The Flexibility of it all...

...and right before my eye's, I have a studio!
We moved into our new home around the end of August and Joey and I quickly made the decision that I could not pot in the new garage. I didn't trust myself with the clean up or having the kiln in there so we quickly got into the car that weekend while the house was still overtaken with boxes, and we ordered a barn.
It only took a week to get the building permit and figure out how big it needed to be. ( This is 16X16 with a concrete pad off the back for my kilns.) The workman showed up yesterday at 8am, completed it a 8pm and constructed the entire building on site. It was pretty amazing to watch.
So now we have the electrical, water, dry all, caulking, paintings and all the other stuff that needs to be done but I still can not believe me eyes that it is there and its my own space. How did that happen???
ON to what else has been going on.......
Last weekend the girls and I went to the NC Potters show/sale at the Mint Museum of art. In all the years its been there, I have never had a chance to attend. There are alot of great potters that do that show and hopefully now the I live in NC, maybe one day I'll get asked to do it as well.
Here are the twins standing in this huge bamboo maze built near the Mint on the green. It was sort of hot day so I had to do the quick pottery tour and I also managed to buy and lovely Shino mug from Bruce Gholdson. Years ago when I worked at Cedar Creek I use to drull over his Shino pieces but never had the money to buy any. Fifteen years later, he's making some shino pieces again so I grab a mug!
Next weekend the Thrown Together Crew will have our annual Fall Sale. My boss, Jim Connell and his wife Paula Smith will be out quests along with a former college from Clayworks - Allyssa Woods. I won't have a lot of pots for sale but some. I'm allowing myself a little "slack" in that departments since I spent the summer packing and moving. For more information on the sale you can check out our page on Facebook.
I have thrown a few pieces in the garage. ( See how clean it is...!)
Last weekend I left the door open so I could keep on eye on the kids riding around the neighborhood. I think many of our new neighbors wondered what I was doing in here!Of course Joey had to come out with the camera and take some photo's of me "instructing" the kids on where they were going and typical Mom questions.. ( looks like I'm yelling something here...) giggle
You all have a great September and I'll try to post more photo's of my studio during the process of getting it up and going. Very exciting times here at the Jen Mecca studio!


Celebrations of life, work, new adventures and family

Summer is almost done folks, can you believe it?! This is been my summer of re-grouping, enjoying family time and moving on to new adventures.

We just got back from our summer vacation up in Central NY. This year we had a special occasion to celebrate which was my parents 50th wedding anniversary ( aren't they cute below..) So for all of us married folks out there who are still counting the years, my parents give hope to the fact that you can make it work through the good and bad. We had a small celebration dinner for them in a town which is my families favorites on earth...Skaneateles NY. If you ever get near Syracuse , you have to go!
We got to spend an entire week up near Ithaca. How many of your bloggers out there know this guy? Yep, the one and only Gary Rith was on our " stopping" list this trip. He was great with the kids and he made some custom mugs for my girls. We fell in love with his animals needless to say....

We spent alot of time hiking several gorges and waterfalls. That is one of the things Central NewYork is known for. Here a shot from Watkins Glen State Park.
We bunked at a lake house where I spent most of my summer with a childhood friend. It was bitter sweet going back because her lake house is no longer in use by her family. The kids swam morning, noon and night while Joey and I enjoyed NY state wine, relaxation and the cool breeze that came off the lake. We also had a family of ducks that came to visit every morning.
We did sell our old house in York Sc and as they use to say on the show "The Jefferson's", we're moving on up! In the next few weeks we'll be moving into the yellow house in the photo below. We were very lucky with the housing market and found a house near the kids school that met all our "room" requirement. Who ever it was that was upset with the fact I was home schooling can rest assured that our children will be going back to good school , (that we will be paying for..) and Mckenna will be able to get all the reading help she needs. She has had an excellent summer and I don't regret for a minute taking her out of school and giving her all the encouragement and help I could. I think teachers these days just have to many kids and not enough time to really focus on a child who is crying out for help. Teaching them is only half of what teachers SHOULD be doing. Nurturing, encouraging and knowing each child is that other half... ( obviously its a topic that still "stings" a bit for me!)

Incidentally, that garage on the side of the house will be my new studio. It has windows and a cooling system believe it out not so until we can scrimp and save to build me something...this will be my new pottery home. My salt kiln will also be getting a new home in Concord NC. "She" will be rebuilt at Allison McGowen's house and we plan on giving workshops together out at her place so....that was a big relief for me! Joey and I looked and looked for a house out in the country but just could not find what we needed so you make do with what you can!
The kids enjoyed a lot of creative camps this year. Here the girls learned to make fashions out of recycled material.....it was a hoot!
And finally, yes....pots have been made in my studio. I just updated my show listings so far for the year so when you get a chance, go to my side bar and see where I will be this Fall. In two weeks, I'm back up to Blowing Rock and looking forward to it!
Take care everyone! Jen


Stuck In Reverse......

I was out taking one of my power walks this evening; one of the best ways I know to clear my head, get some energy, enlighten the endorphins and just breath. The headphones go on to drown out all the noise in the world but seeing what the rest of the world is up to while my brain is focused on my own little world is comforting.

While walking this evening the song called " FIX YOU" by Coldplay came on and my brain quickly focused in on the lyrics and one little person in my life popped into my head. Weeks go by and things come up in my studio or life and I think to myself " I need to go blog about this".

Some of us use our blogs to share information, some of of us use it to purge our thoughts and of course I've talked about this before going back and forth with what I myself use this forum for. The moment passes by once the thought enters my head and I switch gears to something else and the thoughts and words that I want to get down are lost. Many times when I walk. I'm writing in my head. Some days this even happens while I'm throwing on my wheel and I think to myself how great it would be if I had one of those little hand-held tape recorders you to see detectives use in spy films. So in my mind, my blog has been going on. I just haven't shared it with anyone. But tonight, this evening after everyone is fast asleep and I have finished up some mugs, I decided to sit down and share.

Last time I left off with my blog I talked alittle bit about giving up writing for other more important things - like my family. Slowly, every since last year, 2010, I've had little person in the house that needed a lot of attention and some "Fixing" I guess we could say. I've often talked about all my reading issues as a kid and this year, after watching one of daughters slowly melt down while attending a new school we found out that she too has some pretty complicated learning issues and was really in need of more of my attention. I'll say it once again, I have learned so much about myself from my children and this experience has paralleled my own experiences at her age. The one who tends to push my buttons the most turns out to be the most like me and everything in my world has just flip flopped. Priorities that use to be high on my list are at the bottom.

I ended up taking both our girls out of school and decided to home school them for the remainder of the school year. I felt like I owed my twins a little "re-wind" so to speak for all the times I had left at night to teach a class or relied on Dad to take care of things. Dads are great but sometimes, if there is a Mom in the picture...kids just need Mom. When I started to just have the girls with me 247 at home, I saw myself at that age and what I had gone through and just decided to slow down with studio work and enjoy "fixing" my little person who has just needed someone to understand why her brain doesn't work like the rest of her classmates, siblings and friends.

I've gone through so many phases of how to deal with being Dyslexic and having ADHD all my life. All the feelings of being dumb as a kid, which my daughter is going through at the moment, insecurity through out High School, to trying to explain my special needs in college to professors and even laughing it off when boyfriends or friends teased me about my spelling and disorganization. I recently read a great article by Trudi Styler ( Stings wife) about living with ADHD and how hard it is on adult relationships. I've joined an organization for Dyslexics in which I get publication via the web with all sorts of information that I never knew before. Now that I am raising a child who reminds me of all the struggles, tutors and tests I endured as a child, it brings up so many feelings. All a mother wants to do is protect her young. A mother will drop everything to "Fix" her child that is hurting. Back in my head the anger of years of my own struggles and insecurities about succeeding just come to the surface ever time I try to teach my 8 year old how to write, spell the simplest of words, and make her feel good about herself. I get angry now sometimes at people who don't understand what it like to have dyslexia and I realise my child will go through the same teasing as I did and still do. People don't understand that most children with dylexsia and ADHD have very high IQ in the gifted range. They understand that they don't learn like everyone else and its frustrating.

Like myself, this child of ours can draw and create and sing like none of our other children can. She'll be fine, with extra help and will have to work as hard as I do to get ahead. My work ethic does not come from a strong moral background. It comes from years of being told I could not do something and this experience as a parent of a child with the same struggles as myself, has been my "Ah-ha" moment. (As Oprah would say.)

Shows, orders and huge blocks of time have come and gone this year in my studio. The blog and the website have cobwebs.

I've managed to keep up with the sales/shows that really matter to me and I would hate to loose. The group of potters that support me keep me going. My shelves remain bare after a sales because I never have time for extra inventory, but that's Ok with me.

At the moment all the rushing to keep up doesn't matter as much to me. All I want to do is "Fix" my little mini-me and help her feel better about herself and when I start seeing some confidence and acceptance for who she is and how she'll have to work that much harder than the other children, than I'll feel Ok. At that time, whenever that is, I'll get back to me and really pushing my clay career.

On a side note, our kids will all be back attending the private school they went to before this year and Joey and I will go back to trying to figure out how to pay for it. Nothing is more important these days than having your kids get a good education and being in a safe and supportive enviroment. I've taken on yet another teaching job at this school, along with my other two. I'll be working with the 3 and 4 year old in the pre-school program teaching art. I'm looking forward to teaching the little folks in the morning and than rushing over to teach my 20 year old at Winthrop in the afternoon. Once again, we sacrifice for our kids. Teaching at the kids school helps with tuition and also will be a great way for my little girls to see me and for my "mini-me" to feel secure knowing I'm around the corner 2 days a week.

Joey and I also put our house on the market to move closer to our kids school. I'm happy to report our house sold in one week and now we are feverishly looking for a house, over the boarder in North Carolina that also has a studio space for me. I think I deserve to get off the back porch and have my own building to work in. If we can swing North Carolina taxes, I will finally be a North Carolina potter, which has more opportunities than being a South Carolina potter.
So, that's where I have been. The struggles and my own "ah-ha" moment this year. I am still making pots but instead of rushing around to try and make deadlines, I'm rushing to go take a walk with the girls, or help with reading and writing or just being there one on one to listen to worries, joys and fears from some very deserving little people that mean the world to me.

Here's a little Coldplay for your enjoyment. I love this video because its just the lyrics...which of course I think are great. Enjoy!


Mother day is a good time to tell my story.

"Missing in Action Can be a Hard Thing"

I have alot of folks tell me they read my blog and lately ask what's going on with my blog. I've wondered this alot lately myself but rather put if off in the back of that place we all call " I'll get to it soon".

The beginning of September when my shelves were bare and people asked me " So, what are you working on"? Or "Do you have any...." I'm sure the look of my eye's turned up towards the right side of brain, the wrinkled brow of my forehead and the " Welllllllllll"......that came out of my mouth was an indication that I was at a stand still. People tend to loose interests after awhile and move on to other, more exciting blogs and pots and this is understandable. I tend to sit back and think about categories people fall into and at times wish to join the pack or envy some groups. Potters fall into these group as well even though we all strive to be individualists. Lessons we thought we learned in High School about popularity contests don't stop in adulthood like we think they should, they carry on I think well into old age.

As you know today is Mothers day so I thought it was a good day to get back on board and do a little post. It actually may not be that little now that I think about and may take a few instalments or maybe I can make it a series like the Harry Potter books my son was obsessed with last year. ( Get it...Harry POTTER?!) Ok, bad joke..

So my blog adventure in 2010 took me from posting at least once a week to signing off in October. Once Christmas rolled around I thought I could take it back on and perhaps give it a new look - less Mud Mama stuff and more just pottery talk. A real serious pottery blog like many of my fellow bloggers male and female alike tend to have. I sort of was feeling like I had a whine about every single obstacle I had run across with trying to be a Mom and potter at the same time. I even think some other potter had a rant on the web about how potters were talking far to much about personal matters and less about the meaty topics like - glaze calculation, clay mixing, studio practices, pricing ect. After the North Carolina Clay conference in March of 2010, I sat in a discussion given by Ayumi Horie about good pottery blogging and felt myself sort of slink down in my chair because I realised my blog was less about potting and more about trying to juggle a lot of things. Like all working parents/professionals, I wanted to be taken seriously, so I had in my head that I would only blog about pots and the making of pots. Silly me!

"Hiding Out in my Studio"

So many things over the years that I've talked about wanting to make in my studio. Some get done, others do not due to time or sheer frustration. Truth be told I think I tried more new things back when Quaid was a baby because honestly I had more time. As the twins grew, my time seemed compressed and the wheels didn't turn as much. Alot got said about wanting to "try" stuff but as shows grew near and the twins went through developmental stages, well...lets face it, it was easy for me to crank out a pie plate rather than a new teapots design for an upcoming Spring show. When I think back over the last 10 years of making pots and trying to establish some sort of following, the priorities were always changing. You have the "Just trying to get started", "Finding your own voice", " Money matters", "Outdoor shows/Indoor shows"," Teaching", "Dealing with special orders", "Marketing and Networking". Through it all I've either been with child, having babies, dealing with nannies and trying to raise what seems like a herd of elephants some days. The oldest child got more attention at the beginning of this journey, the younger two got feed, bathed, loved and disciplined. Notice I did not say attention. At this point I could branch off and have a whole other blog about raising twins but that really is a whole other story so I'll just focus on my career and the twins. Here is where everything took a turn in the priority department and the start of my tale.

Next post - "Genetics - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"


Reminder of what a great community we are!

This Saturday I was reminded of what a great , given folks potters are.

I spent all day Saturday watching and listening to Sandi Pierontozzi and Neil Patterson. The Carolina Claymatters Guild brought them both to Charlotte and I was lucky enough to get a seat. Neil kept commenting how huge the guild was in Charlotte - 80 folks attended this workshop and from what I heard there was a waiting list. I was so glad I signed up for it because I needed a little reminder at what great folks there are in the clay world as well as honing my slab skills for teaching my beginning clay folks. Both Neil and Sandy where just so offering of their skills and knowledge and spent the entire time just teaching and working non stop! Great folks to watch if you ever get a chance and so calming and happy. I really enjoyed myself, plus I got to see old students of mine, pottery folks I had not seen in awhile and be silly with my pottery pals Ron and Amy! By the way, the Thrown Together crew will be sending out information soon about our upcoming Spring Sale so stay tuned!

When I got home that night there was a little white box waiting for me from Vicki Hartman . I was so thrilled when I opened the box and found a new mug waiting for me! Vicki and I had traded way back last summer and a few months ago I mentioned to her via an email that the mug I had gotten from her met a horrible death one morning when my husband knocked it off the counter. I thought it was so sweet of her to remember this and send me a replacement! God, what a great community we are and its such a small world......
I've met so many great pottery Mom just from having this blog and I'm thankful for that!

( Silly me but I always appreciate the bottom of other potters mugs. Yes..go ahead laugh at that comment! I struggle with keeping crud off the bottom of my pots so I admire this!)
Hats off to all of us for keeping clay in the world and working together. Just this weekend events will pop into my head the next time I teach or give away a pot to someone in need of a little treat!
In the studio this month I'm working on just building some inventory for all the various sales I have coming up. I even got the hang of my etsy site this week. If you get a chance check out what is new on there. Slow and steady I always tell my girls when they have trouble with school work. I've learned to tell myself the same things these days since I don't get as much time in the studio as I use to.
Quaid is home with today because he has President's day off while the girls are in school. Quaid is back in private school and the girls are finishing out their public charter school experience this year. More big changes for our little family as we try to put our house on the market and move over the boarder to NC.
Do you think I could do one of those great advertisements in Ceramics Monthly for "Studio and Home for Sale". HA! I never did talk about the Studio visit article that Ceramics Monthly did on my in January but my little humble space did get me some fame so I guess I shouldn't knock it!

Peace everyone! Jen


Stylish Blogger..here I go!

Connie Norman sent me an email the other day about being one of her "Stylish Blogger" picks. I thought that was sweet of her since I haven't been as much of a blogger these days as I use to but....I still do get on here from time to time. Connie has such a great blog and these days when I go "peeking" around to see what everyone is blogging about, I am in awe of what great website/blogs everyone has.

So, the rules of the "Stylish Blog" are as follows.......
1. Thanks the person who gave you the award being by providing a link to their site.
2. Share 7 things about yourself that other blogger might not know.
3. Give the Award to 15 newly discovered or interesting blog.
4. Notify each of those blogger to present the Award.

Here are 7 things about me that have not been on my blog.

1. I was a cocktail waitress all through college. When I got my first job at a college bar I really

had no idea what I was getting into. I lived in Richmond Virginia so the college bar scene was very busy and delivering beers, cheese sticks and shooters from 6 to 1am three nights a week can be good money to a tuff job. I started waiting tables at a sleepy Days Inn hotel in downtown Richmond delivering room service. Soon I heard the real money was at the college bars and I quickly got a job working at a bar in Shockoe Bottom called the Bird in Hand. It was so busy and I was so out of my league with keeping up with all the drink orders, that the first month I started, I would sleep walk at home and deliver glasses of water to my roommates during the night!

2. I once was held up at gun point! For anyone who has ever worked at the bar, you know you don't get home until the wee hours of the morning. When I graduated from Design School I was working two jobs. During the day I worked at a retail store and on the weekends, I kept my cock tailing job. Some weekend I'd get home from the bar at 3am and have to go to work at 9am the next morning. One night when I came home from working at 3am, while going up the stairs to my apartment I found a guy standing in front of me with his arms raised saying "Don't shoot!" and one of my neighbors holding a rifle pointed straight at the two of us. In my head all I was thinking was " Oh man...I've got to get to bed because I have to get to work tomorrow and now I've got to deal with this?!!" Soooooo...I calmly, with my arms raised said to my very agitated neighbor.."Hey...can you put the gun down?" He yelled back at me that this man was trying to break in to his apartment and he was going to " Blow his ---------------head off!" I once again thinking to myself " God....I've got to get to bed!!", calmly said "Just put the gun down so I can get on by and I'll go call 911 for you.....Ok?" After a few back and fourths, he finally waved me by with the gun and I went into my apartment, called 911 and went to bed and happily made it to my day job the next morning.

3. I love to sleep. Nothing is better to me than getting in my bed and going to sleep. My comforter has always been my most favorite article in the house. And I equally hate being woken up if I don't have to be up. I am not a morning person! ( But I married a morning person who doesn't like to sleep, so we balance out.)

4. Of course everyone who reads my blog knows that I am the mother to 3 children and I do love them dearly. I've even given up blogging to spend more time with them. What you all did not know about my children is that although I am thankful for each of them, I'm not sure I'd jump at the chance to go through pregnancy and the birth process again. The reason I say this is because I tend to have the world biggest babies. Quaid was 10lbs and the twins each weighed 7lbs. ( Yes, if you do the math, I carried nearly 14lbs of baby with my twins!) When Quaid was born I had nerve damage and had something called "foot drag" for about a month because he was so big. In other words..no more babies for me or I may end up in the Genus book of world records because I'm only 5'-4".

5. While studying abroad in the Baltics with the East Carolina Ceramics department, my instructor neglected to count heads while leaving a public rest stop in Finland and ended up telling the bus driving to leave while I was still in the bathroom. When I came out and noticed the the tour bus had left some Finish speaking man grabbed my arm, pulled me into his car and raced down the highway going 100 miles and hour to flag down the bus. Needless to say, he did not speak English and I did not speak Finish and I felt like I was in a James Bond movie during the entire 20 minute ordeal. We did finally stop the bus and I was not to happy when with my instructor when I finally got back on the bus.....
6. I love Donuts. I love donuts so much I don't allow myself to get in 50 feet of a donut shop! As all brides do, I starved myself before my wedding and once Joey and I left for the honeymoon, my first food purchase was a donut. After my birth ordeal with Quaid, I made Joey go out and buy me donuts. ( See I couldn't even put a photo of real donuts on here because I love them so much!)

7. I've had a lot of dental work done. The worst I think was having 6 wisdom teeth removed from my mouth at the age of 17. Yep...I had an extra set on the bottom of my mouth all 6 were impacted. At the time my parents did not know I was allergic to codeine either so needless to say, I went through the entire recovery process sick and finally with no pain medication. Believe it or not, I kept all the six wisdom teeth the dentist took out and still have them in a little porch just as proof of my ordeal. ( If there was number 8 I would state how fearful I am of dentists!)

Today is Valentine's day and I got to spend it at school watching Bonnie Seaman create her fabulous masterpieces out of clay. The conversation was great talking pots, potters and funny stories about our craft. I could not have asked for a better gift to myself than to feed of the energy of another potter and inspire me to keep working away on my own creations.


Reconnecting with things...

Some afternoons while I'm helping my children with their homework, I sit next to them and grade things for my online courses or try to keep up with what seems like the endless amount of paper work that goes along with owning your own business. Always multi-tasking, which lately I've heard studies have shown is not the best thing to do. Oh well....I think for some of us who's brains tend to move in various directions at once, being able to multi task is just something that comes naturally. But once again....I've gotten off what the subject was about here. Old idea's I come back to.

The other day, when I was helping Aydan with her homework she got tickled because I got out my sketchbook and started thumbing through it. I found these sketches I had done awhile back. They actually came off a screen saver and I thought I could modify some of these. I love to revisit old idea's or interesting thoughts I just haven't had the opportunity to use. I was working on some cupcake plates a few weeks back and decided that some owls would look good on them. I have two waiting to be glazed today.....perhapse some of these sketches will show up on those small plates or even some pillow tiles. Also in the last two weeks, some consignment galleries have called to say they are either closing shop or I have decided that my pots are just sitting collection dust. This doesn't bother me because some old friends have come home. Some of these pots below are pretty old but I really enjoy visiting with my old work because already I can see the progression in what I'm doing. The possibilities of bringing back some old surface decoration and incorporating that somehow in my new work may be a good thing.

Life and work seem to be one in the same. The longer you are around and doing something, the less you realize you know and the more you want to learn! I'm always re-inventing things. This year it is how I sell my work. I've been thinking alot about retail, wholesale and consignment and what works the best for me and the things I create.

Please check my show schedule and gallery list. I've added some things and some others have gone away. Each year brings new adventures!

...Ok, I'm off to glaze. Have a great week! Jen


Resolutions and happiness...

I've been pretty good about keeping my resolution this year about not going to out to work in my studio at night and staying off the computer during the day. Well..pretty good. I made that resolution because who wants to hear me complain about the cold anymore! My evil twin keeps saying in the back of my head " well then..keep your butt indoors in the evening Silly!" So, that what I told myself I would do. I would keep all my email from students and folks ( and silly facebook messages) until the evening. Boy..that is a hard thing to achieve let me tell you! And thought going on a diet in January was bad!

Well today, its almost 12:30 and I've been here all morning putting out fires with my new online students and answering emails. One in particular last night ( from someone who tends to keep me on my toes when it comes to working..he shell remain nameless..) mentioned that I didn't have any contact info. on my blog. You all know that my husband puts all that stuff together for me and he use to "police" things on it as well. Well my " Tech Guy" has sort of taken a leave of absence and I've just ...well let it all go for awhile I guess. Website, resume' and little things like that in my mind are ALWAYS shoved way back on my list of things to do. So, this morning a took the time to clean-up my resume', post my upcoming shows and at least put my email on my blog. Guess I still have cleaning to do on my website ( its sort of mess..I admit). That's for another evening and hopefully not day. The weather here isn't to cold so I'm heading out for the rest of the afternoon and yes, I'll be out there this evening but alt east I won't have to wear 12 shirts and 5 pairs of pants to stay warm!

A box and some mugs...does anyone need anything else?
You all have a great week! Jen


A little tour of our town

So we are on our third day of having no school. My mom was just telling me that Atlanta has no snow plows and here in Charlotte I'm not sure how many we have...but I know they do have some. DOT has been salting the roads but snow with ice on top of a bunch of folks who don't know how to drive in it, is not a good mix. Of course, out here in York, we have no salt or snow plows so basically everyone with a huge, mega truck is trying to drive on the roads. I think this part of the country has one of the largest amounts of folks with heavy duty trucks and SUV's so that's about all I've seen going up and down the road in front of our house. ( No way I'm getting in my Volvo station wagon even with the four wheel drive and going anywhere...)!

I told myself that this time when I started writing my blog I was going to stick to posts about pots but here I am with time on my hands and not much free time to work in my studio this week. Snow days involve kids running in and out and no concentration on my part. Ignoring all the excitement and activity just is hard to do when your have attention issues, like I do. My online classes this week also started and it seems with all the colleges closed that my students have nothing better to do than get a jump on my class so I've been inundated with questions that I normally get about a week after the class starts. So, I'm busy, just not with making pots. ( I do have mugs and tiles thrown....)

(Here is our home, in the snow)
The first day it snowed all the kids got invited to go sledding at various location near our home so I decided to enjoy the snow and take a little walk with my camera around the town. You never know if we'll get snow anymore and our big news is that we are going to try and sell our house this Spring and move over the border to NC for various reasons. This may be the last snow I see in york and boy is this a charming town with snow on it.
( Looking down our street)

I thought I'd take some photo's of places in town that I either love or interest me. I'm going to link the photo's to the Yorkville Historic Society's website so you can read about the history. What I thought I'd do is tell you what I've learned about about these houses through out the years we have been here. One great thing about living is a small town is all the gossip and funny stories that go along with the folks who live here. (I'm sure Joey and I are one of them....I can hear someone saying " You know, those hippies that live over on Wright avenue. He's always doing all the cooking, has long hair and use to push those babies all around town while that wife of his spent all her time back in that shed cookin' those pottery things!"

To start off with below, here is a photo of what's called The Meeting place for Sons of Confederate Soldiers. We have lived here for 10 years and I pass this building all the time wonder if "The Sons" really meet here or not? Its kind of cool looking building, sort of like an old jail....just for the record York County had the most KKK dens and we are mentioned alot in the book by D.W. Griffith "Birth of a Nation". York is so full of history, I love when anyone has an old story to tell. I belong to a bookclub in which many ladies who grew up in this little town love to tell tales! So many interesting conversation come up when we read book like "THE HELP" or "The Secret Life of Bee's".
This is the Latta House built in 1824. It was also the York Funeral Home for many years. Now its been converted into a little wedding place for folks. Joey and I attended a wedding here a few years back when they first opened and since she knew the folks who owned it, I got a private tour of the upstairs where the funeral home held all the bodies for years. That section had not been "restored" yet for the wedding facility so needless to say it was pretty creepy and neat at the same time. Rumor has it that back during the civil war the daughter of the man who built this house waited from her fiancee' to return from war and when he didn't, she never left the 2nd floor of this building until her death and only came out on the porch for fresh air.

This house has always interested me because someone does live here but I have never laid eyes on her and I pretty much walk or run everyday buy this home. This house is called the Herndon/Sutton home and I always wish someone would take care of it because it has all sorts of cool little buildings behind it. Like many old home in York, families fight over who's going to sell them or live in them and than the poor places end up falling apart.

This is the Marion/Goins house. If you click on the link to this house, you'll see that when the photo of it was taken just about 2 years ago, it was sort of in dis-repair. Just this year someone bought and restored it and it is now on the market for a 1/2million. I was peeking around it the day I went walking and boy did they do a great job. My dream home, if it had a studio and was in a better school district....oh and if we could afford it!This is Buz Smith's home. He's a nicest old man and works at Lowes..of all places. His wife taught my kids to swim at the local YMCA and they use to have this old dog "Oreo" that they'd walked around our block and my kids loved to see. This house is so big for only two people. Once again, Buz inherited this home from his folks and he drives around in a old ford that I think is from the 1950's. All these homes on this street are behind our house so in the summer time my kids like to be adventurous and wonder through the backyard of some of these places. They come back with all sorts of stories of what they have found. In Buz's backyard he has all these over grown boxwood paths that someone put in years ago for garden parties I guess. Boy if I could go back in time to see how some of these families lived...
This blue home is the McCorkle/Moore home. Its is directly behind our home and whoever lives here does NOT like my kids exploring her backyard. Very few folks are like this in our town but there is always one person....My kids ran home this summer saying out of the blue someone had put KEEP OUT in the way backyard so I said " Well, you better stay away from that yard than". The neat thing about this house is that our home was a wedding present to Mr. Moore's daughter back in 1902. Of course our house doesn't look at all like this one but we are only the 4th owner of our home and that's pretty neat considering its over 100 years old!

This isn't a very good shot of the downtown but I think its funny that they still have not taken down the Christmas decorations and its January 10th!
So, that's just a little history about York and some places I'm going to miss if we do ever sell our house.
Tomorrow the kids go back to school and I finally start my clay class at Winthrop. Today I got out to my studio for about an hour or so. Not much time but alittle. Hopefully my next post will be more pottery related!


Football and Plastic

Well, as most of your know the South East ( and most of the East Coast) is pretty cold. I thought last year was a cold winter but obviously I was wrong because this December was just how I like it. COLD! Of course I like it cold because its Christmas and I shut down my studio for most part, but now that we are in January and I need to get back working.....its to cold once again to make pots!

We put two layers of plastic up in November but with the cold snap and maybe my age ( haha) it was just not "Cutting the mustard" as the saying goes sooooooo.................. Yesterday I was like... " Honey, you need to help me put more plastic up in my studio"!

Now, I have a very patient husband who helps me ALOT but during football season I know that basically I'm on my own. Well yesterday was the NFL play-offs and putting up plastic once again for the second time this year was not something that was high on the list of fun things to do on a Saturday.
The process of doing this means the everything has to be pulled away from the walls, pots need to be taken off the shelves, its cold and it seems like the plastic roll, after pulling it out and measuring it, takes over the whole space. ( There is Joey above with no coat on in 30 degree weather measuring the outside wall.)
Basically in a nut shell, its a pain in the neck and many expletives are spoken during the process.
So the moral of this story is...don't interrupt your husband during the weekend of the NFL play-offs to put more plastic up in your studio. It could be detrimental to your marriage!