October 27th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
I received a call from Jim Westphalen last Wednesday, explaining that he’d been tasked by Vermont Life Magazine to photograph Stonehurst. Woohoo! Vermont Life is the premier advocator of our state’s culture and creative economy. It’s considered one of America’s premier regional magazines featuring “the best writing, illustration, art and photography Vermont has to offer”.
So this is pretty terrific news for us! Back in June we attended a Pitch Party sponsored by Vermont Life and Luke Stafford at Mondo Media Works in downtown Brattleboro. Such a cool idea: Editor Mary Hegarty Nowlan and her staff were traveling around Vermont inviting people to pitch their artwork, businesses, personal stories and such– for future articles. So we pitched our Stonehurst Fine Furniture and Art Gallery story and apparently they liked it.
We’re grateful to Jim Westphalen and Mary Hegarty Nowlan for their support of our green mission at Stonehurst. We’re honored that they feel it fits into Vermont Life’s mission which “celebrates the unique heritage, countryside, traditions and people of Vermont and explores issues of contemporary interest to Vermonters and visitors to the state.”
Can’t wait till the article comes out next Fall!
October 24th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
On Saturday November 9, 2013 we’ll be celebrating the opening of Vermont’s newest fine furniture showroom and art gallery. We’d love to see you there! At Vermont Woods Studios, we’ve been working for the last 2 years on acquiring Stonehurst (a 220 year old farmhouse perched on “Pine Top”, a former ski area) and renovating it into a destination shopping experience worthy of showcasing Vermont made furniture. Now our work is done and we want to share it with you.
Our mission at Stonehurst is to use the beauty of Vermont’s handmade wood furniture to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable forestry. The Green Mountain State is a leader in educating the public on how sustainable furniture makes the journey from healthy forests to your living room. Vermont’s furniture makers partner with local land owners, loggers, sawyers, professional foresters, lumber mills and distributors to create eco friendly, wood furniture that homeowners can feel good about.
Like our state’s annual Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival in Woodstock, the Stonehurst fine furniture gallery is designed to help customers experience each link in the “Forest to Furniture” chain. It’s a place to combine your shopping with a hike through our 110 acres of sustainably managed forest. Or enjoy a relaxing glass of wine while taking in panoramic views of the Green Mountains. Your experience here just might make you a lifelong advocate for sustainable forestry. We hope so.
Today we send our heartfelt thanks out to Vermont taxpayers and everyone behind the Vermont Working Lands Initiative, as their contribution of a $100,000 competitively awarded grant made it possible for us to complete Stonehurst 2 years ahead of schedule. Learn more about the VT Working Lands Partnership here.
Saturday, November 9 2013. Open house from 1pm-5pm. Ceremony at 2pm.
Stonehurst, Vermont Woods Studios, 538 Huckle Hill Road, Vernon, Vermont 05354. Here’s a map.
Completion of Stonehurst is a significant milestone for both furniture and sustainable forestry industries in Vermont. This is a chance for us to thank the VIPs who put their trust in us through the VT Working Lands grant program. We have invited a number of them, including:
It’s not absolutely necessary but it would help us out if you could RSVP on Facebook.
We have limited parking at Stonehurst but the Vernon Recreation Center is just a mile down the street at the intersection of Pond Road and Huckle Hill Road. If Stonehurst parking is full, we ask attendees to gather at the Rec Center and carpool to Stonehurst.
Need something else to make us worth the trip? Immediately after our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, the Brattleboro Retreat will be presenting the 2013 Anna Marsh Award to Governor Peter Shumlin at 5:30 pm, a short distance away at The Hermitage in West Dover, Vermont (details online). Windham County Fans of Gov Shumlin, here’s the photo op you’ve been waiting for!
October 4th, 2013 by Loryn Dion
Looking for an excuse to be outside this weekend and enjoy the beautiful Vermont fall that we’re having? This Saturday you can do just that and support a great cause! Our friends over at the Morningside Shelter in Brattleboro are hosting the third annual Hike for the Homeless on October 5th on Mt. Wantastiquet in Hinsdale, NH. Registration starts at 9:30 am and 11:30 am on Saturday so plan to be there early!
This event is held to raise money that will help to house the homeless in Brattleboro and the surrounding communities during the coming winter. You can either hike to the summit of Mt. Wantastiquet or take a stroll along the River Trail at the base of the mountain. Participants are encouraged to raise funds and walk as a team or individually. The suggested minimum for individuals is $50 and teams is $250. The foliage right now is spectacular, so whatever route you choose to take, you’ll be in for some outstanding views.
The Morningside Shelter offers extended stay housing for up to 29 individuals and families. Also, they work with other organizations to provide people with services such as job placement, medical treatment, counseling, budget and nutrition management, education, childcare service, transition back into housing as tenants and more. The Morningside Shelter has been helping the homeless for over 30 years and is committed to serving the Brattleboro area.
As a furniture company, we believe that everyone deserves a place to stay and a bed to sleep in. We love the work that Morningside is doing and support the strides that they are making for the homeless community in the Brattleboro area.
October 3rd, 2013 by Loryn Dion
Normally, the beginning of the work week for any nine-to-five worker goes the same way: coffee, exhaustion and melancholy over the end of the weekend. This week was different. I felt quite rejuvenated and ready for the week ahead. Why, you ask? During the Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival this past weekend in Woodstock, Vermont (blog post to follow soon) I was able to stay at the lovely Fan House, a bed and breakfast in Barnard, Vermont.
Now, I should say that with being an FFA member, I am well-versed in hotel stays. I actually enjoy staying in hotels and take pleasure in having a little break away from my own bed. But this was my first time staying at a B&B, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Do I have to check in? (you don’t.) Should I bring my own towels? (You don’t.) What I received was much better than anything I could have hoped for. Beautifully decorated rooms, luxurious linens, countless amenities and locally-sourced, delicious meals in the morning make the Fan House the perfect getaway for a weekend in the Green Mountains. Or should I say colorful mountains because with fall foliage just beginning, the hills surrounding Barnard were alive with shades of red, orange and yellow.
Sara Widness, steward of the Fan House, was welcoming and kind, a great example of Vermont hospitality that I’ve come to love. I grew up in the city, so being welcomed into a strangers home for the weekend and having them make my bed and serve me meals was a very new experience. Sara was a pleasure to talk with in the morning during breakfast and had great knowledge about the “must-see” places in the area. The Fan House felt like being at home. It was comfortable and peaceful, which was exactly what I needed this weekend.
Each room has it’s own antique feel with comfy quilts, artfully-aged furniture and subtle decor. The three upstairs bedrooms each have their own private bathrooms so I slept peacefully through the night without any interruptions. Each morning during our planned breakfasts, I met and conversed with people who were all travelling to Vermont for different purposes. One morning we sat and enjoyed Sara’s wonderful corn pancakes and oatmeal with yogurt and then ventured outside to enjoy the sun rising over the red hills. I also got to meet (and play with) Sara’s canine housemate, Happy Chappy, who served as a joyous greeter to The Fan House. But to all of those non-dog-lovers, Chappy stays in his own part of the house and only comes out if the rest of the guests are okay with his company.
In summary, The Fan House made a fan out of me. I don’t think I could ever look at a hotel room the same way again.
September 24th, 2013 by Loryn Dion
Happy Autumn VWS blog followers! Sunday was the first day of fall and we’re already starting to see the leaves changing and the humidity leaving. It looks like we are going to have a beautiful weekend here in Vermont, so you may be looking for some activities to get you out of the house and enjoying all of Vermont’s offerings. Why not try heading to Woodstock, VT for the Tenth Annual Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival this September 28th and 29th.
There will be entertainment for all at the festival this year. Named a Summer/Fall 2013 Vermont Vacation Guide’s Picks for Kids by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the festival offers live music, local food, Vermont furniture & wood products for sale, and demonstrations from the areas most talented woodworkers. The show began as a simple idea to showcase the world-class talent and skill in the woodworking industry right here in Vermont. Beginning as a simple woodworking competition in 1996, the Vermont Fine Furniture Festival has grown into a full-scale show, now celebrating its tenth year.
The main theme this year is “From Vermont’s Working Landscape to Your Home”. If you think about it, that’s exactly what we offer here at Vermont Woods Studios and what we showcase at Stonehurst. Beautiful, handcrafted furniture made from Vermont’s working landscape to brighten and liven up your home.
The festival also joins with the annual forest festival where you can make your own walking stick, take a horse drawn carriage ride through the forest, hike through the woods with a park ranger, tour the mansion and gardens and watch woodcraft demonstrations.
Douglas and I will be at the Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival at booth 15, talking about our furniture and showcasing a few of our pieces. Stop in and say hello or come and learn about what Vermont Woods Studios can offer you!
September 22nd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Dear Governor Shumlin,
We know you’re busy with economic development, health insurance and other important issues. But we’re hoping you can break free and make a quick trip to Vernon on Tuesday October 22 at 3pm for our ribbon cutting ceremony at Stonehurst, Vermont Woods Studios‘ new fine furniture showroom and art gallery.
Now I realize one might ask why such a busy man would carve time out of an already ambitious schedule to visit a small Vermont furniture business? We’ve thought of many reasons, but here are the Top 10. At Stonehurst you can:
If that’s not enough to convince you, how about just sitting down to relax and enjoy the view? That alone makes Stonehurst worth the trip.
September 2nd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Today we’re celebrating this 1000th blog at Vermont Woods Studios! And that’s only back as far as August of 2007. I started blogging in 2006 but on a different platform and at a time when I didn’t know how to transfer stories from Typepad to WordPress.
Haha… a lot has happened since then. We’ve gone from a 1 woman operation in the corner of a bedroom to a dozen of us firmly ensconced inside Vermont’s newest fine furniture showroom, at Stonehurst. And now instead of just reading my daily drivel, you get the inside scoop from other quirky VWS personalities like Dennis Shanoff, Loryn Dion, Liz Francese, Kelsey Eaton, Michelle Rooks and Sean Henry.
We’re always brainstorming ways to make our blog more interesting and useful for you. The hidden agenda is to get you excited about Vermont’s sustainable way of life and peak your interest enough to persuade you to join us in our mission. We report on green festivals and events in VT as well as the vibrant (not to mention affordable) arts and crafts scene. We take you inside the workshops of Vermont’s finest furniture makers and showcase the benefits of buying American made products that support local economies.
What else would you like to see on our blog? Let us know on Facebook and we’ll serve it up!
July 29th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
July 29th is Global Tiger Day. Did you know there is a direct connection between tiger conservation and the furniture and flooring you buy for your home? Companies like IKEA, Home Depot and WalMart sell wooden furniture and flooring that are often obtained through illegal logging in protected tiger habitats. Much of the global timber trade is now managed by organized crime. Sources, including George Mason University and The Washington Post are reporting that the global timber trade is the new heroin industry for organized crime. Tiger habitats are being rapidly and systematically destroyed in Russia, China, Malaysia and elsewhere to provide the cheap, imported wooden furniture and flooring that’s sold in America’s big box stores.
As a result, some scientists predict that the last remaining 3200 wild tigers (down from 100,000 just a century ago) will be entirely extinct in 5 years.
As an apex predator, the tiger is one of the most important animals in all of human history. If you love tigers, have a look at the World Wildlife Fund’s initiative to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger. You can support the effort by purchasing sustainable products. At Vermont Woods Studios, we promote American made furniture as it is almost always made with North American wood, harvested from well managed forests. We’re using our new Stonehurst fine furniture and art gallery to raise awareness about where your furniture comes from and persuade people to purchase furniture and flooring made from sustainably harvested wood.
Tigers are running out of space and time with only 7% of their habitat remaining but your decisions about buying furniture flooring and even paper, coffee and other forest products can help save them. It’s not too late! Please like our Tiger conservation initiative on Facebook and share this post with your friends. Thanks!
July 26th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Selling handmade furniture online is considered preposterous by many. Fine furniture must be seen in person for one to appreciate the quality and workmanship that goes into each piece. But at Vermont Woods Studios we’ve been hard at work making an exception to that rule for 8 years. Much of our success is due to the talented group of web development professionals we’ve managed to persuade to join our cause– and Martin Corbin is the newest among them.
Martin’s interest in computers and digital art began when he was a young boy. As an adult, he enrolled in a PC repair course and entered the IT field, first working for a local computer shop then going freelance. Martin enjoyed experimenting with digital art, and eventually combined his interests into designing websites. However he hasn’t left his creativity behind. On his personal website he shares a bit about his artistic side:
“I was raised in an artistic household and began drawing at an early age. My mother Rita Corbin was already an established artist before I was born. I watched her work daily and used what I learned to try to make my own drawing come to life…. My approach is simple: draw or paint what I want, when feel like it, and don’t worry about how it comes out. Simple as this is, not over thinking remains a challenge. I believe this relaxed approach makes the process more enjoyable while still allowing for great results.”
I want to know how to relax and get as much accomplished as Martin has. In addition to his expertise with computers, programming and art, he is also an accomplished musician. We know Martin as a die hard Phish phan but I’ve recently learned that he has a long history with music. During Brattleboro’s heyday, he was in a band called The Weld, playing acoustic, instrumental jazzgrass music at The Common Ground Restaurant and McNeill’s Brewery. You can check out his artwork and music on his website, MartinCorbin.com.
We feel very fortunate to have Martin working with us at Vermont Woods Studios. Stop by our fine furniture and art gallery at Stonehurst to see samples of his artwork. And help us welcome Martin to the Woods by giving him a thumbs up on Facebook!
July 24th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
We are always happy to collaborate with organizations that make sustainability a central part of their mission, which is why we were really excited to see that we were published in Inhabitat! Inhabitat is a weblog that is dedicated to sustainable design, green innovation, and technology; they write and post stories related to sustainable building practices, materials, architecture, and design! Like us, they believe in a more conscious and ecologically focused future. I would consider them the Number 1 source website for sustainable design news around the globe.
If you are interested in green building, energy efficient home living, green interior design, emerging technologies, renewable energy, or sustainable product design– Inhabitat is most definitely the place you should go for some of the most interesting sustainability related stories around the web.
Another thing we love about Inhabitat is that they are constantly streaming information throughout the day, so there is never a shortage of sustainable stories to read and be inspired by! Also, stories are short and to the point (what I like to call, microstories) so you can get a wealth of information without having to search for the good stuff. Links are always provided so the reader can do independent research of their own, pretty neat!