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.
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 new sister studio in Manchester.