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!


January

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


February

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!!





March

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


April

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.

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May

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


June

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!

 

Lauren & Kellen — Menifee Maternity Photos

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This little sweet baby girl is about to make her debut in the next couple weeks so I thought I’d share a few of her parent’s maternity photos with you all first! I can not wait to cuddle and love on this babe. Timehop has been reminding me daily of my little Isaiah as a newborn from last year everyday and it’s giving me baby fever!! Olivia June, I can not wait to meet you! And neither can your mama!!

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Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen

Pankratz Family: Hudson’s Being Promoted to Big Brother!

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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.

Hudson 7 Month Animation

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….!

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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!

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Oh, Hudson… I’ll eat you up, I love you so!

With all my love, your crazy Auntie Sammi xoxo

Lauren and Kellen’s Autumn Oak Glen Mini Session for Christmas

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I’m sure you all remember the Wagoners. They’ve been featured here quite a few times!

Lauren had come with me to help with the beautiful Ryan family’s photos in Oak Glen. And of course, she fell in love with the beautiful setting. So we planned to come back a few weeks later to take her and Kellen’s photo for their Christmas card.

Here’s a few of my favorites…

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This one became their Christmas card! <3

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Before going to the next location, we snapped a photo of Lauren with her Origami Owl! She started selling the jewelry last fall, check out her site!

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But finding this rocky riverbed was my favorite.

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Lauren, thanks for getting some battle wounds in our adventure down to the riverbed to take these photos <3

The Ryan Family’s Fall Christmas Photos in Oak Glen, Outdoor Family Portrait Photography

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This family. Oh, how much do I love and adore them. Pretty much some of the nicest, most genuine people that I have ever met.

Meet the Ryan family… Shane, Kyrene, Hudson (3), and Parker (1).

You’ve definitely seen them around here a few times though, if you’ve been here before. I did their wedding invitations, first ones I’ve ever designed besides my own! Plus, Parker’s newborn photos… and a few other fun things, like Disneyland trips and birthday parties!

After starting the photo session with my favorite family shot, we just had the boys run around and play while taking more lifestyle-like photos. From Hudson’s adventurous spirit to Parker’s deep contemplative stares, I had a hard time narrowing down my favorites!

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Hedder and Reed’s One Year Wedding Anniversary Photos in the Woods and Fields of the Ortega Mountains, Outdoor Couple Portrait Photography

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Oh these two… this was such a fun photo shoot to celebrate their first wedding anniversary!

I’ve known Reed since he was in middle school… or maybe elementary school? Either way, it’s been awhile. It was a blast catching up with his wonderfully sweet wife, Hedder, and Reed on their first year of marriage and their new teaching jobs. They’re just about as genuine and real as you can get. And as a bonus, hysterically funny! I actually don’t know how any of these are in focus as they had me laughing the whole time… isn’t that part of my job?? Thanks for making it easy on me… Happy anniversary you two!

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Amelia’s One Year Birthday Photos at the Beach

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Little Miss Amelia turned one earlier this month! And for Mia’s birthday photos, we wanted to head down to the beach to take photos that we could use as decoration at her Under the Sea birthday party.

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I know that she’s pointing at her grandma behind me, but I like to think she’s saying “I’m one!” (P.S. Thanks Grandma Kim for being THE BEST assistant ever!)

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I love this girl’s smile! She just loves life, and is curious about everything! She has the heart for adventure!

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Once we got closer to the beach itself, it was time for a wardrobe change! Rachel made Mia these adorable crowns for the photoshoot… she looks like a bohemian beach princess.

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She really wasn’t too sure what to think of the sand… or the waves… or the water in general. Which led to lots of sweet moments with mommy.

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I am showing you this cute little one from behind, not only to show off her standing by herself, and those chunky thighs of hers, but I am pretty sure she was screaming mad at us at this moment. 🙂

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As the sun set, we took her up to the dry sand and just let her play. It didn’t take long for her curiosity to get the best of her and dig in.

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 Oh Miss Mia, thank you for always being so full of surprises and keeping us on our toes. After forcing you to take a bath outside, you would have thought we had learned our lesson. Thank you for being you, your feisty, sweet, adventurous, you.

Matt and Amie’s Pregnancy Announcement Photos and Card Design

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Last week, my best friend finally let the cat baby out of the bag! She’s expecting her first little babe this December!

Before she even found out that she was pregnant, she had told me that she had wanted to take these feet photos with their little pup (okay she’s not that little now, remember these Christmas photos??)

your new friend sam pregnancy announcement calligraphy photo card growing by two feet

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So of course I am so excited to meet my new little niece, or nephew. I’m already dreaming of the cuddles, photo shoots, Disneyland trips, and mini milestones all along the way.

And of course, dreaming of the baby shower!! It feels like just yesterday that I was immersed in all things pink and cherry blossoms!

Now, don’t you worry, I’m sure I’ll be posting all along the way… but until then, enjoy a few photos from our announcement photos and the announcement itself that we printed on heavy linen cardstock. And of course, I had to add a little hand lettering to keep in theme with their wedding. 🙂

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Geraldine, College Senior Photos: Lavender Farms to Carlsbad Flower Fields

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Oh my goodness, I am so excited to share these photos with you. I don’t even have a favorite. I have like 10 favorites.

When Geraldine asked me several months ago to design her graduation announcements, and take her photos for the card.. I was so excited to get her in front of my camera. She is absolutely gorgeous, inside and out! And I was excited to celebrate this accomplishment with her too! After going to school, for what feels like forever, she has graduated with her Bachelors in Nursing and is now an RN! My friends are smart, people. And pretty. (P.S. Did I mention she’s single! P.P.S. I can’t wait to see who God has been holding on to for her!!)

Whoa, tangent… anyway, the goal for the day was to get her portraits done with some purple flowers since that’s one of her school’s colors. After some research, we found Key Farm’s Lavender Fields in Valley Center. Knowing that the times were going to be yucky, or at least not the best photography wise, we also decided to head down to the Carlsbad Flower Fields for sunset photos. And then oh yeah, that place closes at 6 and its summer in southern California and still quite hot and sunny then. Okay, so how about we go up to the beach, Oceanside, and then head home? Okay, as long as I can wear my heels, she says! So basically, these were taken everywhere and all throughout our very fun day! Hope you love them all as much as I do. And guys, message me for her number. kidding kidding… kinda. 🙂

I knew right away the day was going to be amazing when we had to make a u-turn and found this beautiful driveway… the perfect way to start our photo shoot (minus the whole getting lost and having to turn around aspect of course).

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We then continued our adventure to the lavender fields… this is one of my favorites from the day and also the one we ended up using on her graduation announcement.

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A little breeze never hurts…

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I’m kind of obsessed with her eyelashes… wouldn’t you be??

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And found some perfectly aged white fences to make another stop on our way out…

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After another hour in the car, and a pitstop for coffee and tea… we found ourselves in the midst of the Carlsbad Flower Fields!

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I wasn’t kidding before, I really am obsessed!

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And lastly, on our way home we drove up through Oceanside to eat dinner, and take the last few photos of the day.

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And the girl finally got to have her heels!

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Then after all the photos were taken, edited, and sent off to Geraldine… we then started on the announcement for her graduation! Which is this coming weekend, yee-haw!!

Like I had said at the start, one of her school colors is purple and the other is a golden orange color. I really loved how these came out, from the typography to the custom built pattern.

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Congratulations Geraldine!! I’m so proud of you and am so excited to see where your kind, selfless, and giving heart takes you!!