Give A Basket of Love On Valentine’s Day from Tina’s Baskets & Woven Art

Every relationship is important in life. On Valentine’s Day, sometimes words aren’t enough to convey messages of love, caring, and appreciation. The joy of giving on Valentine’s Day is thriving with possibilities at Studio #305 @ Tina’s Baskets and Woven Arts, Whiting Mills in Winsted. This amazing studio owned by Tina Puckett, a national and international award-winning artist, known for her woven art and dimensional weaving has some extraordinary gift ideas that can be found nowhere else.

Puckett is also, once again, rolling out the red carpet for those in search of an exceptional Valentine’s Day gift. The studio is open every weekend in January and February from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. or by appointment. While browsing in Puckett’s studio, and chatting with Tina as she weaves her magic, enjoy chocolates and champagne. If you are on the hunt for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day gift basket to fill with goodies, this is the place, a real artist’s studio in fact, to check out!

“I offer many hand-woven baskets from reeds that I dye and bittersweet that I forage, at a variety of price points. Each basket is a one-of-a-kind piece woven with love, and something that can be used repeatedly and, most importantly, loved for years to come.” Best of all, the baskets are 14% off during the Sip and Shop event at Whiting Mills on February 11th, and Sunday, February 12th. This is your chance to purchase a basket and fill it with goodies.

If you can’t make it to the studio, head to the website and order away. Tina is offering a 14% discount on all website purchases from February 1 to February 14, 2023.

Shopping for your Valentine’s is not an easy task, especially when trying to avoid the clichés. A basket from Tina’s Baskets and Woven Art shows your special someone that you truly care.

About Tina’s Baskets
Tina Puckett is a nationally awarded weaver of baskets and woven art that is the owner of Tina’s Baskets which is located at Whiting Mills in Winsted, Connecticut. Tina has been weaving since 1981 using hand-dyed reeds, bittersweet, and a variety of objects like beads or seagrass. Her work is showcased at a variety of galleries across the United States as well as at her gallery/studio where you will often find her weaving on weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Custom orders are accepted and appointments can be arranged by texting 860-309-6934.

See Future Olympians @ Salisbury’s JumpFest Feb. 3-5

This year marks the 97th year of Salisbury Connecticut’s annual Ski Jump Competition called Jumpfest where spectators can watch some of the finest potential Olympic hopefuls compete on Satre Hill, at 80 Indian Cave Road in Salisbury, CT. Even if you have no snow where you live, the organizers of this event make it; so get ready to experience a winter wonderland that has a lot of action!

“If you have never seen ski jumping live, you have never really witnessed this sport,” said Willie Hallihan, Association Director of SWSA (Salisbury Winter Sports Assoc.) “The hint of frost in the air, the cacophony of ringing cowbells, spectators cheering on their favorites, and the slap of skis as they hit the landing hill, make this event unforgettable.”

Jumpfest offers three days of heart-pounding excitement and competitions to watch. The tower stands 70 feet atop Satre Hill and jumpers perch on their bar 350 feet above the ground. As the flag is dropped they speed their way down the 300-foot run, picking up speed along the way. Imagine watching as jumpers soar up to 200 feet through the air at speeds of 50 miles an hour! There are only six ski jumping venues on the East Coast and, Salisbury is among the oldest. Satre Hill is also one of the most respected jump venues because of past hopefuls that have competed in the Olympics.

Jumpfest kicks off on Friday, February 3 at 7 p.m. with target jumping under the lights. This is an exciting warm-up for the events on Saturday and Sunday and a great time to spot your favorites and cheer them on. Target jumping is followed by a crowd favorite, the Human Dog Sled Race where teams of six compete in this madcap event for a variety of prizes. There are only a half dozen places in the country that host this event and most of them are pretty far from Connecticut making this spectacle of fun something not to be missed! If you want to compete contact info@jumpfest.org, the cost is $25 per team with proceeds going to the mission of SWSA, youth skiing programs.

On Saturday, February 4, the day begins at 9:30 a.m. with the Junior Competition on the 20-meter and 30 meter hills. It is thrilling to watch these young athletes that have trained so hard tackle the hills.

The Salisbury Invitational Ski Jumping Competition begins at 11 a.m. with practice jumps followed by the competition that begins at 1 p.m. Jumpers come from far and wide making it exciting to watch them demonstrate their strength, skill, and conditioning that makes them fly effortlessly through the air. At the conclusion of the competition, medals are awarded on the hill. They are the next generation of jumpers to watch.

To end the day on a high note, spectators are invited to attend the “Snowball” taking place at the Lakeville Town Grove at 42 Ethan Allen Street from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. There will be plenty of food and music by the Steve Dunn Band at this beautiful venue replete with a stone fireplace and chandeliers. Entry to the Snowball is $20 per person with children under 12 free.

On Sunday, February 5, the highly anticipated Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships begins with practice jumps that run from 11 a.m. through noon. The long-awaited annual competition starts at 1 pm. At this event, there are often Olympic hopefuls competing. These expert jumpers seem fearless as they display the tremendous coordination, skill, balance, and strength that it takes to soar so far and so high in the air and, most importantly, to land smoothly. If you want to see some of the bravest athletes in sports just stand at the bottom of a ski jump and watch them soar. It is something that you will never forget because as most jumpers will tell you, it is the closest you get to flying…without wings or a parachute!

To add to the festivities there are food trucks, craft beer, hot toddies, and bonfires on all three days. Tickets are available at the gate and are $15 for adults on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Kids 12 and under are free all three days. Parking is free. The ski jump complex is located at Satre Hill on Indian Cave Road in Salisbury. Proceeds for Jumpfest fund the SWSA youth skiing programs. Before setting out check www.jumpfest.org for updates, scheduled changes, or more information or email the Association at info@jumpfest.org.

ABOUT SALISBURY WINTER SPORTS ASSOCIATION
In the winter of 1926, John Satre a resident of Salisbury jumped off the roof of his shed wearing skis to show his friends and neighbors a sport he learned in his native homeland of Norway. Town residents were so amazed as they watched Satre soar through the air that they decided to build a proper ski run that summer, and form the Salisbury Winter Sports Association. The Association hosted the first ski jump competition in January 1927. JumpFest has become a highly anticipated event in Connecticut and throughout much of the East Coast.

Registration is Open for the Human Dog Sled Team @ JumpFest & the U.S. Eastern Ski Championships in Salisbury, CT

Organized by the Salisbury Winter Sports Association, 97th JumpFest & the Eastern Ski Jumping Championships, are taking place this year on Friday, February 3, Saturday, February 4, and Sunday, February 5 @ Satre Hill. This prestigious event isn’t just about the aspiring Olympic ski jumpers, it also offers loads of fun, and one of the quirkiest competitions found anywhere… the Human Dog Sled Race!

The good news is that registration is now open for the Human Dog Sled Race, which is taking place on Friday, February 3. The Human Dog Sled Race begins just after the Target Jumps scheduled for 7 p.m. end. This is the chance for you and five of your friends to get together and be creative with the added bonus of entertaining others. It is easy and fun to do and worth at least a year of bragging rights and Instagram photos!

At Friday’s February 3rd Human Dog Sled Race your team will compete for trophies in men’s, women’s, and mixed categories as well as a people’s choice award for best costume/sled. This evening event is professionally announced and a crowd favorite. To register for this entertaining and unforgettable event contact Brian @ info@jumpfest.org and tell them that you want to register. The Association will respond with all the documentation and rules. Registration is just $25 per team and is used to help sustain the mission of the Association.

Participating is easy. All you have to do is to gather up a kennel of friends who are at least 18 years old and have a moderate level of fitness because this course is not without peril! The course is just over .3 miles in the snow. The teams consist of six people that include five pulling and one riding. Many contestants dress for the occasion to raise team camaraderie.

Next, and this is when the fun really starts, you will design your own sled that can be anything from elaborate, whimsical, or techy, to something as simple as an inner tube. The point is to have fun for a good cause because proceeds go to help sustain the mission of the Salisbury Winter Sports Association.

Also, keep in mind that Friday night of Jumpfest is a great time! An eighth of a mile of luminaries guide you to the site where there are two roaring bonfires to keep you toasty, and plenty of food and beverages to snack on. The target ski jumping and the Human Dog Sled Races are held under the lights!

ABOUT SALISBURY WINTER SPORTS ASSOCIATION
The mission of the Salisbury Winter Sports Association is to acquaint the public with Nordic ski-jumping, cross –country and Alpine skiing, and to teach the skills necessary for their enjoyment. One way of fulfilling this mission is to host the annual Jumpfest Competition on Satre Hill to sustain and ski jumping in Salisbury, Connecticut, and the Eastern United States.

New Exhibit Nebizun: Water is Life @ Institute for American Indian Studies

This exhibition is a collaboration of artwork by Abenaki artists of the Champlain Valley and the Connecticut River Valley. Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Elnu Abenaki, and founding director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association curates the exhibition. Sheehan serves as an Executive Board Member for the Vermont Humanities Council, on the Vermont Arts Council’s IDEA Committee, and is a core member of the Education Justice Coalition of Vermont. She formerly worked at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Her curatorial work reflects her deep knowledge of Indigenous history and culture in the northeast. The exhibit will be on view at the Institute through March 2023.

“Water is Life “ by Francine Poitras Jones. Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe.

“Nebizun: Water is Life”, draws visitors into the Native American worldview of water from the very first word Nebizun which means medicine, and the root word, Nebi, the Abenaki word for water. Water is one of the four sacred elements of life, along with air, earth, and light/fire. As stewards of the environment, Native American people know the importance of clean water. Water is essential for life, it is important to fish and other wildlife, it is essential for the growth of crops, and it is an important component in medicine and healing.

The Abenaki community, among many others, knows how important clean water is to everyday activities that some take for granted. During the recent controversial construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through the homelands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the anthem, “Water is Life, was born by Water Protectors and, this traveling exhibit recognizes this controversy through its name and some of its artwork.

“Nebizun: Water is Life” reflects awareness of both traditional values and contemporary issues. This exhibit draws inspiration from Native American grandmothers who have been doing water walks to pray for the water and the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. We hope this exhibition inspires everyone to be a Water Protector.

About Institute for American Indian Studies
Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington, Connecticut preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have the 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape Room, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans.

CT Wine Trail Announces 2023 Winter Wine Trail Passport Participants completing the 12-location program become eligible to win Prizes valued at more than $5,500

Wine and exploration go together any time of year. With that in mind, twelve farm wineries across Connecticut have once again organized the highly anticipated Winter Wine Trail for visitors and residents alike looking for a way to warm up to the season.

From January 8 through April 2, participants can pick up a free passport from any of the 12 participating wineries, and start on a quest to visit each vineyard. Those who are able to check off all 12 participating wineries before the April 2 deadline become eligible to win prizes valued at more than $5,500. Passports must be submitted to one of the participating vineyards by the deadline date. Keep in mind that photocopied booklets or pages will be disqualified. Winners will be chosen by a random drawing held on April 19 and will be notified by email or phone.

There are more than forty-five prizes offered for people who can successfully visit every winery. The Grand Prize is a two- night stay at West 57th Street by Hilton Club in NYC, valued at over $1,000. The first and second prizes are Spa experiences valued at over $475 each, and the third prize, valued at $300 is a one-night stay at the Mystic Marriott. Additional prizes range from restaurant gift cards, including a chef-prepared farm-to-table dinner for eight and a 24 -piece box of chocolates from Milk House Chocolates, to shopping certificates and a bottle of wine, valued up to $30 from each participating vineyard.

“The Winter Wine Trail offers a fun and exciting way for residents and visitors to try award-winning wines made right here in Connecticut while overlooking scenic vineyards,” said Margaret Ruggerio, of The Connecticut Wine Trail and co-owner of Paradise Hills Vineyard and Winery. “It’s the perfect way to beat the winter blues while sipping and swirling your way through winter into spring! Best of all, the Winter Wine Trail gives friends and family a way to expand their palate and learn about the history of winemaking in the state.”

The twelve participating vineyards include the following wineries that will take you on a quest on and off the beaten path making it an excellent day or weekend adventure.

Aquila’s Nest Vineyards, 56 Pole Bridge Road, Sandy Hook. This is an experience-focused, climate-neutral certified vineyard, and event venue beautifully situated on 40 estate acres. Inspired by mythological tales of powerful women and a love of astronomy, this vineyard offers nine heavenly wines seasonally. They offer a fine selection of reds, rose, whites, and zesty Sangria by the pitcher.

Bishop’s Orchards, 1355 Boston Post Road, Guilford. Located in a barn dating to 1928, visitors will experience a superb assortment of award-winning fruit wines and hard ciders made from produce grown here. Bishop’s Orchard also offers a unique wine selection that includes a mix of semi-dry and semi-sweet varieties that are similar to white and blush wines.

Gouveia Vineyards, 1339 Whirlwind Hill Road, Wallingford. Joe Gouveia, originally from Portugal, had a dream to bring the winemaking traditions of his home country to Connecticut…and he has! Built of stone and old timbers, this rustic wine-tasting room has a spectacular hill top location where the views seem to go on forever. A highlight here is to experience a taste of Portugal while sipping on reds and white wines made from 17 varietals that are picked by hand.

Hawk Ridge Winery, 26 Plungis Road, Watertown. Located on 58 bucolic acres of farmland this winery grows eight varietals of grapevines that are used in eleven of their twenty-plus wines that include an evocative selection of dry or sweet, red, white or rose wines. In addition to wine, they offer a large menu of food and appetizers that pair perfectly with their wine, completing this relaxing experience.

Hopkins Vineyard, 25 Hopkins Road, New Preston. This vineyard offers vistas of the blue waters of Lake Waramaug, from its hilltop site. A family farm since 1787, the first Hopkins vines were planted in 1979, and the nineteenth-century barn was converted to a state-of-the-art winery. Wine tastings are offered and favorites can be ordered by the glass or by the bottle, along with cheeses and pates, at The Hayloft, a wine bar with a stunning lake view. This vineyard has won many awards and accolades over the years and is a Nationally designated Bi-Centennial Farm.

Jonathan Edwards Winery, 74 Chester Main Road, North Stonington. The highlight of this vineyard is to sample their portfolio of wines which includes four Estate varietals from their favorite growers in California without having to make the trip out west. Estate Connecticut wines are also handcrafted here. This unique experience allows guests to sample the East and West coast distinctive climates. To accompany the wine in their cozy tasting room cheese and charcuterie that is locally sourced are also available.

Paradise Hills Vineyards, 15 Windswept Hill Road, Wallingford. Unwind in a sunny Tuscan-styled tasting room with its hand-crafted copper bar, decorative chandelier, mahogany tables, and wood-burning fireplace. This cozy tasting room provides the perfect setting to enjoy wine while overlooking the vineyard. Paradise wines have been awarded 85+ points from several renowned wine competitions making sipping a true pleasure while dining on a charcuterie platter.

Priam Vineyards, 11 Shailor Hill Road, Colchester. This vineyard has won numerous International wine competition medals for its wines that are produced in the style of Northern France and Germany. It has been voted the best vineyard in Connecticut for five years in a row. Fifteen handcrafted wines are produced throughout the year in this magical setting with its breathtaking views of the Connecticut countryside. As environmentalists, they practice sustainable agriculture and are vegan-certified.

Sharpe Hill Vineyard, 108 Wade Road, Pomfret. This vineyard has won over 450 medals in International tastings and offers reds, whites and rose in a setting of great natural beauty. It is such a treat to sip on a refreshing chardonnay or a robust cabernet while gazing out over 100-plus acres with vistas that stretch to Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Stonington Vineyards, 523 Taugwonk Road, Stonington. This is one of the first farm wineries established in Connecticut and a founding member of the Connecticut Wine Trail. They are best known for their barrel-fermented Chardonnay and their proprietary blends, Seaport White and Triad Rose. Their European-style table wines have won many awards.

Sunset Meadow Vineyards, 599 Old Middle Street, Goshen. This family-owned and operated nationally and internationally award-winning vineyard is located on over 40 acres of sloping fields overlooking the picturesque sunsets and scenery of the Western Connecticut Highlands. In addition to winning many national and international medals for their wines, Sunset Meadow has been named one of the best 101 Wineries in America by the Daily Meal. In addition to tasting by the glass or bottle, they offer specialty chocolate and wine pairing as well as a variety of cheeses from local artisans.

Taylor Brooke Winery, 818 Route 171, Woodstock. This family-owned vineyard has 17 acres of wine production and has recently opened a brewery on 27 acres that are adjacent to the winery offering guests a double experience. Sparkling, dry whites, semi-sweet whites, red, still rose, and dessert wines abound here. For a change of pace, try the Spirit of Woodstock brandy that is aged like bourbon.

About the Connecticut Wine Trail
The Connecticut Wine Trail is one of the most exciting and fastest-growing wine regions in the United States. Made up of 22 participating wineries and vineyards throughout the state of Connecticut, the CT Wine Trail offers a tremendous variety of wine styles and stunning scenery—enjoyable in every season.

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“My Norfolk” Photo Contest for Norfolk, Connecticut

The bucolic town of Norfolk, known for its unspoiled landscape, charming village green, and magnificent architecture has put together a photo contest that will showcase the beauty of this northwest Connecticut gem.

This friendly community well known for hosting the Summer and Winter Weekend in Norfolk (WIN) is inviting people from near and far to participate in the My Norfolk photo contest that ends on midnight, March 31, 2023. Best of all, the contest is free of charge to enter!

Working on the time-tested adage, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” the town is looking for photos that best capture the essence of Norfolk from a photographer’s perspective. Always helpful, the Norfolk website also offers a gallery of images as well as several links that will help give photographers ideas of just some of the endless possibilities to take in town.

Photographers can submit as many images as they like. There are only three very simple rules. The images must be taken in Norfolk Connecticut, participants under 18 must use their parents, or legal guardian’s name and contact information and photos of pets and babies should not be submitted. For the free application and additional information click here. https://norfolkct.org/photo-contest

Catherine Griswold

A panel of local photographers will select four winning photos, a first place, and three runners-up. Prizes will be awarded to the winning photographs – and photographers. Winners will be notified by email and a public announcement will be made on May 1, 2023. The winning photos will be showcased on the Norfolk Town Website and will be displayed in an upcoming public exhibition.