April 22, 2015 is “Earth Day”, a time when many people stop and think about what they can do to make the world a better place. At Vermont Woods Studios, we believe that businesses have a responsibility to do this- not only on Earth Day, but every day. We believe in being real, active global citizens that work hard to make the world a better place. We believe in giving future generations (of both humans and animals) a better world to live in!

So this Earth Day, we’d love to share some of our current Earth efforts: 

1. Benefit Sale for VCE:

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For one day only, we will be donating $25 from every sale to the Vermont Center for Eco Studies. This organization is dear to our hearts, and our mission, as they promote wildlife conservation across the Americas using the combined strength of scientific research and citizen engagement. We support them every year and are happy to do this special promotion for them!

2. Salamander Crossing:
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For more than 10 years, Peggy has been going out on rainy April nights and helping salamanders and other amphibians get to the vernal pools where they congregate to breed. All of these amphibians are abundant in Vermont (if seldom seen)—but that will change in places where they must cross roads to reach their breeding pools!  Volunteers are needed to help these little critters get to where they are going safely, in order to conserve their populations.

3. Preparing our Garden Sanctuary:
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For the second year in a row, we are preparing our butterfly and bee sanctuary garden. Earlier in the year we went out and planted milkweed for Monarchs, and now we are preparing a garden that will be a safe haven for bees, butterflies, and other critters! Dennis and Nina are hard at work today, tilling, cleaning, and prepping the area.

We hope that this Earth Day you will take some time to think about your own environmental impact and what you are doing to help protect animals and the planet. Even if your actions are small, they are important! What will you do for the Earth this year? Let us know in the comments section!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

2014 was a great year for us at Vermont Woods Studios.  Through lots of trial and error and experimentation, we ended up in a great place and look forward to another year of growth! We’ve learned so much that we couldn’t possibly list it all, but here are 10 wonderful things we learned this year:

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1. How to transform a lost ski area into a beautiful showcase for Vermont made furniture, artwork and home decor.  It was our first full year at Stonehurst, the marvelous property we call home. We couldn’t be happier with how well it was received by our guests, and we eagerly await even more visitors in 2015!

 

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2. How to build a set to take professional photos of our furniture. Nina & Dennis spent a great amount of time and energy getting crafty and making sets for photoshoots. With Nina’s photoshop wizardry, dusty old storage areas and garages transform into quaint living spaces perfect for furniture photos!

 

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3. How to keep woodchucks out of our flower garden using aluminum pie plates. As you can see in the photo above, our showroom sees frequent visitors from the forest! Unfortunately, they are big fans of our gardens so we’ve learned creative ways of humanely keeping them at a safe distance!

 

Vermont Woods Studios Furniture Interns: busy stacking 40 cords of firewood
Vermont Woods Studios Furniture Interns: busy stacking 40 cords of firewood

4. How to harvest wood to sustainably heat our showroom. Our student interns (Douglas & Peggy’s kids) had a busy summer stacking 40 cords of firewood sourced from fallen trees around Stonehurst!

 

monarch-45. Never lose hope. We were a little disheartened about not seeing any Monarchs in our butterfly garden this year, but just as we started planning our 2015 Monarch conservation efforts, a symbol of hope arrived! We worked together to plant and share milkweed throughout our community and are excited to continue with this project through the new year.

 

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6. Handcrafted wood furniture deserves beautiful decor accessories to go with it. Our natural wood furniture is simple and beautiful on it’s own, but handcrafted Vermont made decor adds another layer of richness that we can’t help but love.

 

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7.  Our furniture looks great in big houses and “tiny houses” alike! Earlier in the year we provided a POLYWOOD La Casa Dining Set to Tiny House Nation, a show that celebrates the innovation and creativity of Tiny Houses and the people who inhabit them!

 

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8.  Nothing feels better than giving back to the community. We made it a priority to give back to our community this year– from donating food for a community Thanksgiving dinner, to participating in Vermont’s ‘Green up Day’ and more! Our whole team took part in our charitable activities and look forward to another great year of giving.

 

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9. Nature makes a great backdrop for photos. Our previous ‘our team‘ page featured each of us on white backgrounds, making us look like our heads were floating in space! We learned that we look much better in a natural setting, surrounded by things we cherish (trees!)

 

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10Appreciate the seasons while they last. We are lucky to live in New England, a place where each season is bold, beautiful, and transformative! The freshness of Spring, the relaxed nature of Summer, the crisp air of the Fall, and the reflective state of Winter are things we’ve grown to love. At Stonehurst, we get to see the uniqueness of each season as the year passes and we have learned to love and appreciate all of them while they are here.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of the things we learned in 2014, and we look forward to another great year ahead! Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

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Our POLYWOOD Nautical Bench: Furniture, Stage Prop, or Newest Member of the Addams Family?

The versatility of our POLYWOOD furniture was shown in a recent local theater production. Our Nautical park bench took a supporting role in a production of The Addams Family musical presented by Ja’Duke Productions at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls, MA. The Addams Family is a dark, humorous show that highlights the ghoulish Addams family and their ancestors (one of which was played by our very own Michelle Rooks)!

In the play, a huge house was built where the Addams family tree had been planted to protect the ancestral graves from annoyances such as sunlight and tourists. The Addams Family, including Gomez, Morticia, Fester, Grandma, Wednesday, Pugsley and Lurch (played by Michelle’s husband Chris) have gathered at the family graveyard to celebrate life and death in a yearly ritual to connect with their past. Little does the family know, daughter Wednesday has grown up and wishes to marry the very normal Lucas Beineke. The two families meet over dinner. Chaos ensues and the climax of the show has Morticia leaving her family. Gomez finds her at the train station…seated upon the POLYWOOD bench. Love triumphs and the family is reunited.

Post-production the bench now serves as outdoor seating at the Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts in Turners Falls.

 

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5 Points if you can spot Michelle!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Vermont Woods Studios Furniture Interns: Taegen, Riley, Trenton and Tristan.
Vermont Woods Studios Furniture student interns: Taegen, Riley, Trenton and Tristan.

It’s a beautiful, warm sunny summer day at Vermont Woods Studios which makes it hard to believe Autumn is almost here.  But if the weather isn’t enough of a reminder,  the annual loss of our student interns is making it all too clear.

Vermont Woods Studios Furniture Interns: busy stacking 40 cords of firewood
The Fab Four gathered and cut 40 cords of firewood this summer!

Today we send them our heartfelt thanks for all the hard work they put in throughout the summer.  Perhaps the toughest job they had was gathering, slicing and dicing 40 cords of firewood to keep the rest of us warm during the winter.

Vermont Woods Studios Furniture Interns: busy stacking 40 cords of firewood
What name do you think this band of rock stars should take up?

They also pitched in on many other tasks required to maintain our woodlands and keep our Stonehurst fine furniture store looking clean, green & beautiful.  We wish them great success at school and in their other endeavors.  Hope to see you guys back here next summer!

Vermont Woods Studios Furniture Interns: managing our woodlands
Stay out of Taegen’s way when she’s driving the tractor!

 

Vermont Woods Studios Furniture Interns: and Wood Man
Name suggestions for this new member of the Vermont Woods team?

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

George's Mill
Antique Car Garage Turns Photo Studio?

If you’re starting to notice an influx of fine furniture photography, you’re paying attention to the work of Nina, our Photographer & Merchandising Assistant! Nina & Dennis have been travelling around Southern Vermont finding great places to set up our furniture & take new photos for the site. Most recently, they’ve been working on a project at George’s Mill in Vernon where they are building a photo studio from scratch!

The original George’s Mill was reconstructed in 1974 by Nicholas George, and the 2nd building (the post office) was built in 1985 by Eli N. George. This location is actually where our previous office and headquarters were, before making the move to Stonehurst.

Take a Behind the Scenes Look at George’s Mill Progress:

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Riley, Tristan & Dennis set up the wall structure at George’s Mill.

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The team has made great progress at  George’s Mill and they aren’t done yet! Nina, however, has already used the space for the backdrop of a new bedroom collection photo!  The fusion of Photoshop and a little elbow grease comes to life with our new Holland Collection.

Take a look at the new photo and bedroom collection.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.