June 17, 2014

Introducing SpitfireMom

spitfiremomThere is a Vigilante movement a-brewing of creative, entrepreneurial mothers who are balancing work, kids, self-expression and holding down the fort. These women now have an online home in the invention of SpitfireMom, a place for documenting, celebrating and growing as women, mothers and creative professionals.  As Co-founders Heidi Yarger and Julie Schumacher describe the Society, “At SpitfireMom, we’re all about the juggle and the hustle—that balance of being yourself, a creative, a mom, a friend, and a partner. Of meeting the needs of clients and kids. Of pursuing passions with relentless energy. Of taking time to prioritize yourself. Of getting it done, whether that’s a Pilates session or a strategy session. We feature fresh content for and by creative working moms who do things with style. Design, fashion, fitness, career, home, relationships, products, tips & tricks—it’s all here.” I like this movement. I think it’s important.

juggle and hustle

Check out the feature on the lauded photographer Elizabeth Messina, or how Rena Tom of Makeshift Society has been multi-tasking, or how to make a totally original “campfire” birthday party with designer and photographer Kelly Allison. I even wrote a piece on my experience in The Sandwhich – a reference to being caught in the Sandwhich Generation scenario between caring for little kids and ailing elderly parents all at once. Hint: my saving grace was to ADD something to my life (a business) — not to subtract anything important!

So my hat is off, WAY OFF to these dear friends of mine Heidi and Julie — for creating this community and making my journey feel like that of a killer posse of likeminded smart mothers.


rena tom

Rena Tom’s SpitfireMom feature was thought-provoking.

Kelly Allison

Photographer Kelly Allison’s feature on creating a camping-themed kids party was mega original and chic.

Sandwich Generation_spitfiremom

I wrote a piece on balancing family & work as a member of the Sandwich Generation.

Spitfiremom Society site.

Spitfiremom on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.

May 30, 2013

Missoni: Pattern Perfection

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a fashionista. Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion…but I’ve never been obsessed…a la Carrie Bradshaw. But one fashion house that has always intrigued me is Missoni. The Italian fashion house known for it’s multitude of patterns such as stripes, geometrics, and abstract florals, in a kaleidoscope of colours, is still thriving since it’s inception in 1953. This year’s spring and summer 2013 collection does not disappoint. I love the bold, ombre effect combined with their exquisite use of pattern play. It takes a true vigilante to rock these frocks, and one day this Spitfiregirl will too!



Many thanks to Olivia for asking me to contribute! Be sure to check out her post on Spitfiregirl today as well.

Colorfully yours,

More Missoni perfection can be found here

May 16, 2013

The Grand Bazaar – a Spitfiregirl’s Adventure

Hello Vigilantes!

I’m so excited to be back on Olivia’s blog, sharing something that is so near and dear to me – Istanbul. As Olivia alluded in our joint posts last week (seen here and here), I once lived in Istanbul. While it was many years ago, I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was just 23 when I arrived, spending almost 6 formative months learning not only about this amazing country, but about myself too.

From the sparkling Bosphorus, the impressive Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia (my art history favorite), to a new culture, cuisine and religion…Istanbul is truly a magical place. I spent a lot of time exploring, and one of the places I enjoyed the most was the Kapalıçarşı or The Grand Bazaar.  The Grand Bazaar is one of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets with a staggering 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops.

A few times a month, I’d jump in a dolmus (shared van/taxi) or the city bus and make the journey to Eminönü, part of the walled city of Constantine – where the Grand Bazaar is located. Looking back, I’m pretty darn impressed that I did that alone…so very vigilante of me!


Eminönü (now part of the Fatih District) is my favorite part of Istanbul.

The entrance to the Grand Bazaar

The main entrance to the Bazaar, which sees between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.

Inside the Grand Bazaar

Inside the Bazaar, the national flag and banners of Atatürk – the first president of modern Turkey – are everywhere.


One of my first memories of the Bazaar was of all the mosque lamps. So enchanting.


Pottery, Tiles and the Turkish Eyes.


So much to experience at the Grand Bazaar.

If this post has whet your appetite for all things Turkey, check out Olivia’s post on Spitfiregirl, for a beautiful roundup of turkish textiles!

Heidi  / Spitfiregirl

Images found here

May 10, 2013

The Spitfiregirl Heidi Yarger

Heidi Yarger and I met across a crowded bar in San Francisco, where a mutual friend was hosting birthday drinks. Upon being introduced, there was immediately so much to talk about that we could not contain ourselves. From her tales of living and working in Istanbul, to her company Spitfiregirl Design, to our taste in art — we covered a lot of turf. And all was peppered by our similarly torqued humor! Honestly, if Heidi had been a guy, we’d have been making out in the corner by the end of the night. My first impression of Heidi was that of a shockingly big personality contained in the most diminutive little blonde package.

Since that fateful night, Heidi and I have continued on tandem paths with our families and as businesswomen. Spitfiregirl Design is on the cutting edge of digital and print media, and is an established San Francisco graphic design firm (see her featured as a “Design Crush” in  7×7 magazine this March.). To boot, Heidi is a firecracker when it comes to business building. In return for all that Heidi brings to the table, I provide her with insights as an oddball only-child raised by two New Yorkers in the hippie town of Santa Cruz, California. (She recently informed me that Beyonce is no longer in a girl group.) A fair trade? Perhaps. But there is no denying that the design-buddy chemistry is there!

This is the first column in a series of Spitfiregirl/Vigilante Living collaborations. Please dive in as we combine forces on our respective blogs to tackle topics wide, substantive and always 100% sass-injected. Be sure to check back next week for our first installment.

Spitfiregirl Design:  BLOG  // DESIGN WORK

Follow Spitfiregirl: FACEBOOK  // TWITTER // PINTEREST

The Spitfiregirl herself, Heidi Yarger, in San Francisco's Mission District.

The Spitfiregirl herself, Heidi Yarger.

Identity work for The Meeting House, a Michigan restaurant. I adore the custom engraved wood menu clipboards.

Identity work for The Meeting House, a Michigan restaurant. I adore the custom engraved wood menu clipboards.

Spitfiregirl_The Meeting House V2

More branding work for Michigan foodie haunt, The Meeting House.

mood events_spitfiregirl

I just love Heidi’s iteration of the hand-drawn chevron pattern for this events client, Mood Events.

spitfiregirl_bon mimi

I love how she nailed the casual fun feeling for this children’s clothing brand, Bon Mimi.

style me pretty_map

To date, this is the only design project Spitfiregirl Design & I have been blessed to collaborate on. A map for Heidi’s client: Style Me Pretty, the famous wedding blog. I did the illustrations, and Heidi designed the map.


I knew Heidi would go crazy with her own wedding invitations. (What designer does not?) But her’s were simply exquisite, and included a laser-cut hummingbird that felt like a Tord Boontje paper sculpture.