Mother’s Day Gift Ideas Guide, Personalized Artwork and Unique Presents from the Heart

I strive to create unique gifts for Mother’s Day, and luckily for you, not just for my mom! I love creating gifts for YOU to give the mothers in your life too! I collected a few of my favorite items—that you can purchase today—that I guarantee will make your mom, your wife, your grandmother smile straight from the heart!

1. Watercolor Family Portrait

A watercolor painting turns your photos into works of art! Whether you want to use a professional photo or snapshot from your phone, using a photo that you love puts more emphasis on the sentimental bond of love between the mother and child, or grandmother and grandchild (hint, hint!!). These watercolor portraits are always a hit!

Links to purchase: Watercolor Family Portraits

2. Hand Drawn Papercut Silhouette

I’ve been selling these little cuties since 2014! I love how the stylized look of their profiles make you focus in on their unique features: their buttons noses, the shape of their lips, and the curl of their hair.

Links to purchase: Single Person or Siblings Silhouettes

3. Floral Last Name Sign

I don’t think I could describe why I love these signs so much, not any more than the Avett Brothers say in their song: “Always remember, there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.” There’s so much love and history in a last name, so many memories behind each family. These last name signs immortalize that love in a beautiful way!

Links to purchase: Floral Last Name Sign or Evergreen Last Name Sign or message me to discuss a custom design like the Maine coast one pictured above.

4. Floral Letters and Papercut Silhouettes

If you just can’t pick between the last two products, here’s a combo option of my Floral Letters with the papercut silhouettes. The 8×10 size is perfect for family’s with 2 kids, but larger sizes and other variations are available.

To purchase: Floral Letters with Papercut Silhouettes

5. Custom Painting of Favorite Verse or Saying

The final route is going totally custom and having her favorite verse or saying written in watercolor calligraphy, all painted within a watercolor floral wreath!

To purchase: Custom Watercolor Painting

Bonus! With any purchase from this Gift Guide, I will include this year’s Mother’s Day card for FREE!

To receive your free card, please make a note in your order notes during checkout and mention this blog post!

Bonus Number TWO: All of the watercolor paintings are on sale in my shop until April 28!! Click through the links above to view pricing. Spaces are limited for Mother’s Day delivery so order soon.

Year in Review: January thru June 2017

2017 was quite a busy year! I was a horrible blogger all year too so please pardon me as I post a giant update on what I was working on the first half of last year! As you’ll soon find out, this was the year I broke into the watercolor floral game and had a lot of fun doing it too!


To start the year off, I worked on some sweet little first birthday invites for some close friends.

Sam Allen Creates Ice Cream Social Birthday Party Invitation

Sam Allen Creates Woodsy Bear Lumberjack Birthday Party Invitation


The month started with first birthday prep for my bestie’s little girl. Even though this was well over a year ago, I still plan to share a more in depth blog on it because it was so darling!!

I was also working on another batch of designs to be presented to retail stores like Hobby Lobby! They were really my favorites and was so happy to see them in stores later in the year.

February is also the month Disney released some of the most epic of their original animated films and I love to create some fan art in honor of their anniversaries!

The month also included a few more custom pieces including this adorable woodcut sign!

And lastly!! Handpainted Where the Wild Things Are invitations! Looooove how these came out!!


It’s always fun to work on a different canvas, and in this case, literally canvas! I painted navy blue on this black canvas and then used a watered down white paint for the lettering. It’s still a favorite of mine!

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Canvas of Titanic Last Song Lyrics - Nearer my God to Thee

The month ended with a beautiful beginning… the start of my friend Lauren’s baby shower planning! And what’s the first thing you tackle for any event? Sending the invitations! I painted my first ever flower for Lauren’s invites, having no idea how the year would continue filled to the brim with watercolor florals!

The Adventure Begins Shabby Chic Baby Shower Invitation 1 Tribal Watercolor Wreath

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Envelope Addressing Bridal Shower


While continuing work on Lauren’s shower, this month also brought my friend Kara’s wedding to the front of my focus, starting with getting her wedding invitations addressed. I adore white on gray, just love it!

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Invitation Envelope AddressingSam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Invitation Envelope Addressing detail

To close the month, and just in time for Lauren’s shower, I got to photograph some sweet maternity portraits! You can view more on my blog here.

Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen 443


The month of May started with Lauren’s baby shower! It was such a joyous day which you can view in full here, but here’s some of my favorite parts:

After the shower, Mother’s Day arrived within a blink. My little guy helped me create some fun projects for the grandmas!

Sam Allen Creates Grandparent Gifts from Children Love Sign with Footprints

Sam Allen Creates Grandpa and Grandma Pillow Designs, Printed and Produced by Hen House Originals

And of course there were miscellaneous Etsy orders completed throughout the month, like writing out these tags for a baby shower! Love when my customers send me photos!

Sam Allen Creates Handwritten Calligraphy Placecards for Baby Shower in Temecula


The start of June was filled with celebrations of my little guy’s first birthday! I did a full blog post on the party here, but here’s some peeks for you!

With the leftover sea glass from the party, I created these adorable mini placecards!

And then I ended the month painting this hot air balloon piece for a soon to be born baby girl! I think it barely arrived in time for the birth!

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Hot Air Balloon Nursery Art for Baby Girl

Stay tuned for another post to come for the rest of the work created in 2017! It was such an amazing year!


Your New Friend Sam, Etsy Shop: Will You Be My Godparent Invitations, Greeting Cards, and Thank You Cards for Godmothers and Godfathers

Godmother Invitations by Your New Friend Sam - Cream Cardstock with Gold Glitter Embossing Upgrades

Nearly 2 years ago, a friend of mine commissioned me to make her a handlettered print to give as a gift to her daughter’s godparents. After listing it in my shop, I had a few requests to have “Will You Be My Godmother?” cards. Of course, at the time, greeting cards were not in my skill set—or so I thought—so I would decline those orders. After the launch of my bridal party invitation line last October, it occurred to me that I was now more than able to offer Godparent cards. Just after Christmas, I created and listed “Will You Be My Godmother/father/parents?” cards and they were more of a success than I could have dreamed.

I love selling on Etsy as it is a shopping platform that invites its customers to truly create something so unique. There is no hesitation to reach out to customize existing listings and thanks to that, I’ve been able to design some very fun and personal cards and prints.

Godmother Invitations by Your New Friend Sam - Cream Cardstock with Personalized Gold Glitter Embossing

With the immediate success of the cards, I thought to update my original Godparent poem listing with a fully handlettered poem to match the cards and list it as a Instant Download, Godparents Handwritten Poem, or a FREE download with card purchase.

Godmother Invitations by Your New Friend Sam - Black Cardstock with White Embossing and Printed Poem 2

Yet again, custom orders came in for the poem to be printed within the card itself. With that, a truly deluxe card listing was made. These are my favorite to make as they are mini works of art but in card form. From the embossed front of the card to the full length poem within, I can only imagine each godparent opening their sweet little card and accepting the invitation with joy. I can’t say enough how much I love my shop and the opportunities I’ve had from it.

Below are a few more favorites of mine, but you can see the ever growing collection of greeting cards here.

Will You Be My Godfather by Your New Friend Sam - Gray Cardstock with Black Sparkle Embossing Madrina Invitations by Your New Friend Sam - Cream Cardstock with Personalized Gold Glitter Embossing and Gold EnvelopeWill You Be My Godparents Personalized navy Poem and White Signature by Your New Friend Sam - Gray Cardstock with White Embossing  Thank You For Being My Godmother Personalized Poem and Signature by Your New Friend Sam - Cream Cardstock with Gold Embossing

Hope this gives you a great glimpse into my little world of embossed cards!

Purchase your cards on Etsy or message me to create a custom order:

Godparent Invitations

Godparent Invitation with Embossed Personalization

Godparent Invitation with Personalized or Addressed Envelope

Thanks for Being My Godparent

Thank You For Being My Godparent

Card with Printed Poem and Signature Option

Madrina and Padrino Invitations

Brittany’s French Country “Bebe Soiree,” Gender Neutral Baby Shower

french country baby shower bebe soiree

A few weeks ago, I had the honor to co-host a baby shower for my forever friend, Brittany. Friends since second grade, bridesmaids in each other’s weddings, moms are best friends, she’s practically family. Thankfully, my mom and “Tutu Kathy” (an aunt of sorts) were able to step up and really host this shower while I got to just help with decorations and stationery. Between the three of us, this shower was so so adorable and so so delicious. Here’s some photos of the event along with some links for their amazing recipes. Seriously amazing recipes.

But first, let’s start with the beautiful mother to be!! Then we’ll get on to those lovely party details…

french country baby shower bebe soiree gift table brittany

The theme was kindly suggested by Brittany after she saw this lovely shower on Martha Stewart, as you can see her version and then our version above of the floral “bebe” letters. I’m pretty sure we can rival Martha even on our bad days….

french country baby shower bebe soiree invitation 1

The Invitation Suite

The first step, of course, was designing the invitation. After searching Pinterest and not finding much inspiration that fit our country twist, I sat down with a blank canvas and just kept adding to it. With the nursery colors in mind (gray and white with accents of yellow), I found a feminine shaped background to work with and just working on it. Brittany was using polka dots in the nursery so that was an easy choice for the background and a subtle pattern was created with the added vintage fleur di lis. I really loved how this suite came out…. the background shape influenced so much of the paper goods for the day of as well in addition to the hang tag for her registry information. The overall invite was quite classy looking so we added hemp twine to tie all the pieces together and to give it a country feel. (I can talk about the paper goods like the other ladies can probably talk about their amazing recipes!) But I’ll stop there and just share some photos of the paperie!

french country baby shower bebe soiree invitation 2 french country baby shower bebe soiree invitation detail 2 french country baby shower bebe soiree invitation detail 1 french country baby shower bebe soiree invitation tags

Also included in the invites, was the request to bring a book, rather than a card, to build the baby’s library. We had extra library cards to fill out at the shower as well as a sticker pocket to adhere them to the books (available in my Etsy shop here).

french country baby shower bebe soiree gift table build a library


The Day of the Soiree!

french country baby shower bebe soiree entrez

french country baby shower bebe soiree fabric scrap banner 2

french country baby shower game bebe soiree wine tags

The Food

I’ve already put in a request for these lovely ladies to cook me up something special for my 30th birthday, which is more than a year away, but they are just that talented. Seriously, they created such delicious eats.

french country baby shower bebe soiree food table 1

french country baby shower bebe soiree food table 2

french country baby shower bebe soiree food table french napkins

My mom put together this vegetable medley, a lovely Pinterest find, housed in a perfectly themed hat box found at the Rainbow Vintage Marketplace back in March.

french country baby shower bebe soiree food table vegetables

Kathy cooked up these Croque-Monsieur sandwiches (bottom right tray in the photo below). Which were Amazing. With a capital A. And a D for Delicious. Recipe here on Martha Stewart.

And Brittany is picking up a Parmesan Salad Cup.

french country baby shower bebe soiree food table 4

french country baby shower bebe soiree food table 3 cheese plate

Some of the other eats not in the above photos: Cheesy Asparagus Spears and Bacon with Leek Mini Quiches.


The Drink Station

french country baby shower bebe soiree drink station

I loved what they came up with for the drink station!!  What a perfect way to house the glassware.

french country baby shower bebe soiree drink station 2

Just the day before the shower, we found these wine glass tags that we were able to make a template from and personalize for our guests. I love my Cricut 🙂

french country baby shower bebe soiree drink station detail

french country baby shower bebe soiree drink station personalized wine tags

Drinks: Lavender Lemonade with Hibiscus and Cinammon Spice Iced Tea.

The Games

We kept the games pretty simple… the first game was “Who’s That Baby?” where we created a board displaying photos of family members and some of Brittany’s favorite celebrities as babies.

french country baby shower whos that baby game

The second game was a bag game that we found through Pinterest. To keep with the theme, we named our bags with “Bebe Soiree” rather than “Baby Shower.” The bags were filled with baby themed goodies that the ladies then had to guess the contents… Those extra e’s proved quite tricky! Brittany then got to open all those to reveal the answers, and she got to keep the gifts!

french country baby shower game bebe soiree Guess Whats in the Bag 1

french country baby shower game bebe soiree Guess Whats in the Bag 3

french country baby shower game bebe soiree Guess Whats in the Bag 2

french country baby shower game bebe soiree Guess Whats in the Bag instructions

I really really do love my Cricut!! Using the shape from the invitation as a base, we made these little overlays for the bags with the fonts to match the invite.

french country baby shower game bebe soiree Guess Whats in the Bag detail 2  french country baby shower game bebe soiree Guess Whats in the Bag detail 1


The Favors

french country baby shower bebe soiree au revoir scone favors 1

Kathy whipped up these DELICIOUS lavender and vanilla scones (recipe). I don’t usually like lavender flavoring or scones but these were so so SO good. I was so excited to have one leftover after we were done wrapping them. What a special treat!

And again, my Cricut to the rescue to create these hang tags.

french country baby shower bebe soiree au revoir scone favors 2


The Dessert Table

french country baby shower bebe soiree dessert table 1 french country baby shower bebe soiree dessert table 3 french country baby shower bebe soiree dessert table 2

french country baby shower bebe soiree dessert table cookies 1

french country baby shower bebe soiree dessert table cookies 2

On the dessert menu:

french country baby shower bebe soiree dessert table lavender cookies french country baby shower bebe soiree dessert table tarts


The Gift Table

And what’s a baby shower without gifts?! I loved how Kathy hung (her dad’s) baby clothes above the gift table. It really enhanced the whole shower with their adorable vintage-ness!

french country baby shower bebe soiree gift table baby clothes 1

french country baby shower bebe soiree gift table presents

french country baby shower bebe soiree gift table ooh la la banner

My friend Jess graciously created this pillow cover for us. Such a unique and special detail.

french country baby shower bebe soiree gift table pillow

french country baby shower bebe soiree gift table baby clothes 2

french country baby shower bebe soiree gift table brittany 2

Au Revoir!

And finally, as guests left they could take their bag of scones and wave “Au Revoir!”

french country baby shower bebe soiree au revoir scone favors

Thank you so much for the honor to cohost your baby shower, Brittany!! It was our pleasure and we are counting down the days to hold that sweet baby in our arms!!

french country baby shower bebe soiree hosts

And one last, just for fun photo 🙂 before the craziness really started.

french country baby shower game bebe soiree sam

Sam Allen Creates : March and April 2015

Going over these past couple months’ of works just made me smile. There were so many amazing clients and projects to work on. It also reminded me of just how crazy work has been, not like I could forget that of course. I’m quite looking forward to a somewhat lighter load over these next couple weeks as Andy and I take a 2 week trip for some BBQ competitions. I’ll be chained to my laptop quite often while still fulfilling orders, but working on my Etsy shop only in Oregon and Colorado sure sounds soooo nice!

Anyway, that’s my update for the here and now. Here’s peeks at the fun from the last couple months!



First off, I wanted to share some work done for family and friends in the month of March.

On March 7, my hubby’s cousin, Dustin, proposed to his girlfriend, Sara! My aunt-in-law, Terri, then asked me to design invitations for their engagement party. I was thrilled to do so and loved coming up with this custom lettering for their event.

Popped the Question and She Said Yes Engagement Party Invitation

Spring is time for lots of my friends’ kiddos birthdays! First up was little Owen’s Mickey Mouse themed birthday invites. The (self-inflicted) pressure was on to give justice to a Disney invitation.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Birthday Invitation

Another fun project of the month was creating these invitations for my niece Emily’s first birthday party! I can’t believe this little one is one year old now! And I am so thankful I got to attend the party in upstate New York! Yay!

Little Peanut Elephant First Birthday Invitation

Now let’s look at some Etsy projects… March was the busiest month ever with a record breaking 300 orders!

A huge deal for me in March was breaking out the calligraphy pointed pens and learning the art of that craft. Up until now, all my handlettered pieces are *lettering* or *faux calligraphy.* I’m slowly working more and more in calligraphy and looooove it.

One of my first calligraphy projects on Etsy was designing a stamp for a wedding invitation. I loved getting the chance to write in Hebrew and love that this was my first calligraphy project!

Your New Friend Sam calligraphy song of songs hebrew

Not long after, I was commissioned to write some gold ink tent cards! Writing in gold may be one of my favorite things ever!

Your New Friend Sam Gold Ink Calligraphy Tent Cards

When Nathan first wrote me about his 10 year wedding anniversary, I was so excited to work with him. Not only did we create full page handlettered designs of his vows, I worked with Dianne of Jotters and Journals to create little books of their vows as well. Thanks Dianne for sharing these photos with me!

Your New Friend Sam and Jotters and Journals His and Her Vows

Another new puppy silhouette was created, this one for my friend Amy!

Your New Friend Sam Pet Dog Silhouette 995

And new bridal party invitations were extended to other attendants like those manning the candy bar and and guestbook tables!

Your New Friend Sam - Candy and Guestbook Attendant Invitations

And finally, in rubber stamp news. I listed a brand new design, Best Day Ever, along with adding seed envelope packets to go with my popular Let Love Grow stamp!



Starting back with projects for personal projects and for friends….

Months ago I had decided to make handlettered and painted canvasses for Mother’s Day gifts but I didn’t even know if I could do that justice. So I needed to practice while also needing some Easter decorations in my home…

Amazing Love Handpainted Canvas

I know I’ve mentioned this wonderful friend of mine before, but the lovely Trisha asked me to write out a chalkboard to announce her pregnancy! Thanks to J. Rose Photography for the image and thanks to to Trisha for the perfect little model who is about to be the big sister!!

Sam Allen Creates Chalkboard Art Big Sister

Last time I posted about Taylor’s wedding and shower invitations, and I can’t wait to share more from the wedding but until then, here’s a crummy phone photo I took of our place settings. Can’t wait to share more of their beautiful wedding day!

Your New Friend Sam tent cards for Taylors Wedding

One last spring baby turned 3 yesterday! And one last birthday invite to share! Third year in a row (Bug First Birthday, Summer Lemonade Second Birthday), I’ve been honored with the task of designing little Grayson’s birthday invites. Can’t wait to share more of these!

graysons birthday invite by jrose

source @jessica_rose_20

And just one more invitation to share… our French Country invite for my forever friend Brittany’s baby shower. The shower was just this past weekend, I can’t wait to go through the photos and do a whole post on the event! It was just darling!

Your New Friend Sam French Country Baby Shower Invitations

Just before leaving for New York for little Emily’s birthday (see above), I worked on my largest Etsy order to date. Gold, blush and cream wedding programs, tent cards and other signage for a May wedding. can’t wait to see the official photos!

Your New Friend Sam Wedding Programs Tent Cards and Signage

I also wrapped up the lettering for Kelly Laramore’s logo for her photography business….

kelly laramore calligraphy logo by Your New Friend Sam

And some silhouettes were created for this family including their very hairy pup!

Your New Friend Sam - Digital Silhouettes Gallery Wall

In greeting card news, we’ve added some thank you cards for bridal parties and godparents along with some godparent cards that include the handlettered poem (launched in January) printed inside.

Your New Friend Sam Thank You Bridesmaid Card

Thanks for Being My Godparents by Your New Friend Sam - Cream Cardstock with Gold Embossing

Godparent Invitations by Your New Friend Sam - Cream Cardstock with Personalized Gold Glitter Embossing Signature and Printed Poem Detail

And I loved making these little cards to accompany Kate Spade bow-tie earrings. So cute!

Your New Friend Sam Bridesmaid Invitations Tie the Knot

And finally, taking a look at some recent stamp design…

Heather, from Spoonfeather Designs, had me create a rubber stamp for her business. How nerve wracking to letter for a fellow letterer!! Check out her Etsy shop here.

Your New Friend Sam Lettering for Spoonfeathers Instagram

source @spoonfeathers

For some printed tags, I lettered some new phrases to decorate some honey jars. And then turned the designs into stamps too!

Your New Friend Sam - Meant to Bee Rubber Stamp Your New Friend Sam - Spread the Love Rubber Stamp

And that’s about it! Thanks for taking a look at my recent work…. Since we’re almost done with May, I am already excited to share work from this month! It’s been busy and fun and overwhelming and exciting!

Your New Friend Sam, Etsy Shop: Papercut and Digital Silhouettes (Give-Away Closed)

Papercut Silhouette from Your New Friend Sam on Etsy 25

One of my favorite pieces of art in our home is my husband and my papercut silhouettes from Disneyland that we had done during the 50th anniversary celebration in 2005. It’s such a classy and timeless way to preserve a moment in time.

Last fall, I started to offer my own papercut silhouettes… starting with borrowing a few of my friend’s kiddos to practice on. I just adore their little profiles especially their little noses.

View even more photos of my growing portfolio of silhouettes here!

Papercut Silhouette from Your New Friend Sam on Etsy 36

Papercut Silhouette from Your New Friend Sam on Etsy 34

These were a hit for the Christmas season, especially for the grandparents!

Your New Friend Sam Navy Papercut Silhouettes on Gray 094

It’s been fun to see the variety of ways these can be personalized. Between the multiple cardstock pairings and personalization styles, each one is so unique!

Your New Friend Sam Papercut Silhouette of Camden 661 Your New Friend Sam White Papercut Silhouettes on Black 089

And we can’t forget the fur babies…

Your New Friend Sam Pet Dog Silhouette 995 Papercut Dog Silhouette from Your New Friend Sam on Etsy 98

View even more photos of my growing portfolio of silhouettes here!

Give-Away — Now Closed

Here’s the best part… To celebrate Mother’s Day this year, I’m going to give away TWO sets of papercut silhouettes (up to a $45 value each!!)!

Your New Friend Sam Papercut Silhouette Give-Away

There’s lots of ways to enter and each option below will get you a separate entry into my random drawing. In other words, you can do each step below and get a total of 4 entries!!

1. Add me on Instagram and SHARE this Give-Away graphic — tagging your photo with @samallecreates and #yournewfriendsam… don’t forget that if your profile is private, I won’t be able to see your post. Either make your profile public for the next few days or comment on my post saying you posted.

2. PIN to Pinterest an image from this post or from my shop listings… make sure to tag @samallencreates AND comment below with a link to your pin, just in case I don’t see it!

3. TWEET this Give-Away graphic on Twitter. Tag your photo with @samallecreates and #yournewfriendsam

4. BONUS!! Be my friend on Facebook and share my Give-Away graphic or post to all your friends and family!

This contest will go through Friday, April 17 (12 midnight, PST), and I will announce the winners (yes, 2 people will get their own silhouettes!!) first thing Saturday morning. Good luck!!

*each silhouette set is for up to two people. You can add additional people for $10 each. Includes Priority shipping to the domestic U.S. The background page is 5×7, silhouettes sized around 2 by 3 inches depending on personalization. You must redeem your free papercut silhouette by December 1, 2015.

Your New Friend Sam Giveaway, Celebrating My 2,000th Sale!

Your New Friend Sam Giveaway Type

Feels like just yesterday I was freaking out over my 1,000th sale. And today, just 4 months later, the shop has had its 2,000th sale. I count each sale as a step in a new direction for my life, and daily, I am blown away that the whirlwind of the holidays never slowed down but only continues to gain momentum.

So to celebrate and thank everyone for their support these past few months, I wanted to do a little give-away! After asking on Facebook about what I should give away from my shop, I decided to give a store credit of $30 to one lucky winner that shares my promo graphic.

So whether you want an address stamp or a thank you stamp… a custom invitation design or paper cut silhouettesa handlettered print of a favorite saying, or glittered bridesmaid invitations… this give-away is for you!

Your New Friend Sam Giveaway

However, all day today and through the weekend, anyone that purchases from my shop will receive 20% off with the code: CELEBRATE20.

Your New Friend Sam 20% off all day


1. Leave a comment in the comment section telling me what you would want to get with your shop credit.

2. Facebook, tweet, or Instagram the giveaway graphic (see image below). Be sure to include @samallencreates and #yournewfriendsam—or tag me on Facebook so I can make sure to count your entry.

3. BONUS! Get a second entry into the drawing by pinning to Pinterest an image from my shop. Tag me on Pinterest or comment below with a link to your pin.

The contest will run until 12 midnight this Sunday, March 6. I’ll be randomly drawing the name of the winner on Monday, notifying the winner by email to the email address in associated in their comment on this post.

Your New Friend Sam Giveaway