Tag Archives: art

Saturday:) Some More Simple Sanctuary Sketches

3 Sep

“A peaceful place, a pencil and paper, and inspiration are the only things necessary for an artistic soul.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Thursday, I went over to St. Gabriel for Adoration and a little more sketching in the empty Sanctuary. I usually spend a couple of hours sketching, then I’ll either finish the sketch at my next visit or at home.

I’ve been working on the simple arched windows way above the altar area. It’s difficult to make out to many details, as they are so far up. But, these don’t have a lot of detail to begin with, making it easier to sketch, leaving a little leeway for artistic expression.

I was sketching the last one, symbolizing the Resurrection into heaven. I already did the first one a while back, about The Lord being the shepherd. The second I’ve just barely started, but I finished the last, and most simple of the three.
See, it’s pretty far away. and up high. I do take photos and try to zoom in on my phone, but it’s still tricky.
I just use a pencil, a sheet of watercolor paper, my handy pink pearl eraser and a Kleenex for blending. I’m one of those no frills artists.
Then, I put the photo into my Artisto app on my iPhone, and the magic begins. I do have to do some manipulations with size and colors, but I love the results.
Just a few of my favorites.

Friday:) From Here to There, From This to That

2 Sep

“Creativity and insight almost always involve an experience of acute pattern recognition: the eureka moment in which we perceive the interconnection between disparate concepts or ideas to reveal something new.”

Jason Silva


I was walking this morning in the relatively cool air, enjoying the sights and sounds all around me. It was barely in the 80’s. Woo hoo! A dragon fly kept fluttering about, so close that I could almost touch it. When I was walking home and got close to my house, I sat on the bench in the park. I heard a jingle jangle and a soft meow getting closer. Juno wanted to chat.

Just a few feet away, I noticed that the the magnolia trees were starting to lose their leaves and turn brown. Oh no! I wanted to pick and press a few more leaves this season so I could press and dry more for next fall and some more art project.

I picked about 20 or so of the larger flatter leaves and brought them home to press.

We don’t get phone books or the big ol’ Sears catalogues any more, so I used my 2022 Medicare Handbook for pressing. 🤦‍♀️ I knew it would come in handy for something someday.
After about a year, I take all the pressed leaves and put them in plastic containers. The magnolia leaves had turned almost a shimmery silver free color, so I wanted a few more to press for next year.
Last Friday, when we had our Towne Creek Senior art day, we used a bunch of the colorful dried maple and oak leaves To collage with, and I painted roses on a bunch of shimmery magnolia leaves, making enough for each person to get one or two leaves to decorate with gold dip dots all around. I may experiment with some other designs one day. Its just that I can paint my roses in my sleep with my eyes closed. Easy peasy and cute. It’s fun to use repurposed or nature inspired sources for art.
You may recall from last Friday, some of our dried leaf projects.

Now some day, I’ll have to come up with some cool project ideas for all my empty Brownie boxes, egg shells, toilet paper rolls, and the ever popular dryer lint. 🤦‍♀️

Happy Friday my friends. I hope you’re having a fun fine creative day. If not, have a glass of wine. That works too. 🍷

Wednesday:) Words With Friends and More Words and a Sunset

25 Aug

“Words challenge us to express what the heart cannot say.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


We had another great meeting of our McKinney Words With Friends writing group over at The MillHouse. Melissa Cantu is so sweet and inspirational. She always has a creative writing activity for us to work on and-or has a talented guest speaker to share information with us. I really appreciate it when someone goes so far out of their way to encourage other women to excel.

Last Saturday, when Karen and I visited Melissa at Native McKinney, her new wellness venture on the Square, I thought of the perfect gift for her. The shop had just opened, so there wasn’t much in the way of artwork on the walls yet. We were talking about all the old haunted buildings on the Square and the history and stories of ghosts. I told her about the poem I’d written about the old Collin Country Prison down the street, and the watercolor I had done. Ah ha! Perfect gift.

I found an extra print I had in my craft room and I had a frame that worked just perfectly. So, I framed it and I printed out the poem and taped it on the back. She loved it!


They gazed at stars, through prison bars

Awaiting judgment day

From days gone by, we know not why

These restless souls must stay.

Within these walls, when darkness falls

The haunted halls are filled

With eerie light, throughout the night

Perhaps for blood they spilled.

Small orbs of gold, the tales are told

Imprisoned here within

Doomed to roam, their eternal home

The night watch must begin.

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


A very fun group of talented writers.
Now, for tonight’s amazing sunset. Wow!

Saturday on the Square and Some Other Stuff

21 Aug

“There are so many avenues to explore and stories to tell. It’s just about finding new ways of telling them.”

– Jack Lowden.


Karen and I decided to go exploring in our own little town today. Parking in downtown McKinney is always tough, but we found a good spot over by one of the municipal building that is closed on weekends.

Our first stop was Native McKinney. They were having an Open House today. Melissa Cantu was kind enough to give us a tour and tell us about all the upcoming activities. Melissa, (in the middle) is also the gal who organizes and leads the writing group that I joined over at The MillHouse. She’s an all around talented lady.
Interesting place. Stop by and check it out.

We strolled over to The Pantry for lunch. Yes, I got the chicken fried chicken, of course. It’s a must.

Then, right across the street is Fair and Square Imports. I think that’s my favorite shop on the Square.

So many awesome gift and decorative items . The store carries handmade items from fair trade organizations, which in turn helps to empower crafters and their families in poorer nations around the world.

We continued to walk around town, people watching and enjoying the not so extremely hot weather. They were having a Back to the 80’s Sip and stroll. Quite a few people were dressed in weird clothes, men with long hair and bandanas, red jogging suits, girls in leotards and leg warmers. They were mostly young people who had NO idea what the 80’s really looked like, but they were having fun.

They had a cool “Back to the Future” car. I would have taken it for a spin, but, I wasn’t really that fond of the 80’s… wouldn’t want to go back there again.

Our last stop by the Square was down the road to check out the progress of the Silo Painting.

The famous Australian artist, Guido van Helton, was busy at work in the Texas summer heat. I had only seen pictures on Facebook before seeing the work in person, I’ll admit that I wasn’t very impressed. Then, Karen and I saw the mural from a few feet away. Wow! The detail was amazing! Go Guido!
These silos are huge. I can’t imagine how anyone can even conceive, much less execute, such an extraordinary endeavor. I was mesmerized.

It was a fun afternoon/evening on the Square. On our way home, after all that sight seeing in our own little town, we stopped at McDonald’s for an iced tea and more conversation. The cool part of exploring with good friends is, you never run out of things to talk about.

A special Saturday with a special friend in our special little town. I love McKinney. ❤️

Friday:) Fun Friends and Artists at Towne Creek

25 Jun

“Friends make the days brighter, but art friends make the days funner. And we get to make up our own words and play with fun art stuff.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Wow! Another fun day with out lovely senior art friends over at Towne Creek today. We had a little bit of a setback at first, because when I opened the store room closet door where we keep most of our art supplies, the floor was flooded. Fortunately, nothing was damaged, but poor Kelly, the manager, was mopping and using the shop vac to try and get the water up. I guess the HVAC unit was leaking water somewhere. I think it was a good thing we had art today, because I’m the only one who goes in there once a month. Can you imagine???

The mess didn’t hold us back. I had brought in a big bin of art supplies and projects for the day. So we worked with the super loud shop vac whizzing along. Kelly got it pretty dry, but it was still leaking a little bit. It all worked out. She called for emergency AC help, but they still hadn’t arrived when we left.

We have such a good time. My favorite part is our little feast. We eat lots of food, tell funny stories, and laugh. Always laugh. (Oh, I did bring my karaoke microphone and belted out a few songs. Miss Dorothy sang a few too.)
Helene and I bring tons of food, drinks and goodies to share.
We work on different projects. Today we worked on hologram scratch boards, painted ponies, and 3-D paper crafts.
Helene’s cards turned out so cute, and Miss Kathy’s 3-D painted pony was awesome. She used foam tape behind the head and tail to make the pony really pop off the page.
Miss Bonnie and Miss Sandy did a great job too.
Miss Dorothy is an over achiever and worked on a 3-D paper flower project too. So cute!
Mr. David enjoyed the projects. I love it when everyone does something different and adorable.
I had just a couple of demo projects to share. Helene and I were busy helping and running around. She did all the outdoor spraying with fixative on the scratch boards. And everything dried in 3.5 seconds. Needless to say, it was hot outside. When we left around 6:30, my car said 111°. Yikes.

Another great day with great friends and fun projects. Happy Friday, my friends.


Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day~Never Waste Paint

21 Jun

“I know there are only Ten Commandments, but I think the 11th should be never waste anything.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Many of my talented frugal artist friends will agree that we don’t waste anything. Also, we are not really hoarders, but we are saving possible art ideas for a crazy rainy day art project In the future. Just because I press leaves, save…egg cartons and egg shells, empty brownie boxes, wine bottles, dried flowers, scrap paper, brown bags, plastic bottles, feathers, toilet tissue tube rolls, and the ever popular dryer lint, this doesn’t mean I’m a hoarder. It’s all labeled and organized and waiting for a possible project. Remember last month, my senior artist friends made lovely 3-D paintings with grocery bag trees and left over tissue paper leaves. Awesome!

Another pet peeve of mine is wasting paint. If I’m working on a project, if there’s a little paint left, I paint a few notecards or book marks or glassware.

So, last week, when I was painting my glass bowl for Jerry’s birthday, I had quite a bit of red, orange, and yellow paint left on my paper palette. Not enough to scoop back into the bottle. Oh yes, that paper is recycled mail or old print outs. I didn’t want to waste the glass paint, as it’s more expensive than acrylic. I grabbed a glass ivy bowl in my stash of unpainted glass in my “crap room.” I have had many friends donate old glass items to me because they know they will be turned into a work of art and find a good home.

As you can see, I use an old foam egg carton lid for my makeshift stay wet palette, a little square of moistened paper towel, then a square of recycled paper. Then, I pour my paint on it.
I used the left over paint from the paper palette and mushed it around and around the bowl until it was nicely covered and blended.
I loved the fiery look of the blended colors. Now, to decide what to paint on top. My easiest go-to motif is a simple one-stroke leaf. It was already after 2 am, so I wanted something quick and simple so I could go to sleep.

Here’s a little video of how to paint the easy vine and leaves.


The finished project. Waste not, want not.

Saturday:) Some More of My Amazing Reverse Glass Painting

18 Jun

“Sometimes I’m so creative that I even amaze myself. Did I say that out loud.🤦‍♀️👩🏻‍🎨”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I love to give and receive handmade gifts, so when our good friend Jerry had a birthday coming up, I decided that I needed to make something special. Because he really loved the African themed bowl that I donated to the Empty Bowls Charity this year, I decided to create something similar. Jerry actually went to the charity event last month in hopes of being the high bidder in the auction, but the bowl was already up to $400. Crazy!

I found a goodly sized clear glass bowl at the thrift store. Another thing I like to do is purchase items at thrift stores, repurpose them, and give them a new spectacular life. Trash to treasure.

OK, funny story. We were meeting Jerry for a birthday lunch on Wednesday. So when do I decide to start painting this very intricate project? Yep! Tuesday night. 🤦‍♀️ All the different layers have to dry a couple of hours so, I only got the first layer of black done before I went to bed around 2am. I woke up before 8 so I could continue painting. I finished painting by 11, but I didn’t have time to bake it in a 350° oven to cure, so I set it outside in the scorching Texas heat for an hour to dry. 🤦‍♀️ Same Difference, right? I do tend to procrastinate. I was just hoping it was good and dry when I placed it in the birthday gift bag and off to lunch at 12:30. 🤦‍♀️ Needles to say, Jerry loved his one-of-a-kind hand painted gift. ❤️

First I clean the glass with alcohol, and paint the outside with black FolkArt Enamel paint, made for glass. Because this may be used for food, I painted only the outside. Thus, reverse painting.
I used a foam makeup sponge to dab on the variegated colors from red to orange to yellow on top of the black figures. You have to work fast so you can blend the colors evenly while still moist.
Here’s the tricky part. Now, I have to paint the trees and animals in black again over the variegated red-Orange paint. I could see through it a little bit, but it wasn’t easy. So now you can see the black painting from the inside and outside of the bowl. (Outside view)

Inside view. Amazing, right?

There’s a quick time-lapse video below that shows the technique. You should watch it, it’s less than 30 seconds.


Happy AMAZING Saturday, my friends.

Saturday:) Some More Sanctuary Sketches

12 Jun

“People who want you in their lives, respect you whether you are grapes or fine wine.”
― Sanita Belgrave


Thursday afternoon, I stopped over at St. Gabriel for Adoration in the chapel, followed by some sketching in the main sanctuary,

There are three arched windows on either side of the altar, way up high where you can barely see the detail. I always take a picture so I can zoom in and see a little more detail.
I chose the more detailed one of the three. Hmm? Maybe the cloud grouping would have been easier. 🤦‍♀️👩🏻‍🎨

I usually sketch for a couple of hours, then I finish the rest at home on Saturday.

There were a lot of little grapes that had to be drawn in several times because I use a tiny bit of Kleenex to shade and soften, which requires redrawing each line. Then… for the fun part… my Artisto app on my phone transforms the simple sketch into a burst of color. Cool!
The mosaic is usually my favorite.
Well, these are most of my favorites. It’s always exciting to see what turns up.

Friday:)Fabulous Artist Friends At Towne Creek Senior Apartments

28 May

“The only thing better than a day creating art, is a day creating art with old friends.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Today was our Towne Creek Craft and Art Day with our senior friends. There’s always a lot of preparation, anticipation and great expectation… (you See my literary play on words there? I was going to say constipation🤦‍♀️)

I decided we would work on the torn tissue paper project from my Tuesday video. I really wasn’t sure if it would go over well or if it would be too difficult. Boy, was I surprised. They all turned out fabulous.

I started out this morning making my famous popcorn/pretzel/cereal mixture. I make individual bags for each person to take home after the class. They said that they like to watch tv and have their popcorn snack. I gathered up all the supplies, and cut up individual brown bag trees, little squares of 4 colors of green for the trees, and squares of tissue paper colors for the background. A lot of prep.
I also chocolate dipped some strawberries, made a few more lemon cheesecake cookies and cut up a watermelon. Helene was making her famous pasta salad and I was bringing hot dogs, nacho cheese dip, tortilla chips, drinks, and ice cream. Can you say Friday Feast!

Helene and I arrived about the same time and got a couple of carts to haul in all our supplies and goodies. We organized tables, put plastic table cloths and passed out the art supplies needed. I did a brief demo of how to tear the tissue paper, add the dimensional tree, and make all the dimensional leaves. Then, everyone got to work. I couldn’t believe how awesome each background looked.

The background layers were pretty wet from the watery glue, so we set them outside to dry. They were dry in 10 minutes in the sun.
We also had a lovely teenage girl, Michele, who volunteers at Towne Creek, join us. (Miss Kathy-top left, Michelle-top right, Nadia-bottom left, David-bottom right.
Helene’s and Bonnie’s trees turned out so cute. Helene even experimented with two or three colors in one leaf. I love when people experiment and create something spectacular. While the trees were drying, we had a dessert break, then worked on some holographic scratch boards. Those were cool, too.
Then time for our Friday Feast. We hold hands, say a prayer of thanks for our meal and our friendship. Then, we eat like little piggies u til we are about to explode.

Happy Friday, my friends. I hope your day was a fun and fabulous as ours. ❤️

Tuesday:) Toni’s Torn Tissue Paper Project

25 May

“Don’t get frustrated, just tear up a bunch of papers and create a masterpiece. it’s very healing.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Sometimes, I just have to go up to my “crap room” and rummage through art supplies and come up with some ideas for art projects to do with my senior friends at Towne Creek. I’m still not sure if this will work, but I gave it a try. I was inspired by my very talented friend, Sherry Murphy, who was teaching a class on torn paper collage.

Now, I’m sitting here as the mean ‘ol Storm is clambering around me. I’m just glad I’m inside safe and sound.

A little video below if you want to see the steps.


Torn tissue paper with a little glue and water.

A brown paper bag tree, but not glued down flat. A little dimension with folds and adjustments.