Visitors to our new showroom often remark how wonderful it must be to come here every day for work. The beautiful views and hiking trails paired with the cozy interior and friendly faces of the VWS staff are true tonics for the hard work we grind on from nine to five.  And let’s not forget how nice it is to gather by the stove after work, open a bottle of wine and sink into a Custom Quilted Vermont Rocking Chair.

Ahh… the quilted rocker.

Handmade Vermont Rocking Chair

The understated simplicity of design only makes this rocking chair more ingenious.  Everyone from new mothers to grandfathers can appreciate the comfort of a rocking chair from time to time, but these handmade rockers are undoubtedly the best seat in the house. The wood panels comprising the back and seat are held together with a durable, yet flexible, rope which enables them to conform to the user’s body.  The feeling is more akin to a cloud than a piece of wood.

Quilted Walnut Rocking Chair
Quilted Rocking Chair in Black Walnut

The quilted rockers are a main attraction in the Vermont Woods Studios showroom—this is mainly because our sales staff can’t help but direct visitors to them.  Whether coming to look at beds or explore the forestry at Stonehurst, a visitor is almost always stopped and asked, “Have you sat in our quilted rocking chairs?”.  A picture of the Vermont-made rocking chair or simply admiring it in person does not convey the associated experience.  We even created this video in hopes of bringing our distant viewers a bit closer to the real thing:

The rocker comes in several lovely woods—Cherry, Oak, Birdseye Maple and Walnut—and in two different sizes.  Whatever the look, there is no more unique or comfortable rocking chair out there.

 

| 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 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.

A Rocker rockin' a Rocker! Our first "celebrity" endorsement.
A Rocker rockin’ a Rocker! Our first “celebrity” endorsement.

One of the most unique pieces of furniture we have in our showroom and one that gets a lot of attention at the Vermont Welcome Center is the Custom Quilted Vermont Rocking Chair. This is really a chair that needs to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. It is available on our web site in Natural Cherry, Birdseye Maple or Natural Walnut.

A Jacob’s Ladder toy.

The first time I saw it I was reminded of the child’s toy Jacob’s Ladder. The Quilted Rocker is made up of dozens of smooth wood pieces strung together with nylon rope. The look is unique but the comfort is amazing. I had a knitter friend come to visit the showroom and her eyes lit up when she sat in it. “I could see myself doing a lot of knitting in this chair!”

Well, she wasn’t alone. On Halloween we had a visitor stop by just at closing time. “Gene Simmons” was equally impressed though he doesn’t really strike me as a knitter. Actually, that’s my usually mild-mannered husband, Chris, in one of his favorite costumes. And yes, he made it himself…er, the costume, not the chair.

Stop by and try the Custom Quilted Vermont Rocking Chair for yourself. We think you’ll agree it’s not only a conversation piece, it’s a place of comfort.

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.

Walnut Dining Furniture | Tables | Chairs | Buffets | Sideboards | China Cabinets
We just received several new walnut dining furniture pieces, including this Bistro Table, the Classic Shaker Chair #2 and the American Mission Chair. Natural dark heartwood walnut is so beautiful, nothing compares. Come see for yourself at Stonehurst, Vermont’s newest fine furniture and art gallery.

Our friends (and shipping partners) Anthony, Tony and Henry brought in two truckloads of Vermont handmade furniture for Stonehurst today and most of it is in walnut and cherry wood. We now have several walnut dining furniture pieces, including this Bistro Table, the Classic Shaker Chair #2 and the American Mission Chair.

Have you noticed that real, solid black walnut dining furniture is becoming rare? If you’ve been shopping and find yourself unimpressed with what you see, there’s a reason for that. Disease and global warming are taking their toll on American black walnut trees, as we’ve described in previous walnut blog posts. Much of the walnut you’ll see in mainstream furniture stores is either imported wood that’s stained dark or walnut sapwood that’s steamed to look like heartwood. Our craftsman, Robin captured my feelings exactly: “natural dark heartwood walnut is so beautiful, nothing compares”.

Fortunately for those searching for real walnut furniture, our craftspeople at Vermont Woods Studios specialize in finding high quality, natural wood that’s been sustainably harvested. The flip side of course is that, because of the relative rarity of walnut, there is a price premium which can be anywhere from 15%-30% per piece.

Learn more about walnut wood on our website and give Liz and Sean a call with your questions.

Almost every piece of furniture on our website can be custom made in walnut, even if the feature photos show cherry, oak or maple wood.  Browse through walnut wood furniture photos here.

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.

Hardwood Furniture | High Quality | American Made in Vermont
High quality, real solid hardwood furniture is expensive, no doubt about it.   But customers are still buying this cherry and walnut bedroom furniture set and other hardwood furniture pieces.  Their reasons have to do with longevity, value and beauty.

Top 3 Reasons To Buy Hardwood Furniture

High quality, real solid hardwood furniture is expensive, no doubt about it.  It’s not for everyone.  College students are more likely to find suitable furniture at IKEA- that’s for sure.  But if you landed on this blog post, you’re probably a homeowner looking to feather your nest for the long term, right?  Well we talk to people like you everyday and so we’ve learned a few things about why our customers are looking to buy hardwood furniture.

First – It’s Beautiful

Check out our cherry and walnut hardwood bedroom furniture set.  You just don’t get this kind of smooth, refined patina on pine, spruce or other soft wood furniture.  When hardwoods are sanded properly and finished with a clear, non-toxic lacquer or hand-rubbed natural oil, you can run your hands over the wood and it almost feels like skin.  No softwood, metal or plastic furniture can give the same tactile sensation that high quality, handmade hardwood furniture does.

Second – It’s Durable and Lasts a Lifetime

Hardwoods like cherry, walnut, maple and oak wood are from deciduous trees that grow slower than coniferous softwood trees like pine, spruce, larch and fir.  Thus hardwoods are typically more dense, heavy, durable and, well… hard.  They also are fairly non – resinous and close grained so they don’t leak sap and split like pine does.  If you take care of your hardwood furniture it will hold up beautifully for many years, even many generations.  We are confident enough in our hardwood furniture to back it with a lifetime guarantee.

Third – It’s a Natural, Organic Part of a Healthy Home

Many people, especially those with young children are looking for natural, organic furniture to be a part of their healthy homes.  They often talk to us about where their furniture comes from too.  Hardwood furniture that’s made in America is typically built with wood that’s sustainably harvested from well-managed American forests.  Families enjoy breaking bread over a dinner table that’s made in harmony with nature.

Bonus Reason!  It’s Economical in the Long Run

OK, I said Top 3 Reasons, but here’s a fourth that I just can’t walk away from.  In the long run, high quality hardwood furniture is cheaper to buy than other types of furniture– even IKEA’s.  Consider how many times you’ll have to buy a bedroom set or dining furniture over your lifetime if you’re always buying something cheap.  We’ve had lots of customers who tell us they’ve been sleeping on a mattress on the floor for a few years while they save up to buy a high quality hardwood bed.  I can relate to that.

What are your reasons for searching for hardwood furniture?  Let us know in the comments section below or on our 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.