Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Good Housekeeping?

Housekeeping - cleaning house - whatever you call it - it's a necessary evil.  I am certainly not the person that anyone is going to ask for advice; I'm a so-so housekeeper.  I will say that my house is never dirty - I really despise having a dirty tub or kitchen sink - but it certainly is "cluttery".  I have a magazine addiction and let's just say that you can totally tell.  :D

Even though I'm home all day now, I never turn on the TV (I know the slippery slope of daytime TV, and I choose not to be tempted by it).  So it's been a while since I've seen what daytime commercials look like.  I do catch a "daytime" ad every now and then for Swiffer or toilet bowl cleaner, and my inbox is full of coupon offers from the good folks at General Mills and Campbell's.  And even though we're living in a somewhat "enlightened" age, it seems to me that most of these products are still aimed at women.

When I was a kid, in the 70s, nearly every woman I knew was a homemaker/housewife ("stay-at-home mom" was a phrase that had yet to be coined).  The tide was turning, but it was still pretty much assumed that if a couple had kids, the wife just stayed home.  It wasn't until the Eighties that some of my friends' moms went into the workforce (my own mom went back to school and graduated at the top of her class - Summa cum Laude, no less - and went on to get her MSW).

I LOVED daytime TV when I was a kid!  There was something so comforting about those "homemaker" ads - everything was happy, sparkling, new - they held so much promise!  I had a wonderful, happy childhood myself, so it's not like I was using TV as an escape, but I never connected all of those happy, smiling, almost too ebullient women with my mom.  I think those ads had more to do with my love for happy fonts and catchy jingles.

So I suppose it's no surprise that I'm still giddy about housekeeping ephemera!  I love old brochures about how to keep your house clean, how to use that new Mixette you got for your anniversary, or how sauerkraut can liven up any meal.  The Twentieth Century was all about how to make drudgery more fun/easier, and companies were tripping all over themselves to cater to postwar young wives (and, subsequently, their daughters' lives).  Magazines like Good Housekeeping and Woman's Day combined housework, fashion, "wife" tips (wink, wink) and cooking in a new way.  Follow these simple tips and life will be a breeze.

And as always, whether it's for nostalgia or just because the illustrations are so wonderful, I love using this stuff  in my artwork.  Sometimes my work gets misconstrued as cynical; I usually don't mean for it to be.  :D


  1. HOORAY! Thanks for entering the contest! :D I'll now announce it on the ATC site. :D

  2. Great cards! I still know a lot of those jingles from 60s and 70s daytime TV ads :-)

  3. Thanks Diane! :D I still know quite a few as well, but somehow my younger sister retained much more than I did. She'll start singing an old jingle and remember all the words - it'll come to me eventually but her total recall is frightening! :D