Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sock Monkeys Hanging Out Around the House

You've likely figured out by now we have a bit of a sock monkey obsession. It's okay if you think I (we) am a tad bit on the crazy side. I get it. But it's like those folks who collect Precious Moments figurines or souvenir spoons from various locales: once you start, it's hard to stop. Hence the idea to have Our Epic Sock Monkey Christmas. I mean, all these monkeys need to have some other purpose besides just hanging around our house.

On that note, I thought I'd share some of the various monkeys we have hanging around. I'd show you a picture of our dog's sock monkey toy (it's fabric! it squeaks!) but it's a bit slobbery and really not fit for publishing on the interwebs. The ones you see pictured below will be incorporated into our decorative theme this holiday season; they wil be put to work rather than allowed to just lounger around the house.

These monkeys live on our Poang. The one with the white head came from Kohl's for $5. I couldn't say no. The rainbow one came from Old Navy. I was doing a return when Jake spotted it, noted the appearance if thumbs on its hands and feet, and said we had to get it, using the excuse of it only being $5. The mini one came from World Market.

These two Valentine-themed monkeys live on the couch, My mom got them for little miss and myself for Valentine's Day this year.

This is Maxx. He is a giant sock monkey, over three feet in height. My husband spotted him at Fry's grocery store of all places almost three holiday seasons ago and came home with him. He has his own You Tube video, believe it or not. I started a whole Where's Maxx Been? Series on my other blog but didn't get too far on it as my daughter commandeered him for herself and ever since then he has lived at the foot of her bed.

Sally Sock Hop Sock Monkey (the actual name on her tag) and the traditional sock monkey live in my closet, below the hangers and by my scarves. My mom got Sally for me one Christmas several years ago. You may think it's weird they hang out in the closet, but I get to see them every day and it makes me smile.

Back when I was working this sock monkey lived on my desk in ye olde cubicle farm. I'd be on the phone with some cranky engineer and look to my sock monkey to put that "smile" back in my voice---you know what I'm talking about. Now that I'm a domestic engineer the monkey lives in my receipt box by the location I have in our home office where I pay bills. Now I use him to put a smile on my face as I ponder the nature of why the cable bill is so insanely high and why the water bill is more than the gas bill, despite the fact that we do water harvesting.

What you have here are the misfits. They used to live in my daughter's room but she boxed them up to make way for other stuffed animals. It never ceases to amaze me how many stuffed animals are given to little people. Anyway. I have pulled them out as they need to see the light of day prior to Christmas, and get acclimated back to the real world and not the inside of a cardboard box. The small monkey at the top is a flying monkey that also howls at a most obnoxious tone and pitch; as I recall this may be the reason we boxed him up---I seem to remember I was getting tired of my daughter slingshotting it around everywhere. The pink monkey on the left is a Paul Frank print. The camouflage monkey has a gold chain around his neck ( I kid you not) and came from Gap of all places, probably about ten years ago, as did the blue monkey with the bow tie on the far right. The striped monkey came from my parents as a gift to our daughter one Easter, holding a bag of candy.

Yeah, so looking at this perhaps I am just as crazy as you now know I am. It is slightly (well, more than slightly) strange to have all these sock monkeys. Still, I console myself with the knowledge that there are people out there who have more than we do. Looking at how often I have posted about sock monkeys on my other blog tells me that perhaps I need a new hobby. Oh wait. That new hobby is planning and executing Our Epic Sock Monkey Christmas.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Adding to the Decorative Sock Monkey Stash

World Market had a $10 off $30 coupon posted on their Facebook page and I wasted no time in making a pilgrimage to the store. I love that place! It's so random and interesting. World Market has really stepped up its game: the kitchen section in the newly remodeled store by me has very Anthropologie-esque products. The gift wrap section always has cute things, and the toy section has neat retro toys that make fun stocking stuffers.

Like a true couponista I used my coupon twice, hey, the fine print says limit one per customer per day. The first day I went I got some of the cool retro toys for Christmas for our little miss. I also got some mason jars so I could make some home made snow globes. Instead of trees this time I am going to use sock monkeys; I just need to get some mini ones off ebay. I can't wait to start this project!

My second trip I focused on sock monkeys. I got the following:
Now, I know these are not "Christmassy" in nature but this is Our Epic Sock Monkey Christmas and sock monkeys of all varieties are welcome and will be showcased. The felt bag will be used to house some of little miss' retro toy gifts (perhaps including the sock monkey yo-yo she will be getting, now I need to hunt down the sock monkey pinball game in store), which I will wrap in the wrapping paper. The long craft bag will house a gift as well. The felt clips (pictured left) will be used in the garland I will hang in the entryway. The stickers (pictured right) will be appended to the various wrapped gifts people receive, or perhaps used as random decoration...who knows. I am sure my creative mind can think of something.

I'd really like to get the Jumbo Classic Sock Monkey. He's 42" and $99. I can handle the size but not the price.

I also got these felt sock monkey ornaments. I'm going to call them ornaments even though World Market calls them gift tags.
While the SA was ringing me up she commented on all my sock monkey gear. I explained our sock monkey Christmas theme. She said the items I got were going to be phased out so I am thinking a third trip with the coupon may be in order. She also noted they will be getting some sock monkey Christmas items this fall. You know I will be all over that!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Our Epic Sock Monkey Halloween? Halloween Sock Monkey Ornaments

While building up my sock monkey ornament collection I was fortunate(?!?) enough to stumble on some sock monkey Halloween ornaments.

First of all, who knew?

Second, you know I got all four.

Yes, it's a while until Halloween but one can never be too prepared, especially when one has money in one's PayPal account. The monkeys will be out for display come 1 October. Then, they will have a month's break (or so) until the Christmas tree goes up. You know I'm going to be putting these on the tree, because, well, why not.

I think these Halloween ornaments will go perfectly with Tricks, my miniature Halloween sock monkey, which has been hanging out by the gear shift in my car since last year. That's him pictured over there to the left. I got him half off at Safeway last year; he was hanging out, lonely in a picked over Halloween display by the express lane. He's just so cute I had to bring him home and now I cannot bear to put him away.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sourcing the Tree Skirt

I'm lucky enough to know a really good crafter, so when I started thinking about the tree skirt I would need for Our Epic Sock Monkey Christmas tree I knew I would not be purchasing something at Target. I mean, if Target did sell sock monkey tree skirts that would be amazeballs, but alas, I think that is not likely.

I turned to Ellen of The Chilly Dog. My request was pretty vague: can you make me a sock monkey tree skirt? I left the details up to her. She ran with it and rather than purchase some fabric and sew something together she's gone all in and is *knitting* it. She's chronicled the start of the process here, and I have to say, I think the results will be awesome. Yes, I said awesome.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Say Hello to the Current Crew

Somehow I don't think this will be enough ornaments. In fact, I know this will not be enough for our 7.5' tree. My collection is far from complete; I am missing at least twenty different sock monkey occupations and styles. The internet is a glorious thing for it has allowed me to figure out the different types and styles of sock monkey ornaments; sadly, it has also shown me I am deficient in owning a wide variety.

This is going to cost some money to be sure. I'll be collecting from now until time immemorial, as I don't think it will ever be possible to own them all.

Here's what I do have:
  • Male and female elf
  • Fisherman and two different hunters, one with camouflage vest, one with orange vest
  • Cowboy and cowgirl
  • Chef
  • Boxer and snorkeler
  • Skateboarder and snowboarder
  • Bowler
  • Oversized "regular" male and female sock monkeys
  • Punk rocker
  • Baby monkey
  • Hawaiian tourists, male and female
  • Two ballet dancers
  • Male angel
  • Sports coach and jogger (with an ipod!)
  • Police officer
  • Farmer (with a seed bag!)
  • Male and female golfers
  • Three "plain" sock monkeys
  • One with an ugly sweater (you know the kind)
  • Fireman
  • Two larger pink sock monkeys with scarf, one has polka dots
  • "Mom and dad" sock monkeys in plaid pajamas
  • French maid
  • Male and female "Valentine" monkeys
  • Sleepyhead monkey in pajamas holding a teddy bear
  • Santa sock monkey
  • Cheerleader
  • Male with reindeer antlers
  • Female with weird hat
Altogether that is 49 monkeys, or, not nearly enough.

Monday, July 1, 2013

T Minus Six Months

After Christmas last year, as I was packing up the ornaments and collecting more at the various clearance sales, I realized my love of sock monkeys had consumed my Christmas decorations...and furthermore, that this was a good thing.

You see, I had just received a box with over 50 sock monkey ornaments. They would join my existing stash, the other new ones I had picked up at Macy's the day before, and party down along with the various full-size sock monkeys in holiday regalia.

That's when it hit me: 2013 would be the year of the sock monkey Christmas. We would only have sock monkeys on the tree. We would irritate our neighbors and attract the ire of the HOA by installing an inflatable sock monkey "lawn" ("rock" in the Old Pueblo) decoration. I would make a sock monkey garland and tree topper, and source a sock monkey tree skirt (via the force behind The Chilly Dog). We would drink cocoa out of our sock monkey mugs and turn on the holiday sock monkey nightlight when out for the evening.

Extreme? Perhaps. Fun? Yes. In years past we have approached the Christmas season with trepidation, as just another holiday to get through, with at times strained cheer and the inevitable family issues. This year, we are excited about it. We can't wait to put up the tree. We want to have people gaze at its magnificence and marvel at our ingenuity and strong devotion to the power of the sock monkey.

The little guys and gals make me smile, and I can hardly wait to see them again.

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