Hi There Stranger

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I have been getting that itch lately.  The itch of wanting to write and share projects.  Having been absent from the blog for over 5 months, since the end of April, it is about time.  Where have I been you ask?

Work, primarily. Living life. Enjoying the summer. Going on a few trips.

I did not expect to be gone for so long, but after getting a promotion and spending even more hours than ever at work, I decided that something had to give.  And writing for this blog was that thing.  I am not promising to come back and post weekly, but I am trying to find a balance in life and want to come and share more again.  We will see how long it lasts, especially since we are getting closer to the holidays, but I have a lot of things to share. From learning to can, to working on the house, to traveling to New York and Kauai, it has been a busy 5 months!  In the meantime, here are a few Kauai watercolor to enjoy…

Hawaii in Watercolor

Hawaii in Watercolor

Hawaii in Watercolor

March Instagram

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AHHHH!  How is it already April 8th! I can’t believe how fast time is moving and that in a short amount of time we will be in New York.  It seemed like that trip was so far away and now it is getting close enough to start packing.  All I know is this poor little blog is going to suffer with all our plans and the long work days in April.  So, the little I can do is share my Instagram from March round-up .

March Instagram

Errands done right!  Enjoying a Bloody Mary at Paesano’s before finishing our weekly chore list.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Rainy day project of learning to watercolor.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Finished project for my new office at work, my watercolor world map!

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Beautiful March day for a stroll in the park.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Amazing bowl that a high school student made for the Empty Bowls Fundraiser to Support the River City Food Bank.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

My beautiful sister and I enjoying a cocktail at Amanda’s birthday.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Enjoying some sun while supporting the new soccer team in Sacramento.  Go Sac Republic FC!

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Our vacation bungalow in Murphys, the Little Yellow Cottage.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Scenes from our Murphys back yard.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Enjoying some delicious wines.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Wine tasting a bit more in downtown Murphys.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Testing out the waterlogue app to get ready for Pretty Waterlogue April photo a day challenge on Instagram.

Cheers to another great month and fun times ahead.  Check out my instagram account to see my daily watercolors and my travels in New York before they hit the blog!

Pretty Waterlogue April Challenge

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Who wants an opportunity to try out another great photo app and have some fun on Instagram?!? Brittany of Pretty Handy Girl threw down the Pretty Waterlogue Challenge on her blog yesterday and I have decided to pick up the torch and give it a go.  I mean who doesn’t love a good photo challenge and getting to use a fun photo app like Waterlogue?  Just look at how the pictures turn out:

Waterlogue Sample

This challenge is to take a new picture or use an already loved picture each day during April and convert it into a watercolor image using the the Waterlogue app (it costs $2.99 on the iphone).  We are then to share the picture each day on Instagram with the tags @prettyhandygirl and #prettywaterlogueapril.

I am so excited and hopeful that this will help me to come up with some great new art to use in our home and meet a few new people on Instagram.  And this challenge could not come at a better time either.  We are heading out to New York for a few days later in the month, so I will have ample pictures to use and share.  YAY!

Join in the fun with us.  Follow me on Instagram @justtwocraftysisters and Brittany @prettyhandygirl and share your beautiful art too!  Thanks for the challenge!

February Instagram Style

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Another month has come and gone.  February was a busy one, but not all that much to show on Instagram.  My phone keeps alerting me that it is full, so I need to go through and take a few things off to make more space for pictures.  Anyways, here we go with February Instagram style.

February Instagram

Enjoying the Big Game with some amazing appetizers!

February Instagram

Booked our flight and hotel for New York this April!!  Yay! And we got a great deal from Hotels.com and were able to get one night free as a member of their rewards program.

*I am an Affiliate of Hotels.com so I get to offer Save $50 off $300+ with the code COUPON. Book by 3/7/14, Travel by 8/27/14.

February Instagram

On the way up to Reno for my company trip.  Waiting on the bus while it was being chained.  

February Instagram

View from the room at the Peppermill.

February Instagram

King’s game vs Warriors. Unfortunately I was fighting a cold so we did not make it through the whole game, but still a good time.

Should be another busy month in March, looking forward to settling in to my new office, going on a wine tasting weekend, birthdays and more.

January Instagram Style

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Did it seem like January went by crazy fast for anyone else?!?  I can’t believe we are already in February and with every weekend booked up, I know it is going to be a blur too.  So, here is a quick glance back on January through Instagram (I’m trying out a new format this month too, let me know what you like more).

January Instagram

Ringing in the New Year with Chinese take-out, Apple Pie Mimosas and my Love.

January Instagram

Puppies enjoying a patch of sunlight while I worked from home for a day waiting to get our new HVAC system inspected.

January Instagram

Gorgeous day at the park with the pups and nieces.

January Instagram

Found these pretty little flowers hiding during yard work.  70 degrees in January tricks you that it is Spring!

January Instagram

Getting ready for a Roaring 20’s party to celebrate a dear friend turning 29.

January Instagram

Photo booth fun with the birthday girl!

January Instagram

I love him!

January Instagram

Celebrating the soon-to-be Mrs. in SF at her Bridal Shower.

January Instagram

Visiting with some of the best friends a girl could ask for.  Theta Love!

Cheers to a busy February and a great January.  I love having social media like Instagram to easily reflect and remember the fun moments captured each month.

2 Year Blogiversary!!

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2 Year Blogiversary

I cannot believe it has been 2 years since this little blog came into existence.  Crazy, huh?!?! In honor of celebrating this momentous mark, I figured I would share a few stats about this crafty corner of the web. So, here are a few interesting numbers:

51%     The growth rate of unique visitors to the site compared to year 1

81        The number of blog posts written in year 2

10/27  The highest traffic day this past year

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Top 5 Viewed Blog Post:

Finished Map Canvas#1: Canvas Map Wall Art

Yummy Mac & Cheese Bites #2: Mac & Cheese Bites Appetizer

DIY felt flower Christmas tree skirt tutorial#3: Felt Flower Tree Skirt Tutorial

Braided Fleece Scarf#4: Easy No-Sew Braided Fleece Scarf

Braided Bead Necklace Turtorial#5: Braided Bead Necklace Tutorial

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Top 5 Referrers:

#1: Pinterest
#2: Centsational Girl
#3: Bead and Cord
#4: Google
#5: Facebook

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My Favorite Posts of Year 2:

DIY Bow Clutch Sewing TutorialBow Clutch Tutorial

Our New House!!New House Tour

Skinny Italian Wedding Soup RecipeMeatball Wedding Soup

Augie DoggieAdopting Augie

Creepy spider halloween decorationDecorating for Halloween

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And lastly, a HUGE thank you to everyone who is out there reading along with my blog.  It has been a fun 2 years full of ups and downs sharing my stories & projects and I am looking forward to many more to come.

December Instagram Style

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I had so much fun looking back on 2013 in Instagram, that I decided to make it a monthly thing!  I know I am a little late already for December, but life has been crazy in the new year and I figure better late than never, right?!?  I have been getting more and more obsessed with Instagram so here we go!

December Instagram

1. Birthday beer and cider waiting in the fridge from my wonderful hubby.

2. Crab dinner, my birthday request

3. Toy drive for work, drop off #1 at 5am

4. Hanging out with the morning KCRA news crew

5. Brown ale in SF

6. View from the room at Parc 55 in San Francisco

7. Our Christmas mantel, I love our new silver deer

8. 2nd row on the floor at the Kings game

9. Go Kings!

10. Julia’s dirty 30 80’s ski lodge theme party

11. Toy drop #2

12. Toy drop #3

13. Oh Christmas tree! Oh Christmas tree!

14. Surf and turf early Christmas dinner on the farm

15. My moms lighted Christmas creatures

16. Puppy paws

17. Best friends cuddling in bed

Follow me on instagram @justtwocraftysisters

2014 Goals

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Here we go 2014! Last year I sat down and came up with my list of goals for the 2013, and while I was not able to accomplish all of them, it was nice to have a clear idea of what I wanted to accomplish for the year. I decided to do it again this year and write down my top ten goals for 2014.  This is a lofty list of achievements, with a few repeats that I fell short on last year.

Goal #1- Travel More

#1 Travel More: As the last year in my 20’s, I want to spend more time this year traveling.  Last year we were able to squeeze in a few local trips, but for 2014 I hope to go further and have many travel adventures.  My top choices for this year are:

  • Kauai & the Big Island Hawaii
  • New York & Boston (or maybe Washington DC?)
  • Seattle & Portland
  • Chicago
  • Lassen National Park
  • Dirty 30 Girl’s trip TBD (Austin? New Orleans? Cruise?)

While day dreaming about these trips I also plan to finally blog about some of the trips we took over the last few years.

Goal #2- New Flooring

#2 Flooring Throughout the House: One big goal for our home is to install new flooring throughout most of the rooms. With two little mutts running around, I really want to rip out the carpet and install laminate flooring in the main rooms and bedrooms.  Hopefully this can happen in the next few months, but with our new heating & air system being installed tomorrow, we might need to watch our finances for the beginning of the year.

Goal #3- Decorate our New Home

#3 Finish Decorating our House: Since we moved in 6 months ago, we have spent time painting all the rooms.  Now it is time to hang up photos, buy new window coverings and make this house our home.  One goal for the year is to go room by room and make it ours.  I have a lot of plans and hope to share them over the next year.

Goal #4- Organize Craft Room

#4 Design and Create Craft Room Storage: This is a bit of a repeat from last year, but even more do-able now.  Since we finally have a 3 bedroom house, I have big plans to turn one of the rooms into a guest/craft room.  The only hang up on this project is that I want to get the flooring in the room first before moving in cabinetry.  More details coming soon :)

Goal #5- Create Annual Photo Books

#5 Organize Photos and Start Working on Annual Photo Books: In the age of digital photography, it is easy to take a million photos a year and then never do anything with them.  This year I want to take time to first organize and triple back-up all our photos and then start working on annual photo books.  I love the idea of creating a annual yearbook like the ones on Young House Love.  I was a scrapbooker in high school and still like to dabble in it from time to time.  While I love the end result of a real scrapbook, the ease of creating digital photo books is quite appealing too.

Goal #6- Compile a Recipe Book

#6 Compile my Favorite Recipes: After a year of attempting to try a new recipe each week, my next project I want to tackle it compiling all these recipes into a family cook book.  This would be an ongoing project as we find new recipes we like, but it would be great to have all our recipes cataloged and easy to find.

Goal #7- Plant an Herb Garden

#7 Plant a Herb Garden: When we lived in the apartment I had made my pot tower balcony herb garden. Now that we have a yard, I want to plant a larger herb garden this spring.  Along one side of the house we already have two built in garden boxes so most of the hard work is done.  My dad is going to come down with some herb starts from their garden and help me check that the drip lines are set up correctly.

Goal #8- Be More Active

#8 Be More Active..Seriously This Time: Here is a repeat from last year unfortunately.  While we have been really busy this year, we have not been nearly as active as we need to be.  I am not the type that enjoys working out, so every time we try to stick to a workout schedule it fizzles our after a few days.  So this year instead of promising to work out 3 days a week, I vow to be more active.  To me that means more walks to the park, more hikes and more adventure.  Sure we should try to work out, but if we have a large hike on the horizon like we did in Yosemite, then I have a goal and I am more likely to follow through with some kind of exercise routine.

Goal #9- Learn to Use Camera in Manual

#9 Learn to Use the Camera in Manual: Yes, another repeat here.  Simply put I need to switch to manual and learn how to take beautiful pictures.  Why have such a nice camera if you don’t learn how to use it right?!?

Goal #10- Write 10 Blog Posts per Month

#10 Average 10 Blog Posts a Month…For the Entire Year: And finally, another repeat from last year.  I went strong for 2 months last year, but then fell off the face of the planet April through August.  Ending the year strong with 4 consecutive months of 10 plus posts.  Trying to keep this mojo going for the full calendar year this time around.

Now to get out there are start checking items off my list!  Heres to a busy and successful 2014.

2013: A Year in Instagram

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Wow 2014 tomorrow…so crazy how fast 2013 went by!  While looking through some of my favorite blogs, I saw that Make a Long Story Short had a great idea of looking back on the year through Instagram.  She even included this super cute graphic and invited others to join in the year in Instagram fun. What a great way to look back on our year.  I found it hard to pick just two each month, but here we go!

January- Reno, NV January- New Sewing Machine

February- Wezley Puppy Paws February- Superbowl Appetizers

March- Wezley March- Sacramento Land Park

April- Hearst Castle April- Cambria

May- Ice Cream Cone Cake Pops May- Fireworks

June- Aptos June- Our First Home

July- Augie July- Augie & Wezley

August- Painting August- Housewarming Orchid

September- Bloody Mary September- South Lake Tahoe

October- Fall Colors October- Halloween Dogs

November- Baking Cookies November- Bowling

December- 80's Ski Lodge December- Toy Drive

January: Reno trip & my new sewing machine

February: Wezley’s adorable paws & Superbowl appetizer taco cupcakes

March: Wezley enjoying some sun & William Land Park

April: Hearst Castle & Weekend in Cambria

May: Ice cream cone cake pops for C’s birthday & fireworks at the River Cats game

June: Family vacation in Aptos & getting keys to our first home

July: Adopting Augie & best friends Wezley & Augie

August: Painting our new home & housewarming orchid

September: Bacon bloody mary & gondola ride at Heavenly South Lake Tahoe

October: Fall at our new home & puppy Halloween costumes

November: Baking oatmeal cranberry white chocolate cookies & charity Bowling event in Stockton

December: 80’s ski lodge party & toy drive at work

So there we have it, my 2013 in review.  I am excited to see what 2014 has in store! Are you as addicted to Instagram as I am? Do you have any other apps to edit photos before posting?  I found Wood Camera and love using it to edit my photos before posting to Instagram.

Come back tomorrow and I will be sharing my ten goals for the upcoming year. Happy new year!

This post is linked at Six Sisters Stuff.

Pre Black Friday Old Navy

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I just had to share my experience of going to Old Navy 2 days ago.  This is not a sponsored post, I just was so excited about all my loot that I wanted to let everyone know.  I had been eyeballing the light grey peacoat for a while and decided I would swing by after work and finally get it, so that I could wear it on our upcoming trip to SF.  Little did I know the deals they were offering….

Old Navy Black Friday

Leggings / Tank Tops (all 3 colors) / Boyfriend Cardi (both colors) / Light Grey PeacoatColor Block Dress / Scarf / V-neck Sweater Dress / Coral Blouse / Dark Grey Coat

I was able to get all of the items above for under $170!! Crazy right?!?!  Old Navy is having their Pre Black Friday sale going on until 4pm tomorrow (Thanksgiving day), offering up to 40% off everything.  So with the 40% discount and opening a card for another 15% discount I was able to walk away with multiple outfits for the holiday season for a steal, including two great jackets.  Amazing!  And I already wore one of the new outfits to work yesterday, pairing the leggings with the coral tank top and beige cardigan.  Add to that the cute scarf and my favorite black boots and it was a great winter outfit!  Thanks for the great deals Old Navy!