Thursday:) The Coolest Art Club and Some Cool Clouds

9 Dec

Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.

~. Phylicia Rashad

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The Art Club of McKinney is the oldest Art Club in Texas, founded in 1914. It remains a thriving, ever evolving organization. Today was our annual Christmas luncheon, ornament exchange, and silent auction at the historic Heard Craig House. 

The group isn’t comprised of only women. There are a few daring and patient men who attend the meetings.  I’ll admit, the cackling and chatting can get a bit overwhelming, but in a good creative kinda way.

Lynne, Sherry, me and Lynda. We’re the Tiny TOTS (Table Of Talent Sisters.)


When a lot of ladies get together, there is a lot of really good food.

The ornament exchange was cool this year. It was suggested that all ornamnets to be exchanged should be handmade, embellished, or decorated, instead of store bought. Then, they were wrapped or in a bag, so no one knew what was inside.


Here is the one I was lucky enough to receive. A lot of beads and sparkle.

Here is an example of the ornament that I brought. Bluebonnets this year, in a handpainted box.


Oh, then we had a silent auction. Everyone was asked to bring two handmade ornaments. One for the exchange and one for the auction. And, there were over a dozen paintings donated for the auction. Here are the two paintings that I won bids on. Both of these are fabulous watercolors.


It was a fun afternoon, with fun and talented artist friends.


Now for my cool clouds. After all that yummy food, I needed a long walk. It was pretty darn cold out. In the 30’s, crisp and cloudy. I wore my heavy coat, gloves and sock monkey hat. But, the lovely evening sky was worth the cold nose and frozen fingers.

Wednesday:) Wonderful Miracles of Life

8 Dec

“If you don’t believe in miracles, look at the face of your your child. If you need further proof, hold your grandchild in your arms.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis
“Children are the rainbow of life. Grandchildren are the pot of gold.”

~ Irish proverb

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The day I have been waiting for has finally arrived. My son and daughter-in-law have a new baby girl. She arrived Monday evening, and except for a few fretful days and many prayers, she’s here. A beautiful angel sent from above, with a lot of hard work from a beautiful and patient mother. 

I’m a grandma!!!! I’m so excited. We don’t live in the same town, or even the same state, but I’ll be seeing her soon. Thank you to the many friends who sent prayers and good thoughts. My blessings abound and my heart is so full and about to burst. I sure hope that I don’t cry all over my new granddaughter when I first get to hold her in my arms. Who am I kidding? I’ll have to get her a little mini raincoat.

Here she is in all her glory. Yep, I believe in miracles.


Tuesday:) Tea and Conversation at the Heard-Craig House

7 Dec

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” 

― Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

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I was invited to a Tea and Conversation at the Historic Heard-Craig House this afternoon. My friend, Sheila Johnson, invited me to be her guest at this beautiful high tea. The beautifully preserved historic home in McKinney features tours, teas,  wedding facilities, but most importantly, supports the women’s clubs of McKinney by offering space to meet at no charge. This is all due to the generous  bequest of Kathryn Heard to provide social and educational resources for the women of the community. It’s a magnificent home.



The lovely china dishware in the background behind glass was all handpainted by Kathryn Heard. It was a beautiful lunch, in a charming house, with my lovely friend. Thank you, Sheila. (Vote for Sheila Johnson- District 3 McKinney City Council. Little plug,)

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

6 Dec

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” 

― Ansel Adams

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I am content with silence today.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

5 Dec

“Nothing erases the past. There is repentance, there is atonement, and there is forgiveness. That is all, but that is enough.” 

― Ted Chiang

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A fine Sunday. I expected it to be a lot colder this morning, being a little disappointed, because if it was colder, I was going to wear my sock monkey wool hat to church? Darn! Dignity prevailed, silliness must wait for a colder morning.

Today’s Gospel was the story of John the Baptist, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’

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My take on it…you can talk all you want and pretend you are sorry, but if you continue your evil ways and do not make amends, God knows what’s in your heart. You can’t fool Him.

After Mass, the women’s craft group had their holiday sale. Guess who I saw? My dear friend, Miss Bonita.




I bought another cross for my collection and an ornament. All the crafts were made by the church ladies in the group.

After Mass, I stopped at the store, then went for a walk. It was a gloomy day. But, the layers of gorgeous grey clouds were breathtaking with the contrasting fall colors. 


It was a fine day. HAPPY SUNDAY!


Saturday:) Some Seriously Sweet Bikers

3 Dec

“If you don’t ride in the rain, you don’t ride.”

~Author Unknown

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It was a dark and dreary and rainy morning. Not the greatest day for the Annual Toys for Tots Mortorcylcle Run here in McKinney. But, rain or shine, the ride was taking place. I’ve been attending this charitable event for several years now. NO! I don’t ride a motorcycle, (heaven forbid- I’m a big chicken) but my friends David and Karen Marks are coordinators, and proudly support the national Marine effort to bring toys and joys to children during the holidays. 

Unfortunately, the cold temps, drizzle, and threatening storms kept a lot of bikers from participating. There have been as many as 700 or more participants in the past runs. This morning, probably around seventy five die-hard bikers braved the elements for this worthy cause. These are some seriously sweet bikers.


Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the Marines were on hand to collect toys. My friend David Marks, in the green jacket, has been coordinating the run for eleven years now. Thousands of Dallas area children receive toys during Christmas thanks to the Marines and the many volunteers and sponsors.



Friday:) A Few Special Friends, Fine Food, and Fun Gifts

3 Dec

“Homemade and handcrafted with love is the greatest gift to give, and the greatest gift to receive.”

-Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not the merits of who receives them.” 

― Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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Christmas is my favorite time of year. Personally, I think we should have the Christmas spirit all year round, but it doesn’t work that way. I like that people seem jollier, strangers are cheerful, and I love all the lights, decorations, and glitz. Yes! The more glitz the better.

One of the cool things about being an artist with many artist friends is, we get to share our talents with one another. We share ideas, teach each other various crafty techniques, share art supplies, and sometimes go shopping and thrifting together. The absolute BEST part is the homemade gifts for birthdays and holidays. Homemade and handcrafted with love is the greatest gift.

I was thinking about that this morning as I was making my homemade pasta salad for lunch. If I was given the option of the gift of a pair of two carat diamond earrings or a pink  painted noodle necklace that my son made just for me in kindergarten, well, you know I’d choose the noodle necklace. I don’t think I’m the only one, either. So, as I packed up my handpainted ornaments for my friends and finished embellishing my homemade pasta salad, I was excited to see what creative and lovely gifts would be shared at our little artist girlfriend gathering. 


Lynne, me, Sherry and Lynda. The talent and creativity of these lovely ladies could light up the evening sky. 


This is the ornament that I made for my friends this year.


We had lunch at Lynda’s new studio in the historic district in McKinney. The room is filled to the brim with amazing watercolor masterpieces. An artist’s dream studio. We sat and visited and giggled and ate. It was a wonderful afternoon, sharing food, friendship and special gifts. That’s what the holidays are all about.


Here are some the special gifts I have received from a few of my special friends. I will cherish them always. By the way, I still have that painted noodle necklace that my son made for me in kindergarten, and all the other treasures my boys made for me. Noodles over diamonds any time.