Monday, February 28, 2011

Vacation: Saint Martin

Two weeks ago I confessed that I had been away on vacation in the Caribbean for a week. I can't believe I've only been back for two weeks... it seems like ages ago now. I thought I'd share some photos from the trip. Someone asked if I brought my new camera with me... no, I didn't. Something about sand and traveling just didn't sit right with me when I thought about bringing it, so she stayed at home, and I brought my trusty little Panasonic point and shoot. Less to worry about and much more compact.

Back to the trip... We traveled to Saint Martin. For those of you who don't know, the island is divided by France and the Netherlands (the Dutch side is called Sint Maarten), but you can travel freely between the two sides. The only way you know that you are passing from one side of the island to the other is a little monument with some flags. We had visited Sint Maarten a few times on cruises, but we had never stayed on the island for an entire week nor had we ever visited the French side, where we stayed this time.

Gorgeous, huh? And the pictures don't even do it justice. I always feel so much better when we go to the Caribbean. My winter dry skin goes away, the winter blahs disappear, and I feel recharged and ready to battle those last few weeks of winter.

Here are some things found while combing the beaches...

fan coral
sea urchin
hermit crab
And while driving around the island...

I love the look of the little beach restaurants and bars...

And why don't we paint our homes in these lovely colors? Maybe they don't look as lovely in the cold, wet snow.

We visited a butterfly farm. Not only were the butterflies gorgeous, but the flowers were amazing as well.

The girls had a blast, although my youngest has decided that she is not a huge fan of sand just yet.

My oldest learned to fly a kite...

I really didn't want to leave. That week was the most relaxed I've been in ages (which was entirely due to the fact that my husband and in-laws (who were there with us) were all very concerned about me getting to relax and not having to tend to the girls every waking minute). I miss the fresh croissants and baguettes from the bakery every morning. I miss wearing flip flops and bathing suits all day. I miss not having a schedule to follow. I miss unplugging for an entire week... no computer, no cell phones. I miss my family just enjoying each other's company for an entire week without interruption. There's nothing quite like island time.

Hope you enjoyed the photos. Just looking through them again makes me anxious for warm weather to get here. Tomorrow is March 1st... fingers crossed it will be here soon!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Who Won the Teapot (and Other Goodies)?

Wow! You guys are teapot crazy! The winner of the Follower Appreciation Giveaway...

is comment #135, SewLindaAnn

Congratulations, Linda! I have already heard back from Linda, and she is ecstatic about her win! Thanks to everyone who entered. Have a great weekend!

Mom's Penguin and Some Awards

Remember back in December when I shared Lucy's soda bottle penguins in one of my Cutest Thing Ever posts? Well, my mother decided that she needed to make one, and here she is...

Pretty cute, huh? She made hers smaller... she used 20 oz soda bottles instead of 2 liter bottles.

And my mother is a big knitter, so she whipped up a little hat and scarf instead of painting them on.

I love this little gal. She currently resides on the mantel in my living room.

I also wanted to mention that I received a couple of blog awards over the past few weeks. I was passed the Stylish Blogger Award by Homemaking Honeys. Stop over and check out their Holiday Ideas page... it's chock full of good stuff. I was also passed the Versatile Blogger Award by The Littlest Crafter. Make sure you check out K's craft date idea... fantastic! Thank you ladies!

There is something really neat coming up here on my little old blog. I have to keep it a secret for now, but you'll find out soon enough :) Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thrifty Makeover: Cheese Dome to Cloche

I dragged my girls to Goodwill last week just to see if there were any goodies to be had. For months I've been looking for a nice cheese dome to transform into a decorative cloche, but I had yet to find one. Well, it was my lucky day. I found an amazing piece for $1.99. It was mixed in with the plastics. Thank goodness I was paying attention. Here's the before and after...
I have been wanting to try this painting technique for a while. Kindra over at At Home With K is a genius with a can of paint. And I am also continually inspired by Kristi over at The Speckled Dog. Her thrift store makeovers are amazing.

I painted the wooden plate with a spray can of Rust-Oleum Heirloom White. I did two coats. When that was dry, I sanded inside the nooks and crannies and around the outside edge to distress it a bit. Then I followed Kindra's advice and rubbed MinWax Early American over the entire plate. I immediately wiped it off using clean paper towels.

 I love this piece! And I'm so happy with how it turned out for my first try at distressing and aging.

In preparation for spring, and after being inspired by this post that Kristi did, I added a little nest with three robin's eggs inside. I bought a sleeve of 20 little foam Easter eggs at the Target dollar spot for $2.50. They had ribbon attached to them for hanging, so I just cut the ribbon off. The nest was actually a decoration from my wedding almost ten years ago. I knew I had saved it, so I dug around until I found it.

So, my $1.99 cheese dome was transformed into a beautiful spring centerpiece for less than $10. I love it!

Kindra has started up a new link party called "Terrific Under Ten Tuesdays".

Make sure you check it out and link up any DIY projects or great finds that you made or bought for $10 or less. Thanks for stopping by today!

I'm also linking up over at Kristi's...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rachel Wrap Shirt

First of all I want to welcome all of my new followers. Thanks so much for being here!

Second, I need to say a huge thank you to Karen over at Sew Many Ways for mentioning my giveaway on her blog. I just met Karen, and we got emailing each other and eventually found out that we live like 15 miles from one another! Such a small world. Thank you, Karen!

Alrighty, onto the sewing... At the end of January, Jess from Craftiness is not Optional did another little girl's shirt sew-along. Last fall I participated in her Sadie Shirt sew-along and made this shirt and this shirt for my daughters. This time it was the Rachel Wrap Shirt. I just finished my shirt this weekend...

I love that brown and pink fabric. It's the same fabric I used for the bag I made for my sister for Christmas. My three year old picked out the fabric herself.

That girl loves to pose. And considering she wore it for two days straight this weekend, I'd say she likes the shirt.

I love the little pleat detail on the sleeves...

Guess what? Jess is doing another sew-along this week! This time it's the Charlotte Dress. Make sure you check it out. It's adorable! Thanks for stopping by today!

I'm linking up...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Follower Appreciation Giveaway! (CLOSED)

This giveaway is now CLOSED. Thanks for entering!

Are you ready for spring? I am so ready. Yesterday we had almost 60 degree weather. It felt so nice. I hope mother nature is not toying with me. The snow is slowly melting away. I can see some mini patches of grass starting to appear here and there. In celebration of the coming of spring, and in appreciation of all of my followers and all that you do for me just by being here and being supportive of this little blog, I've got a little giveaway package for you...

Included in the giveaway are three items handmade by me: a zipper pouch, a tissue holder, and a coffee cozy.

The zipper pouch is 3½ x 5"...

The tissue holder, which will include one package of Kleenex...

The exterior of the coffee sleeve includes three different fabrics (5 pieces) sewn together. It is lined in pink...

I have also included a beautiful 1½" diameter ceramic button...

And a Dritz teapot pin cushion that I purchased...

Cute, huh?

This giveaway is now CLOSED. Thanks for entering!

All five of these lovely items could be yours. Here's the lowdown on the giveaway:
  • Since this is a follower appreciation giveaway, you must be a follower of my blog to enter, but new followers can enter, too! Just become a follower before entering the giveaway.
  • There's only one way for my followers to enter... Leave one comment on this post. It's that easy! Only one comment per person please. Make sure you leave an email address if your email is not linked to your Blogger profile.
  • I will ship anywhere, so please feel free to enter even if you don't live in the U.S.
  • The giveaway will close at 7:00am (EST) on Friday, February 25, 2011.
  • I will use a random number generator to determine the winner by comment number.
  • I will notify the winner via email. Again, please make sure your email is available to me through your Blogger profile or leave it in your comment. If I am unable to reach the winner by 7:00am (EST) on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, I will choose another winner.
Thank you all so much for following Gwenny Penny.  I truly appreciate each and every one of you. Good luck!
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