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 13, 2018

Holly Jolly Junk Ranch Recap

I survived the Holly Jolly Junk Ranch.  


(That is called Foreshadowing)

On Tuesday on the week of The Junk Ranch, I took my personal blowmold collection out to the property and built a photo op area right inside the front gate.  

The sled and chair belong to The Junk Ranch, but the rest is mine.  

The old bike was sitting there too, so I added a snowman family taking a ride.  It was very cute and it was a hit with the customers on Friday as they came in the gate.  

Since I was on the property Tuesday, I was able to set up my tent and tables, then make trips with merchandise on Wednesday and Thursday in my car - so no van rental this time. The van is handy - but costly to keep the entire five days.  So, it was nice to be able to do it in stages.  The Breadman had offered to bring the giant box truck out on Saturday night so we could just load up will-nilly and be done quickly.  It wasn't to be over until 7:00, so in the dark and cold loading needed to be FAST.  So, he agreed to help, even though he had decided in the Spring that he didn't want to do that anymore.  Don't ask - I have no idea.  

Friday the gates opened at 10:00 for early shopping, then general admission at noon.  There was a line at 10:00 - not the usual long, long line like in the Spring and Fall, but still a good amount of people.  As I was in my booth finishing up, I could hear them talking in line and I heard my name.  A lot.  Like a REAL lot.  When the air horn sounded that the gates were open, the people came in like cattle.  Straight to MY booth.  It was insane!  I had people grabbing things they had spotted on FB and IG that they came specifically hoping to buy.  The line to pay was out of my tent plus people were still shopping.  When it finally slowed down - I looked at the time and it had only been 55 minutes!   I don't normally count money, but I did a quick count and I had sold over $700 in that first 55 minutes.  

This is the backside of the booth.  
The Bean snapped a few right before we opened but I never did get any of the inside.  

I shopped carefully for this hot cocoa, plaid throw display.  I thought it turned out great.  That sign was just for sale - I put the Breakfast with Santa on it to give it personality.  I can't tell you how many people asked where the Breakfast with Santa was going to be. I mean, the field is full of painted signs that say BAKERY and FLORIST.  Are people asking them for doughnuts and flowers?  I don't get it.  I ended up stripping it off and putting a clever "THIS SIGN FOR SALE" on it.  

The side customers saw when they came in the gate.  This was Thursday before my neighbors had set up their booth.  

All the vintage.  SO MUCH!

My first customer was Kelly, aka The Rosebud Queen, who bought an armload of stuff but came hoping to get this upcycled pink painting that I had done.  She's so silly - she made me sign the back. Like I'm an artist or something.  

These ladies bought my ornament encrusted wreath.  
They loved it.  I loved them for loving it!

The pink truck full of vintage pink goodies sold later in the day to this nice lady.  It's funny that I ask to take photos of people, but I refuse to have my own taken.  :D

It was a record first day for me.  In fact, I surpassed the entire Fall Show in that one day.  I was pumped.  Saturday was a huge day in town with a Civil War reenactment plus Santa was coming and people were going to be shopping like crazy.  It was going to be a great day.  

The ladies of the Junk Ranch had worked so hard to decorate the property.  The old farmhouse was so cute all lit up.  

The blowmold Santas were fun lit up at night.  

We were supposed to stay open until 7:00, but there was rain and possible storms in the forecast.  We all started moving things in under our tents about 5:30 just in case it rained.  About 6:00, lightening started getting very close, we all shut down and got in our cars to leave.  My tent is always staked to the ground, plus we have weights on each leg and they are staked to the ground.  We added rope from the grommets on the canopy down to more stakes to the ground.  I have walls that come down to the ground, so we put everything under the tent, zipped up the walls and went home.  It was all very tight and secure.  

I was literally running to the car (I don't run) when I tried to get a photo of the old barn, truck and camper.  It was dark and the lightening was really hitting close.  It was scary.  

It rained hard on the way home, but then it stopped.  I watched the weather and the bad storm activity was going South and was missing us.  I took a shower and got in bed about 11:00, but when I checked the weather one more time - a new storm was headed straight for us.  It rained.  Lord, it rained.  Then the winds came.  I have never heard wind so strong and loud.  I was thinking so hard about my tent and my merchandise, that it occurred to me that the house could very well go so I better pay attention to what was happening.  The wind continued for hours.  It was so scary and so upsetting.  I never did go to sleep - I stayed up watching the weather and checking Facebook to see if there was any word on The Junk Ranch.  
About 3:30, there was a Facebook post - "Vendors we are on the grounds doing our best.  If you have an outside canopy - it is mostly likely gone or heavily damaged.  Come as soon as you can"  My heart sank.  I jumped up, put in my contacts, threw on some clothes and I was out there a little after 4:00.  I was envisioning it all gone like you see on TV after a tornado.  Wiped clean.  Just as I was almost there, Amy from the JR texted that my canopy as partially off and to come as soon as I could.  I texted that I was almost there.  I couldn't imagine was I was going to find or see.  I wasn't ready for what I did see.  

My tent.  
All my things I had worked so hard to find and to create.  

It all looked like trash.  There was stuff on the ground.  It was wet or muddy or had grass all over it or all three.  It was so upsetting.  But, what could I do other than just tackle it?  Amy came to my tent and she was so overcome with emotions that she couldn't even speak.  I was upset and sad.  But, no one was hurt.  People could have been killed if it happened during the day.  It could have taken out our homes and our families.  We were all okay.  My tent was the only one that held.  But, the rain soaked the ground which made one stake pull out in the wind, which took the canopy partially off.  A Ranch Hand named Chris had tarped my booth immediately when they found it to save what we could.  I owe a lot to him, Amy and Julie! One leg on my tent has a crease in it, so I am hoping I can get that fixed. Thanks to The Bean, it held.  I am still amazed.  

Most people had lost their tents - like blown a hundred feet away  - furniture was tossed around, the porta potties had all flipped over, the glass nut roaster counters flipped and broke - there was so much damage.  But, oddly enough?  The Santa blowmolds were all perfectly in their spots - not one had moved an inch.  The Bean had screwed and ziptied them to the house, but the wind must have gone the other direction and saved them.  Honesty, if I would have lost them, I would have been sick.  

I threw away a lot.  Mostly vintage Christmas.  I tried to salvage as much as possible.  

I discovered that when Shiny Brites get wet, the color comes off of them.  That color runs off in the water and that colored water stains.  EVERYTHING.  So, the ornaments had to go, the vintage boxes, the stuff the color ran on to - all of it.  I had a bunch of Hershey's tins that were holding water.  I knew they would rust and/or get mold - so they all went.  The dress form was made of hundreds of layers of newpaper - it swelled up and was a mess.  So, it had to go.  Some of it I might had been able to salvage, but it was a wet rainy day and I didn't have anywhere to spread a thousand things out to dry.  I didn't want mold in the garage, so I just tossed it.  Luckily, most of my handmade stuff had sold the day before and what was left, somehow was perfectly fine.  I didn't have that van and the truck was being used to deliver bread, so we had to load up and make multiple trips home.  But, we got it all done. 

When it was all cleaned up and in the car, I took a look and saved all these little pieces off the ground.  It's all very me and very Holly Jolly Junk Ranch.  

Here are the blowmolds safe and sound on my own porch again.  I keep waiting for them to get stolen or blown away because wouldn't that just be ironic?

As I was pulling off the property Saturday, a couple came in the gate.  I could tell they were confused - no one was taking money (there was a sign that said Event Cancelled, but it had fallen over) and there was a lack of tents and people.  She walked over to me and said, "What's the deal?"  I said that the event had been cancelled due to the weather.  She started shaking and threw her hands up and said, "Well, isn't that JUST terrific?  We drove alllll the way from Fayetteville for NOTHING?????"  (Fayetteville is like ten minutes away, by the way)  I said, "The vendors lost their tents.  Some lost some merchandise.  Some lost everything.  Some are out of business now.  People could have been killed."  She was having none of that.  Never mind that I had been up for 30 straight hours at that point or that I had thrown away a third of my inventory and half of what I had saved was soggy.  SHE had been inconvenienced.  And she was pissed.  PISSED.  I was tired and on the verge of tears.  She just stood there berating me personally and I so badly wanted to push her.  Push her hard right into that mud trench that I had made walking back and forth to my car over and over loading all that wet stuff.  She had on white pants.  It would have been epic.  (Also, who wears WHITE pants to a grassy field after a HUGE rainstorm???)

I didn't push her. Instead, I got in my car and as I looked in the backseat and the muddy, grass covered tables, wet tablecloths and a mud soaked Santa head - It suddenly struck me funny - her rudeness, her lack of caring and that she was being so selfish.  I laughed until I cried.  It was cathartic, I tell you.  Laughter is the best medicine. 

I was home by noon, but I am told that people in town came out to lend a hand with tear down and clean-up.  There are a lot of wonderful caring people in the community.  Thank goodness.  My doorbell rang shortly after I got home and it was a Domino's delivery from Lara.  She had sent us food to feed our tired minds.  Such a sweet thing to do.  <3 nbsp="" p="">

So, the event didn't go as planned.  For me, it was still a success.  I had a great day of sales.  People were so fun and so friendly.  I did lose things, but nothing that I can't find again or make again.  Vintage Christmas is my favorite thing to shop for and to create with so this venue was totally my wheelhouse.  I think we'll try it again.  I mean, it usually doesn't storm like that in December, so why not give it another go?  

Monday, November 12, 2018

Thought I "Butter" Blog

When I signed up for the Holly Jolly Junk Ranch - I was SO over the heat I thought being outside the first weekend in December sounded so refreshing.  Now, today it is November 12th and it is 20 degrees outside AND we had our first snow of the year!  Actually the first snow of about the last three years.  So, now the idea of a show outside in three weeks is completely FREAKING ME OUT.  What will we do if it is 20 degrees or snowing or there is ice?  Holy guacamole.  

This is such a busy, crazy time with Junk Ranch prep, Thanksgiving prep, decorating for Christmas plus just all the usual daily chores and commitments.  I'm really about organized for The Junk Ranch except for a few last minute things plus hitting the thrifts in hopes of finding some more vintage.  I'm going to decorate next week -which is the earliest I have ever decorate -but I am ready, so why not.  It seems to me that everyone is ready for Christmas to happen this year.  I think this world we live in is so tumultuous that we just want to be home safe with the family, hot cocoa in your favorite cup, Elf on the TV, the tree glistening and just be safe and happy.  I know that's what I want - for all the busyness to end and to just be and enjoy.  And eat fudge.  :)

I've been hitting the thrifts in search of vintage Christmas and had very little luck.  I even resorted to going to a few flea market and vintage shops in search of vintage Christmas.  I found a few old Santa's and a nice big jar of old mercury glass garland, so that was good.  I paid $15.00 for the garland - which seemed like a complete FORTUNE to me.  But, there ended up being 16 strands in the jar so it was actually a pretty good deal.

Yesterday I stopped at a new to me shop on the hunt.  I didn't find any Christmas, but I did pick up FIFTY vintage butter boxes.  They have a great look to them and they will be great fodder for the Junk Ranch at a couple bucks a box.  They look great mixed in with vintage Thanksgiving turkeys.

Speaking of Thanksgiving - I put all my turkeys on the corner cabinet that usually houses my mammoth pottery collection.  About a month ago, the outside faucet decided not to turn off (hang with me - it'll make sense!) so I had to have a plumber some out the next morning. I showed him the outside faucet and then I came inside while he fixed it.  Imagine my surprise when he knocked on the door and told me that he would need to cut a hole in the wall right behind the shelf of pottery!  Yikes!  So, I had to box up the pottery and move the shelf immediately with no planning.  It was a hassle, but it actually put me ahead of schedule for getting ready to decorate for Christmas.  So, it worked out in the end.  Plus, it gave me a great place for the turkey collection!

I love the old Pepsi crate full of chalk turkeys.  I had to add the two wire baskets to fill up the space because one by one, the cats were laying on the shelves.  That was not super helpful.  

Well, this is a totally random post, but it's all I have for now.  I'll be back with a Holly Jolly Junk Ranch recap and HOPEULLY some vintage Christmas finds.  

Happy Thanksgiving friends!  

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Junk Ranch 2018 Fall Edition

Ah, Fall Junk Ranch - pumpkins, mums, vintage Christmas, wool throws, camping gear - temperatures in the mid 90's...  What, the what?  It was another blazer last week.  Thursday I was out on the field all day doing my set-up.  By 4:00, I was feeling really bad.  I had a bout of heat exhaustion a few weeks ago and I seem to be bothered by the heat even quicker since then.  Everyone was complaining about the heat though.  It was rough.  And now, oddly enough - one week to the day later it is 50 degrees outside.  It's a clear crisp sunny day and the shoppers would have been loading UP!  They were shopping - I sold a lot.  It was a good weekend.  But, I think fall temps would have made it even better.  But, this is Arkansas so who knows what the weather will bring. 

I decided to make some vintage Christmas crafts and try them out at The Junk Ranch.  It was a long hot summer, so I stayed in the A/C and made Christmas crafts.  

I bought this PINK Tonka truck from an IG friend and stuffed it with all the PINK vintage it would hold.  It was admired a lot on Instagram and lots of people liked it, but it didn't sell.  I did have it kind of hidden to protect it from little hands and the sun, so that may be part of it.  

This fun spice tin sold, plus several others I made but forgot to photograph.

I had a bunch of old Shiny Brites that were either broken or not in great condition, so I put them in a big glass jar with a Superball and smashed them into homemade glass glitter.  I loved the look of these trees in the sun - they sparkled!!

I had the idea for these old spools of threads and I got a little carried away making them. But, a lot of them sold at $5 each, so that made me happy.

I found these little campers at Dollar General in the Spring, so I ordered a couple cases of them to decorate.  I sold all but about eight out of 24, I think.  

With the heat, I was nervous about selling vintage Christmas, because that was about 80% of what took to sell!  But, everyone seemed to love it and buy a lot.  WHEW!

I like to build nice high displays with lots of little vignettes in each area. People just stand there for the longest time, looking at it all.  I love that.  

I sold that cute snowman.  He sat on my dryer for almost a year and now I sort of miss his smiling face.  

Santa mugs.  I bought that drying rack just for the Santa mug display.  I thought it looked pretty cute.  

My ode to Winter and coziness.  I ended up moving it on Saturday and putting Halloween there.  No one wanted to haul a wool throw around.  

I had a Farmhouse/Harvest/Thanksgiving area.  Ironstone, turkey platters, baking stuff.  

I pile it up and pile it on.

It just seems more fun than a sparse booth.  

Chickens always sell.

More Christmas.  Everyone picked up those punch cups and asked how much.  When I told them it was a set with the punch bowl, they would put them back. I was so scared one would break.  Now, 99.9% of the people are SO nice and having FUN and love looking at things.  But, I had one lady come through that was SO rude.  First, she flicked my vintage ornament boxes one by one and said quite LOUDLY, "I like the pretty ones at Dillard's.  Not these OLD things." Uh, then why are you at the JUNK RANCH and not at the MALL???  Then she picked up the punch cup and asked how much.  I told her it was a set and she said, "It is NOT a set - it does NOT MATCH.  I wouldn't want anything like that anyway!" and then she slammed the cup down on the table on top of my GLASS snowglobe necklaces.  Nothing broke, but I seriously wanted to ask her to leave my booth.  I wonder if that's allowed?  Every year, I have one memory of a rude person and a million memories of great people.  Great stories are to follow below.  

Here are the snowglobe necklaces.  I sold quite a few of them which made me so happy.  Selling things you thought of and made is doubly exciting.  

These photos are dark because there was much needed shade under the canopy.

Homemade flashcards.  I really got carried away and made a ton of these for every holiday.  I sold out of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is good.  

More things I made - the xylophone is hard so see - it had a Santa and vintage goodies on it - it sold the first ten minutes.  

Scrabble tiles have run their run, I think.  They were so popular a few shows ago.  I think I sold $5 worth this time.  That's okay - they are a pain to keep organized.  There were globes in every booth this year.  I think I will add a Santa and sleigh on top of this one.  


My new Instagram friend, Tara came and bought this Mercedes with Santa and an elf in it.  I love it when customers let me take their photos with their purchases.  Evie bought a squeak duck too.  I love kid customers.  

Speaking of which - this little nugget had $60 to spend and decided on this dollhouse and some furniture for it.  She spent about an hour sitting in the grass, carefully choosing which furniture she wanted for the dollhouse.  Everyone enjoyed watching her shop and her smile was the BEST.  After the sale was completely finished, I found out that I knew her Aunt and Uncle, but I had no idea who she was as I took this photo.  She really made my day. 

Every year, I look for a Christmas show to sell my wares.  I tried one  last year, which was run by a competitor of The Junk Ranch - I knew better, but I had SO much inventory and there wasn't a Junk Ranch Christmas option, so I did what I thought I needed to do. The show was badly run, too small and not enough "vintage" even though the work "vintage" was right in the title of the show.  This year, I have lots of leftover inventory, more craft supplies to make more creations and ideas a'plenty, so what will I do????

I'll tell you what I will do - I will be selling at the 1st ever HOLLY JOLLY JUNK RANCH!!!!  Whoop!  It's Nov. 30-Dec. 1st, which can be dicey in Arkansas.  You could literally need to wear anything from shorts to a parka.  It will be held during the Civil War Re-enactment weekend, which is a bustling weekend full of people in uniform walking the streets of downtown and at the Battlefield Park.  It should be great fun.  I will be taking my personal Santa blowmold collection to display for a photo op area on the old farmhouse.  There will be lights and decorations and we will be open in the day and night time, so I am on the hunt for ideas for lighting.  I literally had three days off from one Junk Ranch, and I am jumping in for another.  I don't think I will ever see my Halloween decorations this year.  It seems odd to put pumpkins out when I am in full blown Christmas spirit!  

I appreciate the emails and texts worried about me since it has been so long since I blogged.  I have just been really busy with shopping, making and selling.  I will never stop blogging - it just might be a time in between posts.  I do love to write and I do love this blog and I do love those of you that still come around to see what I have written.  <3 nbsp="" p="">

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

What I've Bought Lately

Summer.  Ugh.  I hate summer.  The heat - the sweating - the sun.  All of it.  The only saving grace is usually yard sales.  But, this year, there have been surprisingly few sales that I have deemed worth stopping at or getting up early to attend.  There was a Community Sale in a neighboring town the first weekend in July.  There were supposed to be about 30 people set up selling.  I decided to get up early and go - it helped that the sale started at 10:00 since I am not a 5:00 am kinda gal.  You'd be proud of me - not only did I get to town before 10:00, I was early enough to be the first one in a thrift when they opened.  Not only that, the guy that let me in said, "The whole store is half off today."  Whoop! Sadly, I don't remember what I bought there, but I know I got a few things and I got to be the first person to use the restroom which is always a bonus. 

When I got to the Community Sale, it wasn't supposed to be opening for another thirty minutes, but people were already shopping., including my very own Father.  He has very little patience, so I figured he would be gone before I got parked and in the shopping area, but I managed to catch him.  He likes to walk fast and skim the booths - I like to look at everything.  Just because it looks like baby stuff, books and toys - there might be a vintage treasure in there.  The best booth was being run by the event organizer - a local vintage store had donated three truck loads of smalls and they were selling it all "fill a Bag" style for $5.00.  I filled up three bags and I should have bought more.  There was some good stuff in there.  I think the reason it hadn't sold and was therefore donated, was that the prices were really expensive.  

Case in point - these pieces of framed art.  They are lovely and very nice and I know they will sell.  But, that little bird piece in the upper left?  It's Mexican Feather Art and it was priced $115!  Yowza!  I will ask $18, I think.  It was interesting to read all the tags and see the prices on each item.  I got a lot of great stuff, but most of it went straight to the booth - souvenir plates, coffee mugs, vintage this and vintage that.

Yesterday I went to the Goodwill on the other side of town and scored a good amount of vintage.  The Christmas ornaments are vintage - not particularly amazing, but they'll still sell.  Sometimes I just need quantity to fill up my booth.  The jadeite piece has been cracked and glued, but I will stick a bottle brush tree in it and decorate it so you'll never know.  The little painting and the Thermos will go to the Junk Ranch as well.  It is hard to let a fabulous Thermos go, but I do my best.  The baking pans are Silver Beauty Brand.  I saw a wall hanging made with each little cup made into a diorama, so I will try to make a couple of those.  The pottery - well, you KNOW I am keeping the pottery.  It was 78¢.

The old enamel cups will stay with me - we use them all the time.  The Bedroom Mood Meter was an Instagram hit.  Naughtiness!  The wool throw will be added to a pile I am accumulating for TJR.  The AutoBridge game just looked interesting, so I grabbed it.  

This picnic basket is so bright and colorful!  I thought someone had magic marker-ed it up, but that's how it was made.  It is made by Basketville and it's a good one.  I hardly ever let a picnic basket go, so I will keep it.  It was only $4.00, so I can warrant that price as a keeper!

I found this tablecloth rolled up and taped shut, but it looked old and colorful plus it was only $2.00, so I took a chance.  It eneded up being a vintage Black Americana tablecloth and in perfect condition.  It's worth about $100, but it will go in my collection.  

In addition to Vintage Christmas at the Fall Junk Ranch, I am trying to gather vintage toys to be bought as presents.  This 1980's Easy bake oven isn't as "vintage" as I prefer, but still vintage enough that some 80's baby would love it.  It works and gets hotter that heck.  

This handmade oversize dollhouse will be at The Junk Ranch complete with furniture, a wreath on the door and a little Aluminum Tree.  It's about 4 feet long.  It was a happy find - someone worked really hard to make it, wallpaper the walls and make rugs for the floors.  

I skidded to a stop when I saw these old blowmolds at a yard sale.  Best part?  They were in the FREE bin!  The two bigger ones will be sold, the smaller on in the center went in my collection. Although I haven't decorated for Halloween in two years.  Ahem.  I need to cull it out, I guess.  The whole sale was craft kits from the 1960's and 1970's.  I bought a bunch of them and left my name and number when they said they had a storage building full including old Christmas craft kits. That  could be a literal gold mine.  

The Goodwill in a neighboring town was void of anything good, so I bought a Velvet Elvis so I wouldn't leave empty handed.  I thought I'd throw it in the booth for a few bucks, but it turns out that Velvet Elvis is worth around $125.  I wouldn't pay that much.  I had to think long and hard to pay the $3.00 it was priced.  :D

August brings "Bargains Galore on 64" which is the 100 mile yard sale crawl I go to each year as my birthday present.  There is talk that this is the last year because a 78 year old lady currently organizes it and wants to retire.  But, so many people, churches and organizations rely on this as a yearly fundraiser, I think it will continue.  From what I read, the lady makes the flyers, prints them, drops them at each town and puts them out and about.  I think each town could do that themselves, or really just rely on social media and eliminate the paper trail.  Or get an app and go all 2018.  At any rate, I am looking forward to it.  It'll be so HOT.  But, the car has A/C, we'll have the YETI full of ice water and there will be snacks, good company and junk.  What else do you need?

Stay cool, my friends!  Junk ON!

I Can See You!

Look at my Visitors!

Fellow Junk Followers