Suzy Homemaker

 

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If you are an avid #antique store junkie like me, one of the fun things you discover are toys from your childhood. Once you move past the “Boy I must be old!” feeling you get when your favorite #toy as a child is in an antique store, you can move on to reliving the fond memories it evokes.

photoDiscovering Suzy Homemaker, the “oh so wonderful” competitor to the #EasyBakeOven, had me gushing in the middle of an antique mall. Thankfully my husband was there to share my glee and convince me I didn’t need to take her home with me.

If you weren’t lucky enough (or old enough) to have a Suzy Homemaker oven, let me share with you what you missed.

The Suzy Homemaker was a pint-sized version of your Mom’s stove. It was produced by #TopperToys and launched in 1966. In a pretty aqua green with knobs that turned and an oven that really baked and top burners that warmed as well, it was made for hours of domestic bliss. It would never pass muster with toy manufacturers today because it had a light bulb inside that created the heat to bake your cakes but often would burn your skin if you weren’t careful. Mom wouldn’t let me near the big oven so I could practice my homemaking skills on this little cutie dreaming of the day when I would be cooking for my own family. To me being a “Suzy Homemaker” meant being like my mom.

Wikipedia has a different view of a Suzy Homemaker

“The term “Suzy Homemaker” has since become a common phrase in American English. The toy appliances and doll became much-desired toys among girls from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. As this generation grew up, “Suzy Homemaker” eventually became an insult directed at women judged as excessively domestic. It was used in this context by feminists initially, to imply that a woman was reactionary and overly conservative in her habits. In this sense, the “Suzy Homemaker” term meant any woman who embodied conventional social expectations without questioning them….In 1981, Newsweek magazine ran an article on the Future Homemakers of America titled “So long, Suzy Homemaker”. Social conservatives have been critical of what they see as a derogatory stereotype.”

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 What? Was I the product of a generation hell bent on creating more Stepford Wives? Should I feel victimized somehow? After reading Wikipedia I somehow feel duped and my glee has diminished.  I became a marketing executive juggling a full time career and a family of 5 – certainly not the overly conservative, excessively domestic woman that they seem to think the Suzy Homemaker was churning out! Actually, if someone called me excessively domestic I would take it as a compliment because as hard as I try I’m no Martha Stewart!

I should let Wikipedia know that my older brother used the Suzy Homemaker just as much as I did. He became a plumber that also knows how to cook for himself. Suzy Homemaker was simply teaching life skills that everyone could benefit from. Nowadays they would call it “Little Homemaker” and market it to both girls and boys because after all, aren’t we all #homemakers?

Photo courtesy of #ClickAmericana.com

 

Yard Sale Withdrawals

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Ahh… winter…the time in New Hampshire that you dread unless you are a “winter enthusiast” that embraces all of the bone chilling sports the snow has to offer. For the record, I am not one of those people. For me, January though March is one long struggle to keep myself busy with as few trips as possible into the great outdoors. When the temp dips below 30 I hunker down in my sunroom dreaming of Spring…and yard sales.

For yard salers like me, Winter is a wasteland. I miss early Saturday morning outings with my hubby in search of treasures. Would I miss it this much if I could go any time? I wonder if it is like living someplace where the weather is consistently warm – do you begin not to appreciate it because you have it all year round? In New England, Spring is like waiting for your next birthday when you were a child – and a present that you can’t wait to unwrap.

Here are a few things I’ll be doing this winter until I can get my yard sale fix.

Visit local antique stores – It’s fun to see what people are collecting and selling. Antiques have trends just like fashion. You learn a lot about “what’s hot” and “what’s not.” Make sure to ask the clerk what is selling. Chances are they we tell you mid-century is hot!

Go online – Ah! – the virtual yard sale – and open 24/7. Ebay, ETSY, Goodwill.com, local yard sale groups on Facebook – the list is endless.

Purge – I tell myself this every winter. I have grand plans for “the big purge” and preparing for my own mega yard sale in the Spring. After 22 years in the same house I envy people who move and are forced to decide what is worth keeping and what you can live without.

Go to the gym – For me, this is about as likely as “the big purge.” I always have such good intentions.

Work on my ETSY business – There are always lots of new things to learn about running my small ETSY business – better photos, better inventory, better promotion. I have found that the most important factor in running a successful vintage shop on ETSY is having cool stuff that people want. Stop by my shop sometime or drop me a line here on my blog or on Facebook. Blogging and chatting with other vintage enthusiasts about their latest finds also helps get me through the long New Hampshire winter!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LizzieTishVintage