A Johnson Family Christmas, Cleveland National Forest

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As I looked back on last year’s Johnson family photos, I laughed that I had noted that posting in February was late. Well now it’s almost May and I am just now sharing some of my favorites from this session with them from this past Christmas. I discovered these lovely locations with Reed and Hedder just weeks before I met with the Johnsons and just knew I had to go back as soon as possible.

Hope you enjoy these photos of one of my favorite families in the whole wide world in my favorite field ever!


We must start with the youngest star of the family, in all her dimple grin adorableness!

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I can’t even fathom how many photos I have of this lovely lady… thousands and thousands, I’m sure!

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Ugh, I love her.

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The brother…

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And the sisters…

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And we can close with a photo of all the ladies…

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5 Ways to Prepare and Shop for Christmas with Your New Friend Sam

Your New Friend Sam Christmas stamps

Guys, it’s November?! What? How did that even happen…?

Now that I just wrapped up my best friend’s baby shower this past weekend, I’m ready to dive deep into Christmas! Well, at least start to prep—because we can’t forget Thanksgiving, of course… especially since we’re hosting it this year!

Anyway…. I just wanted to do a super sales-pitchy post (without being too-too-pushy) about how I can help YOU get ready for the holidays! Whether its gifts for your loved ones or designing something special for your annual Christmas card. Let’s work together!


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For the Newlyweds

A perfect gift for newlyweds would be to have their vows handwritten and framed to display in their new home. If you don’t have access to their vows, what about the lyrics to their first dance song?

Your New Friend Sam Etsy Whimsical Handwritten Wedding Vows 128

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For the Student and the Reader

Every reader that has a growing collection of books needs to have a way of personalizing them. First with a bookplate stamp that will mark it as theirs and then a library card pocket to keep track of who has borrowed from their library.

your new friend sam - once upon a time bookplate stamp

Your New Friend Sam Calligraphy Address Stamp Warren Family

For the Family or New Homeowner

The product that started the craziness that has become my Etsy shop! These address stamps make a perfect gift for those who just bought their first home… but they are wonderful for any family or couple. Really anyone who sends mail could use an address stamp.

Your New Friend Sam Address Stamp - Keith <3 Lisa

Your New Friend Sam Handwritten Embossed Christmas Cards

For You!

Maybe you need an address stamp too because…. it’s time to send those annual Christmas cards— whether they are handwritten and embossed with a fine glitter or white opaque powder… or the traditional photo card.

Your New Friend Sam Christmas Cards

Your New Friend Sam, Merry Christmas Rubber Stamp

For Gift Wrap:

Now that you’re done shopping and the cards have been sent… it’s time to get wrapping! Whether you want handwritten gift tags or a holiday stamp (Merry Christmas or a simple to/from)!

Your New Friend Sam, Name Gift Tags

Your New Friend Sam Handwritten Merry Christmas Gift Tags

Bonus! Let’s get together for a family photo session! Email me for pricing—there’s only a few weekend dates left available!

Thanks for shopping with me! Looking forward to working with you!!

P.S. The Wedding Vows printables also make great gifts to anyone with a favorite song or bible verse, instead of vows, create a design with their favorite bible verse or their favorite song lyrics.

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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 :))

Calvary Chapel Canyon Hills Easter Services

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Do you have a place to go for this weekend’s Easter celebration?

Join us in Canyon Hills as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Good Friday service at 7 on April 18th.
Easter services at 9 and 11 on the morning of April 20th.
With child care provided at both Sunday services!

Please use the below graphic to share about our services on Facebook too!

Calvary Canyon Hills Easter services 2014 designed by Sam Allen Creates

And here are a few more images of the newspaper I helped design for our local newspaper.

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Hope to see you there!

My Christmas Wish List, Christmas Traditions 2013

I love how selfless the month of December feels… I just love giving gifts! Especially those gifts that are just. so. perfect! Since I can’t share all the fun finds that we are gifting to our friends and family, I thought I’d share a few of fun things that made my Christmas Wish List!

Seeing a visual picture of the things I am wishing for made me laugh… anyone else asking for an iPad stylus pen, scrapbook stuff, and Iron Man 3? No, just me?

christmas wish list 2013

1. Jean Capris, 2. Staz On White ink pad, 3. Mustard Yellow Cardigan, 4. Prima’s Comfort Craft Distressing Tool, 5. Iron Man 3 [Blu-ray], 6. Brown Flats, 7. Mid Calf Black Boots, 8. Urban Decay (Naked2), 9. Wacom Bamboo Stylus for iPad, 10. Camera Case for Canon Elph

So what’s on your wish list?

Evernotes Every Friday, An Etsy Christmas Edition

Andy and I have a very distinct set of Christmas decorations… which made it hard the first year or so to get decorations that we liked, but every year it gets easier. Even Hobby Lobby had a whole aisle that was all about rustic woodsy Christmas decor. I was in love… but this week I took to Etsy to compile a list of the perfect Christmas decorations!

1. NOEL Letters

Decorating the mantel is always a favorite of mine… I pinned something similar to this last year, but I love it all the more this year!! We love the rustic Christmas look! And for only $35, this is a great deal! Head on over to The Lettered Lane for more options.


2. Personalized Hessian Sack Stocking

Oh I just LOVE this stocking! Of course its from the United Kingdom, so I kept searching and found one I love just as much from Giddy Up Gift. Needless to say, a burlap stocking is what my heart desires this year!

Silver Bobbin stocking

3. Reclaimed Wood Tree

Now we need a tree… I love these reclaimed wood trees! There’s quite a variety of them as well, including ones using drift wood, but I love how this one has the variety of knobs, keys and pulls.

reclaimed wood tree

4. Ceramic Christmas Ornaments

We try to keep our ornaments limited in colors to red, silver, gold, plus any rustic wood and whites… so this set of 3 ceramic discs would be perfect to go with our current ornaments! And of course, you know I love the stamped type! These ornaments were a close second though: twine wrapped heart and antique paper balls.


5. Advent Calendar

And last but not least, we need an Advent Calendar…. I love how these boxes are designed with a variety of type with a limited color scheme. Its just gorgeous… (The backing is sold separate here.)

advent calendar

New Etsy Listing: Printable Photo Christmas Cards


Christmas is closing in on us yet again! I still can’t believe this year has came and went so so fast. And what a year it was!

One of the joys of Christmas that I always look forward to is receiving Christmas cards in the mail!

Here are a few designs I helped my friends create last year along with our very own Christmas card design (for whatever reason they never made it on here last year!).

Each of these 3 designs are listed in my Etsy shop so head on over there if any of these would suit your needs this year. All you have to do is provide me some photographs and your desired wording/verses and I can customize your card for you! You will then get a file back to order your cards through whatever service you’d like! I have a few to recommend too!

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P.S. Here’s a sneak peek into the hand lettering of our 2013 card…


Card 1 features family photography by Mandi Spottsville.

Card 2 features wedding photography by All Aboard Studios.

Disneyland’s Candlelight Processional, Christmas Traditions 2012

Christmas at Disneyland is always magical. The park is themed down to the smallest detail, decked out to its finest for this merry season. Plus, where else can you experience snow in Southern California? You know, besides the mountains?

My all time favorite tradition is the Candlelight Processional, where the entire Town Square is transformed, where the lights of Main Street dim, where hundreds of choirs walk through the park singing Christmas carols, where the Gospel of Jesus is read to the masses.

If you have never made it to one of these very special nights, I would highly recommend it. And for the first time ever, in its 54 years of celebrations, Disneyland expanded the tradition from its 2 night spectacle into a 20 night long extravaganza. Almost every single night of this merry month, Disneyland commenced the procession not just once but twice nightly.

I have been unable to attend the last few years as it was only the first weekend of December, but this year Rachel and I made it to last week’s performance with Dick Van Dyke as narrator.

Dick Van Dyke, Walt Disney, Julie Andrews

After seeing this show more than a few times, Mr. Van Dyke is my all time favorite narrator. He graced us with his presence the very first year my husband and I ever attended. His voice just gives me chills. My favorite moment this year is walking within 20 feet of this Disney legend as he was ushered  to backstage. He was just as happy and sweet as I could have imagined. And of course I was in such shock to see him before the show, I didn’t even grab of a photo of this adorable man!

Candlelight Processional at Disneyland, Dick Van Dyke

Dick Van Dyke, narrates 2005 Candlelight Processional, the first time I ever saw the performance. source

Anyway, back to the Processional. To give you a few more details, the Candlelight Processional begins with hundreds of choir members, walking down a dark Main Street, illuminated only by candles. The procession ends at the train station where a stage has been elaborately set up. From there the choirs grace us with many a Christmas song interspersed with a special guest celebrity narrator reading the story of Jesus’ birth.

It’s quite a unique event, one somewhat unusual in this politically correct world. This is one event that I hope Disney keeps and I hope to always be able to attend in support of this glorious tradition.

Tomorrow is the last event for the year with John Stamos as narrator. If you can’t make it this year, there’s always next. 🙂

Decent photos are hard to get so I am thankful for finding the above photos via Google. Below is a video from last Wednesday’s 7:30 performance, the one I was able to attend.

Disney Ornament, Christmas Traditions 2012


One of my favorite traditions is buying our annual Disney ornament! I featured our 2011 ornament last year along with several others from previous years.

This year’s ornament, similar in look to last year, is our 8th annual ornament from Disneyland.


I think some of my favorite Disney ornaments though are from their more rustic collection—which feature a more vintage Mickey and Minnie—wish they had these out again this year.


Another new ornament this year was from our trip through Oregon, from Mutnomah Falls!


And lastly, remember this beauty from the Vintage Marketplace? Well, I had a migraine and had to miss the ornament exchange, so look who is sitting pretty on my tree?


What are some of your favorite ornaments?

Photo A Day, December—Week 1

This was a pretty great week, where I am concerned! Last weekend was a busy one but so so much fun! My mom and her friends and I went to the Vintage Marketplace, got some Christmas shopping done, and then Sunday I went to Disneyland with Jamie and Eli. Ugh, so so much fun! This weekend was full of a busy work project, Christmas card designing, oooo-ing and ahhhh-ing over a friend’s new 1920’s engagement ring, new client meetings, and to top it off, house decorating with the husband last night. This is gonna be a good Christmas! Love to you all….


1/8 o’clock, 2/peace, 3/something I held, 4/black+white, 5/looking up, 6/from where I live, 7/stars

It’s not too late to join in! Here’s this month’s new photo list by Fat Mum Slim. Who’s joining in? If you need a little inspiration with a day’s prompt, Chantelle gives a few suggestion for each one on her blog as well.