Cool Spring Blog

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  • Wed, March 04, 2015 11:36 AM | Terri Burhans (Administrator)

    Since joining CraftWorks in January, I’ve had some time to immerse myself in all things CraftWorks.  I’ve met with scientists and naturalists and learned a few new words to describe this this environmentally rich ecosystem.  I’ve met with artists, who have taught me to relax, be fearless and just create something with your hands.  I’ve met with community leaders who have shown me that we’re all in this together. I’ve met with our dedicated board of volunteer directors, who have taught me that if you’re going to do something, do it with your whole heart.   Yes, I have learned a lot in a small amount of time, thanks to the generosity and kindness of people who make up this diverse and eclectic community known as CraftWorks.  As I listened to an array of interesting and talented people tell me their hopes and dreams for CraftWorks, I too had to ask myself, what are my hopes and dreams for CraftWorks?  Could I sum it up in one word?  The answer is yes and that word is…..VIBRANCY.


    Webster’s tells us that vibrancy means “showing great life, activity, and energy”.  I’ve seen other definitions that include words like colorful, thriving, enthusiasm, vitality, rich sound, and sparkle.  My dream for CraftWorks is to reach a state of vibrancy that overflows into the community and reaches artists, educators, children, scientists, naturalists, writers, farmers, planners, and leaders.  That it becomes a hub where people connect in an environment bursting with life.  But how do you measure your success?  How do you know that you have you have achieved a vibrant sense of place?  Vibrancy isn’t something that you can count or track or monitor.  It’s what you experience when you stand in a place and feel an attachment to its beauty, its rarity, its history, its creative energy, its mysteries, and its openness.   It is the very soul of a place speaking to you.

    I’ve listened to the rhythm of the Bull Skin Run as it makes its way through Cool Spring Farm trying to maintain its path and purity on its journey to the Chesapeake Bay.  I have felt the wind on my face and enjoyed the exhilaration that comes from inhaling the crisp outdoor air.  I have shared conversations along the trails that warmed my heart and will undoubtedly result in friendships and partnerships that blossom into innovative ideas and projects.  I have stood next to people and watched their eyes light up the first time they visit our studio surrounded by beauty and all the little extras that immediately tell you that art lives here.  I have smelled the coffee brewing that beckons you to come in and chat a while.  I have listened as the sound of an undeniable laugh rises above the hum of a crowd and brings a smile to my face.   Most profoundly, I have watched the expressions of gratitude that are so very human when someone shares their time, talent and knowledge with another.  This is what vibrancy feels like!  This is the very thing that I am committed to cultivating at CraftWorks.  I hope that you will join me.

  • Wed, November 09, 2011 9:31 AM | Linda Case (Administrator)

    These cool wet fall mornings make the unseen appear – large spider webs everywhere in the fields.  Dew drops outline them and often reveal the artist – the argiope or garden spider.  They are large and spectacular with black and yellow abdomens and they perch on the zigzag “embroidery” in the center of the web.  The zigzag patterns are called stabilimentum and reflect UV light thought to attract prey to the web.  In the fall you may see the egg sacs on the web.  The eggs hatch in the fall with 400-1400 babies who overwinter in the sac and emerge in the spring. 

  • Sun, October 23, 2011 5:19 PM | Linda Case (Administrator)

    Those green tubes don’t look much like a forest but don’t let them fool you.  Inside every one is a special young tree meant to grow and shade Bullskin Run to make it cooler and to strengthen the riparian buffer here at Cool Spring so that run off is slowed and better filtered.  The tubes are to keep those incessantly nibbling deer away.  There are 350 new trees and bushes along the creek, happily planted by many volunteers and planned and executed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the WV Division of Forestry.  Come watch them grow…

  • Mon, October 10, 2011 11:05 AM | Linda Case (Administrator)

    Saturday was cool, fresh and sunny - the perfect day for such a generous deed.  The Dolley Madison Garden Club has “adopted” CraftWorks and has built three gardens.  This was the day to install perennials contributed by their members’s gardens.  We planted everything from a large nandina to anemone to lambs ear.  Gardening is so much more fun when friends share it and CraftWorks is so grateful for their sharing.

  • Sun, September 11, 2011 9:45 AM | Linda Case (Administrator)

    After a gloomy week of rain, flood and drizzle, Saturday morning was beautiful.  Cars started rolling into CraftWorks.  The Master Naturalists were there to learn about wetlands and the Dolley Madison Garden Club arrived ready to prepare three flower beds for planting in October.  We had a pile of composted horse manure (brown gold!) contributed by Jane and Dick Minard, shovels, wheelbarrows and (sorry conservatives) lots of Washington Post newspaper.  In two hours, three large weedy beds were slumbering under their newspaper sheets with manure comforters.  These will be wonderful

    Friendship Gardenspopulated by plants grown in other gardens in the county.  If you want to join us or just want to bring plants for the Saturday, October 8 (8:30 am) planting day, please do.  We will be using non-invasive perennials.  Can’t wait!

  • Thu, September 08, 2011 8:41 AM | Linda Case (Administrator)
    Getting the Haines Barn painted at CraftWorks came to a standstill because of a 1 1/2" wasp.  Tanner, our land steward ran into a Cicada Killer Wasp nest hidden in a hole in the cinderblock.  While they usually burrow into the ground to lay their larva, this group was inside the wall.  At CraftWorks we love learning more about critters and it has never been easier because of the internet.  Turns out these large, loud wasps feed on flower nectar but the females sting and paralyze the larger cicadas, straddle them and drag them to the nest to store as food for the larva.  Female wasps can sting humans but rarely do.  Males can make quite an aggressive show especially around mating time but don't sting.  Keep your eye out for this impressive predator.
  • Thu, May 19, 2011 5:25 PM | Anonymous
    My first year teaching Young Artists at Craftworks has flown by! I can't believe how far some of my students have come with their artwork. Check out the video below for a glimpse into our Thursday afternoon painting and drawing class.

  • Mon, April 25, 2011 11:51 PM | CraftWorks

    The Taste of Two Rivers Fundraiser will kick off on May 12 at 7pm at Dish.  Other feasts in May include, the Lost Ladybug Safari at Cool Spring, An Afternoon in Germany at the Bavarian Inn and a Retro 50's Drive-In Movie Night at the home at Jason & Kara Rolfe.

    Many other feasts are planned through June, July and August.  Please visit our website for more information and to purchase tickets.  SEE YOU THERE!
  • Mon, March 21, 2011 5:41 PM | Anonymous
    Hello hello hello hello hello hello!

    Alot of crazy and exciting things happening here at Cool Spring Farm.

    Beginning next month, as part of the Bullskin Run Watershed Initiative, CraftWorks will be offering an innovative, energetic, and all-around enjoyable series of events titled Backyard Discovery. Each session involves hands-on education projects designed to increase student awareness of environmental issues through creative and fun activities where they will learn the concepts, ideas, and techniques to transform their own backyards into nature preserves. Participants will then be challenged to perform the activities in their own backyards and successful completion of challenges will be rewarded with gifts or coupons from local restaurants, businesses, and artisans.

    This summer's line-up includes conservation poster contests, Cool Spring clean-ups, building gourd birdhouses, insect identification, stream sampling, soil surveying, and much, much more.

    More will be coming soon, and we hope to see you all out there!

  • Thu, March 10, 2011 10:39 PM | Anonymous
    Here's a video clip window into the world of CW Young Artist's program! For this "World Music" lesson, we listened to songs form all over the globe. Kids also found the countries on a world map, and invented their own unique forms of action painting! Music was inspiration for these abstract expressionist paintings, where youth decided the shape, composition, and colors of the songs.

    World Music! from Craftworks At Cool Spring on Vimeo.

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