Ampersand Design Studio

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let’s talk about failure… 04.11.2014

On this little blog, we often share our latest accomplishments and things we’d like to celebrate with all of you…but there is SO much more to our story than the successes. There have been missteps, hiccups, accidents, bad decisions and plenty of failures. Big ones even. Things we have gotten extremely excited about and couldn’t wait to share…even started dreaming up the blog post and magazine feature that would surely come because of it….and then BAM, it doesn’t happen at all. These are things we don’t talk about publicly much, but not because of their lack of importance.

We wanted to put this out there especially for all of you out there that think about starting your own company. Or possibly, you already have. Or just in general, want to follow your dream of doing something you love. Even if you aren’t working for yourself yet or don’t plan to….there are going to be failures along the path of reaching your goals.

Speaking from experience, we are here to say, those failures have made us just as strong as the successes. Although they hurt at the time and there are some that we think about and our hearts still sink…but we have learned to channel those emotions towards pushing ourselves farther ahead toward the next goal. Things most definitely don’t always go as planned and sometimes the accidents are the best thing that can happen, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

So as we continue to share all beautiful, happy and fun on this blog….we wanted to just be real for a minute and say that not all days are celebrations. But the one thing that is always true is that we will continue to push ourselves. No one ever said this was going to be easy and well, it’s not. But none of our successes have been luck. We work really hard. Sometimes we work crazy hours. We actively go after everything we want. And this seems to be true for every success story we see. Sometimes from the outside, you don’t see all the work that goes into the successes, but trust us. It’s there.

So, thank you to all of you who do share our little celebrations along this crazy journey that we are on. We are unbelievably thankful for all of you!!

top image: vineet kaur, bottom image: tapiture

comments 6

  1. Bear Creek Quilting Company

    Great reminder! We all have to learn somehow and someway. Thanks for the post. ~Shari

    April 11, 2014 7:54 pm
  2. Olivia

    So true. I love posts like this that “keep it real.”

    April 11, 2014 9:29 pm
  3. Gina

    Well put. Hugs to you both. ;)

    April 12, 2014 2:38 am
  4. Kristina

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m a small business owner and just recently had a couple of small failures and yep = it’s not easy to swallow. This is a great reminder! Thank you SO much! ♥

    April 12, 2014 2:38 pm
  5. Jack Sprat

    Is it really Failure or Feedback? The energy of “failure” is not good. The energy of “feedback” is much more empowering…

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Refuse to ever use the term “failure” again about yourself or anyone else. Remind yourself that when things didn’t go as planned you didn’t fail, you only produced a result. Then ask yourself this powerfully life-enhancing question, “What am I going to do with the results I’ve produced?” And proceed to act in such a way as to be grateful rather than resentful for those less than glorious results.
    ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

    April 13, 2014 6:10 pm
  6. Kari

    This was just what I needed to read today:) Thanks so much for sharing. It’s easy for me to focus on the failures, but I’ve been trying to be better about thinking about the good things instead. You guys have accomplished so much and should be so proud of yourselves!

    April 14, 2014 9:02 pm

the lips have it 09.23.2013

Have you noticed yourself pining for something that’s sealed with kiss? Well, us too. We don’t know what it is about the blatant focus on the mouth that’s playful, sexy and a little odd all at the same time! And you know what? …we’re loving every bit of it! What do you guys think? Love it or hate it?

1 lipstick printed patricia pant // 2 lips watercolor giclee //  3 brass place card holder  // 4 little kiss perfect earrings // 5 muse bowl  //  6 lucky lips crossbody bag // 7 dazzling sequined lips sweatshirt // 8 lips key fob //

comments 2

  1. NTdwrKHaTzySrU

    329542 492361Beneficial info and excellent design you got here! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Great work! 810439

    September 26, 2013 4:11 am
  2. ampersand

    Thank you very much, glad you like the post. We do work hard to bring fresh ideas to share!

    September 26, 2013 4:22 am

get up and go vote! 11.06.2012

all we have to say today is… step away from the computer for a few minutes, get up and go vote! It’s our duty, and quite frankly, you’re not allowed to complain about a single thing unless you make your voice heard by casting your vote. It doesn’t take that much time and it’s so important.  Go do it….go on….

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Getting Crafty: Muffin Tin Frame 07.12.2012

We’re thrilled to be bringing you another brilliant Getting Crafty post by our girl, Laura Parke! We’re pretty obsessed with this great idea for displaying photos. This is a perfect and creative way to show off those first year month-by-month photos so many of us have taken. Love the idea of displaying them all at once so you can have a daily reminder of all those cute stages. As Laura points out, there are endless possibilities for this project. Thanks, Laura, for the idea!
Here’s Laura:
For this month’s Getting Crafty column, I’ve decided to repurpose a muffin tin into a photo frame. The lightweight muffin tin acts as the perfect photo frame to hang up or lean against a wall.

Materials: Muffin tin, 1 3/4″ paper punch, photos or prints to be trimmed, 12 craft paints in various colors, white spray paint suitable for metal, and a paint brush.


Step 1: Begin by spray painting the muffin tin, using sand paper if necessary to achieve a smooth surface. Since I used a very aged muffin tin, I required a little bit of sanding, but not much. I did about three light coats of spray paint on mine, waiting for it to dry between coats, to get full coverage.
Step 2: Plan out which paint color you want in each circle and start painting! This step will also take two to three coats to achieve full coverage. Be sure to let dry.
Step 3: Cut out the photos you want, using the paper punch and tape or glue them into place, leaving a colored border showing. For this example, I used Morgan’s son’s month by month photo series! Isn’t he adorable?? Thanks, Shaw, for helping me out!
That’s it! This project could also be used for elementary aged kids and be used from first grade through high school, or it could be used as a kids project to collect photos from vacations, summer activities, etc. The list goes on!

comments 4

  1. Josephine Kimberling

    SO CUTE!! Love the white against the pops of color! Perfect use of those photo’s too!

    July 12, 2012 4:03 pm
    • ampersand

      isn’t it adorable! we are pretty obsessed with this project! laura’s so good!

      July 13, 2012 3:08 pm
  2. Tuesday: Newsy Snacks For Busy People | justb.

    [...] great project.  Go on. Hugh Jackman ‘sparks jealousy on the beach.’ OMG. Cute DIY : Muffin Tin Frames = crafty! Madonna evens things up and flashes her other boob. Make this cute chevron trellis with [...]

    July 16, 2012 8:00 pm
  3. The JustB Rad Reading List | justb.

    [...] you need to know about reupholstering vintage furniture, by Emily Henderson. Cute DIY : Muffin Tin Frames = crafty! Ten fantastic stationery designers for your snail mail adventures. [...]

    July 20, 2012 3:03 am

bookshelf: Little Paper Planes by Chronicle Books 06.22.2012

Now who doesn’t get a little nostalgic thinking about making a paper plane? It’s a childhood classic! And those of us with our own kids now must know there will be many a paper plane in our future if not already!

Well, get this, a group of artists from the group Little Paper Planes (yeah, we’re assuming the concept of the book derived from their name, too) have collaborated on a beautifully illustrated activity book filled with constructible paper doll airplanes, plane mobiles, mix-and-match gliders, and more. Yep, they are taking our notebook paper planes up juuuust a few notches!

Chronicle Books continues to inspire us with the products they put out and this is no exception!!

Read the full description below and get your book here:

Featuring work from rising stars and indie darlings from the aptly named artists’ collective littlepaperplanes.com, including Gemma Correll, Michael Hsiung, Julia Rothman, Alyson Fox, and Lisa Congdon, these patterns take the paper plane to a whole new level. Printed on perforated pages for easy removal and assembly, the planes are accompanied by instructions, artist interviews, and loads of cool visuals. From paper doll planes and shark planes to plane mobiles and mix-and-match gliders, this delightful collection is jam-packed with creative ideas sure to launch the imagination into flight.

Kelly Lynn Jones is a San Francisco–based artist and founder of littlepaperplanes.com, an online community that helps emerging artists from around the world share the art they create.

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