Get an early start on Valentine’s Day

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Well kids, February is already here. Among other things that means that Saint Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and it’s time to get out the crafts supplies so that you can begin to make those hand-crafted love missives for the special somebody or somebodies in your social universe. Barring that, it is time to make plans for treating, wining and dining your love interests, significant others, partners, spouses and assorted other sweethearts. In Tacoma, there are already a number of people, places and things that are planning Valentine’s events in advance of the magical date of Feb. 14.

Here are some that have come over the transom thus far:

  • Hand-painted chocolates by Mindy Barker and Harriet McNamara jewelry

Saturday, Feb. 3, 2-6 p.m. (store opens at 10 a.m.)

MINKA, 821 Pacific Ave., Tacoma

The romantic combo of jewelry and chocolates gets ramped up in the hands of two of MINKA’s favorite artists: Harriet McNamara and Mindy Barker. As mysterious as they are opulent, the pieces in McNamara’s new collection conjure lost kingdoms as the artist deftly combines iridescent natural shell with industrial vintage components for an effect that’s totally modern, and totally McNamara. Come for an afternoon of fun, and meet the artist — she has a lifetime of stories to share as a photographer in Paris hanging out with photographers from the legendary Magnum agency and as a sculptor.

Also on Saturday, Feb. 3, Tacoma artist Mindy Barker will present her hand-painted chocolates, as delicious to the eye as the taste. Choose from incredible pop art to still life “canvases” — all executed with edible paint!

Regular hours are Fridays noon to 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment. Info: www.minkatacoma.com

  • For the Love of Chocolate: 

Aphrodisiac and Food of the Gods

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Pacific Lutheran University Chemistry Department, Leraas Lecture Hall (Rieke 103)

Did you know that chocolate is actually fermented? That cocoa powder contains some of the same ingredients as nail polish remover? That some people think chocolate is a drug to which people become addicted? Join Erica Fickeisen, lead baker, and Justin Lytle, associate professor of chemistry, for a special Valentine’s Day treat. They will explore the science of making and enjoying chocolate. There will even be free chocolate samples for taste testing afterwards.

Free and open to the public.

Info: www.plu.edu/chemistry/for-the-love-of-chocolate

  • Wine & Chocolate

Friday Feb. 9, 5-8 p.m.

WW Seymour Botanical Conservatory, 316 S. G St., Tacoma

Enjoy music as you stroll through the romantically lit floral displays of the Conservatory. Sip some wine or champagne and nibble on savory hors d’oeuvres and decadent treats created by local chocolatiers. Ages 21 and older only.

• 5-6 p.m.: VIP happy hour / $60

• 6-8 p.m.: General admission ticket holders / $45 (Members $40)

Info: www.metroparkstacoma.org/events-conservatory

  • Third Annual “A Valentines Affair”

Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m.

Mount Tahoma High School, 4634 S. 74th St., Tacoma

Come to the third annual Valentines Affair Bazaar being held on Feb. 10 at Mount Tahoma High School in the commons area, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be dozens of arts, crafts and treats vendors so that you can buy Valentine’s goodies for your sweetheart.

Info: www.facebook.com/events/1564435720280600

  • GALentines day Party at 2nd Cycle

Saturday, Feb. 10, 6-10 p.m.

2nd Cycle Tacoma’s Community Cycle Center, 

1205 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Tacoma

Come to 2nd Cycle for a night of babes, bikes and food. This is a pot luck style dinner party celebrating the women in Tacoma. The party is presented by Ladies Night 253, a group dedicated to providing space for female cyclist and/or mechanics to gather for educational and recreational purposes. This group is open to women of all ages and experience levels. For the GALentines party, bring something to share or just bring yourself. Participants will be hanging out from 6-10 p.m. Minors will be allowed to attend until 8 p.m.

Info: www.facebook.com/ladiesnight253

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