Tag Archives: artists

Empty Bowls McKinney-2022

13 May

“If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

~Mother Teresa


The Annual Empty Bowls McKinney feeds a lot more than a hundred people. The donations provide funding for Community Lifeline Center and the Community Garden Kitchen. This year’s turnout was amazing. I can’t wait to hear how much money was raised.

From its humble beginnings in the community room at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the event has exploded into a county wide gala at the McKinney Performance Art enter on the Square.

Bowls, bowls, everywhere bowls. These were just a few of the Event bowls offered. Everyone who purchased a ticket got to pick out a bowl. But, extra bowls could be purchased for $20. A lot of folks were buying four or five extra for gifts. Every $5 provides a meal for someone in need.
Helene, Sid, and I had a lot of fun. The soups and desserts were great and the band was cool!
We ran into a lot of friends and awesome artists.
Jerry and Patricia didn’t win the high bid on my bowl, but they had a good time supporting Empty Bowls.
And the event wouldn’t be complete without a Murphy sighting. ❤️❤️

What an awesome day!

Tuesday:) Talking to Todd Hutchinson About the Independent Art House at Filtered

10 May

“New and exciting things don’t just happen all by themselves, it takes a dreamer who shares his dreams.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Yesterday was the first time I’ve been to McKinney Creative Community since 2020 B.C. (Before Covid) 🤦‍♀️ The wonderful gathering at the MillHouse takes place the second Monday of the month. Every month, anyone interested in sharing ideas, food, and networking with like minded creative people are welcome to attend. We sit around, introduce ourselves and share what’s “new and good” in our world. Great fun. There is usually an awesome guest speaker.

This month’s guest speaker was Todd Hutchinson, who shared his new collaboration of the Independent Art House at Filtered on the Square. Tomorrow will be an Open House, if you’re around, stop by.

Todd and his wife are so excited about bringing a more exciting creative atmosphere to the already blossoming artistic community here in McKinney.
Thank you Andrea Holmes for always finding such great guest speakers.

McKinney Creative Community is an awesome place for anyone interested in meeting like minded creative and talented folks. We have artists, writers, musicians, dancers, film, etc. You don’t have to think you are creative, everyone is creative. Check us out on Facebook.

Happy Tuesday, my friends.

Thoughtful Thankful Thursday:) Life is Good

1 Apr

“Take as a gift whatever the day brings forth.”- Horace


Today, I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for my family, friends, my dreams, talents, and my gifts.

One of my childhood dreams was to be an art teacher and artist. I was blessed to be able to teach art for a few years. I continue with my art six decades later. Another dream was to be a writer, so I always wrote stories and poems and journaled as long as I can remember. I still do, as you can see.

So, the other day, I was intrigued by a writing group that popped up on Facebook and was meeting at the MillHouse in downtown McKinney. I tried registering online, but I had trouble navigating the website to register. (I’m a writer, not a computer genius.🤦‍♀️) Therefore, I decided to show up in person to see if I could join the group.

Yesterday morning, I was shuffling through some ancient journals, folders, unfinished stories, and stacks of my writing. It was obvious that I had a lot to say but clearly never did anything with my words. I always said that I was going to write the “Great American Novel,” but never did. So, I grabbed a brand new notebook, a black pen, and took a leap of faith.

Just a smattering of my many pages, stories, poems, and the Great American Novel is in there somewhere. I belonged to a small writing group quite a few years back, but we disbanded when some ladies moved away. Those were good times.
My new writing friends at the MillHouse. (Missing one girl who left earlier)

Karen and Mellisa (on the left) facilitated the group, and we did some impromptu writing exercises and played fun writing games. Even though I was brand new to the group, they made me feel welcome, just like we were old friends. I have a feeling I found a place to make my dreams come true.

After our meeting, I had a little time before going over to the Cotter’s house for my weekly Charlatintos Spanish group. (More groups, Miss Toni?) I’m trying to work on my Spanish and our little group of four amigos has been enlightening.

As I wandered around the MillHouse, I found some old artist friends working in their studios.

Andrea Holmes is such a sweet, talented, and prolific artist. She was getting ready for one of her many art shows. She’s also famous for her awesome murals and window displays all over McKinney and nearby towns.
Lisa Temple is another talented artist and friend.
Then, I made a new friend. Robin Pedrero and I chatted a while. We probably have run into each other here and there, but never formerly introduced. New friend! 🤗

So, yesterday was a day of working on making dreams come true, making new friends and visiting old friends.

Then, to my delight, when I got home and checked my mailbox, there was a very sweet thank you note from the folks over at Towne Creek.

I am so thankful for all my blessings and it’s so nice to be thanked for the little things I do for others. It’s like a mutual admiration society with the world. I looked back at my journals today to see when I started volunteering doing art with the seniors at Towne Creek. I started in August of 2007. It’s been a while. Such blessings.

Happy Thoughtful Thankful Thursday, my friends.🤗

Saturday on the Square:) Meet the Artists Preview Night For Empty Bowls At the Cove

27 Mar

“You know what you call a large room full of talented artists? Amazing… you just call them AMAZING.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I swear, every year the auction and collectors bowls created by the awesome local artists and artisans gets more amazing each year. I use the words amazing and awesome so much when I describe these talented folks because there are no better words available.

Today was the preview night, and the weather was just perfect, sunshine and about 80°. I’ll just get right down to showing off my awesome friends’ and other artists’ work.

I have three different bowls donated this year. Sid and Helene joined me this evening. There were so many awesome bowls, and I got to see some dear artist friends that I haven’t seen in ages.
And who did we run into first thing when we arrived? The Murphy dynamic duo. Sherri’s bowl is so cute.
So many friends, so little time.

There were quite a few more beautiful pieces, but I didn’t photograph them all. I’ll have to wait till May 12th to see them all again. It will be the best year ever, I’m sure.

Friday:) Friends and Towne Creek and My Firemen

26 Feb

“Life is short, so eat dessert first, but with friends, and all the time.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Today was our Towne Creek Young At Heart Art Group. We were working on painting bowls for Empty Bowls. It takes a lot of prep, not only to gather all the art supplies, bowls and paints, it also to prepare all the food for the feast. Helene and I always provide a fun feast.

Preparing the feast. We always make plenty to eat for our feast. We also had homemade soup and sandwiches.

I stopped at Fire Station 9 on my way.

I asked if they had any of my precious containers. Yep. 4. 🤦‍♀️

Everyone had a good time painting bowls.

Everyone hard at work.
Time for the feast.

Happy Friday my friends. Time to put my feet up. I’m exhausted, but in a good happy creative fun way.

Saturday on the Square and Elsewhere~ MAST (McKinney Artist Studio Tour)

14 Nov

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
― Vincent Van Gogh


Today was the first day of MAST- the McKinney Artist Studio Tour. If you missed it, check it out tomorrow. Helene and I traipsed around the east side of town this afternoon, stopping at the different studios, checking out the the fabulous artwork and bumping into old friends and making new friends.

Our good friend, Sherri Murphy was displaying her work at Jump Into Art over on Church Street. Magda Dia has turned this historic house into a wonderful art school and studio for local creatives.
We stopped at Bob Bruu’s barn and woodworking shop. Wow! His woodworking talent is amazing, but how he converted an old barn into a showplace workshop is a testimony to his true talent. And creativity.
We visited a lot of places, but Kim Guthrie Art Studio is always a must. She was working on a couple of adorable animal portraits. I have several of her pieces in my house. She has so many styles, from whimsical paper mache sculptures to beautiful Texas landscapes and historic buildings. She does it all.
Maribeth Jagger was over at Last Gallery along with several other artists. I love that so many of the most talented artists also happen to be good friends. I run around with a fun talented crowd.
We drove over to The MillHouse over on Elm Street. The old converted cotton mill is the perfect setting for more talented artists.
Gail Delger and Andrea Holmes were “in the house.” Awesome artists.
Meche Via and the other artists at The MillHouse rounded off our tour of some awesome artists and studios in McKinney. I don’t think we even got to half of the studios. We live in a very special town.

Friday:) Fun With Towne Creek Artist Friends

30 Oct

“Whatever you do together with friends is always a fun day.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Another fun Friday with our friends over at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. Helene and I made all kinds of food and snacks for our feast, and I was up late last night, coming up with some Fall projects.

A few snacks and gifts. Helene made BLT sandwiches and brought pudding and other snacks and drinks.
A fun fine day at Towne Creek. Thank you Helene!

Friday:) Fun Foliage and Fabulous Mother Nature

2 Oct

“The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings; now for October eves!”

– Humbert Wolfe

This morning, this beautiful maple tree beckoned me to walk a little past my usual walking route.

Such an awesome tree bursting with color.

I walked over and gathered some beautiful leaves scattered around on the street and sidewalk.

Before pressing them in an old phone book, I decided to play with the beautiful colors.
A cute heart, of course.
Now, to press them for future art projects. Artists save EVERYTHING.

Happy Friday, my friends.

Wednesday:) What’s Happenin’ On The Square

9 Sep

“There is something special when creative people get together.”

Joy Mangano


Well, it was a fine day to head over to the Square to visit Kim Guthrie at her art studio. I was the lucky winner of one of her Move it Out Monday Auctions, and I hadn’t been over that way in a while. I texted her to see if she’d be working at her studio today, and lucky for me, she was.

I always like to sneak a photo from outside her window before she realizes that I’m making funny faces at her as she works.
Like the old song, “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?” lol at that adorable doggie. Kim does a lot of commission work, especially of family pets, historic homes and buildings, families, and funky animals. (Like my giraffe tea towel that I won in the auction.)
Aw, look at my cute tea towel, front and back. I love the quote.

Such a talented lady, and her studio is always bursting with bold colors and whimsical artwork.

You can check out her website at http://www.kimguthrieart.com or visit her studio at 115 W. Virginia on the lovely downtown McKinney Square.

Thanks for a fun visit Kimmie! ❤️🤗👩🏻‍🎨

Throwback Thursday:) An Oldie But a Goodie~Repurposed Art

13 Aug

“Looking back at my life’s voyage, I can only say that it has been a golden trip.”

Ginger Rogers


I just ran across this article that was written about my recycled art work by Rita Cook quite a few years ago, probably over ten years ago. It’s fun to look back. Happy Throwback Thursday.


New Paint: Artist Antoinette Andrukaitis repurposes second-hand finds

By Editor Green Source

By Rita Cook

Antoinette “Toni” Andrukaitis of McKinney says her art naturally developed an eco-friendly slant because she has always been the kind of person who has recycled and repurposed.

“Eco-friendly is what we baby-boomers grew up with, but back then we called it frugality,” Andrukaitis says. “As a little girl, my sisters and I made doll clothes from fabric scraps and string. My mother always taught us never to waste, but rather, repurpose.”

When she first began teaching art in the 1970s she says she would buy discontinued or marked down house paint for her students to use, “mostly because any extras came out of my pocket, but from there every bargain became an art medium.”

(Above, Andrukaitis found these wine glasses at a garage sale. Below, old cedar fence boards become a canvas.) 

These days her frugality can be seen in the repurposed objects she uses in her art to make pieces as diverse as painted vases, wine bottles, purses and wooden items that she often finds at garage sales, thrift stores and sometimes even using hand-me-down items from her friends. 

“Pretty much anything that isn’t moving can be painted,” she says.  “An unusual inspiration came when my neighbor was tearing down an old cedar fence. I hauled several large sections home and painted running horses on them for an outdoor display.”

Recently, she says she found several pieces of discarded furniture and turned the pieces into lovely treasures. For example, an old student desk became a pretty white vanity embellished with pink roses.

Living in McKinney, Andrukaitis says the community there has been her inspiration.

(Left, a desk purchased for $20 at a garage sale refurbished by Andrukaitis.)  

“The art community is so supportive and everyone shares ideas, supplies and their creativity,” she explains. “My ideas come from everywhere. The individual items talk to me and say, ‘I don’t want to be an old newspaper, I want to be falling leaves on a tree painted on a canvas.’” 

Her most popular items at the moment are her rose vases. 

“From the smallest bud vase to a huge glass cylinder, placing a real rose or a dozen roses inside one makes the most exquisite gift,” she explains.  

These types of vases she sells anywhere from $5 to $50.  

As an artist who recycles, Andrukaitis says too, that her greatest challenge has always been hoarding. She says she can’t throw anything away because each item has so much potential. 

“I even save dryer lint to use in hand-made paper,” she adds. 

(Above, Andrukaitis paints a vase with her most popular motif.)

While Andrukaitis says many of her repurposed items go to her friends and family, she usually paints about 50 pieces a year in all and also keeps an inventory of recycled items on hand just in case.  When she runs low, she goes “thrifting with the TOTS, which is McKinney’s Table of Talent Sisters, our little art group created about five or six years ago.”

Andrukaitis stays eco-friendly in many ways and she says her other main endeavor in that area involves food. For example, at Halloween she chops up leftover Halloween chocolate candy and puts inside her famous brownies. Then the leftover brownies become chocolate dipped truffles balls that are then frozen and shared with friends and the local firemen at McKinney’s Station #5.

“The thing that makes my art special is the love that I put into finding a castaway destined for the landfill and finding a special new home for it,” concludes Andrukaitis.


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Rita Cook is an award winning journalist who writes or has written for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily News, Waxahachie Daily Light, Dreamscapes Travel Magazine, Porthole, Core Media, Fort Worth Star Telegram and many other publications in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago.  With five books published, her latest release is “A Brief History of Fort Worth” published by History Press.  You can contact her at rcook13@earthlink.net  Tags: RecyclingRecycleArt


Editor Green Source DFW's picture

Editor Green So…Phillip Shinoda is the project manager and founder of Green Source DFW.