Saturday, December 31, 2011


I've probably been lacking a tad since I've been on holidays. It's surprisingly proved to be quite a busy one. If I'm not out, I'm most likely recharging (sleeping — but recharging sounds less lazy) from the exhaustion. We will return to regular programming soon! I've got another week banked up before I have to return to school. Tonight I have some family and friends coming over to ring in the new year so a lot needs to be done still! The only thing I've done in preparation is paint my nails a shiny pewter colour ("Steel-ing the Scene" by essie) in the spirit of the occassion.

Some resolutions on my part:

1. Post more on blog.
2. Make more art.
3. Floss.

I'll notify you all if anymore come to mind. I've never actually written New Years resolutions before.

Wishing everyone a happy new year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

happy holidays!

Now that there's Christmas lights everywhere, I've been goofing around with taking all these whimsical bokeh photos. I also discovered how to take heart-shaped bokeh photos using a card with a heart hole-punched through it.

I just wanted to take the time to wish all my darling readers a happy holidays, whatever you may celebrate! Best wishes from The Ampersand blog!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

west elm haul

On a recent trip to West Elm, I got a little too excited by the amount of sale and also reasonably priced things. I went around the store putting knick knacks from here and there into my shopping basket. By the end of it, I had way too things and so the basket had to undergo a little bit of filtering. I did walk away with some great little buys though! I picked up a good bunch of these adorable felt ornaments for the tree.

Another thing I purchased was the summer 2011 issue of Anthology Magazine. I'm happy to finally have my own copy of this lifestyle magazine. It's quite charming with its gorgeous photography and graphics, and thoughtful articles. I've noticed the cutest of illustrations and even the fonts are worth a bit of hoopla. I'm seriously in love with the combinations of typefaces. All of it just served as perfect design inspiration.

I was particularly drawn to an article titled 'Fun & Games' featuring Brooklyn couple designers, Frederick & Mae (shots of article pictured above). It shows a glimpse of their process in making their signature arrows. I almost want to give it a go myself!

I'm hoping to stumble upon more issues of Anthology Magazine now that I know they're available at West Elm as well as
Anthropologie. This particular summer issue found at West Elm was originally $12, but now $7.99! Check out Anthology Mag's digital gift guide issue if you've got the time. There's some really great gift ideas, recipes, and DIY's!

Friday, December 16, 2011

paper holidays

Made a quick run downtown to The Paper Place last night. For the holidays they have a beautiful store window display made of delicate paper-cuttings! Even the inside of the store is filled with holiday-themed paper goods. I wish they made wrapping papers this quirky and cute in more accessible stores. Then again, they wouldn't be as special!

I picked up an array of cardstock and papers in different colours to construct one-of-a-kind, personalized holiday cards. They're perfect for a DIY Christmas! I highly recommend coming down to The Paper Place if you're planning to do so. They have everything and anything paper related in the most gorgeous colours and patterns. One of my favourite crafty stores! Even if you're not in the mood for making your own cards, they have a unique selection of greeting cards for buying.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Tongue Tied by Grouplove

I've survived my first semester of university! *cue confetti* I have technically been on my winter break for about a day and half now and I haven't spent any of it being a couch potato quite yet. This past Saturday was my art history exam and my last hurdle until my month of freedom. As soon as that exam finished, however, I was off running about to do some Christmas shopping. Today was the same. But I expect to get back to my lazy-self soon! I've even bought new PJ's and a box of ready-to-bake Pillsbury snowman cookies for the occasion.

Grouplove's a band that I've grown a liking to earlier this year. I thought I'd share this fun song — 'Tongue Tied'. The album is Never Trust a Happy Song, and though this isn't the album cover, I chose this image instead because it was less unsettling that the actual cover haha. But you can be the judge of that.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

filling empty walls

In the spirit of a recent promotion at Black's, I rummaged through my photo collection to filter out some lucky few. The deal was eight 8 x 10" prints for $8! It was also quite serendipitous that I had rediscovered these brand new, simple white frames a few days prior to hearing about the sale. These frames from West Elm were purchase maybe a year ago and haven't been touched since! It's about time I unwrapped them.

I printed out a few specifically for the frames and then others for the fun of it. I really like having hard copies of my photos so I'm always taking advantage of the promotions at Black's every now and then, especially the 50 prints for $5 deal! That one's a gem.

These photos sit right above my couch in the living room.

I might get a frame just for this one shot here. This photo was taken during my trip to Europe in Lugano, Switzerland and I think it has a lot of charm. I cropped it to suit the portrait orientation of the frame.

It's really fun and easy to scrape together your own wall art. Not only do you get to proudly display your artwork but it isn't hard on the wallet either! I went with a diptych sort of approach which I'm really liking. I'm excited to keep experimenting and changing up the artwork every so often!

Friday, December 2, 2011

aritzia holiday 2011

I came across these lovely, whimsical shots from Aritzia's "Let It Shine" Holiday 2011 video today. I'm really liking these holiday outfits! I even have my eyes on the Wilfred Barbizon dress. I would usually think these type of bedazzled articles are too gaudy but it's growing on me. I've been having a slight glitter craving lately. This fun video is filled with sparkle! Thought I'd share it, along with my favourite photos and outfits. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

west elm + Etsy

I was happy to learn that this West Elm + Etsy event is being held at my local store since usually these type of things are only being held at U.S. locations. On the evening of Thursday December 1, West Elm is hosting a workshop to create handmade ornaments as well as hosting a mini-market of local Etsy sellers.

Participating in West Elm Toronto are
Penny Paper Co., Better Stay Together, Dudley & Bea, Tiny Poppies, Setsuko Studio, and Every Bear Jewel.

For all the listings of locations and their participating Etsy sellers, visit
West Elm's blog post. If all goes as planned, I'm hoping to drop by and of course, snap some photos!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

blog update

Some of you may have already noticed but The Ampersand blog has been fully personalized and now goes! At last I have my own custom domain name courteousy of the kind Hazel whom I received this from as a birthday gift a week ago. Many thanks go out to Hazel, my little web mistress (not to be confused with an internet-savvy homewrecker). This blog is still completely accessible through, though you will be redirected. As for an update on myself, the semester is nearly over and I can have the holidays soon! Spending some quality time with my blog is on the top of my list.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

time spent indoors

You've probably begun to notice that most of my posts and photos are indoors. That is because I don't get out much except for when I have to trek to school. It sounds rather dull but I promise I will get some fresh air soon! In the next few weeks, this semester will begin to wrap up and I'll have the holidays to revel in. Though it's getting quite nippy outside I have some plans to venture out and about over my free time. I'm also looking into redecorating my bedroom but that's another story.

With the weather dialing down I've turned to my trusty William-Sonoma hot chocolate. Perhaps you've read my tutorial post on how to make this lovely hot chocolate? I'm still discovering little tips and tricks to perfecting the way I make it. This time around I used a frother to foam up some warm milk before pouring all the hot chocolate into the mug. The foam just added to the wonderful tastes though I still topped it off with whipped cream (of course). There really is no question when it comes to whipped cream!

Friday, November 18, 2011

haight & ashbury

Lately I've been waking quite early in the morning to work on assignments and projects. The usual scene would be similar to the one above but imagine a scattered mess of papers, markers, paints, and the like. Situated in the living room, it's a quite open and calm workspace with the sun just about rising.

On this particular day I chose to take some photos of shirts, partly because I needed some drawing reference photos and partly because the shirts were just so darn lovely. The lot of them were snatched up by my father at a sample sale. The company is Haight & Ashbury, and though I'm not familiar with the brand I must say their shirts are wonderful! The contruction of them, the fine details, and the packaging — I loved it all.

Here are just a few experimental photos.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


This season I made sure I got myself down to Nadège to try their new flavour of pumpkin macaron. I'm in a sort of autumn festive mood so I picked up two orange-coloured ones, the other being chocolate orange. Both were delicious though I am a bit of a chocoholic so I had to favour the chocolate orange one. I'm not sure if you guys will be able to tell but the Nadège sticker on the package is a rich burgundy/maroon colour which I thought was a nice touch for fall too. I was told by Nadège that the pumpkin macaron will be around until mid-November so hurry down there if you're looking to try it!

Next on my Nadège to-do list is to visit their new location in Rosedale at 1099 Yonge St.

Also in the spirit of autumn, I picked up this apple-sized pumpkin for two shiny quarters at the market as well as some other funky looking vegetables you'd find in a cornucopia. I thought this pumpkin was especially adorable. Hope everyone is having a lovely fall!