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.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Landscaping Junk

About a week ago we stopped in Lowe's to pick up a bag of potting soil.  They were having a sale, so in the end we bought 10 bags of black mulch, weed block, three flats of flowers, a fern and two bags of potting soil. It all sounded like SUCH a good idea at Lowe's.  But at home - wow - what a job!
We brought it home and stacked in it the front yard, right where I could see it all week long.  We have had a ton of stormy rainy days as of late which has prevented us from getting out there and getting it done.    

Sunday we got out in the yard about noon and hit it hard.  We pulled out all the "junk" I have in the landscaping, then raked out all the old wood chips, pulled up the ratty old weed block and started with all new fresh things.  Our house is white with gray brick, so I thought the black mulch would look nicer than the red mulch we had previously.  Did you know that the dirt in Arkansas is red? There is no black dirt here unless they truck it in from somewhere else.  Anyway, I think that is why I dislike the red mulch because it looks like the red dirt.  

After we put the mulch down in one area, I got to put all my treasures back while the boys moved on to the next section.  We knocked the whole job out in a few hours and I was SUPER proud of us!  No fights or anything.  (This is a major improvement for the three of us.  Well, one of us.  You will have to guess which one...)  

My idea of landscaping is not cookie cutter and some people would not like it.  But, I like it and I get to use all my found treasures.  A bunch of junk in the yard is a bunch of junk.  But place it selectively, use like pieces and like colors and I think it works!  And flowers - lots of pops of colorful flowers. 

Every time we go somewhere - a vacation, a day trip or even just walking on the creek - we find one special rock to bring home.  Sometimes we find many rocks, but we really try to find one special rock.  We like rocks that are shaped like things (bonus if they are heart shaped) or have unique features.  Fossils are great, quartzy rocks are good and colors are great too.  

Each rock is a memory and is special.  I do remember where a lot of them came from and the ones that I don't - well, I still know it was a fun family day.  Behind the gnome, there is a huge piece of petrified wood that has been in our family since the 1920's.  

I have a lot of things out there.  Each one found at a yard sale or better yet, curbside.  We even scrounged the bricks from a dump site when they built a house behind ours.  A storm came up before we got the bricks reset straight - that is a job for another day. 

See that cone bucket on the Shepherd's hook?  I never knew what that was until we toured a Trolley Museum and I saw one in a display.  It's a fire bucket for trains and Trolley's.  When you throw the water, it goes out in a big circle to cover more area than a normal bucket.  Cool, huh?  I got mine at a yard sale for $2.00.  I've been buying old junk since before it was the cool thing.  
I'm always on the hunt for old watering cans, but those three are the only ones I have ever found.  The big iron wheel weighs a ton.  I found it at a barn sale.  The man told me it was $2.00 if I carried it to the car or $10.00 if he carried it.  Guess who carried it?  

The Bean's old wagon full of flowers.  I don't know why, but this particular variety of flowers were all in the markdown section for $3.00 a flat.  They were still beautiful too!  

I like pops of blue in the yard. The Dutch kissing couple was thrifted and meant to be resold.  But they are heavy and they look cute there so I guess you can figure out the end of that story.  That poor, poor bunny.  He is on his last summer, I think.  He is so very old - bought from under a table years ago - but so much older than that.  One summer I looked out and HE WAS GONE.  Someone has stolen him while he was still in his prime.  I put a sign on the mailbox saying he had been STOLEN. Two days late, he magically reappeared - missing a foot, but not harmed otherwise.  I never did know the rest of the story. 


Whenever people walk by on the sidewalk, I see them stop and look at things.  They might be thinking it's a glorified junk heap, I don't know.  But, I think they like my things.  At least, I hope they do.  And if they don't - phooey on them.  (Did I ever tell about my new neighbor that moved in last fall?  He came and cleaned up the trash in their yard that the previous tenant had left behind - but continued on into our yard across our property line and threw away my park bench, birdbath and the giant toadstools I had made plus he ripped out all my flowers and a big grapevine I had cultivated on our fence.  After a call to the Police to report the theft, I approached him and he said......wait for it......he said that I should THANK HIM for cleaning up all my junk. Never apologized once. He is not my friend.)

Okay now where was I?  :) 

If you're ever in the area - stop on by and sit a spell!  Then we will get up and make both the back yards and the side yards look pretty too!  Bring your work boots!  :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Let's Go To The Other Booth Now

I don't think I have ever shared any photos of the booth that Lara and I share.  It is located about one block from the University of Arkansas campus.  It's on the bike trail and a new brewery opened up in the same parking lot this last week.  The building itself is very old and historic.  It is located on the railroad tracks.  I don't mean near the tracks or close to the tracks.  I mean, like when a train comes through, you better hold on to something.  Thatclose.  It must have been a warehouse that loaded or unloaded on the tracks umpteen years ago.  There are two cats that live in the building - Faye and Funky.  They are very used to human contact, so much in fact, I have seen Lara stare at them trying to make sure they are still alive.  They just plop on a table and conk out and you can rub on them and they do not wake up.  Apparently the customers pet them all day long and they are over it.  

The store offers a range of booths from one that is stocked to the rafters with....socks.  Nothing but socks.  And they sell those socks like crazy.  There's an incense booth.  There's a booth that has big jars of pickled pig fetuses and sheep entrails.  There's a record album booth.  Jewelry booths, candle booths, frisbee disc gold booth and on and on.  There are the junky kind of yard sale type of booths - kids clothes, toys, kitchen things, etc. where they are selling stuff cheap and making some money instead of just sending it to Goodwill.  Then there are the booths like ours - a mix of vintage and handmade.  Set up so it's attractive and appealing to the eye.  We only have a set of shelves - five feet wide, I think and only three shelves plus the floor space.  The shelves are wide set, so when you place a bunch of smalls on them, they have a lot of empty air space.  So we are working on finding crates or shelves to use within the set wooden shelves to fill up the blank space and make more room for more stuff.  
Bless Lara's heart - her other booth is all white and sweet with her cute signs and prints and vintage wares.  Then she hooked up with me - 'Miss Fill 'er Up With Junk'.  I try to show restraint - I pull things before I put more out. I try to bring in an assortment of things because we really are just starting to get the hang of our clientele.  I sell a lot of barware, beer glasses, mid-century and Razorback things - stuff I never really buy or sell.  But, we've both started picking it up.

Lara has started making more quirky hip prints for the college crowd.  Her Star Wars and Super Heroes are quick sellers.  

She carries her sweet thoughtful prints too.  
We both mix in some vintage around them.  

I took my Cookie jar and Cracker Barrel to this booth.  Somehow I think this is a good place for them.  The cards are for The Junk Ranch.  Because we like to have junk spread out in as many locations as possible.  :D

I took this cart in today to hold small, unbreakable things.  I don't know if it will stay, but I think it works for now.  The back part of the floor has thins weird drop off so we can't really put much back in there.

There used to be a yellow brick road in the whole store, but these weird squares in front of our booth are the only pieces of it that I have noticed. 

Our booth is in the middle of a long line of shelves and there is a chicken wire divider in front of it which the seller has clothes hanging on it - so the visibility for our booth is really low.  A lot of people come to the end of the aisle then just peek around the corner and then turn back around.  There is actually another row of big booths back behind our shelves.  It's set up in a very back tracky roundabout way in there.  Today a lady walked passed me with big eyes and said, "I think I came through here?" like a question, not an statement.  She was totally lost.  

Even though our section is kind of hard to see, we still do pretty well.  We split our rent which makes it affordable then we add up our individual tickets minus commission.  It takes very little time to do this booth, so I figure anything I make is just gravy.  I drive passed it several times a week just out running errands.  I have to make a special trip to the big booth in a different town.  

Lara goes in once a week and puts in new things and straightens and rearranges everything.  

Then I go in a few days later and do the same.  I think it keeps it fresh since we are always moving and rearranging things.  We are on the list to get a booth whenever just the right one opens up.  We had an offer to take one in the upstairs section, but I couldn't imagine either one of us schlepping furniture up a huge flight of stairs.  Heck, I've never even been upstairs!  I have a bum knee and I prefer to not wreck it just to look around up there.  Besides, that's where the pig fetuses are!  Aiiieee! 

Well, you've been to both booths this week!  Thanks for coming along again.   You've been a total pleasure!  :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Week in Junk: I'm Cuckoo for Buttons

I had four days of pretty good junking this past week.  Wednesday I hit two thrifts, Thursday I hit up the Super Cheap Thrift on the way out to the booth, Friday I found a few yard sales, Saturday brought me even more yard sales and a return to an Estate Sale from last week and Sunday I returned to the Estate Sale one more time (third time!) and to Goodwill.  I spent more on things than I normally would, but apparently that lottery money was burning a hole in my pocket.  

Some of these photos are good - taken in the sun and easy to see.  On the other hand, some were taken in my house on this rainy dark day.  After taking them and looking at them - they suck - but I've already put the stuff away, so sucky photos you must endure.  I apologize. 

Wednesday I popped into of my last remaining Little Old Lady thrifts and was surprised to find a lot of older things.  They have a knack of putting big prices on older things and putting them in the glass display area up front.  I had found a good amount of old stuff at super cheap prices (and this is NOT the Super Cheap Thrift!), so when I found myself in the area again on Saturday, I stopped.  I only found one thing.  But, OH, OH, Oh!

Vintage spice boxes with the sweetest redbird graphics on them.  No chips - just perfect.  I hesitated to get excited because the price could have gone either way.  Sticker said $2.00 and I clutched it to my bosom.  :)  M-I-N-E.  I should sell it.  I might sell it.  I kind of love it though.  (Kind of proud of this photo, too).

Here we go in no particular rhyme or reason.  I stopped at a yard sale just as rain clouds were moving in.  A very pregnant lady was trying to box stuff up.  I grabbed these Chinese figures when she said they were 50¢ each.  I thought I would throw them in the booth.  When I got home, I googled the signature and they seem to be worth more than I could ever fetch at the booth.  Hedi Schoop.  Ever heard of that?  Not me.  

Sitting on the same table were all these old plastic Gatorade, juice, jam and jelly jars and bottles full of buttons.  They were all sorted by color, which intrigued me.  They totaled $17.00, but she said I could have them for $10.00.  There ended up being more than I even saw on the tables - I ended up with nearly ten pounds of vintage buttons.  I have a great deal of sorting ahead of me.  It was great they were already color sorted though.  That's half the work.  I found Bakelite, celluloid, bone and shell buttons already.  

Yesterday I stopped in at Goodwill and spotted a Cuckoo clock in the back of the store by the TV's - I grabbed it, but it wa plastic and battery operated, so I put it back.  But when I got up front, there was a real German Cuckoo Clock!  It's huge  - it plays music, there are dancers, there's a waterwheel, there's a cuckoo and on and on.  It's a dandy.  I need to research it and then most likely put it on ebay.  

The same Goodwill stop brought me this sweet little deer planter.  Her sad little ear had been broken off and re-glued.  I added a tiny bouquet of vintage millinery and now I like her more than ever.  

Friday yard sale find-  Pyrex Cookie Jar and Pyrex Cookie Barrel.  These will sell at the booth pronto.  I was surprised to find them late in the day less than one block from the street where all the flea markets are located.  You just never know what you will find.  

Sixty five wooden doll heads for 50¢ total!  Shoved in a baggie under some old patterns at the thrift.  

Set of six vintage shrimp Cocktail glasses.  I guess they will go to the booth.  

Package of NIP Rabbit Balloons.  Love that funny rabbit all out of breath.  10¢

And now, the crapola photos.  

All old stuff from the LOL thrift.  The mailbox is missing the pieces, but for 50¢, I think it is cute. The other things were all in the 25¢ box.  Vintage Spock for a quarter?  Uh, yes!

Aiieee!  Nekkid dolls.  The sitting ones are The Sunshine Family dad(s).  and the bendy dude is Evil Kneivel.  This whole photo is just wrong and sorted, isn't it?  The Sunshine Family is wholesome and good.  Ha.  Ruined that, now didn't I?

This is just so tacky, yet I am in love with it.  It's a Gibson Dinner plate with a plastic flower arrangement on it.  It looks like cake icing decor up close.  I think I will hang it in my kitchen as a happy pop of color.  

My self imposed pottery rule was not only broken this weekend, but I drove out of my way just to get that pink McCoy elephant.  

Vintage glasses - two are from the Centennial of the Civil War, which I have never seen on anything - kind of odd.  But my booth is located near the Civil War Battlefield, so they seemed fitting.  Third one is from the 1972 Indy 500 and the last one is just about Automobiles.  

This huge bronze seashell is interesting.  It weighs a ton, literally.  Okay, not literally, but it is heavy.  That is a tall picnic basket behind it so it's big too.    

Folk art carving, patriotic trim, a couple owls, a pencil sharpener and a handmade pin cushion.  The monkey is missing and ear and a leg, but he is collectible, so surely worth more than the 25¢ I paid.  Ever since the $500 Blythe head, I am certain that anything missing clothes or limbs is still worth a fortune.  HA.

Vintage Checkers, vintage inspired calendar, some toys, a glass basket and four tiny cross stitch samplers.  The witch had a barbie head and was super ugly, but I fixed her up with a spun head and now she is super sweet!

Three EXIT signs for The Junk ranch.  Except I already hung one over my front door.  

Lastly, a bunch of handmade wooden cars and trucks for The Junk Ranch.  I like having vintage-y stuff for the kids that they can afford to buy on their own.

So, that's a lot, isn't it?  I didn't realize it until I saw it all here.  I guess I had a pretty good week after all!  I hope you had a good week of junking too!

*Lest you think I hoard- the pink elephant, flowery plate, rabbit balloons, pottery deer, doll heads and the VW Van are keepers - the rest is to be sold.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Let's Go to The Booth!

I spent the most part of the day out at my big booth on Thursday.  I have BIG plans of reworking it - moving shelves and setting it up all different.  But, I get there and see that it works pretty well the way it is, so I just end up putting in new things and just reworking all the merchandise.  I pulled all the Spring and Easter of which I had only sold two things for a grand total of...wait for it...three dollars. Totally not worth trying to sell Spring stuff for me.  The entire booth has been 25% off for about a month trying to clear out some things.  But, 25% off plus the 10% commission left little for me, so I took my sale off today.  My prices are pretty low to start, so why give it away?  I sold a $22.00 set of books and after sale and commission, I only got about $13.00 for them.  I only paid $1.00 for the set, so I still did okay, but I sure would like to have had that whole $22.00!

Let's go on a tour - ready?

I bought these HUGE Raggedy Ann dolls for $1.00 each.  They are handmade and really sweet.  But they are really, really BIG!  That's a metal COSCO kitchen stool they are sitting on - so they really are BIG!  I am hoping some little girl will flip and the $10.00 price tag will seal the deal.  

This is just a mumble jumble of vintage kitchen stuff.  
I sell a lot of old utensils, cookie cutters and glassware.  I passed on a bunch old of red and green handled utensils today for $2.00 each and now I am sort of kicking myself over that.  

Put stuff in every crevice, I say.  
Lots to see.   I know I have a lot in there, but it's never too junky or crowded looking.  My booth is set up so you go in like a tiny store and have a look around.  All the other booths are set up so you just look as you pass by.  The shop owner says that people spend more time in my booth than any other booth since I have so many things and it is setup so they have lots to see.

More kitchen stuff - the linens all got neatly folded and organized today.  I would be surprised if they aren't already a hot mess.  (I may need to bring home that bread box and plant some geraniums in it.) 

That damn globe.  I can't sell it.  Everyone swoons over it.  It is huge - I can just almost get my arms around it.  I keep lowering the price, but it just sits there.  Someday it will sell, and I like the look of it, so it will just stay there.  *Edited Saturday at 4:00......THE GLOBE SOLD!    Wooohooooooo!)

I sell a lot of those dictionary page bundles.  And sheet music bundles.  I don't know what people do with them.  But I will GLADLY buy a $1.00 old dictionary and separate it into 50 bundles for $2.00 each.  ALL DAY LONG!  I see my flash cards are a hot mess.  Guess I forgot to straighten those up.  

Toy box in the corner full of vintage toys.  I usually have a box of "kid Junk" grab bags, but I am out of them.  Since the thrifts stopped seling toys, I never find anything.  I need to find a big box full of junk at a garage sale so I can make up more bags.  The kids like them.  

While I was working, a lady came by to browse.  She said she just loves my booth.  She said I like all the things you have and I almost always find something that I didn't know I needed!  That is one of the reasons I like selling at the Junk Ranch because you get to interact with people and get comments on your merchandise.  

Cubby full of mugs and smalls stuck in the corner.  I bought that to store The Bean's Beanie Babies in a LONG time ago, but then I saw how very cool it was and it was MINE.  Sorry, kiddo.  

Frames and things up high.  

Jesus.......and some frames.  That Jesus print has the most ornate frame.  It's really gorgeous.  I know everyone likes painted frames, but Miss Monkeybox is lazy and sells them AS IS.  What if I paint it aqua and it just sits there forever?  Why not leave them as is and let some over achiever paint them themselves?  Each one has the Hobby Lobby price of $29.99 on them.  They are nice heavy duty frames.  

I cleared out one of my collections and took it to the booth.  Can you believe I did that?????  I started collecting dishes shaped like fruits and vegetables when I had my college apartment.  The first thing I ever found was a set of Holt Howard tomato bowls on lettuce plates.  I paid $1.00 for a set of four - and I was IN LOVE.  Then I found another vegetable dish and so on and so forth as all good collections.  I got things for presents and even in our wedding gifts.  I have a big old wardrobe in the corner of my kitchen with a screen door on it and that is where the collection lived.  But I rarely every looked at it and there was too much of it.  So, I pulled it all out, washed it and only kept the sentimental pieces and the pieces that I do use occasionally.  (And, yes, I kept the Holt Howard set!)

One of the things I enjoy about having a booth is that I still own these things.  They are still mine. They are on display and people can admire them.  Hopefully, they will sell to people that will enjoy them and appreciate them.  It's like a storage unit that looks pretty and makes money instead of costing me money.  Does that make sense?

Thanks for coming on a tour with me.  I enjoyed spending time with you!  :)

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