Saturday’s annual Crook Farm Creative Women’s Workshop

Gerri Lyter, of Allegany, N.Y. (left), explains the art of creating decorative mandala stones during Saturday’s annual Crook Farm Creative Women’s Workshop at the historic property in Bradford. Also shown (from left) are students Maggie Vincent and Linda Cummings, both of Shinglehouse, and Sandy Lyter of Bradford.

BRADFORD, Pa. — As a group of women sat at an outside table painting mandala stones early Saturday at the historic Crook Farm in Bradford, as if on cue a rooster was heard crowing at a neighboring farm.

A couple of other classes at the annual Creative Women Workshop were also held outdoors, while several including creative votive candle-making, blacksmithing and quilling were held in the old bank building, the historic one-room schoolhouse or in small buildings on the Seaward Avenue property.

Sally Costik, curator of Bradford Landmark Society which sponsors the event, said the program enrolled 45 to 47 women who participated in programs that taught them to transfer pictures to wood, paint Ukrainian Easter eggs, learn self-defense as well as touch on more traditional crafts that included crocheting.

“It’s quiet at the farm because everyone is in their classes,” Costik said while taking a break from instructing women how to transfer photos and clip art onto wood in the old schoolhouse.

“Everyone is really interested in doing new things,” Costik added. “That’s the whole point of this (event) is for people to try stuff you wouldn’t really have a chance to do.”

Costik said students, comprising mothers and daughters and sisters and friends, hailed from communities that included Shinglehouse, Warren, Kane, Eldred, Port Allegany and Bradford, as well as Limestone and Allegany in New York state.

“This is our fifth year and I always like this,” Costik continued. “Some people come every single year and they wouldn’t miss it, which is nice. But this year, surprisingly, we have people who have never been here before.

“Hopefully they’ll come next year and continue on,” she added.

On a related noted, Costik said Bradford Landmark will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year and the women’s workshop will tie in with those activities.

“What I want to do next year is to have the ‘best of’ (sessions) from the Creative Women’s Workshop” from years past, Costik explained. “I would like the ‘Pound a Plant’ class to come back because it was so hugely popular last year, and I think I might do wood burning again because that was popular, too.”

At the mandala stones craft table near the old farmhouse, instructor Gerri Lyter of Allegany, N.Y., taught women how to paint beautiful designs on stones, that are sealed with a finish and are appropriate for the garden or home.

“It’s just circular, repeated patterns,” Lyter said of how the stones are created.“You can put (the stones) outside, but I have some in house plants, and a bunch of them I might put on a little table.”

The workshop, which provided four of the 13 classes for registrants and a box lunch, is one of several events throughout the year that benefit Bradford Landmark. The non-profit organization also provides the Crook Farm School Program every year to hundreds of school children throughout the Twin Tier area.

In addition, the upcoming Crook Farm Fair and Old Time Music Festival, slated to be held Aug. 25 and 26, will include vendors, food, demonstrations, children’s activities, bluegrass and folk music and dancing and is considered the organization’s largest annual fundraiser.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at kates_th@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)

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