November 12th, 2013 by Michelle Rooks
A couple of weeks ago I was walking with my family when I observed the little fellow in the above image making his way across our path. I had heard that Woolly Bears are prominent in folklore as predictors of winter. I thought I’d poke around and see what other indicators we have. Here’s what I found.
Woolly Bears (the larvae of Isabella Tiger Moths): the longer the middle brown band, the milder and shorter the coming winter; the shorter the brown band, the longer and more severe winter will be. The woolly has 13 segments to the length of his body–the same number of weeks there are of winter. From what I can tell of this picture, my little friend only has four solid-brown segments with a couple that are both black and white. Uh, oh.
Black Walnut trees: The thicker the green husk on the Black Walnuts the snowier the winter, because nature knows when the walnut needs more protection from the elements.
Onion skins: If thin, a mild winter is coming.
Corn: Husks are thick and tight and the silks are heavy — these are indicators of a bad winter.
Apple skins: If tough, winter may be as well.
Oak trees: If the ground of your yard, driveway, or porch is covered with acorns, folklore predicts that these same surfaces may be blanketed by snow this winter. This one makes me feel a little bit better about what my Woolly Bear friend told me. Some years we can hear the acorns pinging off the metal roof of our storage shed. This year I haven’t heard any.
The Month of August: For every fog there will be a snowfall. If the first week is unusually warm, the coming winter will be snowy and long. If a cold August follows a hot July, it foretells a winter hard and dry. We’re not far from the Connecticut River and a small area of beaver-created wetlands so fog is not unusual.
Spiders: Spinning larger than usual webs
Honey Bees: will store honey in mass in preparation for a severe winter
Yellow Jackets: build nests either high in trees or in the ground depending on what the coming winter has in store.
Squirrels: If tails are very bushy and/or if they’re more active than usual, a severe winter is on its way. Hmmm, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an INactive squirrel.
Ant Hills: If they are unusually high in July, it will be cold and snowy. Darn, forgot to measure them last summer.
Thanksgiving Goose: If the breast bone of the Thanksgiving goose is red or has many spots, expect a cold and stormy winter; but if only a few spots are visible, expect a mild winter.
If the first snowfall lands on unfrozen ground, the winter will be mild.
Final assessment: I have no idea what the winter will bring us in Southern Vermont. I’m just grateful I’m only a short walk from Stonehurst!
November 11th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
This Veterans Day, take some time out of your schedule to sit in silence and think about the Veterans who have made huge sacrifices to protect our communities, lifestyles, families, and freedoms. Take another minute to think about where these Veterans are now, and the lives they are living. Lets make an effort to take care of these people who have worked hard to take care of us!
From November 9th to November 12th, Vermont Woods Studios is honoring these soldiers with our Veterans Day Fine Furniture Sale, where most collections are 15% off store-wide. For the 2nd year in a row, 20$ from every order will go to the Adopt a Soldier program, and help a Veteran in need. Read more about our participation in this program at our blog from last year.
Or– read more about some interesting volunteer opportunities listed on the Veteran’s Administration website. You can honor veterans by attending Welcome Home events, helping homeless Vets, donating to Wounded Warriors or contributing to any number of activities listed on the VA site.
As always, our furniture is 100% American made–this helps keep money in our communities and helps to preserve the American lifestyle that these soldiers have fought so hard to protect.
Again, a huge thank you to our military for all of the sacrifices they have made for us.
November 10th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
Creatively Configurate with the Moduluxe Bedroom Collection – As seen in Dwell Magazine!
Your bedroom is far more than just a place where you sleep at night. It’s is a sanctuary where you often spend your most personal and reflective time, and it may even be a place where you are at your most productive. As such, the design of the furniture in your bedroom should be conducive to meeting your every need. In other words, it should be versatile.
The Moduluxe Bedroom Collection by Copeland Furniture is the definition of versatile, with the capability to be arranged as individual pieces that can stand alone, as one modular sectional for a semi-built configuration, or any version in between. Choose from platform bed or a high storage bed options for a roomier living environment, as well as cases and media units in a wide variety of configurations. There is even a desk option for those who enjoy working in the bedroom, or feel free to turn the desk into a vanity by adding a mirror above. Key to the Moduluxe Bedroom Collection are the numerous inconspicuous storage options, which make it ideal for rooms where storage space is at a premium.
The Moduluxe Bedroom Collection is crafted in solid maple, cherry or American black walnut hardwood and made-to-order in fifteen finishes with a variety of knob or pull options. The degree of attention paid to the space, style and function of the Moduluxe Bedroom Collection should comes as little surprise to those who are familiar with Copeland Furniture. Since the 1970’s, Copeland Furniture has been making furniture of classic proportion and modern simplicity from natural hardwoods. Copeland Furniture takes great pride in the quality of the environment and natural surrounding beauty, and uses sustainably harvested hardwoods from the American Northern Forest. The Moduluxe Bedroom Collection is yet another creative extension of the company’s commitment to good design, quality and value, as well as a strong desire to stay loyal to the New England tradition of quality craftsmanship.
For those who are seeking a bedroom collection that offers both unparalleled versatility and sensational style, the Moduluxe Bedroom Collection by Copeland Furniture will allow you to realize your vision.
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!
November 7th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Today was a busy day at Stonehurst as we all prepare for our Open House and ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday. But we do have our priorities and today Kelsey’s birthday was at the top of the list. Please join us on Facebook in wishing marketing maven, Kelsey Eaton a healthy and Happy Birthday with many more to come!
November 6th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Last week I wrote about customizing your furniture by using unique drawer pulls. We have many different style (Shaker, Modern, Mission, Traditional, Wood and Metal) custom drawer pulls to choose from at Stonehurst (our new fine furniture and art gallery). But often customers want something very special and unique so we work with a variety of local artisans to serve as connectors when the need arises.
Coincidentally we had a visit yesterday from Donlin Foreman, owner of Horse Hill Handles a small business that makes custom leather, brass, bronze and iron drawer and door pulls. You may know Donlin as a professional dancer and co-founder of On Common Ground Dance Performance and Educational Products. He’s a “20-year veteran of the Martha Graham Dance Company and has performed with Eliot Feld Company, Jacques d’Amboise National Dance Institute, and La Scala Ballet. He has staged works for NJ Ballet, Ice Theatre of NY, La Scala Ballet, and North Carolina Dance Theatre. As co-founder/director/choreographer of Buglisi/Foreman Dance, Donlin choreographed 25 ballets and presented six seasons in NYC at the Joyce Theater, two seasons at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the America Dancing series/Kennedy Center, the Melbourne International Festival and other international venues.
Donlin performed at the White House for President Reagan and holds numerous honors, with critical and professional acclaim. He served as Professor of Professional Practice in the Dance Department of Barnard College, Columbia University, has published a book of poetic writing, contributed to the Martha Graham issue of Choreography and Dance, Dance Teacher and Dance Spirit magazines; and for two years chaired the Dance Panel of the New York State Council on the Arts. Donlin now lives in Harrisville with his wife Jenny and their two young sons. He is on the staff at the New England Center for Circus Arts.”
After an illustrious career in dance, Donlin is developing a business making handcrafted custom drawer pulls of unique combinations of leather, brass, bronze and iron suitable for doors, cabinets, and furniture. You can find a selection of his work at Hanna Grimes Market Place in Keene or contact him directly through Facebook.
We wish you all the best of luck with your new venture, Donlin!
November 5th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Have you noticed that Black Friday Sales have expanded over the years? I remember when it actually used to be on the day after Thanksgiving. Now in 2013 it’s all of November at many stores.
With American made, handcrafted fine furniture– sales work a little differently than with electronics or clothing, though. Made to order furniture, crafted especially for you doesn’t offer much economy of scale during a big storewide sale. So without compromising on craftsmanship or premium quality sustainable lumber, we’ve had to figure out other ways to add value and give customers the best price.
That’s where buying fine furniture as a set comes in. Craftspeople add efficiency to their system when building sets rather than individual pieces. And at Vermont Woods Studios we add efficiency (and save money) when shipping multiple pieces to the same address.
We pass that savings on to you so every day we can offer 2013 Black Friday sale prices — if you buy your furniture in a set. Check out our handmade bedroom sets, solid wood dining furniture sets and living room (coffee, end and sofa) table sets. They are all value priced at 20% off year round. Don’t see exactly what you want? Give Liz or Sean a call and they’ll customize your set now with the pieces you want. And when Thanksgiving comes around, you can relax with your family. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
November 4th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Cherry furniture is enjoying the top spot on our customer’s list of favorite wood species again this year. It’s been the trend for several years and no doubt 2014 will be another banner year for cherry wood. Most Vermont woodworkers are set up to offer customers a choice of at least the Top 4 American Hardwoods used in fine furniture making, that is: cherry, maple, walnut and oak. But cherry has always been the favorite as far back as I can remember.
In responding to customer preferences as well as the availability of high quality, sustainably harvested cherry wood, Vermont furniture makers have become America’s authority on fine cherry furniture. We work right alongside them at Vermont Woods Studios and have been sharing their knowledge on our website, in our blog and in a variety of articles. As we head into the furniture buying season, I thought I’d compile some of these resources and publish them as The Ultimate Buyers Guide for Cherry Furniture.
Check it out and let us know on Facebook, if you have additional questions we can add to the Guide.
November 3rd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Leaf peepers traveling through Vermont at this time of year often notice the sad demise of some of our historic barns and buildings. In some cases, over 200 years of wind, rain and snow have left these antique treasures in desperate need of rebirth. Fortunately, Vermont has many talented craftsmen who’ve taken on the mission of reclaiming the old boards, hand-hewn beams and timbers from these vintage barns. They recapture, de-nail and mill them into beautiful farmhouse tables. “Old wood – new life!” as reclaimed barnwood craftsman, Raphael Groton says.
Some of the common types of wood reclaimed are: oak, pine, elm, cherry, chestnut, walnut, hickory, maple, and quartersawn oak. Much of this vintage barn wood comes from original stands of America’s old growth forests and, as a result it has incredible architectural quality that could only be crafted by nature. Boards are extra wide with lush color and rich patinas. The beauty, density and stability of the wood, not to mention the unique character it attains after decades or even centuries of service in an old barn, factory or warehouse is captivating.
Can you name any other natural, renewable resource that’s as beautiful, strong and durable today as it was 200 years ago? Make a visit to Stonehurst, Vermont’s newest fine furniture and art gallery to see how Vermont farm tables can lend a touch of authenticity to both traditional and modern home decor.
November 2nd, 2013 by Michelle Rooks
One of the most unique pieces of furniture we have in our showroom and one that gets a lot of attention at the Vermont Welcome Center is the Custom Quilted Vermont Rocking Chair. This is really a chair that needs to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. It is available on our web site in Natural Cherry, Birdseye Maple or Natural Walnut.
The first time I saw it I was reminded of the child’s toy Jacob’s Ladder. The Quilted Rocker is made up of dozens of smooth wood pieces strung together with nylon rope. The look is unique but the comfort is amazing. I had a knitter friend come to visit the showroom and her eyes lit up when she sat in it. “I could see myself doing a lot of knitting in this chair!”
Well, she wasn’t alone. On Halloween we had a visitor stop by just at closing time. “Gene Simmons” was equally impressed though he doesn’t really strike me as a knitter. Actually, that’s my usually mild-mannered husband, Chris, in one of his favorite costumes. And yes, he made it himself…er, the costume, not the chair.
Stop by and try the Custom Quilted Vermont Rocking Chair for yourself. We think you’ll agree it’s not only a conversation piece, it’s a place of comfort.