She is a CEO who brakes for salamanders, has bottle-fed rescued squirrels and spent her vacation building furniture for a rural school in Costa Rica. She believes in the future and in the people who will build it. A former distance-learning professor at Tulane University with a master’s in environmental health & safety, she turned an interest in forest conservation and endangered species into a growing, local business. She delivers rainforest statistics at breakneck speed, but knows how to slow down and appreciate the beauty of a newly finished piece of heirloom furniture.
Lyndon Furniture was one of our very first partners when we started Vermont Woods Studios as an online fine furniture store. That was nearly 9 years ago and since then we’ve created a close partnership with Brian Ball, Dave Allard, Christine Drown and the whole Lyndon Furniture crew.
Truth is, I started Vermont Woods Studios out of a passion for forest and wildlife conservation. I really didn’t know anything about furniture. But Dave Allard, who owned Lyndon Furniture at the time, took us under his wing. He too, had grown up loving Vermont’s woodlands and like me, he chose a line of work built around forest conservation.
Lyndon’s sustainable, handcrafted wood furniture fills a special niche in our new fine furniture gallery at Stonehurst. Lyndon’s bedroom, dining, living room and home office furniture is known for it’s simple elegance and classic American shaker style. It pairs beautifully with other elements of Vermont home decor including Simon Pearce glassware, Hubbardton Forge lighting and JK Adams wooden tableware.
Today we celebrated our strong partnership with Lyndon Furniture over a handcrafted harvest table full of locally grown food at Brattleboro’s Whetstone Station. We are looking forward to the next 9 years of collaboration and success with our friends from Lyndon, Vermont!
I’m not sure how summer slipped away so quickly, but there’s no getting around it… leaf peeping season is upon us! Thousands of visitors will soon be motoring around the Green Mountain state enjoying the brilliant colors our maple trees are dressing up in. If you’re one of those lucky leisure travelers be sure to add the Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences VINS in Quechee (near Woodstock) VT to your itinerary.
I started volunteering at VINS when Kendall and Riley were in the Vernon Elementary School, so over 15 years ago. They had a wonderful program called ELF (Environmental Learning for the Future) where parents would come into their childrens’ classrooms and give hands-on training using various wildlife artifacts we managed to come up with.
Today the VINS mission is mainly focused on bird conservation: “motivating individuals and communities to care for the environment through education, research, and avian wildlife rehabilitation.” It’s a “nonprofit, member-supported, environmental education, research and avian rehabilitation organization headquartered at the VINS Nature Center in Quechee, Vermont. Open year-round, the 47-acre campus, adjacent to Quechee State Park, features 17 state-of-the-art raptor enclosures, 4 exhibit spaces, 2 classrooms, and ¾ miles of interpretive nature trails. VINS places a priority on making high-quality, compelling, and fun environmental education programs and learning opportunities accessible to more people and communities.”
At Vermont Woods Studios we support VINS through their Adopt a Raptor, citizen science and other environmental programs. If you’re interested in learning more about VINS, becoming a member or visiting their beautiful Nature Center in Quechee, VT check out their website today!
September is a big fundraising month for the Vermont chapter of Make A Wish and they’re hoping to get a little help from you. “We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.” What could be a better mission than that? The Make a Wish website shows a couple recent wishes & dreams that have come true, locally:
Aaron, a 16-year-old boy suffering from cancer who always dreamed of going to Comic Con in New York City was flown there with his family. They met celebrities at the show and attended Spiderman on Broadway
Lexi, a 15 year old girl, also suffering from cancer was flown to Spa Atlantis in the Bahamas to swim with the dolphins. “We will always have the great memories and many pictures of the Bahamas, and when she goes back to the hospital next week, she will have all her stories and pictures to show the doctors. Lexi’s trip has re-energized her for what lies ahead.”
Come and enjoy a gourmet meal at World Learning served by a team of “celebrity waiters”, including Steve “Corm” Cormier and Dave Manning, Jerry Goldberg and David Brown, Tom Nasiatka and Mary Linney, Gina Pattison and Karen Henry, Stephan Morse and Bob Woodworth, John Benouski and Steve Sweet, Diedre Baker and Laurie Blair, and Jane Baker and Kate O’Connor. Plus Corm will be Master of Ceremonies and co-host the auction. Saturday, September 20th at World Learning in Brattleboro. Beer and wine cash bar at 6pm; dinner served at 7pm. COST: $50 per person (cash or checks only). Proceeds from the dinner as well as any tips earned by the waiters will go toward granting the wishes of Vermont children with life-threatening illnesses. You will also have the opportunity to bid on gift certificates and other items to be auctioned off during the evening. For more info or to RSVP: contact Barb Harris @ 257-7803, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can’t make the dinner, there’s also the Wallace Golf Tournament at the Mount Snow Golf Course which takes place tomorrow, September 12 and the 2014 Walk for Wishes at the Shelburne Museum on Sunday, September 13. We hope to see you at one of these fun events!
Vermont’s natural, sustainable furniture is simple and elegant. It’s history hails back to the Shakers but today’s interior designers are re-discovering it, as modern green design trends continue to flourish. When it comes to bringing the outdoors in, what could be better than organic, real wood furniture? How about…
Organic, Real Wood Furniture Embellished by Colorful Wildflowers
This Spring Nina designed and planted a wildflower garden in the backyard at Stonehurst, Vermont’s newest furniture & home decor store. She and Dennis asked other staff members to tear themselves away from their computers now and then and help till, plant, weed and water (check out Kelsey’s story about how Nina chose flowers that would provide food and habitat for our birds, bees and butterflies). Their efforts have really paid off as the garden is now in full bloom, providing beautiful floral arrangements for the showroom (as well as pollen & nectar for our friends in flight).
We’ve had a lot of fun trying to integrate the sustainable furniture in our showroom with other elements of Vermont’s natural landscape this summer. Being in the midst of a 100 acre woodland allows us to offer customers a real appreciation for where their furniture comes from.
If you’re interested in sustainability and looking to incorporate green products into your home decor, come and visit us at Stonehurst. Any questions give us a call. Oh yes… you certainly can bring a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine!
Vermont’s premier custom floor cloth maker, Cameron Howard of Dunberry Hill Designs visited Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture store yesterday. Wow! We learned a lot about the history of this unique piece of Americana and the processes by which these top quality floor cloths are made. Plus we got to see, feel and walk on some extraordinary works of art. Did you know that floor cloths first became popular during the Industrial Revolution when sailing ships were coming into New England’s harbors to be re-fitted? Torn sails would be salvaged by sailors’ wives and re-purposed in the home to keep drafts from blowing through floors and walls. Soon artists began to see the cloths as a canvas and began applying classic American and European designs to them.
Top Quality Custom Floor Cloths
Today’s floor cloths adorn all types of homes, businesses and museums throughout America. The floor coverings are made of heavy weight cotton covered with 5 coats of a special varnish which makes them extremely durable. Artistic designs include historical early American motifs, geometric patterns, French Country style, arts and crafts, mission style and modern designs. Custom designs are a favorite among Cameron’s customers. The artist works with homeowners to make sure floor cloth colors match or accentuate existing decor (such as wall colors, counter tops, fabrics and art work).
How To Commission Your Own Unique Floor Cloth
Cameron Howard’s Dunberry Hill Design studio is in Townshend, Vermont. Customers are encouraged to call or email Cameron prior to stopping by. We hope to be getting some floor cloth samples at our furniture and home decor store soon and will keep you posted here on our blog.
About the Artist, Cameron Howard
Cameron Howard is a professional chef who served up her talents to upscale restaurants in New York, Boston, Maine and the Windham Hill Inn in Vermont. Ten years ago she put the culinary pot on the back burner and turned her passion towards weaving. From there, she segued into decorative painting and the world of traditionally handcrafted floorcloths. We look forward to sharing our enthusiasm for Cameron’s work with you at Stonehurst, our home design gallery in Southeastern Vermont.