Considering you will be 5 months old next week, I’m a little late in posting this. Thankfully I took good notes and wrote this out a few weeks ago because you have changed SO much since you turned 4 months. Every day brings us a new joy and discovery… but for now, I’m enjoying taking a look back on the month before:
You guys… In my last post about working with Trisha, I mentioned how much I adore designing for her! With all this hand lettering and painting going on, Trisha is my #1 customer (no offense to all my other #1 customers though!). She is such an encouragement and makes me strive to keep doing better and better, while still surprising her with each design. And now that I’m in the midst of working on her daughter’s 3rd birthday invitation, I thought it was time to post about the 2nd birthday invitation!
Trisha was really open to the direction to take the design. She wanted it bright and colorful though! So after showing her a few ideas, we went with a fun and whimsical direction and I got to hand write the whole piece! And then the best and final and most perfect touch, Trisha punched out and sewed on a few bright and colorful flags. Oh I love them so!
First off, I wanted to show you the work-in-progress sketch of the design before it was fully inked. It was really important to plan it out in pencil to really get the layout and how the words and lines would interact and flow together.
And then the fun and festive color was added to match the scrapbook paper that Trisha found for the banner.
I love how Trisha sewed on the paper banners, it was such a fun handmade touch to the invitations.
Can’t wait to share this year’s invites with y’all! Hopefully it won’t take me a year to post about them though! Ah!
I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to have these photos done… I just can’t believe these are of MY baby. And they are just so darn cute. I love them all so much!
My friend Jess came over when Isaiah was 6 days old to take these in his nursery. We were in the process of moving and thankfully were able to have his very first room documented like this. To say we love the photos would really be an understatement, but what has also been tugging on my heart is the love from behind the camera. Coming from experience as an auntie/photographer, seeing how Jess saw my son through her lens and having it captured on “film” is just so special to me. You can read her own blog post on the photos here.
Maybe you all can help me pick which ones to frame because I really just can’t decide!
And please stay tuned to the end of the post where I’ve shared the birth announcement photos!
The white blanket Isaiah is laying on here was knit by my grandmother… I love that little detail! (Rug is from Target)
I mean come on! Look at those lips!
We’ve been calling him Monkey Toes since the hospital… as he rested propped up on my legs in bed, he grabbed my bottom lip with those toes. It’s hard to tell here how long those little toesies are when fully extended!
2 days after these photos were taken, we moved! His room was the last to pack up in hopes that we would bring him home to his first nursery rather than the new house. Thankfully, we had one very sweet week with him in our first home.
I looooooved his nursery! It was and still is my favorite room in either house! Even though it is highly unfit for a child right now with some of the decorations… those will be removed in time though! Childproofing comes later right?
The crib and changing table are from Babies R Us. The crates (from Michaels) and the lumber for the wall (Lowe’s) were purchased as raw wood and then stained by my hubby and in laws before installing in the room. That wonderful mirror we stumbled across at Hobbly Lobby. How perfect is that?!
The very next morning after finding out we were having a boy, we started pinning ideas for his nursery. My main focus was collecting art for a gallery wall. I was so excited to purchase art from some of my favorite artists that I’ve been following for years!
The two top prints on the left are from Handlettering Co. The “Skillful Sailor” print was actually purchased last summer in Montana! We had no place for it at all but loved it so much. Little did we know that less than a year later it would be the centerpiece for our baby’s nursery!
The far right print is from This Paper Ship. The far left map was purchased as a plain wood hanging from Michael’s and then I handpainted the map on it in gold leaf paint. The small knick knacks are from Hobby Lobby… Captain Hook and Neverland map prints are both from Etsy! Whew!
Thank you Auntie Jess for all these photos and memories! We love you so much!
For Isaiah’s birth announcement, I really had NO idea how to get started designing it. There was a lot of pressure on me too (from myself) after having designed so many other birth announcements. I of course wanted to handletter on it, but with my writing being so girly, I found some smaller ways to add it without making it too feminine. Plus I hand-addressed all the envelopes so that was added fun! I really love how it came out, from the photos to the small design details. Like the compass and arrows on the back and the diamond shaped pattern that I traced from the rug in his room. I just love how it came out and I hope you do too!
Notice the pattern on the far right side…? That’s traced from the rug in his nursery 🙂
I SO enjoyed addressing all the envelopes to mail these out. It was my creative outlet during nap times 🙂
And I loved getting to design my very own address stamp after crafting nearly a hundred for others through my shop. I went for a fully handwritten and whimsical design. Hopefully the post office can read it for any returned mail!
The end!! This really could have been split into 3 separate posts but who has time for that!?
Hi there! As I recover from that crazy road trip of ours, I thought I’d share some photos from our family reunion this past summer…. my dad’s brother in law just turned the big 7-0! So that side of the family had me take some photos of the generations as a gift for grandpa Jim!
These were all taken around the yard of our rental house just outside Glacier National Park! It was truly a gorgeous place with an unbelievable view!
From left to right we have the Walkenhorst family with my cousin Katie, then my dad’s sister Diane and my uncle Jim, and then the rest of the Luellen’s with my cousin Tom…
Grandpa with son and son-in-law…
And Grandpa Jim with Grandson Jake…
Grandma and Grandpa with the grandkids.
Here’s my cousin Tom and his family who were our gracious hosts in Missouri last month!
Later that week we took some more photos but of just the Walkenhorst side…
And that wraps up our family photos from the trip… so fun! Next up, my cousin Jake’s senior photos!
So It’s the end of October, I do know this, even though I am about to share July and August work with you guys. Be patient with me please… I could skip a couple months but so much fun work has been made, I just have to share!
I started a daily lettering challenge that Jenny Highsmith created in July. I didn’t participate every day, especially as we were on the road the latter half of the month but I really loved it when I could work on. Creating small lettering creations just for me, just for the sake of creating, was so freeing. And just so FUN!
Another fun event going on the month of July was my Christmas in July promotion for my shop where my Christmas stamps were on sale. Many many months ago, our bible study hostess asked me to create her a Christmas themed address stamp and I just adore how it came out and was excited to finally list it (available for purchase here).
The biggest thing for the month of July for me was working on a collection of designs that were submitted for national retail stores to purchase for their wall art collections. Seriously. I can’t really say much more about it, but to say that I was excited to work on these is an understatement. To say that I wasn’t stressed out beyond belief during the entire month of July, especially during our “vacation” to Montana, would be an understatement. But it was well worth the time spent… I just recently was given images of the showroom where my art was mocked up on various materials; glass, wood, canvas, and more! It was so very cool to see and now I must patiently wait to see if any stores pick up my designs and who knows, maybe next year you’ll see them at your favorite local retail store. Can I be any more vague?! Sorry about that, but I had to ask permission to just post here at all, but I was too excited to not mention it at all. Eeek!
And as always, there were lots of fun projects for friends going on…
A couple baby shower invites, one of which I posted in depth a couple weeks ago here.
I had one big Etsy order to complete while in Montana, among all the other usual orders, and that was for wedding tent cards, one of my favorite kinds of orders to work on. She recently shared some photos from her wedding and the images of the cards are just so lovely!
July was also crunch time to get all of my friend Lindsey’s wedding paper goods done since I would be out of town the 2 weeks leading up to the wedding day. I just received photos from her photographer and can’t wait to do a full post on the day! But here’s a sneak peek.
A good chunk of the month of August was spent on the road as I joined my husband to compete at 3 BBQ competitions in Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. Working on a road trip sure was challenging but things still need to get done!
Of course, I tried to keep up with the daily lettering challenge…
One of my favorite projects of the month, and of the year, was working with my friend Trisha on her daughter’s birthday party invite. I created a fully handwritten design that Trisha then stitched on a string of paper banners. I’m planning on a full blog post for this one so here’s just a sneak peek that I shared with Trisha from the road…
And here’s a glimpse into some of my favorite Etsy orders from the month…
For the same wedding as the above Reserved signs, I created these unique table signs, each table being named after a song. I’m pretty excited to see how these looked at the wedding!
Hope you enjoyed my sneak peek into my work life these past couple months! So blessed to be able to create and design as much as I do!
Oh man, this kid cracks me up. His joy and unceasing happiness is contagious.
All of his expressions had me laughing out loud as I edited his photos so I just had to put together this little animation to document all the little moments in between.
See, now don’t you love him too? 🙂
A small reason I got to take his pictures this day was just because I hadn’t been able to get him in front of my camera in such a very long time. But the second reason, the biggest reason, was to make this announcement to the world….!
But as a bonus to the announcement of Hudson being promoted to big brother, we just had to document this adorable chunky stage of his life. Thanks little guy was letting your mommy and me dress you down, make you lay in grass, and even stick you in a crate. You gave us some funny faces, looks of confusion, but you were a great sport. And you better get used to this craziness!
Oh, Hudson… I’ll eat you up, I love you so!
With all my love, your crazy Auntie Sammi xoxo
I don’t know about you but May seems just like yesterday so posting about projects created that month, and in June, seems totally valid. Right right?
Even if that’s just me feeling that way, you still may like seeing a peek at some of the projects that came across my desk that month. Considering we were gone in Oregon and Colorado for half of May, this compilation is that much crazier to me—and of course still working full time.
I definitely felt quite crazy there for awhile, but here’s why…
First up, I wanted to share some custom invitations I created through my shop… a very festive Taco Twosday birthday invitation and a vintage western-like wedding invitation. The western invite was for a friend from high school!
I had a request for a watercolor painted wedding invitation. At the time, I was quite frank with the bride, telling her that I wasn’t quite experienced in watercoloring outside of lettering and I wasn’t sure if I could create a design worthy of her invites BUT if she gave me a few days to practice and see what I could come up with—and if she approved—then I would be more than happy to make her wedding invites.
I don’t normally work on Etsy projects before getting the job and getting paid, but for this project in particular, I so badly wanted the opportunity and to take on the challenge that it was totally worth the up front risk of possibly not getting the job.
Thankfully, I came up with a wreath design that she loved so we were able to go forward with the order and I LOVE how it came out so much!! It was a worthy challenge and I am so very thankful I had the opportunity as it came in very handy in June when I had to paint my wonderful friend Lindsey’s wedding invitations. God sure knows what He’s doing, that’s for sure.
Speaking of Lindsey’s wedding…. I got a ton more practice in brush calligraphy as I addressed her wedding envelopes while in Colorado.
I also got to design her shower invitation which we designed as an oversized tea bag with hang tag (for registry info). So adorable!
If you follow me on Instagram, you would definitely know that painting my lettering is pretty much my new favorite thing ever! I think there’s something about working digitally for so many years that has made me crave the tactile feel of painting. I had planned to paint my mom a canvas for Christmas but after putting it off, I thought gifting canvasses for all my moms (mother in law and grandmother included) would be perfect for Mother’s Day!
After my friend Jess saw all my Mother’s day canvasses, she passed me a wide horizontal blank canvas to paint up for her gallery wall. It fit perfectly and I loved the colors!
Another little project from Etsy was this Kraft paper print I lettered in white. I just love these types of projects! Create your own custom lettered print here.
How does this date this post…. this gorgeous girl is having her BABY girl NEXT month!! I have so many more fun things to share of projects with Trisha. I am so thankful she has girls that I can craft like crazy for. If only boys loved bubbly feminine cursive too because I have a plethora of the world’s cutest nephews too!
And of course new stamp designs were released! Perfect for sparkler wedding favors.
It got pretty hectic as our big road trip to Oregon and Colorado came up… between doing the calligraphy on tent cards for a first birthday party and a wedding, I also got to write out tags for a destination wedding’s welcome gifts!
The month of June started with catching up from our trip and then we went deep into wedding invitation mode. My floor was covered in paintings as I experimented in different styles of painting the water lilies. It was definitely a challenge I was up for and I love the result…
I shared the envelopes above with you, but here’s an overview of Lindsey’s wedding invitation suite. We pulled it together within a week from design to stuffing the envelopes for mailing. I can’t wait to share more of this project because it’s seriously one of my favorites. Ever.
Besides the wedding invite, I also got to recreate my most popular invitation, the rehearsal dinner invitation from my friend Amie’s wedding a couple years ago. But this time, it was hand painted to go with Lindsey’s watercolor theme.
Back in the Etsy shop world, another fun wedding project was creating these gold calligraphy, ivory scallop tags that were to be attached to skeleton keys! The official professional images have yet to be released… but I seriously can’t wait to see them!
And I think Nikki may have ordered nearly every wedding related card I’ve ever created!
But these may be THE cutest cards I’ve ever made… the bride’s new last name will be Biessenberger so there are going to be bees everywhere, even the hashtag: #beecomingbiessenberger!
While most of my work is in the wedding realm, it’s always fun to break out into birthday parties! They’re just so fun and festive!
My first project for Cheryl was addressing the birthday invitation envelopes, but then I also got to personalize a bunch of horse decals for the party itself. From the favors to the drink labels… there were horses everywhere! So adorable!
And finally a few stamps…
This set of stamps were created as a birthday gift for a teacher. So cute!!
Whew! So now that’s May and June… and it’s almost mid-September! Reviews of July/August will be coming up next!
It’s always amazing to see friends you’ve known for forever become parents. Brittany and I have known each other since we were seven years old and little Brownie Girl Scouts! She met the love of her life just after Andy and I got married in 2007… and if you have been following my blog for a few years now, I took their engagement photos and posted about Brittany’s wedding and just recently, her “Bebe Soiree,” French themed baby shower.
And now, here is their little bundle of joy, their princess, Jeannette Marie! She was so itty bitty during her newborn photoshoot at only 6 days old. What a little love. I miss her so!
Hope you enjoy some of these darling photos of the little miss!
Baby Jeannette was resting peacefully during her photos, the below photo shows her in her bassinet that used to be her grandpa Mike’s when he was a baby! What an heirloom!
Baby Jeannette is her daddy’s little twin. So precious.
Let me introduce to you the cousin of one of our very best friend’s… this is DJ, a senior who graduated this past June in Southern California. We ventured around Old Town Murrieta for our little mini session, capturing photos to remember this very special time.
And I even got to design the announcement!!
Thank you DJ for being such a great sport with your mom and me! And congrats on graduating! So exciting!
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!
I can’t even fathom how many photos I have of this lovely lady… thousands and thousands, I’m sure!
Ugh, I love her.
And the sisters…
And we can close with a photo of all the ladies…