By: Danielle Kearns
Have you heard of the new kid on the block? Donut Crazy has been open since late November, and it has already made quite a name for itself right here in WeHa Center. And let’s face it -- their donuts are not just crazy with toppings, but insane in creativity! And that is something we have in common. As our neighbors, we can’t help but resist a visit there… multiple times a week! (How can you not when they’re just a few doors down?) And we’ve noticed this trend with our customers as well. As we are always a BYOB studio, we find the pairing of pottery, a coffee, and a sweet treat from next door the perfect combination.
The concept is pretty brilliant. Fresh donuts, made daily, and dunked, dipped, and topped with flavors galore. And the toppings aren’t the only thing to change. The “dailies” menu are their staple items and as “normal” and consistent as they get. But the “crazies” vary and are the reputation of the place. They can be a new concoction based on a new trending, crazy flavor combo or upcoming holiday delights. Amongst our staff, we have personally taste tested the gamut of flavors. My current favorite is the strawberry pop-tart, but I can’t say enough good things about the cookie butter donut, the pecan pie, and (oh yeah) the tater tots.
That’s right… they’re not just donuts, folks! Donut Crazy also serves BEC sandwiches, omelettes, avocado toast, nitro + cold brew coffees, fruit smoothies, and more. Some of our upcoming events will feature donut delights as we continue to collaborate with our new favorite neighbor.
Not sure what to order? Here are some of our staff favorites from their rotating menu:
By: Danielle Kearns
Have you ever seen one of those plaques that says, "I'm outdoorsy, I drink wine on the porch!"? Yeah, that's me in a nutshell. One of my best friends got one just like it for me when we first moved into our house, which happens to have a stellar front porch, and it totally summed me up in a nutshell. It also might be the main thing we do on said front porch.
I don't like being frozen to the bone. I can't stand being overheated. I don't like camping, bugs, porter-potties, humidity, or sneakers for that matter. But I do like hanging on the porch with a glass of something irresistible in my hand. Coffee, hot cocoa, beer, wine? I'll take it! That is about as outdoorsy as I get... and I'm okay with that!
I am all about relaxation. I am an introverted soul with extroverted tendencies. I can be sociable, talkative, and out-spoken, but the rest of the time, you'd be hard pressed to get me out of the house. I love things that I can surround myself with for extra comfort and cute decor. I didn't feel settled into my house until all of the boxes were unpacked, the frames hung, and the chotskies out.
That's why, when I look at the shelves at the claypen, I'm instantly inspired by the "cuteness" of everything. It's like walking through your favorite home decor shop... EXCEPT you can make and create the vision yourself. Trends are always changing, but you will always need kitchenware to stay functional in your day-to-day life. No one can have enough mugs... am I right? I probably have over 50 in my house alone, and yet, the first thing I painted at the claypen was a darn pumpkin mug. And I'm not apologizing for it. I think that mug is so stinkin' cute, and I'll probably paint a wine glass tumbler next time, as if I don't have enough of those in my house already!
So many people walk through our doors, unsure of what to paint -- and to that, I'd recommend something that makes you and your home feel good. Something that is both practical, aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and that makes you happy when you look at it. Remember Marie Kondo's words of wisdom here -- JOY. If it doesn't bring you joy to look at, or you don't think it will last more than a year in your house, then don't paint it. Think of something that is useful, decorative, unique, and practical.
One of the fastest ways to create a warm and welcoming home is lighting. Soft lighting with candles will warm your house and your soul right up. I must say, I have at least one candle in every room of my house. We have several options for lantern and votives right here in the studio for you to paint and customize to your taste. I just painted a tin can heart votive, which is proudly sitting on my mantel exuding a warm and fuzzy light.
That is a similar tone and atmosphere that we're hoping you feel while you're with us at the claypen. We try to be kind, warm, and inviting and allow people to unwind, relax, and enjoy themselves in their own way. Come as you are and paint your troubles away. Only happy campers here... this one just doesn't do much camping.
By: Danielle Kearns
I solemnly swear that I’m a grown human with a major thing for Harry Potter, and there is no shame in my game, so don't try and Horcrux this up for me! No lie, I once spent over six hours at the Warner Bros. Studio Lot in London touring the real sets and original costumes from the films, so yeah, I’m sort of qualified to speak on this front. Harry is where it’s at. My generation grew up with the Hogwartians (is that a word?) and considered Harry, Ron, and Hermione as our own, personal friends. I am a Gryffindor, through and through, and I just need to share with you our newest claypen additions that I’m so psyched out of my mind about -- HARRY POTTER SILK SCREENS! This might be the best thing we've offered yet, in my nerdy opinion.
Think of a silkscreen like the ultimate adult stencil. It’s made out of a super thin material with microscopic holes that allow paint through, but just enough for fine-detail work. You just use your fingertip to apply, peel the screen off, and you've got a pretty magical finished project that looks just like the real thing. This is the first time we've ever offered anything Harry Potter related, and we're super excited to see all of the majesty as each item comes out of the kiln. Choose whatever piece of pottery you'd like to paint that night and apply one of your favorite Harry Potter themed images and symbols faster than you can say Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans.
Here's a list of some of our available silkscreen options:
Can you wear costumes? We hope you do!
Can you bring food or drinks? You better.
Will you be tested on your Harry Potter knowledge? You bet. We will be featuring some Harry Potter trivia throughout the night for some extra fun. Get ready for it! We hope to see you there.
save the date: saturday, march 2nd
sign up on our events page
See you there, witches.
(Muggles welcome too.)
By: Danielle Kearns
Somehow, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Don’t ask me how or when, because I honestly feel like the trick-or-treaters were at my door just yesterday. The turkey and stuffing leftovers are long past gone. I have mourned a thousand deaths after putting all of my Christmas decorations away, and here we are. My only saving grace after each holiday ends is focusing on the next one. If you read my last post, you would know I don’t consider the “big game” a personal sacrificial holiday, so I am moving onto the next big thing.
I get it… it’s a “commercial” holiday that most people would rather skip over or make way too big of a deal over. I sit comfortably in the middle of these two forms of thought. Do I demand a bouquet of roses before I’m even out of bed in the morning on February 14th? No, but I’ve never had a V-Day where my honey didn’t get them for me, so I consider myself lucky. Do I need reservations at the fanciest restaurant this side of West Hartford? No, but I like food the other 364 days of the year, so I wouldn’t mind eating some yummy delights, indulging in some extra carbs, and toasting with some bubbly… but again, that’s pretty much me on a year-round basis. Valentine’s Day can be whatever you and your other half want it to be and make it to be. In my nearly six year relationship with my man, we’ve had all the versions of the holiday you might expect and, for that matter, never expect.
Our first Valentine’s Day we shared together, I had the stomach bug. And not just your normal, 24-hour thing. I had this demon from Hell for 10 solid days. It was not glamorous. It was not fun. There was nothing dreamy about it, but we did spend some romantic nights on the couch catching up on TV and nursing some Gatorade instead of my champagne. We’ve gone for a paint night and painted opposite sides of a common canvas. It was cute, I got drunk, and his came out ten times better than mine… which happens all too often when we do anything artistic. (Don’t even get me started on how he can decorate a Rice Krispy treat like a work of art. It is insanely frustrated as a natural competitor, individual who works at an art studio, and a prior teacher.) Anyway… back to my point. I’ve had friends who could care less about the “holiday” and would be confused if their partner showed up with a card. No matter your opinion on the day, I’d like to give some suggestions on how you can spend it here at the claypen and some of the options for all the folks out there -- taken, single, or apathetic.
Here’s what’s happening this month for Valentine’s Day:
sunday, february 3rd mommy + me “my little valentine”
friday, february 8th kids: craft LOVE party
saturday, february 9th daddy breakfast date
sunday, february 10th kids: best friends painting party
wednesday, february 13th mommy + me “my little monster”
thursday, february 14th date night (*2 separate sessions)
friday, february 15th gal-entine’s day party
sunday, february 17th state love board art
wednesday, february 20th kids: yard bird
saturday, february 23rd magic mike adult only night
thursday, february 28th “just my type” platter
As always, sign up for any of our classes online to reserve your spot. We are constantly updating our events on Facebook + Instagram, so follow us out there to keep an eye out for availability.
Is your gift for your loved one a surprise? Items should be painted by Thursday, February 7th for a Valentine’s Day pick-up. Have your item hidden here until you need it. Last minute shopping? Items can be rushed for an additional fee. Happy Valentine's Day, friends!
Danielle is a CT native, She started at The Claypen in 2018 as a Studio Associate and quickly became a Team Lead and our resident blogger on staff. She now manages The Firestone, our sister studio in Manchester.