Ampersand Design Studio

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Category Archives: just for fun

Iris the film 04.30.2015

 

“Nothing I ever did I expected to do,” Iris Apfel, the eclectic New York style icon, explains in Iris, a new documentary by Albert Maysles. “It just kind of happened.” – Vogue.com

There’s just something about Iris Apfel that has always been intriguing to us. We’ve always been attracted to her eclectic, colorful style and curious about the woman behind the glasses! So, needless to say, we’re excited about this new documentary. Are you guys feeling the same?

If you’re wondering who she is…here’s a little excerpt from Vogue.com to give you a preview of the way Iris thinks. We just love her!

Apfel was well into her eighties when she became an It girl; it wasn’t until a 2005 exhibition at the Costume Institute that she became publicly known. Years before that, though, her style sense had earned her a quiet following among the arbiters of taste. Shortly after her marriage to her husband, Carl—“He was cool, he was cuddly, and he cooked Chinese, so I couldn’t do any better,” she said—the couple founded Old World Weavers, an interior-design firm that redecorated the White House under presidents Truman to Clinton. To source the unique art and fabrics for which they were known, they traveled widely. Even since retiring, Apfel continues to make rounds close to home. In Maysles’s film, we watch her haggling for bracelets in Harlem—she only wants the cheap ones, three for twenty dollars—and commuting between New York City and Florida, sometimes taking fifty phone calls a day. We learn how she arranges mannequins in her own image (layered jewelry, pattern contrasts) and sells accessories on the Home Shopping Network. (“Color can raise the dead!”) Most of all, we start to understand the mind behind the brazen taste. Where other style icons are sometimes prescriptive and arch, Apfel finds beauty in individuality, however offbeat. Real fashion isn’t about pleasing the people around you, she says, but about pleasing yourself: “It’s better to be happy than to be well-dressed.”

Also, can we discuss the ah-mazing movie poster! Incredible! Here are a couple more Iris shots just to get you excited for the movie! On the cover of Salt and in the latest Kate Spade campaign.

Come see us at The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art! 01.03.2015

We have a pretty good Saturday planned and we want you all to come see us! We are going to be at the one and only Nelson Atkins Museum of Art TODAY, Saturday, January 3rd from 10am-1pm for their “The Artist is IN” event! We are thrilled to have some of our products, including our Kansas City tote bags,  in the museum shop and today, we will be demonstrating exactly how we create the KC totes! We’ll be hand-painting the bags and assembling charms for all to see! Hope you stop by!

when it comes to decorating your home… 06.20.2013

When looking for pieces for your home, we feel like there’s no reason to go conservative! Why not have a little fun with home decor? Ya know, not everything needs to be neutral colors! We say, go bold or go home! We rounded up a few colorful pieces to add just that touch of fun that you’re looking for!

drawer pulls (chevron & facets)  // pop stool // pillow // dou african hamper // taxi salt & pepper shakers // wordsearch dish // chair // mixed print napkin set

  1. Richele

    I love all these items! Beautiful collection of colours and patterns :)
    Thanks for sharing!

    June 20, 2013 5:57 pm
  2. ampersand

    thanks Richele! So glad you like them :)

    June 20, 2013 6:03 pm

this might be our favorite thing we’ve ever seen 05.28.2013

We’re not sure if we could love anything more than this rainbow, abstract painting on the exterior of a church in Washington, DC!!!

Artist, Alex Brewer, also known as HENSE, first made a name for himself as a graffiti artist and his work grew into the realm of public art, grants, commissions, and cross-media connections which have landed him local, national and international public art projects. Brewer developed his skill for graffiti in the mid to late ‘90s and early 2000s.

We couldn’t describe his work better than this: “HENSE’s manic marks, scribbles, drips and splashes produce an agitated tangle of shapes, symbols and figures that offer the viewer a unique and strangely peaceful platform for the eyes and mind. His slick stylizing may send observers on a roller coaster ride of emotions, perturbed to peaceful, angry to inspired, always travelling at the command of the individual’s own subconscious collection of experiences.”

Ted Elmore – RVA News

{all images from HENSE’s website}

comments 7

  1. Uncle Beefy

    Gah!!! JOYOUS!!!

    May 28, 2013 7:03 am
  2. Rhaynelina Estevez

    Wow, amazing! Never seen something like this…

    May 28, 2013 9:50 am
  3. Josephine Kimberling

    LOVE this!!!!

    May 28, 2013 3:00 pm
  4. ampersand

    we know, we know!!! so glad you guys think this is as incredible as we do!!!!!!!

    May 28, 2013 4:56 pm
  5. Sarah York

    This is amazing!!!! Would love to see it in person. I wonder what the neighbors think? Love!

    May 28, 2013 9:02 pm
  6. Anne Brent

    I want to go to there. His paintings are amazing too, like Rothko, Pollock and Rosenquist got together for a good ole crazy time. Want!

    May 29, 2013 3:57 pm
  7. julie

    I agree! I’ve been following Hense for a while and this is just so amazing!! I can’t imagine how he keeps the spontaneity in his work at such a large scale…truly amazing!
    ps I love your work :)

    May 12, 2014 3:52 pm

Painted Bird Shoes 03.13.2013

Painted Bird Shoes first caught my (Morgan’s) eye on the feet of one of my fashionable friends, Alison, who was in town visiting from California. I immediately needed to know where they were from so I could run home, get online and copy her cool Cali style! So, when Painted Bird asked Carrie & I  how we would wear their shoes, we were MORE than happy to romp around the city in our favorite new accessory! What’s not to love?  They come in so many unique color combinations and they couldn’t possibly be more comfortable. We’re always looking for something casual, but cuter than flip-flops. You know, something chic enough for dresses and skirts, but casual enough for cut-offs and jeans. Painted Bird just solved everything on our checklist– they are so versatile! Each shoe is artisan crafted & hand crocheted. They are seriously beautiful. Plus, Painted Bird was designed and created by two brilliant women (it’s worth reading their bio) needless to say, we are huge fans!


PS… did we happen to mention how cute the packaging is?  We just loved the surprise of getting shoes in a printed muslin bag. Just too perfect!

It just so happens, the entire identity was designed by the very friend we spoke of earlier, Alison! Speaking of insanely talented ladies, Alison is high on that list as well. Her studio out of sunny California, is called Fable Design. Make sure to check out Fable Design’s portfolio, full of great color,  one-of-a-kind graphic design and surface patterns!

Aren’t they gorgeous up close? You should really own a pair to see for yourself. Good luck picking your favorite color though, that’s all we have to say! We couldn’t even narrow down our choices to two for days! As you can see, Morgan went with the ankle strap and Carrie went without, but never fear, most colors are offered in both options. And if you’re wondering, they stay on without the strap (we wondered, so thought you might be too). They’ve been tested by us, and that’s a serious test including  running around after (very fast) toddler boys all day long!

One last thing we wanted to share with you all is  that a select few pairs of Painted Bird can be found at Anthropologie! Yep!! It appears some are currently sold out, but we found the Tidal Pool Ankle Wrap is still there!!!!

Shop Painted Bird here!

comments 4

  1. Gaby [The Vault Files]

    You two are too cute, love love the photos, great styling ladies!

    March 14, 2013 9:00 pm
  2. Nickole

    Wow gorgeous shoes. Fun and colorful pictures. I want some tooooo!!! ;)

    March 17, 2013 7:21 pm
  3. ampersand

    Thank you, Gaby!!! You know that means a ton coming from you!!!

    March 17, 2013 7:55 pm
  4. annie

    these are so so cute! they look like perfect summer shoes. you should check out inagrau.com, they are in the same vein.

    March 18, 2013 6:02 pm