November 30th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Michelle had a good reminder for us in her post earlier this week. Thanksgiving “was not originally intended to promote Christmas sales”. But I have to admit that Black Friday is the first time I think about buying holiday gifts. The reality for most of us is that when you have popular toys on your list or you’re shopping for something big (like appliances, cars, computers, furniture) you can’t ignore Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
So, in contrast to all that holiday shopping madness, today we have Small Business Saturday. It’s a day to re-discover your local merchants and the character and richness they add to your community. They may not be able to beat the lowest prices you’ll find online but there’s an unmeasured value in their goods and services. How much is it worth to you to have a beautiful downtown? A local economy? Jobs for your friends and family? In Vermont it’s worth a lot. So we’ve come up with a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Shop Locally at your favorite downtown, mall or rural shopping outpost (like Stonehurst):
Have more of you own? Let us know on Facebook before you head downtown.
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 5th, 2013 by Loryn Dion
A few weeks ago, Peggy wrote a blog about her chance meeting with Brattleboro artist Susan Osgood. Susan is an archaeologist by day and a painter by night, so her pieces all have character and a story. When Peggy told us about Susans work, we were intrigued and knew we had to get her work on our walls. So Douglas and I went up to meet Susan and pick out a few pieces to add to the showroom.
She certainly didn’t make the decision very easy on us. Susan does all of her painting right out of her home and showcases paintings throughout her house. Susan picked out a variety of paintings for us to choose from including small gallery-wrapped pieces to some larger ones in wood-framed glass and even a few painted on actual Egyptian graffiti! I personally fell in love with the graffiti art. It feels like we’re bringing a piece of history into our showroom. I’m hoping that our customers will love Susan Osgood Egyptian paintings as much as I do.
We ended up picking out nine exquisite pieces to display throughout the showroom. We choose pieces that we thought would look best displayed with our furniture. With our art consignments, we’re attempting to create a look that our customers will be able to identify with and want to create in their own homes. With our Vermont-made furniture, art, housewares and linens, we’re developing our showroom into the ideal, artistic Vermont home.
What other types of art would you like to see here at Stonehurst? Let us know on Facebook!
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!
June 11th, 2013 by Loryn DionAll dressed up for Mardi Gras!
They came. They strolled. And they looked fabulous. This weekend, a few members of the Green Team represented VWS at the Strolling of the Heifers parade. This being my first “stroll”, I was excited to see what sights and antics Brattleboro had in store.
The parade featured floats and displays from local businesses and organizations from around southeastern Vermont. Each one had a unique theme that tied into the agricultural theme of the event. One of my favorite ideas was from Edward Jones Investments with the slogan “How’s Your Nest Egg Doing?” with a float that was decorated with some live chickens and eggs. There was also a float for an organization that is near and dear to my heart: a local FFA chapter. And of course, there were plenty of heifers. Their handlers dressed each heifer in beads, flowers and bright colors to match this years Strolling of the Heifers theme, “Running of the Bulls meets Mardi Gras.”Representing the FFA! I walked in many parades and shows as a member, but never in a cow suit!
After the parade was over, the crowd all flooded to The Common to scored some “Strolling Swag” and free gifts from more local businesses. One exhibit in the event was the Woodlands exhibit, which we were a part of. Groups offered educational exhibits and demonstrations about forestry, logging, conservation, invasive species and, of course, the final product of effective forest harvesting, furniture. Vermont Woods Studios shared a tent with Wood-Net, represented by woodworker Rick Gravelin. We showcased our sustainable outdoor PolyWood furniture, while Rick displayed a beautiful assortment of handmade, wooden clocks and watches. Michelle, Peggy and I had so much fun talking with local residents about our furniture and where it comes from and boasting about our new Vernon showroom. Michelle even got to talk about our solid wood dining furniture with Peter Welch, a Vermont Congressman.
Did you attend the Stroll this weekend? Or does your town have a local agricultural fair you enjoy? Tell us about it here or on our Facebook wall!Every year, the stroll has special “sweepers” that follow the end of the parade to clean up the inevitable messes that heifers make. I thought it would be fitting for the sweepers to follow this blog too.
May 16th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
We’re always looking for an excuse to celebrate at Vermont Woods Studios and– lucky us– this week we had several good reasons. So last night we gathered at the Whetstone Brewery in Brattleboro to welcome Martin Corbin and Kelsey Eaton into the Woods and also… to observe American Craft Beer Week (yes, there is such such a thing).
I’ll post a couple short bios about Martin and Kelsey in the coming weeks but today I thought I should talk up Vermont’s fabulous craft beers so you’ll be able to get out and try them during Craft Beer Weekend.
According to the Vermont Brewers Association there are over 30 brewers in the Green Mountain State, from small specialty brewers like Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Warren,Vermont to nationally recognized brands like Long Trail in Bridgewater Corners, Vermont. “Maybe there’s something in the water. Maybe there’s something in the air. Maybe….. there’s something up here in the mountains. Vermont’s brewers are making magic with it.”
Let us know what your favorite Vermont beer is in the comments section below or on our Facebook!
May 3rd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Foodies throughout Vermont are celebrating this weekend because Saturday is opening day for many of our farmers markets, including our favorite one– in Brattleboro. I tag along with Chef Annette who visits the market religiously every week to fill her fridge with fresh, organic fruits and veggies. I haven’t been cooking much lately so I just go for the freshly baked breads, local gourmet cheeses and… oh yes… lunch!
Lunch is the best part of Bratt’s Farmers Market. Take your pick: Indian, Malian, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, wood-fired pizza– you name it. Wash it down with steamy country coffee or a glass of the world’s best freshly squeezed lemonade.
The Brattleboro Farmers Market is located on Rte 9 in West Brattleboro. It’s open rain or shine, every Saturday from 9am to 2pm. Farmers will have “springtime harvests of new maple syrup, fresh greens, herbs, rhubarb, eggs and meats, garden plants and flowers, plus well-stored apples, root crops, preserves and jams. Artisans and bakers offer sourdough breads, pastries and treats (many gluten-free choices), granola, fruit wines and sparkling juices, jewelry, pottery, fabric arts, and soaps.”
This Saturday on opening day, there will be music and Maypole dancing by Andy Davis. There’s something for everyone. Call 802-254-8885 for more information. Hope to see you there!
September 6th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
I am happy to report that Ken and I finally closed on our purchase of Stonehurst today… woohoo! We've got much work ahead in renovating and transforming it into a fine furniture gallery, nature center and destination shopping experience but this is an exciting first step.
Today I just wanted to make a quick entry to thank all the professionals who helped us with the property purchase. Our gratitude goes out to our wonderful real estate agent, Suzanne King of Masiello Realty in Brattleboro, Peter Carvell our (ever so thorough) banker from, Brattleboro Savings and Loan and Rich Carroll, our attorney from Potter Stewart Law who has managed to keep us in good humor throughout the process.
We are also grateful to Elaine and Bill Ellis the people who stewarded this historic property over the last 30 years and transferred care of it to us today. We are looking forward to the day we can welcome them back to see the renovations– hopefully in 6 months or so.
Stay tuned for periodic updates, including reports about our new friend Stoney who (we just discovered) currently resides at Stonehurst.
August 15th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
If you've traveled through Vermont, you've no doubt noticed that the Green Mountain State has no billboards. None. Not a single one. They're illegal here. It's true.
So the way many Vermont businesses reach out to visitors and customers is through our Information and Welcome Centers. These respites are strategically located along our most traveled roads, particularly routes I-89 and I-91. I'll post some photos of their unique Vermont architecture another day but today I wanted to show you something on the inside: Art Galleries!
I took this picture at the I-91 Welcome Center just north of the Massachusetts line in Guilford, VT. It's part of a collection of paintings by Caryn King of Newfane, VT. You can't help but smile at Caryn's paintings of farm animals– so much personality shines through. She also does breath-taking floral paintings and commissions of your favorite pets. Her blog, A Chicken Painting Every Day is a cheerful way to start the day!
Vermont's information and welcome centers also offer tons of information and brochures on local, regional and state-wide events, activities, hotels, inns, restaurants, ski areas, outdoor recreation, shopping, sight-seeing and much more. Stop by and have a look!
What do you think about replacing billboards with Welcome Centers? Let us know below or on our Facebook.
Peggy Farabaugh owns Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. She travels around the Green Mountain State collaborating with woodworkers and feeling very lucky to live and work in a place where nature and creativity are flourishing.
August 3rd, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
It's been well over a year now since we began our search for a new home for Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. Our amazing realtor, Suzanne King of Masiello Realty in Brattleboro VT has been incredibly patient and helpful. She's showed us dozens of possible properties and lived through the whole disappointing saga of Skyline, a property we fell in love with last year which did not work out for us.
Now we're working on acquiring Stonehurst, a beautiful old farmhouse property located right here in Vernon VT (that's just part of the backyard shown on the left. Here's a photo of the main house). It's on 109 acres of forested land with scenic views all the way down to the Connecticut River. It used to be a ski area, Pine Top.
Our plan is to do a green renovation of the property and transform it into a luxury, destination shopping experience for customers seeking Vermont's handcrafted, sustainable furniture. What do you think? Is this the kind of place you'd be interested in if you were shopping for fine wood furniture? Let me know in the comments section below or on our Facebook.