Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tales of the Traveling Totes: Biding Time Until Spring and a Giveaway!

For the background on this series of related posts, you can read all about the makings of the Traveling Totes Tribe here. Be sure to read to the end for a chance at this month's giveaway!

I have been biding my time with winter, patiently waiting until spring arrives. Other than regular walks outdoors and weekly trips to the antique mall to fluff the booths, it's been a somewhat quiet period for Miss Luna C and me since the holidays.

Apart from the crappy weather and all its ensuing salt, cinders and mud, I rather enjoy time to catch up on reading and organizing indoors during winter. I have always been one to recycle my magazines as soon as I've finished reading them. I typically pass them on to my sister, who reads and returns them, and then I pass them along to a family friend. She, in turn, passes them on to others. In January, however, my friend took a pass on her turn, so I did something perhaps better. I filled Miss Luna C with my recent stash and took the magazines to our cancer center's infusion center so patients would have something current to read. I read and purge, they receive and benefit. It's a win-win.
Miss Luna C toting recycled magazines to the Cancer Center's Infusion Center
On the calendar in early February was a lunch date with a group of local friends at a local restaurant. It's a convivial group called the CRS (Can't Remember S#@&!) bunch, and we meet monthly. Topics of conversation are always diverse, and no one worries too much about leaking juicy details outside of our lunchroom; after all, most everyone is of the CRS mindset anyway. ;) Of course, Miss Luna C went along for the ride and errands which followed.
Miss Luna C at the Bistro
Later in  February, I toted Miss Luna C to a great little workshop hosted by a local artisan/jewelry maker, Anna. I first met Anna several years ago at a craft fair, and have followed her around various art & craft venues through the years. Anna provided not only the expertise in making a bracelet and earring set from copper wire and river beads, but she also provided homemade takeaway kits, filled with all the supplies needed to get a jump on making the jewelry outside of the workshop.
Miss Luna C at the jewelry-making  workshop, clockwise (top): supply kits; Anna at the workbench; finished product
My sister M and daughter B came to the workshop also, and we had a great time, not only learning to make the jewelry, but in sharing time with Anna's laid-back style and artistic spirit. Miss Luna C toted some locally baked goods into the workshop, and my jewelry-making pouch out. :)
Clockwise (top): Anna' China Jewelry Workshop; our finished bracelets; Miss Luna C at the workbench with Anna and B.
Anna is currently best known for her artisan line of china jewelry. She has won several awards for her work in juried shows. I have purchased several pieces of her jewelry, mostly interchangeable pendants, which I wear casually.
Assortment of Anna's pendants, mostly from broken china
You can see and like Anna's Facebook page here: Anna's China Jewelry. She's recently started making rings from Fiestaware china, and I think I may have to get one!

Lastly, Miss Luna C and I attended another group luncheon of which I am a lifetime member, the University of  Charleston (WV) Builders. As an alumnus, I am an active member and am currently serving on its Board. Our mission is to raise awareness of the university in the community, and we host luncheons coinciding with the academic calendar. Luncheons are held in the gallery pictured below which, while I was a college student in the 1970s, was the school's library.
University of Charleston Builders' Luncheon - Erma Byrd Gallery
The entire right side of this gallery is floor to ceiling (two stories) of windows. I used to sit and study at a table on the upper level and look out at the view below (our capitol building). Those were the days!
View of WV Capitol from University of Charleston (from riverbank, left; from 3rd floor gallery, right)
Our luncheons are most notably with a book and author theme. Invitations are extended to local authors to discuss and sell their books, and February's luncheon was host to local cooking instructor, April Hamilton, and her book titled, "Counter Intelligence: The Best of April's Kitchen". What a delightful and enthusiastic speaker April is! Her cookbook is inspiring, even for the casual or lazy cook. You'll also find recipes on her website - April's Kitchen Counter - easy, simple ingredients, and good nutritional tips from her registered dietician friend throughout.
April Hamilton (and B) at University of Charleston Builders' Luncheon
April's playground is the kitchen, and these days she is quite the activist, sharing her love of good, home-cooked food for families to enjoy. When Jamie Oliver visited West Virginia in 2009 as part of his Food Revolution, he inspired April to make inroads in our county's school food program as a result, and she's been pushing efforts to better nutrition in local schools ever since. My daughter B joined me at the luncheon, as April was collaborating to host a cooking class event (Farm to FestivALL) for my daughter's arts group employer in the days following this luncheon. Of course, I purchased her cookbook, and tucked it inside Miss Luna C., which also provided transport for another armful of magazines to drop off at the cancer center after the luncheon.

Speaking of biding time until spring, let's get busy with this month's Traveling Totes' giveaway! Whether you're lucky enough to live in an area where the weather is better than cold and bare or, like me, antsy to get out and get busy with some outdoor, warm-weather activities, then I'm sure you'll find this little package useful.

Leave a comment here, on my blog (or send me an email mentioning this post if you are unable to comment here), for a chance to win a MacKenzie-Childs sticky note pad and a Set of 3 Courtly Check Enamel Herb Pots. Both are just in time for your spring planning and planting (or for stashing pencils & pens, utensils - you decide)! Feel free to share this giveaway opportunity with your friends.
Panoply's March Traveling Tote Giveaway: Courtly Check Sticky Pad and Set of 3 Enamel Pots
A winner will be randomly chosen by March 15, 2016

If you'd like to revisit Miss Luna C's previous travels, just click on Traveling Totes under the drop-down menu bar Travel header (top of blog), and you'll find all those posts. Or, just click on any of these links here:

Until our next adventure (coming June 1, 2016), thank you for traveling along. It's a pleasure to have your company and visit!  
Where have all the other Traveling Tote tribe members been of late?  By all means, go check them out at the links below. I tell ya, these girls get around, and now we have another tribe member - Emily McGriff at the French Hutch. Welcome, Emily!
Rita C. at Panoply

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