Jul
30
Welcoming August & the End of Summer!

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When August rolls around I get a pang of restlessness. Every year. It doesn’t matter if I just had the most fun summer ever, it’ll still feel like I’m taking off with less than I anticipated and picking up more responsibilities. There’s something about August that, even though it’s supposed to technically still be summer, sure feels like picking up the last scoop of ice cream on your bowl; you taste it extra slow to make it last more than it should. Fall’s picking its head in!

But since August still qualifies as summer season, this is the time to make the most of it and finish checking things off that imaginary bucket list. Did you finally debut that cute one-piece swimsuit your purchased in May? This is the moment to do so!

Other activities to make the most of the summer are:

Have fun with what’s left of it!

Xo,

Mellanie

Jul
23
10 Books for Creatives!

Marilyn Reading

Let me tell you about something I love doing. That is reading, reading, reading, reading. And sadly, there aren’t enough hours in the day for the amount of reading I like to do. With going to school basically from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., then coming home to more assignments, it feels like the most I get done is a page a day. Downer! However, I do try to make reading a priority, and as creatives, why shouldn’t we? We spent a lot of our time using up our creative reserves. From time to time, it’s good to renew our energies with new perspective, tips, and ideas.

Because you can bet I spend a lot of my time surfing around Goodreads and Amazon, and also reading reviews and gathering recommendations, I compiled a nice list of 10 of my top picks for designers, or creatives in general!

1. Creative Confidence, Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All — Tom Kelley

2. Imagine, How Creativity Works — Jonah Lehrer

3. Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative — Austin Kleon

4. The War of Art — Steven Pressfield 

5. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey — Jill Bolte Taylor

6. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration — Ed Catmull 

7. Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities — David Airey

8. The Creativity Challenge: Design, Experiment, Test, Innovate, Build, Create, Inspire, and Unleash your Genius — Tanner Christensen 

9. It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be — Paul Arden

10. Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind — Jocelyn K. Glei

Which one will you be picking up?!

Xo,

Mellanie

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Jul
16
My New Adventure!

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Hello Spitfiregirls!

It’s been a little while since I spent some well-deserved time with you guys! There’s no good excuse but this: I’ve been weaving my way through a new adventure.

About three weeks ago, I completed my big move from small town Ames, Iowa to Syracuse, New York. As of July 6th I’m a master’s student at Syracuse University’s S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications! In about a year I’ll have completed my degree in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism. It’s crazy how fast the turn around is, and a year will sure fly by! I’m as excited as you can guess I am!

Although my internship at Spitfiregirl is way past due, I’ve overstayed my welcome because I’ve loved everything Spitfiregirl ever since I started. I’m lucky to have been giving the opportunity to work alongside Heidi for about almost a year now! We’ve done so many fun things: mood boards, style features, shopping guides, recipe roundups, etc! I’ve seriously had the most fun. So when Heidi asked me if I’d stay I totally said yes!

I’m hoping to get back on track with more consistency as I fall into a routine with my master’s degree, and all the newness, but I do have so many things I’d like to contribute. The most exciting past, to be honest, is that a lot of what I’m learning are things that I can apply right here! For example, I’m learning that Comic Sans is a total no-no typeface, and that to keep designs interesting you need to keep viewers confused. Haha! I don’t mean that, but I kind of do at the same time. There’s a total science behind guiding the eye through a design, and it’s the most interesting thing! Other than that, I’m learning tons about news-writing, which isn’t necessarily my cup of tea, but is a necessary skill to acquire. I can’t wait to apply all that I’m learning.

I hope to eventually snag a really nice job as an editor for a magazine (my favorite one is Darling in Los Angeles!) or keep working in online editorial.

As for now, Spitfiregirls, stay awesome and keep following our blog! So many fun things to come!

Xo,

Mellanie

Jul
14
The Best Version of Yourself

 – So good, it deserved a repost –

It came to my attention, the other morning, as I was sitting in the bus on my way to work quietly repelling anyone and everyone that may give sitting next to me a second thought, how lamely we hold stewardship of our time, of our potential to give, and ultimately our lives nowadays. Have you ever felt like this? It dawned on me as I sat quietly tense in my seat in case I locked eye-contact with anybody I knew and had to spark that much dreaded conversation of “How are you’s” and “How was your weekend’s”. I didn’t feel very much like myself that morning, and I just didn’t feel like giving anything of myself to others.

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I haven’t lived very long, but if there’s something I’ve learned it is that the way you begin a day can very much set the tone for how you feel the rest of the day, for whether you let small things get to you like the waiter in the restaurant forgetting to fill your glass of water, or a co-worker complaining more than usual. It’s a funny thing sometimes, don’t you think? That we become so easily irritated by other’s differences: the way they do things, or the way they communicate, or about their subtle lapses in judgements, while at the same time requiring nothing less of each other than the very exceptional.

Don’t we all have that right of expecting the best from others?

In light of that, I’ve thought a lot lately about what it takes to truly be the best version of yourself in the day-to-day. It’s not so simple really! It’s not everyday that’s it’s your graduation, or your wedding day, or your baby shower, or just the best day ever! But I think it’s all in the small thing we do each day to feel most like ourselves, and in turn, help others to feel like the best version of themselves, too.

Someone wise once said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”- Maya Angelou

1. Take good care of yourself. No matter how much I try to deny it sometimes, I know that I will never, ever, ever, be moved to change anybody’s life if I feel like I slept four hours last night. Yep, you heard me. It’s all in the small things. And it may truly sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the fair amount of mornings I had to spend sitting in lecture halls next to grouchy, smelly, sleep-deprived people who had had very much fun the previous night, and were very much hungover the following day. All in good fun, forget changing anybody’s life, these people weren’t moved to let me borrow a pencil! In all seriousness, however, the only way to ever remotely start to forget yourself a little and live a little more for others, is if you got yourself less to worry about. Do whatever it takes to feel the most like yourself today. Did you eat? Did you sleep well? Did you relax a little? Did you check things off your agenda? Did you put on that perfect shade of lipstick you love so much?

You’ve heard it: “Love yourself first, and everything else will fall into line”- Lucille Ball

2. Putting others first.We all have something to bring to the table; let that be funny wit, or good listening ears, we all have something we like to share with others. But I think the universal kindness we can always pay others if the knack of putting them first. And this doesn’t always have to translate to the literal example of letting someone else before you in the grocery line, but just having the tact of lending listening ears where needed, and the disposition to put yourself in another’s shoes. It can go as far as helping to assuage rising arguments and sore spots with people by lending you the patience to return to the discussion or conversation with a little more heart. Remember how good it feels when somebody tells you you’ve made their day?

You’ve heard it: “Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours”- Les Brown

3. Give. Give a little bit more of your time, a little more of your food, a little more of your craft. If you have things to bring to the table, bring them! That’s not to negate number #1 on this list, but always, always strive to give without asking, and to not expect things in return. It’s never good to become so self-absorbed in our own wants and needs that we forget what it is to be there for others, and to find meaning in ourselves through the joy our lives can bring to others. Write random thank-you notes and bring donuts to work, #whydontcha.

You’ve heard it: ” A candle does not dim by sharing its flame” – Unknown

 

Why don’t you ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world?’ – Gandhi

Xo,

Mellanie

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Jul
09
Fun Anthropologie Swimsuits!

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Pack up, guys! We’re already half-way through the summer and we’ve been dying to finally debut one of our favorite swimsuit pieces. I don’t know about you, but some of us don’t have a pool accessible very much, let alone year-round! Therefore, swimming becomes a more elusive, yet exciting activity to look forward to. Whether you’re into bikinis, tankinis, or one-pieces, we’ve got a fun pattern for you. And I don’t know about you, but I never cease to be amazed by Anthropologie’s sense of texture.

Which one will you be rocking this summer?

Swimsuits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Xo,

Mellanie

Jul
07
Welcome Emily, our new design intern!

Spitfiregirl-design-intern-EmilyWell, hello there! I’m Emi/Em/Emily/what have you, and I’m so thrilled to be joining Team Spitfiregirl as their newest design intern! Let’s get to know each other, shall we? I consider my life’s purpose to be travel. My last adventure was backpacking solo from western Ireland to southern Italy. My next adventure will bring me to Peru and Ecuador this fall, including kayaking the Amazon and staying in native villages. My current adventure? Uprooting and moving to Denver! In May, I graduated from the Communications Design program in the art school of the snowiest college in America, Syracuse University. It wasn’t long into my studies that I knew I wanted to work for a tiny, superbly talented design group with truly good people. Extra points if they were sassy females. You can imagine my delight to have found Heidi and a firm called ‘Spitfiregirl’!

I’m a fine artist by nature, with a love for the problem-solving nature of design. I like getting my hands dirty in creating my work rather than hiding behind my computer screen. You’ll find me sketching, printmaking, sculpting, weaving, photographing, collaging, hand lettering, and accidentally rinsing my paintbrush in my teacup.  I have great love for pattern design and illustration, both of which frequently find their way into my design. You can check out my college design work on my website.

Outside of design,  I’m usually outside (so punny). You’ll find me hiking, biking, snowboarding, and climbing trees. I’m an unexpected science geek with no interest in TV unless it’s low budget BBC sci-fi. I love loose-leaf tea, craft beer, 85% dark chocolate, and bonfires. I love gardening and loom weaving. I love my adopted old lady cat, Shadow, who I put in a pink sweater when it’s really cold out. I believe in the inherent goodness of humans, and that happiness lives in the little details that are so easily overlooked.

I’m so excited to learn the ins-and-outs of the design world in my time here with Team Spitfiregirl!

See you soon,
Emi

 

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Jul
02
A Modern Take on 4th of July

The 4th of July is fast upon us, and like many of you, we’re hosting a big BBQ at our house. I both love and loathe this holiday – I love all the festivities, fireworks – and let’s face it – hot dogs (mildly obsessed). But the red, white and blue can get a little garrish in my opinion. Like Christmas,  this holiday can get out of control quickly in the home decor department. So I’ve gathered up several easy and inexpensive ideas to bring some patriotism to your party, while keeping it part of your modern aesthetic.

God Bless America (and the Dollar Store)

How amazing are these lights (ok, these are NOT cheap or easy – but you get the idea!) Here’s some DIY string light ideas

Quick and Easy Vase & Votive Wrap

Modern Bunting with Ribbon and Paint Chips

Download this free coaster design here

A simple patriotic label for your wine bottles

Who doesn’t love sparklers?

 

Have a happy holiday!

XO,
Heidi


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  • Hello There!
    Oh hello there!
    Thanks for stopping by the blog! Here we’ll be sharing bits about design, living, fashion, business, motherhood and anything else that tickles our fancy. Hope you enjoy!
    Heidi

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