Arts and crafts make good scents at Apple Harvest Festival

October 17, 2004|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Looking for something new in scented wax, Michelle McFillan of Martinsburg found it: A stuffed animal.

After "months and months of research," McFillan started dipping animals in wax about two years ago, she said.

She said the cinnamon and pumpkin scents sell the best.

McFillan's business, "Country Creations," was one of many trying to catch browsers' eyes at the 25th annual Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival's arts and crafts show at the Berkeley County Youth Fairgrounds on Saturday.

More than 100 craftspeople filled the buildings for the show, which continues today.

The middle of the afternoon brought an unexpected diversion: hail bouncing off the tin roof, said Nonie Johnson of the Heritage Craft Center of the Eastern Panhandle, which had a booth at the show.


The center, housed at Crim de la Crim on North Queen Street in Martinsburg, primarily promotes and teaches "the way Grandma did things - the knitting, the spinning," Johnson said.

Johnson, who lives in Martinsburg, said she works with fiber arts. She's about to teach a class in rug twining.

At other times, the center has classes in basket weaving, chair caning, painting, pottery, blacksmithing and other specialties.

Susan Shildmyer of Gerrardstown, W.Va., who knits, said the center will take a request for a class, then try to find someone to teach it.

Some of the items at the arts and crafts show were standard, such as dolls, carved stones, jewelry and dried flowers.

Some were not, such as goat milk soap, foam toy arrows, jester hats and a set of five empty, dangling beer cans labeled "Hill Billy Wind Chimes."

Laying on a table outside, the winner of the largest apple contest was 1,036 grams, about the size of a baby's head.

Delia Bowman Wach of Davis, W.Va., had her sketch pad out as people milled past her booth.

Wach and her husband, Martin F. Wach, were selling their book, "Teddy Bear Guardians of the Rain Forest."

The story grew out of the couple's relationship with a Maroon Indian medicine man named Dr. Heyns Landveld. Martin met Landveld during a business trip to the South American country Suriname.

Delia Bowman Wach said she wanted to tell the medicine man's story in a fun, straightforward way.

"As is wont my way, I turned everybody into teddy bears," she said. Dozens of teddy bear paintings and drawings around her at her booth backed up that idea.

Why teddy bears?

"I love the fact that when people see the pictures, they make them smile," she said.

Delia Bowman Wach said she and her husband are scheduled to speak about the rain forest at Berkeley Heights Elementary School in Martinsburg on Monday.

Winners of the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival apple pie baking contest

Grand Champion (all entries)

· Ciara Vorous, Musselman High School

Adult Division (20 entries)

· First place - Victoria Freyman

· Second place - Norma Knipe

· Third place - Renee Dugan

Junior Division (65 entries)

· First place - Tasha Dehaven, Musselman High School

· Second place - Deborah Hess, Musselman High School

· Third place - Ashley Nixon, Musselman High School

If you go

What: 25th annual Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival

When: Today, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Berkeley County Youth Fairgrounds, Golf Course Road, Martinsburg, W.Va.

Today's activities include:

· Pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $4.50 in advance and $5 at the door. Children 7 and younger are admitted free.

· Arts and crafts show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3.

· Antique vehicle show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is $5.

· Apple eating and peeling contests at 1:30 p.m. There is no entry fee.

· Baby Apple Seed contest and coronation of winners at 4 p.m.

· Drawing for the 2004 XXV Anniversary Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival quilts at 5:30 p.m.

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