Tag Archives: McKinney

Saturday:) A Special Day on the Square~ McKinney Día de Los Muertos

17 Oct

“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.”

– George Eliot


Today, McKinney celebrated the first Día de los Muertos Festival on the Square. I wasn’t sure how well the turnout would be, as it was the first year of the event. It was fantastic. I was honored to be one of the judges of the costume contest, and I was excited to participate in making and decorating some of the crowns and prizes. So, I’ll just show you some of the cool pictures.

Winners of the Family and Catrin and Catrina prizes
Los Bebes winners and other contestants.
There were vendors, artists, food trucks, entertainment, and music. Lots of music.

There were a lot of people dressed in colorful costumes.
A fun day with friends, music, dancing, and celebrating those who have gone on before us. “Never forget.”

Remember my friends, life is short, so enjoy every minute and celebrate.

Friday:) Finally Ready for Día de Los Muertos

15 Oct

“I’m not really a procrastinator. I just do my best work at the last minute.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Well, to or row is the big day. Mc Kinney’s first Dia de Los Muertos Festival on the Square. I’ve been busy designing and creating some crowns and headbands for the awards. Also, Blynda asked me to write the date and info on the cool statues she purchased for the first place winners, El Catrin, La Catrina, and Los Bebes,

I stayed up till almost 2 am last night, and got almost everything finished. Today, I worked on a few simple headbands and putting together the postage stamps and cards that my sister, Jo Ann kindly donated in honor of my mother.

A photo of Mom’s favorite painting, “Just Like You.”
Last minute taping and writing.
And a little time to decorate my front door.

If you’re in McKinney, stop by Saturday on the Square. October 16, 12-9pm.

Happy Friday, my friends!

Saturday:) Some More Sanctuary Sketches

3 Oct

“Each sketch, each drawing, each painting brings me closer to the realization that…I’ll never be a world famous artist. But, it sure is a wonderful learning experience.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Thursday afternoon, I drove over to St. Gabriel’s for Adoration and sketching in the Sanctuary. I had started a sketch of the crucifix above the altar the week before, but I didn’t get very far. For some reason, the depth of the symbolism is quite distracting. Could I possibly do it justice? This crucifix reference happens to be the very first in my series of Sanctuary Sketches many months back. I gave that original sketch to Father Don that day when he was giving the new seminarian a tour of the church. I realized that wanted to have an original sketch of my own to keep. Not to mention, I’ve gotten a tiny bit better in my drawing skills since then.

My rough draft and proportions were a bit off. I didn’t realize until I was fully committed that I ran out of room for Jesus’ feet. Oh no. When I sketch, I try and leave white space at the top and bottom for my photos and applications. Oops!
I always take a photo of my subject so I can zoom in on the detail and also to finish up at home. Otherwise I’d be at church all day.
Time to go home and finish up another day.
OK, here’s my funny story. I didn’t like how poor Jesus had no feet. So, I got another sheet of watercolor paper and added it to the bottom, just adding a little extension to the feet and cross. Unfortunately, it left a little line on the photo. I was happy with most the rest of the sketch. But, I was hoping the apps on Artisto wouldn’t make the line too pronounce.
Some of the Artisto applications….
I think this one might be my favorite. Very simple and soft. Which one do you like best?


Thursday:) “These Little Children”

1 Oct

“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Jesus speaking Mark 9:37 NIV


Helene and I stopped over at Holy Family School the other day. We try and get over there about once a month with our fabulous finds of snacks, cereal, juice, baby necessities, or art supplies for the children. Every month is a fun adventure of shopping sales for the school.

The best part of our adventure is visiting the school with all our special treats and the smiling faces that greet us.

Miss Rachel helped us carry in all our bags.
Miss Sondra was just about to have her lunch when we popped in.
The children were up in their classrooms, but here is an old photo that shows exactly why we do what we do. Look at those beautiful smiling faces.

The video below tells a little bit about the wonderful non-profit faith-based pre-school.

“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Jesus speaking Mark 9:37 NIV

Saturday:) Some More Sanctuary Sketches

15 Aug

“Truly, sacred rest is soul care. We honor quiet time alone with God. We intentionally step away from the chaos of life. We unplug from noise and distractions. We relish moments of tranquility.”
― Dana Arcuri


As promised yesterday, more on my stop at St. Gabriel for Adoration and Sanctuary sketching. After my fulminating experience and long wait at the doctor’s office, I stopped at the chapel for Adoration then into the main sanctuary for a little alone time with God and my sketchpad.

The stained glass window that I wanted to sketch was in the back of the church, so there was no comfortable way to lean over or sit backwards to face the back. So, seeing as I was the only person in the entire place, I went way back into the vestibule and found a folding chair. I set it up smack-dab in the middle of the main aisle facing the beautiful back window.
Here’s how I started my sketch. I’m never very happy with the initial process. (He looks like a homeless hippie dude, saying , “What’s up, man?”) Plus, it’s hard to get a lot of detail with a pencil and from an object so far away and up near the ceiling. Sometimes “ya gotta wing it.” I have a funny unofficial caption for this one.

CAPTION: “Father, look what they’re doing to this beautiful planet that you gave them. OY VEY!”

I sketched for a little over an hour. I usually get the main details in, then go home and finish the rest with my photograph for a reference. I try not to add too much detail because my Artisto app on my phone creates some awesome images.

Finished sketch, ready for some Artisto app magic.
Just a few of my favorites.
I can’t decide which one I like the best. There are about 15 to pick from. These are my favorites.

Happy Saturday, my friends!

Thursday:) McKinney Empty Bowls 2021

30 Apr

“After a full belly all is poetry.”
― Frank McCourt


This evening was the wonderful McKinney Empty Bowls event at MPAC on the Square. The annual charity event supports Community LifeLine, which helps feed the less fortunate in our community. The rain held off, with threatening clouds and drizzle all day. We lucked out.

I was honored that my bowl was displayed front and center of the display with all the other awesome handcrafted auction bowls.
There were hundreds of event bowls that were available with the purchase of a ticket, and others for an additional fee. These were created by volunteers, church and school groups, and other donations.
There was entertainment and many restaurants and area food vendors donated soups and desserts to feed the visitors.

Local potters were on hand to show the art of throwing clay bowls. My friend Steve Macias was busy creating beautiful bowls.

Bernard’s Gourmet Foods won People’s Choice for their black bean soup. I’ll have to agree. Congratulations David Bernard!

A big thank you to all the volunteers, donors, artists and visitors who came together to support Community LifeLine and feeding the hungry, “ONE BOWL AT A TIME.”

Saturday on the Square:) Arts In Bloom 2021

11 Apr

“Art is in the air, art is everywhere, must be because… it’s Arts In Bloom on the Square.”

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It was the perfect afternoon for Arts In Bloom on the Square In Downtown McKinney today. The three day festival had a shaky windy start Friday evening, but today was gorgeous and tomorrow should be even nicer. Yay!

Helen and I met Sherri, walked around a little, then had a yummy lunch at The Pantry. The Square was packed and we ran into a lot of friends and artists on our adventures.

So many talented friends, so much to see, so little time.
Musicians performed along the streets and the wine tasting venue was hopping.
Colorful flowers, crowded streets, food vendors, packed restaurants, and artwork everywhere. Many people were wearing their masks, unless they were eating or drinking. (But, most everyone was eating and drinking) We had our masks on except for photo ops.
Of course, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to take a photo with a few of McKinney FD’s finest. A few familiar faces under those masks.
There was also a nice representation of McKinney PD officers.
A fine fun day was had by all.

Friday:) Finally Back at Towne Creek, Friends, Food, and My McKinney Firefighters.

3 Apr

I’d like to be settled into somewhat of a normal life. Somewhat. I know it’s never going to be completely normal.

Michael Jordan


Well, today was the day. The first time in exactly a year since Helene and I were able to go to Towne Creek Senior Apartments for our arts and crafts group. We were both so excited. We took enough food, drinks, snacks, and art projects to last a month. I’ll show you the baking and food frenzy another time.

The ladies made all kinds of Easter projects. Bunny bags, wooden cross hangers, and cross book marks.
Helene and I made up bag lunches with lots of food and goodies, plus extra to take home for later. It was a fun afternoon.

On my way home, I stopped off at Station 9 to drop off some Peep cupcakes. I had stopped at 1:30 on my way to Towne Creek, but everyone was out on a call. On my way home around 6, I caught them in the middle of dinner. Just in time for dessert.

It’s almost 9 pm, I’ve been on my feet all day and I’m exhausted… in a good way. Thank goodness it’s Friday.

Cheers, my friends!

Wednesday:) What’s Happenin’ In My World

4 Mar

“It’s okay to be crazy and scared and brave at the same time!”
― Kelly Epperson


This certainly is a crazy scary world nowadays, but life goes on. And, we have to make the best of it, so it’s okay to be crazy and scared and brave. Hopefully, that will include being smart and exclude being stupid.

I’m trying to continue on with my life, being careful and considerate. I’ve gotten my first dose of vaccine and have an appointment for my second next week. Even then, I will continue to wear my mask and try to keep others safe. But, I’ll still do my thing.

Yesterday, Helene and I masked up and went over to Holy Family School with a trunk load of our donations for the little ones. We stock up on sales every week and about once a month, we drive over to the east side for our “happy fix.” We had baby wipes, Gold Fish crackers, juice, cereal, bottled water, and other snacks. The staff is always happy to see us, and we love peeking in on the little ones napping or going out to the playground.

It was kinda funny, today, on my Facebook memories from last year on this day, this cute photo popped up. (Pre-scary Covid time.)

When Helene and I were leaving downtown McKinney, we spotted the mounted patrol putting the horses in the trailer for their rest and lunch break. (The horses, not the officers. Well, maybe them too.) Officer John even recognized me with my mask and said, “Haven’t seen you in a long time.” Officer Kevin said the same, and the horses were glad to get a pat on the nose and a gentle nuzzle. Do you think they remember me, too?

Aren’t they adorable! The horses….well, the officers too.

Today, I met my friend Krys for a quick lunch and to pick up my order. She had sewn some special order items for my little granddaughters. I wanted to get them shipped before Easter, so she’s been working diligently. Not easy with the power outages we had. (Thanks Krys)

Aren’t they magnificent! Krys works wonders with fabric, and my little girls love the special handmade gifts. I ordered two identical sets so there is no fussing or confusion down the line. I have the most talented friends. If you want to contact Krys Watson, let me know.

Well, that’s what I’ve been up to the last couple of days. Keeping busy and trying to stay out of trouble. (That’s not always easy.) Happy Wednesday, my friends.

Toni’s Tuesday Time-lapse Painting Video:) Yellow Roses

23 Feb

“The perfect gift from the heart is made with your hands.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


This year, I painted another large glass bowl with yellow roses for Empty Bowls. People love their yellow roses down here in Texas. So, I did a quick video of just the first layer of the painting process using only three colors of FolkArt Enamel Paint. Yellow, white and sage green.


As you can see, I like to work in a very neat and well organized environment…. said NO artist ever! 🤦‍♀️👩🏻‍🎨
The finished product… ta-da…

I was so honored that my donation auction bowl last year for the Empty Bowls auction sold for $350! Wow! Let’s see how well the yellow roses do this year.

Way cool!