4th of July Celebration: Mid-Century Outfits & Collectibles

Curvy Nautical Patriotic Style - Yasmina Greco
Curvy Nautical Patriotic Style – Crazy4MeStyle

As we approach the 4th of July, let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore how you can bring the vintage 50’s era into your wardrobe and home for a 4th of July Celebration: Mid-Century Outfits & Collectibles with patriotic, nautical-themed Pinup and Rockabilly outfits and mid-century kitsch collectibles.

Nautical Outfits: Classic American Fashion with a 50’s Twist

Patriotic and nautical fashion has been a quintessential part of American style since its inception. These two themes beautifully blend during the 4th of July celebrations, offering an opportunity to showcase your creativity and love for vintage fashion. I am wearing vintage-inspired nautical themed dresses and skirts in the above photos.

The Vintage Nautical Look

Creating a vintage 50’s nautical outfit begins with understanding the basic elements: think sailor pants, wide collars, and navy-and-white or red-and-white stripes. The 1950s was also an era of full skirts and A-line dresses, so feel free to add a full, pleated, midi-length skirt in a navy blue or red to your outfit.

Top it off with a striped boat neck top for that truly nostalgic look. My t-shirt in the photo above is one of my favorites and one designed for my t-shirt brand that you can find here Seaside Sweetie Nautical Pinup Tee You can read more about the 50s era kitschy fun fashions here 1950s Kitsch at its Best: The Ultimate Poodle Purses, Skirts, and Dresses

Patriotic Color Schemes

The 4th of July is the perfect occasion to experiment with patriotic colors. Channeling the colors of the American flag – red, white, and blue – into your nautical ensemble will exude vintage charm and national pride all at once.

Complement your outfit with accessories like red scarves, blue sailor caps, or white retro sunglasses to add more authenticity and individuality.

Mid-Century 50’s Kitsch 4th of July Collectibles

The 1950s weren’t just a golden age for fashion, but for home décor too. This era saw the rise of kitsch, a style marked by the use of everyday, mass-produced objects as decoration. This quirky, whimsical style is a great way to add a touch of the 50’s to your 4th of July celebrations.

Patriotic Collectibles

Incorporate the stars and stripes into your décor through items like vintage ceramics by makers such as Napco, Lefton, Norcrest, Josef Originals, and Holt Howard. You can also incorporate 50’s era flags, or even mid-century style tablecloths featuring patriotic motifs. These small touches will contribute significantly to your 4th of July atmosphere.

Vintage Josef Originals Patriotic Liberty Bell

As we celebrate this 4th of July, let’s honor the past as well as the present. By donning vintage 50’s era patriotic nautical outfits and decorating with mid-century kitsch collectibles, you’ll not only look the part but also feel it. Here’s to a stylish, nostalgic Independence Day!

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Under the Sea: Collecting Vintage 1950s Mermaids and Fish

Yasmina Greco Vintage Mermaid Collection Crazy4Me
Yasmina Greco Vintage Mermaid Collection Crazy4Me

I have always loved mermaids, and the 1950s were a time of great fascination with the mythical creatures. This blog post will discuss how to collect vintage mermaids from this era to decorate your home.  My favorite mermaids are from the early 50s made by Norcrest, Napco, and Lefton. I love how whimsical they look on my bathroom walls. I’ll also share more of my favorite finds with you all in this post.

Yasmina Greco Vintage Mermaid Collection Crazy4Me
Yasmina Greco Vintage Mermaid Collection Lefton Norcrest

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Collecting Vintage Josef Originals Figurines


About Josef Originals:

Josef Originals are designed by artist Muriel Joseph George who is the creator of Josef Orignals back in 1945. These figures are created with the utmost attention to authenticity, including the detailed ceramic construction and 24K gold paint for character accents. Cute animals, charming dolls, delightful Christmas characters.

Some of the more popular lines created by Muriel for Josef Originals:

  • Dolls of the Month Series–A doll for every month of the year
  • Days of the Week Series–Dolls for every day of the week
  • Little Pet Series–Children with pets
  • Birthday Girls Series–Dolls for every year from newborn to 21
  • Birthstone Dolls Series–Girls with dresses the same color as birthstones
  • Career Series–Showing careers such as teachers and nurses
  • All sorts of Christmas figurines

There is a story behind the name “Josef Originals.”

The name was supposed to be spelled “Joseph,” but the printer made a mistake on the first set of labels that were ordered. It was too late to change the labels. The orders were in and the ceramics had to be shipped. So, “Josef Originals” was born.

Today, Josef Originals figurines are gaining in popularity and prices are starting to go up. When you are looking for these figurines be sure that they retain their sticker labels and if they are birthday girls they should retain their poem tags….this makes their value higher. Ebay, Etsy, Antique Shops, Thrift Stores are where you can find these cuties. The doll figurines can be had for $14.99-$50 and the older figurines with black eyes and black labels can go as high as $75+. The Christmas figures too are going for approx. $45-$75 on average. How many Josef Originals do you have in your collection?


What You Need To Know About Collecting Headvases

Many Heads

It was roughly one year ago that I actually paid attention to a Head Vase. Before, I saw them here and there and in old books and tv shows but had no real interest at that time. So, I was out product sourcing a year  ago for some auctions I was going to post up for the weekend when I came across a “Norleans” lady Head Vase with the long black eyelashes, a gorgeous head of blonde hair and siren red lips. That Norleans head vase was a small 4 1/2 inch head vase and looked so amazing that I went into the booth she was in and took her off the shelf to get a better look. I took her home that afternoon and she was sold before the week was over! Now, I wish I would have kept her as I would love to start my own collection as I am truly fascinated by the beauty and glamour of vintage Head Vases.

For those that are advanced collectors and for those that are just getting started on their collections, the below is some great information on Head Vases that I hope you enjoy reading.

Head Vase History
With World War II a memory, America prospered in the late 1940s and 50s. Japan was no longer the enemy; instead, with its lower labor costs as well as the favorable dollar/yen exchange rate, the island nation increasingly became the source of many low-cost imports to the United States. Small ceramics were among the most popular—including head vases, which today have become extremely collectible.

Back then, few would have anticipated the current popularity of this commodity which, for decades, florists used as inexpensive enhancements for their bouquets. Indeed, what today we usually refer to as “ceramic planters” or “head vases,” was often then generically called “florist ware.” Neighborhood “five and dimes” were popular sources for the more affordable pieces.

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Collecting Vintage Mermaids, Seahorses and Fish

To all collectors of ceramic Mermaids, Seahorses and Fish, boy you are in for a real treat with this book by Arleen Smith – Ceramic Fish, Mermaids & Seahorses: Bathroom Decorations of the 1940s & 1950s. I have not come across another book like this one that particularly focuses on vintage 1940s – 1950s bathroom ceramics. The author introduces you to the “Ceramic Potters” of yester-year like Bradley Exclusives, Josef Originals, Ceramicraft, Kay Finch, Deforest, Freeman-McFarlin, Lefton, Napco, PY, Enesco, Norcrest, Napco, Joty, Gilner, Holt Howard and the Made In Japan imports. The book was published by Schiffer back in 2001 but don’t for one moment think it is out-dated as it has 128 pages full of photos, information and values. OK, value wise the book is a touch out-dated but from researching these kitschy sea collectibles in today’s 2010 market, I can tell you that their value and appeal is skyrocketing!

Ceramic Fish, Mermaids & Seahorses: Bathroom Decorations of the 1940s & 1950s shows the reader the many beautifully crafted Mermaids, Fish, and Seahorses complete with bubbles. You get to see the differences in the crafting styles of the many artists during the 1940s-1950s and also see the differences between the Japan made pieces. Yes, the Mermaids are beautiful Vixen Sirens of the sea and the Seahorses are a Magical Mystical creature some with rhinestone eyes and Fish made from chalkware to such highly detailed, painted and stylized pieces that you are left in awe!  For details about this amazing book please visit HERE to get yours!


Do You Collect Josef Originals?

It was about a year ago that I first came across a little 6-year-old birthday girl angel figurine. I was out product sourcing when I found this little figurine. I noticed that when I turned the figurine upside down she had “Josef Originals” incised. I had no idea at this point what a Josef Originals was but was glad the figurine was marked as items that are marked or signed tend to sell faster and for higher prices then un-marked or un-signed items and the price tag on this little figurine was well within my budget.

I got the little figurine home and opened up my MAC to begin a bit of research on “Josef Originals” and sold her that evening! Well, it turned out that buying this little figurine was indeed a good investment as she sold right away for more than 4 times what I snapped her up for. I now know that there are many collectors of Josef figurines and the Birthday Angles are just one of many series of figurines that were created by the company. Since I had not known about Josef Originals until last year, there are perhaps others that don’t as well so I thought the below might be helpful as the world of Josef Originals is a highly-sought after market.

About Josef Originals:

Josef Originals are designed by artist Muriel Joseph George who is the creator of Josef Orignals back in 1945. These figures are created with the utmost attention to authenticity, including the detailed ceramic construction and 24K gold paint for character accents. Cute animals, charming dolls, delightful Christmas characters.

Continue reading