Ready For Take-off: Monarch Butterfly Migration

Last updated on November 3rd, 2018 at 12:29 pm

monarch butterfly chrysalises
Two chrysalises housing monarch pupa

Vermont Woods Studios Prepares Monarchs for Take-off

On a beautiful day straddling the line between August and September, we huddled on the deck of Vermont Woods Studios at our Stonehurst property. Five adults and two children all gazing in mirrored excitement at the progress of our monarch caterpillars as they forge their ways into butterfly-hood.

“I’m going to name him Jeff!” One of the young boys informed the group as Peggy Farabaugh, the CEO of Vermont Woods Studios and head caterpillar-rearer, gently scooped up two prized caterpillars and secured them safely in a jar for the boys to bring to their grandmother’s.

It has been two weeks since the arrival of the caterpillar babies (or larva) and already they are well on their way to adulthood. However, their transformation is far more magical than that of any other aging process. They came to us as tiny creatures no bigger than a grain of rice and have rapidly transformed into vibrant, two inched beauties that scuttle about their mesh hamper confinement eating milkweed and maturing with natural grace.

It is marvelous to watch the caterpillars inch their way to the top of the hamper and methodically suspend themselves upside down in a J shape. This is a signal to the world that the caterpillars are ready to enter the pupa or chrysalis stage of life. The caterpillars work tirelessly in this J-shape to molt their skin and transform their outer appearance into the grass green, gold speckled chrysalis.

“I wonder what they’re doing in there all the time.” Peggy mused, affectionately grooming the caterpillar habitat. The allure of mystery gripped us all as we watched the beautiful chrysalises hang, cautiously enveloping the transforming caterpillar.

In about two weeks the chrysalises will have turned black and the monarch butterfly will be ready to emerge with damp, fledgling wings. In the short span of two hours, the monarch’s wings will dry and it will be lusting for flight. Thus our babies will leave us and safety of the Stonehurst deck.

However, it won’t be a sad day, for on this day we will have reached our goal. With the help of Orley R.  “Chip” Taylor, founder of the Monarch Watch program at the University of Kansas, we will have completed cycle one of the Monarch Restoration project. The Vermont Woods Studios company developed an objective: to help restore the monarch population. Success is heavily contingent on three pillars: milkweed restoration, healthy, migration-ready monarchs and continued research.

Last October and November, Peggy and the Vermont Woods Studios staff went out in search of milkweed. Pods gathered along route 142 were brought back to the studio where seeds were harvested and packaged for distribution.

Seeds were distributed to local gardeners and nature enthusiasts, clients and planted on the Stonehurst property. 1 in 100 milkweed seeds strewn across the earth will produce a plant. Because of these small odds, we chose to carefully plant 80 seeds on the Stonehurst property yielding 80 viable milkweed plants.

Along with learning the importance of carefully planting the milkweed seeds, the Vermont Woods Studios staff have also developed important information for rearing monarch caterpillars:

  • Whenever it is possible, raise the caterpillars in a terrarium
  • Do not allow direct sunlight to hit the terrarium
  • Monarch caterpillars grow quickly and this process can be messy, so cleaning the terrarium frequently is a must
monarch caterpillar on milkweed
One of our monarch caterpillars getting ready to transition into a chrysalis

Once our monarchs are ready for flight, we have one last piece of the puzzle to put in place before we can call the project a success. Chip founded Monarch Watch in 1992 and has been studying monarch migration since 2005. The eastern monarchs born at the end of the summer months have the innate task of migrating to Mexico. This migration will take four generations of monarchs.

Our Stonehurst monarchs will fly just a portion of the way and then stop to lay eggs and die as the new babies begin the growing process and mature to fly their portion of the trip. This process will repeat until the final generation sails over sunny Mexico and makes themselves comfortable for eight to nine months when the United States is again habitable for the return of the monarchs.

How did people come to have such intimate detail about the migration pattern of these tireless creatures? The answer to this is evolving through research, which brings us to the final stage of the project: tagging the monarchs.

Before our monarchs take flight, we will place a small, adhesive tag, provided by Chip and his team on the wings of our monarchs. These tags will signal researchers to know where the monarchs came from and provide other valuable research that will continue to help rehabilitate the monarch population.

As we stand on the deck, without a chill in the air and watch the chrysalises form, we know the journey our caterpillars have before them. We discuss tagging the butterflies with nervous laughter, none of us having ever done it before; but were willing to try because we know that it is one key step in encouraging the comeback of these magical creatures.

(This is part two of a four part blog series on our Monarch Butterfly Restoration Project)

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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.

The Origins of Shaker Furniture: A History Quiz!

Last updated on February 28th, 2019 at 04:22 pm

Shaker furniture is on sale today.  Learn about it's origins and see how it's made.
Our Shaker furniture sale is going on today!  Do you know where this timeless and enduring furniture comes from?  Take our quiz below and then come visit us at Stonehurst to appreciate Shaker style up close and personal.

In honor of our current Shaker furniture sale, I thought we should highlight a little history about the people who developed this beautiful, simple and elegant style.  Their creation is timeless and enduring & it continues to be one of the most popular fashions in the furniture market today.

I bet you already know a bit of history about the Shakers.  Test your knowledge by filling in the blanks below:

  1. The term Shakers is derived from the Shaking __________, a small, radical group from England who first came to America in 1774, led by the prophet Ann Lee.
  2. Today there is only one active Shaker community, with three members, who live on _______________ Lake in the state of _____________.
  3. ______________  was a part of Shaker orthodoxy, so Believers had no choice but to recruit people from the outside world to prevent their communities from dying out.
  4. Early Shaker furniture makers focused on simplicity in their designs because they believed that excessive ornamentation or decoration was a sin of _________.
  5. The Shakers were among the first in America to try mass production. Unlike the Amish, the Shakers embraced technology that increased ____________, believing that they were saving time that belonged to God.

How did you do?  Check your answers with the key below:

  1. Quakers
  2. Sabbathday Lake in Maine
  3. Celibacy
  4. Pride
  5. Efficiency

Of course this beautiful style can’t be fully appreciated in photos, so make plans to come visit us at Stonehurst and shop our Shaker furniture sale today!

 

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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.

I Am Not Wealthy, But When I Buy Something, I Want to Love What I Buy

Candid customer reviews of Vermont made furniture.

Vermont Furniture Reviews

Every couple weeks, Sean sends a survey out to customers who have recently had our Vermont made furniture delivered to their homes.  We want to make sure that we’ve met & hopefully exceeded customer expectations.  And of course if we’ve fallen down on the job in any way, we have to ensure we’ve made things right with the customer and upgraded our systems so mistakes don’t happen again.  Surveys also give us a chance to ask our customers what changes they think we should make to better serve their future needs.  Occasionally though, we slip in a question that quite honestly, could be seen as a little self-serving… like:

What were the most important factors in your decision to buy from Us?

Quality craftsmanship is always a recurring theme in response to this question.  Here are some other specific responses that Sean and I were reading today:

  • “We wanted to support a local business when its price-point was the same as large online retailers. The personal touch was important as well”
  • “Styles available; quality and source of woods; friendly, knowledgeable, helpful sales person (Rebecca)”
  • “The guarantee; that it was made in the U.S.; the pleasant people who responded to our question”
  • “You build with walnut and cherry. Best woods for furniture. I had just finished a walnut table and needed the chairs to be of the same wood. The combination is spectacular!”
  • “Price and having a basic design that you were willing to alter, and having had a sale that covered the cost of the alteration to the design. It was also a help that you’re close enough to Boston that I could go arrange the alterations in person – we looked at a several of tables.”
  • Then there was this one from Phyllis W:

“I am not a wealthy person, but when I buy something, I want to love what I buy”

To me, that says it all.  It’s the bottom line and the reason we work so hard to keep this small business in business.  We want our customers to love what they buy.  To Phyllis and everyone who has invested their valuable time in responding to Sean’s customer satisfaction surveys:  thank you for helping us to continually improve and further our mission of furnishing a greener world.  We hope you love your new furniture!

Read more Vermont furniture reviews on our testimonials page and connect with our customers on Facebook.  Also, check out independent reviews on Green People, Site Jabber, Yellow Pages and Yelp.

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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.

Keeping Children Safe Around Furniture That Could Tip Over

Last updated on August 15th, 2018 at 02:25 pm

The Today show ran a story this morning about anchoring tall chests and cabinets to the wall in homes where little children are at play.  Matt Lauer and friends went on to say that “the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that the dressers and drawers pose a serious risk of injury, and even death, from toppling on children if they are not anchored.

One child is injured from furniture toppling over every 24 minutes, and a child dies every two weeks from falling furniture or TVs, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

Eighty percent of the deaths involved children younger than 10.   How tragic.  My kids have grown to be taller than our furniture now, but I must admit that when they were toddlers, I never even thought about the dangers that tall furniture can pose to, say a child who might be trying to climb to the top of a dresser by using the drawers as steps.  The show made me do some research into the possibility of offering tip-over restraints with all of our tall furniture, even though our designs are considered “inherently stable”.
Tip over restraints are nylon straps that are attached to the back of furniture.  You screw the other end of the strap into the wall.  We now offer them upon request, with any of our tall furniture pieces, such as dressers, chests, armoires, chifforobes, china cabinets, entertainment centers, file cabinets and so forth.  If you have toddlers or know someone else who does, it’s worth a stroll through each room in the house to consider the hazards that furniture may pose.  Tip-over restraints, properly installed could save your child’s life.

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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.

Zen Furniture, Consciously Crafted in Vermont

Last updated on August 3rd, 2018 at 01:21 pm

Zen Furniture | The Cherry Moon Collection

Why we call it Zen Furniture:

Zen is a way of being and a state of mind. It involves dropping illusion and seeing things without the distortion of judgement created by our own thoughts. So what does that have to do with wood furniture? Our Cherry Moon Bedroom Collection reflects this Zen idea by cutting things down to the essentials. It isn’t overly adorned or decorated, it’s simple and undistracting. It doesn’t need anything extra to be beautiful, it just “is”. It isn’t trying to trick you with fancy bells and whistles, it purely exists as a beautiful, natural collection that any Zen Furniture lover can appreciate.

Zen Furniture | The Cherry Moon Collection

Zen Furniture is Natural and Organic

The Vermont Craftsmen who carefully craft this furniture make sure to use natural, premium  hardwoods to make this collection. The natural characteristics of the Cherry wood can be admired in every detail. Each piece is made with care, just for you. This gives this your furniture extra value because you have a direct connection to the trees from which it came from. When looking at the furniture, you are reminded that it came from a sustainably harvested forest, and each tree was consciously selected to be turned into furniture for your home.

Cherry Moon Cherry Dresser Made in Vermont

 

Pay Attention to The Details

This collection marries traditional craftsman style with a relaxed, zen fusion aesthetic giving you a look that is elegant and cozy, yet clean and uncluttered. It’s defined by understated simplicity and unique detailing. Rich black walnut, half-moon drawer pulls complement our cherry, maple, and walnut hardwood furnishings. Reverse-tapered legs, posts and an intricate cove under the tops round out the design to give any room of your home a comforting and natural feeling of elegance.

 

Zen Style Platform Bed

The Zen Aesthetic Suits Any Home

Natural light shows off the inherent beauty of the Cherry Moon Platform bed. The Zen style is elegantly apparent in the uniquely shaped legs, solid construction, and smooth sweeping lines. The chic platform bed creates a serene centerpiece to the room, creating a modern minimalist look .

The Cherry Moon Bedroom Collection is a simplistically modern reflection of Zen Furniture Style, and would make the perfect furniture for the Vermont farmhouse or the upscale Manhattan apartment. It’s simplicity makes it ultra-versatile, allowing you to create a relaxed, un-fussy space no matter where you live.

Would this Zen Furniture collection make a good fit for your home? Let us know in the comments section! We love hearing back from our readers.

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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.

The Perfect Rocking Chair for Dad

Last updated on August 15th, 2018 at 02:27 pm

quilted-rocker-shaker-end-gov-hunt-life

Surprise Dad with the World’s Most Comfortable Rocking Chair

Our Quilted Vermont Rocker is the perfect gift for your dad on Father’s Day, or your loving grandfather who probably needs a little soothing, luxury, and comfort at the end of his long day. This uniquely crafted rocker will make him want to grab a the remote, turn on the TV, and lounge with an ice cold Long Trail!

Visitors to the showroom will confirm that this rocker is the most comfortable rocker you will ever sit in! Designed and crafted by local Vermont artisans, this rocking chair’s premium quality, solid frame seat feels more like a cloud than a chair. The seat is akin to a quilted cushion because of the excellent flexibility and lively support. Woven wooden blocks are suspended with nylon rope in an interlocking pattern so dad can relax in exquisite comfort. Included with purchase is a care kit. The kit includes directions for caring for your new rocker, a supply of oil-and-wax finish, fine sandpaper and a buffing pad!

When it’s 5pm and Dad comes home from a long day of work and is ready to kick his feet up and watch the game, could you imagine any greater surprise than this ultra comfortable rocker? Being a dad is a tough job, and a comfortable rocking chair is much more valuable than you’d think!

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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.

Why Hello Gorgeous: Admiring a Shaker Table with a Driftwood Stain

Last updated on June 30th, 2022 at 02:59 pm

Shaker Table Made with Driftwood Stained Oak

Driftwood Stained Oak Creates a Chic and Serene Setting

Here’s a photo that truly shows how beautiful and versatile Shaker furniture can be. This picture was sent in by our customer, Erin G., and we can’t get enough of the glamourous styling. The photo shows our Classic Shaker Dining Table in Oak, with a Driftwood finish. The Driftwood finish gives the table a subtle and sophisticated salvaged look, while still possessing exquisite quality of a new piece of Vermont made furniture. While the photo here makes the table look very dark, the Driftwood stain typically has more of a greyed-out tone.

I adore the way that Erin styled her table and dining space, blending the traditional Shaker wood table with her own chic and feminine seating. The cool, neutral color palette creates a tranquil atmosphere in which the Shaker table makes a perfect centerpiece.

This table is just one piece of our Classic Shaker furniture collection, which features the traditional clean lines that Shaker furniture is known for, accented with an elegant, slightly curved flare in the legs. This collection is simplistic and beautiful, giving people the opportunity to style their new furniture with traditional Shaker aesthetic, or mix and match with more modern styles as seen in Erin’s home.

What do you think of this table and dining space? Let us know in the comments section!


 

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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.

Copeland Axis Dining Furniture: A Sleek Recent Arrival

AxisDiningSoaped

Defined by it’s sleek lines and distinctive sculptural shapes, the Axis Dining Collection is a study in geometric harmony and principle. This distinguished collection is finely crafted in Vermont in solid Ash hardwood and made to order in 3 finishes. It’s minimalist design makes it the ideal dining furniture for the everyday modernist.

Soaped Ash, Weathered Ash, or Seared Ash Stain?

finishes

 

Appealing to a variety of aesthetic tastes, the Axis Dining Collection can be crafted with the light and airy Soaped Ash stain, the contemporary Weathered Ash, or the dark & moody Seared Ash. Besides simply choosing your stain based on how you imagine the furniture to look, it’s of equal importance to take the color scheme of your dining space into account. With whatever stain you decide on, this collection is sure to give your dining room a modern, polished look that will last a lifetime.

Have you ever seen a table this sleek?

 

AxisTableEdgeDetail2

Distinctly modern with beautiful craftsmanship in every detail. Our Axis Solid Top Dining Table features a chic and sophisticated look unlike any other. A gentle curve along the edge profile allows this table to have a new and exciting look from every angle.

Will you need a Bar Stool, a Counter Stool, or a Table Height Chair?

AxisStoolsChairTake your table height into consideration when choosing which seating option you’d like. Each chair is sturdily built from eco-friendly solid wood. Individual chair dimensions can be found on their respective product pages. These chairs are perfect for entertaining friends in style, as they make great conversation pieces. Sleek, smooth and geometric are their defining traits.

Complete Your Set with a Modern Buffet

AxisBuffetChairDetail

This buffet is a true statement piece for your modern style dining room. Simple in design with subtle accents that make it pop, this chic 4-door buffet features the same gentle curved edge profile as our Copeland Axis Dining Table.

If you are a true modern design lover than the Axis collection is one that should not be overlooked. It’s chic, eco-friendly, and solidly constructed giving you a lifetime of use and enjoyment! Does this ultra-modern dining furniture collection suit your style? Let us know in the comments section!

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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.

POLYWOOD® Club Furniture For Relaxing: Outdoors or In

Last updated on December 4th, 2015 at 02:33 pm

Polywood Deep Seating Patio Furniture
This all weather POLYWOOD Club Furniture is perfect for relaxing in- whether you place it outdoors on the porch or inside in the den or Florida room.  The recycled plastic POLYWOOD frames are made in America and carry a lifetime guarantee along with several other buyer protection policies.

Have you noticed that fine furniture is moving outside to luxury spaces around the patio, deck, fire pit, pool and even the beach?  Why not?  With advances in all weather outdoor furniture and Sunbrella deep seating fabrics, you’ll find high end club furniture like the POLYWOOD Club Deep Seating set shown above in all kinds of luxury spaces–outdoors and in.

If you’re needing some deep relaxation in your life, check out Angelo Surmelis’s designs on HGTV’s Outdoor Spaces Design Guide.  You’ll find inspiration and advice on how to transform your outdoor space into a luxury retreat.  Whether your space is a small patio, expansive beachfront or something in between, Angelo’s got creative ideas to help you achieve your dream decor.  He’ll show you how to use simple designs, colors, textures, accessories and patterns to produce the perfect outdoor space for your needs.

Of course, outdoor furniture selection is critical to achieving your design goals so be sure to have a look at our large selection of all weather POLYWOOD recycled plastic furniture.  You’ll find cushy, deep seating club furniture for serious relaxing– and each piece can be customized in your choice of 6 POLYWOOD colors and 14 different Sunbrella cushion fabrics.  You can feel confident using POLYWOOD on the beach, at the poolside or in your new outdoor kitchen.  And when the season’s over, it’s luxurious enough to bring indoors for an upscale addition to the porch, sunroom or den as well.

Find dozens more all weather POLYWOOD outdoor furniture styles that you can customize in many different colors and fabrics on our website.

 

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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.

Modern Maple Furniture with Walnut Accents

Last updated on February 24th, 2019 at 06:17 pm

Maple and Walnut Wood Furniture | 2 Tone Combinations
This modern 2 tone combination of walnut and maple wood furniture is offered in the SoHo collection.  Copeland’s new SoHo Collection provides many options for customizing the combination of light maple and dark walnut wood tones.

Maple furniture is making a comeback!

For many years, cherry has been our customers’ favorite hardwood but in 2015 we’re seeing that maple wood is giving cherry a run for the money.  This is a welcome trend for those of us in the Vermont forestry community since maple is a hardwood that grows extremely well in the Green Mountain state (indeed maple is the Vermont state tree).  It’s sustainably harvested nearby, making it a great choice for eco-friendly furniture.

Although maple furniture is beautiful on it’s own, many customers are dressing it up with walnut or cherry wood accents.

One example of this design is in Copeland Furniture’s Modern SoHo bedroom furniture collection.  The picture above shows SoHo in maple and walnut wood but it is made to order and can also be customized in all maple wood or a combination of walnut, cherry, and maple.

Maple Furniture with Walnut Wood Accents
This Classic Shaker huntboard was customized in light maple wood with a dark walnut top and walnut drawer pulls.  Thanks to Margot G in Knoxville, TN for sending us her photo!

Nearly all of our furniture at Vermont Woods Studios can be customized in maple wood, regardless of the wood it’s shown in on our website.  This photo was sent to us by Margot G in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Margo created her own unique version of our Classic Shaker Hunt Board by choosing maple wood (rather than cherry) and accenting it with a walnut top and walnut drawer pulls.  It’s beautiful, don’t you think?

Astrid furniture is made in Vermont by Copeland Furniture
Astrid modern bedroom furniture is available in maple wood (as shown) as well as cherry and walnut.  It’s hand made in Vermont by Copeland Furniture.

Another example of modern maple furniture is the Astrid bedroom furniture collection (shown above).  Astrid is dramatic and sophisticated.  It’s been a favorite of contemporary urban dwellers from Manhattan to Los Angeles.

Check out our website for more examples of custom maple wood furniture.  Use the drop-down menus to customize your wood choices online.  If you don’t see exactly what you want, give us a call and we’ll talk about further customization.  It’s more affordable than you might think.

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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.