Advent Banner

“He (Jesus) says that the only chains that matter are fear and hate, because they chain our souls.  If we do not hate anyone and do not fear anyone, then we are free.”

~from The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

This is a banner I am making for the first week of Advent, which starts this weekend.  The first week of Advent symbolizes “Hope”, the second week “Faith”, the third week “Joy” and the fourth week “Peace.”  My huge prayer for Advent is that we are all freed from any fear or any hate that we may hold in our hearts.

For the banner I used the Buffalo Check Background Stamp and the Stamparatus.  A winning combination that makes it quick and easy to make banners.  And how about the new Gorgeous Grape ink and cardstock…it’s one of my all time favorite Stampin’ Up! colors!  Now, just three more banners to make.  : )

Peace,  xo Dawn

Advent Tags


“Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving others with God’s own love and concern.”

~Mother Teresa

Advent (the four weeks before Christmas) begins a week from this coming Sunday.  Those of you that have been following my blog for a long time (welcome new friends Gail and Bente!) know that I volunteer at an Assisted Living Center every week and have a Communion Service for them.  At Christmas time we have a little party and everyone receives a gift, which they absolutely love!  I do a “letter to St. Nicholas” with them every year during Advent so that I know what they want for Christmas.  Their wishes go on the back of a tag which is hung on the “Giving Tree” at church.  Someone will take the tag, buy the gift and bring it back, all wrapped and ready for the party.  These are the tags I made for this years tree.  They are made with the old “Seasonal Lantern” stamp set.  The sentiment is from the old “Holly Jolly Greetings” stamp set.  New product is the Gorgeous Grape Ribbon.

Peace, xo Dawn

Snowfall Thinlits Dies

“In seed-time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”

~William Blake

Winter stole in overnight…time to stay indoors and stamp! : )  This is a card we made yesterday at our stamping classes.  It was inspired by Artisan stamper Emma Goddard.  I changed up the snowflake colors (hers were gold), the snowflake stamp and the sentiment (hers was a tag tied across the card with twine).  You can see her card and other beautiful creations at the Coastal Crafter. The background is a wash made on watercolor paper.  Just wet the paper with the aquapainter and then paint it with ink pressed into the cover of your Gorgeous Grape ink.  Let it completely dry before stamping the snowflakes, which are from the Beautiful Blizzard stamp set.  The white snowflakes are cut from glitter paper and the new Snowfall Thinlits Dies (available only in November).  The sentiment is from an old set called “Holly Jolly Greetings.”  The card is gorgeous, but the “real thing” is pretty gorgeous too.  This was my backyard when we woke up this morning.  Enjoy the day and have a great weekend!  Peace, xo Dawn


Stamping Peace Leadership Meeting

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“The stars are God’s dreams, thoughts remembered in the silence of the night.”

~Henry David Thoreau

We’re not seeing stars here in Maine at the moment, we are seeing snow!  But we made this card at our Stamping Peace Leadership meeting this past Saturday, and used the smallest star in the Star Framelits to make this beautiful star.  (The Founders Circle card that I originally saw this design in used an All is Calm Snowflake Embellishment for the star).   The image is half of a stamp from the Newborn King stamp set (p. 19 in the Holiday Catalog). We masked off half of the stamp with masking tape. (Tip:  After you use your VersaMark stamp pad, peel the masking tape off the stamp before you stamp your cardstock.)  We used Cherry Cobbler Embossing powder for the image.  The ribbon is the new Cherry Cobbler Sheer Linen Ribbon, and it is so pretty “in real life!”

I baked for our leaders gathering and everyone wanted the recipes so I told them I would post them on the blog.  The first was for Cranberry Apple Crisp:

Peel and slice 4 large green apples and place them in a buttered square baking dish with 1 cup of fresh cranberries.  Melt 1/3 cup of butter and add it to 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup oats, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon and 3/4 tsp. nutmeg.  Sprinkle this over the fruit and bake 30 mins. at 375 degrees.

The second recipe is for Breakfast Bars that are super nutritious and super delicious:

Mix 1 1/4 cup almond flour, 1/4 tsp. celtic sea salt and 1/4 tsp. baking soda.  Then mix 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or oil of choice), 1/4 cup agave nectar (a delicious sweetner that doesn’t affect blood sugar) and 1 tsp. vanilla extract.  Stir these wet ingredients into the dry and then add 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (Hannaford has it in the Nature’s Place aisle), 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup slivered almonds and 1/4 cup raisins. (I get my seeds and nuts raw at the Natural Living Center).  Press the dough down in a greased square baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 mins.  Cool 2 hours and then serve.

If you saw yesterday’s post about the Advent by Candlelight event at our church on Saturday night, you heard about the guest speaker, Susan Conroy.  We can hear similar talks of hers on EWTN’s You Tube station ~ just search for Susan Conroy.  Her talks inspire us to keep our eye on the goal…heaven!  As she says, nothing will matter more when we are passing from this life…where will that next step be…into eternal heaven or eternal hell?  I desire heaven for all of us, and especially for my children!  Susan Conroy said that her dad used to call her and her nine brothers and sisters his “ten treasures” and his number one goal in life was to make sure that his beautiful gifts from God were returned to God in heaven.  He felt it his charge to make sure they got there.  What a wonderful dad he must have been!

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These were  the pretty little vellum tea lights that I made for our table at church, thanks to my friend Terry’s generous spirit in loaning me her Curvy Keepsake Box Thinlits Die.   I made them last week-end, using the snowflakes my friend Mimi’s (another generous spirit!) Endless Wishes photopolymer stamp set and not knowing that we were going to get a huge snowstorm this week-end!  This is what my backyard looked like yesterday afternoon during the storm ~ so pretty!  There is no school today and our street is closed because a big tree is down in the road…looks like a great stamping day ahead!  : )

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Advent By Candlelight

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“And so we wait.  We wait for the light to return to our world, and for the Spirit to warm our wintery hearts.”

~Advent Quote

Last evening our parish put on an event called “Advent By Candlelight.”  Each table hostess brings the tablecloth, dishes, candlelit centerpiece, appetizers, desserts and seven guests.  This is a photo of my table before my guests arrived.  It’s hard to see, but each guest had a homemade tealight at the head of their plate, made with vellum and the new Curvy Keepsake Box Thinlits Die.

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It was so much fun to set the table, it was like playing “teaparty!”

Each of the 28 tables was decorated differently, and each one was beautiful.  The guest speaker was Susan Conroy, a catholic author and international speaker.  Susan grew up in Maine, but during college traveled alone to India to work with Mother Teresa.  She has authored and/or translated nine books and has hosted two series on EWTN.  Last night I bought a book she translated from an original French copy that took her seven years to locate.  It is called “The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life” and is a compilation of nine conferences given by Fr. Charles Arminjon in France in 1881.  Saint Therese of Lisieux (“the little flower”), read the book in 1887 and said that “reading this book was one of the greatest graces of my life.”  If it had such an impression on one who would become a canonized saint and doctor of the church, maybe it will be an inspiration for us.  I’ll keep us updated!

Susan Conroy’s talk was so inspiring.  She talked about the way to heaven being through the cross…suffering, sacrifice and prayer.  She suggested that we pick up our small sufferings with our left hand, scoop up Jesus Christ’s huge suffering with our right hand, bring our hands together in prayer and offer it all up to God our Father for the sanctification of our soul and the souls of others.  She reminded us that our goal is to get to heaven and to help one another get to heaven.  She told the sweetest anecdotes about her dad, who was a giant of a spiritual leader for Susan and her nine brothers and sisters.  He was always reminding them to “say your prayers”, “get to Mass” and “no one’s perfect ~ get to confession!”  : )   Sounds like he was a wonderful man.

The photo below was what we woke up to this morning.  Winter comes early to Maine!  : )

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Snowman Tags

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“Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem.”

-W.H. Gibson

Good Morning from Stamping Peace!  It snowed all day yesterday and although it only added up to a couple of inches, it turned our world white and turned our stamping thoughts to the Snow Day stamp set.  : )   The card stock is very vanilla, with a little strip of Season of Style Designer Series Paper on the bottom.  The inks are Pool Party, Island Indigo, Smoky Slate, Pumpkin Pie and Cherry Cobbler.  The snowflakes are embellished with rhinestones and the ribbon is cherry cobbler.

And here is the second day of Advent ornament for our Jesse Tree.  It is mounted on some Winter Frost Designer Series Paper (from the Paper Stack), on a base of Winter White.  The ribbon is Soft Suede.  The picture itself is a free download (the code to download it is in Ann Voskamp’s new book “The Greatest Gift.”

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“So God created human beings in his own image.”


Some thoughts from Day Two in the book:

“This Christmas story – it  begins in the beginning, this love story that’s been coming for you [us] since the beginning….

Unwrapping More of His Love in the World… what could you [we] create today with a gentle heart of love (a letter, a treat, a surprise)?  Create something out of your love!

What in this whole blue marble of God’s world causes you to pause in wonder?

Think of three people who are not easy to love.  What would it look like to love those people with God’s love?”

Have a great second day of Advent!


Advent Ornament

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“Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot.”

-ISAIAH 11:1

Advent Greetings from Stamping Peace!  I never post on Sunday, but I didn’t want us to miss the first day of Advent together.  It has been snowing all day and it’s not amounting to much, but what a beautiful gift for the first day of Advent!   Our family is reading “The Greatest Gift” by Ann Voskamp for Advent,  which tells the story of the Jesse tree, the Jesus geneology.  In the book there is a code to download 25 paper ornaments, one for each day of Advent and for use on a “Jesse Tree.”   We mounted our Day One ornament on crumb cake paper that we embossed with the Woodgrain embossing folder.  It is on a base of Whisper White, and will hang with Pool Party Ribbon.

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“The mattering part is never the chopped-off stump.  It isn’t what dream has been cut down, what hope has been cut off, what part of the heart has been cut out.   The tender mattering part is – you [we] have a Tree.  Out of the last and forgotten son of Jesse comes forth one tender branch that will grow into a crown of thorns…a rugged cross…your [our] ladder back to God. Jesus will go to impossible lengths to rescue you [us].  Out of the stump of that fallen tree, watered with the living waters that flow from the depths of His grace, a twig sprouts.  That twig will be the scepter that defeats your [our] sin…and lets you [us] grow again.” –  from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp (parenthesis are mine)

Questions at the end of Chapter One:

1.  In what ways do you feel like a lifeless stump, longing for a tender shoot of hope?

2.  What are you waiting for, yearning for this season?

3.  Where can you see new life coming in what you may have considered dead?

Hop on over to for an Advent devotional video today and the next three Sundays, if so inclined!

Wishing you Advent grace,


“…He begs us to spend the attention of Advent on the little, the least, the lonely, the lost.”

-from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

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