We celebrated Loryn's birthday this week. I think if the decorations had been up to me I'd have made a more colorful choice, but for some reason, Kendall was put in charge.
So Loryn got deflated black, brown and gray balloons. And a festive sign (that Kendall obviously worked very hard at): "It is your birthday". You can't really see much of the trophy she was presented with, but it says "Fine Work Award".
If you're not a fanatical fan of "The Office" (like some in our workplace), I can tell you that the decorating ideas were borrowed from an episode where the guys in The Office were put in charge of party planning. What can I say? It wasn't pretty in Scranton and neither is it in Vernon, VT.
But Loryn did get a kick out of it and we had a productive day at Vermont Woods Studios in spite of the occasional clowning around.
Happy Birthday Loryn!
Yesterday I wrote about our solid cherry furniture so today I wanted to follow up with a post about the furniture we carry that incorporates cherry veneers.
Sometimes customers come to us, initially averse to veneer but once they take a closer look they often change their minds. I realize veneers have been given a negative connotation by companies that stick them on particle board to make cheap furniture.
But did you know that premium quality, high end veneers are used by some of the world's most skilled furniture makers to add artistic flair and style to their work?
This is the case with the following six high end furniture collections:
These furniture collections are made with all solid cherry wood except for the sides and backs of case goods. Real wood veneer is used for case goods (chests, dressers, cabinets, night stands) sides and backs for esthetic and structural design reasons. The pieces are made with frame and panel type construction and the use of solid wood in this design might cause the panels to warp in conditions of changing humidity.
As solid wood furniture specialists at Vermont Woods Studios, we spend a lot of time discussing the specifics of solid wood versus veneered construction methods with our customers. Details for each of our collections are found in our Construction Details pages. We welcome your comments and questions either below, on our Facebook, by phone or in person at our Vernon VT showroom.
At Vermont Woods Studios, solid cherry furniture has always been our specialty. Although most of our craftspeople routinely work in walnut, maple and oak too, cherry continues to be the favorite wood amongst our customers. And many are specifically looking for all solid cherry wood, rather than cherry with veneers.
For those customers I thought it might be helpful to compile a current list of all the furniture collections we offer in solid cherry wood. Here you go– all 18 of them:
Each of these collections is handmade here in VT with solid wood throughout (except the backs of some case goods*). Sometimes our photos show the furniture in walnut or maple, but you can use the drop down menus to select cherry wood. Details regarding how these furniture sets are built can be found on our Construction Details pages where you'll find specifics on joinery, drawer slides, hardware options, premium wood selection, finishing methods, etc.
* The backs of case goods in some of these collections are made of furniture grade plywood. This choice is based on the stability of plywood, versus solid woods which expand and contract with varying humidity levels. There are many structural and design details involved in a craftsman's decision to use solid wood versus plywood. Please check our Construction Details pages for specifics.
If you've traveled through Vermont, you've no doubt noticed that the Green Mountain State has no billboards. None. Not a single one. They're illegal here. It's true.
So the way many Vermont businesses reach out to visitors and customers is through our Information and Welcome Centers. These respites are strategically located along our most traveled roads, particularly routes I-89 and I-91. I'll post some photos of their unique Vermont architecture another day but today I wanted to show you something on the inside: Art Galleries!
I took this picture at the I-91 Welcome Center just north of the Massachusetts line in Guilford, VT. It's part of a collection of paintings by Caryn King of Newfane, VT. You can't help but smile at Caryn's paintings of farm animals– so much personality shines through. She also does breath-taking floral paintings and commissions of your favorite pets. Her blog, A Chicken Painting Every Day is a cheerful way to start the day!
Vermont's information and welcome centers also offer tons of information and brochures on local, regional and state-wide events, activities, hotels, inns, restaurants, ski areas, outdoor recreation, shopping, sight-seeing and much more. Stop by and have a look!
What do you think about replacing billboards with Welcome Centers? Let us know below or on our Facebook.
Peggy Farabaugh owns Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. She travels around the Green Mountain State collaborating with woodworkers and feeling very lucky to live and work in a place where nature and creativity are flourishing.
Now during our bedroom sale is a great time to furnish or update your bedroom with our 100% American Made, real wood Bedroom Furniture. You'll save 10% off any single piece, 15% off two pieces or 20% off 3 or more pieces (plus Free Delivery).
Create your own bedroom set with over 40 bed style options, plus dozens of nightstand, chest and dresser options.
Classic and timeless Vermont styling, handmade with uncompromised craftsmanship, and solidly built for generations of use. Real wood bedroom furniture you will appreciate and enjoy forever. And you can sleep tight knowing your new bedroom furniture investment is backed by a lifetime warranty.
* Excludes Copeland, Artisan, Barnwood & Polywood furniture. This Sale ends at midnight on August 21st.
Typically Vermont furniture can be distinguished from other American made furniture or imported furniture by the extensive use of real, solid wood. American Black Cherry is the wood most often used in Vermont furniture although sugar maple, black walnut, oak and other local species are also popular.
At Vermont Woods Studios we represent woodworkers and fine furniture makers from all across the Green Mountain State so our furniture reflects a wide variety of styles, designs and crafting techniques. Some of our furniture makers work exclusively with all solid wood construction and others employ the use of veneers. So customers often ask us about the difference between the two techniques.
Honestly, with all of our handmade furniture, heirloom quality is the bottom line and that can be achieved using all solid wood construction or with the incorporation of premium quality, high end veneers.
Although Vermont is best known for our all solid wood construction, we have several craftsmen who prefer to incorporate high quality veneers into their designs. This is done when veneers are the best choice for a particular design, rather than simply the most economical choice. For instance, the curved back panel of the Copeland Catalina Bed must be a veneer because it would be structurally impossible to build it out of solids. Copeland's framed panels, that is panels surrounded on all four sides, are often made of high grade, veneered plywood because in these instances, a solid panel would have the potential to expand and break the frame apart during periods of high humidity.
Plywood is considerably stronger than solids of equal dimension and some furniture makers choose them for Case Backs and Drawer Bottoms for that reason. On each of our furniture product pages you will find a link to the construction details for that product. We urge you to read through the information presented and give us a call with your questions. For the furniture on our website, you will find that when veneers are used, they are the the best choice for the design.
After all this discussion about veneers however, I can say that most of our furniture is still designed and constructed with all real solid wood, sustainably harvested in Vermont or neighboring states. If this is an important feature for you, give us a all and let us know. We'll help you find the right handmade solid wood furniture for your home.
Last week I bought a couple gifts for friends whom we had stayed with recently, during a trip to the Finger Lakes in New York. My favorite store for Vermont made gifts is Pieces of Vermont. It's a place where you can buy a huge variety of Vermont made products including maple syrup, artisan cheese, wooden kitchen accessories, specialty gourmet foods and Vermont gift baskets for any occasion.
Soon after I placed my order I got a personal note from owner Rick Smith thanking me for the purchase and saying that he was on our Vermont Woods Studios website shopping for a bed! Pretty good karma, right?
It turns out Rick's an extraordinary guy who grew up in Vermont, skied at Mount Snow and was an avid trout fisherman. He earned BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Information Technology. After a short career as a Manufacturing Engineer in the Aerospace Machining industry, Rick's life changed dramatically with a spinal cord injury, and he was forced to change careers.
He decided to create a website that would help Vermont's smaller businesses sell locally made specialty food items over the Internet and that's how Pieces of Vermont came about. Check it out next time you're looking for affordable Vermont made gifts or maybe even a little handmade treat for your own kitchen. Tell Rick I sent you.
It's been such a hot, dry summer in Vermont this year. I know (from following fellow Vermonter, Bill McKibbon's work at 350.org) there is much to fear with global warming. Bu I can't complain about getting the world's best sweet corn a month early this year.
Stop by this quaint farmstand on Vermont Route 142, at the Massachusetts border if you're looking to grace your dinner table with a fresh, local delicacy. You won't be disappointed.
Watch us on Vermont's premiere (and only?) TV station, WCAX tonight. We'll be on the 5:30 or 6pm news and perhaps again at 11pm.
I was traveling around to meet with various furniture makers throughout the state today and I stopped at the I-89 Williston Welcome Center to catch up on emails and make a few phone calls. Gina Bullard was there. She's the reporter who does the Made in Vermont series on WCAX.
Gina was interviewing people in reference to the near loss of FREE WiFi access at the welcome centers due to state budget cuts. She saw me working on my laptop and interviewed me about the importance of free WiFi for small Vermont businesses (VERY important!).
Gina was also interviewing Al Levy of Route 802, a WiFi company that generously stepped in to donate WiFi to the Welcome Centers so we can continue to use it for free.
Check out Route 802's mobile apps for Vermont travelers where you'll find all the latest in Vermont events, restaurants, coupons and other travel and tourism tips and advice.
Watch the WCAX-TV clip here.