November 26th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
Southern Vermont is sometimes overlooked. It’s hard to “compete” against the north, with all of the amazing food and fun that you can find in Burlington, Montpelier, Woodstock and all of the other great Northern Vermont towns. While I don’t think that it’s fair to call it competition, I do believe that you will find that Vermont experience you are looking for, right here in the south! Southern Vermont has many great events that are worth a trip, especially for those who love Vermont craftsmanship and artisan work.
One might not expect a rural Vermont town to have a vibrant arts community– but it is places like Putney that lead the way for a flourishing arts scene in Southern Vermont. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday (November 29th-Decmeber 1st) you have the opportunity to meet some of Vermont’s most prominent artists at the 35th annual Putney Craft Tour!
The Putney craft tour is the artisan lovers dream– with a plethora of different mediums to learn about and explore; from woodwork, to quilting, to glass work, pottery, painting, handmade jewelery, and more!
This is a wonderful Vermont travel destination, where you have the opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasures of driving through the back roads of Southeastern Vermont at your own pace. Spend an hour, spend a whole day, or spend the whole weekend learning about & enjoying the unique works of art at each studio. This experience of exploration is a reason to travel in itself. You may not find a friendlier and more welcoming community of artists anywhere else!
Putney is only a short drive away from us here at Stonehurst, and we’d love to invite you to visit us and see some of the eclectic artisan furniture pieces & original artwork, that we have in our showroom!
November 8th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
We’re grateful to Mike Faher (journalist), Kayla Rice (photographer) and the editors of the local paper, The Brattleboro Reformer for today’s article on our Stonehurst gallery, Vermont’s newest fine furniture showroom. Mike and Kayla visited us at Stonehurst yesterday and followed up on a couple previous articles Mike had written about Vermont Woods Studios.
Today’s article focuses on the fact that besides being a fine furniture showroom and art gallery, Stonehurst is a mini Vermont welcome center, providing tourist information about the Brattleboro area and the rest of the state of Vermont. Check out Mike’s article on Reformer.com and stop by our open house and ribbon cutting ceremony tomorrow. We’ll make it worth the trip!
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.
October 2nd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Planning to visit the Green Mountain State this weekend or anytime during this year’s foliage season? Be sure to check out Vermont Vacation’s clever Seeing is BeLeafing website for the latest in Vermont foliage reports and recommended scenic routes. Use this cool animated map to see when and where fall foliage is peaking in Vermont (for Stonehurst, which is located in the southeast corner of Vermont in Windham county, the map shows peak foliage will be October 10-24 this year. You can see from Kelsey’s photos yesterday that it’s pretty gorgeous here now so just imagine the view when the forests really burst out in full fall regalia).
Need a room for the weekend? It’s not too late. Here’s a quick way to search for lodging availability either by town or region. I just saw that 40 Putney Road has some room. That’s one of our favorite Brattleboro inns, located just a few minutes from downtown (and 15 minutes from Stonehurst).
You’ll find lots of other Vermont vacation ideas for Fall including great deals on mid-week get-aways, apple festivals, corn mazes and more. Happy leaf peeping! Stop by and see us at our new Stonehurst fine furniture showroom and art gallery on your way through. Bring a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine and enjoy the view!
September 26th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
There’s been a lot of buzz from Vermonters about apples lately. Probably because A) they’re delicious B) they’re perfect for fall and C) they have a long history in the state of Vermont! Well, we love these sweet natural treats just as much as any other Vermonter–so, lets talk apples!
If you loved these apple facts as much as we do, take a minute to check out Vermont Apples, a website with tons of information and history about apples, including more facts, orchard listings, and apple news! And for brilliant, tasty apple recipes… take a look at The Apple Lover’s Cookbook, a 300+ page book containing 100 magnificent apple recipes!
And let us know what your favorite apple recipes are & your favorite places around New England to apple pick in the comments section or on Facebook!
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 23rd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Robin’s been crafting beautiful fine wooden furniture for over 25 years and it’s always fun to visit his workshop in pastoral Calais, Vermont. Besides seeing all of his works in progress we got to tour the Maple Corner campus and meet the furry sentinels that guard and patrol the grounds (see photo).
It was a very productive meeting and it didn’t hurt that it was in a setting of Robin and Annie’s herbal gardens and central Vermont’s rolling hills.
I see Robin’s furniture as a reflection of his own demeanor: elegant,
refined and genuine. He’s a master at combining authentic Shaker sensibilities with modern, contemporary design. Check out his furniture creations on our website:
Each of Robin’s pieces is backed by the craftsman’s lifetime guarantee. Let us know which ones you like most on our Facebook or in the comments section below.
September 10th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
There is so much to love about Southern Vermont. Especially the way that the towns are surrounded by mountains and rich expanses of trees, making them even more beautiful in that brief autumn period where the leaves are multicolored and bright. These 5 southern Vermont towns are each unique, and vary in size and culture. But all of them are rich in artistry, with diverse communities of independent artists, performance arts, and theater.
These 5 communities thrive with quaint downtown areas, promising lots of food and plenty of shopping! Antique stores, one of a kind book stores, eccentric decor shops, galleries, and much more are what make these towns so special and true to Vermont.
All of these towns are less than an hour away from us at Stonehurst, and we’d encourage you to visit them to see all of the wonderful things they have to offer!
September 3rd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Just a quick plug for our local Vermont Farmers Markets today…
Like sweet corn and tomatoes, sunflower season (in the words of Dorothy) “comes and goes so quickly around here”. So I thought we might inspire you to run out to your local farm stand or farmers market to grab some while you can. Annette and I visited the Brattleboro Farmers Market this weekend, where half a dozen vendors had beautiful local flowers for sale. Don’t they look nice in front of our new indigo door at Stonehurst?
Here’s a link to Vermont Living‘s run down of Southern Vermont farmers markets and their hours of operation. The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont has a great searchable directory for farmers markets throughout the Green Mountain state.
Now is the heart of harvest season… don’t let it slip away without a trip to see our farmers. You’ll be glad you did!
August 2nd, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
Vermont’s most popular summer art and craft festival begins today! We’re proud of Vermont for its amazing support of its craftsman and artists, which is why we are super excited about the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival. The festival had been hosted in Manchester for 30 years, but the 2013 festival will be held in Bennington, Vermont! This provides advantages because its in a more southern region of Vermont, which will hopefully bring in a larger turnout than in previous years! The festival will host over 160 talented artists who will display and sell their one of a kind artwork, as well as traditional and contemporary crafts, and pottery!
From Friday, August 2nd to Sunday, August 4th, this three day event will run in conjunction with the town wide Bennington Arts Festival Weekend. The festival is put on by a variety of community arts organizations and venues, so expect a jam packed weekend with live music, art, and activities ranging from art walks, open studios and receptions, live entertainers, and a historical architecture exhibit! As always, you can expect lots of kid friendly activities, local food vendors, ice cream,craft beer, and more!
If you don’t have plans for the weekend, why not add the Southern Vermont Art and Craft festival to your agenda and find some inspiration in the work of talented Vermont artists!