Tag Archives: artists

Thursday:) The Art Club Of McKinney and Some Artist Friends

9 Sep

“All forms of madness, bizarre habits, awkwardness in society, general clumsiness, are justified in the person who creates good art.”

-Roman Payne


This morning was the September meeting of the Art Club of McKinney. I haven’t been back to the Art Club meetings since B.C., Before Covid. It was wonderful to back and see so many old artist friends and meet some new ones.

The officers gave us an update of the club’s minutes, agenda, treasurer’s report and upcoming events.

Our guest speaker was Cindy Gilstrap, giving an awesome presentation on art journaling. Cindy brought all kinds of beautiful examples of art journals and altered books, also demonstrating various techniques. So interesting.

Very inspirational.
Robin and Darby won the artist choice for the paintings they brought in. At each meeting, artists can bring a piece of artwork to display, and the members vote for first and second place.

It was great to be back at Art Club and start getting back into the swing of things. I was inspired. Maybe I’ll try some art journaling. We certainly have some amazing local artists.

Cindy is a member of The MillHouse and teaches classes there. You can get more info at JunqueArt.com or @junqueart on Instagram.


After the Art Club meeting, I walked over to the library and then strolled around town. I went over to The Art House to visit with Wendolin Mercado in her newly renovated studio. She was finishing up a student class with another group on the way. Wendolin is a fun and funky artist, teaching all sorts of interesting classes. Everything from jewelry making, leather crafting , photography, knife throwing, and more. You name it, she does it.

Gosh, even her cat Cosmo enjoys participating.

It was a great artsy kinda day. Thankful Thursday. Feeling blessed and inspired by so many artist friends.

Friday:) Friends and Fun Art at Projects Towne Creek

27 Aug

“Sharing and caring and creating with friends is the best!”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Another fun art day at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. The smiles are worth gold, and we have a good time.

I do spend a lot of time preparing food, snacks, and projects to work on. I never know if we will have 3 or 13 folks, so we have to be prepared.

Our theme today was Fall leaves. Wishful thinking. Hoping Fall weather
will soon be here.
We drew leaves, painted on leaves, and collaged with leaves. Then, when all was said and done, everyone agreed, “Miss Toni is Amazing,” and I had to agree.
Then for our feast. We sure know how to have a good time. Good friends, awesome artwork, and fine food.
Happy Friday my friends!

Monday:) McKinney Creative Community

9 Aug

“Create with the heart; build with the mind.” – Criss Jami


McKinney Creative Community meets on the second Monday of each month over at The MillHouse on the east side of McKinney. The old refurbished warehouse has been revamped into a stunning artist coop and makers space. MCC has been meeting for many years and at many different locations throughout the years, but The MillHouse has to be, hands down, the most spacious and beautiful space that we have ever had the privilege to use.

The meeting is a potluck social of networking, and informational sharing of local creative minds. In other words, an excuse for creative people to meet, greet, share, and learn more about the arts. We have artists, writers, dancers, potters, musicians, etc. You name it, if it’s creative, it is represented.

After our potluck socializing, and meet and greet, our guest speaker was a very knowledgeable and informative attorney who specializes in Intellectual Property, Business Law, Non-profit, and Benefit Corporation Law.

Ms. Goodson was an amazing speaker. There was so much information offered that my brain was exploding. Like any other professional occupation, I didn’t realize all the laws and liabilities that creative occupations entailed, like contracts, intellectual property, patents, copyrights, LLCs, registrations, trademarks, logos, branding, confidentiality provisions and more. Yikes!

Well, that settles that. No way I can be a prolific professional artist. Too much paperwork and mind boggling red tape.

Everyone had a good time and we all learned a lot. Thank you Sammetrial Goodson for your presentation, and thank you Andrea Holmes and Tom Michero and Silky Hart Michero for hosting this awesome event.

Great evening over at The MillHouse!

Friday:) Fun Art Friends At Towne Creek and My Firemen

30 Jul

“I love my fabulous frantic frenzied FridayS with my fabulous art friends at Towne Creek Apartments. Sharing is caring.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


My house is usually a chaotic mess for a couple of days preparing for my art group at Towne Creek. I’ve been volunteering there for over 15 years. The funny part is, I never run out of ideas to share with the group. Granted, some projects we’ve done a few times before, but we are all seniors, so we probably forgot what we did five or six years ago…thank goodness.

My biggest dilemma is what food to prepare for our feast. Instead of hot dogs, I decided to make sandwiches and homemade potato salad. Of course, more triple lemon pudding cheesecake cupcakes and some watermelon. I wasn’t going to make my popcorn/pretzel/cereal snack mix, but I decided last minute that they really look forward to the snack for watching tv later in the evening. A busy couple of days in the kitchen. Then, a few hours preparing art projects and packing up supplies.

My potato salad was awesome. I sautéed the onions and celery, used little baby potatoes and hard boiled eggs. So good. Always sauté your onions/celery. It gives us a sweet caramelized flavor.

This is my refrigerator on Art day. 🤦‍♀️

Then, pack up the car and off to the east side for a day of arts, painting, crafts, feasting, laughing, singing and friendship.

Everyone hard at work, painting their wine bottles. NO… we didn’t drink the wine first, if you were wondering. 🤦‍♀️🍷
Instead of baking them in an oven, we set them outside in the 100° outdoor oven for a while to dry before adding the next layers.
I brought red roses so each artist could have a rose for their awesome new wine bottle vase. 🌹 They were all amazing, but Miss Kathy’s red roses on her pink bottle was just perfect.
I painted a couple of examples for them to get some ideas.

It was another “amazing” art day at Towne Creek. And, everyone will agree, and I’ve been told, because…. Miss Toni is….. wait for it…. “AMAZING.”

And, I can’t forget my firemen. We made a couple of stops with treats on Wednesday for our awesome firefighters.

We stopped at Station 5 with my cupcakes and a huge tray of sandwiches that Dave Manders donated after the Celebration of Life funeral Mass.
My buddies at Station 9.
A busy week, a busy Friday.

Happy Friday my friends! 🤗

Saturday on the Square:)Art Show at the Cove

24 Jul

“Exhibitions are kind of ephemeral moments, sometimes magic moments, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.”

Hans-Ulrich Obrist


This evening , Sid and I went to the The Cove Art Show over on the Square. Several of my friends were displaying their beautiful work this weekend. It’s always great to see their artwork and their beautiful smiles. Most of the Artists were from the Jump Onto Art Studios.

If you haven’t been over to the Cove on Tennessee, you should swing by when they have an art show, always fun.
Sherri Murphy had quite the display of awesome artwork.
Maylee, the Mayor’s wife stopped in to check out the show. Miss Magda did such a wonderful job as hostess., fine artist in her own right.
I hadn’t see Miss Erma in ages. Such a fun surprise to catch up.

A wonderful show and great visit with friends.

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.