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Sam Allen Creates: September to December 2021

Just in time as we reach the halfway point of 2022, here I am with my final Year in Review blog post from 2021! There were so many weddings that I wanted to wait for the professional images, so trust me when I say, the wait was worth it!


As I wrapped up all of the wonderful September weddings, I got started on my fall collection of Thanksgiving name tags! This year I added a watercolor option (link) and shared a Reel on Instagram documenting my photo shoot! Take a look! 🎥

The Butcher Block BBQ

The start of September also included my husband driving up to Reno, Nevada for the Reno Rib Fest! He sold THREE THOUSAND racks of ribs that weekend with his teammates! Insane! Take a look at all the delicious eats he creates here.

Watercolor Portraits and Custom Paintings

Next up, let’s take a look at some watercolor family portraits and custom paintings…

How gorgeous is this portrait framed for a fall mantel?! 🎥 Watch this painting come to life here.

I loved creating this portrait as a gift for the mother in the image… she loves neutral colors so rather than following the original photo’s clothing color scheme we created this palette to match her house decor!

This cross painting was created for a young girl’s confirmation present. Each flower represents a person or saint important in the girl’s life, what an honor it was to create this for her! 🎥 Watch this painting come to life here.

The last custom painting of the month was created for a baby girl named Flora Jean! After seeing the painting, the mama to be replied: “Oh my gosh I’m literally crying it’s so beautiful!!!” And for this reason, I sure do love what I do!!

Bridesmaid cards

While I don’t document all my bridal party cards, this set had so much variety, I just had to document it! 🎥 Watch this card and tag set come to life here.

And some more cards created using walnut ink, it’s one of my favorite colors to use but it’s rarely ordered! Shop wedding day cards here!

Updated Stylesheets

Even though the month was jam packed with work, I decided it was long overdue to create some updated stylesheets for my placecards! 🎥 Take a look at how each style is made here, I’d love to know which is your favorite!

Wedding BTS

And now some wedding BTS shots from my studio! I take all these photos as examples in my shop, but still wait with such anticipation for the real wedding shots that come in the months to follow!

Real Weddings

And now one of my favorite sections of these posts, the REAL WEDDINGS! I so appreciate each of these photographers taking the time with these small details. It truly means the world to me!! 🥰

The first gallery is for Jennifer and Richard, photographed by Richard Israel Photography

Table tent cards and number cards painted in gray for a rehearsal dinner, photos by Charla Storey Photography

And more watercolor goodness in that lovely neutral gray! The beauty in these watercolor items are in their simplicity, making them very versatile to match this set and the previous table setting although each table has such different aesthetics! Photos by Adriana Klas

Navy is definitely a favorite paint choice though around here! I loved working on these custom table number cards for Mackenzie, adding the “tied the knot” phrase to the top and seeing them displaying in white rope knots! LOVE!! Photos by Alexandria Eigo

I love this colorful wedding from my bride Rebecca! The blue glasses and colorful centerpieces are just so fun!! Photos by Maggie Conley Photography

How gorgeous is my bride, Maura?! I love how she chose a mixture of watercolor paint for her set! Photos by Katie Edwards.

I still remember the day that Casey first reached out to me… it was my son’s first day of Kindergarten last August and we chatted off and on all day. Since she chose such a variety of items from my watercolor collection, we worked quite closely over the next month for her September wedding. I think my favorite part though was getting to create the decal for her mirror seating chart! Take a look below… Photos by Percy Photography

Marisa’s wedding was one of my favorites of all of 2021!! We created a custom mix of burgundy watercolor for all of her items, but my favorite part was her seating chart display with mini bottles of rosé! Take a deeper look into her wedding in it’s own blog post here. Photos by Lovely Valentine.

These next few weddings each include just a piece or two from my watercolor collection… see the captions for photographer credit.

Photo by Ashley Cerrington

And lastly, a wedding from the Italian countryside featuring my personalized watercolor menus! Photos by the Wedding Tale.


After the whirlwind that was the summer wedding season, the fall season was a breath of fresh air as we transitioned into more custom paintings and Thanksgiving placecards!

Custom Paintings

Starting with custom paintings, a past customer of mine returned with the request for a custom home painting! While I had never painted one before, I’m thankful that she trusted me with this project! After doing some research on special techniques and taking a few small classes, I felt confident I could bring her mountain cabin to life on the page!

I sure do love the final result! And even more importantly, Karen did too!

“Sam is a talented artist and I am thrilled with the water color of a friend’s log cabin she did for me ! It is absolutely stunning! Thank you so much, Sam 🧡”

Karen L.

🎥 Watch the video of how this painting was created here.

Next up is a watercolor portrait for the Gomas family! 🎥 Take a look at how the stages of the portrait come together here.

A friend of mine commissioned this Floral Last Name sign for a wedding he was attending in Hawaii! After giving me photos of their wedding invitation for inspiration, we created a tropical themed painting for them. 🎥 see the painting come to life here!

Monthly Milestone Name Tags

Before moving on to weddings, take a look at this collage a whole year in the making! Shardonnay contacted me to create these while she was still pregnant with sweet Merloe in 2020. After just having my own little girl, I was so touched to create these for them and have watched her grow on Instagram ever since!

Brush Calligraphy

Some of my own in-studio shots of my watercolor paper goods before they’re shipped off to the brides!

Real Weddings

Now I leave it to the pros to get the final images! It’s always so exciting to receive these galleries!!

And to close out the month, some real wedding photos of my vow books in action during the wedding ceremony! Photos by Gabrielle Von Heyking Weddings


Custom Watercolor Baptism Paintings

To start the month of November, I created some watercolor signs and paintings for a baby dedication. These types of events mean so much to me and I loved getting the chance to make these for Harrison’s mama!

The month also started with another cabin painting! This one’s reference photo was so heavy with the trees, it was fun to explore different textures to make them stand out.

And lastly, before moving on to Thanksgiving placecards, a paper cut silhouette with gold watercolor lettering!

Thanksgiving Placecards

And of course, we can’t wrap up the month of November without showing the final Thanksgiving tables from all of those name tags I created over the past couple months! Here’s just a small collection of photos I received of them!

These personalized place setting tags turned out beautifully! I’m excited to host our family’s Thanksgiving party with these as part of the table decor! I will definitely order from this shop for future personalized items-great product!

– Kathleen B., November 2021


On to the last month of this post! Who’s still with me?!

Envelope Addressing

Before we move on to Christmas gifting, let’s look at the little bit of wedding work done in December.

First up are wedding invitation envelopes for my bride Alana! We have worked on quite a lot of items since then together, it’s fun looking back at where we started with her wedding items!

Then a set of vow books for a bride and groom, complete with touches of gold watercolor in the leaves.

Custom Milestone Watercolor Portraits

Creating these watercolor paintings was TOO MUCH fun! A couple years ago I created a painting from this couple’s engagement party, but now we worked on their wedding, maternity and their first family portrait! It truly is an honor to get commissions like these!

Floral Letter Paintings

A small collection of floral letter paintings were made in December as well, all for baby girl nurseries!

Christmas Name Tags

A friend reached out with these wood name tags asking me to personalize them with her children’s names. I love the result!

Christmas Ornaments

Every year I create personalized ornaments for our friends and family. It’s always a challenge coming up with new designs out of different materials each year but I think these are some of my new favorites! They combine watercolor and hand lettering on white arabesque shaped tiles! 🎥 watch the process here!

And lastly, since this perfectly wraps up the end of 2021… our annual Christmas card!

Merry Christmas (in June, everyone!) 😂

If you made it to the end of this insanely long blog post, THANK YOU!

If you are interested in purchasing any of the above, don’t hesitate to reach out via my Contact page or directly through my Etsy shop:

I believe in magic. I believe in the power of true love. I believe in fairy tales and happy endings. And I live to create stationery and art for the young at heart to allow my fellow dreamers to treasure all of life’s most wondrous moments!

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