Tag Archives: Friends

Saturday:) MAST McKinney Art Studio Tour

11 Nov

“Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact. ”

― William S. Burroughs


McKinney has recently been designated as a cultural District by the Texas Arts Commission, and the annual MAST, McKINNEY ART STUDIO TOUR, is a perfect demonstration of how local artists have created a thriving artist community.

This afternoon, my dear friend AND world’s great realtor, Linda Grossman and I visited a number of studios on the tour. And as always, it’s wonderful to see the talented artists that just so happen to be good friends of mine.

Kim Guthrie is known for her whimsical paper maché sculptures and adorable painted creatures, but also a wonderful teacher, sharing her many talents. She call The Cove her studio home away from home.

There were several artists at The Martin Place.

Jan Martin, Helen Bailey and other artist were demonstrating their various mediums. Patricia Crain. Elaine Herold, and Sheilian Lonian at The Martin Place.

Guy Giersch and Pernie Fallon opened their home to share their photography, pastel paintings and collaborative artworks, as seen on the wall behind them. Linda and I strolled through their lovely backyard to see Pernie’s backyard studio. I called it, “Pernie’s She Shed.

I commented how neat and organized Pernie is. Oh my, I could never have anyone go through my studio. I call it my “crap room.” Appropriately named.

A visit to the McKinney Art Studio made me have a hankerin’ to take a pottery class. So many talented artists with so many different and original techniques.

Over at the McKinney Art House, my friend Wendolin Mercado (top) gave me a few pointers on knife and star throwing. She’s a talented photographer, leather crafter, and artist of all trades.

My star throwing adventure.


The McKinney Art House family. (Above)

My dear friends and amazing potters at Three Dog Studio. Steve, Alex and Minda Macias.


Here a really cool video of a raku firing.

JB Phipps and Kerry Randol-Johnson also at Three Dog Studio.

Our final stop for the day was the gorgeous home of Jeffrey Jensen at his Cedar Street Studio. His architectural background lends itself to his intricate and beautiful watercolors.

Friday:) Friends, Fun Music, and (Yep) More Firemen)

10 Nov

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”



Wow! Woke up to chilly weather, and had to bundle up to take Bella for a walk. Ok, I know youse guys (Chicago talk) up North got snow, but this is Texas, for goodness sakes. But, that doesn’t slow me down. I enjoyed the challenge. The vibrant fall colored leaves were scattered on the sidewalks as I walked.

I was looking forward to dinner and a concert with my Single Mingle friends tonight. But first, a stop at the fire station. I had a few brownies left and Miss Pat said I could take the leftover cookies from karaoke over to “my firemen.”

Our group met at Mellow Mushroom for dinner.

Then, over to MPAC for the concert Red, White and Big Band, featuring the McKinney Dance Band and the Swazzy Singers. They were honoring veterans with patriotic music and big band music of the different eras gone by.


It was a fun day, and a great evening. Music always brightens my soul.

Thursday:) The Art Club of McKinney

9 Nov

“When people tell me that they can’t even draw a stickman, I tell them that the secret isn’t being born a great artist, the secret is having a great art teacher.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


This morning was our November meeting of the Art Club of McKinney. The early agenda and discussion was busy reporting minutes, upcoming events, the artist of the month contest, a raffle and a wonderful break for refreshments before the artist demonstration.

Our guest artist today was Magda Dia, who is also a club member, a fine potter, lives in and has a teaching studio in the historic district, and is also a sweet friend.

Magda demonstrated all the steps to throwing small clay bowls on the wheel, along with tips and tricks for creative throwing. (A little throwing of clay splatters did occur on the front row spectators)

Volunteer, Gena Roberson, tried her hand at making a bowl. She did a great job.


We had a very fun and informative meeting and demonstration today.

Magda’s classes and studio can be found on Facebook at Jump Into Art.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom

8 Nov

“When the going gets tough, the tough bake brownies. That pretty much cures anything.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


My friend, Miss Pat, posted on Facebook last week that Kroger had brownie mixes on sale, with store card for… wait for it… 79cents a box. Be still my heart. She also posted that everyone better get to the store before Toni buys them all. Hmm? Why would she say such a thing?

Funny, as I’m writing this, I have two more batches in the oven. Hold on. I’ll go take a picture…. I’m back…

I’m going to take some for my church group tonight at 7. They’ll still be warm. It’s after 6 already. Then, I’ll have some for tomorrow’s karaoke potluck at the VFW.

I think I’ve gone through 8 boxes in the past week. Every time I bake for an event, I bake an extra batch for my firemen at Station 9. I asked them yesterday if they were getting tired of my brownies yet. They said, “NO MAM!We gobble them up and we don’t leave any for the next shift.” Aw, high praises. I also asked them if they’d save my container, and that I’d swap it out for a new one with more brownies or cookies. I go through a lot of containers too. They were happy to oblige.

Now, you see why I was so excited about the sale. I didn’t buy all of them on the shelf. But, I did take all the dark fudge chocolate boxes, leaving the milk chocolate ones for the less discerning bakers.

That should last me till Christmas…I hope.

Sunday Sermon and Special Artist Friends

5 Nov

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

-Jesus Christ


A cool crisp Sunday morning. With Daylight Saving Time, we got an extra hour of sleep, but I didn’t get to sleep till around 2a.m., which my body and brain thought was 3a.m. The 7 a.m. alarm came quickly, but I always look forward to Sundays, greeting before Mass, seeing friends and smiling faces, and of course, the many hugs that are shared.

Today’s Gospel was the story of the Scribe asking Jesus which is the first of all commandments. His reply was…

Hear, O Israel!

The Lord our God is Lord alone!

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,

with all your soul,

with all your mind,

and with all your strength.

The second is this:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

There is no other commandment greater than these.”


My take on it… Well, that pretty much covers it all. Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. If you follow those two commandments, no other rules are needed.

When I got home, I changed and went for a nice long walk. I wanted to get my walk in early so I could get over to The Cove (Art Show). My friends Guy Giersch and Pernie Fallon had an art exhibit this weekend. Guy is an amazing photographer and Pernie is an extraordinary pastel artist. They had their individual works and collaborative pieces.

Pernie added her magic pastel chalk touch to some of Guy’s wonderful monochromatic photos.

I’m so lucky to have so many talented friends.

After The Cove, I stopped to visit my friends at Sweet Spot Bakery. The back screen door to the shop was open, so I just let myself in. Backdoor friends are the best.

When I left, I walked around the Square a while. It was a lovely day and the streets were busy with folks out enjoying a fine fall afternoon. I had a few more exciting stops to make afterwards, but I’ll save those stories for another day.

Saturday:) Sights, Sounds, and St. Gabriel’s Holiday Boutique.

4 Nov

“Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in any way.”

~Eileen Caddy


A beautiful Saturday, cool, breezy, sunny, morning. I took little Bella for a walk. She loves the cool weather, and prances like a pup on these days.

We walk around the pond, and sometimes we see the horses across the street.

Later in the afternoon, I went over to the St. Gabriel Holiday Boutique. Before going in, the Knight of Columbus men were selling tamales as their fundraiser. I said I’d get a dozen on the way out, but they said they only had seven dozen left out of the 180 they started with. Naturally, I grabbed one quick. Inside, I checked out to the women’s Club bake sale. Wow! It was only 2 pm, and they were almost sold out. As I was looking at the cakes and pies, a man was purchasing a container of brownies. As he took out his $15, I chimed in, ” Wow, I hear those are fantastic brownies!” The lady behind the table said, “Did you bake these?” I told her I had, and they were fantastic. We all smiled. I think all the containers I took over got sold quickly.

There were a lot of wonderful crafters and vendors there. I ran into Miss Bonita right away, and she said it was crazy busy all day. The best part was bumping into friends.

When I got home, I got a call from my sister. We chatted a while, then I went for another walk. The clouds started rolling in and the wind kicked up. Mr. Larry and Miss Sandy were sitting in their garage, so of course, I had to stop for a beer and catch up on neighborhood gossip and political mayhem. It’s been a long time since my last visit.

A good Saturday with so many blessings, so many friends and wonderful sights and sounds.

Friday:) Fun Friends, Fancy Footwork, and More Firemen

3 Nov

“If I could just squeeze in a few more hours in the day, I’d have a lot more fun. Where does the time go?”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Its almost 11 pm, and my boots have been hittin’ the ground running all day. Well, I take that back. I don’t wear boots, I can’t run with my bad knee, but I’ve been scootin’ around town all day.

I started off getting up early to pick up Bella, my doggie friend, and taking her for a walk. Then, take a batch of brownies to Miss Kathy across the street, make another two batches of brownies for the bake sale at St. Gabe’s, and my fire station friends. While the brownies baked, I mixed up some chocolate frosting.

We had a birthday lunch for Miss Sherry at 12:30, so I packed up my presents, grabbed my container of brownies for Fire Station 9, and was out the door just a little past noon.

I took a batch to the guys on Tuesday before Halloween, and asked them to save my container. Captain Floyd was kind enough to return the container to me this morning, so I took an another batch over at noon, right out of the oven. I put a sticky note on it that said, “If you save this container, I’ll keep refilling it.”

Off to lunch with the TOTS, the Table Of Talent Sisters. These girls have been with me through thick and thin, literally. It was Sherry’s birthday. I just noticed, I’m the only one without glasses. I should have put on my glasses. Love these girls.

After lunch, I stopped at Walmart on my way home to get a new battery for my car key fob. The light on my dashboard kept flashing “CHANGE BATTERY ON KEY FOB!” Ok, already.

I got home a little after 4, and still had to frost a few more brownies and pack them up and get them over to church before 5. Yikes! I got there at 4:58. I took six containers of brownies.

Back in the car and hurry home, walk the dog quick, change, curl my hair, and get over to pick up Miss Pat for dinner at Braum’s by 6, and meet Doug for dinner, then go to the Friday night dance at the senior center. Yikes! Made it.

The dance was fun. The first Friday of the month, they have a live band, City Lights. It’s a country band with a Little Rock and Roll thrown in every now and then. I’m starting to learn a few more line dancing steps. Slowly but surely. Lots of cowboy hats. You’d think we were in Texas, or somethin’.

I finally got home around 10pm. I called my sister, after missing her calls earlier. I was all discumbobbled and running on adrenaline. After a couple minutes talking, I stood up while I was talking to her and was looking all over for my cell phone. Did I leave it in the car? I thought, “Darn, I just cancelled my home land-line phone, so how am I going to call my cell to find out where it is?” Then, I realized, “What are you talking on SILLY?”

Yep! A little too much crazy busy. But I love it. Now, to fix my Friday night Black Russian. Cheers!