Tag Archives: St. Gabriel the Archangel

Saturday:) Some More Sanctuary Sketches

21 May

“Do what you love and love what you do, and keep doing it.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It had been a while since I did some sketching at St. Gabriel after Adoration. It was nice to get back at it. It wasn’t really quiet and peaceful, as they were having a rehearsal for the Deacon Ordination. But, the hustle and bustle was not a factor.

I chose one of the recently installed windows behind the altar.
I was kind of happy there were no faces to try and master. I still have trouble with faces.
My finished pencil sketch… now for the cool Artisto App renderings. My favorite part.
I love them all. I can’t decide which ones I like best.

Ppl Saturday, my friends.

Saturday:) Some More Sanctuary Sketches ~The Agony in the Garden

13 Mar

“Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love.”
― George Eliot


This sketch took several days and many hours of sketching. I loved the compassion of the angel and the comfort Jesus found in the arms of the angel.

Many quiet hours sketching at St. Gabriel the Archangel.
My finished sketch.

Now, for the fun renditions on my Artisto app.

A few of my favorites. I think I’m improving with practice. Which one do you like best?

Saturday:) Some More Sanctuary Sketches

27 Feb

“Passion can be found in something as simple as a pencil and paper.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


More meditative and quiet time sketching in the Sanctuary At St. Gabriel the Archangel. The preliminary basic sketch takes a couple of hours. I’ll take a photo of the stained glass window or the statue, then finish it at home. Many hours go into a final sketch. I don’t think they’d let me sit at church into the wee hours of the night. Well, maybe they wouldn’t mind.

Here’s a good one. Turning water into wine. Jesus’s first miracle. Plus, He listened to His momma.
Preliminary sketch. A lot of erasing and sketching and erasing.
Finished sketch, many days and hours later.

Now for the fun part. My Artisto phone app makes the magic happen.

I think I’m partial to this soft pencil app. Do you have a favorite? There are a few other app renderings, but these are my favorites. I’m sure you can see why I love my sketching time.

Saturday:) Some More Sanctuary Sketches

13 Feb

“Your life is a beautiful blank canvas. You have the choice of splashing it with the most gorgeous and spectacular colors, by doing what you love.”
― Hiral Nagda


My life has been a beautiful blank canvas. My drawing, painting, writing, singing, dancing, and other creative endeavors are all amazing gifts and blessings. One thing that keeps me grounded and appreciative has been my quiet time sketching stained glass windows or statues at St. Gabriel the Archangel. The empty Sanctuary is an inspirational source for meditation and creativity.

I am doing what I love in a place that I love. That makes it so special.

My finished pencil sketch. Now to add my Artisto applications.
These are just a few of my favorites. I can’t decide which one I like the best. I do love splashing it with spectacular colors.

Your life is a beautiful blank canvas. You have the choice of splashing it with the most gorgeous and spectacular colors, by doing what you love.”
― Hiral Nagda

Saturday:) Sanctuary Sketches

9 Jan

“All sorrows are less with bread. ”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra


With the holidays, traveling, and trying to get back into the swing of things, it’s been good to get back to church to do some quiet meditative sketching.

Sharing bread.
A simple sketch. It looks simple, but about five or six or seven hours later, erasing, frowning, smudging, with a dose of total dissatisfaction…
Done… now the fun part, playing with my Artisto app…
Just a few of my favorites. Which do you like best?

Happy Saturday, my friends. ❤️

Thankful Thursday:) Feeling Blessed

31 Dec

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

Robert Brault


Today was my first full day being back home after the holidays and birthday celebrations back in Chicago. The first order of business was to stay under the warm cozy covers until the cows came home. Seeing as I had no cows, I got up somewhere after 10 am.

I checked my bare refrigerator in search of some sustenance for the morning, and found none.

I could have had a mustard, mayo, relish, cheese sandwich, but I had no bread. So, I made a cup of green tea, without fresh lemon, and called Helene to catch up after being gone all month. I said I was going to run over to church, sketch a little in the Sanctuary, get something to eat and run to the store. I asked if she’d like to meet me, and she agreed. Off to church on an empty stomach.
St. Gabriel was totally empty, the offices were closed and there was no Adoration. The beautiful bright red poinsettias lined the front steps and flanked the altar. A serene scene.
I lit a candle and put money in the St. Vincent de Paul donation box, as is my tradition. I said my prayer of , “Thank you for Your blessings,” then, I sat alone with my sketchpad and pencil in the complete stillness of the church. (I need to finish the sketch and post another day.)

Helene met me later and we went for a quick taco at NomNom, then off to Tom Thumb to replenish my very sad and empty refrigerator. They had a good sale, and I was in need of a lot.

Now, my fridge is happy. Tomorrow is Friday, so I needed my chocolate almond milk, and a pizza for dinner and spinach. I need my spinach.

I started opening some of my mail, but there were just too many items, so I opened a few bills and such. I opened a package from my friend Mary, from church. She sent me a couple of lovely kitchen towels with a Southwestern theme. Helene gave me a cute towel, too. And somehow, I’m still receiving monthly issues of THE WRITER magazine, from I don’t know who.

Later, I opened the big box that Joe and Lindsay sent me for Christmas. I had to hang it up right away. It is a very appropriate Biblical quote.

I think the Book of Guacamole is somewhere between Psalms and the Book of Paul to the Corinthians. 🤦‍♀️

As you can see, I am very blessed and have much to be thankful for on this lovely Thursday, and just about every day. It’s good to be home, but it’s sad to be away from family.

Happy Thursday, my friends.

Friday:)Fixin’ Stuff For the St. Gabriel’s Holiday Boutique, Friends, and My Firemen

5 Nov

“We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together.”

Bill Richardson


Well, another late night baking, frosting and packaging mini cupcakes for the church bake sale. Helene baked up a storm too.

If you think that’s a lot, you should see what the Woman’s Club has collected and decorated so far over at church.
They literally have hundreds of plates, containers, tins, etc. of yummy desserts, cakes, pies, brownies, fudge, cupcakes, and more.
The Woman’s Club and Men’s Club will spend ALL day working together ready for tomorrow. They had to cancel last year, so this year will be over the top fantastic.
Needless to say, I always share with my firemen. (Station 9)
Station 5. (I don’t get over here as often)

Happy Friday, my friends. And I’m sure you are wondering how many of these cupcakes I eat. I’ve only had 2 so far.)

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?


Saturday Celebration At St. Gabriel’s~ 25th Anniversary

26 Sep

“Life is a celebration. Consider everything that makes you happy as a gift from God and say, ‘Thank you.”
― Francis Lucille


This evening after the 5 o’clock Mass, the parishioners of St. Gabriel the Archangel celebrated their 25th Anniversary. There usually is a church picnic in the fall, but this was a good time to have an anniversary celebration. Dallas Auxiliary Bishop Kelly presided over the Mass, seeing as he was the original pastor 25 years ago, it was an honor for him and the parishioners.

A lot of volunteers and donors provided a wonderful outdoor celebration complete with tents, DJ, fun activities for the kids, free food and drinks. Last Sunday, they announced the reminder… “And free beer and wine, I repeat, free beer and wine.”

Father Don, our Pastor, thanked everyone, especially Bishop Kelly for making St. Gabe’s such a wonderful family.
Bishop Kelly enjoyed visiting his old stomping grounds and talking to old friends. The once small parish he started 25 years ago now has over 4,000 families. And you know those Catholics. They have a lot of kids.
It was nice to run into old friends, and see new faces and families.
Talk about old friends. Fire Station 5 had a truck and EMS vehicle there. I said, “Hi guys, it’s Miss Toni.” The reply was, “Oh, the lady that brings us all the goodies all the time.” The truck was for the kids to admire and ring the bell, and I guess the EMS vehicle was for any medical emergencies or for all those free beer and wine overindulges. (Just kidding?) Catholics don’t drink much…haha.

It was a lovely evening, and I feel blessed to be part of the St. Gabriel Family.

Saturday:) Special Sanctuary Sketches

19 Sep

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.”

~Richard Bach


I have been finding great joy and peace during my visits to St. Gabriel’s for Adoration and meditative sketching in the Sanctuary. I started a sketch two weeks ago, but never got around to finishing it until this evening. It’s the stained glass window called, “The Visitation.”

Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, both pregnant. Elizabeth carrying the baby John the Baptist who leaps in her womb when in the presence of Mary and her son Jesus, in Mary’s womb. “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.”
My finished pencil sketch. Now, to apply the awesome Artisto applications.
A few of my favorites.