Nativities and Nudies

We had a Sunday to kill in Worcester MA. We spent the night in Worcester after a Garth Brooks concert that made me understand why he has such a loyal fan base. My husband found an ad online for a mill space that had been used by companies that did estate sales and house clean outs. They had to liquidate everything and be out in 3 weeks due to urban renewal.

There was 40,000 sq. feet of treasures. I typically would jump at the chance to dive in but I felt overwhelmed. It was too daunting even for an avid picker like me. Rather than leave empty handed I figured I’d go through a few boxes that looked promising.

In that 40,000 sq. feet of boxes filled with remnants of people’s lives I found a package filled with 3 nativity sets. Each stand no more than 1″ tall.20160302_084629

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20160302_084234Keeping each tiny creche company while they waited to be rescued by some industrious picker were these pinup girls by Ted Withers from the 1950’s. My, what an interesting life someone who saved these so long ago was leading!

20160302_093658The pinup girls and nativities are looking for a new home and can be found on my Etsy site – LizzieTishVintage. They prefer to travel together as the pinup girls found religion while they were stored away with no less than 3 baby Jesuses all those years 😉

 

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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

 

“Estate Sales 101” – Tips for Newbies

imagesSo you want to start attending estate sales and hunt for bargains? In my next series of blog posts I will discuss strategies for finding the best sales, how to negotiate the best bargain and when you should attend.

Here is the question I am most commonly asked.

How do you find out about estate sales?

There a a lot of ways to find out about the next great estate sale. Here are a few of my “go to” resources to keep up to date.

Both www.estatesale.com and www.estatesales.org  will allow you to search by zip code within a set mileage radius. They feature listings primarily from estate liquidation businesses that pay a fee to have their sale promoted on the site. Because of this, you typically find well run sales and lots of photos of what you can expect to see at the sale so if you have multiple sales to choose from you can plan in advance on what you will hit first.

Craigslist is also be a good resource but I prefer an aggregator app like Yard Sale Treasure Map that will pull estate sales and yard sale listings from a variety of media and aggregate them into one convenient location. You can search by radius and select the day of the week that you are going to go and the listings will be at your fingertips in an easy to navigate map! Just click on the pin and you can get directions to the event in Google maps. Thinking of hitting a number of estate sales or yard sales? Select the ones you are interested in and the app can create a route for you to follow. What a great tool!

Look for my next post on Estate Sales 101  – “How to Negotiate the Best Estate Sale Bargain”

Can’t wait to start shopping? Visit Lizzie Tish Vintage and I’ll share some of my finds with you!

5 Must Visit Group Shops in Northern New England

 

I never met a group antique shop I didn’t like – tons of treasures all under 1 roof. I have been to group shops all over New England as I am a lifelong treasure hunter. Here are a few of my favorites that are not to be missed!

#1 – Laconia Antique Center – Laconia, NH  www.thelaconiaantiquecenter.com

UnknownWho couldn’t love a group shop that is an an old department store building that still has a working lunch counter? The Laconia Antique Center is located in a former Newberry’s Department Store built in the 1950’s. You can enjoy breakfast or lunch or have an ice cream at the counter while listening to the jukebox. There is no better way to set the mood for a day of antiquing with over 150 dealers in 22,000 (yes 22,000!) square feet.

 #2 – A Well Kept Secret – Kingston, NH www.awellkeptsecretantiques.com
UnknownThis place is close to my heart and close to my home so I am a frequent flyer! In addition to over 90 dealers this place knows how to treat their customers. Lots of sales and more often than not there are home baked goodies out on the counter. There is an interesting mix of antiques, vintage and “grandma’s attic” type goods. Hard to classify everything as antique here. If you are looking for a stuffy, highbrow shop this won’t be your cup of tea! They recently turned one of their floors into a space for handcrafted items which disappointed me but I’ll still be visiting – if not for the vintage items it will be for the cookies!

#3 – Vintage View Antiques – Haverhill, MA  www.facebook.com/VintageViewInc

11796330_733333476813196_3277750805166583740_nThis shop is fairly new but it is growing quickly. Honestly, I am drawn to any antique store that is in an old brick mill building – I just can’t resist! I grew up in a mill city and I’m oddly comforted when I’m surrounded by old brick walls – go figure!

The proprietor is lovely and always helpful. I love when they have an occasional outdoor flea market as it is a great opportunity to snag some bargains. Their storefront is also quirky and always evolving – just like me!

#4 – Canal Street Antique Mall – Lawrence, MA https://www.facebook.com/pages/Canal-Street-Antique-Mall

11894662_10153692431144101_7224492136430597100_oYeah, I know, another mill building… but in the Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts it doesn’t get any better than this place! Over 50 dealers in 18,000 sq. feet of glorious mill space. Free appraisals on Wednesdays. Unlike a lot of other group shops, this place has a good amount of furniture too. Like industrial? You can usually find a good amount of this trendy look. This shop in located in my hometown  – a mill city on the Merrimack River. I’m always on the hunt for Lawrence memorabilia and this place never fails to satisfy.

#5 – Mill 77 Trading Company – Amesbury, MA www.mill77.com

183188_165704436814643_2275505_n Mill 77 is a fun mix of antiques, vintage and upcycled decor. Several things about this shop make it qualify for my top 5 list:

Epic Yard Sales – Several times a year they host yard sales in their parking lot and rent table space for only $20 bucks! You’ll find lots of part-time pickers who are looking to unload their treasures at a bargain price!

Branding – I appreciate good branding and marketing and Mill 77 does a good job promoting the shop and keeping customers informed.

Free Popcorn and Coffee – The popcorn keep my daughter happy while we shop and the coffee keeps me alert so I am sure to spot a bargain!

I spend lots of time hunting! What do I do with all of these treasures? Share them with you of course at Lizzie Tish Vintage!