Thursday:) This is The Art Club of McKinney

14 Mar

“Wherever they are gathered to learn, share, feast and care, that is called LOVE.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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The Art Club of McKinney is not only the oldest art club in all of Texas, but by all means, the finest and the funnest. ( literary license- I like to create my own words.) We meet the second Thursday of the month, currently at The Hub, just north of the square.

Our fantastic guest speaker, artist, and printmaker extraordinaire was my good friend Lynne Hubner. After a general meeting, announcements, and announcing artist of the month winners, we break for refreshments. Then, the magic begins.

Our artist winners today were, first places, Mercedes (Meche Via)

And second place, Jack Lawlor.

On to the demonstration and tutorial on anything you ever wanted to know about printmaking and more.

Lynne brought dozens of examples of woodcuts, lino cuts, white line, mono prints, and demonstrated simple do-it-yourself techniques that we could try at home.

I don’t know about you, but I wanted to go home and get out a styrofoam container and some ink, and start printing. I just may do that later.

Thank you Lynne Hubner for an outstanding presentation. Can’t wait to take a class with you soon.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin Miss Toni?

13 Mar

“Inner creativity doesn’t have a shut off valve. Sometimes you get a burst, an urge, or an inspiration. Ya gotta go for it.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have this inner voice that says, stop sitting around watching tv or blabbering on Facebook, just wasting your time. “Do something creative with those God given talents that you’ve been blessed with.” It might be midnight or maybe noon, but I go upstairs to my studio, otherwise known as my “crap room,” and rummage through supplies to decide what I’m called to do.

The other day, I was inspired by some friends who were admiring my hand-painted wine glasses, and they were oohing and ahhing at the variety and detail of each set of glasses. Maybe I should paint more. So, a few days later, I grabbed a box of mixed and matched clear wine glasses, set up my glass paint, brushes, etc. and began to paint bluebonnets.

This is the first installment of “What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni.” That’s because after the paint dries and cures, I bake them in a 350 degree oven for half an hour to heat set them.

While the paint was still fresh on my palette (otherwise known as a styrofoam plate), I also painted a large glass bowl. I love to paint Texas bluebonnets, especially now that they’re coming into season.

The best part is, I often take a thrift store find, a discarded object, like this glass bowl, and I turn it into a treasure. Friends save me their clear vases or glassware, knowing that I’ll transform them into something beautiful. Trash to treasure.

So, that’s what’s been cookin’ at my house. More show and tell later.

Have a good one…oh, and go do something creative or fun. That’s an order.

Tuesday:) A Talented Creative Community

13 Mar

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.”

~Leo Burnett

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McKinney Creative Community meets the second Monday of the month at The Cove in downtown McKinney for a pot-luck gathering. It’s a wonderful group of like-minded, talented and appropriately named creative people. We are artists, writers, photographers, dancers, musicians, and the list goes on. We get together for camaraderie, sharing our “New and good news,” meeting new people, and chatting with old friends. Then, we always have an inspirational guest speaker.

Yesterday, our guest speaker was Carolyn Selby, owner and baker/designer of Cookies In Bloom. Carolyn talked about leaving the chaotic corporate world to follow her passion, starting her own business and being her own boss.

When asked what keeps her going and motivated, she explained how delighted she is when people rave about the special personalized gifts they give or receive. Making people happy and loving what you do is motivation enough.

The cookies are delicious and beautiful. We all found out first hand when we were treated to some yummy samples, and saw a few tasty examples.

If you’re feeling creative, they also sell kits to make or share your own yummy creations. You can special order, pick up and/or ship your delicious edible gifts at their location. They are also a full service U.S. Post Office, at 2001 Central Circle, #107, McKinney.

Stop by or check out the website.

http://www.cookiesinbloom.com/M/index.aspx

We have such a great time at our McKinney Creative Community meetings. We have great food, talented guest speakers and members, and most of all, we share our love of community.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

12 Mar

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.”

~Brian Tracy

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I can’t believe how each week flies by. Another busy week of making new friends and spending time with old friends. Faith, friends, family, food and fun. That’s what makes the world go round.

A week in a peek.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

10 Mar

“Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour … If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?”

― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

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Well, that beautiful sunny Saturday dribbled into a gloomy grey Sunday. And, don’t even get me started about the time change, and Daylight Saving Time. It didn’t save anyone anything. That 7 am alarm was not very welcoming. But, off I went to church and greeting at the door before Mass. I even took a selfie. See that big ol’ heavy door? I’m going to have muscular arms pretty soon.

My adorable little friend Avery was thrilled to receive a little white stuffed bear. That smile could melt any heart.

Little Liam always checks to see which pocket I have his Matchbox car in, and after a quick hug, he scampers off.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus in the desert without food for forty days and nights. The devil came to tempt Him and taunt Him, mocking Him, saying if He was the Son of God, He should turn the nearby stone into a loaf of bread. Jesus replied with the memorable “Man does not live on bread alone.”

Then, the devil showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said if Jesus would pay him homage, he would give them all to Jesus. But Jesus answered him, “Scripture says: You must do homage to the Lord your God, him alone you must serve.”

Finally, the devil took Him to a high parapet of the temple, and taunted Jesus, saying that if He really was the Son of God, He should throw Himself down, and the angels would protect Him and carry Him up. But Jesus answered him, “Scripture says: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” The devil finally left in defeat.

My take on it… we are all tempted to do wrong now and then. Sometimes the devil whispers in your ear, or sometimes that supposed friend whispers in your ear, and you are tempted to do things that you know are terribly wrong. The strongest evils and temptations that are resisted and thwarted are the building blocks of your character, virtue, and your morals. Remember, just like the devil, there are people out there that try to bring you down to their level, drag you into the gutter with them. Misery loves company, and so does the devil. Be strong.

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After Mass, I stopped for coffee at McDonald’s with Mr. Jerry. I can always make him laugh with all my silly ramblings. Especially when I get up and scoot next to him saying, “Selfie-time!” He thinks I’m a nut, but that’s ok. I am.

I stopped at the store for a couple of things, and I was SOOO proud of myself. I only bought 3 things. It’s a miracle! Bread and turkey to make sandwiches for the dance tomorrow, and grape juice, just because I heard it was good for you. (No added sugar or junk) I resisted buying a cartloads of stuff. I avoided temptation. I wonder if it was today’s Gospel and Sermon? 😇🤷‍♀️

Happy Sunday!!!!!

Saturday:) Sunshine and Sunsets

10 Mar

“A sunset is the sun’s fiery kiss to the night.”

― Crystal Woods

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It was another beautiful sunny day after a pretty rough storm over night. A beautiful calm after the storm. The perfect day for a long walk. Last week I walked with three layers of coats, a hat and gloves, with temperatures below freezing. Today, I wore sunglasses and a t-shirt, walking over 3 1/2 miles. Welcome to Texas.

The Bradford Pear trees are in full blossom around the neighborhood. They are gorgeous, but I was thinking that I was kind of happy that I didn’t have one in my yard. Looks like they make a big mess when all those blossoms fall.

I walked in the late afternoon, stopping at Miss Sandy and Mr. Larry’s garage for a beer and conversation. Time to catch up on neighborhood gossip. On the way home, the sun was starting to make its brilliant colorful descent. My favorite time of day. It was sunset time. Time to chase the sunset.

The last few blocks walking home, in the stillness of the night, the oranges and golden yellows faded into grey. A sliver of moon rose above the wispy streaks of dark clouds. The moonlight guided me home.

Happy Saturday. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward tonight…

Friday:) Fun on the Square and McKinney’s Finest Firemen

9 Mar

“Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.”

~Henry David Thoreau

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Wow! A fun busy Friday for Miss Toni. I started off with a heart pumping zumba class at the Y. Then, I picked up Helene, and we headed off to the Square. First, we stopped at the Art Studio to drop off my auction bowl for Empty Bowls, then over to St. Peter’s to drop off 25 event bowls. (More about the bowls another time.)

Did I mention it was a gorgeous day? 77 degrees, sunny, and a tiny breeze.

Helene and I walked around the Square, stopped for lunch at Snug, and stopped in a few shops.

Bay Willow Design is always a fun stop. Owner of the trendy millenary shop, and good friend, Jenny Foster, was busy reorganizing displays. But, she took time to stop and chat, showing Helene around the awesome shop.

Way in the back, I saw a couple cool artist friends, Leslie and Andrea. They were working on website designs.

Andrea, on the right, suggested we stop at Patina Green to see her bird paintings that she just installed. Oh, for sure.

Aren’t those cool? Those are individual wooden plaques, taking up an entire wall.

We stopped at the Antique Mall, and after a lot of browsing, I found a small white porcelain heart shaped box to paint this Christmas. I’m always on the look out for a white surface to paint bluebonnets for Mr. Dan’s dead wife who isn’t really dead. Some of you know that story. Too, long for this. I told Helene, and she laughed. So, when I checked out at the counter, I told the two ladies wrapping up the box, “I have a great story for you. I bought this to paint bluebonnets on for Mr. Dan’s dead wife.” Then, I told them the story. They laughed, and I think I made their day.

By the time I took Helene home and parked in the garage, it was almost 5 pm. I took a ten minute break, talked to my sister on the phone, then headed out for a walk. I just checked my walking app. 3.7 miles today.

It was still so beautiful out, so I decided to trim the front bushes after my walk. I had to quit when it got too dark to see, but I got a lot trimmed. I had the windows open all evening because it was cool and 68 in the house and 77 outside. Great day!

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Now, for my friendly neighborhood firemen. I stopped over to Station 9 on Wednesday, but I like to share my Firemen stories for Friday, just because I like alliteration. Wednesday morning on my way home from church, I noticed that several fire trucks and vehicles from other stations were over at station 9, so I decided to bake a double batch of brownies so there would be plenty to share. They were doing special training, and I’m sure would appreciate a little sweet treat after lunch. The hard part was that I had decided to fast all day on Ash Wednesday, so I didn’t even lick the spoon or taste test the crunchy edges,

I always get a big smile and a cool photo op. Oh, they also save my containers from the previous drop off. Everyone knows Miss Toni and knows to save my containers. One time, one of the veteran firemen told a new guy, “Oh, we have that in our fire fighter handbook. Save Miss Toni’s container.” Hmm? That just might be true. Ha!

Happy Friday my friends. Time to fix my Black Russian. It is Friday, after all!