Giving Tree
Nina was busy wrapping her presents!

Here at Vermont Woods Studios we are committed to staying active within the community around us. That is why each year we volunteer and donate as much as possible to organizations local to the Vernon, VT area.

This year, the Vernon Town Clerk’s Office, along with the Vernon Free Library and Vernon Girl Scout Troop #40907 joined forces to organize a “Giving Tree”. The “Giving Tree” was a way for people in the Vernon community to donate gifts and items to those in need. Over 30 individuals in this small Vermont community were identified as in need of assistance this Holiday season.

For each person, an ornament was hung on a tree in the Town Clerk’s Office. On the back of each ornament, a person’s age, gender and items they were most in need of were listed. We mostly saw requests for outdoor winter clothes along with toys, crafts and books for the children. Ages ranged from infants to adults.

Giving Tree
One of the many gifts we wrapped, ready to go!

Our team selected five ornaments from the tree and pledged to get every item listed.  We soon learned the project was so popular that the Town Clerk’s office quickly ran out of ornaments but learned of more families in need and created a second batch of ornaments. So we headed back and picked up two more.

Giving Tree
IT guru, Tristan helped with wrapping presents, too!

Members of the Vermont Woods Studios team donated clothing, toys and books as well as went out shopping to purchase new items. Soon our lunch table was overflowing with gifts. Next came an afternoon spent wrapping and organizing the gifts.

On a bone-chilling Monday (one of few this year) we headed back to the Town Hall where the Town Clerk and local Sheriff’s department helped us unload the gifts. From here we’ll let Santa do the rest!

Giving Tree
Megan (far right) stands in front of The Giving Tree alongside Nancy Gassett and Aina Linquist of the Town Clerk’s office, and Deputy Upton from the Windham County Sheriff’s Office

We were happy to help those in need this holiday season and supply them with New England winter essentials and toys to play with. We were even more happy to hear that the community really came together in a big way to help their fellow neighbors and friends in need.

It’s just another reason why we love the community we’re in and we’re happy to share these moments with all of you!

Giving Tree
A few more wrapped presents ready for The Giving Tree

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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.

What kind of free stuff is available at Stonehurst? Slate roofing tiles, old timbers, new windows and doors, old bricks, cement blocks, some rebar, insulation, a couple pieces of furniture and cabinetry and a few other odds and ends. Give us a call (802-275-5174), then stop by and check it out. Be sure to give us a call first so we can show you what’s free and what’s still being used for Stonehurst renovations (don’t get me into trouble with Ken). 

Stonehurst construction is nearing completion.  In a month or so we should be able to move out of our cramped quarters next to the Vernon Post Office into the 200 year old farmhouse we’ve been renovating for use as a showroom, art gallery and office space.  Woohoo!

Unfortunately, before the move we have lots of work ahead in wrapping up renovation activities, cleaning up the construction zone, doing landscaping and making the place worthy of your visit.  In light of that, Dennis and Douglas have joined forces in a concerted effort to persuade (coerce?) Ken and me to let go of the “construction debris” (or valuable building blocks for undefined future projects, according to Ken) and get Stonehurst ready for visitors asap.

If you can put these timbers and slate roofing tiles to good use, they’re yours.  Help us salvage what we can and while you’re here, have a look into the future of this 200 year old farmhouse.

So with that in mind, I offer these pieces of Stonehurst to you for recycling, upcycling, re-using or re-purposing.  Come and get ’em!  If you or someone you know is interested, just give us a call (802-275-5174) and plan to meet us at Stonehurst (538 Huckle Hill Rd, Vernon, VT) after work at 5:30 almost any night for the next week or so.

What’s available?  Slate roofing tiles, old timbers, new windows and doors, old bricks, cement blocks, some rebar, insulation, a couple pieces of furniture and cabinetry and a few other odds and ends.  Stop by and check it out.  Help us salvage what we can from Stonehurst’s former days and while you’re here, have a look into it’s future.

 

 
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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 Act 250 Permit ready
The state of Vermont has cleared the way for renovations to begin at Stonehurst (our sustainable furniture showroom and nature center) by issuing an environmental (Act 250) permit, a water and wastewater permit and a building permit.  Together with supporting documentation, the 3 permits create a stack of paper about a foot high.

Act 250, Water and Building Permits Good to Go

Woohoo!  After 5 months of working through engineering and architectural plans for our sustainable Vermont furniture showplace, we have finally been approved by the state of Vermont to begin renovations at Stonehurst.  YAY!  It’s really not so easy renovating an historic property for commercial use in Vermont but we think it’s worth the trouble.

Vermont requires three permits for this kind of endeavor:  a detailed environmental assessment called the Act 250 permit, a water and wastewater permit and a building permit.  Together with supporting documentation, the three permits create a stack of paper about a foot high, requiring an army of expert consultants to complete them.  And we’re not done.  There are many caveats and contingencies that will have to be satisfied as we progress.  Ken and I never imagined this extreme when we purchased the building.  It was our architect, Jeremy Coleman who walked us through the maze of bureaucracy and red tape and patiently explained the codes and our compliance options.

Vermont’s Complex Building Regulations

At first we were in disbelief at the overwhelming extent of requirements and expense to comply with Vermont’s complex codes.  There are several government agencies to deal with and get approval from.  Sometimes they are at odds with each other.  But as we finally get to a point where our plans have been approved and renovations can begin I guess we are beginning to see some method to the madness.

Stonehurst is Worth the Trouble

After all Vermont is a very special place for nature lovers and we want it to always stay that way.  Detailed environmental and building regulations help to ensure that.  Like many Vermont businesses, Vermont Woods Studios is built on a green mission.  Ours is forest conservation and environmental preservation, so (in spite of the high cost of regulations) I can’t imagine finding a more suitable home for it than Stonehurst in Vernon, Vermont.

Stay tuned for more updates on our sustainable furniture showroom over the next couple months and plan to visit us for an open house in the early summer.  Till then keep updated by subscribing to this blog or visiting our Facebook.

See you at the Grand Opening (TBA)!

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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.

After Hurricane Sandy in Vernon VT
The morning after Hurricane Sandy, in Vernon VT.  It seems the Green Mountain State escaped America’s worst storm in recorded history.  We’re thankful for that, this morning’s blue sky and the last few red maple leaves Sandy allowed us to keep for another day or two.

We are feeling very lucky this morning, waking up to intermittent rain and occasional gusts of wind from the remnants of Hurricane Sandy.  Although tens of thousands of Vermonters lost power last night, thankfully Vermont has escaped the worst of the storm. As pain from last year’s devastating Hurricane Irene has yet to subside, it makes me wonder if perhaps Mother Nature has a heart after all.

Our thoughts and prayers are going out to all our friends, family and customers who are today going through the kind of nightmare we woke up to last year on August 21, 2011.   In the coming days we will be thinking of you and looking for ways to help.  Vermonters have a tradition of reaching out in times of need and we will be supporting our state’s efforts to send relief to hurricane victims in neighboring areas.  Stay tuned for details as they evolve.

 

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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.

This steer doesn't want to pay for lunch.  Do you think that's fair?
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but don’t tell that to the steer who’s making us wait our turn at a popular farm stand in Vernon, Vermont.  He doesn’t seem to care that we’re having to wait.  I bet he didn’t pay either.  Photo credit:  Martin via Annette and Maddy.

If I was a cow and you gave me a choice of where I could live, I’d seriously consider Vermont.  Wouldn’t you?  I mean, you’d think this guy has it pretty sweet… rolling pastures with a brook running between them, expansive views of the Connecticut River, lush meadows with an endless supply of green grass to feast on.  What more could a steer ask for?

But you know what they say about the other side of the fence.  For this poor guy, it’s a farm stand full of freshly picked corn, squash, tomatoes and other succulent veggies.  It stands there all day long, fully stocked– and abundantly available with nothing in between but a barbed wire fence and an honor system.

Can you imagine the frustration?  I don’t know if I could live like that.  There’s not much else to do that might provide a distraction either.  A couple times a day a train goes by.  Once or twice a week the Cabot truck comes to get milk from the holsteins across the street but other than that, it’s pretty quiet in Vernon, Vermont.

So I think everyone in town cheered this guy on when he finally made his move.  Who could blame him?  I hope he had plenty of time to indulge before anyone noticed.  I don’t know what the eventual consequences were, but from the looks of things it really didn’t matter much to him.

Like this post if you think this steer should eat for free.

 

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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.