Ampersand Design Studio


Category Archives: kids

March Craft Events with The Land of Nod 02.25.2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 1.42.17 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-25 at 1.42.33 PM

Hey, hey CHICAGO!!!!! We are coming for ya! That’s right, we are headed to Chicago to host two different craft events with The Land of Nod! The first is a Mom’s Night out at Studio Nod on March 1, from 6-8pm. We’ll be teaching everyone how to hand-stamp your own tea towel! It’s so fun and easy, we promise! And then, the next morning, March 2, from 10am-12pm, we’ll be hosting a Kids Craft at the North & Clybourn store! Your kiddos can build their very own pipe cleaner and straw sculpture! We couldn’t be more excited to hop on the plane and get to crafting in Chicago! We hope you’ll come see us! If you can make it to either (or both) events, RSVP to! More details below!


carrie’s daughter’s gallery wall with 02.19.2016


You got to see Morgan’s beautiful living room make-over a few days ago and now it’s Carrie here to share my daughter, Sydney’s, room which was so long overdue for a little attention. She inherited her big brother’s room when she was born, and it basically didn’t change for the first year. She didn’t seem to mind much that things were feeling a little stale, but I was ready to mix it up for her. So, several months ago, we painted over the neutral light turquoise walls with white and pink. At this point, we hit the breaks again and nothing went back on the walls. That’s when minted came to the rescue! I decided it would be fun to give her a gallery wall of cheerful art. I picked things I thought she would get a kick out of, including animals, which she loves.

I love minted because they have a beautiful collection of children’s art, much of which can be customized. I personalized the Little Bear and Red Bird illustration with Syd’s name and the I Love You So Print with her name and birthdate. It was so easy to find pieces that felt appropriate for a toddler’s room, but were modern and could grow with her. I didn’t limit my search to the children’s art; I included a few pieces from the Limited Edition Collection, too. Basically, my problem was editing down my choices (as you can see, I still chose eleven pieces so I couldn’t force myself to edit too much). I love that these pieces will encourage and inspire Sydney for years to come. MINTED_ART_PICKS_carrie

1 // Sliced Citrus by Kristie Kern, 2 // Sweet Chaos by Michelee Scott, 3 // Inquisitive Cardinal by Juniper Briggs, 4 // Baby Animal.giraffe by Cass Loh, 5 // Star Gazers by Maria Gromek, 6 // Little Bear and Red Bird by iamtonya, 7 // Heirloom Apple by Alexandra Stafford, 8 // Gesture by Kelly Ventura, 9 // Zebra From Above by Mary Ann Glynn 10 // I Love You So by Kelly Ventura 11 // Fragment 2 by Hooray Creative


I’m of the opinion that, when creating a gallery wall, it’s a fine strategy to just put together things you love and let that be the theme for it. I wanted a mix of photographic pieces and illustration, and lots of color, balanced by a bit of black and white. I was loving the idea of mixing the types of frames also and I am obsessed with the frame choices minted offers. I used so many of them and I personally love the combination of their gorgeous metallic frames (I used the matte copper, brushed silver, and matte bronze) plus a few of the whitewashed styles and white wood. They are beautiful in person… so, so good!



I wanted to add a few little pieces I made for her in the mix so I created a simple heart with a piece of gold glitter scrapbooking paper and cut it to the size of a heart-shaped board I found at a craft store. Then, I made the letter S with a cardboard form (also from a craft store) that I painted black and then added a white brushy pattern. The weaving is from Bourbon + Gin, one of my favorite Etsy shops! Everything they make is beautiful. I love how the metallic frames work with Syd’s curtains and curtain rods. Can’t have too much metallic, I figure.


I think she likes it! Thanks, minted for making her one happy little gal and for making it so easy to find amazing art, not to mention supporting independent artists!

Photos by the very talented Kyndall Durkee

Ampersand for Nod // Spring 2016 02.05.2016


1// Color Theory Rug (comes in 4′ x 6′ and 5′ x 8′) , 2 //  Abstract Throw Pillow (Mint), 3 // Abstract Throw Pillow (Pink), 4 // Abstract Throw Pillow (Multi), 5 // Highlight Hamper, 6// Fun Throw Pillow, 7// Great Pyramid Wall Hooks

As professional pattern designers and illustrators, nothing could be more fulfilling that getting to see your vision come to life on truly well-made products for a really cool company. Seriously, it’s everything to us!! So when the Land of Nod Spring 2016 catalog landed in our mailboxes, we pretty much freaked out…calling each other immediately to talk as we flipped through the pages. Designing products for kids is SO. MUCH. FUN. And The Land of Nod is simply just one really cool company to work for. For this spring collection, we got to design everything from baby blankets, to rugs, to wall hooks and even a teepee! We rounded up most of the products right here for you with direct links to the Nod site but you can always just search “Ampersand Design Studio” in their search field to find all current products by us. And, we can’t go without saying, Nod works with some of the most talented designers in the game, so make sure you check out ALL of the latest including other designer partnerships. You are sure to be blown away!


1// Creature Comfort Baby Quilt, 2// Orange High Five Throw Pillow, 3// Creature Comfort Sheet Set (comes in lots of sizes: changing pad cover, crib, toddler, twin , full and queen), 4// A Teepee to Call Your Own (Blue Maze) (also comes in Orange Maze), 5// Creature Comfort Quilt (comes in twin, full and queen), 6// Creature Comfort Pillow Sham, 7// Cool Monster Throw Pillow

We had the best time designing bedding with our own boys in mind (see the Creature Comfort collection above!). And then, we got to design the girly bedding of our 80s childhood dreams (see the Rainbow Charm collection below) including yet another rainbow pillow. All of you who know us, know that nothing could be more fitting!


1// Rainbow Charm Pillow Sham, 2// Rainbow Charm Sheet Set (available in crib, changing pad cover, toddler, twin, full and queen) 3// Rainbow Charm Blanket (also available in baby, twin, full and queen), 4// Rainbow Throw Pillow, 5// High Five Throw Pillow (Pink), 6//Happy Clouds Growth Chart (option to personalize), 7// Tropical Punch Baby Quilt

If you can, take the chance to peruse all of the images on the Nod website, check out the close-ups of each product so you can really see the quality of craftsmanship in each piece. Notice the way the quilts are pieced together. Check out the artistic stitching on the word pillows. Zoom in to see details of the rug (and you can even get a color sample)! All these bits of attention to detail make all the difference! Hope you love our latest creations for Nod! If you get anything for yourself, please share a photo with us and use #AmpersandforNod! You will make our day!

Ampersand for Command DIY Advent Tree 11.23.2015


Come December 1st, kids and adults alike begin the exciting countdown to Christmas Day and an advent calendar is such a fun way to bring the countdown to life! We created this life-sized version using kraft boxes, bags and envelopes along with Command™ strips, clips and hooks to accommodate all the various sizes of little gifties you might want to include for our Bright & Merry Trend for Command! It’s bright and fun and so easy to create! For the full DIY, including all the Command™ products we used to bring it to life, head to



















photos by Wheat Photography video by Paper Crane Photo

#DamageFreeHoliday #DamageFreeDIY #CommandHoliday

Ampersand for Command // Trend: Bright & Merry 11.18.2015


For kids or kids-at-heart, Christmas is pure FUN! Bright & Merry captures the more playful side of the holidays. It’s irreverent and punchy. Neon has made it’s resurgence in the past few years in home decor and it’s here to stay, now infiltrating holiday decor as well! These fluorescent tones are the brightest colors imaginable and can seem overwhelming when standing alone. Mixing these neons with a neutral, whether it’s raw wood or kraft paper, gives it a new, more livable vibe. Color-blocking and color-dipping play a role in Bright & Merry as does the glossy feel of acrylic. Let the neon glow as bright as the tree lights!

We felt like the Bright & Merry trend was the perfect place to do something kids would love, and the idea of an advent calendar was our first thought! It’s so hard for little ones to be patient while waiting for Christmas so an advent calendar is great for making the time leading up to it fun, too.

The calendar we designed was something that we would’ve never even considered had we not been using Command™ products. There is no way we’d put a million nails in our wall to achieve this one. We decided to really leverage the Command™ Small Picture Hanging StripsCommand™ Quartz Spring Clips and Command™ Small Wire Hooks to do something we couldn’t do without them. They allowed us to use all different sizes of boxes, bags and envelopes to fit our gifts and hang them knowing they would come right off the wall with no marks after the holidays. We think this one will be a winner with our own kids!

For all the details about the Bright & Merry trend, including how we made it come to life with this DIY advent calendar, head to


Photos by  Wheat Photography // Hair by Nicole Brancato @nicolecarmelle // Makeup by Stephanie Borger of Simple Beauty

#DamageFreeHoliday #DamageFreeDIY #CommandHoliday

  1. Courtney Shelton

    LOOOOOOOVE this one!!! Everything looks awesome!

    November 18, 2015 8:11 pm