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.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Junk Ranch #9: The Rundown

I survived another Junk Ranch!  It was actually the best Junk Ranch ever for me in sales, meeting great people and generally having a great time. 

Tuesday I went to rent the U-haul Van.  Now, I am an adult, but I get really nervous doing grown up things.  I just didn't think they were really going to hand me over the keys to a vehicle just like that.  But, they did!  It was raining and I am not a big fan of driving in the rain, but I was a BIG GIRL and I drove that giant van all the way home NO PROBLEMO.  I rented it on Tuesday so we could half load up that day, then finish Wednesday in the morning, then go out and set up the tent and tables so we would be ready to just set up the merchandise on Thursday.  But, Wednesday was a wet drizzly mess so I lost a whole day getting loaded up.  Thursday we loaded up, went out and did most of the set up.  Instead of it being cool and drizzly, it was hot and muggy.  Absolutely miserable.  Now, about 75% of my booth was vintage Christmas and the idea of anyone buying Christmas in 90 degree heat sounded pretty far fetched.  I was getting nervous. 

Friday was hot too, but not as muggy, so that helped a little.  I finished up the last bits in the booth seconds before the air horn sounded to pen the gates and release the shoppers.  Three - two - one and here they came.  And, I swear to you - my booth and Lara's too, were packed within seconds.  I had people lined up to pay for about forty-five straight minutes.  One lady had things in her wagon and asked me if I would mind adding it up in there instead of taking it all out.  When I went over - the entire wagon was FULL!  Plus she had already gotten a white ceramic Christmas tree and The Bean was bubble wrapping it for her.  She bought some of almost everything I had made, plus a lot of vintage Christmas.  She had told her friends that when the gates opened, she was RUNNING to Shara's booth.  I don't think she reads the blog - but she had been watching my Instagram posts and knew just what she wanted to buy in my booth.  She spent $275.00 which is there record for anyone to spend in my booth!  I wish I would have gotten a photo of her with that wagon full of goodies.  But, I was so busy with customers waiting that I just had to go on.  

I want to say that when I saw all of the things in her wagon, I was so proud.  Proud that the things that I had found, or the ideas that I had come up with were appreciated by someone.  I don't mean for that to sound big headed, because I'm not like that at all.  But, I sit on the floor in the living room and watch old reruns of Friends and package up ornaments that I think are old and unusual, then I have to guess on a good price and package them up or whatever and I'm never sure if anyone will think that what I have is good junk or just junk.  I always put more time into my things than money.  I have time to fluff and foof and organize and package.  I enjoy that part.  When others see and appreciate what I think is good stuff, it makes me SO VERY HAPPY.

Saturday morning when we got to the field the rain started.  Not really rain, but enough of a drizzle and mist that I couldn't put out most of my things since they were paper and plastic.  The gates opened at 9:00, and the people still poured in and they were ready to shop!  Luckily, within the hour, the skies cleared and it was a beautiful day.  The line of cars coming in was non-stop from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm.

The shoppers on Friday and on Saturday are as different as day and night.  The Friday shoppers come for specific things.  They have lists and carts.  They are first in line and they RUN to certain booths to get the things they have seen posted on social media.  They have been on Pinterest and have ideas of things to make so they are on the lookout for those things.  Saturday means families a bit later in the morning.  They all have pocket money to spend and they buy what appeals to them.  A little here, a little there.  The kids have money and they are shopping too.  There was a little boy on Saturday that bought one Scrabble tile for 50 cents.  I wanted to give it to him, but I could tell him Mama was giving him a lesson on economics.  He had whatever amount of money he had and he could buy things until it was gone.  He had bought a button, a car and a scrabble tile, so I am pretty sure he was dealing with a dollar.  He paid for that Scrabble tile and tucked it into his pocket, happy as a clam.  (Exactly how happy are clams, I wonder?)

Okay, let's talk about what doesn't sell.  Halloween.  Oh, I sold the two blowmolds I had, and about a dozen handmade banners, but not much else. 

I did sell a few pieces and a few necklaces.  And the cookie cutter garlands.   And all the flashcards.  Well, I guess I sold more than I realized now that I look at the photos.  Still, it took ups a lot of room for no more than I sold.  The handmade banners fly out on Friday.  Just like in June.  Didn't sell a single banner on Saturday.  Just like June.  Weird. I sold a dozen on Friday, none on Saturday.

Another reason that the Halloween might not sell is that I have SO MUCH CHRISTMAS.  It pretty much takes over the whole booth and is all you see when you approach.  Let's have a look!

This is the side that showed as the people came (ran!) through the gates.  I am the very first vendor inside the gate.  So, I try to make a display that shows from the outside and goes around in and about so they can come in and meander.  My booth flows right into Lara's and people assume it is one big booth which I take as a compliment but is probably an insult to Lara's cute booth.  

One of the things I was short on was good ornaments in boxes.  I didn't have enough to make dozens, so I picked out three to six that matched or coordinated and nestled them in shredded paper in a berry basket and priced them accordingly.  I had forty three baskets and only had five when the show was over.  Now, the funny thing is that I took all 43 of them last Fall and not a single one sold.  I had them in the berry baskets, then in a cellophane bag to protect them.  I took them out of the bags and just lined up the berry baskets on the table.  I guess it worked, because they sold! I even came home Friday and made a few more out of just simple colored Shiny Brites and the sold too.  

I sold nearly every box of ornaments I had too.  Looking at these photos is interesting.  I see so much that sold. 

As the day progressed - and I mean about an hour into the show, I realized that I was making money and didn't need to sell a couple of the things that I brought in as money makers.  The Santa got pulled for my collection.  I had only paid $1.00 for him and I collect them.  So, there!  I had a Nativity blowmold set that sold to another vendor before we even opened.

That old toolbox has been to the Junk ranch the last three times.  No one ever even looks at it.  Probably because I usually put so much crap in it and on it.  It makes a great display item.  So, if it doesn't ever sell, I'm okay with that. 

That old pastel was painted in the 1950's by the choir teacher.  The boys names are on the back and it's signed by the teacher.  It's just too big for my house, but I just KNOW someone is going to love it someday. 


Inside, under the tent.  Little things here and there.  That Santa candy container was one of the things that I really didn't want to sell, but I really do't need it, but I really wanted it.......so, I put a fat price on it and waited to see what happened.  Then, a big wind came up and he it the ground and his feet popped off.  Sounds like an easy fix and a reason to keep him to me!

I had been collecting Santa mugs all year for the show.  But, only two sold.  Is it possible that the Santa mug love is over.  SAY IT AIN'T SO, JOE!  Nearly all that little stuff sold.  

Oh, the white ceramic tree.  I had posted it on Instagram and people were ravenous for it.  Offers to pre-pay, offers to come pick it up.  But, I had tagged it #junkranchloot so I wanted it to be at the show.  I priced it $68 which is a very good price for it.  I didn't want to ship it, even though it would have sold for a lot more.  Besides, there is something about seeing the buyer when they get it - that is priceless.  She was SO happy.  Honestly, I don't see the love for those things.  But, I am happy that people DO like them and that I can find them for them.  

I had this old herb drying rack and attached rope to it and a million clothespins to hold all the bagged ornaments.  But, it took up a lot of extra room outside my tent and I felt that wasn't fair, plus people were walking right past it.  I took the ornaments off, put them in big flat baskets for digging, and BOOM there they went.  The big carolers in the back sold to my friends that own Flamingo Springs.

I did take things other than Christmas.  I had my farmhouse area.  I do hate that dumb tent leg in the way.  Lots of farmhouse kitchen stuff.  

I made all these milkcap prize ribbon vases.  I think they are super cute.  If I do say so myself.  :)  The WWII Food Posters well pretty well in my booth and at The Junk Ranch.  There is a popular local blogger that has a similar one in her kitchen.  I think that helps sell it, but I don't know for sure.  

Red and green utensils are popular again with the farmhouse folks.  I had bought a nice lot of really pristine green handled utensils from a IG account and my girl Chanelle (ambrose on here) found me a lot of good red utensils in Chicago.  I had about $60.00 in them with shipping, but I sold about 80% of them and most were $15-$22 each.  So, that was a good investment.  

Cute stuff and ephemera under the tent in the shade, thus the dark photo.  

I keep waiting for the Scrabble words to die out, but people still love them.  

Cute baby things and toys.  Kewpies always sell.  Old wooden toys sell too.  Dolls?  People seem to be scared of dolls.  I don't get it.  

The backside, leading into Lara's booth.  I didn't fill it up as much as usual.  But, it looked good and I sold a lot.  

I bought the souvenir plates for the booth, but took them to TJR first and sold almost all of them.  Good to know!

Cute stuff again, because why not?

For some reason, I get presents at the Junk Ranch.  

Presents from Lara.  I mean, WHY WOULD SHE GIVE ME THIS FABULOUS STUFF?  That garland.  I want to be draped in it when I die.  Ugh.  

Stuff I bought.  Old seals for $1.00 a book and I traded some honeycomb for the trucks from another vendor.  I had taken about twenty different vehicles with trees tied on the top and sold them all.  I need more!  :)

More presents.  These are from my friend Kristie that shares a booth with Lara.  My love of Annalee runs deep!

These are gifts from the Rose Bud Queen.

I met her years ago at the Junk Ranch when she bought this beauty queen trophy from me.  Her intent was to hide it in her sock drawer and years later when the family cleaned out her stuff, they would be impressed that Grandma was a Beauty Queen!  Ha!  She has since become a friend of mine.  She recently went on a trip to Norway and brought me back a rock and some sand.  I love rocks form different places and have always asked for one when anyone travels.  She gave me her super special HEART shaped rock after she found out I collect heart shaped rocks.  (What don't I collect....)  

People are so sweet to me.  Thank you Lara, Kristie and Kelly.  

So, I am doing another show the first weekend in November.  I've never done another show so I don't know what to expect.  But, I will just take me vintage and set up as usual.  Fingers crossed!  

Oh yes- Junk Ranch money made a down payment on a new car.  New to us.  Only 30,000 miles, so that's new enough.  

Thanks for reading all this and coming along on my Junk Ranch journey!

Friday, October 13, 2017

In the Works

I'm working on a Junk Ranch post if anyone has come here looking for the rundown.  And, if you have, in fact come here for that, you need to get a hobby!  I KID!  I'm running behind, the house is still a big old mess, I'm trying to get my head above water before my next show November 3-4th.  WHEW! 

It's coming!  PS We bought a CAR too. 
Busy, busy, busy!

Thursday, October 05, 2017

My Fifteen Minutes

As you may know, Lara is a feature writer for the state-wide newspaper.  She writes about people that run the homeless shelter, help preemie babies, help homeless people, feed schoolchildren, and the list goes on and on of the stories of the fabulous people that she has shared with our area.  

For some crazy reason, she decided that I would make a good story.  I thought it was a small human interest story in the wayback section of the paper.  But, it was for the Free Weekly that is distributed throughout our area.  And, to top it off - my story was the cover story.  Whut the whut?  

The story is a fun read, if I do say so myself.  But, Lara has a writing knack that would make her description of paint drying fascinating and funny.  :)  She is very talented.  

So, here it is - my fifteen minutes of fame.

There are a lot more photos in the print version.  If I wasn't exhausted from Junk Ranch set up, I would scan it for you.  Maybe next week.  

Until then...GOOD NIGHT.  I have a huge weekend.

And, thank you Lara for making me feel like there's a reason I am the way I am.  

I Can See You!

Look at my Visitors!

Fellow Junk Followers