Saturday:) Still Time to See Silky Hart’s Exhibit at The Cove

22 Sep

“Life is the ultimate artistic masterpiece, and it’s up to you, the creator, to make it as wildly dazzling as possible.”

― Laura Resau


Last night was the opening reception of Silky Hart’s exhibit at The Cove entitled OAXACA FIESTA.

Yesterday, I had brownies in the oven, anticipating the exhibit, when the skies opened up. It was raining and storming, lightning flashing in the sky. My weather alert on my phone sounded flood advisory. So, I did what any good friend would do. I wrapped up the brownies in layers of plastic, grabbed a raincoat and very carefully and slowly worked my way to The Cove. The streets were already filling with streams of rain. Well worth the effort. It is a lovely, colorful exhibit.

The Cove is located just north of the historic McKinney Square at 402 N. Tennessee St. in McKinney, Tx

You can also check out her work and get more information at

Friday:) Fun Painting With Coffee

21 Sep

“Chaos and clutter are very conducive to creativity.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Good painting is like good cooking; it can be tasted, but not explained.”

~Maurice de Vlaminck


Last week at the Art Club of McKinney meeting, we all played around with painting with coffee. Our guest artist was Modesto Aceves, who demonstrated some wonderful techniques. Seeing as I don’t drink coffee of have any at home, I gathered up some of the remaining samples and poured them into a little bottle. I vowed to practice and experiment when I got home, but, you know how that goes.

So, the other day, after hours of wasting time and fooling around on Facebook and emailing, I decided to put away the electronic demon devices and paint. I painted with the coffee I brought home, but then I had a brilliant idea. I could paint with beet juice. I love canned beets, so I opened a can, ate all the beets and saved the liquid for painting. I’m so resourceful!

The only BAD part about painting with coffee is, I don’t like the smell and the paintings continue to preserve their coffee smell. Oh, how I sacrifice for my art.

Here is my messy kitchen table. Chaos and clutter are very conducive to creativity.

This is the one I did at Art Club…

My first experiment was a coffee cup. Smells like coffee, too.

Then, I painted a bird using a stencil design. Note: the coffee bleeds under the stencil, so I had to touch it up, blending and adding to the antique look. I was trying to see if this would work for my senior art group.

I love crosses, so I painted a rustic cross.

I thought a flower would be nice. This is called the Coffee Cala lily. I just made that up…

I experimented with a small 8×10 canvas. The coffee did adhere to the canvas ok. The only negative drawback to painting with thicker coffee, although it leaves a beautiful shiny glimmer, it’s rather sticky. First I drew some designs with Elmer’s glue, let it dry, then brushed on the coffee, later outlyining with a thicker blend.

Last but not least, my experiment with beet juice. I realized that this particular can was pickled beets instead of plain. It had a little sugar and vinegar that made it a little sticky too. Not too bad though.

Thus was a day of playing and painting with weird stuff.

Thursday:) THIS IS THE DAY!!!! North Texas Giving Day

20 Sep

“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.”

― Abraham Lincoln



I wrote a blog the other day asking friends and family if they had just $10 or $20 to spare or to share, would they consider donating it to a very worthy cause? Today is North Texas Giving Day, and there are hundreds of charities that are hoping for donations. But, I have become very involved in the Bella House organization here in North Texas. There are many charities helping homeless animals, or maintaining historic buildings, or preserving wildlife, BUT, Bella House lovingly reaches out to young homeless expectant women who have no place to live and no one to turn to. They are scared and alone. I can’t even imagine that feeling. Can you?

I know you have charities near and dear to your heart, but if I asked you, “Hey, do you have $10 to spare?” You most likely would reach into your pocket and hand it to me, no questions asked. So, that’s what I’m doing today.

You may have already donated today, but “Hey, do you have $10 to spare for ME?”

My sister, Jo Ann, has already made a very generous donation directly to the address below. You don’t have to use the NTX Giving Day site. You may feel more comfortable sending a check. Any amount is greatly appreciated.

Love you! ❤️

The Bella House

P.O. Box 940802

Plano TX 75094

10 Reasons why donors should give to the Bella House via

1. It’s a Community-wide Celebration! North Texas Giving Day is an event that lifts up giving by engaging the entire community to support The BELLA HOUSE; celebrating the important part it plays in strengthening the region.

2. Your Gift Matters – Everyone can be a philanthropist on North Texas Giving Day! Every gift, no matter what size, truly makes a difference!

3. Fundraising Efficiency – North Texas Giving Day is an efficient way to raise funding for providing a safe haven for pregnant homeless mothers in the Dallas area.

4. Powerful One-Stop Shop –   provides an easy way for everyone to give while providing a one-stop shop website featuring more than 2,700 nonprofits. Support all your causes in one place.

5. To Make Tomorrow Better – North Texas Giving Day creates a sense of urgency and excitement to support the needs in our own backyard.

6. Be a Part of Something Bigger! When we all give together on one day, it shows how much we believe that our nonprofit sector makes North Texas a great place to live.

7. Prizes! By giving through North Texas Giving Day, you’re helping the Bella House qualify for one or more of approximately 100 prizes.

8. “We” is Greater Than “Me.” Giving together is more powerful (and fun) than giving alone.

9. Pride Point – Our Big-as-Texas giving spirit also becomes a great pride point to share with prospective new

families and businesses who may relocate here. A community that gives together, grows together!

10. Set a National Record! We’re Texan – we do things bigger and better. What’s more fun than setting a world record in giving!?

The Bella House

P.O. Box 940802

Plano TX 75094

Wednesday:) What I Saw On My Walk

19 Sep

“The most beautiful things are not associated with money; they are memories and moments. If you don’t celebrate those, they can pass you by.”

~Alek Wek


My daily walks are a virtual and visual enlightenment for the senses. Hmm? Where did that come from? Very profound,

This morning, after walking little Bella through the park, I took my long solo walk. It was already getting hot outside, maybe upper 80’s, but that never deters me. I always have my trusty cell phone to take pictures of the wonders I see along the way.

Today, a butterfly greeted me as I walked out the door, literally, it was in my doorway. I like to think of that as another “sign” from above. As I walked, more butterflies fluttered around mom and I smiled. One let me take her picture after teasing me by stopping, then flying off as I approached. But, she finally posed for a photo op.

It was trash day, so I took the opportunity to pick up scattered bottles, cans, wrappers, etc. that I find along the way. One finds a lot of trash in an hour. But then, one finds lovely things to brighten the day.

A few blocks from home, one of the neighbors had a beautiful fall display in their front yard. I walked right past it, then turned around and thought, “This is just too lovely not to take a picture of.” Unfortunately, my big ol’ finger got in the way in the upper left, but, you get the idea.

Every day is a new day with new beautiful sites and sounds, and new adventures. Each day is a blessing.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tasty Tip~ Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

19 Sep

“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” ~Ernestine Ulmer


Normally, my go to dessert to take to a potluck is a pan of brownies. But yesterday, I thought I’d change up my routine a little. I’ve been going to the Senior Center for the Monday afternoon Country Dance at 1pm and everyone brings food for our break.I was bored with my brownies.

My No.1 tip for baking and cooking is ALWAYS, buy on sale. Sunday, when I went to Sprouts, the beautiful strawberries were on sale for only 98cents for a one pound container. Yay! I bought semi-sweet chocolate chips at Walmart for $1.98 a bag.

So, I made chocolate dipped strawberries for the potluck.

Wash 3 containers of strawberries and pat dry. Put 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in small bowl, add 1 tsp. vegetable or canola oil, and place over a larger pot of water (double boiler) and slowly melt. (I used to microwave, but sometimes it would get chalky if I over nuked.) Dip strawberries and place on waxed paper. I put the tray in the fridge to set up for about an hour because it’s SO darn hot here in Texas.

So, for around $5, I made over 50 dipped strawberries and had some strawberries left over for another day. They were a BIG hit at the Senior Center. They disappeared fast.

Monday:) Mark Your Calendars…PLEASE !

18 Sep

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

― John Bunyan



I’ve been asked many times by many people over the years to contribute to various charities. Generally, I can spare a few dollars, even though I live on a fairly limited budget now, I always remember that I’ve been very blessed. Also, being an artist, I’m always asked to donate artwork or some of my hand-painted wine glasses, vases or ornaments. Again, my talents and gifts are meant to be shared.

Rarely, have I ever asked friends or family to donate to any particular charity. But,The Bella House has become very near and dear to my heart. A few weeks ago, I visited the Plano Bella House with my friend and director, Mary Reddan. I was very impressed. I was very moved.

TODAY, I’M ASKING FOR YOUR HELP. This Thursday, 9-20-18 is the Annual North Texas Giving Day.

Can you spare just $10 or $20? If a lot of people give just a little, it really adds up and makes a difference.

After visiting the Plano Bella House, I saw firsthand how the lives of young homeless women and their babies can be changed with love, support, and dignity.

So, please check out the websites and watch this inspirational video and mark your calendars for North Texas Giving Day September 20th. If you miss the date, don’t worry. Any day is a good day to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate. Thank you!

Sunday Sermon and Other Grandma Stuff

17 Sep

“Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.”

~Lois Wyse


Another fine Sunday. Greeting before Mass summoned many hugs and handshakes.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus asking His disciples who the people thought He was, as many thought He was just a prophet. Jesus told them that He was the Son of Man who would suffer, be killed, then rise on the third day…

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,

take up his cross, and follow me.

For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,

but whoever loses his life for my sake

and that of the gospel will save it.”


My take on it… We are asked to take up our cross, figuratively. If we follow His teachings, denying the worldly evils and temptations, follow the Gospel, this is how we gain eternal life. I don’t think we all have to physically die, losing our life, but rather take up a life following our faith.


After church, I stopped for coffee with Mr. Jerry. I had iced tea. I decided to stay after he left to have a quick lunch. As I sat people watching and eating my $1 Big Mac (coupon), a police officer came in and ordered lunch. Just as he was reaching for his money, I got up, walked over to the counter and swiped my credit card saying, ” Thanks for all you do. It’s much appreciated.”

The officer smiled and said, “Your appreciation is much appreciated.” He ate his lunch pretty quickly and when he walked out, he gave me a big smile and a wave and said, “Thanks again.”

If I can make just one person smile and feel appreciated, I’m very happy and blessed.

I stopped at Sprouts and Walmart after lunch. At Sprouts I bought some fruit and vegetables and good healthy things. Well, some wine too. At Walmart, I stocked up on more brownie mixes, marshmallows, chocolate chips, and junk food. I like to keep a well balanced diet.

Oh, the instant coffee is for a painting project, but that’s another story.

In the evening, I went for a nice long walk, catching another spectacular sunset.

But, the BEST part of every Sunday is FaceTime with my beautiful Belle.

I love being a grandma.