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.
July 14th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
By Loryn Dion
Here at Vermont Woods Studios, a big part of our mission is to support and give back to our local and global community, specifically to those that are helping to better our world through forest conservation. While many companies and organizations promote a similar cause in their missions, VWS staff members like to do more than just write out a check or sit in the office talking about our plans but not physically putting them into action.
Thursday, the folks at the Bonnyvale Environmental Educational Center (BEEC) welcomed Peggy and me to their beautiful sanctuary, a vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the average work day. BEEC is a member-based, nonprofit organization founded with the mission to develop a more ecologically informed citizenry through education and action in order to enhance and sustain the vitality of southern Vermont’s bioregion. BEEC’s land and facilities include 100 acres of mature forests, open pasture lands, hiking trails, sweeping hilltop views, and a classroom and office, all situated in a beautiful rural setting less than 10 minutes from downtown Brattleboro.
BEEC also coordinates and leads important community-based environmental research and conservation programs, including watershed stewardship, reptile and amphibian conservation initiatives, and biodiversity planning and protection.
We traveled to BEEC for a meeting with Patti Smith and Belle Coles, two staff members of BEEC, to brainstorm some ideas for a partnership between our organizations. BEEC has some fantastic programs that they organize throughout the year and they are always looking for volunteers and sponsors. Vermont Woods Studios is hoping to help them out with one or more of these projects in the not-so-distant future.
Although Peggy and I were there on “business,” we were able to go on a nice hike to see the amazing views of the Vermont landscape and meet a lazy little possum named “Samuel Gompers.” Samuel and his siblings were rescued when they were just babies after they lost their parents. Samuel is very happy at his home with BEEC staff and enjoys eating blueberries and Japanese Beetles! I’d say this was a very successful business meeting!
If you’re interested in helping out too, the next big event that BEEC is holding their annual Hike-A-Thon. Last year, they raised over $1400 through the fundraiser. To learn more about BEEC’s projects, check out the event calendar on their Web site.
Loryn Dion is a Marketing Assistant at Vermont Woods Studios, an online furniture gallery which showcases Vermont’s finest wood furniture. Follow our blog to learn about Vermont fine furniture, Vermont happenings, our mission, and our team.
April 10th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
OK, I know (if you don't work at Vermont Woods Studios) people don't count down to Earth Day like they do for say… Christmas, so I'll just go ahead and remind you that Earth Day is less than 2 weeks away. It's on April 22 this year.
Did you know that?
After 40 years of Earth Days coming and going, are you beginning to wonder if it really means anything anymore? If any real positive change ever comes out of Earth Day? Well, here's you chance to pitch in and make the world a little greener, better place on Earth Day 2012.
The first thing you can do (very EASY) is make just 2 clicks and join our Green-up Your Workplace Challenge on Facebook. This is a virtual event we've set up so we can share ideas with you about how to help make your workplace greener.
Next, check out The Nature Conservancy's Picnic for the Planet. All over the world, TNC is sponsoring picnics to celebrate delicious, local, organically grown food. For example, in Vermont we're having a picnic in Burlington's City Hall Park where local chefs, restaurants and farmers will come and whip up their ideas of the perfect Vermont springtime picnic. We'll have live music, exhibits and activities too.
Last year, there were more than 600 picnics in 61 countries on Earth Day. This year TNC is trying to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest picnic event in a 24-hour time frame. You can help! Host a picnic in your workplace. Then tell us about it on Facebook and keep Earth Day alive and going strong!
March 31st, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Today, hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world will unite at 8:30pm local time to support the largest environmental event in history – Earth Hour.
Last year more than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour, showing solidarity for a common cause: our natural world.
This year, be a part of it! Check out Inhabitat for ideas of fun things to do while the lights are out. Candlelight dinners, star-gazing, nighttime bike rides, moonlit picnics and more. Join the folks at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture and nature lovers from all around the world. Turn the lights out for our future.
March 19th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
I know you love the warm, early Spring weather but honestly, it's not so good for Vermont's maple syrup producers. This week's forecast is for mid-70s! That's unbelievable. I've never seen temperatures soar that high at this time of year.
Unfortunately, according to local sugarmakers, after 3 days of >60F weather the maple trees pretty much figure it's time to get to work making buds and leaves so they turn off the sap production and refocus their energy.
The good news is that syrup quality is very high and even if there's 25% less production this year than last, Vermont is likely to maintain it's status of being the Number 1 maple syprup producing state in the nation. Sweet!
Now… this weekend brings your chance to sample the world's best maple syrup. It's the Eleventh Annual Vermont Maple Open House Weekend, held at sugarhouses throughout Vermont, March 24 and 25. You can tour sugarhouses throughout the state, watch the syrup being boiled and try the many flavors and products as they're being made. There are approximately 2000 maple producers in Vermont so check out the Vermont Maple website for maps and directions to all the participating farms and towns.
March 6th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
My mother keeps me up to date on the progress of The Adirondack Carousel, a project that involves many of our passions at Vermont Woods Studios: woodcarving, nature, wildlife and the human spirit. It's just across Lake Champlain in Saranac Lake, NY and I'm excited to see how it's going.
The story behind it is inspiring. Over 10 years ago, a Saranac Lake wood carver Karen Loffler, "while working on a master’s degree in creative studies, came across an article in a woodcarving magazine that showed a small children’s carousel fitted with woodland animals. The combination of a creative approach to problem solving, her love of woodcarving, and a desire to foster imagination and strengthen her local community, inspired Karen’s dream of building a full-size carousel complete with hand-carved figures of animals indigenous to the Adirondack Mountain area."
Now, after a decade of relentless hard work, supported by a close-knit community of like-minded people Karen's dream of the Adirondack Carousel project is becoming a reality. Woodcarvers from near and far have donated their skills, sponsors have underwritten the cost of production and local builders and volunteers have worked tirelessly to make it all come together.
We're thrilled for Karen and crew and wish them all the best during this exciting grand opening year. You can have a Sneak Peak this Saturday, March 10 in Saranac Lake. Don't miss it and don't forget the camera!
November 27th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
That's you! Let's be honest. If you're reading this, you can probably count yourself among the "ones who have everything" right? And your friends and family are in that group too. OK, I'm not trying to be a big grinch and stomp down on all our Cyber Weekend shopping fun. I'm just suggesting that some of the frenzy whipped up over these unbelievable deals is a bit contrived– maybe you and those on your List don't really need or want an extra flat screen TV anyway.
So what to buy that would have some meaning?
Here's a short list of my Top 4 Favorite Christmas and Holiday Gifts:
The best part is that there's no Black Friday or Cyber Monday RUSH on buying these items. But… you could take a big load off your shoulders and get everything done today. Then you could relax and enjoy the rest of the Christmas season in peace– what a concept!
November 20th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
Douglas just delivered the numbers for our Sustainable Furniture Sale last Saturday, November 12. We sponsored a fundraiser for The Nature Conservancy's Plant A Billion Trees Initiative.
I can report that your furniture purchases generated a $418 donation to The Nature Conservancy. Half of that will be donated to the local Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and half will to the national/international TNC campaign.
We wish to thank all of our customers and readers who bought furniture or promoted our event. We look forward to working with Jennifer Kramer, our local TNC representative to further strengthen our partnership with Nature.org.
November 6th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
This Saturday, November 12 Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture Store will be running a fundraiser for The Nature Conservancy's Plant A Billion Trees campaign. 100% of our profits on that day will be donated to The Nature Conservancy.
Forest conservation has always been a fundamental part of our green mission. Although Vermont's forests are among the best managed in the world we realize that globally, deforestation is one of the top environmental problems facing the planet today.
In fact, the world’s tropical rainforests are disappearing at a rate of one football field every second! This deforestation pours carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and contributes more to air pollution and global climate change than exhaust from the entire transportation sector. Hard to believe isn't it? Furthermore, forest animals and plants are being lost at a rate of over 100 species/day due to deforestation.
So, if you're planning a fine furniture purchase or you know someone else who is, please consider buying your furniture this Saturday. Put your purchasing power to work and help us use green commerce to change the world!
July 22nd, 2011 by Dennis Shanoff
An irony of our love of the outdoors and our great appreciation of nature and natural environments is that we at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture spend quite a bit of time each day indoors in front of a computer! That’s just the nature of a web business I suppose. We sure do need to be “hard wired” or “connected” for a lot of our eCommerce business functions.
Manjula, Kendall and Dennis on a Walk and Talk by The Brown Farm on West Road in Vernon
But for a lot of us these days, our work days are much less physical then they use to be. Some days it just seems that you could spend the entire day in your chair as everything you need either comes in or goes out via the computer. We don’t even have to get up out of our chair to send or receive faxes anymore! But then what about times where you don’t need the computer like meetings and discussions? Times when we can work unplugged? Just everyone roll your chairs a little closer together?
Well we have found a better alternative that works great for us and gets us up, out & about! You see in our office we have taken to walking meetings, or what we like to call our “Walk & Talks”. Near our office we have the luxury of having some great scenic, and quiet rural roads. So most days of the week we take to the streets and conduct our “non computer” work during our walk. Just a quick divided road crossing and then under the railroad bridge to the right and we are in perfect walking territory!
Dennis, Peggy and Manjula at Annette's Malhanna Farm on Pond Road in Vernon
These quiet tree lined streets lead us past dairy & horse farms, corn fields, and into some nice residential neighborhoods. Ringing phones replaced by singing birds and rustling leaves! Moving more then just your hands and fingers! And if we time it right the cows will be by the fence waiting for us or my favorite black & white pony will be in view. It seems most of our best ideas and problem solving takes place out on these walks. We hope you work in an area that provides a quiet and safe walking area. If so give walking meetings a try! It just feels great to get some fresh air, real light, stretch the legs and just be up, out & about!