Tag Archives: Empty bowls

Friday:) Friends, Fun on the Square, and My Firemen

18 Mar

“Just when you’re all excited about going to The Pantry Restaurant on the Square, getting chicken fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, and a side of fried okra, you realize it’s Lent, it’s Friday and you’re Catholic.” Bummer

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Today was a fun Friday. I met my old friend Linda for lunch at the Pantry. Then, I remembered it was Lent. Bummer. But, I did get a double order of fried okra, and I had the chance to visit and catch up with Linda.

I love fried okra. I never had it until I moved to Texas. Good stuff.

We enjoyed our three hour lunch, and walked around the Square a bit.

There was a cool mural over by the CASA building. It beckoned for a photo op. The ladder looks so real.
More fun murals.

After our stroll, I was headed over to the St. Peter’s Church Office to see if I could drop of my bowl donations for Empty Bowls. I plugged in the address into my GPS because I wasn’t sure where Foote Street was. When I I parked in the empty lot, I remembered that Minda said the office closed at noon on Friday. Oops!

So, here’s the funny part. I thought, hmmm? Maybe I’ll take my chances and see if anyone is over at SPARC, the ceramic art studio that is somewhere near St. Peter’s. Maybe I could drop my bowls off there. I plugged the address into my GPS and it said 1 minute walk. Hmm? Must be close. I clicked on start for directions when I noticed the studio was just on the other side of the parking lot where I was, right behind a row of bushes. Boy, did I feel foolish. I am not directionally challenged. I’m just in a different time dimension for this planet Called earth. 🤦‍♀️

Both Minda and Alex Macias were there, and I was able to drop off my donations. I also got a chance to see a bunch of the other artist bowls created by other local artists. Wow! This year is going to be an amazing event. I didn’t take pictures so as not to spoil the surprise. There will be an artist preview event next Saturday. I’ll share some photos then. I’m excited!

Well, to finish my Friday with more alliteration, I dropped off some of my “bad ass brownies” for my firefighter friends at Station 9 the other day.

Happy Friday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Some Awesome Artists

9 Mar

“The artist has one function–to affirm and glorify life.”

— W. Edward Brown


Woa! It was really hard waking up this morning with the time change. If you know me, you know I’m not a fan of change, much less one where I lose an hour of sleep. The 7 AM alarm was greeted with a few expletives. But, I rolled out of bed and looked forward to church, friends, and enjoying my day.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus leading some disciples up the mountain where he was transfigured in a bright light, joined by Moses and Elijah. Later…

While he was still speaking, behold,

a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,

then from the cloud came a voice that said,

“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;

listen to him.”

When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate

and were very much afraid.

But Jesus came and touched them, saying,

“Rise, and do not be afraid.”

And when the disciples raised their eyes,

they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

My take on it… even though the disciples were afraid after witnessing and hearing such powerful and frightening things, Jesus comforted them and told them not to be afraid. I think we all, if we haven’t already, are going to experience confusing, overwhelming, or terrifying experiences in our lives. If we have faith, God will comfort us and tell us not to be afraid, and He will send us earthly angels, in disguise as family and friends to help us through our darkest hours. (Just my personal experience.)


Now for the awesome artists and friends in my life. Yesterday, my friend and awesome author, Allison Bottke, invited me to go with her to the farmer’s market, shopping, and lunch. It was a great day for scooting around town. I love seeing my talented friends who work the market.

Alex and Minda Macias, very talented potters and terrific friends. The bowl that Alex is holding found a new home at my house.

Allison and I bought up the last of the mango pineapple y habañero salsa from Bernard’s Salsa. (Best salsa I’ve ever had.) My pantry is fully stocked now.

After the market, we stopped at Goodwill and did some power thrifting. We both found all kinds of treasures. Then, off for a late lunch. When I got home, I only had a little time before scooting off to The Cove for the Empty Bowls preview event. Several of my bowls were on display, and I took along a few blank bowls to paint while I visited.

Just when I think I’m pretty talented, I see the other magnificent bowls that will be auctioned or raffled off at the Empty Bowls Event on April 30th, then I am in awe.

As you can see, there is a lot of artistic talent right here in McKinney, and I am proud to know most of these artists and call them friends. How blessed am I?

It was a great weekend. I hope yours was too.

Saturday:) Strange Cold Weather, Warm Veggies, and More Empty Bowls

31 Mar

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.”

~Bill Bowerman


Yesterday was warm t-shirt weather. Today, I bundled up for my walk. What a difference a day makes.

When I got home, I finally got around to cutting up and roasting a huge pan of veggies. They were yummy. Yesterday brownies, today veggies. I’m just all over the map weather-wise and baking-wise.

After walking the dog, a late lunch, and packing up more paint and bowls, I headed off to another evening at The Cove. My friend Helene joined me. I sat and painted five more bowls. Yesterday was bluebonnets, today was red roses. I forgot to take pictures, but Helene took a video, but it didn’t transfer to my phone that clearly.

The two day meet the artists event for Empty Bowls was very successful. Now, we just wait for May16th and the big event. It will be amazing. We have some of the most amazing artists and potters here in McKinney.

Saturday:) Some Seriously Special Friends

3 Feb

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”

~Oprah Winfrey


The first Friday of the month, I visit my dear friends over at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. We paint, draw, eat, laugh, tell stories, sing songs and share fun times together. I had prepared a wonderful feast for our dinner break of pasta salad, hot dogs, brownies, chips, Dr. Pepper and brownies. I packed up two big bins of food and art supplies. We were going to work on painting more bowls for the upcoming Empty Bowls Fundraiser.

I arrived at 2:30 and unpacked all the supplies. I put the food in the fridge and set up the tables, lining up the bowls to be painted. Guess what? I forgot the glass paint at home. How do you paint without the right paint? Duh! The good news is that I did bring a container of brushes and permanent markers. The markers will adhere and stay on the ceramic bowls. Not paint, but almost as good. I also brought some blank notecards, and we painted and stenciled some cards.

Here’s what I created real quick in between setting up, helping out, demonstrating, and cooking.

We finished up our bowls and cards then sat down for our Friday feast.

Feeling blessed with so many special friends.

Also, when I made brownies for “my ladies,” as I like to call them, I made an extra batch for “my firemen” friends over at Fire Station 9.

It was funny. While we sat around talking and eating, I was telling my ladies all about the country dances at the senior center. They meet every Monday at 1pm, but they have an evening dance the first Friday of the month with a live band. I was thinking about going, but I didn’t feel like going alone. Miss Dorothy said that she’d be happy to go with me. So, after we cleaned up and packed up, Dorothy and I went to the dance at 7. It was fun. There were about 125 people there, and I even bumped into a few friends…literally. That line dancing can be dangerous, especially when you don’t know what you’re doing, like me.

I have been blessed with so many really special friends,

Friday Friends:) YAH YAHs~ Young At Heart Artists

5 Jan

“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”

― Franz Kafka


Back in the saddle, back to my routine. I got up, had a cup of tea, checked my emails, then off to the store. The first Friday of the month, I volunteer over at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. On that day, I go to the store and decide what I’ll prepare for our feast. Today, I bought 2 pizzas, red velvet cake, salted caramel ice cream, ginger ale, and fixins for popcorn/pretzel, peanuts/goldfish snack mix.

First, I picked up a prescription, went to the bank, stopped at Papa Murphy to say hi to Miss Karri, then the grocery store. On the way home, I picked up Bella at Mr. Mike’s, so I could doggie sit a couple of days. I walked the dog, then packed up art supplies for Towne Creek. We were going to work on painting glass bowls for the Empty Bowls charity event coming up.

We had fun painting our bowls. While they were finishing up the first layer of paint, I turned on the oven to bake the pizzas. The smoke sector started blaring when I put the pizzas in the oven. Miss Katie and I took some cardboard and started fanning at the ceiling. The chirping stopped. Darn, maybe those cute firemen would have had to make a quick visit. We had plenty of food to share.

We gathered our hands and said a prayer of thanks. We ate our red velvet cake and ice cream first. Life is short, eat dessert first. We also had a champagne toast to the new year. Of course, it was only ginger ale, but the cute plastic glasses made it feel like real champagne.

My lovely artist friends make me feel so loved and so important. I even have them trained to say…”Toni is …AMAZING!” The cool part is, they actually think so. How blessed am I? After we cleaned up and packed up, I went upstairs to visit with Miss Nelma who couldn’t make it down. Her doctor ordered total bed rest. I took her some food, showed her a zillion baby pictures, and photos of our painting project. We had a nice visit.

Another day to be thankful for.

Black Russian Friday… as soon as I post this. Cheers!!!!

Friday:) Friends Feeding the Hungry

13 Jul

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”

Hélder Câmara


Monday, after our McKinney Creative potluck meeting, I scooted over to St. Peter’s for another meeting about the next Empty Bowls Fundraiser. Jamie St.Clair, Empty Bowls Event Coordinator, invited artisans who had been involved in creating, donating, and organizing workshops for making the beautiful bowls distributed at the event. It was a brainstorming session on how we felt this year’s event faired and how to improve next year’s.

The most exciting part was the final result of the fundraiser, $75,000 was raised, which provides over 80% of the food allotment for the Community Lifeline Center. That is fantastic. Every year the event gets bigger and more popular, and the main reason is word of mouth and the generous people who donate their time, talents, and money for feeding the hungry in their community.

If every community and every person who has a little extra could help someone who needs a helping hand, there would be no hunger. McKinney is trying to do its part, one little step at a time.

The Macias family, all talented potters and generous with their time and talent.

The next Empty Bowls Event isn’t until next year, but artists and volunteers are already preparing. It takes 364 days to plan and execute this wonderful one day fundraiser. What can you do to help feed the hungry?

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:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni? Disaster!

23 Feb

“I don’t cry over spilt milk, but don’t even get me started on broken handpainted glassware.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“You have to jump into disaster with both feet.” ― Chuck Palahniuk


I was so excited about my donation for the upcoming EMPTY BOWLS charity event. I painted a very large glass vessel with white trees and red cardinals. It took a couple of days, and it turned out great. I wanted to make sure it was perfect, so I decided to bake it in the oven, as I do for all my other painted glassware. Heat setting makes the paint more duarable. I let it air dry for several days, then put it in the oven along with  a pair of bluebonnet martini glasses that I painted for Mr. Jerry. It’s supposed to bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Well, somewhere in between 15 minutes and KABOOM, I heard an explosion in the kitchen. I went to the other room and looked in the oven. Yep! Broken glass all over. I never had glass explode before.

The good news…the martini glasses survived and the oven window didn’t get damaged. The bad news…my beautiful bowl was smashed to smithereens, and there was a huge mess of broken glass and shards in the oven. 

Also…I cut my finger while cleaning up.

More good news, Mr. Jerry, my friend from church, really enjoyed his gift.

Here’s some info on the McKinney event for Empty Bowls at MPAC.

Empty Bowls McKinney was started in 2012 to combat hunger in northern Collin County. Artists, art studios and members of the community create handcrafted bowls. Guests are invited to sample soups from local vendors and to take home a handmade bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world due to hunger. Our event supports the food pantry at Community Lifeline Center.

Participating Restaurants Include: 

Bien Salsa, Blount Fine Foods, Caudalie Crest Winery, The Celt Irish Pub, Game Day Foods, Harvest Seasonal Kitchen, Hug’s Cafe, Local Yocal Farm to Market, McKinney’s Sweet Spot, Patina Green, The Pub, Rye Craft Food and Drink, SNUG on the Square, Square Burger, TUPPS Brewery and Whole Foods Market.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, February 21, 2017. Small service fees apply. General admission tickets are $25 on-line and $30 at the door. Children 10 & under are free.

Thu, April 27, 2017

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM CDT

McKinney Performing Arts Center

111 North Tennessee Street

McKinney, TX 75069

Saturday:) Some Special Senior Artists and Some More Sunset Snaps

6 Mar

“You are never too old to care, and you are never too old to share.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


The first Friday of the month is my day to visit and paint with my artist friends at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. The last three meetings,  we’ve been working on painting bowls for the EMPTY BOWLS fundraiser on April 14. The event raises money to combat hunger in our community, and this year proceeds will be donated to Community Lifeline Center.

I stopped at the store on my way to pick up a few more bowls. I thought we might get 6 or 7 painted, but I picked up a dozen, just to have extras. I had painted a few examples at home to give them some ideas. I always bring a snack or something fun to eat. I brought a delicious and beautifully decorated chocolate cake and baked potatoes.Weird combo, but they enjoyed it.

After a quick demo of dip dot daisies and then an abstract swatch/dot method, all 12 of the bowls got painted with time to spare. Time for the bowls to dry somI could bring them home to bake, and time for our snack. 

The ladies not only had a great time, but they also felt very accomplished and proud that they would be able to help the hungry with their painted bowls. 

Look how proud they are and how beautiful the bowls turned out. Miss Nelma(left top), Miss Kathy (right top) Miss Bonnie (center). It was a good day.

Here’s my sunset snaps from this evening. Always a miracle in the sky.


Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom

29 Oct

“The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.” ~ Jim Rohn***********

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of joining a few local artists at SPARC. Artist/potter, Laura Canfield has been hosting clay pot throwing and creative glazing in preparation for next year’s Empty Bowls fundraiser. I enjoy the impromptu process of decorating a bowl with glaze, knowing that it will find its way to good home, and the money raised will help,feed the hungry.

Laura has been donating her time and talents to the community for many years, as have dozens of local artists. I feel blessed to know these fine folks and be part of this creative and sharing community. They all love what they do and always happy to share.

These bowls will be bold, beautiful, and shiny once they have been kiln fired. 

Here’s one that I glazed last month.

I love being an artist and a writer. I get to create beautiful works of art, then I get to write about it. Doubley blessed. 

“The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.” ~ Jim Rohn

What have you become?