Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture

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85 Vermont Sugar Houses in 2 Days: Is it possible?

March 20th, 2014 by Kelsey Eaton

maple syrup

Did you know that maple sugaring is sustainable? Tapping doesn’t hurt the tree in any way — studies have shown that the trees that are tapped year after year live just as long, and just grow ever-so-slightly most slowly than their un-harvested counterparts.

This weekend is Vermont’s Maple Syrup open house weekend! This is exciting for two reasons: 1) Maple syrup is delicious and 2) this officially marks the first weekend of Spring! Open House Weekend is your opportunity to get a first-hand look at how Vermont’s sugar makers are able to take the sap from maple trees and craft something as delicious as pure Vermont maple syrup! 85 sugar houses around Vermont will be open for touring!

The weather is up in the air, but we’re hoping for another weekend of sunshine! So make it a trip, take a visit to Vermont– and visit us at Stonehurst while you’re here!

Visit VermontMaple.Org for an interactive map with all of the different maple syrup locations in Vermont & for more information on this great weekend event!

 

|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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Memories of Pine Top, Southern Vermont’s Lost Ski Area

March 10th, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh

For all you Pine Top alumni out there, here is a fun email I received from Sally Byrnes Magin who shares her memories of skiing here in the 1950s:

Pine Top Ski Area | Memories from Sally

Memories of Pine Top from Sally Byrnes Magin:  I love the pictures of the ladies sitting on the front porch and the one of Laddie, Elsie and Romey’s dog.

Dear Peggy,

By chance, when googling “Pine Top” for sentimental reasons, I came across the Vermont Woods Studios and Stonehurst website.  After spending many winter vacations as a child at Pine Top, I was so excited to see that you are keeping the memories alive!  My family and our friends, from northern NJ, spent almost every President’s Week in February (from about 1950 until 1958) at Pine Top, learning to ski and having a wonderful time together. In fact, one of the trails that led from the top of the “Tobey” rope tow was named “Stoddard Run” after our friends the Stoddard family.

Eventually, as our skiing skills improved, we branched out to other Vermont ski areas. It was a magical time spent with Elsie and Romey (Racine), Laddie their dog, the kitchen staff, and the local ski instructors at Pine Top.  Our group took over the entire house for a week, and expanded into the “new annex” when it was built.

Some memories that I have of Pine Top are: skiing down the Pelley and Tobey slopes, struggling with those rope tows, the Tiny Tot hill, eating “sugar on snow” in the old warming hut, being excited when the “new” warning hut was built, visiting the farm and cows up the road, the bell that signaled breakfast and dinner, playing board games in front of the fireplace at night, going into Brattleboro to see ski jumping competitions, and how cold the rooms upstairs were in the mornings before the heat came up through the grates. Also, walking back from the warming hut on a cold Vermont night with every star in the sky visible.

Memories of Pine Top | Now Stonehurst Fine Furniture Gallery

The kids always ate first, and I guess we were celebrating someone’s birthday at dinner.   I must have been sitting at the other end of the dining room table (so am not in the picture).

I hope to visit Stonehurst some time in the future and perhaps walk around the property to revisit old memories.             …..Sally Byrnes Magin Township of Washington, NJ

Sally Byrnes Magin | Memories of Skiing at Pine Top

Here’s a picture of me in early 1950′s ski gear, lace up boots, and cable bindings. Those were the days!  By the way, one of those ski instructor’s last name may have been “Herbert”…he taught us all how to ski, and I am still going strong at age 70! … Sally Byrnes Magin

Well, thank you so much Sally for generously sharing your wonderful memories of skiing at Pine Top.  We hope you’ll come up to visit us soon. I think you’ll enjoy the property and all the improvements we’ve made while transforming it into Stonehurst (a showcase for Vermont’s fine furniture and home decor).

Does anyone else out there have Pine Top memories to share?  Send them along!  We’ve got an online compilation of Pine Top stories and yours should be part of it.

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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5 Most Romantic Vermont Towns

February 11th, 2014 by Kelsey Eaton

Looking for Romantic Vermont Towns for your special Valentines Day weekend? Enjoy this post highlighting some of Vermont’s best towns for visiting couples.

Stowe Vermont Photography

‘Stowe Vermont Community Church’, by Teresa Merelman. Retrieved from Flickr. 

Stowe. Stowe is a magnificent place to visit during all 4 seasons. This quaint Northern town has a reputation for some of the best skiing in Vermont, making it an ideal place for a wintery weekend retreat with your loved one.  It’s also a hub for fun summer adventuring, with popular attractions including luxury resorts, lodges, and spas… sure to make a great midsummer date. Lodging options can range from quaint and cozy, to extravagant and fabulous– and the same can be said for the cuisine. No matter your taste, you will find something to fall in love with in Stowe. 

Champlain by Marty Desilets

‘Champlain’ by Marty Desilets, retrieved from Pinterest.

Burlington. Burlington is a truly romantic place for lovers who enjoy both the buzz of city life and the calm of Vermont’s north country. In the summer you can enjoy the beauty of the Lake Champlain as you  dine at one of Burlington’s popular waterfront restaurants, or take a ferry ride or cruise. Music, shopping, theater, and art are also some of Burlington’s staples for couples looking for a fun filled Vermont escape.

'Woodstock' by Ryan Phelan, retrieved from Pinterest

‘Woodstock’ by Ryan Phelan, retrieved from Pinterest

Woodstock. Just a quick drive through Woodstock will give you a warm, romantic feeling– even in the dead of Winter. The main street of town  is illuminated by Christmas lights, and people can always be found roaming around their eclectic gift and decor shops. Easy to access all year round, the lush summer greenery of Woodstock is unmatched. During the autumn months, Woodstock boasts some of Vermont’s most beautiful foliage.  Senator Jacob Collamer (1791-1865) confessed, “The good people of Woodstock have less incentive than others to yearn for heaven.”

Simon Pearce Restaurant

Simon Pearce Restaurant in Quechee, Vermont. Retrieved from SimonPearce.com

Quechee. The most obviously fascinating part of Quechee is the Gorge. While the gorge is visible if you drive by or stop along Rt 4, the beauty of it is best appreciated by following the trail down to the bottom. The Quechee gorge is a 3,000 foot long, 163 foot deep chasam sculped into the landscape 13,000 years ago. A truly breathtaking stop for any couple with a love for nature’s grandeur. After visiting this majestic site, you can pay a visit to one of Vermont’s most luxurious restaurants and shopping destinations– Simon Pearce.

White House Inn, Wilmington, Vermont Travel

White House Inn, Wilmington. Vermont Travel. Retrieved from Pinterest.

Wilmington. This Southern Vermont town is as quaint and compact as it gets, boasting a population of approximately 2,225 people (in 2000). Known for its severely snowy winters and hot summers, Wilmington is a lovely rural getaway for any couple looking for a sunny Vermont weekend or winter ski getaway. The Wilmington area is home to Mount Snow, one of Vermont’s best family-focused ski resorts, with famous riders including American Olympian Kelly Clark. Home to several traditional lodges, restaurants and shops– Wilmington makes a great stop along any romantic Vermont driving tour.

While these 5 towns are some of Vermont’s most romantic destinations, the entire state is filled with charming places to eat, shop, and enjoy nature. Many people believe that as soon as you cross over the border into Vermont, you can tell that you are some place truly special. Do you believe it? Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a truly magical Valentines escape, Vermont is a wonderful place to explore.

| 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, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains. |

*See a photo that belongs to you and want it removed? Please email kelsey.eaton@vermontwoodsstudios.com and we’ll gladly take it down*

 

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Vermont Included in Worlds 10 Best Cheese Destinations

January 16th, 2014 by Kelsey Eaton

Vermont Cheese Destination

Alongside such romantic places as France, Spain, and Italy– humble Vermont stands strong as one of the top 10 destinations for cheese lovers! Like with most parts of our creative heritage, Vermont prides itself on the high quality product (in this case, Cheddars, Fetas, Gorgonzolas and more!) that cannot be found anywhere else in the United States.

Seriously, we love our cheese. So much that we have a map highlighting  45 different Vermont cheesemakers who “produce over 150 varieties of award winning artisan and farmstead cheese.”

Vermont Cheese

Starting your VT Cheese Weekend Vacation? Stop by Grafton Cheese (#14) after your visit to Stonehurst! Mention this blog & get a free cutting board (for your VT cheese!) just for visiting.

This map from VTCheese.com illustrates the 45 Vermont Cheese Council members and their locations. Click on the map for more detail, and links to individual members!

Do you have any other cheese destinations that you think should have been included in this list? Let us know in the comments section!

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Wintry Scenes from Stonehurst

January 5th, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh

Winter in Vermont | Stonehurst is Warm and Toasty on the Inside

This is for Sally, Pam, Ellen, Annette, Mo and all our friends from the South and West who have escaped this year’s good old fashioned Vermont winter.  Today’s storm took a break this morning just in time for me to snap this photo of the furniture showroom and art gallery we call Stonehurst.  It was 5F when I got to work today but warm and toasty inside.

The sleds are ready.  But where are the riders?  Snug and warm with no intention of going outside in the 5F weather today.

Plenty of toboggans and sleds are out on the back porch, ready for action.  But where are our young, hearty, adventurous riders?  No need for a membership to Outer Limits this winter, Sean.  Just bring your boots to work and trade your lunch for a couple good runs down the ski slopes.  I’ll go too and we’ll share the prize for biggest loser in the 2014 weight loss challenge.  Any teasing from Liz, Michelle and Loryn will surely cease and desist when we walk in all strong and fit.

The outdoor wood boiler that keeps us warm in the winter

Here’s Ken’s baby.  This Central Boiler Outdoor Wood Furnace from Temple Plumbing and Heating in Putney keeps us warm and toasty all winter long.   A green source of energy, it’s fed by wood from around the grounds at Stonehurst.  The furnace supplies a radiant heating system under the floorboards throughout the furniture showroom.

Shoes are not required at this furniture showroom

So that’s what Stonehurst looks like today.  Stop by and see for yourself.  Sean has hot chocolate and his own homemade cookies waiting for you.  Shoes are not required inside the showroom.

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American Made and Affordable Gifts – Candles!

December 24th, 2013 by Michelle Rooks

This coffee table with reclaimed wood top and steel legs is protected from any overheating of the glass candle jar with a slate coaster. Both the table and the coasters are available for purchase in our showroom!

We in southern Vermont are very lucky in that we live very close to several popular candle makers. Half an hour away is the Yankee Candle flagship store in S. Deerfield, MA and in less than fifteen minutes you can get to Kringle Candle in Bernardston, MA. Vermont is full of smaller artisan candle makers. Wilmington Candle Company makes soy based candles and Vermont Honey Lights specializes in beeswax candles.

You can find candles in bright colors or bright white, tiny tea lights to massive multi-wicks. They are used for aromatherapy or setting a mood, come with subtle scents of botanicals, bold tones of aftershave, your favorite foods or no scent at all. The best part of all is that they’re made right here in New England. And you can’t beat candles for an affordable, Made In America holiday gift perfect for teachers or as hostess gifts.

While candles are very popular, they can also be very dangerous. No matter what sort of candle you like, there are certain rules you should always follow when burning:

  • Always trim the wick to a height of approximately ¼” – make sure to remove any of the wick debris from the wax pool. Trimming helps keep it from flickering and smoking, which can cause soot buildup on the container
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended
  • Make sure the candle is sitting on an even surface that won’t be damaged if the container should get too hot – we’d hate to see your beautiful Vermont made hardwood furniture marred!
  • Keep away from any flammable objects
  • Keep out of reach of pets and children

For a full list of tips, visit the National Candle Association web site.

Here’s one more tip: If your candle is nearing the bottom of its container and you don’t want to throw the container away, simply place it in your freezer for about 20 minutes, take it out and shake out the leftover wax. This only works if the sides of the container are straight, not contoured. Now you can reuse it!

A candle reflects serenely in this beautiful stained glass window — one of the many features that make Vermont Woods Studios such a unique shopping experience.

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A Vermont Winter “Forecast”

November 12th, 2013 by Michelle Rooks

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!

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Admiring Vermont’s Newest Furniture Store

October 10th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton

When you think of a furniture store, a certain image might come to mind. You might imagine a busy strip mall full of people rushing in and out to make their purchase and move on with the day, or a giant warehouse showroom full of basic furniture pieces. At Stonehurst, however, what you will see is much different than that. Vermont’s newest furniture store is unique in its ability to capture the spirit of Vermont in its warmth and simplicity– as well as the breathtaking natural area that surrounds it. We invite you to view these photos of Stonehurst and see for yourself some of the small details that make Stonehurst more than your average furniture showroom. (Click on the small photos to start a slideshow!)

Vermont Furniture Store

If you like what you see, we’d love for you to visit us. We’re open 9-5, Monday through Saturday. Stop on by to check out our furniture and see this unique shopping experience for yourself. See you soon!

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Lets Talk Apples!

September 26th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton

Apples in Wooden Bowl at Vermont Woods Studios Showroom

Ok…ok, so we love Pears too!

 

There’s been a lot of buzz from Vermonters about apples lately. Probably because A) they’re delicious B) they’re perfect for fall and C) they have a long history in the state of Vermont! Well, we love these sweet natural treats just as much as any other Vermonter–so, lets talk apples!

Did you know that…

  • The first Macs grew in Canada. The first McIntosh apple tree sprouted from one of several seedlings that were discovered in 1811 by John McIntosh on his farm in Ontario!
  • In 1868, Dr. T.A Hoskins brought the McIntosh to Newport, Vermont right from Ontario. A descendant of John McIntosh, William McIntosh, planted these apples in his West Berlin, Vermont orchard in 1870…and the first printed reference to a mac apple appeared in 1876. 
  • In 1920, the “big four” Vermont apple varieties were McIntosh, Fameuse, Northern Spy, and Wealthy.
  • In the 1980s, Vermont had an average of 79 growers on 3,500 bearing acres in total, and produced an average annual crop of 1.25 million bushels of apples. 
  • In England, to destroy an apple orchard was seen as almost sacrilegious, and it was said that if an orchard was destroyed to make way for another crop, the crop would never prosper.
  • An old Samhain charm was for all the district’s unmarried young people to tie an apple onto a piece of string and whirl it around before a fire. The one whose apple fell off first was said to be the first to marry
  • McIntosh, Vermont’s “bread & butter variety,” remains  within the top six apple varieties desired by consumers.
  • The 2007 census reported 264 farms growing apples on 3,241 acres of land in Vermont, and the 2011 survey found those same results!

     

    If you loved these apple facts as much as we do, take a minute to check out Vermont Apples, a website with tons of information and history about apples, including more facts, orchard listings, and apple news! And for brilliant, tasty apple recipes… take a look at The Apple Lover’s Cookbook, a 300+ page  book containing 100 magnificent apple recipes!

 And let us know what your favorite apple recipes are & your favorite places around New England to apple pick in the comments section or on Facebook!

 

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Gov. Shumlin: Top 10 Reasons to Attend Our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

September 22nd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Stonehurst | Vermont's Newest Fine Furniture Showroom and Art Gallery

Stonehurst, Vermont’s newest fine furniture showroom and art gallery is open and ready for business. All we need now is for Governor Shumlin to come down to Vernon and cut the ribbon on Tuesday October 22 at 3pm.

Dear Governor Shumlin,

We know you’re busy with economic development, health insurance and other important issues. But we’re hoping you can break free and make a quick trip to Vernon on Tuesday October 22 at 3pm for our ribbon cutting ceremony at Stonehurst, Vermont Woods Studios‘ new fine furniture showroom and art gallery.

Now I realize one might ask why such a busy man would carve time out of an already ambitious schedule to visit a small Vermont furniture business? We’ve thought of many reasons, but here are the Top 10. At Stonehurst you can:

  1. Marvel at the world class handwork of dozens of Vermont’s fine furniture makers
  2. Learn how a small Vermont business transitioned from a spare bedroom to a scenic destination shopping experience in the last 3 years
  3. See how Vermonters are marrying the best of old world craftsmanship with cutting edge communications technology to make Vermont the Fine Furniture Capital of America
  4. Visit Pine Top, a former Vermont ski area that not only showcases fine wooden furniture but also provides 100 acres of forested backdrop where customers experience the value of working lands and sustainable forest management
  5. Enjoy original artwork of talented Vermont artists like Susan Osgood, Linda Marcille and Janet Picard
  6. Check up on how we’re investing the $100,000 grant monies we were awarded by the Vermont Working Lands Initiative
  7. Experience the beautiful landscaping artistry of celebrated author/gardener/landscaper Gordon Hayward and Torben Larsen of Putney, VT
  8. See the positive signs of growth in Vernon and connect with a community that’s struggling to plan a new course for the future
  9. Witness the synergy and collaboration among Vermont’s fine furniture professionals that’s bringing our work out of the woods (so to speak) and into the homes of customers in all 50 states and several countries abroad
  10. Visit a local, green renovation project in action where great care was taken to restore a c 1790 farmhouse using Vermont made materials (local maple flooring, Vermont slate hearths, Green Mountain Windows, Vermont castings stoves and more)

If that’s not enough to convince you, how about just sitting down to relax and enjoy the view?  That alone makes Stonehurst worth the trip.

Enjoy the view at Stonehurst, Vermont's newest fine furniture showroom

Sit down, relax and enjoy the view. We’ll provide the wine.

 

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