Piles.......Of Nuts

( How can you go wrong with a title like that?)

So, I'm still cleaning my head out. I think I've gotten two "piles" taken care of and I'm slowly working on the rest. I guess I could say that each room I've tackled in my house or project I've put off and finally gotten to, has been a way of thinking through things I've haven't figured out up until now. Or.... maybe I just haven't given myself time to heal from stuff, forgiven myself for things, or spoken about to anyone. I'm sure this all sounds like big, emotional stuff but really...its just stuff we all deal with, inner demons we all have. I like to think of them as little me's dressed in outlandish red devil suits poking away at my head. That images seems much more amusing to me and I can envision myself 10 pounds lighter than!

I always feel this way after Christmas or maybe a little bit before. I told my husband last night after purging some thoughts that I think its just hard to have a creative brain because you really do think and feel so many emotions and everything around you gets caught up in your senses. I sort of stopped there with that phase and statement. He listened, smiled and left me to my thoughts.

So, why talk about nuts you ask? Well, I'm sure I've stated before that we live in an old pecan grove. Every two years is pecan season in our neighborhood and the "picking" of the nuts starts around Thanksgiving. We go out as much as we can each day and hunt for nuts. So far we have picked up about 3 glaze bucket loads and there are more to come as you can see by this shots of the tree tops. Today was a great day to be outside with my "head piles" and pick up nuts with the kids.

Tomorrow, as you all know is New Years Eve. I feel like I need to post something momentous on here...we'll see!


Cleaning The Piles In My Head

I have piles of junk in my head that through out the year I open up a closet and shove them inside. This week while Christmas was winding down I have realised that I need to clean everything up in there before I get started again. I can lay down and close my eyes and visualize the cobwebs, words, broken promises, sketches, ideas and emotions that are lying around in there or sticking out of the many doors that surrounds this room in my head. The whole year I just shove all this away to survive and keep going. Sometimes I take care of these things for a brief period of time but for the most part since about July of this year I think I've just maintained what's been lurking around in there and every now and then I'll jump inside this room and say "just hold on, once I get a break I promise I'll deal with all of this stuff!"

Slowly this week I'm hoping a little person that looks a lot like the cartoon version of Carol Burnett will come and help me clean out my head. Most of these piles consist of family and personal stuff. They are labeled with half hearted attempts at things, guilt, yells,words,promises and lectures to all my family members. The poor cats even had a bad case of flies this year that I put off. Boy where they pissed at me after several shots of antibiotics to fix the mess I could of solved with a few drops of Resolution.

Some days I see myself as several differant female sit-com characters such as Debra Messing on Wil and Grace,Lucille Ball, Old Kristeen and Debra Romana, others days I'm the comedy routine that Bill Cosby does on raising kids. I was even reading David Sedaris the other day and thinking to myself that I could be a gay man stuck in a female body! Every incident that happens in our household seems ridiculous at the time and extremely stressful but I can turn it into a comedy routine. Some moments really should not be made funny and taken very seriously but these are the items that get shoved away upstairs until a later date so one can cope.

Confrontations, missed moments, sour words, stressful days, feeling overwhelmed and over worked and words...all those words get piled up in that room in my head and are in need of lots of cleaning before I go back to work. Wish me luck that my little friend here can help me out before 2009 comes along!


First Night Charlotte

Circle of Eight will be conducting an extereme clay demonstration and creating a collaborative public art piece for First Night in downtown Charlotte on New Year's Eve. Our program begins at 8 pm on the upper level of the Wachovia Plaza. You can get more info here or download a program here.


Christmas Dinner

Once again, a spectacular meal by my very talented Hubby. The description below from the book was everything and more. We had a tradition Italian Christmas meal with a twist. It was completed by my cookies and a little mint ice cream. Here is my Dad loving the whole thing. Merry Christmas Dad!

Seafood Spaghetti: Hearty with shrimp, squid, and octopus, a flavor-packed pasta dish gets an extra boost from a bright basil puree drizzled on before serving. A dramatic and delicious dish with a bit of effort!
The Cookies

The Crew!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Everyone's all tucked in their beds with sugar plums dancing......

Have a great day with the one's that you love!

Peace, Jen


La Befana

Since I am part Italian, I like to carry on some customs from my Dad's side of the family. I've been baking all sorts of Italian cookies the last two days mostly to give to my Dad as a gift since we are far away from any family members that could show up with a tin full of these treats for him this Christmas. When I was a child and we'd spend Christmas Eve at my grandparents home, my father aunts and cousins would bring over cookies and cakes all day long. People where constantly coming and going and my father would take my sister and myself over to other relatives home to wish them Merry Christmas.This was a great memory.

My father is now 71 and an only child. Many of his relatives have passed on and his 98 year old mother no longer cooks. For the last 10 years of so I've figured he has pretty much everything he needs at Christmas time so spend many nights making him a few cookies to bring a little bit of his youth back. He always opens the container with an "ohhhh or an Ahhhh", and this makes me happy.

My children learned all sorts of Christmas tradition this year in school and one was from Italy. I would often hear my grandmother talk about La Befana and how she and my grandfather would love to get oranges on Christmas morning in their socks. Wow, have things changed for children.If only I could make my crew this happy with an orange!

Here is a little bit about La Befana and the legend if you are not familiar with it.

"Deriving from the word Epiphany (Greek term meaning “manifestation” or “appearing”), the legend of “La Befana” is that of an old witch lady with a big red nose and slight hunch, dressed in a jacket of colorful patches.
Legend has it that on the 12th night of Christmas (January 5th) the 3 Wise Men, on their search for the baby Jesus, asked “La Befana” to join them in their quest. She initially declined, stating she had too much housework to do. She later changed her mind and went looking for the 3 Wise Men and the baby Jesus, but was unable to find them.
Therefore, every year, on the night of January 5th, “La Befana”, will travel on her magic broom, to every house in Italy in search of the baby Jesus bringing gifts. Climbing down the chimneys, she brings candy (“caramele”) or fruit to the children that were good and black coal (“carbone”), onions or garlic to the children that were naughty. The children will leave out their stockings, and even their shoes, hoping to awake on the morning of January 6th to some “caramele”. Similar to the Santa Claus tradition, many of the children will write notes to “La Befana” and even leave out food for her (sausages and broccoli in some parts of Italy).
It is a tradition that is still strong in Italy with many stores selling stockings, mostly red, but sometimes even sand-colored, for the children to leave out for “La Befana”. It is a fairy-tale story of the good witch / bad witch, depending on how you behaved during the past year. After her arrival, there are many parties and Italians will celebrate going from house to house celebrating the bonds of family and friends.
Here is an Italian nursery rhyme that the children will sing for “La Befana”
La Befana vien di nottecon le scarpe tutte rottecol cappello alla romanaviva viva la Befana!
Rough Translation
The Befana comes at nightwearing old broken shoesdressed in Roman (hat) stylelong live la Befana!


Marshmallow #2

I've been doing a lot of baking these last two days and have 2 bags of Marshmallows in the cupboard leftover from Quaid's Christmas party at school( long story). I'm trying to figure out what to do with all of them...hence my obsession with Marshmallow's this week!


Weekend Sale Continues

20% off Jennifer Mecca Pottery. Last Minute items from my studio!
Tiles and large platterBottles or all sizes.
Teapots and spice bowls

Teacups and teapots.


Sale - 20% off Jennifer Mecca Pottery

December 19th and 20th............20% off selected items

( I'm saving up money for a new camera and photo set-up so excuse the photography!)

For pricing and shipping information please email me at:
If you don't see something your interested in, just ask!

Shipping During the Holidays

About a week ago this box came back from a show I was in the Chicago Illinois area. I was kind happy to know that the contents inside the box came back home for a visit. Yah...its great to sell stuff but sometimes I like to see it again and make sure I'm as happy with the way the pieces looked when I sent them out as when they come back to me. Its sort of like seeing old pots that someone has bought from you years ago. You have to pick them, look at that glaze application, check out how the foot looks and see if you like the form. I'm I the only crazy one who does things like this? ( I think not............)

Anyways, I was so sad to see that all three plates where broken but packed correctly. I guess at the holidays, UPS is so busy that things really do get thrown around. I guess for those of you who are still packing up stuff and shipping them all over this great world of ours...be extra careful!

Today I'm off to Holiday party #2 for my Kindergartners. This Friday those two little girls of mine have been invited to no less then 3 Christmas "Get-together"! The hustle and bustle of the season keeps moving me along.

This evening I am planning on doing a little cleaning in my studio and posting some photo's of great pots I still have in stock just in case anyone needs a Jen Mecca pot for last minute gifts!


Pots in Use

My friend Laura from Charleston Sc sent me this photo today of some roses she gave to her daughter after a dance program. This is an old vase I made most likely back when Quaid was a baby and I was still working with matt glazes. It was so nice of her to think of me and send it. I love getting photo's like this and knowing my pots are being put to good use.

I had 1/2 of a potter's work day. I delivered pots with my friend Julie to a gallery called Wooden Stone in Davidson Nc.The Circle group has a display there so we went up to fluff and trade out some items. Davidson is such a pretty little town to visit with some very nice restaurants. We enjoyed a roasted veggie sandwich and garden salad while discussing our studio spaces. Always nice to catch up with friends!

Tomorrow I am here at home enjoying one last day of quiet before the children get out of school. I'm already dreaming of that good cup of coffee I'm going to have in the morning.


It Came Without Packages, Boxes or Bags!

So, what have I been doing for the days I have not been blogging. Well...I've been shopping. I usually always start shopping for Christmas stuff pretty early but this year the funds where not there so I had to wait until we got everyone paid off for the month and then could budget out what was left for the family cheer. I am also a bargain hound these days so I frequent certain stores for toys and gift for the family. Does the word "Tuesday Morning" ring a bell for anyone out there? Yesterday Quaid and I spent the day with the crowds and yes, I do mean crowds. I guess that since in past years I've got most of my stuff done early, I really haven't dealt with the Christmas rush. I have been on the other end of it dealing with all those hungry shoppers. I'd like to say that was when I was in my booth at a show, but sadly it was when I worked at a Mall when I was a teen and young adult . ( Don't tell anyone!)

At any rate, I'm getting almost there but I still have some more to do. Joey and I spent the evening searching Amazon for that perfect Lego set for Quaid.
Boy am I pooped dealing with all the crowds and traffic! I'm curious to see what the news finally says about this holiday season. It looks pretty busy to me!
I promise I'll get back to some pottery talk soon...just give me a bit of a vacation and I'll be back on board soon. I had lunch with my pottery folks the other day and that was good. We talked making sinks. Infact I hope Amy Sanders put some of her sinks that she is making up on her blog!
Like I said, pots are always there lurking in the back of mind...churning up thoughts and ideas....after Christmas the sketch book will come out for a bit.


Decorating( But Pots Still On The Brain)

My day was spent under a pile of greenery in my front room. I always make my own garland and wreaths for the house and you know , I can not just do a simple wreath! What an enjoyable day listening to music and watching a movie while I worked. Not much different than when I make pots. As of today I couldn't even walk through my studio because of all the mess. This evening I had to pack up pots to send off and take to various galleries around here that consign my work. In December I always figure there are last minute shoppers so I like to spread around anything I have left over. This year I have a lot! I kept a good amount of stuff here at home with me, just in case anyone wanted to come by and shop.
Even though I've been making wreaths, watching movies, chatting on the phone, playing with the kids and enjoying a night of not rushing through bookclub....my pots are always there in the back of my head.
You'll see that I cleared my calendar for the month. I do have shows booked for the spring so I'm slowly working out details and ideas in my head for when I get started again. Planning is good. My mind needs to work and my body needs that break.
Tomorrow is a day of deliveries and having lunch with my pottery friends here in Charlotte. I'm looking forward to a good day!


The Christmas Tree

Along with using my friend Lanier's barn for the Hen House Sale, we also got to cut our Christmas tree and garlands in their woods this year. Yesterday we started the decoration process. Today while also cleaning the house I kept going with getting the house set-up for the holiday. Quaid gave up after about the 5th strand of lights but here are the girls willing to keep going. This is a huge tree for us. Today it was leaning a bit so Joey had to work some magic with some fishing line and I-hooks.I made Paws help me a bit.

Piles of My Life

Today I am working on piles everywhere in the house. It is so embarrassing to me, I have no idea how it all got so out of whack around here and it has been driving me crazy for weeks. I sure that if I went back and looked at my post from last Christmas, it may say the same thing. I always know the fall will be crazy no matter how much I try to stay on top of it all. Yesterday was a day of decorating and taking down the Hen House sale. I'll post some of those photo's as soon as I feel like I've made a dent in my house today! I also have more to say about the Hen House Sale. I'm sure as the weeks go on, my posts will be filled with all sorts of rambling. Now that I plan to take a break from the studio, I can spend more time on other things. My art history class also is finishing up this week. They should be taking there tests as I write!


Email Only A Potter Would Love

I got this email last week from my friend Lisa Oakley about a second sale at Cedar Creek. Here is what Brad Tucker put about his seconds and as always, it made me laugh. I thought I'd share it since I don't think Brad posted this on his blog.
( BT, if your reading this I hope you don't mind that I shared with the rest of the world the your gift for words. Jen-a-mec)

9 am- until it's all gone.
I have these gems to offer and more: mistakes, bad ideas, curiosities, mental lapses and warped masterpieces. Many items feature: odd glazes, surface blemishes, ill-fitted lids, wierd colors, badly rendered surface decoration, lumpy shapes, scarred bottoms, minor undulations, and unstable feet. A few of these works are utter failures! (you'll be able to spot them). Yet, they are all lovable and usable, and if the ware is held at the proper angle and in a favorable light, these minor flaws are practically undetecable! And, they are all for sale at very reasonable prices.

Please come and bring a friend, if you like.
All sales are final, no haggling, bickering, profanity or thievery will be tolerated.
Sorry, but there will be no free gift wrap or personal engraving.
Doors open at 9 am, so if you arrive early, bring a warm coat because it is going to be cold outside!
With my best wishes,
The olde potter


Hen House Photo's

My husband makes me laugh whenever he does a post on my blog. I went to put something up the other night about the Hen House Sale and he calmly told me that he already had posted it. When I read , "Everything must Go!", I knew exactly what he is thinking.

"Please lord..no more packing and unpacking pots and pottery displays for awhile!"

Well today marked the end of the what I like to call "The gift buying season". I am done for a few weeks but I am happy to say that the Hen House Sale was by far one of the funnest shows of the year. Good friends, good food and very, very festive atmosphere. Here are some photo's from the set up!
Here is where we had a Hen House Sale with a big bonfire and a food tent outside ( complete with wine and hot cider).Here is the start of my set-up. Over to the left is my friend Terry Shipley's work.Here is my friend Colleen who does wonderful jewelry and has two very talented children. One is the budding black smith the other makes wonderful felted things.
Here is the shop almost all set-up complete with fresh cut Christmas tree from the woods in back of the barn.


Final pots of 2008

Tonight I loaded my final pots of the year for the Hen House Sale this weekend.
Here's Clayton our cat taking a little nap up on my wedging table while I work. Cats are so funny...she loves to prance around gingerly right when I have bone dry pots near by. This is called "Living on the edge". See the teapot sitting there? She managed to go from my wheel, to this bat and curl herself up in a that green towel without knocking anything down!)


The CDC...and pots!

Here are some pots!
I am so happy to be home today. I'm not sure if the unpacking and packing back up of shows wears me out the most or if its the BEING ON for three days that does me in. Yesturday I felt like a train hit me but a good nights sleep and some family time did the ticket, I'm feeling re-freshed today. Today I'm enjoying the solitude of my cats, the heater humming beside me and a good cup of coffee in a Marsha Owen's mug. In a bit I'll be out making some tiles for this weekends open house and off to pick up the kids from school. Whenever I'm away for a few days I have lots of little people who hang on me and need some mom time upon my return.
Here are some photo's!
Tiles where a big hit again this year!
Butter dishes where big sellers this weekend. I finally got to meet BIG AL, who leaves me great comments here on the blog. I hope he's enjoying his butter dish!Here is a huge vase that I was so thrilled to get out of the kiln!
Here is a square Flower block that I worked on getting some kinks out of this fall. They turned out great! Salt and Pepper Opera house...and bottles.

Mugs where also big sellers!

I'll post some more photo's later. I'm off to get back to work for my final show this weekend!

I'm Home - Back Track...Thanksgiving

I think Joey finally got the camera working again this weekend. I'm sure it was clogged with clay... hummm I wonder who did that...So, I'm going to back track a bit. I know everyone else already posted about their thanksgiving. Here was mine!
I could not give enough praise to my Sister-in-law Cindy for putting on such a spread. Joey now feel like the stakes are high to come up with an even more spectacular gourmet meal for our Christmas feast.
Look at this table. The only thing missing is some handmade pots ( I'll have to get Cindy working on that....).The cook with Joey close behind helping.Quaid and the other cousins waiting to be fed.


Off To The Show

I'm getting ready to go out and price/pack up pots for the show this weekend. I decided not to push myself and fire another kiln. I'll just save those pots for when I get home and have my final home sale. It feels so good to let myself stop working. I may not have a huge amount of back stock for the show, but I'm ok with this. I've learned that I feel so much better if I don't get to over "worked up" about not having enough stuff, or enough of a variety or shapes and sizes. Sometimes its just better to leave it up to the universe and see what happens. If I'm in a calm and happy state, things go better.
Isn't it amazing the lessons we learn at certain stages in our life? I think I've learned most about myself from my kids if I really sit down and think about it. Today Joey and I plus my folks got to watch our children and the rest of the lower school do a program called "Grandparents day". This always involves a lot of singing, a lesson to be learned and appreciation from the school for all the financial and emotional support that grandparents give to the school our kids attend. Whenever I see my kids up on stage while I'm sitting with my parents its always brings a flood of emotions. My mind always races to how my parents must of felt watching my many programs and concerts. I find that I have to pinch myself that I'm in their shoes now. About a year ago I really realised how fast time goes by so everyday I try to remind myself to enjoy just a few moments of peace and stop myself from getting to caught up in the race. My kids have helped me so much with this life lesson!
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I plan on doing what I do every year, watch the MACY'S day parade, eat a lot, play some board games and maybe take in a movie. The next day I should be well rested to sell some pots!
Happy Thanksgiving!