This weekend is Vermont’s Maple Syrup open house weekend! This is exciting for two reasons: 1) Maple syrup is delicious and 2) this officially marks the first weekend of Spring! Open House Weekend is your opportunity to get a first-hand look at how Vermont’s sugar makers are able to take the sap from maple trees and craft something as delicious as pure Vermont maple syrup! 85 sugar houses around Vermont will be open for touring!
The weather is up in the air, but we’re hoping for another weekend of sunshine! So make it a trip, take a visit to Vermont– and visit us at Stonehurst while you’re here!
Visit VermontMaple.Org for an interactive map with all of the different maple syrup locations in Vermont & for more information on this great weekend event!
If there’s one thing that gets people coming from all over the Northeast to Vermont, it’s food. Well, food & beer… and furniture, because we’re fantastic at all creating the best of all three. But this blog isn’t about furniture, it’s about chili, and an entire festival dedicated to this wondrous, tasty concoction.
This weekend marks the 6th annual Vermont Chili Festival! Named one of the top 10 Winter events for the past 4 years by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. It’s a great VT mini vacation destination because Middlebury is beautiful in and of itself, and the festival has lots to do for the whole family.
There will be activities for the kids, AWARD WINNING CHILI (I repeat, some of this chili is so good it has won awards), live music, face painters, performers, and a beverage tent for the grownups! This whole event will take place on the streets of historic downtown Middlebury. Restaraunts and caterers from around the state have been fine-tuning their chili recepies all year to show it off at this festival, so it’s one not to be missed.
Chili contest starts on Saturday, March 8th, 2014 beginning at 1:00pm! Tickets are $5 for adults and children under 8 are free!
An estimated five-thousand people attended last year’s festival, with even more expected to turn out this year – I wouldn’t miss this one!
Last week on my tour of luxury Vermont home decor companies I stopped to visit Charles Shackleton and his wife Miranda Thomas at their studios in Bridgewater, Vermont. Charlie is perhaps one of Vermonts most beloved furniture makers. He’s famous for his steadfast belief in the integrity and enduring value of true handcrafted furniture. You won’t find cnc routers in Charlie’s shop! Everything is traditionally carved and crafted by hand, making each piece a unique work of art. Dennis pointed out that Charlie is making the Chippendales of tomorrow. It’s the stuff Christie’s and Sotheby’s will be competing for in years to come.
What’s a Naked Table?
“We invite businesses, friends and families to our workshops to make tables for themselves to last for ages to come. Each piece in the Naked Collection is made from the iconic Sugar Maple harvested in the forests we visit (inverse from conventional methods of deforesting and sourcing wood from anywhere in the world)… The table has come to symbolize our community’s connection to our local environment and our ability to make something of it.” … Charles Shackleton
The Work of Human Hands
Charlie notes that humans have a natural tendency to want to make things, using their hands in particular. “It’s a satisfying “buzz” of creativity, comparable to baking a loaf of bread from the grains of a wheat plant. When a finished piece expresses our creativity, either through the natural beauty of the wood, the design or the marks of shaping left by the human hand, it sends a message. In these times when so much is mass produced in factories by automated machines on the other side of the world, many are treasuring that message and the natural resources that surround it..”
Visit the Shackleton Thomas store in Bridgewater, VT or their website to learn more and shop. Next week: a quiz about Miranda’s pottery. Hint: yes it is displayed in the White House and the Vatican in addition to dozens of other prestigious locations around the world.
Luxury home decor aficionados: do you long for days past when real, honest, human craftsmanship was the means of producing quality, long lasting goods for your home? Are you tired of disposable everything and looking to add authenticity and character to your home– a few things with substance that are designed to be enjoyed forever? Well Vermont has a treat for you. Four of America’s top luxury home decor brands are headquartered in the middle of the Green Mountain state– all within a comfortable driving distance of each other. I made the tour myself last week, while preparing our Stonehurst gallery to begin carrying a selection of items from each company. Here is what I found at my first stop, Simon Pearce.
Simon Pearce Glassware
With the rich history of Irish glass blower Simon Pearce behind it, this company leads the way in high end, hand blown glass and table ware. Headquartered in Windsor Vermont, Simon Pearce creates glass and ceramic “products that are beautifully designed, produced with premium quality materials and time-honored techniques and intended for a lifetime of everyday use”.
Simon Pearce Pottery
Learn more about Simon Pearce, his story and products on his website. Or better yet, come up to Vermont for a visit! You can use Stonehurst, our fine furniture, home decor and art gallery as a launchpad to Simon Pearce and the rest of Vermont’s luxury home decor companies.
The other three luxury home decor brands I’m thinking of? Stay tuned, there’s more to come but you’ll find hints on Kelsey’s new Vermont luxury Pinterest board. Let us know on our Facebook, about any other brands you’d like to learn more about.
Michelle and I are the only ones who’ve made it in to work today. Snow is falling ever so gently, but it’s persistent! We’ve got about 6″ and the forecast is for 6 more. So I thought it would a good time to reprint this article that was recently published on Sotheby’s Vermont Country Properties blog. We are grateful to President and Principal Broker Lisa Coneeny and Office Manager Melissa Olson for posting it.
What to Do with a Lost Ski Area?
Jeremy Davis, author of “Lost Ski Areas of Southern Vermont” estimates there were 119 ski areas in the Green Mountain state during the mid 20th century. It seems that 2/3 of Vermont’s towns had their own ski area! Of course they were a far cry from today’s luxury resorts like Mount Snow, Stratton, Killington and Stowe. But back in the day, they were the center of winter activity in the communities they served. Now what has become of them?
A group of local enthusiasts at Vermont Woods Studios has recently transformed the former Pine Top ski area in Vernon, Vermont into a showcase for Vermont’s handcrafted, fine furniture and home décor products. The 220 year old farmhouse that used to welcome Nordic and alpine skiers has been lovingly restored. Known as “Stonehurst” since c1870 when it was sold to Lucretia Kendall for a sum of $2000, it is now home to a high end interior design gallery.
“With all it’s rich history we thought Stonehurst would be the perfect place to showcase the high quality home décor products coming out of Vermont”, said Peggy Farabaugh, new owner of the property. “The homestead is situated on a hundred acre wood with beautiful views of the mountains, forests and Connecticut River Valley. Customers can look out our windows and see Vermont’s sustainable working lands in action. Stonehurst gives us a way to show and tell the story of Vermont’s high quality, handcrafted products: where they come from and how they’re made.”
The gallery features a revolving selection of fine furniture from Vermont’s iconic brands including Copeland, Lyndon and many custom and specialty furniture makers. Original artwork by Linda Marcille, Susan Osgood, Donna Scully, Georgie Runkle and other local artists accents the furniture and is offered for sale.
“We’re adding new products daily and hope to soon have a consummate collection of Vermont home goods with glassware by Simon Pearce, lighting by Hubbardton Forge, kitchen accessories by JK Adams, pottery by Laura Zindel and a creative selection of specialty handmade items from the area’s top craftspeople,” said Farabaugh.
Visitors are warmly welcomed at Stonehurst. Hours of operation are 9am-5pm, Mon-Sat. Details and directions to the gallery on Huckle Hill Road in Vernon can be found on our website. Be sure to bring your sled, skis or snowshoes!