Retro Summer BBQ Bash: Mid-Century Essentials

Summer’s here, and it’s time to fire for a retro barbecue and up the grill, slip into our favorite vintage summer outfits, and let the good times roll! If you’re like me, you can’t wait to dust off your mid-century treasures and infuse your backyard gatherings with a healthy dose of nostalgia. Let’s dive into some kitschy must-haves that will make your summer BBQ the talk of the neighborhood.

Hot Diggity Dog!

Vintage Lefton Hotdog Head and Hamburger Head Pixieare Condiment Jars
Vintage Lefton Hotdog Head and Hamburger Head Pixieare Condiment Jars

No backyard BBQ is complete without hot dogs and hamburgers, and what better way to serve up your favorite condiments than in those darling Lefton Pixieware mustard jars? These adorable anthropomorphic ceramics, shaped like hot dogs and hamburgers with whimsical expressions, will bring a smile to everyone’s face and add a touch of kitschy charm to your table setting.

Holt Howard Mustard Jar MCM Starburst Franciscan Plate
Holt Howard Mustard Jar MCM Starburst Franciscan Plate

Shake It Up, Baby!

Salt and pepper shakers are a must-have for any BBQ, but why settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary? Anthropomorphic salt and pepper shakers are where it’s at! Think cute corn cob couples, smiling strawberries, and even cute corn cob plates with matching skewers! These quirky characters will bring a smile to your guests’ faces and add a touch of kitsch to your table.

Retro Fashion and Summer Memories:

And let’s not forget about backyard BBQ fashion! A fun 1950s novelty border print dress adorned with cheerful oranges perfectly complements the summery vibe, while a stylish harlequin print circle skirt makes a statement as you arrive in your classic 1956 Nash Metropolitan. More summer fashion here.

Let’s Get This Party Started!

With your retro treasures in place, you’re ready to host a summer BBQ that will transport your guests back in time. So put on some swingin’ tunes, break out the hula hoops, and let the good times roll! Remember, it’s not just about the food – it’s about creating an experience that’s fun, festive, and full of vintage charm.

Bonus Tip: Of course, no retro gathering is complete without a vintage Polaroid camera to capture those picture-perfect moments of laughter, delicious food, and unforgettable memories. Don’t forget to snap some photos of your kitschy BBQ spread! Share them on social media with the hash tag #retrobbq and let’s spread the mid-century love!

Let’s Get Kitsch-y Together!

Do you have any favorite mid-century collectibles that you love to showcase at your summer BBQs? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below! Let’s inspire each other to create unforgettable retro gatherings.

Happy Summer, Kitsch-Lovers!

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Mid-Century Magic: Portland’s Antique Mall Adventure

Oh, the joy of antiquing! There’s nothing quite like the thrill of the hunt for that perfect piece of the past to bring into the present. My recent antiquing spree in the charming city of Portland, Oregon was nothing short of magical. The city, with its quirky and retro vibe, is a treasure trove for lovers of mid-century modern, atomic, and retro vintage treasures.

My first stop was the famed Stars Antique Mall, a place where the past comes alive. The aisles were brimming with delightful finds from vintage furniture to quaint knick-knacks. I left with some amazing vintage pieces!! Each booth told a story of a bygone era waiting to be rediscovered. I enjoy shopping at Stars for a couple of reasons:

Stars Antique Mall
Stars Antique Mall

The Stars Antique Mall in Portland is a captivating blend of variety, space, and convenience, making it a must-visit hub for antique enthusiasts. Housing a lively community of 200 dealers, the mall offers a rich tapestry of merchandise ranging from Mid-Century Modern pieces of the 1950s-1960s, retro delights from the 1970s-1980s, vinyl records, whimsical kitchen kitsch, ephemeral items, charming figurines, novelties, and seasonal collectibles, among others.

This diverse array of merchandise not only creates a vibrant and dynamic shopping environment but also invites visitors into a nostalgic journey through time. Adding to its allure is the mall’s spacious and expansive layout, spread across two storefronts on the same block. The generous space provides a comfortable ambiance for shoppers to meander through the huge showrooms, making the exploration of antique and vintage treasures an exciting adventure.

Located in the quaint Westmoreland neighborhood of southeast Portland, the mall is easily accessible to both locals and visitors. To top off the delightful shopping experience, the vicinity boasts a range of refreshment options. Just a short stroll away, one can find a welcoming array of food and beverage outlets, from the comforting brews of Starbucks to the savory delights of Pizzicato, catering to every palate and making the antiquing adventure not just a feast for the eyes, but also a satisfying treat for the taste buds.

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Lefton Bluebirds Best Tips and Price Guide for Collectors

Yasmina Greco Lefton Bluebirds Topline Import Bluebirds
Yasmina Greco Lefton Bluebirds Topline Import Bluebirds

Lefton bluebirds, there’s something undeniably captivating about their allure. With their delicate features and cheerful expressions, these charming little creatures have soared into the hearts of collectors worldwide. In this blog, we’ll explore bluebirds by manufacturers Norcrest, Napco Lefton, and Topline Imports, the origins of these delightful figurines, discover how they became a beloved symbol of happiness and hope, and share the best tips and price guide for collectors.

NOTE: You can read about my collections here at Antique Trader Magazine

Norcrest bluebirds and Topline Imports bluebirds are often confused with Lefton bluebirds because they were also produced during the same era and have similar designs. Norcrest bluebirds were produced by the Norcrest China Company, which was founded in Japan in 1953. Norcrest bluebirds are typically marked with a “Norcrest” stamp and are known for their bright colors and playful designs.

Topline Imports bluebirds were produced by the Topline Imports Company, which was founded in Japan in the 1950s. Topline Imports bluebirds are known for their simple, elegant design and often feature a matte finish.

One reason why collectors confuse these three types of bluebirds is that they were all produced during the same era and share similar design features. Additionally, many of these bluebirds were not marked with identifying information, making it difficult to determine their origin.

However, there are some key differences between these three types of bluebirds that can help collectors identify them. For example, Lefton bluebirds are typically marked with a “Lefton” stamp, while Norcrest bluebirds are marked with a “Norcrest” stamp. Topline Imports bluebirds are often marked with a paper label or foil sticker that reads “Topline Imports.”

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Guide to Holt-Howard Pixieware: Prices and the est tips

Holt-Howard Pixieware Collection Mid-Century Modern
Holt-Howard Pixieware Collection

There are remarkable individuals with a golden touch, turning everything they touch into treasure, and Holt-Howard was one such person. He didn’t just dabble in pixieware; he made it famous. Pixieware is a unique ceramic pottery that has enchanted collectors and vintage enthusiasts worldwide. Owning such pieces, you’ll appreciate their immense value. Holt-Howard’s creations remain sought-after today, with soaring prices. What makes pixieware so appealing, and how can you begin collecting Holt Howard’s masterpieces? Explore our price guide and collector tips to learn more!

Collecting vintage Mid-Century modern kitsch ceramics offers unmatched enjoyment. At Crazy4Me, we’re passionate about vintage and kitsch and have curated exceptional Holt-Howard and pixieware pieces from the past six decades. For both experienced collectors and beginners, these items add delight and whimsy to any collection. Dive in and experience the magic—we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Vintage Napco Onion and Ketchup Pixieware Condiment Jars
Vintage Napco Onion and Ketchup Pixieware Condiment Jars
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Boox Palma: More Than an E-Reader – My Personal AI Assistant!

I’m excited to share my latest tech obsession – the Boox Palma e-reader. This little device has the potential to be far more than just a way to read books! This e-reader is more than meets the eye! See how I turn my Boox Palma into a personal AI assistant.

What is the Boox Palma?

Think of the Boox Palma as a super-compact Kindle with a whole lot of extra features. Its crisp eInk display lets you read books with incredible clarity, even in direct sunlight, and the battery lasts incredibly long between charges.

Boox Palma
Boox Palma

The Palma is ridiculously small – about 6 inches tall by 3 inches wide, and less than half an inch thick. This makes it smaller and lighter than most smartphones! Despite its size, it packs a punch:

  • 16-megapixel camera
  • Microphone and speaker
  • Power and volume controls
  • Customizable function button
  • 128GB onboard storage (expandable via MicroSD card)

More Than Just an E-Reader

While the Palma is fantastic for reading, it has something many e-readers lack: Android 11. This opens up a world of possibilities. I decided to take things a step further and turn my Boox Palma into my own personal, pocket-sized AI assistant.

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FOCI AI Review: Can It Boost Your Focus and Productivity?

My First Week with the FOCI AI Wearable: Can it Really Boost Productivity?

As someone in the tech industry managing a global team, I’m always looking for ways to boost my productivity. The search for smarter, not harder, work habits is never-ending. When I discovered the FOCI AI wearable, I was immediately intrigued. This device clips to your waistband and promises to track your focus, distractions, stress, and fatigue, ultimately helping you optimize your work sessions with gentle vibrations. I tried Foci for a week, here’s what happened.

The Setup: Easy and Unobtrusive

Unboxing the FOCI was straightforward (you can check out my unboxing video here), and I was happy to find it clipped sturdily onto my waistband – I barely noticed it after putting it on! The real magic happened after I connected FOCI to my iPhone and started wearing it. The device needed about three days to learn my breathing patterns, a key factor in how it determines my mental state.

First Impressions: Insights with Some Vibrating Caveats

After a few days, FOCI’s app began showing fascinating data about my work habits. It pinpointed periods of deep focus, but also a good deal of distraction and even fatigue I hadn’t necessarily been conscious of. Perhaps most interesting were the vibrations designed to alert me when my focus waned.

My workdays are full of context switching – meetings, rapid decisions, and constant collaboration. It’s no surprise that Foci initially flagged this as a distraction – and honestly, it’s right. Context switching is a major focus killer! The frequent vibrations started to feel more disruptive than helpful after a few days. This raises an important point: even tech designed for focus can become a distraction itself. The vibration intensity also surprised me. I hope Foci will either learn to adapt to my work style, offer settings to adjust the alerts, or I’ll just grow accustomed to them over time. But the Foci is doing its job!!

What’s Next?

Foci AI Review
Foci AI Review

I plan to continue wearing the FOCI and track if anything changes in its analysis patterns or if I get used to the vibration feature. It’s a truly innovative concept, and I’m curious to see how it evolves.

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