Building a Mystery

Today is the birthday of Antoni Gaudi, a master architect and devoted follower of the Lord.  Upon my travels, I was blessed to be able to visit Barcelona and see much of his work and I fell in love.  The riotous color blended with organic shapes and unheard of architectural feats.  His brilliance is visible.

Antoni Gaudi

La Sagrada Familia Cathedral {Barcelona, Spain}

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:: uncluttering, phase 1

Well, week one of our uncluttering phase is off to a slow start. We have not tackled any of our clutter (at least nothing major), but we have been slightly preoccupied with house-hunting. We have discussed chores; and fortunately for us, we enjoy doing what the other doesn’t. That being said, we have yet to work out a schedule… but any progress is better than nothing.

One time saving trick that I used to do and have now resumed is how I sort laundry. It used to be that sorting laundry was just another chore that consumed time than necessary. After all sorting is just the first phase of the whole laundry process (which is one of my chores). Then after the sorting I would realize that there was too much to do one load and it would need to be split, then came the resorting to divide the load. So, I read about a time saving trick that really works. Instead of saving the sorting til later, sort right when you are done with the clothes. Set a specified number of laundry baskets in your room (we have three: whites, darks, & colors). When you are finished with a piece of clothing, place it in the specified basket. And voila, one task done immediately.  This also works because as you the basket fills you can tell when its time to do throw a load in!

More next week.  Happy sorting!

Photo credit:

:: its a race

Last night, down to the wire, I finalized a logo for a race that will be happening in Gladwin, MI! Its for a memorial scholarship fund that will help support childhood education! I did several versions of the logo for them and when they choose their final version, I will post it for you to see!

i dream of flowers…

I have always wanted window boxes.  I love the way they look outside a home, flowers clinging softly to the side of a home, bringing color brimming up to the top.  But I also love the way that they bring the outdoors in (almost).  While looking for some window boxes I came across this photo (courtesy of; it made me smile and has reawakened my desire.  I think I am going to make sure that our new place is capable of having some of these ever-blooming window vases. :)

"How could you not smile with this beauty brimming outside your window"

feeling inspired

Lately I have been thinking more about organization and uncluttering.  Although I would describe myself as moderately organized, I feel like it happens in a more chaotic way than I would prefer.  So, I have been thinking about ways to streamline the everyday routine processes to shave minutes or hours out of my days and weeks.  These hours can then be devoted to Ampersand, Etc and my family!  I will be posting about our uncluttering adventures and my thoughts along the way.

Uncluttering and getting organized may take a while and I realize that.  One reason why I am thinking about this so much is we are moving.  It looks like we have found our ideal place, but as you may know real estate takes a while for everything to fall into place.   In the mean time, I am laying the ground work for this transformation.  I am thinking about where the clutter originates and how we can get rid of it both now, but more ultimately in our new space!

I have come up with four immediate courses of action.

1) Establish chores.  My husband & I have decided that instead of just letting things organically get taken care of (which worked fine before our little guy came along) we need to be more structured.  So, we are in the process of defining a loose set of “chores” that we will each tackle daily or weekly, as our schedules allow.

2) Chores need to happen during the week.  Part of my reason for feeling inspired to take on this challenge is to be able to enjoy more of our weekends with friends and family instead of cleaning or feeling stressed that I should be.  We are going to be assessing our schedules to fit in our chores M-F.

3) We will be going through the “clutter” zones and determining our plan for why it happens and how we can prevent it.

4) Ultimate goal will be assessing throughout the three above actions what we need and what we can purge.  Thereby only packing and moving what we absolutely need and will use!

Stay tuned for our updates on how this all works out.  In order to help stay focused and on track, Monday’s posts will be dedicated to the “uncluttering” process.  This will allow me to work towards a goal and review where we are and what more we need to work through!

whimsical wednesday

Fun news today for all of you obsessed with color or pantone addicts.  A new hotel opened in Brussels, owned and operated by Patone, the “global color authority”.  Now you can dream in color!  :) I find it interesting it an interesting choice considering the painters throughout history that have come from this region {Belgium & the Netherlands}  and the contribution they made to color schemes.  Check out the hotel @:

In keeping with the color theme, I found this post today from COLOURlovers:  I find the use of color in the post calming.  Some of my favorite color palettes echo the colors of a stormy ocean: warm greys and steely blues. What colors inspire you?

Lastly, for this whimsical wednesday, you will notice a new theme for the ampersand, etc blog.  Do you like it?  Let me know!

Happy evening everyone!

Paper Playground

One of the fun things about stationery is the paper its printed on. I <3 paper. It cannot substitute email invites or greetings. Traditional at heart, I truly enjoy receiving correspondence in the mail. When I was younger I had about a dozen friends that I would write on a regular basis. It was wonderful to be able to send a note filled with thoughts. But I think almost an equal amount of time went into the descions surrounding what stationery to use, which pen, stamps, envelope decoration, etc. Maybe this was the beginning of my love for the deisgned word. Either way it was a spring board to my current passion.
Paper Highlight of the day:
Neenah Paper has a shimmer stock that when flooded with color allows for complete workability. It is featured in their Classic Linen line – so it offers texture as well as luxury and it is available in weights as much as 115! Coming soon – a design suite that could be printed utilizing this stock!


One of the many things I love about design {or creativity in general} is that inspiration can come from almost anywhere.  You never know when something will strike your fancy.  It is part of the spontaneous nature of design and it is exhilarating.  Before I start a design project, I look for inspiration – considering what mood or feeling should be evoked by the design piece, what colors can help achieve this mood, and then more likely than not, I start with fonts.  Fonts are 9 times out of 10 what I enjoy most about a design piece.

I have often thought that it would be so wonderful to live in a world where only the beautiful fonts are used.  Think if the IRS used beautiful fonts… would you not be more willing to sit and do taxes if the forms you had to fill out were masterfully designed?  Ok, maybe that’s a stretch.  But I know for sure I would enjoy certain paperwork a lot more if the papers themselves were “pretty”.

Today’s font fave is: Brownstone. {see below}

What do you find inspiring?  What is your font fave?