i've been sitting down trying to write this post about our trip countless times over the past couple of days but unfortunately i keep getting distracted! so here we go!

nick (my husband) and i are pretty dismal about documenting our lives. this is funny because i'm quick to snap pictures of a new sewing project and have filled an entire blog with photos of me posing like a weirdo in public places - but when it comes to documenting trips, or life around us we both seem to forget what a camera is for! i always chalk this up to the fact that i'd rather be experiencing the beautiful sunset, rather than staring at it from behind a lens - but in reality i just forget that these are the moments i'm supposed to be capturing.

so thats my excuse for my utter lack of relevant photos from this trip.


last monday we got in our car and drove 11 hours through the state of texas. 11 hours of driving and we're still in this damn, big state! it was pretty incredible watching the landscape change as we went. from the humid, green, almost tropical gulf coast to the hill country in the middle of the state, to grasslands and then desert mountains. i was actually surprised by the mountains. in my head i thought west texas was all flat.


i have to say - its really beautiful out there. marfa is a pretty interesting place. its where the movie giant was filmed, and more recently there will be blood (a favorite of mine). marfa itself is teeny tiny, like a lot of the west tx towns we drove through. one or two main roads. one stoplight sort of thing. quiet and lazy. but its become a bit of a magnet for the art community. for a town with such a small population i think i saw more hipsters there than i would during sunday brunch in williamsburg!

we went out to marfa with the nonprofit i work for (and where my husband is a resident artist) it was maybe 10% a work trip and 90% vacation.  we stayed at the thunderbird hotel where i spent a good amount of time lazing by the pool reading the french lieutenant's woman. really, this is how i spent  most of my time in marfa (another reason for the lack of photos). and it was wonderful. in between pool lounging and lazily biking through the town to get falafel from the one and only food truck, we also paid our respects to the art gods.


the donald judd foundation and the chinati (or chinazi)  foundation (also by donald judd) are in marfa. we did a full tour of chinati (and were scolded on numerous occasions for being late, or drinking coffee, or taking too long to pee...) which is an old army base that judd bought up in the 60's or 70's and slowly renovated. it houses some pretty epic judd sculptures along with the work of some of his friends and other artists he felt were "worthy".

judd was never really a favorite artist of mine - but the metal works housed at chinati were really pretty damn good, and some of the best judd's i've ever seen. the work felt very appropriate for the buildings and the surrounding landscape, and i have to admit that he knew what he was doing by placing them there. some of the other works housed at chinati were not quite so well placed. or maybe i was just getting tired and "arted out" by the end of our 4 hour tour in the 108(F) degree heat. the dan flavins in particular required an extreme force of will to get through, and i think my entire group felt that by the end of the tour we had given more of ourselves to the soul sucking judd than he gave to us. like we made our sacrificial offering to the ghost of judd and somehow we would be exonerated by the art gods.

i'm joking of course.

sort of.


another highlight of the trip was our visit to the macdonald observatory on tuesday night where we attended an event celebrating the transit of venus. we had an excellent view of venus as she eclipsed the setting sun - the last time it will happen for another 150 years. did anyone else get a chance to check this out? you would have needed special glasses to see it with your naked eye - but nasa had a live feed of it too. it wasn't that exciting - just a tiny dot traveling over the surface of the sun, but i always get pretty geekily excited about that sort of stuff. driving out to the observatory also afforded us a glimpse at some of the surrounding land. the mountains and scrubby desert vegetation. and one of the most breathtaking sunsets i've ever witnessed.


we're planning on making the marfa trip a yearly excursion for the artist residency (maybe someday i'll tell you about what i do for a living - its pretty radical - in the 80's sense of the word) so hopefully next spring i'll be making the trek again. next time i (hopefully) won't have an oozing toe and will be able to do some hiking in the surrounding land. and of course i'll return to cleanse myself in the sacrificial waters of mid to late 20th century art...

sneaky pete 2

this photo has absolutely nothing to do with marfa. but it was just too good to pass up!

things have been pretty quiet on the sewing front lately. i'm having trouble starting some of the bigger projects i had planned for this summer, and i keep getting distracted by all the inspiring things i'm seeing on everyone else's blog! might be time for me to buckle down and get focused...

in the meantime, i have a few "life" and non-sewing related posts i've been wanting to get up on this here blog, so i might turn my attention to those while i wait for my sewing intuition to kick back into gear!

hope you're all having a great june - its freaking hot down here!



  1. Did you get to see the Marfa lights?  We saw them when we passed through there 2 years ago; but i am skeptical about what they actually are.

  2. We went out to see the Marfa lights on our last night there and sat and stared at NOTHING for an hour. So no. We didn't see any Marfa lights. Which was kind of a bummer because I'm all up for extraterrestrial sort of stuff! I'm a little skeptical as to their existence too...

  3. Sounds like an awesome trip!

  4. I've always been curious about Marfa (and Texas in general - Austin and Friday Night Lights etc.) The idea that so much geographical and cultural difference can exist in one state is kind of fascinating. Sounds like a rad little getaway weekend. Speaking of "rad" - I would love to hear about your job. I'm always so curious what my blog buddies do in real life. It sounds like you actually get to be creative for a living which is something I am eternally grateful for. Maybe not today though. I drank too much sangria last night and fell off the quit smoking wagon and feel like a malevolent demon has taken up residence in my head cavity (Sidenote: I wish we didn't live so far away - the more I find out about you the more convinced I am we would be great real life budz. If you guys ever want to check out Montreal the art scene here is pretty incredible).

  5. Please do tell us about what you do for a living, because I'm intrigued. You also had me at "pool lounging and lazily biking through the town to get falafel" before you even got to any of the other awesome things in this post, so maybe I'm easily excited?

  6. Sounds like an excellent trip and woah that last photo is so good!  You had me seriously laughing about Judd + Flavin...I am pretty much permanently Flavin-ed out after an intense art history course where basically all the grad student teaching it could talk about was Flavin.  Omg we must have spent at least 2 weeks of the semester on him.  Anyway, looking forward to both sewing and life related posts and I've got to see those Ikat shorts!  L8ter.

  7. First and foremost - I'm also pretty sure we'd be great real life budz - we should make that happen somehow! 
    I'm continuously amazed at how big Texas is - I've been here for 3 years and it hasn't gotten old!  I really liked west TX. So far I'm most fond of Galveston and the west :)
    I really love getting to be creative in my "real life" - I don't think I could function otherwise - I'd spend everyday feeling like a post sangria and cigarette binge induced demon was residing in my skull!

  8. Will do! 
    I don't know... pool lounging, lazy biking and falafel are all things worth getting excited about in my book!

  9. Ugh Flavin! I think I was born Flavin-ed out! Just kidding. Not really. 
    My shorts are no where near as cool as your shorts!

  10. My fam and I stopped in Marfa on our move from CA to FL. It's a bizarre town, but I loved the Chinati tour (though totally agree, the Flavins did seem to go on foreeeeeeeever, and it was pretty freakIng hot in mid August with an infant strapped to me). I especially loved the landscape, I just had no idea it looked like that in Texas. We were pretty disappointed at not seeing the Marfa lights. :(

  11. One other thIng. I totally.dorked out about this ridiculously good cous cous salad from the food truck and went so far as to email them asking for the recipe. They never responded. (I'm shaking my fist!)

  12. Sounds like you had the opportunity for some fine 'chill' time! Good for you! And it's a pretty amazing country altogether with its vast variety of terrains, climates , flora and fauna! Interesting that big old Texas has so much variety just within its boundaries!

  13. It is freakin' cold down here XD Like the pic of you in the easy chair. Love the wall behind-is that stencilling or bias relief?

  14. Ha, yeah driving through Texas is an experience!  I like the panhandle better because then you get to Oklahoma and at least have passed another state.  And, I'm really bad at taking photos on trips too, although getting a little better.  Still, I think enjoying the sunset is the most important thing, I hate it when people get so caught up in their photos/video that I feel like they're missing the real experience.  

  15. Looks like a fun trip-- seems like a cool town!  Thanks for sharing!  I love Giant and TWBB... would love to visit Marfa!  Hope you're feeling rested and relaxed after your trip!

  16. We saw the transit of venus in all her wonder down here in NZ- I was at work and my colleague set it up so we could observe while standing around drinking cups of tea. Oh and we had special glasses in case we wanted a personal experience. It was pretty cool (and hugely important down here as Cook was sent down here to track the transit and afterwards discovered New Zealand).

    So jealous of your lounging around, warm weather sounds blissful right now

  17. What a fun trip! Other than the Chinati, of course... I've heard about the same thing about it from other people who braved the tour.

  18. Oh gosh... I am sooooo guilty of not using my camera to document my personal life. I like seeing the inside lives of
    other bloggers but I somehow forget to do it myself. Plus I always forget to bring my camera and my taking pictures always makes people or the situation awkward. Is it the same with you?

    You're trip looks like it was so cool! I've never been to Texas but it seems like it is such an interesting state. Glad you got some R&R. I definitely did on my trip :)

  19. So lovely! Thanks for sharing, Sallie. And do tell us more, if you feel like it :) Ryan and I never made it to Marfa, but that will be our first trip when we return to Texas. It's a magical place. (So I've heard) I feel I've been out of the blog/sewing loop for a bit, too, as my mind works out some other creative problems and some blah life stress. Plus, it's hot! It was hotter here yesterday than in Austin. Yes, I'm a dork!

  20. AW Mr Muscles!  Looking so cute there... I loved the recount of the trip - lazing by the pool with a random art even here or there to up the culture ante is the most perfect way to spend a vaca.  Hugs!

  21. Ooooh, sounds like my kind of vacation! I've never been but I have a dream of doing a Marfa/Big Bend/Observatory road trip of doom at some point, preferably in a vintage camper van. I'm working on that one... In the mean time, lovely pics! It looks awesome and sounds like you had a great time. I'm the same way with forgetting to take pictures.