Friday was a festive day at Vermont Woods Studios.  We had our 8th annual company Christmas party and gift exchange.  I picked up our tree at Rotary’s, annual Christmas Tree Sale during my Thursday night shift (the Rotary Club I belong to sells Christmas trees to raise money for it’s Gateway Scholarship Foundation).  Ken brought the tree back to Stonehurst in his Beverly Hillbillies-style trailer and Douglas and our star sales staff put it up and decorated it.  Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

Of course the tree is local (from Craftsbury, VT) and it’s decorated with memorabilia from Pine Top, the lost ski area that our fine furniture and art gallery now sits upon.  That’s a “rope tow” you see stretching from the bottom to the top of the tree and there are a couple stylish 1950s era skiers ascending it, courtesy of my thoughtful sister, Ann.  There are also some beautiful handcrafted decorations (painted by our friend Donna Scully) which can be purchased in the showroom.

In the afternoon we had a potluck lunch with lots of delicious treats, including the most decadent brownies I think I’ve ever tasted.  Following that (with a little work squeezed in between) was a Yankee swap of American made gifts (somehow Neville managed to take home the most coveted gift– a bottle of Jack Daniels).

After work we all reconvened at Terrazza Restaurant at the Greenfield Country Club in Greenfield, MA to finish off the days festivities.  Does it sound like we do a lot of partying at Vermont Woods Studios?  Well, we try to.  Work hard, play occasionally.  That’s not a bad recipe for success is it?  Let us know on Facebook, what you do to celebrate Christmas with your colleagues.

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.

Stonehurst | Fine Furniture and Art Gallery | Vernon VT | Ribbon Cutting
These are the hard-working people who made Stonehurst possible.  From left:  Loryn Dion, Michelle Rooks, Neville Kerr, me with the scissors, Dennis Shanoff, Ken Farabaugh, Sean Henry and Douglas Fletcher  (Liz Francese, Martin Corbin and Kelsey Eaton were also instrumental but were unable to make the ceremony).  Our thanks also go out to the Vermont Working Lands Initiative for a grant that helped make Stonehurst renovations possible.

Sorry, I know I’m remiss.  It’s been over a week since we officially opened our Stonehurst Fine Furniture Showroom and Art Gallery and you all have been very forgiving about my lapse in coming forward with a record of the event.  Well, finally I’ve recruited Kelsey to help me round up some photos to happily share with you here.  The ribbon cutting ceremony was by all accounts a success.  Granted we never did persuade the governor to attend (I guess he does have other pressing matters) but we did have several VIPs (in our opinion) stop by including family, friends, neighbors, customers, furniture makers, artisans and other well wishers.  Nina Markiw was kind enough to capture much of the activity in the images below so I’ll let them speak for themselves.

We want to thank everyone who participated, especially the good people at the Vermont Working Lands Initiative and our staff who worked so hard to pull the event off.  It was not an easy feat but everything seemed to run like clockwork– even the early November weather.  Let’s hope it’s a sign for the future of Stonehurst.  Thanks Everyone!

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.

Some indicators of the severity of the coming winter are: the thickness of a walnut's husk; the ratio of brown to black segments on a Woolly Bear; the number of acorns an oak tree drops.
Some indicators of the severity of the coming winter are: the thickness of a walnut’s husk; the ratio of brown to black segments on a Woolly Bear; the number of acorns an oak tree drops.

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!

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.

Stonehurst Fine Furniture Gallery | Brattleboro Reformer Article

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!

 

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.

Now that summer is over and the initial excitement of moving to our new space is winding down, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on the progress we have made, and the extreme transformations that have occurred at Stonehurst in the last year! Stonehurst has been fully transformed from an old farmhouse, to a one of a kind Vermont made furniture and decor showroom–making the perfect place to showcase the true beauty of wood both inside and outside of the showroom. The photos you will see below document our journey at Stonehurst, with photos from before any renovation, during the construction process, and what it looks like now! I don’t want to say its the “final” look, because we are always transforming the decor and look of the space to highlight the particular furniture and art we are showcasing! You’ll just have to come see it for yourself!

On the left you’ll see the old apartment before renovations & on the right is during the construction process!
Above is the old apartment after the renovation. The space has been transformed into a part of the main gallery of our beautiful fine furniture showroom.

 

This was the farm house’s kitchen space before renovation (left), on the right you’ll see that we added larger windows so our visitors can experience the magnificent view outside the showroom. Our beautiful handcrafted dining room furniture in addition to the view help create an authentic Vermont Style dining room experience.
Now, this space is a wonderful place to display our fine furniture–the view outside the windows is breathtaking & is a testament to Vermont’s beauty. Through all seasons, the acres of woodland that surround Stonehurst is a sight to be seen!

Like what you see? Keep checking back for part 2 and 3 of our renovation reveal and tell us what you think on Facebook!

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.