Cool Spring Blog

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  • Sat, March 31, 2012 9:25 AM | Linda Case (Administrator)

    Just finished working with 9 dedicated and creative folk who wanted to learn to make tiles of polymer clay.  They learned techniques the first evening and took off flying in their own directions on the third.  I never fail to be thrilled by how different and special each person’s unique work is.  They were hooked.  If you haven’t tried this very special and accessible clay, our next class is June 12 and 13.  This one was full so sign up soon. 

    Caution:  this medium is addicting!

  • Sun, February 05, 2012 12:39 PM | Linda Case (Administrator)

    CraftWorks Board member Beth Brent invited me to make the trek to Washington to view the first showing of an independent film ("Walk With Me") about deceased performing artist Rebecca Rice and the use of art - especially performing art - to change lives.  For Rebecca Rice and those who follow in her bigger-than-life footsteps, art is as simple and as complex as telling your own personal story, your own personal reality. 

    Here are the first few lines of an 1996 poem by Rebecca Rice "An artist is a midwife standing flatfooted at the mouth of creation  A shape-shifter naked before the portal of the possible  An artist is touched in the head/the heart/the eyes/the body surf-boarding though space and time."

  • Mon, January 16, 2012 8:52 AM | Linda Case (Administrator)

    There were artists, teachers, prospective volunteers and just the inquisitive gathering on a brisk winter day at the CraftWorks Studio for comfort food and great conversation.  Yesterday was our appreciation luncheon – no stress, no strain – just camaraderie.  There’s something about this “Little-craftschool-that-could” that seems to attract the best and bring out the best.  If you haven’t sampled a class or an event yet, come join us.  Staff is working feverishly to create the best program ever for 2012.  Coming soon….

  • Sat, January 07, 2012 11:06 AM | Linda Case (Administrator)

    Four adventurous women arrive at the Cool Spring Studio to learn to create art with polymer clay.  They don’t know each other.  One is an established artist. The other three have worked in other media over the years but are looking for a fun, accessible, innovative medium in which to express their creativity.  It’s a two night class and they won’t depart at the appointed hour but keep working intensively.  They come early and stay late.  Community and camaraderie builds.  They end the class with uniquely distinctive art pieces – some are special gifts for others – and the determination to continue enjoying the creative life.  And that’s what CraftWorks is about.

  • Thu, November 17, 2011 4:01 PM | Linda Case (Administrator)

    Most of us know – or think we know – about common milkweed.  I’ve especially treasured it as the food for Monarch butterflies and I knew its toxic “milk” helped to protect the caterpillar and butterfly.  But there’s more…the “milk” in the stems and leaves is latex and there have been many failed attempts to make rubber commercially from it.  The fluffy seeds were used by native Americans to insulate their moccasins and was used in military life jackets in WWII.  Its bast or inner bark fiber has been used for textiles while the oil from the seeds makes a very potent sunscreen.

  • Thu, November 10, 2011 8:22 AM | Linda Case (Administrator)

    A recent gift was a t-shirt containing Advice from a Tree (  At first thought it is hard to think about what a tree can teach us other than that shade is a wonderful thing when it's 90 degrees outside.  Here is what my tree t-shirt says:  Stand tall and proud, Sink your roots into the earth, Be content with your natural beauty, Go out on a limb, Drink plenty of water, Remember your roots and Enjoy the view.  And that is plenty.


  • 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!

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