Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope: Blog en-us (C) Penscriptions - Judy Dodds (Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:05:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:05:00 GMT Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope: Blog 120 90 How could you celebrate Easter? Part 1 When a calligrapher is asked to design an Easter banner and include a cross, of course, one has to use letters and text to develop the design!

Alleluia Banner just printedAlleluia Banner just printed

As I began planning, I decided to reference both the Old and New Testaments to show how this message from God to us over the centuries is so wonderfully knit together.

The Alleluias, seven of them, would be the foreground and focus of the banner. The next step was research - gathering verses to list under the additional design elements - the vertical of the cross, the horizontal of the cross and a text to use across the bottom or in the lower right.

The vertical of the cross became Isaiah 53:4-6. It was build of strong, sturdy, heavy letters, because of the great sin burden Christ carried. the anguish he suffered to bring us peace, healing, forgiveness and redemption. The bunched, packed letters spoke to me of Christ, our strength, our Rock; his determination and faithfulness to his Father in carrying out His will.


Close-up of Isaiah 53:4a

Surely Closeup for blog articleSurely Closeup for blog articlefrom Alleluia Banner


The horizontal arm of the cross is two texts. Luke 24:5-7 is Easter morning when Mary Magdalene and other women were looking for Jesus. Job 19:25 is back to the Old Testament with Job's declaration of his Redeemer's victory.

Close-up of Luke 24:5-7 and Job 19:25


The lower right section, Matthew 28:18-20, is The Great Commission. The disciples had just witnessed so many amazing and wonderful things. Jesus told them to go and tell others the wonderful things they knew.

Close-up of All authority ... Matthew 28:18-20



All the lettering was done by hand then scanned at high resolution so the design could be built in digital format. The five design elements - 1. the vertical section of the cross  2. the horizontal section of the cross  3. the lower right text  4. the Alleluias   5. the background - can be managed and arranged individually.

This work is available as it is presented on my website or it may be customized. Your specific preferences for a variation in arrangement of the layers, colors, size of text and final printed size can be tailored for the particular space in your church, office, school or home.

Through the study of these verses, I have grown in my love of Christ, have a greater awe of his saving work on the cross and have such a joy in my heart. Easter will be a wonderful worship of my risen Savior. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Alleluia BannerAlleluia BannerTitle: Alleluia Banner
Original: Watercolor on Diploma Parchment for original text. Design compiled using scanned files in Photoshop, 2017

Four design elements comprise this piece - vertical of the cross, horizontal of the cross, lower right text and the Alleluias.
Each of these elements exist separately in my files and can be customized to fit the color scheme and size that best fits the environment in your church, office, school or home.
For example, one church has this image on 5x7 foot canvas to hung on a banner stand in their sanctuary on Good Friday, It is then rolled and buried and brought out on Easter, Another church uses this for Easter as well as for memorial services in a stand or over the coffin.
Text for the vertical portion of the crossIsaiah 53:4-6. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Text for the horizontal arm of the crossLuke 24:5-7 Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise. and Job 19:25 I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand on the earth. Text in lower right - Jesus’ commission in Matthew 28:17-20. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.



(Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope) Christ Easter Isaiah Job Luke Matthew Redeemer alleluia banner canvas cross Wed, 15 Mar 2017 02:43:56 GMT
Where is HOPE in our 2015 world? Hope — where is it in our 2015 world of bombings, shootings, ethnic battles and racial prejudice?

Where is it in 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?


––––––––––––––    ––––––––––––––    ––––––––––––––   


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.






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 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





(Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope) Advent Christmas Everlasting Father Hope Isaiah Jeremiah Jesus Mighty God Prince of Peace Romans Wonderful Counselor preparation Tue, 22 Dec 2015 20:27:38 GMT
Facing the Future What can be expected in 2015?
What do I need to remember to remember?
What does The Marshmallow Test have to do with me?
What do I hope for your 2015 year?

Looking back on 2014 - I remember joy & satisfaction as well as regret & disappointment.

Looking forward to 2015 - I have joy, eagerness & confidence mixed with some apprehension & doubt.

As this NEW YEAR REVEALS ITSELF, what can I expect? similar actions and feelings to last year? forgetting stuff? selfish and willful actions? bungled situations? This stuff and others will happen. I will fall - get bruised by my own choices, be disappointed in unrealized goals, feel crushed by a heavy load, experience loss and aloneness, wander without directions etc. etc.

However, during, simultaneously, in the midst of all that … I need to REMEMBER TO REMEMBER God is all about love. God is Love. I (we all) live in his mercy and grace. He loves in spite of what I do. He has given his all to get my attention and reveal his love. I will love him back very imperfectly and forget to remember his love, his amazing grace. Yet my desire is to THANK God in EVERY MOMENT for all he is, for all I am in him and all he is to me.

Remember falling in love? You thought about that person all the time. You wanted to be in their presence as much as possible. You wanted to talk over everything. As the relationship grew, you grew in trust and confidence of that person. 

We know, oh, so well, that people fall out of love. When things go south, they bail. They demand too much, don't love back anymore, disappoint you, betray you, give up on you.

God is not like this at all. I will disappoint, betray, turn away from him. It is his nature to love. God is Love.

It is God's nature 
to want only good things for our future and

Future Hope IIFuture Hope II, Jeremiah 29:11-13


… not want us to fall or stumble.

He is Able, Jude 1:24-25


It is God's nature
to abundantly supply his grace, mercy and precious love.

Precious Love


It is God's nature
to always be near, never leave or abandon.

God Never Leaves UsGod Never Leaves Us, II Corinthians 4:8-9, James 1:2-4


It is God's nature
to listen. He can handle way more than my biggest problems.

Good Blessing


It is God's nature
o supply and equip far more abundantly than I can ask or think.

God of HopeGod of HopeGod of Hope, Romans 15:13, Hebrews 13: 20-21, Ephesians 3:20-21, Philippians 4:6-7, Numbers 6:2


It is God's nature
to be a light in the darkness. Putting my hand into his
is better than light and safer than a known way.

Hand Of God Hand of God This text was used by King Edward of England in his 1939 Christmas broadcast to his people as WW II was spreading across Europe.





Life is a series of choices. What choices will I make this year? Will they move me toward success or failure? toward falling or getting up again? into or away from more trusting relationships? toward accomplishing short term or long term goals? toward instant or delayed gratification?

A recent PBS News Hour referred to The Marshmallow Test. Click HERE to get the episode. Then move ahead to the 21:30 minute mark. Walter Mischel researched brain development. A person was offered a marshmallow or another object and told they could have it now or wait 15 minutes and have a second one. Revealing the way choices were made, his conclusions included that 5-6 year olds had ability to inhibit impulses, to delay gratification, to keep a goal in mind, to shift attention in extraordinary ways. Click HERE to see the Charlie Rose interview. Click HERE to view The Atlantic Article. Click HERE to see Walter Mischel's 4/9/14 lecture at the U of Michigan - 3:15  for the introduction; 5:25 for his lecture. There are so many application for these insights in all areas of living. I ask myself ... Am I willing to delay doing something in order to have something more satisfying and more valuable at some future time?

The path ahead is unknown, but we have some tools to help us navigate. It is interesting and fun to apply the lessons learned from Walter Mischel's studies to reach for goals. We can't always choose our circumstances, but we can choose our response to them. Some choices I am making are to practice gratitude, live joyfully, focus on the important, enjoy the present, exercise, be teachable, trust Jesus, thank God for all he is 'n all I am in him, not skimp on time spent in God's Word.


PSALM 105:4 

May your 2015 be blessed with joy, gratitude and choices to make this your best year yet!

Thanks for visiting my blog.

__________     __________     __________     __________

This blog was also published in my Pens E-News. Click to view.

Advent 2014 thoughts published in my newsletter, Pens E-News, can be read:
Click the underlined words to view.
Advent 1 - HOPE
Advent 2 - LOVE
Advent 3 - JOY
Advent 4 - PEACE
Merry Christmas - Joy to the world




(Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope) 2015 God is Love God's Word God's nature Hand of God New Year Walter Mischel abandon abundant choices delayed gratification equip future grace hope light love mercy problems thank the Marshmallow Test Thu, 08 Jan 2015 03:12:49 GMT
Bread is more than dough, rolls and loaves. he dough … mixed, kneaded, shaped and risen… is baking. The rye bread releases it's tantalizing aroma throughout the house.
The tradition of lifetimes is being relived as Thanksgiving preparations are underway.
Memories ~ of Mom kneading dough, of seeing a lump formed into a braid or loaf, taste buds delighting in the warm bread and butter ~ pour into the present for this wife, mom and grandma. 
I give thanks for Mom. Through her joy and versatility in baking all kinds of breads for her family; her patient waiting; her delight in sharing the yumminess with others…  skills and joys pass from generation to generation.

Fresh Baked Rye Bread

I am thankful for the flour, all ingredients and for so many hands that contribute to getting these from field to table …

including the farmer sowing and harvesting…  

Grain ripe for harvest.

 rains nourishing the seed and soil

Rain to water earth and fields.

BreadBread - art by Judy Dodds

How fun to share gifts of bread -  to love, serve and encourage.

Pumpkin bread with cranberry butter to new neighbors.

Pumpkin Bread with Cranberry Butter and greeting card, Footprints on our Heart

Swedish Cardamom bread to a recent widow.

Cardamom Braided Bread, from the Scandinavian tradition

Babka made with friends from New York.

Babka, a delicious bread from the Jewish tradition

Bread symbolizes fellowship, sharing, togetherness as folks gather around the family table ... "break bread" …  to celebrate a birthday or Thanksgiving or Christmas… to ponder the ups and downs of life, the wonderings and discoveries, the experiences of the day … to share ... to love .. to be together ...

a Thanksgiving table

Bread symbolizes patience, for the results only "rise" to realization in an environment of cozy warmth and space to expand.

Patience - waiting for the bread to rise.

There is respect for bread - not in and of itself, but for what it represents physically and spiritually. Through it all I thank God for providing the soil, sun, rain, seeds, plants and growth … for making our bodies capable of tasting, smelling, absorbing nourishment from it … for giving us his only son, Jesus, to be our Bread of Life.

So, bread is a reminder that Christ and his words are bread for us - we study, learn, are hungry for and "eat up" his words.
In 1918 an elderly man's meeting with Eric Enstrom in Bovey, MN, results in a well-loved photo. It graces our kitchen (with its story taped on back). The man's pose embodies grace and thankfulness for the things he has; his demeanor communicates deep familiarity with the Bible and Jesus.

Grace by Eric Enstrom PrayerBackgroundPrayerBackground

Bread is a remembering of Jesus as Bread of Life.  Bread of Life broken for me, Jesus' body broken for me. My Body broken for you. My blood shed for you. "Every time you eat the bread and drink the wine," Jesus says, "remember me."

What God has given in Christ is amazing … with all my rebellion, self-centeredness, willfulness, running from him ………he continues to love, give himself, offer wholeness and joy in Him.  

John 3:16-17

2 Cor 5:17-21

This is good news - amazing, exciting, mind-bending, joyful; an un-imaginable, unrealistic but … so very real gift. 

My spirit is humbled. My heart is filled up with gratitude, joy-full of Thanksgiving!

Bread is more than dough, rolls and loaves. What is bread to you?
• breaking bread ~ breaking fast first thing in the morning with breakfast? Sharing a meal with family or friends? 
• meeting a "knead" ~ listening to a friend over coffee or a meal or making a loaf to welcome a new neighbor, offer comfort to a sick friend ...
• Jesus as bread ~ Jesus, Bread of Life
• thankfulness ~ 
communion, family time and meal time as bread and remembering … bread as a celebration of God's presence in our lives? 

God bless your Thanksgiving time.
  • Now … let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with praise. Ps 95:2 
  • O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.  Ps 107:1
(Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope) Enstrom Grace Thanksgiving bread broken communion joy patience photograph sharing togetherness Thu, 27 Nov 2014 17:10:11 GMT
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(Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope) $50 10% bargain coupons discount codes discounts icontact money-saving offers savings subscription zenfolio Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:38:45 GMT
A Bonny Bread Featured with Irish Calligraphy Work IRISH SODA BREAD

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.

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

cube buttercube butter
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.

grated orange.egg.buttermilkgrated orange.egg.buttermilk
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.

blend wet and dryblend wet and dry

add currentsadd currents

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.

rounded loafrounded loaf
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!

Also, visit my Penscriptions Calligraphy Cultural Connections Gallery and enjoy 10% off Irish items
(St Patrick's Breastplate, Be Thou My Vision, Faed Fiada, Beatus)

LIMITED TIME - only 4 days - from today, March 11, 2014 through March 14, 2014.

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Be Thou My VisionBe Thou My VisionTitle: Be Thou My Vision
Original: 13 x 9 inches, watercolor on Roma paper

The initials beginning each paragraph have small design elements inspired by the Lindesfarne Gospels.

The text, part of Irish monastic tradition since 700 CE., is an example of a Lorica, an incantation recited for protection in arming oneself for spiritual or physical battle. It has has become a popular song performed by contemporary Christian musicians. The tune is the Irish folk song, Slane, about Slane Hill where in 433 AD, St Patrick defied the pagan High King Loegaire of Tara by lighting candles on Easter Eve. Aside from this connection to Christianity, the folk song had little prior connection to the text.

Translated from ancient Irish to English by Mary E. Byrne in 1905.

BeatusBeatusTitle: Beatus
Original: 1992, 6 x 9 inches, watercolor on Diploma Parchment

Beatus or Blessing … In 1992 I was privileged to take a class on traditional illumination from Donald Jackson. We referred to the illuminated initial ‘B’ in his book, The Story of Writing, to produce our illuminated piece. His original source was the Worms Bible, from the Rhine area of Germany about 1148.

The steps in making an illuminated letter are: 1. trace image 2. sketch outline with pen and ink 3. lay gesso (the base for the gold to adhere) 4. apply gold leaf 5. apply the palest colors 6. apply the middle tones 7. add a final layer of each color 8. outline with black 9. highlight with fine white lines applied with pen or brush.

It was Donald’s dream to one day letter the Bible; this has become reality for him, as he is the artistic director of the St. John’s Bible, the first hand-written Bible in 500 years.It was Donald’s dream to one day letter the Bible; this has become reality for him, as he is the artistic director of the St. John’s Bible, the first hand-written Bible in 500 years.

Faed Fiada • The Deer's CryFaed Fiada • The Deer's CryTitle: Faed Fiada, a St Patrick prayer
Original: 11 x 15 inches with watercolor on Arches cold press

Faed Fiada, which means The Deer’s Cry, is a portion of a longer text by St Patrick.
A Celtic style with Uncial letter forms and Celtic style knot work was designed for this piece.
Prayer was at the center of St. Patrick's life. Prayer was also his sword and shield, particularly at time of crisis. Here he calls on the Trinity to protect him against danger and to weaken the power of his enemy.
Read more on St Patarick

Will close this missive with a couple Irish thoughts ::

May your heart be warm and happy,
With the lilt of Irish laughter,
Every day in every way
and forever and ever after.

and ...

Bless you and yours
As well as the cottage you live in.
May the roof overhead be well thatched
And those inside be well matched.

Judy Dodds
Making thoughts visible - calligraphy of hope and inspiration



(Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope) St Patrick baking bread celtic currants diy easy flour irish no kneading no rising orange zest quick bread recipe soda Tue, 11 Mar 2014 22:36:35 GMT
Mom's Banana Bread With the arrival of cold winter days, I love to warm up our kitchen with baking. One of the best ways my mother loved her family was cooking, baking and serving her well-rounded meals.

Inspired by her outlook on life and guided by her basic recipe, here is "Mom's Banana Bread" with the addition of a couple surprise ingredients and an "upscale" technique.

Mom's Banana Bread  yield - 1 loaf

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease and flour 9"x5" loaf pan


• 1/2 cup or 4 oz. butter softened or 1/2 cup coconut oil : ) 
• 3/4 cup brown sugar
• 2 large eggs (room temperature)
• 3 ripe, mashed bananas (about 1 2/3 cups)
• 1 3/4 cup flour (about 210g)
• 1 teaspoon soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 6 tablespoons buttermilk (3 oz)
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Bake in prepared 9" x 5" pan at 350º for 50-60 minutes
Carefully remove from oven. Insert cake tester or long skewer into center of bread. It should come out clean. If there is any uncooked batter on the tester, bake bread an additional 5 minutes, or until it tests done.

Cool on rack in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and finish cooling on the rack.

Yield: one loaf


1.  Put your butter - or coconut oil - in your mixing bowl.

I love using my kitchen scale to measure weight of dry or wet ingredients. 
Coconut oil has been getting some healthy press, so I have been using that in place of butter
Here's a quick "how-to" of this "upscale" technique using the convenience of a digital scale. 
1. place your mixing bowl directly on the scale.
2. make sure it shows zero.
3. put spoonfuls of coconut oil right in your mixing bowl until you get 4 ounces or the same weight as 1/2 cup of butter. (King Arthur flour was my inspiration here. They list their recipe ingredients by volume or weight.)
4. place your mixing bowl back on its stand, unless you are measuring another ingredient.


2. Measure the 3/4 cup brown sugar by volume, add to the bowl and blend well.


3. Add in the room temperature eggs and mashed bananas and mix well.


4. Mix flour, soda and salt in a small bowl. Add all to the wet ingredients in the mixing bowl.

I come back to the scale for measuring the flour. This flour was 30g for 1/4 cup. So, 30g x 4 = 120grams for 1 cup plus 90g for 3/4 cup for a total of 210g flour. (The weight of 1/4 cup flour varies by the type of flour, so always check nutrition facts on your bag. for the grams per 1/4 cup.)



5. Add 6 tablespoons buttermilk (2 TB = 1 ounce, so 3 ounces total)

6. Now the second surprise ingredient ... stir 1/2 cup chocolate chips in to the batter.


7.  pour batter into greased and floured pan

8.  Bake at 350º for 50 - 60 minutes.

Banana Bread sliced _IMG_0787Banana Bread sliced _IMG_0787

ENJOY the cooled bread sliced and buttered.

Banana Bread wrapped_IMG_0786Banana Bread wrapped_IMG_0786

Well, I'm off with this fresh parchment-wrapped loaf  - to welcome our new neighbors.

Enjoy filling your kitchen with the delicious aroma of fresh-baked banana bread.

(Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope) baked banana bread chips chocolate coconut diy fresh how-to inspiration mom mother oil recipe Wed, 05 Mar 2014 04:17:10 GMT
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.

thankful (1)thankful (1)

 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

SDC12074_Sunset_D.2-BlogSDC12074_Sunset_D.2-Blog<SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA>

Bridgers from our deckBridgers from our deck

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 Am With YouI Am With YouTitle: I Am With You
Media: watercolor on Arches watercolor paper
Size of original: 9 x 7 inches
Text: Isaiah 41:10

As circumstances in our life vie for more and more attention, Isaiah reminds us to call on God, he is always present, wanting us to call on him for his strength. The simple background wash is designed to suggest support, upholding, being held.

Isaiah lived in Jerusalem about 750-700 BC. Very little is known about him. The author of chapters 1-39 is identified as Isaiah, the son of Amos [1:1, 2:1, 13:1]. He had a wife [8:3], children [7:3, 8:3] and disciples [8:16]. The northern kingdom of Israel was wiped out by Assyria; his own southern kingdom Judah barely survived. Like many prophets, he spoke boldly about ethical & political issues—oppression of poor, foreign alliances —and called for repentance. The author of chapters 40-66 is not the same writer. These chapters have a more poetic, contemplative, beautiful style and were addressed to Jewish exiles in Babylon 150 years after Isaiah’s time! They stress hope, consolation and reconciliation.

Joy Strength IJoy Strength ITitle: Joy Strength I
Media: watercolor on Arches hot press
Size of Original: 5 x 7 inches
Text: Nehemiah 8:10

Nehemiah's book is a lesson in prayer, sacrifice and persistence. He had great administrative skills, strong emotions, rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, introduced economic reforms and rallied the Jews as a nation. He faced intense opposition. This book shows the need for prayer and firmness in the work of God.
In Chapter 8, Nehemiah, as governor, along with Ezra, the priest and scribe, and the Levites taught and encouraged the people with the words lettered in this piece.
‘Joy’ is light and open contrasted with the heavy, vertical and sturdy letter form of ‘strength’.


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 
my head to think "grateful"
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. 20070728_214755_Ps100_3-5_C-Blog20070728_214755_Ps100_3-5_C-Blog

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

God of HopeGod of HopeTitle: God of Hope
Media: Watercolor and collage on Arches hot press
Size of Original: 12.5 x 18 inches
Text: Romans 15:13, Hebrews 13: 20-21, Ephesians 3:20-21, Philippians 4:6-7, Numbers 6:26

The five Bible verses in this work - one from Numbers and the other four from the letters of Paul- speak of the blessings of a vibrant, abiding faith in Christ.
The Chinese character for peace was the first mark I made on the paper. The composition was then built up using watercolors and paper in collage.

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.
from the hymn For the Fruit of All Creation, Vs. 3


Judy Dodds

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

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(Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope) 1 Chronicles 16:34 God Hope" I Am With You Isaian 6:3 Joy Strength:, Psalm 118:24 Psalm 90:1-2 adventure in gratitude appreciate belief grace grateful gratitude habit hope love mercy moments of pay it forward peace pray thanks thanks-living thanksgiving trust wonder worship Mon, 18 Nov 2013 02:31:58 GMT
Pumpkin Bread with 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.

Footprints On Our Heart         Bread

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 350ºF. 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 350º, 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. 

wrapped 1 IMG_0806wrapped 1 IMG_0806

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!



• Title • Footprints On Our Hearts       Footprints On Our HeartFootprints On Our HeartTitle: Footprints on our Heart
Original: 5x7 inches with watercolor on Arches

A gentle statement of gratitude and thankfulness for the friends that come into our lives & leave footprints on our hearts.
 Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 4.17.08 PM
• 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 this card from Penscriptions Calligraphy - Fine Art Prints Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 4.12.07 PM    • click here   Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 4.18.04 PM

• Title • Bread        BreadBreadTitle: Bread
Original: 15 x 6.5 inches, watercolor on Arches cold press

I love making and sharing loaves of bread. So many hands are involved in the making of bread, beginning with the sowing and nourishing of the seed and soil. It is a symbol of hospitality, fellowship, sharing, patience.

We speak of the breaking of bread with family and friends and share meals with them. Christ’s Word is bread for us - we study, learn, are hungry for and "eat up" his words. Communion bread remembers Jesus’ body broken for us.

May you be blessed by bread, spiritually and physically.
 Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 4.28.28 PM
• 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 • 5x7 card with envelope • can be ordered as single card or in packs of 10 or 25

You can purchase this card from Penscriptions Calligraphy - Fine Art Prints Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 4.12.07 PM   • click here    Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 4.28.58 PM


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
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See a related site • Art-Spired, a collection of work and blogs by artists about art
(Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope) DIY Fall Thanksgiving berries cards coconut oil craisins easy gift greeting greeting cards home-made paper parchment pumpkin seasonal Bread Thu, 24 Oct 2013 15:57:31 GMT
O What a Savior  

As I journey through this Lenten season I have been reflecting on gratefulness for Jesus. 

… so grateful for … what I, we, the whole world have in … Jesus. 

 These few weeks of focus on Jesus, have enriched my Lenten journey and resulted in this new pieceO, what a Savior

what a love2


I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness (NAS). I have continued my faithfulness to you (ESV). Jeremiah 31:3 

Come see the cross where love and mercy meet.

O how marvelous! O how wonderful! Is my Savior's love for me!


But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved.  Ephesians 2:4-6

... but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
In Christ Jesus there is no separation from this Mercy and Love of God.

Love of God
Mercy and forgiveness must be free and unmerited to the wrongdoer. If the wrongdoer has to do something to merit it, then it isn't mercy, but forgiveness always comes at a cost to the one granting the forgiveness.   
The Prodigal God, Timothy Kellerp. 93-94


During his ministry he wandered, settling nowhere, and said: "Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.(Matthew 8:20). He remained completely outside the social networks of political and economic power. He did not even seek academic or religious credentials.  The Prodigal God, Timothy Keller, p. 113

Obedient to his Father... he was betrayed and denied, arrested, mockedrejected, crucified ... in my place, for my sake. 

He was mercifulforgiving … innocent.



...  And as he died he said, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?: (Matthew 27:46), a tremendous cry of spiritual dereliction and homelessness.   The Prodigal God,  Timothy Keller, p. 113

Image is Philippians 2:5-8
Tryptic Panel 2 - Servant



What had happened? Jesus had not come to simply deliver one nation from political oppression, but to save all of us from sin, evil and death itself. He came to bring the human race Home. Therefore, he did not come in strength but in weakness. He came and experienced the exile that we deserve. He was expelled from the presence of the Father, he was thrust into the darkness, the uttermost despair of spiritual alienation — in our place. He took upon himself the full curse of human rebellion, cosmic homelessness, so that we could be welcomed into our true home. The Prodigal God, Timothy Keller p. 113-114 



imagePhilippians 2:9-11

Tryptic Panel 3 - Exalted savior


the lyrics and the song.

The stone is rolled away. The tomb is empty. He is Risen!

He talks and walks with others and with the disciples.

Because Jesus lives, we can face tomorrow with all the uncertainty it brings. (the song)

Lay down … your tears, struggles, hurts, pain, frustrations, losses, discouragement, failures, regrets to Jesus … at the cross. 

Trust him with all this stuff and more. 

Give him your self just as you are. 

Let him wrap you in his love and mercy. He knows your pain and anguish. 

His grace and love will bring relief to your spirit, newness to your life. 

With the eyes of your heart you will know him as your Savior and Redeemer.

O, what a Savior!  Alleluia!

O What a Savior





(Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope) alleluia burden love mercy sacrifice savior victory Fri, 29 Mar 2013 03:22:05 GMT
Has Christmas really been put away for another year? Is all evidence of Christmas gone?

The lights, the glitter, the gifts, the manger scene are put away.The wishes for peace and goodwill have been expressed. Oh, there are still some cookies in the cupboard.
We have sung with the angels, looked for the star, worshiped with the kings and shepherds and visited our Christ Child at the manger.

Now what? What do I do with the joy experienced, the filling up of gratefulness for Jesus during the Christmas season?

Yes, Jesus came. He, Love, came down to live among us ... to follow the will of his Father ... 

to find the lost,

to heal the broken,

to feed the hungry,

to release the prisoner,

to rebuild the nations,

to bring peace. 

Powerful words. How does that look? Are they words that can live ... through me? Hm-m.

Can I, will I, with his grace, share him like he shared himself to find, heal, feed, release, rebuild, bring peace and share the joy in my heart?

So. About life everyday; every moment. It is God's gift, his grace, a sacred opportunity ... to love fiercely and lavishly the way God loves us.

This Charles Spurgeon quote speaks to the sacred moment.             

To a man who lives unto God, nothing is secular, everything is sacred.
He puts on his workday garment and it is a vestment to him.
He sits down to his meal and it is a sacrament.
He goes forth to his labor, and therein exercises the office of priesthood His breath is incense and his life a sacrifice.
He sleeps on the bosom of God, and lives and moves in the divine presence.
To draw a hard and fast line and say, "This is sacred and this is secular." is, to my mind, diametrically opposed to the teaching of Christ and the spirit of the gospel ...
Peter saw a sheet let down from heaven in which were all manner of beasts and four-footed creatures, which he was bidden to kill and eat. and when he refused because they were unclean, he was rebuked by a voice from heaven, saying, "What God hath cleansed that call not thou common." (Acts 10:15; 11:9)
The Lord hath cleansed your houses, he has cleansed your bed chambers, your tables ... He has made the common pot and pans of your kitchens to be as the bowls before the altar, if you know what you are and live according to your high calling.
You housemaids, you cooks, you nurses, you ploughmen, you housewives, you traders, you sailors, your labor is holy if you serve the Lord Christ in it, by living unto Him as you ought to live.
The sacred has absorbed the secular."

As daily tasks are approached ... I strive to practice awareness of each moment as ...
•  being sacred opportunity
•  filled with God's presence
•  imbued with his grace enabling God's followers to have expanded vision, purpose, energy, prayer, joy and love to make a difference in every life encountered
•  random acts of kindness becoming habitual acts of faithfulness

•  evidence of Christmas not fading away or merely lingering, but growing, abounding and flourishing in this new year of 2013

Link to Free Download - Click the link, follow the path through the shopping cart. When the 'order' is completed, you will receive an email with the link to download this image. 

(Penscriptions Calligraphy - designs of inspiration & hope) build feed heal heart music peace prisoner rebuild release shepherds song Thu, 24 Jan 2013 18:35:00 GMT