recipe
Aug
05
2014

Farm Fresh From Vermont

Update: The goal was met and Swan&Stone are headed to NYC!!! Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible!!

If you have ever visited my blog you know my love of all things Vermont. Vermont is my happy place. Anytime I get the opportunity to share it, I take that opportunity. And I take it seriously. I have something really special to share today.

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It’s not often you see the word millinery. I found Swan&Stone a couple of years back when they were Little Hill Woolworks and bought a hat right then and there!

Collaborators Samantha Stone and Nora Swan, both former New Yorkers, are the brains, hearts and hands behind Swan&Stone. Both have contributed fascinating halves that make the whole of all that is now a thriving millinery housed in The Granary in quintessential, bucolic Brandon, Vermont.

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Robbin, my oldest and dearest friend, and I were treated to a personal tour of Swan&Stone when we were in Brandon last October. Yes, Vermont in October. Heaven on Earth! Our tour guide was Kelly, whom I met through the wonderful world wide web when we were both in business – she owned a handcrafted lollipop business and I owned Dahlem’s Soapworks. I don’t remember exactly how we met, but it was meant to be. Kelly is an amazing mom and friend AND an extraordinary photographer. I have given her credit on the photos that belong to her – though you could probably tell already – they are amazing.

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Stepping into Swan&Stone is a feast for the eyes for anyone – but for a couple of women who love Vermont, LOVE handcrafted, LOVE sustainable products, LOVE locavore culture, LOVE farms and sheep and hats…well our breaths were taken away! We tried on hats, admired and admonished our choices, and had an amazing and educational visit with Samantha. I am kicking myself for not purchasing my favorite of the day – a felt beauty that was a little steampunk, a little country with lot of attitude – you know, like me! LOL! The trim on it was bits & bobs of metal found after Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc on beautiful Brandon back in August of 2011.

There are numerous articles written about Swan&Stone online and I will give you links at the end of this post. But the words that are their own are the best. What interesting women, business owners, and artisans. I have to admit, I will never look at hats the same. I say all the time: I wish people still wore hats. WELL, people do! Bold people. Confident people. People who don’t bend and give to the latest fashion trend. That’s what I love about Sam & Nora’s creations – they are timeless. Beautiful, extraordinary, handmade hats for now and forever.

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wooden hat blocks

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one of a kind hats for men

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hats waiting for embellishments

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LOVE the blue!!

1238936_10202224198471397_6562650_n(from STRUT 2013) photo credit: Kelly McCullough

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photo credit: Kelly McCullough

there’s something for everyone!

felt hats, straw hats, fascinators, kids’ hats, hats for brides

These are literally farm to head hats!

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photo credit: Kelly McCullough

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photo credit: Kelly McCullough

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photo credit: Kelly McCullough (I need this one framed)

Now Samantha and Nora have a once in a lifetime chance to show their hats to the world! After a rigorous jury process they have been invited to show and sell their hats at the 2014 Grand Central Holiday Fair! Yes! THAT Grand Central – in New York City! There is a little bump in the road, a catch if you will – the $16K entrance fee. But you know what? This is very doable – and you, me, we can help them meet that challenge head on (no pun intended) and become the famous milliners they are destined to be. I believe in what Swan& Stone is doing. Grass to market isn’t just about food anymore. Every product that is made from sustainable goods should be readily available to consumers who care about that very important factor in producing goods & services. Fine hats should be no exception. So please visit their KickStarter page and contribute.

Every little bit will help them realize their dream.  AND you too can own an original Swan&Stone creation with your contribution.

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Please do you and me both a favor and follow the link, visit Swan&Stone’s Kickstarter Page and help this woman owned and operated business show in NYC! You know what they say: If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And Samantha and Nora deserve this opportunity – they have worked so hard and offer beautiful handcrafted hats that anyone would love.

Be sure and watch the video on your visit to their kickstarter page. There is also an easy “go to” link in the right column – check it out!

You can read more about Swan&Stone here:

You can also follow them on twitter @ https://twitter.com/swanandstone and find them on Face book @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/SwanStone-Millinery/187059057992815

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With warmest regards,

Susan

Jul
31
2014

That`s What She Said…

Okay first of all AGAIN I want to apologize for abandoning you all for what really amounts to nearly two years.  I am trying really hard to make up for that.  And WOW! do I have some crazy good stuff on the horizon.  Crazy good for me and double crazy good for you all! Give Aways, interviews, book reviews, movie reviews, book club sign ups.  I am going to make this blog what it used to be no matter how long it takes me!

And just so you know, the interviews are with some AMAZING people so please tune in for those.

Now what’s going on in  my life you might ask.  Well…Benjamin had his appendix out last Tuesday so that was fun.  :/ He really had tummy troubles for a couple of weeks and it never enter our minds that it was his appendix.  He just did not present the usual symptoms.  None the less, Dr. M. took that nasty little organ out and he is on the mend.  You know I am not sure laparoscopic hurts any less that traditional incisions.  But a week later he’s on the mend.

Jerry is stateside so we are having my birthday party early.  Double Nickels deserves recognition, so they say.  55? Really?  Seems like just yesterday I was a young mama with a passel of kids.  Still have the passel they are just a little more scattered these days.  As it should be.  I miss those days but life is all about changes.  Some days I roll with it. Some days, not so much.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend – it’s almost here!!!

Check back soon – you won’t be sorry – I’ve got something really great to share with you next week!

Jul
19
2014

And We Have A Winner!!!

Congrats Melanie!!!! Sending you an email!  I will need your mailing address.

See you all again real soon and THANK YOU for participating.  Melanie – you enjoy your cookbook!

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