Give yourself & those you love words of inspiration & hope for living to be enjoyed every day on your walls, your coffee cup, your shopping bag, your phone, etc, etc.


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Hope ... where is it in our 2015 world?

December 1st, 2015

Hope ... where is it in our 2015 world?

Hope — where is it in our 2015 world
of bombings, shootings, ethnic battles and racial prejudice?
Where is it lives of folks experiencing
loss of good health, disappointments in broken relationships, unfulfilled expectations, loss of a job,death of a friend, spouse or child?
...when God seems so distant and unreachable?
...when you are tired and worn with the weight and discouragement of circumstances?
,,,when fear, anger, stress and worry invade thoughts?

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Our HOPE is in Jesus - the Son of God.
His arrival was anticipated for so long.
He came so unpretentiously. He brought amazing, life-changing, hope-filling news.

Welcome to Advent, the time of waiting, anticipating
and preparing for Jesus' coming at Christmas.

Each candle represents gifts that are ours through Jesus.

Preparation for the short term
involves stuff like planing our gifts, ordering our cards, making our home festive.

On a deeper level, it is preparing my self, my heart, to welcome Jesus.

This preparing happens over the long-term
by becoming familiar with HisStory; returning often to read the Bible making a well used path through its pages.

Seek Jesus to anchor your HOPE in him.
You see, there is nothing we have experienced that Jesus has not experienced.

Isaiah tells us
... Unto us a child was born ...
he grew up, endured hurt, sadness, pain and rejection.
He was despised, shunned and killed, but the story does not end there.
God's plan was being revealed. Death, the grave, darkness and sin were conquered.Through Jesus' death and resurrection
He showed his righteousness, incomprehensible greatness,
his power and authority over sin, death and darkness.
This great love was for us.

Isaiah continues describing Jesus ... he is called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:2-7

We have HOPE because he is who he says he is.

In him we have a future with HOPE.
Jeremiah 29:11

We have HOPE because we can call out to him
in our need and find that he is with us.
Isaiah 41:10

We have HOPE because we can trust him.
He will take away our fear, be our light, salvation and stronghold.
Psalm 27:1-6

I hope your adventure with Jesus this week brings
deeper understanding of the HOPE we have in him.

May the God of Hope fill you
with all joy and peace in believing
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit
you may
abound in hope.
Romans 15:13

Would love to see you at our
Open House
Saturday, December 12, 2015, 1pm - 7pm

Browse our extensive greeting card selection.
Mix and match prints and mats.
Many originals for sale.
Great pricing bundles.

Bring a friend with you.


Judy Dodds' house
1896 Albert Street North
Falcon Heights, MN 55113


Can't make that date?
email or call 651.645.4223
to arrange a time to come by or
order over the phone.

Find wonderful messages for your Christmas gifting.
Share this newsletter with a friend.

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April 21st, 2014

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A Bonny Bread Featured with Irish Calligraphy Work

March 11th, 2014

A Bonny Bread Featured with Irish Calligraphy Work


This is a recipe I enjoy preparing, especially in March and around St. Patrick's Day. Why?
It's E.A.S.Y. It's Ina Garten's yummy recipe. Click here for her recipe link and here to watch her short video.

There is no kneading or rising.
Simply mix, bake, enjoy.


4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currents
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup dried currants


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. Combine dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking soda, salt - in mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment.

3. Add the diced butter and mix on low speed until butter is mixed into the flour.

4. Combine wet ingredients in measuring cup - the buttermilk, egg and orange zest. Mix with a fork - enough to break up the egg, then, with mixer on low speed, gradually add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.

5. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet. Be careful not to over mix

6. Put dough onto a well-floured board or silicone surface. Roll or knead enough to shape it into a round loaf. Place the loaf on prepared parchment paper on baking sheet. Cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife.

7. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean and when you tap the loaf, it has a hollow sound.

8. Cool on baking rack. Serve warm, at room temperature or toasted.

Enjoy this tasty bread with your breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Visit my Cultural Connections gallery on this site and enjoy 10% off prints of the Irish items there. (St Patrick's Breastplate, Be Thou My Vision, Faed Fiada, Beatus)
Limited time only - March 11, 2014 through March 14, 2014
Use coupon code MENSBC at checkout.

This HOPE ... this Advent

December 2nd, 2013

This HOPE ... this Advent

Finding HOPE is in Christ Jesus and who he is, what he offers and what he has done for us.

Consider the candle
I love having candles about our home — to enjoy …
• at the dinner table – leftovers are especially good in the ambiance of candle light.
• when I feel stressed – the light is calming
• the glow around the coffee table with friends – great.
• in daylight, but especially in dusk or darkness – the warm glow and dispelling of darkness is comforting

I don’t always think of candles … in this light … but now, preparing for Christmas …
in this Advent season … I think of Christ Jesus’ presence and the worshipful mood
of candlelight. I could think “Advent” and “Jesus is present” … and maybe have… an inner glow, outer glow, an Advent outlook every day!

We begin the first Sunday of this Advent season by lighting the candle of HOPE.
This HOPE invites us to prepare our hearts and wait expectantly for the coming of Christ Jesus.
This HOPE invites us to worship the Christ of CHRISTmas.
This HOPE makes every day an advent, the waiting for him, the inviting in to our heart and life … again… and waiting for his coming … again.

This HOPE shows us our God who came not to be served, but to serve, offering abundant life to all who say ‘yes’.

This HOPE gives us confidence to know we are very precious to him - loved so very much by him.

This HOPE shows us God and his Son Jesus, who came to show us that love so great, nothing can separate us from the love. When we feel pressed and despairing by the darkness around, looking to him gives courage and strength because we learn he shares our experience, walks with us, walks before us, walks behind us.

This HOPE calls us to be faith full knowing this hope does not disappoint us because,
out of his great love, he sent the Holy Spirit to help us.

This HOPE invites accepting! Know this Love that Came Down offering himself to each of us.

This HOPE says “Come!” Know our Lord Jesus, who is fully God and fully human. God showed his true greatness by sending his own Son
into the mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right – redeem, rescue, ransom.

May this HOPE illuminate your life and be cause for and source of much Advent anticipation!

Judy Dodds

Clicks on the images or highlighted text above to see my web gallery and store.
PENSCRIPTIONS, owner, artist
Making thoughts visible — calligraphy of inspiration & hope
651 645 4223

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The Benefits of Gratitude Do you want them?

November 17th, 2013

The Benefits of Gratitude  Do you want them?

Proclaiming thanks is happening — all through this month — as a nation, as families, as friends, in our churches, in our homes, around our tables, in newspapers and publications, on TV, on FB, and in blogs ...

It is good to be grateful - to speak thanks for kindnesses • to call that friend you have been thinking about • to write the thank you note • to acknowledge the goodness in our lives • to create a gratitude journal or list (we can return to it and remember with joy a particular entry; we will be blessed by the sheer visual length of the list; one item will trigger the remembering of another!) • to pray • to respond to the nudging of the Holy Spirit • to "pay it forward' (help others when you see need) • to worship with your family. To be aware of things all around that are just there is eye-opening. We didn't make them, provide them, grow them, develop them, influence them or invent them. We can just appreciate them.

When I give thanks for new morning with it's crisp air and the sun's light giving life and sparkle to the frost on the deck I feel happiness and joy. What blessings! I anticipate all this day holds.

When I watch the sky - clouds, sun rises, sun sets, storms - I rejoice in the awe-full beauty of the earth.
The whole earth is filled with the glory of the Lord. Isaiah 6:3

We have a great and awesome God.
He loves when we delight in his creation. He loves when we delight in him.
He loves when we have happiness and joy. He loves when we have happiness and joy in him.
He loves when we are thankful. He loves when we thank him, the Giver of all.

So my happiness and joy in the new day goes beyond the end of my deck. I delight in the creator of the new day, the frost, the sun, the ability to feel emotions.
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad it in. Psalm 118:24
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his lovingkindness is everlasting. 1 Chronicles 16:34

Practicing gratefulness is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier. It helps to realize physical and material needs don't always satisfy our need for happiness. Studies speak of the mental health benefits of gratitude and recommend cultivating this state of mind.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. Psalm 28:7
Just look at these blessings - strength, protection, help, joy - gifts from God! Trusting his goodness, we give thanks - for him, to him.

I speculate — what if I woke up today with only the things I had thanked God for yesterday? Well, God just doesn't operate that way. It is not his nature. I am grateful that God, in his mercy … forgives all my forgetfulness … my take-for-grantedness. His mercy is no reason to cut back on gratitude, but rather to ramp it up … in gratitude for who God is! He continues to love and bless.

Sometimes, I'm not too coordinated. Syncing the network --- the network of my heart, head and face. In other words —
syncing my heart's desire to be thanks-living
with my head to think "grateful"
with my face to show the joy of gratefulness — not always successful! Again, he forgives. His mercy is so great!

God loves when we delight in our family. He loves when we delight in his family — Father, Son, Holy Spirit, us. Jesus gives sacrificial love, light, forgiveness, his presence, his example. Trusting Jesus I experience his grace making a change in my heart. I am thankful for the resulting benefits — joy, hope, peace, wonder, awe, patience, kindness, goodness, love, faithfulness.

I am grateful for the joy of sharing and the path of faith and love from one generation to another.

As we live into each day, be blessed by these words from Paul in Romans 15:13...

What encourages you in your adventure in gratitude?
What is something on your thanks-living list?

In gratefulness for [physical, mental and spiritual] benefits of thanks-living,

For the harvests of the Spirit, thanks be to God.
For the good we all inherit, thanks be to God.
For the wonder that astound us,
for the truths that still confound us, most of all,
that love has found us, thanks be to God.

Judy Dodds

PENSCRIPTIONS, owner, artist
Making thoughts visible — calligraphy of inspiration & hope
651 645 4223

Gallery and store •
Gallery and store •
Blog •
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Pumpkin Bread and Berry Butter given with Greeting Card

October 24th, 2013

Pumpkin Bread and Berry Butter given with Greeting Card

Giving good gifts — pair one of my hand-made cards with your home-made bread for the perfect hostess or teacher gift.
Surprise a friend with this package on a birthday or a "thinking-of-you-especially-today" kind of day!
Tonight I will bring a pumpkin loaf, the berry butter and the Footprints On Our Hearts card as a hostess gift.

Here's my DIY Pumpkin Bread with Berry Butter recipe.

With Fall in full swing and Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, what could be yummier ... and easier ... on a cool day than fresh-baked pumpkin bread spread with tasty Berry Butter!
Super moist and flavor packed, this pumpkin bread is delicious. Just took two fragrant loaves out of the oven.
Today my loaves were plain, but they can be enhanced with chocolate chips, nuts, cinnamon chips, cranberries, ginger or ...

Ingredients for Berry Butter
• 2 tablespoons dried craisins
• 1/2 cup hot water
• 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
• 1/2 cup butter, room temperature

Ingredients for 2 loaves of Pumpkin Bread
• 1 cup oil (I like using coconut oil or half coconut and half softened butter)
• 2 cups sugar
• 4 large eggs
• 15 oz canned pumpkin
• 2/3 cup water
• 3 1/2 cups flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I used Penzy's)

Directions for Berry Butter
1. Soak craisins in the hot water for 5 minutes; drain and chop.
2. In small mixing bowl, mix chopped craisins, powdered sugar and butter.
3. Enjoy this deliciousness on slices of your warm pumpkin bread

Directions for Pumpkin Bread
1. Preheat oven to 350ΊF. Lightly grease and flour two 9" x 5" loaf pans.
2. In large mixing bowl, beat together oil and sugar, then eggs, pumpkin and water. I like to measure the coconut oil by putting my mixing bowl directly on my kitchen scale. Make sure you are starting with zero and the unit is in ounces; then spoon 7 ounces of coconut oil into your bowl. Move the bowl back to your mixer stand and continue.
3. Using a small bowl, measure the flour on your kitchen scale. Notice the Nutritional Information on your flour bag. Mine says 1/4 cup equals 30g. So I need 420g of flour. Add and mix the baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice. Pour all into the wet batter and mix.
4. Now add the extras - chips, berries, nuts - if you are using them.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans
6. Bake at 350Ί, 60 minutes or until a cake tester or long skewer inserted into the enter of the loaf comes out clean.
7. When done, move pans to cool for 5 minutes on cooling rack. Then, remove bread from pan and let it continue to cool.

I couldn't wait for the loaf to cool - the cranberry butter is melting in. Yum!!!!

8. When completely cool, wrap the loaves in parchment paper to store until serving.

Tied with harvest gold ribbon and topped with this card and a note inside, accompanied by a little crock of berry butter, this loaf is ready for gifting!

Card suggestion #1 • Footprints On Our Hearts greeting card
• Text • Some people come into our lives and quietly go. Others stay a while and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.
• Description • 5x7 card with envelope • can be ordered as single card or in packs of 10 or 25

You can purchase Footprint On Our Heart from FAA • Penscriptions Calligraphy - Fine Art Prints •

Card suggestion #2 • Bread
• Text • Be gentle when you touch bread. Let it not be uncared for, taken for granted or unwanted. There is such beauty in Bread. Beauty of sun and soil, beauty of patient toil. Winds and rains caress it. Christ often blessed it.
• Description • 5Χ7 card with envelope • can be ordered as single card or in packs of 10 or 25

You can purchase the Bread card from FAA Penscriptions Calligraphy – Fine Art Prints •

Enjoy making this wonderful quick bread for your family and friends.
Enjoy sending these thoughtful cards.

Judy Dodds
• VIEW my collection plus one-of-a-kind commission work
• ORDER fine art giclιe prints • framing • canvas wraps • greeting cards
• printed by Mpix & Penscriptions
• VIEW my collection
• ORDER fine art giclιe prints • framing • canvas wraps • greeting cards
• printed by Fine Art America • email