It’s a quiet afternoon. The stream of customers trickles off and I have a few hours to myself. The sun is streaming in, bouncing off car windshields as they travel home from work.
This is my favorite time in the shop. When all is quiet and I can look around at our painted pieces, my soul sings. As I run my hand along the sanded dresser tops and textured surfaces, a smile always grows on my face. I walk around and straighten a few displays. Add some more paint to the shelves. Wash a few brushes.
After soaking up the quiet time, I begin setting up for my first official workshop with Natasha. Over the past week, she had been arranging a handful of farmhouse clocks to be built, and we’ll be helping a small group of women turn them into beautiful pieces.
I put each clock out one by one, lining them up on our work benches. They smell like fresh-cut wood and I gently brush some residual sawdust from their faces.
They sit quietly, loaded with the anticipation of their pending makeovers.
Will they be stained? Painted with Chalk Paint or milk paint? Left natural? The choices are endless with these blank slates.
Soon, the sound of the shop bell rings steadily as women begin coming in, eager to spend the evening putting their spin on their own farmhouse clocks.
Natasha and I begin flitting from one lady to another, consulting and advising. What kind of look are you going for? Do you want to stain or paint? Have you tried Chalk Paint® before? How about milk paint? Let me get a brush for you. What color is speaking to you? We can show you how to do that!
As time goes by, each woman’s creativity is taking shape. Ideas are traveling from imaginations to hands and paintbrushes.
Stencils are being passed around. Roman numerals and numbers are steadily making their way around clock faces.
Stenciling sponges move up and down with mechanical precision, creating a steady thump, thump, thump. It’s the music of the evening.
As the night draws on, women step back now and then to take in their creations. Pride is in their eyes. Excitement is building. They are realizing that they actuallycan do it. It’s not as hard as they once thought. Their ideas are absolutely lovely.
As they finish, I ask if they would like to step outside for pictures. While their clocks are beautiful, I take note of their faces.
Every single woman is an artist.
She is a creative soul.
She is wildly talented.
Soon, goodbye’s and thank you’s are exchanged. Natasha, Tom, and I throw away trash and the shop is put back in order for the next day.
As I close the door and turn the key in the lock, I pause.
We charge for materials and we charge for our time. Even though the ladies walked away with such beautiful clocks, I realize that is not the goal of the workshop.
Our guests walked away with something much more important.
That is the essence of doing workshops.
We certainly teach skills.
We are happy to show techniques.
But we can’t give confidence. We simply set the stage and our guests do the rest.
Even I walk home with my head a little higher.
Here at the shop, we know you can do it. We are 100% certain that you are wildly talented and oodles of artistic ability is inside you. It’s our pleasure to help you see it.
It’s our pleasure to share the Love Street.