Tag Archives: artists

Tuesday:) Take a Class, Learn Something New.

8 Apr

“There are so many free classes, workshops, and learning possibilities out there. It’s a shame not to take advantage of them.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Yesterday, I noticed there was a free drawing class on YouTube sponsored by the Artistnetwork. I texted Sherri Murphy to remind her, so she could watch and practice drawing. I just grabbed some printer paper and a #2 pencil, and did the best I could. I haven’t done pencil drawings in decades. I could use the practice.

This particular video was on drawing a clear glass with water in it. Yikes! I never did that before, but I was up for the challenge.

I tried to follow along. The artist was using graphite, charcoal, white pencils, blending sticks, etc. I had only my trusty #2 pencil.

It didn’t turn out great, but I learned something new. Who said you can’t teach old dogs new tricks?

Toni’s Extrovert Diaries:) T.E.D. Talk/ Bake Tips~ Day 12: A Dozen Days

5 Apr

“Believe me, it doesn’t always get better with time. Sometimes it just gets longer and more depressing. Wine helps!”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I didn’t get moving until way in the afternoon. Nowhere to go, nothing I needed to do. A few phone calls were made to friends and family, and I did make a plan to FaceTime Messenger with some friends at 5 pm, so I had something to look forward to. We chatted and laughed and told funny stories. Oh, and some of us had an adult beverage on hand to toast our friendship and shelter in place incarceration. (Note to self- two glasses of wine is way too much, or not enough.)

I wanted to share my tips for making yummy brownies and keeping them moist for days. But, also I wanted to share how I repurpose all those empty brownie and cake mix boxes for craft projects. You’re welcome. (Crafters/artists don’t throw anything away.)

If you watch the video, yes, I had a couple of glasses of wine to encourage my creativity. 🤦‍♀️

Happy Saturday, my friends. ❤️👩🏻‍🎨🍷

Toni’s Extrovert Diaries T.E.D. Talk/Paint Day 11

4 Apr

” The family that paints together even when they ain’t together, that’s what family is all about.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Its Friday already! Where did the week go? Normally, I’d say….. “in a hand basket,” you know the rest of that. My days are getting lazier and lazier. I’m living vicariously through all my friends posting on Facebook how they’re coping. Most everyone is being productive. Not me!

Today, I was inspired by my dear friend Sherri Murphy, who has been teaching herself to paint. She’s experimenting and playing with different mediums. I haven’t left the house in days, so I decided to go up into my “crap room,” and put together an emergency painter’s pandemic porch pick-up art supply kit.


I drove over to Sherri’s house in Prosper this evening, and rang the bell. We couldn’t hug and kept a safe distance, but I know she will be enjoying the supplies for a long time.

Here’s one of her paintings from the other day. I stole it from her Facebook page. I just know that many more masterpieces will be posting in the near future. Love you, Sherri Murphy. (Call anytime for video chat tips and tricks.)


Happy Friday!

Toni’s Extrovert Diaries-Day 8- T.E.D. Talk Tuesday and Tips- No Brush Painting

1 Apr

“Who says you have to have fancy paints and brushes to paint and be creative? Brushes? We don’t need no stinkin’ brushes.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I’ve been watching SO much TV and spending SO much time on my iPad that I think I’m going a little mad. And, to tell you the truth… “THE TRUTH…YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” Guess what I was watching today? And it was just to hear those famous lines. At least it wasn’t “The Shining,” and I’m not walking around with an axe saying, “Where’s Johnny?”

Today, I took several walks with my trusty furry companion, then decided to do something creative. So, I made another quick how-to video on painting bluebonnets. My friend Sherri was painting some flowers and posted her progress on Facebook. I asked why she didn’t double load her brush and she said she didn’t have the right brushes. My thought was, “Brushes? We don’t need no stinkin’ brushes.” (More movie inspired quotes.)

I suggested she try some Q-tips gathered up with a rubber band. She loved the idea. I decided to put together a quick how-to video. It’s a very quick and impromptu project, and was not that easy to film while holding my phone in one hand and painting with the other. But, it gives you some ideas to play with.


Happy Tuesday. Hang in there. One week down… a zillion more to go. ❤️

Toni’s Extrovert Diaries~Day #7 T.E.D. Talks and Painting Bluebonnets Video

31 Mar

“I’d rather teach you to fish than just give you a fish. Who am I kidding? I detest fish, but I love to paint, so I’ll teach you how to paint.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Today, I was inspired by my many artist friends who have been posting their beautiful artwork or sewing projects during these quarantined days. Personally, I’ve been a lazy slug for the past few weeks. This morning, I said it out loud, “I will paint today!”

This video was also inspired by my friend Sherri Murphy. She set up an art studio at her house and is teaching herself paint. If we weren’t sheltering, I’d be over there showing her a few of my tips and tricks. So, here is my how-to paint bluebonnets just for you, Sherri Murphy.

Okay! Now I’m feeling productive and not like such a slug. Not bad for a days work.

Toni’s Extrovert Diaries Day 4~ My Private Quarantined Cocktail Hour and Art Gallery Tour

28 Mar

“Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.”

~Oscar Wilde


Day 4 of Toni’s Extrovert Diaries. I only left the house about ten times today, and that was to walk the dog. Poor thing is exhausted. I’m going crazy and we’ve only just begun.

On the bright side, it is Black Russian Friday, so one of my famous cocktails will be on hand as I give you a brief guided tour of just a few of my original paintings that I have scattered about the house. (It only took me five years to hang them up.) There are many, many more paintings, unframed and squirreled away somewhere in the recesses of my “crap room” upstairs.

Cheers-here’s the tour… hope you watch it and say…”Miss Toni is …… AMAZING!!!!


Monday:) McKinney Creative Community

10 Mar

“Creativity begins at home, especially if your home is in McKinney, Texas. We have the greatest Creative Community.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Another busy day here at the ranch. Wait a minute…. there’s no ranch here, but it is Texas. I got up early to get the brownies in the oven for our McKinney Creative Community potluck gathering at The Cove at 5:30 PM. While those were baking, I made my usual tray of sandwiches to take for the potluck for the senior center country dance at 1. (My kitchen is still a mess,)

Our McKinney Creative Community gatherings at The Cove every second Monday of the month are always fun and informative. There is so much talent in this town, it’s unbelievable. Everyone brings food and beverages to share, and we chat and network, make new friends and visit with old friends.

Tonight, our guest speakers were Kelly and Justin who came to talk to us about Kelly’s Art Shack right in downtown McKinney,

Kelly’s Art Shack

312 East Cloyd street
McKinney , TX 75024

CALL:  (214) 935-8891

WEBSITE https://www.kellysartshack.com EMAIL   |   WEBSITE   |   FACEBOOK

Art is just a painting on a wall for some. For some, it is a way of life. If you are among the blessed few who can recognize, appreciate and enjoy art as it is, then you have come to the right place.

KGO Designs offers a wide range of artistic services ranging from wall murals, original paintings to specialty items that are custom designed by gifted artists. Be it at your home or your office, we can make your space extra special with our art.

Kelly and her husband Justin, recent newlyweds, told us about their dream of creating an artistic oasis and creative space here in McKinney for friends, families, visitors artists, musicians, and all around fun people to sit and relax, surrounded by art, nature, and beauty. The walls are filled,with at least a hundred original paintings, and Kelly’s murals line walls, fences, and pretty much every building surface her talented brush can reach. Kelly’s Art Shack can host small weddings, gatherings, instructional classes, music venues, and more.

I haven’t been by to see this cool artistic oasis on the Square, but I’m definitely going to check it out real soon.

For more info, check out their website…


Sunday Sermon and Some Awesome Artists

9 Mar

“The artist has one function–to affirm and glorify life.”

— W. Edward Brown


Woa! It was really hard waking up this morning with the time change. If you know me, you know I’m not a fan of change, much less one where I lose an hour of sleep. The 7 AM alarm was greeted with a few expletives. But, I rolled out of bed and looked forward to church, friends, and enjoying my day.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus leading some disciples up the mountain where he was transfigured in a bright light, joined by Moses and Elijah. Later…

While he was still speaking, behold,

a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,

then from the cloud came a voice that said,

“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;

listen to him.”

When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate

and were very much afraid.

But Jesus came and touched them, saying,

“Rise, and do not be afraid.”

And when the disciples raised their eyes,

they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

My take on it… even though the disciples were afraid after witnessing and hearing such powerful and frightening things, Jesus comforted them and told them not to be afraid. I think we all, if we haven’t already, are going to experience confusing, overwhelming, or terrifying experiences in our lives. If we have faith, God will comfort us and tell us not to be afraid, and He will send us earthly angels, in disguise as family and friends to help us through our darkest hours. (Just my personal experience.)


Now for the awesome artists and friends in my life. Yesterday, my friend and awesome author, Allison Bottke, invited me to go with her to the farmer’s market, shopping, and lunch. It was a great day for scooting around town. I love seeing my talented friends who work the market.

Alex and Minda Macias, very talented potters and terrific friends. The bowl that Alex is holding found a new home at my house.

Allison and I bought up the last of the mango pineapple y habañero salsa from Bernard’s Salsa. (Best salsa I’ve ever had.) My pantry is fully stocked now.

After the market, we stopped at Goodwill and did some power thrifting. We both found all kinds of treasures. Then, off for a late lunch. When I got home, I only had a little time before scooting off to The Cove for the Empty Bowls preview event. Several of my bowls were on display, and I took along a few blank bowls to paint while I visited.

Just when I think I’m pretty talented, I see the other magnificent bowls that will be auctioned or raffled off at the Empty Bowls Event on April 30th, then I am in awe.

As you can see, there is a lot of artistic talent right here in McKinney, and I am proud to know most of these artists and call them friends. How blessed am I?

It was a great weekend. I hope yours was too.

Thursday:) The Art Club of McKinney Rocks

14 Feb

“Everything dreams. The play of form, of being, is the dreaming of substance. Rocks have their dreams, and the earth changes….”

― Ursula K. Le Guin


This morning was our monthly meeting of The Art Club of McKinney. Lynne, Sherry and I have been planning, texting, and gathering decorations for the refreshment table for weeks. We signed up to be hostesses for February so we could take advantage of a Valentine’s Day theme. When you have three creative overachievers, it makes for a fun meeting.

Our meetings begin with announcements, minutes, treasury reports, and introductions of visitors and new members. Then, we have our artist of the month voting. Members can bring a piece of artwork to be displayed and voted on for first and second place prizes. We have so many talented artists.

Our fabulous guest speakers this month were local artists, Valerie and Wayne Batchelder. The dynamic duo have melded their love of painting and pottery to form the perfect union, both in their studios and in their marriage.

Valerie’s whimsical watercolor and painting techniques are just delightful. Now, the couple occasionally combine their strengths and creativity, as Wayne throws the beautiful pots and cups, Valerie will glaze them with a fun and funky face or design.

Wayne’s earthy organic style of pottery is so different and inspirational. He finds unusual pieces of wood that speak to him, and forms them into his signature handles for his cups and mugs. All the vessels he throws are formed both with his hands and his heart.

The couple described how excited they were to have their recently completed individual studios behind their home in the McKinney historic district. ( I compared them to the perfect She-shed and He-shed.) It is so beautiful to see how much passion they put into their art and how that enhances their beautiful marriage. A great presentation for guest speakers for our Valentine’s Day Art Club meeting.

We are very fortunate to have such talented artists right here in our own community.

Such a fun day with fun artists.

Just Another Manic Monday

14 Jan

“Always believe something wonderful is about to happen. You are in control. Never allow your Monday to be manic. Don’t let the word Monday scare you, do something awesome.”



I got up before the 6:45 alarm to get dressed and walk the dog. A busy day ahead. My morning entailed going over to the Collin County Courthouse before 8:30 am. A long story and a favor for a friend. It all worked out and I hung around to visit the court room of my friend, Judge John Roach Jr. Very interesting.

When I got home, I needed to prepare sandwiches for the pot luck for the senior center country dance, cut up and pack up the cake for my firemen at Station 9, and cut up the brownies and peanut butter Snicker pie for McKinney Creative Community.

On my way to the dance, I dropped off the cake at Station 9 around 1pm.

Firefighter Summers had a big smile, a big thank you, he and asked me how my Christmas with family in Chicago was. I had mentioned before I left in December that I’d be gone all month. How nice that he remembered.

The dance was fun, as usual. Over 90 people this afternoon. I just looked at my phone step tracker, and it looks like all that dancing added around 8,000 or more steps to my day. Having fun and getting steps in at the same time. Cool!

After the dance, I stopped at Whataburger for an iced tea with friends, then stopped at the thrift store to check out the treasures and bargains. Then, over to McKinney Creative Community at The Cove before 6.

My friend and amazing printmaker, Lynn Hubner, had her artwork still on display at The Cove, so I was able to see the amazing work before our meeting. I was so sad when I thought that I missed this art show over the weekend.

Our guest speakers were the owners of a new fun creative shop on the Square called GRAPHITE. Trina Brown and Leslie Gardner shared their backgrounds and vision of starting a business that focused on bringing back the beautiful art of the written word and communication.

Graphite is located at 211 N. Tennessee St., McKinney. The store offers variety of unusual pencils as well as sharpeners, erasers, stationary, stickers, cards, books, socks, and T-shirts. The store also offers a variety of classes like handwriting, calligraphy, letter writing, journaling, resume writing, and sketching. Other classes and workshops are forming. If you have some suggestions, Trina and Leslie are open to suggestions.


McKinney has the greatest group of creative and talented people, and they all share their dreams and visions with the community.

It was a busy awesome Crazy Manic Monday, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.