A Day to Get Away

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and if you managed to NOT overeat, then you are far better than me at resisting the Thanksgiving temptations.  It also doesn’t help that my mother in law cannot control herself and had to bake 3 pies, bread pudding, a German chocolate cake and enough food for an army.  The woman is mad… mad I say!

It’s been nice to have a few extra days off and what better way to spend a day than to hop in the car and drive to Houston.  Richie had told me he was driving over this week to sell some of his vintage shirts to a resell shop and did I want to take a day off work and go with him.  HELLO… YES!  A day to get away is like eating 3 pies all at once and NOT gaining a pound.  Pass the whip cream!

The man had over 300 BEAUTIFUL vintage shirts.  I’m SOOO happy to be rid of them.  They were in boxes piled to the ceiling.  Since I need to paint the ceiling it was a choice between painting the boxes or painting around them. Load ’em up… they’re gone!
vintage shirts

My reasons for going were very selfish, I have to admit, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE going to the Menil Collection Museum every chance I can. There was also an exhibit there that I had been dying to see.  Art is a huge part of our lives and if you’ve been following this blog at all then you already know how much we love it.  We’re so artsy fartsy.

Another thing I was dying to see was a public art sculpture that had been installed on an esplanade on the infamous Montrose Blvd, right across from the Art League of Houston.  The wood tunnel installation is by artist Patrick Renner and it’s 185 feet of reclaimed wood that kind of snakes through the trees.  It was so COOL!


The piece is Funded by the City’s Initiative Program Grant from the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA).



The funnel tunnel was great to see but visiting the Menil  was the highlight for me. The building itself is a work of art. It’s such a treasure to the City of Houston and people love to gather on the lawns and spend sunny days basking on the grounds. It’s so beautiful.  Then you go inside and … well… I find myself forgetting to breathe.


It was such a beautiful day!




WOLS: Retrospective was going to come down January 12th so it was perfect timing. Born Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze (say that five times fast), Wols was a draftsman, painter and photographer and was considered to be the European equivalent of American Abstract Expressionism. Most of the work on display was done in the 1940s and ended up to be a complete surprise to me.

Here’s the thing… after seeing much of his art in pictures I assumed I was going to walk in and see these fairly nice size paintings. Boy was I shocked and surprised to see one of the two exhibit rooms filled with work the size of post cards or slightly larger. INCREDIBLE! The tiny little painstaking detail of each painting kept me mesmerized as I stopped to see each one. I even had to get out my glasses to see some of them. I’m fairly quiet in museums but I can remember having little outbursts like “OH MY GOSH”… “AMAZING”… “RICHIE DID YOU SEE THIS ONE”. It wasn’t at all what I had imagined. He did have another exhibit room where the works were much bigger but the tiny treasures were mind blowing.

Feel free to view a few and note the tiny details of each one. Feather thin lines drawn with such precision and perfection. I’m so happy I got to see it and if you ever get the chance yourself… take it!

The Menil also has a separate gallery dedicated to the work of Cy Twombly. The floor to ceiling canvas makes the room feel so grand and yet so quiet and beautiful. We love his work and enjoy camping out in this room. Twombly studied in New York where he met Robert Rauschenberg who was actually born in a small town called Port Arthur, which is about 10 minutes from my work.


Cy Twombly standing in his own gallery at the Menil.

I always get questions about TEXAS in general and people wonder if it’s nothing but cowboys on horses living on Ranches. Not quite! If any of these names ring a bell just remember that they all lived within 15 minutes of us: George Jones, Janis Joplin, Robert Rauschenberg, Johnny & Edgar Winger, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, JP RIchardson (The Big Bopper), Mary Karr (author), Kelly Asbury (directed Gnomeo & Juliet and worked on Toy Story, The Little mermaid, Shrek, and more). Texas is so diverse and REALLY BIG!

I realize I have totally gone off on a tangent with this post and it started out small and grew WAY TO BIG.. but it’s been a while since I’ve posted here so I’m full of it. I had to just slip in this one last photo from the Menil and it’s specially for my friend Tamara over at ScrapandSalvage. She recently became enamoured with the work of Alexander Calder and loves his mobiles as much as I do. So here’s one of his mobiles that hangs in the Menil. It’s gorgeous and humongous and is perfectly placed right in front of a painting by Joan Miró.

BREATHTAKING! See, I told you I hold my breath a lot in this place. :-)

source (Lonny)

The really special thing about the Menil is it’s FREE. So anyone and everyone can enjoy art of all kinds.

Thank youI also wanted to thank some lovely ladies for including me in their blogs recently:

The hilarious and super hip Sandy over at Urban Rustic. She’s patiently waiting to receive some air plants – all the way in Australia, and shared my airplant post with her readers.

Alex, at Northstory, who somehow manages to take care of her family, DIY her little heart out with amazing projects, and nurture frienships with people from all over. She’s a doll and I thank her for mentioning me in her recent post.

And one last lady who has stole my heart over the last couple weeks.. Natalie, over at La Gang a Nat. When things are quiet on this blog and you’re not getting anything “new” from me it’s usually because I’m having fun working on someone else’s blog. I worked with Natalie to move her blog from blogger to wordpress and helped her achieve the look she wanted for her creative space. It’s always a joy to meet, collaborate and develop friendships through my website work. Not only is she talented (sewing, crafting, painting, vintage lover) but she holds down a full-time job for the Canadian government. She has been an inspiration to me. Check out her blog and the beautiful clothes she sews for her 3 gorgeous girls!


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16 thoughts on “A Day to Get Away

  1. D'Arcy H

    Stacey, this post was really a treat! Eric and I always try to hit a museum of modern art whenever we visit new cities. (The only time I visited Houston, I was stuck with people who were not interested in this sort of thing.) Love the Renner tube! Also the Wols! And I’m a Calder fan, too. President Obama was just in Seattle for a fundraiser dinner, and the TV news showed an aerial shot of the home he was visiting … and they had what was obviously a Calder sculpture IN THEIR YARD. OMG! Thanks for the artsy getaway!

    1. Stacey Post author

      Hi D’Arcy! Was that the time you guys flew in and I couldn’t meet you? That would have been fun to do together. I love that museum so much. It has a little bit of everything. I’m glad you and Eric enjoy that too. It’s good for the heart and soul. I love beautiful things! CALDER IN THE YARD! That is crazy. I love everything he did. The Menil even has some of his wire sculptures, which fascinate me. I didn’t get that gene but I certainly appreciate those who did. Thanks for looking at our little day of art. It was nice to get out of this damn house! XO

  2. Sandy Cash

    Stacey, what a day! The gallery looks amazing. And the tunnel. I’m swooning over the mobile. Thanks for putting Cy Twombly on my radar too. I love those works behind him. Stunning. And thanks for the thanks. So not necessary but appreciate it. And some cute little air plants landed today. Yay. Will keep you posted. Cheers

    1. Stacey Post author

      That’s so great that you love the Cy Twombly work. I think you have to be a really special person with a certain eye and understanding to get his art. I find it out of this world, beautiful! That’s so great.
      YAY, your air plants got there safe and sound. I can’t wait to see what you ended up with. I gave all mine a good soaking yesterday and they’re all perky today. Sometimes I forgot about them and they start to look like dried up sticks. OOOPS! So far they’re still alive. (fingers crossed) Have fun with your new babies. Definitely keep me posted. :-)

  3. Tamara

    oh my. i’ve probably looked at this post about 6 times since it posted. i can’t stop looking at everything (and how fun to see your cute little self for once! awesome boots!). jordan went through richie’s shirts with a finetooth comb. he has the green and teal button up shirt and the two cardigans on the right (brown and yellow/ tan) or at least very similar since it’s hard to see the full pattern. how fun to have sold THREE HUNDRED. wow. he must have the best collection everrr.
    oh boy, now to the art. there is SO much to look at here. i wish i was closer to see these masterpieces in person. i love joan miro and the combination of the that painting and the mobile is almost too much, like makes me a little angry. or a lot angry. ha! thanks for thinking of meeeee. i’m printing it out to put at my desk. and the cy twombly in front of his own mural. hot damn! it’s amazing. i don’t even know what else to say. i have so many walls that could use this beauty on them!! alas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    thanks so much for sharing your trip, stacey. especially for those of us who can’t see these in person at the menil. happy post-thanksgiving to you and richie!!!! xoxox

    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey GIRL! So happy to hear from you. I MISS YOU!
      Oh Tamara, those shirts were gorgeous and we were sitting on a gold mine but didn’t have the time to sell each one on ebay. Some of those shirts could have gone for $60-75.00. The shop we sold them to got a great deal but we still walked away with full pockets. The great thing is that they’re out of the house and I can finally paint the ceiling. (No, I’m not joking!) I imagine Jordan and Richie have lots of the same stuff. I love that he buys all his clothes second hand. They’re so much cooler than anything you can go to “a mall” and buy. And it leaves more money for MEEEEEEE! (totally kidding… I’m a tight wad!)

      Oh, I thought of you over and over during this museum visit. That mobile was amazing. I know that you’re not suppose to take pictures in museums and I almost just took one for you but I did the right thing and asked the docent for permission and he just smiled sweetly and said “no, sorry… you can’t do that”. DAMN! But I found one to include so you could see it. It was a great day and the weather was AWESOME! Hope you guys had a nice holiday. Now go post something dammit! I need me some scrapandsalvage! (laughing)

      1. ScrapAndSalvage

        Haha. Rrrright?! Judas Priest I need to post. And it’s not for getting bored of it or for lack of material either! Hoping to get one up by this weekend or your money back, ha!
        SO glad you got that pic!!!!!! Such amazing artwork. Imagine being able to create like that! Xo

  4. Dana@Mid2Mod

    I love those Texas questions too. I always direct people to the websites of the Kimbell and the Modern here in Fort Worth when they ask if this is just Cowtown. The Menil is wonderful. That last photo took my breath away!

    1. Stacey Post author

      HA HA! That’s so great, Dana! It’s hilarious what people think about Texas. Like we’re living in an entirely different country or something. Fort Worth has some amazing art come though there. The Modern has some fabulous Robert Motherwell’s in their collection. LOVE LOVE! The Menil is very special and we go as often as we can. It was a much needed treat on a beautiful day. Thanks for looking. I love to share things that make me happy!

  5. Natalie

    Stacey, I distinctly remember this day… I believe I was sending tons of emails your way saying “do this” and “do that”… all the while, you were just trying to enjoy a peaceful day relaxing and looking at art. And you still thank me after that??? Hehehe… I really enjoyed this visit through the Menil… looks like a lovely place to spend the day indeed!

    And your lovely words at the end… ahhh girl… you are such an amazing person… I am going to have full on Stacey withdrawals… I should start a new blog just to get the opportunity to work with you again. Now that was fun!!!
    Thank you, thank you for everthing!

    P.S. You look INCREDIBLE in those pictures!!!

    1. Stacey Post author

      YES, YES, it was that day! I was so pissed at you. BLAH! (KIDDING!) Honestly you were a life-saver because I was sitting in the car waiting for Richie to STOP talking to the resale shop owners so we could get a move on and I was getting cranky. I loved that your email came just at the right time. It was a FANTASTIC distraction and I loved it when we would get going on something with that back and forth of ideas. So you just made a lovely day even better.

      Thanks for telling your sweet little lies. I look like I’m prego in that picture. PROMISE, I’m not. Just full of Vietnamese food, about to explode! I hardly ever show pictures of me but don’t you sometimes think “hey, I’m always taking the pictures and never in them. I’ll be dead soon and they’ll be no pictures of me!” (LAUGHING SO HARD!) I’m sure you’re the picture taker in your family so you know what I mean. Just remember to turn the camera around so I can see you from time to time. :-) Especially when you sew something fab for yourself!

      Love ya!

      1. Natalie

        There is NO WAY that you look PREGO!!! And there is no way you look bloated from Vietnamese food either (although I hear you there… that stuff leaves me bloated too but it is SOOOOO GOOOD!!! And Thai food too!!!!)

        Yes, I am the picture taker in the family and will also leave a sad legacy of iPhone self-portraits… great grandchildren will wonder by Granny was always cut off in pictures, haha!

  6. Danielle

    Congrats on the day away and thanks for sharing the beauty of it with us here. It sounds like it was an awesome trip with some major eye candy. That’s definitely my favorite kind of candy!

    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks for looking, Danielle. We call this “Blog fill”. HA HA HA HA!! I’ve got lots of “fill” coming up. Renovation is slow right now.

  7. the home tome

    Very cool trippy-trip! Though I have been to almost every other state in this country, I have to admit I have never been to Texas – you are doing a good job acquainting me with it and correcting any misconceptions :) Sounds like there is a great art vibe in Houston. That Patrick Renner installation is awesome – looks almost like a stretched out cornucopia – how fitting to see it T-giving weekend.

    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey Jocelyn! Texas is weird. But I’m a southern girl through and through. Of course I dream of living in a Loft in New York city and that will NEVER change.
      HA! It does look like a cornucopia. It was a feast of art! Houston is great but Austin is where I’d be if I could afford it. Thanks for climbing that icy hill and making time for me. Love ya!


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