled and moved a bit, but I like it at least sort of close to where it will stay.  WHINE WHINE WHINE.  

After we unloaded we came home for another load of merchandise and some food.  Back out to the Junk Ranch to set up as much as we could until it was complete the next morning.  I owe props to The Bean for knowing exactly how I want things set up and how I want it to look.  He is like a mini me except he is a foot taller than me, but you know what I mean.  Thursday while I was setting up a couple women came into the tent with their shopping carts and started rummaging in my stuff asking for better prices.  I mean, COME ON - why are you in my tent blocking me from dong my work PLUS asking for better prices.  Not cool ladies.  Not cool. COMPLAIN COMPLAIN COMPLAIN.  

Friday morning I got up at 5:30.  It's funny how I never, ever get up early to go buy junk.  But I will get up at the crack of freaking down to go sell stuff.  Packed the food, lots of water and ice and headed out for the day.  The gates opened at noon and the lines were long both in the ticket line, the gate and on the highway.  It's always exciting when you see the people coming in droves.  It's a "If you build it, they will come" sort of thing.  This year the backyard behind the old farmhouse was opened up before the gates so that shoppers could hit the food trucks, buy a Junk Ranch t-shirt and listen to the band in the shade.  It was a good option for the early arrivals so they didn't have to stand in the hot sun in line.  They did have to tag team to keep their spots, but most people figured that out and handled it well. 

The gates opened at noon and here they came in like a flood!  Wheeee!  NOT COMPLAINING!

I had these old shopping carts in the shed for years.  A few weeks ago at a sale I bought the new liners for $1.00 each.  I cleaned up the carts, added the liner and put the #junkranchloot sign on the front for fun.  I set them out in front of the booth and the first guy in the gate bought one.  Then the crowds took over and it looked like someone had just left their cart sitting there, so I moved it and did the same thing on Saturday morning.  First lady in the gate bought it too.  Note to self - find more carts for next time!  

Time for booth photos!

I always set up two tables back to back and load them with vintage on one side and ephemera on the other side.

This side was out from under the tent and in the full sun.  I didn't sell a lot off of it.  Oh, I did sell quite a bit, but not enough to make a difference when it came to packing it back up.  But, I do cram a lot on there!  

The ephemera side.  I found that spinner rack for $1.00 and made packets of goodies to put on it out of my crafting stash.  

Lots of flash cards, bingo cards and the usual.  Most people just stand in this area and stare them tell me, "You have the CUTEST stuff!'  I appreciate that.  I know that Lara and I both have sort of different booths from a lot of the rusty and crusty, but not so different that we don't belong there either.  I hang my head in shame when I tell you that I do not have a single photo of Lara's booth. She had so much goodness  tons of signs, and her prints and a splash of vintage.  It was lovely and she sold a ton.  I am a bad, bad friend.  I usually walk around my booth visiting with customers and rearranging my items as they sell.  This time I mostly sat in my square foot of shade and tired not to pass out.  Literally.

Those Scrabble words - they still sell.  Not crazy like they used to - but enough to warrant taking that suitcase and throwing it out.  I opened a lot of packs to make certain words for people like names and special sayings.  I usually take the tin of letters, but I forgot this time.  

I had an odd area in front, so The Bean arranged extra crates and boards and made another set of shelves for me.  I sold that circus banner, which made me happy - love it when someone likes junk I make.  My homemade flashcards sold well.  The Dolores' Beauty Salon sign didn't sell, so I hung it in my bathroom.  I really wanted to keep it when I bought it, but thought I should try to sell it.  

See those framed flash cards in the middle?  Those were my best sellers.  

I had two bins of them.  I sold over half of what I took.  Very popular.  I bought the flash cards on Instagram and then another lot on ebay.  I buy the frames at Dollar Tree - they are certificate frames - 11 x 14.  They are thin black frames that highlight the flashcards perfectly.  Ordinarily I wouldn't buy frames from the Dollar Tree for reselling, but these are perfect.  They are also very hard to find.  I bought all I could find locally, then I ordered two cases to be shipped to the store.  Only one case ever came and in the case that did come, seven of the frames were broken.  Whomp  Whomp.  It took me forever to get my money returned, but I finally did.  They only carry them around graduation, but I will always be looking for some to pop up.  And when they do, I will buy all I can find.  They sold for $15.00 each and I could have probably put $20.00, but I hate to be overly greedy.  It was fun to hear why people chose the ones they did.  The "nap" one above went to a young couple to hang by their bed.  I had thought it would go in a nursery, but their plan made me even happier!

Here is the other side of the booth.  I took what I thought would sell this time of year - picnic, camping and outdoor things.  I did sell some of those things, but I really sold my usual different than the norm things.  The oddball things that I like to buy and sell.  I sold that white cabinet, the little denim jacket (it said HOWDY on it) and the three tiered plant stand.  That Lions sign got picked up a hundred times, but it didn't sell.  I had kind of a fat price on it, but justifiably so.  

This cabinet is from an old mechanics shop.  The shelves held the record books and the row of hooks held the keys.  There are still pencil marks noting 1949 Ford on one hook.  It has been in my garage for about fifteen years, I kid you not.  I decided to take it and sell it.  But then as I was using it for my displays, an idea came to me for a way to actually use it at home.  So, I stuck a SOLD sign on it and used it for display.  Those pop crates fit in there like drawers.  Pretty handy.  

I took nearly my entire Thermos collection, decided to give it up for the betterment of the family and to make money and all that crap.  Lucky for me, none of them sold, so they are right back on my shelf where they will stay!  Can't say I didn't try!   I did love the way they fit in that pallet wine rack though.  I picked that rack up for $1.99 and used some brass stencils to put WINE on it.  It sold as well as the white cart. Those lights were cars and campers - sold those for $18.00!  

That big fan sold as well as the little lawn chair.  Selling that little lawn chair was HARD.  It was so darling!  The lady that bought it said she has a thing for little chairs.  Likes to find different ones for her collection.  That made me happy because that is why I bought it!

Sold that small gumball machine.  The larger one didn't sell.

My booth is in the same town as the Junk Ranch and most people hit the shops before or after they come to the Junk Ranch.  I left a pile of my old pink business cards in my booth with a map to the Junk Ranch.  If they brought me a pink business card, I would give them a free gift.  On Saturday, three women came running in waving pink business cards at me.  I let them pick out one of those book cover clipboard as their gift and they loved them.  Those were the only three that I gave away, but it was an interesting experiment.  I did it last Fall and only two people followed through.  I think I will always do it just for fun.

Lara and I share a check out area.  The sun was beastly so Lara had the foresight to stop and buy a 9' umbrella on the way back on one of her load trips.  Since I am a big old copycat, I went and bought one later that night.  They really only made shade for a few hours, but they really saved our lives.  Best money spent ever.  

I had this area in the back on Friday, but I moved it all up to the front on Saturday.  Sold some toys and a lot of linens.  Linens seemed to be popular this year.  *See that ICE truck we sat behind all weekend?  Kind of ironic to be sweltering and wanting a cold drink of water to see the word ICE behind you all the time.  Getting ice for the food trucks was the most popular job amongst the Ranch Hands.  I would have volunteered in a heartbeat!

 The feedsack pendants.  I took the whole printers tray full - over 350 pendants.  I love the way it looks all full like colorful candies.  I always take too many, but it looks nice all in the tray.  I sold quite a few and got lots of compliments.

I use this antique feedsack chicken quilt that my great-great grandmother made to show what feedsacks are and to demonstrate what the pendants are made from - but everyone wants to buy the quilt.  Even when I say my GGGrandmother made it they want me to say a price.  Like I am going to say it's a family heirloom then say it's $10.00?  Not.  

I had the vintage candy package pendants too.  Little girls and college girls like them.  

Vintage cake decorations.  

Sold that 1000 FT sign to the first guy that bought the first cart on Friday morning.  On the shelf you can see the Formica Sample keychains that everyone LOVED on Instagram.  I sold about 25 of them on IG and everyone was so supportive that they would be HUGE at the Junk Ranch.  But, one lady deemed them "Weird" and that was the only comment I had on them all weekend.  Now, that sounds like I am WHINING or COMPLAINING, but it actually made me laugh.  It's funny how crowds are different and like different things.  I can sell something in one booth that would never sell in the other booth or sell it at the Junk Ranch but never on ebay.  It's such a hard thing to figure out!  (But it gives me an excuse to BUY ALL THE THINGS).

I had an old Church Pulpit for sale.  Sold to a lady to give as a gag gift to her husband for Father's Day.  Their niece recently got married out in a field with horses and hay bales and asked him to get Internet Ordained so he could do the ceremony.  He laughed and said you couldn't do such a thing, but then did a little research and discovered that for $16 and ten minutes, you really could - so he did! She said buying from his Amazon wishlist is too predictable.  I wonder what he will think when he gets a pulpit and not Game of Thrones?

I met lots of Instagram followers and a few blog readers.  Many of my favorite shoppers came by - Myra, Carrie and The Rose Bud Queen herself.  I have relationships with so many people that I only see out in that field.  They come to see Lara and I and to visit with us.  It really is such a fun weekend.  It's nice to feel liked and loved and hear nice comments about the things you have found, the things you have made and the way you have them displayed.  

I will say that when I left on Saturday night, I was so spent and sweaty and exhausted that I said I might not do another Junk ranch.  But Sunday morning, I started making notes for the next Show. September 30th.  It will be here before you know it!  

I feel very lucky to be a part of the Junk Ranch family and to be one of the vendors that has been there from the start.  The co-founder even called mE Monday to see how it went for me.  (Hi Amy!) I don't think most show organizers do that.  I could never do a show very far away, so I am lucky that it is so close to my house.  I made four round trips to the Junk Ranch and a run into town for dinner one night and I drove a total 60 miles.  That is awesome.  

So, there you have it.  

The Spring Junk Ranch.  Done.

The Spring Junk Ranch Blog post.  Done

Done and Done!

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