One Little Word

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I’m late to the game but I wanted to participate in the One Little Word yearly challenge where you pick your word to live by for the year.

After spending time thinking on it, my thoughts ranging from “faith” to “endure” to “_______”, I finally settled on a word…


What does this word mean to me?

Well first off, in everything I do, I try to put 100% of myself into it. Of course, this is just a good work ethic to have but it came from growing up watching my mom juggle 1,000 things and never missing a beat, to working at Bath and Body Works and learning how to put the customer first, and now being the sole person behind my shop, Your New Friend Sam.

All that to say, why and how do I continue to give everything I have toward anything I do?

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

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No matter what I find myself doing this year. Whether I am working on a project for a client or whether I am posting to Instagram a photo of my lazy Sunday afternoon, I want that inner light to shine forth in my attitude and in the quality of my work.

This past year has been such a work-centered year that I kept feeling burnt out over and over. I want to be able to rise above that struggle and just be content because after all, having work, even too little or too much, is a wonderful thing. I want to feel God’s light shining on me and knowing His hand is in all things. I want to take that light and shine it forward.

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A little behind the scenes shot, a still wet painting of the word shine on a cloudy January day.

The Shine watercolor lettering was created by me using the Pentel Aquash and gold watercolor paint.

Love watercolor lettering? See my listing for watercolor logos here.

Calvary Chapel Canyon Hills, Harvest Carnival on Halloween

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Looking for a fun and safe environment to take your kiddos on Halloween? Our church is hosting a carnival: Calvary Carnival!

Lots of candy,  fun, exciting games and jumpers. Plus free hot dogs, cotton candy, & pop corn.  And you can enter to win a iPad Mini (!!!) along with other fun prizes!

It will be located at the school where our church regularly meets, Canyon Hills Middle School. But this year it has expanded quite a bit! I’m really looking forward to it… hope to see you there!

33005 Canyon Hills Road
Lake Elsinore, CA 92532

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Calvary Carnival fliers, newspaper ads, and banners all designed by Sam Allen Creates (that’s me :))

Evernotes Every Friday

Last night I mentioned that I have been quite a busy worker bee. Working a full time job leads to late nights working on freelance projects. Which then leads to no time to get an Evernotes Every post together.

So this edition is going to be a little different and maybe something I can start doing once every few months (??).

Today I am giving a glimpse into a few different projects that I have been brewing. I’d love to know if you like this kind of post, let me know if you like in the comments.

1. Soccer Camp

Two weeks ago I worked on a graphic for the coach’s t-shirts for an upcoming soccer camp at my church… this week we produced posters and banners to promote the camp. More details here if you’d like to sign up your kiddo!


2. Womens’ Luncheon Flyer

The annual design for our church’s womens’ luncheon. You may notice a trend in the handwritten lettering look in many upcoming projects. I am sort of obsessed.


3.  Modern Type Based Badges

This is a super new project that I just barely started… no details to share quite yet but its also for my church. 🙂


4. Baby Announcement

Well this baby announcement is for a family at my church to keep with the theme of this post so far. And also its for a little miss—yes a few of my friends actually do have girls! yay!


5. Baby Shower Invitation

Speaking of baby girls, here’s a glimpse into a baby shower invitation for a shower I am helping to plan for this May. Really looking forward to the frills and feminine touches going into the party planning.


Steadfast Business Cards/Flyers


I can not fully tell you how much I am in love with these Steadfast business cards, a recent project with my church.


Their Facebook page describes the group best:

Steadfast Young Adults Fellowship is a group of young people between the ages of 18-35 who love Jesus Christ, love the Word of God, love others, want to reach the lost, love prayer and worship, love fellowship, and just want to keep it simple and Biblical. Acts 2:42


When asked to design these, I was asked to keep it simple with white on black but with a “saloon look.” After going back and forth with them one night, we decided on using the chalkboard as a background. From there the design came quite easily.


The cards will be used not only as a business card but more so as a flyer to hand out and get the group known in the community. Hoping and praying that these accomplish just that.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoeer believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
– John 3:16

Calvary Chapel Canyon Hills Home Fellowship Flyers

Somehow these little guys never got posted! So now is better than never right?

I designed these quite awhile go for my church but just a few months ago we rebranded them to the new look and feel of the church that was incorporated last Easter.

I love the richness of the warm oranges and reds.

Gotta love the custom maps though, those little labors of loves. haha

And if you’re looking for a bible study to join, here’s the flyer for the study I go to on Thursday nights… The hubby and I have been attending for over 5 years now and we just love it.

More information on all our bible studies can be found here.

Thanks to J. Rose Photography for rounding up these folks and taking all the photos too!

Recap of the Bible in 90 Days Challenge

What a feeling it was to have finished the book of Revelations knowing that a mere 3 months ago I had started the book of Genesis. Reading the bible, cover to cover, in such a short amount of time, was like taking a plane ride from California to New York. I got to see all the sights but without the depth of stopping at each one—giving me a chance to take note at what I may want to visit again later. What I love about studying the bible, is the study. The inspection of the details, learning about each verse, each word. But sometimes studying verse by verse I lose sight of the context. Reading each book as a whole helped me with seeing each book, each prophecy, each letter in context, as a whole—and seeing Jesus, as a woven thread throughout from Genesis to Isaiah through Revelations.

I would highly recommend reading through the bible, maybe given 4 months rather than 3, it may have been easier to stop along the way and dig a little deeper, I just felt so rushed that there wasn’t time to do that. In the summer of 2008, I started reading through the bible, going book by book with a commentary, usually only getting through one chapter a day. But then a year and a half ago, I slowed down, then totally stopped. Having gotten back in the habit of reading each day, I have started back to where I left off, with the book of Mark. I am so excited to be studying again. I plan to post about the commentary I am using too, because I really love it!

Anyway, all this to say, I encourage you to read through the bible. Maybe not in 90 days, but at your own pace—whatever suits your fancy—but it’s totally worth it!! It was fun to be sitting in church and hear our pastor mention verses I had just read the week before, and talk about people who I had just read about. Please let me know if you start up, I started writing these posts each week to keep myself accountable—to not only be reading but to process the readings. I’d love to help in anyway I can! Good luck!

To get the 90 Day Bible and learn more about the series, go here.

And here’s a list of the blogs I have been posting, for easy reference:

The above photo is from Creation Swap,
text added by me from Lost Type.

Week 13 of the Bible in 90 Days Challenge

This last week of the Bible in 90 Days was really just a few days covering Hebrews through Revelations. While I may have said 1 John was my favorite previously, I really liked reading Peter’s epistles. After an in depth study of the gospel of John with our bible study, I have looked at who Peter was in a different way. I never thought before about how much Peter is like me, like many of us. Fumbling through his walk, shining in one moment to be in total darkness in the next. Isn’t that how life is? How life with Christ is? Struggling to be the best person you can be, the most like Christ you can, just to realize that you can never come close. But if you truly want to be like Christ, we have to suffer as He did.

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4)

Then, earlier in his epistle, Peter wrote in chapter 1:

6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

I love how Peter wrote “for a little while” knowing that this life in light of eternity is but a moment. Even now looking back on a trial for a few years ago, it seems as though it wasn’t nearly as bad as it seemed during the heat of the moment. But the best encouragement, is knowing that after this trial has passed, we have been refined by the fire making us of greater worth than gold! Making us more like Christ as we suffer!

The above photo is from Stock.xchng,
text added by me from Lost Type.

Week 12 of the Bible in 90 Days Challenge

Having never just sat and read through the whole book of Romans before in one sitting, I finally realized why it is so many people’s favorite book of the Bible. I loved not only reading all these amazing verses in context, but I found myself again and again being cut straight to the heart by Paul’s words. Right off in chapter 2 I felt convicted by Paul’s description of those who pass judgement on others. Without meaning to, I do this all the time! I may think badly of someone’s actions and am in fact doing the exact same thing!

1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

We all need saving by Jesus, no matter if we have realized it yet or not!

22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

The best part of all, is that our God, Jesus Christ, did not come to help those who could help themselves. He came for those of us who are struggling, who are sinners, who are powerless.

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

This is not a new concept for me, but it is one that I may not take to heart as much as I should. There’s nothing I can do that will make God love me more. Looking down on others who haven’t found Jesus yet is such a silly idea. Because we’ve all been there. Thankfully, God doesn’t care about our past or even our present, but He does care about our future. Romans 8:

 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

The above photo is from Flickr,
text added by me from Lost Type.

Week 11 of the Bible in 90 Days Challenge

I really wanted to stick to an Old Testament topic last week, but this week I want to talk about Matthew’s account of Jesus walking on water even though the week only covered the gospels of Mark, Luke and John. The reason I am using Matthew’s version is because of these words by Jesus:

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

In context, Jesus had just fed the 5,000 with only only five loaves and two fish. He sent the disciples out in their boat while he stayed on shore to prayer. A great storm came and the disciples became very afraid. During the night, Jesus walked out to them and Peter asked Him if he could walk out and join Him on the water. When Peter started walking he became scared and started to sink and called out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!” Jesus of course stretched out his arm and said, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

While reading this, I have always thought Peter was so silly for wanting first wanting to join Jesus on the sea during a storm but then to immediately lose confidence in this and start to drown himself. But really, don’t I do this on a day to day basis? I ask Jesus for help in the day to day, for food on the table and safety in getting to work. He has always provided in the small things but then when the big things come up—when we step out of our comfort zone—all of a sudden we become weary and start to question ourselves, and God. And vice versa, God has provided the big things too: jobs, a home, healthy lives; but then I doubt Him in the small things like how we will make our car insurance payment. Time and time again, God provides in ways I never would have expected and I hear Him ask me, why did you doubt?

The above photo is from Flickr, text added by me from Lost Type.

Week 10 of the Bible in 90 Days Challenge

Reading Jonah, I felt I had a new pair of eyes. I hadn’t noticed a lot of this story before. I recognized a lot of Jonah’s characteristics in myself. I laughed yet identified with Jonah as he ran away from the Lord’s calling to preach in chapter 1. And then I really identified with him when his world seemed to be falling apart around him, not only affecting him but the crew and those around him. When Jonah was brought to knees in prayer in the belly of the fish, he prayed such a heartfelt prayer full of repentance and promise:

7 As my life was slipping away,
I remembered the LORD.
And my earnest prayer went out to you
in your holy Temple.
8 Those who worship false gods
turn their backs on all God’s mercies.
9 But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise,
and I will fulfill all my vows.
For my salvation comes from the LORD alone.”

What I love the most about the book of Jonah though is that when he prophesied to the city of Ninevah, the people listened. They repented. They sought God and He relented and had compassion on the city.

What if Jonah never prophesied to Ninevah? What if he missed his chance? A whole city would have been wiped out because of their sins. This makes me wonder how many chances I miss on a day to day basis to spread the love of God. What if I am someone’s only chance to hear about God and bring them to repentance? Crazy to think about that!

Following the book of Jonah is the book of Micah. I just love this verse from chapter 6… it’s the what’s next to Jonah’s people of Ninevah:

8 No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.

When we fail—not if but when—we fail knowing that Jesus has paid the price for our failures, our sins. And thank the Lord above for that because I know—I really know after just finishing the Old Testament—how far I have fallen from the standards of God.

Then a few books later, is Zechariah. Another favorite verse and what an encouragement in our failures:

6 …It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies…

So when we fail and fall into sin, we can rest assured that Jesus paid the price for us. And thankfully He has not left us alone on this earth but has left us His Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts until He returns. Thank you Jesus!!

The above photo is from Creation Swap, 
text added by me from Lost Type.