About Peggy Farabaugh

Peggy Farabaugh
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.
Shelburne Museum Exhibit: Vermont Furniture runs today through Nov 11, 2015
Rich and Tasty: Vermont Furniture to 1850 is on display at the Shelburne Museum Exhibit, today through Nov 11, 2015

Vermont’s premier arts & history venue, the Shelburne Museum is unveiling it’s newest exhibit today,  Rich and Tasty: Vermont Furniture to 1850.  Frequent readers, customers and visitors to Stonehurst are well aware of Vermont’s current reputation as the Fine Furniture Capital of America.  Now you can learn about the history of Vermont made furniture and see the incredible craftsmanship that VT woodworkers began developing as far back as the 1700s.

The Rich and Tasty exhibit “dramatically expands popular understanding of Vermont high style furniture. It reveals the exquisite craftsmanship of individual forms and encourages a wide audience to learn about regional tastes and economics that help define Vermont furniture’s stylistic features and unexpected aesthetic innovations in the early decades of the nineteenth century.  Approximately 40 documented pieces will be displayed, the majority of which have never been on view before. In addition to showcasing pieces from Shelburne Museum’s extensive permanent collection, public and private collections contributing pieces in the Northeast will include: the Vermont Historical Society, the Collection of the Woodstock Historical Society, Fleming Museum of Art, The University of Vermont, Historic Deerfield, Inc., the Collection of J. Brooks Buxton, the Collection of Norman and Mary Gronning, the Collection of the Fowler Family, and other private collections.”

Some of the furniture in the exhibit was recently sold at a Skinner auction in Marlborough, Mass.  Pieces ranged in price from a few thousand dollars for a mahogany sofa to $65,175 for a maple, mahogany and birch dresser.  We’ll be checking those out today and look forward to sharing more details and photos with you.

If you’re in the Burlington area, stop by the Museum.   It’s a beautiful place set on 45 acres along Lake Champlain.  You can easily spend the whole day browsing through their 150,000 works which are displayed in 38 buildings, 25 of which are historic.  In addition to Rich and Tasty, you’ll find great concurrent exhibits including:

  • The Unknown Rockwell: A Portrait Of Two American Families.  This includes personal memoirs of James “Buddy” Edgerton, Norman Rockwell’s neighbor in West Arlington, Vermont, for 14 years, and a frequent Rockwell model, as well as best friend with the Rockwell sons.
  • American Moderns, 1910-1960: From Okeeffe to Rockwell.  50 artworks from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection in a variety of styles that explore the depth and range of specifically American and thoroughly modern art. 

I hope to see you there, in the new Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education where Vermont’s furniture making history will be on display until Nov 11.  Take some photos and share them on our Facebook!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Lingerie-armoireThe Today show ran a story this morning about anchoring tall chests and cabinets to the wall in homes where little children are at play.  Matt Lauer and friends went on to say that “the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that the dressers and drawers pose a serious risk of injury, and even death, from toppling on children if they are not anchored.

One child is injured from furniture toppling over every 24 minutes, and a child dies every two weeks from falling furniture or TVs, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

Eighty percent of the deaths involved children younger than 10.   How tragic.  My kids have grown to be taller than our furniture now, but I must admit that when they were toddlers, I never even thought about the dangers that tall furniture can pose to, say a child who might be trying to climb to the top of a dresser by using the drawers as steps.  The show made me do some research into the possibility of offering tip-over restraints with all of our tall furniture, even though our designs are considered “inherently stable”.
Tip over restraints are nylon straps that are attached to the back of furniture.  You screw the other end of the strap into the wall.  We now offer them upon request, with any of our tall furniture pieces, such as dressers, chests, armoires, chifforobes, china cabinets, entertainment centers, file cabinets and so forth.  If you have toddlers or know someone else who does, it’s worth a stroll through each room in the house to consider the hazards that furniture may pose.  Tip-over restraints, properly installed could save your child’s life.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

#TBT: Cool Memories For a Hot Summer Day

#TBT Memories of a Lost Ski Area: Pine Top

Every now and then at Stonehurst (now our Vermont furniture showroom) we’re treated to a blast from the past.  Our property dates back to the 1860s when it was a farmhouse and since then it’s had many and varied identities.  From the 1940s to the 1960s Stonehurst was a local ski area with 3 rope tows.  It was called Pine Top and every now and then we get special visitors who stop by to see how it’s changed and share their memories of family vacations here.  Recently we had the pleasure of meeting Sigrid Oscarson who stopped by with her husband Bill Wares.  I wanted to share Sigrid’s memories with those of you who  remember Pine Top.  Did you know Sigrid and her family?

A Visit from Sigrid Oscarson Wares

My husband and I visited with Peggy and Ken last Friday. They were gracious to show us Vermont Woods Studios, formerly known as Pine Top. I grew up in Vermont and spent many days skiing as well as celebrating holidays there. My Godparents, Elsie and Romey Racine were the owners. My father helped to maintain the rope tows very often using a combination of his well-honed automotive skills, true grit with sheer determination, and lots of prayer! It was always a work in progress.

#TBT Memories of a Lost Ski Area: Pine Top by Sigrid Oscarson Wares
Sigrid and her husband Bill Wares of Moorestown, New Jersey are standing in front of a map of Pine Top that was created by Vernon Town Historian (and former Pine Top employee) Barbara Moseley.

“I came across this picture of me skiing at Pine Top. From these humble beginnings I have maintained a life-long love affair with this sport and even became a ski instructor for a period of time. Growing up in Vermont was a wonderful experience of which Pine Top was a very integral part.  Looking at the ski garb makes me wonder how any of us survived the cold! Any one who skied there will tell you that they went through several pairs of mittens in one season due to the friction of the rope tow. We would all cram into the “Warming Hut” as it was affectionately called, to toast our frozen fingers and toes near the pot belly stove while munching on hamburgers or hot dogs with hot chocolate and brownies (made by my mother). It was truly a family effort.

Thank you for showing us the beautiful renovations you have performed on this most wonderful “home” that holds so many memories for me. Your organization is truly an excellent steward of the property and that warms my heart.”

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

American Made Furniture | Online Shopping for the 4th of July
Patriotism isn’t the only reason why people are limiting their search to American Made Furniture this Fourth of July.

Fourth of July week has become a popular time to shop for furniture. With the Made in America movement if full swing, many customers are confining their search to furniture made in the USA. Patriotism isn’t the only reason for this trend but it’s a big one. Here’s a list of what our customers tell us are their Top 5 reasons for buying American Made Furniture rather than imports.

Top 5 Reasons to Buy American Made Furniture

  1. Quality and Craftsmanship – American made furniture is well known for it’s high quality and craftsmanship.  States like Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania and Ohio have a long tradition of making heirloom quality furniture from local wood.  In Vermont, fine furniture making has been a part of our heritage for over 200 years and that translates to superior quality, sophisticated style and great values in handmade furniture.
  2. Local Jobs and Local Economies – The American furniture maker has suffered over the past 5 decades as most large, quintessentially American furniture companies moved to China, Vietnam and other third world countries.  Consumers are weary of seeing their communities struggle to recover from the loss of skilled jobs.  Small manufacturers like Vermont’s Lyndon Furniture, Copeland Furniture and Pompanoosuc Mills remained in the USA during the age of outsourcing and maintained their commitment to local communities.  Their loyalty and integrity has not gone unnoticed by consumers.
  3. Reliable Customer Service – Ever try getting a piece of furniture fixed after purchasing it from IKEA or Pottery Barn?  Not.  That furniture is more than likely going to head out to the curbside rather than get repaired.  American made furniture companies stand behind their quality, with many companies offering a lifetime guarantee.
  4. Sustainable Furniture from Well Managed American Forests – Where does your furniture come from anyway?  Americans have become more aware of where their food comes from over the past couple decades.  Now it’s time to learn where other things come from, including wood furniture and flooring.  Kendall recently posted information about how the world’s rapidly disappearing rainforests are being converted into curbside furniture.  As consumers become more aware, they are seeing the value of acquiring sustainable furniture for their homes.
  5. Healthy, Natural Furniture with Non-Toxic Finishes – American furniture companies are subject to strict laws and regulations governing product safety as well as safety and health for the craftspeople making furniture.  Consumers don’t want to worry about lead based paint or formaldehyde in the coatings of the furniture.  American companies are leading the way in the area of safe, non-toxic furniture finishes.  Vermont Natural Coatings is one of our favorites– their furniture finish is made from a by-product of our dairy industry–whey (as in curds and…).

I hope this gives you food for thought when shopping for furniture this Fourth of July.

 A cautionary note: most furniture sold in the USA is still imported.  Many manufacturers will bring imported furniture to a factory in the USA to have a final step (for example application of the finish) completed so they can label the furniture Made in America.  Don’t be fooled– ask your furniture sales person exactly how much of the furniture was actually made in the USA.


This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Monarch Butterfly Waystations in Vernon, Vermont
We had a great turnout for our Monarch party on Monday.  If you’re creating your own Monarch Waystation, you can register it and get an “official sign” at MonarchWatch.org

We’re sending thanks out to everyone who gathered with us at Stonehurst this week to begin making Vernon, Vermont a Monarch Butterfly Way Station.  If you’re interested in the environment and nature, please consider joining us in this fun project!  You can learn more about our efforts to save the endangered monarch butterfly here.

Monarch Butterfly Party | Vermont Woods Studios
Thanks to all Vernon’s Monarch Butterfly advocates: MaryLynn Scherlin, Annette Roydon, Marilyn McQuaide, Ken Farabaugh, Janice Pereira, Bronna Zlochiver, Janet Rasmussen, Peggy Farabaugh, Dawn Petrovsky and Emily Vergobbe.

Vernon has many master gardeners and butterfly enthusiasts!  We shared some milkweed seedlings (the Monarch caterpillar’s only food source) and will begin planting them in our gardens and back yards.  We’re also reaching out to the Vernon Elementary School VES, the recreation department and the roads commissioner, asking them to support the project by planting milkweed where appropriate on public land.

How to grow milkweed for monarch butterflies

In August and September we will meet again when the Monarchs are laying their eggs and beginning their metamorphoses.  Please contact us through our Facebook if you’re interested in joining our butterfly rescue project or starting one in your own town.  It’s fun, and there’s wine.  What more could you ask for?

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.