Sam Allen Creates: April thru June 2019

The month of April focused almost fully on Mother’s Day preparations! Which I love because as a mama myself, I just love to celebrate mom’s of all kinds! The latter half of this quarter then went back to focusing on the summer wedding season!


There’s a lot to cover this month, so let’s get started!

Mother’s Day gifts

For this year’s Mother’s Day promotions, I created this card as a freebie for orders of watercolor portraits and papercut silhouettes! It was such a hit!

One of my most popular products for Mother’s Day is always my papercut silhouettes. I love drawing out these sweet profiles, their noses and eyelashes or maybe even their fur!

This year, I included a Buy 1, Get 1 Free promotion. It was such a great way to buy a set for grandma but then get to keep one for mama too!

My watercolor portraits didn’t launch until summer last year so this was their first Mother’s Day season! Each of these were gifts from the mamas to the grandmas… so sweet! Shop watercolor portraits here.

And then this was to honor the multi-generations of women in the Parker family! Not only did this make a great Mother’s Day gift, but also a great wedding gift! See more wedding day watercolor portraits here.

In April, I also made a great addition to my shop with the option of colored envelopes to my card collection! I really love the added color these bring to my watercolor cards! Shop cards here.

All of the following photos were from card orders in April alone! It was a busy and fruitful month!

And of course, I can’t forget to include watercolor tags!

And some green watercolor tags, scroll down to see the real wedding photos!

Before the month came to a close, I also made up several more sets of vow books for Stephanie Weber Photography’s gift sets for her wedding couples! I can’t wait to share more of these with you as Stephanie photographs them on the wedding days!

Speaking of vows…. I wish you could fully appreciate the size of these pieces, but wow, what a joy to work on these for Vivian’s wedding anniversary! I love when couple’s choose to document their wedding vows, hanging on their walls to be reminded daily of their commitment to one another.

Now on to wedding work! First up are a few in-studio shots from this California wedding! I love the classic black and white look… can’t wait to see the real wedding photos of how these were displayed.

I also got to design these wedding invitations for Carina and Gilbert’s Cancún wedding! I’m so excited to see how her photographer, Melissa Fe Chapman, documents their destination wedding!

And before I share the real wedding photos from these May weddings below, here’s some of my in-studio shots.. if you’ve been reading my blog these past few months, you may recognize some of these.

First up are these navy watercolor signs and name cards for an east coast wedding!

And then some dusty rose beauties for an Arizona wedding!

I’m still hoping for real wedding photos of these tent cards but here’s my own personal shots. Love this classic black and white look with the meal choice in gray.

And of course we can’t forget the styled shoots of the month!

First up is this shoot at Higuera Ranch with Styled Shoots Across America… I’m planning on sharing a full blog post on the day so here’s just a sneak peek, photos by Ty Pentecost Photography.

And another peek at this shoot at Rancho Pavo! This truly is my only peek so far as the shoot will be published soon and then I can reveal more! Photo by Golden Arrow Photography.

Artwork for Baby Girl Nurseries

And lastly, for the new babies! I love getting to paint up artwork for baby nurseries! I hope these new mamas find peace gazing at these paintings during those late night feedings… I know I memorized all the artwork in my son’s room during all those long nights! Floral letter paintings available here.

Or for a more custom piece, shop here.


On to the month of May! Of course the start of the month, included some more Mother’s Day gifts!

From papercut silhouettes

…to watercolor portraits!

The month continued on to include a wide range of items. Like this one from a very thoughtful husband who commissioned this watercolor brush calligraphy painting of a saying he always says to his wife. How sweet is that?!

At some point I blinked and before I knew it I was sending out invitations to my son’s third birthday party! What a whirlwind!

In preparation for the summer weddings, I made quite a few table number signs in a wide range of colors! Love this first shot by Paul Blackmore Photography for a classy nautical wedding. Shop table numbers here.

One of my returning brides requested a matching “thank you” card to my printed cards that I released earlier in the year. I was more than happy to whip these up for her and create a new listing in my shop!

While I love my printed cards, I sure do love the fully handpainted cards too, like this gold bridesmaid card!

And here’s a few more brush calligraphy items, from tags for toy box bin labels to wedding placecard tags and tent cards!

Just in time for Disney/Pixar’s Up movie release date, I created this watercolor painting inspired by the film! I love how it came out so much!! Purchase a print for your home or to gift here.

I loved painting up this Sisters painting for my friend Trisha’s new home! This color combo was so fun to work with! I loved having the variety to work with.

Have you ever heard of a Jefferson dinner? It’s a dinner party where all the guests are encouraged to converse on a wide range of topics to encourage bonding between different groups of people. I loved getting to make up these topic cards for them!

And now it’s Real Wedding time!

Starting with the first weekend of May, Gabrielle and Cole’s east coast wedding! See more of their big day here.

I adore the look of white ink on acrylic and was thankful for this project from my long time friend, Amanda! I plan to blog this wedding so stay tuned for more! Photos by Lorina Winter.

I also love this white and green color combo—especially when it’s my favorite shade of green! Photos by McCall Burau from Lucky Malone Photography

And another favorite wedding, this gorgeous blush and peach wedding in Arizona! So stunning! See more in their full blog post here.

Lastly, some classic black ink on white tags for this northern California wedding. Photos by The Allens Photography.


The beginning of June always centers around our little man’s birthday! This year we had a Paw Patrol themed party at the park! We also adventured around Santa Rosa Plateau with his Auntie Jess and took his birthday photos! One of which, with his favorite Bear, that I painted below. To see his photo shoot, take a look at Jess’ site here. Love!

After releasing my printed bridesmaid thank you cards in May, I received a request for matching best man and groomsman cards! And of course, I was more than happy to oblige!

And speaking of cards, here’s an assortment of the many cards painted up this month!

And some more watercolor calligraphy! Love these bridesmaid gift bags given by the bride during her bridal luncheon! Such a cute idea! Photos by Stephanie Weber Photography.

And now it’s Real Wedding time!

A sweet 10 year wedding anniversary party by Sarah Kovel Events.

And a pool side wedding with gold, blush and gray tones! Photos by Jane Decle Photography

And some acrylic table numbers for a California wedding! Photo by Brittany Taylor Photography.

Of course, the month of June couldn’t end without working on day of stationery for July! Here’s some sneak peeks of my own in-studio shots, but I hope to include the real wedding shots in my next recap blog post in a few months!

I also worked on two styled shoots during June that would be taking place in the month of July. I took some of my own photos before mailing out the packages so until my next recap post, I’d love to share my photos but just wait until you see the photos from the pros!

I loved working on this package of love letters for Stephanie Weber Photography. I started with applying a custom mix watercolor wash to the paper. A variety of brown and yellow tones to give it in a vintage book feel. Then I wrote out a few custom phrases as well as some longer letters to complete the look. The photos from the shoot are breathtaking! Can’t wait to share in more in its very own blog post.

This next suite was photographed in Colorado and then Texas in July, but here’s my sneak peek shots from June! I loved experimenting with creating the paper texture for the tent cards and wedding invitation.

Just one last bit of eye candy for you stationery lovers… I sent one of my favorite wedding invitation suites EVER up to Ariana Del Mundo in Canada to be photographed. She was a dream to work with and has such a sweet heart! See more of her work here!

Phew! That was a lot to cover! If you hung on through the end, wow! I appreciate you and your dedication to my heart for paper goods! Until next time… xoxo, Sam

8 Ways to Make your Reception Table As Unique as You!

I’m so excited to be sharing these photos by Stephanie Weber Photography, showcasing my wedding day watercolor stationery product line. My goal was to create an immersive set of paper goods where a bride’s reception table would be complete with table numbers, menus, and placecards all done in matching watercolor!

Before I show you the galleries, please take note of these amazing ladies who made this possible:

From our photographer and stylist: Putting together this tablescape session was a dream! It was all about the details, and who doesn’t love that. It is not often that I get to photograph these intricate details that go into table settings. In fact, I feel that this is often overlooked in weddings. Some of my advice to my brides is to not skimp on these details, they make all the difference. It is what your guest will remember. Where they sit for most of their time on your day. This is a space to introduce to your guest to what you love, a space to let them know a little bit more about you. My brand is soft, romantic and timeless, so it was with no question that Sam Allen Creates, Bloom Theory Florals and Rustic Peony Co. were the perfect combination. We created several tablescapes based on seasons, and colors, some bold and some classic. We chose to accent different colors with each set to give a vintage, modern or bold look. We repurposed and combined styles to show our brides that you can completely repurpose a look with only minor changes. Like simply changing the accent color, or adding a floral plate to a solid modern color, to give it a vintage and classic look vs a modern feel.

It was so fun to style these, it allowed all of us to get creative and dive into our craft. Plus, there is nothing better than working with an amazing group of talented women.

Classic Black and White

My favorite aspects of my watercolor line is how the brush calligraphy can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the style of the wedding… on the menus, the watercolor is paired with a font and that font can really set the tone and the personality for the wedding making each collection unique.

Gold and Bold

From our tabletop rental company, Sandrina of Rustic Peony Co: When creating what I consider a perfect tablescape, I love to add height and dimension which can be done with candles, candleholders, florals, linens and tableware. I also like to keep in mind a couple of things while creating a tablescape, are views unobstructed to the people sitting across from you, giving you a chance to easily have a conversation without cranking your head around decor or moving florals and can a person eat and drink comfortably.

Vintage Purple

More from Sandrina: Clients often ask what china, I think they should use for their day. I first start by asking what is their theme/style, color palette and ambiance they want to achieve. Seems overkill to ask for those things, right, after all were talking about glassware and dinner plates. On the contrary, most times I have people who will say I want a shabby chic rustic look and when they send in their Pinterest board (thank the Lord for Pinterest) it’s boho romantic. I of course would suggest different options for each of those styles.

A Fan Favorite: Navy and Rose

From our florist, Charm of Bloom Theory Design: Making a table setting unique doesn’t take too much. Create conversation pieces with centerpieces and details! A bit of garnish on a menu to elevate the experience is always a nice touch.

Modern Neutrals with a Pop

When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with classic white florals. They match everything! And so does the sage green watercolor stationery! Add a pop of color, like pink shown here, adds so much character to the table making this a great tablescape for the spring.

Vintage Romantic

I love how Stephanie styled this tablescape. Using a rich neutral, like gray, as an accent color makes the main color pop. My customers often use gray as the color of the text on my menus and the outcome is always so beautiful!

Peaches & Cream

More from our florist, Charm: Fruits being placed throughout the reception table is also another way to make it unique and casual. The fruits should edible, so that you get to share this experience with others as you wait for the courses to arrive. Totally beats looking at the phone, and encourages conversation!

Old World Charm

For this tablescape, we just swapped out the dusty rose watercolor stationery, from the last set up, for the walnut brown menus, table numbers and delicate banner placecard tags. Such a small change but it changes the tone of the table to an old world feel. This is my favorite tablescape for a fall wedding!

Thanks for taking a peek! What table would best suit your unique personality? I’d love to know in the comments below.

Shop my full watercolor stationery line here:
Table Numbers
Tent Cards
Name Tags
Ceremony Programs

Gabrielle + Cole’s Dusty Blue + White Spring Wedding at Callawassie Island. Photographed by Dana Cubbage.

Last fall, Gabrielle reached out to me about a painting of Avett Brothers lyrics for signage at her spring wedding… and then a floral painting of an H for her new last name… and then addressing her wedding invitation envelopes… and then…. and then…

When a favorite customer returns time and time and again, it sure makes me happy. It means that they love working with me and appreciate my work and that truly means the world to me!

Gabrielle’s amazing photographer, Dana Cubbage, was kind enough to send me the gallery from their May wedding in South Carolina. She took so many details shots which made me feel like I was right there in the front row during this gorgeous wedding!

If you would like to work together on wedding placecards or signage as shown here, please reach out via the Contact form linked at the top of the page!

Wedding Photography: Dana Cubbage Weddings | Coordination: Maggie Denison | Venue: Callawassie Island | Floral Design: Out of the Garden | Cake: Publix | Wedding Dress: Made With Love Bridal from Lovely Bride | Hair: Tracie Crafton | Makeup: Dannon K. Collard | Bride’s Shoes: Bella Belle | Bride’s Jewelry: personal | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaids | Band: Saluda Shoals | Men’s Attire: Theory (groom) + Jos A Bank (groomsmen) | Catering: Callawassie Island Club | Rentals: Ooh! Events | Stationery: Pretty Papers + Gifts | Custom Signage: Sam Allen Creates | Videography: Withers Films

See more on Dana’s blog::

Sam Allen Creates: January thru March 2019

This was an unusual start to the year for me! My shop usually gets busy in January but this year it was rather slow which left me plenty of time to focus on some 2019 goals… take a look!


Going in to the new year, I had one major goal: to create and list more PRINTS! And this included printed versions of my godparent and bridesmaid cards! Since my shop was unusually slow, I got this goal for the year off my list right away!

Shop bridal party cards here and godparent cards here.

Midway through the month, the amazing Stephanie Weber planned and photographed an amazing shoot that featured my watercolor wedding line, florals by Bloom Theory Design and tabletop rentals by Rustic Peony Co! When I first approached her last October about doing this product shoot, I never could have imagined such beauty… it truly was a dream come true and I can’t wait to share more in a later blog post.

While I may work directly with brides more often than not, I love getting to work directly with photographers for their brides! These vow books were commissioned and photographed by Janita Mestre for her client welcome gifts! I love all her ribbon, textures and dishes. Such a pretty setting for my handmade books.

Much of the month was spent working on styled shoots that both took place in Southern California at the end of the month….

Next month I’ll be sharing a full post on this, but I have to share a sneak peek with you now! This Alice in Wonderland themed wedding was absolute perfection! Essentially it was a whimsical garden wedding but with the perfect touch of Alice scattered throughout the details: rabbits, clocks, and keys graced the grounds at Chateau Adare in Murrieta! Melissa Fe Chapman and Stephanie Weber dreamed up the perfect shoot for Alice!

That same week, Jessica Schmuckle with Styled Shoots Across America designed a rustic purple wedding at Brick in San Diego. I loved the combo of shabby chic and galvanized metal… it gave the open space such a glam yet vintage feel. Photos by Jaymee Lynn Photography.

One last project for the month was addressing these invitation envelopes for a wedding in South Carolina! I just love this writing style, it’s a favorite of mine for sure!

But of course can’t close out the month without sharing more handpainted cards… they’re a staple creation around here now…

Shop wedding day cards and bridesmaid proposal cards here.


The month of February started with a trip to Europe for me and the hubby! We ate our way through Rome, experienced so much history, and then Andy consulted on a BBQ restaurant that has now opened in Barcelona, Spain!

While we were gone, Cassy Velazquez photographed some of my stationery at a styled shoot at the Ebell Club!

Also while we were gone, my feature in the SD Voyager was published! Go take a read!

Once we got back from our trip, I made up the time quick making those last 10 days of the month SUPER productive…

First up, more vow books! Both sets for photographer welcome gifts for their new clients.

And lots and lots of painting… from bridesmaid cards to placecard tags! I’m so thankful for these customers who were patiently awaiting my return from Europe!

Plus these cute little banners for a Cancun wedding! Photos by Sarani Photography.

And just before the month was over, I created a free printable monthly calendar for my email subscribers! I had been thinking awhile on what type of freebie I could give to my followers and grow my email list. I really love how it came out and enjoy releasing a new one each month with my Floral Letters. Want to get your own? Get your download here.


After taking off so much of February, the month of March felt super productive as I started gearing up for my Mother’s Day sale in April!

But first, I want to share this dusty rose invitation suite from a styled shoot that took place in Washington under the spring cherry blossoms! Photographed by Stormy Baldwin.

And then here’s a sneak peek from another shoot I worked on in the month of March… This my own image but will definitely be sharing more of the gallery from the amazing Selycia Yang!

Before I get into the gifts for Mother’s Day, I have to share this painting I created for my mama friend Hedder and her sweet baby boy, Drew Bear. For the baby shower gift, I had asked for some general ideas of the nursery decor: woodsy, bears, rustic browns and grays… and then she gave me this verse from the book of Matthew. Between all of that, it was easy to come up with a custom painting for his room by placing his very name within the verse itself! I love how this piece came out so much and by the look on sweet her face when she opened it, she loved it too!

And as a belated Christmas gift, my own mama commissioned these canvases for some of her best friends. I don’t often work with acrylic paint so this was a fun challenge for me! But of course I love how they came out featuring the lyrics to the song “Beautiful Savior!”

Now on to Mother’s Day (and anniversary) gifts! Creating watercolor portraits truly is one of my favorite projects that cross my desk. Turning those favorite photos into watercolor paintings is a joy for me! Adding a wedding portrait to the mix was a fun new challenge too, but that bouquet was SO fun to paint!

Handlettering truly is my passion… many years ago I fell in love with typography, the design and the flow of letters. So when Sandrina from Rustic Peony Co commissioned some bible verses to be painted for her house, I was so excited!! These 16×20 paintings were painted with so much love!

In case you haven’t heard me talk about Stephanie Weber enough in this post, she was gracious enough to photograph these flatlays for me of my watercolor cards and tags! She has such an eye for detail and I’m thankful she shares her talents with me!

And of course, the month included all the Etsy orders that came in… like these menus for Sheila’s 40th birthday dinner!

And although this wedding JUST happened last weekend, it was in March that I painted this keepsake for Candice’s husband to be! With subtle touches of pink, peach, and gold the paper alone is a work of art but the sweet words to her groom are my favorite.

And more and more and more watercolor cards! You’d think I’d be sick of painting these but I really truly am not. I’m so thankful to get to spend my days with my paint brush in hand…. although I’m running out of Netflix shows to binge watch listen to while I work.

Last, but not least, Julia had me paint up some signage for her wedding…

I always like to take photos before I ship everything…

But then I got these photos straight from Julia’s photographer, Michelle Preau Photography… whoo hoo!! I’m always so excited to get REAL wedding photos back!!

Thank you so much for reading! I love my work so much and I am happy to share it with you!! If you ever have any questions, please reach out! My inbox is waiting for you!

Floral Kissed Romantic Washington Shoot, Photographed by Caitlin Houser

I always think back to this shoot from last summer with a smile… Caitlin Houser just worked magic with my stationery and handlettered fabric. It must have been divine intervention that connected us as I am ever so thankful for the images captured this day!

Hope you enjoy taking a look at this beauty, all thanks to this lovely vendor team:

Photographer: Caitlin Houser Photography
Colfax Flowers, Decor & More
Rental Items:
Artifact Rentals
Sam Dial Jewelers
Taylor Osborne of Halo Salon
Dress: Saved by the Dress
Invitation Suite and Calligraphy:
Sam Allen Creates

Published on Apple Brides.

Cinderella Inspired Fairytale Wedding Invitation Suite, Photographed and Styled by Michelle Santiago

Last February when I first shared this sketch of Cinderella’s castle, I made the connection with Michelle Santiago of Neva Michelle Photography. I was so blessed that she wanted to photograph a whole suite built around this sketch! Needless to say, I was thrilled with the result, and a year later, this is still my favorite photoshoot!

A bit more about the process: I wanted a vintage look for the invite. No fonts, but all handwritten! Each piece of handmade paper was painted with a blue and gray watercolor wash to age the paper and the cherry on top was a pink and silver wax seal of a crown. Even the postage stamps were on theme and I am still so in love!

I love crafting wedding invitations, layering in textures and colors and small nods of personality!

Sleeping Beauty Inspired, Watercolor Floral Wedding Invitation Suite, Photographed by Michelle Santiago

Last spring, I created this Disney inspired Sleeping Beauty invitation suite. I wanted to design a suite that perhaps Aurora would have chosen from her princess wedding, a wedding dripping in garden florals with hints of gold! And of course I went with pink, but threw in accents of blue so all the fairies would be happy!

The suite and handpainted song lyrics were lovingly styled and photographed by Neva Michelle Photography.

Sam Allen Creates: July thru September 2018

I really adore making these review posts… to be able to see all the work I created each month all in one place amazes me… God has blessed me so abundantly with so many awesome projects and clients. I’m so thankful for Him who gave me these talents that I can share with the world. I hope you love reviewing these summer months as much as I did making everything!

View Part 1 of my 2018 Review here.
Part 2 here.


Earlier in 2018, I designed a suite for a July elopement in Switzerland! Planned and styled by Loukia Arapian, photographed by Gabriela Oswald.

The month also started with an email from Tiffany Greenleaf, an incredibly talented florist in Newport Beach, who contracted me for placecards and a ton of a acrylic goodness! Side note: this was the first full wedding that I got to make the watercolor tags for! Photos by Jack Randall Photography.

I was also blessed this year by the talents of Carmen Soares of Beyond the Gates Photography. She had reached out wanting to shoot some flatlays and I sent her a TON of items to play with including these fabric menus and I just ADORE all the work she did for me! If you’re in Oregon, look her up!

In the middle of the month, I made a divine connection with Caitlin Houser just in time for her styled shoot in Washington! She was able to use some items I had made earlier in the year for a shoot that I never received photos from. I’m still so over the moon from this shoot!

The month also included the “official” launch of my watercolor portraits! I celebrated with a giveaway on my Instagram and a sale in my shop! Such sweet families! Find more information about my portraits here.

The month also included getting to make these placecards for Memorial table! What a sweet sentiment to the parents and gradparents! Photo by Vitae Weddings.

Toward the end of the month, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland animated film celebrated its anniversary! The year prior, I painted a similar piece which launched my Floral Letters line. After a year of painting practice, I recreated this piece and am so in love with the added depth.

Another set of placecards made for a wedding with a custom mix of blue green paint. I’m still so amazed at how successful these little tags have been!

Along with some matching signage for the guestbook table! Photos by Meghan Mehan.

And more watercolor tags for these baby shower gifts! I was just salivating when Erica showed me these photos! See more of her sweet treats on her site:

I just adored getting to work on these welcome stickers for this September bride! The watercolor florals were painted to match the lace of her wedding dress!! How cool is that?! I loved when Marina presented the idea to me

This invitation was created for my besties stepmother! Such a fun celebration was in the works and I was honored to get to create not only the Save the Dates but also the invitation.

For another September bride, watercolor spot calligraphy for her invitation designer: Happily Ever After Invitations. See the final stationery pieces below, photographed by Katelyn Turner.

The month ended with celebrating at one of my forever friend’s baby shower!! I was honored to design the invitation for the shower and I also handpainted a globe for the nursery!


As July concluded and August began, I was working with a bride on her Tahoe wedding! I absolutely adored the work we created together and even better, I received all of these amazing photos from her photographer, Torrey Fox Photography!

Around here, school starts mid-August and in honor of this big day, I created an alphabet print of my Floral Letters! This is currently hanging in my office but I do hope to make a print of it to make it available for all of you!

Did you notice those table numbers above in the Tahoe wedding?? After I finished those acrylic table numbers in July, I created a watercolor version and listed them in my shop and started selling them right away! Along with the table numbers, I also listed bridesmaid proposal cards! I have been selling those for years but as embossed cards! Adding these to my shop was a BIG update and they have been highly favored by brides. It was super exciting to see them going out into the world! Available for purchase in my Etsy shop here.

Another twist on one of my current listing of banner tags was the creation of these watercolor dipped tags for an Aruba wedding!

And another set of tags for Aruba… by Crooze Photography

And so many more watercolor tags were made… I am so happy with how much people are loving this new addition to my shop! The below photo is from Allison Williams Photography in Chicago.

Back in the beginning of the month, this lovely mama-to-be contacted me to create some signage and keepsakes for her baby shower. After which she left me such a sweet review!

Sam created two beautiful watercolor calligraphy pieces for my baby shower which became artwork after the shower and will, no doubt, become a treasured family heirlooms… I really enjoyed working with Sam, appreciate her prompt communication and speedy turn around. I look forward to working with her again!

Ashley G.

After doing logos for years in the corporate world, it still amazes me that I now get to handdraw logos using my pens and paint brushes! This logo was for Plant Powered LulaRoe.

It wouldn’t be the month of August without working on a birthday invitation for one of my little “nieces.” Turning 5 is a BIG deal and I love the mermaid invitation we created! Along with turning 5, Miss Molly also started TK so I painted her up a sign to hold on her first day of school!

After working on Lindsey’s globe, I finally felt comfortable painting in acrylic so next up was painting this piggy bank for another one of my sweet “nieces,” Emma!!

I took the last week of August off as I joined my hubby on a road trip for his BBQ competition team… but before I left I got a start on the Watercolor Summit courses!! Will update with photos soon!


The month started with celebrating my mama’s birthday! So of course I had to paint her up a watercolor portrait!

Another painting was made for a September birthday… I love how this aunt chose special lyrics for her niece and even had me add the birthday girl’s name right into the lyrics. Such a special present!

Always love when I get wedding photos of displays such as this showing off my escort card display! Antique keys, oh my!! Photo by Dawn Derbyshire Photography

Mid September, Andy and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary! Wedding vow artwork created by me, photographed by Beyond the Gates.

And finished the other winner of my watercolor portrait giveaway from the month prior. First maternity portrait and I love it!

Oh and speaking of maternity photos… love this shot by Melissa Fe Chapman of one of my fabric banners!

First comes maternity kids, then comes tattoos of your kids names! How’s that for a transition… loved making this tattoo design for Chelsea. We left the last name a little short rather than extending that last letter to allow room for a third name, Lord willing! Loved that idea!

More watercolor tags… these were used for a rehearsal dinner to be tied to bottles of hot sauce! It was a crab boil in North Carolina! I love spicy food and wish I could have gone!

Remember that Mermaid invite above for Miss Molly’s birthday? Well when I forgot to get her a card, I painted her up a gift bag. So in love.

And speaking of gift bags, close to the end of the month, I wrote out these welcome gift tags for Photo by Molly Hagan Photography.

And of course the month also included more watercolor calligraphy goodness! And the addition of personalized watercolor cards!

And finally, the month ended with a styled shoot planned by Jessica Schmuckle for Styled Sheets Across America! Love how they used my handlettered fabric hanging as a table runner! Photo by Trudy Moylan.

If you got this far, I want to say thank you for reading and sharing in my work! Have any questions, drop me an email or leave a comment below! Thanks for your support! Will be posting Part 4 soon, it’s a big one!

One Little Word 2019: Refine

As I thought over my One Little Word for 2019, I kept thinking of my word for last year which was FOCUS. I’m tempted to just rephrase that with having my word be REFOCUS as I don’t think I fully focused in on the year as much as I wanted. I still feel rather scattered and split… am I a wedding calligrapher or painter of personalized wall decor? And why can’t I be both?

So while I wrestled with this… I saw the word “refine” and being drawn to it, I had to look up its exact meaning:

remove impurities or unwanted elements

to make improvement by introducing subtleties or distinctions

And when I read that, it resonated me with on a few levels. One of which is my spiritual life which has had a great awakening these past few months as my family and I got back into going to church and LOVING it. My soul was so thirsty for the Word for so long, for years even, so I love how refined can be defined by the action of making something pure or improved by pruning.

But then on the business level, all this past year I struggled with letting go of avenues of design that just didn’t fit me anymore. Or that have run their course. For example, one of my first big product booms of my shop were my embossed cards. Each one was handwritten with a special kind of ink and then dusted with powder and then heat embossed. I went from selling hundreds a month to less than a hundred a year. To sell one at a time, was just a pain to pull out all the supplies so I made the decision to just remove them completely from my shop. And it felt GREAT. It is time to move on.

In an aim to not make this post too lengthy, my point is this: I plan to work similarly to last year, focused in, but continue to make refinements along the way. Some changes will be subtle while others may be larger in nature.

I have always given the reins of my work to God and just tended to the work I have been given with the talents God has blessed me with. So I am excited to see where He takes me this year.

Do you choose a word for each year?! I would love to know, tell me all about it in the comments!

Year in Review: July thru December 2017

Last month I shared the first part of the 2017 Review, and finally below you can read the rest. I just love looking back on all these amazing projects that got to cross my desk. So much good stuff!


The start of July was spent wrapping up the beautiful Kara’s wedding which I blogged about earlier this year…

Amongst other Southern California summer weddings, like this one (images by Vacay Photo):

Sam Allen Creates Handwritten Name Tag placecards, photo by vacay photoSam Allen Creates signage for cards gifts by vacay photo

And then finally, without knowing what was to come, I painted this fanart for Disney’s Alice in Wonderland’s anniversary… the painting that planted the seed for many more watercolor floral letters.

Sam Allen Creates Original Watercolor Florals Painting - Disneys Alice in Wonderland Fan Art


August continued with even more paintings! Not only were individual letters created, I also created a brand new theme using evergreen branches for a last name sign, celebrating my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary!

Sam Allen Creates Family Name Sign Evergreen Winter Painting

And another new theme was created for a unique commission, celebrating a couple who got married in Key West, Florida!

Sam Allen Creates Family Last Name Sign Beach Theme Watercolor painting

And then my first—of many—floral family name signs! Eeek!

Sam Allen Creates Family Name Sign Watercolor painting

And to close the month, one more floral painting!

Sam Allen Creates Custom Watercolor Painting Quote


September was one very busy month! It started with painting up a bridal shower invitation and envelopes…

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Succulent Cacti Bridal Shower Invitation

In the middle of September, Andy and I celebrated our TEN year wedding anniversary. So of course I had to paint out our own personal vows before we left for a short weekend getaway.

Sam Allen Creates Personal Wedding Vows Artwork on fabulous Fancy Pants paper

Not only did I paint my own vows, but I also worked on this giant pair of 16×20 wedding vows that have now made their home in Ireland!

Sam Allen Creates Handwritten Watercolor Vows 16x20

And not only did these large paintings of vows cross the Atlantic but so did this last name sign!

More watercolor floral letters were made too of course, this is one of my all time favorites!

Also included this month, to celebrate my friend’s new home, we worked on this handpainted family sign! Congrats Jess!

Sam Allen Creates - Family Established Wood Sign

The month ended with the biggest, loudest and craziest party ever!


The month started with this GORGEOUS wedding in northern California. I loved getting to create these tags for each guest with gold watercolor paint! See more of this beautiful wedding here, photographed by Kirsten Wiemer.

A HUGE highlight of the year was getting to work on my first styled wedding shoot! The creativity was surging throughout the Estate on Second venue in Santa Ana, California! I am only posting this one single sneak peek, taken by Harper and Grace Photography, but please checkout the full shoot here.

Sam Allen Creates Wedding Invitation Suite on Handmade Paper with Marbling - Image by Harper & Grace Photography

Before going to the shoot though, I finally created business cards for myself!

Sam Allen Creates - Watercolor Calligraphy Logo and Business Cards

The month also started with some day of details created for a Charleston wedding which I also got to create the lettering for their letterpress invitations. It was my first time seeing my work printed with letterpress and I was SUPER excited to receive their invite in the mail! photos by Kaitlin Scott Photography

We ended the month going on a trip for my hubby’s BBQ competition team to Tennessee, but before we left… I painted #allthethings! Take a peek at some below: