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.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Santa's Creeping In

Gosh, I never thought I 'd see that day that I had only blogged once a month.  So, I thought I better pop in here for a quickie before the month is over!  I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving.  It was just the three of us here and we didn't fix any Thanksgiving food. Well, we did have pie, because you know - PIE.  I was supposed to host a big dinner on Sunday, but we are all fighting the crud - The Bean has it full blown - and I don't want my parents to all be around germs, so we postponed it.  Well, I postponed it, but both sets of parents just said to not worry about it and we will celebrate big for Christmas.  I guess that's fine.  But, I hate to miss any holiday with all of us together.  Plus, I am hankering for smoked TURKEY and mashed potatoes with loads of butter.  And more pie.  Because, PIE.  Luckily, I already bought all that, so as soon as everyone is feeling 100% we shall have that turkey.  And pie.  :)

Thanksgiving Day I drug out the porch decorations and got all my Santa blow molds set up.  Today I finished up the lights.  We used to do lights all along the roof line, but now I just do the inset porch.  I know that blow molds can be considered tacky to some that don't understand them COOLNESS of them, so I try to keep it all contained and together.  It has a nice glow from the street and I have noticed a few cars stopping to look.  I leave the big red "S" up all year for our last name, but I leave it up for Christmas for "SANTA".  

I'm sure it might still look like a crazy bunch to some people, but it just makes my heart sing.  I do love my Santa's.  I feel like I am really behind in decorating, but there's still five days left in November.  I have been itching to decorate for months (I kid you not) so the fact that it is actually time is VERY EXCITING TO ME!  Tomorrow I will drag in all the bins and let the fun begin.  

Last year I bought a white tree.  I have never had a white tree - have you?  I am wondering if it is really bright or puts off heat? That may sound silly, but we have a small, well insulated house and sometimes the heat of the tree really heats up the living room.  I think a white tree with all my vintage ornaments will be so pretty.  But, I don't want to be all blind and sweaty.  LMK if you have a preference, please.  

Off to bed with some Vicks.  You guys take care and thanks for stopping by.

PS I am having a vintage Christmas sale on Instagram on Monday. I'll have vintage Christmas, vintage handmade and other fun stuff.  Follow me on Instagram @sharamonkeybox  

Monday, November 06, 2017

That Other Show I Talked About

I did a Vintage Holiday Market this past weekend.  I have wanted to do a Christmas market for a few years, but hadn't found one that was affordable or close enough that I could do it.  Then I found this one and it was only 10 minutes from my house.  That was good.  The bad part was that it is sort of a competitor to my beloved Junk Ranch.  But, since I had already done the Junk Ranch and there wouldn't be another one until June, I decided that I would give it a try.  Honestly, I almost made myself sick over deciding to do it or not.  I am fiercely loyal to the Junk Ranch and all of these newer copycat pop up shows keep coming along and copying everything TJR does.  I get so riled up you would think that I was an owner!  I had pulled out the best of the best for The Junk Ranch.  I truly only took my leftovers and some things that I had depleted like Christmas flash cards and a few other handmade things. 

The show was inside.  That was one perk.  Level floors where I could build a display anyway I wanted and it wouldn't blow over or get dirty.  The downside was going to be walking each crate, board and table in and that would take a good amount of time  We got there early on Thursday to carry everything in and to set up.  That's when I discovered the biggest perk.....I could DRIVE INSIDE the BUILDING!  I drove in, right to my spot and we unloaded in less than ten minutes. So fast!  People that arrived after a lot of us had set up couldn't do that, so I was glad we had gotten there early enough to drive in.  I had all my diagrams drawn out because I am a total worrywart when it comes to shows and setting up my merchandise for peak eye appeal and to get LOTS of stuff in my section.  

Because I knew exactly how I wanted it set up, I was unloaded and completely done in about two hours.  Not having to deal with the canopy, walls, weights, etc. was a real time saver.  I was super happy with how it turned out after I was done.  

Lara brought in those three signs to add some big pieces to my area.  Most of what I had was super small this time.  I had to get every single thing there in one load and back home in one load.  I did it!  Well, that's not entirely true.  I gave eight crates away to a lady across from me that had admired their usefulness.  I have about 100 of them in my backyard (My Dad gets them for free and I sell them for him), so I was happy to share them and not have to haul them back home!

Let's have a look around.  

Big wire baskets full of vintage Christmas ornaments and crafty bits.  I love using that three tiered wire basket for display.  I honestly don't sell a lot out of it, but it holds the extra things that I am unsure how to display like beaded and candy garland and honeycomb.  I think I sold about ten things out of those wire baskets.  

Each crate or cubby had a theme or a vignette.  Santa mugs here. Not a one sold.

More Santa's here.  The two Annalee's sold.  

I like to fill up a space, then fill it up some more.  :D  I completely sold out of those Christmas flashcards at the Junk Ranch.  I sold 25 packs.  So, I made 25 more.  I sold one pack and that went to a lady that had come to the Junk Ranch after I had sold out.  Most people picked them up, thumbed through them and made a face - like what are these.  What would you do with these?  It was such a different crowd.  The monk choir in the back sold. And that Santa head with the big beard.

I had nearly sold of of vintage ornaments, so I worked really hard to find a bunch of new ones for this show.  Not a single box sold.  (Are you starting to sense a theme here?)

I sold out of cookie cutter garlands at the Junk Ranch, so of course I made more.  They did not sell.  One customer said they were a genius idea.  Then followed that up by saying she was going to have her Pre-K class make some.  So, apparently, my crafting ability is on a four year old level.  Nothing in this photo sold.

This was on the other side.  I used both of my banners which was probably too much, but I usually can't, so I did.  I sold a few red and green handled kitchen utensils.  There is an odd nutcracker in there and I swear to you, every single person that walked by picked it up and looked at it.  We made bets when someone would come by - will they pick up the nutcracker?  YES!  Take a shot.  Ha.  

I turned my domino pendants into ornaments complete with mercury glass beads. A couple people looked at them, commented on the fact that they are dominoes and went on to the next booth.  I head, "We could make those" more than a few times.  UGH, UGH, UGH.  Don't say that EVER!  Think it, make a note of it, write it down.  But DO NOT EVER SAY IT OUT LOUD.  Sure, they aren't rocket science.  But they are MY idea.  I scanned old packages that I found out in the wild,  I figured out the program on my computer to make them shrink to fit.  I found the old dominoes.  I researched and found just the right adhesive,  Spoiler alert - it isn't Elmer's glue.  I learned how to glaze them so there is a raised surface, how to carve the edges and on and on.  They can try to make them, but they won't be like mine.

Thanksgiving flashcards.  Guess how many I sold!  If you guessed, "Not a damn one" *DING*DING* you win!

Beautiful vintage ornaments gathered in old berry boxes.  Sold 43 at the Junk Ranch.  But, this weekend I sold......say it with me...."Not a damn one!"

My only new addition to this show were snow globe necklaces.  

Tiny green bottle brush trees.

And a few of the sweetest little PINK trees.

How many did I sell?


I did put them on Instagram and sold a few. 

The show was Friday from 12-9 which was entirely TOO late.  Saturday was 10-7 which made us load in the pitch freaking dark.  There was a Razorback football game a few miles up the road and everyone had to drive by the show on the way.  I thought that would be GREAT for business.  But, they came to waste a little time before the game.  Not to shop.  They had to save their money for their $25 Popcorn and Coke at the game.  Also, most of them just did not "get" the vintage thing even though the word VINTAGE was clearly part of the show's name.  I got a few "yard sale stink faces" at my stuff.  I did have a good amount of people that came in all smiles and LOVED it all. Memories, mentions of Mom and Grandma - the stuff that makes me love doing what I do.  They got it, they loved it.  They bought something.  That was good.

Rent was $150 and I sold about $200.  Not worth the time by far.  Oh the things I could have done with those two days instead of sitting there.  On Saturday, I got so bored that I listed things on ebay, Etsy and Instagram.  Nearly everyone around me was doing the same thing.  I brought a stack of magazines, read them and passed them on.  I saw those magazines made the rounds to ALL the booths.  "Would you like a magazine?  "OH YES! THANK GOD."  Sheer boredom.

So, lesson learned.  Stick with what I love and what I know is the BEST SHOW EVER - my JUNK RANCH.  (Love you Amy.)  I am done with shows so I am a free woman now.  Bring on the turkeys, bring on the Santa's!  You would think I would be sick to death of Christmas, but I am DYING to see my pretties. I have sold so much this year - I forget that I own the best stuff.  HOARDER and proud of it! 

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