Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Demonstration of Contemporary Nantucket-style Basket-making @ Wilton Historical Society

Basket artist Gail Halvorsen will demonstrate how she creates her artwork at this informal, informative gallery event on Friday, September 9 from 12:30 – 2:00 at the Wilton Historical Society. 

Her extraordinary work is now on view there in the Burt Barn Gallery in the exhibition Hickory, Ash & Reed: Traditional Baskets, Contemporary Makers.  Halvorsen’s contemporary Nantucket baskets are a distinctly American handcraft, harking back to the maritime cooper’s trade, which involves woodworking as much as basketry.  

At this event, participants will be able to see how the artist approaches the challenges of the art of basketry – materials, techniques and process. The demonstration will be followed by lunch with an informal question and answer session. 

Gail Halvorsen made baskets in her New Canaan, Connecticut workshop, set up years ago with the help of her renowned teacher, basket-maker and woodworker Harry Hilbert.  Teacher and student met in Hilbert’s workshop in 1994 where Halvorsen made her first “Nantucket” basket.  

Taken with the entire process of making a basket, she carefully selects her woods, makes her own molds, carves handles and waxes her finishes. “I am definitely drawn to certain colors and grains of wood. American cherry and curly maple are my favorites. The type of wood usually determines the shape and design of my basket. And, the hunt for beautiful wood is always an on- going challenge. You never know where you will find the perfect piece - fun!” she says. Facile with a woodturning lathe, band saw, drill press and other tools of the trade, Halvorsen credits the generous spirit of her influential teacher with her love of each aspect of the craft.

“I find the process of basket making to be stimulating, creative and calming. The choice of materials and design forms are endless and the repetitive motion of weaving allows one to be present and calm” says Halvorsen. 

The cost, including lunch, is $25 for Members of the Wilton Historical Society, $35 for Non-members. Space is limited, please register at or call 203-762-7257

The Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT  06897

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hollister House Hosts Rare and Unusual Plant Sale

Perfect for garden enthusiasts, the Hollister House Garden located on 300 Nettleton Hollow Road in Washington has once again organized their annual ‘Rare and Unusual Plant Sale’ Saturday, September 10th and Sunday, September 11th.  Garden enthusiasts will discover rare plants from vendors from around the country at this special sale.  From local Connecticut based nurseries, to specialty nurseries from Pennsylvania to Oregon, eleven vendors will be on the premises with very unusual plants for sale.

Visitors can choose two ways to attend this event   The first, is the ‘Early Buying’ option on Saturday, September 10th that includes admission to one of the most premier gardens in New England as well as admission to an exclusive cocktail party that takes place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  The cost is $45 per person.  The second option is the ‘All-Day Plant Sale’ on September 11th from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.   The cost for Sunday's all day plant sale is $10 per person and includes admission to the garden and plant sale. 

Plant Sales held in the fall offer ideal timing for garden planning”, says George Schoellkopf of Hollister House Garden “it is true that most shrubs and trees and many perennials are perfectly happy to be planted in the fall and will gather strength over the winter to give a decent first showing the following spring, whereas plants planted in the spring will take another year to settle in and can suffer from drought their first summer. It is our goal to present plants at our sale which would not ordinarily be available for purchase to the general public. To that end we have gathered together a carefully chosen group of specialist growers who offer a truly outstanding choice of the latest hybrids in addition to hard-to-find classic shrubs, trees and herbaceous perennials.”

Cricket Hill Garden Chinese Peony

The eleven nurseries that will be on premises for the ‘Rare and Unusual Plant Sale’ include; Berkshire Orchids, Broken Arrow Nursery, Conifer Kingdom, Cricket Hill Garden, Falls Village Flower Farm, Garden Vision Epimediums, The Green Spot, Linden Hill Gardens, McCue Gardens, Meadowbrook Gardens and Opus.  “I look forward to the Hollister House Plant Sale every year. It’s the fall equivalent of Trade Secrets, with an exceptionally well informed group of nursery people and plant connoisseurs in attendance.  I will be bringing a wide variety of bare root and potted tree and herbaceous peonies ready for fall planting. I will also have a great selection of unusual fruit trees; espaliered mulberries, antique cultivars of Perry pears, as well as PawPaws and American persimmons.” says Dan Furman of Cricket Hill Garden

The Rare and Unusual Plant Sale ‘Early Buying and Cocktails in the Garden’ tickets for Saturday, September 10th are $45 and available through reservation at  Tickets for the ‘All-Day Plant Sale and Garden Admission will be available for $10 purchase at the gate.   For more information visit the Hollister House Website   For more area information on Litchfield Hills visit

About Hollister House Garden

Hollister House Garden is open to visitors April 30th through October 1. Friday hours are 2-5PM and Saturdays 10-4PM. Private group visits are welcome weekdays by appointment only.  Directions to the garden’s 300 Nettleton Hollow Road location are also available on the website.  Contact:  Pamela Moffett, 860-868-2200 or email:

Monday, August 29, 2016

Labor Day bargains for three days @ Hitchcock Chair Company!

Perfect for bargain hunters and for collectors of fine furniture at affordable prices, thehe Hitchcock Chair Co., Ltd.,  located in the quaint village of Riverton nestled along the banks of the Farmington River in the Litchfield Hills is once again celebrating the end of summer with their historic Barn Sal Owners Rick Swenson and Gary Hath are hosting this Barn Sale at the main barn at the Riverton Fairgrounds located in the center of Riverton on Rte 20 and in their retail store at 13 Riverton Road, Riverton, CT on September 3, 4, and 5 from 10:00 am through 5:00 pm each day.

In the barn, shoppers will find special savings on brand new chairs and tables, as well as scratch and dent pieces, factory seconds, fully restored items, and "gently used" furniture. This year's sale will also feature a hundreds of restored and "as is" items from the historic Yankee Pedlar Inn, which recently closed. Visitors are also invited to go to the main retail store at 13 Riverton Road for sale prices on all in stock merchandise and to see special one-of-a-kind pieces.

The Hitchcock Chair Co., Ltd. is one of the few furniture companies with 100% of pieces made from start to finish in the United States. Wood from northeastern states, parts manufacturers in New England and Pennsylvania, every piece created by hand in their Riverton factory. 

For more information, visit, or contact the store at 860-738-9958. For more area information

Friday, August 26, 2016

Calling All Runners to Sessions Woods...

If you enjoy walking and running on beautiful nature trails then join the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) for the 4rd Annual Run for the Woods on Saturday, September 11 at Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area located on Rte. 69 about three miles south of Rte. 4 in Burlington Connecticut.

CFPA advocates for people that love the outdoors with the support of the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have organized a 10K Trail Race that begins at 8:30 a.m., a 5K Trail Race at 9 a.m. and a 5K walk at 9:00 a.m. at Sessons Woods.
Participants will walk or jog on beautifully maintained trails and will pass by wetlands, meadows, and a beaver pond. Lucky participants may even catch a glimpse of a pileated woodpecker, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse and a majestic broad-winged hawk.
Registration fees are $25 for the 5K run or walk, and $35 for the 10k run. On the day of the race, registration increases by $5. Check-in begins at 8:00 a.m. on the day of the race. If you can't join in the events, and love the outdoors, you might consider making a general donation to CFPA or dedicating it to one of the runners or walkers. All donations go to the protection of Connecticut forests and trails. For more information, registration, and pledging guidelines visit

This year CFPA's Run for the Woods has partnered with Connecticut Trail Runners and is part of the Blue Blazed Running Series. The races, which are run primarily on the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails (BBHT), are organized and directed by a variety of running enthusiasts and clubs across the state. The Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) is grateful for their cooperation and support in making this series possible. The goals of the series are to promote and create greater awareness of trail running on the BBHT System, attract more runners to Connecticut trail running races, strengthen the running community, raise awareness for CFPA's trail maintenance efforts and enhance the experience for the runners who already support our races through series points and recognition. For more race information

About Sessions Woods
The biggest threat facing CT's wildlife is the loss of habitat. Since more than 90% of land in CT is privately owned, the Wildlife Division established the Sessions Woods Management Area to begin to meet the needs of the State's wildlife.
Sessions Woods is more than a tract of natural land set aside for wildlife, it also introduces visitors to wildlife and natural resources management through a variety of educational programs, demonstration sites, displays and self-guided hiking trails.
When you walk the trails here, you experience more than just the benefits of a healthy hike in the fresh outdoor air. Along the sides of the Beaver Pond Trail, Forest Meadow Trail and in the Backyard Habitat Demonstration Area you will find demonstrations of wildlife and habitat management practices.
About CFPA
The CFPA is Connecticut's first nonprofit conservation organization that was established back in 1895 and is best known for maintaining the 825-mile Blue Blaze hiking system. Their mission is to protect forests, parks, walking trails, and open spaces for future generations by connecting people to the land. CFPA directly involves individuals and families, educators, community leaders, and volunteers to enhance and defend Connecticut's rich natural heritage. CFPA is a private, non-profit organization that relies on members and supporters to carry out its mission.
CFPA envisions Connecticut as a place of scenic beauty whose cities, suburbs, and villages are linked by a network of parks, forests, and trails easily accessible for all people to challenge the body and refresh the spirit. They picture a state where clean water, timber, farm fresh foods, and other products of the land make a significant contribution to our economic and cultural well being.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Earth and Sea: Clambake and Drumming Festival at Institute of American Indian Studies

The award winning museum, Institute for American Indian Studies located in Washington Connecticut is hosting a Earth and Sea Clambake and Drumming fundraiser on September 17 at the River Walk Pavilion, 11a School Street in Washington Depot from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Participants of this event are invited to savor indigenous foods traditionally enjoyed by Native Americans such as: lobster, clams, corn, and potatoes amid a festive atmosphere. 
A highlight of this event is the  music and dances performed by Thunderbird American Indian Dancers. The troupe was founded in 1963 by a group of ten Native American men and women descended from Mohawk, Hopi, Winnebago and San Blas tribes. They founded the troupe to keep alive the traditions, songs, and dances they had learned from their parents, and added to their repertoire from other Native Americans living in New York and some who passed through. 
Don't forget to bring your own beverages, drums and rattles to join in on the fun.  Reservations and prepayment to attend this event is required by September 13th.  The cost is $50 for adults; $40 IAIS members; and $10 Children 12 & under (hot dogs, chips & lemonade). 

For more information about the Institute for American Indian Studies visit their website for a list of ongoing programs and events.
For more area information

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hollister House hosts garden symposium and rare plant sale

On September 10 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. the Hollister House Garden is hosting a weekend Symposium called "A Passion for Gardens" at the Heritage Inn in Southbury as well as on the grounds of the Hollister House Gardens. There will be five expert speakers that will be moderated by garden designer and preservation specialist Bill Noble. 

The speakers include:
Arne Maynard, celebrated English garden designer, will share his secrets on the creation of his gardens, unique and rich in detail with a particular sense of harmony and belonging, as he introduces his latest book, The Gardens of Arne Maynard.
David Culp, noted plantsman, author, and creator of the gardens at Brandywine Cottage, will tell us what's new, unusual, and steadfast in the world of perennial plants in the "Best of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow."
Page Dickey, beloved garden writer and passionate gardener, will describe how we can enjoy drifts and pools of flowers that give our gardens unexpected charm in "Self-Seeding in the Garden."
Quill Teal-Sullivan, preservation professional and garden manager, will speak on "Courage, Vision and Manure" and bringing back the beautiful and historically rich gardens of Helena Rutherford Ely at Meadowburn Farm.
Andy Brand and Christopher Koppel of Broken Arrow Nursery will engage in a friendly yet competitive debate as they present and compare a wide range of plants native to both Japan and America in "East vs West."
The day concludes with cocktails and early buying at the Sale of Rare and Unusual Plants at Hollister House Garden in Washington, CT. from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission to the Symposium is: $180 for members of Hollister House Garden and/or the Garden Conservancy, $180 for general admissions purchased by July 15 and $195 for general admissions after July 15. The Cocktail Party and early buying event is open to symposium participants as well as to the general public not attending the symposium. Admission to Cocktails and Early Buying is included in the registration fee for symposium participants. Admission (Cocktails and Early Buying only) is $40 for Hollister House and Garden Conservancy membersand $45 for general admissions.
On Sept. 11 there is a Rare Plant Sale open to the public from 10 am t0 4 pm and admission is $10.
To register for this event visit For more area information

Monday, August 22, 2016

How to cruise Long Island Sound for hours...

On August 27, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk invites you to take a six hour cruise  departing at 9 a.m. of Western Long Island Sound on their new boat, Spirit of the Sound that features a climate controlled cabin.  Participants will venture out for a rare close-up look at eight historic lighthouses on Long Island Sound! Participants aboard R/V Spirit of the Sound will make passes by these lighthouses: Greens Ledge, Sheffield Island, Stamford Harbor (or Harbor Ledge), Great Captain Island, Execution Rocks, Stepping Stones, Sands Point and Eatons Neck.

Tickets  for the  Western Long Island Lighthouse Tours are $75 ($65 for Aquarium members). Advance purchase is required. Capacity is limited to 25. Reserve your tickets by clicking the "Buy Tickets" button or call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206.
On September 3, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is offering the Central Long Island Sound cruise that will feature a rare, close up look at five historic lighthouses. This is a five hour tour that departs at 10 a.m. from the dock on 10 North Water Street in Norwalk.
Participants aboard R/V Spirit of the Sound will make passes by five century-old beacons: Peck Ledge, Greens Ledge and Sheffield Island lighthouses in Norwalk, Penfield Reef Lighthouse in Fairfield and Stratford Shoal (Middle Ground) Light. All the lighthouses are on the National Register of Historic Places.

On both cruises in the Sound, there will be Aquarium educators on board to will share histories and anecdotes about the lighthouses, and also point out the Sound's waterfowl. Binoculars will be provided to assure passengers of a birds eye view. And, if you are a camera buff, don't forget to bring your camera in addition to extra batteries and memory cards because this lighthouse cruise offers a special photo opportunity for both lighthouse buffs and bird-watchers.
There will be plenty of water onboard in the Spirit of the Sound's climate controlled cabin. There is no food available for purchase on the boat, so you might decide to pack a picnic lunch along with non-alcoholic beverages in small bags or soft sided coolers. Please note that glass bottles are not allowed on board the boat. 

Tickets are $70 ($60 for Aquarium members). Advance purchase is required. Capacity is limited to 25. Reserve your tickets by clicking on the "Buy Tickets" button or call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206.

For more area information

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Flora and Fauna and the Bruce Museum

Artist Francesca Anderson specializes in capturing natural history in her exquisite illustrations of plants and wildlife. Twenty of her scratchboard and pen-and-ink drawings will be on view in the exhibition Flora and Fauna: Drawings by Francesca Anderson at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT. The runs through October 30, 2016.

Flora and Fauna brings together a selection of Anderson's large-scale botanical illustrations for which she is best-known and life-size scratchboard illustrations of birdsThe three-foot tall, black-and-white images are striking, meticulously drawn from life in exacting detail. Two new pieces created for this show spotlight mounted birds selected from the Bruce Museum collection -- a red-breasted merganser and a barred owl.
Anderson’s work has been featured in prominent scientific publications, field guides, books and magazines. Her art has been exhibited in museums in Sweden, Great Britain, South Africa, Germany and Japan and is held in private collections worldwide. Winner of the American Society of Botanical Artists "Artist of the Year" award and two-time winner of the Royal Horticultural Society Gold Medal, Anderson is a Fellow of the Linnaean Society, London, a former trustee of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, and former director of the American Society of Botanical Artists. She earned her BFA from Manhattanville College, MA from Hunter College, MFA from Brooklyn College and a certificate in botanical illustration from the New York Botanical Garden.
Flora and Fauna: Drawings by Francesca Anderson is organized by the Bruce Museum and supported by Jim and Pat Murphy, the Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, and Connecticut Office of the Arts.

The Bruce Museum is located at 1 Museum Drive, in downtown Greenwich, Connecticut, just off exit 3 of I-95. Hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm. For more information, call 203-869-0376 or visit

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Danbury Historical Society - Toy Time: Playful Pieces Exhibition

The Danbury Museum & Historical Society located on 43 Main Street in the heart of Danbury has  launched a new exhibit, Toy Time: Playful Pieces that will be on display through October 29, 2016. This is a free exhibit that is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The exhibit features something for kids of all ages. Vintage toys from the museum collection will be showcased including Lincoln Logs, dolls, tin toys, trains, board games and puzzles, as well as outdoor play items and much more.
This show is sure to please parents and grandparents visiting with their children, neighbors, school classmates, brothers and sisters; there is something for everyone viewing this fun exhibit with items that boys and girls of every generation have enjoyed. This summer is a great time to visit the museum and awaken fond memories of past play dates. The Museum's extensive toy collection will surely help folks do just that.
Visit for a full list of upcoming events being held at the museum.  For more information

Monday, August 15, 2016

Exclusive custom merchandise designed by artist Yayoi Kusama for the Glass House

The Glass House Design Store has just announced that it is presenting exclusive custom merchandise designed by artist Yayoi Kusama.  Kusama transforms elements from her exhibition,Yayoi Kusama Narcissus Garden, in particular her special installation Dots Obsession - Alive, Seeking for Eternal Hope into an artful selection of gifts available to all.  All products are limited productions.

Designed exclusively for the Glass House in collaboration with Cool Snow Globes for the 2016 special installation Yayoi Kusama: Dots Obsession - Alive, Seeking for Eternal Hope.   There are only 300 limited numbered editions of this globe. 
In addition, the Glass House is also offering a roomy canvas tote was designed exclusively for the Glass House for the 2016 exhibition  Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden. 18W X 14 HX4   100% cotton and it comes in white/black or red/black. There is a limited production of 250 for each color.

Finally, there is a postcard pack designed exclusively for the Glass House for the 2016 exhibition  Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden. Images by Matthew Placek selected by the artist. Each pack contains 5 postcards. There is a print run of 300.
Yayoi Kusama Narcissus Garden a landscape installation on view throughout the 2016 tour season to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Philip Johnson's birth and the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Glass House site to the public. First created fifty years ago in 1966 for the 33rd Venice Biennale, this iteration of Narcissus Garden will be incorporated into the Glass House's 49-acre landscape.

Yayoi Kusama's work has transcended two of the most important art movements of the second half of the twentieth century: pop art and minimalism. Her extraordinary and highly influential career spans paintings, performances, room-size presentations, outdoor sculptural installations, literary works, films, fashion, design, and interventions within existing architectural structures, which allude at once to microscopic and macroscopic universes.  Born in 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan, Kusama briefly studied painting in Kyoto before moving to New York City in the late 1950s. Kusama is represented by David Zwirner, New York, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore, and Victoria Miro, London. In early 2013, Kusama was named the world's most popular artist by various news outlets, based on museum exhibition attendance.
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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Blackberry Festival @ White Silo Farm and Winery

Nothing says summer like a fresh fruit salad or cobbler made with blackberries. This sweet and succulent fruit is native to Europe and related to raspberries because both perennials grow on shrubs called brambles.  Best of all, blackberries are "jam" packed with health benefits and are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and dietary fibers.

White Silo Farmand Winery located on 32 Rte. 37 East in the lovely town of Sherman Connecticut that straddles the Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County is hosting its annual Blackberry Festival on Saturday, August 20 and Sunday, August 21 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on both days.

The highlight of this event is the small plates of prepared food made with blackberries grown right on the farm.  The menu is mouthwatering and includes: Arugula Salad with Blackberries, Watermelon and Feta; Pulled Pork Quesadilla with Blackberry Sauce; Baked Brie and Blackberries; Blackberry Peach Crisp; Blackberry Ice Cream Sandwich; and Blackberry Basil Chicken.

Admission to this event is free, however, wine and the scrumptious plates featuring the star of the festival, blackberries may be purchased for a fee.  To add to the atmosphere, there will be live music as well as free winery and field tours throughout the day.

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