Tag Archives: SPARC

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.

Saturday at SPARC:) Empty Bowls Project

22 Jan

“When given a special gift, you are obliged to share it with others.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


McKinney has the most amazing and talented artist and residents. The coordinators and volunteers of the annual Empty Bowls charity event are busy all year long, preparing for the upcoming May 12th event.

Local artists were asked to creatively glaze large bowls that were thrown by local talented potters. It’s a cooperative of amazing artists who team up to make and donate beautiful Bowls that will be auctioned on May 12th.

Minda Macias, who is coordinating the artists, gave me a call, asking if I’d like to participate. I’ve been involved since the beginning of the Empty Bowls in McKinney. Of course, I’d be hurt if I wasn’t included.

I picked up my bowl and glazes at SPARC, which stands for St. Peter’s Artist Run Community. Minda and her daughter Alex were hard at work, throwing bowls and setting up artists with glazes and bowls that they were picking up for decorating.

Alex is such a talented young lady. I am the proud owner of many of her beautiful pieces.
I glazed my bowl with several coats of my signature roses, inside and out. When it gets fired, it will be more vibrant in color.
About 45 minutes later…. Voila! Done and ready for firing.

A few of the bowls waiting for firing submitted by local artists.

My friend Lynne Weinberger did this one. Cool!
Here’s one of my donations from last year. I need to get working on another glass bowl with yellow roses. My favorite.

A fun Saturday. Now, I need to get out for a walk before the sun goes down. Adios!

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?

Tuesday: Time Together as a Community 

11 Aug

One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.~Jean Vanier, Community And Growth


When you share your love, time, and talents with others, you help to build a community stronger than any fortress. 

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis 


Another second Tuesday of the month. Time for our monthly McKinney Creative Community Pot Luck gathering at SPARC. Did I “SPARC” your interest?

McKinney has blossomed into an amazing artist community right before my eyes. There are so many talented artists, writers, musicians, dancers, and creative people in our midsts, and these monthly gatherings offer a venue to meet, make friends, share, and learn from one another. 

I always make brownies, but being the goofy creative person that I am , I usually make a funny face in the mix before stirring and baking. Doesn’t everyone?

Last month when we met, the group joined hands like they do before at sporting events before taking the field, or starting a game.  This was a perfect photo op to show our support, strength, and solidarity. This is such a cool picture. Many hands joined together in friendship.  
SPARC is located at 405 N Sherman, easy of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church north of McKinney square. We meet the second Tuesday evening for a pot-luck 5:30-9. A great way to meet people. You don’t have to be a professional artist. Everyone has a talent. Mine is making faces with my brownies. 


Friday: Friends Who Play Together Stay Together and Throw Clay at Each Other

21 Feb

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
You know what’s even more fun than playing all day? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s playing with your good friends, sharing food, ideas, chatting, and learning new things.

Yesterday was a fun play day for me. It started out with an exhilarating Zumba class with Diane, a long walk in the chilly afternoon, dinner with my friend, Lynne, and a fun clay class in the evening with friends.

(L to R) Wendolin, Sherry, instructor Laura, Terree and Lynne.
Several girlfriends met at SPARC, a fantastic artist facility that offers pottery and many other art classes in the historic district of McKinney. Laura Canfield guided us through several clay hand building, glazing, carving, and playing with clay techniques. We are all artists, but none of us experienced in clay or pottery. It’s always fun to create something new and broaden our horizons. And no, we really didn’t throw clay at each other. Maybe next time.

What I love about the art community in McKinney is that so many talented people offer to share their talents and experience with others. We learn so much from each other, but most importantly, we have so much fun. We have become good friends.

Here are some of our playing with clay photos. Thanks Laura.

My 3 tiles on the left and Sherry’s trees on the right.


We all worked on some larger projects. I forgot to take pictures of them all, but here is the cross I made. It has to dry and be fired. Now, how to glaze???


“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Tuesday: To Be or Not To Be…Creative

15 Oct

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
― Albert Einstein
A great Tuesday. An early chilly morning walk at 7:15 am, followed by Zumba at the YMCA at 8:30, some errands and home to bake brownies for Creative Community. Of course, I had to make a funny face with the mix.

I went over to Sweet Spot Bakery on the Square to celebrate Miss Elizabeth’s birthday.

Then, off to McKinney Creative Community that meets the second Tuesday of each month at SPARC, a fun studio space for potters and sculptors. It’s a wonderful networking group of artists, writers, musicians, teachers, or anyone looking to meet other creative people. It’s a potluck venue and the food is always wonderful. After chatting an hour or so, we sit in a big circle and share what’s new and good. Always interesting. Here we are. Say “HI.”


To be or not to be creative?


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.


Friday Fire and Brimstone

28 Jun

“There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.”
― Vincent van Gogh
I’m not sure what brimstone is, but if it is anything as spectacular as the fabulous raku pottery that was being fired this evening at SPARC (St. Peter’s Artist Run Community), then you can see that “there may be a great fire in our soul.”

SPARC celebrated their grand opening this evening with guest potters, including Kym Owens from Sunset Canyon Pottery, Steve Macias, Laura Canfield, and other local potters.

Steve, with the help of other potters, demonstrated outdoor raku firing all evening, while inside, beautiful pottery was on display, and potters were on hand to share their creative expertise.

It was a warm McKinney night, the kiln was crazy hot, the company warm and friendly, but the artists, potters and friends enjoyed a wonderful evening of creativity.

SPARC is located at 405 N. Sherman Street, McKinney, TX 75069 and can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sparc405. There offer weekly hand-building, private wheel and pottery classes, workshops, parties, date nights and girls night out.


Steve Macias is an amazing potter.



Local artists display their work.