Tag Archives: creativity

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:) What’s Cookin Miss Toni?

13 Mar

“Inner creativity doesn’t have a shut off valve. Sometimes you get a burst, an urge, or an inspiration. Ya gotta go for it.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have this inner voice that says, stop sitting around watching tv or blabbering on Facebook, just wasting your time. “Do something creative with those God given talents that you’ve been blessed with.” It might be midnight or maybe noon, but I go upstairs to my studio, otherwise known as my “crap room,” and rummage through supplies to decide what I’m called to do.

The other day, I was inspired by some friends who were admiring my hand-painted wine glasses, and they were oohing and ahhing at the variety and detail of each set of glasses. Maybe I should paint more. So, a few days later, I grabbed a box of mixed and matched clear wine glasses, set up my glass paint, brushes, etc. and began to paint bluebonnets.

This is the first installment of “What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni.” That’s because after the paint dries and cures, I bake them in a 350 degree oven for half an hour to heat set them.

While the paint was still fresh on my palette (otherwise known as a styrofoam plate), I also painted a large glass bowl. I love to paint Texas bluebonnets, especially now that they’re coming into season.

The best part is, I often take a thrift store find, a discarded object, like this glass bowl, and I turn it into a treasure. Friends save me their clear vases or glassware, knowing that I’ll transform them into something beautiful. Trash to treasure.

So, that’s what’s been cookin’ at my house. More show and tell later.

Have a good one…oh, and go do something creative or fun. That’s an order.

Tuesday:) Talented People in McKinney

11 Apr

“I’m inspired by artists and musicians. There are so many wonderful and talented people in the world. I love discovering new music, new writers, or new art.”

~Alicia Keys


Yesterday, a group of wonderfully talented people met at The Cove in downtown McKinney for our monthly McKinney Creative Community potluck gathering. Local artists, writers, dancers, musicians, photographers, and other creative souls meet to share fun, food, conversation, and creative endeavors. We usually have a fun guest speaker who wows us with wonderful inspiration.

For our April meeting, our guest was Melissa Patrello, a talented, funny, and creative kinetic artist who told us how she got inspired to create puppets when volunteering at her children’s school, and turned her passion into a thriving business.

Melissa brought many of her amazing creations, and shared her creative process with us. By the time I left, I wanted to go home and make a puppet and start talking to myself in a high pitched monster voice.

McKinney Creative Community is a hidden treasure in our area, and well kept secret, but everyone is welcome to join us the second Monday of every month. Just bring a dish or snack to share, and be ready to make a lot of friends, have a fine meal, and be totally inspired.

(Thanks for sharing this photo Silky)


Thursday:) This Is The Art Club of McKinney

10 Mar

“Documenting little details of your everyday life becomes a celebration of who you are.” ― Carolyn V. Hamilton


The second Thursday of the month, The Art Club of McKinney meets in the historic Heard Craig Carriage House. The average attendance ranges from about thirty to fifty, but within that small group and those four walls, the amount of creative talent seated in those chairs is phenomenal. 

After a brief general meeting at 9:30, a beautiful spread of food and drinks was set up by the monthly hostesses. Then, members vote for artist of the month from art work brought in to display. A short break, then on to the speaker.

The March guest artist and demonstrator was Cindy Gilstrap. Like most artists, the timid yet amusing art journalist, was a little nervous speaking to the group. But, once she started sharing her ideas, tips, and passing around dozens of amazing journals, everyone was mesmerized. 

I think Mr. Angel is getting some inspiration. 

Talk about talent. See this photo? I was holding the journal in my left hand, holding my phone with my right hand, and I snapped the picture with my nose. Now, that’s talent!

After the regular meeting, there was a break for lunch, (like we didn’t eat enough wonderful food in the morning) and a dozen members signed up to return for a hands-on workshop with Cindy.

I sure hope some of the gals post and share their works of art on Facebook later.

I journal and write every day, but I don’t illustrate or have an art journal. Oh no! Another project to add to my long list of …maybe tomorrow.

Friday:) Freinds, Food, and Painting From the Heart

4 Mar

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun” ― Pablo Picasso


Today was my senior art group, the YAH, Young At Heart artists, over at Towne Creek. I went to the store for food and snacks for our Friday feast. My plan was tuna sandwiches, (it’s Lent, no meat.) potato chips, pie, and ice cream. I got all the fixin’s, and came home to make the sandwiches. (Here’s my secret recipe: I use mayo and cream cheese, a little diced onion, celery, and red bell pepper on wheat bread. Oh, tuna, of course.)

Our project for today was painting more bowls for the upcoming Empty Bowls event.

We have a good time painting, eating, sharing stories. Well, mostly I share my crazy stories. I love to talk as much as I love to paint. I’ve got a million stories.

Fourteen more bowls today, and thirteen last month. A nice little contribution from our little group. After we cleaned up our mess and dirty dishes, we went out into the hall and sat to chat a while. It was a good day.

This is a great quote. I’ve run into many people who say they couldn’t draw a stick figure. I say, “That’s good. No one should be drawing stick figures.” I’ve never run across a person that I couldn’t teach to paint and be creative. The secret isn’t trying to be perfect, but to have fun. 

Wednesday Words of Wisdom:Do What you love

20 Nov

“I think people who are creative are the luckiest people on earth. I know that there are no shortcuts, but you must keep your faith in something Greater than You, and keep doing what you love. Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.”

Judy Collins
Tis the season…to be creative and Lucky. I am always amazed when I find my lucky pennies. Of course, I find a lot of shiny construction nails and screws in the road, but today, I found a lucky penny and a lucky quarter. It must be my magnetic personality.


I was having a tough time coming up with a motif for my Christmas ornament this year. It’s stressful trying to come up with a new idea every year, seeing as I’ve been painting them for almost twenty years. But, I finally played around with some scenes and found one I liked. Another labor intensive scene, but I do what I love, and love what I do. No shortcuts, just a lot of time, love and patience. The best part is how much the recipients love and treasure my creations.

Here we go!

The production line begins.


A little glitter and it’s perfect.

Tuesday: Time for Brownies, Old Friends and Making New Friends

10 Sep

You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can’t forget. Those are your ‘friends.
Martin Luther King Jr
I had a fun morning at Zumba, dancing my cares and worries away for an hour. Did I ever tell you that I love Zumba? I do. (I did a little dancin’ in the kitchen later, but that’s for another day.) Then, yes, work on a little more unpacking, and then bake some brownies for McKinney Creative Community meeting at 5:30.

I’m slowly getting back into my old routine, and making and baking brownies means making a funny face in the bowl with the mix. It’s a tradition. Silly, but tradition, none the less.

Being in Texas, what better props than a cowboy theme.

Then, off to SPARC, just north of the Square, for McKinney Creative Community, a lovely group of talented artists, writers, dancers and all around fun people. We meet the second Tuesday of each month for a potluck and sharing “new and good.”



What’s nice about this group is, there are the same old regulars, but then always new and interesting people to meet. “Sometimes you meet those people you can’t forget. Those are your friends.”

IMG_0757.JPGOK, I couldn’t pass this up… Here is “A MUG SHOT” of Alyssa and Jill. They are holding handmade mugs made at SPARC.


Saturday: Sit Back and Do Something Special

20 Jul

“I think people who are creative are the luckiest people on earth. I know that there are no shortcuts, but you must keep your faith in something Greater than You, and keep doing what you love. Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.”

Judy Collins
Another whirlwind of a day. I got up early and walked about three miles, then went to Saturday Zumba at 9:30-10:30. I didn’t have my usual writing group, so Zumba was a special treat. Then, scramble home, shower, straighten the house for a showing, and get out the door by 11 am. Can you say, “Run around like a mad woman?”

I decided to hang out on the Square, have my yummy yogurt parfait at Snug, visit Dana and Judy at Art on the Veranda, and then paint champagne flutes at Sweet Spot and visit with my buddies there.

Painting glassware is one of my favorite creative pastimes. It is so gratifying to take a plain ol’ glass item and turn it into a work of art. I haven’t painted in so long, mostly because I don’t want to make a mess in the house, but really, I just haven’t been motivated. I’ve been wanting to work on a project for a special gift, and I knew that I could grab my paints and go over to Sweet Spot Bakery, and just hang out and paint. (It’s great to have friends everywhere.)

I sat by the front window, painted champagne flutes, chatted with friends, and watched people walk by.

A few hours later, here is the beautiful finished product. Now, do you see why this is so much fun? I’ve painted hundreds, if not thousands of items. I’ve taught many, many people how to paint wine glasses, vases, ornaments, etc., when they thought they couldn’t. (I’m just a darn good teacher.)

(Close up)
Yes, I think creative people are the luckiest people on earth. I’m going to keep doing what I love and find a way to get it out to the world. Art on the Veranda has dozens of my painted glassware items for sale in their shop. They display work of many local artists, and offer many fun jewelry, painting, and creative classes, including my wine glass painting workshop. Somewhere down the line, after I get my act together, I’d like to offer some in-home painting parties. I think it would be fun to have a bunch of girlfriends over, drink wine, eat snacks, and learn to paint your very own wine glasses. . “I’d like to teach the world to paint, in perfect harmony…” You knew there’d be a song in there somewhere, didn’t ya?


Wednesday: Words of Wisdom

25 Apr


Excellent words to live by. Everyone has special talents and gifts, and they should be used and shared with everyone. Maybe you can’t draw or paint, but perhaps you bake, sew, sing, or write. Your gift might be being able to make someone smile or laugh. There are so many ways to create. You may not believe you are creative, But YOU ARE! Think about it. What are your gifts and how can you share them?


Words of Wisdom Wednesday

14 Feb

“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not. ”
― Pablo Picasso, Pablo Picasso: Metamorphoses of the Human Form : Graphic Works, 1895-1972

Me and old Pablo have a lot in common. We both have a “different” way of looking at things. Well, my friend Señor Picasso is no longer around, but if he was, he would say, “Si, me gusta… I like that, Toni!”

“I have seen what is and ask…why can’t everyone else see this too?” Everyday activities and tasks present new perspectives. Today, after doing some laundry, I removed the lint from the dryer trap. When I examined it closely, I noticed the beautiful colors and texture. Who else would be in awe of the glory of dryer lint? That would be me. I did a load of darks and reds today, so the lint sheet was dark grey on one side and reddish on the other. With Valentine’s Day being around the corner,…like tomorrow, I decided that a heart would be in order.

I folded the muted colors, bending and twisting the shape around my fingers. It was amazing how the tiny particles of lint from a routine chore like laundry could become a fluffy art form. Yes, I see things differently, but my buddy Picasso would have approved.

Pablo Picasso captured my natural beauty. I posed for him…not really, but I can pretend, can’t I?

A lovely “Lint Heart.”